A Celebration of 90’s Horror: The Decade That’s Better Than You Remember

90sHorror
Look at all of this good horror! LOOK AT IT!

Hey, folks! Lately I’ve been hearing/reading that a lot of people think horror in the nineties sucked. Different people seem to be referring to different things – quality of movies, or the variety of movies available. I’m baffled by this opinion, as the nineties had so many great movies, and a huge variety of horror sub-genres. Seriously, the nineties couldn’t figure out what they wanted to be, so they threw everything at us. And that’s a good thing! It resulted in a decade that assured that no matter your personal horror tastes, there would be something there to please you. It was the decade that either kicked off or continued dozens of huge horror franchises. Hell, it was the decade of the Stephen King miniseries! A terrible decade for horror? I . . . I don’t understand these words coming out of your mouth. (Or your Twitter, or your Reddit, or your . . . well, you get the picture.)

So, take my hand and join me on this journey through the nineties, year by year, as we explore the best the decade had to offer.

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Recap #52 – 99 Fear Street: The Third Horror by R.L. Stine

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Title: 99 Fear Street: The Third Horror

Author: R.L. Stine

Published: October 1994

Description: Lights . . . Camera . . . Murder . . .

Kody Frasier always swore she’d come back to 99 Fear Street. She knows the spirit of her dead sister, Cally, is trapped there, waiting to be set free. Now Kody is starring in a movie about the evil that murdered Cally, set in the very house that destroyed their family. If she can just find Cally, she can help her . . .

But Cally doesn’t want to be saved. She’s been waiting all this time for revenge. And once the movie camera is rolling, Cally is going to give Kody the surprise ending of a lifetime!

Nostalgia Time!


Well, here we are, closing out the 99 Fear Street trilogy. (Recaps of the first and second books can be found at these links.) This is an odd one. I’m tempted to say it’s the weakest of the trilogy, but then I remember how monotonous the second one is in between the random ridiculous shit. This one doesn’t have anything as off-the-rails bonkers as that one (no zombies; no one fights a raccoon), but it does have long stretches of monotony. I dunno, guys. Let’s get into it and see if my opinion crystalizes as I examine this book more closely.

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Recap #50b – Fright Night (2011)

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Title: Fright Night

Director: Craig Gillespie

Released: August 19, 2011

Description: Meet the sexy new neighbor, Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell). He’s dangerously charming – and utterly lethal. That’s because he just happens to be a vampire, and out for blood . . . buckets of it. After high school senior Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) makes the connection between Jerry’s suspicious activity and a steadily rising body count, he vows to end the reign of terror next door. But he can’t do it alone. His only hope is Las Vegas magician/vampire-slayer Peter Vincent (David Tennant). Together, this unlikely duo set out to end Jerry’s evil rampage. But Jerry is a ruthless, relentless killer, and he’s not going down without a fight. Get set to sink your teeth into this thrilling re-vamp of the terrifying horror classic. Featuring a star-studded cast and crawling with bonus (sic), Fright Night will captivate you from the very first bite!

Nostalgia Time!


So, like I said in my recap of the original Fright Night, I decided to recap both versions of this movie as a combination of my 50th recap for this site and my birthday recap. I couldn’t think of anything birthday related, and I suddenly got it in my head that this would be fun. So I had to run out to the mall (yep, that’s . . . still a thing) and buy this version, because I didn’t own it and it’s not streaming anywhere. Boyfriend wasn’t even aware this version existed, but when I told him David Tennant and Colin Farrell are in it, he told me, “Ah, okay, that explains why you like it.” I mean . . . he’s not wrong. Anyway, it’s just a happy coincidence that both the OG and this one came out in theaters in August of their respective years. So we’re all celebrating birthdays this month! Yay!

I don’t have the same connection to this one that I have to the original – I saw it once in February of 2012, and didn’t remember it at all. Watching it for this recap was seriously like watching it for the first time – I didn’t remember anything that was going to happen. I didn’t even remember how much I liked it before, but I found the old notebook in which I used to write down every movie I watched (look, I’m very precise about very odd things, okay?) and I found this one listed as such: “2/6/2012: Fright Night 2011 – Pretty great remake. Not as cheesy as the original.” (It was also the 32nd movie I’d watched so far that year. Damn I’ve slowed down my movie-watching since then.)

So, I guess I liked it. And I’m not alone – it has a 6.4 on IMDb, and a 72% on Rotten Tomatoes. Which is a bit higher than I expected, given the tendency of people to shit on remakes just because they can.

Also, real quick: I’m not here to compare and contrast this version with the OG in this recap. Some comparison may be unavoidable, but I’m going to do my best to approach this version on its own merits. Despite being a remake, it’s not really the same story at all, and is very much its own thing, so I’m going to treat it that way.

Oh. Except for this:

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Well, this didn’t clear things up at all. Also, my polls are clearly not very popular. Oh, well, at least nobody chose to call me a dope!

Continue reading “Recap #50b – Fright Night (2011)”

Recap #50a – Fright Night (1985)

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Title: Fright Night

Director: Tom Holland

Released: August 2, 1985

Description: Meet Jerry Dandrige. He’s sweet, sexy, and he likes to sleep in late. You might think he’s the perfect neighbor. But before inviting Jerry in for a nightcap, there’s just one thing you should know. Jerry prefers his drinks warm, red – and straight from the jugular! It’s FRIGHT NIGHT, a horrific howl starring Chris Sarandon as the seductive vampire and William Ragsdale as the frantic teenager struggling to keep Jerry’s deadly fangs out of his neck. Only 17-year-old Charley Brewster knows Jerry’s bloodcurdling secret. When Charley can’t get anybody to believe him, he turns to TV horror host Peter Vincent (Roddy McDowall), who used to be the “Great Vampire Killer” of the movies. Can these mortals save Charley and his sweetheart Amy (Amanda Bearse) from the wrathful bloodsucker’s toothy embrace? If you love being scared, FRIGHT NIGHT will give you the nightmare of your life!

Nostalgia Time!


So, we’re back around to August, which means it’s time for my birthday again, which also happens to coincide with my 50th recap. This year, I decided to do something I’ve never done before, which is to recap a movie and its remake back-to-back. Hence why this is labeled Recap #50a instead of just 50. The 2011 version of Fright Night will of course be Recap #50b.

This movie was released eleven days before my fourth birthday. I can’t for the life of me remember when I saw it for the first time. I was super obsessed with vampires between the ages of about 16-19, so it was probably sometime in there. This movie is 80s as fuck. The effects are cheesy as hell. But it’s a vampire classic, and deservedly so. I’ve seen it an obscene number of times at this point, and I still love its cheesy, goofy ass.

I also love these back-of-box descriptions that are basically acting as hype man for the movie. Eighties. As. Fuck. (Except the box description for the 2011 version also kind of does this, so I guess I can’t completely blame the 80s. *shrug*)

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Child’s Play 3 (1991) (Recap #48)

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Title: Child’s Play 3

Director: Jack Bender

Released: August 30, 1991 (US)

Tagline: Look who’s stalking

Description: It’s been years since Chucky, the doll with the soul and the voice (Brad Dourif) of a psychopathic killer, was apparently destroyed in a fire at a doll factory. Now Chucky’s manufacturer is remaking the same line of toys with the old, still haunted materials. This resurrects Chucky, who goes after Andy (Justin Whalin), his former owner, who now attends military school. Chucky slashes his way through a string of grotesque murders as Andy tries to stop the homicidal doll and the spirit within it. (From Google movies)

Initial Thoughts


Welcome back to Dove and my Child’s Play recaps! (You can find our other recaps in the series here or here.)

Now, objectively this is the worst movie of the “original” three (23% Rotten Tomatoes; 5.1 IMDb), but it has a special place in my heart. It was the first Chucky movie I ever saw, recorded one night on a VHS tape that also had A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 5 on it. I had asked my dad to record one of those movies for me (I think it was Nightmare 5, because I remember the TV station was showing them out of order), and rather than program a recording time, my dad put the tape in, hit record, and let it record until the end of the six-hour tape. So I ended up with the two Freddy movies, with Child’s Play 3 in between them. And about 5-10 minutes of . . . something else at the end of the tape. The tape ended before that movie reached the opening credits, so it shall forever remain a mystery. (It might have been Halloween 2.)

I know Dove has something she wants to say about the controversy this movie caused in the UK because of some little shithead murderers, so I’ll let her get to that here if she feels like it, and then we’ll jump into the recap. Dove?

[Dove: If you’re in the UK and you were into horror movies in the 90s, then this film will be forever linked with the murder of James Bulger a month before his third birthday by two ten-year-old boys. At the time, our gobshite tabloids and Mary Whitehouse decided to push an agenda of trying to ban “video nasties”, by tastelessly cashing in on the brutal murder of a toddler. Even though it was a tenuous link (one of the murderers’ fathers had rented it, and it was never established whether either of the boys had ever seen it), the tabloids had a field day telling everyone that horror movies were to blame, due to some similarities. For me, this movie will always be attached to that horrible crime, even though I don’t believe it was a contributing factor – or if it was, it was at the bottom of a long list that started with far uglier things than a mediocre slasher movie. Also, people gave me the side-eye when I reported that I was only a year or two older than the murderers, I had rented the movie around the same time, and somehow I managed to not kill anyone.

I know this has nothing to do with the movie, but it feels a bit weird to recap it without mentioning the controversy that was attached – however feebly – to it.]

Continue reading “Child’s Play 3 (1991) (Recap #48)”

Recap #46 – 99 Fear Street: The Second Horror by R.L. Stine

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Title: 99 Fear Street: The Second Horror

Author: R.L. Stine

Published: Sept. 1994

Description: There’s no place like this home . . .

At first, Brandt McCloy thinks moving to Shadyside is great. He has attracted the attention of three beautiful girls – Meg, Jinny, and Abbie. [The book doesn’t actually put the Oxford comma between the last two girls’ names, but fuck that mess. Also, I hate how Jinny is spelled.] But Brandt hasn’t heard the terrifying stories about his new home – 99 Fear Street. He doesn’t know about the headless bodies, the bleeding walls. [Wait, what? When did the walls bleed? The ceiling bled . . .] He doesn’t know that Cally Frasier still haunts the house and plans gruesome deaths for him and everyone close to him. Poor Brandt – what he doesn’t know will hurt him. [That . . . that’s not the expression at all.]

Note: You can find the recap for The First Horror right here. While it’s probably not absolutely necessary to read it before diving into this one, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Anyway, it’s there if you want to check it out. I will probably refer to jokes I made in that recap, so it’s best to be prepared. Um, something something, shameless self-promotion.

Nostalgia Time!


Well, here we are, guys. Back to R.L. Stine. It had to happen sometime, huh? Fortunately, I really enjoy (or at least, remember enjoying) this trilogy, so it shouldn’t be too bad. I don’t remember this one as clearly as I did the first one, except for the twist ending. Well, one of the twists. I think there are a couple. Other than that, I remembered nothing about the story. I think this one is the weakest of the trilogy, but I wouldn’t swear to it.

Let’s find out!

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Recap #44 – The Yearbook by Peter Lerangis

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Title: The Yearbook

Author: Peter Lerangis

Published: 1994

Tagline: Most likely . . . to DIE!

Description: According to his IQ test, David Kallas is a genius, even if his teachers think he’s a slacker. His sole extracurricular activity is the yearbook, and he only became editor as an excuse to get close to Ariana Maas. On his way to the printer’s to check on the book, he takes a shortcut to spy on Ariana and her boyfriend—the impossibly perfect Stephen Taylor—and ends up finding something even nastier than two students making out: a butchered corpse floating in the creek. The body leads David to a disturbing secret about his school’s past. When members of the senior class start dying, David is determined to solve the mystery and save the school—even if he has to destroy himself to do it.

Nostalgia Time!


Well, it had to happen. After a short run recapping things I actually enjoyed, we had to get back to a book that makes me rage. I might be biased from reading the book, but that description absolutely makes David sound like an incel Nice Guy™ asshole, right? Because he is. Which I unfortunately didn’t remember before buying the Kindle version of this. This character is the fucking worst.

Anyway, I remember owning this book; I didn’t remember the overall story, though. I remembered exactly two oddly specific things – the first was the lead female character tying a cherry stem in a knot with her tongue. The second was the same character talking about Pepsi dissolving a tooth left in it overnight. I remember this leading me to test this out with one of my baby teeth (this book came out when I was 13, so I shouldn’t have still been losing baby teeth, so I’m a little confused where the tooth came from), and finding out it’s bullshit. I’m sure Pepsi will dissolve teeth eventually, but it takes longer than overnight.

Anyway, after reading and refreshing my memory, I have no idea why this book is called The Yearbook, or why that cover up there exists. The yearbook is only a peripheral part of the story, really. I guess it would have been too on the nose to title it “Lovecraftian Monsters in the School Basement.” However, there is a second cover (I suspect it’s the UK cover) that gets to the point much quicker than the US cover.

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Spoilers!

Much more honest. Also much more WTF. They really don’t bury the lede on the UK covers, do they?

Anyway, this book is weird. We have time jumps, secret cults, eldritch horrors, and a protagonist that I want to set on fire. I think the scariest part of this book is the fact that we’re supposed to be on David’s side. Like, he’s the hero. We’re supposed to root for him. We’re, I think, supposed to be rooting for him to get together with the girl he’s stalking and girlfriend-zoning (basically friendzoning, but from the uninterested girl’s perspective). It’s gross and I hate it. Prepare to read 10,000 words of me raging. [Note from Future Me: 10,000 words was way too conservative an estimate.]

Continue reading “Recap #44 – The Yearbook by Peter Lerangis”

Necromentia (2009)

Necromentia (2009) (Recap #42)

Necromentia (2009)
Necromentia (2009)

Title: Necromentia (2009)

Tagline: Hell awaits the foolish

Summary: Inspired by the work of Clive Barker, Necromentia tells the story of what happens when you meddle with superstition and try to cross into another dimension using the powers of a Ouija board.

Hagen has a dead wife and believes he can bring her back to life. Travis is a man who lost his brother and wants to join him in the afterlife, and Morbius has been betrayed by those he loves and wants to come back from the dead to take revenge. A strange man only known as Mr Skinny protects the secrets of the powerful Ouija board, as all cross the gateways of hell to fulfil their own purpose, facing the hideous monstrosities that reside there as they go.

The above was copy typed from the back of the DVD box. It’s pretty much accurate. It’s also nothing like what happens in the movie. It’s odd that it’s exactly right but so misleading.

Trigger Warnings: Murder, suicide, self-harm, torture, necrophilia, flashing lights, terrible dialogue. [JC: Not making light of trigger warnings, but I’m greatly amused by “terrible dialogue” being right up there with “necrophilia.”]

Notes: I love this movie. I’m not even sorry. I was talking to JC, of Oh God Why?! Nostalgia, and we were talking about our favourite terrible movies. I asked her if she’d like to comment on my recap, because it would be great to see the reaction of someone who’s never seen this movie before (which, as far as I can tell, is anyone who is not me, or did not act in this movie). She said yes. I told her I’d return the favour, so who knows how she’ll feel about this movie and what I’ll end up watching as my penance. [JC: I watched this on YouTube with a watermark in the upper corner and Spanish subtitles at the bottom. So, if nothing else, I at least brushed up on some conversational torture-related Spanish, although I don’t foresee using it much. Except maybe “Hey, I’m not the one fucking a corpse.” I can see that one coming in handy.]

This movie is fucking weird.

Final note: I recapped this in vague detail back in 2011 for my own personal site. The recap has since gone offline, but if you think you’ve read any part of this recap before, don’t worry, I’m only plagiarising myself. Also, thank you, one person, for reading it. That site really didn’t get much traffic.

Continue reading “Necromentia (2009) (Recap #42)”

Recap #31 – Full Moon Blowout – Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Phases” – ep 2.15

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Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer season 2 episode 15, “Phases”

Writers: Rob Des Hotel and Dean Batali

Director: Bruce Seth Green

Originally Aired: January 27, 1998

Description: Buffy and her friends discover secrets about themselves as they battle a werewolf, its hunter, and their own emotions. (From IMDb)

Nostalgia Time!


I love Buffy, y’all. Even with my less-than-stellar opinion of Joss Whedon, I still love Buffy. I have a complicated relationship with some of the problematic elements of Buffy, but this particular episode keeps those problems to a minimum. I think. Xander is still awful, because he usually is, but somewhat less so than in some other episodes. If I remember correctly, this is the first werewolf episode of the series, and even though I’m sure a lot of you guys have seen it, I’m still not going to spoil anything before its time, no worries.

I didn’t start watching Buffy until the end of Season 3, and then I mostly started watching it because I was a huge Star Trek: Deep Space Nine fan, and I discovered that Armin Shimerman (Quark) played Principal Snyder on Buffy. Um, the end of Season 3 was a bad place to start watching for him, y’all. But I fell in love with the show and started watching regularly, and watching from the beginning. I think the only reason I didn’t watch it when it first started airing was because I wanted to believe I was Cool Girl™ who didn’t fall in line with mainstream girly crap. I was a judgmental idiot who had shitty opinions on things I’d never given a chance.

Anyway, Buffy, amirite, y’all?!

Continue reading “Recap #31 – Full Moon Blowout – Buffy the Vampire Slayer “Phases” – ep 2.15″

Recap #28 – Deadly Detention by Eric Weiner

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Title: Deadly Detention

Author: Eric Weiner

Published: June 1994

Tagline: Just pray you’re not kept after school . . .

Description: When it comes to punishment, no one dishes it out the way Harrison High’s Mr. Crowley does. But there’s something even weirder than usual going on today. No one knows that better than the six juniors and seniors who are being kept after school. The doors are padlocked. All the windows are covered with wire mesh. And the phone wires have been cut. No one can get in – or out.

And somewhere along the dark and deserted hallways of Harrison High, a sadistic madman lurks . . . waiting to administer his special brand of discipline.

The fatal kind . . .

Nostalgia Time!


It’s still sort of back to school time, so how about a book about teenagers in detention getting killed off one-by-one?

This book came out right before I turned thirteen. I remember reading it when I was about 13 or 14, so that tracks. I’ve been wanting to do this one for a while, because I remember really liking it. That’s not to say it’s good. It’s probably not. If I remember correctly, the motive for murder is incredibly stupid. There’s a very stereotypical fat character, along with plenty of fat-shaming. Hell, the back-of-book description is telling us all about a madman – crazy for crazy’s sake, apparently. So, you know, mental health done well.

Still, I apparently liked this book enough at some point to read it several times – the spine of my book is nearly destroyed. So, let’s revisit this one, shall we?

Continue reading “Recap #28 – Deadly Detention by Eric Weiner”