Light on Thrills, Heavy on Cheese: “Hard to Die” (1990) Review

I have been trying to write this damn review for over a week now and most of that time I have been staring at a blank page. How do I review a “film”, using that term loosely here, with the barest of plot and the barest of breasts? Screw character development, we’ve got boobs! If this movie succeeds at being a “bad” b-movie should I give it a passing grade or should the movie be “more” than that? What makes the perfect “bad” horror movie? What makes a good-bad horror movie work when a bad-bad horror movie doesn’t? I asked myself these questions at least a dozen times before coming up with some answers. Fuck it! I had a good time with this terrible B-film and God help me, I’m going to recommend it to everyone! Consider yourself warned!

“Hard to Die” (also known as “Tower of Terror”) begins as a “group of beautiful women get set to experience the most horrifying night of their lives- trapped in a deserted skyscraper, with a crazed killer at their heels. Soon their innocent overtime duty becomes an action-filled evening of terror and suspense- yet they choose to defy the odds and fight back…. Trading fear for firepower in a high stakes, all-out fight to the death. It’s female Die Hard full of thrilling stunts and explosive action!”

I’ll be the first to admit that I lifted that plot description straight from the box of the VHS box. If that doesn’t sell the movie, what does? What doesn’t that description mention? What’s actually the bulk of the movie. We have an evil monkey puzzle box that’s taken over the soul of one of the girls at ACME lingerie. Who is possessed and can the other girls stop the “possessed one” in time? Sounds like your kind of movie yet? Well, if that isn’t enough for you how about great B-movie actresses like Debbie Dutch as Jackie, the red head with the big breasts who hates elevators, delivering lines like “It’s a DEATH trap!” Get ready to laugh every time someone shrieks a line like “YOU SCARED THE SHIT OUTTA ME!” Get ready to cringe at the fact that Orville Ketchum (the crazy neighbor next door from “Sorority House Massacre II”) WILL. NOT. DIE. Do you like girls with big breasts getting naked with over-the-top humor with little to no gore? This movie is for you.

This is the only movie I can think of that introduces IMPORTANT characters mere minutes before the end credits. It’s a mess but an entertaining mess nonetheless. Speaking of a mess, I’m sorry if this review is a bit of a mess. It really is just a series of random ideas with lots of enthusiasm and a lot of heart. Funny…that pretty much sums up “Hard to Die.” This is the kind of bad movie that KNOWS it’s a bad movie and when it comes to horror, that makes all the difference in the world.

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