|I enjoyed both - but would you?|
The Child (1977) This is an ultra low budget horror flick from distributor Box Office International, run by the amazing Harry Novak. Harry would scope out movies like this and put them on the drive in circuit throughout the 1960's and 1970's. In this rather odd little movie, pretty young Alicianne has been hired as a nanny for a girl named Rosalie. Little Rosalie lives way out in the boonies in an old house with her crabby old dad and much older brother. Alicianne finds Rosalie to be a strange little girl who spends a lot of time in the cemetery down the road. Don't feel too bad for Rosalie, though, because she does have some friends. Friends who hail from that very same cemetery. Soon, everyone who makes Rosalie mad starts to die horrible gory deaths. With no real explanation, it seems Rosalie has some kind of funky control over the dead, willing them to crawl out of their graves and attack those she feels are responsible for the death of her beloved mom, which is pretty much everybody, including the old neighbor lady, the gardener, her dad, her brother, and eventually even the new nanny.
|It does say you're in danger too, my dear, right there...|
I enjoyed this movie's modest charms, though there's seemingly not much to recommend about it. The script is more a series of scenes than a story, and that lack of flow is not helped by director Robert Voskanian who keeps the pace pretty slow for the most part. One scene ends, another begins and there's no feeling or connection between them. The passage of time in the movie is poorly communicated. It's day, it's night, it's day again, but no time seems to have passed. The acting is not very good, and it's not helped by the fact that all of the dialogue on the soundtrack seems to have been dubbed back in later. On the plus side, there is a Halloween scene involving the scariest Jack O'Lantern EVER, the last twenty minutes are pretty zippy, the gore and makeup effects are nicely done considering the money involved, and there's a general air of dread about the movie starting from the early scenes that gave me enough to mark this one on the positive side of the entertainment scorecard. I'm not sure most would agree with me, so approach this one at your own risk. Something Weird's DVD release features several fun extras as well, including another zombie movie, two old film shorts and some wonderful 60's and 70's era radio ads for horror flicks played over a gallery of movie posters for the same kinds of movies.
2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams (First Look International, 2010) Five years after director Tim Sullivan rebooted/sequelized Herschell Gordon Lewis's second gore fest Two Thousand Maniacs, the gang got together again for a sequel, with Bill Moseley stepping in as Mayor Buckman for a nowhere-to-be-found Robert Englund. This time, the ghostly town of Pleasant Valley has diced, chopped, and slashed so many Yankee tourists they've drawn the ire of the local constabulary. So, they take their act on the road, eventually setting up a Southern style carnival in a field in Iowa. What luck that moments later a reality TV show starring two spoiled rich heiresses breaks down right on the edge of that field! From there, it's business as usual, as the randy and evil Southern ghosts wreak vengeance for their deaths at the hands of Union soldiers during the Civil War by killing the cast and crew of the reality show in spectacularly gory - though definitely comedic - ways. Who will survive and what will be left of them?
|Bill Moseley and Lin Shaye, flanked by a remarkably dverse group of Civil War era ghosts.|
For a lower budgeted sequel that trades lead actors - this turned out okay. Moseley is a fun replacement as Buckman, and a returning Lin Shaye is worth double her weight in gold as Granny. The notion of a Simple Life reality show is a little behind the times - the series had been off the air more than three years when this was made - but it's still funny. I'm not as much on the filmmakers making all the TV people jackwagons so we want to see them die - you can achieve the same gory and humorous effect with characters you care about - plus then the audience cares about them. Still, that's a quibble. If you liked the original (that's the Herschell Gordon Lewis one) or 2005 flick, there's enough zesty graphic violence and completely un-PC humor here to warrant a look. Not sure they could get a third one out of it - but if they follow the same timeline they have three years to get it made...
Thank you for your time, and please always remember - Kibbles and Bits is not alphabetical, but it is ingredientical.