Cult Classics for Your Summer Checklist

Movie Reviews from Film Fanatic Alyx King

Alyx King, Writer

Bruce Campbell vs. the Army of Darkness
Bruce Campbell vs. the Army of Darkness (Or just Army of Darkness, on movie posters) is a comedy-horror film released in 1992. It is the sequel to and parody of Evil Dead and Evil Dead II, neither of which were comedy movies.
The protagonist, Ash Williams, is played by Bruce Campbell. He has been transported back in time to the Middle Ages. While there, he is tasked with finding the Necronomicon in order to return himself to his own time. Unfortunately, in retrieving the magical book, something goes wrong and Ash inadvertently raises an army of the undead; the Army of Darkness.
Army of Darkness is well-written, with a good mixture of irony, cringe comedy and dirty humor. Although the effects are lacking by modern standards, they’re relatively well-done. Despite these boons, I did not personally enjoy the film upon the first watch. I do feel that subsequent viewings would improve my opinion, though.
Trigger notes: A brief reference to the n-word

Beetlejuice is also a comedy-horror film, released in 1988. The plot kicks off with the death of the main characters, Adam and Barbara Maitland. As it happens, they aren’t completely dead. They’re ghosts, who now haunt the place they lived when they were alive. Despite not liking their situation, they tolerate it. Up until the point when some interior designers move in and start changing things about their old house. Then they decide to strike back by haunting the new inhabitants. At the same time, a horrendous, perverted “bio-exorcist” named Betelgeuse is maliciously taking advantage of the situation in an attempt to come back to life.
Overall, the film was rather excellent. There’s a range of different styles of humor, and though the movie’s themes are not incredibly expansive, there’s something that will appeal to everyone. Additionally, the protagonists are innocent enough to be humorously endearing. I would absolutely recommend watching this flick for any connoisseur of comedy films.
Trigger notes: Several brief mentions of suicide and depictions of suicidal ideation

Young Frankenstein
Young Frankenstein is yet another comedy-horror film, released in 1974 and directed by Mel Brooks. It tells the story of Baron Beaufort von Frankenstein’s great-grandson, portrayed by Gene Wilder, who is haunted by his ancestor’s scientific decisions. But then someone informs him that he has inherited Beaufort’s estate. Reluctantly, he goes to visit his great-grandfather’s home in Transylvania. Once there, a mad desire to continue the Baron’s experiments awakens. And from there, chaos ensues.
This film is one comedic quip after another. There were several times when watching it when I legitimately laughed out loud. The movie is well-paced and extremely well-written. It should be noted that there is somewhat frequent sexual humor, so if that’s not your style, this film may not be for you. But for everyone else, Young Frankenstein is a must-see.

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Little Shop of Horrors is a film adaptation of a musical based on the original movie released in 1960. This particular version was released in 1986. The film follows botanical enthusiast Seymour Krelborn (Rick Moranis), who has just discovered a new species of plant, which he calls Audrey II. He’s desperate to take care of this plant but doesn’t know how to… until he cuts his finger. Then he discovers that the plant must be fed with blood.
The pace of this film is mildly meandering, but it somehow works. This film is also chock-full of dry humor, in particular, an entire song poking fun at dentists for being sadists. I would say that Little Shop of Horrors is a decent film and worth a watch.
Trigger Notes: Brief mentions and depictions of abuse and domestic violence