A grimy treat in the vein of SAVAGE STREETS or SWITCHBLADE SISTERS, ALLEY CAT is at times just as fun as both those grindhouse classics, even if it it doesn't have the best script. Basically, Karin Mani plays a badass for its 82 minutes, cutting down and kicking the ass of any creep that gets in that gets in her way on her quest for revenge. By the time she delivers her great line, "Don't mess with girls in the park -- IT'S NOT NICE!", you'll want to cheer. Fun stuff.
This thriller from director Katt Shea and producer Roger Corman isn't nearly as bad as you might think. Maria Ford plays a stripper who has dreams of her fellow dancers getting murdered, and when they turn up dead, she starts to become scared that she's the one offing them.
While there's the expected sleaze throughout, Shea does a good job of injecting some noir in the film, with Eb Lottimer as the constantly smoking cop with a limp who falls for Ford. There's also some enjoyable stuff for pure kitsch value, including very 80s dream sequences, includingly one that seems inspired by Roman Polanski's REPULSION!
Interestingly enough, STRIPPED TO KILL 2's cinematographer, Phedon Papamichael, later went on to shoot the great SIDEWAYS and THE DESCENDANTS for Alexander Payne.
John Carl Buechler's THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE is one mess of a bad movie, but one I had fun with, mostly thanks to the gore on screen and the scenery chewing Tony Todd as the titular characters. Set in modern times, Todd plays the good doctor with restraint, but when it comes to Hyde, he's a hammy joy, spewing incredibly corny one liners under pounds of makeup.
If anything, you can come from JEKYLL AND HYDE saying that you got to see Todd bite a chunk out of someone's nose and then comment, "Snot bad." Todd also makes a final transformation into an even larger monster that has a hilariously silly standoff with the L.A. police.
Buechler, a longtime F/X man, also has cast other genre vets alongside Todd, including Vernon Wells, Tim Thomerson, Peter Jason and Tracy Scoggins, as a cop after Hyde. The film also carries a strange pro-gun message (!) that makes this mess have to be seen to be believed.
Although Charles Matthau's FREAKY DEAKY was probably aiming for the caliber of one of the better Elmore Leonard adaptations, or a Tarantino film, what it ends up resembling more is one of the worst Tarantino ripoffs of the 1990s, THE WINNER. That film, directed by Alex Cox, suffered from a sluggish pace that was occasionally livened by the off-kilter performances of its actors.
The same is true of FREAKY DEAKY, particularly the work of Crispin Glover as a rich and constantly stoned man who nearly everyone seems to be conspiring against, including his right hand man, Michael Jai White, who proves again that he's an actor that deserves more attention.
There's also Christian Slater and Breanne Racano as two bombers who try to extort money from Glover and even Andy Dick as Glover's angry brother. But sadly, the film never becomes the "so-crazy-its-fun" dark comedy it wants to be. Instead, FREAKY DEAKY is just mostly a bore.
This SyFy Channel movie is basically CHUPACABRA ON A CRUISE with John Rhys-Davies as the captain, only not as much fun as it sounds. To be fair, it does have decent gore and an enjoyably goofy looking monster, but just can't pull it off to be a complete pleasure.
Still, while the film fails, it's fun to watch Rhys-Davies do his best to save this sinking ship of a film. Even when the film is crap, he remains a professional.
A pretty lousy piece of horror junk, BLACK CANDLES is the sort of movie that piles on the sex, thinking it'll distract you from the film's shortcomings. But no, they're much too large to ignore. This film tells of a woman who returns to her late brother's home after his death, only to find that his widow wants to use her in the rituals that she and her Satanic cult practice.
They also manage to turn our heroine's boyfriend -- a former man of the cloth -- to the dark side, and rather quickly too. The fact that he turns to Satanism at the drop of a hat and that our lead hardly ever seems to think of fleeing the mansion makes the film incredibly hard to swallow. Reportedly, director José Ramón Larraz disowned BLACK CANDLES after its release; I can't say I blame him.
I didn't think it was possible to make a worse spoof than AN AMERICAN CAROL. SCARY MOVIE V proved me so wrong, since it's not only that, but it's also the worst, most aggravating comedy I've sat through since AUSTIN POWERS IN GOLDMEMBER. It's a scattershot mess that tries to parody the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies, MAMA, EVIL DEAD, BLACK SWAN, INSIDIOUS, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, 50 SHADES OF GREY, SINISTER, THE HELP (yep, they went there) and even INCEPTION.
With so many targets, you might think the end result would be an incoherent mess. Well, you're absolutely right. It also doesn't help that the film's reshoots are plainly obvious, with some of the inconsistent behavior of the characters and bad continuity. According to IMDB, principal photography on SCARY MOVIE V was done last year, but 60 percent of the movie was reshot from January to February 2013, without the presence of credit director Malcolm D. Lee.
What we're left with is a terrible hatchet job that barely even scores a few chuckles, let alone big laughs. And don't even get me started on the film's bad sexual and racial jokes. What's the scariest thing about SCARY MOVIE V? That anyone ever thought it was fit for release.