Whenever people get together at my place, there is always food involved. Not only do I love to eat, I also really love to cook as well, so any celebration is a good occasion for a big cook up around the bench in Enfield. Which is exactly what Zoe, Seth, Helen, Craig and I did this year, we made a delicious feast from scratch to share together.
Our meal consisted of two different types of ravioli (pumpkin/feta and beef/mushroom) and a delicious tomato based sauce to accompany them. We also made vanilla poached pears in a salted caramel sauce with vanilla ice-cream for dessert, which was an amazing and decadent finish to our evening's festivities. Whilst we cooked, we listened to some tunes and shared some Halloween-ish cocktails and then spent the dark hours indulging in one of my favourite things in the world, B-grade horror.
I absolutely love B-grade horror, especially B-grade horror from the 80's and 90's because those two decades were rife with poor writing, dreadfully acting, mediocre effects and cliche horror tropes that make them so damn awful that they are absolutely hilarious. I usually call them D-grade because they are so genuinely bad, which should give you some idea of the quality that I am talking about, D-grade means 'woah-fully good' material to me.
On the agenda for B-Grade gold this year? Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood, the name really says it all doesn't it? It is truly classy viewing, I can assure you. Made in 1996, this 87 minute fantasy/horror got a whopping 12% on Rotten Tomatoes, and stars Angie Everhart and Corey Feldman in two of the lead roles; need I say more? In a word it is dreadful; rife with grotuetous titty shots, full of cheesy one liners, the soundtrack seems like it was recorded by someone that cannot sing in their living room with a boombox and the characters are dressed primarily in cheap silks, denim jackets and tennis shorts. It is just so bad that it defies explanation really, it's the ultimate B-grade horror find, and after a few nice strong cocktails, it is the funniest movie that you could ever see. We were literally crying with laughter at some points during the movie.
And that is how all B-grade horror/ fantasy and sci-fi movies need to be viewed, half pissed and with really good company. Over the years we have watched some absolutely pearlers out here together that just shouldn't be missed; they are so bad, they are actually good!
Some of my personal favourites and highly recommended B-Grade offerings are:
- Big Trouble in Little China (1986)
- Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)
- Vampires: Los Muertos (2002) - just outside of the 90's era but you'd never know!
- They Live (1988)
- Evil Dead 3: The Army of Darkness (1992)
- Tremors (1990)
- Highlander (1986)
- Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995)
- Day of the Dead (1985)
- Critters (1986)
- The Thing (1982)
- Warlock (1989)
- Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)
- Manos: The Hands of Fate (1966) -a bit older, and quite possibly the worst horror movie ever made, it is unbelievably bad and hilarious.
Release Date: 1982
Rating: MA 15+
Running Time: 109 mins
I remember when I saw this for the first time and I thought that the effects were so amazing, well I can assure you that after a recent re-watch those effects have dated, quite a lot; which is probably why a misguided director felt compelled to remake it in 2011. Unfortunately, the remake loses all of the great atmosphere that the original has and appears to be relying exclusively on CGI to deliver it's story line, so put up with the cheesy '80's effects and see the original version.
Known as John Carpenter's The Thing, this sci-fi horror film is about a parasitic extraterrestrial life form that has the ability to assimilate with other organisms and imitate them. This is actually pretty creepy and insidious viewing, and the alien life form really goes all out on the mutation, so it is kind of gross at times too.
John Carpenter was slammed by critics over this movie, and he has sighted the failure of the movie as a personal hardship to his career as a director, but I strongly disagree with the critics here, I think that this is really good sci-fi movie making. It's quite dark and slightly gritty, and is defintely testament to the fact that Carpenter likes to the push the envelope on the macabre. Bravo I say - I really enjoyed every B-grade minute of it.
FINAL SAY: I dunno what the hell's in there, but it's weird and pissed off, whatever it is.
3.5 Chilli Peppers