Dusty’s Worst of 2014

You’ve already been treated to Renfield & Shawn’s lists, so now it’s time to take a look at mine.  Because I know you can’t get enough of these sweet, sweet lists.
My plan was to combine my Best and Worst onto one list.  But then I got to writing and it got a little too long.  So we’ll roll with Worst right now, and I’ll follow up with my Best in a day or two.

I couldn’t find 10 films I really disliked, but it’s because I avoided a lot of movies that probably would have ended up on that list.  Jessabelle, Ouija, Paranormal Activities: The Marked Ones.  All of these were left unseen by me.  I thought about throwing them at the bottom of the list, but that seems cruel.  One day I’ll watch them and rant about them then.  I don’t want to ruin all that fun just yet.  I gotta pace myself, you see.


9. Zombeavers
It’s not that it was terrible.  It’s more what it represents, combined with the fact that it just wasn’t very good.  What it represents is the new SyFy movie trend of making an obviously bad movie, with the plan of making it so ridiculous (and making the title ridiculous) that people will love it for those reasons.  It’s a way to get people to love something ironically, without actually ever trying to make a movie that would stand on its own merits.  SyFy has been making movies for a while, and, while they’ve been pretty ridiculous, they didn’t always fit this bill.  I would tell you how many times I’ve seen Frankenfish, Minotaur, Yeti, Ice Spiders and Sabretooth, but I don’t need your judgement right now.  The wife and I once made sure we were both home to watch Odysseus: Voyage to the Underworld, starring one Arnold “Imhotep” Vosloo.  They were also behind some really quality movies, like Splinter.  They weren’t cheesy all creature-features.  Then the giant shark movies started showing up, and it all went to hell.  “What if we made nothing but stupid, over-the-top movies?”  It’s hard to fault them, really: I’m sure the Sharknado series has drawn in more viewers/money than Battlestar Galactica ever did.
I’m getting on an old-man rant, so it’s time to pull myself out.
That brings us to Zombeavers.  There was no plan in place to make this a good movie.  The idea started and ended with, “What if there were zombie beavers?”  It wasn’t funny.  It wasn’t clever.  It was just a loud, obnoxious movie about zombie beavers attacking sex-addicted college students in a remote cabin.  There were a couple funny moments, but, for the most part, it was really painful.  An unfunny idea that was turned into a movie without much thought put into it.  I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t good, and it’s just the latest example of a trend that has gone too far.
If it tells you anything, my favorite part of the movie was watching the outtakes with Bill Burr and John Mayer ad-libbing while driving around in a truck.

Willow Creek

8. Willow Creek
This is on here because I wanted it to be good.  It’s a found footage Bigfoot movie directed by Bobcat Golthwait.  I’m a fan of Bigfoot, and, seeing as how I had just visited the International Cryptozoology Museum, I was really looking forward to this.
It was really boring, and seemed to steal scenes directly from The Blair Witch Project (Golthwait says he’s never seen Blair Witch, so I guess it’s just some sort of terrible coincidence).  There were a few decent scenes, but I couldn’t stand the main guy, and that really hurt the movie.  It wasn’t terrible, but it just wasn’t very good.
My original review.

Quiet Ones

7. The Quiet Ones
I’m a fan of Hammer films.  I love the classics, and I’m a huge fan of The Woman in Black.  This has a great cast and a pretty cool story (well, the story this was loosely based on was good.  This version left quite a bit to be desired), but it didn’t really go anywhere.  The writing wasn’t very good, and the characters were barely characters at all.  Like Willow Creek, this wasn’t terrible, but it was really boring and just kind of a slog to get through.

Purge_ Anarchy

6. The Purge: Anarchy
I really disliked the first Purge movie.  One of my main complaints was that it didn’t show enough of the wider carnage.  All we got was the inside of one house, and the family we were stuck with was terrible.
I got my wish here.  We saw a bigger view of the city.  We got more people involved.  It was exactly what I wanted.  Until I realized that it wasn’t.  Outside of the main character (who was more an action movie stereotype than a character), there wasn’t another likable character to be found.  I think there were a couple good scenes, but I can’t seem to remember them, so maybe it was part of a fever dream.
They tried hard to up their political statement game with this one, and they failed horribly.  It wasn’t smart enough to really say anything; just a string of failed concepts.  How is this only sitting at 6?

ABCs of Death 2

5. ABCs of Death 2
Oh.  Right.  Because other movies came out this year that were quite a bit worse.
I didn’t care for the first ABCs of Death, so I wasn’t looking forward to this one.  But I started watching it anyway, because I hate myself.  I say “started”, because I didn’t finish this.  I don’t know that I even made it halfway through.  I had planned to watch the whole thing under the premise of, “If I don’t like what’s on my screen right now, I’ll just wait 5 minutes and a new short will be on.”  But then I remembered I would be doing that for 2 hours, and I just couldn’t do that to myself.  I think I watched 6-7 segments (maybe more), and I didn’t like any of them.  Had I finished this, it would probably be higher on this list.  Or I would be dead.  Either way, I guess.

Wolf Creek 2

4. Wolf Creek 2
In what seems to be a theme on this list, I didn’t love the first Wolf Creek.  It wasn’t bad, but there just wasn’t much to it.
For this one, they decided to make Mick Taylor – the killer – more of a personality.  Tell some jokes.  Yuk it up.  Make him more of a wisecracking ne’er-do-well/serial killer.  The people love to laugh with the guy who is brutally murdering and torturing innocent humans, right?
Maybe the thought process was that many people do cheer for the killers in slashers.  But that’s a little different than this.  People cheer for Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers because they’re known entities, and the victims are purposefully vapid.  “Who cares if they die?  They’re not doing the world any good, anyway.”
You could counter my Mick Taylor argument with, “Freddy Krueger cracks jokes,” but those movies were different than this.  By the time Freddy was cracking jokes (“Soul food, nyuk nyuk nyuk.”), those movies had long since veered into the ridiculous.  So far, the Wolf Creek films are still trying to be grounded in reality.  Sure, Mick Taylor may laugh and make jokes as he’s running over a herd of kangaroos (nyuk nyuk nyuk), but they’re still supposed to feel real (they have to, or the ugly torture scenes would be for naught).  This took what I disliked about the first one and made it uglier.
My original review.

Alien Abduction

3. Alien Abduction
I had high hopes for this.  Something about a found footage alien movie sounded cool.  It sounded like something I could get down with.  But the family we followed were boring/awful, and the movie just dragged.  It was basically the “Slumber Party Alien Abduction” segment from V/H/S/2 stretched out over 85 minutes.
Hey!  Speaking of V/H/S

VHS_ Viral

2. V/H/S/: Viral
I didn’t like V/H/S, but I thought part 2 was a huge step up.  I didn’t have high hopes for this, but I did think it would be somewhat enjoyable.  I wasn’t expecting something amazing, just something halfway decent.
I didn’t get that.  I didn’t get that at all.
The second segment – “Parallel Monsters” – wasn’t bad.  It was a decent idea, but it drug on for a bit too long.  Still, a decent enough segment.
The rest was terrible.  The segment with the magician and the magic coat was laughable, and didn’t seem to fit at all within the found footage of the rest of the films.  I honestly thought it was a joke, but I was mistaken.  The skateboarder segment was entirely too long, and the characters were insufferable.  The wraparound story was amazingly confusing.  The entire movie was littered with terrible effects of limbs being chopped off.  This was a terrible, terrible movie.  I know anthology films can be a mixed bag, but there was very little to like here.  “Parallel Monsters” wasn’t even good enough to warrant a rewatch.
And the only reason it wasn’t the worst movie I saw this year…

Leprechaun_ Origins

1. Leprechaun: Origins
I like the original Leprechaun series.  I don’t love it, and I certainly don’t think they’re good movies, but I enjoy them for what they are: ridiculous slasher movies about a killer Leprechaun.  Even if I’m not necessarily in the mood for that kind of thing, they’re pretty good movies to put on in the background while I’m doing something else.  I look up from making dinner, see the Leprechaun killing a guy by jumping on him with a pogo stick, smile, and go back to dinner.
I had prepared myself for something different with this movie.  Something darker.  I was looking forward to it.  The original Leprechaun was kind of played out.  With Warwick Davis being replaced by WWE’s Hornswoggle, I was perfectly fine with a change of direction.
But not like this.  Never like this.
The writing was terrible.  The actual origin story was all told by a 4 minute info dump in a basement.  The only likable character was Sophie, but she was only likable because she was set up as our proxy.  None of the characters had much in the way of an actual character.  Sophie and her boyfriend were having issues, but they did nothing to add to the story or the characters.
And the Leprechaun?  They say it was Hornswoggle, but who could know for sure?  Underneath the Galaxy Invader-esque rubber suit, it could have been anyone.  It could have been the kid from Small Wonder for all I knew.
There was not a single redeeming factor in this movie.  I thought I would at least find something to have fun with.  “So good it’s bad.”  I didn’t find that.  Maybe I needed to watch it with a big group of people, but I don’t even know if that would’ve helped.  This was a terrible movie.  Please don’t watch it.  Even if you like the Leprechaun series, don’t watch it.  Please.  I beg you.
My original review.

I swear I didn’t hate every movie I saw this year.  I’m not an overly negative person.  I promise.  Best of list coming in the next day or so.

Willow Creek mini review

Willow Creek Poster

Lisa reviewed this back in June.  Check out that review here.

“Bobcat Goldthwait directed found footage Bigfoot movie.”
That lovely bit of word soup is all I knew about this movie going in.  Since I had just visited the International Cryptozoology Museum, my interest in Bigfoot was at an all-time high.  My relationship with found footage has been a rocky one, but I was pretty excited about this.

While I liked Kelly (Alexie Gilmore) pretty well, Jim (Bryce Johnson) really grated on my nerves.  One minute he’s admonishing Kelly for not believing in Bigfoot and making fun of the town (“You don’t believe?  You don’t believe?  How could you not believe?  Believebelievebelieve?”), the next he’s poking fun at a Bigfoot mural or jokingly interviewing a wooden Bigfoot or mocking a man who is singing a song about Bigfoot.  You can’t have it both ways, fella.

The movie was slow and riddled with plot holes/standard found footage complaints, but it was short (80 minutes) and provided a few good scares.  While it was ultimately disappointing, I thought it had enough going for it to offer a lukewarm recommendation.  Of course, that may just be my Bigfoot-mania talking.

Rating: 2.5/5

Willow Creek


Everyone loves found footage these days, right? No? Are you feeling the found footage fatigue? What if I told you this was a film about Bigfoot and it is written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait? Goldthwait has managed to acquire a solid reputation as an “outside of the box” director with Shakes the Clown, Sleeping Dogs Lie and God Bless America, among others, on his resume. Now, he enters the horror genre with Willow Creek.

Willow Creek brings us the found footage left by young couple Jim (Bryce Johnson) and Kelly (Alexie Gilmore). Jim fancies himself a Bigfoot enthusiast and, while Kelly does not believe in the myth, she has agreed to help him shoot a documentary tracing their trek along the exact same path that Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin took in 1967 when they filmed the infamous footage that is, allegedly, an actual, honest to goodness, Bigfoot. Mostly, Jim just asks some of the locals to share their stories and it is, mostly, boring and not amusing.

After the token angry hillbilly threatens Jim and Kelly if they go any further on their path, Jim, magically, knows another way into the very spot where they will have a Bigfoot sighting. After a completely unnecessary and unromantic marriage proposal, the two make up, go to sleep and are awaken by a strange noise in the middle of the night. Seriously? Why the marriage proposal? Kelly has made it very clear that she does not have much interest in this trip and that she needs to move to L.A. Is Jim in a different relationship than the one that I’m watching or was this a cheap ploy to try to make me care about these characters? It didn’t work.

Imagine, if you will, The Blair Witch Project with no running, and no real scares or moments of suspense. All of the noises that Jim and Kelly hear are the exact same noises that the Blair Witch made. I’m not kidding. So, while they have traveled all of this way to see a Bigfoot, they choose to sit inside the tent, with the camera light on, for 18 minutes. Eighteen long minutes of a static shot of these two reacting to noises and saying, “Did you hear that?”


Dude, why don’t you look outside and get the footage of Bigfoot that you wanted? If you don’t want Bigfoot to find you, perhaps you should turn that light off. Or better yet, how about you just don’t go on the trip at all if you’re never going to investigate the strange noises? I cannot begin to wrap my brain around a horror film where no one goes to investigate the strange noise. How is anything going to happen if nobody does anything? And that, my friends, is the problem.



Willow Creek has a running time of one hour and twenty minutes. I have done all of the work for you and I am here to let you know that the 18 minute static shot comes in at the 47 minute mark and the “Bigfoot” sighting occurs with three minutes left in the film; the credits take up two of those minutes. In between the 18 freaking minutes of watching people listen to noises, the two re-enact the bit in Blair Witch when the girl loses her sh*t and they pass the same tree twice, thus, indicating that they are lost. Cue the strange (Blair Witch) noises again. When Jim hears the “vocalizing” of the Bigfoot, he becomes very excited, but to me, it just sounds like the sports anouncer who yells, ” GOOOOAAAAAAL” at a soccer game.


When the penultimate scene of Jim and Kelly encountering Bigfoot occurs, all you see is a naked female body with a blurry face. (I would like to point out that, while this movie couldn’t be bothered to investigate the strange noises, it did manage the mandatory boobie shot.) The camera then drops to the ground, gets dragged a few feet while we listen to Kelly scream and then all is quiet. That’s it. Movie is over. So, who found this footage?



I am just going to assume that the Bigfoot lady, who is not hairy and is just a human woman, picked it up and she is now subjecting all of us to it. I kept waiting for something to happen. Anything. Then, I started to wonder if I wasn’t in on the joke of the movie. I have absolutely no worldly idea as to why this movie is being showered with positive reviews. Nothing happened. Ok, something happened in the last three minutes; I became very angry and wanted my six dollars back.


Willow Creek is currently in select theaters and available via V.O.D.