CATACOMB OF TERROR
 

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE

1985. Directed by Jack Sholder

Here we go then, the follow-on that will precede a follow-on that will repeat the tradition and end up who knows where in an ever-growing collection of films. All we have to do is hang in, hope the dilution process isn't too harsh and hope for the best.

We are 5 years on from the original plot and the Walsh family now reside in the home of the Thompson’s, the scene of the original film. The son of the family, Jesse (Mark Patton), starts to have nightmares, as are some of his new classmates, most notably a girl he has the hots for, Lisa (Kim Myers) and a wannabe jock, Ron Grady (Robert Rusler). Lisa visits Jesse after school one day and they discover the diary of one Nancy Thompson, which details her awful nightmares, which in fact, are similar to Jesses (add own convenient music). It transpires that Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) is after a host body so as to continue his much needed murderous ways (where does this man get off). The clock is ticking, the Krueger influence is growing - Jesse and the crew are in a race of a lifetime to get the answers they need and to avoid a gory demise.

Run of the mill, far from profound and a typical sequel that continues a formula and paves the way for many follow-ons. This isn't a bad film and has some nice effects that help the attention levels and keep we humble horror enthusers ticking - just expect little and take it as it comes.
   

A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 3. DREAM WARRIORS

1987. Directed by Chuck Russell

And here we go again, another series building after the success of the first 2 offerings. One can only hope we are not going down a repeater insult route where the same old, same old is rehashed and slapped forth without depth.

After young Kristen Parker (Patricia Arquette) has her wrists slashed by dream-stalking monster Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund) she is sent to a local psychiatric ward where she joins a group of similarly troubled teens all of whom have seemingly made attempts on their own lives. Luckily for the students one of the Doctors is none other than one Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp), who has had her own fair share of Freddy bother as seen in the first 2 films. After several attacks on the teens Nancy decides to organise a group attack on our serial killer and see if they can rid themselves of him once and for all. Neil Gordon (Craig Wasson), the psychiatrist assigned to the children, at first is apprehensive about Nancy's presence but after meeting a nun called Mary Helena he becomes more reassure. Of course things never run smoothly and all goes awry with the nun popping up to convolute the tale a little more - it happens.

Acting wise there is some real out of sync, unemotive and quite lifeless stuff going down here and the script is far from absorbing but, looking at things from a kinder and less expectant angle, the film skips by, offers up some chunky moments to chew on and does what one would expect it to do - idly titillate!

   

ISLAND OF TERROR

1966. Directed by Terence Fisher

Purist nonsense and a rip-off of many films of a similar ilk where strange radiation borne monsters appear, crowds become panicked and an end result is almost ridiculously obvious.

We find the plot taking place on Petrie's Island, a remote area off the east coast of Ireland. For starters we have farmer Ian Bellows (Liam Gaffney) go missing and be eventually found by local copper John Harris (Sam Kydd) who finds him dead in a cave without a single bone in his body. Harris is aghast and gets the town physician Dr. Reginald Landers (Eddie Byrne) to offer his opinion, but Dr. Landers is clueless and seeks the help of the mainland dwelling noted London pathologist, Dr. Brian Stanley (Peter Cushing). Stanley still without any ideas and in turn looks to another source of assistance, this time in the form of Dr. David West (Edward Judd), an expert on bones and bone disease. Eventually, after a few more deaths, some light is shed on proceedings and our 3 intellects find out what has actually happened and what will actually occur if they don't come up with answers very soon. The village is under threat from a horde of multiplying beasts that feed on the skeleton and in a matter of hours the whole island will be overrun. Are you prepared to see if the day can be saved or if the population of Petries Island is going to be reduced to one dead jellified mass or will predictability crush your interest and a see you prematurely switching off?

I should know better. I should have enough insight and experience to not expect much from these low B-movie shockers and just take them for what they are. In fact I should know enough to give this one a severe bad review but, despite the orthodox way out plot, the outrageous conclusion and the pathetic effects I can't help but enjoy these things and go back to them fully undeterred and with an inkling for just one more peek. Cushing is a saviour as ever, the atmosphere not half bad and so, with a little idiot obsession like me you should get through this with a smile on your face and with a slight cerebral question of 'why' in your noggin. Escapism takes all forms, sometimes we shouldn't try to analyse it and instead just sit back and indulge!
   

THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN

1977. Directed by William Sachs

Pure out of this world hokum here that is awash with dubious effects and ham shank (rhyming slang) acting that somehow gets by and is an experience that is worth repeating several times over (oh we perverse horror maniacs).

The film revolves around an astronaut whom, after a space trip to Saturn, is affected with radiation poisoning.  The astronaut, Steve West (Alex Rebar) arrives back on Earth and is hospitalised and starts to melt.  He soon escapes with sudden urges to cause destruction, kill and eat the bodies of his victims.  Hardly any explanation is given for this behaviour other than the radiation but who cares, there is something fascinating going on here and one does get involved.  On the tail of the gelatinous murderer is a Dr Ted Nelson (Burr DeBenning), a man who seems to be made of timber and who fumbles his way through a performance that leaves everything to be desired.  I care not though, this is a film one watches for the gunk, the melting morass of putrescence that we are promised by the gratuitous title that leaves nothing to the imagination.  You want a man that melts, you got it!  The finale is superbly nonsensical, so matter-of-fact that for me  makes it fit in to the whole theme of a film very much off the reality scale.

I have read many bad reviews regarding this film but I am still taken by it, it is a piece of pop-culture, B-grade trash and has very few redeeming qualities on a professional basis but it entertains me, simple as!  Some of the scenes work well, I like the mental anguish of the accursed dripper and like that throwback feeling the movie emits.  Madness I know but isn’t the whole scenario built on insanity.  Apologies I have none!

   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 
   

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