whole lotta crap this week, kids. it looks like the entire puppet master series hits netflix. and something with a penis metaphor title and ron jeremy. and, of course, martyrs. most people seem pretty impressed with martyrs, so maybe i’m in the minority — i loved the first half, but the second half just weighed too much for me and snapped the supports holding my suspension bridge of disbelief (but i’d love to hear other opinions).
The Uninvited (2009)
Committed to a mental hospital after her mother’s tragic death, teenager Anna (Emily Browning) discovers upon her release that her father (David Strathairn) plans to marry his deceased wife’s former nurse, Rachael (Elizabeth Banks), a woman who may not have the best intentions. Foreboding warnings from her mother’s ghost only cement Anna’s suspicions in this remake of the 2003 Korean chiller Janghwa, Hongryeon.
Exit 38 (2007)
Two rival cops team up to defeat the powerful vampire that is holding their loved ones hostage in this horror-themed action thriller starring Martin Kove and James Hong. Mercer is a predator who loves to toy with his human prey. Lee Gray and Boyd Parker both dream of the day they can end Mercer’s reign of terror, but they’ll have to find him first, and in order to do that they’ll need some assistance from the FBI and a particularly intuitive Chinese master. With their help, Gray and Parker track Mercer to a gentleman’s club in a sleepy small town, just off Exit 38. There, the malevolent bloodsucker is able to feed without fear of discovery. When Gray and Lee learn that their loved ones are being held captive by Mercer, the two mortal adversaries reluctantly agree that the only way to win is by working together.
The Centerfold Girls (1974)
When she agrees to pose nude in a prominent men’s magazine, beautiful nurse Jackie (Jaime Lyn Bauer) couldn’t possibly have predicted that she’d attract the unwelcome attention of madman with two things: bloodlust and a straight razor. Before long, other babes who’ve bared it all in the magazine become the deranged killer’s next targets. Can anyone stop him before he slays all the centerfolds? John Peyser directs this classic exploitation film.
Curse of the Puppet Master (1998)
In the sixth installment of the Puppet Master horror series, we follow the evil Dr. Magrew (George Peck) as he foolishly attempts to re-create the genius of puppet master Andre Toulon, whose puppets he now owns. Toulon’s puppets have watched silently as Magrew experimented on his own assistant and performed all sorts of atrocities to achieve that end. Now, they’re ready to give Magrew a taste of his own medicine.
One-Eyed Monster (2008)
Adult film stars Ron Jeremy and Veronica Hart reunite in this hilarious homage to horror. Stranded by a storm, the cast and crew of a porn flick fall prey to a vicious killer when Ron’s (Jeremy) dismembered member is possessed by a bloodthirsty alien. Now they’ll have to destroy the slithering monster before it spreads its deadly seed across the world. Amber Benson, Carmen Hart and Charles Napier also star.
Puppet Master (1989)
In director David Schmoeller’s taut chiller, perverse master puppeteer Andre Toulon (William Hickey) harnesses the power of ancient Egyptian magic to breathe life into his crew of marionettes, who morph into demonic killers. Many years later, a group of modern psychics looking for clues to explain a mutual friend’s mysterious suicide end up trapped in a creepy hotel stalked by Toulon’s miniature assassins. Paul Le Mat also stars.
Puppet Master 2: His Unholy Creations (1991)
A gang of ghoulish, supernatural puppets uses an Egyptian brain serum to resurrect their long-dead creator, Andre Toulon (Steve Welles), who promptly orders his marionette minions to drain the brains of a team of scientists. Meanwhile, Toulon falls for Carolyn (Elizabeth Maclellan), whom he believes to be the reincarnation of his lost love. Pinhead, Leech Woman, Blade and Tunneler are all back for more in this gory sequel to the 1989 cult hit.
Puppet Master 3: Toulon’s Revenge (1991)
French puppeteer Andre Toulon (Guy Rolfe) attracts the Nazis’ attention with his anti-Hitler productions, which feature a cast of magical string-free marionettes. The Gestapo promptly kill his wife (Sarah Douglas) and pursue Toulon’s animation formula to create a zombie army. Enlisting the help of his faithful creations, Toulon pulls the strings on a very gory revenge plan in this clever prequel to the first two films in the horror franchise.
Puppet Master 4: The Demon (1993)
With the help of a psychic, scientist Rick (Gordon Currie) and his cohorts find the trunk of dead French puppeteer Andre Toulon. Its contents include several amazing puppet creations — and an ancient animation serum stolen from Egyptian wizards. Rick injects the puppets, who are reanimated just in time to battle a team of ruthless demons sent to reclaim the serum in this bloody-good fourth installment of the popular cult horror franchise.
Retro Puppet Master (1999)
In this prequel to the horror franchise, it’s 19th-century Paris, and a young Andre is visited by a 3,000-year-old sorcerer who shares the ancient secret of installing the souls of the dying into inanimate objects. The problem is that the secret has been stolen from a god — and the god wants it back. Greg Sestero plays the puppet master Andre Toulon in this seventh installment, directed by David DeCoteau.
While She Was Out (2008)
What starts out as a Christmas Eve trip to the mall ends up as an exercise in terror for suburban mom Della Myers (Kim Basinger) when she finds herself stranded in a forest and pursued by a quartet of thugs — all because she’s left an angry note on their car. The baddies (including Lukas Haas) chase her from the mall, and when she crashes her car in a wooded area, she has nothing to fend off her attackers but her wits and her toolbox.
Years after she escaped from an icy torture chamber in an abandoned slaughterhouse, Lucie (Mylène Jampanoï) enlists the help of her closest friend, Anna (Morjana Alaoui), to track down the family who tormented her and exact her revenge. But when Lucie and Anna investigate further, they discover that they’ve only scratched the surface of an unspeakably vile secret organization. Pascal Laugier directs this ultraviolent horror film.
The Sisters Four (2008)
A man searching for the source of his fiancee’s recurring nightmares discovers a dark truth about her mystery-shrouded past in this low-budget thriller. Hard as she may try, Traci Holmes simply can’t stop her recurring nightmares. They seem to be rooted in a traumatic incident Tracie’s childhood. Determined that he can set her free if he can only solve the mystery of her past, Tracie’s fiancee Richard sets out to find the truth. When Richard uncovers a terrible secret about the orphanage where Tracie was raised, and discovers that the former orphanage residents are being systematically slaughtered, he races to catch the killer before it’s too late.
Sick and the Dead (2008)
The zombie apocalypse has come and gone, and as the living dead assume ownership of planet Earth, the few humans who have managed to survive struggle to remain hopeful for a future where they are safe from flesh eaters.
Blood Predator (2008)
[no description available]
Sigma Die! (2007)
[no description available]
Grindhouse Double Feature: Beast of the Yellow Night/Keep My Grave Open (1970/1980)
Beast of the Yellow Night
Roger Corman’s New World Pictures distributed this seedy Filipino monster mess about a lecherous American soldier (John Ashley, no stranger to Filipino horror films) who saves his miserable hide during World War II by selling his soul to Satan. Everything works out fine until some years later, when Ashley tries to back out on the arrangement and is subsequently slapped with a werewolf-type curse that has him sprouting hair in unwanted places and stalking villagers by night. The werewolf attacks are remarkably gory — throats are ripped, faces pulverized, and intestines spilled — but still manage to be boring. No special method for exterminating the supposedly indestructible beast is devised; apparently he gets tired of being shot repeatedly by the police and just keels over — as does the film itself.
Keep My Grave Open
This unsettling but moody low-budget psycho-thriller — a drive-in version of Repulsion with a Southern Gothic flavor — stars the eerie-looking Camilla Carr as a demented young recluse who believes herself to be possessed by the spirit of her long-lost brother (who is presumed dead), and slays any man who makes sexual advances toward her — usually running them through with a sword. Her dementia intensifies, leading her to take her own life by chewing on broken glass (a particularly unsettling scene). The chief plot twist and subsequent dramatic punchline — involving the brother’s true identity and whereabouts — is a long time coming, but fairly satisfying nonetheless.