Thursday, October 17, 2019

October Horror Movie Challenge - River of Darkness (1982)

This underrated slasher is available on Tubi

An escaped killer with a power drill decides to wreak havoc on a group of teens sleepover. 

In a lot of ways, Slumber Party Massacre feels like a by the numbers slasher. A mad man stalks and kills scantily clad girls, many of which are partying (with weed and booze). However, unlike many others this one is directed by a woman and a majority of the characters are female. These teen girls are not just eye candy either (though they are nude and scantily clad during several parts of the film), they are fully fleshed out characters. They talk about their lives and aspirations and things. It's kind of refreshing. There's also an unspoken lesbian vibe going on between two of the characters, which is different. The female protagonists of this film don't sit idly as they discover the bodies of friends. They arm themselves and try to fight back.

The movie has three female survivors, two of which fight back and wound the killer. Also, unlike many films of this nature, the true final girl, Valerie, isn't broken by the situation. She finds herself in trouble, is clever, hides, and finds a way to fight back. In addition, in the final fight, she destroys the killers very phallic weapon. I'm not saying this movie is a perfect feminist piece, but there is a feminist undercurrent to it that I appreciate.

The film is also more humorous than many slashers of the time. This makes sense because it was originally going to be a slasher parody. Going to be honest, I laughed my ass off when Kim moves the pizza out from under the dead pizza guy and starts eating, proclaiming she already felt better getting some food in her.

This is an overlooked slasher movie. It's not perfect, but it's got a lot going for it.

In Your Game:  
New Weapon: Big Ass Drill - 1d6 + bleeding damage (target takes 1 point of damage on their turn until they receive a successful DC 14 first aid/medicine check)

New To Me Movies Watched: 16
Total Movies Watched: 24

October Horror Movie Challenge - River of Darkness (2011)

This supernatural revenge flick is available on Tubi

A small town sheriff investigates a series of horrific murders. He soon finds out that not everything is as it seems in the quite town and that its dark past are coming back to haunt it.

I've said it many times, I'm a big wrestling fan. That's why I decided to check out this flick on Tubi. Kurt Angle is a talented wrestler and charismatic in the ring. Unfortunately, that doesn't show in this film. His acting is just bland as hell. While Kevin Nash and Psycho Sid are imposing figures, they're barely recognizable behind the grey undead makeup that covers there face. It was cool to see Glacier in a movie though, I'll admit that.

Even if you'd just watch this one for the novelty of wrestlers in a movie, do yourself a favor and pass on this one. The story isn't all that original and tries to be deep. The acting is awful and the subplot of the student paranormal investigators just seems tacked on and had an unneeded twist.

In Your Game:  There's nothing new or original with this one. Take away the water weakness, and you could use the Johnny Gruesome stats I posted yesterday for the undead drifters.
New To Me Movies Watched: 15
Total Movies Watched: 23

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

More Movie Maniacs For Your 5E Games

I just keep striking gold today. If you want to include more cinematic monstrosities to your games you need to check out The author does monster of the week posts and several of these movie baddies also get a Loot of the Week post. Here's a list of what's been statted up so far.

Dr. Carl Hill
Crawlers (The Descent)
Death Angels (A Quiet Place)
Vesp (Netflix's The Silence)
Judas Breed (Mimic)
Kothoga (The Relic)
Art the Clown
Chucky (2019)
Moder (The Ritual)
Infected (28 Days Later)
Freddy Krueger

Loot the Corpse
Dr. Carl Hill
Crawlers (The Descent)
Death Angels (A Quiet Place)
Judas Breed (Mimic)
Kothoga (The Relic)
Art the Clown
Infected (28 Days Later)
Freddy Krueger

One of the things I love about these stats is like the Jason ones I shared earlier, many of them are designed to be taken on by low level characters (because most horror protagonists are only 1st level).

October Horror Movie Challenge - Johnny Gruesome (2018)

This zombie revenge flick is available on Tubi
Johnny is an outsider with a troubled home life. When his friends think that he's trying to commit suicide and take them with him, one of them kills him. The trio dispose of the body and seek to move on. However, soon they realize Johnny's not gone and he's coming for revenge.

This movie has a pretty descent premise. At the start of the film, though he was cocky, I liked Johnny. I knew something was up with his friend Gary, and when he kills Johnny, I wasn't surprised. I feel bad for Johnny's girlfriend's slide into depression and drugs, though her story wasn't given the attention to make it impact. Eric, Johnny's real best friend, was a solid protagonist and good lead for the film.

Had Johnny just got revenge on those that wronged him in life, I think I would have enjoyed this movie more. However, he goes full villain, by forcing himself on his teacher (post mortem) and killing some innocents.

Overall, despite the shoddy at times acting, this was an enjoyable watch. It's great inspiration for a Dark Places & Demogorgons or Buffy style game. Honestly, now that I think about it, it seemed like an extended Buffy episode, without Buffy.

In Your Game:  

Johnny Grisom (Gruesome)
Armor Class: 13
Hit Dice: 4
Move: 12
Actions: 1
Attack: Unarmed (1d6)
Special: +4 to Toughness, Water Weakness
Bonuses: +5 to Attack rolls, +2 to Damage, +5 to Stealth rolls
Morale: 8
Terror: 12
HDE: 4

Because of how his body was disposed of, Johnny is weak against running water. Water from a sink or shower nozzle would do 1d3 damage, while being immersed in a river would do 1d10 damage a round.

New To Me Movies Watched: 14
Total Movies Watched: 22

Add Jason Voorhees To Your 5e Game

I was looking for some cool homebrew 5e horror content and found these. This person did an amazing job of taking Jason and making him fit into a D&D world. Go to the original post to get easier to read (and print) versions of these images.  It's not a direct translation of the film, but it is a great homage. While it can be dropped into any game, it's perfect to add to something like Curse of Strahd (and includes notes on how to do so).

October Horror Movie Challenge - Ticks (1993)

This fun creature feature is available on Tubi
A group of teens and their chaperones encounter criminals and mutant ticks on a wilderness camping trip. The ticks have been supersized via plant growth enhancers. 

I remember watching a scene or two of this when I was a kid, but I'm still considering a new movie. I think this is an underrated gem of the 90's. While some of the acting may be silly (especially seeing Alfonso Ribeiro as a tough inner city kid), the movie is an entertaining creature feature. While it's not quite as gross or out there, it really reminded me a lot of James Gunn's flick, Slither. Clint Howard has a small role (as the pot grower that accidentally mutates the ticks) and is great. The film also features a young Seth Green.

I think this is a flick y'all should check out. It's not going to win any awards, but it's goofy and revels in this. I think this movie is very self-aware, especially based on a few of Seth Green's lines. 

In Your Game:  
Small Tick
Armor Class: 13
Hit Dice: 1
Move: 12
Actions: 1
Attack Damage: Bite (1+Special)
Special: See Below
Morale: 10 (unless presented with fire)
Terror: 5
HDE: 1

The tick has toughness +5, but fire ignores this. If the tick makes a successful attack it automatically latches on to the target who must make a DC 12 Poison save. If the saving throw is failed, the target suffers frightening delusions and must roll on the failed courage save chart. If the tick is latched on to a target, it automatically hits the next turn. The victim can remove the tick with a a DC 12 strength check on their turn or by confronting the creature with fire. If confronted with fire the ticks will flee.

Giant Tick
Armor Class: 13
Hit Dice: 3
Move: 12
Actions: 1
Attack: Bite (1d6)
Special: See Below
Bonuses: +3 to Attack rolls, +2 to Damage
Morale: 10 (unless confronted with fire)
Terror: 10
HDE: 3

The tick has toughness +5, but fire ignores this. The giant tick can make a grapple attack (with a +4 bonus to its check). Anyone damaged by the giant tick's bite must make a DC 15 poison saving throw and if it fails, the target suffers frightening delusions and must roll on the failed courage save chart. Fire will keep the tick at bay.

New To Me Movies Watched: 13
Total Movies Watched: 21

October Horror Movie Challenge - The Mountain of the Cannibal God (1978)

This cannibal exploitation flick is available on Tubi
A woman and her brother get a guide and illegally got to an island (known to be inhabited by cannibal tribe) in order to find her lost husband.

Cannibal tribe flicks are something that just aren't my thing. While I did kind of enjoy Eli Roth's The Green Inferno, I can get into the classic exploitation flicks. I've watched Cannibal Holocaust it bothered me (because of the actual animal deaths), but I thought I'd give the genre one more go with this one. Honestly, my feelings haven't changed. While some of the scenery is beautiful, this just seemed like an excuse for brutalizing nature. There's also some weird sexual things in this one that happen with the goddess is presented to the tribe, there's some random sex between a few tribesman, close ups of a woman pleasuring herself, and a man fucking an oversized pig. 

This has made me realize that I prefer cannibal families ala Wrong Turn, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Hills Have Eyes over cannibal jungle folk. A part of this might be that those families have a closer connection to modern society.

Unless you just really love cannibal jungle movies, I'd pass on this one.

Finally, just because I don't care for the movies, this doesn't mean I don't appreciate the genre. For example, Jungle Tomb of the Mummy Bride by Planet X Games is a goddamn amazing 5e adventure!

In Your Game:  
Indigenous Cannibal Tribesman
Armor Class: 12
Hit Dice: 3
Move: 12
Actions: 1
Attack Damage: By Weapon
Special: The tribesman can spend their action eating human flesh to regain 1d6 HP 
Bonuses: +2 to Stealth in natural settings
Morale: 7
HDE: 2

New To Me Movies Watched: 12
Total Movies Watched: 20