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Witches of L.A., The Craft Spoiler Review

Official movie poster, courtesy of IMDb

In the 90s, there was a lot of witch-related media; Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hocus Pocus, The Witches, and Charmed. I saw this in the late 90s on tv one night. I liked it, but I haven’t thought much of it until now, so I recently went back and rewatched it.

The Craft is a 1996 drama horror film directed by Andrew Fleming and the first film in The Craft series. It’s a film that wasn’t initially well received, but later gained a cult following.

The plot follows four girls who use witchcraft to make their lives better. Since nothing’s free, they’re soon caught by their spells’ repercussions.

I will say that this film reminded me of Chronicle, another film about a group of superpowered highschoolers who must deal with the consequences of their actions.

The film begins with Sarah (Robin Tunney) moving to Los Angeles with her dad (Cliff DeYoung) and stepmother. At her new religious school, she’s shunned by three guys and three girls.

At lunch, Sarah is greeted by Chris (Skeet Ulrich), one of the three guys, who apologizes and warns her about the three girls, saying that they’re witches.

The three girls watch Sarah and Chris from a distance, courtesy of IMDb

Later, when Chris is at football practice, Sarah is greeted by the three girls: Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True). Nancy warns Sarah about Chris and invites her to hang out with them.

The four head to a wiccan shop run by Lirio (Assumpta Serna), who scolds Sarah for looking behind a curtain. However, she does sell Sarah a witchcraft book.

That night, after an incident, the three girls learn that Sarah has powers and decide to make her the fourth member of their group. They also tell her about a neutral deity they worship called Manon, who can grant them powers.

After a bad date with Sarah, Chris spreads sexual rumors about her. Meanwhile, the other girls deal with their own struggles. More on them in the character section.

Sarah on a date with Chris, courtesy of IMDb

The four girls later go to the wilderness and perform a ritual, receiving the blessings of Manon and officially become witches.

Sarah casts a love spell on Chris, making him her slave, much to her and Bonnie’s entertainment. During a sleepover, Sarah, Bonnie and Nancy use a spell to make Rochelle levitate.

Chris with Bonnie and Sarah, courtesy of IMDb

Later, Sarah and Rochelle cast a spell on Laura (Christine Taylor), a popular bully who constantly torments Rochelle. Bonnie and Nancy cast a spell to heal the burn scars on Bonnie’s back and shoulders.

The spells indeed work, making Laura’s hair fall out, and healing Bonnie’s body. Nancy’s spell for a better social status doesn’t work immediately, but during a fight at home, she uses her power to kill her stepfather and inherit $175,000.

Nancy’s new place, courtesy of IMDb

At Nancy’s new apartment, the girls learn a shapeshifting ability. Later, Chris comes over to Sarah’s place at 3:00 a.m., saying how he can’t eat or sleep as he’s always thinking of her.

The girls go back to Lirio’s shop, looking to undo the love spell. However, Lirio warns that spells will always give back whatever the caster sends out. Nancy also buys a spirit book.

That night, they go to a beach: Rochelle carries a clownfish, Bonnie carries a butterfly, Sarah carries a bird, and Nancy carries a snake. They sacrifice the animals for a powerful spell, infusing Nancy with a huge blessing from Manon.

The next day, Sarah, Bonnie and Rochelle watch as Nancy walks across the ocean waves. While amazing at first, they soon find that the spell killed the surrounding sea life, including sharks and dolphins.

The result of the spell, courtesy of IMDb

Sarah notices how their spells are backfiring, including how Chris is stalking her, and Bonnie’s new snobbish personality. The next day, Rochelle is horrified to see that Laura is broken due to her hair loss.

Chris begs Sarah for a date, which she agrees to. However, it ends with him attempting to rape her. In retribution, Nancy meets with Chris at a party, shapeshifting into Sarah before making out with him.

After the other girls arrive at the party, Sarah finds Nancy and Chris. Once Chris learns that they’re witches and calls Nancy jealous, Nancy loses control and blasts him out a window, killing him.

In the fallout of Chris’ death, Sarah attempts to cast a sealing spell on Nancy and leave the covenant, which the girls don’t take too well, especially Nancy.

The girls confront Sarah, courtesy of IMDb

Sarah goes to Lirio for support. Lirio takes Sarah past the curtain to a temple (which is more of a shrine) and says that Sarah is very powerful, that she can defeat Nancy and the others if she gives herself to Manon.

Sarah speaks with Lirio, courtesy of IMDb

Sarah is scared back home, where she sees a news report of a fatal plane crash carrying her dad and stepmother. She also finds the house overrun by rats, bugs, and snakes. They all disappear when Nancy appears.

In the living room, Sarah encounters the three girls, who plan on framing her for Chris’ death, and to kill her while making it look like a suicide.

Fleeing upstairs, Sarah calls upon Manon who grants her a power boost. She uses her new strength to make Rochelle think her hair is falling out like Laura’s and makes Bonnie think that her burn scars are back, now covering her face.

Bonnie and Rochelle see their illusions, courtesy of IMDb

After Bonnie and Rochelle flee, Nancy faces Sarah alone. Sarah says that Manon blessed her to stop Nancy after she abused the blessings he gave her. After a fight, Sarah defeats Nancy and successfully casts the sealing spell.

Sometime later, Bonnie and Rochelle visit Sarah, revealing that they also lost their powers, and that the newscast was just an illusion as her father’s still alive. They attempt to make up with Sarah, but she wants nothing more to do with them.

Bonnie and Rochelle visit Sarah, courtesy of IMDb

The film’s ending reveals that Nancy was placed in a psychiatric hospital, still talking about her powers.

Nancy at the end of the film, courtesy of IMDb

I recently found out that this film was an inspiration for the original Charmed. Both the show and this film deal with consequences of using magic for personal gain. The film has four main characters who deal with this in different ways.

Sarah is the protagonist. Her element is earth due to her being level-headed compared to the others. Her backstory reveals that her mother died in childbirth and that she attempted to kill herself by slitting her wrists.

Sarah, courtesy of IMDb

Despite this, she’s pretty kind to everyone, except those who attempt to harm her. After joining the sisterhood, she begins dressing in black just like them. She also uses her powers for personal gain, such as getting Chris to love her.

It’s later revealed that she’s a natural born witch on her mother’s side, having powers before the ritual. Due to the dark ways she defeats her former sisters in the end, it’s somewhat implied that she also made a face-heel turn.

Nancy becomes the main antagonist. Her element is wind, especially of how wild and unpredictable she can be. She comes from a literal broken home which rains on her head. Her mother’s an alcoholic, and her stepfather is a pervert.

Nancy, courtesy of IMDb

Her main thing is the need to feel special, wanting a better social status and to have powers like Sarah, which is why she turned on her later. Nancy was just selfish, wanting more power and lashing out at anyone challenging her authority.

Bonnie was the nicest of the group. Her element is fire which fits with her backstory. While it’s never revealed how she got them, her back and shoulders are covered in burn scars. Despite several medical procedures, nothing helped them, which is why she turned to healing spells.

Bonnie, courtesy of IMDb

Due to her scars, she’s very insecure, feeling like a monster, hiding herself under several clothing layers, and being extremely shy. She’s also the first to witness Sarah’s powers.

After her scars are healed, she becomes the most attractive of the four and dresses in revealing clothing. Unfortunately, she also becomes vain and loses her kindness. It was also implied that she bonded with Sarah after seeing her own wrist scars.

Rochelle was also initially kind. Her element is water, which makes sense, seeing as she takes diving lessons at school. She was severely bullied for being the school’s only African American student, especially by Laura.

Rochelle, courtesy of IMDb

She is the least developed of the girls, as her home life is never revealed. However, she is the least antagonistic, being cautious about haunting Sarah near the end and she shows genuine horror after seeing Laura in the shower.

Before the beach ritual, the four girls seemed close, having a sisterly bond with each other. Once their spells backfire, they all become evil to varying degrees, except for Sarah, and even she’s implied to be turning to the dark side once Manon empowers her in the end.

Left to right: Sarah, Nancy, Rochelle and Bonnie, courtesy of IMDb

In the end, only Rochelle and Bonnie remain friends. Sarah is basically on her own, and spoiler warning for later events, but this isn’t quite the end of Nancy’s story.

Lirio is the wisdom character with exposition. She’s aware that the first three girls were stealing from her shop, but never said anything. Like Sarah, she’s also a natural born witch, and even shows Sarah her true calling.

Lirio speaking with Sarah, courtesy of IMDb

Chris is the second main antagonist. He’s a popular football jock who was actually once in a relationship with Nancy, which is why she warned Sarah about him. After his antagonism, Sarah forces him to love her, which starts off funny, though he later turns into a stalker.

Chris with Sarah, courtesy of IMDb

Laura is the third main antagonist and one of the most popular people in school. She’s racist, making it clear that being black is the main thing she hates about Rochelle.

Laura, courtesy of IMDb

Another notable character was a strange homeless man (Arthur Senzy) who really wanted to give Sarah a snake. He apparently had prophetic dreams about her and attempted to warn her, but he just creeped her out, making her use a car to kill him.

Manon could be considered a character, though he never appears onscreen. He’s a neutral deity who watches over nature, later granting both Nancy and Sarah tremendous power. It’s also implied that he was the one who took Bonnie and Rochelle’s powers.

The music was fitting, but one song in particular stood out. If you’re a fan of Charmed, maybe it will sound familiar.

The film had a good first half, having the girls with backstories explaining why they became friends and witches. However, the second half felt like a forced way to explain karma and having villains for a climatic battle.

Eventually the film did get a sequel in 2020, The Craft: Legacy.

The Craft sequel, courtesy of IMDb

Overall, I can recommend The Craft, or at least the first half. Personally, I wished the story was more about sisterhood, having the four empower each other, which would’ve been more consistent instead of the forced villainy in the last third. It also could’ve done either more or less with the karma plot. Maybe the girls could’ve worked through their issues without the need for magic, such as Bonnie learning inner beauty, Sarah learning to love without a boyfriend, Rochelle making peace with those who hate her, and Nancy learning power and status aren’t everything. Check out the film if you want a 90s gothic witch story.

Official movie trailer

Klowning Around, Killer Klowns from Outer Space Spoiler Review

Official movie poster, courtesy of IMDb

I saw this on The Sci-Fi Channel when I was younger (before it was Syfy). I think I liked it, but it didn’t really stick out. Recently, I went back and rewatched it, wondering if I’d have a different opinion now.

Killer Klowns from Outer Space is a 1988 comedy horror film directed by Stephen Chiodo, working alongside his brother, Charles Chiodo, to write it.

The plot is exactly what it sounds like, alien clowns come to Earth, capturing people to drink their blood through silly straws.

It begins near the town of Crescent Cove, where several couples are making out in their cars. Among them are Mike (Grant Cramer), and his girlfriend, Debbie (Suzanne Snyder).

Their love making is interrupted by the arrival of the Terenzi brothers, Rich (Michael S. Siegel) and Paul (Peter Licassi), trolling everyone with crude jokes and selling ice cream from their truck.

Shortly afterwards, the couples witness an object fly through the sky. Nearby, a farmer named Gene (Royal Dano), sees the object, for some reason thinking it’s Halley’s Comet.

Debbie and Mike see the object, courtesy of IMDb

Thinking it’ll make him rich, he takes his dog to go find it, coming across a circus tent that has no entrance. When his dog disappears, he gets angry, vowing to tear the tent apart before a strange clown-like being, known as a klown, zaps him with a ray gun.

Mike and Debbie arrive at the tent and get inside. After exploring, they find that it’s both a spaceship, and the object they saw in the sky. They discover a chamber with cotton candy cocoons, one of which contains Gene’s bloody body.

Cotton candy chamber, courtesy of IMDb

They’re caught by the klowns, who shoot at them with a popcorn gun and track them using a balloon dog. As the two escape, the klowns make their way toward Crescent Cove.

Mike and Debbie arrive at the police station, but when they explain that alien clowns are killing people with cotton candy and popcorn, it goes as well as you’d expect.

Mike and Debbie tell Hanson about the klowns, courtesy of IMDb

Despite this, Officer Hanson (John Allen Nelson) decides to go with them to the tent, while Officer Mooney (John Vernon) says that they won’t make a dummy out of him, hold that thought.

Meanwhile, the klowns capture the townspeople and cause havoc. After dropping Debbie off, Hanson and Mike go to the woods, finding only a crater where the tent was. Hanson then arrest Mike for false reporting.

Klown delivers pizza, sort of, courtesy of IMDb

Hanson then investigates the make-out area, finding no one around. After finding a truck filled with cotton candy silk, he releases Mike. After an encounter with a klown, Hanson heads back to the police station, while Mike meets up with the Terenzi brothers.

At the station, Mooney is killed by a klown and literally turned into a dummy. When Hanson arrives, he kills the klown by popping its nose, and radios for backup.

Klown makes a dummy out of Mooney, courtesy of IMDb

Mike and the Terenzis find a parade of klowns harvesting people in cocoons. After Debbie’s captured, the trio chase the klowns before running back into Hanson. They head to the amusement park, guessing that’s where the klowns would be.

Klown parade, courtesy of IMDb

At the park, the klowns kill a security guard (David Piel) with acid pies. Once inside the ship, Mike and Hanson lose the Terenzis, but find and free Debbie in the cocoon chamber. The trio are then chased by klowns.

What are you gonna do with those pies, boys? courtesy of IMDb

Arriving in a large chamber, the klowns surround them. Also, let me point out that none of the klowns shot at them with their cocoon guns, instead using clubs on them. Also, why was Debbie in a yellow balloon instead of a cocoon?

The Terenzis appear with their ice cream truck, using its clown ornament to trick the klowns into letting the trio go. Then, the head klown, Klownzilla, appears.

Mike, Debbie and Hanson run as Klownzilla demolishes the ice cream truck with the Terenzis still in it. Hanson distracts it while Mike and Debbie flee, arriving outside just as the ship begins taking off.

Klownzilla grabs Hanson, courtesy of IMDb

Using the pin on his badge, Hanson pops Klownzilla’s nose, fatally wounding him, causing a chain reaction that destroys the ship. However, Hanson uses a klown car as an escape pod.

The Terenzis also survived, hiding in the ice cream truck’s freezer before its destruction, somehow ending up in the same klown car. The film ends with it seemingly snowing, but then Mike, Debbie and Hanson are pelted with acid pies.

Pied, courtesy of IMDb

As you can tell, this is a film you just need to turn your brain off to enjoy. It’s a film about alien clowns, there’s no story here, no in-depth analysis, just a fun, spectacle movie.

Before I talk about the characters, I’ll just mention the music. This film got its own theme song, which has a silly tone and matches the film.

Theme song

Mike is the initial protagonist. He mostly falls into the role by default, finding the klowns with his girlfriend before attempting to warn everyone. There’s really not much else to his character.

Mike, courtesy of IMDb

Officer Dave Hanson takes over as protagonist in the second half. He’s skeptical at first, but does decide to help Mike and Debbie, eventually realizing they were right about the klowns. He’s also Debbie’s ex-boyfriend.

Hanson, courtesy of IMDb

Debbie is either getting roped into going to places she doesn’t want to, such as the tent early on, or is a damsel in distress that needs saving.

Debbie, courtesy of IMDb

The Terenzi brothers are the comic relief characters. They’re friends of Mikes, spend their time looking for girls, and sell their ice cream to couples to help the mood.

Terenzi brothers, courtesy of IMDb

A few other characters include the cocky hermit-like farmer, Gene, the super skeptical officer, Mooney, and the security guard.

The klowns are the titular characters and main antagonists. Resembling deformed Earth clowns, their main goal is to harvest humans and drink their blood.

Klowns, courtesy of IMDb

Some of their gear and techniques includes a popcorn gun, popcorn that turns into clown/snake hybrids, living shadow puppets, cotton candy cocoons shot from lasers, super strong boxing gloves, balloon dogs that act as Earth dogs, and a circus tent-like spaceship.

While they never really speak outside of roars, they apparently understand human language. They also appear indestructible, able to shrug off bullets. Their only physical weakness is their noses, dying if they’re popped.

Their leader is a kaiju-like puppet called Klownzilla. It mostly serves as the final boss and doesn’t do much except roar and stop around.

Klownzilla, courtesy of IMDb

The best thing about the film is that all the effects are practical, though there are some green screen effects that aged decently. However, you can see the zippers on some of the klown costumes, which just adds to the charm and cheesiness.

Apparently, since its release, the film has grown a cult following. For decades, there has been talk of several sequels that never happened as of now, including a television show. There’s also an upcoming video game supposedly in early 2023.

Overall, I recommend Killer Klowns from Outer Space as a film you just watch for the sights and not for a deep story. It’s just a basic film you watch for fun.

Official trailer

Let’s Get Wet, Underwater Spoiler Review

Official movie poster, courtesy of IMDb

As a fan of underwater horror films, I was really looking forward to seeing this in theaters, but I couldn’t at the time. It wasn’t until now that I was finally able to watch it.

Underwater is a 2020 science fiction horror film directed by William Eubank. It was the final film released by 20th century Fox, before the mouse bought the company.

If you’re familiar with 80s ocean-themed horror films, such as Leviathan and DeepStar Six, you know what to expect here. The genre isn’t as big as something like space horror, but this was a welcomed edition.

The plot follows a group of deep-sea miners in the Mariana Trench. After their base is destroyed, they must navigate the ocean floor while dealing with horrifying denizens of the deep.

This isn’t a film that focuses on story or character development. It’s a popcorn flick, one you watch for the spectacle, to see giant monsters and how humans deal with them. It also follows the cliché of people going to forbidden places, waking up the local eldritch abomination.

Courtesy of IMDb

It begins with Tian Industries’ deep sea drilling base, the Kepler, getting heavily damaged by some unknown circumstance. The flooding and collapses kill several crewmen.

The surviving mechanical engineer, Norah (Kristen Stewart), is joined by two other crewmen, Rodrigo (Mamoudou Athie) and Paul (T.J. Miller).

The trio reach the location of the escape pods, finding their captain, Lucien (Vincent Cassel), sitting by himself after ejecting several crewmen in the pods. They also meet with another engineer, Liam (John Gallagher Jr.), and biologist, Emily (Jessica Henwick), who are a couple.

Lucien examines Norah, courtesy of IMDb

After searching for survivors using the base’s computers, the six discuss how they’ll escape. Lucien says that they must walk the ocean floor to a neighboring base to everyone’s dismay.

The crew discus their options, courtesy of IMDb

The crew suit up in heavy diving suits resembling the Big Daddies from Bioshock. As soon as they go underwater and open the airlock, Rodrigo’s suit implodes due to the faulty helmet, killing him in an explosion.

Afterwards, the crew leap onboard an underwater elevator. They travel down until they reach a fallen escape pod, which imploded after launching. Paul and Liam go out and investigate, finding a body before they’re attacked by a mysterious creature.

Creature, courtesy of IMDb

They bring it back and Emily examines it, finding that it’s not only a new species, but it’s apparently a baby.

The Kepler explodes, raining debris that damages the elevator. The crew escape onto the sea floor and rush toward Midway Station. Along the way, they spot several larger creatures swimming around.

Traveling through Midway, Paul is killed when a creature attempts to rip him out his suit.

Liam’s suit was damaged earlier. However, the team decides to help him to the next station. Outside, a creature drags him into a cave. Lucien saves him, but then a creature pulls him and Norah through the water.

A creature sneaks up behind Norah, courtesy of IMDb

A strong current pulls Lucien, though Norah holds on. Knowing that they’ll both die if they hang on, Lucien releases himself from Norah, allowing himself to implode and die.

A traumatized Norah arrives at the next stop, Shepard Station. There, she showers, reflects on the losses, and radios for Emily and Liam if they’re still alive. She eventually switches to a new golden diving suit, grabs a flare gun, and sets off to search for them.

Norah at Shepard Station, courtesy of IMDb

She finds Emily, saying her final goodbye to Liam, and Liam, who’s unconscious from his suit’s fumes. Together, Norah and Emily drag Liam to their final stop, Roebuck Station.

On the long walkway to the door, they find several creatures sleeping upside down, connected to a large structure. As they carefully navigate to the door, some of the creatures wake up. Norah has Emily rush to the door as she deals with the creatures.

One of them attacks her, swallowing her whole, though she blasts it from the inside, killing it before tearing her way out. More creatures prepare to attack her, but they suddenly stop, confusing her.

The structure the creatures are connected to moves away. Norah shoots a flare, which reveals a kaiju-sized monster. The structure was its arm. It creates a shockwave, knocking her out.

Norah hit by the shockwave, courtesy of IMDb

However, Emily pulls her and Liam inside the station. Taking off their suits, they run through the station. Liam wakes up and he and Emily see the large creature outside. They reach the station’s three remaining escape pods, but one has malfunctioned.

With a struggle, Norah places Liam and Emily in the pods, launching them. The creatures and the giant octopus chase them. To save the two, Norah self-destructs the base, killing herself and all the creatures.

Norah gets ready to detonate the station, courtesy of IMDb

The film ends with newspaper clips, showing Emily and Liam’s rescue. Everything about the incident was hidden by the government, Emily and Liam are banned from saying anything about it, and Tian Industries has gone back to drilling in the area.

Ending, courtesy of IMDb

While the characters were flat, all of them were likable, especially since there was no human antagonist, which is an overused cliché. Most films, there must be a traitor, or someone with ulterior motives that puts the rest of the cast in danger. None of that was here.

In fact, everyone was willing to sacrifice themself to protect others. Here are the characters.

Norah is the protagonist. She helps when she can but takes the lead after Lucien dies. She’s close with her crewmen but doesn’t really have much personality except that she cares for others, including a spider early on.

Norah, courtesy of IMDb

Rodrigo is the expendable black member, being the first of the six to die. Given charge of finding helmets for the crew’s suits, it’s implied that he willingly took the faulty one so the others can have the working ones.

At first, I thought Lucien was going to be the antagonist as he seemed suspicious when he’s first spotted, sitting alone. Turns out, he was just reflecting on sending his crew up. He took charge and made the best decisions for the remaining crew.

Lucien, courtesy of IMDb

Paul is the comic relief, making jokes about what’s happening. He may irritate some, but he knows what he’s doing when working. He also has a stuffed rabbit called Little Paul that he takes with him, giving him to Norah before his death. Norah would later give the rabbit to Liam.

Speaking of Liam, he’s the flattest character, having the least to do, especially at the end. He does attempt to sacrifice himself so Norah and Emily can use the escape pods.

Liam, courtesy of IMDb

Emily is the most cautious of the group, having no experience in the diving suits. She’s easily scared and panics when things fall apart. Like Liam, she does attempt to stay behind and let Norah escape, or at least attempt to fix the third pod with her.

Emily, courtesy of IMDb

The giant monster is the main antagonist, alongside the other human-sized sea monkeys. While never stated, it’s heavily implied that the big one is actually Cthulhu, a being from the Lovecraft mythos.

Cthulhu, courtesy of IMDb

When the crew suits up, Emily sees a picture that implies humans knew of the creatures beforehand. Exactly what they are is never revealed. However, the main company is called ‘Tian’, which is part of the word ‘Lovecraftian’.

The picture, courtesy of IMDb

While the effects were good, it was hard to see since everything was pitched black and hard to see.

Story-wise, you could easily take the creatures out and make it a more realistic film about survival. The creatures mostly stayed in the background until the end and didn’t have much of an impact.

Overall, as much as I want to recommend Underwater, I can’t. The creature effects are cool, and the characters are likable, but there just isn’t that much of a story and the ending was bad. It’s a short film, so it won’t keep you long. But if you want a better underwater horror film, you may want to stick with Leviathan, DeepStar Six, The Abyss, or even Sphere from the 90s.

Official movie trailer

These aren’t Cookies, Ginger Snaps Spoiler Review

Official movie poster, courtesy of IMDb

I barely even heard of this film. After learning that the plot shares similarities to my own novel, I decided to watch it.

Ginger Snaps is a 2000 Canadian, teen horror film directed by John Fawcett and the first film in the Ginger Snaps franchise. While it’s limited theatric release didn’t bring in too many numbers, it found much more success on home release.

The plot revolves around the Fitzgerald sisters. When the older one hits puberty and is bitten by a werewolf, the younger one must find a way to cure her before she fully turns.

Actually, the plot of this is very similar to another film, The Company of Wolves, which also revolves around a girl dealing with puberty and werewolves.

The film begins in the town of Bailey Downs, where several dogs are being murdered by a mysterious creature. It then introduces the Fitzgerald sisters, Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins), who are Goths, best friends, and are obsessed with death.

They’re also outsiders who don’t have any friends, staying to themselves. One day in gym class, they’re harassed by popular girl, Trina (Danielle Hampton). To get back at her, they plan on kidnapping her dog.

Ginger confronts Trina, courtesy of IMDb

Around this time, Ginger starts feeling strong back pains and cramping. Their mother, Pamela (Mimi Rogers) recognizes it as puberty, to Ginger’s horror.

That night, after sneaking out, the sisters find another mutilated dog, attempting to take a part of it to trick Trina. In the process, Ginger has her first period, which attracts the attention of a large dog-like creature that mauls her.

The sisters flee as the creature chases them. While crossing the road, it’s hit by Sam (Kris Lemche) while driving his van. At home, Brigitte’s shocked to see Ginger’s wounds have healed.

The creature, courtesy of IMDb

The next day, Ginger acts out of character, hanging out with guys she wouldn’t normally be around, and dressing more provocatively. It gets worse when fur starts sprouting from her scars and she grows a tail.

When the sisters visit the school nurse, she assures them that all of Ginger’s changes are due to puberty.

Still concerned about Ginger and curious about the creature, Brigitte researches werewolves. Sam, who also thinks the creature was a werewolf, speaks to Brigitte, who pretends that it bit her to protect Ginger. Afterwards, they conclude that it’s a Lycan virus.

Sam meets with Brigitte, courtesy of IMDb

Ginger goes out with Jason (Jesse Moss). When they make out in his car, Ginger attacks and infects him with the Lycan virus. When she comes home, Brigitte finds her covered in blood and her fingernails are now claws.

After Ginger admits to killing a neighbor’s dog, Brigitte gives her a naval piercing with a silver ring, hoping it will act as a damper for her Lycan urges.

The next day, Ginger beats up Trina after she shoves Brigitte.

The sisters visit Sam at his greenhouse hideout and learn that the Lycan virus can potentially be cured by aconitum, a plant sometimes called wolf’s bane. After arguing with Brigitte, Ginger heads home to shave her fur.

Brigitte runs into Trina, who saw Ginger take her dog. Ginger appears, fighting Trina before she slips, hits her head, and dies. The sisters hide her body in the freezer before burying her inside the shed, Brigitte breaking off two of her fingers in the process.

Ginger beside Trina’s frozen body, courtesy of IMDb

When Pamela brings home a bouquet of wolf’s bane, Brigitte takes a few pieces to Sam, who uses it to brew a Lycan cure. However, he does warn her that it may be fatal if she uses it on Ginger.

Before she can test it on Ginger, she runs into Jason, who’s now in a similar Lycan state. After saving a boy from him, she injects the cure into Jason, turning him back to normal.

Jason trolling Brigitte, courtesy of IMDb

At school, Ginger kills both the guidance counselor, Mr. Wayne (Peter Keleghan) and the janitor (Pak-Kong Ho). She wants to infect Brigitte so they can enjoy Lycan life together, but when Brigitte refuses, Ginger disowns her and leaves.

After discovering Trina’s body and her severed fingers, Pamela drives around, finding Brigitte. They head to a Halloween dance at the greenhouse to look for Ginger.

Ginger, who’s mutated further, forces herself on Sam. Brigitte appears, attempting to bait Ginger back to the house by cutting her hand, infecting herself with Ginger’s Lycan virus.

Ginger advances toward Sam, courtesy of IMDb

After knocking Ginger unconscious, Sam drives her and Brigitte to their house. Along the way, Brigitte starts getting sick and Ginger fully transforms into a werewolf. As Ginger runs through the house, Sam and Brigitte make more of the cure.

Ginger’s final form, courtesy of IMDb

Ginger mauls Sam and drags him away. When Brigitte catches up to them, she finds Ginger eating him while he’s still alive. After Brigitte refuses to eat with her, Ginger kills Sam.

She chases Brigitte into their room, Brigitte grabbing a knife for protection. Ginger lunges at Brigitte, landing on the knife and not the cure, fatally wounding her. The film ends with Brigitte in tears, comforting Ginger as she dies.

Brigitte holds Ginger one last time, courtesy of IMDb

Honestly, I enjoyed the film much more than I expected. The sisterly relationship between Ginger and Brigitte really steers the story. Also, the effects were practical, which are always better than CGI. While a bit dated, the effects for the werewolves were good for their time.

These are the characters.

The Fitzgerald sisters are the central characters. They’re your stereotypical Goths from the late 90s-early 2000s, dressing in all black, staying to themselves, and fantasizing about death. They both also wear matching bird skull pendants.

The Fitzgerald sisters, courtesy of IMDb

They also have affectionate nicknames for each other: Ging and B respectively. They also made a pact, dying together if they don’t leave their hometown by age 16.

Ginger is the titular character. She’s both Brigitte’s older sister and best friend, being very protective of her until the end. She’s also not to keen on the idea of puberty.

Ginger, courtesy of IMDb

After her infection, she starts exhibiting a new, assertive, aggressive persona, fighting back against people who mistreated her, such as Trina. She also starts being around people outside her comfort zone, such as Jason.

Her appearance gradually changes throughout the film, growing claws, a tail, her eye color changes, and even her red hair gradually changes strand by strand to blonde. After turning full werewolf all her human characteristics are gone, leaving only primal instincts.

Ginger’s later appearance, courtesy of IMDb

It should be noted that when Ginger starts changing, no one seems to notice. She walks around school with claws and fangs and all people notice is her new personality. Also, dogs, like Trina’s dog, start aggressively barking at her after her infection.

Brigitte is Ginger’s younger sister and the film’s protagonist. She’s much shyer than Ginger, though she will lash out when pushed enough. As Ginger is her only friend, she goes to extremes to help her after her infection.

Brigitte, courtesy of IMDb

Sam is the exposition character, helping Brigitte with Ginger’s Lycan virus. He looks and sounds exactly like Shawn from Boy Meets World. Everyone thinks he’s developing feelings for Brigitte, though he says that’s not true. He also knows that Ginger was infected, and not Brigitte.

Sam, courtesy of IMDb

Trina is the typical mean girl who serves as an obstacle for the central character (s). It’s shown that she has feelings for Sam and does care for her pet dog.

Trina, courtesy of IMDb

Jason is a secondary antagonist and typical jock character. He hangs with his two friends, who sexually hit on the Fitzgerald sisters. He becomes more of a douche after being infected, nearly killing a child.

Werewolf Jason, courtesy of IMDb

Pamela wants to be there for her daughters, especially when Ginger goes through puberty and when Brigitte asks about guys. She does make questionable decisions, such as wanting to burn the house down and move away with her daughters after finding Trina’s body.

Pamela, courtesy of IMDb

There’s also the sisters’ father, Henry (John Bourgeois), who’s just kinda there.

Henry, courtesy of IMDb

As mentioned before, the film found its true calling on home release, developing a cult following. It was so well received that it eventually got both a sequel and a prequel.

Overall, I recommend Ginger Snaps. It’s not as well known as other werewolf films, but this one has a unique premise. The puberty plotline mixes well with the story and there’s not too many horror films starring two sisters, especially ones with such close bonds as the Fitzgeralds.

Official movie trailer

Terror has no Shape, The Blob (1988) Spoiler Review

Original movie poster, courtesy of IMDb

When there’s a classic movie that’s either famous or gains a cult following, odds are good a studio will remake or reboot it for modern audiences. Most of the time, they fail, but does this one?

I first saw this in my teens, back in the early 2000s one Saturday afternoon. I think I knew of it but didn’t see it until then. I recently went back and rewatched it.

The Blob is a 1988 science fiction horror film directed by Chuck Russell. It’s a remake of The Blob from 1958, and the third film in The Blob franchise. As it’s a remake, it follows nearly the same plot as the original with a few tweaks.

The plot revolves around a gelatinous lifeform killing and absorbing everyone it comes across.

The film begins in the town of Arborville. During a football game, Paul (Donovan Leitch) asks his cheerleader girlfriend, Meg (Shawnee Smith) out, which she accepts.

Meg and Paul, courtesy of IMDb

At the same time, resident bad boy, Brian (Kevin Dillon) crashes his motorcycle attempting to jump a gap and encounters the local homeless man (Billy Beck).

Brian moments before crashing, courtesy of IMDb

That night, while crushing cans with a frying pan shoe, the homeless man sees a mysterious flaming object crash nearby. As a gooey, pulsating substance comes out, the man examines it with a stick before it latches onto his hand, burning it.

The old man investigates the crash site, courtesy of IMDb

He runs into Brian, and they both run into Paul and Meg, who take them to the doctor’s office. Later, Paul and a doctor find the homeless man melted in half. As Paul calls for help, he’s attacked by a giant, purple blob.

Hearing Paul’s screams, Meg finds him being absorbed by the blob and attempts to help, though she literally disarms him before the blob escapes through a window.

The blob absorbs Paul, courtesy of IMDb

The police, paramedics, and Meg’s parents arrive to take her home. The police also arrest Brian, thinking he’s the prime suspect in the murders. The police have no evidence to hold Brian, so they let him go.

A Casanova wannabe named Scott (Ricky Paull Goldin) attempts to rape his “girlfriend”, Vicki (Erika Eleniak). Before he can, the blob, who killed her a moment earlier, explodes from her body, and kills him.

Vicki’s body infused with the blob, courtesy of IMDb

Meg encounters Brian in a local diner and tells him about the blob, though naturally, he doesn’t believe her. A diner worker, George (Clayton Landey) is clearing a drain when he’s attacked by the blob.

Hearing the commotion, Meg, Brian and the diner’s owner, Fran (Candy Clark), go in the back and encounter the blob. Brian and Meg flee into a freezer and find that the blob won’t come after them.

The blob appears, courtesy of IMDb

Meanwhile, Fran escapes into an alleyway. As she calls for help in a phone booth, she’s caught and killed by the blob, along with Sheriff Geller (Jeffrey DeMunn).

The blob captures Fran, courtesy of IMDb

Brian and Meg head to Elkin’s Grove to look for Geller. Instead, they find several armed personnel in hazmat suits examining the area where the flaming meteorite crashed.

Their leader, Dr. Meddows (Joe Seneca) explains that they’re looking for the blob, more on why in a second, but for now, they apprehend the two and take them back to town. However, Brian breaks free and goes back to the wooded area.

Meddows (right) with part of the team, courtesy of IMDb

The town is quarantined, and the citizens are gathered at city hall. After reuniting with her parents, Meg learns that her brother, Kevin (Michael Kenworthy) and his friend, Eddie (Douglas Emerson) are still missing.

Turns out, they snuck out to a movie where the blob attacks. Meg finds them and helps them escape into a sewer.

The blob at the theater, courtesy of IMDb

Back in the woods, Brian learns the true origins of the blob. It was actually a government experiment, a biological weapon that got out of hand. It was disposed of into space but fell back down near Arborville.

Since its launch, the blob has evolved, so Meddows, who actually created it, wants to reobtain it as America’s top superweapon. One of Meddows’ colleagues, Mr. Jennings (Robert Axelrod), thinks this is a terrible idea that will cause more harm than good, though Meddows ignores his concerns.

Jennings speaks with Meddows, courtesy of IMDb

After being caught, Brian flees on his motorcycle into the sewers, where the blob chases Meg, Kevin and Eddie, who’s caught and killed by it. Kevin manages to escape, but Meg doesn’t. However, she’s saved by Brian, who loses his motorcycle.

Meg holds on for dear life, courtesy of IMDb

He uses a personnel’s rocket launcher to escape the sewers and attempts to warn the citizens about the government bioweapon. In the process, the blob kills Meddows. Other personnels attempt to shoot it and blow it up, though naturally it doesn’t work.

Brian explains the conspiracy, courtesy of IMDb

The blob erupts out the streets. Going on a rampage, it kills several people. Using a fire extinguisher, Meg remembers the freezer and realizes that cold temperatures are its kryptonite.

Meg spraying the blob, courtesy of IMDb

As everyone flees, Brian grabs a snow making truck and sprays the blob, though it flips it with him in it. Meg distracts it with a personnel’s assault rifle, baiting it toward freezing tanks with an explosive.

When it approaches, she gets her foot caught, though Brian frees her. The tanks explode, freezing the blob into millions of purple cubes, ending its rampage. The film ends with Reverend Meeker (Del Close) with a piece of the blob in a jar saying how the Lord will give him a sign to unleash the apocalypse.

Meeker holding the piece of the blob, courtesy of IMDb

This film is much darker and gorier than the original, showing more graphic shots of people being assimilated and melted by the blob, along with more blood. The effects for the blob are like the effects in The Thing and Society, featuring lots of body horror.

Here are the characters.

Initially, Paul is set up as the protagonist. He’s shown as helpful, wanting to take the homeless man to the doctor. His only flaw is seemingly his sex drive toward Meg, when his friend buys condoms for him.

Paul, courtesy of IMDb

Meg is the real protagonist. She starts off as a sweet cheerleader who just wants to look good for her boyfriend. Later, she helps with the conspiracy, saves her brother, and the town.

Meg, courtesy of IMDb

One big criticism is her super plot armor. The blob could’ve killed her several times, but she always escapes, even when put in more danger than other victims, such as in the sewer, when the blob basically chose to spare her after killing Eddie.

Brian is the deuteragonist, though the film centers more on him than Meg. He starts off as the town’s bad boy, but later turns into its hero, uncovering the conspiracy, saving Meg a few times, and bringing the truck that ultimately stops the blob.

Brian, courtesy of IMDb

The film does imply that his mother is the town tramp, and there are many candidates for who his father is.

Then there’s the titular blob, if you consider it a character. In the original film, it was an extraterrestrial that came to Earth in a meteorite. Here, it was a sentient government experiment. Its main goal is to assimilate everyone it comes across.

The blob, courtesy of IMDb

Unlike the original, this blob is malicious, actively stalking prey, sneaking up on them and using slime tentacles to ensnare them. It can also hide inside its victims, and the slime that covers it is like acid.

Just as before, its weakness is extreme temperatures, especially cold. It does have a dislike for heat, shown when it jams a personnel’s flamethrower.

Dr. Meddows is the main human antagonist. He created the blob and wanted it back after learning of its potential. He initially comes off as polite and caring, though he’s willing to sacrifice others to get what he wants.

Meddows (center), courtesy of IMDb

Another notable character is Reverend Meeker. He starts off as a friendly preacher. After the diner incident, he takes some of the frozen blob. Later, his face is burned by a flamethrower and the ending shows that the events drove him somewhat insane.

The last notable character is Deputy Briggs (Paul McCrane), Sheriff Geller’s partner. He really doesn’t like Brian, scolding and antagonizing him throughout the film. He does care for the town, becoming the lead officer after Geller’s death. However, he too is killed in the climax.

The music was good, especially the rock theme during the credits, but I miss the blob theme song from the original.

Overall, I do recommend The Blob, but only for the practical effects and gore, if you’re a fan. This isn’t as memorable as the original and lacks the same feeling. Basically, if you saw the original, you’re not missing much here. The new blob’s origins are intriguing, but it works better as an extraterrestrial. Also, the stinger hints at a sequel that never happened. Speaking of which, there was supposed to be a second remake a few years ago, but as of now also hasn’t happened.

Official trailer

She’s to Die For, Return of the Living Dead 3 Spoiler Review

Official movie poster, courtesy of IMDb

Originally, I only saw bits and pieces of this in the late 2000s on Sci-Fi (before it became Syfy). It wasn’t until now that I finally was able to see it in full.

Return of the Living Dead 3 is a 1993 romantic horror film directed by Brian Yuzna and the third film in the Return of the Living Dead series. Unlike the first two films, this one negates most of the comedy aspects, focusing mainly on horror.

This is the premise. A young lady is killed in a motor incident. Her boyfriend revives her, but he’s forced to deal with the horrifying consequences.

Sound familiar? It should, as it has a similar premise to Deadly Friend, the last film we looked at. I’ll talk about this later, but it also shares similarities with Prom Night 3.

The film begins after military brat, Curt (J. Trevor Edmond) picks up his girlfriend, Julie (Melinda Clarke). They travel to a military facility, where Curt’s father works, Colonel John Reynolds (Kent McCord).

There, they sneak inside using a stolen key card. Hiding above, they observe a secret experiment. Scientists place a corpse in restraints before spraying it with Trioxin gas. When it reanimates, they shoot it with a freezing dart that temporarily paralyzes it.

Julie and Curt see the experiment, courtesy of IMDb

Shortly after the couple leave, the corpse, which was released from the restraints, proceeds to murder the scientists. Due to the incident, Reynolds is reassigned. Also, there was another reason why scientists were experimenting on a zombie, more on why later.

Julie makes out with Curt back at his home. They’re interrupted by Reynolds, who tells Curt that he’s been reassigned, and that they need to move. Angered, Curt leaves with Julie on his motorcycle.

Down the road, Julie gets a little too frisky with Curt’s manhood, causing him to lose control and crash, sending Julie flying into a power pole, instantly killing her. Curt is devastated, but he spots the key card and remembers the Trioxin reviving the corpse.

Driving back to the base, with a clear-as-day corpse on him, he gets inside. Sneaking in with Julie’s body, he dresses up in hazmat gear and uses a barrel of Trioxin to revive Julie. Unfortunately, the barrel also contains a not-Tarman zombie that attacks them.

Curt with Julie’s body, courtesy of IMDb

Escaping the facility, Julie suddenly gets strong hunger pains, so Curt takes her to a convenient store. As she grabs a handful of Hostess snacks and somewhat eats on the floor, the couple are trolled by a gang led by Santos (Mike Moroff). When the clerk (Dana Lee) asks them to leave, one gang member robs and shoots him. As they leave, Julie bites a gang member’s arm.

The gang sabotage Curt’s motorcycle, forcing him and Julie to flee with the injured clerk in a van. As they’re pursued by the police, Julie learns that she can starve off her hunger by stabbing herself. After the police accidentally shoot and kill the clerk, Julie eats some of his brain.

Julie eating the clerk’s brain, courtesy of IMDb

When the van stops, the clerk reanimates as a zombie and kills an officer. The military arrives, subduing the zombie, saving the other officer. Escaping through a sewer, Curt and Julie argue, causing Julie to leave and attempt suicide by jumping off a bridge above a waterway.

As Curt searches for her, he meets a friendly homeless man, Riverman (Basil Wallace). After finding Julie, they once again encounter the gang, who want to get back at Julie for biting their member.

Riverman leads the couple into a storm drain, to the pump room where he lives. As they rest, Riverman gives Curt a special coin and keeps guard outside. To help take Julie’s mind off things, Curt makes out with her, proving he’s a necrophiliac.

After finding Riverman, the gang torture him to tell where the couple are. Curt comes out to help him but is subdued. As things look bleak, Julie emerges, now looking like a human pincushion with a rock tied to her hand.

Julie as a pincushion, courtesy of IMDb

One by one, Julie kills all four. However, they soon reanimate, causing Curt, Julie and Riverman to flee. In the process of fleeing, Julie kills Riverman and attempts to attack Curt, but he knocks her senses back.

Eventually, the military and Reynolds arrive. Curt reluctantly steps aside as they subdue the zombies, including Julie.

Back at the military facility, Curt learns why they really want the zombies. They want to turn them into bioweapons equipped with exoskeletons to control them. In fact, they already turned reanimated Riverman into the prototype.

Learning that they’ll do the same to Julie, Curt attempts to break her out of her confines. In the process, the scientists lose control of Riverman, who kills them and frees several Trioxin zombies in barrels.

Zombie attack, courtesy of IMDb

Using the coin Riverman gave him earlier, Curt convinces him to help them escape again. Afterwards, Riverman is blasted apart by Colonel Sinclair (Sarah Douglas), who in turn is quickly killed by a Trioxin zombie.

As the couple race through the locked down facility, Curt is bit by a zombie. Reynolds appears, attempting to help Curt escape, but knowing he’ll also become a zombie, he doesn’t leave. The film ends with Curt and Julie hopping into a large furnace, kissing as they burn up.

Curt and Julie in the furnace, courtesy of IMDb

Unlike the first two films, this one focus less on a zombie outbreak and has a more self-contained story, with the focus being more on the central characters and most of the zombie material being in the background.

As I mentioned earlier, the film shares similarities with the films Prom Night 3 and Deadly Friend, as they all revolve around an undead girl going on a murder spree, and her accomplice is her boyfriend/lover.

Curt is the protagonist who causes the film’s turmoil. Like Paul from Deadly Friend, he reanimates his love interest, turning her into a murderous monster. Like Alex from Prom Night 3, he could’ve avoided the film’s plot if he thought with his upper head and not his lower.

Curt, courtesy of IMDb

Julie is the main zombie antagonist and the film’s main highlight. In life, she was a wild child, a pseudo biker girl who likes action. As a zombie, her bond with Curt preserves her humanity, as she doesn’t immediately give in to her undead instinct of eating brains.

Julie, courtesy of IMDb

When her zombie nature does kicks in, she’s able to humble herself by stabbing herself. Both her sides are shown as a caring girlfriend, being there for Curt when his father isn’t, and killing the gang to protect him.

Julie post resurrection, courtesy of IMDb

On a side note, Julie reminds me of Trash from the first film.

Reynolds is Curt’s military father who isn’t always there for him, allowing Julie to fill in the gap. Ultimately, he does want what’s best for his son and does attempt to save him in the end.

Reynolds, courtesy of IMDb

Sinclair is basically the main human antagonist. While never stated, it’s implied that she’s in charge of the bioweapon program at the facility and conducts her own experiments on zombies.

Sinclair, courtesy of IMDb

Riverman is reminiscent of the mystical magic figures in other films, such as Yoda. Originally from New Orleans, he lives in the city’s waterway. He also provides Curt with words of wisdom.

Zombie Riverman, courtesy of IMDb

Santos and his gang are secondary antagonists. They’re mostly plot devices, serving as obstacles to further ruin Curt and Julie’s already disastrous night. Santos gets a pretty brutal death, with Julie pulling his spine out his body.

Santos’s gang, courtesy of IMDb

Personally, I liked this film more than I thought I would. It’s not as good as the original, but better than the second film. Honestly, the bioweapon program reminded me of Resident Evil, a videogame series with a near identical premise as this film.

Overall, I do recommend Return of the Living Dead 3. It does feature nudity and body mutilation, but if that doesn’t bother you, you’ll find an interesting love story with a tragic end.

Official trailer

A Friend in Need, Deadly Friend Spoiler Review

Official movie poster, courtesy of IMDb

I first saw this over 20 years ago on MonsterVision, a programing block that used to air on TNT, showing sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and slasher films. This aired on MonsterVision in the late 2000s on Saturday night/Sunday morning. The commercial looked interesting, so I checked it out. Years later, I finally sat down to see it again.

Deadly Friend is a 1986 science fiction horror film directed by Wes Craven of Nightmare on Elm Street fame.

The film’s plot revolves around a teen genius named Paul (Matthew Laboreteaux), who loses two friends: his sentient robot, and the girl next door. However, he finds a creative way to bring them both back to life, but what follows is horror and tragedy.

While Craven wanted the film to be his version of a film called Starman from 1984, a family friendly fantasy, it’s actually based off a novel, Friend by Diana Henstell. Critics initially hated the original premise, so additional R-rated scenes were added in.

The film begins with Paul, his mother, Jeannie (Anne Twomey) and BB (voiced by Charles Fleischer), a yellow robot Paul built, moving into their new home in the town of Welling, where Paul can attend Polytech University.

Paul and BB arrive at Welling, courtesy of IMDb

They’re soon greeted by the paperboy, Tom (Michael Sharrett), who literally crashes before them. Later, they meet the girl next door, Sam (Kristy Swanson). Both Tom and Sam become friends with Paul and BB.

BB and Paul meet Sam, courtesy of IMDb

Of course, not everyone in Welling is a saint. There’s Sam’s drunk, abusive father, Harry (Richard Marcus), the crazy hermit woman, Elvira (Anne Ramsey), and the local biker gang led by Carl (Andrew Roperto).

One day, while Paul, Sam, Tom and BB are playing basketball, BB accidentally throws the ball onto Elvira’s porch, which she takes.

On Halloween, the four play pranks on the neighbors, spraying shaving cream on cars. They decide to sneak into Elvira’s place to retrieve their ball. However, she has the porch boobytrapped. As Paul, Sam and Tom hide, BB races toward Elvira, who blasts him apart with a shotgun, crushing Paul.

BB’s death, courtesy of IMDb

Later, Sam spends Thanksgiving with Paul and Jeannie. After returning home, her angry father smacks her down a flight of stairs. Hitting her head on a wall, she has a seizure and falls unconscious. At the hospital, she’s rendered brain dead and placed on life support.

Devastated by Sam’s loss, Paul quickly comes up with an idea. After drugging his mother, he and Tom race to the hospital, where Sam’s life support is shut off. After smuggling her body out, the boys take her to a lab at Polytech.

Earlier, Paul’s school project involved reanimating bodies with computer chips. Turns out, BB’s main processing chip can also integrate with human brains, so Paul implants it in Sam’s brain.

Paul and Tom carrying Sam’s body, courtesy of IMDb

They take her back to Paul’s shed, where Tom leaves. Using a remote control, Paul reanimates Sam. Sam, who can barely sit up on her own, eventually starts walking around.

At a window, she sees her father. Sneaking off, she confronts Harry, killing him by snapping his neck before burning his face. Paul finds her and helps hide his body.

Sam remembers her father, courtesy of IMDb

Sam later sneaks off again, confronting Elvira. Using the basketball, she throws it so hard at Elvira’s head that it explodes in the film’s most memorable scene.

Paul keeps Sam in the attic while he’s out, but she sneaks out and finds a picture of her, BB and Paul, confusing her.

Tom speaks with Sam, courtesy of IMDb

Tom begins to panic over the murders of Harry and Elvira, knowing Sam is responsible. To help calm him, Paul invites him over to see Sam, which makes Harry panic more. After a tussle, Tom threatens to go to the police, but Sam jumps out the window, tackling and beating him up.

Afterwards, she runs away with Paul in pursuit. He runs into Carl, but is saved by Sam, who now has BB’s voice.

She flees again, back to the shed, and is found by Paul. He convinces her to revert back to Sam, but the police arrive to ruin the moment. Reverting back to BB, she races toward the officer, who shoots her. As Sam dies, she says Paul’s name.

The film ends with Paul sneaking into the morgue to reanimate Sam again. However, she suddenly comes back to life on her own, choking him as her skin breaks off, revealing a demonic version of BB, who breaks his neck.

New BB, courtesy of IMDb

So, this is quite a bizarre film. Let’s go through the characters.

Paul is the protagonist, but since he’s responsible for the film’s events, he’s also the secondary antagonist. He’s a genius who can reanimate bodies using computer chips. He’s also initially friendly but gradually loses his mind throughout the film.

Paul, courtesy of IMDb

He’s also sneaky, able to drug his mom unnoticed, and hide Sam. Not including the ending, he never receives any consequences for stealing Sam’s body, or the destruction she caused because he revived her.

BB is pretty much the main antagonist. He’s a discount Johnny 5 who talks gibberish. His main purpose is apparently working, as he’s seen mowing the grass. Being sentient, he can think on his own, which actually ends up causing his death.

BB, courtesy of IMDb

Tom’s a much smarter person than his introduction implies. He starts off goofy, but later turns into a reasonable figure, questioning Paul’s motives, and even distancing himself when things go haywire.

Tom, courtesy of IMDb

Sam starts off as the friendly, cheery girl despite her harsh reality at home. She has a sense of humor, such as spraying shaving cream on cars. She also wants to spend more time with Paul, but can’t due to her abusive father.

Sam, courtesy of IMDb

After her resurrection, her eyes are always black due to her brain injury. Her hands always make Vulcan signs, and she gains super strength, able to outmuscle people much larger than her, even pick them up and toss them.

Sam post resurrection, courtesy of IMDb

Jeannie is a caring person, not just to Paul, but also toward Sam, helping her with a bloody nose and wanting her to go to the police about her father. She also takes note of Paul’s odd behavior after he takes Sam’s body.

Jeannie, courtesy of IMDb

Harry is always seen as drunk and abusive. He leaves bruises on Sam and it’s heavily implied that he may also be sexually abusing her.

Harry, courtesy of IMDb

Most remember this film for Elvira, specifically her death. She’s a mean, hermit who wants nothing to do with anyone, to the point of pointing shotguns at people, including teens, threatening to shoot them.

Elvira, courtesy of IMDb

There are other minor characters, such as Dr. Johanson (Russ Marin), who’s basically just a plot device, Carl, who’s the stereotypical bully, and Sergeant Volchek (Lee Paul), who kills Sam at the end.

Most of the music was semi-futuristic, not quite techno, but it sounded mechanical. It also sounded innocent, maybe to symbolize BB and Sam being young victims.

The film was basically a modern take on Frankenstein. However, points in the film don’t mix well, such as Paul getting away for taking Sam’s body, and by extension, being responsible for two-to-three murders.

Also, Paul never thought about how things would be after resurrecting Sam, likely believing they would go back to the way they were, with no one questioning why a dead girl is walking around.

Due to the R-rated changes, the film was negatively received. It likely would’ve faired better had it followed Craven’s original vision of a family friendly fantasy.

Overall, Deadly Friend is not a horror film on par with bigger franchises, especially Craven’s Nightmare on Elm Street series. It’s a film where you turn your brain off (no pun intended) and just watch for the spectacle. Despite its flaws, it’s still entertaining to watch.

Official trailer

Hellbound, Hellraiser 2 Spoiler Review

Official Movie Poster, courtesy of IMDb

Like the last film, outside of bits and pieces, I never saw this one until now.

Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a 1988 horror film directed by Tony Randel. It’s a sequel to Hellraiser, and the second film in the franchise. Clive Barker, the series creator, returns as executive producer.

The plot continues the misadventures of Kirsty and the cenobites, dominatrix-styled demons who love pain. This time, they’re joined by a deranged doctor.

I’ll go more into this later, but this is definitely a film where you need to see the first installment to understand what’s happening here.

It begins with a British soldier (Doug Bradley) with the Lament Configuration. After solving it, it turns him into the lead cenobite, Pinhead.

The soldier with the cube, courtesy of IMDb

Following the last film, Kirsty awakens in a psychiatric hospital for talking about demons earlier. Back at her home’s remains, officers find two mutilated bodies and the bloody mattress where her evil stepmother, Julia (Clare Higgins), died.

Kirsty speaking to a detective, courtesy of IMDb

She walks around, finding a mute girl (Imogen Boorman) with no identity, though a nurse named her Tiffany. She also runs into her doctor, Kyle (William Hope), who gives her sleeping pills.

Kirsty and Kyle, courtesy of IMDb

While resting, Kirsty hallucinates a bloody body, who writes in blood that they’re trapped in Hell, causing her to believe that it’s her dead father.

A while later, Kyle sneaks into the head doctor’s, Dr. Channard’s (Kenneth Cranham) home, finding replicas of the Lament Configuration, research around the afterlife, and the bloody mattress.

He hides as Channard returns with a mental patient. On the mattress, the patient slices himself up. The blood causes Julia to resurrect in a skinless form. Kyle watches in horror as she kills the patient before sneaking off.

Julia resurrected, courtesy of IMDb

Channard wraps Julia up like a mummy. After seducing him, he brings her more mental patients to feed off so she can absorb their essence and regain her full body.

Kyle explains everything he saw to Kirsty, including the cube replicas. They leave and head to Channard’s home. There, Kyle goes to the attic and encounters Julia, who absorbs his essence, killing him and fully restoring herself.

Julia kills Kyle, courtesy of IMDb

Kirsty find a picture of the British soldier, taking it before going upstairs, reuniting with Julia, who knocks her out.

Later, Channard brings Tiffany over. Due to her puzzle-solving skills, he has her solve the Lament Configuration, opening doorways to Hell and summoning the cenobites, including Pinhead. However, they have no interest in her and leave. Julia and Channard head through a doorway.

Tiffany holding the cube, courtesy of IMDb

After waking, Kirsty grabs the cube and heads into Hell. Tiffany’s also there, exploring a demonic carnival. She enters a mirror room and sees an illusion of her mother.

Deeper in Hell, Kirsty reunites with the cenobites, who are overjoyed to see her again. When she says she’s looking for her father, Pinhead says he’s in his own personal Hell. Regardless, they allow her to explore Hell at her leisure.

Julia, meanwhile, tells Channard that she has such sights to show him. They arrive at the ruler of Hell, Leviathan. Julia reveals that it resurrected her to retrieve souls before placing Channard in a chamber that mutilates him and pulls him down.

Leviathan overseeing Hell, courtesy of IMDb

After meeting up with Tiffany, Kirsty finds a replica of her old home and goes inside to find a candlelit morgue, with several women draped in white cloth. Her Uncle Frank (Sean Chapman) appears, the villain from the first film, explaining that not only is this his personal Hell, but he was actually the one who asked her for help earlier, and not his brother, Kirsty’s father.

Frank apparently wants to keep his niece there to rape her for all eternity. Kirsty’s not feeling this, so she burns him back to his bloodied form. Julia appears, Frank’s former mistress. When he asks her to kiss him, Julia instead rips his heart out.

Julia holding Frank’s heart, courtesy of IMDb

During the distraction, Kirsty and Tiffany escape. In the process, Kirsty drops the cube, which is now shaped like Leviathan, and Julia takes it.

A strong suction attempts to drag Tiffany deeper into Hell. Julia appears, reaching out to Tiffany, though Kirsty warns her not to trust her. Tiffany chooses Kirsty, allowing the suction to take Julia, ripping her out of her new skin.

After escaping Hell, they run through the hospital, finding several patients mutilated by replica Lament Configurations. They’re then greeted by Channard, who has been transformed into a cenobite attached to a large tentacle.

The doctor is in, courtesy of IMDb

The girls escape into a room filled with chains and the other cenobites. Kirsty shows Pinhead the picture of the soldier, knowing that was once him, revealing that the cenobites were once humans.

Channard enters, coming for Tiffany. However, Pinhead attacks him with chains. In return, Channard kills the other cenobites, briefly returning them to their human appearances, including Pinhead.

Tiffany, who can talk now, says that she needs to finish the cube and goes back to Hell with Kirsty. They find the cube still with Julia’s skin. Again, Channard attacks them, sending Kirsty flying.

Julia reappears, distracting him long enough for Tiffany to solve the cube. This causes the tentacle to rip Channard’s head off. Tiffany is left dangling during the encounter, though Julia helps her up and reveals that she’s actually Kirsty (wearing Julia’s skin and dress for some reason).

Kirsty takes off Julia’s skin, courtesy of IMDb

Leviathan flips out, shooting energy blasts everywhere. The girls exit Hell again, with all the doorways closed.

The film ends with two movers taking Channard’s things out of his home. Upstairs, one finds the bloody mattress, which absorbs him. The other looks on in shock as a large, black pillar emerges, containing the souls of the cenobites.

This film is a direct continuation of the previous film, using several plot points, such as the cenobites, cube, and characters. Early on, Kirsty does summaries the previous film’s events, but one should still see the first to know everything.

Kirsty returns as the protagonist. She’s basically the same character as before, though now dealing with the death of her father, since her uncle killed him. She does warn of Julia’s eventual return from the mattress, and the cenobites, though no one believes her, except for Kyle.

Kirsty, courtesy of IMDb

Kyle is Kirsty’s doctor. He’s set up as a main character, though he’s killed halfway through the film, making him more of a plot device.

Kyle, courtesy of IMDb

Tiffany is the deuteragonist, though she plays a more important role than Kirsty. She starts off as a mute, not saying a single word, until she sees Cenobite Channard. Her background and true name are left a mystery, though it’s shown that she is exceptional at puzzle solving.

Tiffany, courtesy of IMDb

She’s initially oblivious to what’s happening and just seems to go with everything. However, she is shown as caring, comforting Kirsty after they first leave Hell.

Julia returns as the secondary antagonist. Her main goal is to live again and to serve her master, Leviathan, bringing it souls to make more cenobites. You could say that she’s a succubus, due to her demonic nature and seduction.

Julia, courtesy of IMDb

Dr. Channard is the film’s main antagonist. He’s the head of the hospital and seeks out what is hidden in human minds, at first anyway. He’s sadistic, with a flashback revealing him torturing animals.

Channard, courtesy of IMDb

Learning of the Lament Configuration, he does all he can to unlock its secrets, even using mental patients as disposable pawns. After becoming a cenobite, he takes glee in harming others.

Channard as a cenobite, courtesy of IMDb

Pinhead and the cenobites return as mostly neutral characters. This film goes into more detail about their lore, especially Pinhead’s backstory.

Pinhead and the cenobites, courtesy of IMDb

Frank also briefly returns as a minor antagonist. Here, he’s forced to be with women who can’t satisfy him sexually.

Like the previous film, this one also features glorious, orchestrated pieces when something hellish happens.

The film has amazing shots, especially in Hell. The images featuring Leviathan are surreal and otherworldly, and the mazes in Hell resemble M.C. Escher artwork.

Picture of Hell, courtesy of IMDb

Overall, Hellbound: Hellraiser II is a better film than its predecessor, but you need to be familiar with it to fully understand what’s happening. The sexuality and gore are toned down, though it’s still not for younger audiences.

Official movie trailer

Pain Equals Pleasure, Hellraiser Spoiler Review

Official Movie Poster, courtesy of IMDb

Outside of bits and pieces, I haven’t had much experience with this series. I am familiar with the main villain, who’s a major horror icon alongside Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees. I decided to check it out.

Hellraiser is a 1987 body horror film directed by Clive Barker. It’s the first film in the Hellraiser series and is based off the novella, The Hellbound Heart, which was also written by Barker.

The film follows a man named Frank Cotton (Sean Chapman). After his death, he convinces his former mistress to help him revive his body. At the same time, he is pursued by a mysterious group of demons.

Frank with the cube, courtesy of IMDb

It begins with Frank purchasing a mysterious rubix cube. After solving it in his attic, he’s impaled by hooks attached to chains that rip him apart. The box is then taken by a group of demons called cenobites. More on them later.

Frank’s brother, Larry (Andrew Robinson), and his new wife, Julia (Clare Higgins), move into Frank’s home. They’re also joined by Larry’s daughter, Kirsty (Ashley Laurence), who was the daughter of Franks first wife.

Larry and Kirsty, courtesy of IMDb

After Larry cuts his hand, he meets with Julia in an upstairs room. His blood drips through the floorboards, which revives Frank as a mutilated corpse. Julia also fantasizes about Frank, having an affair with him when he was still alive.

Reuniting with Frank, he convinces her to bring him more blood so he can fully heal. Despite being horrified by his appearance, Julia decides to help him.

Frank greets Julia, courtesy of IMDb

The next day, Julia goes out and seduces a man. Bringing him home, she leads him upstairs and kills him with a hammer. Frank then absorbs his blood, restoring more of his body.

One night, Kirsty encounters a strange homeless man (Frank Baker). Working at a pet store, she encounters him again when he eats a handful of insects.

Julia brings home another man and kills him for Frank. After more of Frank’s body is restored, he reveals that he not only escaped from the cenobites, but he also shows Julia the box, saying that it’s a doorway to pain and pleasure.

One day, Kirsty catches Julia bringing a man home. After sneaking in, she catches Frank. Before he can steal his niece’s blood, she steals the cube and escapes, passing out shortly after.

Kirsty makes off with the cube, courtesy of IMDb

After awakening in a hospital, she plays with the cube, solving it, which creates a doorway to Hell. Shortly after entering, she’s chased out by a demon. Afterwards, she’s greeted by the cenobites, who want to take her to Hell.

Such a waste of good suffering, courtesy of IMDb

Learning of Frank’s involvement with them, she reveals that he escaped, and in exchange for sparing her, she’ll lead them to him. They agree, but their leader (Doug Bradley) says if she’s lying, they’ll tear her soul apart.

At home, Kirsty eventually learns that Frank killed Larry, taking on his appearance. He attempts to kill her, but misses and kills Julia instead. After chasing Kirsty through the house, they’re met by the cenobites, who recapture Frank with hooks and chains before ripping him to pieces.

The cenobites punish Frank, courtesy of IMDb

Not satisfied with just Frank, the cenobites come after Kirsty, though she sends them away using the cube, which also causes part of the house to collapse. Met by her boyfriend, Steve (Robert Hines), she reencounters the demon from the hospital, sending it away with the cube.

The film concludes with Kirsty attempting to burn the cube. However, the homeless man from earlier arrives, taking the cube. Burning up, he reveals himself as a winged bony demon. The box is later sold to another man.

The homeless man reappears, courtesy of IMDb

Many shots in the film contrast with each other. For example, there will be shadowy areas around brightly lit places. Also, many things have sparkles, such as the twinkling in Julia and Kirsty’s eyes, and jewelry. It creates a balance, from darkness mixed with light.

You get many images like this throughout the film, courtesy of IMDb

The special effects are spectacular. When Frank’s body is regenerating, most of the early shots are done using rewinding shots, shooting the blood dripping off, then rewinding it back.

The music is glorious. The main them that sticks out is when Franks emerges from the floor, which plays a loud, orchestrated piece.

There weren’t many characters, but the ones featured stuck out in different ways.

Franks is the Disk One Final Boss, a character introduced as the main villain, but is later overshadowed by a second villain. Outside of being Larry’s brother and his affair with Julia, there isn’t much shown of his life before his death, though it’s implied that he was a bad boy.

Frank before his death, courtesy of IMDb

Julia is the film’s actual main antagonist, as she causes more harm than Frank, bringing home hapless men to essentially feed him. Her whole motivation is lust, wanting to be with Frank for the pleasure.

Julia, courtesy of IMDb

Kirsty is pretty much the protagonist, but not necessarily the central character. Her mother passed away, implied during childbirth. She also has a boyfriend named Steve, whose just there.

Kirsty, courtesy of IMDb

Larry doesn’t do much either, barely being a plot device. Kirsty herself mostly becomes the hero just by circumstance, being at a certain place at a certain time.

Kirsty holding the box, courtesy of IMDb

The most interesting characters are the cenobites, especially their leader, Pinhead. They’re a group of mutilated demons dressed in dominatrix attire. Despite their appearance, they’re chaotic neutral, only go after those who solve the box, which later films call the Lament Configuration. Similarly, Pinhead here is just called the Lead Cenobite.

Cenobites, courtesy of IMDb

Apparently, to them, sexual pleasure comes from pain, which is why they love torture. Spoiler warning, the cenobites play much larger roles in later films.

The film is very bloody, gory, and has nude and sexual scenes, earning its R-rating. Some may be put off by this, but those with strong stomachs will experience a decent story of lust and unfaithfulness.

On a side note, the film reminds me a lot of Prom Night 2 and 3, with an undead antagonist motivated by lust.

Overall, I kinda recommend Hellraiser, but just for those who aren’t turned off by blood, gore, nudity, and sex. There isn’t much to the story, just a lustful man escaping Hell, helped by his mistress sidekick. The other characters don’t have much character, and the main appeal are the cenobites. While they don’t do too much here, well, let’s just say that’s what sequels are for.

Official trailer

See You Later, Alligator, Prom Night 3: The Last Kiss Spoiler Review

Official movie poster, courtesy of IMDb

Every series become stale if it overstays its welcome. The Prom Night series is no exception, which was never truly good or memorable to begin with.

Prom Night 3: The Last Kiss is a 1989 comedy horror directed by Ron Oliver and Peter R. Simpson, and the third film in the Prom Night franchise.

As I mentioned before, the series is an anthology series, each entry features different stories. However, this one is a direct sequel to Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night 2, making this the only film in the series considered a true continuation.

As such, the plot once again revolves around Mary Lou Maloney (now played by Courtney Taylor), returning from the dead once more to cause havoc and find love.

At some point, she went to Hell after the second film, where she’s forced to dance with other bad girls. After breaking her chains, her grave blows up (again) as she returns to the world of the living.

Mary Lou traded pink for blue, courtesy of IMDb

Returning to her old high school, she meets with an old lover of hers she calls Jackie Boy (Terry Doyle) and electrocutes him to death.

After the events of the last film, Hamilton High School rebuilds their gym for their next prom, and the principal (Roger Dunn) cuts his finger off.

We then follow Alex (Tim Conlon), who plans on going to medical school after graduation. However, he has terrible grades. In fact, the guidance counselor, Ms. Richards (Lesley Kelly), suggest that he does mediocre work instead.

Celebrating his one-year anniversary with his girlfriend, Sarah (Cynthia Preston), Alex takes her out on a romantic date of burgers and fries.

Alex and Sarah, courtesy of IMDb

After the date, he returns to school, wandering around before running into Mary Lou. They immediately fall for each other and make out. The next day, Alex wakes up nude, wrapped in an American flag.

In the school library, Alex and his friend, Shane (David Stratton), read an old article about Mary Lou, learning of her backstory.

Throughout the day, Alex sees visions of Mary Lou, who helps him during football practice and during a test. She ends up killing his biology teacher, Mr. Walker (George Chuvalo) for initially failing his test, turning his body into a banana split.

Alex struggling on the test, courtesy of IMDb

Making Alex dispose of the body in the football field, Mary Lou rewards him with both a strip dance and a make out session. The next day, Alex’s new grades are the talk around school. A skeptical Ms. Richards goes to confront him, but she’s blocked by Mary Lou, who kills her.

Mary Lou baiting Ms. Richards, courtesy of IMDb

Alex’s family rewards his newfound success with a motorcycle, and he makes Sarah angry when he refuses to tell her where he goes every night. Before going to meet up with Mary Lou, he speaks to his dad who figures out that there’s another woman, warning his son of mankillers.

At the football field, he disposes of Ms. Richards’ body when the football captain, Andrew (Dylan Neal), appears. After he attacks Alex, Mary Lou appears. Dressed like a football player herself, she kills Andrew with a drill-shaped football.

Tired of Mary Lou killing people, Alex breaks up with her, which she doesn’t take well. The next day, he attempts to make up with Sarah, wanting to take her to prom. However, she’s considering taking Leonard Welsh (Jeremy Ratchford) to the prom, shocking Alex and the crowd.

Alex asks Sarah to prom, courtesy of IMDb

Alex later confesses to Shane of his affair with Mary Lou. Alex’s sister, Leah (London Juno), comes over and kills Shane by punching his heart out, revealing that she’s actually Mary Lou.

After Shane’s murder and discovering the bodies on the football field, Alex is arrested. In jail, Mary Lou visits him, killing two officers and leaving the keys for him to escape. Believing Sarah stands in the way of their relationship, she goes to prom to kill her.

After killing Leonard, she chases Sarah. Alex arrives just as Mary Lou catches Sarah. However, Alex trades himself for Sarah, going to Hell with her. At the last moment, Sarah follows them.

Sarah sees Alex and Mary Lou go to Hell, courtesy of IMDb

In Hell, which looks like the school for some reason, Sarah encounters the people Mary Lou recently killed, including Shane, who attack her, but she’s able to drive them away with a flamethrower. During a demonic prom, Alex and Mary Lou are crowned prom king and queen.

Mary Lou and Alex in Hell at prom, courtesy of Amazon

Before Mary Lou can drill the crown through Alex’s skull, Sarah arrives, turning the flamethrower into a bomb, blowing up Mary Lou. Alex and Sarah escape the demonic prom by hiding in a car.

After Sarah hotwires the car, a bloody Mary Lou makes one last attempt to get at Alex, though he instead drives through her, going through a portal that takes them out of Hell.

In the end, Alex and Sarah celebrate. As they go to a diner so Alex can use the phone, Sarah is killed by Mary Lou who punches through her torso. With no one so much as noticing Alex’s plea for help, he goes insane, admitting that Mary Lou won.

As usual, the characters either have no development or barely serve as plot devices.

Mary Lou returns as the main antagonist. She’s just a promiscuous as before, though mostly sexual toward Alex. Why she fell for Alex specifically is never revealed, especially how she likes to hop from one guy to the next.

Mary Lou, courtesy of IMDb

Also, she’s pretty much a demon now, being a supernatural entity who casually causes trouble for no reason with otherworldly abilities, which include interacting with other people and objects despite being dead.

Mary Lou with Alex, courtesy of IMDb

Alex is pretty much the protagonist, though he’s also an anti-villain. He seems like a good person, but he’s extremely unfaithful to his girlfriend, Sarah, making out with Mary Lou the moment he laid eyes on her.

Alex, courtesy of IMDb

Worse yet, he’s constantly rewarded for his misdeeds. For cheating and being an accessory to murder, he’s constantly rewarded, either having sex with Mary Lou, or getting a party and a motorcycle.

Sarah is the loyal girlfriend and deuteragonist. When she gets mad, she bakes, making cookies and other sweets. There’s not much else to say about her except she’s apparently smart, being on a panel at one point.

Sarah, courtesy of IMDb

Honestly, I can’t talk about the rest of the characters since there’s not much to talk about. Andrew is the typical bully character, Shane is the best friend, and Alex has parents and a sister. No one really shows any personality or character development.

Shane and Alex, courtesy of IMDb

And there’s also two stereotypical detectives, wearing tan trench coats with their music being the Dragnet theme. That’s all the music I’ll talk about since nothing really stands out.

There’s not much else to talk about. The film focuses much more on comedy compared to the rest of the series, being a satire, but not quite like Scream. There’re also plot holes, such as no one remembering Mary Lou appearing and destroying the gym in the last film.

Overall, I don’t recommend Prom Night 3: The Last Kiss. The story is full of plot holes, none of the characters are memorable, except Mary Lou. She’s the best part of the film, but her motives are never clearly established. Finally, the comedy is uneven and unfunny. There’s not much else to say, I’m done.

Official movie trailer