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Episode 29: WHO WAS PHONE? (with Special Guests History Goes Bump)






1. Killdozer! (1974)- A film about a possessed bulldozer that goes on a killing spree

killdozer movie

This one never hit theaters; it was made for ABC Television. But its cult reveres it mostly because of its idiotic premise (and admittedly amazing title, complete with superfluous exclamation point). And what a Grade A idiot premise it is: a meteorite with strange powers lands on Earth. When a work crew tries to move it with a bulldozer, the heavy shoveling equipment is possessed by the alien boulder’s power and goes on a killing rampage. And then it just dissipates. Biggest disappointment: thanks to its TV movie status there was never a cool poster created to trumpet its arrival on the junk culture scrapheap.

2. Happy Birthday to Me! (1981)- A film revolving around killings taking place on the birthday of the main character, specifically at their party

happy birthday to me

In the creative aftermath of “Black Christmas,” “Halloween,” and “Friday the 13th,” the 1980s turned into a muddy cesspool of slash-alike calendar-centric movies. “Graduation Day,” “My Bloody Valentine” and others painted by the numbers and sent a stream of murdered teen bodies down the multiplex conveyor belt. This one barely accomplished even that goal, loosely tying stalker-style murders around the birthday of “Little House on The Prairie” star Melissa Sue Anderson. In fact, it appears that the entire film’s reason to exist is to deliver the kabob-skewering-a-face murder depicted on the gruesome poster. Worse, they convinced aging screen legend Glenn Ford to be in it.

27% on Rotten Tomatoes

3. Trick or Treat (1986)- The soul of a famous rockstar is trapped in his unreleased record urging a teen to kill

trick or treat movie poster

In the 1980s, “satanic panic” was all the rage, and an especially loopy strain of it existed in the form of preachers holding seminars on the perils of heavy metal, particularly if played backwards on turntables. Hence this story about a teenage metalhead (Marc Price, Skippy from “Family Ties”) whose favorite rock star dies in a mysterious fire. The only copy of his new, unreleased record, however, contains his spirit. When played backwards, the rocker helps his teen fan to get revenge on bullies. But when the evil rocker suggests murder, it’s up to our hero to smash any electronic equipment that would convey the message. Finally the mean music man is lured into a cassette tape and destroyed. Best (worst) of all, this one tried to have its devil’s-food cake and it eat it too by casting Gene Simmons and Ozzy Osbourne, two men whose acting talents are inversely proportional to their music-making skills.

71% on Rotten Tomatoes

4. Blood Freak (1972)- A film in which a man working on a poultry farm turns into a murderous turkey man and feasts on the blood of others.

blood freak movie poster

Doubling as a film perfect to watch on Halloween and Thanksgiving, Blood Freak is a true oddity– a horror film that also doubles as an anti-drug PSA… that makes you feel like you’re on drugs. Herschell (Steve Hawkes) is a Vietnam Vet (and Elvis lookalike) whose world turns around after he meets Angel (Heather Hughes). While she is as pious and religious as her namesake suggests, he takes a turn for the worse after falling for her drug-addicted sister (Dana Cullivan).

Soon he’s also hooked, and turns to a turkey farm job to fund his habit. But his problems only escalate when he’s asked to eat some lab-grown fowl that turn him into a murderous man-turkey who has a new kind of drug habit: drinking the blood of junkies.

Blood Freak is one trippy flick, with bad editing and awkward performances only adding to the disorienting plot. Even more quizzical is the addition of an onscreen narrator (director Brad F. Grinter), who acts like a poor man’s Rod Serling, so prone to chain-smoking that he actually coughs on camera

5. Gingerdead Man (2005)- A film about a murderous Gingerbread man

gingerdead man movie

Serial killer Millard Findlemeyer is executed for his crimes. His ashes are given to his mother, and she mixes them into gingerbread spice mix, and then gives it to a local bakery. By the way, Millard’s mother is a witch. The bakery uses the concoction (and adds some accidental employee blood, because it is a terrible, disgusting bakery) to make a large gingerbread man that comes to life and begins killing people.

It’s ridiculous in every sense of the word, but there is one thing that actually makes the movie rather creepy. The voice of The Gingerdead Man is Gary Busey. No one is saying that, in real life, Gary Busey himself is a giant, humanoid gingerbread creature with a hunger for human flesh. But no one is saying he isn’t, either.

And the sequels are worth checking out, if only for their titles: Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion Of The Crust and Gingerdead Man 3: Saturday Night Cleaver.

gingerdead man 2 passion of the crust movie postergingerdead man 3 saturday night cleaver movie poster

6. One Missed Call (2008)- A film about a possessed cell phone that calls people before they die

one missed call movie poster

Cell phones possessed by evil spirits call their victims in advance of their deaths. Then the victims die. No one thinks to change their number, get rid of the phone or simply send the death spirit to voice mail. At one point in the film an exorcism is performed on a phone.

0% on Rotten Tomatoes…yes we said zero.

7. The Unborn (2009)- The ghost of a child killed during the holocaust terrorizes a young woman

the unborn movie poster

The angry, restless spirit of a boy — one half of a set of twins — killed in the Holocaust during World War II, roams history waiting to be reborn. So it makes perfect sense that he’d select a hot teen girl of 2008 as the object of his wrath. There are murders, hallucinations, tornado-like exorcisms and a crazily over-acting Jane Alexander shouting about the Holocaust. Fun project: Find a fan of ludicrously bad movies and say “Jumby wants to be born now.” Watch their eyes light up.

10% on Rotten Tomatoes

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