It is no secret that the genre of horror is saturated, like a wet diaper, with films that should never really have been made, films that are so bad they’re, well, bad. I know that sometimes a film is made that is often a train-wreck yet manages to be entertaining, but surrounding those films exists a bunch of motion picture atrocities that fail on all levels, and those are the films I’ll be looking at in this column. Now, you might not agree with the films I mention here, you might even be a fan of some of them, and that’s fine, this is merely my personal opinions on what I feel are the true horror’s of the horror genre, the poison in the water supply that made me, when I saw them, want to Linda Blair my guts against the nearest wall. These are in no particular order (in other words, they’re all as bad as each other).
1 – Death Tunnel (2005, Director: Philip Adrian Booth)
I remember buying the DVD of this film back in 2005 on E-bay after reading the premise and being intrigued by its setting of a haunted abandoned asylum. Now, asylums can be creepy locations for horror films, look at how great Session 9 was with its use of Danvers Asylum (which was a real place that has since been demolished), but Death Tunnel managed to take a decent setting and take a large dump all over it, metaphorically of course. The story is basically about five intellectually-impaired college girls who are locked inside an asylum as an initiation. The asylum in question was the home to a disease and thousands of deaths, apparently, and so the fun begins when our clueless screaming underwear models begin to see ghosts and stuff. Yeah, that’s about it. The acting is some of the worst I’ve ever seen, the ghosts are about as scary as the logo to Ghostbusters and overall the film just falls flat on its face from its beginning until its end. A dire excuse for a horror film, the only good thing that came from me buying this nine years ago? I had a coaster to rest my coffee on for a while.
2 – Blood Gnome (2004, Director: John Lechago)
Now, I’m all for a film about a b-movie critter attacking people. Low budget? No problem. Poor acting? I can handle it. So long as it is entertaining, I can usually take what is thrown at me, but this, a film that follows a crime scene investigator who discovers some BDSM type murders, is one of the most boring and misleading piles of tripe that I’ve ever had the misfortune of sitting through. The cover and synopsis I originally read for Blood Gnome seemed to hint that the film was a critters-style romp featuring the bondage community, what we get is a bland and listless 87 minute film that drags on and looks like something a student would make as a joke on a Sunday after finding a box of leather and ketchup. Absolutely terrible. Avoid.
3 – Night of the Demons (2009, Director: Adam Gierasch)
Now, the original Night of the Demons is a decent, fun little horror film that I quite enjoyed when I saw it back in the late 80’s, but sadly there will be some people who will accidently (or maybe purposely) buy this, the 2009 “remake” of the original 1988 film. A movie about a party full of kids that gets invaded by demons, there is little excuse for such an open and silly concept to be dull and inexcusably shite, but this is just those things. Shite. The film equivalent to accidently getting a clinker of poo on your finger when you’re wiping your arse, Gierasch should be ashamed of himself for this calamitous piece of work. The characters are so bad than I even watched a bit of the film on mute at one point, so I didn’t have to hear them speaking. Oh dear.
4 – The Slaughterhouse Massacre (2005, Director: Paul Gagne)
Let me begin by telling you the name of the main villain in this terrible tale: Marty Sickle. If that isn’t terrifying, how about imagining a film that seems to purely exist as a way to show boobs, lots of boobs, out of context, while a maniac wanders around killing and stuff. It’s predictable, the acting is, obviously, horrendous, but it’s the pure feeling that I just wanted to switch it off so I could cut my toe nails that really made me wonder why on Earth this ever saw distribution. I have heard a few people say that this film is in fact “good for a laugh” but I disagree. There are some films so bad that they are indeed “good for a laugh” (Birdemic, Troll 2) but this is anything but, this is merely “good for a Frisbee”. Stay away.
5 – Girls Gone Dead (2011, Directors: Michael Hoffman Jr, Aaron T. Wells)
I don’t know if this film should be renamed “Acting Ability Gone Dead” or “Girls Looking Stupid” or maybe even “Your Mind Will Have Gone Dead after Watching This Film”. Regardless of its name, this is just a terribly stupid movie that seems to revel in its atrocious, erm, everything. The arrogant way that this film seems to think it is “knowingly” nodding at the viewer drove me nuts, and the sheer boredom I felt while watching a bunch of bikini wearing lasses sitting around talking, making out with a terrible actor who happens to have a gut, and then being sliced and diced unconvincingly It tries to be campy and fun, but ends up being offensively dull instead. Not worth seeing, even for free on Netflix. I’m pretty sure the opening Netflix loading screen has more depth.
6 – Alice in Murderland (2010, Director: Dennis Devine)
Meet Alice, it is her birthday. Hooray. Her lovely sorority sisters decide to throw her a themed bash with guests coming as sexy characters from Alice in Wonderland. Still with me? Okay. The silly-billies forgot to invite someone though, The Jabberwocky, and so murder and mayhem ensues. That is the jist of it. Now, it sounds terrible, but this could have have been a gorefest with familiar literary characters with their bodies hald-uncovered being entertainingly stalked and butchered by a monster. It might have, given a decent script and some okay gore, been vaguely entertaining. Instead this was one of those films that really dropped the already deflated ball, in fact it popped the ball and proceeded to, like its audience, fall asleep on its remains. Uninteresting and annoying, this was a film that is literally at its best when you just know the title, and it’s downhill from there. A no-nudity film that seems to aim at an audience expecting just that, this is one of those films that would only be a wise purchase if there was an incorrect disc in the box.
7 – House of the Dead (2003, Director: Uwe Boll)
Okay, you probably knew this was coming. No list of this sort would be complete without some of Uwe Boll’s bowel-content offerings, would it? I think, out of the few Boll film’s that I’ve endured, that this is his biggest accomplishment. I say accomplishment because I am pretty sure that Boll is out to create the very worst film of all time, and here, with this bag of burning dog shit, he comes pretty damn close. House of the Dead is even worse because, unlike most of the other films on this list, it actually had a decent sized budget going for it and was based on a video game series that many people love to this day. A bunch of college kids head off to a rave only to find that they are surrounded by flesh eating zombies. It doesn’t get more simple than that, and it could have just been a film-version of an on-rails shooter, with some good gore and tongue-in-cheek action-film dialogue, but instead Boll, in his infinite wisdom, opted for “let’s make a movie that appeals to no one”. Well done Uwe, you genius of cinema, you. One of the worst films ever made.
8 – The Weekend It Lives (Aka: Ax ‘Em) (1992, Director: Michael Mfume)
Old friends head into the woods for a nice little retreat for the weekend. Aww, nothing could go wrong here. Oh wait, yes it can, some guy from the past who died is back, and he is in a bad mood. Time for slaughter. Scary. Probably filmed on a 90’s family camcorder, this “film” has bad sound, a bad picture, but oh boy is the acting and direction on another level of worse. I found myself struggling to even hear what the dialogue was at times, which I am actually pointing to as a good thing. I sat, stunned in my chair, as this film happened to me. It was like I was being forced to endure it rather than voluntarily watching it. I don’t know if I have watched a film as catastrophically bad as this before, or since, and it would take a true stinking abomination to top it. Why was this made? I have no idea, maybe it was a dare.
9 – Slaughtered Vomit Dolls (2006, Director: Lucifer Valentine)
I wasn’t going to bother including this in the list, but alas, I decided I would. Why was I going to leave it out? Well, because I don’t know if I even class this as a horror film, or even a film. This is a deluded director’s ridiculous vision of masochism and satanic eroticism created for people who need to perhaps take a step back and evaluate. I interviewed Valentine ten years ago and found him to be a very one-note guy who seemed to be focused on promoting himself and attempting to garner more and more attention through the means of his terrible films. What is it about? Well, it is a nightmare vision of a strippers descent into satanic psychotic hallucination. Oh, and there’s vomit. This is the sort of thing that goth girls who want to shock their friends and parents would watch, perhaps, but I don’t know why. It isn’t shocking. It isn’t interesting. It is just a poor excuse for a director having a big wank and showing the world his results. Terrible.
10 – Peter Rottentail (2004, Directors: John Polonia, Mark Polonia)
A film about a magician who, after making a deal with forces of darkness, dies, only to come back to life and go on a mission of revenge. A half-bunny/half-human hybrid of horror, I was expecting Jack Frost of the Gingerdead Man levels of bad, with enough humour and silliness to keep me interested for the most-part, but instead we are given a beyond amateur film that does nothing that could be remotely labelled as tantalising or worthwhile. Boring, gutless and dismal, I thought that this could, so easily, have been better. I don’t really understand how a director can take such a crazy and bizarre premise and make it just tediously limp for its entire running time. Give me a kick in the nuts and a bottle of sour milk and I will have a better time.