Giant Turds


Posted on Feb 28, 2013 in 80's Horror, All Reviews, Featured, Giant Turds | 0 comments

tavernofterror.comWe horrorfiends who grew up during the 80’s VHS boom are, much like the leading lady in today’s feature, afflicted with a sort of curse.

We remember the tantalizing box art of thousands of films we yearned to see as a child, particularly on those dusty horror shelves in the back of the old video shacks. Now, as adults, we hunt them down and are reminded, repeatedly, that the cover art almost always oversold the budget films they promoted. But still we search, hoping for the day we find that random copy of Three on a Meat Hook, House of Psychotic Women, Microwave Massacre, or Rocktober Blood, just because of the lasting spell of their old clamshells.

My latest such plunge into the septic tank of yesteryear comes in the form of the 1983 horror schlock Mausoleum, which I stumbled upon on a double feature DVD with Blood Song, as release from Exploitation Cinema (who hail themselves as grindhouse sleaze purveyors but still released Mausoleum here in its edited form).  But minor cuts aside; I was still excited to see this piece of retro trash, having been snared by the box art decades ago.

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Posted on Sep 5, 2012 in All Reviews, Giant Turds, The Unfinishables | 10 comments

V/H/S (2012)

www.tavernofterror.comAt long last the much hyped and much promoted new horror anthology V/H/S is available for instant watch and On Demand and such, months before its theatrical release. This Labor Day weekend the wife and I sat down to check it out, and I felt it was high time I review another new movie.

I was excited for this feature even though I knew very little about it. I try to avoid spoilers at all cost so I didn’t even watch the trailer. All I knew was that the framing device storyline was about a group of thugs who are paid to break into a house and steal a valuable VHS tape. In doing so, they have to scan a few tapes and each tape is a short horror film in and of itself, each made by a different director, some of which are steadily becoming genre heavyweights, such as Ti West (House of the Devil). This alone was enough to spark my interest as I dig new approaches in horror and absolutely love anthologies. I am also fully on board with the current VHS-tape nostalgia, which I assumed this movie would pander to the fans of. But it actually doesn’t, as the movie’s segments are shot with more modern digital media, taking away the potential for VHS sentimentality.

I was unaware that the entire movie is shot-on-video and is rather gimmicky with handheld camera work. I personally loathe this Blair Witch found-footage horseshit. When is this gonna go away? I find in movies like Paranormal Activity and Cloverfield that it is just ridiculous that any of the characters would continue filming when so much crazy shit is going on. I also don’t like the nauseating virtual rollercoaster effect that these movies have as we watch the victims run down stairs in the dark as the camera spins out of control.

Strike one, V/H/S.

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Posted on Aug 29, 2012 in 80's Horror, All Reviews, Giant Turds | 2 comments


Well, there’s no denying it, Linus. Another summer has come and gone.

The massive heat wave the nation underwent this season has finally succumbed to cool mornings and relaxed afternoons. The pumpkin beers and hay bales are out. You can’t buy a swimsuit at the store – all they have now are sweaters. Tarps are going over the pools, the school buses are rounding the corner, and Labor Day looms.

Fall is starting and if you’re like me then you couldn’t be happier. Autumn is my favorite season, and I just hate sweating so I’m never really sad to see summer go. Still, the kid in me always wants to have one last hurrah before the sunshine takes a hike.

I love pairing up horror movies with seasons too. Summer tends to be my summer camp revisiting time. I pal around with Friday the 13th marathons and some Sleepaway Camp parties (if you can call me, my dog, and a six pack a party, which I sure as shit do).

But you know I like to keep things fresh and interesting here on the site, so I selected a lesser-known horror flick to review for a final summertime romp before we kick into that glorious season of the witch.

The movie I chose was the out of print Blood Beach, a 1980 film that was part of the Let’s capitalize on the Jaws craze train. I recently obtained a bootleg of this movie, having long ago ogled the incredible cheese of its box cover art. The tagline is gold medal stuff: “just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water… you can’t get to it”. As a kid, I always dreamed that the beach itself was actually eating people. That’s the kind of camp I was hoping for with this little curio.

Did it live up to my b-movie expectations? 

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Posted on Aug 18, 2012 in All Reviews, Giant Turds, Hardcore Gore, Indie Horror | 0 comments


I had been waiting to see Star Vehicle for quite some time.

I really enjoyed cult director Ryan Nicholson’s sleazy slasher-comedy Gutterballs, and even appreciated the twisted sickness of his splatter flick Hanger. So, naturally, I was excited to hear about a new project he was working on called Star Vehicle, which would later be horribly renamed Bleading Lady in an asinine pun.

Problem was, I just couldn’t find it anywhere.

See, I didn’t know it had been renamed, so I just kept looking for Star Vehicle. All I could find was a copy of the score by Gianni Rossi, the movie composer pseudonym for Zombi’s uber-talented Steve Moore. I snagged a copy of the soundtrack without thinking twice, having played his previous score for Gutterballs enough to drive anyone bananas. For nine months before seeing the movie I’ve been jamming to this incredible Rossi synth score that is part Gallio-style Goblin romp and part Carpenter Casio beat down. If you love 80’s horror scores you cannot go wrong with a Rossi score, or any of Moore’s atmospheric Zombi work.

But anyway, let’s get down to me finally seeing the movie.

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Swish that Swill

Posted on Jul 27, 2012 in 80's Horror, All Reviews, Giant Turds | 4 comments


The VineyardThe Tavern of Terror is a horror bar as well as a website that revels in the joy of getting drunk and watching underground horror films. How could I not review an underground horror movie about making wine?  The Vineyard was not only an enticing choice because of these coinciding themes, but also because James Hong wrote, directed, and stars in the film. Hong is best known as David Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China, the greatest movie ever made.  He was also in a few episodes of All in the Family, the greatest television show ever made, and therefore anything he does is worth a look.

I also watched this movie on the same day I ordered the bar, which is kind of cool.

The movie, however…


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Time Better Spent Sleeping

Posted on Jul 13, 2012 in All Reviews, Giant Turds, Indie Horror | 0 comments

The Sleeper (2012)THE SLEEPER (2012)

When reviewing The Sleeper, it is nearly impossible to not make comparisons to House of the Devil. Both films lovingly nod to the bygone golden age of horror films, and each mirrors the era in which these films thrived, between 1975 and 1988.  Both films try to not only recreate the feel of old slasher films but they also try to recreate the look of the time through props, costumes and in Devil’s case even the filming equipment used. The glaring difference between the two movies however is that House of the Devil truly succeeds in all of the ways that The Sleeper completely fails.

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