Tagged: III

Mexico’s Sweet Forgotten 80’s Horror Franchise: “VACATION OF TERROR”!

                          

Are you truly ready for a 1980’s “Vacation of Terror” to Mexico?!! Nope. this ain’t Cancun folks, this here is a sweet horror franchise that started in 1989, starring legendary south of the border pop star turned B-movie horror icon Pedro Fernandez. Yes the lesser known Fernandez, appears to be a sort of “Ricky Martin-type” singer, who started his music career at the tender age of seven and later in the 80’s had a string of rad horror flicks like Trampa Infernal, Panic on the Mountain & this two part creep-out, Vacation of Terror (1&2). Check out his music as a kid when he went by the name Pedrito Fernandez:

1989’s Vacation of Terror is a pretty sweet little horror flick that follows a wealthy family’s visit to the countryside to fix up a crusty old cabin in the woods. Along for the ride is teen daughter’s hot shot occult investigating BF Pedro Fernandez along with his impressive mullet! The family starts to notice a few truly strange things happening in and around the property, and their youngest daughter soon falls down into a creepy ass well. Oddly there’s no water down there, but rather what seems to be some sort of lived in cavern den, with a freaky old doll and a few other odd antiques scattered about. Of course the daughter wants the weird ass doll, so they bring it up to the cabin where it begins to have an evil mind of it’s own that starts to manipulate and possess the young girl.

Good thing Pedro is there to combat the evil forces because this doll is hell bent on destroying the family and any furniture in the way of her telekinetic powers. You’ll see this doll’s evil eyes whisk from side to side about a hundred times as she “uses her powers” and her schtick does get a bit tired by the finale, but still strangely satisfying. However it’s imperative to see this first movie to set you up for the far superior sequel, where only one cast member returns-of course Pedro Fernandez!

1990’s ‘Vacation of Terror: Diabolical Birthday’ (directed by Pedro Galindo III who also did the excellent Trampa Infernal) is one helluva good time-but oddly there’s no damn vacation going on anywhere here. But that’s ok, we’ve got a wild ass halloween themed birthday party to attend instead this time! The best thing is Pedro returns, now a single man (who maybe had enough of the family’s creepy cabin and odd shenanigans), who runs an antique shop and meets by chance a cute lady pop star, Mayra who’s played by real life Mexican pop star Tatiana who wanders in. After some chit chat she ends up inviting him to attend a party later and when she’s about to split he notices a her little sister in the back seat of her car holding the same creepy ass doll from the first movie! Naturally Pedro swings into action at the sight and has a new reason to attend other than being crushed out on his sweet date-to fight evil! Of course part of the fun is to go to the party, where it’s either taking place on Halloween or the little girl just loves horror decor. We also get a super sweet performance from Tatiana of course doing her sweet hit song “Chicos Chicos” check it!

 Luckily Pedro gets there just in time to see her rock out! However there’s bigger fish to fry as he’s hot on the trail of the doll. However the there’s a wild birthday cake that just by “chance” gets some blood on it and soon the creepy living doll goes missing and eats the blood soiled cake, transforming it into human sized demon that resembles Angelica Huston’s wicked persona in “The Witches” mixed with Freddy Krueger.

From this point on the creature is out to terrorize all the party goers and it’s now up to Pedro & Tatiana to stop evil from spreading and maybe even find some romance? This one is a lot more fun then the first installment, it’s got a lot more going on, faster paced and a bit of a more playful element at it’s core . However director Pedro Galindo doesn’t skimp on the horror, there’s some great gore and colorful kills to behold as well as the setting. The decaying old deserted Mexican village they end up being chased around in is an excellent place for the spooky shenanigans to occur.

While some may say this is the Mexican “Troll 2” I just think it’s yet another super fun, campy horror movie that fans of the 80’s have got to check out. These two movies certainly need to receive a cleaned up blu ray release with some sweet special features. Otherwise horror fans will certainly miss out, these days it feels like a company like ‘Vinegar Syndrome’ releasing these unknowns gems gives them a sort of sudden street cred/seal of approval. Well you heard it here first though, before the ‘Vacation of Terror’ blu rays are suddenly all the rage-get ahead of the curve and head back to the 80’s to take your own “Vacation of Terror” to Mexico before all the tourists arrive!! You can get it on dvd as a double feature right here at World Cult Cinema!     

 

VHS Verdict: 1995’s ‘Children of the Corn 3: Urban Harvest’….is Awesome?!

I’ve been burning through a stack of late 80’s/90’s VHS tapes lately I scored and while there’ve been a lot of stinkers in the lot there’ve been a few I’ve been quite pleasantly surprised about! I found the first five of the ‘Children of the Corn’ movies and I’d never actually watched any of the sequels so I thought what the fuck? Well the second movie was pretty much a total bore and I’d figured they’d likely just get more dull with each installment. Boy was I wrong!

Yep! ‘Children of the Corn Part 3: Urban Harvest’ is now one of my favorite sequel horror flicks! This movie’s a ton of seriously fun horror schlock. It’s premise is awesome too, we’ve got a couple weird-ass ‘Children of the Corn’ who get adopted and move from the bloody cornfields of Nebraska to the urban streets of Chicago. Their new parents are a couple of yuppies who’re stoked to have two new amish kids of their own. But little do they know one of them has some weird ass supernatural abilities and a one track mind for planting a new crop of corn right there in the city. Things quickly get awesome as their sent off on their ‘first day’ of class at a diverse inner city school and have to fend for themselves as everyone makes fun of their weird clothes and equally odd mannerisms.

Well the new setting seems to be a good one for one of the ‘Corn kids’, soon the older of the two is dressing like he’s the coolest new dude on the block and quickly discovering he’s got a fav new interest that quickly replaces corn: girls!! This new style doesn’t sit well with the younger ‘corn obsessed’ brother and soon he goes on a mission to find a vacant lot to plant some new evil corn, hell his yuppie stepdad even tries to get in on the corn action too. He find’s his stepson’s new utterly incredibly delicious crop of corn flourishing in some shitty soil in a vacant lot between two crumbling warehouses and immediately sees dollar signs! Yeah, he eagerly talks to his new kid about selling out his new breed of corn to a big corporation so it can be eaten all over the world. Naturally the evil kid’s elated and then moves on to convince the local gang bangers and school bullies to start listening to his crazy corn sermons! Soon their all hooked on his schtick and it’s up to his older, newly hipper, formerly amish brother to put and end to his evil plan.

This one never lags, it’s pretty much non stop fun and is chock full of stupid dialogue and some seriously awesome old school horror. I was totally surprised to at how bad ass the special effects are here too, come to find out Screaming Mad George (Predator/The Abyss/Curse II: The Bite) is responsible for the onscreen awesomeness. There’s a bunch of super unique kills, living killer corn, evil scarecrows, corn zombies & even an awesome giant monster at the end!! I was certain being it was ’95 we’d likely have some shitty ass CGI in the mix but instead we get George’s incredible practical fx work. Even the giant monster is a blend of animatronics and stop motion animation and the movie never stops charming the pants off of an old school horror hound. I love these surprisingly well done sequels that are many times completely overlooked by most. The ‘Urban Harvest’ is super action packed, fun filled horror flick, the kind most these days continuously try and replicate. I like how this one appears to be totally trying to play it’s ridiculous plot totally straight, It’s a true gem that’s been lost in the corn field for far too long!! Check this shit out!!

Archangel Coming to the Big Screen in Age of Apocalypse?!

This new pic released as concept art for Bryan Singer’s X-men: Age of Apocalypse has got me pretty damn excited. It clearly shows that this “final” installment of the movie franchise will feature once again The Angel, (Warren Worthington III) making an appearance on the big screen! Unfortunately we got a pretty flimsy version of the iconic X-man in Ratner’s X-men in 2006, that’s not to say the casting wasn’t pitch perfect with Ben Foster in the role. It really featured him in a bit role as an easily forgettable part of the critically un-acclaimed movie. So now we’ve possibly got Ben Hardy being cast as that same character in the upcoming movie and really that can mean only one thing. Apocalypse and The Angel on the sliver screen together=Archangel. Check out this pic released yesterday…

So in the pic it looks like Warren is on display, caged in some sort of auditorium. People think this might be some sort of traveling carnival, or an alternate dimension but I think it’s Angel perhaps held captive by some anti-mutant group before they “clip his wings” for show. It also reminds me of  an image of Warren when his wings were taken from him viciously by The Marauders during the Mutant Massacre storyline(one of the best), however in the above concept picture it’s not clear if his wings have been impaled.

To me it was a sad day back in the 1980’s for The Angel when this happened and the loss of his wings ultimately lead to him “committing suicide” by crashing a plane he was piloting. We all know though he was far from dead and the next chapter for the character was perhaps the most compelling. Apocalypse saved him from his suicide and turned him into a blue skinned killing machine with razor sharp metal wings. No longer was Warren the blonde pretty boy, now he was a deadly character that could go one on one with the likes of Wolverine and Sabretooth. Archangel is easily one of my favorite Marvel characters of all time but over time they decided to transform him back into the his original form with the feather wings.

 

We however in the past few years saw the Archangel persona return and join X-Force where he lead the team to murder the resurrected incarnation of Apocalypse as a young boy. So I can say with certainty that we are going to see Archangel on the big screen because lets face it to include Warren Worthington and Apocalypse in the same flick and not follow this story line would be a crime! Don’t screw this up Singer!!!  

Star Trek: Less Action Please!!

I’ve been thinking about for it for quite some time now and I’ve just GOT to say it: Current Star Trek has way too much damn action! After watching the most recent “Star Trek: Into Darkness” I realized that the franchise is going in the wrong direction. No, I won’t deny that JJ nailed it on the first Star Trek he directed, it was fun, action packed and nostalgic. However the lackluster sequel where he tried to recreate the whole Khan storyline was not necessary to us Trekkers! We had two previous installments (Space Seed and The Wrath of Khan) which simply cannot be touched. It was a loud mess of story with a decent villain but who unfortunately just wasn’t seen as the legendary Khan in the eyes of Star Trek fans. I felt it was such a disappointment that I am actually glad that Abrams is leaving the franchise.

Star Trek Into Darkness

Yep, I realized that this current “Star Trek” doesn’t really represent real spirit of Star Trek. It’s so jam packed with wild explosions, glitter and insane action sequences that it is missing what really made Trek so intriguing in the first place. A good solid story. Nope we didn’t get crazy effects heavy action, we got good sci-fi about traveling the universe looking for new alien civilizations, beaming down to unknown planets, exploration and strong bonds that slowly grew within the crew in the process. it wasn’t about being flashy, it was the perfect blend of action, story and adventure. I’d like to see the next movie be a more intelligent plot driven adventure of discovering new worlds and the the unknown threats or challenges that are waiting on the planet’s surface.You know like a star trek should be…

wrath-of-khan

Let’s not try and modernize an old story or try to redesign an old villain with a “cool factor”. Give us a good story without all the pointless hyperactive action- this is Star Trek not The Fast and the Furious! “Into Darkness” really made me miss the spirit of the old shows and movies. I think Abrams did a great job of kick starting a franchise and making it “cool again” for the kids but as we continue this journey let’s remember that all that glitters is not necessarily gold, let’s remember what made Star Trek great in the first place. Star Trek was never broken, its crew just got old and eventually retired, let’s remember even in their younger days they were never concerned about being hip and cool for the kids, they were there to explore the final frontier! Give us some good ol’ fashioned science fiction dammit! You remember episodes like “City on the Edge of Forever”? “Mirror Mirror”? “Arena”? “The Naked Time”?! The Savage Curtain”? Well if not maybe all you Trek fans should go back and revisit the classics, the foundation of it all.  Who do you think would be a good choice to helm the next movie?! Do you think Star Trek is on the right path?