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Classic cheesy horror films

Sam Raimi's Evil Dead II has long been one of my favorite, campy B-grade horror movies of all time. It is great in so many ways it would take too long to explain here, so if you haven't seen it, rent it and watch it at your earliest convenience. No need to bother with the original Evil Dead. Trust me, it is completely nonessential to see that in order to watch and appreciate the "sequel."

But... I was walking around Manhattan Saturday, and I saw a poster so oddly bizarre that I had to stare at it for about 20 seconds before I convinced myself that I was actually seeing what I thought I was seeing. I was. Evil Dead: The Musical. So now you know. I don't even know what to say about that.

Speaking of campy horror films, this got me thinking, for the first time in years, of a crappy old spook flick that I saw at least a dozen times as a kid. It was a Sunday afternoon staple of my local independent UHF channel (who remembers those?) called "Equinox", a title which made absolutely zero sense (although it did inspire me to look the word up in the dictionary, and I was disappointed that it had to do more with seasons than with demons.)

Even during my pre-adolescence, I could recognize the extraordinarily poor production values that went into this ridiculous movie, and yet for some reason I still remember it fondly. When I say I probably saw Equinox a dozen times, I don't mean all the way through. In fact, I've probably never once seen it in its entirety from start to finish.

I'm pretty sure I've seen all of it at one time or another, but I'd catch 10 minutes of it here, 15 minutes of it there, not necessarily in sequence, of course, but it proved to be an okay way to watch the movie. Indeed, there was something about the movie that almost invited you to watch it in fragments like that. The cool part about it was that some parts of the movie were so different from others, they almost seemed like they came from different movies altogether, and maybe you thought they did, until the movie's name was revealed during the next "station identification." You could always feel free to begin watching Equinox in the middle, much as you can watch Evil Dead II without benefit of Evil Dead (I).

I have to wonder how Equinox has aged over the years. My guess is "not well," particularly since it started out as crap in the first place. Anyway, I can't resist a little stroll down memory lane, and when I found that, yes, it is indeed available on DVD, I immediately put it in my Netflix queue. I'll let you know how it goes.

So does anybody else out there remember this quirky little flick, fondly or otherwise?


I have never seen Equinox so I can't comment one way or the other. As to Evil Dead II? Unfortunately, I saw the first (which I understand from If Chins Could Talk - and if you haven't read that, you really should, it's hysterical - is completely nonessential to seeing II, and I cannot bring myself to see II. No matter how different and how you're supposed to pretend the original never happened, I just can't bring myself to do it. It was just so incredibly awful. I think I'm going to need a couple more years before I even think about queuing it. :-P

But K, aren't you at least going to see the musical???

Evil Dead II is indeed a great cult-classic flick, so is Army of Darkness, its sequel!

Of course, so are Return of the Living Dead (with "the Pathmark Man" (James Karen) and Toxic Avenger by Trauma Team Productions out of Joisey.

All of those are prime examples of spectacular Schlock Horror at its best!

Toxie was great!! When I first moved to New York 6 years ago, I had an apartment in Hell's Kitchen. Imagine my delight at discovering that Troma Studios was just down the block. They were set up in just exactly the kind of dingy, tenement-looking building you'd expect.

They were great weren't they?! I believe they also put out some other titles, but nothing that came up to TA's success...Surf Nazis Must Die was one of the titles I recall. Just the title alone should've assured it cult status.

Still, The Toxic Avenger is in a schlock-horror class by itself.

Of course, if you like "The Pathmark Man" (James Karen) and who doesn't (he had a small part in Poltergeist), he was absolutely awesome in Return of the Living Dead.

One memorable line;

Clu Galager: "How do you kill something that's already dead?"

James Karen: "That's a pretty good question Burt!"

It's lines like that that put James Karen in the Schlock-Horro Hall of Fame.

There were a lot of cheesy horror films in the 80's.

Prince of Darkness from John Carpenter, The Gate - with all those little demons, Night of the Creeps, 976-evil, Fright Night, Terror Train, Silent Night, Deadly Night - with a killer Santa Claus..etc. Those are just some of the ones that come to mind.

Yeah, the 80s were a renaissance period for cheesy horror!

Fright Night is almost a schlock horror flick and so 976-EVIL definitely makes it to the schlock horror level...the rest of those were mainly cheesy, which isn't bad either, if that's what they were going for...and I think they were.

I've always had a soft spot for Prophecy, not the one with Christopher Walken, the one with the giant mutant bear.

> I've always had a soft spot for Prophecy....

Me too. I also like "Pumpkinhead" better than I should have.

Mmmmm Pumpkinhead....when you're done watching it, you can make pie out of it.

So, it's got that going for it.

"There were a lot of cheesy horror films in the 80's." (zilla)
Repo Man and Buckaroo Banzai come to mind, both, though notreally "horror flicks" are still in the Cheeseball Hall of Fame.

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