May 27, 2013

The Midnight Horror Collection: 8 Movie Pack (Vol. 2)

This pack from two years ago is the first and last of the real "volumes" before Echo Bridge Home Entertainment started reissuing their previous "Horror Collector's Sets" with different cover art. You'll see what I mean as I continue these posts about multipacks.

You have to be very careful with these "Midnight Horror" collections if you are on a restricted budget especially as "Vol. 3" is made up of the Full Moon second disk from the first Midnight Horror collection plus "Zombie Dearest" from this one. Most collectors who are after "completeness" will find themselves with multiple copies of the same movies just to get one or two extra ones which aren't worth watching.

Echo Bridge Home Entertainment horror movie collections are always worth the money individually, but the sheer number of them which they've created by remixing their limited catalogue is very annoying. I would rather pay $60 or so and have everything that they have to release in one bigger pack rather than "Demonic Toys 2" and "Prom Night" half a dozen times. Obviously, Echo Bridge Home Entertainment won't make as much money if they do that so it's never likely to happen.

Watch Me (2006)

"One by one Tess Hooper's friends are brutally murdered. Linking them together is a file that spreads through electronic address books to seek its victims."

If you're anything like me, you'll switch this movie off after the first few seconds because it's clearly a "micro budget" Australian clone of "The Grudge", "The Ring" and several other Asian horror movies mixed together.

Having now seen it all, I can only say that it should be renamed as "Don't Watch Me".

Deadfall Trail (2009)

"Three campers head into the wilderness for a bare-bones expedition, but when the situation becomes desperate, the building tension reaches a breaking point."

Unless you are really into testosterone, survivalism, and men going mad in the wilderness for no good reason, there's not much to get excited about with this low-budget drama either.

Unfortunately, it's so talky that you can't even fast forward through it to say that you've seen the good bits. If you stay with it, there's a nude woman covered in blood at one point, but apart from some nasty bug eating, this movie barely counts as horror.

The Fear Chamber (2009)

"A detective is on the verge of capturing a serial killer, but nightmarish visions thwart his efforts."

Although it's very slow-moving and predictable, there's some lovely gore in "The Fear Chamber" which is worth fast forwarding to and replaying.

The supernatural revenge plot is a nice twist on "The Hands of Orlac" formula, but ultimately, too much time is spend on the cop wrestling with his inner demons. It might have worked if the lead had been able to act his way out of a paper bag.

Haunted from Within (2004)

"A modern retelling of the legend of La Llorana unfolds in an Arizona town."

This is an absolutely horrible movie in every way and on every level, but at least it has beautiful Rina Fernandez in it.

Sometimes an actress is so beautiful that you think you could just gaze at her all day doing nothing and enjoy it. "Haunted from Within" will, however, prove any such theory wrong.

There are much better low-budget "La Llorona" (pronounced "Yorona") movies available and quite a few worse ones. This was originally called "Spirit Hunter: La Llorona" just to confuse collectors of La Llorona movies such as myself.

Evil Bong II: King Bong (2009)

"On the search for a cure for their strange weed-smoking side effects, a group of stoners head to South America."

The same characters as the first "Evil Bong" movie and pretty much the same jokes too. Despite a change of location, what looks like a bigger budget, and even more topless models, it's not good.

Demonic Toys 2 (2010)

"When an oddball group of characters gather to inspect an ancient puppet, strange things begin to happen."

A couple of pretty actresses don't quite make up for the pacing problems, boring story, and poorly differentiated killer toys in this weirdly numbered third sequel. None of the "Demonic Toys" movies are as good as the "Puppet Master" ones, and that's really saying something since they are all terrible even as comedies.

I tried to like it, but "Demonic Toys 2" is somewhat unengaging, too slick looking and sounding, and tries vainly to be a throwback to the '90s instead of catering for a modern audience. Something went very wrong in the mix this time, but everyone is allowed a turkey or two. Putting all the turkeys together on one DVD is asking for trouble though.

Doll Graveyard (2005)

"A teenage loner discovers a set of handmade dolls buried in his backyard. When the clan comes to life, they protect him from harm... fighting a bloody battle in his name."

Easily the best movie in this pack. "Doll Graveyard" might be yet another '80s-style "Puppet Master" and "Demonic Toys" clone, but the wish fulfilment and revenge angle is well played and uses the stereotypical characters perfectly. The casting of the actors is also very good. In particular, the brother and sister look as if they could be siblings in real life.

I enjoyed this one. It's a real shame that it's "windowboxed" on large screen TVs and is shorter than a regular feature by a good 20 minutes.

Zombie Dearest (2009)

"While digging up the septic tank, Gus unearths an obedient, hard-working zombie... a zombie that will do whatever he wants."

When I read the plot synopsis, I thought that this would be another "Fido", but it's not even in the same league. More mediocre than anything else, "Zombie Dearest" only held my interest because of the facial similarity between sexy Shauna Black and Carol Decker from T'Pau (remember them?). I won't use the emoticon which looks like this: o_O because that would be cruel.

If "Zombie Dearest" is supposed to be a horror-comedy then, once again, I missed all the horror and the jokes.

Thus, volume two of "The Midnight Horror Collection" contains one DVD full of lacklustre, low-budget dreck coupled with another which is mostly made up of equally dire Full Moon titles. I'd give it a 50/50 chance of ending up in my yard sale, but that may change again nearer the time.

I have one reader of this blog who I know would love to live in America and have access to all these multi-feature DVDs, but since the dozens of multipacks usually contain the same movies over and over again, I can assure him that he really isn't missing out on much.

"The Midnight Horror Collection 8 Movie Pack" series has now reached "Vol. 13". I only have one more of the 8 packs myself, and it doesn't even have a volume number on it. Instead, I collected the original "Horror Collector's" sets as they came out or ended up in my local pawn shop. While I may still be missing two or three movies, I don't have any desire to buy more.

In my coming posts, I'll go through each "4 Film Horror Collector's Set" and let you know in which "Midnight Horror" packs the movies have been repeated.

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