comedy, horror, movie, movie review

September 30th, 2017 Movie – Slumber Party Massacre III

slumber party massacre 3

Well, today marks the end of the slumber party horror series. I will be completely honest, I am at a loss for words on what to say about this movie. I never saw it in theaters during it’s limited theatrical run, and never got around to renting it when it hit video stores. When I bought this collection on DVD. it was my first time watching it and, due to the countless other movies I have watched over the years, I recognized some of the people in it from other things. Now let me give it another watch and see how good of a movie I have here in Slumber Party Massacre III.

The plot: A group of teenagers are having fun on the beach, with several of them playing volley ball while others are laying out on towels. As Jackie and Diane are laying down talking about Jackie’s parents moving (and Jackie as well), a weirdo dressed in black walks down to the beach and sits down, staring at all of the girls. After a while, Duncan notices the weirdo and yells at him to look elsewhere and when the weirdo averts his gaze, Duncan tries to use that to get invited to the girls’ party that night but Diane tells him that it is a girls only slumber party. Meanwhile, Juliette goes to get the volleyball when it rolls down the beach and runs into Ken, a former student of their school and after flirting with him for a bit, she invites him to call her that night. After a while, the group leaves but as Jackie goes to get some cans that they left on the beach, she accidentally drops her address book on the sand. Sarah separates from the group and heads to her car but after she gets in, someone in the backseat grabs her arms to hold her in place, then kills her by drilling into the seat and through her stomach. Frank gives Jackie a ride home and before she heads inside, he starts talking to her about pursuing more of a relationship and the two kiss. After he leaves, Jackie notices her front door is open and as she heads inside, she is startled by her neighbor Morgan, who saw the for sale sign and open door and thought they were giving an open house. Jackie says he can look around the house while she checks the messages on the answering machine but he tells her he already looked around and leaves. Later that night, Diane, Juliette, Janine, and Maria show up at the house, with Susie showing up later and when Jackie asks about Sarah, Susie says that she thinks she bailed on the party. As the girls start having fun, Morgan, who is watching the girls through his telescope, asks if he can see the house again but Jackie tells him no. Meanwhile, Frank, Michael, and Tom are nearby and Michael and Tom want to sneak in and spy on the girls but Frank is reluctant to do so but finally agrees to go. At the house, the girls are playing truth or dare and Juliette is dared to do a strip tease and Maria agrees to do one with her but as they are in the midst of their striptease, the guys show up wearing masks and scare the girls. Jackie gets mad and yells at the guys to leave. As the girls get changed, the weirdo in black shows up at the house, having found Jackie’s address book at the beach. Meanwhile, Frank and Tom convince Michael to go back to the house and beg for forgiveness while they go get flowers. Michael goes to the house and knocks on the door but the girls refuse to answer the door. When he hears a noise, he goes to investigate and sees a masked man and runs back to the house and bangs on the door again but he is impaled by the masked man with a For Sale sign and dragged away by the killer. Meanwhile, Duncan shows up at the house just as the pizza delivery girl does and pays her to switch shirts with him and let him deliver the pizzas. As the delivery girl is walking back to her car, the killer comes up behind her with a drill and kills her by drilling her repeatedly in the stomach. Back at the house, Jackie and Diane are talking about Frank when they hear something at the window and, thinking it is Frank and the boys, go to try and scare them but they see the weirdo outside. When they scream, the guy runs and drops the address book, which Jackie picks up. Jackie decides to call the cops while Frank and Tom show up and the girls decide to let them in in case the weirdo is dangerous. Ken shows up at the same time and they let him in as well. Officer O’Reilly thinks the girls are imagining things but tells them to call if they see the weird again, then he hangs up and points out a newspaper story about a former cop that committed suicide to another cop that is walking by. Back at the house, Frank apologizes to Jackie and the two make out while Tom goes down to the basement with Susie to see Jackie’s dad’s mounted swordfish and they start kissing, unaware that the weirdo had snuck into the basement. Juliette takes Ken upstairs to have sex but as Juliette touches his crotch, he stops and says he had too much beer but Juliette says there are other things they can do. As people continue to have fun downstairs, Tom and Susie rejoin the group but Tom accidentally drops some pizza on the carpet so Susie goes to the kitchen, interrupting Frank and Jackie, and Jackie and Susie get some bleach to try and clean it with. Meanwhile, Julliette goes to take a shower, telling Ken to head downstairs and join the others, and while she is getting undressed, she finds a vibrator and laughs as she plugs it in. While she is in the shower, someone turns off the light, then turns on the vibrator and throws it in the tub, electrocuting her. As the others offer advise on cleaning the stain, Maria and Janine give Ken a hard time when he shows up and Maria decides to head upstairs. When she searches the bathroom for Juliette, she sees the water on the floor and goes to clean it up only to discover Juliette’s body stuffed in a garment bag. Her screams alert the others and they head upstairs, where Ken and Jackie see the body. Figuring the weirdo must have killed her, they consider calling the police but O’Reilly thinks they are just playing a prank on him. Ken offers to run to his uncle’s house, who is an ex cop, and Tom says he will go with him so Franks hands them a fireplace poker and shovel to use as weapons and the two head off. As they head towards the house, Ken suddenly complains about a knee injury and convinces Tom to head into a construction yard so they can find some tools to better arm themselves with. They find a sledgehammer and Tom hands it to Ken but Ken uses it to hit Tom and the two begin fighting. Ken gets the upper hand and then grabs a chainsaw and uses it to sever both of Tom’s Achilles tendons and leaves him for dead but Tom is still alive and starts crawling away. Back at the house, the others want to make sure that the house is locked up and Jackie remembers the basement window so she goes down there with Frank to check it. While they are down there, Jackie notices that the swordfish is missing the point of it’s spear. Jackie sees that the window is partially open so she has Frank help her move a chest to try and close it but the chest is too heavy and when they open the chest, they find the body of the weirdo inside, with the swordfish’s spear stuck through his mouth. They race upstairs and tell everyone that the weirdo is dead just as Ken calls and tells them to stay in the house and he will be there soon with his uncle and tells them Tom went to go to the police. Ken then heads into a nearby van, where he has kept the bodies of his victims as well as pictures of his uncle and the news article about his suicide, and grabs the drill before heading back outside. At the house, Duncan answers the door, thinking it is Ken and his uncle but Ken slashes him in the stomach with the drill, killing him. As the girls run, Frank begins struggling with Ken and Morgan, who is watching all this with his telescope, calls the police to report a disturbance. Jackie hits Ken over the head with a lamp but Ken recovers as Frank moves over him and knocks him in the head with the drill. As he goes to lock the door, Jackie says that he killed him and then runs for it. She finds the other girls unable to open the back door, as Ken has wedged something in it. The girls try running but Ken injures Diane with the drill and then corners Maria, who screams when she sees Tom’s body at the window. Janine smashes Ken in the head with a glass bowl and tries to escape with Maria but when Ken corners her, she smashes through the glass of the back door, killing herself with the shards. Ken then begins hunting the other girls and soon finds Susie hiding in a closet He smashes through the door and grabs her, throwing her to the bed,  and is about to kill her but Maria hits him in the head and then runs out of the room, where she runs into Diane and Jackie, and they lure him away. They head to the basement and try to escape through the window but when Ken shows up, Jackie shoots him in the leg with her father’s spear gun and they run back upstairs. They start to go out the back when they see Janine’s body and Ken shows up and throws them back away from the door. As they all struggle to get the drill away from him, Susie shows up and throws a bucket full of bleach water into his face, blinding him. Ken starts swinging the drill wildly and manages to injure Maria again and she starts pleading with him to not kill her but as he puts the drill down to start fondling her, Maria tries to grab the drill but Ken senses her movement and grabs the drill and kills her. Ken then starts trying to hunt down the other girls and starts getting close to Susie but Diane leads him away from her and after distracting her by turning on the TV, they trap him in the volleyball net and Diane knocks him out. As they try to figure out what to do next, Ken comes too and attacks Diane, stabbing her in the chest. Susie jumps on his back while Jackie grabs the drill and uses it to kill Ken by stabbing him in the chest. As Susie pulls Jackie away from Ken’s body, the police show up and Susie goes to let them in while Jackie kneels next to Diane’s body before seeing a picture of Ken and his uncle that he dropped and she picks it up and stares at it before letting it fall to the floor.

Not the best horror movie but it was better than the previous movie. The acting was ok, with Keely Christian (Jackie), Brandi Burkett (Diane), and Maria Ford (Maria) doing good jobs in their roles, while Brittain Fyre did a great job playing a deranged Ken. The story was ok, but it did a poor job of explaining why Ken went crazy, though there were some instances where it seemed to allude to him being molested my his uncle. The special effects were ok, and since this had a slightly larger cast, that meant more bodies but several of the deaths didn’t make much sense. For instance, Frank was killed just by getting hit in the face by the drill while Janine died when she smashed through the glass door and it had just seemed like she had bled out but when the girls try to escape later, you see her guts on the ground, though there was no indication that her wounds were that massive. Still, I will take a bad horror movie with a definitive, albeit confusing, plot over a story where you never know if things are real or not any day.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, musical

September 29th, 2017 Movie – Slumber Party Massacre II

slumber party massacre 2

I might have said it before on here, and if I have then I apologize, but kids today have no idea of the magic of going to a video store and looking at all the cases for movies on the shelves. Back before the internet was widespread, and Netflix and streaming services were everywhere, studios relied on the video packaging to entice people to wanting to rent their movies. Now I guarantee that there were plenty of kids, teenagers, and even some adults who probably never saw this movie but they at least remember the case for the video, due to the giant guitar drill on it. I don’t know if it worked for anyone else but my interest was piqued enough to rent it back in the day. Now let’s see if this movie is as ridiculous as I vaguely remember it being as I watch Slumber Party Massacre II.

The plot: Courtney, one of the survivors of Russ Thorn’s massacre in the original movie, has grown up but suffers from nightmares of the events. As she talks with her mother the next morning, it is revealed that Valerie had been committed in a mental institution as she couldn’t cope with what happened. As she is walking to meet her friend Amy to get a ride to school, she sees a dead bird that looked like something from her dream and stops to stare at it. While they are driving to school, they see Matt Abicost, a boy that Courtney has a crush on, and at Amy’s urging, Courtney invites him to come listen to her band practice at their friend’s garage. Later that day, Courtney, Amy, Shelia Barrington, and Sally Burns are practicing and during a break in practice, Courtney and Matt go off alone to talk. Courtney tells Matt that Shelia’s parents bought a new condo and the band is heading up their that weekend and invites him to go, which he accepts and the two kiss. That night, Courtney’s mom talks about going to see Valerie that weekend but Courtney says she doesn’t want to go to a mental institution on her birthday and she convinces her mom to let her go with her friends. That night, Courtney has nightmares about Valerie warning her not to go all the way, while an evil rocker appears to haunt her. The next day, the girls leave for the trip but Courtney is still haunted by the nightmare and starts suffering some hallucinations during the day. The girls arrive at the condo and begin having fun, unaware that TJ and Jeff, two of the girls’ boyfriends, show up a day early and play a prank on the girls. That night, she has another nightmare of the rocker, who has killed Valerie and says he is coming for her. The next day, Courtney is nursing a hangover and tells Amy about the nightmares she has been having recently but Amy thinks that it was probably brought on by all of the alcohol. As Shelia and the others wake up and join them by the pool, Courtney complains about her head hurting and TJ jokingly says he will help her and ends up throwing her in the pool, forcing Jeff to dive in and save her before she drowns. As the day commences, everyone is having fun but Courtney is still having hallucinations; at one point imagining she is eating a severed hand while later she believes a dead chicken attacks her when she opens the fridge. After another hallucination where she thinks that the tub is filling with blood, Courtney goes to get Sally to check it out and Sally finds the tub about to overflow and asks Courtney what is going on. As the two talk, Sally complains about a zit on her face and Courtney hallucinates that it is growing until it covers half of Sally’s face before exploding. Courtney runs from the bathroom and runs into Matt, telling him that Sally is dead. Matt, TJ, and Jeff go into the bathroom but find no sign of Sally and as they all gather in the kitchen, they hear the trash compactor running and Courtney faints, thinking Sally might be in there. They call the police but as Officers Kreuger and Voorhies question Courtney, Sally appears, having gone to the store, and the officers warn the kids not to waste their time again. Amy, Jeff, Sally, Shelia, and TJ head out to get some food while Matt stays with Courtney and he brings her a birthday cake he brought for her. As the two start making out, Courtney has another hallucination about the killer and leaps off the bed, only for the Driller Killer to appear and kill Matt with his giant guitar-shaped drill. Courtney thinks it is still a dream but when the Driller Killer rips off Matt’s arm and throws it onto the cake, she runs from the room. Amy and the others have come back to the house and are fooling around downstairs when a blood covered Courtney appears at the bottom of the stairs, followed by the Driller Killer. The Driller Killer attacks TJ, injuring his leg, then goes after Sally while Shelia helps TJ up and they run out the front door. Meanwhile, Courtney, Amy, and Jeff head into the kitchen to try and call the police but when the Driller Killer kills Sally, he also drills through the phone and they run out the back door. They decide to leave in Jeff’s car but his keys are in the house so they sneak back in to get them, finding Sally’s dead body, and quickly leave. The get in the car and start to drive away, hoping to find Shelia and TJ along the way but the Driller Killer appears in the back seat and kills Jeff while Courtney and Amy run back to the condo when the car stops. Meanwhile, Shelia and TJ head to a neighbor’s house to try and get help but when they get no response, they go to leave only for the Driller Killer to appear and injure Shelia while killing TJ. Back at the condo, Courtney and Amy barricade themselves in one of the bedrooms and then try calling the police but Officer Kreuger thinks they are pulling another prank on him and hangs up on them. Shelia returns to the condo and makes her way up the stairs but the Driller Killer follows her and kills her, then starts drilling through the door to get to Courtney and Amy. The two make their way out onto the balcony and down the house but the Driller Killer follows them, injuring Amy, and they are forced to hide in an unfinished building. As the Driller Killer follows and attacks them, Amy ends up falling off of the building and landing on the ground below, seemingly dead. The Driller Killer continues to chase after Courtney, who heads to the roof and finds a blowtorch, which she uses to set the Driller Killer on fire and he falls off of the roof. The next morning, as the police and paramedics arrive, Amy is seen to be still alive and being carried off on a stretcher but when Courtney goes to check on her, Amy begins laughing like the killer. Courtney wakes up in bed with Matt and thinks that the whole thing was a dream but as she snuggles up to him, Matt suddenly transforms into the killer and hugs her. Courtney starts screaming and is shown to be in a mental institution and as a drill emerges from the floor, you are left wondering if Courtney had been stuck in the institution ever since the incident and she hallucinated the whole things.

This movie is honestly kind of a mess. The acting was ok, with Crystal Bernard doing a good job playing Courtney but several of the other characters just came off as overly annoying, especially TJ (who I honestly wanted to reach through the TV and strangle myself). The story was pretty confusing, as the open ending left you unsure about what all had happened. The actual horror aspects themselves didn’t really start until the latter half of the movie, and it honestly didn’t really start getting, arguably, scary until maybe 25 minutes where left in the movie. The special effects were honestly a little weak and didn’t help make the movie any scarier, while the hallucinations (not to mention the bizare “stage lights” for when the Driller Killer is singing) simply make things more confusing. A pretty poor sequel to be honest but memorable for the props at the very least.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review

September 28th, 2017 Movie – The Slumber Party Massacre

the slumber party massacre

If you were to take a look at the poster for today’s movie, you would be absolutely correct in assuming that this is another 80’s horror movie featuring a collection of half-naked girls. This is one of those movies that some people remember but usually gets lost in the 80’s shuffle among the more popular franchises such as Friday the 13th and Nightmare On Elm Street. I remember watching this movie years ago but when I decided to try and watch it again years later, I got it confused with another movie, Driller Killer. Anyways, I decided to pick this up, along with the sequels, a few years ago and learned that these movies were produced by Roger Corman. So let’s see how today’s movie has aged as I watch The Slumber Party Massacre.

The plot: Trish Devereaux-Craven wakes up and begins placing some of her stuffed animals and dolls in a bag before her mom yells down that they are leaving and she heads outside, not hearing a news report on the radio about an escaped serial killer. Trish heads outside to see her parents off and they tell her that their neighbor, David Contant will be checking up on her while they are gone for the weekend. After they leave, Trish places the bag of dolls in the garbage can and heads for school but someone grabs one of the dolls from the bag after she leaves. At the high school, Jeff is flirting with a telephone repairwoman when his friend Neil pulls him away and as they leave, they don’t see the woman dragged into her van and killed by Russ Thorn, the escaped killer. After basketball practice, Trish invites some of her friends over for a slumber party and goes to invite Valerie, the new girl that just transferred there, but Valerie had hear Diane talking bad about her and she quickly says she can’t go and leaves. As the girls leave school, accompanied by Jeff and Neil, Linda heads back inside to get a book out of her locker but finds that they have locked the school doors already. As she tries to open a door, Thorn sneaks up behind her and slashes her arm with the power drill. Linda manages to run away and hides in the supply room in the girl’s locker room but the blood from her wound drips out under the door and Thorn sees it and uses the drill to break into the room and kill her, then runs from the school. As Trish waits for her friends to show up, she is scared by David, who had seen her door was open and gone to check on her and says he will keep her company until they show up. When Jackie and Kim show up, Kim shows Trish the weed and beer she managed to score from her brother and David tells Trish that he won’t tell her parents but to go easy on the stuff. Meanwhile, Valerie’s younger sister Courtney sees the girls entering Trish’s house and asks Valerie wasn’t invited and she tells her that she was but turned them down to watch her that night. Back at Trish’s house, Diane shows up and the girls start changing into their sleepwear, unaware that they are being watched by Jeff and Neil. When Diane goes to get some fire wood, she runs into David, who is hunting snail, but after she goes in, David is killed by Thorn. Later, Trish sees her doll, covered in blood, placed near the window and gets scared and Diane goes with her to ensure the garage door was locked. Later, Trish, Kim, and Jackie listen in on Diane as she talks on the phone with her boyfriend John when the lights go out and they all head to the garage to check the fuse box, only to find Jeff and Neil, who had taken the fuses as a joke. John shows up and Diane has him pull into the garage and they make out in his car for a bit and he tries to convince her to come to his house so they can have sex. Diane heads back inside and tells Trish and the others that her and John are going on a beer run and she heads back to the garage but finds that John has been decapitated. She tries honking the horn to get the other girl’s attention but they are using the blender and don’t hear her and Thorn appears and kills her. Across the street, Courtney thinks she heard something but Valerie dismisses it as the girls fooling around. Back at Trish’s house, the pizza arrives just as Kim and Jackie call Coach Jana but when they open the door, they all scream as the delivery guy’s body falls to the ground. They try to call for help but find the phone lines have been cut. Meanwhile, Coach Jana calls Valerie and asks her to check on things there but Valerie is reluctant to do so so Jana says she will go there herself. Back at the house, Trish arms everyone with knives and then Jeff and Neil head off to try David or Valerie’s house to get help. As Jeff sneaks through the garage to get to David’s house, he finds Diane’s body and ends up getting stabbed through the shoulder with the drill. Meanwhile, Neil makes it to Valerie’s house and starts knocking on the door but Valerie can’t hear him due to the movie she is watching and Thorn kills him, then takes the body back to Trish’s house. As he goes to get rid of it, he notices Jeff’s body is missing and finds that Jeff had managed to crawl back to the house and is trying to get the girls to help him but Thorn kills him before they can open the door. Back at her house, Valerie sees Courtney heading over to check on Trish’s house so she goes after her and tells her to wait while she knocks on the door. When she knocks, she doesn’t get an answer so she heads to the kitchen door but while she is gone, Jackie goes to warn Valerie and opens the door only to be killed by Thorn. Kim and Trish run upstairs and barricade themselves in Trish’s room and wonder if maybe Valerie is working with Thorn. Thorn sneaks in through the open window and goes to attack them but Trish hits him with a bat and they work to move the furniture away from the door but Thorn grabs one of their knives and kills Kim. Meanwhile, Valerie tries the front door again and finds it open and heads inside but doesn’t see signs that anyone is there. She goes to get Courtney and they go to lock up the place and head back home but they find Kim’s body in the fridge. Seeing the shadow of Thorn coming down the stairs, Valerie tells Courtney to run while she goes to hide in the basement. Thorn doesn’t see them so he grabs the pizza delivery guy’s body, which the girls had covered with a blanket earlier, and throws it down the basement steps, then hides under the blanket. Jana arrives at the house and discovers Thorn and grabs a fireplace poker to defend herself and as Thorn approaches her, Courtney, who was hiding the couch, trips him and Jana hits him repeatedley with the poker. Trish then runs down and stabs him in the back but as Jana pulls Trish off of him, Thorn uses the drill to kill Jana. Thorn approaches Trish, declaring his love for her, but Valerie shows up wielding a machete and chases him out to the back. Forcing him towards the edge of the pool, Valerie uses the machete to break the drill, then cuts off his hand and slash him in the stomach, knocking him into the pool. As Courtney goes over to hug Valerie, Thorn emerges from the pool and tries to strangle Valerie. Courtney and Trish try to stop him and Valerie finally impales him with the machete when he leaps at her.

The Slumber Party Massacre met with negative reviews from the critics, holding a 36% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, several critics liked director Amy Holden Jones’s approach but others felt it didn’t do much to stand out from other movies. The movie was originally intended to be a parody of slasher films but Corman decided to have it shot as straight up horror movie. The movie is distinctive as it, and it’s two sequels, marked the first time that a horror film series was directed exclusively by women. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $3.589 million off of a $250k budget.

This was a decent horror movie to watch. The acting was good, with Robin Stille (Valerie), Michelle Michaels (Trish) and Jennifer Meyers (Courtney) doing good jobs in their roles. Michael Villella was particularly creepy in his portrayal as Thorn while Brinke Stevens was given her first speaking role in this movie and would go on to become one of the more famous scream queens in B-movies. The story was pretty straight forward but you could see some evidence that this had originally been intended as a comedy, such as Jeff asking the delivery guy what the damage was and Thorn, answering from behind the door, saying “6, so far”, indicating the number of people he had killed that day. There special effects with some of the death scenes was pretty good and had a little more gore than some people might have expected. All in all, it is what you would expect from an 80’s slasher film and perfect for watching during a horror movie binge fest, but not necessarily something you will go back to multiple times.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review

September 27th, 2017 Movie – Slugs

slugs

Looks like I get some more movies with creepy crawlies. After the success of Jaws in theaters, it seemed like studios started going crazy with the idea of killer animals in the 70’s, which bled over into the 80’s. However, there are really only so many legit ideas for killer animals you can use before things start getting a bit silly. Today’s movie was a little late in the whole killer animal craze but I remember catching it on TV every now and then in the late 80’s, early 90’s. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Slugs.

The plot: A guy and girl are in rowboat and the girl is complaining about her boyfriend bringing her there to go fishing when the boyfriend suddenly falls into the water and blood starts bubbling up from where he disappeared. That night, a man walking his dog is almost run over by some teenagers and when he finally gets to his home, which is run down and covered in eviction notices, he sits down on his couch and almost immediately starts screaming in pain. Elsewhere, Mike and Kim Brady are having dinner with David and Maureen Watson and as Maureen appears to be drinking too much, Mike and Kim decide to call it an early night and leave, running into Mike’s friend Don Palmer and his wife Maria as they leave. The next day, Mike meets up with Sheriff Reese and they head to the house to evict the drunk but when they head inside the house, they find the half eaten remains of the man. After the paramedics are called to remove the body, Mike goes back inside to look around and notices a slime trail leading to the basement but doesn’t investigate further due to the smell coming from the basement. When Mike returns to his office at the Health Department, he is called out to the house of an angry woman who is complaining about the sewer being backed up and when he gets there, he finds that Don, who works for the Sanitation Department, has been called there as well. Don heads down into the sewer to clear out the line and finds some animal remains in the pipe but as he tries to remove some more debris, something grabs the pole and from his arm and drags it further down the pipe. Elsewhere in town, Jean Morris brings one of her plants from the porch to her husband Harold’s greenhouse and asks him about some white orbs on the plant and he tells her that they are slug eggs and she asks that he get rid of them as well as the ones on the other plants. He goes to get the other plant and while he is out, the eggs start hatching and giant black slugs emerge, with one of them crawling into his glove. When Harold gets back with the other plant, he puts on his gloves and starts to work on the plants only to start yelling that something is biting his hand. As he tries to remove the glove, he knocks over some chemicals and ends up falling and dragging a  shelf on top of him. Harold yells out for Jean as he grabs a small hatchet and proceeds to cut off his own hand and as Jean enters the greenhouse and runs to check on him, the chemicals catch fire and cause an explosion that kills them both. When Mike gets home, Kim tells him the news about the Morris’ death and when he notices the slime trails in their front yard. Kim tells him she saw some giant slugs in their garden and points them out. As he goes to get a closer look, one of the slug bites him and he tells Kim to get a jar with a lid so they can capture it. After capturing the slugs, they take them to Kim’s friend John Foley at the school so he can study them. Meanwhile, Maureen is fixing a salad for dinner for her and David, unaware that a slug was inside the lettuce as she cuts it up and later that night, David starts complaining about stomach pains but tells Maureen not to call a doctor. That night, a teenager sneaks into his girlfriend’s house to have sex while her parents are out for the night but they don’t notice a horde of slugs entering the room and as the boyfriend goes to use the restroom, he is bitten in the foot. The girlfriend falls off the bed onto the floor and the slugs proceed to eat her alive while the boyfriend tries to escape but ends up being eaten as well. The next day, Mike heads to the crime scene and tries to explain his theory about slugs killing people to Sheriff Reese but Reese doesn’t believe him. Meanwhile, David still isn’t feeling well but goes to a business luncheon to try and seal a deal but as he is proposing a toast to a successful deal, he suddenly screams in pain as blood drips from his nose and he collapses to the floor, where worms suddenly burst from his face. Elsewhere, Mike is talking with Don, who tells him about all of the dead animal remains his men have been finding in the sewers in part of town and explains that a toxic dump was there in the 50’s and 60’s before it was buried and when some new construction started in the area, they could have broken through the area. Mike gets called to the restaurant and after he gets some of the worms from David’s head, he and Don head over to take them to Foley, who explains that they are parasites found in slugs and tells them what he knows about the slugs. When Mike returns to his office, he receives a call from Kim who tells him to come home right away and when he gets there, he finds slugs coming out of the faucet of the kitchen sink. He quickly kills the slugs then calls the sheriff’s office, only to find that Reese has gone to investigate another body, and tells the deputy to have Reese meet him at the mayor’s office. Reese tries to get the water shut off but the Head of Water services said that he would need the mayor’s permission, but after Mike leaves, he ends up being killed. Mike tries to convince the mayor to shut down the water but the mayor refuses. Mike goes to see Foley, who has found a chemical that can kill the slugs and Mike goes to see Don to get his help in killing them. Mike heads home to find the house is starting to become overrun with slugs so he has Kim head to her mother’s house for safety. Mike, Don, and Foley meet up and come up with a plan, then Mike and Don head down into the sewers to try and find the nest and lure them to a central area so they can pour the chemical’s down and kill them. Meanwhile, there is a party in the woods that some of the high school students are throwing and one of the girls is almost raped but she escapes her attacker only to fall into a sewer opening and is killed by the slugs. Mike and Don find the nest and tell Foley where it is but as they try to find a way out, Don ends up falling into a large pool of water and is killed by the slugs. Mike climbs out and has Foley pour in the chemicals, which ignites the slugs in the sewer system and kills them all. As Kim returns to town and hugs Mike, a lone slug is seen on a sewer grate, having survived the inferno in the sewers.

This was a kind of half-hearted attempt for a good movie but it definitely flopped. The acting was odd to be honest, as it seemed some voices were dubbed over, while the regular actors were ok, but rather boring. The story was kind of disjointed and did a piss poor job of explaining what was going on. The special effects were pretty decent at points, with David’s exploding face being a nice bit of gore. It’s a passable horror movie that is fit for late night, drive-in viewing but that’s about it.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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comedy, horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

September 26th, 2017 Movie – Slither (2006)

slither

Ahh, the memories involving this movie. When I first saw the trailers for this movie, I immediately thought that it looked like a remake of Night OF The Creeps. Apparently I wasn’t the only one as there were lots of people commenting online about the similarities. Still, I knew it was going to be a cheesy fun movie to watch . Unfortunately, I never got around to seeing it in theaters so I had to wait until it came out on video to watch it. Now lets have some fun with today’s movie, Slither.

The plot: In the small town of Wheelsy, South Carolina, local car dealer Grant Grant is married to Starla and jealously possessive of her. Some people don’t understand their marriage but sheriff Bill Pardy, who has had a crush on her since high school, says that when she was left all on her own at 17, and Grant shows up with a lot of money and offering to pay for her college, she got swept up in the moment. That night, Grant tries to have sex with Starla but when she tells him she isn’t in the mood, he gets mad and heads to the bar for a drink. While there, he runs into Brenda, the younger sister of an old girlfriend, and the two end up going into the woods together. Brenda tries kissing Grant but he pushes her away and is about to leave when he notices the remains of a meteorite that had crashed there the night before and a slime trail leading away from it. Following the trail, Grant and Brenda find a strange, grub like creature and as Grant leans closer to look at it, a stinger shoots out from the creature’s back and strikes him, infecting him with a parasite. After collapsing to the ground while the parasite heads to his brain, Grant then gets up and heads home, leaving Brenda wondering if he is ok. The next morning, Starla tries apologizing to Grant and they end up dancing and fooling around before they both head to work. That afternoon, Grant buys up a large quantity of meat from the store and stores it all in the basement, placing a lock on the door to keep Starla from seeing it, which she questions. That night there is a town dance and Starla is getting ready for it when Grant enters the bathroom and alien tendrils emerge from his stomach but he doesn’t want to hurt Starla and quickly leaves, telling her he will meet her there. At the dance, Bill sees Starla standing by herself and works up the nerve to go talk with her and eventually dances with her. Meanwhile, Grant had gone to Brenda’s house and after learning that her husband isn’t there, he heads inside and ends up impregnanting her with the alien tendrils. Starla comes home and wonders where Grant is and when she finally sees him, asks what is wrong, as Grant’s face is swollen, and Grant tells her he had an allergic reaction to a bee sting and got some medicine from the doctor. The next day, Starla calls the doctor’s office and finds that they haven’t seen Grant in over a year and she starts to worry, while also noticing several posters for missing pets all seem to be from her neighborhood. That night, Bill and his deputy Don show up to speak with Grant in connection to Brenda’s disappearance but she tells them that he isn’t there. After they leave, Starla gets a hammer and breaks the lock on the basement door to see what is down there and she finds the carcasses of dozens of animals including the missing pets. Starla calls Bill but as she is on the phone, she sees Grant, who has begun to mutate further, outside the window and she tries to run but he attacks her and tries to impregnate her but when Bill and his deputies show up, he runs off into the woods. Three days later, Mayor Jack MacReady is pressuring Bill to find Grant when they get word of another animal attack. After checking the scene, Bill rounds up a couple of hunters to go with his deputies and they head off to stake out where Grant will most likely strike next and Starla convinces Bill to let her come too. When Grant shows up, he has mutated even further into a giant, slug-like creature and he kills a cow and drags it into the woods. Starla heads out to try and talk with Grant as Bill and the others surround him but Grant roars at them and leaves, killing one of the hunters in the process. Bill and the others follow Grant into the woods and come to an abandoned barn, and find Brenda inside, having swollen up to giant proportions. As they try to find out what happened to her, Brenda starts splitting open and Bill sees Grant outside and realizes he lead them into a trap. Brenda explodes, releasing hundreds of blood-red slugs which begin crawling over everyone and into the mouths of Don and some of the others but Bill, Starla, Jack, and Deputy Margaret. Unable to raise anyone on his radio, Bill goes back to his car to call for help and tells the others to bring the bodies out of the barn but while he is gone, Don and the others suddenly regain consciousness and begin speaking like Grant and they kill Margaret while Starla shoots Don but then her and Jack are forced to run. Meanwhile, a teenager named Kylie is taking a bath when one of the slugs tries to get in her mouth and she gains some of the creature’s memories but she is able to pull it out of her mouth and kill it. She yells for her family but they have all been infected and as the slugs start swarming the house, she gets in her family’s truck and hides. Her family suddenly appear and try to get to her when Bill shows up to find out what is going on. As their attention is turned to him, Kylie runs to him and tries to tell him that they aren’t her family when he is attacked by another person that is infected. Bill and Kylie manage to get away and make it to his car and they see Starla and Jack being chased by his infected deputy so Bill hits the deputy, and Starla kills him, and they all leave. Kylie tells them what she saw from the slug’s memories and Starla says the creature has a hive mind, which is why all of the people were talking like Grant. Bill contacts his secretary and tells her to call the CDC but she gets infected by the slugs and as Bill and the others reach town, they are ambushed by the infected people. The infected people grab Starla and Jack and drag them away but Bill and Kylie manage to get away. Bill heads to the police department to grab a grenade, theorizing that if he kills Grant, he will stop all of the infected people. When he goes inside, he is attacked by an infected deer but Kylie manages to save him and they grab the grenade and leave, with Bill saying when he retells the story, he will save her from the deer. Meanwhile, the infected take Starla back to her house and dress her in a nightgown while Jack is placed in the basement with other people who are impregnated and when he tries to escape, he ends up being impregnated as well. When Starla regains consciousness, she tries to escape but when she realizes she can’t, she grabs a hairbrush and pulls off the bristles to use as a makeshift weapon. Starla heads downstairs and finds Grants has mutated even further and begun absorbing some of the other people to increase his mass. Starla approaches Grant and tries to sooth him and say that she will stay by his side but as she goes to kiss him, she stabs him with the brush and he throws her aside. Bill and Kylie show up and try to blow him up but Grant knocks Bill out the window and the grenade falls into the pool while Kylie is slammed into a wall by a couch. Grant them tries to impregnate Bill but Bill grabs one of the tentacles and sticks it into a nearby propane tank, then tells Starla to shoot Grant. Starla does and Grant is destroyed, while all of the infected people drop dead as the hive mind is destroyed. Starla and Kylie go to check on Bill and Kylie tells him that he will be fine as Grant needed both tentacles to be impregnated. Bill is grateful for that and as they leave, he asks Kylie to tell Starla about how he saved her from a deer, unaware that a cat starts feeding on Grant’s corpse and ends up being infected.

Slither (2006) met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A slimy, B-movie homage oozing with affection for low-budget horror films, Slither is creepy and funny — if you’ve got the stomach for it.” There was some controversy when the trailers first came out for the movie as people commented online about it’s similar plot point to Night Of The Creeps but writer/director James Gunn swore that he had never seen Night Of The Creeps until after he had filmed Slither. The movie was a dud at the box office, earning $12.8 million off of a $15 million budget but became a cult hit when it came out on video.

This is a fun, ridiculous horror movie to watch. The acting was good, with Nathan Fillion (Bill), Elizabeth Banks (Starla), and Michael Rooker (Grant) all doing good jobs in their roles. The story definitely did have some similarities to Night Of The Creeps but it also had it’s own unique style to it. While there were some comedic elements to the movie, they were mostly situational and sometimes fell a little flat. The special effects in the creature design and the gore were definitely well done and showed some creativity in their use. Silly, fun, and a couple of decent scares that make it worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi

September 25th, 2017 Movie – Slipstream (1989)

slipstream

I am going to apologize for the lateness of this post because I fell asleep while watching this movie this morning. This was entirely due to the fact that I got next to no sleep last night and is in now way an indication that today’s movie was bad or boring, which I honestly wouldn’t know since I WAS ASLEEP while it was on. I will say that this is not my first time hearing of today’s movie, as I had heard about it on a B-movie fan page I am  on, where one of the members was trying to choose between watching this movie and another one (which I honestly can’t remember what it was now). So let’s see what kind of a movie I have on my hands as I finish watching today’s movie, Slipstream (1989).

The plot: At the end of the end of the 20th Century, an event known as The Convergence caused the Earth’s weather patterns to change as natural disasters occurred around the world . Earthquakes and floods broke apart continents while a massive river of wind known as The Slipstream encircles the planet and the surviving people have learned how to travel along it. A man named Byron is running along a canyon while being chased by an air glider. The man makes it to the edge of the cliff and reaches out to the sky but the two occupants of the glider, law officers Will Tasker and Belitski, land and follow after him. Tasker shoots Byron through the arm with a grapple, then pulls him off the cliff and they arrest him and take off. They stop at a diner to get some food and Belitski is hit on by a smuggler named Matt Owens but she quickly knocks him down and steps over him. Tasker had seen the whole thing and offers Owens a cup of coffee, not telling him that he works with Belitski. The two talk and Owens says he is a business man, meaning he is a smuggler, and shows the items he has on him. When Tasker picks up a grenade and says that is illegal, then shows Owens his badge, Owens hands him his pack and quickly leaves. Some guys at another table have Owens sit with them and they tell him about how the prisoner Tasker has with him had killed a man and there is a reward out for him. When Tasker leaves, Owens pulls a gun on him and takes Byron and his gear back but when he gets distracted by Belitski, Tasker hits Owens with a dart, telling him it was poisoned. Owens doesn’t believe him and whenTasker is distracted by an arriving glider hitting him, Owens manages to get away with Byron but Tasker reveals the dart was a tracker dart and they can follow him. As they are flying away, Owens starts trying to talk with Byron and learns Byron’s name. Owens makes a stop at a mountain cave settlement called Hell’s Kitchen, where he has set up his home, and he tells his smuggler friends there that he is leaving and setting up shop elsewhere and giving some of them some of his items. He looses site of Byron but soon finds him and discovers that Byron has healed a young boy suffering from cataracts. Tasker and Belitski are tracking Owens but find themselves running into Montclaire and his group of smugglers and end up killing them when Montclaire’s group shoot at them. After burying the smugglers and burning their cargo, Tasker continue to track Owen but Belitski starts questioning what they are doing and considers quitting. Owens and Byron continue flying down the Slipstream and come to another settlement of cave dwellers and see that they have been attacked by bandits. Byron tries to help one of the members by lifting a rock off of his legs but the man, Avatar, is the leader of the cult that lives there and curses Byron as being one of the machines that brought the destruction of the world. After Avatar dies, his followers tie up Owens, then tie Byron to a large kite and set him sailing high into the sky, saying the winds will judge him. That night, as a windstorm rages, Tasker and Belitski find Owens and ask him about Byron and Owens tells them where he is and says they need to work together to bring him down. Tasker reluctantly agrees and has Belitski cut him loose and they head outside into the storm. Owens holds onto the guide line and uses a parachute to slide up the rope to the kite and works on freeing Byron, yelling at him for not telling him he is an android. When Belitski realizes that Owens is attempting a double cross, she uses a parachute to slide up the rope to stop him but is too late as Owens cuts the rope and the kite ends up falling towards the ground, crashing into Tasker. Owens survives and finds himself dragged into the shelter of a cave by Byron, who had also saved Belitski and dragged her inside there. Byron then heads out to see if he can locate Tasker for Belitski, leaving Owens and Belitski to start talking. Outside, Byron finds Ariel, who was there to visiting the cult, and Tasker’s broken grapple but no sign of Tasker. As the storm passes, Ariel leads them out of the caves and Belitski parts ways with them, saying she is going to find Tasker and that this is only a head start for them. Owens, Byron, and Ariel work on fixing Owens’ glider and they head to Ariel’s settlement, where they plan on getting supplies before heading back out but the glider ends up crashing and they are forced to walk the last of the way. Ariels people are hedonists who inhabit an underground museum and Byron is fascinated by the history inside, which draws Ariel closer to him. As night falls, they end up dancing, with Byron partnering up with a local girl, with the two pairs each ending up sleeping together. The next day, Ariel is speaking with the group’s leaders about her bringing Byron and Owens there, with some people feeling that she never should have brought them there as they can’t trust outsiders. Ariel tries to convince them that they need Byron and Owens, particularly Byron, for their technical expertise but the group’s leader and curator of the museum, says that since Ariel brought the men here under false pretenses, she might be lying for her reasons to keep them here. Elsewhere, Owens goes looking for Byron and finds him working on fixing things in the museum and Byron excitedly tells Owens that he fell asleep and dreamed, something that androids should not be able to do. Byron tells Owens that he dreamed of a place at the end of the Slipstream, where others of his kind live. Owens then tells Byron that he is free to go, as he decided not to turn Byron in for the reward as he feels they have become friends and Byron asks if that means he is free to stay with Ariel. Meanwhile, Tasker and Belitski have followed Byron and Owens to the museum, killing the guards in order to gain entry. They make their way to the conference room and demand the group turn over Byron, with Tasker threatening to kill everyone there to get what he wants. The hedonists head towards the lower level and grab Byron, knocking Owens down in the process and as Owens gets up, he sees Belitski watching him. As Owens tries talking to her, Belitski pulls out a gun and shoots him but he knocks her out. As he is handcuffing her to a bed, Belitski comes too and tells him she shot him with the antidote and he kisses her before heading off to try and save Byron. The hedonists bring Byron to Tasker but Owens shows up and tries to shoot Tasker. Byron stands in front of Tasker and takes the shot, as he doesn’t want anyone else to die for him. Tasker shoots the shotgun, causing a shell inside to explode and injure Owens and when Ariel grabs a gun and tries to shoot Tasker, Tasker kills her. Byron runs over to cradle Ariel while Tasker leaves and Byron goes after him, though Owens tries to get him to stop. Outside, Tasker heads to his plane, shooting Byron when he follows and when that doesn’t stop him, he tries running him over as he takes off. Byron manages to hold onto the plane and smashes through the control panel to get to Tasker but as he starts to strangle him, Tasker recites a quote he often says and Byron changes his mind. With the plane out of control, Byron tries to use the wires from the panel to try and land the plane but they end up crashing, with Byron surviving but Tasker dies in the flames. Byron heads back to the museum and sees Owens outside waiting for him. Byron approaches him and says that he is too dangerous to be human but Owens tells him he is wrong. Some time later, Byron leaves to go find the place in his dreams while Owens has started a relationship with Belitski and they go off to start a balloon shop that Owens has dreamed of.

Ok, this actually was a pretty boring movie, which is sad because the story actually had some potential. The acting was ok, with Bill Paxton (Owens) and Bob Peck (Byron) making for a pretty good duo, while Mark Hamill (Tasker) was an interesting villain but I have to admit, he looks a little more like Kiefer Sutherland than Luke Skywalker. The story was interesting and seemed to borrow a little from Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep” (and there was actually a brief reference to that book when Ownes and Byron are talking and Byron says he dreamed. The special effect were on the weak side, with a lot of green screen used during some of the flying scenes, while some other scenes that required stunt work or special effects, like the kite crashing or the plane crash, just felt cheap. Good for some laughs on how bad it is, but not something I would watch repeatedly.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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fantasy, horror, movie, movie review, mystery

September 24th, 2017 Movie – Sleepy Hollow (1999)

sleepy hollow (1999)

It may not feel like it in some places, but it is Fall and that means the weather is going to, hopefully, get colder, night will come sooner, and the movies will start getting a little darker as we get closer to Halloween. One director who is somewhat synonymous with dark movies, even if they have nothing to do with Halloween, is Tim Burton. I have always liked his movies, ever since Beetlejuice, and when I heard that he was making a live action movie of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, I was immediately on board and ready to see it. So lets see how good of a job he did with today’s movie, Sleepy Hollow.

The plot: In 1799 in the village of Sleepy Hollow, wealthy land owner Peter Van Garrett is writing a new will and testament and has it witnessed by Jonathan Masbath, one of his servants. Van Garrett rides off in his stage coach, driven by his son, to deliver the new will when he hears a horse pass by them followed by a strange sound. When Van Garrett looks out of the stage coach, he finds his son has been decapitated and he quickly jumps from the now out of control coach. Making his way through a field, he pauses when he comes to a scarecrow only to hear a sound and as he turns around, his head is cut off. In New York City, Constable Ichabod Crane discovers a body in the river but while Crane wants to determine the cause of death, the police chief says the cause of death is drowning and has the body burned. As Crane argues that with the new century almost upon them, they should work on using more accurate, scientific means to solve crimes, the Burgomaster decides to have him put his methods to the test. He tells Crane about Sleepy Hollow and how 3 people (the Van Garretts and the widow Emily Winship) have been killed there within the past fort night, with their heads cut off, and tells Crane to use his methods to find the killer and bring him to justice. Crane arrives in Sleepy Hollow and heads to the home of the Van Tassels, where a party is underway and Crane ends up caught up in a game where he is kissed by Katrina Van Tassel. When Katrina’s suitor, Brom van Brunt, gets jealous, Baltus Van Tassel and his wife appear to calm things down and Crane introduces himself. Lady Van Tassel invites Crane to stay at their house while he is there and after he gets settled in, Crane heads downstairs and meets with Van Tassel and the other leaders of the community; Doctor Thomas Lancaster, Reverend Steenwyck, Magistrate Samuel Phillipse, and Notary James Hardenbrook. As Crane goes over what he was told of the murders, they tell him that the heads were never recovered and Hardenbrook tells him that they were taken back to hell by the Headless Horseman. They explain that the horseman was a Hessian mercenary that fought for the British during the revolution but was killed by American soldiers and beheaded with his own sword, then buried in the Western Woods, which has since become a haunted place. Crane doesn’t believe their stories of a ghost being behind the deaths and claims a real person is responsible and he will find out who it is. That night, Jonathan Masbath is killed by the horseman and the next day, Crane makes his own examination of the body. At the funeral, Jonathan’s son, Young Masbath, approaches Crane and asks to help but Crane refuses at first until Phillipse approaches him and tells him that Masbath was the 5th victim even though there were only 4 graves, and Crane tells Young MAsbath to find a room in the servants quarters at the Van Tassel house. At dawn the next day, Crane has the bodies dug up and discovers that along with her decapitation, the widow Winship also has a sword thrust into her stomach. Crane takes her body to Dr. Lancaster’s office and performs an autopsy, which upsets Steenwyck, and discovers that the widow was pregnant when she died. That night, Brom plays a joke on Crane by pretending to be the Headless Horseman and scare him off and Crane ends up fainting after being hit in the face with a jack-o-lantern and begins dreaming of his mother. When he wakes up, he finds himself in his room and as he heads downstairs, he finds Katrina reading by herself. The two start talking and Katrina explains how her family came to be in the position they are now, then takes Crane to the remains of her childhood home. That night, Crane sees an argument between Lancaster, Steenwyck, Phillipse, and Hardenbrook and after Phillipse leaves, Crane questions him about the widow Winship’s child and who the father is when the Horseman appears and kills Phillipse and takes his head. Though cowering in fear at first, Crane has more dreams about his mother which causes him to overcome his initial fears and vow to find the Horseman’s grave and asks for volunteers to go with him into the Western Woods but only Young Masbath volunteers to go. They head into the woods and after Crane asks if his father had dealings with the Van Garretts and Young Masbath explains that his father worked for them and a week before the murders started, there was an argument between Van Garrett and his son, after which Van Garrett sent for Masbath. The two come to a cave in the woods and find a reclusive witch inside, who sends Young Masbath outside while keeping Crane inside and summons the spirit of the Horseman to tell him where the grave is. As they make their way to the grave, they see someone on a white horse ahead of them and when Crane approaches the horse, discovers it is Katrina. The three find the Tree of the Dead and as Crane cuts away some of the lower branches to clear out a hollow, he finds the missing heads. Suddenly, the Horseman and his steed emerge from within the tree and heads towards town and Crane follows after him. In the town, the Horseman enters the home of the town’s midwife and kills her, as well as her husband and child, and goes to leave. Brom, who is on watch with his friends, tries to stop him but is injured and as he moves to continue fighting, Crane tries to stop him. Crane tells him that the horseman is only fighting because Brom attacked them and is not trying to kill them but Brom refuses to listen. As Brom begins fighting again, Crane joins in but soon realizes they are outmatched and convinces Brom to run but as they move through the bridge, the Horseman catches up to them and stabs Crane in the shoulder before cutting Brom in half. As Crane deals with his injuries, he tries to explain to Van Tassel and Lancaster that the Horseman is killing specific targets which means he is being controlled by whoever took the Horseman’s skull. Katrina gives him a drink to help him sleep and he ends up dreaming about his mother again and when he wakes, he tells Katrina about her death. The next morning, after he has recovered, Crane starts going over all of his notes and tries to figure out what the secret is that Phillipse and the other town leaders were keeping and decides to head to Hardenbrook’s shop. When they get there, they find Hardenbrook hiding and Young Masbath discovers his father’s satchel and they find the new will that Van Garrett had made, as well as the marriage certificate for Van Garrett and the widow Winship. Crane realizes that the new will left everything to the widow Winship but if nobody knew about it, then it would end up going to Baltus Van Tassel. When he returns to the Van Tassel house, he finds Katrina in his room and she says her father thinks it best that Crane head back to New York, as the notes crane wrote in his ledger upset him. After she leaves, Young Masbath discovers a design on the floor underneath Crane’s bed and says that someone is casting an evil spell on him. That night, Crane follows a cloaked figure out into the woods but discovers it is Lady Van Tassell, who is having an affair with Steenwyck. When Crane returns to his room, he finds all of the evidence is missing and heads to the Van Tassel’s former house, where he finds Katrina burning it. She admits she did so to prevent Crane from accusing her father and he tells her that he has no choice but to follow where the evidence leads him and the two argue over their feelings for each other before Katrina leaves. That night, a town meeting is called in the church and as Van Tassel is waiting on his wife to finish picking some flowers, he sees the Horseman approaching behind her and quickly flees. When he arrives at the church, he tells Katrina that her step-mother is dead but Steenwyck tries to force him back outside, telling him that he is the one the Horseman wants. As Crane notices that the Horseman can’t enter the church yard because it is holy ground, he goes to tell them but Van Tassel grabs Crane’s pistol and threatens Steenwyck. Lancaster starts to tell Van Tassel the truth about the conspiracy but Steenwyck kills him, prompting Van Tassel to shoot him. As some of the townfolk approach him, Van Tassel grabs another pistol and heads up to the balcony, declaring that there is a conspiracy against him. Outside, the Horseman has grabbed some rope and a fence post, which he uses as a make shift spear, and he throws it through the window and strikes Van Tassel, then drags him outside until his head is past the church yard, allowing him to cut it off. Seeing what happened, Katrina faints and as Crane stares at her, he looks up to see the same design that was under his bed drawn on the floor in the church where Katrina had been kneeling. Crane burns all of his notes and prepares to leave, with Young Masbath questioning why he thinks Katrina was the one to control the Horseman but Crane tells him that that can never be spoken. As his coach is leaving town, Crane notices them bringing the bodies of Baltus and Lady Van Tassel to the morgue and as he suddenly looks at the book of spells and charms Katrina had given him when he first came to town and discovers the design she had drawn was one of protection. Crane tells the driver to turn around and heads to the morgue, where he discovers that the body assumed to be Lady Van Tassel is not her, as the wound on her hand was inflicted after the body was dead, as opposed to the cut he saw Lady Van Tassel give herself. At the Van Tassel house, Katrina is approached by Lady Van Tassel and faints and it is revealed that she is the one who controls the Horseman and she summons it to kill Katrina. Lady Van Tassel takes Katrina to an old windmill and explains that she and her family lived in the cottage before the Van Tassels before her father died and Van Garrett kicked them out. Their mother was a witch and taught her and her sister her ways before she died and the two girls lived in the woods, where they saw the Hessian die and Lady Van Tassel swore her soul to Satan if he would resurrect the Hessian to help her get her revenge. She then explains why she had everyone killed, while also explaining why she killed the servant and her own sister. Young Masbath, who had followed Lady Van Tassel to the windmill, tries to knock out Lady Van Tassel but she knows he is there and he and Katrina run. Crane shows up with the stage coach just as the Horseman arrives and they lure the Horseman inside, then use the windmill blades to reach the ground while Crane lights a fire to blow up the windmill in order to slow it down. As it emerges from the wreckage, Crane and the others leave and head towards the Tree of the Dead, with the Horseman chasing after them and Crane does his best to slow it down. When they get there, they find Lady Van Tassel had beaten them there and Crane tells Katrina to run but Lady Van Tassel shoots him, then grabs Katrina and holds her for the Horseman. Crane didn’t die, as the bullet was stopped by Katrina’s book, and he tackles Lady Van Tassel and after Young Masbath knocks her out, he grabs the skull and throws it to the Horseman. The Horseman puts the skull back on his body and his face is restored and he then grabs Lady Van Tassel and, with the tree suddenly opening up, he takes her back to Hell with him, as her deal with him is finished since he has her head, and the tree closes around her as she screams, with only her arm sticking out among the bramble of roots. Crane heads back to New York City with Katrina and Young Masbeth, just in time for the new century.

Sleepy Hollow met with mixed to positive reviews from the critics, holding a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Sleepy Hollow entertains with its stunning visuals and creepy atmosphere.” In October of ’99, one month before the movie was to be released, the studio launched a website that featured live interviews with the filmmakers, a short behind the scenes featurette, view photos and trailers, and was described, at the time, as “the most ambitious online launch of a motion picture to date.” The movie would be a modest hit at the box office, earning $206.1 million off of a $100 million budget.

I always enjoy watching this movie, even if it does have some faults. The acting was pretty good and Burton gathered an incredible cast of talent to take part in this movie. Johnny Depp (Crane) and Christina Ricci (Katrina) were both great and I also liked how well Michael Gambon (Van Tassel), Miranda Richardson (Lady Van Tassel), and Richard Griffiths (Phillipse) did in their roles and how they would all be part of the Harry Potter world a few years later. The story was a bit of a departure from the source material but I think those changes were honestly necessary to make for a more compelling full length movie. I did think the change of Ichabod Crane to a police officer was interesting and they had an interesting bit of “science vs supernatural/superstition” theme going there. However, the whole flashback scenes regarding Ichabod’s mother really didn’t make a whole lot of sense, even if they were meant to show that Ichabod had some experience with the supernatural before coming to Sleepy Hollow. The special effects were very well done and I loved the visuals involved in the movie, as the colors were mostly dark while even some of the brighter colors seemed a little muted except for the color red, which seemed visibly brighter most times and seemed to pop off the screen to be noticed. I also liked the bit of a running gag that seemed to occur with Crane constantly getting blood squirted in his face. While I will always have a bit of a soft spot for the original animated short, this is a fun movie to watch and definitely something for the Halloween season.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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