Ain't It Cool News (


Logo by Kristian Horn
What the &#$% is ZOMBIES & SHARKS?

Greetings, all. Ambush Bug here with another AICN HORROR: ZOMBIES & SHARKS column. Happy holidays, everyone! Hopefully you’ve all been good little ghouls and witches and will be receiving what you deserve this year! If not, then at least you have these horror reviews to enjoy!

(Click title to go directly to the feature)

Retro-review: MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949)
Retro-review: THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE (1962)
Retro-review: NIGHTMARES (1983)
Retro-review: THE LAST WINTER (2006)
THE DOOR (2014)
8 Films To Die For: SUSPENSION (2015)
And finally…Charles Swain’s “Wreck the Halls!”

Retro-review: New on BluRay as part of the SPECIAL EFFECTS COLLECTION from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment!


Directed by Ernest B. Schoedsack
Written by Ruth Rose (screenplay), Merian C. Cooper (from an original story by)
Starring Terry Moore, Ben Johnson, Robert Armstrong, Frank McHugh, Douglas Fowley, Denis Green, Paul Guilfoyle, Nestor Paiva, Regis Toomey, Lora Lee Michel, James Flavin & Mr. Joseph Young as himself!
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug

While most love their KING KONG, I always felt MIGHTY JOE YOUNG was just as entertaining a film with some iconic imagery and a much more entertaining giant monkey than SON OF KONG. I think as a kid, I saw MIGHTY JOE YOUNG long before I saw KING KONG, so that might be another reason why I love this film so much.

Little Jill Young, daughter of an African rancher, buys a little ape to have as a playmate from some tribesmen for a flashlight and some knick knacks. When her father chastises her because the ape will eventually grow into a dangerous ape, he had no idea how big the ape was going to get as the ape (dubbed Joe Young by Jill). Twelve years pass and Joe has grown to mammoth size, yet still listens to every word of a now teenage Jill (Terry Moore). But when Oklahoma rancher Gregg (Ben Johnson) and nightclub owner Max O’Hara (Robert Armstrong) show up to gather exotic beasts for a new nightclub, they convince Jill to bring Joe back to the US to be the star attraction in their show. What could possibly go wrong in bringing a giant ape into the city?

Though the narrative of the film does have some similarities to KING KONG, I think it expands on a few of the themes a little more interestingly. Ruth Rose, who wrote both KING KONG and SON OF KONG doesn’t take us to Skull Island in this one, but Africa, still there is an entertainment manager looking for profit in all of these films and while SON OF KONG doesn’t get off the island, the performance aspect of the film still remains. But while Kong can’t be controlled by Fay Wray’s Ann Darrow, Joe is in the palm of Jill Young’s hand. This subtle difference makes Joe a much more sympathetic and heroic character. If the scene where Joe is forced to dress like an organ grinder’s monkey, then forced to drink alcohol by asshole patrons doesn’t make you feel for the beast, then you should check your pulse. And just in case you didn’t feel about Joe, the final moment where he rescues children from an orphanage is there to make sure you know the big guy’s a hero.

What stands out are the truly iconic moments in MIGHTY JOE YOUNG, most of which are accomplished through Ray Harryhausen’s skilled stop motion techniques. Ray didn’t get full credit for his contributions to this film, but he did to most of the scenes we see. The first sequence where we see Joe at full size has a bunch of cowboys trying to lasso Joe while Joe plays with a cage holding a lion. This is an amazing mix of stop motion and split screen incorporating real actors and horses in with the giant ape. It’s a sequence to marvel at and for my money, more entertaining than anything in SON OF KONG (I admit, the KING KONG battles are quite awesome and probably better). But the scene that always strikes me for its originality is the “Beautiful Dreamer” sequence where Joe lifts Jill up on a platform above his head as she plays the song on a grand piano. Not only does it exemplify the strength of Joe, but it also has an elegance as the song both calms Joe and also reminds him of his love and devotion to Jill. I love this sequence and it never gets old for me when I rewatch it.

While things wrap up rather quickly in the end, the orphanage sequence is pretty thrilling as you just don’t know if Joe is going to make it out of this one alive. Portrayed as less cartoony than SON OF KONG, I love every second of this basic retelling of the Kong story. The likeability of the entire cast makes it all feel fun (even the showman realizes that Joe can’t live this life on stage forever) and Joe is probably one of my favorite movie apes ever to be on screen. It’s just too bad the remake of this one shit the bed so hard.

Previous reviews from the Warner Brothers Special Effects BluRay Collection!

Retro-review: New this week on BluRay from The Shout Factory!


Directed by Joseph Green
Written by Joseph Green (screenplay & original story), Rex Carlton (original story)
Starring Jason Evers, Virginia Leith, Anthony La Penna, Adele Lamont, Bonnie Sharie, Paula Maurice, Marilyn Hanold, Bruce Brighton, Lola Mason, Audrey Devereal, & Eddie Carmel as the Monster in the Closet!
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug

THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN”T DIE is one of those movies that qualifies as being a movie so bad it’s good. In fact, I think out of all of the good bad movies out there, THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE is probably my favorite of them all.

Jason Evers is Dr. Bill Cortner a brilliant and handsome scientist who believes he can improve modern methods with his radical experiments. Not really caring about ethics, Evers experiments with spare body parts from the hospital and has a few deviously genius test subjects in his secret lab, manned by his scarred lab assistant Kurt (Anthony La Penna). Just as Bill is about to leave on a weekend vacation with his fiancée Jan (Virginia Leith), he gets a call from Kurt to come check on his experiment. Bill floors it to the lab, but takes a wild turn and crashes his car, throwing him clear from the crash, but beheading Jan. Bill gathers the head and takes him to his lab where his radical experiments enable him to revive Jan. But realizing that she is just a head causes Jan to snap. It also enables her to communicate with a monstrosity Bill is keeping in the closet. Meanwhile, Bill hits the nightclubs and the streets trying to track down a body to transplant onto Jan’s maniacal head.

On the surface the bad outweighs the good in this film by far. The dialog drones on and on, over-explaining and repeating ethical arguments and plot points so even the most remedial can catch up. The pacing is terrible as sometimes it feels as if the actors don’t know when the scene is going to stop or where it’s going to go. This film oozes sleaze with prolonged scenes of women stripping, women wrestling with one another, and women posing for photographers, all the while, cutting back to Dr. Bill pervly leering at them as he attempts to pick out his new body. And while if a modern film would have this, I might be more liable to dismiss the film, all of these faults simply add to the charm of it all. This is a film pervy enough to be risqué in its time, but now it’s just kind of adorable.

But with this unintentional charm as comes some fantastic effects. The scientific experiment mock-up is awesome with all kinds of tubes, Bunsen Burners, and diodes beeping and whirring. The monster effects on the thing in the closet are rudimentary, but still pretty horrific in design as the cone headed monsters wreaks havoc through the lab. While some places of this film are definitely draggers, I do like the buildup that occurs involving the reveal of the monster in the closet. The monster’s attack is truly horrific with all kinds of gore and gristle is shed in the latter portions of the film as arms get ripped off, cheeks get chewed off, and blood is smeared all over the place which makes this film kind of a fun bridge between the classic bloodless horror and the more gruesome effects we later got from Herschell Gordon Lewis and his ilk. On top of that, I love the crazy science going on as nothing is really explained, but still it simply is because…science!

While acting is not the main priority in THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE, Virginia Leith is amazing as Jan (or as Jan in the Pan, as she has been referred to). Her switch from loving fiancée to cackling wrapped head in a pan of blood is fantastic and her surmounting hatred for Bill is palpable and potent as her madness grows. Shades of this film are definitely later seen in RE-ANIMATOR and other science gone wild films proving that this may be a sleazy flick, but it’s an influential flick as well. This version of the BluRay also comes with the MST3K version of the episode which possibly makes it better depending on if you’re a purist or not.

Retro-review: New this week on BluRay from The Shout Factory!


Directed by Joseph Sargent
Written by Christopher Crowe (“Terror in Topanga,” “Bishop of Battle,” “The Benediction” segments), Jeffrey Bloom (“Night of the Rat” segment)
Starring Cristina Raines, Joe Lambie, Anthony James, Clare Nono, Raleigh Bond, Robert Phelps, Dixie Lynn Royce, Lee Ving, William Sanderson (“Terror in Topanga” segment), Emilio Estevez, Mariclare Costello, Louis Giambalvo, Moon Unit Zappa, Billy Jayne, Joshua Grenrock, Gary Carlos Cervantes, James Tolkan (“Bishop of Battle” sequence), Lance Henriksen, Tony Plana, Timothy Scott, Robin Gammell (“The Benediction” segment), Robin Gammell, Veronica Cartwright, Bridgette Andersen, Albert Hague (“Night of the Rat” segment)
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug

Coming out a year after CREEPSHOW and the same year as TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE, NIGHTMARES might not have been as popular as those two films, but it does deliver some fun and frightening thrills in the form of four unban legends starring many recognizable genre faces.
The film opens with “Terror in Topanga,” a quick one-liner of a short film about an escaped killer, a woman who leaves her home late at night for cigarettes, and the point where the two of them meet. There are plenty of red herrings here as a pair of fun and creeper actors (William Sanderson and Anthony James) are used to throw the viewer off as to who the killer actually is. The opening murder scene is actually quite bloody and a horrifying first impression to start the movie off with.

When I was a kid, there was TRON, THE LAST STARFIGHTER, and “Bishop of Battle,” three films that spoke to me as a kid addicted to the first generation of video games and the popularity of the local arcade. Emilio Estevez is super young in this punk rock themed tale of a rebellious teen who is obsessed with beating a specific game and making it to the fabled and elusive 13th level. Sure the effects were very low fi, but man I loved this segment as a kid and rewatching Emilio “beating the bishop” just brought back all of those nostalgic feelings.

I completely forgot about Lance Henricksen’s race with a devil truck in “The Benediction” segment. Lance gives his all in this tale about a priest’s crisis of faith is reminiscent of DUEL and THE CAR, but there’s a deeper element of religion in this one that I couldn’t help but appreciate. Also, there’s an awesome sequence where the devil truck bursts out of the ground that achieves a level of cool that neither DUEL nor THE CAR achieves.

The final and best segment, “Night of the Rat” is reminiscent of both DEADLY EYES and CAT’S EYE as it involves a family battling a giant rat that is burrowing through their walls. SAVANNAH SMILES’ Bridgette Anderson plays the big-eyed Carol Anne-esque toddler who is tormented in her room by the human sized rat with the ever-awesome and ever-frantic Veronica Cartwright as the mom and Robin Gammel plays the dad who is offended when his wife doesn’t believe he can take care of a little rat problem. The effects are reminiscent of the split screen real rat action of FOOD OF THE GODS, but the story is downright terrifying in the way it plays out.

NIGHTMARES doesn’t waste time with any type of wraparound filler tying the stories together. It’s just a straightforward collection of stories with an urban legend theme. Still it’s one of my favorite anthologies from the eighties and those who haven’t seen it are bound to be surprised at how effective it still is. This BluRay is light on extras, but NIGHTMARES is a potent enough film by itself, so you won’t be disappointed.

Retro-review: New 4 disk BluRay Collection from The Shout Factory!


Directed by Larry Fessenden
Written by Larry Fessenden
Starring Ron Perlman, James Le Gros, Connie Britton, Zach Gilford, Kevin Corrigan, Jamie Harrold, Pato Hoffmann, Joanne Shenandoah, Larry Fessenden, Oscar Miller, Hálfdán Theodórsson, Jack Fessenden, Halfdan Pedersen
Retro-reviewed by Ambush Bug

I don’t mind a little social commentary in films as long as it has enough of a metaphor to not sound too preachy. THE LAST WINTER is definitely a film about climate change/global warming/global cooling/whatever they are calling it these days, but at least it delivers some solidly constructed scares and fun performances along with it.

A small crew of working class men and women are manning an outpost in the Northern Arctic, developing a new road for truckers to haul resources across the harsh terrain, but when environmentalist James Hoffman (James Le Gros) arrives, he realizes that the shift in temperatures has caused unnatural phenomenon to occur. Are the hallucinations and odd behavior of the crew, lead by manly man Ed Pollack (Ron Perlman), the result of ancient toxic gasses that are melting and seeping to the surface or is something more paranormal going on?

Fessenden takes a page from John Carpenter and fills this film where a group of people are stuck in the arctic with plenty of fantastic actors. Not only do Perlman and Le Gros great here as two sides of the same coin in terms of the argument about how the work they do affect the environment, but they also are fantastic fighting over the hand of sole hottie at the base Connie Britton. Add Kevin Corrigan as a cocky mechanic named Motor, Jamie Harrold as a neurotic scientist, Zach Gilford as a gung ho worker under the influence of outside forces, and Fessenden himself making an appearance, and you’ve got a really fantastic cast to see bounce off of one another in the snow. Lots of arguments and drama unfold and all of these actors carry it marvelously.

But as with Fessenden’s film WENDIGO, this film uses the supernatural in a much more metaphoric manner. In WENDIGO, ancient spirits were about the inner monster that resides in all of us and only comes out when cornered or threatened. In THE LAST WINTER, the ancient spirits signify the land itself which is lashing out against the crew for the destructive decisions they threaten to make. While those wanting a straight forward monster film are going to come up wanting, Fessenden makes these ambiguous forces convincingly scary as his camera soaks in the vast nothingness of the snow covered glaciers.

As with much of Fessenden’s films, his editing is frantic and is as much of a character as anything else. I could see where some might feel it’s a bit too much, but with the dulcet and serene surroundings of the arctic, some punchy editing was welcome. No, this isn’t as exciting as THE THING, but it’s got a phenomenal cast and soaks in the spooky atmosphere and smashes it into your face. THE LAST WINTER is a psychological and environmental nightmare and one of Fessenden’s most thematically and structurally successful films.

Reviews of other films in the Larry Fessenden Collection!

Available on DV and digital download here from Troma!


Directed by Brandon Bassham
Written by Brandon Bassham
Starring Anna Callegari, Samantha Reece Schecter, Elyse Brandau, Lily Du, Dana Clinkman, Patrick Foy, Billy Bob Thompson, Langan Kingsley, Dan Hodapp, Dan Chamberlain, Frank Garcia-Hejl, Amber Sophia Nelson, Jim Santangeli, Jesse VandenBergh
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

THE SLASHENING is a spoof on 80’s horror slumber party films and while the budget is low, the amount of solid laughs is really high.

The premise is as simple as the premise of the films THE SLASHENING is mocking; a young girl named Lucy (Anna Callegari) is heartbroken about her breakup with her boyfriend, so her best friend Margot (Samantha Reece Schecter), her goody two shoes chum Eva (Lily Du), her freshly out of rehab buddy Beth (Dana Clinkman) and slutty gal-pal Ashley (Elyse Brandau) decide to throw a slumber party to cheer her up. As the antics begin, of course some boys show up, but so does a killer who murders anyone who comes near the party and then moves on to take care of the party guests. But the power of friendship is tough and the slasher has his work cut out for him.

This is a goofy film. Not heavy on gore or nudity, but high on laughs. The writing is witty and self referential. The actors all have their specific quirks and most of them feel as if they are from some kind of improve sketch group—the same improve group most likely because the strength of this wonky film is the way these actors interact with one another. There’s a real charm to everyone involved and I’m sure some of this cast is going to end up on SNL some day.

But while there is not a lot of blood, boobs, and gore, there is a lot of really great added bits that made me laugh out loud consistently through this one. The soundtrack in particular is great as it is all original music mocking the girl-power rock ballads of Taylor Swift, Adele, and their ilk. The lyrics are pretty hilarious in that they are not far off from the real songs of these artists taken to a slightly more ludicrous level. The music pops up at random times in this film, which makes you really want to listen to this one. There’s also a weird sound effect every time the slasher kills that sounds like someone muttering inaudible whispers which are a little creepy.

THE SLASHENING is not an over the top gore fest comedy like DUDE BRO PARTY MASSACRE II, but it does have the same rapid fire comedy pace as that film. If you’re a fan of the slasher genre, you’re going to laugh hard at the funhouse mirror THE SLASHENING holds up to those types of films.

New On Demand and digital download here!


Directed by Byron C. Miller
Written by Byron C. Miller & Paul Morgan
Starring Tabitha Bastien, Jesse Lee Keeter, Conner Marx, Keiko Green
Find out more about this film on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

This low fi thriller shows a lot of ambition and guts as it lets the strong script and decently talented actors carry the film rather than effects and gimmicks. Because of this, ANATOMY OF MONSTERS is a film many who only like big budgeters will snub their snouts at, but if you do, you’ll be missing some cool ideas and nice deliveries in terms of thrills and suspense.

Our indie story opens as a young man (Jesse Lee Keeter) enters a bar and sits alone. Across the bar, a young woman (Tabitha Bastein) notices him and after a while she realizes that he is not going to come over to her, she decides to sit down next to him. As the two make small talk, the dialog is boppy and clever, never really lagging or missing beats as one often sees in films of the lower caliber. After some more drinks and chit chat, the two leave together and get a room. If one were to walk into a movie theater or watch this film without knowing the title, once might think that ANATOMY OF MONSTERS is a low budget rom com. Of course, when the man shows his hand and cuffs the woman to the bed, brandishing a knife, it’s pretty evident that this is a horror film.

What ANATOMY OF MONSTERS does well is pace the story in such a way that it unfolds slowly, but with each layer let loose, it leads to one fascinating revelation after another about these two people in this hotel room. These are two complex individuals and as they tell each other their stories as to how they both ended up in this room, you get to know the monsters underneath both of their seemingly harmless exteriors. This turns into a tale of who is the bigger monster, the woman or the man, as both reveal sides of monstrosity and humanity that usually isn’t seen in horror films, especially of the lower budget variety.

Have I stressed this is a low fi indie enough? I guess so and I don’t mean to harp, but I do want to give fair warning to those expecting a high body count or gratuitous gore or effects. This is a much more subtle horror film, delving deep into the brain of a psychopath and making them more relatable to you and me, which is scary in and of itself. ANATOMY OF MONSTERS isn’t an in your face horror film, but it is a subtle type of terror that slips into your mind and festers causing a great deal of unease and tension.

Available on DVD from Black Fawn Distribution and digital download on iTunes or Vimeo!

THE DOOR (2014)

Directed by Patrick McBrearty
Written by Patrick McBrearty
Starring Alys Crocker, Sam Kantor, Matt O'Connor, Winny Clarke, Liv Collins, Jessie Yang, Len Silvini, Brian McDonald, Bela Kruglics
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

THE DOOR is the type of movie that digs into the viewers’ minds and squishes it between its fingers. By showing only hints of horror, it intensifies the scares, as the viewer is forced to fill in the unknown horrors with their own worst fears.

Owen (Sam Kantor) is broke and out of work, so when he happens upon a man being mugged in an alley, he is shocked when the man offers him a large wad of cash and a job which promises a whole lot more. When he shows up to the warehouse location where he is to start his new job, he is given ominous directions to wear a security uniform and simply guard a door. What’s behind the door? Well, that information is not given to Owen, but there are specific rules to follow that make it seem like something deadly and bizarre is back there. When Owen’s friends track his phone and show up to party at work, they start asking questions about the door and end up, of course, going inside.

The premise of THE DOOR is a winner. We are given just enough information to be intrigued at the beginning of the film and as we cross through the doorway and witness what’s inside, it’s even more intriguing. The film doesn’t offer easy answers as to what it is the kids have stumbled into, but it is deadly and what is shown is pretty terrifying. Director/writer Patrick McBrearty does a fantastic job of keeping things mysterious with moving shadows, strange reflections, and odd behavior. Is reality shifting around the kids? Is it haunted? Is it hell they’ve stumbled into? There’s not a lot of explanation, but the answers are not what is interesting, it’s whether or not the kids can survive it.

And these kids are pretty charming. All of them, especially Kantor and his pal Matt O’Connor are newcomers, but they seem like they have star potential. As do the gals, especially THE HEXECUTIONERS wide-eyed Liv Collins and the even more innocent Winny Clarke as well as a really ballsy and dominating performance by Alys Crocker. Each cast member is unique and convincing in their roles.

The gory poster art of THE DOOR may have turned some away from this film and I find it an odd choice of imagery as nothing in this film is that bloody. If the film makes a hiccup, it’s that the mysterious man at the beginning Owen saves comments on how he resolved the situation without using violence. It would have been more fulfilling to see Owen be able to resolve this situation he gets himself into in the same manner, but things kind of devolve into a typical “kids in a scary situation and get picked off one by one” scenario and the path of non-violence theme is kind of tossed aside. That said, THE DOOR hold a ton of potent scares and while it’s not explained the origins of these scares, they are scary just the same.

Newly available for from the 2015 8 Films To Die For Series (you can see this film On Demand and download this film on iTunes and Amazon)!


Directed by Jeffery Scott Lando
Written by Kevin Mosley
Starring Ellen MacNevin, Sage Brocklebank, Kylee Bush, Chilton Crane, Connor Fielding, Owen Fielding, Rustin Gresiuk, Craig March, Barry Nerling, Johannah Newmarch, Chris Nowland, Duncan Ollerenshaw, Lisa Ovies, Courtney Paige Theroux, Steve Richmond, Taylor Russell
Find out more about this film on Facebook here
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

SUSPENSION is a wonderful looking horror film, but the story felt a bit predictable.

Emily (Ellen MacNevin) is a troubled teen who has survived her father’s murderous rampage when she was younger. In the opening moments, though, it seems her father has escaped and is on his way back home to murder Emily and anyone who gets in his way.

There’s a pretty typical slasher movie plot going on in SUSPENSION. There’s a killer with a past involving the final girl template and other people die just to keep things interesting, but filmmaker Keffery Scott Lando and writer Kevin Mosley know that’s a well worn path and try to toss in a few twists and turns along the way to make it something a little less predictable. But in trying to make so many changes to the slasher norm, things become a little too predictable by the midway point. I’m not trying to win some contest to predict these things and maybe I’ve just seen too many slasher films for my own good and it’s ruined the experience for me. The filmmakers pepper in plot details among frantic dialog that actually makes things make sense by the end, but it failed to really surprise me, though that seems to be the intention of the film in the final moments.

That said, this film looks really amazing. Emily is working through her issues with her psycho dad as she creates a black and white and red comic book, and as the film goes on, the palate of the film matches the comic as tones and shades are washed out; all for bright reds which punctuate specific areas. It also makes for the bloody parts to be all the more effective as they really pop and since the film gets pretty gory by the end, there’s a whole lot of popping going on. There’s a nice psychological edge to this film as it delves into how strengths and weaknesses can be told through ones art.

The actors in this one actually do a pretty fantastic job with MacNevin really carrying this film on her sleight shoulders. She is pretty much front and center this entire film and does a great job with as she battles with the hulking madman in a porcelain mask. SUSPENSION is actually a pretty fun slasher with bright reds leaping right out at you and a handful of scares that really have fun with the material. Psychologically ripe and red all over, SUSPENSION may not hold surprises, but it does the slasher genre really well.

Other 2015 8 Films to Die For Reviews!

Available on BluRay/DVD and digital download from the HEADLESS website here!


Directed by Arthur Cullipher
Written by Nathan Erdel, Todd Rigney (based on character and situations created by)
Starring Shane Beasley, Kelsey Carlisle, Ellie Church, Dave Parker, Kaden Miller, Jennifer Lee, Haley Madison, Brian Williams, Matt Keeley, Emily Solt McGee, Jessica Schroeder, Olivia Arnold, Nathan Erdel, Ben Monticue, Magician Johnson
Find out more about this film here and on Facebook here!
Reviewed by Ambush Bug

The indie gem FOUND blew my socks off and made my top horror films of the year two years ago. In that film, a boy who loves horror films believes that his brother is a serial killer when he finds a head in a bowling bag in his closet. In FOUND, the boy watches a lost slasher film called HEADLESS which pushes him to the edge as it is extremely similar to the suspicions he has about his brother. Now HEADLESS has been released as that lost horror film, unearthed and released for the first time.

HEADLESS tells the blood-spattered tale of a deeply disturbed man. Abused as a child and plagued by hallucinations and nightmares, the nameless killer sleeps in a cage by day and dons a skull faced mask at night to hunt down, murder, dismember, and then have sex with corpses of any woman unlucky enough to cross his path. Told with very little dialog, the story flips back and forth through time to tell the skull faced killer’s origin. There’s also a late in the game subplot of a woman dealing with a dead end job at a skating rink and a deadbeat boyfriend.

Arthur Cullipher does a pretty good job of making this film look and feel like a late 70’s grindhouse gore film. I would say this is a film for hardcore horror fans only as it is absolutely gore drenched from beginning to end. The killer not only slices and dismembers his victims, but he also eats their eyeballs, bathes in their blood, and has sex with their severed heads. This is not a mainstream horror film at all, but one of those underground horrors that almost feels like it is some kind of snuff film. Those of a delicate demeanor will want to steer clear of this one.

But I have to say, the effects in this low budget film are as jaw-dropping as they are stomach churning. While it is really gross to see the killer do away with his victims, there’s a real relent in the effects here to make them look and feel so real. Reminiscent of gag-inducing gorefests like NEKROMANTIK, HEADLESS is an unflinching and horrific tale of disgusting murder and the elaborate effects only make the film more of a punch to the gut.

I really like the meta-film way this film was produced. It really does feel like a genuine film from 1978. There’s even a preview for another film called WOLF-BABY that simply has to be this production team’s next project. While FOUND is a much more subtle and creeping sense of horror, HEADLESS goes for the jugular. It’s simply a different type of film than FOUND, so those hoping for more of the same kind of suspense are going to be disappointed. HEADLESS is a film that will repulse many, but it does tell a deeply disturbing story and the filmmakers really are talented in making everything look expansive and cool. Steel stomached gruehounds should seek this one out.

And finally…let’s all nestle down by the fire and listen to this twisted Christmas tale from Charles Swain. Here’s a very different Christmas story filled with Santa, snowmen, and MURDER called Wreck the Halls!” Enjoy and have a happy and safe holiday everyone!

See ya next week, folks!

Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of AICN COMICS for over 13 years & AICN HORROR for 4. Follow Ambush Bug on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.

Look for our bi-weekly rambling about random horror films on Poptards and Ain’t It Cool on AICN HORROR’s CANNIBAL HORRORCAST Podcast every other Thursday!

Find more AICN HORROR including an archive of previous columns on AICN HORROR’s Facebook page!

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus