Tuesday, October 2, 2012



Thomas “No Other Credits” Bern, Kim “Loads of Porn” McKamy, Sylvia Summers, Lauren “Saturday the 14th Strikes Back” Peterson, Cynthia Crass, and Michael “Not The Hills Street Blues One” Warren. 

More details here.


Adam (Thomas Bern) is a Def Leppard fan who has a randy girlfriend (McKamy, who later became porn star Ashlyn Gere and who's probably the best actress in this movie), writes heavy metal songs, smokes pot, and watches Godzilla movies.  So far he’s every dude I know.  He also has an unhealthy interest in the black arts and experiments with occult practices which give him nightmares, visions of blood-soaked violence, and an attic infected with seductive female ghosts.  

Time to call Orkin.

His girlfriend Pat urges him to get out more often and actually interact with people.  So she asks him to help throw a party for her sister Jodi (Peterson) who’s trying to impress bitchy rich girl Frances (Crass) to get her into a sorority. The party guests arrive in a parade of 80s archetypes including Awkward Valley Girl, Feather-Haired Stud Turd, and …

Ahhhh!  The Devil!

Oh, it’s just Goofball 80s Guy.  AHHHHHH!  GOOFBALL 80S GUY!!!!

During the party, we’re treated to such immortal lines such as “Mondo bad planning, Jody.  Jeez!”, “AB Positive, that’s my favorite type! (AWKWARD PAUSE). I’m Pre-Med.”, and my fave “I don’t know much about heavy metal. I mean, I’m into Lionel Ritchie.” Meanwhile, Adam continues to be plagued by visions of the ghost woman and in the hopes that she will bring him the success in shitty songwriting he so desires, he performs a ritual to give her new life.

Also, a napkin.

But Adam isn't prepared for the fatal truth that Ghost Girl is actually a succubus, a female demon with a hunger for human flesh and suffering.

And artsy fartsy poses.

Lily the Succubus (Summers) crashes the party with hunky jerk Ace (Warren) and proceeds to smoke the party guests, decorate the walls with brains, and spike the punch with terror.

How not to start a career in party planning.

In the aftermath, Pat and Jodi are last ones standing and must face the horror of an unstoppable she-demon and the wrath of a crazed hair metal fan!

"Where’s my Pyromania LP?!!!"


Director David DeCoteau, a protégé of B-movie legends Roger Corman and Richard Band, is a “friend” of mine on Facebook.  I’m not sure if he reads his news feed, monitors posts, tags, or mentions of himself, or even realizes he has an FB account, but I worry that he’ll read this measly review of his early effort Dreamaniac.  Beyond personal favorites Dr. Alien and Nightmare Sisters, I’m not well-versed in his filmography but I do know he continually demonstrates his productivity with a long line of director credits spanning a career of over twenty years.  And I feel bad trashing one of his works as he’s one of the most entertaining contributors to Joe Dante’s wonderful Trailers from Hell website.  But since you are the only person who reads this blog, I feel safe.  Hinting at a Freddy Krueger-esque outing with a poster that promises a Clint Howard appearance as a dream killer (see above), Dreamaniac is a shot-on-video piece of poop drenched in the stink of terrible acting, horrendously delivered jokes, high-school drama class sound design, and a total lack of suspense, gore, or coherence.  Whew, got that out.  But, there may be a silver lining somewhere beneath the torn script pages, non-functioning microphones, and razor-blades dusty with coke. DeCoteau breaks some ground here with a generous helping of male nudity and homo-eroticism  something rare to virtually unheard of in 80s teen horror flicks, hell, even now.  I’m not saying wieners and white butts saved the movie but we do see here the director’s brave early effort to create a space in horror for other audiences.  But any groundbreaking is soon shot to shit by a terrible, seemingly tacked-on ending that puts Dreamaniac into Jacob’s Ladder territory where we discover that somewhere down the line, the movie’s original title may have been Succubus.  Well, they got the “suc” part right.

I’m ready for your unfriending, Mr. DeCoteau.

Monday, October 1, 2012

THE BRAIN (1988)


Tom “Twice Dead” Bresnahan, Cynthia “Pin” Preston, David “Re-Animator” Gale, and the pissy-est Madball you’ve ever seen.

More details here.


Dr. Blake (Gale) hosts the hottest talk show in the history of whatever city this movie is set and is also the head of the Psychological Research Institute (PRI), a loony bin which is hitting great strides making the loony less loony.  Every parent in town stops what they’re doing to tune in to Independent Thinking where Blake spouts an endless tirade of 80s New Age nonsense.

Look out, Steve Gelder!

Unfortunately, the ratings aren't the only thing that’s sky-high in this burg.  An increasing number of gruesome murders and suicides are plaguing the city as teens are killing folks and themselves after experiencing hallucinations of bursting tentacles from bedroom walls, lecherous tongues seeking young cheeks to smooch, and cute toys getting upset.

Lies make Teddy Ruxpin cry.

Meanwhile, high school troublemaker James (Bresnahan) is in deep shit for exploding the school’s crappers in a prank gone awry, irking overly concerned girlfriend Janet (Preston).  The principal and his parents agree to send James to PRI for psychological treatment where, after a few interactions with the resident nutballs, he is greeted by Blake himself.  After James fails a few visual tests, Blake grows alarmingly concerned about the young man.  But he gets antsy, is freaked out by hallucinations triggered by the tests, and attempts to escape.  To his horror, he discovers Blake’s secret: a giant alien brain is sending psychic messages to humans via the TV show signal and the psych tests which are scrambling their brains!

Forget Obamacare, prepare for Cthulhucare!

James hits the road where he teams up with Janet and evades the police, Blake’s nurse goon, and every blood-soaked brain-damaged psycho in town.  Concerned with James' invulnerability to the signals, The Brain demands his capture via a sophisticated Brain-to-computer interface.

Jeepers, even evil alien brains are into the sexting thing.

As the Independent Thinking show goes national, the Brain prepares for its influence to be spread on a global scale.  That’s a lot of teen-licking.  The more people it reaches, the bigger it grows.  Its psychic tentacles begin to circle around James and Janet who infiltrate the TV studio where the national show will be broadcast and it will take immense self-control, a will of legend, and a shitload of Tylenol to stop it.

But first, a snack.


The Brain is a largely forgotten 80s creature feature whose trailer promises wall-to-wall gore but rarely delivers.  After a fairly well-paced start with a crazy delirium–laden kill and subsequent holiday-themed suicide, a Cronenberg-ish mental hospital sequence, and an eerie, crunchy introduction to the title character, the movie loses steam in the second act which degenerates into a foot race and car chase through a rural, perpetually overcast Canadian town.  We never find out where the Brain came from, what its ultimate purpose will be, or how the hell it’s able to slither around warehouse so silently.  Campy and not so well acted, most movie fans would probably conclude that the deserves its forgotten status.  But The Brain is kind of a hidden gem, a movie that pretty much sums up why I, as a horror fan, still love to track down previously unseen movies.  It’s the little touches that count and inspire – the horny teen angst and corny rebellion, the evil psychiatrist shtick, and kill sequences crafted by a madman.  And you have Canadian horror legend David Gale hamming it fittingly and delivering a hell of a stinger early in the film.  Plus, there’s a classic era-appropriate synthesizer score by Paul Zaza whose name is impossibly cool.  “Hello, I’m Tremendo Zaza.  Oh, so you would like to go bed with me?  So do your three best friends?  Okay, I guess.” Anyway, in the end, the movie is saved by the elements mentioned above and fabulous monster design which is chillingly creepy, recalling some kind of Lovecraftian nightmare mating with an oversized Necronomicon who had just been banged by a Madball.

Smile and say hello to the folks, Brain.  “Hello folks!”

Friday, September 28, 2012


Coming Monday!!! Ghost Rats! Giant Heads! Redhead Loving Monsters! Murderous Vegetables Not Named Patrick!  Hell yeah, it's the 31 Days of Halloween!  Welcome, welcome.

-El T.