M.L. Miller aka the @$$hole formerly known as Ambush Bug here! I posted my very first horror reviews on October 1, 2010 and have been posting every Friday ever since on AICN until just recently. I’ve uprooted the show and taken it to my own site just in time for this year’s Best of the Best in Horror Countdown. It’s going to be running all through October, counting down to the best horror film of the year. Some of these films can be found in theaters, but others have unfortunately only seen the light of day on Video On Demand or simply go straight to DVD, BluRay, or digital download. I’ve tried to indicate in the reviews where you can check these films out.
As far as how I compiled this list? Well, I simply looked through my reviews over the last year since October 1st, 2016 and worked and reworked the list until I had 31. No real method to my special brand of madness. We’ll be counting down every day until Halloween to my favorite horror film of the year. I’ll also provide a second film suggestion at the end of each post that is worth nothing or missed being on the list by a little bit for those who can’t get enough horror.
So let’s get to it! Chime in after the article and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, and most importantly, come up with your own list…let’s go!
#24 PATCHWORK #24
Why is PATCHWORK #24? This homage to FRANKENSTEIN and throwback to eighties flicks like FRANKENHOOKER and comedies like 9 TO 5 and ALL OF ME is darkly comic, gory as all get out, and a fantastic little piece about the different roles women play and how they interact with one another. Thematically hefty and wonderfully realized, this is a mad science movie worth seeing. You can find it here on iTunes and Amazon here!
Directed by Tyler MacIntyre
Written by Chris Lee Hill, Tyler MacIntyre
Starring Tory Stolper, Tracey Fairaway, Maria Blasucci, James Phelps, Eric Edelstein, Mark Hapka, Jon Rudnitsky, Craig Anstett, Seth Cassell, Amanda Markowitz, Corey Sorenson, Aaron Webman, Danny Jolles
Find out more about this film on Facebook here
As I’ve said before, the story of Frankenstein often bores me, not because it’s a snoozer of a story but because it’s been made and remade over and again. What doesn’t bore me to tears are new iterations of the tale, and PATCHWORK is one of the best uses of Frankensteinian themes I’ve seen since Stuart Gordon’s heyday.
Told in eight chapters, PATCHWORK follows three girls–the business-minded Jennifer (Tory Stolper), the bubbly Elle (Tracey Fairaway), and the wallflower Madeline (Maria Blasucci)–who all happen to be at the same bar one night and end up abducted and schmelded together into one patchwork woman by an underground medical facility. The lone survivor of the patchwork process, Jennifer/Madeline/Elle, escapes the facility and attempts to come to grips with having three minds and sharing the same body. Things get weird and bloody as these three women who have nothing in common must work together to try to figure out what to do next and cope with the aggressive urges to kill as well as newfound super strength to do so much more capably than a normal human.
Splicing ALL OF ME with a pinch of 9 TO 5 and bathing it in a thick coat of horror, PATCHWORK is a film like no other. Much like Stuart Gordon’s RE-ANIMATOR and Hennenlotter’s FRANKENHOOKER, this film has a wicked sense of humor while it tosses body parts into your face. The film pulls no punches with the ultragore, which is a part of all the fun. Those who long for the 80s blood-drenched horror films have a new film to fawn over as this film sloshes around in the red stuff with unabandoned glee.
But this is no simple gorefest. The story really has a soul, as it follows three very lonely women who deal with their loneliness in very different ways. Jennifer is unabashedly self-centered and turns away all her friends because of it, Elle turns the brain off and just gets drunk and parties with whomever will by her a drink, and Madeline’s insecurity stops her from even taking the plunge to meet new people. When all three are tossed into the same body, the relational pieces here are fascinating and actually pretty sweet to see unfold. This is something unique in that it’s a blood-drenched chick flick about women coming to terms with who they are, which is something I’ve never really seen in horror before.
All it takes it a pinch from one film and a dash from another to make a damn original take, and that’s exactly what PATCHWORK does splendidly. Sure we’ve seen Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin try to learn how to walk, and we’ve seen Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lily Tomlin team up to track down the person who wronged them in comedies before, but this film does so with originality and a wicked slant. Playing like a long lost sibling of RE-ANIMATOR and FRANKENHOOKER, PATCHWORK is something fans of gore, mad science, and complex characters will absolutely love. Highly recommended.
Worth noting: FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS!
This semi-sequel to DEAR GOD NO! is a whole lotta wrong done right. Fulled with splatter and bad taste, this will surely offend just about everyone. Still, it’s a rambunctious and gutsy film that give no fucks. You can find it here on its website and Amazon here!
Available on limited edition BluRay/DVD found here!
FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS (2016)
Directed by James Bickert
Written by James Bickert
Starring Jett Bryant, Laurence R. Harvey, Tristan Risk, Ellie Church, Madeline Brumby, Paul McComiskey, Billy Ratliff, Gia Nova, Jim Sligh, Shane Morton, Johnny Collins, Elizabeth Davidovich, Allison Maier, Diana Prince, Nick Hood, James Bickert, Megan Moore, Eddie Mumma, Jessie Grainger, Ki Corwell, Chris ‘Casper’ Kelly, Dave Willis, Trey McGriff, Bill McConnell, Fred Woelper, Bryan G. Malone, Oliver Kasiske, Sarah Beth Moseley, Mark Schemanske, Rob Thompson, & Jim Stacy as the Bigfoot!
Find out more about this film here, @frankensteincreatedbikers, and on Facebook here
This crowd-funded sequel to DEAR GOD NO! (reviewed here) continues the sadistic, gory, bodacious debauchery that began in that film and then some. Those looking for dramatic horror and subtle chills please press on to the next review. But for those who think seeing a one eyed woman have her empty eyehole fucked is something to guffaw at, I think I have the movie for you.
In the grindhousey home invasion/biker/Nazi science horror mash-up DEAR GOD NO!, a gang of hellraising bikers called the Impalers break into a home, rape and murder the family (including the gutting of a 9 month pregnant woman), and then stumble into a secret Nazi lab in the basement of the home. At the end, Bigfoot shows up out of nowhere and kills all of the bikers. The End. Well, this one opens with a group of horny teens heading out to a lake to party and after getting naked and talking about all of the fucking they are going to do, Bigfoot appears out of nowhere and kills everyone but one screaming girl who is rescued by the Impalers, inexplicably alive and this time, they are ready for Bigfoot. But that’s not really what this story is about. It is. But there is so much more as the Impalers have pissed off a whole lot of people in their time being badass bikers, and after they were revived by the same Nazi science they encountered in the first film, even more people want them dead. So a FASTER PUSSYCAT-esque, one-eyed biker woman badass wrangles up a bunch of folks with a grudge and tries to track them down. Meanwhile, the cops are after them, and the lone survivor of the massacre before the credits is wandering around a madhouse of horrors naked and covered in blood just trying to survive. It all culminates in a gory mêlée Coliseum-style gladiator match between undead bikers, mercenaries, policemen, Bigfoot, and HUMAN CENTIPEDE II’s Laurence R. Harvey doing his best Peter Lorre impersonation.
I love the no-fucks-given attitude this film and its predecessor has. Obviously, a lot of movie watching was done by the filmmakers as nods to everything from FASTER PUSSYCAT KILL KILL to THE BRAIN THAT WOULDN’T DIE to CASABLANCA is referenced in between the opening and closing credits sequence. It’s meant to be an homage to the grindhousey biker-sploitation flicks of the seventies which emulated the baddassness of the biker lifestyle. But it is so much more. James Bickert really does shovel in so much of the so-wrong-but-so-right kind of gore and wrongdoing in this film that I can’t help but marvel at the energy and attitude FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS has.
And while no Oscars will be given to this movie in the acting department, there are still some great performances going on here. AMERICAN MARY’s Barbie girl Tristan Risk plays the daughter of the Nazi scientist, now just a head on a saucepan, who falls in love with the biker gang leader Jett (Jett Bryant), whose line delivery isn’t realistic, but still is entertaining as all get out in a badass Sling Blade sort of way. Laurence R. Harvey, who looks a lot like Peter Lorre, is even dressed in an all white suit here and does a fantastic job of playing the conniving villain he seems to have been born to play. Finally, I have to talk about the awesome job of PLANK FACE’s Ellie Church who is naked and covered in blood and guts pretty much through this entire movie and while most of her lines are screams in terror, the south side of hell she was put through deserves some honorable mention in stamina and lung power.
FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS might be a bit long in the middle portion as the film clocks in at about two hours and should be shaved to about an hour and a half, but still, there’s a lot of fun to be had here. This film plays like a Rob Zombie film if Rob would not take himself and his content so seriously. Everyone is an asshole in this film and it’s awesome to see all of those jerks blowing each other away, coming back from the dead, screwing each others brains out, and then blowing each other to bits with bullets, explosions, and Bigfoot swipes. Which reminds me; this film has one of the best looking Bigfoots you’re going to see this side of capturing the real thing. FRANKENSTEIN CREATED BIKERS is a bodacious, hellacious, downright fun time at the movies. It kicks the teeth in of PC screws and is not for prudes who think boobs and bloods are going to hurt their feelings. Find this film and see it if you like gore and gristle in gratuitous amounts and prepare to laugh at how wrong it is.
BEWARE: This trailer is Not Safe For Work at all!!!
THE COUNTDOWN SO FAR…
#31 – THE DEMOLISHER
#30 – PLANK FACE
#29 – LAST GIRL STANDING
#28 – DEVIL IN THE DARK
#27 – HELL HOUSE LLC
#26 – XX
#25 – THE SUBLET aka THE RESIDENT
#24 – PATCHWORK
Best of lists from previous years;
2015-16 #1 – THE VVITCH
2014-15 #1 – THE CANAL
2013-14 #1 – PROXY
2012-13 #1 – MANIAC
2012 #1 – THE WOMAN
2011 #1 – THE LAST CIRCUS
Ambush Bug is Mark L. Miller, original @$$Hole/wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow Mark on the Twitters @Mark_L_Miller.
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