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Mad Heidi, Warlock, Warlock II, Timecrimes, The Devil Bat, and The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane
Weekly Horror Bulletin Newsletter 235
We’ve got six more movies and a short film this week:
We’ll start with the 2023 Swissploitation film, “Mad Heidi.” Then we’ll go back and watch both the good “Warlock” movies from 1989 and 1993. Finally, we’ll visit with “The Little Girl Who Lives Down The Lane” from way back in 1976, and for our bonus films, we have:
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“The Devil Bat” with Bela Lugosi from 1940
“Timecrimes” from 2007
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Here. We. Go!
Mad Heidi (2023)
Directed by Johannes Hartmann, Sandro Klopfstein
Written by Johannes Hartmann, Sandro Klopfstein, Gregory D. Widmer
Stars Alice Lucy, Max Rudlinger, Casper Van Dien, David Schofield
Run Time: 1 Hour, 32 Minutes
Spoiler-free Judgment Zone
This is over the top, taking loads of tropes and dialing them up to eleven. It’s funny all the way through, very violent, and well made. We thought it was great!
Meili Cheese is being protested for their monopoly. Soldiers charge in to stop the protests. Someone throws a cheese block at one of the soldiers, and the shooting begins. The officer comes in with his pistol to finish off the survivors. Credits roll as headlines report “Meili Wins!” And yes, it’s now President Meili who runs all of Switzerland, who bans all other cheeses.
Heidi and Goat Peter make love in the barn. Her grandfather warns her that Goat Peter is only going to break her heart. “They say he’s involved in some shady business.” We see that Goat Peter is an illegal cheese smuggler doing a clandestine deal. He sells the goooood stuff. “Happy goats make happy cheese.”
We then get an anti-lactose-intolerance advertisement. Those people need to be turned in. “I’m doing my part!” We cut to President Meili’s office, and he’s a cheese-megalomaniac. We then cut to Kommandant Knorr, who tortures a lactose-intolerant man with… boiling cheese. The man gives him the name of Goat Peter in the Alps. If his cheese is bad, don’t try his chocolate!
Heidi is out in her field in the Alps, waving for Goat Peter. It’s all very scenic. She goes to town with him as he makes a delivery. Knorr and his surprisingly Nazi-looking goons capture Goat Peter and kill him in the juiciest way possible. Heidi witnesses the whole thing and rides home.
Knorr and his men follow Heidi home, but Grandfather takes offense. Grandfather doesn’t last long, and Heidi is captured. She’s taken to prison, alongside Klara, another prisoner, to meet Madame Rottweiler and Dr. Schwitzgebel, a cheese researcher who weeds out those lactose-intolerant traitors.
Heidi and Klara get put in a cell with two huge butch women. Heidi swears revenge on the men who killed Goat Peter. In the morning, they all learn wrestling, and Klara doesn’t like it. Neither does Heidi.
For some reason, President Meili visits Heidi in prison. Her grandfather was a well-known revolutionary. He likes Heidi and wants her in the competition on Swiss National Day. They feed her nothing but cheese in prison.
We soon see that Rottweiler and Knorr have a weird sex thing of their own. Eventually, Heidi stabs Rottweiler and escapes. “I’m not a good girl anymore.” She tries to take Klara with her, but she’s been fully brainwashed with cheese.
Knorr and his men chase Heidi through the woods. How did she get out of prison? We don’t need to know. He gloats about killing Heidi’s parents. She jumps off a waterfall to escape. Meili is not pleased. Schwitzgebel introduces Meili to his new ultra-Swiss-cheese. It’s got 88% more lactose. It also softens the brain and makes the consumer completely obedient. The cheesemaster says it’s delicious, but then becomes hideously disfigured. He’s a cheese-zombie, and he rips Minister Gutzweiler in two.
Heidi is not dead. She wanders into a building and drinks something that makes her pass out. Helvetia, the magical guardian of the motherland, helps her out and gives her hope– and training. Cue the martial-arts training montage.
Grandfather, who’s not dead either, shows up at Isaac’s place. Isaac is Goat Peter’s father and an old ally of the revolutionaries. Cue the revolutionary rabble-rousing montage.
Meili and Knorr get a report that a patrol was attacked by a warrior girl in the woods with a mighty axe. They both know who the girl is. Meili calls for “The Neutralizer,” a bureaucrat with armor.
Meanwhile, Heidi slices up more soldiers, but now in the city. She’s coming after Knorr and Meili. The Neutralizer stops her with one punch.
It’s Swiss National Day. A group of French delegates are visiting for the games. Of course he offers them some cheese. Heidi is soon reunited with her “friends'' from prison in the arena. Klara doesn’t last long against the muscle bound women. Heidi is the main attraction.
Heidi knocks out her opponent and then makes a speech about blindly following Meili. Before Heidi can fight the leaders, she gets to fight the Neutralizer again. The muscle woman wakes up and helps, but she doesn’t last very long against the giant bull-man.
She takes the bull by the horns, and soon, the crowd is cheering for Heidi. Knorr shoots her with an arrow as Meili and the French escape underground. He’s ready to finish her off as the revolutionaries arrive and shoot him.
In the lab, the Frenchmen sign the cheese trade agreement that Meili has wanted all along. Then he offers them Ultra Swiss, and they quickly become three monsters.
The revolutionaries make Swiss Cheese out of the zombies, leaving Heidi to deal with Meili. Soon, the president gets all the cheese he can stand. “Rest in cheese, bitch,” gloats Heidi.
Mortally wounded grandfather volunteers to stay behind and blow up the lab.
It takes all the cliches and tropes from this kind of film and blows them up tenfold; it’s got everything from cuckoo clocks to Riccola commercials. I immediately compared it to “Iron Sky” in my mind– it has the same kind of humor and even a similar look.
There’s tons of gory deaths and a lot of comedy gold here. The fight scenes are over-the-top and comic-booky. The creature effects are quite good as well.
It’s really fun. It’s better than cheese!
Directed by Steve Miner
Written by David Twohy
Stars Julian Sands, Lori Singer, Richard E. Grant, Mary Woronov
Run Time: 1 Hour 43 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
It’s an 80s romp that still holds up pretty well for entertainment value. The three main actors are excellent in their roles and get to do a lot with them. The effects and makeup are a little hit-and-miss but forgivable. Overall, it’s still worth a watch.
A group of stern, Pilgrimy-looking men walk through an old-timey Boston as credits roll. Redferne watches as the men enter a large, isolated tower. They walk up the long stairs to a cell, and inside is the Warlock, who is very bound up. They say he’s going to be “hanged and then burned over a basket of living cats.”
The priests leave, but Redferne waits behind to talk. Redferne is the one who captured the evil magician. As he leaves, evil, magical storm clouds arrive and he runs back upstairs just in time to see the Warlock has gotten free. The Warlock vanishes, and Redferne jumps into the vortex after him.
In the modern day, the vortex appears in Kassandra’s living room. Her roommate, Chas, tries to call the police, but the lines are down. Since the man on the floor is unconscious, they carry him to a bed. We see that Kassandra is diabetic and takes insulin.
Warlock is shocked that he’s been gone for three centuries, but when he passes out again, she leaves for work. Warlock likes Chas’s ring, which has something to do with astrology, so he cuts the finger off to get it. Then he bites Chas’s tongue out.
The police talk to Kassandra, and they think Chas’s murder was a gay-thing. She denies that because he wasn’t queer about it. The Warlock goes to see the Channeler, a spiritualist. Warlock wants her to channel his father, whose name is Zamiel. She puts on a spiritualist act, but he’s not fooled. Then the real Zamiel takes over her body. Zamiel wants Warlock to “bring together my Bible”, a book that can thwart creation itself. There are three parts of the book. He then cuts out the seer’s eyes, which will lead him to the parts of the book.
Kassandra goes home to pack up her stuff and finds Redferne there. He’s intense and terrifies Kassandra. He gets a bit of Warlock’s blood from the broken window and does a tracking spell of his own. He uses a “witch compass.” The police arrive, and he sees cars for the first time; then they use a Taser on him and take him away.
Kassandra goes back inside, and the Warlock returns. He tears apart the antique dining room table and finds pages from the book inside. He knocks Kassandra out and then says some magic words over her. When she wakes up the next morning, her hair is really long and graying; she’s aged twenty years.
Kassandra bails out Redferne, and he gets to do the whole “fish out of water” thing in the new time period. He says she needs to get her charm bracelet back from the Warlock to break the spell he cast. He says she’ll age another twenty years by tomorrow, and that’s not going to stop.
Warlock runs into a little boy who brags about never going to church. Warlock tells him he’s a witch, and the boy laughs.
Redferne and Kassandra drive through the desert using the witch compass. The man at the gas station says a boy was just killed nearby, and they think it was a coyote. Redferne says that unbaptized human child fat makes the best flying potion. Yes, the Warlock can fly now.
Morning comes, and Warlock has found the second part of the book in a Mennonite barn. The farmer complains that all the milk has gone bad and the horses are sweaty. The old man recognizes the signs and paints a protective sigil on the house.
Redferne talks about his dead wife, killed by the Warlock. Redferne notices the painted barn, and they stop. Redferne and the Mennonite man track the Warlock to the attic and nail him inside. Redferne goes inside and the Warlock is already gone, but he does find a page from the devil’s bible. Now, Redferne knows what the Warlock is looking for.
Warlock comes back for the page and the two men fight. Warlock tries to fly away, but Redferne has him tied to a whip. The Warlock has a crash landing, and they fight some more. They bind his thumbs and toes again, but the Mennonite man looks into Warlock's eyes and his eyes bleed.
Kassandra gets her bracelet back, and she’s instantly young again. She got what she wants, so she doesn’t want to help anymore. Redferne warns that if Warlock gets the whole book, it’ll be the end of the world.
Kassandra does some research, and they think they can find the third part of the book before the warlock does. They need to fly to Boston, and Redferne isn’t thrilled with the whole concept. That doesn’t matter since the Warlock is right behind them at the airport. Kassandra doesn’t tell Redferne that she saw him.
They board the airplane anyway, but Redferne notices that there are signs of witchcraft on the plane. They search but cannot find him; we see that he’s in the cargo hold.
Everyone arrives in Boston. Redferne and Kassandra arrive at an old church, and the priest lets them inside. As they talk, the Warlock arrives. The priest has records about the Grand Grimoire, and he says the third part is buried in a local grave.
They arrive at the church and the hallowed ground smokes when Redferne touches Warlock blood to it. Turns out, the book is in Giles Redferne’s tomb. That’s pretty shocking for Redferne, since it’s his own corpse inside. Kassandra sees a sign talking about grave relocation, so they’re going to move the graves– it’s not consecrated ground.
They open Redferne’s tomb. Redferne can’t look. Kassandra takes the pages of the book from his cold, dead hands. They each take half the pages. Warlock grabs Kassandra and uses her as a hostage until Redferne gives him the rest of the pages.
Redferne challenges the Warlock to fight, one on one. They fight without magic, and the Warlock gets the upper hand. Warlock throws Cassandra in the bay, and she notices it’s salt water. She pulls out her insulin syringes.
Warlock does a spell, and the unholy book reassembles itself. As he gets ready to undo everything, Kassandra injects him with salt water. He burns up and the evil clouds dissipate.
Kassandra watches as Redferne disappears into a vortex and vanishes into his own tomb. She then picks up the evil book. She buries it somewhere in the Bonneville Salt Flats, a huge desert of salt.
We never really find out the Warlock’s name.
The special effects are good, although not excessive. The soundtrack is excellent, and the casting is awesome. Julian Sands and Richard E Grant both went on to do tons of stuff, but this was probably the first thing I remember seeing either of them in.
Lori Singer’s old-age makeup isn’t too bad for the time period. The flying effects on the farm are pretty bad, but later, in the cemetery, they’re pretty good, but obviously done with wires.
The pacing here is good; we get lots of explanations, but it never gets talky.
We both thought it held up really well.
Short Film: Flat (2023)
Directed by Michael Skanes
Written by Michael Skanes
Stars Seth Cassell, Julia Aks, Caroline Gottlieb
Run Time: 10:26
We hear part of a news report about a young woman being murdered in her hotel room. Her guy Rick comes to the door, and he’s been injured.
We go back fifteen hours to see what really happened. He’s out driving through the desert and gets a flat tire. He calls for service, but it will be a long time– he waits.
A woman comes to his car and makes fun of his inability to change a tire. They flirt intensively. “You could be a serial killer for all I know,” she says. Things devolve from there.
He couldn’t be bothered to change his own tire when the wait for service was going to be that long? He later said he didn’t know how. I think if I were in that position, I’d make an effort to figure it out.
The acting, cinematography, and sound are all excellent. It’s really good– it did not go as I expected, which is always a good thing.
Warlock II: The Armageddon (1993)
Directed by Anthony Kickix
Written by Kevin Rock, Sam Bernard, David Twohy
Stars Julian Sands, Chris Young, Paula Marshall, Joanna Pacula
Run Time: 1 Hour, 38 Minutes
Spoiler-free Judgment Zone
Despite what we were led to believe in the first film, the Warlock is not dead, and Julian Sands is back with all his charm. But nothing about the movie is quite as good this time. It’s an okay sequel, not great in any way.
We open on a lunar eclipse as credits roll.
We are told: Once every millennium, when the sun aligns with the moon, druids summon the magic of their sacred runestones in the quest to prevent the birth of Satan’s son. We watch as a possessed-looking, very pregnant woman is surrounded by druids with magic stones. They stop the evil spell, but then they are all killed by men on horseback. The only surviving druid gets away with two of the stones. “The final battle is still to be fought.”
In the present, lightning strikes a tree, and a bunch of sawdust falls out. “The sign of his birth.” A woman looks at the eclipse and suddenly grows a big belly and gives painful birth to a slug. The slug then eats her little dog. It then gets bigger and bigger and becomes the Warlock. The possessed mother gives Warlock six days to gather the other runestones.
Kenny Travis plays chess with his father, Will, the man who recognized the sign in the sawdust. In the morning, Will goes to see Larson and Franks. He shows them the sign in the sawdust. The three then do a ritual. They’ve made plans for the return of the Warlock, but they’re all old and weak now.
Kenny and Samantha talk about college. They spot Will and Franks walking through the field and freak out. Will shoots Kenny. They sprinkle magic glitter on him and his wounds heal. All better! They explain the whole plot to him.
In the city, there’s a fashion show for Paula Dare. Warlock is in the audience and sees that she’s wearing one of the stones. He takes her hand, and the two fly above the city. She gives him the stone, and he drops her.
Ted Ellison is the town preacher, and he used to be in Will’s group, but now he doubts all that stuff. He takes his daughter Samantha away from Kenny. Franks does a spell, and the Warlock springs a leak. Will tells Kenny that he’s going to be a great warrior. Will teaches about the power of the druids, which is essentially the Force (even the music cues are similar to Star Wars).
Warlock shows up at a sideshow carnival and talks to the owner about a stone that decorates one of the exhibits. When the psychic dwarf tries to intervene, he makes… short work of her. Things go poorly for the carnival manager, but Warlock gets his stone. We see that Ethan Larson, one of Will’s druids, is following the Warlock with his magic compass.
Samantha complains to Kenny about her dreams. Kate complains to Ted about badmouthing the druids. Samantha shows Will her telekinetic powers and then confronts her own father. She wants to be reborn too, but Ted doesn't want to do it. She stabs herself, and the other druids bring her back, just like Kenny.
We see Ethan in an elevator with the warlock. Ethan pulls out the magic dagger, but only the Warlock leaves the elevator. He talks with a collector, and he soon adds one more stone to his collection.
The druid group gives Kenny the final two stones. Kenny and Samantha go to their local version of Stonehenge to await the Warlock. Bully Andy shows up for Samantha, but Kenny’s not into being bullied anymore.
Will and Ted go to town, and everyone is assembled there. They have Kate crucified upside-down in the churchyard. Everyone blames Will for being a Satanist. Warlock has captured Franks and demands the stones. Kenny attacks Warlock and gets impaled. Kenny sets Warlock on fire. Will and Ted come in with shotguns, but Warlock doesn’t need a gun to take them out.
Warlock corners Samantha in the woods, and even the trees fight him. He immobilizes her and takes the final stone.
The eclipse begins!
Warlock makes the stones fly around but is struck by Kenny’s lightning bolt. There’s another brief fight. Warlock opens up a portal to Hell, and Satan’s son starts to come out. Kenny and Samantha, both tied up, use their force powers to turn on the truck’s lights, which disrupts everything.
The sun comes out, and Kenny and the Warlock have one last battle of wills over the blessed knife. He melts in front of both of them. Before they can collect all the stones, Warlock’s bony hand grabs one of them…
So, in the end, Satan and the Warlock were defeated with a pickup truck’s headlights.
In the first film, Warlock was pitted against Redferne, someone from his own time who was basically his equal. In this one, he’s up against clueless teenagers– and loses. Without anyone to banter with, he’s less interesting and becomes a monster movie villain.
The special effects are more sparse than in the previous film. Neither of the teenage actors can act at all, and all their scenes together seem like a bad soap opera. All the fighting is just basically them using telekinesis against each other, and the stakes aren’t anywhere near as interesting as in the previous film.
It was fine, but it was a pale comparison to the original.
The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane (1976)
Directed by Nicolas Gessner
Written by Laird Koenig
Stars Jodie Foster, Martin Sheen, Alexis Smith, Mort Shuman
Run Time: 1 Hour, 31 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
This is a suspense drama with some horror elements. We don’t know what’s going on at first. Then we don’t know how things are going to end up. The performances are very good, and the story is very interesting. It’s a good one.
Rynn Jacobs puts candles on a cake and wishes herself “Happy Birthday” in the mirror. Frank Hallet comes to the door. He says it’s Halloween and she should be out trick-or-treating; he says he’s a friend of her father. He comes right in. She just moved here from England, so he explains about trick or treating. He’s clearly creepy and asking about her parents, but she offers him some cake.
She’s just turning 14, and he’s very friendly, asking many questions. “You’re a very pretty girl, you know that? Pretty eyes. Pretty hair. No boyfriend?” Ick. Eventually, his two children arrive, and he leaves with them.
The next day, Rynn finds Frank waiting to give her a ride to school, but she ignores him and walks on. Rynn goes to the bank and cashes in a traveler’s check from her lock deposit box, pointing out that her father has an account there.
Later, Cora Hallett, Frank’s mother, stops by, and she’s grouchy. They rent the house from her. She disapproves of Rynn’s father’s “poet lifestyle.” She wonders why they don’t see much of the Jacobs in town at the market. It’s clear that both of the Hallets are really nosy about Rynn’s father. Cora says she’s come for some jelly glasses in the cellar, but Rynn doesn’t want her there. Cora leaves in a huff and says she’ll report Rynn to the school board about her not being in school. Where is Rynn’s father?
Rynn goes to the town hall and asks about the school board rules and meetings. She finds out that Cora was lying about the school board meeting. Officer Ron Miglioriti gives her a ride home, and they talk about the Hallets. He seems nice, but he wants to talk to Rynn’s father, who isn’t home. She buys a couple of raffle tickets for a turkey from him, and he warns her about Frank.
Cora comes over again and threatens Rynn, saying she’ll throw them out, but Rynn isn’t playing her game. Cora doesn’t believe Rynn’s father is there, and Rynn threatens to tell her father about Cora’s son. Cora insists on going into the cellar for the jelly glasses and screams. She hits her head on the door on the way back up, and then she’s quiet. Yep, she’s dead.
Rynn gets Cora’s car keys from the body but can’t start the car. Mario, a teenager dressed like a magician, stops and offers to help. He knows whose car it is. She makes him dinner after he helps with the car. He gives her points on disposing of the car and the keys.
Officer Ron turns out to be Mario’s uncle, and he stops over while searching for Cora. Rynn shows him the jelly glasses, still there waiting for Cora to pick them up. Soon after, Frank forces his way inside. He demands to know where Rynn’s father is, and then he burns Rynn’s hamster with a cigarette before throwing it into the fire. He’s obnoxious and bossy and argues with both kids. Mario actually runs him off with a sword.
Rynn takes Mario down into the cellar and shows him Cora’s and her mother’s bodies. She explains that her father was dying from an illness. He knew he was dying, so he set up everything for her to survive on her own without him before walking out into the ocean and disappearing. When her estranged mother showed up, Rynn poisoned her tea.
The next day, Mario helps Rynn bury the bodies in the yard. It rains, and he gets the shivers, so she gives him a hot bath and Father’s pajamas. She cuddles up with him to help him get warm.
Officer Ron comes by and admits that he doesn’t believe Rynn’s story about her father. She says that poets are flaky, and dad’s possibly an addict, but he’s real, and he’s up there. She calls her father, who comes downstairs and offers to sign one of his books for the officer. Ron believes it all, but we realize that it’s just Mario in a disguise. Rynn then goes upstairs and has sex with Mario.
Officer Ron comes by a few days later and tells her that Mario’s in the hospital with pneumonia. He’s delirious and talking out loud about Rynn. She goes to the hospital, but he’s unconscious the whole time.
Rynn goes back home afterward, and we see that Frank is hiding inside the house, dressed like a magician to make the neighbors think he’s Mario. He’s found a little evidence in the cellar, so he thinks he knows everything. She offers to make him some tea. Ron calls on the phone to tell Rynn that she won the turkey raffle; she doesn’t let on that Frank is there with her.
He offers to keep her secret if he can come around regularly and be “friends" with her. They eat cookies awkwardly, and they drink their tea. He takes her teacup, just in case, so he switches cups. She drinks it right down, so he follows suit. Then he starts to cough and look a little sick. Yeah, she did…
People in this town have never heard of knocking at the door, nor do they ever lock their doors. Weird place.
It starts going one way, but then it goes in a different direction very quickly. I was expecting her to be kidnapped and raped by Frank after the first scene, but that’s not at all how it went.
This was Jodie Foster’s first starring role in a feature film, although she’d done a ton of supporting roles and TV work before this. She was only 13 at the time, and even though she had a body double for the nude scenes, she was always embarrassed by the film because people thought that was really her. Martin Sheen is a super-creeper here; I’m surprised he ever got any “good guy” roles after this.
The burning of the hamster was real, but it was supposedly already dead and procured from an animal research facility for use in the film.
The Devil Bat (1940)
Directed by Jean Yarbrough
Written by John T. Neville, George Bricker
Stars Bela Lugosi, Suzanne Kaaren, Dave O’Brien, Guy Usher
Run Time: 1 Hour, 8 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
It’s dated, the acting is inconsistent, the story is silly, the effects are awful, and yet it still manages to be a fun watch. And it’s short at just over an hour. If you’d like to see Bela Lugosi trying his hand and something other than Dracula, this is a good one to check out. And he looks like he’s having a lot of fun with it.
Dr. Paul Carruthers is a beloved village doctor, but they never knew about his terrifying secret experiments. We see him mix up some stuff in the lab and then open a secret door, where he talks to a huge pet bat about glandular injections. He’s been giving the bat electroshock treatment. He throws the switch, and the bat starts to grow. He’s trained the bat to attack when a certain fragrance is present.
Don Morton and Martin Heath call and invite Paul to dinner; he is going to be presented with a bonus check for $5,000, but he doesn’t know that. Paul forgets to go to the party, but they send Roy over there with the check. Paul shows Roy some of his new “cologne,” and insists that Roy put some on. We see that Paul resents “the company'' for taking advantage of him all these years. He releases the giant bat, trained to home in on that scent.
Meanwhile, Don and Mary discuss announcing their engagement. They see Roy attacked, but they don’t know what did it. Dr. Paul arrives later and pronounces Roy dead from a wild animal attack.
At the newspaper, Johnny Layton gets assigned to investigate the mysterious death. He says that Martin Heath owns a huge cosmetic and fragrance empire– who killed his son? They all seem to assume the wild animal attack was really a murder. They found some mouse hairs on the body, but how did that happen? “A bat has hair like a mouse,” says Layton.
Layton goes to see Mary and Dr. Paul.
Paul offers some “lotion” to Tommy Heath, Martin’s surviving son. Not long after, there’s another bat attack. Tommy comes to see Layton and Mary in the park. He leaves, and they all hear his screams. They all see the “devil bat” this time.
The next night, Don Morton, Henry’s son, is killed. “One-Shot” McGuire, Layton’s photographer, starts faking photos of a giant bat, but the sheriff shoots it. Layton finds Don Morton’s aftershave, which smells like the other two murder victims.
Radio pundits discuss whether McGuire’s photo is even real. Layton’s boss calls and fires both of them. Now everyone knows the devil bat is fake news.
Layton suspects Dr. Paul Carruthers; he sold out for cash, but Morton and Heath got really, really rich without him. Layton and the sheriff ask Paul to analyze the aftershave. Paul admits that he developed the scent himself; it’s something he ran into in Tibet. He says the dead boys were just testing his formula. Paul says he believes there is such a thing as the devil bat and he kindly offers his shaving lotion to both Layton and the sheriff. The sheriff declines, but Layton takes some. “Good-bye,” says Paul.
Layton doesn’t like the smell of the aftershave, but McGuire loves it. The bat comes and tracks McGuire– Layton shoots it half a dozen times. There’s a lot of speculation as to where the giant bat came from.
Paul sets about growing a new bat.
At Heath Cosmetics, Paul offers Morton some aftershave. Paul insists that the old man try it, and he does. Morton says they’ve made more than a million dollars this year, and they only paid ten thousand dollars to Paul. Paul gloats and almost spills the beans about what he’s done.
Morton suspects that Paul may be behind the murders, and he wants to meet with Heath and the sheriff.
Paul goes to the sheriff and Heath first. They hear Morton outside, and he’s been bitten. The “Devil Bat’s Mate” gets the blame.
Layton wonders why only people connected to Heath Cosmetics have been attacked. Mary Heath wonders why her perfume smells different than it used to. The bat comes for her, but it can’t get in through the window. She explains about her evening, including the new perfume, to Layton.
Layton calls Paul to come over and treat Mary while he checks out Paul’s laboratory. When Paul returns, Layton follows him into the secret room where the bat lives. He sees everything.
Layton knocks on the door and asks Paul for some more of that aftershave, which he happily offers. Layton’s figured out everything and plans to shoot the devil bat when it comes for him. Paul offers to accompany him and be a witness.
Layton splashes Paul with a bunch of aftershaves and then holds him at gunpoint to see what happens. Paul and Layton fight over the gun, but Paul gets away.
The bat kills Paul before he can get back home. It also goes after Mary, but Layton shoots it.
Layton has a comic sidekick, “One-Shot” McGuire, and he’s awful. The acting and dialog in this is truly atrocious, but it moves fast enough that it doesn’t get boring. The bat is, of course, a prop on a string, and it won’t fool anyone. Still, Lugosi’s fun, and he chews the scenery in every scene.
It’s cheesy and absolutely predictable but still entertaining.
AKA “Los Cronocrimenes”
Directed by Nacho Vigalondo
Written by Nacho Vigalondo
Stars Karra Elejalde, Candela Fernandex, Barbara Geonaga
Run Time: 1 Hour, 32 Minutes
Spoiler-Free Judgment Zone
A clever script is a high point of this one. Time travel can get complicated and then more complicated. It’s pretty low budget and more of a science fiction thriller than strictly horror, but it was worth the watch to see where things end up.
A car drives back from town and we see things scattered on the pavement as his purchases fall out of the back of the car. Hector calls for Clara to help pick up all the stuff. He goes inside to lie down for a while.
He gets a scratchy-sounding telephone call. When he calls back, the voice says it’s a restricted number. Hector spends a lot of time watching the woods in his binoculars. There’s a topless girl out there.
Clara goes to the store, so he goes exploring in the woods to see if he can find the girl. He finds her unconscious or asleep, but as he approaches, someone stabs him in the arm with scissors. It’s a man with a bandage-covered face.
Hector goes to a distant neighbor’s house and breaks in. It’s not just a house; there’s a big medical lab inside. He cleans up his wound and looks around. There’s a room with a bunch of humming electronics. He finds a radio and talks to a man who says he will call the police but can’t get an outside line. The voice tells Hector where to go, and he follows the path.
He gets to the silo on the hill and the younger man lets him inside to hide from the bandaged man. The young man points to a big round thing in the middle of the room and says to hide in there. The lid on the chamber closes and then reopens– except now it’s daytime. The young man has no idea who Hector is or why he came out of the machine. Hector doesn’t answer any of his questions.
Hector, who still has his binoculars, watches himself and Clara from earlier in the day. The machine has made Hector travel backward in time, but only for a few hours. The young man explains things to Hector and says all he has to do is wait. Hector 1 got into the machine and became Hector 2, so he has to hide until nightfall.
Hector finds a phone and calls “himself.” The slightly-younger Hector answers, and we’ve seen this before from the other viewpoint. Hector clearly doesn’t understand all this time-travel stuff, which annoys the young scientist who tells him to just lie low until dark.
Hector takes the man’s car and drives home. He passes the girl he saw in the woods alive on her bicycle, heading toward the woods. He stops to look, and some other car rear-ends him. He’s got a pretty serious cut on his face. He takes some of the bandages from his wounded arm and wraps it around his head.
He talks to the girl, who goes off to call an ambulance. She helps him with the bandages, and he steals her scissors. She runs off, and he chases her. He makes her take off her shirt and pants, so she looks like she did before. They both roll down a hill, and she gets knocked out. He poses her in the place he saw her before just as the younger Hector stumbles onto the scene and finds her.
Bandaged Hector jumps out of the bushes and stabs the original Hector in the arm. The younger version runs away, with the older version in pursuit. It all plays out like before except from the other version’s point of view. Bandaged-Hector finds that the “dead” girl in the woods wasn’t really dead– she ran off.
Hector 2 goes back to his own home and chases the girl around. He accidentally kills her again– no, that’s Clara, returned from shopping. He’s accidentally killed his own wife.
Hector 2 gets on the radio and calls the scientist on the radio and drives over there. He arrives just as Hector 1 gets into the time machine. Hector 2 wants to go back again and fix what went wrong. The scientist removes one of the batteries and hides it outside to disable the machine. He admits that he knows more than he’s been telling, because Hector 3 told him not to. Hector 3 showed up in the time machine before Hector 2 did, and the scientist lied about it. Hector 3 told him to stop Hector 2 at all costs.
They hear police cars approaching, so Hector 2 gets into the machine. Hector 3 gets out of the machine just 30 seconds before Hector 2 comes out of the tank. As the scientist explains things to Hector 2, Hector 3 drives back to his house.
Hector 2 steals the scientist’s car, and Hector 3 follows in a truck. When Hector 2 stops to see the girl, it’s Hector 3 who runs him off the road. Except he runs himself off the road too, injuring himself badly. He calls the scientist and warns him to keep Hector 2 out of the machine at all costs.
H3 finds the girl in the woods and tells her that they’re both running from the man with the bandaged face. They both head toward Hector’s house. Clara walks in and wonders what happened to his face. He puts up a ladder and tells Clara to hide. He goes upstairs and dresses the girl in Clara’s clothes. He even cuts her hair similarly. He tells her where to go, but he knows what’s going to happen to her.
She runs out, and Hector 2 pulls her off the roof like before. It wasn’t Clara’s dead body he saw, it was the girl’s. Hector 3 takes Clara out to their backyard and they sit and wait for everything to clear up. Hector 2 kills the girl and heads back to the scientist’s place as he did before.
It all worked out fine, except for the dead girl.
Dubbing can make even mediocre dialog sound atrocious. I had seen this when it first came out and completely forgot all of it.
Once he put the bandages on, we think we know where it’s all headed, but there was a lot more to it than that.
The gore and makeup effects are good, but there’s no special effects to speak of. It’s a fairly low-budget film, but it really works well.
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