Cult of Chucky Totally Worthy

Finally, something is new on Netflix that is worth watching. No, I’m not talking about “Death Note” and I’m definitely not talking about the hideous “Gerald’s Game.” I’m talking about “Cult of Chucky,” the seventh installment in the “Child’s Play” series and the best one in a long time. You want gore? This movie has the most gruesome decapitation since “The Omen.” You want mayhem? This is the wildest movie in the series. You want Brad Dourif and Jennifer Tilly back in their iconic roles? This movie has them. It was also canny to set the movie in a mental hospital, since the patients are schizophrenic so no one believes them when they see Chucky. Fiona Dourif, the star, shows some of the same talent as her dad. Alex Vincent, who plays Andy Barclay in the first two films, is also back starring in this one. How cool is that? I will not talk about the new plot developments in this film; I will simply say that it is definitely worth watching. Don’t miss “Cult of Chucky”!

Jeepers Creepers 3 Makes the Cut

“Jeepers Creepers 3” is a rip-roaring monster movie. Exuberant with its gore and humor, it concerns what happened with the creeper between the first and second films. It brings back three actors from the first one: Brandon Smith. Gina Philips, and, of course, Jonathan Breck as the Creeper. Also starring is the legendary, green-eyed Meg Foster, from such classics as “They Live,” “Leviathan,” (1989) and “The Emerald Forest,” as well as Stan Shaw, a character actor from “Rocky” and many others. The film concerns a massive attempt to hunt down the Creeper by law enforcement. As the hunt continues, many innocent people get caught in the cross-fire.

I enjoyed the film’s sense of humor and that it is an old-fashioned B-picture. Particularly amusing is a customized tank that is utilized to fight the creature, as well as the booby-trapped The Creeper vehicle (which two characters get stuck in). The special FX are not as impressive as in the first two, but the film is still a great deal of fun.

This is a very controversial film because director Victor Salva is a convicted sex offender in a 1988 case involving a boy in his film “Clownhouse.” His crime was quite heinous and he was lucky to receive only a 3-year prison sentence. That said, does that have any bearing on his films? No. Victor Salva makes entertaining films. “The Nature of the Beast,” “Powder,” and “Jeepers Creepers” are good films. So, to a lesser extent, is “Jeepers Creepers 3.”

I saw the film at a special one-time only show. A lot of people went to see this film, so they added a special show for Wednesday, Oct. 4. If you’re a fan of the series, go see it!

One last thing: after the film, they showed an interview with Jonathan Breck, the actor who plays the Creeper. His warm memories of making the films combined with his enthusiasm for his fans and the series in general sent those remaining in the audience out on an up note.

Friend Request OK Despite Cliche’

Sometimes you learn valuable lessons from schlock horror films. In the case of “Friend Request,” it’s this: don’t friend people on Facebook who you don’t know. The film is a German production in English and similar to 2014’s “Unfriended.” The film combines real internet fears with spooky “Omen” style death scenes. The pacing is fierce and the body count high as the ghost of an unpopular internet girl kills off our unlucky protagonist’s friends one by one, making them look like suicides. The film gives us the opportunity to reflect that maybe we should concentrate on real-world friends as opposed to internet ones. If you’re looking for a scary time and have already seen “It,” you could do worse.

I Dig “It”

We’re a little late with our review of the blockbuster film “It,” but, yes, it is a good horror film. Bill Skarsgard probably deserves award consideration for his portrayal of Pennywise the clown, and the actors who play the children are all good. The film does an excellent job of evoking childhood fears, not just of clowns and death but also bullying and social ostracism. Setting the film in 1989, as opposed to the novel’s 1959, is a masterstroke because it brings a large portion of the audience back in time; the New Kids on the Block references are priceless! At the end of the day, the film is not as scary as “The Shining” or as profound as “Stand by Me,” but it is nevertheless a well-done horror film that delivers the gory goods. When the little boy meets the clown at the beginning, it is particularly terrifying and gory. If you like Stephen King, horror, and creepy clowns, don’t miss “It”!

Warlock BluRay is Pagan Gold

Maybe I’m weird, but the most anticipated Blu-ray release for me this year was not “Rogue One” or “La La Land,” but instead “The Warlock Collection.” Part of the new Vestron limited edition collection series from Lionsgate, these films deal with a Satanic warlock who wants to end the world. The original film features Richard E. Grant as a witch-hunter from the 17th century who, like the warlock, is zapped into 1991. Only Grant and Lori Singer can prevent Julian Sands from destroying the universe by saying God’s true name backwards and thereby undoing creation.

 

Lori Singer plays “Kassandra with a K,” a buoyant woman from the valley who joins the witch-hunt via necessity (the warlock puts an aging spell on her) but gradually falls for the sincere Grant. This film is distinguished by distinguished locales, good performances, a healthy sense of humor, and a wonderful Jerry Goldsmith score.

 

Sands is pure evil, but you like him: his suave British charm is hard to resist. Grant shines in a rare sympathetic role; you may remember him as the villain from “Hudson Hawk” or as the alchoholic in the great “Withnail and I.” Singer is sexy and feisty; what happened to her? Mary Woronov from “Eating Raoul” and “Night of the Comet” has a small role. Overall, a great film that I regret missing in theatres.

“Warlock: The Armageddon,” an almost unrelated sequel, is lower-budget but just as much fun. This time, Sands is more directly related to Satan, and his powers are much more sinister. Born in an oddball fashion full-grown from some random woman, Sands must acquire the correct precious priceless stones to end the world. This he does by tricking people into giving him the stones, then killing them Freddy Krueger or Wishmaster style. He even turns somebody into a Picasso! Who can stop his nefarious plot? The Druids, of course. and two dorky teenagers played by Chris Young and Paula Marshall. You would think the Warlock would easily win, but you’d be wrong. It all concludes in mano-a-mano fashion, as the dorky teen turns out to have the right stuff. This film, like the first, has very interesting special FX and is made with a kit of charm. I did see this at the AMC Saratoga 6 in 1993, and I miss seeing genuine B-films at the cinema. If you like Julian Sands and ridiculous horror films, don’t miss this one. It’s from the director of the “Waxwork” films and “Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth.”

Finally, we have “Warlock III: The End of Innocence,” where the Warlock is now played by Bruce Payne because Julian Sands didn’t like the script. This movie is about a college girl (played by “Hellraiser”‘s Ashley Laurence) who inherits a haunted house but wants to keep it so she can find out about her family heritage. She brings several friends along, and soon they are all being tormented by the Warlock, who tortures all the friends until they turn on our heroine. This film was OK but I couldn’t get into it. It didn’t fit with the other 2 films, mainly because it was too serious. This one I would recommend watching just once.

There are, of course, more bonus features on this set than I can count,, but the main thing is that you get 3 very entertaining ’90’s B horror films, painstakingly restored, for about $25. This set is so entertaining you’ll be tempted to give your soul over to the warlock. Julian Sands is the best horror baddie since Vincent Price, and these films show that off-the-wall, non-cliché efforts can be very entertaining. Don’t miss this Blu-ray set!