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Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
Horror movies, reviews and more at buried.com
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The 3-D horror craze is in full swing, so to speak, with this week’s SAW 3D: The Final Chapter the latest to delight gorehounds by sending weapons and body parts flying across the screen and seemingly into our laps. With numerous 3-D remakes, prequels and sequels in the works -- everything from Hellraiser to The Ring 3D -- it seems like this cinematic terror trend is here to stay—at least, until we get bored of it. In remembrance of past horror flicks brought to life with an extra dimension, we offer a breakdown of eight gratuitously fun 3-D fear-fests from the past that we still enjoy.

House of Wax (1953)
The granddaddy of 3-D horror movies, this famous Vincent Price film (the first color 3-D pic from a major U.S. studio and whose director, ironically, had only one eye) was briefly resurrected in the ‘80s to moderate success, tying in with the 3-D revival of the time. While 3-D enhanced the shock value in its gruesome tale of a wax sculptor with murder on his mind -- fog seeping into the theater, flames licking at our faces, fights popping out from the screen -- its most infamous moment is still the paddleball scene. Go figure.

Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Long before the new My Bloody Valentine brought extreme splatter back, this franchise led the charge. Taking his cues from classic 3-D movies, director Steve Miner delivered all the expected gimmicks (juggling, popping popcorn, even passing a joint) but upped the ante with protruding objects of death (like a spear to the eye and a red-hot poker through the stomach) as Jason returned from the dead to slash and hack through a new set of victims. The movie has been released on DVD and Blu-ray, and in the latter format looks decent on a big screen HDTV.

Jaws 3D (1983)
Clearly cashing in on the 3-D trend, this eye-popping entry in the sinister shark series utilized its Sea World setting to splash water in our faces, parade dead fish and munch body parts before our eyes and propel the titular underwater predator right into us. But the money shot arrived at the end of the movie when the shark was blown to smithereens underwater, spewing a maelstrom of guts into the theater and floating this giant jawbone to a dead stop before us.

Amityville 3D (1983)
This was Meg Ryan's first movie, although we doubt she's too proud of it. An alternate take rather than a sequel in what turned out to be an eight-movie franchise (we're not kidding), this movie centered on a reporter (Tony Roberts) who moved into the haunted DeFeo home to debunk the rumors of supernatural activity. He turned out to be wrong and subsequently endangered family and friends. Oops. The 3-D subjects here ranged from frisbees to flies to a nasty demon, and despite the cheese factor offered some genuine creepiness at times. This is also out on DVD with 3-D glasses, although many have criticized the transfer as subpar.

Robot Monster (1953)
We remember when MTV showed this around Halloween back in the day. (And we're talking 1982.) The premise is simple: the "evil" Ro-man (who looks like a gorilla with a TV on his head) killed everyone on Earth save for eight people immune to his "Calcinator" death ray. He wants them dead. Ooooh, scary! This campy, low budget film -- rumored to have been made for a miniscule $16,000, which is $131,000 today, and grossing $1 million at the time -- achieved only infamy and has not been seen in 3-D for nearly 30 years. Someone please bring it back as a midnight movie.

My Bloody Valentine 3D (2009)
This gratuitous and unnecessary remake kick-started the return of 3-D horror with its tale of miner mayhem in a struggling blue-collar town. It made sense that a movie with a homicidal maniac wielding a large pickax would take every opportunity to swing it at us, splatter blood in our faces and heave gouged bodies and torn flesh at us. Which it did, quite often. It looks pretty good on Blu-ray, too.

The Final Destination (2009)
You’d think that three entries in this Death-defying series would have been enough, but the producers of the allegedly final Final Destination (they hoodwinked us, a new one is coming) decided not to get clever with the script and simply exploit the 3-D medium. The story is asinine, the characters superficial and the plot thin, but moments like the catastrophic race car track bloodbath that opened the film made this a helluva good time.

Piranha 3D (2010)
Here fishie, fishie... This remake did decent business this past summer and instantly begat a sequel by shameless exploiting anything it could in 3-D: blood, boobs, barf. It's not going to win awards, for anything, but the feeding frenzy made for some fun death scenes, even if a couple went a little too far. Add in some nudge nudge-wink wink cameos by Richard Dreyfuss and Christopher Lloyd, and this became one truly guilty B-movie pleasure.

Author: Bryan Reesman

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