• Maxwell J.

June 2021 Review: The Best and Worst Movies I Saw Last Month

I apologize that this writeup took so long to post. The last few weeks have been difficult! June was a fine month for horror, at least based on the movies I watched. I watched a lot of meh and poorly done movies, but thankfully most of them weren’t truly awful like past months. I’m happy to report that I attended my first film festival: The Chattanooga Film Festival 2021, which was done virtually this year. I am so thankful and happy to have had such a great experience, as well as the opportunity to watch so many new and exciting movies. I’ll be doing my write up ranking the 16 films I watched and posting it later next week. There are definitely some great films to look out for in the coming months and next year. I am lucky to have watched 40 films last month and here are my contenders for the best and worst. I hope you enjoy!


WORST #3) The Ripper (1985); Director: Christopher Lewis; United States

A college professor finds himself in the possession of an old ring that has the power to control the wearer into doing the bidding of its previous owner: Jack the Ripper. After being stopped in his initial killing spree, Jack is itching to return to his craft and is in need of new blood to ensure his return is permanent. So, Jack gets to work butchering women until the professor’s girlfriend puts up a fight to stop him and save the soul of her lover. The Ripper is a dreadful slasher flick that lacks the style and polish to pull off its admittedly ambitious plot. Far too many scenes hover for too long, while we wait for dance sequences to end or for literal minutes to pass before said ring is purchased at an antique store. Oftentimes, it feels like these moments are added for dramatic tension or comedic effect but consistently drag the film down even further. There are plenty of 80s slashers that aren’t unique or interesting that ultimately do better by the genre by being fun or scary. Sadly, The Ripper fails to attempt either of these routes, instead opting for a languid re-telling of cinema’s most over-utilized source material. Do yourself a favor and avoid this like a London Street in 1988.


Overall Score? 3/10



BEST #3) Broadcast Signal Intrusion (To Be Determined); Director: Jacob Gentry; United States

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 7.5/10


WORST #2) Paranormal Prison (2021); Director: Brian Jagger; United States

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 3/10


BEST #2) The New York Ripper (1982); Director: Lucio Fulci; Italy

A detective is tasked with investigating a series of gruesome murders around New York City. All of the victims are young women, and a college psychoanalyst believes he can help crack down the profile of the serial killer. Working together they discover that the killer has a mysterious calling card, he speaks in angry Daffy Duck voice when carrying out his misdeeds. It’s not until a victim survives his attempt on her life that the team has any direction on where to go with the case. From there, things get even stranger. Despite its odd premise, The New York Ripper is a solid entry into the giallo subgenre that offers plenty of scares, gore, and mystery to intrigue any genre fan. The chase scenes are elaborate and filled with tension, oftentimes utilizing elaborate sets to up the adrenaline of the protagonists. The New York Ripper paints a grimy and uncomfortable picture of life in a crime-ridden New York City that works as a neat time capsule of the 1980s. Above all, it’s simply a great viewing experience and one that horror fans should seek out if they have yet experienced it. If you choose not to see this gem of a giallo, I have two words for you: Youuu’re Deththpicable!


Overall Score? 7.5/10


WORST #1) Spiders II: Breeding Ground (2001); Director: Sam Firstenberg; Israel/United States

Following the events of the first Spiders film, a young couple find themselves stranded at sea after a freak storm capsizes their boat. Eventually they find solace in a commercial carrier that picks them up before they succumb to the ocean. Unfortunately for them, their reprieve is short-lived as they soon discover that something sinister is happening aboard this ship. The doctor onboard is running terrifying tests on hapless travelers who find themselves in the path of their vessel. The couple must make a choice: either stay on the ocean liner and fall prey to the mutant spiders running amok or take their chances with the sea. It’s not shocking that the follow up to Spiders, which earned a spot on a similar list last year, is also a dud. True to the time period it was created in, this early 2000s monster mash is a dull and listless expedition into sci-fi horror that neither stimulates the mind nor titillate the senses. Plodding suspense scenes, over the top acting, bizarre writing, and low production values makes Spiders II: Breeding Ground hard to sit through in its entirety. Hatch yourself a better late-night plan and opt for a creature feature that has more bite.


Overall Score? 3/10



BEST #1) The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021); Director: Michael Chaves; United States

Please check out the full review here.


Overall Score? 7.5/10



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