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MOVIE REVIEW: The Children (2008)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Children (2008)

By Amy Mead

The Children poster

The Children

Directed by Tom Shankland

Starring Eva Birthistle, Stephen Campbell Moore, Hannah Tointon and Jeremy Sheffield

 

2008 Ghost House Underground film, The Children focuses on two sisters and their respective families who gather together to celebrate the Christmas holiday. The celebration starts out as a typical and idyllic family gathering, complete with laughter, screaming kids and  an angsty teenage girl who would rather be anywhere but there. The pleasant atmosphere quickly turns into a living nightmare for the parents when all the children start exhibiting signs of some sort of sickness. Something which they had earlier dismissed as car sickness begins afflicting all of the kids and they all have the same symptoms which culminates in some very erratic behavior. 

The kids all begin vomiting up some seriously nasty looking goo and before you know it, they all become infected with some sort of strange virus/murderous rage and turn on their parents without much provocation, and seemingly with glee. Before the parents involved can completely grasp the full scope of what's happening, the kids begin killing them methodically and once they get started, they make damn quick work of it. 


The Children is a bit confusing in that we never really get any questions as to why this is all happening really answered. What triggered this whole thing? Why the hell is this happening? And why are only children affected? We are given a few hints but they come so early on in the film that we don't realize we need to be looking for them. And Unfortunately the few hints there are, really don't clear much up for the audience. 

The film is well acted, extremely well shot and it is filled with plenty of shock value. Fortunately, the violence against the children is never overplayed or drawn out, the kill scenes are blessedly short and thankfully, not exceedingly graphic, thereby making it much easier to watch. Although the scenes are still quite gut wrenching to witness and they give off a general feeling of unease and discomfort.

Anything involving violence towards small children usually makes me more than a little squeamish and I normally find it really hard to watch it, if I can at all. The way Shankland shoots the scenes make them much easier to digest, but it doesn't change the creep out factor by any means. The fact that these kids are just going wildly homicidal on their own parents and people they once loved, from out of nowhere was/is profoundly disturbing and Shankland doesn't shield us from that aspect of the story at all. If you're a parent, you'll totally understand where I'm coming from. 

As far as killer kid films go, The Children stands tall and is definitely worth a one time viewing and who knows? Maybe you'll even end up making it a part of your holiday horror traditions like I have in my house. 

 

 

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Toolbox Murders 2: Coffin Baby (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: Toolbox Murders 2: Coffin Baby (2013)

By Amy Mead

Coffin Baby

Toolbox Murders 2: Coffin Baby

Directed by Dean Jones

Starring Chauntal Lewis, Bruce Dern, Brian Krause and Chris Doyle

 

After the body of her murdered sister is discovered and the crime, as well as countless others, continue to go unsolved, our main character Samantha is abducted, held captive, tortured and branded for no apparent reason other than the antagonist is a twisted psycho.

After being forced to not only sleep with corpses but consume them, she slowly begins to lose what fragile hold on sanity she has retained after her sister's tragic and senseless murder. 

It seems that Coffin Baby is at it once again.  And unfortunately, and that's where any similarity to its 2004 predecessor, Toolbox Murders ends. 

I have no idea what the hell it was I just watched. I went in thinking that Toolbox Murders 2: Coffin Baby would be a continuation of the story that we were given with the 2004 remake of 1978's The Toolbox Murders. I was wrong. Seriously wrong. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to anything that was happening and there was zero character introduction to be had, so when awful things started happening to victim Samantha, I genuinely could have cared less what was happening to her, let alone feel any sort of sympathy for her.

The film rolled and with each minute, I became more and more annoyed by the character and her incessant (and unconvincing) screams and pleas for help and I cared even less what happened to her. I actually wanted her to die. Violently. And as soon as possible. 

I  watch a lot of indie productions and as far and cinematography, lighting and sound go, this was some of the worst I have ever seen. And I've seen my fair share of terrible movies, believe me but this one in addition to all its other shortcomings also barely has a plot. 

Unfortunately, for the most part, the acting was even worse. Chauntal Lewis' portrayal of Samantha was completely unconvincing and not believable in the least. Instead of commiserating with our victim, I wanted to slap her in the face with a hammer and kill her myself.  Sadly, veteran actor Bruce Dern is the only real talent in this film. 

Aside from what are some pretty good practical effects, the only other thing I liked about Toolbox Murders 2: Coffin Baby was that it ended.

Having been a fan of the 2004 remake, I  had been looking forward to it since I first heard about it a while back,  but for me personally, it was probably the biggest disappointment of 2015. It was an utterly pointless, confusing and uneventful yawnfest. I almost fell asleep twice while watching it. 

I'm pretty sure knowing in advance that it was pretty much a sequel in name only and had nothing much to do with the previous story line (other than Coffin Baby once again being the perpetrator), wouldn't have made me hate the film any less. Although, I may have avoided it altogether.

By the time the credits rolled I wanted both my time and my rental fee back. Unless wasting your time and money is what you're into, I suggest you avoid this piece of cinematic garbage like the plague. I wish I had. 

I give Toolbox Murders 2: Coffin Baby 4/10 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
BLU-RAY REVIEW: Dressed to Kill (1980)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Dressed to Kill (1980)

By Nick Durham 

dressedtokill

After a seemingly super long wait (and a recall, more on that later), we finally get Criterion's release of Brian De Palma's Hitchcock wanna-be giallo thriller, Dressed to Kill. Somewhat critically reviled upon its original 1980 release, Dressed to Kill features all the typical De Palma film elements that we've come to expect: close-ups, inventive camerawork, and slow motion shots. Watching it again for the first time in a long time really makes me appreciate the film much more for what it is than I did when I had originally seen it in my youth, and the fine folks at Criterion have released the film in a Blu-ray set that...well, I'll get to that in a bit.

Anyway, Dressed to Kill revolves around a sexually frustrated married woman (Angie Dickinson) that ends up getting brutally murdered after having a random tryst with a stranger. Her murder is witnessed by a prostitute (Nancy Allen), who soon teams up with the son of our victim (Christine's Keith Gordon) to find the killer. Michael Caine is here too as the victim's shrink, and De Palma regular Dennis Franz is here too as...well, as Dennis Franz. The film is sexually charged and features some shocking violence for its time, and remains one of my favorite works from De Palma to this very day.

Now let's get to the Blu-ray release. Over the years, I've never had much in terms of issues with any DVDs or Blu-ray releases from Criterion. Their releases are usually top notch in terms of picture restoration/quality, special features, etc., which made me excited to see what they could get cooking for this release of Dressed to Kill...then something happened. It was announced that there was a mastering issue with the film's presentation, causing Criterion to delay the Blu-ray's release.  Well, a second pressing was ordered and the Blu was eventually released...and it the film looks terrible. Now it doesn't consistently look terrible, in fact sometimes it looks pretty damn good, but there are plenty of times where all of the sudden the film's picture stretches out of the blue, and the framing of the film is all over the fucking place. The old DVD release from MGM from years back is better quality than this for fuck's sake. While the film's color looks very vibrant in 4K, the framing inconsistencies are so damn jarring that it ruins the damn film, and that's a shame. Other special features, which include new interviews with Nancy Allen and others, as well as a documentary on the film from 2001 and a feature about the cuts needed to be made to film to avoid being rated X.

So yeah, the Criterion Collection edition of Brian De Palma's Dressed to Kill is disappointing to say the least. The film deserves a better treatment than this, especially from Criterion. Damn shame that this release leaves so much to be desired. If you can find this cheap and are a fan of the film and don't already own any of its previous DVD or Blu-ray releases, then I guess pick this up. If you do already own the film in one form or another, this really isn't much of an upgrade.

Film rating: 4/5

Blu-ray release rating: 2/5

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Den (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Den (2013)

By John Roisland

The Den poster

Back in 2013,  director Zachary Donohue brought us his major debut with The Den.  Released by IFC, Cliffbrook Films and Onset Films.  The story of Elizabeth ( Melanie Papalia ; Extraterrestrial /Smiley), who has been given a grant to study peoples behavior while online, in a  web chat group called...you guessed it, The Den. While online she runs into all sorts of people as you would expect, from all walks of life; friendly, rude, funny, perverted and yes, even scary. Things are seeming to be  fine as our girl chats it up with whom ever is online and will chat. As she  chats it up with lonely guys asking to see her boobs, woman screaming at the webcam,  guys jerking off, and oh yeah, a murder.

So, Elizabeth contacts the police, shows them her computer, and replays the video of the murder for the cops. The cops aren't into big of a hurry to draw their guns as they tell her,"it looks real". Problem is , there are tons of these violent acts that are actually staged and sent over the internet to frighten people.

 

 

 

 

Going home things start to happen. Such as her laptop being controlled from an outside source and and sending people false emails and basically controlling her every move, and   her boyfriend, played by David Schlachtenhufen disappears.

This mystery killer, has now made Elizabeth the lab rat in her own study. Violent acts happen by this killer and our girl gets to see it all first handed as she is sent the live videos feeds thru the chat room.

The story kind of drifts for a small while, and for a second you might think you were watching a screening of Unfriended 2 ( ! if there was one). See the entire film is shot on webcams or phone cams. Although I must give them credit, they did  a pretty decent job at it, and seemed  to have coverer all angles. With technology what it is today, sometimes its hard to determine what's real, and what's not.  And they did a good job of presenting that to you as a viewer. The film does carry a decent suspense level,.. and even a scene that I knew was coming, but still jumped!

While I'm not going to give the ending a way, NO SPOILERS,  I will just say that the ending was good. Hell, the ending actually surprised me! Lets just say it proved a lot about humanity and the  all mighty dollar!

This IS currently showing on Netflix, give it a shot!

6/10

 

Stay Evil

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Final Girls (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Final Girls (2015)

By Amy Mead

The Final Girls movie poster

Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson

Starring Malin Akerman, Taissa Farmiga, Alexander Ludwig, Nina Dobrev and Alia Shawcat

The Final Girls starts with Max, the daughter of former scream queen, Amanda Cartwright, sitting in a car waiting for her mom to return from an audition. While waiting, she watches a trailer for an old 80's horror film and looking over her mother's new resume and head shot. Amanda soon returns, lamenting on the drive home about how she will never be taken seriously due to her role as "Nancy" in the 80's slasher film, Camp Bloodbath, which has now become a cult classic among horror fans. Sadly, they are involved in a horrific crash and never make it home. Max is the only survivor.

Flash forward to the third anniversary of her mother's death and we see Max hanging out with her friends Gertie and Chris. They are soon approached by Gertie's stepbrother (and horror nerd supreme) who convinces Max to attend a special back to back screening of Camp Bloodbath and it's sequel, Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer, that is being shown later that very night.

During the screening, all hell breaks loose as overzealous fans accidentally set the theater on fire. In a panic, Max cuts a hole in the screen for her and her friends to safely escape the blaze and they are somehow suddenly transported into the world of the film. They all wake up in the woods and realize where they are, that they have survived the inferno at the theater but they are now trapped within the movie.

Not only will Max be reunited with her mother, but she and her friends will soon realize that they will also have to fight the films villain, a deranged machete wielding killer known as Billy Murphy and play the film out to it's violent end in order to make it back home...will Max and her friends ever make it out of the Camp Bloodbath world alive? And who will be the Final Girl?

 

 

 

 

The Final Girls is a very much an homage to the revered 80's slasher that so many of us know and love and I had a lot of fun watching it and while the premise of being sucked into a movie has been done before, I am not sure it's been done quite this well.

There is a nice balance of scares and laughs to be had here but gore lovers beware. Largely in part to the films PG-13 rating, there isn't very much of the red stuff to be seen here, but it does offer up some inventive kills that are hilarious and a lot of fun to watch, not to mention a nostalgia inducing 80's soundtrack that can't be beat. 

The actors are all spectacular and do a fantastic job but Malin Akerman and Taissa Farmiga really kill it in their respective roles as mother and daughter Max and Amanda (aka Nancy) and their talent and range of emotion adds a surprising amount of depth not only to their characters, but to the film. Making it almost kind of touching somehow. 

With The Final Girls, director Todd Strauss-Schulson offers up a very pleasant mix of typical horror tropes used then and now, making excellent use of many horror film elements such as flash backs, slow motion (which I laughed like a loon at) and of course cashing in on, and giving a bit of a spotlight to, the often overused premarital sex and boobs bring the killer around angle. All the comedic elements are present, making The Final Girls a thoroughly enjoyable watch that I highly recommend. If you are looking for a few good laughs and a film that doesn't get caught up in itself, look no further. This is it right here.

If you haven't seen The Final Girls yet, you must remedy that. Immediately.  It may not be everyone's shot of tequila, but it was certainly mine. And my favorite part? We are shown a perfect set up for a sequel at the film's end. A sequel I would watch without hesitation.

I give The Final Girls a solid 8/10 badass, psychopath killing virgins

 

 

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments
BLU-RAY REVIEW: Troll (1986) & Troll 2 (1990)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Troll (1986) & Troll 2 (1990)

By Nick Durham

troll

Turns out you really can't piss on hospitality.

The first question you may be asking yourself is: haven't we heard and seen enough of the fucking Troll movies? Why does this guy have to talk about these fucking things after everyone else already has so damn much?

Well first of all: I hate myself. Second of all: you can't ignore the impact that Troll, and more so its sequel, have had on all of civilization...

...and by impact, I mean an impact similar to when you take an apocalyptic dump in the toilet so hard that the water splashes up and hits you square in the asshole. Pucker up fuckers.

Anyway, I could talk about Troll and Troll 2 all day, but like I said, plenty of people already have over the years, so I won't talk about what both movies offer...because we all know that both movies offer pure cinematic fecal matter. Both films, the sequel in particular, are so spectacular in their badness that they must be seen to be believed. I firmly believe everyone should see each film at least once in their lives. Fuck Citizen Kane, watch Troll and Troll 2.

Troll revolves around the Potter family, the father of which is named Harry (see? JK Rowling got inspired by this film...whether she wants to admit it or not. Thank you, Troll). Michael Moriarty (The Stuff) plays the dad, whose family's apartment complex features a passageway to a mystical world of evil trolls or some shit. The film's story is of little consequence, as the what happens during the film is practically incomprehensible, but it is notable for being directed by makeup effects guru John Carl Buechler (who would go on to direct Friday the 13th VII) and features a young Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who has a memorable scene hardly wearing any clothes.

Troll 2 is the real main attraction here, and it earns that decades long status as being one of the most enjoyably awful movies ever made. I won't say much about it, because chances are you all know plenty about the damn thing already. All I will say is that I love how terrible this fucking thing is, and if I'm ever feeling really down in the dumps, I turn this fucker on and I'm nothing but smiles.

The fine folks at Scream Factory have chosen to bless us with this Blu-ray double feature release. There's a new making-of for the first film, as well as commentary tracks on each of the films as well, but the really awesome special feature included here is the DVD of Best Worst Movie. Best Worst Movie is a surprisingly insightful and interesting documentary feature catching up with the whole cast and crew of Troll 2, as they reminisce about their experience making the film, and the legacy that came with being in one of the most noteworthy terrible films ever made. Seriously, having Best Worst Movie included with this set makes this worth owning in itself. It is one of the best documentaries about the clusterfuck that filmmaking can be.

All in all, Scream Factory's Troll/Troll 2 Blu-ray double feature is a collection of terrible films...but they're still somehow super enjoyable in spite of themselves. Including Best Worst Movie is a total fucking bonus, and makes this even more worth getting. Now yes, I'm giving a glowing review of these cinematic shitstains, so you should know what you're getting into...but if you love awful movies, look no fucking further than this.

Film ratings: 1/5

Blu-ray set rating: 5/5 (just for Best Worst Movie)

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Flowers (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Flowers (2015)

By Travis Love

Flowers

Directed by Phil Stevens and released on October 27, 2015, by Unearthed Films, Flowers is an Arthouse horror film that delves into the grim tale of six women who awaken disoriented and unaware of how they've arrived in this state of surreal, dream-esque purgatory, until they discover they've all suffered the same grisly fate at the hands of the same demented aggressor. Abandon all hope ye who awaken under a porch surrounded by body filled Glad trash bags.

Watching Flowers and trying to convey to someone what it is, is the equivalent of trying to explain how Pornhub works to a blind man. He really doesn't understand what you mean because he's never experienced it before for himself (unfortunately braille Pornhub never caught on...sorry Stevie Wonder). The film is as dark and depressing as it is morbidly fascinating and eerily beautiful, with equal aspects macabre and performance art combing to create one of the most truly genuinely unique cinema experiences you could ever hope for.

The fact that there is no dialog in the film allows you to immerse yourself fully in the imagery, taking in every minute detail of the scenery. The scenes piece together almost like Dante Alighieri's Inferno, with each character feeling like they're in their own circle of hell. Each character transitions to a different person and tale as they crawl from underneath the porch, to under the house, to the bathroom through a hole in the floor and so on. Past events with the victims are tied to Polaroids that they either awaken with, or discover during their venturing through the house. Each picture triggers a memory for each character that holds some barring on their life before and their personal encounter with the antagonist.

As far as gore goes, Flowers even delivers artistically in that regard as well, with scenes that run the gamut of twisted and perverted (fondling the intestines of a disemboweled victim before warming up her dead body like a gas station burrito necrophilia style) to ethereal and metaphorical (a victim discovering she's hollow on the inside and begins stuffing what she believes are her internal organs inside the open cavity, but to the outside perspective she's only stuffing her gaping hole with earth and worms). Morbid imagery has never looked so enthralling and engaging.

In conclusion, Flowers achieves what so many films set out to do, it establishes its originality and individuality proudly in leaps and bounds and sets a precedent that films can be artistically beautiful and engaging while at the same time brooding and aberrant. Do yourself a favor and let Flowers put something hauntingly beautiful inside you...and possibly some fingers as well.

Rating: 8/10

-Travis

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Gravy (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Gravy (2015)

By Nick Durham

http://houseoftorturedsouls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/aliens-salvations.jpg

Well this kind of came out of nowhere. Co-written and directed by Psych star (and die hard horror fan) James Roday, Gravy is a nasty and super funny little dirge about what happens when you mix Halloween night, a trio of cannibals, and a Mexican restaurant. Yes, this film is every bit as enjoyable as all that sounds.

A handful of employees at a local Mexican cantina find themselves on the menu as they are invaded by a few costumed cannibals played by Michael Weston (who seems to be doing his best Charlie Day impersonation throughout the whole film), Jimmi Simpson, and Lily Cole. What results is an often very darkly funny and super bloody affair, and like I said above, it's super enjoyable to boot.

There's really not that much more to Gravy other than the brief synopsis above. We are introduced to quirky characters that don't want to become chow for our funny cannibal friends, and there's an assortment of funny dialogue from everyone involved. Our three cannibals know what they're doing is wrong...and they accept it. Weston, Simpson, and Cole are hilarious and deadpan in their roles as the self-aware cannibal killers, while the cast of victims (which includes Sutton Foster and Precious star Gabourey Sidibe) are great as well.

If there's any downside to Gravy, it's that maybe it prods on a little too long for its own good. This is really only a minor complaint though, as the rest of it is surprisingly unpredictable, plus it features some great blood and gore effects work, and a really well-selected soundtrack of songs to boot...but maybe that's just me. Anytime I hear a Tears for Fears song in a movie I find myself singing along to it, and I end up hating myself for a brief period of time, but that's another story. There's also a really funny cameo from Roday along with his Psych co-star Dule Hill, and a small role from Sarah Silverman that I wish would have had more to it.

All in all, Gravy may not be for everyone, but this film is a surprisingly good labor of love from James Roday, and it is immensely enjoyable. The fine folks at Scream Factory have given it a pretty good Blu-ray release as well, with a couple features that show how much Roday and his crew put into making this film. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Rating: 4/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: 3-Headed Shark Attack (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: 3-Headed Shark Attack (2015)

By Dixielord

Cast of Three Headed Shark Attack

Three Headed Shark Attack - See the unrated version if you have to see it.

Two heads may be better than one, but a three headed shark attack is a definite step backwards. Three Headed Shark Attack is a sequel to the Syfy movie Two Headed Shark Attack. While the first was fairly popular, coming at a time when SyFy channel monster mash ups and silly shark flicks are all the rage, it didn’t impress me much. I get some of the attraction of these, so bad they are funny, cheapo films like Sharknado, Sharktopus, and Mega Piranha. I even enjoy them occasionally, but the only real attraction in the first was Brooke Hogan's boobs, which sadly were mostly covered.

Unfortunately Brooke has disappeared from the sequel, much like her dad has disappeared from anything related to the WWE. Instead they have replaced Brooke's mammoth cleavage and the orange skinned Carmen Electra with an extra shark head, and small roles for Rob Van Dam and Danny Trejo (Machete).

Danny Trejo Machete in Three Headed Shark Attack

Danny Trejo in Three Headed Shark Attack

Now I won't ever complain about Danny in a film role. The man is a legend in my opinion, and a great example of turning your life around, but he really isn't in the film enough to make a difference. It seems the idea was to put his name on the cast, give him a machete and hope people paid to see it. Van Dam is on screen a bit more, but he is mostly standing around and looking earnest. I kept hoping at some point he would point to the sky and call out Sabu. Still I was a big fan of Rob back in his ECW days so it was nice seeing him on screen.

Rob Van Dam in Three Headed Shark Attack

Rob wasn't the whole F'n Show in Three Headed Shark Attack, and where the hell was Sabu?

The biggest star power of Three Headed Shark Attack belongs to Jena Sims and her stupendous gravity defying breasts. Skip the SyFy channel version and go for the R rated Netflix version that has nudity. It may sound trite, but in a movie like Three Headed Shark Attack, that's the only real reason to invest the time. That is unless you are related to Rob Van Dam or Danny Trejo. Sims might not be a big star yet, and hell she might not be able to act, as this movie didn't require any, but I would love to see more of her on the screen (no pun intended).

Jena Sims shows skin in Three Headed Shark Attack

The gorgeous Jena Sims in Three Headed Shark Attack

As far as the plot goes a bunch of people I don't care about, except Jena Sims, is trying to escape from a research center and a mutated three headed shark. Or maybe they are trying to kill it, or maybe not. I was never really sure. Basically it's get on a boat, get off a boat, get on another boat, get back on the first boat, then on an island, then on a slower boat, repeated over and over. Between the boat transfers, people jump, run, dive, and or get knocked into the water for various reasons that make no sense at all.

For a shark movie there is virtually no gore, and what little blood is mostly underwater. There was one scene where I could swear I saw the blood splashed into the water from off screen. The shark itself looked even stupider than the first movie. Still, what can you expect from The Asylum? Well, you should be able to expect better than this. Compared to the first film, Three Headed Shark Attack comes off as one of the rip off films that the Asylum is known for.

One kick for me was that Three Headed Shark Attack was filmed locally in Pensacola. It was fun to watch it, OK relative to the rest of the film, and recognize the beach where it was shot. If I'm not wrong it was Big Lagoon State Park. Sad part about that Big Lagoon is kind of hard to pass off as a research station in the middle of the ocean. It's beautiful but, it's wrong. Still yay for local filming and the money it brings, even though with the Asylum it probably wasn't much.

So what's the final score? Well I really can't recommend this for anyone. Not even hard core Trejo fans. Maybe if Rob Van Dam owes you money you might enjoy seeing Three Headed Shark Attack, or if you haven't seen any naked breasts this week. In which case turn the movie off right after Jena Sims first scene. Honestly no matter why you are watching Three Headed Shark Attack, you can turn it off after Jena's first scene. So I am giving this film one star for Danny Trejo, one star for Rob Van Dam, and one star for each of Jena Sim's Breasts. Then I am taking back Trejo's star because he should be more selective in films, and taking back Rob's because you didn't get a role for Sabu. So that leaves Three Headed Shark Attack with a mighty, whopping two stars for which it really doesn’t deserve.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
BLU-RAY REVIEW: Eve of Destruction (1991)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Eve of Destruction (1991)

By Nick Durham

http://houseoftorturedsouls.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Tales_titles-1.jpg

Want to see some shit? Well, thanks to the fine folks at Scream Factory, we've got some shit in HD here. Eve of Destruction is a mix of sci-fi/thriller/quasi-slasher trash that hit the scene in 1991 and was largely ignored, yet somehow manages to have a small cult following. Scream Factory, who has a knack for re-releasing shit like this (for better or worse) is here to debut the film on Blu-ray, whether we want it or not.

Anyway, Eve of Destruction follows a brilliant scientist named Eve (Renee Soutendijk) who is employed by the government, creates a cyborg in her own image for some kind of covert ops missions or something that's never really given all that much insight honestly. When said cyborg is damaged during a bank robbery gone wrong (don't ask), she begins accessing the painful memories of her creator (which have been stored inside the droid's consciousness...because reasons), which ends up leading her on a path of death and destruction. The foul-mouthed Col. Jim McQuade (the late, great Gregory Hines) is tasked with tracking her and bringing her down, with the bot's creator lending a hand as well.

There's not much more story-wise to Eve of Destruction other than that, but boy oh boy does this movie take a simple yet promising premise and piss all over it. The whole movie is so damn drawn out and honestly flat out boring. Twenty minutes of run time could have easily been shaved off in the editing room and it wouldn't have affected anything at all. Despite its drawn out nature though, there are some occasional cool images popping up now and then, and the acting from our leads is surprisingly good as well. The effects work isn't bad either for its time, and the film's climax isn't bad either, so I guess as a whole the film isn't totally awful.

Like I had said in the beginning, Scream Factory re-releases some interesting choices of films, most of which have special features that range from a shitload's worth to a handful. Eve of Destruction only has the film's theatrical trailer as its only feature...yes you read that right. Nothing else here but the fucking trailer. What is this, a DVD from 1998? Oh well, at least the film's HD transfer looks pretty good.

All in all, Eve of Destruction is a fairly forgettable early 90s dirge that tried to do the whole cyborg killer thing. It didn't totally fail, but it sure as shit didn't pass either. If you're a fan of the film, this Blu-ray release from Scream Factory may be worth picking up for cheap, but it's kind of disappointing that they didn't at least try to throw something extra here on the disc besides the fucking trailer.

Rating: 2/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015)

By John Roisland

THC 3

The Human Centipede III
(Final Sequence)

In 2009 Tom Six shocked and, for many, disgusted, the movie industry with his release of The Human Centipede (First Sequence) - the story of a crazed doctor who surgically sewed three victims together to form a human centipede. Two short years later, he was back for the follow up with The Human Centipede 2 (Second Sequence), that movie’s viewers said was even more vile and disgusting than the original. This time around, the story of a mentally abused man, who is a fan of the movie, The Human Centipede, and wants to live out the movie by renting a dingy, dirty warehouse where he preforms less than medically precise operations on victims that he has kidnapped from the parking garage where he works.

And now for our entrée, The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence), was released by Six Entertainment Company. Three goes like this: An alcoholic, sadistic prison warden named Bill Boss (played by Dieter Laser, returning to the series after playing the insane doctor from the first film) who takes great interest in seeing his prisoners tortured by his own hands, is teamed up with Dwight Butler (Laurence R. Harvey who starred in Human Centipede II)), the warden’s sidekick and his voice of reason.

Throughout the film, Butler tries to convince Boss to stop abusing the inmates because of rising medical costs and the legal backlash. At last he tries to persuade Boss to create an inmate centipede. He outlines the pros to this: no more fights, cost cut backs on staff, housing, medical, and so on. He even goes as far as showing Boss the movie in his office, but this doesn’t work as well as he’d anticipated. When the movie is over, Boss yells about how the film was a piece of shit.

images (3)While passed out, Boss has a nightmare of being captured and raped by an inmate (Robert LaSardo from Death Race, Anarchy Parlor, Nip/Tuck) through a puncture wound in his kidneys, while being surrounded by a large group of fellow inmates. So, after this, and a prison riot, Boss rethinks his stand and decides that maybe constructing a human inmate-centipede might not be such a bad idea.

I like Tom Six, I like his vision, .... this one was just too cheeky. Now I personally also think Dieter is a scary man, but after this film, if I had to listen to Boss howl, moan, and yell in drunken stupors one more time... I most likely would have blown my own head off!

I did, however, like how the main cast of the first two were brought in to make this film together, I really did, and it was very suiting. But Six, turned a hard corner and went from the road he was on to an almost cheesy film. Sad, too, because the first two installments were, let's just say, kind of powerful and unforgettable films. Let’s face it, like them or not, you talked about them. This one lost its flair; the shock was kinda there, but the gore wasn't really even present. Disturbing in its own way, I guess, but it still didn't have the same impact. Since Six himself had a scene in the movie, I’m guessing he wanted to end this series on a slightly lighter, less serious note... I hope that was his intent anyhow.

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The film also stars Eric Roberts ( The Dark Knight, The Expendables), Bree Olsen (Live Nude Girls, Camp Massacre), and Tiny Lister (Friday, The Fifth Element)

Mr. Six, I am anxious to see what you come up with next, I really am, but if it might be a fourth installment of our centipede, I cant promise I'll be taking the time to even bother.

So, in the long run, my friends, unless you’re planning on playing this in the background of a party for for kicks, I hate to say, but DON’T BOTHER! But I have to this time around.

Stay Evil

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Kristy (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Kristy (2014)

By Amy Mead

Kristy poster

KRISTY

>Directed by Oliver Blackburn

Starring: Haley Bennet, Lucas Till, and Ashley Greene

Kristy starts off with a group of hooded youths at dawn returning from an apparent murder and are seen, photographing the body of a young girl. We then move into a sequence showing a website devoted to the annihilation of "Kristy". "Kristy is pretty, pure, blessed". The site encourages users to find them, hunt them, kill them and then share the murders to the site, saying, "Kristy is a follower of God. Kill Kristy, Kill God".

Due to financial woes, young college student Justine has decided to stay on campus with her roommate Nicole for Thanksgiving break. She returns from doing laundry the first night only to discover that Nicole has gotten a surprise ski trip invitation to Aspen from her father at the last minute. Nicole ends up leaving Justine alone in the dorm but only after leaving her the keys to her BMW to use while she's gone.

On the second day, Justine goes on a run for some Ben and Jerry's and through a creepy encounter at a convenience store with a strange young woman, she unknowingly becomes a target for a group of violent cult members who are after "Kristy", because they believe her to be a privileged girl due to her appearance and the car she is in. Little do they know she is on a work study program and the car is not her own.

She is tormented by a group led by the woman from the convenience store on the short drive back to the campus, and narrowly avoids an altercation. A dangerous and deadly game of cat and mouse quickly ensues and before the night is through, she must dig deep and find the strength and courage to conquer her fears, fight back and outwit the murderous cult in order to stay alive...

I am a sucker for home invasion type films, and I also really enjoy films where the female protagonist suddenly grows a pair and turns around and brutally kicks some antagonist ass. Kristy is kind of a mash up of The Strangers and You're Next all rolled into one and I really enjoyed watching intended victim Justine get even with her cult crazed stalkers. The film is geared towards survival rather than revenge and thus is somewhat light on gore, but there were some great kills in spite of that, although I wish there had been a few more.

There is minimal character development to be had in the film but for me personally that made it more effective. Sometimes fucked up shit happens to people for no good reason and for me that's what makes this film frightening. Stuff like that truly scares the shit out of me. If you've ever done the babysitting gig in an old creepy house or been in a big building alone, this film will make you uneasy and maybe even raise your blood pressure a little.

While a bit predictable and filled with jump scares, Kristy is a tense, beautifully shot thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat through a good portion of its run. The film’s overall sense of creepiness is bolstered by the direction of Oliver Blackburn (Donkey Punch) and the performances of Haley Bennet (The Haunting of Molly Hartley) as the proposed victim and Ashley Green (Twilight) as gang leader Violet, who both really deliver in their respective roles. While Kristy is nothing ground breaking by any means, it is definitely worth a watch if you are into psychological thrillers. I could think of far worse ways to spend an afternoon.

I give Kristy 7/10
 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: The Last Witch Hunter (2015)

By Dixielord

Vin Diesel as The Last Witch Hunter

The Last Witch Hunter

Sometimes I think I go in search of bad films. Not just bad films like Night of the Demon or Plan 9 From Outer Space, that are at least fun, but really bad films. That could explain why I went to see The Last Witch Hunter in the theater. The Last Witch Hunter is the newest film from Vin Diesel and Director Breck Eisner (The Crazies),

Now it's not the worst film I have ever seen, but I wasn't expecting it to be good when I made the decision to go. While I am occasionally fooled, and end up liking a film like Hansel and Grete :Witch Hunters, I just don’t trust these big slick “horror” movies. If I do have a unconscious desire to see bad films, then at least on that point, The Last Witch Hunter didn't really let me down.

On the good side it had a pretty decent cast. The title role was, of course played buy Vin Diesal (Riddick). I really like Vin, I do, but he does a lot of crappy movies. Also starring in The Last Witch Hunter, was Elijah Wood (Maniac), Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones), Michael Caine (What the hell hasn't he been in?) and Julie Englebrect (The Strain) as the Witch Queen.

On the bad side, it's another CGI fest of monsters and magic without any real soul. Vin is Vin, he's pretty much playing some version of Riddick in every movie. He's like a Tom Cruise that I don't feel guilty for liking. If you love Vin, you will probably enjoy him here, just don't look for any substance.

The Last Witch Hunter with Rose Leslie, Vin Diesel and Elijah Wood

Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood, and VIn Diesel in The Last Witch Hunter

Elijah Wood kind of disappointed me, with his character, and even just for being in The Last Witch Hunter. It's such a step backward from his performance in Maniac. He comes off as a weak, spineless character that Frodo would kick sand on at the beach. And the story is so transparent that you pretty much know what’s up with his character the moment he first appears on screen. It's so apparent that when it doesn't happen within his first ten minutes on screen, you start to think it's a red herring.

The whole story is pretty easy to figure out. Really, it was a bit annoying to be watching Vin and company scratching their heads trying to figure out something that was pretty obvious from the beginning. Apparently it isn't only Jon Snow who knows nothing, eh Rose?

Game of Thrones Rose Leslie in the Last Witch Hunter

You know nothing Vin Diesel, seriously dude, nothing.
Rose Leslie in The Last Witch Hunter

There was one line that I noted as somewhat interesting. When Leslie's good witch character is talking about the Salem Witch Trials and Diesel tells her that Salem was a horrible mistake, she asks if he would feel the same way if the women really were witches. It's interesting because we know now that the trials were about jealousy, spite, and land grabs and most likely those hung knew little if anything about witchcraft. How would we look at Salem now, with our more progressive and accepting society if the women really were witches or wiccans?

But that's about as deep as this movie gets. Any other questions of the morality of witchcraft and witch hunters is at about the same level of Glenda asking Dorothy if shes a good witch or bad.

If you are a fan of these type of horror/fantasy films, you might like The Last Witch Hunter. But there are better films out there, like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. It is slightly better than Keanu's Constantine, but not much. I really didn't hate it, I just really didn't like it very much. It's like Willie said, full of sound and fury but meh. I doubt I will watch it again unless it's on Netflix and I'm bored, 4 out of 10 CGI stars.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Harbinger Down (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Harbinger Down (2015)

By Nick Durham

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Want to see something that looks promising at first glance but doesn't take long to go spiraling down the shitter? Look no further than Harbinger Down: a creature feature that would otherwise be ignored by one and all were it not for the pedigree that it manages to boast in terms of just how the film is made up. Directed by Alec Gillis and produced by Tom Woodruff (aka the guys who have worked on previous films in the Alien franchise) and proudly boasting that it features all practical effects work, Harbinger Down is a glorious failure indeed.

The story revolves around some asshole grad students that take a trip on a commercial fish trawler piloted by the grandfather (Lance Henriksen) of one of them, in an effort to study the effects of global warming on whales or some shit. They discover a crashed Soviet spacecraft in the ocean, which still contains the dead pilot as well as the experiment contained wherein that soon grows, infects, and kills off the crew. Yes, it sounds like a much less imaginative take on The Thing, and that's because it really is. The acting is lame, the characters are lame, the whole affair is super predictable, and it really is for the most part just a plain old bore.

Now, let's talk about the effects of Harbinger Down, which as I said before, proudly boasts about the fact that they are practical. Well, I really can't confirm if EVERY part of the creature effects are practical, but what I can say is that it is refreshing to see practical effects take center stage for the first time in a long time...or that is what I would say if said effects actually looked as great as I wished they did. I don't want to shit on the work done here, because I know how hard it is to do this kind of thing, but the creature looks just aren't convincing one bit. There is good use made of stop-motion effects, miniatures, and animatronics in addition to some of the prosthetic effects, but the full-on body shots of the film's monsters are laughable at first glance. The effects were done by ADI, who also did the practical effects for the 2011 take on The Thing, which chances are you never saw because their work was discarded in favor of the shitty CGI that was seen in the final cut of the movie. ADI ended up funding this film on Kickstarter, out of the desire to bring practical effects back to the forefront. While I may not have enjoyed this film, I will gladly say that those guys have my respect for that alone. Practical effects work is a dying thing, and the film world is a worse place without it.

All in all, Harbinger Down is a brisk but sadly disappointing creature feature that ends up coming off as a just plain stupid version of The Thing. The practical effects that it boasts about having are a mixed bag, but at the same time, it's just so good and refreshing to see them take the forefront in a horror film again. It's not god-awful and you can certainly do worse with this kind of thing to kill an afternoon, so give it a shot at your own risk.

Rating: 2/5/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments

MOVIE REVIEW: Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness (2012)

By Travis Love

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Directed by Felipe Eluti and released March 24, 2015 by Unearthed Films, Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness is a descent into depravity as a washed up boxer finds himself at the mercy of an unimaginable evil that lives in his psyche. As his torture escalates at the hands of this female visage, his grip on reality slowly spirals into madness and he seeks out victims to inhumanely torture at the request of his mentor in torture, the nameless female figure. When a man has lost it all, what is left but the raw carnal need to inflict pain on those that he stumbles upon?

Story wise the movie keeps you disoriented by shuffling from past, middle, and present with only head and facial hair as a signifier that any amount of time has passed. One minute you start off in the beginning as The Boxer is furiously training, and then the movie interjects snippets of morbid visions of a bleeding duct taped victim strung from the ceiling. The film definitely keeps you on your toes without allowing you a structured timeline, but with The Boxer losing his grip on sanity, it helps to symbolize his decent into darkness.

The moments between The Boxer and his female tormentor at no point feel like they're just a mental fabrication. They feel unbelievably real and, for that reason, straddle the line of reality and believability. The method by which she tortures him is a twisted, morbid spin on the whole mistress/slave dominatrix BDSM fetishism, and much of the film finds bondage in general via ropes showcased very attentively as The Boxer intricately ties complex knots with great care, binding his victims before mercilessly torturing them.

The torment that the Boxer unleashes on his victims is, at times, anywhere between savagely brutal and mentally cruel. During one scene he binds a female victim to another male victim and after murdering the male victim, leaves him bound to the still alive female to decompose, her face pressed firmly against his corpse. The majority of the torture scenes are sadistic and callous, with eyes being cut out and the open wound being used for sexual gratification in an intense boundary pushing scene that is both disturbing and mesmerizing.

In conclusion, Visceral: Between the Ropes of Madness is an absolute exercise in extremes balanced with the morbid beauty of the fetish culture of bondage. For viewers who seek out extreme horror regularly, this film delivers every bit of the gruesome, morally absent violence that you could ever want. This film is the equivalent of a Mexican cartel decapitation video fisting 50 Shades of Grey, and you will never be the same afterwards.

Rating: 7/10

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Brood (1979)

BLU-RAY REVIEW: The Brood (1979)

By Nick Durham

The Brood

When it comes to body horror, no one does it like David Cronenberg. From Shivers to Rabid to Videodrome, Cronenberg's early work could fuck with your head and make your stomach churn like no other director in the horror business. One film that often falls by the wayside, at least when it comes to casual fans of his work, is his 1979 film, The Brood. Originally reviled by critics upon its initial release, The Brood is now often recognized as an oft-maligned classic of the director's filmography. I don't know if I'd really call it a classic, but that's where we are.

Anyway, the story of The Brood revolves around a man named Frank (Art Hindle) investigating the strange therapy techniques of psychologist Hal Raglan (Oliver Reed), and the effects they are having on Frank's institutionalized wife Nola (Samantha Eggar). Nola had a very traumatic upbringing, and Frank worries for the future of their young daughter Candice (Cindy Hinds). Eventually people linked to Nola begin being attacked by groups of seemingly deformed children, all the while Frank gets closer to learning the truth of the effects that Raglan's methods have had on his wife.

While The Brood may sound like a science gone mad-style of film, it really isn't at its heart. Like many of Cronenberg's other works from this era, this film focuses on the impact of the psychological torment that one can withstand before it starts manifesting itself in a physical nature, i.e. what we all know as the body horror sub-genre. Like I said before, nobody can do body horror like Cronenberg could. We get a nasty end result to everything to, with a shocker of a reveal at the film's climax to boot.

Now while The Brood is well shot, very well acted, and manages to leave a bit of a lasting impression, it just doesn't have that gut-wrenching impact that Cronenberg's more well-known works manage to have. That and the fact that somehow, some way, I just have a harder time believing a story about the physical manifestations of someone's psychological rage wreaking havoc than I do a vagina-looking VCR undulating from someone's chest cavity. I don't know, call me weird I guess. No matter what, The Brood has never really hit me in the way that Shivers, Rabid, Videodrome, The Fly, or even Naked Lunch could do to me.

Criterion's Blu-ray release is wonderful, as to be expected. The film's picture and sound are phenomenal, undoubtedly the best I've seen and heard it ever. There's a new documentary about the making of the film as well as delving into Cronenberg's early work, plus a 2011 interview with Cronenberg and Fangoria's Chris Alexander. Cronenberg's 1970 film Crimes of the Future is included here as well, which is also remastered for Blu-ray capabilities. There's also an appearance of Oliver Reed on The Merv Griffin Show. I will not comment on the state of his sobriety during this appearance.

So yeah, I've never been much of a fan of The Brood to say it lightly. It's not a terrible film, not one damn bit, but I find it hard to classify it as iconic as a majority of Cronenberg's filmography is. Like I said before, maybe it's just me, but it's never effected me like it has so many others. Either way, if you're a fan of this film, pick up this Blu-ray for the features alone.

Rating: 3/5

 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Exorcist (1973)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Exorcist (1973)

By Machete Von Kill

Exorcist Poster

Director: William Friedkin; Writer: William Peter Blatty; Stars: Max von Sydow, Linda Blair, Ellen Burstyn; Rating: R; Run Time: 122 min; Genre: Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 1973

When a teenage girl (Linda Blair) is possessed by a mysterious entity, her mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks the help of two priests (Max von Sydow and Jason Miller) to save her daughter. (Summary from IMDb.)

Saturday nights in 8th grade consisted of MTV's Headbanger's Ball, followed by whatever movie I happened to find on television. There were always a variety of B movies, Kung Fu or cheesy comedies on at that hour. Sometimes, I'd get lucky and find a great horror flick. In October, MTV, USA, and TBS all showed horror movies later at night. It was heaven! There was no internet or Netflix, and the only video rental place in town was in the local grocery store. Pickins were slim!

It was on one of those October Saturday nights when I happened upon The Exorcist for the very first time. I'm pretty sure it was on TBS, which of course meant editing for content. They were able to get away with a bit more at 3 am than they could during regular viewing hours, but a lot of the more graphic scenes were cut. Even so, it was enough to scare me and leave a permanent mark on my psyche.

I was raised Roman Catholic, and even though I left the Church and Christianity at the age of 13, some of the imagery and dogma still hangs around in the back of my head. The idea of demonic possession is terrifying! Being under the control of some other being that you can't see and can't defend yourself against...yeah screw that!

The wonderful makeup artistry of legends of the industry Dick Smith and Rick Baker, combined with years of catechism classes, and a well written story by William Peter Blatty created nightmare material for days! Eileen Dietz as the demonic face still creeps me out to this day. And poor Regan (Linda Blair) when she is fully possessed by Pazuzu...thank you Mr. Smith and Mr. Baker for makeup no one will ever forget! You provided nightmarish images for generations to come.

Even though the movie gave me nightmares that night (thanks Ms. Dietz!), I wasn't satisfied with just seeing the edited for content version of the film. A few days later, I mentioned seeing the movie to my mother. Thinking I'd probably get flack for staying up that late and for watching the Exorcist, I was beyond shocked when she responded with, "You need to see the WHOLE movie!" She actually took me to the video rental counter at Glen's Market and surprisingly enough, they had ONE VHS copy of The Exorcist. We took it home and watched it that day. MIND BLOWN! I had missed so much disturbing stuff watching it on basic cable. I experienced that mind blown sensation again several years later when the Director's Cut was released on DVD.

I went on to later read the novel by Blatty, that the movie is based on. And much later, the actual case that inspired the novel. I actually used it, and some creepy props, as a part of a visual display of the staff's favorite books when I worked at the local public library. And every October, without fail, I watch the Director's Cut. It just isn't Halloween without Regan, Captain Howdy and Pazuzu!

Final Verdict: 10 out of 10 "Powers of Christ compel you!"

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: An American Werewolf in London (1981)

By John Roisland

The Slaughtered Lamb1981 brought to us a film classic, a movie that to this day still tops the charts of being one horror's most loved. I am referring to John Landis' An American Werewolf in London. Landis, who brought us Animal House and The Blues Brothers (two of my favorites), decided to give the horror industry a shot but adding his trademark flavor of humor. Combining these two elements, along with master special effects by genius Rick Baker (Men in Black, Star Wars (1977), Planet of the Apes (2001)) and a great storyline, took him straight to the top of the box office.

David Naughton (Hot Dog the Movie) plays David Kessler who is on a college trip backpacking across Europe with his long time friend Jack Goodman, played by Griffin Dunne (After Hours, My Girl). After being warned to “stick to the road” and “beware the moon” by country folk in the English farm lands, the two find themselves being attacked by a werewolf in the middle of an open field and under the light of the full moon.

 

David wakes some weeks later in a hospital in London, only to find out that Jack died in the attack but that he himself had survived only with scratches. During his brief hospital stay, Jack visits David to inform him that he was killed by the same werewolf that merely scratched David. Jack tells him that he will become a werewolf, too. David dismisses the visit and is released from the hospital to stay with Nurse Alex Price, played by Jenny Agutter (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Logan's Run), who caught his eye at the hospital. While staying with her, David goes through changes, both physically and mentally. He thinks he's going mad and is sure that he is becoming like the monster that attacked him. The full moon is making him crazy, and he wakes naked in strange parts of the city with while David has no recollection of the night before. Later he learns of people who had been slaughtered and torn to pieces during the night on that night's evening news.

David is sure he's gone mad as he is again visited by his deceased friend Jack, now accompanied by the people that David has killed. They all warn him of the full moon and that he must take his life before hand or many others will be murdered by his hands.

On the night of the full moon, David as he transforms into the wild beast and sets out to hunt. His new-found love and flat mate is worried sick about him as she now believes in his obsession with and fear of becoming a monster and hurting people. Desperate, she notifies the police who are now on the look out for him.

David

The ending of the movie is filmed in busy Piccadilly Square and it is INCREDIBLE! From car crashes to cops getting their heads bitten off by the large werewolf... well, it's pretty fucking awesome! Since the movie has been out for 34 years, yeah, I'm going to drop a spoiler!

Spoiler Alert
David in werewolf form is now trapped at the end of an alley with no escape. Completely surrounded by cops with guns drawn. His new love runs through the line of officers and down the alley after David. She slows as she approaches the large beast, stares him softly in the eyes, and say “David”, the beast’s eyes,relax for a moment, and at that moment he tries lunging to attack her. Instantly a storm of gunfire is let out on the beast. Alex sees this, cries, and the camera pans down to the now dead, bullet-ridden body of David.
Music cues, and credits roll!

If, by chance, you have never seen this work of art, you need to... after I kick you in the throat! This film was — and, in my opinion, is STILL — ahead of its time! The work that Rick Baker alone did on this film has been tried by many others, and have all failed! The transformation scene is second to NONE!!

This is not my favorite horror film, but it is close. It is, however, one of my top choices even though it’s neither scary nor spooky, to watch during the 31 Days of Horror.

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Blood Glacier (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: Blood Glacier (2013)

Terror Has Evolved

By Woofer McWooferson

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Director: Marvin Kren; Writers: Benjamin Hessler (screenplay), Marvin Kren (screenplay contributor), Claudia Kolland (dramatization); Stars: Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Santos, Hille Beseler, Peter Knaack, Felix Römer, Brigitte Kren; Rating: Not Rated; Run Time: 98 min; Genre: Horror; Country: Austria; Language: German | English; Year: 2013

Blood Glacier (or Blutgletscher in the original German) is a 2013 offering from director Marvin Kren (Rammbock) and Allegro Film. Set in a 2014 where climate change/global warming has progressed beyond man's ability to reverse the damage, Blood Glacier examines the possibility of something very old and very dangerous coming to light in a world that has moved so far beyond it as to consider it myth or legend. Scientists in the Austrian Alps studying geological and climatological changes are at odd ends when an alarm sounds, necessitating technician Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) check out the equipment. Janek, accompanied by his dog Tinni (Santos) and meteorologist Falk (Peter Knaack), discovers a glacier that appears to be leaking blood. Intrigued, Falk decides to collect a sample for analysis back at the camp.

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The liquid from the glacier affects all who ingest it and nobody is immune to its affects. As the crew prepares for a visit from the Ministerin (Brigitte Kren) (Of what? We do not know.), they argue about just what should be revealed. Naturally, the majority vote is to keep it secret until they learn more about it. With the Ministerin and her entourage approaching and who knows what type of mutant animal hybrids on the loose, anything could happen.

Blood Glacier has all the elements of a fun horror movie – interesting plot, fun characters, no jump scares, and creatures straight out of an opium-induced hallucination. Additionally, there is a seemingly irrelevant love story that pays off at the end. There are strong performances all around, with the scientists believing themselves to be above technician Janek and vice versa. The Ministerin is an especially fun character who takes charge as soon as she is aware that something has gone very wrong. She also has the best line of dialogue in the entire movie. People die. Creatures die. But the mutation, by its very nature, adapts and survives.

The English language version suffers from bad voice acting for the main characters, specifically Janek, but is an otherwise enjoyable movie.

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Collector (2009)

HALLOWEEN HORRORS: The Collector (2009)

By John Roisland

Collector 4

In 2009, Marcus Dunstan, who brought you such titles as Saw IV and Saw V, brought you his clever game of cat and mouse, The Collector. This 90 minute sleeper, released by Vivendi and Genius Entertainment, unfortunately didn't do much at the box office, but was a bit of a hit with the rental market and with me!

Josh Stewart (The Dark Knight Rises , The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) stars as Arkin, an ex-con turned handy man who is trying to make good in life as well as make good to the loan shark that his wife racked up some hefty bills with while trying to stay afloat while Arkin was in the joint. Arkin offers to settle up by doing a job in his wealthy client’s home since he and his family are preparing to leave for a family vacation.

Both parties agree, but unfortunately for our star, someone has laid claim to this house first. Only difference is, this guy’s not there to rob them of jewelry; he robs them of lives. The Collector, played by Juan Fernandez (A Man Apart), has already settled in and transformed the house into a giant booby-trap full of torturous devices making it nearly impossible to escape.

Arkin arrives at the house to steal his new wealth, when he comes across the homeowners who are being held captive...in a giant foot locker. They warn him of the intruder and try to sneak out only to find themselves encountering deadly trap after deadly trap. You see, our new found collector, collects bodies. Tortures, murders, keeps them for his...collection.

I will say that there is a feeling of the Saw series present in the film. Even though this may not be as over the top or action packed as Saw, and sometimes it gets kinda slow, they did a good job with it. The film and lighting captured the feel of desperate people caught in their own home transformed into traps as well as the feel of The Collector’s driving need to collect. Some of the torture scenes were pretty original and gory. I have got to give props when they are due. While having a good blood and gore level, the film still held a nice atmosphere of suspense for its audience.

The film I thought ended perfectly into the ending credits...yes, also leaving it open for a sequel, that I'd rather not even discuss!

This one is a great watch. It keeps your interest without overdoing it. The acting, while maybe not being spot on by all of the cast, most still give a worthy performance. I do certainly enjoy this film, and suggest that if you haven't checked it out, that you do so!

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments