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10 More Bad Horror Flicks You Might Actually Like [NSFW]

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Ever hear the old theater adage "Dying is easy – comedy is hard"? I'm going to abuse that phrase to create my motto for today: "Finding bad movies is easy – finding fun bad movies is a bitch." Sure, we all know there's tons of crap to choose from, and the direct-to-DVD horror market is overflowing like a blocked-up porta-potty. You can thank affordable high-def video for that; filmmakers with grand ambitions, a few thousand bucks and absolutely no talent can now unload epic turds like Birdemic on helpless audiences. But even with that in mind, there's really only one line a film can't cross with me: the line between entertainment and boredom. Even if I'm laughing my ass off when the director expects me to be scared, at least I'm not reaching for the STOP button.  And if you read my previous list of crap classics, you'll know I had a blast watching every last one of them. Maybe you weren't so lucky... but remember, you were warned.

Before I begin, I reallize the whole "Turkey Day" bad movie theme has been done about six thousand times... hell, it probably dates back to the silent film era. But trust me, I've got a semi-logical reason for this one. In my previous list of glorious awfulness, I included the crap-tastic Thankskilling as one of the most entertainingly (and intentionally) ridiculous horror flicks ever made, and now it's confirmed that Thankskilling 2 is in the works. Sadly, it won't reach us in time to include on this list, but at least we have something to be thankful for next year... maybe. But for now, hold out your plate and get ready for a big pile of gooey giblets! [Note: some of these clips contain naughty bits]

Lifeforce

Anyone reading this probably agrees that Tobe Hooper's film career has been staggering like a frat boy on Bourbon Street for the past quarter-century. Sure, he gave us The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (and its first sequel, which I dearly love), and for that we praise him. But when Hoop's career jumps off the rails, it doesn't just crash... it explodes, killing hundreds of bystanders. This big-budget adaptation of the pulp sci-fi novel The Space Vampires had all the ingredients of awesomeness: a zombie takeover of the UK, a Quatermass-style twist on vampire lore, lots of cool gore and monster effects, and best of all, a stunningly hot vampire queen who does full-frontal for almost the entire movie. So why did it turn out such a mess? Some say the execs at Cannon Pictures mutilated Hooper's final cut, but the now widely-seen Director's Cut edition doesn't make any more sense, so that ain't it. I'm inclined to think it was Hooper's ambition that ultimately sank this ship: there are so many far-reaching ideas and unexplored possibilities here that it would have taken a TV miniseries to do it justice. What we got instead was a concentrated jumble of epic-looking stuff and boobies galore... wait, that's good, isn't it? Now I'm confused again.

Night of the Demon

I soooo wanted to include this insanely goofy Bigfoot gore-fest on my previous list, but sadly it wasn't available as a decent DVD release at the time. But thanks to Scorpion Releasing, it's time for a new generation of viewers to revel in one of the campiest, most hilariously awful low-budget horror flicks of the '80s. The plot of this clunker is not really important beyond placing our clueless young protagonists in the woods with a particularly hateful Sasquatch whose hobbies include killing and/or raping just about anything that even slightly resembles a human being. What the gore effects lack in quality, they more than make up in sheer volume and outrageousness. I don't want to drop any spoilers here, but let's just say the best scene involves an unfortunate drifter who never gets to finish taking his roadside pit stop... and don't forget the sleeping-bag death scene, years before they stole it for Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood. The monster itself looks like the result of a dumpster-dive behind a carpet warehouse. Most Bigfoot lore includes a reference to a hideous, nauseating stench that follows sightings of the creature... and I have a feeling this movie is the reason why.

Exorcist 2: The Heretic

I was on the fence about including this one, because I'm sure just about all of you have either seen it in its entirety, or at least heard rumors about how supremely, mind-bogglingly ridiculous this pretentious mega-budget flop turned out to be. But I just couldn't help myself, because it's one of the most hilarious failures in movie history. Seriously, how hard could it have been to find new scary possibilities in one of the most terrifying films of all time? As it turns out, pretty damn hard. Here's my theory: someone decided they had to explain, down to the last detail, everything that led up to the demon's possession of young Regan (Linda Blair, who looks really hot here), all the way down to the myths and occult lore of ancient Africa, where the demon once possessed a young boy. See, as FEARnet film scholar Drew Daywalt teaches us, when you start getting too deep into the "why" of horror, the element of the unknown is gone, and with it go all the scares. So what we're left with is Blair copping a feel from her psychiatrist and James Earl Jones in a locust costume spitting avocado pits at Richard Burton. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll laugh some more, and then maybe throw up a little. If you've got Netflix streaming, you can watch this cinematic atrocity right now... and don't forget to watch the ultra-groovy trailer!

Prophecy

Another fun junker that finally made my list, thanks to being reborn on widescreen DVD. Even if you haven't seen this one, you've probably heard about the cheesy melted-bear-suit monster and yet another sleeping bag death scene... I'm looking at you, Friday the 13th Part VII! Loosely adapted from the novel by David Seltzer, this preachy nature-gone-amok horror film (pretentiously subtitled "The Monster Movie") actually has a lot going for it scare-wise, at least when the beastie isn't on camera. The plot takes the classic theme of animals being mutated into man-eating horrors by toxic waste and mashes it up with a Native American legend about a monster summoned to avenge the destruction of the ancient forest. The concept might have looked great on the page, but when the monster finally appears... let's just say it's a little bit underwhelming. Considering this was a big-studio production with a strong cast and award-winning director John Frankenheimer at the helm, you have to wonder why they didn't spend a little bit more time and effort on their monster effects. But like I said, as long as it's not boring, it's got possibilities... and there are some scary scenes in this one which hint at the greatness that could have been.

Cursed

Like with Tobe Hooper, there's a love/hate thing going around the horror community when it comes to the film career of Wes Craven. Me, I feel like he's hit the mark enough times to make up for the less-than-stellar reception of films like My Soul To Take. But even Craven's most hardcore followers were scratching their heads over this semi-comic tale, which stars Christina Ricci and Jessie Eisenberg as siblings who learn that an unknown killer is actually a werewolf, then undergo their own full-moon transformations. I'm going out on a limb here to say that I had a lot of fun with this flick. Kevin Williamson's script is not nearly as clever as his work on Scream, and the show-offy CGI effects are mostly poop. But much like Joe Dante's far superior The Howling, it rolls around playfully in classic horror references, all the way down to Ricci choosing a silver replica of Lon Chaney Jr.'s Wolf Man cane as a weapon (remember, fellow nerds, the original cane was made of rubber). While I admit it's clunky and the humor falls flat (except for the Scott Baio jokes – I love a good Scott Baio joke), for some reason I still enjoyed watching the whole mangled mess.

Humongous

Why am I so thrilled that this strange, sleazy little slasher finally got an uncut, widescreen DVD release (Scorpion, again)? Is it because the VHS version was so damn dark that I couldn't even tell the characters apart and I'm praying that I can actually see what's going on this time? Or is it because it has the best slasher tagline ever ("God Help Us")? Maybe it's just my misplaced nostalgia for a time when a movie about a hairy mutant maiming teenagers on a fog-shrouded island could get a theatrical release – not to mention a supremely awesome movie poster depicting the monster peeking out of his crib beneath a mobile of human bones ("Here are the monster's little toys/Once they were little girls and boys"). Sure, the movie never quite delivers on the glorious promise of its ad campaign, but now that I can see what the hell's going on, I can say director Paul Lynch (Prom Night) gave it the old college try. While there are some fairly dull stretches with characters wandering around looking for clues – almost breaking my "don't bore me" rule – when the monster gets down to business, things get pretty intense and even surprisingly gory, especially in the unrated version. Plus there's a sleazy, unsettling atmosphere hanging over the whole affair that I consider a real bonus. Definitely worth a look.

Grizzly

Remember the post-Jaws era, where just about every low-budget exploitation filmmaker from all over the globe was hot to get their own oversized-animal monster movie into theaters? It seemed like there were thousands of them in the late '70s alone; a few actually made decent money... and nearly all of them were utter dogshit. But Grizzly, directed by the late, great William Girdler, stands proudly atop that pile of dung and declares itself Lord Emperor of Craptania. The producers were pushing this flick as Jaws on land, and apparently millions of ticket-buyers fell for it, because it made a fortune at the box office. But I can't imagine too many of those suckers going back for a second round. Let's face it: when you're selling a film on the basis of an enormous man-eating bear, you might want to at least cast a reasonably large bear in the role; the one they got didn't exactly look menacing, and never appears in any shots with his victims; the effects team basically made a big bear glove and slapped people around with it for closeups. (Strange but true trivia: there was a sequel in the works featuring a young George Clooney, Laura Dern and Charlie Sheen, but it was never completed. I'll let you decide if that's a good thing.)

Terrorvision

I don't know what the hell kind of movie they thought they were making here, but Terrorvision seems to be the product of the "throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks" school of horror comedy filmmaking. There are a lot of genuine laughs to be found in this jumbled mess of a movie, but they're the same kind of laughs you get when your heavily-medicated cousin tries to remember a dirty joke and ends up talking about the demon monkey that lives in his left nostril. But hey, funny is funny, and Terrorvision made me laugh. The story, if you can find it in here, involves a nutball family (including cult legends Mary Woronov and Gerrit Graham) whose satellite TV rig downloads an alien criminal imprisoned on a hidden frequency... or something like that. The alien, who looks like a giant booger with facial features, seems friendly enough at first, but reveals his true M.O. when he starts devouring and taking over the bodies of everyone he can get his tentacles on... snot, boob, vomit and gay jokes immediately ensue. Imagine John Carpenter's The Thing remade as a comedy by paint-huffing teenagers, and you've pretty much summed up this movie.

The Devil's Rain

What would a bad movie party be without the mighty Shatner? The king of operatic overacting gets to chew up acres of sandy scenery in this satanic thriller, one of a slew of devil films made throughout the '70s to capitalize on the popularity of Rosemary's Baby and The Omen. This one ranks among the all-time cheesiest – but it's also an incredibly good time, thanks to the whole movie completely losing its shit from frame one. You get flashy psychedelic effects, including a giant Fabergé egg with a built-in television set broadcasting live footage from hell (I'm totally serious), Ernest Borgnine as the lumpiest Satan ever portrayed on film, John Travolta as an eyeless zombie, Shatner screaming like a girl, and a climax that depicts the entire cast melting into Cheez Whiz. As an added bonus, Church of Satan founder Anton La Vey makes a cameo appearance as a masked priest at a sacrificial ceremony. Jeez, what the hell more do you want from your devil movie?

Bloodsucking Freaks

I was a little reluctant to include this one, because it's often used by uptight folks as an example of how horror films are demeaning to women. I don't agree with that idea at all, and that's another article altogether. But come on, now... how could anyone hold up this mega-sleazy pile (originally titled The Incredible Torture Show) as an example of anything except inept filmmaking? Shock value is this movie's only reason for existence, and one might argue that it's one of the few movies for which the term "torture porn" is dead-on accurate... pretty impressive, considering it was made in 1976. Either you find the image of an insane dwarf plucking out and eating a dead woman's eyeball to be morbidly amusing, or you don't; that's the long and short if it. There's no plot, just a premise: a mad showman tortures naked women to death in front of sold-out crowds, who marvel at the "realism" of his special effects. Which are, of course, not really effects, and... well, not very special either. This one would also cross my line of boredom, if it didn't remember to keep throwing bright red gore and naked asses in my face every five minutes or so. So you got that going for ya. Enjoy, and pass the gravy!

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