This is always an emotional time of year, not only that another Schlocktoberfest has ended, but so many of our readers died of fright this year that we’re starting to feel kind of bad about it. But on the other hand, it was our most successful Schlocktoberfest to date, so hooray! Let’s take a look back, shall we?
In order from best to worst score:
- Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (9)
- Night of the Creeps (8.75)
- Tenebre (8.5)
- The New York Ripper (8.5)
- Child’s Play (8)
- Ghostwatch (8)
- Flesh for Frankenstein (8)
- Stage Fright (7.75)
- Candyman (7.5)
- My Bloody Valentine (7)
- Warlock (7)
- Wishmaster (7)
- Bay of Blood (7)
- Night of the Demons (6)
- Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2 (6)
- Demonic Toys (6)
- The Abominable Dr. Phibes (5.75)
- The Weekend Murders (5)
- Grave Encounters (5)
- Puppet Master (5)
- Hellgate (4.5)
- Blood for Dracula (4)
- Dolls (4)
- Child’s Play 2 (4)
- Near Dark (4)
- Sleepaway Camp III: Teenage Wasteland (2.5)
- Child’s Play 3 (2)
- The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2)
- Oculus (2)
- Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys (0.5)
- You’re Next (0.0)
All in all a great year. I’m glad our dear friend Jim was able to free up more of his free time to write more for us this year than his usual one review. He went above and beyond the Schlocktoberfest call of duty and for those about to schlock, we salute you! We were toying with the idea of giving Jim his own Giallo column and since he received a lot of good praise for his reviews It’s only a matter of him wanting to join in a greater capacity.
My only regret is reviewing the first three Child’s Plays. Sure I had fond memories of the original when I was a kid but they are not the most entertaining flicks anymore. The idea of a ugly dumb killer doll that has one of the foulest mouths is worse when you’re older. It may frighten little Bobby and Billy but it’s ridiculous to most adults. In fact the whole Killer Toys week we did was a bust for both of us I think. Besides mumblecore, killer toys may be the worst sub-genre in horror. Hopefully our idea for next year’s feature week will be better.
Most Pleasant Surprise: I would make it a tie with Flesh For Frankenstein and Candyman. Flesh For Frankenstein was so wacky, disjointed, bizarre and depraved that it was a complete hoot. Candyman I skipped when I was younger and it’s basically another Cinemea Culpa for me. It may not be a great horror film but I wished I saw it back in the day.
Most Disappointing: Since I really enjoyed the first and second Sleepaway Camps, I thought Part 3 would be fun too. Turns out no. Everything that was great about the first two movies was completely forgotten and wasted on this lackluster bore. Also, Blood For Dracula was pale in comparison to Morrissey’s previous masterpiece of Flesh For Frankenstein. I was very disappointed in that one too.
Favorite Villain: Sadly, I am let down this year for a great villain that I didn’t already know. The best I can think of is Jason Voorhees. But come on that’s way too easy to choose. He’s already won a Villain Madness! So without picking Jason, I’d have to go with Candyman.
Least Favorite Villain: Hands-down Death Mirror from Oculus. I really don’t know why someone would think that a creepy looking mirror would make a great horror antagonist.
Best Kill: It’s very hard to beat Jason sliding his face down on a machete and anything maestro Savini puts on screen.
Worst Kill: Hard to pick just one from so many weak attempts at maiming, stabbing and crushing, especially from the killer toy flicks. But Angela had a few terrible and lame kills in Sleepaway Camp III. Notably when she bashed in some skulls with a log. It may have been better if it was more gory and graphic but it was lacking in every which way.
Remember last year when I was adamant about watching and writing the majority of these well ahead of time so we wouldn’t have to scramble to do them when Schlocktoberfest IV came around? Well, I didn’t do that, again. But I did manage to see seven of them in September, so I was pretty well ahead and didn’t have to write these things late at night at the last minute like I did last year, so it was less stressful and saved my marriage! I don’t know, I just don’t feel right about doing Schlocktoberfest entries unless it’s around Halloween season, you know? If this all sounds familiar, I just copied and pasted it from last year, because I did the exact same thing. But it worked out well enough! I think I set my bar historically low this year as most of the movies I watched were just disappointing and/or stupid and/or starred Corey Feldman. But still, it’s always fun to do this and all of your likes and comments are like burning candlelight for my hollow pumpkin head. Now I’ll work way ahead for next year!
Most Pleasant Surprise: Stage Fright – Despite all of the Italians, this is a real hidden gem in the slasher genre, and is doubly scary for those frightened of owls and musical theater.
Close runner-up: Wishmaster – Possibly the greatest killer djinn movie of all time. It’s no classic by any means but better, more creative, and gorier than I ever thought it would be.
Least Pleasant Surprise: Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys – This movie gave me an irrational fear of Corey Feldman. I still get diarrhea every time I think about i……. oh no….
Most Disappointing Movie: The Town That Dreaded Sundown – It seemed like I was in for a watered-down Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but instead it was a pissed-down Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Some of the worst directing I’ve ever seen, inexplicable “comedy” moments, and just plain boredom abound. The town should have dreaded being featured in this movie.
Favorite Villain: No villain really blew my doors down this time like Shakma did last year, but I’ll go with The Djinn from Wishmaster. While a bit of a Freddy Kreuger/Leprechaun ripoff, he was interesting, well-performed and came up with great kills.
Best Kill: It just warms the cockles of my heart to see all the puppets working together to teach a lesson to their common enemy.
Worst Kill: When The Abominable Dr. Phibes drains all of that guy’s blood. Easily the most boring death I could imagine. If it was supposed to represent the “plague of blood” (whatever the hell that means) why didn’t he just slash his jugular or something? Or if that wasn’t theatrical enough, maybe drown him in blood. Or shoot him in the head with a frozen blood bullet. Something.
Least Favorite Character: Hands down Jeff from The Video Dead. Yeah that was three years ago but I still hate him. But for this year, could it possibly be anyone else other than Corey Feldman’s character of Robert Toulon from Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys? He literally ruins the entire movie, not that it needed much help.
Worst Achievement in Special Effects: I have to give it to the demon’s mask in Puppet Master Vs. Demonic Toys. I’ve seen better masks being chewed on by rats at a Salvation Army that burned down in 1983.
Hottest Horror Honey: Jill Whitlow from Night of the Creeps.
Ok, let’s get down to it Boppers!
This year I was promoted from “Special Halloween Guest Appearance” to “Guest Star.” That’s right ladies and everyone; I made it to the Show. After I got the call I had 12 reviews ready to rock within 2 weeks – which I guess means that I can take the leftovers and make a solo album. I’m kidding of course, power trios always work best and solo albums were only successful for Ace Frehley.
I had a lot of fun watching and writing these reviews and I hope that comes through. Bitterly sarcastic and off-color jokes do not always mean hatred, as it is taught in every roast that you see –you have to really love something in order to make fun of it. So, let’s Cliff-Note Schlocktober of 2014 shall we?
Most Pleasant Surprise: The Weekend Murders turned out to be the dark horse for me this year. The way too repetitive use of the main theme is enough to make you crazy during some scenes, but it is a very fun whodunnit.
Most Disappointing Movie: Yep, you guessed it: You’re Next. If it makes you fans of this movie feel any better, I absolutely loved this poster for it. I’m actually thinking of designing my house by these plans:
Favorite Villain: Peter from The New York Ripper. Never in the history of serial killers has there been one who has the sheer balls to quack like a duck. You can file Zodiac’s cyphers with the daily Sudoku, throw out Jack the Ripper’s taunting letters to the police, and fuck right off with Gacy’s audacity – but this? This is something oh so special.
Favorite Final Girl: Anne from Tenebre. What other heroine has ever accidentally started a Rube Goldberg-ian kill of the film’s villain and then gets the end credits on her as she cries in the rain? No one. That’s who.
Ms. Schlocktober 2014: Orchidea de Santis from The Weekend Murders.
Best Kill: Tilde’s murder from Tenebre. I have no idea how Argento thought up how to film this but I am so glad he did. The editing, color contrast and pacing are just perfect.
Runner-up is the billhook to the face of Bobby in Bay Of Blood. Even though this kill would eventually morph almost exactly into Marcie’s death from Friday The 13th it’s worth the silver medal for sure.
Worst Kill: Aimee from You’re Next. Being clotheslined by piano wire without being decapitated is just wrong as far as horror movies go. If the filmmakers were trying to go for a stronger sense of realism then they should have had the animal-masked intruders kill every single member of the family, then cut to them all at a bar clinking beer bottles and saying, “Well, that was easy.”
Best Nude Scene: Brigitte Skay’s skinny-dipping scene from Bay of Blood – hands down and everything else up.
Most Deserving Death: Georgie from The Weekend Murders annoyed me almost to the point of tracking down either the actor or his descendants and insulting them.
One Thing I Don’t Want HTTHV To Know About Me: I still haven’t seen Starcrash.
My resignation will be on your desk in the morning. [ACCEPTED! – ed.]
Wish I Could Erase From My Memory: Silver Toes Morales from The New York Ripper. They may be silver Sir, but more than that they are an ipecac.
If I Could Do It All Over Again: I still would have torn You’re Next a new one.
And that puts the Saran wrap on my first somewhat full-on Schlocktober: warring and whore-ing, but never boring. I’ve had a quick discussion about a future project that I’d like us to attempt here in the future, I won’t say what it is in case in never comes to fruition but it could turn out to be pretty nasty.
With that, I’d like to say a very sincere thank you to Brad and Brian for allowing me to spew out arcane jokes that at least made me laugh. And thanks to all the readers for their mostly hilarious comments over the past 31 days.
Hope to see you all again soon, and keep it sleazy.
A little travelling music if you please…
Thanks for reading, everyone! See you next year for Schlocktoberfest V: Rock Out with Your Schlock Out!