Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988) Review

One from the re watch pile…
Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

The cover of the Australian Bluray


Film: After veering away from the legend of Michael Myers with the wonderful Halloween III: Season of the Witch, the producers of the series dropped themselves right back into the tale of Michael Myers due to III’s poor reaction, which honestly I never understood as I thought III was cool.

The filmmakers abandoned the Halloween series for a few years before bringing back Haddonfield’s Number 1 son, 6 years from number 3, and a whole 7 years from number 2, which was the last time we saw Myers and there still must have been a market for it as it spawned an immediate sequels, 1989’s Halloween 5 (which continued the ‘Jamie’ storyline) which then led to 1995’s The Curse of Michael Myers, before then being relaunched AGAIN in 1998 with H20: 20 Years Later.

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers was written by Alan B. McElroy who wrote the Spawn comic movie and Wrong Turn, a movie I love, and was directed by Dwight H. Little, who gave us 1989’s The Phantom of the Opera, starring Robert England and the Steven Seagal classic Marked for Death.

Jamie (Danielle Harris) dons a familiar Halloween costume.


The film starts ten years after the events of the first film with the transfer of Michael Myers (George P. Wilbur) from one mental health facility, under the care of Dr Loomis (Donald Pleasance) but without his knowledge, who, with a bit of cinematic conversational exposition, Michael finds out that he has a niece, and so his need to commit sororicide now extends to his sister’s daughter… 

He escapes the ambulance he is being transferred with, and proceeds to make his way back to Haddonfield, where his niece, Jamie (Danielle Harris), now resides with her adoptive family, including sister Rachel (Ellie Cornell).

Jamie isn’t settling into her new family very well as she keeps having visions of a shape threatening her, and very quickly those visions come true, as Michael threat become real, and not just Jamie and Rachel are in trouble, but anyone who crosses Michael’s path… lucky for them though, Loomis is in hot pursuit…

Immediately one must point out that this was the first film to star a very young Danielle Harris, who is now quite the horror icon due to her appearance in both this and it’s immediate sequel (she was replace by another actor in The Curse of Michael Myers), and things like Urban Legend (1998) and Blood Night (2009) and even returned to the Halloween series in Rob Zombie’s remakes playing the ‘new’ Annie Brackett. The reason she became so iconic was she plays her role like a real kid in this and not only isn’t annoying but also plays it with a great deal of depth and heart.

I’ll take you home again, Kathleen……..


Also, I have to say I like the fact that former crush of mine Kathleen Kinmont, known for She-wolves of the Wasteland and even better, Bride of Re-animator, appears in this and set my heart aflutter again even after all these years.

The 80s really were a time for some direly bad sequels, but this isn’t one of them. Is it as good as Halloween 1 or 2? Hell, no, but it is a decent example of 80s horror cinema, and is an entertaining watch.

Score: ***1/2

The Australian Bluray menu


Format: The reviewed copy of the film was the Umbrella Entertainment multiregion Blu-ray Disc, which runs for approximately 88 minutes and is presented in a not-to-sharp 1.85:1 visual with an excellent Dolby 5.1 audio.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: There is only three extras on this disc:

The first is a commentary by our female leads Ellie Cornell and Danielle Harris and their reflections on the filming and their respective careers is interesting.

Next we have a discussion panel with the cats and crew of Halloweens 4 and 5 which is fun and interesting and a nice addition to the extras. Kathleen Kinmont is particularly entertaining.

Finally, a trailer for Halloween 4.

Score: ***1/2

WISIA: To me the best thing this film ever really did was introduce the world to Danielle Harris: it IS entertaining, but the beginning of the end for the series, and a relaunch that probably didn’t need to happen.

Loomis (Donald Pleasance) looks upon Myers’ carnage.

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The Funhouse (1981) 

One from the re watch pile…
The Funhouse (1981)

Arrow’s UK Bluray cover of The Funhouse


Film: To most people, Tobe Hooper peaked early in his career with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, but I disagree. I am not the world’s biggest fan of TCM at all, in actually fact I find it to be poorly paced, with a really great payoff, I’ll grant you, but with quite possibly the world’s most annoying character, Franklin.

For me though, it’s Hooper post TCM and 80s output I like better: Eaten Alive, Lifeforce, Invaders From Mars, and even Tcm’s sequel, Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2! Another one of those I like is this film, The Funhouse, written by Larry Block aka Lawrence Block, whose only other real credit was the Matt Salinger Captain America movie made almost ten years after this.

Elizabeth Berridge in a not-so-famous shower scene.


The Funhouse tells of Amy Harper (Elizabeth Berridge) and her blond date, Buzz (Cooper Huckabee) along with friends, Liz (Largo Woodruff) and her boyfriend, Ritchie (Miles Chaplin) who decide, against Amy’s father’s wishes, to visit a travelling carnival, but they get more than what they bargain for.

They decide to spend the night in the Funhouse, but unfortunately bear witness to the carnival barker’s (Kevin Conway) deformed son (Wayne Doba), kill the sideshow fortune teller (Sylvia Miles) after an unsuccessful sexual transaction. 

So there they are, trapped in a carnival attraction overnight, pursued by madness… will they all survive.

Oh, the freak show is gonna have freaks (Wayne Doba)


I dig this film. It’s classic 80s with weirdo characters and ridiculous practical make-ups, obnoxious jocks who are the good guys, virginal heroines (who’s boobs we get to see, which is an odd juxtaposition), slutty ‘best’ friends who tease their friend about being virginal, and a bizarre environment.

The acting is of a level one would expect from a film of this era, but Kevin Conway in his multiple roles as three different carnival barkers adds a bizarre almost respectability to the whole film, even though he is as creepy as hell, and the ultimate abusive parental figure.

I only saw this film for the first time when this release came out in 2011, and have been a fan ever since, mainly due to the overall tone of the film and the fact that I am an 80s connoisseur, though the fact I find both Elizabeth Berridge and Largo Woodruff cute doesn’t hurt either.

Recommended for fans of 80s slashers.

Score: ***1/2

UK Bluray menu


Format: This Arrow U.K. Multi-region Bluray release runs for approximately 95 minutes and is presented in a nice 2.35:1 image with a good stereo 2.0 audio. As one would expect the image is slightly grainy at times, and fairly artefact free.

Score: ***

Extras: There’s no shortage of extras on this disc.

First, three… count them… THREE commentaries! One by film critic/ journalists Calum Waddell and Justin Kerswell, the next by Craig Reardon and Jeffrey Reddick, and the last by Derek Power and Howard S. Berger. They are three completely different styles of commentary but all have areas of interest.

Next there is a trailer for the film.

Carnage at the Carnival sees Tobe Hooper reflect on his experiences in the making of Funhouse.

Miles of Mayhem has Miles Chapin, who played Ritchie, recollect on his experiences on the film and how every decision his character made screwed the futures of the other main characters.

The Make-up Madness of Craig Reardon looks at Reardon’s history with special effects in Hooper’s films.

Masterclass of Horror sees fellow horror director, and creator of Masters of Horror, Mick Garris talk about Tobe Hooper.

Tobe Hooper Q &A is a fairly poor quality interview with Hooper around the time of the release of his 2004 film, The Toolbox Murders. Despite the quality, it’s an interesting Q & A.

Stills Gallery is a slideshow of the make up and other behind the scenes shenanigans.

This is one of Arrow’s releases that has the multiple covers, 4 in total, a poster of the film and an illustrated essay booklet by horror historian and author Kim Newman.

Score: *****

WISIA: It’s a fun 80s slasher and yeah, I’ll be watching it again.

Largo Woodruff taunts her best friend for being a virgin.

The Mutilator aka Fall Break (1984)

One from the to watch pile…
The Mutilator aka Fall Break (1984)

The cover to Arrow Video’s The Mutilator


Film: 80s slashers are totally my jam. I mean, love zombie films, and I totally dig schlocky action crap, and adore a low-budget scifi drama, love a big budgeted superhero film, but give me a slasher over any of those, any day of the week.

Slashers are my bacon, my ice cream, my chocolate. They are sex mixed with candy.

You get the point: I’m a little keen on them.

Anyway, during the VHS era, I watched hundreds of slashers, that is I had my favourite films that I repeatedly watched over and over, but I always jumped on a new slasher whenever a new one came into the video store I worked in.

This however, was one that passed me by, and I don’t recall ever seeing anything about it anywhere. I baulked at it when Arrow first offered it up, but picked it up cheaply via a sales website as I figured ‘it’s cheap, what the Heck?’

The Mutilator: Ed Jr. (Matt Mitler) contemplates his beer.


The Mutilator tells of Ed Jr. (Matt Mitler) who as a child was cleaning his father’s Big Ed’s (Jack Chatham) guns as a birthday pressie for him, when one accidentally discharged and blew a whole in dear old mother.

Big Ed, a hunter and all round manly sportsman, never quite got over it, and many years later, when Ed Jr is about to go on fall break, he contacts his son and ska him to go and close up their holiday condo on a small island, but does he have ulterior motives to get his son on an abandoned holiday island? And what will happen to the bunch of friends who accompany him?

The Mutilator: hunt, kill, repeat.


This film is directed by Buddy Cooper and John Douglass, from a script by Cooper: both of whom were ‘one and done as far as directing is concerned. This might have something to do with just how terrible the performances of the actors are, but that might have more to do with their skill (or absence of) than Cooper’s as his actual cinematography is actually quite good. Some of the scenes are corny though, and I mean, the Madman jacuzzi scene corny, that may be more to do with the accompanying score for what are supposed to be cutesy lovey dovey parts of the film, and the title track is something you’ll come to loathe, but that’s more because it features heavily on the menu screen… looped.

There is also some absolute stupidity in the film too which I imagine was perceived as being ‘comedy’ but comes of as out-of-place here, especially when you consider just how nasty some of the violence is… and there is some lady-parts that are just horribly done-over!!

None of what I have said should necessarily be taken as a wholehearted negative though, as this film is kitschy enough to be enjoyable in one of those eye-rolling, forehead-slapping ways. 

Score: ***1/2

Arrow’s animated, and audibly annoying menu screen for The Mutilator


Format: This UK Arrow films bluray release of The Mutilator runs for approximately 86 minutes and has a nicely restored, though occasionally artefacty 1.78:1 image with an excellent Mono 1.0 audio track, apparently retired from ‘original vault materials’ in 2k.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: Before the films starts you have an option to start the film with an introduction from Cooper and make up/ editor assistant Edmund Ferrell. 

Typically, Arrow offer alternate cover for the bluray, and a booklet with essays about the film by Ewan Cant and Tim Ferrante, which are both informative and enjoyable.

Fall Breakers is a feature lengthen documentary/ retrospective about the making of the film. If only every release had something like this.

Tunes for the Dunes sees composer Michael Mainard talk about the films score. It’s an interesting look at the creation of tension and other filmic emotions using music.

Behind the Scenes reel is about 15 minutes of stuff that happened on set.

Screen Tests is just that, some screen tests of the Stars of the film.

There are two audio commentaries on this disc. The first one is labeled as ‘Cast and Crew’ and is hosted by Ewan Cant from Arrow video, with Cooper, Douglass, Mitler and Ferrell, and it’s a nice and informative commentary, well led by Cant. The other commentary is hosted again by Cant, and with Cooper again, but this time with final girl, Ruth Martinez.

Opening scene storyboards is a pretty cool look at the pencil sketches done to work out how the beginning of the film was going to look. It’s done to the audio of the opening scene of the film to give it clarity.

Trailers and TV Spots is a series of promotional bits for the film, some as Fall Break and some as The Mutilator.

There is an alternate opening title sequence with the title card of the Mutilator on it.

The is an option called ‘music’ which allows you to hear the title track from the film, but you hear it over and over on the menu screen, so it’s doubtful if you make it all the way through. It’s performed as both the original and as an instrumental only.

Gallery is a stills gallery of behind the scenes shots, but the song that by now you absolutely hate is being played again. I’m not normally a fan of stills galleries but this has some pretty cool behind the scenes images.

Score: *****

WISIA: 80s? Slasher? Hell yeah!

The Mutilator: put your toys away!!!

Graduation Day (1981) Review

One from the re watch pile…
Graduation Day (1981)

The cover the 88 Films’ Graduation Day BD release


Film: I love my 80s slasher films. From the Halloweens (yes I am aware that they started in the 70s, but predominantly the sequels hit in the 80s) and the Friday the 13ths and their imitators like The Burning, which I think is one of the finest slashers of all time, I love em all… to varying degrees…

I was very excited to see that 88 Films were making a bluray collection that focused on the slasher film. Excited, because it meant some of the lesser known and released slashers would get a working on bluray. 88 Films did a cool job with this collection too, all the cases in red and with thin, numbered spines, though some of the decisions made, like my previously reviewed Dead of Winter,  are a bit dubious.

Graduation Day: Patch MacKenzie as Anne Ramstead


This however is 1981’s Graduation Day, directed by Beyond Evil’s Herb Freed, who also co-wrote the story with Anne Marisse and it tells of a series of murders that are taking place in a town after a track star dies after a particularly stressful run, but why are these murders taking place? Is the runner’s sister, Anne (Patch MacKenzie) who has returned from military service responsible? Or is it the coach, (the unfortunately named) George Michaels (Christopher George) who has snapped after a feeling of responsibility for the girl’s death? 

Graduation Day: Michael Pataki as the Dean


Or is it someone else?!?

Honestly, it’s not the greatest slasher in the world, though some of the deaths are quite inventive. If it has any notoriety at all, it is due to the fact that the aforementioned Christopher George, star of Lucia Fulci’s City of the Living Dead stars in it, and a very young and pretty Linnea Quigley, scream queen extraordinaire and star of Return of the Living Dead amongst other films gets her very young and nubile boobies out.

So I guess at the very least it’s worth it for that.

Score: **

Graduation Day menu screen


Format: The reviewed copy of this film was the UK 88 Films release from their Slasher Classics Collection (Volume 1 actually) and is presented in an OK 1.78:1 widescreen image, which has an occasional artefact, and a pretty good DYS-HD mono audio presentation.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: The disc opens with a trailer for Calum Waddell’s doco Slice and Dice decent bunch of extras appear on this release of Graduation Day:

 First we have a documentary called Scream Queens: Horror Heroines Exposed which is hosted by Debbie Rochon, which talks about the ‘classic’ scream queens of the 80s. Thankfully it features Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer and Linda Quigley aka the REAL scream queens! It explores the entire ideal of the scream queen from nudity to crazy fans.

Graduation Memories, an interview with author and critic Justin Kerswell who talks about the film and its history.

Next we have a bunch of Troma extras which are, well, of Troma’s usual quality, if you know what I mean.

The Cannibal Lesbian Hoedown, a music video by Lloyd Kaufman and it’s exactly what you think it is… but with more boobs.

Tromantic Filmmaking Classroom: The Arm Rip shows how an arm rip effect can be done. It’s pretty dire and not very funny.

Interview with scream queen Linnea Quigley sees Quigley talk about her career.

Intro by Lloyd Kaufman which was made for a DVD release (which all of these are) and again, isn’t too funny.

Theatrical trailer is exactly what it says it is.

Speaking of trailers, there is also a bunch of trailers of 88 Films releases including Puppet Master, The Pit & the Pendulum, Demonic Toys, Bloody Birthday, Two Moon Junction, Doll Man, Bloodsucking Freaks, Puppet Master II, Puppet Master III, Tourist Trap and Castle Freak.

This release also has an interview card with a an article called Class Dismissed, in which Calum Waddell interviews star of Graduation Day Patch MacKenzie. This release also has a reversible cover with alternate art. 

Score: *****

WISIA: It’s an OK slasher but I can’t really see myself watching again.

Graduation Day: Linnea!!!

Christmas Eve bonus: All Through The House (2015) Review

Have we all be good little people this year… is Santa going to visit?

… or will it be THIS guy?

One from the to watch pile… and have a fantastic Christmas. Thank you all so much for your support since the creation of the site.

All Through The House (2015)

All Through The House bluray cover


Film: Christmas and genre films go together hand-in-hand. Black Christmas and it’s remake, the Silent Night, Deadly Nights, Gremlins, Christmas Evil, Jack Frost, Silent Night Bloody Night, Santa’s Slay, Sint, Krampus, P2… the list goes on, and that’s not to mention the comedy’s and action films. Ne’er a Christmas season goes by without Die Hard and Home Alone getting a spin in my house.

In this wonderful tradition, writer director Todd Nunes delivered a slasher tribute that firmly entrenches its roots in the tradition of the silly season. This film is based on his short film, Here Comes Santa, but expanded into a full feature.

All Through The House: Rachel (Ashley Mary Nunes) dressed for Christmas


Rachel (Ashley Mary Nunes) has returned home from college for the Christmas break, but unfortunately, so has a killer dressed in a Santa Claus outfit (Lito Velasco) and a horrible old-man mask, but what does this have to do with town kook, Mrs Garret (Melinda Kiring), Rachel’s missing mother, and Mrs Garret’s daughter, the institutionalised Jamie?

All Through The House: Kooky Mrs Garrett (Melinda Kiring)


Nunes has nailed the slasher tropes with this film… it’s like cinema never moved on from 1985! The girls are sexy and bimbo-y, and the guys are empty headed and oversexed morons, and the killer hides his face behind a grotesque mask. If it wasn’t for a few of the modern day bits in here, and the fact the film’s quality is crystal clear.

Even better that all that: practical effects! Actual proper non-CGI effects! Now, I don’t have a problem with CGI as a rule, but to see a film like this done with practical effects is almost a relief, me they are plentiful: two head stabs and two dick removals within the first 30 minutes, and don’t think kids and pets are safe from Santa’s shears either!

All through the film I got a real original Black Christmas vibe about it, which isn’t a bad thing, and there are heaps of occasions where there seem to be direct homages to other famous slasher films, like Tourist Trap and Halloween. Even the overacting and red herring jump scares feel familiar, but he has executed this without it feeling contrived, or just a flat out rip off.

I honestly find it difficult to find too much wrong with this film, though the final fight scene looks like it was choreographed by a complete amateur, which is a bummer. Above that though, I had an absolute blast.

Score: ****

All Through The House menu screen


Format: This Monster Pictures bluray release of All Through the House runs for approximately 88 minutes and has an super-clear 1.75:1 image with a matching Dolby digital DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track. 

Score: *****

Extras: Unfortunately, you’ve all been bad this year, so Santa left you no extras at all. Shame, as I wouldn’t have minded seeing the short film it was based on: I’ll have to try and be a good boy for next Christmas.

Score: 0

WISIA: Every Christmas, without fail, I’m gonna watch this film.

All Through The House: don’t run with scissors!

Amsterdamned (1988) Review

One from the to watch pile…
Amsterdamned (1988)

Shameless Screen Entertainment’s DVD release of Amsterdamned


Film: Shameless Screen Entertainment (henceforth referred to as SSE) are very clever when it comes to the way they release films. As a collector, I am nutty about getting every disc in a numbered collection, and to have the spines make up the company name any various images just makes my brain absolutely freak out if I am missing just one.

SSE have made a few mistakes with their layout of the collection which has caused double ups and other criticisms, but mostly I have been happy with the films they have released, in this case, and number 37 in the collection, we have the Dutch action/ giallo Amsterdamned.

A killer is stalking the streets of Amsterdam… well, not the streets: he travels from victim to victim via the canals, dressed in a diving suit. Our hero, tough guy police officer Eric Vissel (Huub Stapel) is on the case after the discovery of a victim, a prostitute, who was left hanging from a bridge by her feet over a canal.

Amsterdamned: police work at work.


As the body count increases, the pressure on Vissel to capture him does too, but will he and his 80s mullet have the police skills to do so?

So is this a giallo or an action film? Personally I’m not sure, but knowing that director Dick Maas is such a fan of American films, I’d say the latter. The movie is steeped in 80s fashion and there are mullets as far as the eye can see, but the one thing that is omnipresent is the attempt to replicate the bombasticity of the 80s action film which isn’t quite 100% pulled off as there is still a reserved Northern European-ness to it.

Here lies the problem. The film is confused by its identity and doesn’t quite pull off the inherent nastiness and sleaze of a giallo, nor is its machismo fully in place enough for it to feel like a proper action film.

The motorcycle chase scene has to be singled out and identified as pretty amazing. The stunt driver on the bike looks like he’s going to stack it on more than one occasion and has DNA entrenched in The Italian Job… OK, that might be overselling it somewhat, but it’s a pretty cool 3 minute chase. The real winner in this film is the boat chase. Some truly outstanding manipulation of speedboats in the canal make for an epically cool, almost James Bond-y sequence.

Unfortunately the dubbing is occasionally laughable. Not the dialogue itself (though at times it is a bit hokey), but certainly the execution of it. The accents of the characters are… actually I don’t know WHAT they are! I have known several Dutch people over the years and this isn’t quite what their accent sounds like!

If I’m totally honest with this review, and I am always honest, this is about the eighth time I have attempted to watch this film. Why so many? Well, I have fallen asleep during it every single time.

Amsterdamned: dead hooker on a canal boat


That’s not generally a glowing recommendation and it’s not that this is any worse a story than many second string giallos, it’s just paced quite oddly and that makes it feel longer than it is.

Score: **

Shameless Screen Entertainment’s Amsterdamned DVD menu


Format: Amsterdamned was reviewed on the SSE UK DVD which runs for approximately 109 minutes and is presented in a slightly above average 16×9 letterboxed image with an apparently remastered, and quite clear, Dolby 2.0 audio. It’s not digital perfection, but it’s ok.

Score: ***

Extras: The disc opens with trailers for other SSE movies The House With Laughing Windows, Dellamorte Dellamore and 4 Flies on Grey Velvet, before we get to the menu screen.

Other extras on this disc though, include Amsterdamned: the City – the Film – the Makers is a dubbed making-of documentary that is actually pretty interesting even though its quality is not the sharpest, which isn’t a criticism of the doco, but just a reflection of the video of the time. 

There’s an image gallery, which I hate!! Not this one in particular though as it shows promo pics and advertising rather than just movie stills.

In addition to the aforementioned trailers, we also have trailers for The Strange Vice of Mrs Wardh, Almost Human, The New York Ripper, Don’t Torture a Duckling, Cannibal Holocaust and House on the Edge of the Park. The is also a ‘still’ trailer advertising a company called ‘Argent’.

There is also a Dutch, English and American trailer for the film.

SSE have also given us a reversible cover for this release.

Score: ***1/2

WISIA: I probably won’t watch it again, just because it took me so long to get through it once!

Amsterdamned: getting a little head on a boat

Bloody Birthday (1981) Review

One from the to watch pile…
Bloody Birthday (1981)


Film: Ain’t no slasher like an 80s slasher!

88 Films have risen so quickly in the go-to UK DVD and bluray collectors scope that they now rival Arrow Films, and the quirky Shameless Screen Entertainment. I admit the only one of these companies that I have bought all the films available is Shameless, but my collectors reflex has been in full flight with the numbered yellow covers.

Whilst I watched many slasher films in the 80s on VHS, I have no recollection of ever seeing this title, even on the shelves! We certainly didn’t have it in the video shop I worked in, and I don’t recall seeing it at any of the other local shops near my house.

This film was directed by Ed Hunt, who also directed Diary of a Sinner and Plague, amongst others and he co-wrote the film with Barry Pearson, who wrote Paperback Hero, and worked with Hunt on several other projects.


This film is about the tenth birthday of three children, Timmy (K.C Martel), Debbie (Elizabeth Hoy) and Curtis (Billy Jayne) who were born during a solar eclipse which, according to astrology, means they are missing ‘something’ in there personality.

What that thing is, is remorse, as over the course of several days, the three start a serial killing rampage, targeting anyone who has wronged them and these victims include teachers, babysitters…. even family members, but can they be stopped, or will their little group fall apart as kids start to blame each other for the murders…


Its a fun movie, for sure. It’s not very bloody and at times feels like it was almost made for television, except for the collection of boobs on show would never have been allowed on TV in the early 80s! The performances range from decent to terrible, and I should point out that both Susan Strasberg and José Ferrer make cameos. The final girl, played by Lori Lethin, is a delight too: a real ‘sunny’ personality.

Score: ***


Format: This review was done with the U.K., region B bluray release of the film, which runs for 85 minutes. The film was presented in an average but clear and artefact free 1.78:1 video with a decent mono audio.

Score: ***1/2

Extras: The first thing I have to say is I like how 88 Films have given us a black bluray cover and a reversible sleeve; one side with original artwork and the other with an unimpressive, updated one. I always dig these kind of physical bonuses!

There’s a couple of OK extras on this disc:

Don’t Eat the Cake: an Interview with Lori Lethin is just that, an interview with the actress who played Joyce which is charming.

A Brief History of Slasher Movies featurette is a short look at the slasher film, but it’s really just an interview with Adam Rockoff, author of the book Going to Pieces: The Rise & Fall of the Slasher Film.

There are also several trailers for Bloody Birthday, Bloodsucking Freaks, Tourist Trap and Two Moon Junction.

There is also a informative commentary by the author of Teenage Wasteland, Justin Kerswell with Calum Waddell.

Hidden in the audio section is also an audio only interview with the director, Ed Hunt which is also played over the film as a director’s commentary.

Score: ***


WISIA: 80s slashers are my jam, of course I’ll give it another spin.

The Bogey Man (1980) Review

One from the re-watch pile…

The Bogey Man aka The Boogey Man (1980)

Film: You know those times where you watch a film and think to yourself,’ Damn, that was a great idea, poorly executed.’
Director Ulli Lommel’s film The Boogey Man (in the UK, where this release is from, called ‘The Bogey Man’) is one of those times. I wanted to like it, and it had some the trappings of a film that I would like: the time period as I love late 70s/ early 80s horror; pretty, accessible girls, a threatening backstory to set up future horrors; a dude in a weird mask… You know, the usual suspects.

I will point out that whilst it did skip gratuitous nudity, except for a blink and you’ll miss it half-nipple, it replaced it with a horrendously un-sexy ‘implied’ blowjob, cause you know, they are the best kind. Oh, hang on: that’s not a win at all!

So onto the synopsis…

Years ago, young Lacey (Natasha Schiano) witnesses the brutal murder of her mother’s abusive boyfriend at the hands of her brother Willy (Jay Wright).

Today, Lacey (Suzanna Love) and her brother, the now mute from trauma Willy (Nicholas Love) live with her son, husband and uncle and aunt on their farm, but she is haunted by the memories of what happened that night, brought on by a deathbed letter from their mother. She visits the local psychiatrist, Dr. Warren (John Carradine) who suggests that perhaps revisiting her childhood home will help to exorcise the demons within her, but when she does, she appears to see the spirit of her mother’s lover in the mirror, and so she smashes is, releasing him to wreak havoc on her live, and the lives of her young ones… And anyone who gets light reflected on them by, say, a piece of it attached to a child’s shoe… Yeah, that’s what I thought too.


So like I wrote earlier, it’s not a bad idea, it’s just not quite executed effectively. The concept of a murdered creep’s soul being trapped in a mirror is an awesome one, but the hows and whys are not communicated other than through legend one of the characters was supposed to have heard, we are just supposed to assume that this is what happens. It’s just a glaring hole in the plotting that with such a weak explanation makes the film seem limp. There’s a hinted at subtext of possession too, which is also frustratingly left under-explored.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need a film to hold my hand and lead me through the story, but a map and a compass wouldn’t hurt!

There is also some things the family do that are just inexplicable. When Lacey smashes the mirror, her husband re-assembles the glass like a jigsaw to prove that there isn’t creepy presence in the mirror, and then hangs it in their kitchen. I’m not entirely sure why.

The acting in the film is fine, and even the effects, simple as they are, work just fine, and the soundtrack is really good. I do have to commend Lommel’s direction at times, as he uses mirrored reflection in many interior scenes, rather than shooting it straight-on. His exterior shots are also shot with a very distinct, rural-painterly look to them, with the actors planted in very specific spots to balance the image.


It feels like it wants to be something else, like maybe the Amityville Horror, which came out a few years earlier, but I just might be projecting the familiarity of the architecture of the farmhouse into that, though it is essentially about a ghost of the past terrorising a family.

To sum up, The Boogey Man is not a bad film, just a missed opportunity.

Score: ** 

Format: The region-free bluray disc is number 10 in the U.K. company 88 Films ‘Slasher Collection’. The film looks and sound great, considering its age and is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen with a DTS-HD MA 2.0 audio.

Score: ****

Extras: A few extras on this disc. First we have an interview with director Ulli Lommel, which goes for about 17 minutes and is pretty average quality, and Lommel speaks VERY slowly and deliberately but an interesting interview nevertheless, and he’s an amazingly impressive name-dropper. 


Next we have a trailer for the film, a couple of TV spots and my most hated of extras, a stills gallery: I will give this stills gallery a small amount of credit though as it has international promo material in it.

This disc also has a few other trailers for films from 88 Films including Puppet Master, The Pit & the Pendulum, Demonic Toys, Two Moon Junction, Dollman, Bloodsucking Freaks, Puppet Master II, Puppet Master III, Tourist Trap and Castle Freak

There is also a booklet written by genre journalist Calum Waddell, which I would have loved to have reviewed, but the writing, black on red paper, is so microscopic I’d need a library microfiche to actually read it.

Score: ***


WISIA: The Bogey Man is actually quite a frustrating watch as it seems like a gigantic missed opportunity. Honestly, if not for getting it as part of the Slasher Collection and deciding to review it here, I probably would never have watched it again after seeing it for the first time years ago. 

Friday the 13th: The Video Game

It’s E3 time in America at the moment so of course, fans of video games’ Facebook and Twitter feeds are being flooded with stuff that’s causing heaps of oohs and aahs, but for horror fans, this ones a corker.

Game developers Gun Media have revealed about 5 odd minutes of their upcoming Friday the 13th game, where you get to play as either Jason or one of the campers/ councillors. 

This YouTube video has some cool stuff in it like Jason’s ability to teleport (so THAT’S how he got around so quick), which I am sure will cause some controversy, and a Tomb Raider/ Arkham Asylum styled ‘hunter’ vision so he can keep track of his escaping prey. Also, you’ll hear in the video that he is driven on by a ghostly voice of Mrs Voorhees to kill and maim.

If Jason’s movements seem familiar that’s because the motion capture has been performed by regular Jason actor Kane Hodder, and the game also has horror effects legend Tim Savini on board as the cinematographer!!

Now the footage here is a little clunky, but bear in mind this is early alpha stuff (for non game fans, that means it’s in very early stages of final development) and in no way reflects the final product. I have to say though, so far, this F13 fan is loving what he sees!!

Want more information? Try the Friday the 13th game page at http://www.f13game.com .