Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Double Feature Movies From Hell With Nick and Steve

Starting this month, me and co-editor Steve M. Duarte are going to subject ourselves to the cruelest of all tortures. Each month we're going to sit through a double feature of the most heinously boring horror films ever committed to celluloid.
Why, you may ask?
Because we care, friends.
We care enough to sit through these exhibitions of lackluster tedium for your sake. See, we know your time is valuable, so we want to save you the torture. After all, we're horrorheads of the first order, which means we can usually find something redeeming about any horror film. So the movies you see reviewed in this new section, The Double Feature Movies From Hell With Nick and Steve, you can pretty much bet your ass that it's probably one of the worst horror films ever made.
Some of you will undoubtedly disagree with our picks for this section and that's fine with us, folks. We invite you to post your counter reviews here, or just plain name calling, if that's what you feel you need to do.
So welcome to Movies From Hell, and our first double feature.

Steve decided to sit through...

The Dead Pit (1989)
Director: Brett Leonard
Cast: Jeremy Slate, Cheryl Lawson, Stephen Gregory Foster and Danny Gochnauer

Review written by Steven M Duarte

This month’s Movie From Hell pick is the film that was cool for its time, The Dead Pit. This turd revolves around psycho Dr. Ramzi, a sadistic bastard who enjoys torturing his patients, right before he kills them. A colleague of Dr. Ramzi finds out what a sick fuck he is and puts a bullet through Ramzi’s forehead. Ramzi is buried in the basement of the mental facility and the basement is boarded up.
Flash forward twenty years and a mysterious “hot” woman is admitted as a patient in the still running mental facility. This starts a bizarre chain of events that eventually leads to the resurrection of the mad doctor and his zombie patients. Sound fun? Well not really……
Cheryl Lawson is lead protagonist “Jane Doe,” who plays the part of the female character who is vulnerable and wonders where the fuck she is during most of the movie. Her character is reminiscent of the Julia Cotton character from Hellraiser 1 & 2.

The difference being Hellraiser 1 & 2 were actually good films.
One saving grace of Cheryl Lawson’s character in Dead Pit is the constant showing of her in a small tank top and undies. The director probably figured she couldn’t act for shit, so decided to constantly distract the male viewers with her jiggling flesh jugs.
Let’s take a look at our zombie, Dr. Ramzi. If you take Dr. Giggles, make him a zombie, and add some horrendous nails on him, then you have the basic premise for Dr. Ramzi. One very laughable part of the movie shows Dr. Ramzi putting on surgical gloves before he makes his kill. His sharp manicured nails puncture the gloves making you wonder why he’s wearing them in the first place.
Maybe the director was trying to get across that even zombies are worried about blood borne pathogens.

The gore in the film is decent but not up to par with other 80’s horror flicks. The zombies all mirror each other, as they all wear long white t-shirts, as if they intend to hit the sack right after they munch on some brains.
The film ends with an M. Night Shyamalan twist: a shot of Jane Doe turning into the new killer.
What’s that you say?
I've ruined the ending for you?
Who cares...this movie blows. Save yourself the time. Bake a cake or something, instead.

The movie runs too long; the characters are easily forgotten; and the entire film leads up to a subpar finale, which leaves you wondering why you even bothered.
So don't bother.

--Steven M Duarte

Oasis of the Zombies (1980)
Director: Jesús Franco
Cast: Manuel Gélin and France Lomay

Review by Nickolas Cook

First off, let me say this: I can pretty much forgive anything in a bad movie if it's got at least one of these three things going for it:
1.) Lots of female skin, scantily clad or fully exposed
2.) Lots of well done, over-the-top gore, that challenges the boundaries of good taste
3.) Or if I can sense the production team is putting their hearts and souls into making something halfway decent out of a whole lot of nothing.
What I can not forgive is 82 minutes in which almost NOTHING FUCKING HAPPENS!
Now, don't get me wrong, Oasis of the Zombies isn't the bottom of the Nazi Zombie sub genre barrel. No, that dubious honor would have to be reserved for movies as bad as Zombie Lake (1981), which is hands down, the worst of the worst in horror. But this has got to be really close to it.
I've been a fan of director Jesus Franco for years. His particular brand of bad (he's like the unintentional John Waters of horror) usually gives me one of those three things listed above. But he really let me down with this utter waste of celluloid.

You know the only good thing about this film?
The fucking weird ass sound effects.
I mean, some of the strange choices for sound effects, such as the odd pig like noises one of the Nazi zombies makes as he's digging his way out of the desert sands to slaughter a really stupid mercenary is just plain NUTS! Creepy, even!
Speaking of stupid...back to the plot of Oasis of the Zombies.
It basically doesn't have one.
What it offers as storyline is the tale of Nazi soldiers transporting stolen gold across the desert during the final days of WWII, who are ambushed by some rebel soldiers. The Nazis are killed, of course, and their corpses left to rot in the middle of guessed it...oasis. Flash forward a few decades and we find various dumbass treasure hunters are all converging upon the spot to find this lost gold, only to find that the treasure is still being guarded by zombified Nazi soldiers. Who, for some unknown and unexplained reason, feel the need to hide under dried up palm fronds and sand dunes for most of the picture.
There is absolutely no one to root for in this movie...unless you count the fucking zombies.
By the middle of the movie, after watching closeups of shifting eyes, scraggly mustaches, long scenes of wind blowing sands and about twenty-eight million sunsets, you are praying the fuckers will burst from the sand and eat someone...anyone! That they'll do something to break the goddamn monotony!!
The special effects are all intimated--for obvious economic reasons; this is a lower-than-low budget Franco movie, after all.

The actors and actresses are so bad one has to figure they were people Jesus just happened to find wandering the streets on location and somehow talked them into playing in the movie for some blow and a six pack of brews.
At about 75 minutes into this 82 minute movie, the zombies do finally attack. It's sunset and the idiot treasure hunters have decided to dismiss all the wild stories about dead men guarding the treasure (a treasure, by the way, none of them can seem to find!) and make camp. Well, here come the zombies, stumbling silently across the dunes, with a fiery setting sun as backdrop (which is a fairly well shot sequence, at least in comparison to the rest of this shitty film).
Now, here's the thing that got me the most frustrated with the whole movie: these treasure-seeking morons DROVE a jeep to the oasis. But instead of hopping their happy asses into the jeep when the zombies attack and...oh, I don't know...maybe drive away from these really slow moving dead guys...they suck the gas out of their only means of transportation out of there and try to burn the zombies instead.
Jesus...are you serious?
What kind of dumbass writes something so unrealistic, even in a fairly far fetched horror film like this one?
I mean, what were they thinking?
You have a jeep that's got to have a top speed of at least 30 miles per hour, even in the desert, and you don't use it?
You deserve to be eaten by Nazis zombies, you jackasses!

Okay,'s just a movie...just a movie...take a deep breathe.
Sorry, but that's the kind of stupid writing that makes a bad movie even worse. And in my 40 years, I've sat through enough good-bad (or should that be bad-good?) movies to recognize when the director just isn't even trying.
Like I said, Oasis of the Zombies isn't the worst, but is it worth torturing yourself for 82 minutes?
I, for one, don't think so.

See you next month for another installment of Double Feature Movies From Hell With Nick and Steve

--Nickolas Cook