November Kryptic Army Mission: It’s the Eye of the Turkey!

How could we go through November and NOT have our mission be about the Turkey? This whole month should be a celebration of those cinematic shipwrecks, those films that reached for the stars, but didn’t quite make it off the ground. Granted, we don’t use the ” B ” word in describing these kind of movies because they (hopefully) are still entertaining. But I have a feeling some of you out there might be stumbling upon some titles that made be just plain … bad. But fear not, because as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, right?

To make picking your two films easier, we’ve always gone with that it has to have a 3.9 or lower rating on IMDB. But because we know a lot of films that I would consider a Turkey have a higher rating because so many others enjoy it so much they give it a better score. So the main rule is that it does have to have a 3.9 or lower rating, OR … it can be any of the films listed in our previous Turkey Day Marathons that you can find on our Turkey Day Marathons link on the menu on the right. Or, if you have a title in mind, you can always email me to discuss.

So here’s the deal. You have until November 30th, at 11:59pm, to find two Turkeys to watch, and report back here with your thoughts. Easy enough, right! Remember, you are professionals, so you got this. Be brave when looking into the Eye of the Turkey and hope it’s not looking right back at you!

See you on the other side.

24 thoughts on “November Kryptic Army Mission: It’s the Eye of the Turkey!

  1. As things are looking now, I might not be able to join for Turkey Day on the 26th. So I decided to take a head start and contribute my two views already. Somehow I managed to enter the battlegrounds of ghost soldiers and zombie soldiers. Don’t ask me how, Jon. Things like this, apparently just happen.

    NIGHT OF HORROR (1981)
    score: 1.3/10

    Wow. Ouch. Here’s an aka title for y’all: The Movie That Will Freeze Your Face In A Frown For 70 Minutes Straight. It has Civil War era ghost soldiers in it. And in an alternate universe they would make the ones in both Armand Mastroianni’s The Supernaturals (1986) and George Hickenlooper’s The Killing Box (aka Grey Knight, 1993) win all the Oscars. In all categories. Such undefined masterpieces they irrefutably must be, when compared to… Night of Horror!

    How exactly all about this film got made, you can only wildly guess. The director (also one of the writers and main actors) actually made this under the pseudonym of Tony Stark. Which… probably tells you more about his love for Marvel Comics while growing up as a kid than this picture can demonstrate his many (clearly still hidden at the time) talents as a debuting film maker. Which… is interesting, to say the least, as he’s pretty much the only member of the entire cast & crew who went on to do more film stuff. Starting with: remaking his own film (this 1981 one) two years later, by getting some other people involved (likely aiming at more talents), in what I presume to be an attempt to do things a little bigger and better, then releasing it much more alluringly titled as Curse of the Screaming Dead (1983). I mean, in terms of perseverance, that does deserve some applause.

    While an approach like this may work wonders if you’re called Sam Raimi – upgrading Within the Woods (1978) to The Evil Dead (1981) got his glorious career as a director started – it seems things didn’t exactly work out the same way for Tony“Stark”Malanowski. However, surprisingly so, or maybe not so much, five years later he’d see himself building his own glorious career as editor on films by the none-less-likes of David DeCoteau and David A. Prior. That, in its own right, deserves another big round of applause. If not familiar with any films of those two fine gentlemen? Dig in, I’d say. Their combined oeuvre alone, can already set up Jon’s Annual Turkey Events with filled-to-the-juicy-brim programs for the next decade to come.

    See this film, Night of Horror, I dare you. You won’t believe it until you’ve finished it. Then you’ll have to, because you saw it. With your own eyes.

    THE CHILLING (1981)
    aka Night of the Zombies (either just that, or with a II behind it)
    score: 2.7/10

    Any whooping whatsoever sandwich after the one called Night of Horror will taste better, that I can guarantee. This one had World War II zombies on it, and so it did. Something about an experimental poison gas having been used in a remote European mountain region, that turned a Band of (Nazi?) Brothers into a renegade squadron that’s, uhm, a bit more reluctant to die. And by the time a few decades went by, they must have gotten so bored they came up with a scheme to go for – wait for it – World Domination. Okay, I may have just spoiled a little plot twist there, but what the hell, this is a Turkey and it’s all part of the fun.

    Some kind of secret agent guy has to travel to Europe, as if he’s going on a Bond mission, to locate and retrieve the poison gas. Only, he’s not James Bond, he’s Nick Monroe, played by Jamie Gillis, a legitimate drama actor who just happens to have had a much bigger career in the adult movie industry than he did in, uhm, well, legitimate movies like this one. How’s that for a bit of trivia? Director Joel M. Reed was responsible for accomplishing The Incredible Torture Show (1976) before it became one of Troma Entertainment’s many trashy calling cards, when picked up for distribution (theatrical re-release) in 1981 (and later during the ’90s on the home video market), which helped propel it into ‘grindhouse classic(k)s’ stardom under the more well-known Bloodsucking Freaks title. Okay, that’s enough trivia.

    The Chilling turned out a winning Turkey formula for a (pardon the throwback pun, once more) night of horror (mouhahaaah). It’s dark, sinister and sarcastic. It’s also not particularly well-made, to point it out gently, which helps in this case. There’s some memorably weird sound score effects that don’t really fit the scenes they’re used in. The undead soldiers are a merry bunch, with even halfway neat-looking make-up. The thinly, ramshackle plot is ridiculous, with an unexpected sleazy undertone throughout, maybe too subtle for trash like this, but undeniably present. It doesn’t exactly translate into graphic visual matters, but it’s just coming from all the male characters. How they behave, what they do or say, in such a casual manner it’s almost seriously funny. One highlight scene of this nature has Monroe waiting in a room with a prostitute who takes her top off. Go see what he does next.

    Even the utterly abrupt ending, which arrives after a mere 74 minutes, is a hoot. As if they all went like: “We’ve tried to make a serious horror film. It’s clearly going nowhere. It’s a joke. Let’s just give these zombies their punchline.” Either that, or they literally ran out of film stock and called it a day. Then imagine Joel M. Reed during post having some beers and a big laugh with his editor, going all genius: “I know the perfect shot to end this movie! Where’s the stock footage?”

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    • Wow, you really picked a couple of 1981 doozies this time around, didn’t you? That NIGHT OF HORROR sounds like it lives up to its title. It sounds like one that would definitely go down better in the company of friends. THE CHILLING (nice title), on the other hand, sounds like it was actually enjoyable in some regards, am I reading that correctly? I get the sense that you had more fun writing these reviews than watching the actual movies, hahahaha

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      • NIGHT OF HORROR:

        This film going down better in the company of friends? Sure, if you like to have them share in the SUFFERING. Haha. It’s painful to sit through. I just can’t think of a film right now in which I’ve seen even less happening.

        Four friends (one couple, the narrator and a poetry-reading girl) get into a camper van and start driving. Halfway the film, they halt in some woods and make a camp fire. A few Civil War ghost soldiers appear, just standing there, poorly lit, telling stuff about the Civil War. Yawn. Just when you’re about to doze off, our friends go dig up a fake looking skull, walk around a bit, and bury it elsewhere. Likely this made the ghost soldiers happy. Our friends are happy too now. Then they all go home.

        On all technical levels (for 1981 standards, at least) you might have to look VERY hard to find another film that’s as insufficiently made as this one. To some, this might be a hoot. For me, the whole experience came close to being unwatchable / unlistenable.

        Also, the second part has footage of what I presume to be an ‘ensemble collective’ — they were thanked in the end credits, but I forgot the name — that organizes weekend events to re-enact Civil War “battles” and such. You get to see a whole bunch of people (in costumes) running around, randomly shooting at things, in some fields. The camera was put at a few distant spots that would merely “capture” some overview images of this event. It’s my best guess that Tony Malanowski already had access to this footage, and then simply decided to make the rest of his “film” around it, or he just knew some people from this ‘re-enactment collective’ and was invited to bring along his camera.

        The most baffling thing, though, is that the film claims to be based on real events. By those, meaning the part of the friends in their camper van, meeting up with some ghost soldiers in the woods. The poetry-girl (who gets to recite a complete Edgar Allan Poe poem in the camper van) has also psychic abilities, which probably made the ghost soldiers decide to open up to her, telling their stories. How’s that for an undead therapy session?

        The whole film is told as a flashback: it has bookend scenes where the main character (Tony”Stark”Malanowski, playing a musician, who we don’t get to see play, but drink instead) starts telling the story of his troubled past to a fellow musician (who we also never get to see play, but listen to Tony instead). The Civil War ‘re-enactment’ footage are technically also flashbacks scenes within the main flashback story. So that sounds like a fairly complex narrative structure, doesn’t it? Yawn.

        It may also turn this film into quite the artistic endeavorment, actually. One that was, uhm, maybe a little bit lost on me. And on that note, again, I dare you all to sit through this film. Mouhahaha.

        THE CHILLING:

        Correct, indeed, this was surprisingly enjoyable! But surely anything would have been, after the aforementioned debut masterpiece. With The Chilling, I even caught myself laughing (out loud) on more than one occasion. This one, I can actually recommend (as a Turkey), instead of have to dare you watch it. The fact that both films were from 1981 and had both undead soldiers in it, by the way, was pure cosmic coincidence. And, yes, the fact that I just provided you some more long-winded insights, pretty much proves I’m (still) having (more) fun writing about them. Haha.

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    • If I could get my hands on a decent copy of Night of Horror, I would have screened that on Turkey Day long ago. But the VHS burn is just so damn dark you can’t see much of anything. Maybe that’s a benefit! But one of these days, some small label will remaster it when they do, it will be screened the next T-Day for sure!

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  2. 1. Killjoy (2000 2.7 rating)

    Synopsis: a nerd is bullied by the girl he has a crush on’s criminal boyfriend. So he summons a demon in the form of a clown to get even. He is killed before the spell works but the demonic clown emerges later and seeks revenge.

    Review: This is a typical, low budget, full moon video movie. It truly deserves its turkey status. On the negative, the acting ranges from bad to horrible and the plot and actions of the characters seem to be questionable at best. Things happen just to drive the plot. And as usual in these kind of movies, there is no ambiance or mood. The characters are all stereo-types and the fight scenes are ridiculous. On the positive; the clown (other than the hair) has a creative and scary look and makes a memorable monster (at least visually) and some of the lighting works well. Overall, as a turkey, it was a fun watch and I would suggest it for sheer stupidity. It certainly isn’t boring! I actually had fun approaching it from that aspect. As a serious movie though, stay away.

    2. Dire Wolf/Dino Wolf (2009 3.7 rating)
    Synopsis: A large gray wolf enhanced with human genetics to make the perfect wolf soldier; escapes a lab and begins killing anyone he can find.

    Review: When this movie first started I wondered why this movie got such a low rating. Sure, the start was a bit abrupt with little backstory. But the acting wasn’t as bad as many movies ranked in this rating group (with a few exceptions). The characters’ were well developed with interesting backgrounds (or at least there was an attempt to give them backgrounds). But I what really found surprisingly good was the first attack scene. With the quick cuts and quick action, flaws in the monster costume were well hidden and the gore looked good and realistic.

    However continued watching made it apparent why this movie falls into the “turkey” category. One of the minor characters (an FBI agent) who’s acting was probably the worse; became a more central part of the story and quickly became grating. The attack scene I was so impressed with became redundant when the exact same scene was re-filmed about 6 times switching only the victim, but leaving the same angles, gore effects and attack style. It looked exactly the same! Finally the “seen it a mile away” twist ending coupled with the full reveal of the horrible man-wolf outfit made the low budget turkey category painfully obvious. I did like the movie overall for the first half, but it wore on me from that point and became redundant and boring with the only fun that remained was laughing at the poor monster costume and a very questionable/stupid decision from one of the most enjoyable characters.

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    • Alluring film titles you’ve chosen there, Chris.

      KILLJOY. Now here’s one I’ve actually seen at some point. I seem to recall its slasher tendencies and the clown’s somewhat acceptable scary-looking appearance (probably minus its wise-cracking killing methods?). But other than that, the rest turned foggy in memory. Turkey qualities for sure, yet the film itself apparently didn’t motivate me back then to go check out its sequels. I was under the impression it received two follow-ups. But by now, there’s no less than 5 Killjoy films already. What is this boogeyclown doing so right then?

      DIRE/DINO WOLF was made by Fred Olen Ray? Haha. That makes sense.

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      • Erratum! I’ll have to correct myself here. Haven’t seen the first Killjoy film yet. It was, in fact, another Full Moon picture I saw at the time: Jigsaw (2002). A similar low budget supernatural slasher kind of deal, but I seem to remember done with a more serious (no wise-cracking) approach. Still, also eligible for Turkey material, I’m sure.

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  3. Call these the appetizers for the main course next week!

    CLIMAX (2020) (2.1 IMDB rating)
    d. Varma, Ramgopal (India)

    Diane (porn star Mia Malkova) and her boyfriend Diego (Renan Severo) are out cavorting in the desert, looking for good times and good places to snog. They venture into an area clearly marked Do Not Enter and “weird things” happen. Well, not really. It’s mostly just them driving their Jeep around in the sand, with lots and lots and LOTS of shots of Ms. Malkova’s rear end in short shorts. Seriously, I’m surprised her barely covered posterior doesn’t earn a screen credit of its own, considering how director Varma elects to shoot it from every possible angle whether running, reclining, or wading into a muddy pit, er, watery oasis. That said, there is barely any nudity, which seems puzzling considering the casting. There are, however, lots of extraneous jump scare sound effects and whirling camerawork attempting to distract viewers from the fact that there is nothing happening. Some random bikers show up at one point and what could be… zombies, I suppose? From a production standpoint, it all looks pretty proficient and the running time is mercifully short, but you can definitely find anything worth recommending here elsewhere with a higher entertainment quotient.

    GRIZZLY II: REVENGE (2020) (3.2 IMDB rating)
    d. Szots, Andre (USA)

    Other than the fact that its plot centers around another big killer bear on the loose, this has no connection to William Girdler’s 1976 “Jaws with Paws” drive-in classic. Screenwriters Joan McCall and David Shelton borrow from the “This Time It’s Personal” playbook with a mother bear avenging the death of her cubs at the hands of poachers by murdering everyone in her path. Shot in 1982 in Hungary (with American money), the drama that went on behind the camera is far more fascinating than anything that transpires before it, ranging from the collection of talent assembled to the financial wheeling and dealing that ended up with the workprint languishing on backroom shelves for nearly four decades.

    The film opens with three young hikers being brutally slain, the weekend warriors in question played by none other than future mega-stars George Clooney, Charlie Sheen, and Laura Dern. However, we also have Oscar-winner Louise Fletcher as a National Park official, Deborah Foreman (Valley Girl, Real Genius, April Fool’s Day) as the daughter of a park ranger recruited to help out with a massive music festival, Deborah Raffin (Scanners II, Death Wish III, God Told Me To) as a benevolent naturalist out to protect the bear, John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Raiders of the Lost Ark) as a celebrated wildlife tracker, Timothy Spall (Harry Potter franchise) as a sound engineer for the aforementioned music festival, and Charles Cyphers (Halloween, The Fog) and Jack Starrett (the bad cop who abuses John Rambo in the original First Blood) as nefarious beer-swilling gun-toting rednecks. Whew!

    As far as the other travails go, it’s a long and tangled web, but the short version is that the Hungarian government seized the production equipment for non-payment and the onscreen music festival was actually footage from a Nazareth concert (with the film’s performers stuck in to serve as the opening acts!) There’s a fantastic article detailing the whole affair here:

    https://www.theringer.com/movies/2020/8/31/21406226/grizzly-ii-george-clooney-laura-dern-john-rhys-davies

    No surprise, it’s not a great movie by any stretch, with minimal killer bear action, but the added zing of seeing all these familiar faces and knowing the chicanery going on just off frame keeps things just entertaining enough.

    BIRDEMIC 2: THE RESURRECTION (2013) (1.6 IMDB rating)
    d. Nguyen, James (USA)

    The meta-magic of Nguyen’s original Hitchcock homage was that it kept the audience guessing, “Was it supposed to be this bad?” Was it a genuinely earnest failure or an elaborately staged hoax? Either way, fans of ineptitude thrilled to the bungled sound mix, clunky line readings, shaky camerawork, environmental preaching and, of course, those amazing, straight-out-of-a-videogame animated winged beasties. Unfortunately, lightning doesn’t strike twice, as this time the misadventures feel more than a little premeditated, following the stars of the first film (Alan Bagh and Whitney Moore) crossing paths with an earnest film director (Thomas Favaloro) and his newest discovery (Chelsea Turnbo). The attempts to skewer the Hollywood lifestyle fall flat and everything else falls under the “been there, seen that” column, with deliberately crap production values, script, and thesping. This is what happens when you blatantly try to make a bad movie, folks. You get your wish.

    Trivia: Distributor Gravitas Ventures put out Birdemic II AND Grizzly II. I guess we know their niche.

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    • Man, wow. BIRDEMIC 2. What? I checked out the trailers for both. To see something like this, in this day and age? Color me baffled. But like you pointed out, this seems to have been done all so deliberately, I’d seriously question if it would actually qualify as a legit Turkey. But that’s Jon’s territory to judge, of course. Save to say, I saw more than enough of both movies with those two trailers alone already. Haha.

      CLIMAX. I must say that trailer knows how to promote the film’s biggest (not pun-intended) asset in an utmost captivating manner. Seems justifiable for a thing of such natural beauty to deserve its one hour of stardom in a “legit” film. Not that I see myself actually checking out its complete, swiftly bouncing, running (pun-intended) time, but still, praises were praises are due.

      GRIZZLY II. Heard and read about its (re-)release last year. For all the reasons you pointed out, I feel like I do need to check it out at some point. Sounds like chuckles abound!

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    • I still need to see Grizzly 2. I had an old bootleg copy that was too horrible to watch (the quality, not the movie) but now I upgrade it and … uh … enjoy it!

      And Climax sounds very strange coming from India with a porn star.

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      • The adult film actress in question is American, and apparently the director had done a little documentary short with her, which led to them working together on this project. I get the sense that he was enjoying his time out in the desert and didn’t want it to end.

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  4. Movie 1: “Island Claws”

    I know it qualified for rating scale, but I think overall; Island claws wasn’t as bad as any other early large sea creature flick. Yeah, the abundance of other crabs moving in droves was kind of hilarious, but I thought the movie felt as easy to swallow as any other Sunday afternoon creature feature. Not that I would watch it again, it was alright.

    Movie 2: “Birdemic””

    Wow. There’s bad, and then there’s bad, and then there’s “Birdemic.” We don’t even see the alleged Birdemic until the second half of the 3rd act. The rest is just filler with fluff and padding. And when we finally do venture forth into the Birdemic, the effects of these “birds” is quite atrocious. I get it; birds are kind of difficult to direct. But, Hitchcock proved with creativity, editing, and an abundance, you can make a convincing series of bird attacks. These birds were difficult to watch even when they were just idly hanging out in all of their CGI lack of glory. Pass.

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    • Loved that you checked out Island Claws. We screened that back in 2018 and it was a lot of fun. Major kudos to any film that builds an actual giant freaking crab!!!

      I still haven’t taken the plunge to watch Birdemic and not sure if I want to.

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    • I got a bluray of Birdemic years ago (for free, I hasten to add) and i still haven’t dared to unwrap it. I think the plastic is keeping the stink sealed in.

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  5. #1 THE AMITYVILLE CURSE (1990, IMDB rating 2.9/10)

    Just slap that Amityville name on a movie and I am all over it! A group of five friends buy a house to flip in the town where that boy killed his family and start having weird dreams or visions or something…okay, back up, first, a priest is murdered in his confessional and a “half-wit” boy is blamed and hangs himself in a tree outside the church rectory, leaving his poor dog on his own. The church is closed down and the confessional is stored in the basement of the now-empty rectory–which happens to be THE VERY HOUSE that our friends buy twelve years later!!!

    Church secretary Mrs. Moriarty shows up to drink their beer and let them in on what’s going happening. Unfortunately she meets her death at the bottom of the basement stairs. One friend dreams of the priest’s murder and sees who did it while the police watch an accidentally recorded tape of Mrs. Moriarty’s murder and see the culprit–and they were both killed by the same person! And it is one of our friends! He picks off the other friends one at a time (don’t forget this is a construction site) but the police arrive in time to save the cute girl.

    This was actually a pretty decent, if unsurprising, movie. Good production values, acting (includes hottie Kim Coates), sets, and very good dialogue, funny and refreshing. Maybe the low raters were disappointed it had nothing to do with the other Amityville movies? I have seen way worse.

    #2 WEREWOLVES OF THE THIRD REICH (2017, IMDB rating 2.3/10)

    Like this movie, for instance. A group of soldiers escape from the MPs and go around killing Nazis, including the above-mentioned, pitifully few, werewolves. The werewolves play such a tiny part and are largely incidental to the plot. Not really a well-made movie, boring and slow-moving–they actually slowed down scenes to show murders in loving detail, wanting to show every part of people being shot in the head. Stick to Nazis at the Centre of the Earth, it has an IMDB rating of 3.1/10 and really earns that extra four-fifths of a point.

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    • It has always amazed me how many movies under the “Amityville” title. I think it’s close to 30 films! So, nothing would surprise me when it comes to the plots in them! But at least you found one that was somewhat entertaining.

      Nothing worse than having “werewolves” in the title and then have very few of them on screen. I always complained about Werewolves on Wheels, when really it should have been WereWOLF on Wheels since it is just one. And here I was expecting a biker gang of werewolves…silly me.

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  6. Since I was the one to come with this mission, I figured I would knock out a couple of titles in a series that for some reason I’m thinking I need to go through all of them, the Children of the Corn films. But when looking up some of the sequels I hadn’t seen, they somehow don’t meet the below 4.0 rating on IMDB?!?! Part 3 has a 4.3 rating! So, I dug a little dipper.

    Children of the Corn 666: Isaac’s Return (1999) 3.5 IMDB rating – It’s kind of funny how going into one of these sequels, you expect a different story line, which is exactly what I got here. Apparently little Isaac from the original film didn’t die at the end of the film, but went into a coma. And now has awoken 19 years later to help fulfill the prophecy. I can understand how Stacy Keach was in this, but Nancy Allen??? It is about as entertaining as you’d expect but I will give a couple of points to one or two gore effects.

    Children of the Corn: Runaway (2018) 3.8 IMDB rating – Like my previous writeup, I did not expect the film I got with this one, and am really shocked to see it get such a low rating. Unless of course, fans were expecting the same old, same old lame story line beat into the dirt. With this one, a survivor from some type of Children of the Corn cult escapes with her unborn child after setting the cornfield on fire. 13 years later, drifting from town to town, always thinking that they cult is after her, she ends up in a very, very small town. She still has visions of murderous children, especially a young girl in a yellow dress that is going about town viciously killing people.

    Directed by John Gulager of Feast fame, he at least tries to put some style in here. Granted, it’s very similar to what he did with Feast, but style nonetheless. Plus, the story is actually a lot better than you’d expect, and really could be about anyone that had escape a cult and is struggling to recover. Much better than expected and probably my favorite in the series that I’ve seen so far.

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    • Glad to see this happening, Jon. It’s always much easier — perhaps after having seen only one or two of the COTC ’90s sequels — to conclude they must be all as bad as (most) people seem to say they are, as opposed to actually sitting down for them and judging them on your own terms. I’ve always felt (for most of those people) that jumping on the bandwagon out to bash the COTC films was just the more popular thing to do, thus failing to acknowledge some of the films actually being better than one would expect.

      I can only agree with COTC: Runaway being such a case. Together with the previous COTC: Genesis, I found these two recent instalments more interesting than all the other ones. They’re different and don’t rehash the same story and characters. They also have a more serious tone to them. More effectively keeping things minimal and attempting an overall disquieting atmosphere, instead of using that formulaic ‘slasher kids’ routine again. And indeed, the low IMDb ratings for both Runaway & Genesis don’t make much sense.

      From those ’90s sequels, I recall part 4 The Gathering (the one with Naomi Watts & Karen Black) is one that stands out a bit better than all the others.

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      • I think that is that whole “wisdom with age” thing! I know in my younger days I would have scoffed at such titles, and honestly still do today. But I think if we learn to go in with an open mind, looking for anything that might be worthy, you might find it. Not all the time, but it does help when you’re open to it.

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  7. Jon, I’m going to modify this month’s mission just a bit. While an IMDB rating of 3.9 or less may indicate a substandard film, it by no means is indicative of what I like to think of as a turkey. To be a turkey, above anything that the film may lack, it must be fun! So I took my 3.9 or lower rated movies, and culled the list down to three that I had fun with, that I feel deserve the honor of being considered turkeys.

    STORM OF THE DEAD (USA / 2006) (IMDB rating 2.4)

    Once you get past the incredibly misleading packaging, there is an entertaining (for mostly the wrong reasons) movie here. This is incredibly low budget stuff, with a total of ONE practical effect (an hysterical severed hand). The storm has already happened, and the Florida militia is patrolling to make sure there is no looting. But, someone has and the militia is tracking him into the swamp. They catch up to the looter, and in a exchange of gunfire, the looter is killed. Unfortunately for the militia, the looter’s grandmother is a voodoo queen who quickly does away with the militia men. When the patrol goes overdue, a second patrol is dispatched to find them. Voodoo shenanigans ensue, with the patrol taking casualties. What saves the day is that the patrol’s leader’s grandmother was an acquaintance of the voodoo queen, and he makes a pledge that no other patrols will be along to investigate. The dead of the title, a very normal looking zombie (the looter from the beginning of the film) shows up at the very end, and, well, does absolutely nothing. There is a brief attempt at social commentary, which most films of this caliber wouldn’t even attempt. And that’s it. The acting is generally fine, and the movie is technically adequate. But overall, I had fun with this. YMMV.

    DARK HARVEST (USA / 2004) (IMDB rating 2.7)

    Killer scarecrows! You can almost never go wrong with killer scarecrows. There’s a farm that is having bountiful crops when no other farm is producing. Some Satanic mischief may be involved. The owner is killed, and years later a relative comes into possession of the farm. The relative goes to check out the property with several friends. You know where this is going, right? There are some nice kills, and of course no one acts sensibly. The highlight for me: three of the friends have been slaughtered, and the guy who has inherited the place has hatched a plan to escape. He is going to do ‘x’, and the other two will do ‘y’. “But don’t worry,” he says. “The scarecrows are only after me!” Except for the fact that the scarecrows have already killed three other people that are “not him”, he may be correct. This was much more entertaining than it had any right to be. Pass the cranberry sauce, please!

    THROUGH THE FIRE (USA / 1988) (IMDB rating 3.6)

    Oh you wonderful slice of 80’s cheese, where have you been all my life! The 80’s rock! Some nerdly types try to invoke Moloch to do their bidding. Alas, the spell is not performed correctly, and Moloch is roaming about as a free agent. They need a medallion to control him. Said medallion is in the possession of a woman whose sister was mysteriously killed (spoiler alert – by Moloch, natch!). There is wild magics, Moloch on a rampage, a pretty heroine, a stalwart cop, and oh yes, Destroyers (think Buffy types). Highlight: the heroes are magically attacked in the heroine’s home by the nerdly gang. After which the cop says that the safest place they can stay is – ready? — at the heroine’s house!! WTF!
    Anyway, things end with a bang (quite literally) with the nerdly magic gang, the Destroyers, Moloch, and our heroes involved in a wild free-for-all in an abandoned hotel. Have I mentioned how much I love the 80’s? This is prime turkey material right here!

    Dig in and enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you 100%, Bob. If it’s not entertaining, then its just boring, and that is not a Turkey! I may have to check a few of your choices to see if they may make a future Turkey Day marathon!

      And I agree with you on scarecrows…hard to go wrong!

      Like

  8. Movie #1 Old 37 (2015) Imdb rating 3.9
    I was curious about this one, because it has Bill Moseley and Kane Hodder. 3.9 was honestly too high of a rating for it. This movie was cringy bad. It was advertised as a movie about two serial killers who intercept 911 calls and catch their victims in an ambulance. That is not the case. Bill and Kane were barely in it and the rest of the actors are terrible. The only good things I can say about this one is it’s short and the gore is okay.

    Movie #2 Gothic Harvest (2019) Imdb rating 3.5
    Another Bill Moseley movie! I actually really liked this one. I thought the story was decent and the acting wasn’t as bad as Old 37. Lin Shaye is also in this one. I was really happy this wasn’t another 2001 Maniacs or anything like that. I would probably watch this again or add it to the video library. I think the rating is a little harsh, but that is just my opinion. It wasn’t Oscar worthy, but it wasn’t a turkey either.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I remember hearing about Old 37, but just because of the cast. I really like Moseley and he is usually really good in whatever he is in. But like you pointed out, they can’t carry the whole picture.

      I am interested in seeing Gothic Harvest now too!

      Like

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