What’s On Shudder: December 2021

The Ghoul Log is back and so is Joe Bob as December on Shudder is packed with seasonal scares and exclusive movies and series. Here’s our breakdown of what you should check out. Click on any linked movie to see our full review.

December 1

  • Brotherhood of the Wolf: One of my all-time favorite movies, it’s time that this movie gets the audience it demands.
  • House of Wax (1953) and House of Wax (2005): No matter what flavor you want — original goodness or 2000s gloss — you’ve got it this month.
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out: Ricky (now played by Bill Moseley) has his brain slushing around in a clear brain dome and is being explored by a blind psychic in this deranged sequel.
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation: Speaking of weird sequels, this one has all the ideas that didn’t make it into Society and one of those is Clint Howard getting eaten by a gigantic bug. It isn’t Christmas without this film.
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toymaker: Mickey Rooney claimed that the scum who made the first Silent Night, Deadly Night should be run out of town. That didn’t stop him from being in the fifth movie.
  • Mill of the Stone Women: A doomed heroine and the just as damned hero who cannot help but to remain in love with her? If you love Eurohorror, you’re going to get obsessed by this one.
  • To All A Good Night: A Christmas slasher, sure. But a Christmas slasher directed by David Hess? You know it!

December 2

  • The Advent Calendar: Don’t sleep on this well-made foreign thriller that takes a high concept — possessed advent calendar — and makes it work.

December 6

  • Screams of a Winter Night: A regional movie inspired by regional movies, this film gets in all sorts of creepy stories along with an ominous mood. It’s a blast.
  • Devil Times Five: If you’re afraid of children, you’d do well to avoid this movie. Unless you want to see Leif Garrett as a killer kid and piranha get dumped in a bathtub.
  • Fangs: Did the DIA crew pick the movies on this day? Good Lord — Shudder is bringing it!

December 7

  • Switchblade Sisters: Seriously, if you’re not getting Shudder, you’re missing out. This month is packed with so many of my favorites, like this Tarantino-favorite.
  • Spider Baby: “Sit around the fire with the cup of brew. A fiend and a werewolf on each side of you. This cannibal orgy is strange to behold and the maddest story ever told.” I have been known to become incredibly emotional while watching this movie.
  • Hail to the Deadites

December 9

  • Death Valley: Military commandoes enter a bunker to save a scientist who is being stalked by the creature she helped create.

December 13

  • All the Colors of Giallo: If you’re new to the giallo genre, this is a great start!
  • Orgasmo: Carroll Baker becomes part of a trio couple with a brother and sister who have murderous designs on her. Umberto Lenzi directed and awesome, as are the next three films.
  • Knife of Ice: Baker plays a woman who has been mute since the death of her parents. Now, she’s being stalked by a Manson-like black-gloved giallo killer!
  • So Sweet So Perverse: Produced by Sergio Martino with a screenplay by Ernesto Gastaldi, this cover version of Les Diaboliques is stylish and near-perfect.
  • A Quiet Place to Kill: Shot by Aristide Massaccesi and directed by Lenzi, this one has Baker play a car racing femme fatale trapped in the middle of a series of murders.
  • All The Creatures Were Stirring: If you’re looking for a Christmas anthology, here it is. I wish it were better, but they can’t all be winners.

December 14

  • Rose Plays Julie
  • My Heart Can’t Beat Unless You Tell It To

December 17

  • Joe Bob Ruins Christmas: Joe Bob Briggs and Darcy are back with a new Christmas special, plus an auction, telethon, two movies and a major distortion of what Christmas is all about.

December 20

  • Etheria Season 2: A series of short female-created films with several standouts like “Shevenge” and “Carved.”

December will also have the season finales of Behind the Monsters and The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula. Plus, other holiday movies will be part of Shudder’s Unhappy Holidays Collection, such as A Creepshow Holiday Special, Black Christmas, Sheitan, Christmas Evil, Body, Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale, Better Watch Out, A Christmas Horror Story, Christmas Presence, Deadly Games, Red Christmas and Blood Beat.

You can sign up for Shudder and get your first seven days free. Just click the link to get started.

MILL CREEK JANUARY RELEASES

Did you know that we love Mill Creek? Well, we’re excited that beyond some new releases in January, they’re also going back to their roots and releasing some multipacks! Here’s what’s coming!

The Zombie CollectionFilled with four movies — Attack of the Lederhosen ZombiesGranny of the DeadAttack of the Killer Donuts and Harold’s Going Stiff — that are a mix of the living dead and comedy. Get more info here.

The Last of the GradsA class of graduating high school seniors, nearing the crossroads of their lives, celebrate their last night together at the annual school lock-in. They never could have guessed that they’re about to encounter the harbinger of death, the legendary “Coast to Coast Killer.” Learn more here.

Through the Decades: 1960s CollectionAs you know, Mill Creek collections are where it’s at. This set features Who Was That Lady?The Notorious LadyUnder the Yum Yum TreeGood Neighbor SamLilithBaby the Rain Must FallGenghis KhanMickey OneThe ChaseLuvHow to Save a Marriage (And Ruin Your Life) and Hook, Line and Sinker. Get more info here.

Through the Decades: 1970s CollectionThe Owl and the PussycatA Walk in the Spring Rain, $, The Anderson TapesBrother JohnThe HorsemanGumshowThe Last DetailThe Stone KillerFor Pete’s Sake and Fun with Dick and Jane make up the movies on this new multipack. Get more info here.

Get more info on everything Mill Creek at their web site.

The Advent Calendar (2021)

So when you hear, “This is a movie about a haunted advent calendar,” well you’d probably think that it’s pretty silly.

But Patrick Ridremont’s Le calendrier is way better than I expected.

Eva (Eugénie Derouand) once danced, but since her wheelchair accident, she’s fallen into a pit of despair. After the gift of a wooden antique calendar, she begins to get a surprise each day that changes her life. Some of them lead to death for those around her, but now that she can walk again, will all of the sacrifices be worth it?

There’s a great atmosphere in this movie, even if it doesn’t know how to end things. It also has a heroine who realizes that to get what she wants, she has to become someone that she is not. There are rules with this advent calendar and most of them can kill you.

It’s a pleasant surprise that this Shudder holiday exclusive is so good. I’m used to modern films not looking like anyone cares about color, lighting and composition. This not only looks great, it plays great and minor issues with the close, it just plain works. The art direction of the advent calendar is quite good as well.

After this, I’ll never have one that looks like that in my home.

Amityville Poltergeist (2020)

Once, this movie was called No Sleep, then Don’t Sleep, then it became an Amityville movie because that’s what you do sometimes if you want your movie to get out there, I guess. Hey — director and co-writer Calvin Morie McCarthy is out there doing it, I guess.

So anyways, as you can guess, this has nothing to do with Amityville, yet when has that stopped us in the past?

Jim is a poor college student who gets a House of the Devil job housesitting for a strange woman named Eunice, even after he’s been warned that the house itself is evil. Right away, he can’t sleep what with all the nightmares and the supernatural stuff that happens when he’s awake may be even worse.

Of course, most of this movie takes place in a room with people just talking to one another. It gets boring and yet never gets into murderdrone territory where it feels like the kind of mind numbing drugs that my brain demands, instead being merely like drinking an O’Doul’s and wondering why you’re not drunk.

I realize that they’re going to keep making Amityville movies and I’m going to keep watching them. Here are a few of my free titles to improve the streaming schlock that hopefully has at least something small to do with 112 Ocean Avenue:

  • Amityville Alien
  • 50 Shades of Amityville
  • Once Upon a Time…In Amityville
  • Amityville Giallo
  • Amityville Christmas
  • Amityville Ouija Party
  • Amityville Police Academy
  • Don’t Go in the Basement of the Amityville Death House
  • House of 1000 Amityville Horrors
  • Amityville Avengers

I literally have thousands of these and I await any streaming production company that wants more.

 

WRITERS WANTED: 2022 schedule inside

We’re always looking for more writers to be part of the site. Sure, we don’t pay, but we’re willing to let you write about just about any movie that you want to, at any length and in any style or format. We get around 1,000 visitors a day and share our reviews on Letterboxd, IMDB, Amazon, Rotten Tomatoes, Facebook and Twitter, so your work will get an audience. writerswanted2

In December, we’ll be doing the following topics:

  • Dec. 5 – 11: Filipino war movies
  • Dec. 12-18: Joe D’Amato week
  • Dec. 19-25: Sequels
  • Dec. 26-Jan. 1: Made for TV movies

January 2022

  • Jan.2-8: Free
  • Jan 9-15: Not so classic monsters: Strange interpretations of the Universal Monsters
  • Jan. 16-22: Curtis Harrington
  • Jan.23-29: Japan
  • Jan. 30: Free day

Franc-tuary 2022: All Jess Franco all month long

March 2022: All Cannon all month long

If you want to be part of the site, just email us at bandsaboutmovies@gmail.com. We look forward to having you write for us. We’re easy on deadlines, have no limit on word count and are excited to help you either get a new audience for your site or write about movies for the first time.

Amityville Vampire (2021)

Look, I’ve seen enough Amityville movies now that it takes a lot to surprise me. But the fact that this was directed and co-written by Tim Vigil knocked me out.

Tim Vigil may not be a huge name to you, but those that loved black and white outlaw comics know and revere his name. Starting with the comic book Grips — imagine Wolverine being allowed to murder people — and getting to beyond out there books like EO and Faust — which became the Brian Yuzna film in the 2000 movie Faust: Love of the Damned — Vigil’s incredible art made him the kind of creator worth following from book to book.

The cleanest Faust image I could find

Even some of my fellow comic book mutants had no idea this movie was coming. I had to hunt down the truth — was this the Tim Vigil? And yep, right in the middle of his Instagram, which repeatedly gets shut down because Tim loves posting images that upset pretty much anyone decent, there was the art for this movie.

Much like Danzig’s Verotika, this is the movie that you’d expect Tim Vigil to make.

If you love his stuff, you’ll be excited. If you hate it, well, stay far away.

The first nice thing you can say about this film is that the Amityville House actually shows up in the movie as a cleaning crew comes to do their work at 112 Ocean Avenue. Sure, this footage is a different aspect ratio than the rest of the film and the cleaning crew scenes were directed by someone else and they try to explain why the evil gets in the woods. It’s pretty much like how Frankenstein’s Bloody Terror is a werewolf movie but has a Frankenstein title because Sam Sherman already had 400 theaters lined up for the Al Adamson film Dracula vs. Frankenstein and had promised those grindhouses and drive-ins a Frank-centric double feature.

This leads to two people in the woods making out, but when his girlfriend won’t put out, Kurt sends her to the doom of being attacked by the titular vampire, who is played by the astoundingly named Jin N. Tonic, who was also in not only Dracula in a Women’s Prison but Frankenstein in a Women’s Prison. Somewhere, probably in Hell, Bruno Mattei is pleased.

Meanwhile, radio DJ and former rock star Johnny (Anthony Dearce) and Fran (Miranda Melhado) are on the way to those very same woods. He keeps telling her stories of how it’s haunted, making this kind of an anthology, which works better than it should. Except that the place they’re going is Red Moon Lake and not Amityville, but come on, we knew that was coming.

So there’s a story about Lilith — the vampire from the opening — inviting a woman to Thanksgiving and another where a man begs Lilith to do what God can’t and save his dying wife. Why he would tell her these stories happened in the place they’re going to is beyond me, but don’t look for life lessons in Amityville ripoff movies.

Meanwhile, Kurt now has a bunch of friends that are looking for women to assault. Yes, this is a movie filled with women showing up only to show off their breasts, long conversations that go nowhere, women being punched in the face and then laughing about it, a sexual assault filmed like the Austin Powers joke gag that really is reprehensible, a seeming encouragement of suicide, horrible looking blood, a decent looking vampire, a breast signing in a parking lot that doesn’t match the tone of the rest of the movie, some of the most over the top line reads and reaction shots you’ve ever seen in a movie and all the quality you expect from a direct to streaming poorly lit, filmed and soundtracked effort by a first-time director.

In short, it’s exactly the kind of movie I look for. What a glorious mess and man, I hope Tim Vigil makes tons of movies. It’s not good, but it’s not good in the violently bad way that says to me that his films are only going to get weirder, wilder and less concerned with petty concerns like continuity, color balancing, story and realistic effects and more worried with creating the kind of boundary-pushing magic that the Satanic mass orgy scenes in Faust delivered.

I mean, Tim Vigil tried to sell a 15-year-old me an art print of it and when I told him, “Well, I still live at home with my parents because I’m in high school,” he called me a pussy and I thanked him for it.

Dear Tim Vigil,

I now have my own home.

Make more movies.

I will buy them all.

Thanks,

Sam (former pussy)

Mill Creek Drive-In Classics Wrap Up!

You know the drill!

To gear up for Halloween, we crack open a Mill Creek box of fifty movies — then post those reviews throughout November. The Mill Creek madness began with their Chilling Classics set in 2018 and we also did the Pure Terror set in 2019. For 2020, we jammed on the Sci-Fi Invasion set.

Mill Creek’s 12-Packs always come in handy for our theme weeks, such as our recent “Fast and Furious Week,” when we need a lot of films, quickly, and the Savage Cinema set did the job. And, back in March 2020, we were so giddy with glee that we finally got our own copy of 9 Deaths of the Ninja courtesy of the Explosive Cinema 12-pack, we paid it forward to Mill Creek and reviewed all of the films in the pack.

Then, in February 2021, we went nuts in our Mill Creekness with a blowout of three box sets for 112 movies. In addition to The Excellent Eighties 50-Film Pack, we reviewed their Gorehouse Greats 12-Film Pack and B-Movie Blast 50-Film Pack.

Is there a Mill Creek set we missed? One you think we should do? Let us know.

From Christopher Lee to Shannon Tweed! Just not in the same movie.

Our many thanks to the writers who contributed their reviews:

Shannon Briggs of Mister Shannon B Letterboxd
Andre Couture of Celluloid Consommé and Letterboxd
G.G Graham of Midnight Movie Monster
Lint Hatcher of Wonder Magazine
Ben Merill of C’est non un blog and Letterboxd.
Melanie Novak of Golden Age of Hollywood
Nate Roscoe of Trash to Tarkovsky
Jennifer Upton at Womany.com
Nick Vaught, producer and writer for CW’s Supernatural
Wednesday’s Child of the Seven Doors of Cinema.com

Here’s the review rundown for Drive In Classics!

Absolution (1978)
Beast from a Gun (1977)
Beast from Haunted Cave (1959)
Blood Mania (1970)
Country Blue (1973) 
Craze (1974)
Day of the Panther (1988)
The Devil’s Hand (1961)
The Devil with Seven Faces (1971)
Don’t Look in the Basement (1973) — Take 1, Take 2, and Take 3
Don’t Open Till Christmas (1984)
Exposed to Danger (1982)
The Firing Line (1988)
The Ghost Galleon (1974)
Going Steady (1979)
That Guy from Harlem (1977)
I Wonder Who’s Killing Her Now? (1975)
In Hot Pursuit (1977)
Invasion of the Bee Girls (1973)
Jive Turkey (1974)
Katie’s Passion (1975)
The Lazarus Syndrome (1979)
Legacy of Blood (1971)
Legend of Big Foot (1976)
The Manipulator (1971)
Moon of the Wolf (1972)
Murder Mansion (1972)
Nabonga (1944)
Night Train to Terror (1985)
Prime Time (1977)
Prisoners of the Lost Universe (1983) 
Rattlers (1976)
Red Rings of Fear (1978)
Rituals (1977)
The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973) 
Savage Journey (1983) 
Savage Weekend (1979) — Take 1 and Take 2
Shock (1946)
Single Room Furnished (1966)
Slave of the Cannibal God (1978)
Snowbeast (1977)
Spare Parts (1979)
Street Sisters (1974)
This Island Monster (1954)
Throw Out the Anchor (1974)
TNT Jackson (1974)
Treasure of Tayopa (1974)
Twister’s Revenge (1988) 
Voodoo Black Exorcist (1974)
Women of Devil’s Island (1962) 

MILL CREEK DRIVE-IN CLASSICS: Moon of the Wolf (1972)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We originally watched this on August 26, 2020 in the midst of a werewolf heavy seven days. We can’t argue having a TV movie on a drive-in box set, but Mill Creek, we still love you.

Daniel Petrie made some pretty much films — Fort Apache the BronxA Raisin in the Sun and The Betsy — as well as some memorable made-for-TV movies like Sybil (which ruled mid-70’s bookshelves and viewings) and The Dollmaker.

Here, he’s in Louisiana along with a stellar cast making a movie that honestly could have played drive-ins. That’s how great these made-for-TV films were.

In the Lousiana bayou country of Marsh Island, two farmers (Royal Dano! and John Davis Chandler) find the ripped apart remains of a local woman. Sheriff Aaron Whitaker (David Janssen!) and the victim’s brother Lawrence Burrifors (Geoffrey Lewis!) both show up at the scene, but it’s soon determined that somehow, some way, the girl died from a blow to the head. Lawrence blames her most recent lover. The sheriff things it was wid dogs. And the Burrifors patriarch claims that it was someone named Loug Garog.

That mysterious lover could have been rich boy Andrew Rodanthe (Bradford Dillman!), who along with his sister Louise (Barbara Rush, It Came from Outer Space) lives in an old mansion, the last of a long line.

Based on Les Whitten’s novel, this originally aired as an ABC Movie of the Week on September 26, 1972, then reran as part of ABC’s Wide World of Mystery on May 20, 1974.

You can watch this on Amazon Prime and Tubi.

Amityville Vibrator (2020)

Look, if all director and writer Nathan Rumler (FangbonerGay for Pray: The Erotic Adventures of Jesus Christ) had done was write this movie’s tagline, “For God’s sake, get off!” and never even made the movie, we’d be fine.

However, I made a deal with a lesser demon to get Arrow blu rays for free, which means that now I must review every Amityvlille movie or pay for their latest releases with something worth way more than my paycheck.

Cathy (Corella Waring, CarousHELL) has done the unthinkable. She’s bought a marital aid at a yard sale, which may be the most wrong of the many wrong things in this movie. The more she and her girlfriend Roxi (Mallory Maneater) use the titular evil wand upon one another, the more chance that the demons that possessed the residents of 112 Ocean Avenue will find their way into their loins. And their souls, I guess.

Also, the vibrator can talk.

Also, there’s Spanky, a possessed ventriloquist dummy that rips off a man’s face and then has sex with a woman.

Also, there’s a murder scene juxtaposed with a sex scene.

Also, a character asks “Perform an exorcism on my (slang for part of anatomy).”

Also, two characters take mushrooms in the woods for real and in real time we watch them wander all over the place.

Meanwhile, Chad (Rumler) — the ex-boyfriend of Cathy — and his partner Mallory (Emily Hilborn) are kind of cosplaying Friday the 13th the Series except they are hunting down all of the cursed objects from the DeFeo house and only have one object left. Yes, the magical vibrator.

That said, in no way is this movie for anyone easily offended by, well, anything. It’s exactly what it promises to be and much, much worse. It’s a grimy, gross and upsetting movie that’s definitely going to have an audience. And well, I guess I’m in it because I have to see every Amityville movie and write them up if I want that UHD of They Call Her One Eye without suffering in Hell for all eternity.

Mitigating factor: a male cover version of the spraying amputation in Tenebre, copious amounts of well-done gore and people who are all obviously having fun making this. Honestly, this movie gave me the same feelings I had watching Cannibal Holocaust and that says to me that despite watching every Bruno Mattei and Joe D’Amato movie this year, I am still human after all.

ARROW BLU RAY RELEASE: Mill of the Stone Women (1960)

EDITOR’S NOTE: We originally featured this movie on September 15, 2021, but now that Arrow has released an astounding blu ray of this movie, it’s time that we go back and add some content so that this disk gets the recognition that it demands.

Director Giorgio Ferroni’s career ended when he went deaf in 1972. Before that, he worked in many of the genres of the Italian exploitation film world, from peplum like Hercules vs. Moloch to westerns like Fort Yuma Gold and Eurospy like Secret Agent Super Dragon. His last major directing efforts would be The Night of the Devils, which is an adaption of Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy’s The Family of the Vourdalak (which also inspired Viy and Black Sabbath) and a 1975 comedy Who Breaks…Pays.

The first Italian film shot in color, this movie takes us to an island in Holland that houses a sculpture of several women created by art professor and sculptor Professor Gregorious Wahl. Hans van Arnhim has traveled here to learn what the statues mean, but he’s also found love in the form of Wahl’s sickly daughter Elfie.

Now go with me on the plot. It turns out that the sculptor has hired a doctor to keep his daughter alive. Together, they run a secret lab where Elfie receives blood transfusions from kidnapped female victims who posthumously become part of the stone art of the professor. So — House of WaxEyes Without a FaceMill of the Stone Women.

Still, 60’s Eurohorror is, as they say, where it’s at. There’s so much to love in this movie and I love the doomed heroine and the just as damned hero who cannot help but to remain in love with her. This also has the interesting formula of gothic horror + science fiction + the magic of Technicolor.

The Arrow limited edition release of this movie is exactly the type of blu ray package that you expect from this powerhouse company. On its two disks, it includes more special features than you’d think can fit as well as limited edition packaging witha reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais; an illustrated collectors book with writing by Roberto Curti, an in-depth comparison of the different versions by Brad Stevens and a selection of contemporary reviews; a fold-out double-sided poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Adam Rabalais and six double-sided, postcard-sized lobby card reproduction artcards

Beyond the new 2K restoration from the original negative by Arrow Films, there are four different versions of the film: the original 96-minute Italian and English export versions, the 90-minute French version and the 95-minute US version. Plus, the Tim Lucas commentary — the author of Mario Bava: All the Colors of the Dark — is great. I learned so much information just in the first five minutes.

You also get features and interviews with the actors, the UK Drops of Blood title, the German title, U.S. and German trailers and a visual essay by Kat Ellinger.

Obviously, this release is a must-buy. You can get it from MVD and Diabolik DVD.