Comfort Film: October
The entire month of October we celebrate Halloween with a series of horror movies selected by longtime Comfort Film contributor and Daily Grindhouse writer Paul Freitag-Fey. All provided by the American Genre Film Archive, this month’s program promises you the best in exploitation, camp and the the truly absurd.
I watched Demon Wind for the first time on Cinemax back in high school, and it's always stuck with me as a ridiculously entertaining Evil Dead rip-off. It never attempts to be any more than it is – a bunch of kids getting killed by some evil presence in the woods – but it does it with a degree of energy that's never dull. The VHS box had a lenticular cover that made it a hit at video stores.
Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things
Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things is a pretty amazing movie that I saw on video shelves for ages and finally watched a few years ago when researching the use of drag in exploitation films. It's a weird, twisted crime story about a pair of criminals on the run that may or may not be in a sexual relationship, and man, does that Aunt Martha live up to the title. I really just wanted to throw some negligibly queer sleaze in there.
Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood
Malatesta’s Carnival of Blood is probably the oddest film of the bunch – a surreal tale of a family that visits a carnival with a dark side. It's one that I keep coming back to, and should be a hit for anyone who's a fan of the genuinely offbeat cult films like Dr. Caligari, Thundercrack! or Dementia. It was basically unknown for decades before getting re-issued on DVD.
Truth or Dare?
Truth or Dare?: A Critical Madness is a piece of low-budget '80s sleaze that defies any explanation. It's about a serial killer, I guess, but so much about it makes so little sense that it almost feels like an inept art film. I recall stumbling across this in the VHS days in a local video store among the treasure trove of sleazy box art and being too intimidated to rent it. Years later, I finally took the plunge and yeah, it's sleazy as hell, but it's so insane that you can't possibly take it seriously.