Monday, August 24, 2015

Midnight Cinephile Episode VII

It's time again, kiddies to sit down by the campfire and listen to The Midnight Cinephile Podcast Episode VII!

Please join me in welcoming my good friends Tony Skowronski (aka Captain Cinema) and Chas Klimczak (from Watch And Be Amazed Productions) as they have accepted co-hosting duties on the show!  It's another epic conversation, though there were gremlins in the phone lines.

Tune in and Chill Out!





Midnight Cinephile is a proud member of the Throwback Network!  You're source for Retro Themed Podcasts!

Midnight Cinephile is also available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

Find Captain Cinema on Facebook

Find Chas Klimzcak on Facebook and check out Watch and Be Amazed Productions on YouTube!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Loony In The Woods - A Modern Video Nasty

Loony in the Woods
2013
D: Leo Leigh
W: Leo Leigh

S: Leo Leigh, Oliver Maltman, Dean Puckett 
Unrated - Approx 70 Min
Troma

Taglines:
 - If You Go Down To The Woods Today.....

Alternate Titles:
None

  "Can I have the lamb stew?"
                                      -Fanny

Nice gloves!
You know, there is an amazing phenomenon that occurs when you are going down the rabbit hole that is Amazon Instant Video.  For instance....when you are searching for films, say by genre, you are given the option to check out a list of films that are similar to the one you are currently looking at.  If you start doing this long enough, you will end up in a place that contains films like Loony in the Woods.

Loony in the Woods was originally filmed in 2007, where it then sat on the shelf for 6 for six years until it was discovered by Troma and picked up for distribution.  Troma decided to make Loony in the Woods a VHS only release and it went on sale in 2013.  Somewhere between then and now, it became digitally available on Amazon Instant Video.  

Working out with Bouffe!
Meet Buttons!
The film follows a rather misogynistic  fitness instructor named Bouffe and his pals as they take a camping trip to - where else?- the woods!  Bouffe's brother wears a strange contraption on his neck that allows him to communicate.  It's a like a jacked up, homemade voice box......though it seems to speak for him....his mouth never moves...which is fine because you can't understand a damn thing the machine says anyway.  His name is Buttons.

As for the rest of the cast, there's a big breasted chick who likes to manhandle dudes (and she may or may not have some sort of psychic powers, there's a meek blonde and her shy redheaded friend.  Some dude with brown hair that seems to do the majority of grilling.......and that's about it.  The characters are there simply to serve as fodder.  

This is weird.  Really weird.  I mean like way beyond Devo and Yes mixed together weird.
It's the Loony!
The film is only just over an hour, so we don't have to wait long for the carnage to begin.  As a matter of fact we're treated to two murders before the opening credits!  A girl is choked to death and a guy takes a hatchet to the back of the head. The first night goes fine for the group, except for a very strange guitar/electronic beatbox tune played by Bouffe and Buttons.  It's totally off the wall and totally goofy and I think that I very well may make it my ring tone.  I may use it to make those record-your-own-message-greeting-cards and send them to friends and family.  I think they'll like that.  

Who am I kidding?

Eye see you!
That is going to cause a massive headache.....
Anyway, when the gore hits, it's balls out ridiculous ultra low budget gore, and I'll go more into detail in the designated GORE section at the end when I run the film's totals.  For now, I'll suffice to say it's extremely cheap and hilarious and it goes a long way to lending the film a certain charm.  Strangely after each murder, as the shot lingers on the corpse, the screen itself turns red.  Kinda weird.  Kinda pointless, but hey...whatever.  

LitW does a great job of emulating the type of films that would have been labeled Video Nasties back in the 80's.  The whole package has a great retro feel to it....as a matter of fact when I first started watching, I thought I might have actually stumbled across some lost British SOV slasher flick!  I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that this flick doesn't get seen to often.  I've yet to find an actual review online (YAY ME!  FIRSTIES!) and the IMDb page doesn't even have complete information on it.  

He looks like he could use a hand.                Too soon?
What the fuck happened to her???!??
No Buttons, No!!!!!!  This scene was shocking. 

It's like I'm now part of some ultra elite and secretive club that's seen this movie.  If there's not a club then there should be and I'm just the guy to start it.  We're gonna have a secret clubhouse, with a secret password to get in.....secret handshakes, decoder rings, t-shirts....the whole nine yards!  You are SO going to want in on this one!

GORE
Oh yes, there is gore!  A man gets his arms chopped off after having his face slammed down on a blazing hot grill.  A girl has fireworks strapped to her head and ignited.  There's a head impalement complete with eye poking out of the head, a nasty electrocution and another victim (shown on the box art) has their face completely removed, leaving a nasty, bloody mess.

T&A

Nothing!  We get to see some women exercising in Bouffe's class, but that's about as racy as it gets.....oh except for a brief make-out scene between the big breasted manhandling possibly psychic chic and the brown haired grill guy....but still....no skin.

MONSTERS

There's a Loony in the Woods!  Said Loony wears a too-large for his head ski mask, a plaid shirt, and pants with rope used for a belt.  We DO get to see his face at the end.......and he's just some redneck dude.  Huh.  Go figure.  


FINAL THOUGHTS
Like I said before, the film does an excellent job of emulating the SOV slasher flicks of the 80's that would have filled up video shops of the time.  I could absolutely see this being added to the list of Video Nasties.  It's not a good film by any means.  The plot is threadbare.  The actors are about on par with local access TV and the sounds is absolutely atrocious.  You can barely make out what people are saying most of the time.  HOWEVER!  If you're in the mood for that sort of thing, then you're probably going to get a kick out of Loony in the Woods.  Definitely a flick to watch with friends over beer and pizza.  Add a little MST3K style commentary and a good time should be had by all!
\
Shadow of the Loony.
                                     
















Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Witchboard - Ouija Worries

Witchboard
1986
D:Kevin S. Tenney
W: Kevin S. Tenney
S: Todd Allen, Tawny Kitaen, Stephen Nichols  

Rated R - Approx 98 Min
Paragon Arts International


Taglines:
 - Never play it alone
 - This game could be fatal. Don't play it alone.
 - Pray for survival till dawn


 
Alternate Titles
Ghost Killer - Brazil
Maelstrom/Bewitched Circle - Finland
Play Magic & Death -  Greece
Demonic Game - Hungary
Spellbound Board - Russia



"Oh man, multiple sadness!"
                                  -Lloyd

I've had Witchboard in my collection for quite sometime but I've never watched it before.  As a matter of fact, I actually saw one of it's sequels (Witchboard III) way back in the day when it was making it's run on cable, but I somehow never got around to watching the original.  It was not until I started listening to Rob "Flack" O'Hara's excellent Multiple Sadness podcast, which is a podcast devoted to bad movies.  The show takes it's name direct from this movie.  The line is uttered by Lloyd after his friend's tire is flattened by a supernatural presence.  It's such a perfectly odd thing to say and it apparently resonated and stuck with Rob and his friend, who then would continue to quote the line to each other and ultimately ended up as the title of a b-movie podcast!  Rob, you can mail the advert check direct to me.  ;-)


 As you may have surmised, this is a film about the dangers of using a Ouija Board.  Jim and Linda throw a party for their friends at their apartment.  Among the invitees is Brandon, who is not only Linda's former boyfriend, but also used to be Jim's best friend when they were kids.  You can tell that the tensions are running a bit high with these fellas.  Brandon has brought along his Ouija board and with a little coaxing from Linda agrees to give the group a demonstration.  He contacts a familiar spirit that he's talked before named David....the spirit of a ten year old boy who drowned.  Jim isn't buying any of the hokum and is openly mocking Brandon and David.  The spirit becomes agitated, the board flies up off of his lap.  There is a loud bang outside.  That's when our boy Lloyd looks outside and says "Oh man, multiple sadness" and notices that Brandon's tire is blown out.  

Linda borrows Brandon's Ouija board and against his advice starts to use the board by herself.  She begins talking with David and they strike up a friendship.  They talk about the possibility of David reincarnating into her unborn child (which David declines because he does not like Jim) and the little ghost tyke even helps her find her lost diamond ring, which fell in the bathroom sink drain.


It's right around this time that Jim and Lloyd are taking a break at their job on a construction site.  Jim has misplaced his hammer...which is actually a hatchet.  But apparently that is the standard issue at that construction company.  Weird.  He and Lloyd have a nice lunch and just as they're about to go back to work, a bunch of sheetrock that was on the second floor of the house frame falls on Lloyd, killing him.  Bummer.  

Linda is becoming more and more obsessed with the Ouija board and Brandon is concerned, which causes even more friction between him and Jim.  Brandon starts asking if Linda's been displaying any strange symptons...which he calls Progressive Entrapment.  In short....if she is being targeted by a spirit she will have mood swings, get nauseous, etc.....which are also signs of pregnancy....and Linda believes she is pregnant.  


Brandon brings a medium to the apartment to try and rid the couple of the malevolent spirit.  At first, the session appears to be a success, but things quickly go from bad to worse when Linda is hospitalized after a ghost attack.  The boys put aside their differences and head up north to investigate the circumstances of David's death and it is there that they begin to mend their friendship.  It is also there that they discover the truth behind the evil entity that has been plaguing Linda.

I enjoyed the film quite a bit.  It was rather reserved for an 80's horror flick.  There are no real ghost effects to speak of, save for some objects moving by themselves and doors slamming by themselves.  I found that at once refreshing and also disappointing.  I was expecting some monster/ghost effects for the big reveal.  I mean, c'mon, it's 1986!  Let's get a dude in a rubber suit or something and shine some neon purple and green lights on him and call it a ghost!  Nope.  Not at all!  


The acting is exactly what you would expect from a mid 80's horror flick.  Wonky dialog and questionable line delivery add up to a pretty damn good time.  You need look no further than the "multiple sadness" line.  Ah, Lloyd...you left us much too soon.  Really, they should have kept Lloyd around longer.  I can only imagine what magical nuggets of wisdom may have spewed forth from his mouth had he only NOT laid down on the job.  DAMNIT LLOYD!

GORE
There's a few gore gags in here....Lloyd gets a pile of sheet rock dropped on him and subsequently bleeds out of most of his orifices.  Another character gets an axe to the head.......etc.

T&A
There is a brief scene of Linda in the shower and we get to see pretty much all of her.

MONSTERS
Well, there's a malevolent ghost, but like I said there's no monstrous form to the ghost.  We do get to see the corporeal form of the ghost briefly.


FINAL THOUGHTS
This film got me thinking.  I've got an open mind.  My grandmother had a psychic gift (so says my mother...I never met my grandmother) and was quite impressive from what I hear....and I've had my own paranormal experiences.  One thing that always gets me though is the amount of people who have Ouija board stories.  It seems that everyone and their uncle has some personal horror story to relate about Ouija boards.  The thing is......I don't buy it.  "Don't use those...they're SO dangerous!  You can lose your soul!  You can summon The Devil!"  Blah blah blah.  Nope.  First off, I've tried.  Extensively.  I guess I'm no susceptible to the ideomotor response, which is primarily how Ouija boards work.  The leading Ouija boards are made by Hasbro and Parker Brothers.  I'm sorry, but you're not going to get your soul sucked out by a toy that you bought in Aisle 13 of Toys 'R' Us.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Space Raiders - Swashbuckling Space Pirates!

Space Raiders
1983
D: Howard R. Cohen
W: Howard R. Cohen

S: Vince Edwards, David Mendenhall, Patsy Pease
Rated PG - Approx 84 Min
Millenium


Taglines
 - The ultimate adventure in space
 - He's 10 years old and they've taken him 10-million miles into space.

Alternate Titles
Star Child - US Alternate Title
Robber (Ryövärit) - Finland
Space Pirates - West Germany




"These aren't real onions, are they? They're some kind of alien yucko onions. Wonder if this is real cheese?"
                                                                                              -Peter

Oh boy, here we go again.  Another review starting with a Video Paradise story/memory.  I'm starting to feel like that one particular Uncle that always tells stories about his time in the Navy:  "Did I ever tell you about the time we sailed right into a rogue wave in the Navy?  Did I ever tell you about the time I got syphilis while on shore leave in the Navy?  Did I ever tell you about the time that I peeled a potato that looked like Jay Leno's head while I was on KP in the Navy "  That or Sophia on The Golden Girls:  "Picture it....Sicily....1945...."

It's a laser gun shoot out! 

Awww...the cute little alien bug is going to eat some corn.....


Anyway....Video Paradise....Circa 1987.....a young me is taken to the video store on a Saturday afternoon to rent a video for the weekend.  My first instinct is to head directly for the animated section and grab a copy of Gumby for President.  Seriously, I must have rented Gumby about eight million times.....I was obsessed.  It was bad.  This time, however a I decided to check out the sci-fi section.  I was already a card carrying Star Wars fanatic, so I figured "What the heck!" and took a chance.  After milling up and down the aisles for a bit, lingering over the movies that I didn't have a shot in hell of renting yet (I'm looking at YOU Return of the Alien's Deadly Spawn!), I came across Space Raiders.

It had everything I could possibly want!  Lasers, spaceships, aliens, space pirates.....what more could a boy ask for!?  I brought it home and popped it in the VCR and was instantly in love with it.  I think I watched that tape about seven times that weekend.  It became another "go-to" movie when I didn't know what else to rent.

Robots!
Aliens!


Last year, I came across a VHS copy of it while out flea marketing.  There's a flea market up in Hollis, NH that has a Video Barn.  Literally.  It's a barn stuffed to the gills with VHS tapes.  It's a giant mess and cramped with tapes strewn about everywhere.  In other words, it's beautiful and amazing and one of the most happiest places in my world.  As I squeezed and contorted my way around the cramped confines of the barn (no easy feet for a larger fellow such as myself!) I came across that old familiar box art and immediately scooped it up.  I paid a dollar for it and I regret nothing.  I finally popped it in the ol' VCR this past weekend and watched it for the first time in nearly thirty years.  The Mrs. Cinephile watched with me as well.  So how did it hold up to thirty year old memories?  Surprisingly well!

Space Raiders is a Roger Corman flick.  Oh sure, it was written and directed by Howard R. Cohen (whom you may know as W/D of Saturday the 14th, writer of Deathstalker III & IV and writer of Rainbow Brite and the Star Stealer!) but you can always tell when a film is produced by Roger Corman.  Most notably in this flick is the fact that the same ship from Battle Beyond the Stars is used as the Raider's ship.  You know....the ship with boobs.  Seriously.  The spaceship has breasts.  I'm not kidding!  LOOK!


See!  Ship Boobs!


This ship is well endowed.
The story involves a young boy, named Peter (David Mendenhall....who provided the voice for Daniel Witwicky in the original Transformers cartoon and animated movie!), who ends up aboard said breasted ship, which belongs to a motley crew of space pirates, led by Hawk.  Hawk is your typically rough around the edges with a heart of gold type.  After learning that the kid is on the ship, he promises to get him back home.  Peter and Hawk bond and develop an almost father/son relationship.  You really get the feeling that Pete's real father isn't that much of a stand up guy.  Sure, he's trying (sort of) to get Peter back, but you really don't get a sense of urgency from him.

We follow along on their adventures as the crew tries to get Peter home while fending off Company fighters (The Company is your standard futuristic "we own everything" type of deal.  Either you're with The Company or your not.  The Raiders steal from The Company....you know how it goes.) as well as the henchmen of evil alien Zariatin.

The evil Zariatin.

Flying 'n' stuff

There are laserblasts a plenty.....though I should specify that we never see any laser beams coming out of any guns.....just a bunch of sparks shooting out of the muzzle.  There are lasers that shoot out of spaceships though, so you can get your laser fix there.

Most of the film plays out like a swashbuckling space pirate adventure....though there really isn't much in the way of actually swashbuckling.  As a matter of fact, I don't even know why I said that.  Probably so I could keep in the pirate them.  Oh well.  At any rate, there's plenty of action and for the most part, it's a kinda feel good action flick.  The Raiders are clearly the good guys and the bad guys are gonna get their comeuppance.  There's also lots of robots!  Not like really cool robots....more like guys wearing spandex with plastic parts hot glued onto them.  Which is totally fine.....just didn't want to get your hopes up too high.

Flying 101 with Hawk.

The obligatory outdoor scene.
Like I was saying before getting distracted by the robots...it plays out like a feel-good kinda action flick for the most part.....and then in the last twenty minutes or so it gets dark.  I'm not going to spoil it, but I have to say that I didn't remember how it all ended up going down and I was a bit shocked at the rather violent and downbeat ending.  Oh yeah, and Peter is a total ingrate.  Just saying.

GORE
There's a little bit of blood here and there.....squibs and whatnot.....and the blood is of the ketchup variety.

T&A




No such luck, amigo.  This is a PG flick.

MONSTERS
There are a few different varieties of alien creatures....plus the aforementioned robots.  Oh yeah, and a really swanky stop motion alien bug.

The poor mans Mos Eisley......
.......has intergalactic pizza fights?!?!?


FINAL THOUGHTS 
This still holds a very special place in my heart.  It's wonky, sure, and it's cheap, but it's got charm and it's a hell of a lot of fun, so why not give it a shot?  I watched my VHS copy of the film, but there is a limited edition Blu Ray that was put out September, 2014 from Scorpion Releasing.


"Get outta here kid......go get a copy of Space Raiders!"













Friday, July 31, 2015

Midnight Cinephile Episode VI: Captian Cinema To The Rescue!

Look!  Up there on the Drive In Screen!

It's a mosnter!
It's a ghoul!
NO!  It's CAPTAIN CINEMA!

This episode, Captain Cinema joins for a discussion of epic proportions!  Don't miss it!

In Pixilated Horrors, I revisit a computer game that haunted my youth and in Monster Magazine Time Warp, I take a look at Fangoria #71 from February 1988!

You can of course listen to the podcast right here or you can download it from LibSyn HERE!
It will be available from iTunes shortly!

DIG IT!




Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Underwurlde - Deep In The 8-Bit Underground


I was obsessed with the family Commodore 64 in my childhood and spent many a happy hour playing my favorite video games in front of that tiny (by today's standards, anyway) monitor.  As much as I loved the games I owned (and I owned quite a few!) there was still an entire world of games that seemed just out of reach.  


My father subscribed to Compute!'s Gazette magazine.  Among the varied articles on anything and everything Commodore, there were also a metric shit ton (yes, that is an actual measurement!) of ads for new games and such.  I would pour over these ads and marvel and the wild and often beautiful box art.  Sometimes you were lucky enough to get a screenshot with the box art.  Sometimes not.  I vividly remember the first time I saw an ad for Underwurlde.  There was something about the art that told me that this game was geared more for adults, or at least older kids.  There were no cartoon characters or spaceships, just a demonic looking entity front and center.  There was something otherworldly about it to be sure and in my young adolescent mind, this was a game that would be intense.


As fate would have it, I never got to play a copy of Underwurlde.  Whenever we went to a store that sold computer games, I would scour the shelves looking for it, but to no avail.  This was the case with many a game that I would spy in gaming adverts in Compute!'s Gazette or other computer mags.  Life went on and time went by and eventually I forgot all about Underwurlde.  

It wasn't until I was researching something entirely different that I came across that box art again.  A flood of nostalgia ripped through me and I knew that the time had come to finally realize a childhood dream.  Thanks to the invention of emulators, I was finally going to play Underwurlde.  I was surprised by the fact that I had butterflies in my stomach as I booted up the game.  I was no longer a thirty-six year old man sitting in my office, I was a ten year old boy and I was about to experience something that seemed so intangible for so long.

The title screen booted up and a fresh wave of excitement hit me.  I had no idea what was coming next and my fingers twitched in anticipation.  Was this going to be an RPG of sorts, like the D&D games that SSI used to put out?  Was it an action game?  Adventure?  More than likely action as I noted that it was from Ultimate and Firebird.  I had fought the urge to look it up online before playing.  
The title screen!  

The game began and I was a little surprised to find that I was looking at a little solid colored sprite.  He kinda looked like he was wearing a pith helmet.  What in the hell?  So.....I'm like a jungle explorer?  Huh, didn't see that coming.  It would appear that I'm in a castle or mansion.  There are flying jellyfish and birds coming at me.  They are also monochrome....but each is a different color, which is nice.  

Huh....not what I was expecting.

The grey bird is a statue you can jump on.  Green bird and pink jellyfish are enemies.

I run around for a bit.  Jump on some stuff, but can't seem to get anywhere.  The enemies don't seem to damage me, but they do knock me around and cause me to tumble like a Boston College student on St. Patrick's Day.  After about five minutes it becomes clear that I'm going to need some assistance.  I find the manual online and give it a read.  Now we're getting somewhere!

With the controls now understood I pick up a slingshot (that sort of looks like the outline of a bird) and start to shoot monsters with a never ending supply of rocks.  I start to explore the castle and find that simply jumping into a wall will cause you to tumble.....and that's when I discovered that this game is VERY vertical.  Not only must you explore the castle, but there is a vast underground network of caverns to explore as well.....an.......wait for it.......UNDERWURLDE!  The aim is to find three special weapons (the slingshot is NOT special) to defeat three different guardian monsters and then escape the castle through one of three exits.

Whoa! Man eating plants!

You can ride bubbles!

I'm not going to lie,  At first, I was a bit disappointed with the game....it was absolutely nothing like I envisioned.  That beautiful and otherworldly artwork was used to advertise this cartoony and rather frustrating game.  The game has some glaring flaws....the controls are a bit off (though to be fair that could be because of the emulator) and the hit detection was a bit glitchy (also...maybe the emulator).  Something kept me playing though.  I wanted to see what was on the next screen.  

I have not completed the game, but I am somewhere around halfway through, I guess.  I have just found the second weapon (a bow and arrow...the first was a dagger) and I have defeated the first guardian (wasn't very had.  He just stood there while I shot him with daggers.  He was a squiggly kinda octopus/bug looking thing....I don't know....he had tentacles and/or legs!)  Thanks to the emulator, I was able to save my position and I will continue on later tonight.

You can also go all Spelunker and use a rope in the caverns.

The First Guardian!

After playing I went online to do a bit of research and discovered that Underwurlde is part of the Sabreman series of games that Ultimate released in the 80's.  Very popular on the ZX Spectrum and it looks like it was fairly popular on the Commodore as well.  That would explain why my little fella didn't look like he belonged fighting demons in the Underwurlde, I guess!  At any rate....it's a glitchy game and it's a bit frustrating, but it's worth a look I think.  This has truly been quite an experience.  I wonder how I would have reacted to the game when I was a kid?  Would have been upset that it wasn't the grown up game that I thought it was, or would I have embraced it's cartoon-like atmosphere?  Interesting question.......


An Underwurlde Map that I found online.  I don't know if it came with the game or if it's a fan creation.

Terror Eyes - Campfire Satanthology

Terror Eyes
1989
D: Eric Parkinson, Michael Rissi, Steve Sommers
W: Eric Parkinson, Vivian Schilling

S:  Vivian Schilling, Daniel Roebuck, Lance August
Not rated - Approx 90 Min
Park-Schilling Productions Inc.

Taglines
 - No more films... no more horror... what's the Devil to do?

Alternate Titles:
None









"It was wonderful, just wonderful....superb....just lovely....double thumbs up.  Just like the Wonderful World of Disney.  Let me ask you all a question:  Where's the guts?  Where's the gore?"
                                                          - Richard (while possessed)


Terror Eyes was a blind buy off of Amazon.  I was hunting around for random VHS tapes, just for kicks and giggles.  Terror Eyes popped up for 99 cents.  I figured, "What the hell!  Why not!" and plunked it down (virtually of course) with the rest of the tapes in my cart.  That was a few years ago.  I finally got a chance to sit down and enjoy this little ditty in my new media room/office (Yeah, I'm moving up in the world!) and I've gotta say, I was quite surprised!

This is an anthology film, comprised of three separate stories and of course the obligatory wrap around story. The wrap around revolves around a young advertising executive who is assigned to write a horror screenplay for a horror film during a writers strike.  Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves though.

Troy is playing poker with a stuffed monkey.  Seriously.  He is.

ROEBUCK!

Late nite snack attack?
The opening story is about a young couple, Starla and Troy, who receive a mysterious book (called The Book of Life) by a shady car-salesman-looking-guy (played by Daniel Roebuck) that contains their entire life history and future.  Unfortunately for Troy, that future is not going to last very long.  According to the book, he's going to kill himself soon.  Troy (being your typical,  testosterone fueled dude) forbids Starla to read the book anymore.  Starla (being your typical, defiant type) just can't leave it alone.  Troy decides to put an end to things once and for all, first attempting to throw the book out in the dumpster.  When he gets back into their apartment the book is back sitting on the table.  He tries to rip the pages out, but to no avail.  He tries to burn the book, but it won't burn.  Finally he decides if nothing else will work he will dissolve it with acid.  Naturally, I won't spoil the end of the story...but "Starla" wakes up and we discover it was all a dream.

Starla's real name is Eva and she is the advertising executive.  The shady guy that gave her the book is (in waking life) her husband Richard.  Eva is frustrated because she isn't a writer and doesn't have the first idea how to write a horror screenplay.  She was hoping maybe she could use her dream but after waking she couldn't remember it.


ROEBUCK!

Hmmm....something is off about Richard.

Eva and Richard go on a camping trip with some friends and while sitting around the campfire, having a a grand old time, Richard goes off to take a leak in the woods.  It's there, in the dark of the woods, taking a leak that he is possessed by a demon (or Agent of Hell as he's called in the film).  When Richard returns he starts acting like a total Dick (see what I did there?) and is trying to force Eva to come up with a horror story.

Their friends (none of whom seem to notice that Richard has changed from a sweet, caring type to a major douche nozzle) attempt to help Eva out by telling stories about scary stuff that's happened to them.

Mannie doesn't know what he's getting into....

Neither does his bookie!

The next story involves their friend Mannie (played by Dan Bell.  You might know him better as Neil in the Wayne's World movies or as Smiley in Darkman!)  Back in the day, Mannie had a bit of a gambling problem (especially when it came to betting on horses) and ended up owing his bookie a lot of money.  Instead of breaking his legs in twelve places, his bookies offers him and alternative:  Steal money and jewels from his wife's safe and they will split the loot.  Not really having much of an alternative, Mannie agrees.  What follows is a twisted sort of time travel/Groundhog Day tale in which Mannie keeps reliving the same day over and over again as his bookie continues to murder his wife and attempting to murder him.

Hey, she found Bobby Fischer!

Hey now, my kinda video game!

Never bring your fists to an axe fight....

The final story is about a woman named Alex who wins a chess championship and publicly announces that she will be using winnings to fund a campaign against a video game company that sells games that glorify rape, murder and other unsavory acts.  She is kidnapped by the head of the video game company and is placed in a real life game of life & death where she must solve a series of puzzles before ultimately ending up in a ghost town where she must play a final cat and mouse game against the crazed gamer designer, old west style.

This game is can get a bit dicey.....

She's heading for the 90's living in the wild, wild west!

The wraparound concludes with the Agent of Hell revealing himself, some carnage and then of course the obligatory feel good ending....which is fine cause we're not really here for the wraparound anyway.

DEMON ROEBUCK!

I've heard of FLASH mobs, but this is ridiculous!

Gunned down by a demon with invisible guns.....

GORE
There's some red stuff, but not a lot.  There is a pretty nice melting flesh effect in the Book of Life story.  In the Groundhog Day segment, there are some gun shot wounds, and the same goes for the Video Game segment.

T&A
No skin in this one, amigos.

MONSTERS
The Agent of Hell is an interesting make-up (also rendered on the box art) with horns coming out from behind his eyes.

FINAL THOUGHTS
I had an awful lot of fun with this one.  It's a hell of a lot of fun and the performances are all extremely campy, especially Daniel Roebuck who wrenches up his performance to an eleven once he's possessed.  Terror Eyes (to the best of my knowledge) has never been released on DVD.  This VHS only gem is well worth hunting down a copy and firing up your VCR.  You could also watch the film in it's entirety on YouTube, but I think that would be far less fun.  VHS OR BUST BABY!

Back of the VHS box.  Just don't make 'em like they used to!