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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Leprechaun’ (1993)

If you didn’t like this movie, why the fuck did you watch it?

And now for an old classic in fucking BAD movies. Look, literally everyone going into this movie should know it’s a giant shit show. They didn’t even attempt to make it sound like serious horror back when the were producing it. But it’s been 26 years at the time of this review. There is zero reason for anyone to not know the Leprechaun franchise is basically one long running joke. They were just trying to figure out how loony-toons they could get with the concept. Shit, by nowadays standards, with movies like Sharknado, this franchise didn’t even go far enough.

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Hell Fire’ (2015)

The Devil, Some Hookers, and Gore. Oh my!

I’ve been on an indi kick lately and I wanted to share with you all a gem that randomly fell into my lap.

It didn’t start out perfect. Audio! Fucking audio people! There was so much echo and feedback it was hard to hear what people were fucking saying! I shouldn’t have to watch an English movie with the subtitles on! Especially one that was loud enough to be heard normally if it wasn’t for all the earsplitting distortion. Man, don’t get me wrong, the dialog is solid and even natural, and the soundtrack is pretty smart too. But Jesus FUCKING Christ, wish someone had checked the levels on the god damn audio. Thought I was going to have a migraine.

The cinematography was good though. I’ve gotta say that the camera filters were fascinating. It reminded me of an old disco video, or that scene from Carrie (1976) when she final goes full psycho and kills everyone at the prom. It was really quite brilliant use of filters. The angles, the shadowing, the colors. It’s a far smarter way to hide the shit practical FX than with “shaky camera,” and it creates a darker and grittier atmosphere.

So, the opening monologue seemed to be completely needless. It was kinda neat to do opening introductions like Smokin’ Aces, but maybe just cut out the “I’m the Antichrist” bullshit? We could have figured that out later, and it would have been a lot more fun to find out naturally. That’s kinda neat, right? Narrator introduces the characters, the plot takes off, and then we find out he’s the Antichrist. It feels like something I should have to save for the spoilers.

But let’s talk about the pace! After the needles exposition, HOLY FUCK do things get going! This movie does not fuck around! GOD DAMN what a fucking ride! The first 30 minutes were almost as violent as the original Oldboy. Dude, the fight scenes are bananas! You think they might jump the shark with the second big blowout, but it just keeps getting crazier.

Look, this is definitely not a movie for all adult audiences. It certainly is an acquired taste. But Horror Heads are guaran-damn-teed to love it.

SPOILERS!!!

There was a lot of shit during the fight scenes that should have left way more marks. Apparently, they didn’t have the makeup budget for that. Everything from getting bashed in the head to punched in the face. There were too many times to count when me and my wife were like, “That should have left a mark.”

How the fuck didn’t they check on Frye when they thought they killed her? I get that Frye manifested an evil duplicate of herself and that the Antichrist accidentally killed the duplicate (see? Bananas), but the moment he thought he killed her, someone should have fucking checked. I mean seriously! That was some fucking amateur hour shit, and this movie isn’t exactly full of professional criminals.

And you’re telling me the Antichrist could have just raised some zombies and had them kill the son of God the whole damn time?!? Seems like an easy workaround. Can’t kill the son of God because you’re the Antichrist? Raise some fucking zombies to do it. Why hire some damn pimp and start this whole movie to begin with? I know, we couldn’t NOT have a movie. Just saying, kinda a big plot hole.

Frye also pulled a cringe-worthy horror movie trope by going to the police and informing them the Antichrist was killing people. First off, she’s a seasoned street walker. She may not be book smart, but I guarantee she ain’t no fool. Second, why the fuck did she drive off in a car, almost to freedom, only to ask a complete stranger to bring her back? I mean, she could have just asked for a phone, called the cops, and fucking went on her way.

Anywho… Say it with me now, in your best Morbo impersonation, “THERE WERE NO SURVIVORS!!!” That’s honestly the only way you could end this movie. Somehow the Antichrist just barely manages to scrape by while the cops storm the place and shoot Frye.

Overall though, shit was bonkers and way too much fun to pass up!

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘The Sand’ (2015)

Would someone please give these kids a budget?

All right, this movie got a bad wrap.  The way people talk about it, I was expecting full blown Birdemic or even Troll 2.  Okay, it was bad, but basically it was bad because the CGI was fucking shit. This is a shoe-stringer from an independent studio. I expect the kind of quality that I’d get out of Gravitas or Uncorked. AND, on the rare occasion those studios produce a gem.

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Dagon’ (2001)

‘Evil Dead 2s’ fucked up flipper-baby cousin.

The movie was awful and campy and tropey as fuck! AND IT WAS FUCKING AMAZING AND I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!!!

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘White Noise’ (2005)

‘Stir of Echos’ with EVP

After a string of embarrassingly low budget movies, I decided to review something with a little Hollywood clout.

You know, it’s not a bad movie, but it’s just so lukewarm compared to movies in its class.  I’d compare this one to Stir of Echoes, and every time I do, I’m just going to end up saying, watch that instead. We can pretty much cut to the punch line here. Everything this movie does, Stir of Echoes does better, just with fewer shameless jump-scares.

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Creature’ (1985)

My favorite in a long line of ‘Alien’ ripoffs

I figured I should pull up some horror movies from my childhood to sort of explain where my weird sense of appreciation for the genre stems from…

MAN, you know you’re the Kmart version of another franchise when the picture on IMDb is a faded crinkled movie poster, creases intact.

Not even the Kmart version, this is like the AIMS or Bradly’s version. That shit they were schlepping right before they went out of business. I think I just dated myself…

Anyway, you may know that I’m a HUGE fan of circa 70-90s rubber monster creature features, and this movie delivered my favorite rubber monster as the Kmart version of Ridley Scott’s masterpiece Alien. I always had a soft spot in my heart for this obvious Go-Bot (Transformers impostors of the 1980s… man, I really am dating myself) and used to rent this movie frequently when I was about 10 to 12.

The plot was a direct ripoff of Alien, the crew was practically a ripoff of Alien. The setting might as well been from the discount H.R. Giger bin. The movie might as well be called Ridley’s Rejects… but I love it all the same.

I don’t know why I love it. Maybe it’s my giddy childhood nostalgia for the rubber monsters of my past, or maybe it’s the complete wash of obvious borrowed material that always gives me some level of glee, but I love this movie.

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‘Possum,’ ‘Mercy Black,’ and Family Trauma in Horror

To hear Vice’s Ryan Bradford tell it, “Terrifying Family Trauma Is the New Thing in Horror.”

I would dispute that family trauma is a “new thing” in horror, something Bradford himself admits, but his main thesis holds up – namely, that 2018 was marked, in films like the excellent Hereditary and shows like Channel Zero: Butcher’s Block, Sharp Objects, and Haunting of Hill House, by stories of family trauma manifested in horrific and terrifying ways. Continue reading ‘Possum,’ ‘Mercy Black,’ and Family Trauma in Horror

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Reed Alexander’s Horror Review of ‘Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday’ (1993)

Man, I’m just a kid of the 90s…

Movie poster for Jason Goes to Hell

Again, not sure why this installment of the Friday the 13th (F13) franchise was so universally hated on.  In my review of Jason X (aka Jason in Space!) I mentioned fans of the franchise placed the original run on WAY too fucking high a pedestal. Five, in my opinion, is really the worst and it’s more about what it wasn’t than what it was.

You can see my review of Jason X at the link below…

Jason X: https://horror.media/reed-alexander-s-horror-review-of-jason-x-2002

But let’s go over the basics. Every single F13 movie had shit acting, shit plot, shit practical FX, shit story arch concepts (like the fucking psyonic chick, or the fact that number five was just a fucking copy cat), leaned desperately on gratuitous T&A, and save the first one, existed as a shameless excuse for a cash grab. And I loved every fucking one! I’m not going to fanboy about it all fucking day, I’ve beat that dead horse back to life and dead again in my last fucking reviews.

Anywho, let’s talk about what makes this movie special. It tried to establish what the fuck Jason is, to begin with. Is he a zombie? A construct, like a flesh golem? Recently, the Evil Dead people said Jason was a Deadite. However, this tries to sort of explain it as more demonic than anything else. I guess that also plays into the Deadite explanation. Either way, it gives us an interesting concept as to how Jason work, more of which I’ll get into in the Spoilers…

But yeah, there was nothing wrong with this movie as another installment of the same ol’ wacky F13. It’s got the entertainment value every single one of the other movies had (save number five. Fuck number five. Fucking copy cat).

So pull your purist head out of your fucking ass and enjoy the shit out of this F13.

SPOILERS!

So they start off by blowing Jason to smithereens. Kind of a fun start. The usual scantily clad beach bimbo turns out to be a plant for a sting operation. Jason goes after the bate and gets blown up. This is important because it answers the important question of what would happen if Jason was shredded to pieces. This is how we find out about the worm and the Voorhees curse. Now, we have to admit to ourselves at this point, that we’re looooosly stringing together a stream of shameless cash grabs, so coming up with a story arch that ties them all together is gonna be silly as all fuck.

Jason, in some sense, is a supernatural construct driven by a demonic worm due to the Voorhees curse. The only thing we can theorize is that grief-stricken Ms. Voorhees tried to resurrect her dead son, with black magic, or a deal with a demon, or some shit like that. Like the Deadites from the Necronomicon ex-mortis, they come back, but not the same, and completely fucking twisted.

So Jason has to be something along that line. When the worm thingy finally gets into the body of someone along the Voorhees line, it doesn’t make that particular relative become their own super-powered, undead, murderer. No, he turns back into an identical copy of the original Jason Voorhees, hockey mask included. That’s *jazz hands* magic! This is some straight up necromancy.

The only way to kill him? Some more fucking necromancy. Take special dagger, place in hand of Voorhees’ relative, stab Jason in the heart.

But we, as horror heads, all know what we got out of this movie more than another F13. We got a set up for the true final chapter in F13. Freddy vs. Jason! Right at the end, that special clawed glove comes out of the ground and grabs the hockey mask. You KNOW you squeed like the little fucking fan bitch you are! I know I did.

So yeah, you can’t claim to be a lover of the franchise and hate on Jason Goes to Hell. It’s every bit as good as the rest (and better than number five. Fuck number five.)

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Reed posts new review here every Wednesday. Be sure to check back regularly for new Madness Heart Press publications