Pat Healy

Tales From Halloween … I have so many mixed feelings on this film. Tales From Halloween is a compilation of ten short stories all woven into one Halloween night.
The film, at first watch, I must admit, was a huge disappointment. I have been wanting to see Tales From Halloween since I first heard of it, so my expectations were really hopeful. For some reason, it first felt like I was watching a made for TV movie. I thought the special effects were extremely low grade and the music was even quirky. I am the biggest fan of the Halloween season and always make it a point to watch any movie based around it. So, sorry to say, I wasn’t a happy trick-or-treater!
As the movie went on, I tried to put my disappointment aside and give it more of a shot. As I did, my frown became more of a smirk. I started to see the campy and almost comedic side to Tales From Halloween. In my opinion, the movie isn’t a horror/comedy, but it does have you a campy B movie horror feel.
The film opens with the narration of a local radio disk jockey as the camera pans over a small town. The DJ, who is talking about Halloween and the witching hour, is none other than the sultry voice of movie legend ADRIENNE BARBEAU, and it set the mood for the film. The short stories range from legends of sweet tooth killers, aliens, neighbors fighting over the best yard decorating, children’s revenge, and what would Halloween be without a killer jack-o-lantern.
The film does host a very impressive list of names to the cast, Barbeau, being one, obviously, the lovely Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Contracted), Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City (TV series)), Tiffany Shepis (12 Monkeys (TV series), The Night Watchmen), Lin Shaye (Insidious 1+2, Theres Something About Mary), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, We Are Still Here, You’re Next), Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, Filth) Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills, Carnage Park) and a small appearance by legendary director John Landis ( The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London) Now with a list like this, you would be expecting one of the best horror films ever, but sadly it isn’t. To be honest, most of the names on this list have relatively small parts.
In keeping up with recent director compilation films (The ABCs of Death 1 and 2) and other Halloween films (Trick Or Treat), Tales From Halloween falls a bit short. Enjoyable for a non-serious horror film night – or a fun watch with friends.
Sorry, guys, but this is one where I loved the cover art for more than the film.
Keep It Evil…
MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Halloween (2015)

Tales From Halloween ... I have so many mixed feelings on this film. Tales From Halloween is a compilation of ten short stories all woven into one Halloween night.
The film, at first watch, I must admit, was a huge disappointment. I have been wanting to see Tales From Halloween since I first heard of it, so my expectations were really hopeful. For some reason, it first felt like I was watching a made for TV movie. I thought the special effects were extremely low grade and the music was even quirky. I am the biggest fan of the Halloween season and always make it a point to watch any movie based around it. So, sorry to say, I wasn't a happy trick-or-treater!
As the movie went on, I tried to put my disappointment aside and give it more of a shot. As I did, my frown became more of a smirk. I started to see the campy and almost comedic side to Tales From Halloween. In my opinion, the movie isn’t a horror/comedy, but it does have you a campy B movie horror feel.
The film opens with the narration of a local radio disk jockey as the camera pans over a small town. The DJ, who is talking about Halloween and the witching hour, is none other than the sultry voice of movie legend ADRIENNE BARBEAU, and it set the mood for the film. The short stories range from legends of sweet tooth killers, aliens, neighbors fighting over the best yard decorating, children's revenge, and what would Halloween be without a killer jack-o-lantern.
The film does host a very impressive list of names to the cast, Barbeau, being one, obviously, the lovely Caroline Williams (Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, Contracted), Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Spin City (TV series)), Tiffany Shepis (12 Monkeys (TV series), The Night Watchmen), Lin Shaye (Insidious 1+2, Theres Something About Mary), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, We Are Still Here, You’re Next), Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman, Filth) Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills, Carnage Park) and a small appearance by legendary director John Landis ( The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London) Now with a list like this, you would be expecting one of the best horror films ever, but sadly it isn't. To be honest, most of the names on this list have relatively small parts.
In keeping up with recent director compilation films (The ABCs of Death 1 and 2) and other Halloween films (Trick Or Treat), Tales From Halloween falls a bit short. Enjoyable for a non-serious horror film night - or a fun watch with friends.
Sorry, guys, but this is one where I loved the cover art for more than the film.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Carnage Park (2016)

MOVIE REVIEW: Carnage Park (2016)

CARNAGE PARK (2016)
Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck
So it's getting to be a late Saturday night and being the party animal that I am I flop on the couch, grab the remote, turn on Netflix, and start to waste time looking hopefully for a good movie. As always, I go straight to our beloved horror section, and I actually happen to stumble across Carnage Park. I knew was a relatively new release and figured why not, I don't have much else to do.
The story is of young Vivian (Bell, The Day, The Last Exorcism) who is kidnapped by two bank robbers in a small town outside the California desert. The two outrun the cops by driving off into the desert hills on an old dirt road that they come across. Thinking that they have made the easy escape, the two criminals are shot and killed by a skilled marksman who's watching them out in the hills. It is from this point on that Vivian is forced into a deadly game of cat-and-mouse.
So, hearing that, Carnage Park doesn't sound that bad... well, it's not great either.
Mickey Keating, director of Carnage Park, is trying for a late sixties feel. The beginning of the film was almost obnoxious the way it was done, then tried slipping into a near Tarantino hip feel, finally ending up trying to mock Rob Zombie in so many different ways.
And it must be pointed out that just because you're able to find an old model Nova to use as a cop car, an old Chevy Impala for the getaway car, and put a tinted lens over your camera, it really doesn't give a retro feel. The point that it was supposed to be dated is there, but, honestly, anyone could have picked up on it. It really had nothing to do with how it was shot.
Carnage Park is a borderline disappointment as the film had decent potential, and the star acting was pretty good and actually the one thing that held it together. Pat Healy (Compliance, Cheap Thrills) as the shooter was really good,...just wish there was actually more of him, and Alan Ruck as the sheriff looks the same as he did in Ferris Bueller's Day Off.
Now I'm not saying that the movie is Godawful because it's not although I did catch myself watching the clock and kind of wondering when is this ever going to be over.
It did have the potential to be a much grittier and bloodier film, and I really wanted to like this a lot more than I did. As many of you know, my love for Netflix is not a strong one anymore. Still, if you're a crazy, wild, Saturday night party person like I am and you can't find anything else worth watching either, sure go ahead and give Carnage Park a view... Hopefully you'll like it more than I did.
Keep It Evil...
Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Starry Eyes (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Starry Eyes (2014)

By Amy Lynes

Starry Eyes

Directed by: Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer

Starring: Alex Essoe, Noah Segan, Amanda Fuller, Fabianne Therese, and Pat Healy

Sarah is a young girl seeking fame and fortune as an actress, and doing everything she can to make it to the big time in Hollywood. She spends her days working at a horrible chain like restaurant called Big Taters where she is constantly hounded by her jerk of a boss (Pat Healy) who is less than thrilled about the time she takes off to audition and alternates between oogling her and harping on her.

Every day she goes on countless auditions and attends classes, hoping that each one will lead to her big break. She wants (and needs) a part so badly that after each botched audition, she indulges in fits of rage, screaming, kicking, and ripping out clumps of her hair.

After responding to an online ad for talent, she lands an audition for a film called The Silver Scream with Astraeus Pictures, a once illustrious production company. It could be the role of a lifetime. Her “gateway” part. Or so she thinks.

When she freezes up, the casting directors (Maria Olsen and Marc Senter) seem uninterested, and the audition does not go well. She runs from the room in a panic and finds the nearest restroom to indulge in one of her usual self-harm sessions. When she finally composes herself, she opens the door to the stall and finds the female casting director standing there with a strange gleam in her eye. She asks Sarah to return to the audition and try again, only this time showing them what she had just been doing in the stall. With much trepidation, Sarah consents, gives one hell of a performance, and succeeds in captivating them.

She is then called back for a series of auditions that become increasingly strange in their demands, until she is ultimately told that if she performs certain “favors” for an elderly producer (Louis Dezseran), this dream “gateway” part is hers. She initially bolts but the call of fame and fortune are too much for her, and a few days later she returns. Of course, by doing so she sells her soul to the devil.

Shortly thereafter, she begins to change, both in her demeanor and appearance. In addition to becoming irritable and violent, which is seen when she gets into a heated argument with her boss and slaps him across the face, the usually meek and mild mannered Sarah is changing on the outside as well. Her skin takes on a mottled and decaying appearance, she begins losing her hair, vomiting blood, and her fingernails peel off with ease. She is transforming into someone else, something else...

Starry Eyes is a very moody and atmospheric film with heavy supernatural/ Satanic undertones. It is bit of a slow burn and you are left guessing for a good portion of the film, but I still found it to be very entertaining and original. When things really get going, Sarah's life spirals out of control with a shocking quickness, and you can't look away.

Once Sarah has her lapse in judgment and goes against who and what she is, things charge full steam ahead into something truly terrifying. The climax, filled with a sudden carnage and brutality, could damn near leave one breathless. The rapid pace of the film's end is a drastic and bloody departure from the way it begins. The sheer brutality of the violence that she exacts on her friends is both equally unexpected and disturbing but necessary to the story and her rebirth into someone new.

Starry Eyes tells a story that is not necessarily a new one, but the manner in which it is told is a breath of fresh air from the the slow, typical style of the Satanic themed films of the 70s. It is told on a much more majestic and unsettling scale that highlights the directing team of Kolsch and Widmyer and the underlying theme of rebirth and transformation.

The camera work is stunning, the smooth editing makes transitions from scene to scene nearly flawless, the soundtrack lends itself well to the film and most of the acting was on par and/or better than I had expected. I was taken with Noah Segan's performance as well as Alex Essoe's. She does a phenomenal job in the titular role, which is also her first starring role. Be expecting to see more from her in the future.

If you enjoy the more modern Satanic themed films such as The House of the Devil, then Starry Eyes could very well be up your alley. I enjoyed it so much that before I had even returned my rental copy, I had purchased a copy of my own.

If you haven't seen it, I strongly urge you to remedy that and check it out as soon as possible. It was truly one of my favorite films of 2014.

I give it a strong 8/10 rating.

Posted by Amy Mead in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments