More short reviews of movies from the 50-movie collection, Chilling Classics:
Scream Bloody Murder (1975): I didn’t like this movie, but as a low-budget horror film, it has some things going for it. The main character is a disturbed young man (supposed to be about 17 but the actor looks more like 30) who killed his dad when he was younger by running over him with farm equipment. I couldn’t quite tell whether the kid intentionally did it or if it was an accident, but he was sent away to an institution, so it must have been intentional. He gets released in time to find his mom newly married. His new step-dad, who is amazingly kind and friendly to him, doesn’t get to enjoy his marriage for long. The kid then goes on a murdering spree. He fixates on an artist/prostitute, who learns that no good deed goes unpunished the hard way.
This movie had potential, but I just found the story too disturbing and the kid too creepy, and none of it in a good way, if that makes any sense. I disliked the way the story played out, and apparently not only were there no law enforcement officers anywhere near this teen’s murdering mayhem, but all the men who were about twice the kid’s size didn’t have the strength or sense even to try to defend themselves. Kind of ridiculous. Yet, the film hits its genre pretty well – if you like creepy, disturbing themes in a cheap horror film, then you might like this, and the artist friend was a likeable, cool character, so I’ll bump the rating a notch for her, but the movie left me irritated. Rating: 3 out of 10.
Bell From Hell (1973): Unusual for this collection, this film is a quality production, with good cinematography and good acting. For all that, however, I just found the story a confusing mess. A young man has been committed by his aunt; when he is released, he starts to play mind games with the aunt and his female cousins. It’s a European movie and has that European vibe, but it’s a somber, strange story. I lost interest quickly and never understood what the bell had to do with anything – it was carted to a church and put into the church tower. I’d probably need to re-watch and pay closer attention in order to understand the details, but this particular DVD transfer is so dark, and the sound so muddied, that it was hard to see or hear everything. This YouTube trailer has a much brighter, cleaner picture and sound. Rating: 4 out of 10.
Naked Massacre (1976): An American Vietnam War veteran, in Belfast, invades a dorm of nurses and rapes and terrorizes them. This apparently take some elements from the Richard Speck crimes. I shouldn’t rate this one, as I didn’t watch more than twenty minutes or so. Even in fiction, it’s sickening to see people be very kind and helpful to someone who then comes back to commit atrocities; just not something that I want to see. I turned it off when the first rape scene started; what I can say about it is that it was unpleasant but not explicit in the sense of skin showing (I think, in fact, that both people were fully clothed). I guess that I can see this as ‘chilling,’ but certainly a different kind of chill than a horror movie. Hits too close to reality.
Concerning the DVD picture, it’s actually pretty good, colors and picture are bright, sound is good. But, about ten minutes into the film, an old Charlie McCarthy clip is spliced into the transfer. I thought for a minute that one of the nurses was watching TV and it was the program that was on, but it is just some kind of mistake on the part of the DVD makers. Funniest part of this movie, because there’s nothing else funny about it. The acting is good, there are some beautiful actresses playing some of the nurses, and the movie is a quality one for what it is, but it’s not a movie that I want to finish watching. Rating (just my own reaction, I can see someone else giving it a higher one): 2 out of 10.
More to come …