This year “A Nightmare on Elm Street” celebrated its 35th anniversary, the highly influential slasher film became the quintessential horror movie series of the eighties, turning Freddy Krueger in to one of the most recognizable villains in horror movie history. You wouldn’t think a scarred undead child molester and murderer with claw hands who takes perverse delight in haunting teens would become a mascot for the eighties, but you’d be shocked. Krueger was incredibly popular in the eighties, arguably more than Jason Voorhees, and I say that as someone who favors Jason. In either case, these are five of my favorite Freddy Krueger moments where he wrought havoc on unsuspecting Elm Street kids and was at his most sadistic.
I honestly never go in to a movie hoping its bad, but most times I almost never go in to a horror movie with high expectations. I went in to “The Funhouse Massacre” with almost no expectations, and oddly enough ended up with a damn good and damn fun splatter horror comedy. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy “The Funhouse Massacre,” but I plan to re-visit it during Halloween. Were I wealthy enough, I’d even buy a bunch of copies and put them in the bags of select trick or treaters. If you love Halloween, director Andy Palmer’s horror comedy is a blast, and the very definition of a Halloween treat. Granted, there are some flaws here and there (blatant CGI sky shots, and a brutally predictable final scene), but once you forgive them, you can appreciate the good intentions Andy Palmer has for the audience.
“The Funhouse Massacre” is gory, it’s sadistic, it’s funny, and it has a damn creative concept I had a lot of fun with. Director Palmer charges in to the premise head first, even giving a logical reason as to why literally no one recognizes these serial killers occupying a Halloween funhouse. Palmer’s movie feels almost like a stand alone Batman tale, where Candice De Visser plays a demented psychopath and brutally sexy maniac in the vein of Harley Quinn, who breaks out a group of vicious serial killers from a local asylum. Jere Burns is fantastic as Mental Manny, the ring leader of the funhouse killers who almost seems to be channeling his version of the Joker, at times. Burns was always a fine actor, but he goes the extra mile here. When the group of killers invades a local funhouse, unsuspecting Halloween fans walk in to death and murder.
We follow a group of friends out for the night, prepared for laughs, unaware that the gore and splatter around them are really helpless victims walking in to the slaughter. Realizing what’s happening much too late, the group is locked in the funhouse without any escape. It’s now up to a local sheriff, her inept deputy, and one of the group’s survivors to stop them. A lot of the mayhem and premise certainly has a catch to it, as Palmer isn’t content with just throwing blood at the wall, offering a very slick reveal in the chaotic climax that I thought really tied the movie together. The collective cast is just top notch, as Palmer brings the best out of his performers, from a small cameo by Robert Englund, to a very funny supporting performance by Ben Begley who steals scenes left and right.
“The Funhouse Massacre” is a grab bag of laughs, gore, and creeps, and it’s definitely a horror comedy you should look in to come October. The Blu-Ray release from Scream Factory comes with an interesting audio commentary with director Andy Palmer, producer Warner Davis and actors Clint Howard and Courtney Gains. There’s “Popcorn Talk’s Video Commentary” with director Andy Palmer and co-writers/co-stars Ben Begley and Renee Dorian. There’s the three minute segment “A Day on the Set,” a five minute Production Diary, and the original Theatrical trailer for “The Funhouse Massacre.”
Haunted attractions are big business in the US around Halloween time, each one trying to outdo the other. In the countryside, a new one called “Land of Illusion” decides to use local killers and their stories to up their scare factor. Little do they know, the six maniacs escaped the asylum housing them and find their way to the fun house and bloody, bloody mayhem ensues.
The Robert Englund starring “Phantom of the Opera” is a mix between “Darkman,” the original “Phantom of the Opera,” with a hint of “Nightmare on Elm Street.” Like the aforementioned film, Englund’s character thrives in dreams, and sports a nasty pizza face that is only slightly darker than Krueger. It’s almost as if Krueger was pulled in to our world, and found a way to live among the mortals through various false faces. Christine Day is an opera singer trying out for a brand new musical, and decides to sing a mythical piece of music called “Don Juan Triumphant.” While performing, she’s knocked unconscious by a falling light that drops her like a bag of rice, and she awakens in ancient times.