This is another one of those horror anthologies like Cat’s Eye or Tales from the Darkside: The Movie. These seemed to be really popular in the 80s for some reason.
This is supposed to be a sequel to Creepshow, but it’s kinda stupid, because there is no story continuation from an anthology. It’s just a new collection. I guess the first one was popular and they wanted the name recognition. The first one actually had real actors. This one is full of virtual no-namers. The “continuation” of the first movie comes in the form of the comic book at the end of the first one showing up at the beginning of this one.
Each of the three tales is book-ended with a little underlying bit about a kid who gets that Creepshow comic and then a package of Venus Flytraps (“They eat meat”) before some bullies start bullying him. It starts and ends live-action, but turns to cartoon mid-way through.
The only tale that matters in all of this is the second one called “The Raft”. It still scares me to this day and I know exactly what’s going to happen. Two couples go to a secluded lake to hang out and get high on a raft when a mysterious black thing in the lake terrorizes them. If you have the opportunity, watch “The Raft” and skip the rest.
There has been a recent resurgence of deadly animal horror movies. It all began with Jaws in the 70s, built up steam with Barracuda, Orca, and Piranha, but fizzled out when there were no more scary animals to do. Fast forward to the 2000s and the really low budget SyFy movies started mixing and matching animals (Sharktopus?). Sharknado really blew up the “genre”, but before that, we had the 3D remake of Piranha in 2010.
While this is not as good as the new Piranha movie, it is not terrible either. There is a good mix of comedy, horror, and weirdness.
The plot is basically some college kids vacationing at a lake when they get caught up in a deadly money-making scheme to film shark attacks for a reality TV show. This is kind of a half-way decent idea, because it makes the evil sharks seem like pawns in a game perpetuated by evil human hilly billies.
There were a couple slow parts where it should have kept the pedal to the metal. Overall, though, it’s good enough to watch more than once and that’s saying a lot for these types of horror movies.
Not too long ago, I developed an obsession with Italian horror movies. What fascinated me was how scary and emotional these low budget productions could be. I wanted to see everything by Dario Argento after I saw Suspiria. The other component that interested me was the musical scores. Most of Argento’s movies were scored by Italian prog rock group Goblin.
This movie caught my attention early on, because it stars Donald Pleasance and Jennifer Connelly. The main premise involves a serial killer murdering girls at a Swiss boarding school where Jennifer Connelly’s character has just arrived. She also happens to have special powers that allow her to communicate/control insects. To solve the mysterious killings, she enlists the help of Donald Pleasance’s entomology professor character and his helper chimp.
The music is great, the story is mysterious, the movie carries an eerie tone, and there is enough uniqueness to make it memorable. The climax is particularly awesome.
This is kind of like the poor man’s Goonies with monsters. You got the Mikey main kid, the “cool” Mouth kid, the Chunk fat kid, and even the slightly older kid who looks out for the younger ones like a brother. The best part is the mother just happens to be played by Mary Ellen Trainor; the same actress who played the mother in The Goonies.
The plot revolves around these kids being the last hope for ridding the world of bad monsters. Dracula, The Mummy, Wolf-Man, Frankenstein’s monster, etc. show up to wreak havoc and find some amulet to give them power. The Monster Squad has to get the amulet first, so they can banish the monsters into some alternate dimension or something.
There are some fun moments and I loved the old school Pepsi logo product placement everywhere. This movie feels like it should be a classic, but I just never got that excited about it.
I remember seeing the box cover for this movie at the video store. It kinda freaked me out. The movie, however, falls flat on its ugly face.
There was entirely too much “story” trying to build up to the demons killing horny college students. When things got good, they were good. Like the lipstick scene and the boob-hands scene. Or the demon guy playing basketball with his own head. Or the kid with a Super Soaker and balloons filled with holy water. Then there is the nun who kicks ass for the Lord.
Aside from the slow beginning and stale acting, it’s got a lot going for it. Lots of gore, some consistent boob action, and some campy fun. This is what I expect out of a horror movie from the mid-90s.