MOVIE MELT Podcast Covers Fangoria’s 1992 Northern Wisconsin Creature Feature: SEVERED TIES!
The latest episode of the Movie Melt podcast is a special one, especially for all of you “cheeseheads” out there-We cover the third Fangoria Films bizarro teen mad scientist monster flick ‘SEVERED TIES’ from 1992! This mostly forgotten gem was filmed in my home state of Wisconsin, way up north in my old stomping grounds-Rhinelander! WTF right? Why in the world would they choose the small town northwoods area to film NOT just Severed Ties but ALL three of their first feature films up there?!
Well the story is truly intriguing and on this episode we bring on special FX artist and native northern Wisconsinite Hank Carlson to tell his wild story of Windsor Lake Studios, the team behind ‘Hellraiser’ who decided to set up shop there. Hank fills us in on how as a small town teen with an unlikely dream of cracking into the biz as a make up artist, he somehow lands his dream job in the late 80s!
We get the scoop on horror history in the making and discuss ‘Severed Ties’ in all of it’s gooey glory! Plus a Wisconsin themed Battle of the bands in this ALL things Wisconsin horror movie mash up..
Who says dreams can’t come true?! Tune in RIGHT HERE to check out the episode and delve head on into one of the strangest horror films of the 1990’s: a practical fx creature feature that’s in desperate need of a fancy blu ray release and a devoted cult following…
The Best of Netflix DVD: Reggie Banister Enters the CEMETERY GATES!!
Reggie Banister of “Phantasm fame” is one of my favorite horror heroes-hands down! The horror franchise is my all time favorite of the genre, Reggie is one of the main reasons why it resonates with me so hard. What I’ve noticed though is Reg really doesn’t take center stage in any other movies I can think of, it’s usually just brief cameos in things like ‘Bubba Ho-tep’ or even ‘Kenny & Company’. Well that’s what I was led to believe but low and behold through the Netflix “red envelope” dvd mailer program (that’s sadly coming to an end soon), I received a movie from queue that’d been sitting there for years! The 2004 (or 2006?) horror flick CEMETERY GATES finally arrived in the mail, I really had quite low expectations and quickly noticed Reggie Banister was appearing, I figured he’d likely be doing another “horror cameo” in a low budget production. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong!
I was pleasantly surprised, Reggie is one of the main characters in this one & better yet even the movie is somehow a total gem-a gore soaked, practical fx creature feature with heart and a heroic dose of humor while also a somewhat intriguing story at play. Yeah I was expecting a steamin’ load of shit and what I got was one of my new favorites of the 2000’s horror movies. It’s filled with a cast of fun characters, many of which are total boneheads, which make this little gnarly flick even more of a blast. It’s the story of an escaped lab animal-a giant mutated Tasmanian devil named “Precious” who goes on a muderous rampage in the countryside when set loose by some numbskull animal rights activists.
The lab Precious came from is owned by……Reggie Banister, a seasoned scientist who’s sad about his son moving out on his own. His son an aspiring horror filmmaker is heading out to the country with his horny numb nut buddies to film a zombie film, little does he know his childhood now mutated “pet” Precious (who was experimented on) is running wild in the vicinity.
Precious though is not the only threat, there’s some horny braindead hillbillies, who look like the perfect lunch for a tasmanian devil, also raising hell. Reggie and his sexy scientist buddy soon discover the missing creature and set out to the countryside to try and track it down before it goes completely bonkers on the local population.
Cemetery Gates has got a lot going for it, Reggie pretty awesome in it and there’s a certain bit of idiotic charm to his relationship with his son AND his son’s relationship with the former lab pet turned mutant. It’s also a load of fun to see all these utterly moronic characters get ripped to shreds by Precious. We’ve got the idiotic hillbillies, some middle aged stoners, Richard Elfman as an insane fisherman, the bonehead amateur actors and a few random hikers that suffer the brunt of the gore. The fun is really had when we see Precious in the flesh on it’s killing spree. She tears limbs, decapitates and rips apart a ton of people all in gloriously gooey practical fx and real onscreen “blood” galore. The creature looks pretty damn good too in that sorta 1980s style monster mayhem.
It’s so absurdly charming looking in the flesh and when the final confrontation goes down with Precious it becomes a “family affair’. Reggie, his son, his girlfriend and Reggie’s hot lab partner go all in on taking down the mutated ‘taz in a dark subterranean lair beneath a cemetery. There’s some real heart here at it’s core that sincerely shines through all of the moronic antics that occur and I really appreciate the entire fiasco.
It to me, hits all the right beats, finally another film essentially featuring Reggie front and center to love. He’s here in all of his hair dyed glory to kick some monster booty once again & who’d have thought it’d be again in the mid 2000’s? There’s some good atmosphere and plenty of mischief for Reggie & co to get into as well. If this thing had been released in the 80s it’d be a bonafide cult classic. I’ve NEVER heard anyone speak a peep about Cemetery Gates, so I’m taking it to my platform to get the damn word out.
It’s the perfect midnight movie to rock with some starving cinemaniacs-they may doubt it’s merit by it’s cover but chances are it’ll quench any gorehounds thirst as well as tickle their funny bone. Cemetery Gates is true 2000’s cult classic in the wings….
BEST of Red Netflix Envelopes: 1993’s Bonkers Super 8 Vampire Flick – ‘Darkness’!
The end of an era will soon be upon us, the red envelope Netflix “dvd by mail” system will finally come to an end later this year. Sigh…..It’s a bit depressing, I had a lot of fun awaiting these mini movie packages for soooo many years. Truth be told I discovered some truly unique lil’ hidden gems over the years as their dvd selection was once a wildly vast treasure trove…so here in honor I’m gonna blog weekly about my all time faves. The first being 1993’s DARKNESS: The Vampire Version-which I just got delivered for a second time. The dvd online is quite rare and fetches a pretty penny on eBay!
So here’s a really unique movie that still remains in their library- ‘Darkness’ is a cool little vampire movie with a cast completely made of what looks like no one over twenty years old. Leif Jonker the director was apparently only 17 when he started conceptually with the production and started filming in 1988, wrapping it up in 1991. He filmed it on super 8 and the whole affair is a mega blood drenched teenage nightmare in the best way possible.
Jonker doesn’t play for laughs here either which is refreshing, it’s all played as straight as it can be with machetes, chainsaws and teen vamps that sadly have no fangs! But alas, it’s a bit of marvel to behold just how ambitious this little splatter flick really is for a gang of ravenous teen punks who set out to shock their audience and for the most part do a bang up job at it all.
Darkness is filled with some legit action, suspense, blood, guts and some great attempts at serious acting. Even though the “vampires” feel more like a rabid gang of cannibals they still show their supernatural side while succumbing to the more traditional vampire trappings. Sunlight and holy water in particular. One sequence where the main characters a being chased through a river by vampires and a bottle of holy water is poured into the water causing some cool carnage as it mixes and destroys them is a real inventive highlight.
It’s a race to the sunrise as a cast of teens are chased across the countryside fleeing from blood thirsty vamps. There’s not more much to the plot honestly, but It’s so damn charming that Jonker went the full distance on it’s production it really doesn’t need to have an intricate story. The finale is well Wirth the wait to, as there’s an over abundance of exploding heads, melting flesh and crudely animatronic decrepit vampire’s to watch meet their gnarly demise. Sadly Jonker didn’t go on to put out much more-the only thing officially listed on Letterboxd is a short film from 1983 called ‘Ghost Carol’ described as a “Super 8 short about a ghost that kills a group of teenagers at Christmastime”. It’s a 22 minute horror film I need to find a way to see!
Supposedly Arrow video will be giving this a fancy blu release sometime in the future? It looked like it was supposed to come out a few years back, the trailer below is from four years ago. If it ever sees the “light of day”(no pun intended) I’ll be picking up a copy for sure. In the meantime if you’ve still got the red Netflix envelope system intact (at least until it ends later this year) put this bloody little nugget in your “queue” and get ready to rock! One of my favorite weird back catalog Netflix dvd finds-especially first time seeing it years back…..
The MOVIE MELT Podcast’s Wildly Erotic Appointment with DR. CALIGARI!
It’s quite an interesting appointment when you’re set to pay a visit to a brand new new doctor & this week on the MOVIE MELT podcast we got one helluva check up by checking out 1989’s wildly erotic horror flick DR. CALIGARI! A bizarre nightmare from the director of the legendary plot centric-porno ‘Cafe Flesh’, Stephen Sayadian comes this equally strange dive into complete madness!
Yes! ‘Doctor Caligari’ is most definitely a weird one, an erotically gross dreamlike voyage into an insane asylum led by the daughter of the legendary 1920’s mad practitioner! There’s some serious problems when people become human guinea pigs of sultry doc as she performs experiments on patients with the most extreme shock therapies and hormone treatments. the results are quite shocking in this avante garde slice of madness. It’s filled to the brim with neon sets, strange creatures, human sized tongues, babes, hunks, scarecrow hand-jobs and lots of nonsensical plot points that will drive you absolutely NUTS!
Also on this episode is a “best of” battle of the bands, featuring the most idiotic musical numbers and artists to grace the damn internet-listen to the stupidest songs duke it out for the ultimate prize-MOVIE MELT’s seal of approval. Plus we discuss some cool movies we think you’ve just gotta see and so much MORE including a discussion on deepfake penises!
Grab a case of beer, get cozy and ready for the good times to roll as we plunge into the weird ass cinematic world of DR. CALIGARI on the latest episode of MOVIE MELT!
1990’s B-Horror Classic ‘DEMON WIND’ Getting a Sequel?!
Yowza!! I’ve always thought some of the cool lesser known horror movies of the late 80s/early 90s should get modern sequels-I mean why not?! Especially with many of these lost classics now getting discovered by masses of new horror fans with awesome blu ray labels cleaning up often “only released on VHS” gems and repackaging them with lots of cool extras as well as a super sharp new restoration. Vinegar Syndrome did exactly that with 1990’s DEMON WIND and now it’s confirmed it’s going to get a brand new sequel 33 years later!! Ok though, before getting too excited here let’s see what the details are exactly on this one!
First, the official title is apparently going to be ‘DEMON WIND 2: The Serpents Coil’ and it’s NOT being made by the original’s director Charles Phillip Moore and from what I can tell he isn’t writing this one like he did the original. I think it’d have been cool to have the original writer craft the story plus I’m a fan of one of his other movies, ANGEL OF DESTRUCTION from 1994 featuring Maria Ford. Oh well….Instead part 2 will be directed by Eric Mathis from Grime House Films, who’s got only one feature film under his belt, a 2022 horror anthology called ‘The Macabre’, I’ve never seen it-so hey Eric if you’re reading this send me a copy for review! 😉 I guess I’d be basing how promising the ‘Demon Wind’ sequel will be on how well his first movie translates. Curious indeed. Here’s the trailer:
Hmmm…obviously ‘Demon Wind 2’ has too look a little more slick than this-but considering it’s a first effort, at least from the trailer, I’d say there’s still potential. Next I’m wondering if the sequel will have some of the 1990’s films original cast returning? I heard at least one of the cast members from the original might be on board, but to really add that legit inter-connective tissue it’s going to need some real ties to the first film.
Also I think, this modern sequel is going to need to have a similar look and steer away from shoddy CGI fx. I recommend going ALL in on practical effects-gory, gooey, slimey and bloody…oh and NO CGI blood-don’t make that mistake! It seems so far that he’s got a few peeps involved from ‘Full Moon’ and an FX artist Joe Castro who did work on ‘The Barn 2’. I’ve seen the first one and dug it-but I do need to check out the sequel, from the trailer though I’ll be honest the FX stuff doesn’t look quite on par with the first film-and that was a little ruff too.
Still that doesn’t mean Demon Wind 2 won’t look awesome.. here’s what the director had to say himself about the sequel coming at us all 33 years later:
“I’ve dreamed of doing this for so long. Like many of us, I’ve been a huge fan of the original Demon Wind since I was a kid, when my older brother rented it and I secretly watched it after he left it out. For years, I’ve been trying to track down the rights owners, and I finally managed to arrange a phone meeting and work out a deal to produce this film!
My goal is to honor the tradition of the original, which had so many incredible and memorable creature and kill effects. We’re bringing the huge creature FX, loads of gory kills, and all the things we love as horror fans, and delivering them in a major way! We’ll explore the past, the characters, and their stories, and revisit the farm and Harcourt’s gas station, really play on all the things that made the original so great!”
I’m down for this film 100%, I definitely have my reservations though trying to recapture the B-movie magic of a for the most part, underrated gem from 1990. I like the idea of re-visiting the original’s locales but also hope they take it to a few new unique new creepy places. The last thing I’d want is essentially a modern remake/reboot that doesn’t live up to the original. I often times think someone attempting this type of sequel should really research what made the movies from this period look soooo good. Watching the trailer for ‘The Barn 2’ made me realize how cheap things can look when shot digitally, it looks just like it was shot in 2022, while trying to masquerade as an 80s film. Demon Wind 2 needs to have the look and atmosphere of the original even though I’m assuming it indeed takes place in current times. 1990’s Demon Wind was a lot of fun and the plot for part 2 sounds promising with occult researchers investigating a satanic murder site and stumbling upon an evil cursed ancient artifact that opens a gate from hell. Of course unleashing sinister creatures for another total bloodbath.
Fingers crossed that ‘Demon Wind 2’ delivers the gory goods, brings back some original characters and looks and feels a lot like the 1990 original. I don’t know if the original writer/director is still around or alive-but I think meeting or consulting with him would be a great idea too! I’m cautiously curious about modern sequels to lesser know horror classic-but I’ll be there for the show for SURE! Follow Grime House Films on Instagram for more juicy details!
MOVIE MELT Podcast: 1988’s Bonkers Hong Kong Monster FX Genre Bender-PEACOCK KING!!
The Peacock King is easily one of the most ambitious hybrid Hong Kong films of the 1980s. It’s part horror, part adventure, part fantasy, part martial arts with just the right amount of comedic timing and 80s pop charm from the director of Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky. Yes the Movie Melt podcast goes back to Hong Kong to give you as much information about this wild flick that we could humanly dig up! As well as so much more cinematic mayhem than your human brain can possibly comprehend! Episode #170 is a banger and I’m personally there to guide you through the bizarre world of the Peacock King!
If you’re a fan of American genre bending films like Ghostbusters, Big Trouble in Little China or The Golden Child and have never seen Peacock King then you’re in for a real treat. This flick has all the right moves-80s fashion and adventure amped up to eleven. It’s just waiting for some cool boutique blu ray label to be snatched up and unleashed upon the western audiences.
Director Lam Ngai Kai is a mysterious figure in Hong Kong cinema but he’s also made a string of largely forgotten totally insane films unlike anything you’ve likely EVER seen before. Most people only know him from his ultra violent 1991 masterpiece ‘Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky’. However most of his lesser know films are just as entertaining and over the top.
In my opinion he’s the best director of 80’s/ early 1990s Hong Kong cinema-like putting early era Spielberg, Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson into a blender. Total spectacle that pulls out every special effect in the 80s playbook and packs it into a lean mean location hopping adventure to stop portals from Hell from flooding open onto the Earth!
Check out the episode as we cover lots of must see films as well as do our best to breakdown this one of a kind director’s best films that’s likely to be a cult classic soon in the USA once the word gets out. LISTEN TO THE MOVIE MELT EPISODE RIGHT HERE!
Also check out this trailer and see a glimpse of Peacock King in all of it’s colorful glory:
The Original “Ralph Bakshi” Style MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE 1982 Animation?!
The Masters of the Universe were always one of my favorite action figures and animated series of the 1980s! I had soooo many of the toys and watched the show every day after school. The cartoon series was a lot of fun but I always wondered later in life what a darker grittier version of the show might look like?!
A lot of their original artwork had a sort of “Frazzeta/Vallejo” style to it. It looked pretty edgy and dark in that 70’s fantasy style. Here’s a few of my favorite images of the artwork that show the darker fantasy potential to He-man and the Masters of the Universe:
I recently saw this 1982 TV ad, apparently the first commercial of the toyline, it raised my eyebrows a bit. The animation style has a grittier feel and I wonder if this version of it was ever on the table for the animated series? It definitely feels like a bit more time or frames were used for these limited sequences. That’s not to say the animated series didn’t have it’s charm but it does have a lighter feel to it. Check it!
This version almost feels more in line with something like “Fire and Ice”, Ralph Bakshi’s iconic sword and sorcery animated epic. Whatever the case I really love that a glimpse into the darker side of The Masters of the Universe exists even if just in a short animated sequence in an early 80’s toy commercial…..Oh and becuz it rules so hard here’s the Fire & Ice trailer! The guy kinda has a “He-man” vibe to him huh?
Hong Kong’s 1989 Satanic Cult Action Flick- BLOOD RITUAL!
After re-watching the 1976 classic satanic cult/ road trip/ action/ horror/ hybrid ‘Race with the Devil’ I was still in the mood for more “devil cult” related flicks. Well lucky for me, Hong Kong gave us a nice little CAT III gem from 1989 called ‘BLOOD RITUAL’ and it delivers quite the grimy punch-a wild and crazy little forgotten actioner that’s ripe for a fancy-ass blu ray release!
I had quite a bit of fun with this one and it’s sorta refreshing when weeding through so many overly slapstick Hong Kong horror comedies, when you come across something that really balances just the right amount of humor action and gore all into one weird little freaky package. ‘Blood Ritual’ definitely starts out with a bang. Featuring a sexy sweat covered woman in red high heels, completely naked being, stalked by a gang of cult members all dressed in white. She’s caught, carried away and immediately enters into, you guessed it, a god damn blood ritual!
We then get a tuff cop who’s hot on the case and a detective who’s just been released from prison, who’s trying to start a new life. At least that’s what I was able to cobble together with rudimentary & hard to read subtitles on this film print. They both get way more than they bargained for when it comes to their attention via a pretty sweet looking indie comic book zine that’s been making the rounds in Hong Kong that a killer satanic cult has been taking innocent victims for their bizarre ritualistic sacrifices. It’s all dressed up with evil hand drawn imagery, sexy sinister situations and pentagrams a’ plenty! It’s the kind of comix I couldn’t seem to get enuff of in the late 80s- DAAAAMN~!
This starts a race against time, trying to track down the wicked cultists before they snatch their next innocent victim. Meanwhile we get a pretty likable/comical cast and I’d go as far to say that it at times actually moves a bit into the “rom com” category as well, making it quite an interesting little over the top mash up. So the “recently released from prison detective” (I’m guessing that is what he is?) manages to meet a sassy bar room singer one evening and even manages to rent a room from her family. In classic form, neither of them get along too well together at first and their “relationship” leads to one of the strangest sequences I’ve seen in a Hong-Kong movie yet. Involving a severed finger, a ring, laxative, a fishbowl and chopsticks. Ok so if your imagination is running wild you’ve probably guessed exactly the truly bizarre scenario that unfolds to help complete the detectives bizarre lead on these cult members whereabouts. It sorta has to be seen to be believed, you won’t see this line of action in ‘Silence of the Lambs’ or ‘Se7en’ to get a lead on a case that’s for SURE!
I really love checking out these obscure and in this case forgotten foreign films like this that managed to hit all the right wild beats yet still remain unknown to the general public, here in the USA at least. Movies just like this that manage to show you something you’ve never quite seen before in a film-it’s pretty impressive. ‘Blood Ritual’ delivers some genuine thrills and chills as well as some frenetic action sequences that are quite unique to this era of Hong Kong cinema. Stunt work that blows your mind. Also the cult members are the real devilish deal, sever their limbs and they’ll use them as a weapon in a total animalistic rage against you-it’s not being played for laughs either, something I totally can get behind. Check this shit out if you’re in doubt!
Filled with spooky locales, intense bloody action, some pretty decent humor (as least from what I could make out), some “romance” and a finale that’s right up there with the best of anything that USA produced in that era, imo better – Blood Ritual will knock you right on your ass. Think a bit of Stallone’s ‘Cobra’ with more over the top action and a vicious killer cult to dismantle. I got a copy of this on DVD from Far East Flix, though I enjoyed it, I’d say this movie is in desperate need of a cleaned up blu ray release with better subtitles.
The subs at times don’t seem to make a lick of sense either, many of them disappearing completely into the background of the movie doesn’t seem to help, still I was able to get the gist of things and could tell it’s a unique littler horror thriller in need of a “CULT” following. Someone step up to the plate and give Blood Ritual the damn respect it rightfully deserves!
VHS VERDICT: 1988’s HAWKEYE – The Unofficial BEVERLY HILLS COP Sequel?!
Have you been waiting for the Beverly Hill’s Cop franchise to finally put out that fourth installment? Well, the wait is (sorta) over if you’ve never seen 1988’s ‘Hawkeye’ aka ‘Karate Cops’! Well I just checked this wildly ridiculous buddy cop flick on VHS and if you’ve ever been looking for more adventures with Eddie Murphy’s ‘Axel Foley’ then the wait is OVER! This movie has got the most convincing Eddie Murphy impersonator I’ve ever seen-he even looks just like him. Yeah Chuck Jeffreys will make you think you’re watching “Axel F” on a forgotten 80’s adventure. Though the movie’s budget is probably one tenth of the popular ‘Beverly Hills Cop’ franchise it actually delivers equal amounts of the real goods, in fact it’s probably better than any of the franchises REAL sequels!
We’ve got pretty much the ultimate buddy cop/martial arts team up here on display-which just wouldn’t be as ridiculously charming without the addition of co-lead George Chung who stars as Hawkeye. Talk about an interesting character, Hawkeye is no typical 80’s Asian stereotype, in fact it’s beaten into the audience’s head that he’s from Texas more than a dozen times. He’s got a hot head, cocky attitude and a huge chip on his shoulder along with his western fashion IE snazzy cowboy boots and giant western belt buckles. He’s quite the hotshot and it’s a boat load of fun to watch him in ass-kickin’ action as he’s ready to take a bite outta crime at the drop of a cowboy hat.
Things wouldn’t be nearly as fun though if Hawkeye didn’t partner up with Chuck Jeffrey’s Eddie Murphy clone Charles Wilson (I started just calling him Axel Farley) to kick all sorts of criminal scumbag butt. Yeah Jeffrey’s has got his Eddie Murphy look, mannerisms and joke’s down, so much so subconsciously I actually began to believe he was indeed Eddie. Well he was apparently so obsessed with impersonating Murphy he did it in 1987’s ‘Paper Dragons’ aka ‘Fight to Win’ check out this VHS cover- I’ve got to see this one! I’m pretty sure he might “do the Murphy” in most of the movies he starred in….
These two make a pretty stupid but entertaining pair too, it’s never a dull moment seeing their witty banter and it’s clear BOTH of them are wildly talented at karate. It’s really jam packed with over the top action sequences and dumb shootouts on the streets & hotels of 1980s Vegas. Basically its a revenge story, when Haweye’s partner is killed in a drug investigation, he’s out for bloody revenge, at first he and Charles (Axel Farley) are like oil and water but after assaulting each other a few minutes after getting paired up they’re suddenly getting along like two peas in a damn pod! These two numbnuts are a wild duo and it seems like George Chung who co-wrote, directed and starred in this got a kick out of having his character Hawkeye get racist stereotypes and insults hurled at him throughout, an interesting angle when you know he was behind a lot of the humor.
Somehow it all works- the cocky asian texan cowboy and the Eddie Murphy rip-off have WAY too much fun together on screen and the villains are also just as ridiculous as the heroes in the best ways possible. My only qualm was that I was hoping for a better karate fueled showdown, when the credits rolled I was a bit surprised it’d ended when it did. It felt to me like a chunk of the finale went missing- but all in all though the movie as whole still was pretty satisfying. I highly recommend this fun but idiotic buddy cop flick-especially if you’re a big Eddie Murphy fanatic! It’s got to be seen to be believed! Here’s the full movie right here:
RACE WITH THE DEVIL: The Perfect 1970s Satanic Road Trip!
You just gotta love a solid road trip flick and one of the best ones around is easily RACE WITH THE DEVIL. The 1975 horror action thriller hybrid that pits an RV against a wicked satanic cult! I’d say as far as 70s action horror films go this one is a huge home run, with a excellent cast of characters played by Peter Fonda, Warren Oates, Loretta Swit (Hot Lips from M.A.S.H.) and Lara Parker. Road trip flicks just simply don’t get any better than this!
One thing I’ve always been a big fan of is a damn good road trip film and one with a giant ass RV is even better. Now add in an evil Satanic cult for the icing on the cake as well as some grade A car chases and we’ve got a bonafide cult (no pun intended) classic. Roger (Peter Fonda), along with his good buddy Frank (Warren Oates) are two hot shot motocross dudes who’re pumped to head out onto the open road with their wives Lara Parker (Alice) & Loretta Swit (Kelly) in their huge RV for some relaxation, drinkin’ and of course some motorbikin’!
Headed from San Antonio to the boonies of Texas, they stop off for the evening at a remote campsite. All seems fine when Roger & Frank decide to get wasted and hang outside under the moonlight to shoot the shit. All is not quiet though. They spot a Satanic cult across the river and witness a murderous ritual. They’re caught watching the Satanists devious ritual triggering a vicious game of cat and mouse on the highways and small towns of Texas. Roger, Frank, Alice and Kelly are on the run from a wicked cult who’s membership extends farther than they could ever imagine.
‘Race with the Devil’, directed by Jack Starrett, mostly know as a TV director, really hits all the right beats here. A sweet cast of likable characters are the perfect crew to root for making this easily one of the best road trip horror thrillers out there. Obviously the RV makes for the perfect cozy setting for a rad road adventure, and this thing is seriously decked out.
There’s so much to enjoy here as well for horror fans, the cult is creepy and relentless in a time where people couldn’t just pull out their phones for GPS or call the cops at any moment. In the 70s you had to have your wits and genuine ingenuity to escape an evil cult in hot pursuit. There’s not a dull moment here either, ‘Race with the Devil’ moves at a brisk pace and keeps you on the very edge of your seat until it’s final moments. It features cool locales, campsites, dive bars, trailer parks all host the intrigue, dread and even a few laughs along the way.
As soon as you settle back down to safety, something rears it’s head to remind you nothing can be trusted on the backwoods roads and our gang is in it for the long haul. It’s low on blood & gore but bursting with thrills, chills and some fucking great action sequences, proving you don’t always need a high body count to deliver a well crafted horror film. The 1970s were an awesome era for film, the fashion and the gritty realism make a movie like ‘Race with the Devil’ even more potent now in a sea of cheap looking modern bloated CG conveyer belt film making. It doesn’t get much better than THIS. There’s also a cool double feature blu ray from Shout Factory of it.