Sunday, September 21, 2014

Five Bloody (and FREE!) Horror Movies on YouTube!

Four god-awful (plus one legitimately great) plasma-strewn creature features you can watch online at no cost!

Like that first saunter down the seasonal section at Target or the precise moment the Oakland Raiders become mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, the yearly Internet is in America round-up of You Tube’s “finest” free horror movies has become something of an autumnal rite.

While in year’s past we did a random sampling of the $0.00 offerings on YouTube’s Horror Movie Channel, for 2014, we opted for something a bit more focused. Not content with reviewing five gratis genre flicks, this year, we’re taking a gander at five gratis genre flicks with a “blood” theme -- meaning, basically, that all of the summarized selections have the word “blood” in their title. And also, they all suck royally, save for one, which is probably the best place to begin our whirlwind tour, no?

A Bucket of Blood (1959)

Now here’s a movie you should definitely check out this Halloween season, and for once, I’m not being a facetious little prick about it. One of the best films ever helmed by exploitation kingpin Roger Corman, not only is “A Bucket of Blood” a great little horror flick from the Atomic Age, it’s actually one of the greatest lampoons of hippie/beatnik culture ever filmed. I guess you could say there’s two kinds of skewering going on in this flick, no?

B-movie hero Dick Miller plays the lead protagonist, a retarded busboy who works at an artsy-fartsy San Francisco coffee shop where poets with Dick Van Dyke beards spew florid logorrhea all over the linoleum. A budding sculptor, old Dicky boy accidentally kills his pet cat one night, and after he casts the entire kitty cadaver in clay, he winds up becoming an unexpected art house sensation.

This being a horror movie, I guess you can figure out what happens next. All in all, this is just a damned terrific little romp, with way better acting than the norm, a tremendous plot, and some really amusing kills. Take note Eli Roth and the rest of you wannabe auteurs -- this is how you make a goddamn horror comedy.

Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat (2002)

In the early 1960s, shlockmeister extraordinaire Herschel Gordon Lewis made “Blood Feast,” a drive-in cheese-a-rama that was more or less the first true slasher/splatter film in U.S. history. In what has to be some kind of record, it took HGL damn near 40 years to release its sequel, which as fate would have it, is really, really fucking terrible.

While the original “Blood Feast” was undoubtedly a corny movie, it was a genuine corny movie. This is the absolute worst kind of post-modern horror flick, the self-reflexive, intentionally shitty kind. Perhaps Lewis decided to unleash four decades worth of inward hostility unto the masses with this remake/sequel/remaquel, which has ample blood, guts and T and A, yet hardly anything resembling the same goopy, goofy spirit the original film conveyed.

Still, there are some positives, I suppose. If you like food puns, you’re probably going to dig this one, and the female fodder is rather well-endowed where it counts. And like I would possibly say anything at all bad about John Waters being cast as a chi-mo Catholic priest…

Bloodtide (1982)

Woo boy, this one is a stinker. This really, really white couple decide to take a trip to Greece, where apparently, there’s some kind of weird virgin sacrifice Voodoo stuff going on, but all of the Catholics in town are acting pretty suspicious about it, too. Oh, and did I mention that it stars JAMES EARL JONES as a dude who runs around, just saying stuff in a big, booming JAMES EARL JONES voice for virtually no reason at all? Well, I should have, I guess.

This flick sets a new standard for blandness, as less than a week after viewing the film, I had forgotten virtually everything about it. There's a lot of underwater scenes, and there's a part where this chick talks about Abercrombie and Fitch, and the monster shows up for like, three seconds. And oh yeah, James Earl Jones is in it, too. Did I already tell you that? Well, shit then.

The director of the film, Richard Jeffries, would later go on to write "Cold Creek Manor," "Man of the House" and "Scarecrows," which as far as I'm concerned, is the most diverse portfolio on all of IMBD. Oh, and  Bob Morton from "Robocop" is in it, too, but it still sucks.

Legacy of Blood (1971)

I swear, I’ve seen this movie, under various titles, fifteen different times before. That’s not to say the film has a plethora of alternate titles, I mean it has a painfully familiar plot: a bunch of mendacious, avaricious pricks are hanging out in a supposedly haunted mansion for some kind of financial prize, and what do you know, a whole bunch of dead bodies start mysteriously piling up.

There’s not too much to talk about here. The only really memorable scenes involve a dude getting his head caved in with an axe (in which the camera itself is sort of used as the bludgeoning tool -- an admittedly cool and unique little optical trick, if I may so myself) and a part where two scheming lovers are killed by, of all things, a malfunctioning lamp. Hey, I guess you can only stab, impale and strangle so many people before you run out of murder techniques, I reckon.

Alas, I suppose it does have some merit, being helmed by the same guy that gave us the immortal "Little Shop of Horrors" rip-off, "Please Don't Eat My Mother." And for the truly autistic? See if you recognize any of the backdrops, since the IMDB alleges the film was shot at the same locale as the old Adam West "Batman" show.

Silent Night Bloody Night (1974)

No, it’s not the movie about the dude who watched his mama get raped and murdered by Saint Nick, only to get beaten by nuns and turn into a yuletide killing machine himself. That was called “Silent Night, Deadly Night,” and unlike this formulaic claptrap, that one was actually worth watching.

You know all of that stuff I said earlier about “Legacy of Blood?” Well, you can just copy pasta that shit right here, because it follows virtually the exact same script. A mysterious murder cover-up, coming back to haunt those who made a pact all those years ago? Check. Random cast members dropping like flies, while nobody at all suspects the weirdo stranger who just joined the party fifteen minutes ago? It’s here. A completely intelligence-insulting “swerve” ending? BINGO!

And the turd topping on top of the shit sundae? The movie doesn’t even really have a Christmas setting. Being a crappy, generic ‘70s horror flick is one thing, but being a crappy, generic ‘70s horror flick with a misleading title? Hey pal, there’s a reason why “Halloween” is considered an all-time masterpiece, beginning with the fact that it doesn’t take place during motherfucking Easter.

Of course, there are also some legitimately fantastic horror films on YouTube, which you can watch without breaking any kind of international copyright law whatsoever -- among them, bona-fide 1980s masterpieces like "The Evil Dead" and "Night of the Creeps" as well as underappreciated '70s exploitation gems like "Driller Killer" and "Invasion of the Bee Girls." And that's not to mention all of the public domain classics, like "Nosferatu" and "Night of the Living Dead," and all of the, ahem, "master works" churned out by one Edward D. Wood, Jr.

Alas, if you're a movie masochist, I reckon any of the above flicks are worthy of your squandered free time. And hey, as bad as they are, at least they're better than "The Ape Man" and "Monsturd" . . .


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