After working my way through the 50 Classic Horrors DVD set, then the 50 Classic Sci-fis DVD set, what more was there for me to do? I didn’t know. So one day I scoured the box set isle at my local Hastings, looking for something that might be interesting. Unfortunately a lot of the compilation sets I came across had a handful of movies I’d already reviewed on one of the previous 50-packs. But the weekend was getting closer and I needed something to review. Then my eyes fell upon it. A 50-movie DVD pack with what looked like a blind goblin or something on the cover, finger to its lips in a shushing gesture. DECREPIT CRYPT OF NIGHTMARES the title claimed. I looked at the back, skimmed the titles, and didn’t see anything familiar at all, but with titles like BLOOD SUCKING BABES FROM BURBANK, CATHOLIC GHOULGIRLS, and LAS VEGAS BLOOD BATH, it sounded like this was right up my alley!
Recommend this product?
And only $19.99. Buying this was a no-brainer. Now, going back through the reviews I’ve written for some of these movies, it’s obvious I had some fun with them, but that’s only in the review stage. You have to keep in mind that for every sarcastic review I wrote of a crappy movie, that’s a crappy movie I had to sit through. And in most cases the more sarcastic the review, the worse the movie. Don’t get me wrong, though, I’ve always said I’d sit through even the crappiest horror movie over the best movie of any other genre, any time. But DECREPIT CRYPT OF NIGHTMARES is pushing it. I mean REALLY pushing it.
My first thought was that, with a name like DECREPIT CRYPT OF NIGHTMARES, and then some of the titles of the movies in the set, I was in for some really super-hardcore horror movies, stuff like the original TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE or THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, horror movies with bite, you know, not this Beverly Horror 90210 crap we get in the theaters every couple of months. And after some of the cheese offered up in the previous two 50-movie packs I’d reviewed, I was looking for something different, something harder and more intense.
What I got was 50 shot-on-video-for-$10 productions with actors fresh out of vacuum cleaner salesman school or something because I encountered very very few honest to God actors in this set, and so little talent behind the camera you’d have to combine the efforts of every single director involved with this thing to equal the strengths of one Tarantino--and I don’t even think Tarantino’s all that great all the time (DEATH PROOF).
Here I was, thinking I was getting Extreme Horror times 50, and what I really bought was Silly Horror I Made With My Friends Last Summer times 45 with a few almost decent movies thrown in for time.
The bulk of the movies in this set concern themselves with two things, vampires or zombies. There’s I DREAM OF DRACULA, VAMPIRE HUNTER, HOLLYWOOD VAMPYR, THIS DARKNESS, and A CANDLE IN THE DARK, then BURNING DEAD, THE DEAD LIVE, ZOMBIE RAMPAGE, and THE VEIL. There’s psycho killer movies with SERIAL KILLER, HELL’S HIGHWAY, DEAD BODY MAN, SLASHER, MATTHEW, TOE TAGS, and I HATE YOU. Plenty of anthology movies also appear in the set like SCARLET FRY’S JUNKFOOD HORRORFEST, UP FOR RENT, EDGAR ALLEN POE’S MADHOUSE, TALES OF TERROR, and BEFORE I DIE. The problem is they all suck.
There are a few decent movies, of course. It’s not ALL 1-star trash. THE SHUNNED HOUSE was an easy 5-star review, while INVITATION and HELLBOUND: BOOK OF THE DEAD looked more professional than most of the others, which in turn held my interest and won my respect more than some of the cheaper-looking movies.
A couple movies offered genuine creeps like OFF THE BEATEN PATH, especially if watched at 4:00 in the morning in the dark, while some did nothing but infuriate me with just how bad they were (NIGHTMARE ASYLUM and PREHISTORIC BIMBOS IN ARMEGEDDON CITY, both Todd Sheets abominations).
On the bright side is length. At least half of the these movies run about an hour (the first movie, A CANDLE IN THE DARK just barely passes the half hour mark), so if you need a QUICK horror fix, this set will do--provided you don’t necessarily need a GOOD horror fix. Given the level of production value and budget on some of these movies, and the sources from which they came, it’s not surprising to see a few names return more than once throughout the set. Phoebe Dollar appears in a couple movies, as does Beverly Lynne. Todd Sheets wrote and/or directed 6 of them, and produced another, while Ryan Cavalline offers up 3 movies, all of them crap. Quantity over quality was the order of the day for the brains behind this set, and these movies, as bad as they are, had to come cheap.
I think the thing that bothers me most about the DECREPIT CRYPT OF NIGHTMARES set is the title. It takes itself so seriously. If they’d called this thing “50 Budget-Restricted Horrors” I’d have expected cheap and stupid, but DECREPIT CRYPT OF NIGHTMARES sounds like these movies have something to offer, and that’s just a big fat lie. While I had a good time making fun of them for a while, I still felt pretty cheated when I started digging in and realized 80% of these movies were made on $10 and a ride to the set. I expected extreme horror and got extreme retarded. A set like this is enough to make you lose faith in bad movies forever.
And you know what the worst part is? Now that I'm done, I'm actually gonna miss these stupid things. I finally have a chance to find and review some GOOD horror movies, and I'm missing the cheap and crappy ones. That sucks. But so does this set. It just barely squeaks by with 3 stars, and I HAVE recommended it to a friend; my cousin and her boyfriend are now working their way through mine.
The individual Decrepit Crypts of Nightmares
A Candle in the Dark
The River: The Legend of La Llorona
Hellbound: Book of the Dead
I Dream of Dracula
When Heaven Comes Down
The Dead Live
Hip Hop Locos
Las Vegas Blood Bath
Before I Die
Dead is Dead
Tales of Terror
The Shunned House
Prehistoric Bimbos in Armageddon City
I Hate You
Scarlett Fry’s Junkfood Horrorfest
Off the Beaten Path
Summer of the Massacre
Blood Sucking Babes from Burbank
Up for Rent
Dead Body Man
Edgar Allen Poe’s Madhouse
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