Tagged: tenement

VHS Verdict: 1985’s Female Fueled Supernatural Horror Flick ‘THE ORACLE’!!

I’d never seen a Roberta Findlay movie before up until a few days ago, but I’m pretty damn stoked to check out more of her work in the horror genre for sure! ‘The Oracle’ is a sweet yet nasty little horror film from 1985 that took me pleasantly by surprise. It really looks more like it was filmed in the late 70’s, even the clothing styles and general quality of the film has a gritty and dirty grindhouse vibe to it that certainly amplifies the charm. Taking place in the seedy areas of NYC during Christmas time (yeah a new holiday horror flick for the books) Jennifer & her asinine hubby move to a new apartment once occupied by an elderly psychic woman and soon stumble upon her creepy ass ouija board ‘The Oracle’ that she often used to communicate with the spirit world.

Jennifer, hyped on her new place, throws a swingin’ housewarming bash and with everyone witnessing, uses “the oracle” to contact a angry spirit of murdered man who demands bloody revenge upon his killers. From that point on the ghostly presence relentlessly terrorizes her & tries to manipulate her into avenging his death. Eventually she complies, but soon the murderers (the dead dude’s ex-wife & greedy biz partner) become suspicious of her snooping, and they re-hire the psycho who’d carried out the vicious killing before to try and track down Jennifer.

There’s a lot to love here with this mean ass supernatural horror romp. it’s got some truly unique characters, a cool female heroine & the killer is equally interesting being a trans/lesbian villain who’s as nasty as they come for horror movie standard of the day back then. The movie doesn’t go out of it’s way to get the point across, but in today’s landscape I doubt that you could present the character at all in the light portrayed in The Oracle. Still it was interesting deviation from the evil traditionally male killers of the 70’s & 80’s. For the obviously low budget it has it makes great use of it’s big city locales & it’s charming, ambitious special fx work. Interestingly enough this film came out a full year before 80’s cult classic ‘WITCHBOARD’.

These two actually have very similar plots and while Witchboard remains the winner here as far as quality horror there’s definitely something awesome about Findlay’s attempt. It’s nastier and carries a sort of sleezy quality that genre fans of B-movies might actually appreciate more when all is said and done. There’s plenty of subpar acting going on here and decent amount of fairly impressive gore to be found. The end of course tries to go the distance with it’s limited FX budget and in my opinion delivers the goods via a sweet little supernatural encounter.

I’m quite curious to check out more of Findlay’s movies, from what I’ve read it seems she dabbled in directing “X-rated” stuff in the 1960’s, 70’s & 80’s before tackling the horror genre with this movie in ’85. I’m curious about her string of movies through the 80’s, her most popular being Tenement. If you’re a fan of trashy 80’s horror you just might dig The Oracle & now you’ve got an excuse to give this underrated gem a whirl during the holiday season too!   

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Don’t Fear The Davis Baby! Just Download it for Free!

I’m taking a moment here to share a new song from my latest musical endeavor The Davis Baby! Yes it’s named after that little mutant monster baby from the 70’s horror flick “It’s Alive”. See back in the mid 90’s I lived in Wisconsin & I played in a pop punk band called Ben Grim, we were inspired by bands like Descendents/ALL, The Doughboys, The Hard-ons ect, we released some records and toured around the US with our best buddies Fun Size (one of the best pop punk bands of the 90’s). It was some of the best times of my life, as Bryan Adams might say. So I decided to put together a group today that sort of brought that old Ben Grim sound back.

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We wrote four songs of crunchy old school power pop the way we would have done it back in the Ben Grim days. The project features my former band mate Joel Vega, who sang and played guitar in Ben Grim with me, my old pal Kevin Carl from lates 80’s/90’s band G-Whiz & Jim Wadsworth my good friend/fellow D&D player from Portland, Oregon band Danger Death Ray. We posted a FREE/name your price download of our new song “Laid to Rest”. It’s meant to be free but bandcamp doesn’t just let you list the track as purely “free”.  So please no need to pay just download it!

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It’s gonna be featured on our upcoming split ep with Higley (Kevin Carl & Duane Kiener of G-Whiz, Kris Roe of The Ataris & Bill Stevenson of Descendents/ALL/Black Flag) out soon on SP Records. The song also features Mark Arnold from Big DRILL Car on guitar. Which we were fully stoked to have play on it as Big DRILL Car remains to this day one of my favorite bands ever!

Download The Davis Baby for FREE here https://thedavisbaby.bandcamp.com/

Like us on Facebook HERE!

I’m trying to get the word out on this project, and it’s tough in this day and age to get anything out there on your own in the vast sea of the internet, so if you like it please help me share the song-maybe we’ll record more or start playing live!