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Customer Review

2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars You can get all eight of these films or just pick and choose the two good ones, 31 Oct. 2008
This review is from: Ghost House Underground Eight Film Collection [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] (DVD)
Two years ago I went and caught the original After Dark Horrorfest in the theater. The bad news last year was that Horrorfest did not make it to the Zenith City and this fall the bad news is that the next edition has been postponed until January because as of this month are are only 5 and not 8 films 2 die 4. So, in order to ease our pain and line their pockets, not necessarily in that order, Lionsgate has released the Ghost House Underground collection of eight horror films this October. Here are the films, presented in the order I saw them because the order always seems to matter to the ranks and ratings:

"No Man's Land: The Rise of Reeker": This is actual both a prequel and a sequel to an earlier film about the title character. The opening flashback is interesting enough, but this is a kitchen sink horror film where trying to make sense of it all is not worth the bother. Several recognizable faces in the crowd, but like "Crazy Eights," that hardly matters in the final analysis. (Ranked #6, Rating 2.4).

"Brotherhood of Blood" : Okay, so there are these vampire hunters and they capture a vampire, defang him, and try to talk him to death so that they can go rescue one of the other vampire hunters. This film cuts back and forth between the inquisition and the rescue mission. This is the movie with the big names--Ken Foree and Sid Haig from "The Devil's Rejects"--but they add nothing to the mix. Some interesting ideas on vampires, but there are the least cinematic part of the movie (Ranked #7, Rating 2.2).

"The Substitute": An alien comes to Earth to find out about love and takes the form of a strapping blonde substitute teacher, so it is up to a sixth grade class of Danish school kids to stop her. The best badly dubbed movie I have seen in many years, appropriately tongue-in-cheek, and with some decent special effects. The trailer gave me no indication that this movie was going to be this much fun (Ranked #2, Rating 4.0).

"Trackman": A group of bank robbers are holed up in abandoned tunnels with a couple of hostages and the title character, who collects eyeballs. This Russian film is supposedly their first slasher movie, which explains why it is a basic by the numbers type of the slasher genre. The result is technically competent, which is good, but nothing special, which is not so much so (Ranked #4, Rating 2.7).

"Dance of the Dead": Far and away the best film of the bunch to such an extent that you wonder how it ended up with the rest of these films, especially given that five of the eight are from Europe and four of them dubbed. Zombies are headed for the prom at the high school and the geeks have to stop them in this solid zombie comedy. That is all you need to know. If you liked "Shaun of the Dead" and/or "Dead and Breakfast, " then this one should be right up your alley (Ranked #1, Rating 4.5).

"The Last House in the Woods": Basic blood and gore on a par with the exploitation films of the 1960s, this inartistic Italian movie begs the question as to why anybody needs to go back and make another movie like that today. There is probably more blood in this one than the other seven put together, if that is what you want in a horror film (Ranked #8, Rating 2.1)

"Room 205": A woman moves into a college dorm room in which an earlier occupant died a nasty death, and now the angry ghost is after her and her dormmates. Another (dubbed) Danish horror film, this is the film with artistic pretentions as the motif of glass and mirrors matters to both the style and the substance of the film, which help to combat its Scandinavian sedateness (Ranked #3, Rating 2.8).

"Dark Floors": A young autistic girl is visiting a hospital for tests and when her dad tries to take her out . This film features the Finnish heavy metal band Lordi as the monsters. If you know about the band, who perform in monster costumes, then when they show up you will laugh. I had no clue, so I was able to take this one at face value, and it ends up in the middle. Watch Lordi's music videos first, and this one drops to the bottom (Ranked #5, Rating 2.5).

So, doing the math without decimals that is three 2's, three 3's, one 4 and one 5, which works out to an average of 3.0 on the nose. But that number is skewed because only two of the eight movies are rated equal to or greater than 3. Work out the average using the decimal numbers and it is 2.9, so I have to post a rating of three. As they say there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. My recommendation would just be to get the two best films here, "Dance of the Dead" and "The Substitute," and rent the rest for a look-see if you are compelled to actually watch everything in the set. When the two best movies in a series of horror films end up being the two funniest, and both are intentionally trying to be funny, that is not a good sign.
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Review Details

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Reviewer

Lawrance Bernabo
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   

Location: The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota

Top Reviewer Ranking: 213,008