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Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Ape (1940) - William Nigh

I really dislike monkeys as antagonists in movies, its bizarre I know, and I can't exactly tell you why I dislike bad monkeys. I just can't ever get into that storyline. Well I couldn't until now. The Ape from 1940 happens to be the ONE ape movie that I can really enjoy. This is in no way a good movie I am just a fan of the story here. It was really good.

Bela Lugosi stars as Dr. Bernard Adrian; a mad scientist who has vowed to save the life of a young woman struggling against polio. Meanwhile there is an escaped gorilla terrorizing the country side. Long story short the doctor ends up in a gorilla suit. Sorry for spoiling that for you. Just take it. Bela's acting is nothing short of amazing here and he really carries the entire film. It looks like it was really low budget and the whole idea behind the movie is ridiculous to the point that it is amazing.

The movie has very little in the way of violence or anything very scary; most, if anything happens off camera. Also the camera work is pretty raw, but that adds to the feel of the film. If you are a film buff like me and you like experiencing really rare pieces of film then I fully recommend this classic to you. This movie would make a great addition to any Boris Karloff collection.

The movie is also interesting to me because it is the first horror movie I have ever seen from the 1940's. This feels like progress. I am going to give The Ape a 6 out of 10. Check it out.

These cold eyes have watched a thousand men die screaming!

  • The film is based on a play 
  • This was the final film that Boris Karloff was under contract for with Monogram pictures. 
  • Film is also known as Gorilla 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Frozen (2010) - Adam Green

Frozen... well they can't all be winners now can they. I know that Frozen isn't a horror movie per se, but it was in the horror section on Netflix so I am going to stick to my guns on this one. Frozen tells the tale of three friends that go on a skiing trip together. Its all fun and games until they are stranded on the ski lift. To make matters worse they are stuck there for like a week. To make matters worse-worse they get caught in a blizzard. To make matters worse-worse-worse there are blood thirsty wolves waiting to eat them below the lift. To make matters worse-worse-worse-worse they start to freeze to death. To make matters worse-worse-worse-worse-worse the girl that tagged along has.. to.. pee!

See how annoying that was to read? Well picture it on the screen and you have seen Frozen. The acting isn't very bad, then again how hard can it be to sit in one place for an hour and a half. I hate this movie just for the fact that it is a one-upper movie. The entire time the situation just keeps getting worse (did I mention that?). It becomes comedic in fact. During the movie I stopped considering that these people were in danger and just started getting angry at the way they go about everything. They don't do anything that a normal person stuck in that situation would do. It is stupid.

Lets talk about the scary parts of the movie, well actually we can just talk about the lack there of. There is nothing in this movie that is even remotely scary. This isn't a horror movie, its thriller and suspense. Watching this movie is just about as entertaining as watching Open Water. Remember that one? At least in that one you couldn't see below you. In this one you can see everything. When it was all over the only thing I could think was "Who Cares?"

The lack of scariness and sunken storyline really make this movie a horrible addition to the list of horror movies I've watched. If you want to check this movie out I'd suggest paring it with Open Water and The Happening. Yup... those are the movies I recommend if you like what's going on in Frozen. I can safely give this film an easy 1 out of 10. Just skip over it and find something else. You have the power to do it!

I gotta pee

  • Dee Snider (Lead singer of Twisted Sister) had a cameo in the movie as a voice saying "The last chair is through" he was also in the horror movie Strangeland.
  • Horror icon Kane Hodder (the best Jason Voorhees) makes an appearance in the film as Cody.
  • Every character is named after someone the director knows. Aww isn't that sweet.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Empire of the Ants (1977) - Bert Gordon

Empire of the Ants is a celebration of old 50's Monster Movies and how the genre was absolutely terrible. You have ants that are blown up and superimposed in the background and actors that have to "fake it" the entire time. The movie is really awful and got progressively worse through out its duration. Some of the scenes with the monster ants are painful to watch, really, they are that horrible.

How does this happen? How can you cast veteran actors like Joan Collins (Dynasty) and Robert Lansing (Kung Fu: The Legend Continues) to star in a huge piece of crap like this? Well I guess its not hard, just offer them most of the money that you have been allotted to make the picture. Other than Joan and Robert the rest of the actors are laughable at best; to the point where I was actually relieved when certain cast members were killed. But, that's just one of the problems with the movie.

The movie is loosely based on a short story by H.G. Wells. It's main focus is on a group of tourists on a timeshare tour when they run into a bunch of radiated and mutated ants. Funny thing about the movie is that the ants are never the same size; they grow and shrink depending on the scene. In some cases Ants are as big as dump trucks, in others they are about the size of an average man. The director had trouble controlling the ants so in some scenes you have ants crawling on the sky or trying to climb up the sides of a tiny set. Its pretty eff'ng hilarious.

There is nothing in this movie that makes it actually scary, it is just a terrible film. I dare anyone to watch this movie and tell me that it was amazing! You couldn't! Its hard to fathom how this movie even made it to the big screen. And so I give this movie a 2 out of 10. It made me chuckle, and if you want to fit this one into a movie marathon I would sandwich this in between Eaten Alive and the original The Crazies.

I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords


  • For promotion for the movie, theaters would have ant-farms in their lobbies. 
  • The special effects are all just magnified shots of Bullet Ants.
  • There is a scene with ants walking on a pier to destroy a boat that is used in “It’s Tough to Be a Bug!” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida and Disney’s California Adventure in California.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

C.H.U.D. (1984) - Douglas Cheek

So its 2011 now... 2010 was a huge year for me with Horror Movie Project. Thanks to everyone who has visited and taken an interest in the site, and thanks to everyone who has linked to me. Thank you everyone on Rotten Tomatoes and Facebook for your cool support. Thank you Better Board. You guys rock.

So a good friend of mine suggested that we sit down and watch C.H.U.D. I had never heard of the movie before, so I agreed. We grabbed a couple beers and sat down to be entertained by the unknown.

The plot is pretty thin. There's an evil conglomerate that is dumping nuclear waste in the sewers of New York where a community of homeless people live. Naturally a few of the homeless mutated and became C.H.U.D.'s Cannibalistic Humanoid Underground Dwellers.

I couldn't have guessed that I would turn this movie on and see actors like Daniel Stern and John Goodman making cameo appearances. I didn't know that I would be taken by the movie's comedy whether it be intentional or not. There is nothing scary about this movie whatsoever; its more of a commentary on homelessness.

If you haven't seen C.H.U.D. go out and rent it; this movie is right at home in the corner of some dirty video rental place that still carries VHS sitting on the shelf between a copy of Captian America starring Dolf Lundgren and Crazy Fat Ethel 2. Movies like this make me wish I could turn back the clock and work at a video rental store in the mid 90's.

With all of the unintentional comedy and the lack of scary parts C.H.U.D. is an exceptional cult film; it is genius without even knowing it. C.H.U.D. is an 80's schlock movie through and through, but if you want something serious and scary look elsewhere. C.H.U.D. snags a 6 out of 10 from me. Daniel Stern makes the movie.

Gog... and Magog
  • Robert Englund (Freddy Kruger) was going to take the role that Daniel Stern filled, however he passed on it to take on Nightmare on Elm Street.
  • The first victim in the movie is Daniel Stern's actual wife.
  • In the Simpsons Homer says that he was attacked by CHUDs the last time he visited New York City.