May 26, 2013

The Midnight Horror Collection: 8 Movie Pack (Vol. 1)

Although a lot of these movies have been published before in other Echo Bridge Home Entertainment packs, I believe that this was the first of their "Midnight Horror" collections. I bought it for the full $5 price from Wal-mart just to have a DVD copy of "Meridian" (known in the UK as "Phantoms"). Getting "Below" and several lesser known Full Moon movies was simply a bonus.

The thing is that even though I've had the pack for almost two years, I hadn't watched any of the newer Full Moon movies or other low-budget nasties until today.

Overall, I had a good time watching it. While not every movie in the pack is good, it's definitely worth the money.

Prom Night (1980)

"Four seniors, who all share the same terrible secret, are stalked by a vengeful axe-wielding killer on Prom Night."

You all know this one so I'm not going to re-review it.

The ratio is the old fullscreen 4:3 format, and it's a bit dark, but "Prom Night" isn't a bad movie. I've never really raved about it though and used to think it was boring. It's all about the nostalgia for some people.

Below (2002)

"A submarine picks up three survivors of a U-boat attack but these visitors seem to spark a series of chilling, otherworldly occurrences."

I've reviewed "Below" already too, and it's an okay movie. I liked it more when I first saw it on TV and didn't notice some of its more glaringly lower-budget qualities until I watched it again.

At the end of the day, it's just another Miramax/Dimension Films horror with a fairly decent cast and production values.

I Am Omega (2007)

"The lone survivor of a deadly plague is doomed to an eternal battle with the mutant creatures that now control the Earth."

Something from The Asylum to cash-in on "I Am Legend", of course, but it isn't bad at all. Some of the camerawork is a bit shaky, but I got through a couple of bags of crisps and half a pound cake without incident so it's perfectly watchable.

The action scenes are very good indeed, Mark Dacascos has some nice martial arts skills, and Jennifer Lee Wiggins is great eyecandy. The bottom line is that "I Am Omega" is one of the best movies that The Asylum has ever made. If I ever start doing "Sci-fi Saturday" reviews again, this movie deserves a more in-depth and honest critique than anyone else has given it so far.

The Legend of Sorrow Creek (2007)

"When two sisters return to their childhood summer getaway, they soon fall under the wrath of an evil curse—one that threatens to rip them apart forever."

This Canadian "Blair Witch" wannabe is the weakest link on the first DVD, but it's no longer than a TV movie and occasionally looks like one too. If you make it through the first couple of minutes, it gets better intermittently.

"The Legend of Sorrow Creek" is cheap, the dialogue is full of clich├ęs, and the acting is nasty, but at least it isn't a "found footage" movie. Having said that, it's still best to skip it if you don't want your evening's entertainment ruined.

Evil Bong (2006)

"A toke from a mysterious and powerful vintage bong takes a group of college kids on the wildest trip of their lives."

What begins as a passable stoner comedy with a retro vibe eventually turns into an even lamer horror/situation comedy which isn't worth sitting through except for some hot topless girls and amusing vulgarities.

"Evil Bong" is another slightly shorter than regular feature though so it's not worth getting too upset over.

Demonic Toys (1992)

"When a sixty-six-year-old demon with the power to bring toys to life is awakened, he goes in search of a body to inhabit."

Having never been a fan of the "Puppet Master" movies or this spin-off with similar effects, the whole movie feels dated to me in a bad way.

The real draw is Tracy Scoggins rather than the demonic toys themselves although some of the puppetry is nicely done for the time.

Meridian (1990)

"When a young woman visits her recently inherited Italian castle, she discovers that she has also inherited a medieval curse that threatens her life."

If you ever wanted to see Sherilyn Fenn and Charlie Spradling get strumped all over the place by a werewolf, this is the movie for you. There are some nice performances, everything looks great, and the erotic scenes are genuinely erotic.

The only faults are that "Phantoms" is a very girlie, romantic film at heart rather than a horror, and Malcolm Jamieson bears too much of a resemblance to Martin Kemp during his Spandau Ballet days.

Decadent Evil (2005)

"A vampire named Morella feasts upon the blood of strip club clientele while housing her ex-lover Marvin—part human/part reptile—in a bird cage."

"Decadent Evil" is more or less a run-of-the-mill vampire flick with a TV episode running time, terrible dialogue, and a few weird bits thrown in which don't always gel. It's like a mixture of "The Hunger" and a below average "Tales from the Crypt" episode.

This is another Full Moon movie which most people haven't seen (or would even want to), but the girls are all very pretty. It's not really very "decadent" or "evil" though.

If you haven't already got any of the older "4 Films Horror Collector's Set" packs then either this or the newer "Midnight Horror" 20 pack is a decent purchase for $5.

As a gift for someone who is only just starting to collect horror movies, you can't really fault it. More serious collectors who are looking for better transfers will certainly find something to moan about, but it's higher quality than most Mill Creek packs.

There's definitely something for everyone in this collection so I recommend it. It's just a pity that "Meridian" isn't on the first DVD instead of "The Legend of Sorrow Creek" since I would quite happily throw the second DVD away otherwise.

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