Bored this Halloween? Well, here’s a mini B-Movie horror marathon to sink your fangs into.
One of the last blaxploitation films committed to celluloid, Def By Temptation is a shoe-string budgeted horror-comedy starring a School Daze cast reunion of James Bond III, Kadeem Hardison, and Bill Nunn (with a convincing Cynthia Bond as a mean-tempered succubus holding her own). A tale of good vs. evil set mostly in Brooklyn, NY, the film is equally steeped in religious and erotic overtones (an argument could be made this whole thing is an AIDS allegory), and presented in a perpetual, foggy dream state (one of the movie’s influences seems to be Ganja & Hess from 1973). If you can appreciate the funky, off-beat vibe, then you might like this one. Also of note: Samuel L. Jackson appears briefly as a preacher man, as does Melba Moore and Mr. Freddie Jackson. (Also recommended to sneaker heads is the scene starting at the 37:17 mark.)
The Borrower is an overlooked sci-fi horror joint from the director of the powerful Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1986). Whereas Henry was deadly serious, here we get a good ol’ fashioned B-movie not afraid to laugh at itself, and which will most likely remind viewers of the 1987 cult classic The Hidden . It revolves around a space alien disguised in human form who has been banished from its home planet and sent to Earth as punishment. There’s plenty of gruesome special effects and is held together by good pacing and a cast that includes the great Antonio Fargas, Rae Dawn Chong, and Henry co-star Tom Towles (R.I.P.) (also peep the pretty Mädchen Amick of Twin Peaks fame in a small role). As a bonus, look and listen for Henry easter eggs.
The less you know about Full Eclipse , an underrated, genre-defying cable TV effort from the early ‘90s, before watching it, the more you’ll probably enjoy it (although there’s enough clues provided early on to figure out what’s going on). Having said that, if you do want a hint of what the story is about, here it goes… imagine a mix of X-Men , Cat People , and Magnum Force , and you get an idea of what to expect. Mario Van Peebles does a good job in the lead role and the whole movie has a pretty slick feel to it, which will make you forgive a few corny lines of dialog. If you can just shut your mind off and go with it, it’s a fun ride. (Oh, and be on the watch for Dean Norris, Breaking Bad 's Hank Schrader, who seems to play a cop in every thing he's ever been)
So for all you folks who enjoy those dusty, mom ’n’ pop video store shelf oddities, enjoy your Halloween.
Def By Temptation (1990).
Directed by James Bond III. Shot by Ernest Dickerson.
The Borrower (1989).
Directed by John McNaughton
Full Eclipse (1993).
Directed by Anthony Hickox
(Props to Ricky Anderson, TheBN1soldier, Alex GR-suri for the uploads)