Sunday, September 11, 2011

Curse of the Blue Lights (1988)

One of the main goals of starting this blog was to put films, however horrible they may be, in front of new viewers. A lot of the films I enjoy are fucking awful, but it's nice to finally explain why I find entertainment in such shitty productions. Although I might find some macabre enjoyment out of almost any film, it doesn't mean I like everything.

'Curse of the Blue Lights' was a film I had only read about through DVD-R distributor Stumpy Disks. The title interested me in the thought of promising zombies, ghouls, monsters, and presumably some type of sword fight. I found this tape while I was digging through a vendor at a local flea market. Along with about a dozen or so other tapes I ventured home having, what I at least hoped to be, a new Cult film to love. This was like taking home a diseased puppy.

The film starts in the town of Dudley, where a farmer is harvesting wheat. Seeing something in the distance the farmer exits the tractor, and finds a rotting animal in the middle of the field. Suddenly, a nearby scarecrow springs to life and starts attacking the man; then starts spewing what looks to be creamed corn. The battle drags on between the animated scarecrow, and the elderly farmer. And it keeps going. After about two minutes of the farmer struggling on the ground the scarecrow lifts a shovel, and slams into the face. Or abdomen, it's off-screen so we just have to assume it was brutal; even with the "Original Uncensored Version" plastered on the cover.

At the Dudley High School, Paul and Ken wait to pick up Ken's girlfriend, Sandy. Paul's license plate is 1M2CUL. Ugh. It's Friday, and the group are trying to figure out what to do tonight. Apparently Paul and his quasi-girlfriend Alice aren't moving as fast as he'd like as they only neck. Apparently the film is set in the '50s. Most people tend to go to Blue Lights which is like the lover's lane, but wait. If the movie is called 'Curse of the Blue Lights', and they're going to Blue Lights? Oh. My. God. Apparently the Blue Lights are the ghosts of dead passengers, or some other supernatural phenomena. No one knows anything in this fucking movie.

While driving over their lines, the gang heads to Blue Lights describing the history of the area. Apparently some train conductor hung the wrong colored light, and was "creamed" by a train. The dialogue is very Scooby-Doo. Suddenly out of fucking nowhere a horse drawn carriage crosses the road, and stops the gang dead in their tracks. The carriage houses the diabolical Loath. Loath (who looks strangely like Dr. Caligari) is searching the area of Dudley for a creature that will bring the dark ages back to mankind. Loathe sends his ghouls (the credits listed them as "The Ghouls", so you know they're stage caliber actors) to look for what is known as The Muldoon Man. And no, it's not the bad-ass guy from 'Jurassic Park'.

Back at the Blue Lights, everything is getting hot and heavy until the school rich kid, Max, shows up in his classic muscle car. In what was sure to be the best drag race since 'Grease' the group is distracted by the Blue Lights, which are now over on the other side of the river. While searching the riverbed the gang discovers The Muldoon Man buried in the dirt, and learn that the dreaded Loathe needs the flesh and blood of the living to resurrect the beast. Looks like the gang has a real mystery on their hands.

That's what I love and hate about VHS covers. The covers look fucking awesome; showcasing the best scenes to reel you in. Then you watch the piece of shit, and need to cleanse the pallet with bleach. 'Curse of the Blue Lights' was written, edited, shot and directed by John Henry Johnson, who has three films under his belt, and I'm sure they're just as bad as this. I've heard that this film has H.P. Lovecraft influence, and I can see it. I just wish the writing wasn't a rip-off of a rejected Scooby-Doo Script. It's obvious that Johnson used whoever he could find not giving a shit about the quality of acting, just to read their lines. Oh, and then there is the witch who is credited as "The Witch". She's like if Yoda fucked Bela Lugosi, and had a super obnoxious baby.

If the acting and script were better, then this would have been a halfway decent movie. The story is an interesting one with the resurrection of an ancient God-like beast, who brings the death of mankind. Loathe and his band of ghouls collect the teens, and feed them to the beast by melting them with lye. The setup of a lover's lane type of location is typical, but if done correctly could lead to good satire. Yeah, not so much here.

While the acting is dreadful, and the story just 'eh' I bet you're wondering about the special effects. We'll, they're just average from the creative team involved. Mark Sisson was behind two of the lesser 'Nightmare on Elm Street' sequels; 'Dream Master' and 'Dream Child'. Though while the special effects in those films are pretty good, here we just get your run of the mill zombie make-up, and the aforementioned melting of bodies. The film just doesn't really pack the punch of the "Original Uncensored Version" that the box would imply.

'Curse of the Blue Lights' means well, and in spots shows some shimmer of a good concept, but stale and dated dialogue along with some of the worst acting I've ever seen damage the film far too much to even be remotely worth recommending.

*EDIT* After long thoughts on this movie, I have decreed this the worst movie I have ever seen. I have changed the rating to 0 because Curse of the Blue Lights is painful. Beyond painful.

'Curse of the Blue Lights' is available on VHS from Magnum Home Entertainment, but is out of print. Copies range from $5 to $12.

Rating: 0 out of 5 Trash Bags

There is no known trailer for 'Curse of the Blue Lights', so just imagine a group of teens sneaking around a cemetery looking for clues.

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