Frenchman’s Farm (1987)

Directed by Ron Way [Other horror films: N/A]

This Australian mystery/horror/romance/drama is rather interesting. Not necessarily good, mind you, but interesting. Calling it horror is probably fine, but the film is definitely more focused on the mystery aspect than the multiple killings, which is a bit of a shame, really.

With Frenchman’s Farm, there’s a lot of exposition in a lot of scenes. There’s quite a few names and dates that you’d best try to remember, or otherwise you may get lost along the way. As it was, I actually missed something somewhere, so there’s something that didn’t make sense to me come the end (regarding the ghost of the farm), but I suspect that if I watched closer with a more attuned ear to the Australian accents, everything would be clearer.

As it is, because so much of the movie relies on understanding the mystery, I will admit to feeling it dragged past a certain point. To be fair, given the movie’s a hour and forty minutes, perhaps it would have felt like it was dragging anyways. There are some horror aspects that certainly pop up throughout the film (some rather effectively creepy, too), but I don’t know if it’s really enough to sate me given the total time spent with the film.

Being an Australian film, I don’t really know any of the actors here, but everyone involved did a reasonably good job, such as Tracey Tainsh and David Reyne, who play the main characters. Their relationship feels authentic, and I appreciate the both of them. Others who do well include Norman Kaye and Andrew Blackman. I want to give a special mention to John Meillon, who played Riley in the first two Crocodile Dundee movies. I didn’t even recognize him when watching the film due to his character having a mustache, but looking back, it’s definitely him, which is sort of cool.

While there was a lot I enjoyed about the film, I find it a hard one to really recommend to fellow horror fans, given that, while no doubt in my mind horror, that others would be inclined to disagree. Given the focus of this is far more the mystery the two main characters are trying to uncover, the horror portions (as great as some of them are, especially near the end) are overshadowed. Might be worth a look if you’re into Australian cinema, but otherwise, I suspect many would be disappointed, especially given some of the posters for this one.


Deliria (1987)

Directed by Michele Soavi [Other horror films: La chiesa (1989), La setta (1991), Dellamorte Dellamore (1994)]

Perhaps it’s due to the fact that, at the time of this writing (4/23/2019, should anyone be interested) I’m drunk off my fucking ass, but this movie was excellent. Great death scenes, damn good suspense, fantastic movie, and just overall a fun movie.

I saw this before, and I enjoyed it, but this time around, I get the sense I enjoyed it a lot more. I have virtually no complaints about Deliria (as that’s it’s original title), and it really has a lot of things going for it.

The funky Italian music is especially fun throughout the film, and toward the ending, there’s a great sequence on the catwalks with the music playing that was just a delight. The special effects were great, and pretty much every kill was enjoyable (favorites including the dismemberment and decapitation, along with the drill and chainsaw). My all-time favorite kill, though, was one of the earlier ones, when a character gets stabbed on-stage. The way that scene was filmed was great, and it had such an epic feel to it (music, of course, played a large part in that). It’s not necessarily an overly gory kill, but it was my favorite in the film.

Most of the main performances are pretty decent. Barbara Cupisti and David Brandon in particular impressed me, but I also rather enjoyed Giovanni Lombardo Radice, Loredana Parrella, Martin Philips, James Sampson, and Ulrike Schwerk. Clain Parker played the killer wearing the owl headpiece (which, by the way, was a rather random yet fun addition to the film), and I really loved Parker’s calm style, especially the sequence when he’s just sitting around all those he’s killed, stroking a cat (which, on a side-note, was a fantastically suspenseful sequence).

While I sort of wish the film had gone the giallo route (by attempting to hide the identity of the killer, or throwing in some type of plot twist where there were multiple killers), I sort of appreciate how the movie kept things simple. We know who the killer is from the beginning, and the body count rises and rises in generally gory and satisfying ways.

Truth be told, I don’t think there’s any really big issues with the film. If you’re a fan of slashers, I really don’t see where this film would do you wrong. Pretty much everything’s solid about it, and there’s even a little humor provided by two cops sitting outside the studio while all the mayhem’s taking place (the younger cop played by the director, Michele Soavi). Whether you know this movie as StageFright, Aquaris, Deliria, whatever, this Italian movie has the goods, and was a fantastic rewatch.


Stripped to Kill (1987)

Directed by Katt Shea [Other horror films: Stripped to Kill 2: Live Girls (1989), Dance of the Damned (1989), The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999)]

I first saw this one about two years ago at the time of this writing, and I thought it was decent. I think the flaws here are pretty easy to see, but at the same time, Stripped to Kill does possess some of that 80’s charm that makes the experience feel a bit better.

The main problem here, in my opinion, is a lot more time is spent on strippers’ dances then on the kills. What kills we do get are pretty decent, such as a woman being doused in gasoline and lit ablaze, or another one garroted and drug under a truck for some time. But instead of additional interesting kills, we get strippers stripping, which has it’s minor appeal, but gets a bit old, especially mixed with generally generic 80’s pop and rock.

What makes the movie stand out regardless, though, is the somewhat interesting mystery and conclusion. Admittedly, a female cop going undercover as a stripper (which has got to break at least some police codes, I’d think) is an interesting enough plot, but throw in a mysterious killer, a few red herrings (Mr. Pocket was a very decent character, and I really liked how that played out), and a generally fun finale, and you have my interest. I enjoyed the mystery here, and with the decent characters, it did make the film worth watching despite the repetitive strip sequences.

Kay Lenz was fantastic here. She’s not an actress I really know (though she was in the classic horror-comedy House), but I loved her character. Instead of looking down on the strippers, walking in their shoes shows her that they’re just people, and some rather pleasant. She was cute too, and I’d watch her strip sequences anytime. Lenz also had a very solid performance toward the end, a very emotional one, so she certainly brought something to this movie.

Greg Evigan’s (from DeepStar Six) character was another story. His sexist nature (and the way he looked down on the profession of stripping despite enjoying the performances) was difficult at times to deal with, and while I admit he was pretty fun, his character sometimes rubbed me the wrong way. It doesn’t help that, as a police officer, he harassed and was physically violent toward multiple people. A few other performances I liked include Pia Kamakahi and Diana Bellamy (who’s character, while only getting a few appearances, never failed to crack me up).

Stripped to Kill isn’t a great movie. As a slasher, it pretty much fails, but at the same time, I can’t deny I really like the mystery here, and while some stripping scenes got repetitive, I didn’t really mind rewatching this one, and what’s more, I could see myself giving this another viewing in the future.


This is one of the films that was covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If you’re interested, listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this film.

The Stepfather (1987)

Directed by Joseph Ruben [Other horror films: Dreamscape (1984), The Good Son (1993)]

I might not be surprising anyone when I admit to being a big fan of this movie. Both my my banner here, along with my signature on, use a ‘Who am I here?’ image of the movie, and perhaps more than any other movie (aside from maybe Burnt Offerings), I wear the fact that I love this one on my sleeve for all to see.

And I don’t feel a bit ashamed.

I’m not going as far as to say this movie’s perfect, but I will say that Terry O’Quinn’s performance is without flaw. I love the idea of an insane man trying to encapsulate the perfect, Leave It to Beaver family unit, only to undoubtedly become disappointed, kill them, and start over again. He tries his best to create the picture-perfect family, one without discord, one with strong traditional values, but he’s never able to, no matter how wistfully he looks at other seemingly-happy families.

O’Quinn’s performance here is fantastic. He seems a clean-cut guy, whistling and shaving while the bodies of his discarded wife and kid are sprawled on the floor. He can’t take much in the way of criticism (just look at the house showing sequence with Charles Lanyer), and he’s corny as all hell (‘I sell the American Dream’), but he’s also pretty intimidating. When he’s having his mini-breakdown in the basement (unknowingly in front of his shocked step-daughter, Jill Schoelen), he’s obviously furious and mentally unstable (at the mere thought of his happy world crumbling down), and god, that breakdown at the end, resulting in the ‘Who am I here,’ line?


Really, the only character here that didn’t really blow me away was Jim, played by Stephen Shellen, whose main mission in the movie was to find the killer of his sister and bring him to justice. He certainly had a solid motive, but I don’t know if his scenes add all that much to the film (though certainly, without his persistence of getting the story of the murder ran again, there wouldn’t have been a story to begin with). He was still a decent character, and I felt bad for him throughout, but he was the least interesting individual here.

I sort of wished Jeff Schultz was more involved in the story, but after attempting to rape Schoelen’s character, I can see why he stepped out. 😛 Charles Lanyer, playing Schoelen’s therapist, was very solid, and when she said that her step-father scared her, you could tell he was devoted to helping her out, and boy, did he go the extra mile for her (speaking of which, when Jerry’s beating the guy with a four-by-two, talk about a solid sequence). Shelley Hack was decent as the mother, and she shared a touching moment or two with her daughter, but she was far from a crucial player here.

Once we move past O’Quinn, Jill Schoelen is the second-best performance here. She’s a troubled girl in a bad situation with almost no one on her side (her therapist being the one exception, and when she’s told that he died, you can’t help but feel for her), but she finds the strength to fight back, and it’s just solid stuff. It didn’t hurt they threw in a bit of nudity for some reason, but what the hell, it was welcomed. Even without that, she was a stand-out character, and it’s great to see her finally be vindicated come the end.

Related, she has a somewhat solid resume of horror films, such as the somewhat underrated Popcorn, co-starred in the 1989 Phantom of the Opera with Robert Englund, along with appearing in Curse II: The Bite, Cutting Class, Chiller, and When a Stranger Calls Back. She never seemed to reach A-list status, but she certainly had her fans, and though I’ve not yet seen many of her other movies, I suspect this was one of her finest roles.

Personally, I don’t know exactly why I love this one as much as I do. At times, I can’t deny that this feels more like a television movie than one that got theatrical release, because it can be a bit tame, and perhaps sluggish, but I still adore every second of it (and like I said, the ending as a whole is spectacular). The idea of a disappointed father quitting his job, scoping out a new family, then killing his existing family in order to move on was engaging, and I sort of wonder how many times Jerry’s done that before (I suspect the opening to the film was not his first infraction). In fact, much of Jerry’s history is uncovered, which only intensifies the mystery (aside from the fact he had a self-admitted strict upbringing, we’ve got nothing).

The Stepfather is a movie of high value, and certainly a movie that I’ve always enjoyed, and always will. All we need is a little order around here, and this movie brings it.


This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast, so listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one below.

Blood Diner (1987)

Directed by Jackie Kong [Other horror films: The Being (1983)]

I wouldn’t go as far as to say this is the worst horror movie of the late 80’s (as there’s certainly competition, looking at films such as The Brainsucker, Slumber Party Massacre II, Hellgate, Things, The Stay Awake, and Nightmare Sisters), but it was a thoroughly unenjoyable time from start to finish.

Blood Diner’s over-the-top comedic style wasn’t my jam at all. Were a few lines and scenes here and there funny? Sure, but overall, the comedy was way too silly and stupid for me to ever be okay with, and what doesn’t help at all was that the story (which seems to be inspired partially by the far better film Blood Feast), which didn’t captivate nor interest me whatsoever.

Carl Crew and Rick Burks did okay playing brothers, though boy, did Crew’s behavior really get on my nerves. Burks was decent, though it didn’t really amount to much as the rest of the cast, not to mention movie as a whole, was poor.

If there’s one kind word I’ll throw to Blood Diner, it’s that the gore, while obviously low budget, was appreciated. Seeing multiple dismembered body parts does my heart well, and even though the scene in which a character gets both an arm and the opposite hand cut off was cheap, I still sort of liked that.

All things said, Blood Diner isn’t a movie I found myself enjoying whatsoever. I’ve actually seen it once before, but apparently I forgot just how much I didn’t care for this, or perhaps it’s just soured on me. I do like aspects of the special effects in the finale, but again, the final product doesn’t seem to be something I’d brag about.


This is one of the movies covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. If interested, listen below as Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this.

Near Dark (1987)

Directed by Kathryn Bigelow [Other horror films: N/A]

This vampire film is a very unique addition to the genre, and is generally well-liked. Having seen it twice, while I definitely appreciate it, Near Dark isn’t my type of movie at all, though.

Horror takes a backseat to a moral drama of sorts, with heavy dashes of romance and the importance of family. I’m not a drama fan, nor much a romance fan, though, so much of this film, while somewhat emotional in many ways, isn’t my cup of tea whatsoever. When there are solid horror elements, such as the bar sequence, the movie gains a lot more of my attention. But for a lot of the film, aside from a few characters worth watching, Near Dark didn’t have much to offer.

There were some solid performances here (such as the lead Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, and Tim Thomerson among them), but the real stand-out here was Bill Paxton as Severen. His wild antics and attitude, especially during the bar sequence, really made him a character worth remembering. Lance Henriksen was decent, don’t get me wrong, but Paxton ultimately stole the show almost entirely.

I don’t love Near Dark, but I do appreciate what it was going for. For many people, it’s a fun ride and a memorable experience. I’ll give them that it’s definitely memorable, but as for me, I didn’t have a lot of fun with it, especially the final twenty or so minutes, which I honestly didn’t care for whatsoever. The highlight was definitely the bar scene (as one can probably tell, as this is the third time I’ve mentioned it), and if the rest of the movie had been like that, I’d have enjoyed Near Dark a hell of a lot more.


Near Dark was covered on Fight Evil’s podcast, so to hear Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss it, by all means, join in on the fun and listen brahs.

Slaughterhouse (1987)

Directed by Rick Roessler [Other horror films: N/A]

When I first saw this one some years ago, I went away with a vaguely lukewarm feeling. I didn’t hate Slaughterhouse by any means, but I wanted more from it than I got. Watching it again after all that time, I’ve come to appreciate the movie a little bit more, and while I could have done without some of the more overt comedic influences, I generally found this an enjoyable slasher.

One thing I really thought they got right was the setting, a disused slaughterhouse, and the simple, yet effective, design of Buddy (the main antagonist) is pretty solid. Joe B. Barton is just a hulking monster in this, and that humongous cleaver he carries around with him was another good choice.

Hell, even the story is mildly interesting, as many of the killings are a form of revenge by a man about to be kicked out of his home. It’s just unfortunate that some teenagers got mixed up in it, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but hey, at least we got some pretty decent kills (slit throat, and other galores). They even did a close up of a fingertip being sliced open, which looked damn painful.

I don’t think Joe B. Barton is the end-all be-all as far as casting is concerned here. William Houck is decent as the concerned sheriff, Sherry Leigh a solid final girl. Jeff Wright was even okay at times. Don Barrett, who played Buddy’s father, was way over-the-top at various points throughout the film, but I also felt somewhat sympathetic to him. I thought perhaps he was one of the more compelling characters here.

The problem, though, is the creeping comedic influence into the movie. You can tell during the opening credits, as we’re shown the process of butchering a pig (to be honest, that was a solid beginning, so no complaints there), but overlaying the graphic imagery was a hideously upbeat number that never should have been released. Later in the film, there’s just a silly moment with Buddy pretending to be a cop, and it was that type of stuff that rubbed me the wrong way.

Despite sometimes be labeled a ‘black comedy’ though, a lot of this movie was decently solid, and gave me what I was looking for. Great setting, solid kills, a memorable antagonist, so it’s mostly a rewarding affair.

I do have to give a shout-out to the deathgrind band Mortician – I know that much of their music isn’t particularly well-loved, but it was their song based off this film that first introduced me to this, and while, like I said, I didn’t like it the first time around, I wasn’t really that displeased with the final product this time around.


Slaughterhouse is one of the films that has been covered on Fight Evil’s podcast. Listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one below.

Bloody New Year (1987)

Directed by Norman J. Warren [Other horror films: Satan’s Slave (1976), Prey (1977), Terror (1978), Inseminoid (1981)]

This British film was a bit of a mess, and that’s probably being kind.

At times, Bloody New Year felt like a silly version of Poltergeist, only not nearly as enjoyable and generally a lot more pointless. Theoretically, the movie could have had potential, but it’s pretty hard to tell looking at this final product.

Really, Bloody New Year is just odd. There’s a little charm in the various oddball dangers the group of friends face (such as a biting bannister, a killer vacuum, invisible laughing people, etc.), but even when things are tied together at the end, it doesn’t really do much to help.

The cast is pretty much entirely forgettable, which may not be a big surprise, but at the same time, at least one or two cast-members tend to stand out in a movie, so the fact that none did here was somewhat bothersome.

I don’t exactly know who this movie would be best for. Sure, it’s an 80’s obscurity, by-and-large, but it’s by no means a hidden gem, and while there’s some over-the-top scenes here, I don’t think it really gets wild enough to come across as that memorable. Perhaps during certain scenes, in the moment, I enjoyed watching them. But overall, the movie’s pretty poor, and an interesting setting (a deserted island) doesn’t much forgive the other flaws this British flick possesses.


This is one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast, so if you’re interested in hearing myself and Chucky (@ChuckyFE) discuss this one, give it a listen.

Faceless (1987)

Directed by Jesús Franco [Other horror films: Gritos en la noche (1962), La mano de un hombre muerto (1962), El secreto del Dr. Orloff (1964), Miss Muerte (1966), Necronomicon – Geträumte Sünden (1968), The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968), Der heiße Tod (1969), Marquis de Sade: Justine (1969), The Castle of Fu Manchu (1969), Paroxismus (1969), De Sade 70 (1970), Il trono di fuoco (1970), Nachts, wenn Dracula erwacht (1970), Les cauchemars naissent la nuit (1970), Vampyros Lesbos (1971), Sie tötete in Ekstase (1971), Jungfrauen-Report (1972), Drácula contra Frankenstein (1972), Der Todesrächer von Soho (1972), La fille de Dracula (1972), Dr. M schlägt zu (1972), Les démons (1973), La comtesse noire (1973), La maldición de Frankenstein (1973), La nuit des étoiles filantes (1973), Los ojos siniestros del doctor Orloff (1973), Al otro lado del espejo (1973), La noche de los asesinos (1974), Les possédées du diable (1974), La comtesse perverse (1974), Les gloutonnes (1975), L’éventreur de Notre-Dame (1975), Sexorcismes (1975), Frauengefängnis (1976), Jack the Ripper (1976), Un silencio de tumba (1976), In 80 Betten um die Welt (1976), Die Marquise von Sade (1976), Greta – Haus ohne Männer (1977), Die Liebesbriefe einer portugiesischen Nonne (1977), Die teuflischen Schwestern (1977), Der Ruf der blonden Göttin (1977), El sádico de Notre-Dame (1979), Mondo cannibale (1980), El caníbal (1980), Die Säge des Todes (1981), La tumba de los muertos vivientes (1982), La mansión de los muertos vivientes (1982), Revenge in the House of Usher (1983), El tesoro de la diosa blanca (1983), Macumba sexual (1983), Sola ante el terror (1983), Sangre en mis zapatos (1983), Mil sexos tiene la noche (1984), El siniestro doctor Orloff (1984), Lilian (la virgen pervertida) (1984), La esclava blanca (1985), Killer Barbys (1996), Tender Flesh (1997), Mari-Cookie and the Killer Tarantula (1998), Lust for Frankenstein (1998), Vampire Blues (1999), Dr. Wong’s Virtual Hell (1999), Helter Skelter (2000), Vampire Junction (2001), Incubus (2002), Killer Barbys vs. Dracula (2002), Snakewoman (2005), La cripta de las mujeres malditas (2008), La cripta de las mujeres malditas II (2008), La cripta de las condenadas (2012), La cripta de las condenadas: Parte II (2012)]

To be honest, I’ve not seen that many Jesús Franco flicks (and as you can see, even within just the horror genre, he was hella prolific). Off the top of my head, The Bloody Judge and Oasis of the Zombies are the only others from him I’ve seen. Not that I have anything against Franco – I’ve heard pretty mixed things about his work, but plenty of it sounds interesting. All of this is to say that I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going into this one, but I certainly wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.

Sure, the gore here is definitely good, and I’ll touch on that in a bit, but the story was surprisingly solid, sympathetic to both sides of the violence. Things went a bit deeper than I’d have expected, and on a whole, it was a nice surprise.

As far as performances go, the only one that really stood out was Helmut Berger. Gérard Zalcberg was pretty solid as a degenerate rapist and murderer, to be sure, but Berger is by far the most memorable. It’s not as though we’re inundated with bad performances, though – most people here do perfectly fine.

The gore within Faceless is most paramount, though. It’s just fantastic – the most brutal scene is a botched removal of a face (utterly sickening, but it really does it’s job), but even the successful facial removal is gruesome (especially given the victim is still alive, and taunted with their own face in sociopathic fashion). You also have a decapitation by chainsaw, a stab through the throat by some scissors, a needle stab in the eye, some power drill and hook action, all the goodies. This movie came to play, and play it did.

Even without the great gore, there were some really suspenseful scenes here. In one, a victim was just about to make herself known to someone searching for her, but last second, she’s dragged into another room and all hope vanishes. Speaking of vanishing hope, the conclusion here is a lot darker than I’d have initially expected. Talk about a dreary finale.

Faceless isn’t the most amazing Italian movie of the late 1980’s, nor do I suspect it’ll be the most memorable as the days move on, but it was a surprisingly solid time, and I’d certainly recommend it to fans of the genre.


And for even more on this, Faceless was one of the films covered on Fight Evil’s podcast, episode #28. If you’re interested, listen to Chucky (@ChuckyFE) and I discuss this one.

Killing Spree (1987)

Killing Spreee

Directed by Tim Ritter [Other horror films: Day of the Reaper (1984), Twisted Illusions (1985), Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness (1986), Wicked Games (1994), Creep (1995), Alien Agenda: Endangered Species (1998), Screaming for Sanity: Truth or Dare 3 (1998), Twisted Illusions 2 (2004), Deadly Dares: Truth or Dare Part IV (2011), Hi-8 (Horror Independent 8) (2013, segment ‘Switchblade Insane’), I Dared You! Truth or Dare Part 5 (2017), Trashsploitation (2018, segment ‘Truth or Dare’), Hi-Death (2018, segment ‘Dealers of Death’)]

Dedicated to H.G. Lewis, Tim Ritter’s low-budget fourth film is overly inept but extraordinarily fun, and if SOV horror is something you’re a fan of, I think you’d find this a blast.

The story, if taken seriously, is actually somewhat tragic, what with a man believing his wife is cheating on him, and so he decides to kill the men ‘making’ his wife unfaithful. Of course, in as low-budget, gory ways as possible. Obviously, this isn’t a Hollywood film, and the acting is pretty awful across the board. That said, so many of the lines of dialogue are hilariously awesome that it doesn’t matter (such as a favorite of mine, “Why is she writing all of this down?”).

Asbestos Felt does fantastically great as the paranoid husband, with plenty of cheesy dialogue and overall a beautifully delicious performance. Courtney Lercara, the wife, wasn’t quite as memorable, but I did love her over-the-top scenes of her various lustful encounters. Pretty much everyone else was second tier, but that doesn’t stop individuals such as Raymond Carbone, Joel D. Wynkoop, and Rachel Rutz from standing out of the pack in their wacky, goofy ways (Rutz’ nonsensical dialogue just broke me up multiple times despite her short time on screen).

For a lower-budget flick, the gore effects are decent. They don’t really become great until the ending (such as the hammer in the jaw scene, perhaps my favorite kill, followed by the lawnmower sequence), but you can tell that Ritter definitely got his sensibilities from the Godfather of Gore, H.G. Lewis, who, like I mentioned at the beginning, this film is dedicated to.

I have a few issues, though, that hinder this film from reaching it’s arguably-rightful place of above average. One was a dream sequence which struck me as way too goofy, though the fact that it is clearly a dream sequence grants it some leeway. The other problem, though, is the conclusion, in which the movie shifts gears from a slasher to something else (and to avoid spoilers, I’ll just say it sort of comes out of nowhere). The final 15 minutes felt far more stale to me than the rest of the film, and I would have been okay with a 70 minute film, cutting out or changing the conclusion.

It’s a shame, as pretty much everything else is both amusing and deeply enjoyable (I always loved his random beach-rage sequence – for some reason, that’s always a scene that I remember the most from this flick). The twist, such as it was, came across as slightly more sophisticated than one might think from a film like this, but it certainly added a tragic twist to the film. If only the ending was better. It’s still a deeply enjoyable film, though, and despite my seemingly unenthusiastic rating, I’d recommend it to fans of lower-budget outings from the 1980’s.