Four of the lamest, cheesiest, and most hilariously unwatchable horror flicks ever concieved! Yes! Yawn to the tediousness of Claw of Terror! Chuckle at the outrageous amateurism of Movie House Massacre! Scratch your freakin' head at the obtuseness of the other two!
Also known as Matthew, Scream Bloody Murder, and The Captive Female, Claw of Terror is about a pathetic kid who runs over his dad with a thresher before hopping off the thing and getting his hand smushed clean off. Flash forward a bunch of years later, and poor goofy Matthew (who looks like the unholy offspring of Mark Hamill and Kevin Bacon) returns home from the lunatic asylum, and promptly decides to hack up his new stepfather with an axe. Poor mom steps in and gets konked on the noggin with a rock. And with that, the ever-quivery, hook-handed, and sexually-mega-repressed Matthew hits the highways. After killing a few more idiots, Matty meets up with a low-rent hooker and lies about being a wealthy man with a huge mansion.
The next day, Matt visits a huge mansion and kills the people inside of it. Then he grabs the hooker, ties her to a bed, and whines/quivers for another 20 minutes. Cue credits.
Sheesh, I don't even know where to begin on this one... The acting, the writing, the direction -- I mean, this thing's just all kinds of terrible. You know how the SAT tests have that "sample question" that's too easy to answer? Well, Claw of Terror is the movie equivalent of that question. Film professors could show this flick on day one and say "OK, kids, find 1,200 things that are wrong with this movie." And while it's true that Phantasm fans will HAVE to see this flick just so they can enjoy Angus Scrimm's performance as "nosy and murdered doctor, there's nobody else out there that I'd even consider recommending it to.
And as far as the Blood-O-Rama gore-meter is concerned, this flick earns (maybe) a 5.5.
OK, take everything I just said about Claw of Terror, and multiply it by 73. That's how head-bashingly bad Movie House Massacre is. The "plot" focuses on a bunch of ADRed mouth-breathers who are working really hard to fix up a decrepit old movie theater, one that (yep) several people once died in. But it gets even worse. Apparently the weekend filmmakers knew they couldn't cook anything up in the horror department, which means that Movie House Massacre is packed with really ripe comedy schtick. Like "wah-waaaah" sound effect kinds of comedy. Yowch.
B-movie veteran Mary Woronov is the only person you might recognize, but I doubt the actress considers this one of her finest hours. (And considering her filmography, that's saying a lot.) The cast of untrained and untalented actors simply wander through the frame, perpetually muttering all sorts of arcane crap that's got nothing to do with a haunted movie theater. A few people get killed in outlandishly unconvincing fashion, and then the flick just kinda... ends, as if the crew just polished off the $1,000 savings bond they cashed in for their production budget. Movie House Masscare runs only about 74 minutes, but if you can make it through the whole thing, I honestly think you deserve a medal of some sort. Maybe an Olympic one or perhaps a Purple Heart. As bad as the horror stuff is, the flick gets extra painful when it tries to be funny.
But things get even worse on the flip-side of this disc. The movies defy any sort of analysis at all, but I'll give it a shot.
Torture Chamber of Dr. Sadism (sigh) is about another poorly-dubbed schlub who gets invited to an isolated castle, only to discover that it's the deserted lair of an eeeeevil torturer dude. Toss a few girls and a whole lot of material ripped off from Poe, and you're halfway to understanding how familiar this pulpy bit of camp actually is.
Which brings us to ... Black Mamba, a movie that wouldn't make sense if you watched it three times in a row. An American doctor in Manila gets embroiled in a very drab and uneventful witch story. Between the dubbing and the dialogue, this flick feels like it was created to be used as a punishment tool for prisoners. Frankly, much of the movie is utterly indecipherable, with some scenes having little or nothing to do with what came before.
Even as a guy who has a pretty high tolerance level for Crap Cinema, I still have to say: These pieces of cheese are pretty damn ripe. If you have a few friends, a few beers, and a few bongs handy, maybe one of the flicks will suit your MST3K-style needs. But none of 'em is actively scary ... or particularly gory, come to think of it.
Video: Flick 1 is misframed and fuzzy, flick 2 is half-decent, flick 3 is grainy ang grungy, flick 4 looks like the transfer was peeled off a grindhouse floor.
Audio: Dolby Digital something. Let's just say it ain't pretty.
Extras: On side A you'll find a stills gallery for Claw of Terror, and inside the DVD case is a goofy little "Certificate of Assurance" that you must sign before being allowed to watch these four dungpiles.
Four public-domain pieces of justifiably forgotten genre crap. If that's worth a rental to you, go nuts.