Tuesday, May 21, 2019

THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD (1982)

"Alright, why don't we split up..."

A group of four college students agree to stay over the Christmas holiday break to help clear out furniture, trash, etc. from a large dorm that's going to be converted into an apartment building.  Naturally, there's a fucking murderer in their midst and he/she starts killing people immediately.  The End.

As far as early 1980's slashers flicks go, THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD was a little bit less than okay.  Sluggish pace, mild blood, okay special effects, above average musical score, one lame topless scene, low body count, the only attractive girl killed almost immediately, completely non-threatening killer that anybody who's performed 5 push-ups in the last decade could beat his/her ass, a large rainbow flag hanging on a wall (I'm not sure if the filmmakers featured it on purpose or not, but it was still nice seeing it in a film from 1982), drill to the head, illogical decisions made over and over, silly ending.

I wanted to like THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD.  That name is really catchy.  It summons up all kinds of fun ideas like wild Halloween parties and shower rooms and a masked psycho lurking in the bushes.  I know it's low budget, but I was still hoping for something like GIRLS NITE OUT or THE INITIATION or, if the movie gods were feeling especially nice, something unique and charming like THE SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE!  I'm always on the lookout for new slasher gems, but THE DORM THAT DRIPPED BLOOD ended up being simply average.  Just competent enough to keep me watching, but not unique enough to make me want to watch it again.  The lack of a memorable killer and fun victims really hurt the film.

Worth a watch for curious slasher fans, but most other viewers would probably find their minds drifting.

Monday, May 20, 2019

LEATHERFACE (2017)

"Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!"

I was (and still am) a huge fan of Alexandre Bustillo and Julien Maury's 2007 horror masterpiece INSIDE.  That movie is completely bad ass.  Vicious, unrelentingly brutal, mean, violent as fook, expertly paced, beautifully lit and photographed.  There's really nothing that I don't love about that movie.  It's fucking awesome!  So...when I heard that the duo behind INSIDE were put in charge of the newest TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE flick, I was over the moon.  All I could think about was the carnage and brutality of INSIDE moved over to the TCM universe.  Unfortunately, all of my best wishes were for nothing.  Lost in time, like tears in rain.

Right from the very beginning, I could feel my excitement fading and within 10 minutes I was totally bummed out.  Obviously not filmed in Texas (I later found out it was filmed in Bulgaria), LEATHERFACE tells the low budget and slow-moving BADLANDS influenced story of how Lil' Leatherface is placed in a mental institution at a young age (for an unproven murder).  Ten years later, Lil' Leatherface breaks out during a riot and goes on the lam with four other people.  By this point in the film I was starting to get irritated because there's three males in this group of delinquents and the audience has still yet to be told which one is the future Mr. Leatherface!  It's a needless gimmick that the filmmakers obviously found clever, but I thought it helped prove the weakness of the script.

Anyway, this group of Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate clones wander all over Bulgaria, I mean Texas, arguing and yelling at each other almost non-stop.  Occasionally, they find time to kill a few people (and even have sex with a random corpse they found), but for the most part LEATHERFACE feels like a rambling, unfocused mess.  Naturally, during the last act, they somehow find their way to the Sawyer farm and that's when we see the real birth of the "Leatherface" character.  Hint: it's lame and dumb as fuck.

Slow pace, moderate violence, one horrid topless scene, disappointing ending, good acting, meh special effects, flashing lights, at least two actors from "Game of Thrones", dude getting launched out of an upstairs window in a wheelchair, multiple distracting references to the older TCM movies.

LEATHERFACE is in no means a bad film.  It's just not a good film either.  It's kind of nothing.  I would have liked it better if it had just been it's own story and not part of the TCM series.  That said, it's definitely a step up from TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D.  Ladies and the drinks, ladies and the drinks!!!

Part 1 - The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Part 2 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 (1986)
Part 3 - Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III (1990)
Remake/sequel - Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation (1994)
Reboot 1 - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)
Reboot prequel - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)
Reboot sequel to original - Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)