April is starting off great with several solid horror classics including: Dead Alive, The Fog and The Howling. It nice that Netflix is finally getting a decent horror library, for a while it seemed like the instant horror was almost entirely direct-to-disc crap from the late 2000’s. But with a great month of March and a strong start to April, horror fans have a lot of good to choose from. Check out all the recent releases below along with the “about to expires” as well. Enjoy!
Netflix Instant Horror in Your House
April 3rd, 2011
Recently Released (Release date in parenthesis):
In 17th century Boston, a warlock (Julian Sands) escapes death and magically leaps 300 years into the future, where he searches in Los Angeles for the three parts of the Devil’s Bible that will unmake the world. Meanwhile, the witch hunter (Richard E. Grant) who brought him to trial — aided by one of the warlock’s victims (Lori Singer) — is in hot pursuit to stop his heartless path of violence and foil his destructive plans.
MICAH SAYS: It’s back…again. This one keeps leaving and making a return. It’s essentially a mismatched pair / buddy road comedy with a 17th century witch hunter and an `80s L.A. valley girl. What’s not to love about that scenario? Best line of the movie, “My dad hates Jesus and the 12 apostrophes.”
DEAD ALIVE (4/1)
Although it’s easy to admire the maniacal glee of director Peter Jackson’s bloodfest, Dead Alive is nonetheless intense and profoundly disturbing. When a Sumatran rat-monkey bites Lionel Cosgrove’s mother, she’s transformed into a zombie. She begins killing (and transforming) the entire town while Lionel races to keep things under control. Events culminate at a house party that turns into a blood-drenched zombie buffet.
MICAH SAYS: Do I really need to say anything? An outstanding edition to the ever-growing horror instant library.
THE FOG (4/1)
While an old, weather-beaten fisherman tells a ghost story to fascinated children huddled by a campfire, a piece of driftwood in a child’s hands begins to glow, and an eerie fog envelops the seaside community of Antonio Bay. From its midst emerges demonic victims of a century-old shipwreck seeking revenge on the small town. Director John Carpenter’s follow-up to his breakout film, Halloween, stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh.
MICAH SAYS: An effectively chilling ghost story that still holds up incredibly well today and it’s one of Carpenter’s finest efforts to boot (which is saying a lot). Side note, I remember being the only person in the theater for a showing of the remake in 2005. Apparently, everyone else in the world got the memo that remake sucked fiercely except me. That was a colossal waste of eight bucks. Ahh, I miss the days when movie tickets only cost eight bucks.
THE HOWLING (4/1)
After a traumatic experience at work, TV reporter Karen White (Dee Wallace) checks into a plush California resort called The Colony to rest. Yet, on her first night there, the howling outside her window leads her to discover that she’s in a colony of werewolves. Now she must expose the secret — if she can survive! Rife with in-jokes, horror film references and genuine scares, this John Sayles-penned howl fest is a werewolf classic.
MICAH SAYS: Top five werewolf movie ever made? Yes, without a doubt. The sequels, like Hellraiser, got out of control in a bad way. But I’m in the camp that if something can spawn seven or eight sequels that the original must be worth checking out.
THE LANGOLIERS (4/1)
Ten people awake on a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to discover that the other passengers, the flight crew and the pilots have disappeared. After a passenger (David Morse) manages to land the plane, the small group of survivors soon makes a startling discovery. Not only are they alone on the plane — they’re alone on the planet. The sole sound on Earth comes from the mysterious Langoliers, who are systematically destroying everything in their path.
MICAH SAYS: Wax nostalgic with Balki Bartokomous (aka Bronson Pinchot) in the Stephen King adapted, made for TV mini-series (what is this thing, like 9 hours long?), which featured some of the worst special effects ever. Looking back this didn’t hold up well at all, but as a kid I was enthralled by it.
SAM’S LAKE (4/1)
In the wake of her father’s death, city girl Sam (Fay Masterson) invites a bunch of her pals on a relaxing getaway to the lakeside cottage where she grew up. But once there, they learn of a horrific tale of murder that has haunted the area for decades. It isn’t long before our young heroes become personally — and terrifyingly — acquainted with the legend of Sam’s Lake. This thriller was an official selection at the 2006 Tribeca Film Festival.
TO LET (4/1)
An expectant newlywed couple needs to find a new place to rent, and when they visit a creepy apartment, they’re unimpressed and turn it down. But the leasing agent and landlady have other ideas, and force the couple to stay against their will.
LEGION OF THE DEAD (3/28)
William and his sidekick Luke have just started a relaxing vacation through the beautiful California desert … but who and what they encounter there could not have been planned for! Barely escaping from a psycho killer, they take refuge in a small desert town — where, unbeknownst to them, a mysterious man and his sadistic henchmen are killing people to create the “Legion of the Dead.” The fight against evil has just begun.
BASKET CASE (3/22)
Likable Duane Bradley (Kevin Van Hentenryck) checks into a Times Square flophouse toting a locked wicker basket. Turns out that inside is what remains of Duane’s once-conjoined twin, Belial, who was surgically separated from Duane and left for dead on a trash heap. Now the siblings seek murderous vengeance on the doctors responsible, and Belial won’t let anything stop him — least of all Duane’s nascent romance with a coy receptionist.
MICAH SAYS: Frank Henlotter directed this cult film (is it too big now to still be considered cult?) about a tenant in room 7 that is “very small, very twisted, and very mad.” Another excellent flick to have available instantly.
BLOODTHIRST 2: REVENGE OF THE CHUBACABRAS (3/22)
The search for a missing college coed leads Det. Steve Andrews (Bruce Shaw) to a mental asylum to see a patient babbling about the Chupacabras, a vampirelike beast that may be to blame for the girl’s disappearance. But the inmate — who says he trapped the hideous creature in an abandoned mine — breaks out before the gumshoe has a chance to talk to him. Can Andrews track down the patient and the monster before it’s too late?
DAMNED BY DAWN (3/22)
When young Claire (Renee Willner) ignores her dying grandmother’s warning not to meddle with the power of the banshee who shuttles souls to the afterlife, the angry spirit unleashes a terrible cry that causes the dead to rise from their graves and walk the earth. Can Claire save herself before the marauding corpses condemn her body and soul to hell? Dawn Klingberg co-stars in this gruesome horror film from director Brett Anstey.
During a whale-watching expedition in Iceland, a sightseeing group is left stranded when their captain gets wiped out. But when a seemingly helpful whaler sails by and brings the tourists aboard, he steers them to their deaths on a sadistic island. Gunnar Hansen — who played the original “Leatherface” in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre — co-stars in this graphically gory horror pic set adrift on the open seas.
MICAH SAYS: I tried to like this one, but for me I found it to be boring. The good being that it’s a unique twist of the “deranged psycho family” genre. Instead of the backwoods of West Virginia we get the confines of a boat at sea. Worth a watch.
HELLION: THE DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND (3/22)
After a messy divorce, Lynne Graham (Belinda McClory) relocates to Australia’s Gold Coast with her three children, only to discover that their new house is already occupied — by a deadly demon! With the help of her oldest son, Danny (Joshua Leonard), Lynne races against time to save her other kids, already under the demon’s influence, from being sucked through a portal to hell. Can the family possibly make it out alive?
LOST TRIBE (3/22)
When their boat plows into a rock during a pleasure cruise, five friends (Marc Bacher, Brianna Brown, Hadley Fraser, Nick Mennell and Emily Foxler) swim to safety on a deserted island, only to learn they aren’t alone. It turns out a race of ancient creatures calls the island home … and they’ve got a taste for human flesh. With odds like that, exiting the island with their lives intact will be next to impossible.
On their way to Miami for winter break, four college students take an ill-advised detour through the backwoods of West Virginia and find themselves in a fight for their lives when they become the targets of a vengeful, faceless psychopath. Recalling the energy and grittiness of the classic horror tales from the 1970s, this gruesome thriller stars Kathryn Merry, Ernest Dancy, Josh Macuga, Raine Brown and Brian Dixon.
MICAH SAYS: Nothing is more frightening than plaster, right? Speaking of those backwoods in West Virigina…
BOY EATS GIRL (3/20)
Resurrected by his mother after a tragic accident, 17-year-old Nathan (David Leon) awakens with a taste for human flesh. Next thing you know, a run-in with a school bully (Mark Huberman) sets off events that spread Nathan’s “condition” all over town. Meanwhile, the undead Nathan tries to curb his appetite for his dream girl (Samantha Mumba) in this tongue-in-cheek zombie romp also starring Laurence Kinlan and Sara James.
Small-town sheriff Pat Baker (Tony Doupe) is facing a worst-case scenario: His insane son, who offed his mother 13 years ago, has escaped from a mental asylum and is loose in the woods where Baker’s daughter (Alena Dashiell) is camping. To no one’s surprise, the masked psycho gets right back into the killing groove, with the suspense and wanton bloodshed accelerating all the way to an unnerving climax in this gripping thriller.
SANTA’S SLAY (3/16)
Jolly old Saint Nick (Bill Goldberg) isn’t making a gift list this year — he’s making a hit list, checking it twice and unleashing his inner demon for an unforgettably terrifying Christmas. A bet that Santa lost to an angel 1,000 years ago has expired, and now he’s hell-bent on spreading some holiday fear. As the big day approaches, only young Nicholas Yuleson (Douglas Smith) and his grandfather (Robert Culp) can stop him.
MICAH SAYS: The opening scene in this film is so f*cking genius that it deserves to be put on loop on a basic cable channel and played forever (Google it if you have any doubts).
TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE (3/16)
In this homage to Rod Serling’s hit TV series, a bigot (Vic Morrow) experiences prejudice; a man (Scatman Crothers) helps the elderly regain their youth; a woman (Kathleen Quinlan) discovers a town controlled by an odd child; and a passenger (John Lithgow) sees something horrifying on the wing of his plane. Directors John Landis, Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante and George Miller helm this anthology of four classic tales of fantasy and horror.
MICAH SAYS: “Wanna see something really scary?” This anthology is worth a watch for the “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” episode alone. Overall, though, this is one of my personal favorite horror anthologies.
About to expire (of note):
A father and would-be ventriloquist (“Lost” star Terry O’Quinn) communicates with his kids, Leon (David Hewlett) and Ursula (Cynthia Preston), via a full-size medical dummy. But when dad dies, Leon retains a creepy connection to the mannequin. He also becomes psychotically protective of his now-grown beautiful sister, and mayhem ensues. The eerily charming psychological thriller is based on a novel by Andrew Neiderman.
MICAH SAYS: It’s like an updated version of “Psycho”, but replace the dead mother with a mannequin. One of the most underrated `80s thrillers out there. I highly recommend checking this one out.
BIG BAD WOLF (4/15)
A rowdy group of college students eager to get wild and crazy persuades their classmate Derek Cowley to invite them to his stepfather’s incredible secluded cabin. The coeds party it up with great delight — until they’re attacked by a vicious werewolf that rapes, murders … and cracks bad jokes. This gore-filled horror film provides plenty of bloody mayhem, including decapitations, throat rips and even castration.
MICAH SAYS: If you like your werewolves to be of the wise-cracking maniacal with a penchant for one-liners variety then look no further. It also features the ole standby “I-think-my-stepdad-is-a-werewolf-we-should-find-out-by-giving-him-a-BJ-and-testing-the-DNA” plotline. Classic.
SATAN’S LITTLE HELPER (4/15)
It’s Halloween eve, and 9-year-old Douglas (Alexander Brickel) is in for the fright of his life in this chilling horror tale. Dressed as “Satan’s Little Helper” (from his favorite video game), Douglas goes out trick-or-treating and meets a guy dressed as the monstrous boss from the same video game. Staying true to the game, Doug offers to be his assistant, unaware that the masked man is really a serial killer on a Halloween murdering spree.
MICAH SAYS: This flick features some exceptionally unnerving scenes involving the beautiful Katheryn Winnick in this surprisingly well done black as night horror comedy. I enjoyed the heck out of this one.