Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – Night of the Demon (1980)

Not to be confused with the pluralized Halloween-soiree movie, Night of the Demon is a cloddish, tactless 1980 “video nasty” on a shoestring budget about a series of mutilations via Sasquatch. All of the Pacific Northwest attacks are eyewitness accounts of Bigfoot unscrupulously dismembering and maiming campers within the region.

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Castor’s Underrated Hallow’s Eve Gems – Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)

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More a feature-length fan film than a studio-financed blockbuster, Godzilla: Final Wars amalgamates all the iterations of Gojira into a free-for-all brawl. It’s a colossally metastasizing, caffeinated jamboree that not only enmeshes every incarnation of the atomic menace but it also showcases acrobatic Shaw Brothers wire-fu choreography with the Earth Defense Force characters.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – Wounds (2019)

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It is quite egotistically haughty for the film to fade to black with a Joseph Conrad quote from ‘Hearts of Darkness’. Afterwards, Babak Anvari tinges the film with a psychotropic, Stygian William S. Burroughs aroma around Rosie’s, a cockroach-festering tavern that is the haven of college dropout Will (Armie Hammer) and his barfly companions in New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – Trick (2019)

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The horror icons of our youth have faded into oblivion and in order to prefabricate another one in modern times is an onerous task. “Trick” Weaver is the latest in the trend alongside Victor Crowley, Adam Green’s sinewy backwoods demon. The X-factor here is that Weaver was a mundane, albeit polymathic high schooler who wasn’t bullied and without a history of sicarian mental illness.

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Castor’s Underrated Hallow’s Eve Gems – Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)

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Yet another Godzilla movie in this Halloween marathon and like much of the Millenium series by Toho, Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. doesn’t dither away. Within the span of two minutes, Mechagodzilla is undergoing a restoration and Godzilla himself is awoken from his abyssal slumber to clobber his opponents again.

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Castor’s Underrated Hallow’s Eve Gems – The Addams Family (1991)

With the toothless animated film in the theaters right now, I thought it would only be appropriate to peer back into the live-action Addams Family duology. Firstly impressions from the beginning is how darkly hilarious the film pushes the envelope (the opening gag is the gothic family pouring boiling liquid onto cheerfully jolly Christmas carolers) and how instantly unforgettable Marc Shaiman’s tango-infused music is.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – Vigilante (1983)

In a direct address to the camera, Fred Williamson vehemently rallies against the crimes within the community and how the “books don’t balance”. Without the context of Nick (Williamson) as a gun-range instructor, his words are wildly sensationalistic and inflammatory for a classroom environment.

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Castor’s Underrated Hallow’s Eve Gems – Vice Squad (1982)

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One thing I wouldn’t anticipate from a sordid exploitation guilty pleasure like Vice Squad is a disclaimer that the film was produced with the contributions and cooperation of the Los Angeles law enforcement. Gary Sherman bedraggles and tarnishes the West Coast boulevards until they rival the prostitution rings and narcotics parade that was 42nd Street in New York.

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Castor’s Hallow’s Eve Duds – Hell Comes to Frogtown (1988)

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Before Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and after Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper was a WWF wrestler on the precipice of crossover stardom. Honestly, his husky screen presence and luxurious blonde locks in both They Live (spawning Duke Nukem catchphrase “I’ve come to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I’m all out of bubblegum.”) and Hell Comes to Frogtown should’ve ossified his transition.

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Castor’s Underrated Hallow’s Eve Gems – Scars of Dracula (1970)

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A spurious bat on a string flaps into Dracula’s castle and expectorates blood onto the Count’s desiccated ashes. Voila, the baron has risen again but the low budget restrictions are definitely evident this time around. When the irate townspeople cordially knock on the door to the cliffside manor for Dracula’s servant to open the barricade, the scene is such a falsely polite and ingratiating bluff (“I promise I’m alone”), it should’ve been the droll parody that Dracula Dead and Loving It was proclaimed as.

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