It's finally Halloween! As I explained here, I failed to get most of my Halloween reviews done. I can stilll talk about Halloween though.
It isn't really celebrated in Australia much, much to my chagrin (it's mainly horror/supernatural stuff on TV, and dumb kids going around the street trick or treating, not knowing that no-one (and I mean no-one) over here has any candy for them! Bwahahaha!). This Halloween though, there's been barely anything Halloween related on TV! Grrrr!
Other than watching certain movies, a Halloween tradition of mine has been to watch entire supernatural/horror shows on the one day! In 2010, I watched Dead Gorg...Err, I watched NOTHING! I'll never tell! I never watched that show!-In 2011, I watched most of Season One and Two of the awesome comedy show Big Wolf on Campus (a reliable source tells me that Season Three sucks big time!)-And this year, I watched all thirteen episodes of Powers!
Now to talk about some of the horror/paranormal TV shows that I used to watch, so many years ago, when I was a kid!... Powers
Powers was a British show about the Powers institute, a bureau that specializes in the paranormal. Working there are Professor Powers, Dr. Mary Holland, Mark (telepathic and telekinetic), and Song Li (telepathic, telekinetic, and an empath [the ability to sense things like feelings or events, from touching either people or objects]). It was about the team solving various paranormal cases, getting caught up with aliens, robots, ghostly knights, dreamscapes, alternate dimensions, time loops, etc. It was a fun show (with a cool theme!) but despite being popular with audiences and critics, it only lasted one season, and it has never been released on VHS or DVD.
Now this is a show that I've never actually seen (just perused its webite (which included episode trailers) constantly and played the kinda ok-kinda crappy tie-in onlinbe game series based on it, years ago), because it's never been released on VHS or DVD. In fact, I'm not sure if this one has even broadcast outside of Canada! Despite never having seen it, it seemed very interesting to younger me, and to now me, especially with its awesome (in my opinion) theme!
What 11 Somerset is about goes thusly-Teens Oliver Marsan (son of a famous writer of supernatural books) and Laurie Lamera get involved with supernatural stuff. Yeah, that's about it.
Now this was a very interesting show! It was a mix of stop motion effects, puppetry, and real life actors! It was awesome! As for whether the show was any good or not, well, it's been a decade since I've seen it, so my memory just *might* be *slightly* hazy, but I remember it being good! Unfortunately it was never brought back for a second season and beyond, nor has it ever been released on VHS or DVD.
It was about a group of kids who solve paranormal crimes. Yeah, that's it, basically.
Seriously Weird was about Harris (played by Ryan Cartwright, who was in stuff like Hardware (a British comedy show), and various random episodes of Bones), a regular guy, who solves a mystical stone tablet thingie puzzle, gets sucked into and alternate dimension, and meets a god named Steve. Steve is cordial at first, but is insulted when the skeptic Harris keeps saying that he isn't real, and curses him. Harris is flung back to the real world, and every episode, he encounters some kind of weird thing, from mermaids, to yoghurt monsters, dog spirits, psychotic dream gameshow hosts, and evil angels who want to get their devil horns (a reverse Clarence!).
Powers and Phantom Investigators both share a quality that Seriously Weird doesn't have for the most part-Those two shows are good!
The first ep of SW was great! The second was cool, and kinda-creepy (going by my memory from ten years ago), but it just went downhill from there! The show was constantly embarrassing to watch, and good eps were few and far between. And the show lacked Steve the God! He was barely in it after the first ep, which sucks, because he was cool!
You'll have noticed a trend with all of these! None of them (I'm not sure with Seriously Weird, but I'm pretty sure) are available on VHS or DVD! They're lost to the world uness someone uploads them onto Youtube! (As someone has thankfully done with Powers). And I am not kidding when I say lost to the world! I have tried to find 11 Somerset-on eBay, on youtube, online, anywhere, but it's nowhere!
Well that's enough out of me. Happy Halloween, and may Conal Cochran kill all kids with the powers of Sauwon (Samhain) and Stonehenge!
"Do I need a reason? Mr Cupfer was right you know, I do love a good joke, and this is the best ever-a joke on the children! But there's a better reason. You really don't know much about Halloween. You thought no further than the strange custom of having your children wear masks and go out begging for candy! It was the start of the year in our old candy clans, and we'd be waiting-in our houses of wattle and clay. The barriers would be down, you see, between the real and the unreal. The dead might be looking in, to sit by our fires of turf. Halloween-the festival of Sauwon! The last great one took place three-thousand years ago, when the hills ran red, with the blood of animals and children. Part of our world. Our craft. To us it was a way of controlling our environment. It's not so different now. It's time again. In the end, we don't decide these things, you know, the planets do. They're in alignment, and it's time again. The world's going to change tonight, Doctor, I'm glad you will be able to watch it.-...And...happy Halloween!..."
Conal Cochran-Halloween III: Season of the Witch
I was planning on getting 31 reviews up this month-one for each day of halloween, but my internet (and phone line) died for about a week, so that put a dent into that plan, and reviewer burnout did the rest. So, yeah, sorry to all who were expecting talk on Australian grindhouse flicks, Lovecraftian horrors with crap endings, or Jason taking Canadian New York, but rest assured, those reviews will all come in November, as will my 7 movie Bandit-thon, which my participating in the Camp and Cult Blogathon, and my Halloween reviews postponed.
There are many horror films out there that are severely underrated-Take for example, Messiah of Evil (yes, I'll be getting to that later this month...). For some reason, I assumed Tales from the Crypt( an anthology horror series that was like a mix of The Twilight Zone and Creepshow)'s Bordello of Blood was such a movie. And was my assumption right? Hell yeah it was! This movie is great fun!
Bordello of Blood opens with a man, Vincent (Phil Fondacaro) and a group of Mexicans trekking through a South American forest, looking for something that, according to Vincent, is the greatest treasure in the world. The group eventually come across a cave, where they find a casket. Vincent opens the casket, which contains a decomposed body.
Vincent explains to the others that the body is Lilith, 'the meanest bitch in the world'. He takes out a box which contains the four segmented parts of Lilth's heart. He makes the pieces reconnect and he puts the heart into Lilth's body.
While nothing happens at first, Lilith (Angie Everhart) soon comes back to life and kills most of the group via heart chomping. Vincent shows Lilith a magical key/talisman (that apparently featured in the previous Tales from the Crypt movie, Demon Knight, which I haven't seen) and lets her kill the last other guy is she 'behaves.' So what happens to the last guy, you ask? It involves Lilth's super tongue, and the guy's crotch! Ouch!
After that, the film cuts to the Cryptkeeper (the TftC's host) [John Kassir], who's stuck in a boring conversation with the mummy (William Sadler). The two start up a rock/paper/scissors game which involves the loser getting their limbs hacked off. After the Cryptkeeper loses a hand (much to his delight), he starts off the rest of the movie...
The movie starts again proper at the house of Katherine (Erka Eleniak), a televangelist worker whose brother Caleb (Corey Feldman) is an off-the-rails punk type. After a fight, Caleb leaves.
Later that night, Caleb and his friends are at their local hangout-a bar, and they're playing a type of dart game that all men no doubt despise (ouch!!). A crazy bug-eyed biker guy approaches them telling the gang as 'subtly' as possible about a nearby bordello, called the 'Cunningham Wake' and where it is. While a couple of the gang don't want to go (thanks to the weird guy's insane behaviour), Caleb and one of the friends do.
The two go to the address and arrive at a funeral home, where a creepy old guy, McCutcheon (Aubrey Morris) leads them in after they mention the Cunningham Wake. He directs Caleb and the other into another room, where he forces the two to get into a coffin at gunpoint. He sends the coffin down through a crematorium, where it slides through, coming out into the bordello.
In the bordello is lots of gals, plenty of boobs, and the two think they're in heaven. The friend goes off with one of the women and is taken to a private room. After some foreplay with the hooker, Lilith comes in and rips the guy's heart out with her tongue (Horror Film Survival Lesson No. 666: Don't ever pash an ancient immortal demon vampire!)
Several days later, Katherine is at at a police station wanting help to find Caleb. She doesn't get any though, because the cops are too busy with several other recent several missing persons cases. Someone in the station (Dennis Miller) overhears her troubles and introduces himself as Rafe Guttman. After insulting the police (dude, they're not ignoring Kat, they're busy with other cases, you prick!), Rafe convinces Katherine to hire him to find Caleb.
Rafe goes to the bar Caleb and co. were at before, and he talks with Zeke, one of Caleb's friends. He mananages to get the address for the funeral home/bordello, and afterwards, he checks it out, and attends a funeral. The funeral seems normal, albeit the crazy bug-eyed biker dude, who's also attending.
Next, Rafe goes to watch Jimmy 'JC' Current (Chris Sarandon), the televangelist who Katherine works for.
Later that night, Rafe goes back to the bar, where Crazy Guy recommends (played by the actor (I don't know his name) with all the eye-popping subtlety of Graham Crowden) the 'Cunningham Wake'.
Rafe goes to the funeral home to investigate, and after being shooed away by McChutcheon, who says that the wake is closed, Rafe sneaks in, and after some investigating, finds a piercing that belonged to Caleb.
After showing the piercing to Katherine, who recognizes it, Rafe goes back to the funeral home the following night. This time, he is let in, and he is sent down into the bordello. He hooks up with one of the women, Tamara (Kiara Hunter). Tamara takes Rafe down to a dungeon room, with a big...um...thing. She seductively pricks Rafe, while he talks, and he tricks her into getting strapped onto the...thing. Rafe gets out, but unknowingly drops his wallet.
Rafe gets out of the bordello's crematorium entrance (By splashing wine over the fire and extinguishing it-How the hell did that work?!) and escapes the building.
After tasting Rafe's blood off of Tamara's fingers, Lilth goes to Rafe's home, while Rafe tries to convince Katherine that something supernatural is afoot. Soon enough, JC's involvement with the vampires is uncovered...
Bordello of Blood is definitely a load of fun! It's a shame that not many people saw it in theatres, and got it a bad reputation thanks to critics.
To start with, I found lead actor Dennis Miller to be really annoying, but he became fun after a while, and he gets some fun lines too!
Zeke: "Step outside!"-Rafe: "Not right now, I'm just not in the mood for a blowjob."
uh, Lilith, I'm reasonably sure you're the type of woman who's never
heard the expression half-cocked, but that is exactly what this gun is."
The film does have its share of bad dialogue too though...
Lilith: "I just love a man who gives you head, then lets you keep it!"
Rafe: "I feel like I'm in a bad Tales of the Crypt episode."-Not funny, movie, not funny!
The film is at its most insane fun near the end at the bordello!-It inlvolves super-soakers and The Sweet's Ballroom Blitz!...
The acting is all good, from Dennis Miller's wisecracking private eye, to the bitchy Katherine (she has a problem with strip clubs and porn, guys, she is not a good film heroine!), to Chris Sarandon's overacting, Phil Fondacaro, and Angie Everhart as the main villain. Corey Feldman is fun too, but doesn't get much screentime.
The special effects range from decent to bad (the only real bad ones that I remember were fire effects near the end). The gore effects are very good, with hearts being ripped out and eaten, Lilith's original form, Lilith bein destroyed, etc.
Probably Bordello of Blood's biggest problem is the ending! It's really stupid and makes zero sense! If X was a Y, then why did she 10110011001?
Also, I find the Cryptkeeper to be really annoying!
Definitely an oddity is a cameo by Whoopi Goldberg of all people!..
So, in closing, while by all acounts Demon Knight is much better, I still recommend Bordello of Blood to horror fans everywhere! It's a heap of fun!...
Man, it's been a while since I've reviewed a good ol' slasher film! The last one I did was for Friday the 13th Parts II, III and IV, back in April! Now I have Fred Walton's 1986 kinda-slasher April Fool's Day!...
April Fool's day is about Muffy St. John (Deborah Foreman), a rich college student, who invites all of her friends to her father's private island for a weekend april fool's day party. While starting off fun, the weekend soon starts to take a sinister turn...
The movie opens with a bunch of college students talking to a video camera (Nikki: "I wanna work with handicapped children, my parents are my best friends. Oh, and I start convent school next semester...And I fuck on the first date!-April fool's!"). Everyone is waiting at the docks, waiting for the ferry to come and take them to Muffy's island.
The remaining people arrive and everyone gets on the ferry as it leaves. There's couple Kit (Amy Steel from Friday the 13th Part II) and Rob (Ken Olandt), Arch (Thomas F. Wilson-Biff! "Hey McFly! Are you in there, McFly?!"), Chaz, (Clayton Rohner), funny man (and proud owner of a hairstyle that people the 80's didn't think looked awful!), prim girl Nan (Leah Pinsent), kinda-slutty Nikki (Deborah Goodrich), Skip (Griffin O'Neal), Muffy's cousin, and Harvey/Hal (Jay Baker), a Southern rich-kid classmate of Muffy's.
During the boat ride to the island, the gang talk-Chaz: "Hi, what are you reading?"-Nan: "Milton's Paradise Lost...What about you?"-Chaz: "Treasure Island: The History of Pornography in America!"-and play pranks on each-other. A prank with a fake knife ends with four of the guys in the water, and they all get out, save for Buck, the boathand, who's still trying to get back onto the ferry when it hits the island's dock...
When the boat docks, Buck's face is half torn off by the propeller. He's taken back to the shore by a policeman who was on the scene, and the group make their way to the island's big house.
Acting all chipper, as if they didn't just see a guy get his face ripped off, the group walk around th ehouse, crack jokes, and one mentions Agatha Christie! Yeah, these guys know who Agatha Christie is! These are my kind of people! (If you ask any of my generation who she is, you'll just get blank stares-and for those who thinks that Agatha Christie is unimportant, well let me tell you that my generation also mostly has blank stares for things like Alice Cooper, John Carpenter, and other inexcusable-to-forget things! My generation mostly sucks!).
After some more funny scenes, the film cuts to later that night. Everyone's having dinner, falling for chair pranks, and howling at the moon (yeah...), and they all make a toast.
Later, everyone goes to their rooms, and they find various strange things-Harv's has news articles about tragedies, i.e. a boat crash, a fire, etc., Arch's room has a drug syringe and other related stuff, Nikki's has an S&M dog collar and chain, Nan's has a recording of a crying baby, etc.
Meanwhile, Skip is outside, doing random stuff, when he's attacked and apparently killed by an unseen figure. The next morning, Kit and Rob go to a lakeside cabin to have sex, and they see Skip's body through the floorboards, floating on a boat. They run back to the house to tell everyone what they saw, and Rob, Arch and Chaz go on a search for Skip.
Arch is caught up in a trap and apparently killed (the words 'apparently killed' will be typed a lot during this review!), and Muffy begins acting strange. The house's tap stop working, and Harv and Nikki head off for a nearby well to get some water.
Their bucket and torch both end up falling into the well, and Nikki climbs down to get them. Down in the well, she sees the dead bodies of Skip, Arch, and Nan...
April Fool's Day is a very polarizing slasher fim (like Lucio Fulci's Murder Rock), some, like me, love it/like it, while others find it boring. I can see where they're coming from, as the film is very slow-moving, and mostly made up of talking. I don't mind, however, because I find the characters so much fun! I could watch a whole movie of just them talking...Well, I did watch nearly a whole movie of them talking!
One character, despite being likable, is kind of a bitch though-Muffy St. John! How she still has friends I don't know! She puts drug material in the room of Arch, who might have been a former drug user or not (the movie never says), and she puts the crying baby recording in the room of Nan, who recently had an abortion. YOU'RE A BIIIITCH, MUFFY! Come the ending, I'm surprised Kit didn't stab Muffy in the face and tear her to shreds!
The film's main problem is the film's tone. After Buck gets his face 'ripped off', the atmosphere is dark...for a few moments, then for the most part, everyone acts like it never happened, and they have fun with their pranks and other stuff.
Another example is late in the movie, when Chaz is trying to stop Nikki from leaving the house to go the docks on her own. He's serious for most of the scene, then he starts acting goofy, making Nikki laugh, and making me go 'guys, three of your friends are dead!'.
A little problem I have with the film's ending is with the very end. SPOILERS!
Muffy goes away from the party to her room, where she sees a jack-in-the-box. She rolls it up, and as it pops out, Nan jumps out from behind and slits Muffy's throat!...With a fake knife!-"April fool's!". Now my problem isn't with the ending itself, but with how Nan is done up. She's wearing something totally different from before, and her hair is tied and straightened back-I could barely recognize that it was Nan!
Speaking of the twist ending, I don't have a problem with it. Sure, it's kinda a cheap shot of an ending, but I like it. I guess that's mainly due to how much I liked the characters-I had no problems with the fact that none of them actually died. What I enjoy especially is after Muffy's explanation (she's going to set the island/house up as an inn with a horror story theme, and she was testing out its effectiveness), everyone parties to Three Dog Night's Mama Told Me (Not to Come)!
April Fool's Day's soundtrack is great!, from the kinda-creepy melodic opening theme, to the tense music, to the finale with Mama Told Me (Not to Come), and the funny end credits song!
The movie has some fun dialogue too!-"Guy, your fly is open and your hostess twinkie is hangin' out!"-"Arch is sweet, but he only has two expressions-collar up and collar down."...
Another great, GREAT thing about April Fool's Day is the scenery! It's awesome!
The acting in AFD is all good, with Amy Steel being cool as the kinda-final girl, and everyone else being good in their roles.
The 'violence' is all decent, but there isn't much. Pretty much the only graphic part is when Buck gets his 'face ripped off'.
So yes, I definitely recommend April Fool's Day! It's one of my favourite slasher films out there!...
Yes, this post has been delayed by a day. I blame procrastination, me spending all of yesterday morning away from home, and my new DVD purchase-Punisher: War Zone! I apologize for nothing since that movie's involved!...Seriously, Frank Castle punches through a man's face with his bare hands!
My post for Day 2 of October was originally going to be 1973 Spanish movie Crypt of the Living Dead. I only got eight minutes into said film though before I stopped watching. Eight minutes in, and nothing was happening! Reviews on IMDb confirmed my suspicion that the rest of the movie was just as boring. An opposite example to Crypt is 1972 Amicus anthology horror film Asylum. Only five minutes into this film, I was hooked! While what had happened by that point was just talking, it was interesting, and not soul-crushingly boring (oh hai, Ulli Lommel, I'll get to you later in the month...)
Asylum opens with Dr. Martin (Robert Powell) arriving at an asylum 'for the incurably insane' because of job interview. He meets with Dr. Rutherford (Patrick Magee), who tells Martin of Dr. Starr, a doctor at the asylum who went mad, and is now a patient, suffering from split-personality disorder. Ruherford wants Martin to prove his worth as a psychiatrist and tells him to go and interview four patients upstairs, and determine which one of them is Dr. Starr.
The first patient he interviews in named Bonnie...
Bonnie (Barbara Perkins) is the lover of Walter (Richard Todd), an unhappily married man who wants to be rid of his dominating wife Ruth (Sylvia Syms). Since Ruth (who has interest in voodoo magic) doesn't want to get a divorce, Walter leads her down into the basement to give her a present. The present is a freezer, which Ruth gushes about just before Walter rams an axe in her head (and spouts of a one-liner).
Walter dismembers his wife's corpse (offscreen, so there's nothing for gorehounds) and wraps all the body parts in bags. Later, he calls Bonnie over, and they plan to get away somewhere. After the phone call ends, Walter sees the bag with Ruth's head roll near him, then disappear. He goes into the basement to investigate and is strangled to death by his wife's disembodied arm.
A little later, Bonnie arrives at the house, unaware of the supernatural danger...
Next up for Doc Martin to talk with is a man named Bruno (Barry Morse)...
The Weird Tailor
Bruno (who talks like a cross between El Brendel and Inspctor Clouseau) was a struggling tailor. His story starts off with him being hounded for rent by his landlord. He makes a deal-he can get the rent owed if given until the next week to pay it. While distraught at first, his hopes are risen when a customer comes in. The customer, Mr. Smith (Peter Cushing) wants Bruno to make a suit for him (intended for Smith's son), made from a material Smith has brought with him. Smith also tells Bruno to only work on the suit between midnight and dawn.
Bruno spends the next few nights making the suit (which acts weird-he pricks himself at one point, and the blood drops on the suit fade away), and when he finishes it, as per instructions, he immediately heads for Smith's house. When there, Smith tells Bruno of stuff, namely an old tome he has, which cost him his entire fortune. Wanting to be paid, Bruno forces himself into another room, where he finds a body in a coffin.
Smith explains that the body was of his son, and the suit is magical and will bring him back to life. Bruno demands to be paid, and in a scuffle, Smith is shot.
Taking the suit and the book with him, Bruno goes back home and tells his wife Anna (Anne Firbank) to burn the suit. While he looks through the book, he finds that his wife has put the resurrection suit on a mannequin...
Next, Martin interviews Barbara (Charlotte Rampling)...
Lucy Comes to Stay
Lucy Comes to Stay is about Barbara, who has just been released from an asylum, and is being taken home by her brother George (James Villiers). While home, she is forced to go to bed (much to her outrage, as it's still daytime).
Later in the day, when George and the live-in nurse (Meg Jenkins) are away from the house, Barbara's friend Lucy (Britt Ekland) arrives. Lucy, who Geoge sees as a bad influence on Barbara, is paranoid about Barbara's safety, and wants her to run away. Trouble is, Lucy may not be real...
Next comes the final story...
Mannikins of Horror
The last patient for Dr. Martin to interview is Dr. Byron (Herbert Lom), a former doctor who was intitutionalized due to his belief that someone's thoughts can be transferred into a specially made doll, making it come to life.
Thoroughly pissed of at the guessing game, and Dr. Rutherford's psychiatric methods, Martin goes to complain. Meanwhile, Byron successfully brings a little robo-doll version of himself to life, and he sends it to get revenge on Dr. Rutherford for putting him in the asylum...
Asylum is a fun horror film, that relies more on plot than anything else. Rather than have loads of effects or gore, Asylum lets the characters and dialogue do most of the talking (figuratively, I mean). Though that doesn't mean the movie is without effects, because it has them, namely the Lom-robot, which is entertaining to no end!
The worst story in my opinion is definitely Lucy Comes to Stay. It's not bad, and the acting is all fine, but the story has no meat on its bones. It's all talk and little plot. Unfortunately the murderous split personality twist is so
obvious that I didn't even realize it was meant to be a surprise. I
thought it was a constant visible element through the whole story! I
guess it wasn't a plot point as overly used and cliched as it is now.
As for Mannikins of Horror, rather than being a separate story, like the previous three, it's attached to the framing story.
The film's biggest problem is the lack of endings for nearly all the stories! Frozen Fear doesn't have an ending, neither does The Weird Tailor, and Lucy Comes to Stay doesn't either! The conclusion To Mannikins of Horror, and the end of the framing story are both handled well though. Poor main characters in Amicus anthology movies, things never turn out well for them...
So, to conclude, I recommend this movie, if for nothing else, for the Lom-robo-doll!...
Ok, here's my first Halloween review-for Zombie 4: After Death! I guess I have to explain the Zombi/Zombie Flesh Eaters series to the uninitiated...
George Romero's Dawn of the Dead was released as Zombi in Italy. Soon after its release, Lucio Fulci made Zombi 2, regarded as one of his best movies (and that it is!). Then, nearly ten years later, another unofficial sequel was made-Zombi 3. It's a load of fun! Soon after that Bruno Mattei/Claudio Fragasso/partly Lucio Fulci flick was made, 'Clyde Anderson' made Zombie 4: After Death. And a couple of years later, Zombie 5: Killing Birds was made (it barely featured zombies, barely featured birds, killer or otherwise, and most surprisingly, it had Robert Vaughn in it!). None of these movies had anything to do with each-other, and Zombie 5: Killing Birds was made a year before Zombie 3 and 4-it was retitled and rereleased as Zombie 5 by...someone. (Also, by the time Zombie 4 came out, the series added the missing 'e' from 'zombie', which kinda sucks, since Zombi looks a lot cooler than Zombie-therefore, I will never refer to Zombi 4 and 5 with the 'e' ever again!)
So, time to get into things. Zombi 4 is about a group of disease researchers who were working on a tropical island. When their medicines failed to help the daughter of a witchdoctor, said witchdoctor goes crazy and summons zombies...
After an opening narration, Zombi 4: After Death opens with quite possibly the most 80's-tastic movie theme ever! When it's over, the film starts off like it's midway through the movie, with the evil priest in his cave lair turning a crazily dancing woman into a zombie, while the-armed-scientists approach. The woman is sucked into the ground just as the scientists arrive. They rant at him for a few minutes, and when one wants to shoot at him, he responds with this line- "Go ahead, what are you waiting for? Aim here! But remember, I'll persecute you after I'm dead! I'll come looking for you, to feed on you intestines!"-Oddly specific interest in the intestines there, Mr. Witchdoctor!
After the dub voices (the awful, awful dub voices) badly mispronounce macabre, one of the scientists shoots the witchdoctor. Everything's quiet for a second, then the dancing woman jumps out of hell, now a zombie and attacks everyone.
The film abruptly cuts away to a couple with their young child. The father is killed, and the mother gives her daughter a special necklace, then tells her to run as fast as she can. So, yeah, the mother abandons her daughter to run on her own through a zombie infested jungle just so she can attack the single nearby zombie (sure, it did kill her husband, but does she want her daughter dead too?!).
The movie then cuts to twenty years later...but you wouldn't know it! While the little girl is running through the forest, the film abruptly cuts to a boat driving by the island. No twenty years later' caption, no time cut, nothing!
On the boat are a bunch of mercenaries and friends, (Tommy, Rod and Louise are the only names I ever heard said!) who are...on a boat for some reason. One of the friends is the little girl from the prologue, all grown up (Candice Daly). The boat malfunctions just as strange wailing is heard from the island. The group have no choice but to go onto the creepy island. Also on the island are three...other people (played by Chuck Peyton, aka Jeff Styker, gay porn star (who plays a guy named Chuck-how original!), Massimo Vanni, Italian exploitation stalwart, and...some actress-I don't know her name. Sorry, actress!), who are looking for...something (it's kinda explained later what they're looking for, but it still makes no sense-whywould people wait twenty years before investigating what happened on the island? And people survived and escaped from the island (what, you didn't think the little girl pulled a Jaws and swam across the ocean did you?), so why aren't the horrors of this island known by the government, or the public?!).
The mercs and co. are making their way through the forest when Tommy (Don Wilson) sees a running figure-a zombie. In a hilarious scene, Tommy floors it, chasing after the zombie, catches up to it, and beats the crap out of it! Zombies can sure get owned when they're being attacked by people who don't know what they are! Oh, and by the way, no, I don't know why he attacked the 'fleeing figure' (he never knows about the zombies) either... Tommy gets bitten when he's not looking, and the rest of the group find Tommy, and the carry him along as they trek deeper into the island
Meanwhile, the three...people (who mention having found diary logs talking of 'the damned souls rising up') have found a cave. They go in, exploring, while a very cool music piece plays! It's so good that I wonder if it's original to this movie! (While many have original music, loads of Italian knockoffs lift music as readily as they do film plots).
The mercs and co. find a ramshackle hospital, and they lay the ill Tommy to bed, and search the building. They find a massive weapons cache, full of machine guns, grenades, etc.-perfect zombie killing tools for anyone!...Except horror movie characters, who almost always have awful aim when it comes to zombies!...
Back in the cave, the trio find 'the book of the dead'. Before you can say 'what have you done, you fucking idiot', glasses guy reads aloud the incantation to reopen the third door to hell! I'm sure everyone on the island will thank you, you moron! The trio are attacked by zombies. Guy and Woman are brutally killed, but Chuck manages to escape.
Back at the hospital, Rod's (Nick Nicholson-I swear that's his real name, not an Italian pseudonym!) keeping guard and talking with Woman (it's not my fault if the movie never names most of its characters!). Just as they turn to go back inside, a zombie suddenly leaps at them. Rod, Goatee and Black Guy (movie, I demand you name your characters!) demolish the lone zombie's body (all firing their guns at once-morons!). Chuck runs onto the scene and kills the undead sonuvabitch with a headsplosion via pistol shot.
Chuck tells the group that an army of the undead is coming to the hospital. Everyone gears up just as said army arrives. They shoot the zombies, while...um...Little Girl From Prologue relights a candle shrine that she found earlier (which Rod called bullshit, blowing it out, which I won't call him an idiot for-It's pretty clear that these candles are doing jack shit! Zombies are still roaming around the island!). She starts chanting, but is attacked by a now-zombified Tommy and a ninja Zombie!
She is saved by Goatee (that's not his actual name, just what I called him-I still don't know what his name was), and after brief hesitation, the group decides that Tommy needs to die, and they all shoot him in the head. ...Yeaah, I did just say all of them shoot zombie-Tommy in the head! Don't worry guys, it's not like you need to conserve ammo or anything!
Thanks to the loss of a close friend, Rod loses it and runs out of the hospital, taking down some zombies with his gun and his legs...And he's killed in under a minute.
Jenny (the name of the girl who escaped the island-only the credits told me that!) remembers what happened the last time she was on the island, and while she thinks about a way to stop the zombies, an army of them arrive by the doors, including a zombie-Rod.
Rod goes on his own into some building and Goatee runs after him...And gets shot! Zombies with guns, HELL YEAH! (Actually no, all 'zombies with guns, HELL YEAH's are reserved for Nightmare City alone!). He's also bitten, which is hilarious, thanks to what he said right before it happened!-"You're not getting your dirty hands on me!". He's saved by the other survivors, and he tells them to shoot him. They agree to...and they just carry him back to the hospital and never kill him. SHOOT HIM! He's been bitten! He wants you to shoot him! You agreed to shoot him, so why aren't you doing it?! (Naturally this comes back to bite them in the ass! Or rather, shoot them...).
Soon it's up to the remaining survivors to destroy the zombie horde and close the gates of hell...
...Which they do, leading to a happy endingHAHAHAHA! Of course not! What would a Claudio Fragasso-Rosella Drudi horror movie be without a downer ending, whether it makes sense or not, or whether it's out-of-place or not!
Zombi 4: After death is definitely a fun little 80's zombie movie, but it's by no means perfect. The main problem is with the plot-there isn't one. There are a bunch of people on an island with zombies. They must kill the zombies and survive. The End. That's it! The only real story the movie had was the 'twenty years ago' segment, and that was only through dialogue exposition!
Onto some positives, the soundtrack is good to great in places, and the theme, as I said before, is an awesomely 80's-tastic theme! It's by Italian band Al Festa, and the lyrics are pretty much indecipherable! It's like Al Festa just sung the song to phonetically sound like certain words. Some words can be understood, but others sound like something, but also something else at the same time. It's the kind of thing that happens when you let people who don't speak English sing a song in English (although maybe I'm wrong, maybe Al Festa do speak English, and the song's just poorly enunciated...).
The movie's gore is pretty good. We get a face ripped off, throats bitten, a fist impaling, etc.. But other times it looks like the zombies are just smearing cranberry juice on their victims! Apparently a lot of gore from this was excised by censors! (Fuck censors! And fuck Steven Moffat too! [He's not a censor, I just need to vent. He's a once great, now awful awful writer who is doing his best to riddle New Doctor Who with more plot holes than swiss cheese!]), which sucks to no end!
The zombie make-up ranges from ok to pretty good. Some of the zombies look like the demons from 1985's Demons, with the teeth, and the pus. Also, becoming a zombie in this movie gives you an awful hairdo if you're a woman! (The one in the first screenshot is easier to see when actually watching the movie. When made smaller, it just looks like she has her hair falling over her eyes, rather than the awful hairdo that it actually is).
The zombies are very inconsistent. Sometimes the speed-walk, other times they slowly shuffle, some talk, some don't, and some use guns, but others don't.
There's no way I can properly judge the acting, since the dubbing is so bad. It's generally ok, I guess.
One funny stupid thing about Zombi 4 is when, near the end, one character gets shot in the shoulder and knee, yet can still walk, and even after he's shot twice in the back, he's still ok enough to crawl away and blow the hospital up! Also, Jeff Stryker's character, Chuck, always, always has his shirt mostly open, to show off his abs! ALWAYS!
Something else that's kinda funny is how the smoke machine seems to be invading the movie! There are several scenes, indoors or out, where there's too much fog around! It obscures those shots, partly.
So, in closing, despite it's problems, I absolutely recommend this slice of 80's Italian zombie cheese!...