The Hidden (1993)

Michael Wilcott (Simon Mosely) lost his parents in a plane crash and his brother to a murderer. Now, as he hunts down that man — instead of killing himself — he finds himself getting close to The Hidden. And yes, there’s another movie with the same title, but director Nathan Hill and writer Nick Goodman didn’t know that.

Everyone is as Australian as can be and if you are ready to work your way through the accents, you’ll also be rewarded by two shirtless men having an incredible fistfight on the side of a cliff. There’s also a cocaine addicted monster which is really a man in a bear suit, so this also has that going to for it.

I mean, this is a movie where a bear lives in the sewers and eats a man on coke, gets into coke and appears for one scene and you name it The Hidden. This is a movie that demands sheer insanity throughout and instead feels like teenagers trying to make a serious movie except that, yes let me say it again, it has a zooted-out bear in it.

You can watch this on Tubi.

Goblin (1993)

I really like Todd Sheets, because he seems like someone just as willing to passionately discuss his favorite Fulci movie as he is someone ready to make something astounding like Moonchild. He may not be the biggest fan of this movie and sees a lot he could have done better — or so he says — but I had a blast watching it. It made me feel like when I was a teenager and all I cared about was reading Fangoria and driving to other towns to find mom and pop video stores with different libraries of horror movies than the ones I’d exhausted around me.

This movie is exactly what I was looking for.

The plot is simple but that’s just to get the creature into our world and killing everyone he can. A farmer named Romero once wanted his crops to do better so he tried some magic and ended up with, well, a goblin. So he dropped it in a well and years later, when a young couple buys the place, they accidentally unleash it, as you do, and things go wrong for everyone and right for you, the viewer.

So yeah, I would have been 21 when this came out and that was the perfect time for me to enjoy Fulci references, heavy metal soundtracks and people just randomly showing up and trying to speak dialogue that they are ill-prepared to deliver and they still end up sounding like every art school party I ever attended with the cheapest bottle of vodka in my hand.

Now, wondering like why a goblin needs a drill to take out someone’s eyeball is the kind of thing that people wonder about when they get too intellectual about movies like this. Other questions would be why is there so much genital mutilation and why do zombies just show up? These are dumb questions no one cares about. Stop asking questions. Stop making sense.

The goblin looks great, the music is pretty solid and the video quality is absolutely horrible. The guts look like real animal parts which is how they do it in Texas on productions big and small, but this was made in Kansas City. They have good barbecue in both places and I guess the sloppiness of the sauce on the meat translates to how grimy the guts look in horror films too. Why is this movie making me hungry instead of nauseated? Have I gone too far?

This was shot under a full moon with a video camera. That’s as perfect as life gets.

Say no to drugs. Get high on horror!

Requiem der Teufel (1993)

Jan Reiff went on to be a director of photography on movies like Iron Doors and Slave, but before that he made this shot on video tale of Ludwig Herrmann, who killed his wife Elizabeth — and her lover — when he caught them in bed together. Then he killed a witness who was completely innocent. And oh yeah, then they came back as zombies.

Translated as Requiem for the Devil, this feels like a German Fulci superfan made his own movie because, well, that’s exactly what it is. Those zombies put him through hell — razor blades in the spaghetti anyone? — but Ludwig isn’t going down easy.

That said, he also kills his wife in a way that will get him on one one my many Letterboxd lists: he throws a hairdryer into the bathtub while she’s in it. Then he shoots her lover and runs him over to be totally sure, then because that witness saw everything, he remembers Italy and jabs out one of his eyeballs.

I mean, this has a lot going for it, beyond the gore, like an eighty minute running time and an ending that has, well alright it’s mostly the gore because the wife gets her face ripped clean off before quite literally facefucking our protagonist with a drill and then finger banging the hole left behind because, you know, why not? I’ll bet Ludwig wished he just kept playing his Gameboy and never looked around to see if he was being cucked. I mean, there are some questions you don’t want the answers to.

You can watch this on YouTube thanks to altohippiegabber.

JEAN ROLLIN-UARY: Killing Car (1993)

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first on the site on December 9, 2020.

Also known as Femme Dangereuse (Dangerous Woman), this Jean Rollin-directed movie is all about an Asian woman known as the Car Woman. This role was specifically written for model Tiki Tsang, who is actually Australian. Rollin worked on this film until he grew too ill to complete it, then edited it years later*.

The Car Woman kills throughout the film, leaving a toy car behind as a calling card for each murder. Literally the entire film is a series of episodes with people meeting Car Woman and getting killed, whether they are women who get an army of doomed prostitutes to help them, a boyfriend and girlfriend who end up shot and stabbed with a golden fork respectively or a photographer and her model in New York City.

You have to love that Car Woman cocks her gun every time she shoots it, which isn’t needed after the first shot. It’d just waste ammo. This is what I think of when I should just be watching Jean Rollin movies and staring at all of the women, huh?

*It was shot on 16mm and originally intended for a direct-to-video release, although it did have a brief theatrical appearance in 1993. No usable print or negative of the film exists today, so what you get on video is what you get.

PITTSBURGH MADE: Zombie Jamboree: The 25th Anniversary of Night of the Living Dead (1993)

Some of this film feels like home movies from a zombie convention at the Pittsburgh Expo Mart, which used to be right across the parking lot from Monroeville Mall, home of Dawn of the Dead. It also goes into the history of the filmmakers who made Night of the Living Dead, showing commercials for Calgon, Iron City and the Magic Lantern, a device that helps you light your grill faster which is a major deal for Steel City summers.

The convention — I was there, look for a chubby long haired 21-year-old me looking hapless — also had Adam West, Kane Hodder, David Prowse and Gunnar Hansen, as well as people who actually had things to do with Romero’s zombie movies like “Chilly” Billy Cardille and his daughter Lori, who was the star of Day of the Dead.

This also feels like an informerical for things you can’t buy any longer from Russo’s Imagine Inc.There was their new magazine, Scream Queens Illustrated, trading cards and the Scream Queens Swimsuit Sensations video. There’s a near home movie scene of Brinke Stevens arriving and man, while so many actresses seem unapproacable and like androids, Brinke always seem so cute and fun and normal and melts my heart.

Overall, this is like visiting John Russo’s house and him pulling out footage to show you, like “Have you seen the trailer for The Majorettes?” and “Do you like Midnight?”

Definitely when Savini is doing the tour of the mall, well, I am there. He talked about falling on a stunt and his legs being hurt for weeks, as well as the old fountain that was once in the mall.

The quality of this is so bad that it made me wistful for the time of watching camcorder shot footage that just looks like a grainy blur. The fact that people would watch this looking for insights into film and just get footage of Romero hangers on riding the Gateway Clipper makes me deliriously happy.

You can watch this on Tubi.

PITTSBURGH MADE: Reflections On the Living Dead (1993)

Directed and written by Thomas Brown, this film has a roundtable between George A. Romero, John Russo, Russell Streiner and Karl Hardman as they discuss exactly how Night of the Living Dead was made. You also get to see Karl with Marilyn Eastman as they discuss how they went through library music to get the sound effects and soundtrack for the film under budget, which is worth the price of admission — it’s streaming for free on Tubi but you get the idea — of this documentary.

As a bonus, everyone from Tobe Hooper, Sam Raimi, Wes Craven, John Landis, Fred Olen Ray, David DeCoteau, Chris Gore, David E. Williams and Scott Spiegel speak about what the first modern horror movie means to them.

The best part of this is, as you can imagine, getting the original crew together and hearing how they thought they could make this for $600 each, how that number rapidly increased, the frustration of working for ad agencies, living at the farmhouse, painting a car that was loaned to the production and nearly ruining it, going to Washington D.C. for a quick scene away from Evans City and so much more. It’s a leisurely discussion — the Tempe Video blu ray has the original cut of this and the entire roundtable as an extra so grab it from Diabolik DVD — and everyone seems happy to be there and excited to share their stories.

PITTSBURGH MADE: The Dark Half (1993)

Shot at Washington & Jefferson College and in Edgewood, right across the bridge from Tateh Cuda’s garden, The Dark Half found George Romero again working with a big studio and adapting a Stephen King book.

It has Thad Beaumont (Timothy Hutton) trying to escape the lowbrow horror books he writes under the name Goerge Stark for the highbrow world of literature, even burying Stark in a fake grave. The problem is, well, Stark is real, the soul left behind by a vestigal twin — the brain surgery scene in the beginning is astounding — making his way to Castle Rock to destroy all of the goodness in Thad’s life.

King knows all about this, as his Richard Bachman pen name came from writer Donald E. Westlake, who wrote his more violent fiction as Richard Stark.

Sherriff Alan Pangborn, played by Michael Rooker in this movie, is the same character Ed Harris played in Needful Things. As you can imagine, he has a hard time trying to understand the fact that Thad has a dark version of himself because he’s a man who believes in facts.

I wonder if the extended time Romero spent with Dario Argento led to him portraying Stark as a bandage covered, black hat and cloak wearing giallo killer, complete with a razor blade. He’s always surrounded by swams of loud birds, which is a great tension builder.

Beyond Hutton and Rooker, Romero has a great cast here, including Amy Madigan as Thad’s wife, Julie Harris as a friend who knows Thad’s secret, Chelsea Field as Alan’s wife, plus Royal Dano and Rutanya Alda.

While I like Romero’s smaller productions, I really ended up liking this way more than i thought I would and plan on going back in to watch it again.

ARROW VIDEO SHAW SCOPE VOLUME 2 BOX SET: The Bare-Footed Kid (1993)

Directed by Johnnie To, this is a remake of Chang Cheh’s Disciples of Shaolin and stars Aaron Kwok as  Kwan Fung-yiu, the bare footed kid of the title. After the death of his father, he goes to the city to work at the dye factory Four Seasons Weaver of his father’s friend Tuen Ching-wan (Ti Lung), which is under attack by the workers of another factory owner, Hak Wo-po (Kenneth Tsang).

Kwok is rewarded with his first pair of shoes for all his hard work, but his fighting skills make him someone that the evil Hak Wo-po wants in his employ. That means that our hero becomes just another henchman at one point before needing to get on the path to redemption. There’s also romance, as his father’s friend is in love with the owner of the factory (Maggie Cheung) and a young teacher attempts (Chien-Lien Wu) to help our hero realize that he’s not just some fool from the countryside.

Ultimately, it’s a movie where someone who lost everything in the world of violence tries to have someone not repeat their mistakes. Whole I prefer the original, this is a worthy remake.

SLASHER MONTH: Das Wiener Kettensägenmassaker (1993)

The Vienna Chainsaw Massacre is a shot on video movie that has a restaurant on Rennbahnweg as its location and stars a group of altar boys and has a Ministry soundtrack that wasn’t paid for and runs sixteen minutes and recreates the end of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Leatherface dancing and spinning with his chainsaw except these kids did this in public and people are just walking around and not even wondering why a killing machine is running a chainsaw.

Director, writer and star Martin Nechvatal made a sequel with the incredible title Horror Maniacs: I Want to See Pigblood! and is still filming stuff, often making docs about other films in addition to his own movies. He has also put on a stage play — that has been filmed — called The Maneater – Anthropophagus and yes, it’s exactly what you think it is.

I have to tell you, kids making their own gore films with Ministry playing as chainsaws tear through flesh should be a whole run of movies and not just this one. But yeah, this one is pretty fun.

You can watch this on YouTube.

SLASHER MONTH: Puppet Master 4 (1993)

The puppets who were once evil have now become good where new bad puppets come on in this sequel to Puppet Master 2. The demon Sutekh has sent the Totems to kill anyone who has the power of animation, including some researchers and Rick Myers (Gordon Currie), who believes that the puppets of Toulon are early AI experiments. His friends Susie (Chandra West), Lauren and Cameron come to visit and soon, they are all being hunted by the Totems. Can Blade, Pinhead, Six Shooter, Tunneler and Jester save them?

Directed by Jeff Burr (Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III) and written by Charles Band (with contributions from Steven E. Carr, Todd Henschell, Keith S. Payson, comic book writer Jo Duffy and Douglas Aarniokoski), this also introduces the robotic Decapitron, which has the video face of Toulon.

Guy Rolfe returned to play Andre Toulon but refused to leave his hotel room and act in the movie unless producer Charles Band personally slid a cash payment under his hotel room door. That’s an IMDB fact and could be BS, but seeing as how this movie recycles music from the past movies and Decapitron came from another potential Full Moon film, I lean to the idea that it’s true.