Tag Archives: supernatural horror movies

Really Awful Movies: Ep 192 – Don’t Go Near the Park

A truly baffling exposition-fest, coming-of-age, caveman /cannibal curse/vampire movie, Don’t Gear Near the Park is one of the more odd cinematic experiences one can have in the realm of horror.

It fulfilled two criteria for review on this site: a) it was a Video Nasty, and b) it had “don’t” in the title, a subset of films one of us refers to as “admonition movies.”

A caveman sibling duo, is cursed with advanced aging. And the only way to slow down the runaway train of wrinkles, is to…feast on the entrails of victims…in a park…And to fully alleviate the curse, the brother half (Gar) has to father a child, on whom both he and his caveman sister can feed. Full points for originality.

Fast-forward 12,000 years to present day California, and Gar has changed his name, and found his betrothed (played by Linnea Quigley, scream queen extraordinaire). She gives birth to a girl, Bondi, who is the apple of Gar’s eye. Will Gar feed on his offspring? Will the curse be lifted? Does any of this make a lick of sense?

But this isn’t even a coming-of-age tale about Bondi. Don’t Go Near the Park features child actor Meeno Peluce as a runaway, Nick, who befriends a curmudgeonly writer, played by Aldo Ray (seemingly there to provide endless exposition about strange curses…and so the old guy can drone on about the park in question, while mentoring the kid).

Featuring some dollar store bloodletting, day-for-night continuity issues, appalling hair/makeup effects, a narrative that makes Umberto Eco’s body of work look like A Cat in the Hat, this is one BIZARRE BIZARRE film.

Check it out!



Really Awful Movies: Ep 187 – The Amityville Horror

The Amityville Horror has spawned a seemingly countless number of both sequels and imitators.

All the stuff we’ve come to expect from the genre is here: the devil, cat scares, warnings, strange doings, a wigged out pet, creepy dolls, the works…

The 1979 American supernatural horror film, directed by Stuart Rosenberg (who is best known for Cool Hand Luke), is based on Jay Anson’s 1977 novel of the same name, which was a big hit.

It’s Installment 1 of the Amityville franchise. A remake was produced by Michael Bay in 2005, and starring Ryan Reynolds. Neither of us saw it, or intends to, but that’s neither here nor there.

The Amityville story is based on alleged supernatural events experienced by the Lutz family who bought a new home on 112 Ocean Avenue in Amityville, Long Island, New York. The infamous abode is a house where a mass murder had been committed the year before, a whole family gunned down while they slept. After the parents (here played by James Brolin and Margot Kidder) moved into their new house, they claimed a series of frightening paranormal events occurred, many of which were demonstrated to be false.

There’s not much to be said about this film, but its reputation does precede it. The opening Lalo Schifrin salvo is haunting (but the children’s chorus bit has subsequently been overused). The performances are all over the map.

Robert Ebert, who in his review of the film said he met and spoke with George Lutz once at an airport, said this: In order to be a horror movie, a horror movie needs a real Horror. The creature in “Alien” was truly gruesome. The case of possession in “The Exorcist” was profoundly frightening. The problem with “The Amityville Horror” is that, in a very real sense, there’s nothing there.

That’s probably right. The first third is dynamite and it slowly erodes all the goodwill built up.

Listen for yourself!