Worst Laid Plans Review

Worst Laid Plans: An Anthology of Vacation Horror

Various Authors


* Review copy provided by Grindhouse Press via Samantha Kolesnik*


Worst Laid Plans, as stated in the title, is an anthology of short horror stories, each written by a different author and edited by Samantha Kolesnik with a foreword by Sadie Hartmann.  While they take place in different spots around the globe, they all revolve around one central theme:  vacation.   The fourteen stories featured in the collection take you through a multitude of areas involving the supernatural and the weird, as well as good old fashioned serial murder and, yes, dolphin sex.  No pieces are the same, and they all produce their own feel, as well as set a scene specific to the story, however weird they may end up.

The book works very well when it hits the ground running.  The stories featured keep the pages to a minimum for the most part, all of which staying well under twenty.  This works to its advantage in the grand scheme, although some of them seemed a bit long still.

A perfect example of a short bang is the book’s opener, “You’ve Been Saved” by S. E. Howard.   Howard’s addition involves two friends following an RV driven by an older couple, who’ve appeared to have kidnapped a younger woman.  The dialogue works well, if a little sappy at times, but the characters are engaging enough to keep you hooked until the twist.  Side note:  The classic Frasier episode where Niles gets trapped in an ammo wielding couple’s RV set the mental picture for Bill and Libby.

A few tales did feel a tad long in the tooth, as the writer(s) seemed overly wrapped up in character development, realizing in the last couple of pages that their time was coming to an end.  This led to an abundance of things happening in such a quick succession that it became overwhelming, feeling rushed.  For most of these inclusions that, too worked out, though as a slap in the face was just what I needed to keep moving along.

One example of this is “Peelings” by Kenzie Jennings.  It is written well, overall, and follows a four-piece family during their trip to the “happiest place on earth”.  It flows nicely, and the characters are believable.  The pacing was a bit of a slog for me, resulting in too much of a buildup, although the payoff is a decent one.

On the flip side of that particular coin, the majority of stories in the collection zipped by before I knew it, keeping me engaged the entire time.  My favorite instance of this is “Deep in the Heart” by Waylon Jordan, a tale about a small family on a cave tour in Texas.  The scene is laid out perfectly, the dialogue is absolutely believable, and the story arc is quick and to the point.  It’s the right amount of bloody, and doesn’t spend too much time on the characters, resulting in my favorite selection from the collection.

The second feature, “Summers with Annie” by Greg Sisco, is nothing like anything else in the book.  The plot takes you to an island in the 1930s and 40s, and centers around a boy struggling with the idea of a movie that potentially steals the people he loves.  It’s sad, but also heartwarming at the same time, because you want the boy to be happy, but you’re not sure if that’s going to happen or not.  A perfect contrast to the bloody monsters found throughout the rest of the pages.

Speaking of bloody monsters, one that I didn’t particularly enjoy was “The Cucuy of Cancun” by V. Castro.  In this, an ancient creature in the form of a pretty lady preys on tourists at a hotel.  The premise is sound.  Creature feature.  That’s my favorite type.  With that in mind, however, this did not click with me as much as it should have.  I felt Castro put too much emphasis on vulgarity and curse words, when they just simply didn’t need to be there.  I’m not one to oppose the use of earthy language by most means, but it distracted from what could have been a high point in my time with the book.

Despite this, Worst Laid Plans does keep you engaged and entranced throughout.  Along with the stories I’ve mentioned above, you’ll find yourself wondering what sort of people have sex in crocodile suits, who that lady in the shower is, and what the hell kind of shortcut did Mike just find in the Badlands.  Every story is uniquely different, and most are very well written.  If you’re a fan of short stories and horror, you will not be disappointed.

“…Full Moon today…yep.”

I took a break from gaming and my 90s monster movie search, only to come across…even more monster movies from the 90s! Amester and I discovered the Full Moon channel on Amazon Prime…my God. It’s something to behold, indeed. We spent the weekend rolling thru the catalog.

Bad Channels (1992)

Amy: Not sure

Chris: Watch?

Holy crap. This is weird. Blue Öyster Cult is weird. I feel weird now. It’s up there with TerrorVision, and I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. It may be brilliant…

Seedpeople (1992)

Amy: Watch

Chris: Watch

Body Snatchers meets Critters. Although interesting, it lacks a sure-fire element that would send it to my own personal favs list: Bo Hopkins. Sam Hennings gives it the ol’ college try, but still ends up a poor man’s Mumblin’ Bo who moonlights as a MacGyver impersonator. Chances are, you’re going to be asking yourself, ” what in the ding dong heckamadoodle hell did I just watch?”

Dollman (1991)

Chris: Watch.

I’d like to say it’s a good fun-bad movie, but it’s actually a lot better than it should be. It’s still a dumb Sci-Fi/action movie, but ends up being a lot of fun, and sports a good early 90s soundtrack. Is he tiny, or are we giants? Maybe they’ll answer that in one of the many sequels.

Trancers (1984)


I very much enjoyed my time with this one, and after DM and Trancers, I definitely consider myself a Tim Thomerson fan. The actors all gave pretty stellar performances, including a young Helen Hunt. The music was fitting, and the sets were on par.

Doctor Mordrid (1992)

Amy: Watch

Chris: Watch

Dr. Strange’s little brother, Jeffrey Combs, runs around being a 90s movie. Not really, but it works.

Demonic Toys (1992)

Amy: Watch

Chris: Watch

Definitely a decent fun-bad. Child’s Play meets Puppetmaster.

Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama (1988)

Amy: Skip

Chris: Skip

The premise is just ridiculous enough to work as a spiritual sequel to Chopping Mall, but it just doesn’t pull it off. The acting is so bad, even Uncle Impy can’t save this one.

Lurking Fear (1994)

Not sure. I think I fell asleep…or I was drunk. I don’t remember it at all.

Okie dokie folks! Week trial is over. I highly suggest you check that company out. I had a blast watching all of them this last week.

Movies 3: The Couch Strikes Back

It’s October again! You know what that means? Movies! Woo hoo!! See what Amy & I have been watching, and have a gander at our impressions below! Don’t forget to check back, as we’ll be adding to it throughout the month!



The Mutilator a.k.a. Fall Break (1984)


A group of college kids vacation in a beach house owned by the lead actor’s killer father.  You can guess where it goes from there.  The acting is unbelievably awful.  The opening theme music scene is worth watching all by itself, though.  For a few minutes, I thought I was watching an 80s sitcom.  I had to watch it twice, just to make sure I wasn’t dreaming.

Chris: Watch once

Amy: Watching Bates Motel in the other room




Mutant (1984)


The (in my mind) spiritual prequel to Nightmare at Noon, starring Wings Hauser and Mumblin’ Bo Hopkins.  Wings and his brother get stranded in a small Georgia town being overrun by toxic zombies.  Enter Hopkins, the American treasure.  It’s up to Wings, Bo, and  the bartender/school teacher Holly (Jody Medford) to survive the night.

Chris: Watch now

Amy: Watch



Tucker and Dale VS Evil (2010)


Good and campy, with very good performances by Tudyk and Labine.  I was expecting a more supernatural presence, but enjoyed it just the same.

Chris: Watch

Amy: Watch


DeepStar Six (1989)


Scientists inhabiting an underwater nuclear missile site unearth an ancient monster (whom you don’t see until over an hour into the 90ish minute movie)…

Chris: Skip

Amy: Skip


Dolls (1987)


A varied group of people get stranded in a doll maker’s creepy mansion overnight during a storm.  No big deal, right? Well, the dolls are alive.  And murderous.  Go now.

Chris: Watch

Amy: “Everybody should watch it once.”


Motel Hell (1980)


Goofy movie about a motel ran by a “farmers”…people farmers! Ha! Watch out for Cliff from Cheers.  The soundtrack is…killing me…I’m so sorry…

Chris: Watch

Amy: “Everybody should try to watch it once.”


Slumber Party Massacre (1982)

Pretty straight forward slasher fun. Decent atmosphere, shameless nudity, and an escaped maniac with a cordless drill amounts to some pretty good kills.

Chris: Watch

Amy: Undecided


Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers (1988)

The second hatch’ted installment in the Sleepaway Camp series, and starring two sisters of famous people! Yep, you guessed it: Bruce Springsteen’s sister Pamela, and Renée Estevez (sister to Charlie Sheen and Emillio Estevez)…wait, you didn’t guess that?

Chris: Watch

Amy: Watch



Sleepaway Camp 3: Teenage Wasteland (1989)

Springsteen amped up the kookiness and creativity in this sequel.

Chris: Watch

Amy: Watch



Halloween (2018)

Nailed it. It had the atmosphere, suspense, nods to the OGs, and great kills. Also, let’s not forget Jamie Lee Curtis.

Chris: Watch

Amy: Watch



The Nun (2018)

Creepy as shit. A good installment to the Conjuring franchise.

Chris: Watch

Amy: Watch



976-EVIL 2 (1991)

Amy hadn’t seen it. Had to be done. She wasn’t amused.

Chris: Watch

Amy: Skip



The Dead Pit (1989)

Dr. Giggles’s older brother, Dr. Zombies runs around experimenting on people in a mental institution.

Chris: Skip

Amy: Skip



Pumpkinhead (1988)

Still a classic. LH is a little over the top though.

Chris: Watch

Amy: Watch



Winchester (2018)

Not bad, but very slow in parts. The house was very cool, though. Patience required.

Chris: Skip

Amy: Skip



Scarecrows (1988)

No clue. I fell asleep 10 minutes in. Amy was in the other room watching The 100. I think I saw a scarecrow before I fell out…



Stay tuned for more flicks, Corner Folk. We’re always watching something.


Scream 3 (2000)


I just really like these movies, and this one had me guessing Ghostface’s identity until the final reveal.




Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)


For Donald Pleasance, if nothing else.  Damn, I love watching him freak out and scream.

“Nyoooooooowe!  HE’S PURE EVIL!!”

He’s seriously become one of my favorite actors.




Terror Train (1980)


It’s basically Prom Night on a train…right down to the leading actress, Jamie Lee Curtis.  That’s good enough from me.  I’d love to see what the Blu-ray looks like.




The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)


Tobe Hooper’s film based (loosely) on Ed Gein, is weird as shit.  So much screaming, and nutty looks, even I was begging Leatherface to chop them up.  Still, I believe it’s worth a watch.




House on Pine Street (2015)


It had a couple of decent moments, but overall, pretty forgettable (they really phoned in that ending.)  That’s actually exactly what happened.  Amy and I watched this the other day, and I walked right by the PC without even considering putting it on the site, because it was already out of my mind.  It only just occurred to me that I’d seen the movie…so, here you go.




Cult of Chucky (2017)


Good old crazy serial killer doll fun.  I really enjoyed it.  Also, Fiona Dourif is the spitting image of her father, Brad Dourif (the voice of Chucky).  I mean, holy shit.




The Babysitter (2017)


It’s kind of stupid, kind of good.  Some parts felt like they were trying just a bit too hard to be self-aware and over the top by going out of their way to show you that’s what they were trying to do.  On the other hand, some parts felt rightly done.  The blood and gore was nice, and the dark tones were welcomed, but overall they just balanced each other out.  All in all, mediocre.




Dr. Giggles (1996)


Absolutely full of great quips and ridiculousness. I really don’t know why this movie isn’t a cult favorite. Stars Mark from Roseanne and Piper from Charmed.




The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)


Weird as shit, and had me captivated.  Cheesy enough to keep me laid back, but tense enough to edge me closer to the end of the couch.  Thanks for the heads up, Bob.




The ‘Burbs (1989)


Another one of my all-time favorites.  Wonderful cast, writing, setting, and directing.  This is a must buy on Blu-ray or DVD.




Shocker (1989)


Criticized for being too derivative of earlier works (Nightmare on Elm Street), this one didn’t do too well.  Well, screw that.  Yeah, it has the same feel, but that’s a good thing.  We like to think it’s in the same universe.  However you look at it, it’s worth watching.  It’s good and goofy, and screams (ha!) 1989 Wes Craven.




Ghoulies (1984)


Some weirdo makes little demonic hand puppets….er, uh…creatures run around a mansion and kill a bunch of dipshits.  Why are you still reading this?  Watch immediately, please.




OK, folks…I have a confession…I got re-hooked on Supernatural.  I’ve been binging it on Netflix, and haven’t really watched any movies…The show’s just so damned good.  It’s witty, gory, sexy, and clever…I’m on season 3 now.





Halloween H20: Twenty Years Later (1998)


If you can get past Josh Hartnett’s hair, that is.




Halloween: Resurrection (2002)


Even Jamie Lee looked ready to end it.  It’s just bad.  Even though the overall concept is good (live internet feed from the Myers house on Halloween night, with cameras controlled by the audience at home), it’s not pulled off very well.  Also, the acting is terrible (Busta Rhymes may be the best actor in it, since Jamie Lee apparently checked out).  There are boobs, though…so there’s that.




Hatchet II & III (2010 & 2013)


Just a bunch of fun, old over the top gore.  I really like the swamp setting, and Kane Hodder’s always great.  Stoked for Victor Crowley.




The Wolf Man (1941)


 A bit dramatic in parts, but still very good.  Awesome sets.




Frankenstein (1931)


I’ve only seen three of the original Universal monster movies, but this is my favorite so far.  I was concerned it would be slow, and I’d lose interest, but that wasn’t the case at all.  Karloff was a genius.




The Mummy (1932)


Again, Karloff is wonderful.  Very different flick than I was expecting.  I figured Boris would just be chasing people around in rags the whole time.  Not the case.  It actually had some depth, and some damn good special effects for 1932.




Roseanne Tricks & Treats (1988 – )



One of the best sitcoms ever made.  Period.  It’s a fantastic show that accurately depicts blue collar life in the 80s and 90s.  Then you throw in the over the top Halloween episodes?  Sold.




The Wolfman (2010)


This is my favorite werewolf creature to date.  Just cool as hell.  The way he moves, snarls, growls and howls is simply amazing.




The Conjuring (2013)


Just a damn good ghost movie.  When it was released, it was the best horror movie I’d seen in a while.  Hell, it’s still up there.  Scares the shit out of me every time, I’m not ashamed to admit.




John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978)


I know I already put this in the September post, but tonight’s Halloween.  Had to be done.  Plus it’s just really damn good.


That’s all for October, kiddos…thanks for tuning in.  See you next month! Same Cold Castle time…same Cold Castle channel!


Halloween 1-4 (1978-1988)


Grab the Scream Factory set if you can. The remastering is stellar, and they’re all there.  The original is my favorite.  Very well done.




Friday the 13th (1980-2003)

(all except Jason X and the remake. Those are on the way.)


My favorite slasher series from day one.  I hold Jason Goes to Hell the most dear (first one I saw new to VHS), but they’re all entertaining. Part 3 had a KILLER (sorry) soundtrack.




Ghost Ship (2002)


It started off OK, but fell flat pretty quick. It was a bit too long, and I simply don’t see the cult fascination with it.




From Beyond (1986)


From the makers of Re-Animator, Jeffrey Combs shines again in this weird tale of a creature crossing dimensions and being gross.  Loved it.




They Live (1988)


Another Carpenter gem.  Plain and simple.  Reminiscent of The Twilight Zone, it had me hooked from start to finish.  Put on the glasses and watch immediately.




The Thing from Another World (1951)


Inspiration for Carpenter’s The Thing, and starring James Arness as the creature.  It’s fun to compare.




The Thing (2011)


Pretty well made prequel to Carpenter’s Thing.  They definitely did their homework, right down to the Norwegian camp.  Tip:  Stick around for the credits.




The Thing (1982)






The Monster (2016)


Boring, depressing, I hated the characters, and the monster sucked.  Ella Ballentine’s performance was very good, however.  Still not worth your time, though.




Evil Dead (1981)


Sam Raimi’s original classic still holds up.  Come for Bruce under a bookshelf, stay for the old-fangled gore.




TerrorVision (1986)


I’m not sure what I just saw…it was either magnificent, or utter garbage. I don’t know, man…holy shit.




The Fog (1980)


Real good, if a bit slow in parts. Carpenter and Curtis is always a good combo, though.




House (1985) & House II: The Second Story (1987)


Campy and confident. My kind of movie(s).  Part 1 is definitely the better of the two, with a great performance from William Katt.  Co-starring Bull from Night Court and Norm from Cheers. Sold.




Leviathan (1989)


Peter Weller Sci-Fi flick.  I’ve seen it billed as, “Alien underwater”, and it’s not far off from that, really.  This one sneaked by me for 30 years, and was a happy surprise when Amy and I stumbled on it.




Sleepaway Camp (1983)


I rented this twice on VHS from Aardvark Video when I was a kid.  Hadn’t watched it since, but always considered it a staple in my personal collection of favorites.  Recently, I picked up the Scream Factory Blu-ray on the cheap, and was happy to discover that the movie still holds up.  Scream Factory does good work.  I remember watching the VHS on an old tube TV, and thinking it was blurry.  The SF edition is just shy of crystal clear, and the sound is fantastic.




Escape from New York (1981)


Snake’s a bad ass.  Another great John Carpenter flick with a great score.




Prince of Darkness (1987)


I know you’re tired of hearing about John Carpenter.  Well, I’m not, but I’ll give you a break.  Just watch his movies.




The Pyramid (2014)


I watched it so you didn’t have to.  You’re welcome…but you owe me.  The monster looks like an mid-90s made-for-TV special, despite being released in 2014.  Just don’t.




Child’s Play (1988)


One of the great, off-the-wall slashers.  A vulgar little red-headed doll in overalls chasing people around with a kitchen knife.  Ummm….yep.   Put it on.




Lifeforce (1985)


My favorite Tobe Hooper film I’ve seen so far.  Great special effects with a throwback feel.  Also, there’s a whole bunch of nudity.




Chopping Mall (1986)


This one’s pretty fun.  A bunch of kids get locked in a mall overnight with killer robots. 80s blood, nudity, and acting just good enough to squeak by.




An American Werewolf in London (1981)


Very cool special effects (can you tell I’m a sucker for old-school FX?), a good amount of humor, and cool setting.  That being said, I still don’t think it should be in the COMEDY section on Amazon Prime Video.




John Carpenter Presents: Body Bags (1993)



Originally presented by Showtime, this three-part horror anthology features stories directed by Carpenter (who also hosts) and Hooper set in the same world as the Halloween series (Haddonfield, IL is referenced in the first story.) I caught this on late one night in ’93 or ’94, and it may have been my first look into the minds of John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper.




Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988)


Might as well.  It’s just what you think it is.




Fright Night (1985)


Fun vampire movie.  Makes me long for the days of traditional cable TV and all-night monster movie marathons.  Great cast and setting, plus look at that movie poster!




976-EVIL 1 & 2 (1988 & 1991)


IMDB nailed it:  “People who dial 976-EVIL receive supernatural powers and turn into satanic killers.” Yep.  You could probably SKIP part one, although it’s directed by Robert Englund.  Part two is more fun, but if you have to watch One for Two, so be it.




Invaders From Mars (1986)


Not the best Hooper flick, but still watchable.  Cheesy acting with some pretty cool sets, and fun aliens.  Keep a sharp eye out for a cameo from Lifeforce.




Phantasm: Remastered (1979/2016)

Not bad. I felt parts were strangely edited and acted, and it had trouble keeping my attention in some spots. However, I was a tad distracted by other technology, so I’m very much to blame, too. It’s most definitely good enough to warrant marathoning the first three or four, which is what I plan to do when I have the opportunity.




Jaws (1975)


Giant shark terrorizing a beach community…still holds up.




Night of the Creeps (1985)


Goofy and fun, with some decent attempts at one-liners.  Perhaps (at least a bit of) an inspiration for Slither?




Screamers (1995)



90s futuristic Sci-Fi starring Peter Weller and underground killer robots on another planet.  Do you need more?




The Blob (1988)


Entertaining as hell, it’s gory and gross with some decent acting.  It’s also full of action, complete with more than a couple, “OH SHIT!” moments.  Wonderful special effects that blend (then) modern looking visuals with those reminiscent of the 50s.




Wishmaster (1997)


Pretty decent late 90s horror movie about an evil genie.  Andrew Divoff is creepy as hell, even if a bit over the top.  Watch for cameos by Kane Hodder, Tony Todd and Ted Raimi.




Hellraiser (1987)


So-so.  It was ok, but I don’t understand why it’s a horror movie must, honestly.  I understand that for it’s time, it was weird, creepy and unnerving, so I’m not comparing it to modern shock horror.  I just found it boring.




Haunted Honeymoon (1986)


A throwback to old time radio programs, this murder/mystery/comedy is written by and starring the director, the wonderful Gene Wilder.  This gem is an old favorite at The Corner, and definitely holds up.  Wonderful cast, great writing, and awesome setting (huge old mansion.)




The Stuff (1985)


Umm…I don’t know how I feel about it, really.  I think i liked it…at least enough to say it’s worth a watch.  It had a very Blob: Alternate Universe feel, which seemed to work.  Michael Moriarty’s performance was a bit bland, but the special effects were just cheesy enough to keep me going.




Scream 4 (2011)


Pretty fun time, indeed.  I wasn’t sure if I could handle the “meta” at first, but it wasn’t as ridiculous as I’d previously thought.  I think I was just being a smug asshole, honestly.  Once I pulled my head out, and actually watched it, I liked it.




It (2017)


Damn good.  “Horror Goonies” is what I kept hearing from everybody.  I can see that, I think.  Bill’s Pennywise was fantastic and creepy, and the kids were phenomenal.  Can’t wait for more.




It (1990)


This movie made me, and half of the country, afraid of clowns in the early 90s.  I think I’m moreso afraid of Tim Curry, though, which means he’s good at what he does.  It definitely wasn’t as scary as I remember, but I was 8 or 9 at the time…It was good, still, though, if a bit cheesy.




C. H. U. D.  (1984)


A bit slow in parts, but worth your time, ultimately.  Daniel Stern runs a soup kitchen in grungy clothes and curly hair while he fights humanoid mutants in the NYC sewers…aaaaaaand GO!




Cat’s Eye (1985)



Three part horror anthology by Stephen King.  It’s worth it for the last story.  I suggest you just pick up the King of Horror Collection Blu-ray set, as the mastering is really good.  Plus you walk away with four King classics for a good price.




The Fog (2005)


Again, you’re welcome…I watched this for you, and I don’t like Tom Welling, so that should show you how much I love you.  Just watch Carpenter’s original Fog and call it good.  I know, he’s listed as a producer on this stinker, so it should be okay, right?  Nope.  According to IMDB, Carpenter said this about his work as Producer:  “I come in and say hello to everybody. Go home.”   There you go.  Even he didn’t stick around for it.




Hatchet (2006)


Old-fangled horror.  Loved it.  I don’t remember seeing a lick of computer graphics anywhere in the film.  I may have missed some, but I don’t think so.  Also, Kane Hodder as Victor Crowley?  Bring on the sequels!




Scream (1996)


This was a favorite of mine when it came out, and it held up.  It’s actually a bit more fun now, after I’ve had 21 years to watch enough movies to get all of the references.




Prom Night (1980)


Although filmed oddly, and a bit slow at first, it turned out to be pretty decent.  I didn’t think so at first, and had to mull it over for a bit.  Jamie Lee Curtis helped for sure, and they fooled me with the killer’s identity.  I was certain I knew who it was, too.  Well, I was wrong…DEAD WRO-…No.  I’m not going to do that to you.  I really WAS wrong, though.




Scream 2 (1997)


Good sequel.  Still fun, and self-aware enough to keep you going…Plus Aunt Jackie from Roseanne is in it.




Prom Night II: Hello Mary Lou (1987)


Seriously, don’t stress about it.  It’s okay, but there’s no Jamie Lee, and there are more than a few laughable moments.  Good soundtrack, and very supernatural, though…The chalkboard scene was cool, but the wooden horse was just plain weird.




Prom Night (2008)



If possible, that is.  If it’s too much work, just skip the whole damn thing and watch a proper thriller.  Elba’s scenes are effective, but don’t go looking for the 1980 Prom Night story arc…you won’t find it (or anything even close to it), other than people getting slashed up at prom.  Hell, they even tell you in the opening scene who the killer is.  No mystery.




The Gate (1987)


This is about the only movie I can tolerate Stephen Dorff in.  A bunch of little demons surface from a weird hole in Dorff’s backyard.  No wonder he started E-Smoking.


Aaaaaand that’s a wrap for September’s movie selections.  Check out October’s here.

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