It seems a  fairly obvious observation, but horror flicks are pretty "hot" these days. The current cycle of scary flicks can be attributed to box office hits like Zack Snyder's Dawn of the Dead, Marcus Nispel's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, James Wan's Saw, and probably a half-dozen others, but moreso than any other genre, the popularity of horror movies seems to arrive in "waves." Apparently we're knee-deep in one of those waves right now. And now with one quarter of 2006 behind us, it's time for the first of four "progress reports," in which you and I wade through all the horror flicks presented in January, February, and March, and then decide if the studios and the indies have been treating the Gorehounds kindly.

1/6/06 -- BloodRayne (Romar) -- Kristanna Loken, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Rodriguez, and Michael Madsen humiliate themselves through the latest hilariously bad offering from the adorably inept filmmaker known as Uwe Boll. (It's a horror movie in that it features vampires -- and it's an absolute horror to sit through.) Jam-packed with laughable dialogue, dime-store costumes, non-sensical plot-churnings, and hyper-inept editing, BloodRayne is the kind of flick that should be required viewing for any and all film students. It's precisely the sort of movie that's so bad it's good -- although I suspect Boll is beginning to do "amazingly awful" on purpose, which sort of takes some of the fun out of it... Grade: D- (DVD release: 5-23)