Tag Archives: Bruce Campbell

Intruder (1989)

IntruderNext up in our Horror-movie-a-thon is the 1989 slasher thriller, Intruder. While this film is mainly remembered as an early work of individuals who would later become famous (director Sam Raimi, the KNB special effects group, producer Lawrence Bender, actor Bruce Campbell, actor Ted Raimi), it is an adequate little film that can stand on its own merits – as long as you ignore the stiff acting performances.

The setup in itself is pretty unique – the entire film takes place in a supermarket after hours. The employees – all college-age teens – have been asked to stay overnight by the co-owners to mark down all prices by half due to the fact that the store has been sold and will be closed.

I guess the market is a great place to work because everyone is upset about its closing. The only person who seems happy about it is the partner who owns 51% of the store. His poor 49%-owning partner reluctantly signs the paperwork to sell.

Meanwhile, our heroic lead Jennifer Ross (Elizabeth Cox) has her own problems when an ex-boyfriend, fresh out of jail, comes snooping around and basically stalks her. Even after being physically thrown from the store by all of the males on hand, he hangs around outside, staring ominously into doors and windows.

After a long while, the killings start and that’s when things get really interesting. Despite its low budget, this film delivers the gore that slasher-film fans love and some of them are especially ambitious considering the resources on hand.

Despite the fact that most of the acting is pretty stiff (and there wasn’t enough Ted Raimi), this film is an enjoyable little horror flick.

The Second Round

So, I’ve made it two days in a row. Wonder how long I’ll be able to keep this up.

Tonight, another five horror flicks that I’ve enjoyed and that I think you might enjoy too.

Ringu (1998)

No, not the American remake, the original Japanese film directed by Hideo Nakata and written by Hiroshi Takahashi. This was my first foray into the world of Japanese horror – before I knew about the fear of long black hair and young girls prevalent in the genre.

The general premise, for those three of you who don’t know, is that after viewing a certain video tape, the viewer will die in seven days. This film follows the investigation of these deaths and the video itself by a young mother who’s son has watched the video.

This is one of those few movies that I mentioned a few posts ago about making me almost crawl over the back of the couch when ‘the scene’ happened.

If you’ve seen the American version and enjoyed it at all I urge you to see the original. It’s much scarier and doesn’t feel the need to spoon feed you the answer to every single, freaking piece of imagery in the cursed video tape. Also, the fact that the only special effect to make the ‘ghost’ move strangely was running the film backward makes it much scarier than the over-produced, computer-enhanced effects of the American film.

When will they ever get it? The more real a supernatural occurrence looks, the scarier it’s going to be? Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Purchase Ringu

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The Black Cat (1934)

A rather subversive and sometimes perverse film, this movie stars both Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff. Boris takes on the role of the bad guy in this film and has the widow’s peak to prove it. Both actors give it their all in this movie and it’s interesting to see Lugosi play the hero of the film. I haven’t seen all of Lugosi’s films, but this is the only one I’ve seen in which he plays this role. Most of the films I’ve seen of his he’s either trying to drain hapless victims or conduct experiments on…hapless victims. Oh, and bully Tor Johnson.

Purchase The Black Cat, part of The Bela Lugosi Collection

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The Evil Dead (1981), The Evil Dead II (1987) , Army of Darkness (1992)

(Yes, this is three movies, but I’m counting it as one for the purposes of this post.)

Poor Ashley. All he wanted was a quiet weekend in the woods with his friends, have some fun with his best girl, maybe get a little drunk. Instead, he got a sister molested by the local foliage, talking deer heads, possessed friends, medieval knights and he really lost control of that hand.

Now considered classics of the genre, The Evil Dead trilogy launched Bruce Campbell’s and Sam Raimi’s careers and gave us three of the most enjoyable gore-fests ever made. Often scary, sometimes funny and at times just downright silly, these movies show an ingenuity and wittiness on a shoe-string budget (Army of Darkness being the exception – it had an actual budget) that most horror movies can’t pull off even with millions being thrown at them.

Purchase The Evil Dead/Evil Dead 2 – Book Of The Dead Collection

Purchase Bruce Campbell vs. Army Of Darkness – The Director’s Cut (Official Bootleg Edition)

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A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

This is another of those movies that scared the poop out of me. Strange that I never had trouble sleeping afterward and I’ve only had three Freddy Krueger dreams in my life and that wasn’t until years later.

This movie just hit all the right notes to scare me – a monster that had the perfect hiding place where only his intended victims could see him, the fact that this monster was inside the mind and had access to those things that really scare you (although he didn’t really start doing that until the third movie in the series) and the scariest fact – there was no escaping him. Everyone has to sleep eventually.

I think if New Nightmare had come out shortly after the first movie, it would have damaged my psyche.

Purchase A Nightmare on Elm Street (Infinifilm Edition)

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Love at First Bite (1979)

This movie is probably the first vampire movie I ever saw. Therefore, I grew up thinking that to become a vampire, you had to be bitten three times. Period. No ifs, ands, or buts. The first time I saw anything with different rules I was taken aback. It just didn’t seem right.

Love at First Bite is a very silly movie. Dracula, tired of being alone, decides to visit the United States to find a new bride. He chooses the height of the ‘me’ decade, 1979, and falls for an extremely self-involved model who finally finds herself after receiving that fatal third bite.

I think what makes this movie work is how George Hamilton plays the part. He certainly plays it for laughs, but he never makes fun of his own character. Dracula is still ‘the man’ and never does he take a pratfall or make himself look like a fool (I’m looking at you, Mr. Nielsen). Even though he’s been dropped into the absurdity of the modern world, he never lets it ruffle his wing hair.

And damn! He’s the finest looking vampire I’ve ever seen.

Purchase Love at First Bite

Where it all started

I consider myself a big entertainment buff and have been since I was thirteen. I try to keep myself informed about what’s going on in the biz, read my entertainment sites, read the magazines, listen to the news. I’ve been this way since I was thirteen. In fact, I can even give you an exact date if you need it (August 30, 1985).

Before I saw Back to the Future on that fateful August night, I had my favorite actors – Shaun Cassidy was the first actor I can remember singling out and then Tom Hanks when he was on Bosom Buddies – but my ‘fanship’ of those two was nothing compared to what happened when I finally noticed Michael J. Fox.

If you don’t believe me, check this out. Yeah. That’s my website. I’m not ashamed of it – a little defensive, maybe – but never ashamed.

After becoming the uber-geek-fan of MJF back in 1985, I started reading every teen magazine my parents would let me buy, attempting to keep abreast of all things Michael J. Fox. As a result, I started following other ‘non-threatning boys’ careers such as Ralph Macchio, Ricky Schroeder and Kirk Cameron. I read most of those magazines from cover to cover and eventually started reading more grown-up, more reputable publications as well. I just wanted to know what was going on and after a few years, it wasn’t just those cute boys I was interested in.

However, my obsession with all-things-MJF did not stop just because my interests were expanding. Because of my teenage angst obsession, I started trying things those fan magazines said he liked. I even tried Linguini in Clam sauce, for cripes sake – and that was some of the nastiest stuff I ever tasted. Ugh!

He was often quoted as saying he was a big James Cagney fan. I had never even heard of James Cagney so I had no idea what he was all about. And so, one Friday night in Southeast Texas, the local t.v. station had a James Cagney film on their schedule – Something to Sing About. Fortunately, I wasn’t one of those kids that wouldn’t watch anything in black and white – I watched Mr. Ed every night on Nick-at-Nite – and I watched it. And loved it.

It snowballed after that and now I’m a huge fan of classic films of all genres – musicals, comedies, dramas, film noir, gangsters – you name it. If I happen across anything in black and white on television, I’ll stop to see what it is or who’s in it. I won’t always do that for color films.

I never really met many others who were into films, music, books and television the way I was. I feel extremely lucky that I met a man who is just as interested as I am. I’m doubly fortunate in that we have a lot of the same likes, but we also have many different likes. Before I met my husband, I had never heard of Bruce Campbell and I wouldn’t have been able to name Peter Cushing or Christopher Lee if you showed me their pictures. Now, I can’t imagine my entertainment world without them. And while I’ll never really feel the need to ever see The Girl Hunters ever again, I am honestly glad that I at least saw it once.

It’s not the most important area of my life and I know that it’s not as important as trying to keep out economy out of another great depression but I’m glad that I have plenty of places to go whenever things get tough. I can watch a movie, read a book, listen to some music and even though the problems may not go away, I almost always feel better able to face that problem. Even though entertainment doesn’t rank up there with world peace, it’s still pretty consequential.

So, my thanks go out to Mr. Fox. He changed my life in many ways and for most of those changes, I’m still grateful.

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat

Sundown: The Vampire in Retreat is one of those movies that you’ve never heard of and after seeing it you can’t really fathom why.

According to the few documentaries on the recently released DVD this film was shot in 1990 but never released theatrically. My husband – who is the consummate film buff – knew of it only because he is a fan of the director, Anthony Hickox, and several of the film’s stars including David Carradine, Bruce Campbell and Deborah Foreman.

Being a big Bruce Campbell fan myself, I had no objections to purchasing this dvd and we watched it last night.

The basic plot of this film is one of the most original I’ve seen in a vampire film. A vampire, Count Mardulak (David Carradine), has gathered the world’s vampires into a small town in the American west – Purgatory (nice and subtle, eh?). To assimilate into human culture they have taken to wearing sunglasses, sunblock, sleeping at night and drinking synthesized blood.

Another town leader (John Ireland) decides that he would rather stick to the old ways and war starts between the reformed vampires and those that prefer the real thing.

Bruce Campbell plays a descendant of the famous Van Helsings there to settle an old score with a certain vampire and Maxwell Caulfield camps it up as one of the ‘bad’ vampires who’s more concerned about his desire to steal back his old girlfriend than any blood feud.

Get it? – Blood feud.

Anyway, this movie was a lot of fun with some really great touches. Being vampires, these people originated from different time periods. This is reflected by the fact that they’re all dressed from various eras and locations. There are European dandies, hillbilly hicks, western cowboys, Edwardian businessmen, mod hippies and more. Then there’s Maxwell Caulfield’s birthday suit, which is one of the nicer costume designs, in my opinion.

If you like your horror movies with a unique flavor, humor and a wholly original plotline, this movie could be for you.

For details about the film, visit the IMDB entry.

To purchase this movie, visit Amazon.com

And finally, here’s a fan-made trailer:

Bruce Campbell Alert!

For all your Shemp Fans out there, Bruce’s new movie ‘Alien Apocalypse’ is premiering tonight on the Sci-Fi channel at 9:00 EST (8:00 CST).

For all of you who don’t know what a Shemp Fan is, or don’t know who Bruce Campbell is, tune in! Even if the movie is crap, Bruce is always great fun to watch.

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention that Bruce’s co-star is Rene O’Connor, of Xena: Warrior Princess fame. Rene is another performer who is overlooked way too often.

And now, for your viewing pleasure:

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There aren’t many men out there that can make this outfit look good.

Hail to the King, baby.

Bubba HoTep is a film that never got a wide release in theaters but was very well received by film critics and the normal movie-going folks who got to see it as it ‘toured’ around the country. Unlike my e-mail buddy, Kimberly, who not only got to see it in a theater, but got to see a showing at which Bruce Campbell made a personal appearance, I was not one of the fortunate ones who was able to see the movie in a theater. Therefore, I have been eagerly awaiting the DVD release of the movie.

The mail was a little fast and we actually got the movie on Monday, a day before it hit the store shelves and of course we watched it as soon as the dog was walked.

I have been a Bruce Campbell fan for a relatively short time – 5 years – but I consider myself a big fan. Subtle is not a word I would have used for Bruce’s acting style – until now. His performance as an aged, bitter Elvis Presley was just that along with touching, poignant and so non-camp, my husband and I often forgot it was Bruce. (That’s a compliment, in case you’re wondering.)

Why this man isn’t a big star is so beyond me.

Visit’s Bruce’s official website at www.bruce-campbell.com