Halloween Horror Fest: Adventures in B-Movies Part 2

Here’s Part 2 in the 2019 Halloween Horror Fest. Part 1 is here.

Blood Frenzy (1987)

This late 80s slasher film starts off well enough with a rather gruesome death of an abusive father at the hands of his own children. It’s a fairly good beginning that can hook an audience in for mayhem.

Frenzy3

Then the movie starts falling apart. The main story follows a psychologist taking her patients on a multi-day camping trip in the middle of the desert. Great idea, huh?

frenzy1

So there’s a group of colorful characters and of course, once they’re in the desert, their RV breaks down and people start dying one by one. An issue noticeable very quickly is the fact that most of the stars in this picture aren’t very good actors.

It doesn’t help that the characters, even with their quirks and exaggerated personas are rather uninteresting. It becomes kind of a chore to watch them meander through the middle of nowhere.

But hey, this is a slasher, so are the kills at least OK? Well, as previously stated the first one is pretty good. And then they do it again. And again. And again. Basically, the movie features the same throat cutting effect for every kill and it gets boring real quick.

frenzy2
Finger to the throat means death. Metaphor.

At the very least, the movie finishes off with an alright finale. Some curve-balls are thrown and and it feature’s an over-the-top climactic confrontation.

It’s campy and sleazy enough for an 80s slasher, but it really needed more creative deaths and mayhem to live up to its “frenzy” name.

1 out of 3 Jack-in-the-Box toys.

Too Beautiful to Die (1988)

imp_VESTITO 2 bis_new.indd

Welcome to the world of Giallo. Don’t get that confused with delicious Gelato, Giallo is an Italian genre including elements of horror, thriller, mystery and crime. In the United States, this movie was known as “Too Beautiful to Die,” but its original title was “Sotto il vestito niente II.”

TooBeu2.jpg

Apparently, the movie is a sequel to another Giallo picture simply titled “Sotto il vestito niente” or “Nothing Underneath” in the U.S. Apparently, this is its own story, though, as I was able to follow along quite well.

The film follows a group of models and their agent who are involved in some artistic photo shoots. As the movie develops, some of the model characters begin dying which begins a mystery into who’s doing the killing and how to stop them.

There are two areas where this Italian slasher excels. First and foremost is the unique murder weapon. When something other than a butcher knife is used in a slasher, i’m all for it, and this jagged weapon is one of the most intriguing weapons I’ve seen.

toobeu3

Another nice part of the picture is the visual flair. Directed by Dario Piana, “Too Beautiful” features some really solid camera work and lighting. It’s arguably the best looking horror movie I’ve seen in this B-Movie journey. The shot below, for example, is during a fantastic, great looking chase sequence.

TooBeu1

Unfortunately the film seems to run out of steam for a while in the third act until the climax takes place. Plus, the characters were rather forgettable, although this might have been a result of a below average English dub.

This one is in the upper tier of B-movies. It can stand up there with some other big budget releases and hold its own.

3 out of 3 weird knives.

Author: Matthew Liedke

I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, and I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2009 graduate of Rainy River College and a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. At MSU, I studied journalism and film. Outside of movies, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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