Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Review - Camp Blood 4 (2016)

Camp Blood 4 (2016)
Review By Dave Sloane

On their way to a concert a group of teens decide to spend the night in the woods of Camp Blood. They soon find themselves on the run from the murderous machete wielding killer clown.

I usually try to put a positive spin on my reviews as I understand how hard it is to make a movie, especially with the limitations most SOV productions face. However, by watching Camp Blood 4 I am quickly reminded of the two types of filmmakers working in the SOV genre. Those who are fans trying to make the best movie they can, and those who see the genre as a way to make a quick buck and exploit the market. Unfortunately, Camp Blood 4 falls into the latter category.

Directed By Dustin Ferguson, Camp Blood 4 is more an example of padding gone awry versus a real movie. It starts off with about 10 minutes of footage from the last entry in the series (Camp Blood First Slaughter), which is pretty much the highlight of this film as it's all goes downhill from here.

When we are finally introduced to our main character named Raven the padding-palooza truly begins. We get to watch her do such exciting things as walk for long periods of time, do her hair, and shop all in real time. These scenes are so long and pointless it will challenge the most seasoned SOV nerds not to turn the movie off. They serve no purpose and are only there to pad out the runtime.

Once we get to the story proper (after more flashbacks from CBFS) the kids are quickly killed off in about 10 minutes. The FX are lame, the characters are lame and you just don't care. We then get the extremely long and painfully staged final chase scene. Watch in slow motion as Raven runs off camera, clown runs off camera, and rinse and repeat 20 times. All of these night scenes are so poorly lit, it’s almost impossible to tell what is going on and really you probably won't care at this point.

The sound mix is also one of the worst in a modern production I've seen. You will be in a constant battle with the volume button on your remote throughout this movie. It really shows the lack of care put into this production, as they couldn't even bother to take the time to level out the audio in post.

In the end there is probably only about 20 minutes of real movie in CB4 and the rest is pointless padding to get it to a feature length runtime. Each scene plays more as a way to eat up time opposed to trying to develop any sort of real story. I really can't say anything good about this one, which may tempt "bad movie" fans to give it a go, but trust me there are much better ways to spend your time.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Review - Camp Blood First Slaughter (2014)

Camp Blood First Slaughter (2014)
Review By Dave Sloane

A group of college kids set off into the woods with a bunch of camera equipment (ala Blair Witch Project) to prove once and for all that the legend of the killer clown of Camp Blood is just a myth. The problem is the clown is in fact real, but in a twist the clown is actually killed by another latex masked psycho. Now our new Camp Blood killer straps a camera to their head, hits the record button and goes on a slash-o-palooza.

Camp Blood First Slaughter is technically the 4th Camp Blood movie (marketed as the 3rd?), and the first not directed by series creator Brad Sykes. This time we got veteran SOV director Mark Polonia (who had a cameo in Camp Blood 2) taking over the directing duties. Mark is a skilled director and does a good job with the obviously small budget, but his overuse of CGI blood and digital fx really hurts this one for me.

One of the aspects I always loved about the Camp Blood series was the cheesy practical cut-out machete gore effects. In this one there are still plenty of those but the CGI blood splashes that accompany them kind of take you out of the moment. Also there are some silly found footage camera effects that are more distracting than they are effective. Lesson to no-budget filmmakers please stay away from the computer graphics (this coming from a guy who does CGI for movies), and keep to the practical effects.

As for the acting, it's good for what it is but not great. There is one cast member who just seems to not be able to stop smiling, even when she is killed. The standout to me in this one is the harbinger of doom character played by Jeff Kirkendall, who gives a nice cheesy performance that harkens back to the great Joe Haggerty performance in the original Camp Blood.

Overall Camp Blood First Slaughter is a decent slasher flick that would have been much better if it didn't rely so heavily on computer FX. I like how it tried to do something a little different by killing the clown and introducing a new killer but ultimately the movie was a bit of a let down due to the digital fx. I still prefer it to the real Camp Blood 3 (aka Within The Woods) so if your a fan of the series I say check it out.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Review - Black Devil Doll From Hell (1984)

Black Devil Doll From Hell (1984)
Review By Tony Masiello

Helen Black is a lonely repressed religious fanatic who is saving herself for marriage. That is until she stumbles across a strange puppet in an old curio shop. The doll has the ability to grant the owner their hearts-felt wish, but at a sinister price.

Black Devil Doll From Hell is notable for not only being one of the first SOV's released for the newly emerging home video market, but also because it was made by an all black cast and crew. Director Chester Novell Turner's Chicago lensed masterpiece is a weird mix of erotica, horror, and comedy that has yet to be matched (though many have emulated it).

Originally released (in a re-edited version) on video by the PD label Hollywood Home Theater in 1984, I imagine most viewers were probably in complete and utter shock as the movie unfolded before their unsuspecting eyes. It contains a wide array of creepy yet comedic moments that are guaranteed to stick with you long after you're done watching it.

Scenes such as the puppet shouting "Wake Up Bitch" to a sleeping Helen, the puppet licking her body (complete with a salivating tongue), and finally the puppet fucking her still pack a punch today.

Unfortunately BDDFH has gained a reputation of being one of those "so bad it's good" movies and is typically panned by most reviewers, which in my opinion is an unfair assessment. Sure the acting isn't great and the casio soundtrack has not aged well but BDDFH is a fun, original, and unique movie that deserves much more respect than the trash talking critics give it. It's one of those movies that is truly one of a kind and could only come from someone working outside of the Hollywood system.

A while back Massacre Video released a special edition DVD which contains two versions of the movie, the original Director's Cut (previously unreleased) as well as the original VHS cut. The VHS cut is better paced and takes no time getting to the puppet action but the Director's Cut adds more to the story and is superior in my opinion.

If you haven't seen BDDFH it's mandatory viewing for all SOV fans. Chester Novell Turner is one of the true pioneers of shot on video cinema and I'm glad the movies reputation has grown over the years despite the negative criticisms. I hope though that people can evaluate it more on its merits of being a unique piece of art than just a movie where a puppet fucks a woman. In my opinion this is one of the most important and best shot on video movies ever made and I hope someday it gets the respect it ultimately deserves.

Review - Teenage Slumber Party Nightmare (2014)

Teenage Slumber Party Nightmare
Review By Dave Sloane

A group of high school girls get together for a slumber party weekend to celebrate spring break. Unfortunately though someone plans on crashing the party and he's brought his drill with him. Can the girls survive the Teenage Slumber Party Nightmare?

TSPN comes from Canada filmmaker and Analog Nightmares author Richard Mogg. It is clearly inspired by the Slumber Party Massacre series as you can tell from the synopsis, but unfortunately TSPN fails to reach the heights of any of those movies. Mogg obviously has a huge love for the genre as detailed in the making of featurettes on the DVD, but love does not always translate into a good movie.

The main issue I had with this movie is that it doesn't have much of a script, instead it relies on long sequences of improv from the amateur cast to fill up the runtime. Most of the movie is spent watching the girls drink beer and talk about boys which gets boring really fast, think Las Vegas Blood Bath (the DVD cut).

When the movie finally gets to the bloodshed (an hour in) it is too little too late. The driller killer uses a drill that is missing the bit, except when there are closeups of it entering flesh which is possibly supposed to be funny but just seemed weird to me. There is one cool shot of it entering a character's skull that's kinda grisly but that's about it.

Not everything was bad in the movie though so I want to point out some of the positives. There is some nice camerawork on display as well as some really great locations including a very ominous staircase sequence. I also really liked the actor who plays the driller killer. He looked similar to the actor from Slumber Party Massacre 1 and was pretty entertaining in the role.

Overall I was disappointed with Teenage Slumber Party Nightmare. Mogg obviously has a huge love for the genre and is a talented filmmaker, but the long improv scenes just killed this one for me.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Mondo Bizarro The Complete Series DVD Available Now!

SOVHORROR.COM is proud to present the lost cable access show from creator Tony Masiello (Zombarella's House Of Whorors) MONDO BIZARRO!

Get ready for some of the most weird and wacky educational films you’ll ever see in MONDO BIZARRO THE COMPLETE SERIES.

No subject is too taboo!
Sex, drugs, masturbation, this set has it all.

Hosted by the lovely Amber Glossine (of the pop-punk band The Glossines), each episode of MONDO BIZARRO also contains vintage drive-in intermission ads, trailers, and sultry burlesque acts.

So what are you waiting for? Grab the popcorn, some beer, and those mind altering drugs for MONDO BIZARRO THE COMPLETE SERIES!

Contains All Six Episodes
  • As Boys Grow
  • The Party / Drug Addiction
  • Drugs Are Like That
  • Keep Off The Grass
  • Measure Of A Man
  • Molly Grows Up

2007/ COLOR / 171 MIN. / UNRATED

Available On DVD-R From SOVHORROR.COM: