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October 25, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Most low-budget horror films don’t make it to the big screen with good reason. Either they’re terrible, or the screenplay couldn’t tempt the most desperate of actors. Whatever the reason, these films remain a popular commodity that serve cheap thrills at even cheaper production costs. Here is a sampling of recent low-budget horror films. Like any good B movie, most offer absurdly stupid plots, lackluster cinematography, seriously sadistic characters and an obsession with the obscene.
What to watch: 2-Headed Shark Attack (2012)
What it's about: For a B movie, 2-Headed Shark Attack features three semi-recognizable “actors,” including Carmen Electra, Brooke Hogan (daughter of the almighty Hulk Hogan) and Charlie O’Connell (baby brother of Jerry O’Connell). The story follows the shipwrecked passengers, not the genetically mutated shark with two sets of jaws. Think bikinis, dramatic hair flips and make-out scenes.
What to watch: Knock, Knock 2 (2012)
What it's about: Knock, Knock 2 isn’t a horror film; it’s a lullaby that gently lulls you into a pleasant sleep. Four amateur ghost hunters entered a possessed house and were never found, but their footage was. How revolutionary and not at all similar to The Blair Witch Project and the Paranormal Activity films.
What to watch: Piranha DD (2012)
What it's about: The earth opens up and out comes a vicious, man-eating herd of prehistoric piranhas. David Hasselhoff and Christopher Lloyd star in this gory horror sequel that follows, who else, teenagers on spring break. For anyone who wants a sharper look at the mauling of the beer-chugging teens, the film is also available in 3-D.
What to watch: Scary or Die (2012)
What it's about: Flesh-eating clowns, a bitter necromancer and a cohort of Mexican zombies top a long, twisted list in Scary or Die. The film follows five people as they attempt to escape certain death. And not just death, but a gory, perverted death by some seriously freaky characters.
What to watch: 1313: Cougar Cult (2012)
What it's about: The title says it all. This film harps on the fascination with middle-aged women prowling for hot, young studs to do their housework and massage their backs. Not much separates this film from soft-core porn, save the lousy horror element tacked on at the end. Turns out these cougars’ hunger for young men isn’t just sexual.
What to watch: Deadheads (2012)
What it's about: Two zombies wake up during a zombie attack, but they’re not munching on brains or mumbling incoherently. Instead the duo goes on a road trip to find one zombie’s long lost love. This quirky comedy shows just how human some of the undead can be.
What to watch: Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2011)
What it's about: This spoof on the stereotypical horror flick follows two hillbillies who are mistaken for vicious murderers by a group of dumb college kids vacationing in the woods. This misunderstanding spurs a series of scary, stupid scenes that are comically campy. Fans of Cabin in the Woods and Shaun of the Dead will appreciate the taciturn violence and the slapstick comedic value.
What to watch: Pontypool (2009)
What it's about: Another eerie stab at the zombie trend in horror, Pontypool is a less gory counterpart to the typical zombie film. It’s more of a psychological thriller than a nauseatingly gruesome monster movie. But it’s hardly an investment worth quibbling over because it cost less than a latte to watch.
What to watch: The Innkeepers (2011)
What it's about: This indie horror film follows a pair of amateur ghost hunters into a reputedly haunted hotel. A classic plot with the usual scare tactics, The Innkeepers has potential to be a worthy Friday night fear-fest film selection.
What to watch: The Woman (2011)
What it's about:The Woman is a disgusting film about a successful lawyer who attempts to civilize a violent woman he captures in the forest. If you can make it to the end of the film, you’ll find yourself rooting for the crazy woman chained up in basement as opposed to the egomaniacal man who put her there.
What to watch: Absentia (2011)
What it's about: An indie horror masterpiece, Absentia has piled up scores of international film festival awards for its dramatic story about a creepy tunnel and those who disappear into it. Two sisters seek to find a missing loved one in this simply made yet effectively spooky tale.