Sunday, May 15, 2011

Descent into the Mill Creek Inferno: 9 Circles of Drive-In Hell


Those of you who are familiar with Mill Creek Entertainment's multiple-movie DVD boxed sets will know what I mean when I say that watching them is pretty much the cinematic equivalent of descending into a fiery pit of doomed sinners. I don't know where Mill Creek finds these films exactly, but the company's specality is taking low-budget flicks that have fallen into the public domain and rounding them up into massive (yet quite affordable) collections with names like Chilling Classics. Pretty much anywhere DVDs are sold, you're likely to find a bargain bin with Mill Creek sets, sometimes grouped by theme or genre (sci-fi, Westerns, horror). The movies themselves are often highly dubious in quality and the transfers range from acceptable to horrendous, but these are the risks you are taking when you buy cinema in bulk.

Recently while grocery shopping, I found a bin of bargain DVDs including some Mill Creek sets. I knew I could not resist their siren song, so I settled on one called Drive-In Cult Classics: 32 Movie Collection. It contained a handful of movies I'd seen and mostly hated, but the vast majority were new to me and at $10 (or about 31 cents per flick) the price was certainly right. Besides, with the TV season ending, I was looking for a summer movie reviewing project.

But how to attack a set like this? I decided to base the project on the depiction of Hell in Dante's Inferno. What does this mean? Well, Dante divided his version of Hell into nine different layers or circles, each lower than the last depending on the severity of the sins. As one descends from one circle to the next, one comes closer to Satan himself who resides in the Ninth Circle. So I took the 32 films in the Mill Creek set and divided them into nine different circles depending on their current user ratings on the Internet Movie Database. I will be watching the films in descending order of IMDb scores, with the absolute worst coming at the very end.

Here is a chart of how the project will progress.

FIRST CIRCLE: LIMBO
(IMDb ratings 5.5 to 5.4)

Separate Ways (1981)
The Babysitter (1969)
Carnival of Crime (1962)

SECOND CIRCLE: LUST
 (IMDb ratings 5.3 to 5.0)

Van Nuys Blvd. (1979)
The Pom Pom Girls (1976)
The Sister-in-Law (1974)
The Teacher (1974)

THIRD CIRCLE: GLUTTONY
(IMDb ratings 4.9 to 4.8)

Blue Money (1972)
Pick-up (1975)
Best Friends (1975)
Pink Angels (1976)

FOURTH CIRCLE: AVARICE AND PRODIGALITY
(IMDb ratings 4.7 to 4.4)

Malibu High (1979)
Double Exposure (1983)
The Devil's Hand (1962)
Hot Target (1985)

FIFTH CIRCLE: WRATH AND SULLENNESS
(IMDb rating 4.3)

Malibu Beach (1978)
Single Room Furnished (1968)
Cindy and Donna (1970)

SIXTH CIRCLE: HERESY
(IMDb ratings 4.2 to 4.0)

Terrified (1963)
The Hearse (1980)
Land of the Minotaur (1976)
The Stepmother (1972)

SEVENTH CIRCLE: VIOLENCE
(IMDb ratings 3.7 to 3.1)

Lurkers (1988)
Night Club (1989)
Trip With the Teacher (1975)
Blood Mania (1970)

EIGHTH CIRCLE: FRAUD
(IMDb ratings 2.7 to 2.1)

Bloodlust! (1961)
Madmen of Mandoras (1963)
Click: the Calendar Girl Killer (1990)
They Saved Hitler's Brain (1968)

NINTH CIRCLE: TREACHERY
(IMDb rating 1.9)

The Creeping Terror (1964)
Weekend With the Babysitter (1970)

I hope you will join me on my journey over the coming weeks as I descend further and further into the Mill Creek Inferno. Either way, I hope you will pray for me.

1 comment:

  1. Hello, my dear friends.

    Ongoing computer woes prevent me from updating this blog, but I *have* watched the first three movies and look forward to sharing my thoughts on them with you.

    WK

    ReplyDelete