NOTE: Sci-Fi Channel original movies were not considered eligible for this countdown out of fairness to the competition)
Starring Jennifer Jackson, Jennie E. Epstein, Jose Rosete
Directed by Cary Howe
Do you enjoy monster movies where people stand around or sit around or walk around or drive around and talk about what is supposed to be going on for lengthy periods of time?
If you answer yes, then you will enjoy this movie.
Do you enjoy monster movies where the monster’s P.O.V. is constantly shown as it scurries about stalking its victims, not because the filmmakers are trying to build any sort of suspense, but because the monster itself is actually an inanimate prop?
If you answer yes, then you will enjoy this movie.
Do you enjoy movies in general where the audio was recorded so low that even after cranking the volume almost all the way up it is still hard to understand what is being said in many scenes?
If you answer yes, then you will enjoy this movie.
Do you enjoy movies in general that feature overly long establishing shots that seem to be have been done so in such a manner only to help pad out the run time of a movie already overloaded with filler material?
If you answer yes, then you will enjoy this movie.
That movie for you is 666: The Demon Child, which is pretty much nothing more than a bunch of seemingly bored people spewing forth really banal dialogue while being stalked by seemingly endless monster P.O.V. shots. Maybe there’s some noteworthy dialogue in this movie and I missed it. I can’t be sure if I missed anything relevant because half the time I couldn’t make out most of what was being said because the audio kept fluctuating from scene to scene. I thought it might be a problem with the DVD, but considering the sheer amount of ineptness displayed throughout this film I can’t help but to get the sneaking suspicion that this problem was caused by someone doing an extremely shoddy sound job when filming the movie. It probably didn’t make that much of a difference anyway when you consider how awful the scripting and acting was to begin with. The occasional audio problems probably spared me the full brunt of this film’s awfulness.
666: The Demon Child appears to have been inspired by the early Seventies made-for-television creature feature Gargoyles. Much like that film, the plot here centers on the discovery of evidence proving the existence of some sort of ancient race that once lived in the American Southwest. Once again, the local Native Americans know the truth. Once again, there are secret caves up in the mountains. Once again, there’s an anthropologist looking for the truth. Once again, there’s a local with physical evidence of the existence of these creatures on display in a dilapidated shack. Once again, everyone’s life is in danger and the possibility of the ultimate destruction of mankind proves to be at stake. But unlike that classic television creature feature, this movie really, really, really, sucks.
The movie opens with the Native American doppleganger of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine wandering through the desert to an ancient ceremonial ground where he chants some stuff while being spooked by a demonic skeletal buffalo. After some more chanting, it goes away and he crawls through an opening into a cave where he appears to unlock some sort of supernatural padlock. This whole prologue where very little happens takes 8 friggin’ minutes!
We’re then introduced to our main characters traveling down the darkened roads of the desert inside their RV. About 90% of the movie will be set either inside of or just outside of this RV. We meet an old anthropologist that looks like Ralph Nader if he were a cooky mad scientist. He has a crazy theory about an ancient race of 12-foot giants that once roamed the American Southwest. His only real evidence supporting this nutty theory is a sword he discovered in this area. He theorizes that only 12-foot giants could have wielded it because of the way it was constructed. The only problem with that theory is that later on in the movie that sword will be wielded without any noticeable trouble by a skinny, under 6’ woman. Joining him on his quest to unearth more evidence of this race of mystery giants are the Mighty Boring Archaeology Rangers, a small group of young and late 20-somethings, each with less personality than the next.
Faster than you can say, “let’s do another bad horror movie cliché,” that old blonde indian from the beginning of the movie, carrying two large eggs that look suspiciously like disguised volleyballs, walks out in front of the RV and gets killed. And of course, one of the students decides to take one of the eggs with them, not telling the others and not knowing it’s about to hatch unleashing a killer demonic baby monster that looks like the It’s Alive baby only with satanic ram horns.
From there, boredom ensues. Actually, that’s not true. Boredom had already kicked in, but from here all we get are the typical array of cliched horror movie scenes. You get the scene where they try to drive away to escape from the creature and after only driving a few short miles they decide to stop and take a break only to get attacked by the monster again. You get the scene where they discover the monster has used it’s vast knowledge of automotive mechanics to disable the RV and so now they’re stuck out in the middle of nowhere and they have no way to notify anyone they need rescuing. You get the scene where someone tries to go hiking through the desert back to civilization to get help only to get killed by the monster. And then there’s my personal favorite, the scene where everyone decides to go stand outside the RV in the dark so that the really traumatized girl can be left all alone inside to take a relaxing shower. Gee, I wonder what’s going to happen to her?
It’s an hour into the movie before anyone finally picks up a weapon and decides to actually try and fight back. More importantly, it’s an hour into the movie before anyone in the group thinks that maybe that old wooden sword of the ancient giants might come in handy.
There isn’t an ounce of suspense in this film and that is a fatal flaw because it plays itself as a straightforward horror movie. Even as unintentionally funny schlock, it fails to entertain and for this film to fail to deliver on the cheese factor is almost hard to believe. The freaking demon baby is just a stationary prop that the actors are forced to hold up to whatever part of the body it’s supposedly biting or clawing at and then scream, squirm and, shake as much as possible to make it seem this inanimate object is mauling them. That’s amusing for about the first five seconds, but once you’ve seen five seconds of someone screaming their head off while clutching a bobble-headed demon baby doll close to themselves, the novelty wears off.
Just to put the exclamation mark on how utterly terrible this entire production is, let me describe the (allegedly) surprise ending to the movie, which they also managed to completely bungle.
The last remaining survivor of the group forces the last surviving Native American to take her to the super secret temple ruins of the ancient giants complete with two giant skeletons, all of which are sitting out in plain sight, yet have never been discovered by anyone prior. They crawl inside that mountain cave from the movie’s open and immediately the girl freaks out. Why? Because the cave is actually a giant egg chamber filled with countless demon baby eggs. As she screams hysterically, the Native tells her that all the nearby mountains are filled with these egg-filled chambers and they are just about ready to hatch meaning there will an infinite number of demon babies that will grow to be unstoppable 12-foot demon giants that will destroy mankind. This causes her to start having a mental breakdown as the film fades to black.
Unfortunately, there’s just one little problem with this twist ending. When it cuts to the matte painting of the egg-filled cave that is causing her to completely lose it, the matte painting they show us appears to be nothing more than a small, ordinary-looking cave without a single egg in it, at least none that I could see. We’re supposed to be horrified right alongside this poor woman as she’s just glimpsed that which will bring about the end of the world but there’s nothing there. Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! There’s absolutely nothing to see here and that goes doubly for the film as a whole!
The best tagline the distributors could come up with for the box art was “It’s not human.” They should have added, “It’s not much of a movie either.” In fact, 666: The Demon Child is the epitome of everything that is wrong with low budget monster movie making today, a complete waste of perfectly fine digital film.
Avoid at all costs.
0 out of 5
Discuss really bad movies in our forums!
EMANUELLE AND THE LAST CANNIBALS Blu-ray Review – Savagery & Sexuality From The Master Of Sleaze
Starring Laura Gemser, Gabriele Tinti, Monica Zanchi, Donald O’Brien
Directed by Joe D’Amato (Arisitide Massaccesi)
Distributed by Severin Films
After taking famed sex icon Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) to Bangkok (1976), America (1976), and Around the World (1977) legendary sleaze director Joe D’Amato decided to mash up two of Italy’s most notorious genres by sending his beautiful muse down to the Amazon rainforest, cinematic home to countless hordes of cannibal tribes. The Italian cannibal craze of the late’70s was just beginning to take hold, offering D’Amato a ripe opportunity to satisfy both the bloodlust and, well, regular lust of exploitation devotees worldwide. For the most part the film plays out expectedly, with a reasonably large group of people meeting in the Amazon and trekking off on a quest. By the end, that group has dwindled down to only a few members, all of whom probably have a lot of regret about traipsing through the jungle. Aficionados will get a bit of a “been there, eaten that” vibe from the film, which hits every trademark of the genre sans animal cruelty, but Emanuelle herself spices up this cannibal comfort food with an alluring performance capped off by one helluva genius ending. The film also holds the dubious distinction of showing a penis being eaten less than 15 minutes after the opening credits. You set a high bar, Joe.
When an unlucky nurse has half of her tit eaten off by a newly-arrived mental patient, a girl found in the Amazon jungles, journalist Emanuelle (Laura Gemser) infiltrates the sanitarium to score a hot scoop. Armed with a camera concealed within a baby doll head, Emanuelle surreptitiously snaps a few shots before making the new girl talk via… digital means – and I’m not talking technology. Emanuelle takes her information to Professor Mark Lester (Gabriele Tinti), a museum curator whom she hopes will fund her expedition. He agrees. Then, she goes and screws some random guy in broad daylight down by the river. Later, she comes back and has more sex, this time with Mark. The next day they leave for the Amazon.
Upon arrival, the two are met by Isabel (Monica Zanchi) and Sister Angela (Annamaria Clementi), both of whom have altruistic plans of their own in the rainforest. Their trek soon brings them across Donald (Donald O’Brien), a hunter who is on safari with his wife and a guide. Now that the film has brought together a large group of people, some of whom are more reprehensible than others, it’s time to pick them off and watch in delight as cannibals of the Amazon gut them, skewer them, and devour their flesh while the soothing sounds of Nico Fidenco play in the background.
So many of these Italian cannibal pictures feel interchangeable because the formula is incredibly simple – send a group of naïve outsiders into the Amazon and let an indigenous tribe kill and eat them, usually in the most horrific manner possible. What sets this film apart from so many others is in the title: Emanuelle. Gemser is not only easy on the eyes but she has this magnetic presence on screen, not because she is a great actress but her looks, abilities, and personality combine to create one of exploitation cinema’s most capable and sultry sirens. It is entirely due to her ingenuity here that anyone survives at all. She isn’t a rag doll, tossed around and used for sex and companionship; Emanuelle is a woman in charge of her own sexuality and she calls the shots. This film was made during a time when women were often used as set dressing or spent most of a film being subservient, so it’s a nice change of pace to have one in the lead who takes control and it feels natural, not forced.
Don’t go thinking this is some kind of strong female-led picture that celebrates womanhood or anything. D’Amato never likes to peer too high from his gutter view, and “Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals” is a sleaze sensation; a cornucopia of cannibalism and carnal acts that culminates in the titular heroine literally becoming a god… temporarily. D’Amato takes two of humanity’s greatest loves – eating and screwing – and builds a story around them. Besides all of the aforementioned fornication, nipples are eaten as an amuse-bouche, penis tartare is part of the starter course, a vagina makes unexpected friends with the business end of a machete, a woman is gutted like a deer, and one guy learns a thin rope can still be strong enough to tear the human body in half. Nobody gets out of this thing unscathed… except, maybe, for Emanuelle who seems unfazed by every atrocity the world throws her way.
Ugly films need beautiful music and the lush, soothing sounds of Nico Fidenco make for the ultimate dichotomy of relaxation and revulsion. Fidenco’s score is less the serene soundscape Riz Ortolani composed for Cannibal Holocaust (1980) and more of a funky, porno-lite trip down ‘70s Lane. Oftentimes the composers on these rough Italian pictures delivered scores that felt like they belong to something more refined and accessible, not a movie destined for banning in multiple countries and cut to ribbons in others. Fidenco provided the score for many entries in the Black Emanuelle series and while those films might be past their prime the music is completely timeless.
Severin has provided a new 2K scan from unknown elements, delivering a 1.85:1 1080p image that falls right in line with most of their catalog. The picture has been cleaned up enough to allow for high-def improvements in clarity and coloration to (mostly) shine through, while still retaining a gritty look to remind viewers this is still a grindhouse picture. Film grain is heavy and active, swarming the picture but never becoming noisy. Contrast is variable, as is sharpness, with some scenes looking closer to HD than others. Colors are accurate but a bit anemic, too, with only a few instances of truly popping against the ever-present jungle greens. Detail is swallowed up in darkness, so don’t expect to see much of it when night falls, which thankfully isn’t often. I’ll say one thing Italy sure does make for a fine Amazon stand-in.
Audio is available in both English and Italian DTS-HD MA 1.0 mono, both of which offer a similar audible experience. The standout here is unsurprisingly hearing Fidenco’s score in lossless glory. The ADR work is typically poor and obvious, but everything is understandable and there are no noticeable issues with hissing or audio damage. Subtitles are available in English.
The World of Nico Fidenco – The legendary composer sits down for a new interview, covering his career and the Emanuelle series. In Italian with English subtitles.
A Nun Among the Cannibals – Actress Annamaria Clementi provides a new interview about her role in the film and what it was like working with D’Amato. In Italian with English subtitles.
Dr. O’Brien M.D. – This is an archival interview with Donald O’Brien, who played the wild and wily hunter, Donald, in the film.
From Switzerland to Mato Grosso – Actress Monica Zanchi gives a new interview that covers her career.
I Am Your Black Queen is an audio-only archival interview with Gemser.
A theatrical trailer (in SD) is also included.
- BRAND NEW 2K REMASTER OF THE FILM prepared for this release
- English and Italian audio tracks, with optional English subtitles
- The World of Nico Fidenco – an interview with the composer (27 min)
- A Run Among the Cannibals – an interview with actress Annamaria Clementi (23 min)
- Dr. O’Brien MD – an interview with actor Donald O’Brien (19 min)
- From Switzerland to Mato Grosso – an interview with actress Monica Zanchi (19 min)
- I Am Your Black Queen – an audio commentary by actress Laura Gemser (11 min)
- Original trailer
There is no point to making complaints about plotting when watching a film with this title. D’Amato promises viewers nothing more than a sleazy time intended to induce equal parts creep and kink into a span of time. Severin’s release offers a cleaned-up picture and a solid selection of extras that catch up with a few of the principal cast and crew.
KAET MUST DIE Review – A Game Worthy Of Its Title
Available on PC through Steam
Rated T for Teen
If you are looking for a new survival horror game that is both challenging and irritating, then Kaet Must Die could be your new obsession/torture. The indie game is set in an underground sewer where you are Kaet, a psionicist cyber punk trapped by a “blood witch” named Annalinnia. The objective is to figure out how to escape the ‘dank’ sewer before time runs out and Annalinnia takes your life. Along the way you’ll have to tiptoe over comatosed zombies and frighten off Jawa like creatures with light you absorb from glowing mushrooms. And that’s about it. The game was created and developed by Strength in Numbers Studios Inc., a fairly new gaming company in the world of survival horror.
Now, I normally don’t play these types of survival games. As a novice in the indie survival genre, the experience of trying to complete the first level of Kaet Must Die was quite tedious. Now this is to be expected, as their advertising makes it quite clear that the good folks at Strength In Numbers studios are shooting for the “difficult games are fun” crowd. They give the player plenty of warning that they will need more than luck to survive. Yet here I am to tell you that the first level is possible to get through regardless of what difficulty you select. It just might take a few hunderd tries.
The game starts you off in the underground sewer with Kaet’s sanity at ten (read “sanity” as “health bar). Kaet’s sanity will drop when not in lit areas, another reason why you need to collect the glowing mushrooms. Having six minutes to follow the clues and find the skulls before time runs out gets tricky, especially when Anna comes for you by randomly generating around the map until luck is no longer your friend. Levels will become progressively more difficult, and your time limit changes depending on the size of the map. It’s not terribly complicated, but also not terribly exciting.
There are a few upsides to Kaet Must Die. Like every good survival game, Kaet Must Die has decently immersive visuals and sound. The look and feel of the game is much more appealing than some, from the detailing of the zombies to the sewers you land yourself in. Not that sewers are a pretty place to be in, but they have a solid fantasy/horror vibe. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of cohesion to the various sub-par lights and average shapes. It can be downright impossible to tell where things are around you. You’ll want to keep your ears open, as frustration will become all too familiar when you are too late to hear the gentle snoring of a zombie or the disturbing giggle of the Jawa-like creatures.
I would say that it’s nice that they at least let me change the controls, but for some reason they don’t save when you quit the game. The only settings that stay exactly where you set them are the basics for resolution, sensitivity, and graphics. Now, what is not so frustrating is that after you get killed three or four hundred times, the skulls that you need to escape Anna won’t randomly be somewhere else when you restart the level. Another upside is that as you slowly start to regain Kaet’s powers, you will finally be able to slow down the creatures and make your way to exactly where you need to go. One of Kaet’s powers is the classic stun. Using this power to stun any monster in place for at least five seconds was a relief, and gave me time to focus at the task at hand. Like the mushrooms, Kaet’s stun powers need to be recharged by absorbing puddles of glowing red blood. Simple, right? Well, sort of. Clues left behind hint that the blood makes you more powerful, but also slowly kills you.
For anyone who is not typically good at horror survival games, this isn’t for you unless you have the patience of a saint. The difficulty comes in three flavors: Challenging (Easy), Difficulty (Normal), and Nightmare (Hard). If you’re one of those people that absolutely must have a zombie apocalypse survival plan for any possible situation, you’ll probably find some enjoyment from Kaet Must Die. For everyone else, I would wait for a Steam sale. There are 10 levels to get through to beat this game, but have fun and good luck getting past level 1.
This indie survival game is too irritating to play. Kaet Must Die is near impossible to finish and it’s not a lot of fun no matter how many times you die..
BAD SAMARITAN Review – The Good, The Bad, And The Incredibly Sexy UK Men
Written by Brandon Boyce
Directed by Dean Devlin
Let’s face it, you should be a bit reluctant to leave your car with a valet. Nevermind them taking your CDs and discarded fast food wrappers. What if you check your previous destinations and find that they didn’t just go straight to the parking lot? Well, assume that valets do exactly that, but they end up doing it to a psychopath. Bad Samaritan is exactly the kind of horror story crooked valet drivers should fear.
Sean Falco (Sheehan), is a struggling artist working as a part time valet driver. Sean and his best friend Derek (Olivero) come up with the clever scheme to use their valet access to burglarize the homes of wealthy customers. All is sunshine and grand theft until they decided to rob the wrong man. One night, the arrogant wealthy businessman Cale Erendreich (Tennant) pulls up in a Maserati. Sean jumps at the chance to make the score of his life. The burglary goes smoothly until Sean discovers a woman (Condon) chained up against her will. Unwilling to help her in fear of going to jail, Sean leaves her behind. Naturally conflicted by this decision, a guilty conscious isn’t the only thing that Sean has to deal with. Not super pleased that his house has been broken into and secret found out, Cale does everything in his power to tear Sean’s life apart piece by piece. To redeem himself, Sean embarks on a quest to get the girl back and in the process learns what kind of man he really is.
The highlight of the film is David Tennant’s portrayal of the Bad Samaritan himself, Cale Erendreich. Much more than just a cutthroat corporate businessman with a bondage fetish, this private man has quite a few secrets of his own. Returning home from a normal night out and finding his inner sanctum has been compromised, he quickly covers his tracks before Sean even involves the police with his ‘correction’ process. Tennant excels in his performance, ditching his natural charm for a devious intellect that just makes you squirm. Of course this isn’t the first time we’ve seen Tennant play the baddie, but Erendeich is an entirely different beast from Killgrave. Between Bad Samaritan and the verbal manipulator he played in the Marvel Netflix series Jessica Jones, Erendreich is both more grounded and diabolical than Killgrave. Erendreich is much closer to reality, a chilling man that you could all too easily read about on your morning news feed. He can blend in with the crowd without the use of mind control and has the kind of monstrous intellect that is only revealed to those who cross him.
A villain is nothing without its hero, and Robert Sheehan’s performance as Sean Falco was an excellent match for his creepy counterpart. Prior to Bad Samaritan Sheehan’s most memorable breakout role was on the BBC television show, Misfits, and his ongoing film/television career in upcoming projects such as Mortal Engines and an upcoming Netflix series, The Umbrella Academy. Sean doesn’t initially seem to be the hero type. Hell, he leaves a girl chained up in a psychopath’s house. That’s some swipe-left shit. But hey, no one’s perfect. He’s just a regular guy in a bad situation, and as the film goes on he slowly starts filling the shoes he’s found himself in. No matter who or what Sean loses in the process, his goal throughout the entire film is to save the girl he left behind. He’s not just proving to the audience that he’s the good guy, he’s proving it to himself.
Now if you’re looking for buckets of blood in your crazed killer films, then Bad Samaritan will leave you disappointed. The gore is mild, with little more than a few dead bodies here and there. Not to say that the film is without some solid murder. There’s solid action when Erendreich goes after Sean’s loved ones, and the film is thoroughly intense throughout. Still, if you’re looking for a slasher movie to throw on at a party, Bad Samaritan won’t fit the bill. That being said, it’s a great gateway horror film for those just sticking their toes in the bloody waters.
Bad Samaritan had everything that you could ask for in a horror/thriller, having a well balanced story, the right amount of jump scares to give you that surge of adrenaline, and strong characters portrayed by a talented ensemble. This was a solid directorial debut for Dean Devlin and I look forward to seeing what else he does with the horror/thriller genre. Maybe next time starring Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi. *Swoon*
An enjoyable experience with a talented cast, Bad Samaritan is worth checking out just for the performances. It’s a thrilling battle of wits and wills, but it ultimately doesn’t break the mold.
- Rottenjesus The only reason it's dark is because the DU is dead and it's never coming back.
- Jack Derwent Slappy Halloween was a much better title.
- Nicholas McCrae Kimble Excuse me, but, Toho did the cinematic universe thing first. The Showa Era movies. From Gojira, Rodan, Varan, Mothra, Godzilla vs Mothra, Ghidorah The Three Headed Monster (which had Godzilla, Mothra...
- TheRedHood Great list. Lately I've been listening to Tremble https://threeangrynerds.com/category/tremble/ And Return To Camp Blood http://campbloodpodcast.com
- Steven Millan Hopefully,the majority of those films(and novels) that Fangoria will release under their fourth(or is that fifth) new media entertainment label will be an awful lot better than the large majority of...
Join the Box of Dread Mailing List
Fantaspoa 2018: Cinestate Adds To Fangoria Presents With SKULL – THE MASK
Interview: Composer Olivier Deriviere Talks Us Through VAMPYR’s Soundtrack
Exploring a Variety of Horror in Japanese Anime
Dread Central and Scream Factory Present the SUMMER OF SCREAMS Tour: Kissing Candice Haunts The Stage
New HEREDITARY Poster Morphs Into a Nightmare
Brad Dourif Confirms CHILD’S PLAY TV Series
6-HEADED SHARK ATTACK and MEGALODON Details Surface from The Asylum
Quick Update on THE VAMPIRE CHRONICLES TV Series; Pilot Is Written But Fuller Is Out
Exclusive: END TRIP Trailer Will Make You Delete Your Uber App
Epic Stephen King DVD Collection Coming Soon For $20
Exclusive: ANOTHER SOUL Trailer Possesses All Who Watch It
Exclusive: Travel Into the Recesses of Space With This LOST IN SPACE Soundtrack Video
Exclusive: COURT OF THE DEAD Gallevarbe Premium Figure Reveal From Sideshow Collectibles
Exclusive: Video Calls Are Never Going to Feel The Same Thanks to THE NURSERY
Exclusive: Venture Into Body Horror With This SEQUENCE BREAK Trailer
News4 days ago
Stephen King Releases Free Short Story LAURIE
News6 days ago
These Publicity Stills and Shots From 1950’s Horror Movies Are a Blast From the Past!
News6 days ago
Bad Robot’s Nazi-Zombie Horror Movie OVERLORD Lands Hard R Rating
News5 days ago
THE HAUNTING OF NICOLE BROWN SIMPSON – More Details Come in
Editorials3 days ago
FORBIDDEN ZONE and Political Correctness
News5 days ago
Brutal Trailer Hits for Lars von Trier’s THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT
News5 days ago
Netflix’s LOST IN SPACE Returns for Season 2
News3 days ago
Exclusive: Things Aren’t What They Seem in the Short Film INTO THE MUD