Sunday, October 12, 2014

Halloween Horror Movie Madness 2014 - Attack Of The Automatons: Week One Recap

You're probably wondering exactly what this is... Well, to keep it simple, this year, I'm participating in a horror movie-watching competition called Halloween Horror Movie Madness (aka The Madness). This year, the theme of the competition is films featuring evil automatons (i.e. Killer Toys, Robots, Possessed Furniture, etc). There are a bunch of rules and a point system, yada, yada, yada... But, I'm not going to explain that here. If you are really curious, just do a little bit of creative searching on Facebook, and you can probably find our group...

Anyhow, it's a lot of fun, and this post is used to "submit" my points for the week (the competition runs until Halloween, with submissions every Sunday)... So, maybe you'll find it interesting, maybe you won't.

All of the below were watched over the past week... Scores (out of 5) for each title are included, along with points.


Tales From The Crypt

Season Four, Episode 12 - "Strung Along" (~30 min, 4/5)
An aging puppeteer suspects his much younger wife has a lover... Puppet happens to be a killer.
Points: .5 (Base) + .5 (Practical Effects/Puppetry) + .5 (Living Doll) + .5 (Doll is part of Murder plot) + ATB (Doll IS killer) = 3 points

Season Four, Episode 13 - "Werewolf Concerto" (~30 min, 3/5)
Hotel patrons terrorized by werewolf.
Points: .5 (Base)  = .5 points

Season Four, Episode 14 - "Curiosity Killed" (~30 min, 3/5)
Elderly couples go camping & take part in a voodoo ritual to make themselves young again. THings go poorly.
Points: .5 (Base) + .5 (Practical Puppetry)  = 1 point

The Puppet Master/Child's Play Challenge!

Watch all 10 Puppet Master movies & All 6 Child's Play movies in the same week.
Points: 110 points (Flat Rate) 

Puppet Master (2.5/5)
Decent, but not nearly as entertaining as Child's Play, which it was clearly trying to emulate. Still, it's probably the second best in the series, and I could watch it again without wanting to kill myself.

Puppet Master 2 (2/5)
Goes a bit wacky, with the puppets resurrecting their master, Toulon, who looks like The Invisible Man (yeah, I just wrote that). He wants to transfer his soul into a giant puppet and get married to another giant puppet. The puppets end up getting pissed. Not good, but far from the worst.

Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge (3.5/5)
Easily the best in the series. I actually really like this one. For starters, the plot makes sense and is easy to follow. The sets are also nice, and the effects hold up well. Plus, puppets fighting Nazis. Skip the rest of them and just watch this. It's a prequel anyhow, so you don't need to know what happens after it (hint: nothing).

Puppet Master IV (1.5/5)
Okay, this is getting ridiculous... The puppets are now "good guys" defending humanity from these awful little demon puppets. There are also dudes in Power Rangers-style monster suits, laser tag with puppets, and the most awkward fist fight ever between Blade and a shitty-looking demon.

Puppet Master V: The Final Chapter (2/5)
Surprisingly Part 5 is a little bit better than the last one. But not much. And it's more of the same. Too bad it wasn't actually THE FINAL CHAPTER. Too bad they made FIVE more. Fuck.

Curse Of The Puppet Master (1/5)
It's like WHAT'S EATING GILBERT GRAPE if the special needs kid was a giant and the fat lady was a bunch of puppets. Seriously. Do I even need to tell you it's not worth watching?

Retro Puppet Master (1/5)
Because of this movie, David DeCouteau is now my most-watched Director of 2014. Think about that and cry for me, please. 

Puppet Master: The Legacy (0/5)
Holy shit... They actually found a way to make these movies worse. This one was basically a clip-show that was supposed to recap the first seven movies and lay the timeline out in order. Somehow, they managed to make it even more confusing while wasting Part Three (the only good movie in the bunch). I hate myself for having sat through this.

Puppet Master: Axis Of Evil (1/5)
Oh look, we're back in Nazi Germany... Again. Only more boring. A LOT more boring.

Puppet Master X: Axis Rising (1/5)
More of the same from the last movie. But there is a puppet with boob guns. So, there's that.

Child's Play (5/5)
A classic, and it still holds up wonderfully after all of these years. Great suspense, solid creepiness, etc. Pretty much a perfect movie.

Child's Play 2 (4/5)
An underrated film, for sure. Obviously not as good as the original, but it continues the story logically, and I enjoy the tone, which is even darker than the first. The final scene, in the warehouse, is wonderful.

Child's Play 3 (3.5/5)
People seem to hate this movie. I have always found it to be fun. Sure, there are parts that make no sense, but this was the first movie in the series to really turn Chucky into a slasher and make the movie a horror-comedy, and it's fun.

Bride Of Chucky (3.5/5)
When this movie came out in 1998, horror kind of sucked... Everything was trying to be a SCREAM knockoff. To a certain extent, BRIDE takes the meta nature of that film and uses it to embrace the silliness of the franchise. For me, it worked, and it still holds up

Seed Of Chucky (3.5/5)
Honestly, SEED was a movie that disappointed me, when I first saw it in theaters... However, rewatching it almost 10 years later, I like it a lot more. It seems goofy, but it actually has a lot to say about gender identity. Plus, it has Redman directing a Bible epic. 

Curse Of Chucky (3.5/5)
CURSE is a nice return to form for the series. Chucky is mean again, and the cartoonish tone is all but gone. Oh, and the post-credits scene is fucking off the chain crazy. 

Assorted Movies

Dollman (3/5)
Way better than the Puppet Master movies. I actually had a lot of fun with this movie. Jackie Earle Haley is ridiculous, and the movie is so 1990s, that I can't even begin to explain it...
Points: 2 (Base) + 1 (person turned into cyborg) = 3 points

Demonic Toys (4/5)
This movie is what the Puppet Master films should have been. It's fun, it's offensive, it's off-the-wall, and it looks beautiful (surprisingly) on Blu-ray. Glad that I had the chance to rewatch this one.
Points: 2 (Base) + ATB (Doll/Toys are killers in ritual) = 6 points

Dollman vs Demonic Toys (2.5/5)
Uses a bunch of clips from the other movies to put together a crossover story. Technically, it should be called BAD CHANNELS vs DOLLMAN vs DEMONIC TOYS, but I can forgive it. It's WAY more fun and better put together than PUPPET MASTER LEGACY, though.
Points: 2 (Base) + ATB (Doll/Toys are killrs in ritual) =  6 points

Puppet Master vs Demonic Toys (2/5)
Corey Feldman + Horribly stupid versions of the Puppets and Toys = WTF did I just watch? The sad part is that it is better than just about all of the "legit" Puppet Master movies.
Points: 2 (Base) + ATB (Doll/Toys are killers in ritual) = 6 points

Demonic Toys 2: Personal Demons (1.5/5)
Nowhere near as fun as the original DEMONIC TOYS, and not even as good as the crossver movies. Still, it has a couple of amusing moments, and it's worth watching to see just how much worse the effects are.
Points: 2 (Base) + ATB (Doll/Toys are killers, attack humans) = 6 points

Satan's Little Helper (3.5/5)
A mean-spirited, nasty little gem that more people need to watch. Perfect for Halloween viewing... Not theme-related, but it's horror, and I watch it every year, so why not...
Points: 2 (Base) = 2 points

The Basement (2/5)
Oh, wow... This movie is bad. But it's kind of so bad that it's good... Technically, it's three movies that got shoved into one. Also fun knowing that it was supposed to come out in the 80s, but didn't get released until a few years ago.
Points: 2 (Base) = 2 points

Jack-O (1.5/5)
Horrible shit from Fred Olen Ray... Killer pumpkin man and the fakest mustache in cinema history. The commentary on the DVD is better than the movie; if only so you can hear the Director fighting with the producer.
Points: 2 (Base) =  2 points

Annabelle Opening Weekend Bonus

Annabelle (3.5/5)
Definitely not as creepy as THE CONJURING, and not a CHILD'S PLAY knockoff, either. I had a good time with this. Some decent sequences and scares.
Points: 6 points (Thursday night showing)

Live Madness Kickoff Event

Watched two selections from the Madness Kickoff event and participated in live chat with other maniacs. 15 points

Dead Silence (3/5)
Creepy ass ventriloquist's dummies... A lot of people hate on this movie, but I think it's a lot of fun. Definitely an underrated flick.

Re-Animator (5/5)
A classic. Lovecraft + Stuart Gordon + Jeff Combs + GORE GALORE = Awesome. They don't make 'em like this anymore.

Total Points For Week One

168.5 points

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