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Don’t go into the Netflix basement

The Carillon has eight horrible Netlfix horror films for to enjoy as you’re chomping away at the Halloween candy you probably stole from your kid brother

Jonathan Petrychyn, Braden Dupuis, Leland Foley, Sean Trembath, Kyle Leitch
Netflix aficionados

While most university students are probably going to get plastered this Halloween weekend, there are a handful of students who will probably pass on spending exorbitant amounts of money on liquor in order to front the comparatively cheap cost of watching horror films on Netflix. While you could watch classic horror films like Fright Night or Friday the 13th, we here at the Carillon have a better idea. We’ve searched through the absolute dregs of the Netflix barrel and have found eight horrible horror films for Halloween.

Mega Python vs. Gatoroid

If Mega Python vs. Gatoroid has one redeeming factor, it’s watching ’80s teen pop sensations Debbie Gibson and Tiffany catfight in the middle of a fancy dinner party.

Mega Python vs. Gatoroid (“Gatoroid” being a portmanteau of the words “gator” and “steroids”) follows in a long line of monster-versus-monster movies, including two others reviewed in this piece, Freddy vs. Jason and Mega Shark vs. Crocasaurus. The basic premise of these kinds of films is simple: two larger-than-life monsters battle it out while helpless human beings attempt to stop the battle, usually getting caught in the crossfire, and usually resulting in high human casualties.

It’s no different here. Large pythons and alligators with ’roid rage fight it out in the California everglades while a police squadron – led by Tiffany, no less – and the scientist who shot up the reptiles with drugs, naturally played by Debbie Gibson, attempt to destroy them all.

What ensues is 90 minutes of campy terror and bad CGI. Try not to groan when Tiffany and Gibson unabashedly quote Tiffany’s smash hit “I Think We’re Alone Now” after their catfight, or at the number of penis jokes made by the local yokels about large snakes in the bayou. Try not to roll your eyes at the sheer number of gut-wrenching death scenes of characters we’re supposed to care for.

But I think what might be the weirdest scene in the film is when Gibson puts on her Daisy Duke hat and tries to act sexy for Tiffany’s husband. Gibson is bent over the trunk of her car, causing Tiffany’s husband to stop in his tracks and ask her if she needs any help. It’s straight out of Dukes of Hazzard, but if they had used the same actors they used in the original TV show in the recent film adaption. It’s like watching your mom flirt with your weird uncle, and it’s just not right. If anything in this film will scare you, it won’t be the pythons or the gators; it’ll be watching two cougars prowling around for the camera. /JP

Leprechaun in The Hood

Where do you take your main character when he’s already been through the suburbs, Las Vegas, in love, and in space? If you answered that question with an emphatic “tha hood”, then congratulations, you’re officially as smart as a B movie screenwriter.

The Leprechaun series was always about campy, over-the-top horror comedy, but I don’t know what to make of this. It’s poorly written (probably by a team of white guys), poorly acted, not funny, not scary, and full of stereotypes. The plot follows three wannabe rappers who try to convey a positive message through their music. When they get blown off by a record promoter (Ice-T), they do the only logical thing: break into his offices with guns and steal all his shit so they can fund their feel-good rhymes. In doing so, they inadvertently set loose an ancient Leprechaun who will stop at nothing to get his gold back. Isn’t that always how it goes? Anyways, the Leprechaun goes on a killing spree trying to get his swag back, while our heroes use his magical flute to trick people into liking their shitty music.

It’s as stupid as it sounds. Even with the Leprechaun chasing them and murdering everyone they know, they still only seem to care about winning some stupid rap contest or something. And even when the Leprechaun gets his flute back, and kills one of their best friends, the remaining two protagonists don’t go looking for revenge. They devise a spectacularly stupid scheme that involves dressing up in drag and making the Leprechaun smoke four-leaf-clover-laced weed so he’ll lose his composure and they can steal the flute back and win the contest.

I hate this movie. Writing about it is making me depressed. I wonder if whoever wrote this movie received bonuses for every half-assed, half-racist limerick he wrote for the Leprechaun. I hope not, because that fucking Leprechaun only talks in half-assed, half-racist Limericks. All I could think about while watching this movie was how the Leprechaun probably had to sit in a make-up chair for upwards of eight hours every day to shoot this pile of shit movie. And while I was so focused on that, I probably missed some major plot points and character development. Probably. /BD

Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus

Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus is the worst 88 minutes of film that I have ever seen in my life. The words “worst movie ever” are thrown around too lightly, but I seriously have never watched anything as bad as this. Only someone with as much or less intelligence than a six-year-old could look at the script and think, “Yes, this is a fantastic idea for a movie”.

For some reason, a prehistoric shark and crocodile have survived the extinction of the dinosaurs. Crocosaurus has been living in a diamond mine in Africa, and decides 2010 is a good year to come out from hiding and fuck shit up. She starts laying eggs, which attracts the attention of a hungry shark, as ten-foot high crocodile eggs just happen to be a Mega Shark delicacy. The rest of the movie is the shark and crocodile fighting over the eggs while humans try to kill them both.

Even though this movie came out in 2010, the CGI looks like it’s at least 20 years old. The best part about the horrendous computer animated scenes is that they’re recycled throughout the movie. If you’re watching this movie and you think to yourself, “I swear I saw this really shitty shark attack already,” it’s because you did. Anytime Mega Shark attacks a ship, they use the same shot of the shark jumping over said ship and slapping the deck with its tail, which somehow always blows something up. Other re-used shots include any scene with a helicopter takeoff, and the fight scene between Mega Shark and Crocosaurus. Mega Shark vs. Crocosaurus even goes as far to steal a scene from the 1998’s Godzilla, where characters are in what they think is just a big hole in the ground, but an aerial shot shows it’s a giant footprint.

Exactly how big does a shark have to be before it qualifies for Mega Shark? It’s hard to tell how big Mega Shark really is because the size is never consistent. Sometimes the dorsal fin alone is shown to be taller than the mast of a navy war ship, which would make the shark far larger than the vessel, but then when it jumps over the ship its about the same size as the boat, and later in the film it’s large enough to swallow an entire nuclear submarine.

If you’re into abominable acting, helicopters that magically fix themselves, and sharks that turn into nuclear bombs, this is probably a movie for you, but if you’ve got half a brain cell in your skull, you’re probably just going to be pissed off about wasting an hour and a half of your life. /PB

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Sounds pretty self-explanatory, right? I hated Leprechaun in tha Hood but this movie made me hate myself. I found myself questioning my place on our planet while watching this. I really have no idea why this movie was made. How could this ever have sounded like a reasonable idea? I realize that the ’80s were full of excitement. It was a time of wonderful fashion, inspiring synth-pop, and a healthy who-gives-a-fuck mentality, but this movie may have single-handedly killed everything that was so disgustingly great about the ’80s. I also realize that the creators likely knew what kind of B-movie trash they were making, but that excuses nothing.

As far as campy, B-movie schlock goes, it’s everything you could hope for: bad writing, bad acting, and cheesy special effects abound. The clowns actually look pretty damn good considering the movie was made in 1988 with a budget of about $2 million, and at times they’re legitimately creepy. If you have an irrational fear of clowns, you should probably avoid this movie. On a similar note, if you are anyone at all you should probably avoid this movie.

The movie plays out like one big stupid joke on repeat in different scenarios. The clowns terrorize a small town, killing their victims with ridiculous clown-related methods and wrapping them in cotton candy for preservation. Without giving too much away, there are killer puppet-shows, corrosive pies, corrosive popcorn, and a balloon animal bloodhound.

There is no explanation given for why the clowns come to Earth, or why they’re killing everyone, or why there is an entire race of aliens that look like demon clowns. The whole movie is just an excuse to have clowns murder people in ridiculous ways for 86 minutes. That may not sound like a long time, but trust me, it is.

But in the end, I can’t really knock this movie. The filmmakers accomplished everything they set out to do. But considering what they set out do was make a shitty movie about fucking clowns from space that kill people, that isn’t saying much./BD

My Name Is Bruce

Four teenagers disturb the graveyard of migrant Chinese workers in the small mining community of Gold Lick, Oreg. One of the teenagers, Jeff, unwittingly awakens Guan-Di, the vengeful Chinese god of bean curd. While this ancient evil hacks, slashes, and decapitates his way out of the graveyard, Jeff manages to escape. Thus begins My Name is Bruce.

Bruce Campbell has been in many, many bad movies. However, the self-proclaimed “King of the B-Movie” has the good fortune of having a sense of humour about a career plagued with such spectacular failures as Cave Alien and McHale’s Navy. My Name is Bruce, which Campbell both directed and starred in, is simultaneously autobiographical and a complete send-up of the entire B movie genre.

After a particularly bad day spent making an awful film and dealing with “screwhead” fans, Bruce is kidnapped by Jeff, who just so happens to be a Bruce Campbell fanatic. Jeff, inspired by repeat viewings of Army of Darkness, believes that only Bruce Campbell can defeat Guan-Di and become the saviour of Gold Lick. Bruce believes he has been cast in an impromptu film. But when people start dying, Bruce realizes that the danger he’s in is very real.

One goes into a B-movie expecting a certain level of campiness, and this movie has camp leaking from every orifice: cheesy special effects, mindless violence, and not one, but three swerve endings. It’s easy to find fault with all of this until you realize that Bruce is brilliantly self-aware; it knows exactly that it’s a B-movie. Suddenly, the dialogue problems, exaggerated acting, slapstick humour, irreverent pop-culture references, continuity problems, and laughable monster effects all seem to come together to paint an absolute masterpiece of god-awful filmmaking.

Is My Name is Bruce a good movie? Not by a long shot. But it’s easily one of the greatest B-movies ever made. If you’re ready to make that distinction, then I would highly recommend a viewing this Halloween. It may give you a good chuckle or, at the very least some neat costume ideas for next Halloween. /KL

The Traveler

The Traveler is an awful movie. If, like me, you are a fan of Val Kilmer’s odd charisma, the set up for this psychological thriller has some promise. Unfortunately, the plot doesn’t make sense, the characters are poorly drawn, and worst of all, it’s boring, something a suspense film should never be.

It’s Christmas Eve at some small-town police precinct. It’s looking pretty quiet for the cast of characters: fat cop, loose cannon cop, hot chick cop, nondescript cops one and two, and of course, detective-with-a-dark-past cop. Things take a turn for the eerie when a stranger (Kilmer) walks in and confesses that he has killed six people. He won’t say who he is or who he killed, and before long things get weird with light bulbs burning out, cops seeing things that aren’t there, and the inevitable grisly deaths of most of their ranks.

It turns out that a year ago, these same six cops were on duty. They brought in a drifter who they thought might know where detective-with-a-dark-past’s missing daughter was. Things didn’t turn out so well for the drifter, and wouldn’t you know it, he looked a lot like this stranger who just came in. The filmmakers must have been a bit short on coverage, because they replay the sequence of the drifter being tortured approximately 12 times, thus convincing you, the audience, that this vengeful spirit is on the side of karma.

There are a few moments of the film that work. It actually looks pretty good, with the cinematography making good use of a small, limited set. The gore effects are effective, if ridiculously over the top, and rightfully earn the flick it’s classification as horror.

The problem is, it’s one of the least thrilling thrillers I’ve ever seen. Most of the suspense in this movie consists of Kilmer standing mute while various cops yell threats at him. Sometimes he whistles a tune that is supposed to be eerie, but it looks like Kilmer can’t actually whistle, and the tune is very obviously dubbed-in. None of the cops are likeable, which robs their deaths of any stakes. The plot ends with a twist that is not earned and really changes nothing. The most interesting thing I can say about it is the director once made a movie starring Steven Seagal as a character named Jonathan Cold. /SB

2012: Ice Age

I already dislike the idea that the world will drastically change, or even end in 2012. For me, this was one that would sit in the darkest corner of Netflix until it would finally be removed. Of course, that made it a perfect choice for this article.

When it begins, we a family seeing their daughter off to New York. At the same time we find out that an area in the arctic is exploding from a volcanic eruption. The dad is one of the first people to find out about this and gets in a fit to move his family south. But wait, the daughter is now in New York! Here come the family-reuniting shenanigans!

Here are the problems with this movie, in no particular order. The mother is a bitch for not wanting to pick up a stranded family, who are soon crushed by a block of ice. The son is a greedy little shit that munches on potato chips while the others are oblivious and hungry. The father has the patience of a saint dealing with the idiotic questions he is asked throughout the movie.

There is a scene where they crash into some vehicles in the middle of the road, during which you can clearly see the ramp that the vehicle drove on in order to roll. Also, at one point they get in a Cessna to fly the rest of the way. This is already not smart with the amount of cloud cover and snow covering the ground everywhere. You can see the plane change its body and call sign at least 10 times during the flight.

I am very surprised that films like these get the all-clear when there are so many goof-ups. The only positive thing to this movie is that I could think of a drinking game for it. You drink if you laugh, say “What?”, or feel the need to stop the movie.

But perhaps the worst part of the film is the question that plagued everyone’s minds throughout: how cold would it have to be in order for someone to freeze completely stiff in one second? /LF

Freddy vs. Jason

I must profess that I adore slasher flicks. I applaud every superhuman act of the nightmarish, undead serial killer, every mutilation by the power tool flavour-of-the-month, and indeed, every pun so glibly spat afterwards. I find it odd, then, that with all of this in its favour, I didn’t much care for Freddy vs. Jason.

When Freddy vs. Jason was announced, the horror community collectively lost its shit.  Finally, a titanic battle between the seminal horror villains of the ’80s and ’90s! But how would their battle be waged? By body count? By fighting each other in a blood-soaked, no-holds-barred duel to the death? Well, sort of.

Freddy Krueger, reprised for the millionth time by Robert Englund, is in Hell. In order to gain the strength to escape Hell, Freddy needs an adequate number of people to fear him, like a Lovecraftian fuel cell. Freddy enlists the help of Jason Voorhees, played by Ken Kirzinger, who blasphemously replaces Kane Hodder in the role, to “help” the children of Elm Street remember what fear is.

It is at this point that I suggest you make friends with darkness. You’re going to be peering into it an awful lot, trying to figure out which part of who Jason just lopped off. The only outstandingly lit parts of the movie are, in true Freddy fashion, the dream sequences.

Jason steals away a kill from Freddy, which seriously pisses Freddy off. Taking over the body of a young stoner, Freddy manages to tranquilize Jason. Freddy’s then free to wreak all sorts of havoc in Jason’s mind. But Freddy is dragged into the real world where finally he and Jason stand face-to-face and duke it out. Freddy, fresh off of his mixed martial arts training with Georges St-Pierre, proceeds to unleash all manner of flying knees, head kicks, rebar javelins, and razor-fisted jabs. And what ends their battle? A goddamn gasoline explosion.

Ultimately, my problem with Freddy vs. Jason is that it so grossly mishandled a premise that had such great expectations attached to it. The only thing worse than watching Freddy vs. Jason this Halloween would be to watch those horrendous Michael Bay reboots. /KL


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