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MOVIE REVIEW: Eden Lake (2008)

MOVIE REVIEW: Eden Lake (2008)

untitled (4)

By : John Roisland

In 2008 writer / director James Watkins ( The Woman in Black , The Descent : Part 2) brings you this tale of evil in its purest form... kids! Watkins brought us Eden Lake, an eerie look at how evil teens can be.

Released by Roller Coaster Films, Aramid Entertainment Fund , Eden Lake  stars Kelly Reilly ( Sherlock Holmes ,  Flight) and Michael Fassbender ( Prometheus , Steve Jobs) on a romantic get a way to a secluded lake in the country side of Buckinghamshire, England. The lake is peaceful, and in the middle of nowhere, they have the entire place to them selves, or so they thought.  Seems our young couple have pitched their tent about 30 yards down shore of a small group of local town kids, who are hanging out and being teen kids, rude and obnoxious.

After rude slurs are given by the kids, the couple has had enough and confronts the youths. While in a verbal altercation with the leader of the group of kids,played  by Jack O'Connell (Unbroken, Harry Brown)  he releases his Rottweiler on the man , who accidentally ends up killing the dog. This is where the nightmare begins.

The teens literally wreak havoc on the couple , hunting them down like wild animals. As it stands, the kids pretty much rule the entire lake front and woods surrounding it. Fueled by rage, O'Connell also forces the other kids to follow in with his violent acts , or turns his rage on to them as well, for example, setting one of them on fire, as they watch him burn to death.

Now , there are much more brutal independent films out there that will haunt your mind with images of murders that will keep you wondering if what you saw was real or not, but one scene in the film, the kids capture the male adult and hold him captive for a while,...that's all I'm going to say, but  pretty impressive!

I must add, O'Connell's performance is spot on! He gets your blood pumping, and he makes you hate him with every passing heart beat!! He delivered a stellar performance.

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I'm not going to give any ending away in the film, other than it is worth the price of admission. This film surprised the shit out of me, and if I hadn't had kids already, this movie most likely would have stopped me from ever having any,.. but being as I do, it also makes me wonder what my little angels are really up to when they leave the house.

This is a pretty fast paced film that is beautifully shot, if you haven't seen Eden Lake yet, I highly  urge you to do so, as it immediately. It found its way to the tops of my charts after its first view!



Keep it Evil



Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Extreme Jukebox (2013)

MOVIE REVIEW: Extreme Jukebox (2013)


By Nick Durham

Well here’s something you don’t see everyday. An Italian-imported, heavy metal-themed slasher movie that proudly bears the Troma logo? You know what I have to say to that?

Sign me right the fuck up right fucking now thank you very fucking much.

Well, I’m sad to report that Extreme Jukebox isn’t the wonderful amalgamation of all things Italian, bloody, and metal. In fact, it really isn’t much of anything other than quite a few laughs and some heavy metal in-jokes, which is fine by the way, but it never lives up to the promise that you think it will end up doing.

The story of Extreme Jukebox revolves around rising star metal frontman Jessie Cake, who finds himself in the middle of a metal massacre involving a masked serial killer and a vengeful spirit. That is pretty much the gist of the film, along with a bevy of jokes, pretty funny dialogue, and some surprisingly good music as well; of which are sung in English while the rest of the film’s dialogue is in its native Italian.

The one thing that I am severely disappointed by with Extreme Jukebox is its lack of blood and gore. I mean it has a little here and there, but nowhere near what one would expect from a movie like this, and a fucking Troma movie at that. It just feels too restrained, and far too much for its own good to boot. Despite that, the film does manage to pack a shitload of really funny moments and sometimes it can be downright fucking hysterical. Throw that in with some decent performances and some pretty good music, and you get a worthwhile diversion while it lasts.

All in all, Extreme Jukebox is a brisk, mildly entertaining, Italian metal-injected flick that doesn’t deliver in terms of the visceral thrills that Troma fans would expect from it. Still, it’s not awful, which in itself is something notable on its own. If you do end up checking it out, don’t go into it expecting anything too special, and chances are you’ll find something about it that you’ll dig.

Rating: 3/5


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

MOVIE REVIEW: Unnatural (2015)

By Amy MeadUnnatural-Movie-Poster8 FILMS TO DIE FOR


Directed by Hank Braxtan

Starring Sherilyn Fenn, James Remar and Allegra Carpenter and featuring a cameo appearance by Ray Wise


Global climate change prompts a huge laboratory corporation, Clobirch Corporation, to totally screw with Mother Nature. They foolishly create and study genetically modified polar bears. Because Polar bears aren't deadly enough.

Predictably, there is a mishap at the lab, the modified beast escapes, killing some scientists in the process, and chaos ensues. You would think that the middle of nowhere in Alaska might be the safest place for an experiment such as this, but you would be wrong. Dead wrong. 

It just so happens that the polar bear break out is going down just as a rude and pretentious photographer is arriving at the Black Snake Lodge, which is located not far from the lab site, with a couple of ultra bitchy models and his long suffering assistant in tow. They are there to do do a "Girls Gone Wild" type of photo shoot in the snowy locale, oblivious to the fact that something far wilder and more deadly then they can imagine is stalking them. Something is watching them and waiting.

Having been a long time fan of the After Dark's 8 Films To Die For film series (and a long standing woman crush on Sherilyn Fenn), I was eager to check out this years series of films and decided to start with Unnatural because of the lovely Ms. Fenn's appearance.

I hate to say it, but I was tremendously disappointed. In the beginning, the film shows a great deal of promise with what could have been a pretty solid story line, a seasoned cast and absolutely stunning locations. As the film progresses, however, it sadly falls short of its promise and for the most part, does not deliver. 

The pacing is slow and at times often boring and the gore is minimal, which is surprising given the premise of the film. The cast's talents go completely underutilized, which is a shame given the strength of some the more seasoned cast members. Sadly, only James Remar is really given the opportunity to stand out and be memorable. Remar is the glue that holds Unnatural together and if it weren't for his performance, there wouldn't be much of anything redeeming about the film - unless you factor in genre veteran Ray Wise's cameo appearance as the head of the Clobirch Corporation.

Unnatural polar bear

The creature effects leave a great deal to be desired. And what we do get to see of the creature is mostly fleeting, unexciting, and dare I say it, borderline cheesy because it is of course, loaded with CGI. Unfortunately, most the kills are lackluster and there isn't much to be had in the way of suspense or gore. There is no real sense of dread or urgency. There is no real sense of fear and some of the characters are so unimaginably stupid in their decision making it made me crazy.

While James Remar's performance does make Unnatural worth a one time watch, don't go in expecting to be wowed. It isn't going to happen. Overall, there just isn't much about this film that really stands out and once the credits roll, it is easily forgettable. 

As I mentioned earlier in this review, I have always been a fan of the After Dark film series offerings and I really hope that this film is not indicative of what the rest of this year's line-up might be like. 

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Bound to Vengeance (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Bound to Vengeance (2015)


By Nick Durham

Good old fashioned revenge flicks have made a bit of a comeback over the last couple years. One of which, 2013's Blue Ruin, probably being the best of the bunch (and by all means, you need to go check that out). In this little revenge flick renaissance, I've come upon Bound to Vengeance (thanks Netflix); a relatively brisk film about a captured young girl (Tina Ivlev) who turns the tables on her captor (Richard Tyson, aka the asshole villain from the Arnold Schwarzenegger classic Kindergarten Cop).

Bound to Vengeance begins with Eve (Ivlev) waking to find herself in the captivity of Phil (Tyson). It doesn't take long for her to free herself and turn the tables on our villain though, and it takes even less time for Eve to embark on a journey to find and rescue all the other girls that Phil seems to have captured and scattered all over the place. Of course things don't seem to work out well for anyone involved, and naturally, things aren't quite what they seem either. What? You thought this would be by the numbers and easy to follow? You've come to the wrong place then motherfucker.

That's the main problem with Bound to Vengeance: it tries too damn hard. First it tries to be somewhat subdued in terms of the extremes this kind of thing could offer...then it tries to get all twisty and even a tad noir-ish. It doesn't work as either sadly, and comes off as a more bloody and less overacted episode of Law & Order: SVU instead. The film also has a severe lack of atmosphere and for being a 79-minute long movie, it often drags along. At least the cast is good though. Tina Ivlev has a bright future ahead of her, and Richard Tyson is a typically wonderful scumfuck.

So yeah, Bound to Vengeance isn't anything special or remotely good. Still though, you can certainly do far, far worse in terms of revenge flicks. It's short and new to Netflix, so if anything I've described sounds interesting to you, give it a look. Then again, you'd be much better off checking out Blue Ruin instead.

Rating: 2/5


Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: I Saw the Devil (2010)

MOVIE REVIEW: I Saw the Devil (2010)


By John Roisland

In 2010, Jee-woo Kim (A Tale of Two Sisters) wrote and directed I Saw the Devil.  This Korean film runs 141 minutes and stars Min-sik Choi (Old Boy +Lucy) and Byung -hun Lee from he G.I Joe movie series and Terminator: Genisys. And wow, what a job Kim does!!!

Kim takes us on a journey of cat and mouse between our two stars. Lee, plays a detective out for revenge to his recently murdered pregnant fiancé. Choi, as you guessed it, plays our killer; a serial killer who preys on women.

Choi enjoys beating his victims in the head with large lead pipes, then drags their near dead bodies back to his place where he proceeds to dismember the bodies…dead or not.  Choi also enjoys a good romantic romp as well. See, Choi works as a student driver,  he drives a small Toyota van taking young private school girls to and from school. Well, if the last one of the girls might happen to fall asleep, she might end up in the middle of nowhere, on the ground of a green house bound, gagged and with Choi about to have his way with her.

Lee has narrowed down who the possible suspects could be, and all signs now lead directly to Choi. The two, once they have both made their presence known to each other, start a violent game of cat and mouse. Lee has so many chances to arrest Choi, or even kill him if he liked, but Lee is now out to torment the killer, and inflict as much pain as possible, many times over, till the very end!

As I mentioned, the film runs for over two hours, but it doesn’t drag or have slow parts. As a matter of fact, it actually begins to take a life of its own, leaving the horror feel of it, and almost becoming an action crime film. Now I don’t say this in a negative way, but I will admit from all I had heard, I kind of expected a bit more of a gore fest, than a Dirty Harry movie. BUT please, don’t let my last statement deter you from watching this, it really is a great film…just not what I would really have considered a full on horror film.

Now, I must mention, who of you have seen Old Boy, can we get a raise of hands please…ok, you remember the bat shit crazy performance from the lead role, well as  you read, Choi, who stars in this film as our bad guy, stars in Old Boy  as well… this man is a sick genius! His facial expressions, his body language , his overall emotions that he puts into his character is top notch! The job he does here in I Saw the Devil, is downright scary. His cold hearted and emotionless killings often times reminded of what a Korean Hannibal Lecter might be like. He’s the quiet, shady guy you would see at a seedy bar, might not look like much…but is the one the will make you see the devil.

If you are honestly looking to sit down with a scary movie , this is not it, but if you are looking for a great film, with some awesome acting , and good action…this is it.

For those of you who haven’t seen the film yet, and if you haven’t put two and two together, it’s a foreign film…IT’S IN SUBTITLES…figured I’d better mention that, so I don’t get bitched at later!

The film is on Netflix…go watch!!



Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Bloody Knuckles (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Bloody Knuckles (2014)


By Nick Durham

Do you want to be offended? I don't necessarily say that in a mean way or anything like that; I mean do you want to be offended in a way that will make you end up cracking a smile and just hating yourself a little bit after? Then you should watch Bloody Knuckles. This Canadian horror comedy is a surprisingly hilarious, and oh so juvenile, film that underneath all the dick and fart jokes offers up a surprising commentary on the nature of offensiveness in this politically correct world.

The story of the film revolves around underground comic book artist Travis (Adam Boys), whose comics are delightfully offensive and unflinching in honesty. His work manages to piss off a local crime lord, and before you know it, Travis has his drawing hand severed. Travis subsequently begins a downward spiral into depression...until his severed hand mysteriously comes back to life and begins a mission of bloody, and hilarious, revenge. Along for the ride is Travis' plucky newspaper reporter love interest (Gabrielle Giraud) and eventually a gay, S&M themed vigilante (seriously). There's more going on too, but seriously, you've got to see this shit for yourself instead of reading me describing it.

Written and directed by Matt O'Mahoney, Bloody Knuckles is a total fucking hoot. Though it offers up plenty of offensiveness and all, like I had said earlier, it's never mean spirited. When this movie is funny, it's funny and supremely enjoyable. The cast somehow manages to keep straight faces throughout the absurdity of it all, and all of them turn in some pretty good performances too. It should also be mentioned that for a low budget film, there's some surprisingly good effects work in terms of makeup, blood, and the severed hand moments as well.

Now Bloody Knuckles isn't going to win any awards or anything, but for what it is, it's pretty damn good. It offers up enough blood and laughs to keep you entertained, and it's briskly paced enough so you'll be glued to the screen for its whole running time. If any of what I've described sounds up your alley at all, give this a look.

Rating: 4/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, STAFF PICKS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Maniacts (2001)

MOVIE REVIEW: Maniacts (2001)

Just Two Crazy Kids In Love

By Woofer McWooferson

Writer and Director: Curt Cressler (as C.W. Cressler); Stars: Jeff Fahey, Kellie Waymire; Rating: R; Run Time: 92 min; Genre: Action | Comedy | Drama | Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2001


While IMDb classifies Maniacts only as Action | Comedy | Drama, I've taken the liberty of adding horror because it touches on our genre as well as any of the categories they assigned it. Sometimes compared to Natural Born Killers, Maniacts is one of those rare gems the dedicated horror fan finds by accident. Loosely the story of two serial killers who fall in love while both are in the Edgemare Institute for the Criminally Insane, Maniacts is a dark comedic commentary on the treatment of the mentally ill and society in general. Written and directed by Curt Cresslar (as C.W. Cressler), Maniacts also questions what is sane and insane, noting that “being good and doing what's right, they aren't always the same thing”.


Joseph “Joe” Spinelli (Jeff Fahey) is dubbed the Blueblood Killer for his having killed only members of elite society, arrives at Edgemare where Elizabeth “Beth” Windsor (Kellie Waymire) is already incarcerated. Known as the Hitch-Hiker Killer, Beth becomes amazingly strong when she is angered – strong enough to snap a man's neck - feat that Joe finds entrancing and endearing. Reaching out to Joe, Beth shows appreciation for the shock value of Joe's pranks, seeing a touch of the artisit in his handiwork and attention to detail. Although his stunts land him in solitary, Joe finds them rewarding enough to continue since Beth appreciates them as much as he loves doing them. 

Beth, meanwhile, has to reconcile herself regarding Joe. As she finds herself interested in him, Beth asks him if he has killed any actually bluebloods. Believing herself to be a descendant of Queen Elizabeth, it would be unthinkable of her to continue associating with Joe if he had killed actual bluebloods. Lucky for both of them, he had not, and the two are free to continue their budding relationship. Even luckier, they have a friend inside an otherwise completely corrupt asylum. Mason (Mel Winkler), an ex-felon asylum attendant, sees what the rest of the staff cannot or do not want to see: the sadistic methods of the matron and her staff of bullies are destroying any chance that these – and any of the other – inmates have.

Jeff Fahey is always good, regardless of the genre, and he excels in this multi-faceted piece. We laugh with him, we cry for him, and we want to help him. No matter what he goes through, we cannot help but feel for him. Kellie Waymire as Beth is enchanting. Small, perky, happy, thoughtful, and charismatic, Beth is the perfect partner for softspoken Joe. Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy) plays the inmate's matron with a quite a bit of a nod to Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Matron Knull, however, is more of a caricature of Louise Fletcher's Nurse Ratched allowing us to laugh in a way that Ratched could not. There was no comedy there; only brutal reality.

Matron Knull is assisted in her sadistic handling of the day-to-day operations of the asylum by her questionable staff, the appropriately named Bull (Bob Koherr) and Carp (Simon Brooke). Meanwhile, the director, Dr. Denton Speck (Bob Bancroft), is more than happy to allow Knull to run the place as it leaves him open to pursue his political aspirations. When things take a turn for the truly dark, Mason is unable to continue to allow the corruption he sees and helps Joe escape. Everything changes when Joe returns for Beth.


While it is not strictly horror by any means, Maniacts manages to portray the horror of contemporary society with humor, poignancy, drama, and a bit of action. Maniacts is a dark comedy, heady and worth watching more than twice.

NOTE: There is an edited version without the blood. Do not watch that one.

7/10 claws – Dedicated to actor Joe Spinell.

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

MOVIE REVIEW: Stung (2015)


By Nick Durham

Horror comedies are a tricky thing to get the ball rolling with: sometimes they work really well and offer a good mix of scares and humor, but on the flipside, sometimes they don't offer enough of either, or one will end up dominating the other, and the whole affair will feel uneven. Stung is a horror comedy that doesn't necessarily do anything wrong or even badly, but it doesn't do enough to be too memorable either in the realm of the horror/comedy film. That being said, while it isn't perfect, it does end up being very serviceable and even mostly enjoyable regardless.

The story revolves around a pair of caterers (Matt O'Leary and Jessica Cook) working at an upscale garden party in a rural area, and wind up becoming targets for mutated killer wasps. Said mutated killer wasps lay their eggs in their prey, so as you can imagine, there is lots and lots of slaughter on the menu. Clifton Collins Jr. (Star Trek, Boondock Saints II) is on board as a hilariously creepy momma's boy, and genre stalwart Lance Henriksen is here as well, doing what he does best...which is be Lance Henriksen.

Stung is the directorial debut of visual effects artist Benni Diez, who shows loads of promise behind the camera, does pretty well in terms of the technical aspects the film has to offer. Not to mention the fact that the creature and makeup effects are surprisingly good as well. The gore effects are occasionally nasty, and there's some moments of crap CGI effects as well, although that's to be expected with a low budget creature I guess. The cast is good; playing their parts fairly straight given the subject matter...except for Lance Henriksen. He hams it up and chews more scenery than a cow chews grass. But it's Lance, and I can't stay mad at him even if I wanted to.

So yeah, Stung isn't anything special, but for what it is, it's plenty enjoyable. It's currently on Netflix, and is a good time killer if you have an hour and a half to spare. I mean hey, there's worse ways to kill actually getting stung by a wasp. Fuck that noise.

Rating: 3/5

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Charlie’s Farm (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Charlie’s Farm (2014)

 By Dixielord

Charlie's Farm

Charlie's Farm

Charlie's Farm is the new Australian slasher from writer/director Chris Sun starring Bill Moseley, Kane Hodder, Tara Reid and Aussie strongman Nathan Jones. I had heard of the project for a while and assumed, as I think many others did, that it was based on the Manson family. Possibly fueled by the continued rumors that Bill Moseley was set to star as Charles Manson in an upcoming film. Despite Bill himself calling shenanigans multiple times the rumor persisted.

But no Charlie's Farm is not a docudrama or fictionalized tale of the Manson family and their own farm. No, it's a down and dirty Australian slasher film, and it's pretty damn good. It's not Citizen Kane,it's not an exceptionally deep movie, but what it does it does well.

Charlie's Farm doesn't go for humor like seems to be the norm for a lot of slashers now. There is some joking around and lite humor between the characters but when the killing starts, it business time.

The story focuses on a group of campers looking for a new experience. Hearing the legends of Charlie's Farm they decide to head there for a couple days of camping and exploring the legends. It seems Charlie's Farm was the home of a family of cannibals that preyed on back packers. When the locals got fed up they attacked the farm killing the head of the family played by Moseley, and his wife. In the confusion the couple's young son Charlie (Cameron Caulfield) escapes into the woods. Years later he is rumored to be lurking nearby, The campers find that young Charlie has grown into a seven foot monster of a man, played by Nathan Jones (Mad Max: Fury Road), with his parents taste for mayhem.

One of the really cool things about Charlie's Farm, is we get to see Kane Hodder in a different role than he's most known for. The man who was Jason ( and always will be to his fans) has a large role, out of mask or makeup, and he's playing a heroic role. I don't want to give away too much, but it's not just a cameo, and we do get to see a fight between the two big men.

Bill Moseley (The Devil's Rejects) is basically playing a slightly older version of Otis Firefly. That's not a bad thing, as no one plays crazy, cannibal killer better than Bill. He has limited screen time but he hams it up with insane aplomb. But Nathan Jones as the grown up Charlie Wilson is the star of the show. He's big, impressive, strong and has a flair for interesting kills. If there's a down side it's that he doesn't have that much screen time, and we don't really see him till late in the film. Still, he would make am impressive killer to hold down a new franchise.


Tara Reid in Charlie's Farm

Tara Reid in Charlie's Farm

The biggest surprise for me was Tara Reid. She didn't annoy me nearly as much as usual. You kind of get used to the hot mess Tara, from tabloids and her show Taradise. Her last few film roles have been less than impressive as well. In Charlie's Farm she at least pulls it together and does a semi competent job, at least by Tara standards. She's still (***potential spoiler) a poor choice for a final girl, and co-star Allira Jones would have been a better choice

The rest of the kids, although they all seem a bit older than your usual slasher victims, are just that, your average cookie cutter victims. Sam Coward, as “Donkey” tries to be funny, and it's actually slightly amusing to see him attempt and mostly fail at humor. Allira Jones as Melanie, has the most personality of all the “kids” and a beautiful smile. The campers are rounded out by Dean Kirkright as Jason.

There's enough gore and kills in Charlie's Farm to keep the gore hounds happy, although it might not send them into a blood fueled ecstasy. It's not on the level with films like The Green Inferno but it's at decent levels for a slasher flick. It is a bit slow in the middle, and the heavy Aussie accents may make it hard to keep up with some of the dialogue in the slow parts.

So while Charlie's Farm isn't breaking new ground, or reinventing the slasher, it's a good throwback to the more serious, less campy horror films. It's not great but it's good enough, and it's got Kane being a good guy. It gets a solid 6 and a half out of ten stars. If you like slashers, check it out, and if you're a fan of Kane, run and grab a copy today.

Posted by Allen Alberson in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
REVIEW: The Blood Lands (2014)

REVIEW: The Blood Lands (2014)

By Amy Mead

The Blood Lands poster


(original title WHITE SETTLERS)
"They don't belong here"
Directed by Simeon Halligan
Starring Pollyanna McIntosh, Lee Williams and Joanne Mitchell


Sarah and Ed are a newlywed couple looking to get away from their stressful city lives in England. They find an old vacant Scottish home at an unbelievable price and after seeing it, they decide to take on a renovation project and dive into the quiet country lifestyle head first.

Their first day on the property and in the home is an idyllic one. The stuff newlywed dreams are made of. But the boxes aren't even unpacked before Sarah begins to feel that maybe they are not alone and things begin to get decidedly creepy and unsettling. It doesn't take long before there are unwelcome masked visitors who come calling. And they are not friendly.

Perhaps the incredible price they got on this old homestead wasn't such a steal after all...


I am really fond of home invasion type films so when I saw The Blood Lands while surfing through netflix selections,  I had to check it out. Home invasion films really get to me as far as fear levels go, so I was all in. 

For the most part The Blood Lands is your typical home invasion film but from time to time, there were a couple of nail biting scenes that were filled with tension and I found myself unable to sit still. 

The film does start off a little slowly but once things start happening and the cheap false scares end, the creepiness really begins to assert itself as the film begins to pick up speed and it manages to pull you in. Sort of. 

The acting is decent and the picture lighting and sound quality were excellent and because of that, the scenes were loaded with plenty of extra tension and adrenaline. There really wasn't much to be had in the way of gore but we do get a few glimpses of it now and again. 

I quickly became a little annoyed at the poor decisions exhibited by Sarah after she and Ed become separated and I spent over half of the movie waiting for Sarah to grow a spine and start defending herself instead of just trying to elude her attackers. Reduce the numbers of those trying to kill you, I always say. But maybe that's just me.

Although she does have some considerable skill at eluding the attackers, Sarah just sort of aimlessly drifts from place to place with no real intent on her part becoming clear. It doesn't even appear that she is actively looking for her husband, which for a newlywed couple seemed very strange to me but I digress. When she finally discovers him tied up in the barn with one of the pig mask wearing attackers it's more like she just happened upon it but it is then that she finally starts to show some initiative and strikes back, attacking the man and wounding another.

Their characters become a lot less likable as they continue to make one stupid decision after another and the further into the film I got I kinda just want to assist the masked assailants that are terrorizing them. It was almost as if they had no instinct to fight back or even attempt to protect themselves. It seemed to take an unusually long time for them to go into survival mode. Because of their lack of action, it was hard to get emotionally invested with them and care much either way if they survived the night or not. 

As far as home invasion films go this one was a bit on the weak side and a bit predictable at times. I was a bit surprised the ending but had it not been for one key scene in particular (which I won't spoil for you) I would have enjoyed the film much less. All in all it wasn't a terrible film but it was nothing groundbreaking either. 

I give The Blood Lands  7/10 territorial douchebags

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Boxing Helena (1993)

MOVIE REVIEW: Boxing Helena (1993)

By Amy Mead

Boxing Helena

Directed by Jennifer Chambers Lynch

Story written by Phillipe Caland

Screenplay written by Jennifer Chambers Lynch

Starring Julian Sands, Sherilyn Fenn, Bill Paxton, Kurtwood Smith and Art Garfunkel


Dr. Nick Cavanaugh is a successful surgeon living on a posh Atlanta estate who is as lonely as the day is long. Lonely and harboring some pretty hardcore mommy issues, he becomes obsessed with the beautiful and beguiling Helena after a clandestine one night stand. He is unable to shake the memory of her, in spite of being engaged to his lovely fiance Anne. His enchantment with Helena leads him to many careless acts, including climbing the trees outside her apartment and peeping on her and pretty much stalking her. 

Nick throws a party one night and foolishly invites Helena. He is forced to witness her flirt with a young man at the party. Helena becomes the talk of the party when she removes her dress and goes for a nice, sexy stroll through the majestic water fountain in Nick's garden and then leaves with the young man she just met. The way Nick feels for Helena is written all over his face as he watches her in the fountain, leading to an angry confrontation with his fiance Anne in which he denies any sort of relationship with Helena. 

The next day Helena returns to Nick's estate to retrieve something she mistakenly left something behind at the party.  This leads to an awkward standoff between Nick and Helena and she tries to leave in a hurry and winds up getting hit by a car in front of Nick's property, leaving her with some pretty gnarly damage to her legs.

Lucky for Helena (or is it?), Nick is a surgeon and he is able to treat her right there in his home and keep her alive. However, when Helena finally wakes, she discovers that both of her legs are gone and she is virtually a prisoner in Nick's palatial home. Nick uses excuse after excuse as to why he is keeping her there and eventually Helena tries to strangle him. bad move on her part as she then wakes up and her perfectly healthy arms have also been removed.

She is now completely dependent upon the man who has taken his obsession to another level and she is beginning to resign herself to the fact that she may never make it out alive...



Boxing Helena is the directorial debut from Jennifer Chambers Lynch and it garnered just as much controversy during its creation as it did once it played to shocked audiences upon its completion. There were many legal woes as a lawsuit was filed against Kim Basinger for backing out of a verbal agreement to play the titular role. The studio won and it cost her a cool seven million dollars, thus placing the film in the spotlight before it was even in the can. 

It turns out it was what was best for the film in the long run. I cannot see this film being even half as good with Basinger in the role of Helena. I have a hard time seeing anyone but the sexy siren Sherilyn Fenn (yes, she is my woman crush) playing her, even knowing that Madonna was up for the role at one point. Sherilyn Fenn is Helena. No question about it for me. I think she is the only one who could exude the sexiness required for the role and do it any justice.

Jennifer Chambers Lynch gets a lot of hate for this movie but I personally love it. I have since my first viewing upon the film's video release WAY back in the nineties. I don't care what anyone says, I think her direction on this film is fantastic. I have also heard that Fenn and Sands have both received criticism for their performances in the years since the films release, but I think the roles of Nick and Helena were played exactly the way they needed to be, by who they needed to be. Being that Chambers Lynch adapted the screenplay from Phillipe Caland's story herself, their performances were more than likely exactly what she was after. 

Given the subject matter, one might be led to believe that the film would be ultra gory but that is not the case here at all. We are not made privy to the act of Helena's limbs being taken from her, we are only made witness to the aftermath and Helena's shock upon waking up and realizing that parts of her are missing. We witness her downward mental spiral and it is truly horrific and heartbreaking to watch her decline into anger, sadness. and despair and it is almost heartbreaking to watch, until we start to see that in spite of everything, she has retained her fiery spirit after all. She unleashes her fury and holds nothing back with her verbal tirades upon Nick. She abuses him right back with her words and it's very refreshing to see. 

While Boxing Helena is not your typical horror film by any means, even without the gore and jump scares, the film is quite terrifying purely based on its subject matter alone. It takes a really unhinged person to subject someone you "love" to the humiliation he places upon Helena. The thought of going through what Helena does makes my skin crawl. SO creepy. 

Say what you want about Boxing Helena, but I myself love it. It may not be in your face horror but it is truly horrific nonetheless. I have watched it countless times and will watch it countless more. If you haven't seen it yet (and I don't know how that's possible) you need to. Immediately. 

I give Boxing Helena a solid  9/10 



Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Let Us Prey (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Let Us Prey (2014)

Sin wears many faces

By Amy Mead


Let us Prey

Directed by Brian O'Malley
Starring Pollyanna McIntosh, Bryan Larkin and Liam Cunningham


Let Us Prey opens up on waves crashing upon a shoreline and a man, mysteriously appearing on top of the jagged rocks and then advancing toward the rural seaside Scottish village. 

This mysterious man, (known to us only as Six) has decided to appear on what is PC Rachel Heggie's first night on the job and almost immediately, craziness and confusion begin.

After waking from a horrible nightmare, Rachel prepares for work and on her walk into the precinct, she witnesses a  speeding car hit a man who is just standing in the middle of the road. She approaches the vehicle, but upon further inspection, she sees that no one is there. No wounded, broken body. No victim. The man has simply vanished. She hauls the driver in and alerts fellow PC's to be on the lookout for the man. 

A team of fellow officers apprehend the man and bring him to the station. Straight away things seems off with him somehow and begin to get weird and this man Six, seems to know a lot things he shouldn't about the other people in the building, officers and criminals alike. Things that there are no way he could possibly know.

Before long this mysterious stranger seems to be running the show and seemingly takes over the minds, and souls, of everyone present and they all become increasingly aware of the various crimes they are guilty of, as well as the price that must be paid for them. 

Through a series of flashbacks, it becomes evident that Rachel survived some sort of horrific ordeal when she was young and we see that she and Six have met once before, a long time ago and we begin to get a sense that maybe this night's happenings are not as random and off kilter as they appear...

Let Us Prey moves along a little slowly and is slightly confusing at first but in the long run, it does a lot to help feed into the apprehension and tension of the film. Once the film gets moving, and some questions are answered, the more carnage there is. There was a fair amount of blood, for a gore hound such as myself to enjoy and some of the kills were pretty gruesome indeed (My personal favorite is the table leg in the socket kill) and once it starts, it's pretty much relentless until the very end. 

In addition to blood and carnage,  I am also a big fan of watching total douchebags who deserve a proper ass kicking get what's coming to them and Let Us Prey definitely delivers in that aspect.  Watching Rachel's fellow officers get their comeuppance was truly a delight and even though I could sympathize with the prisoners more than the officers, it was fun watching them meet their end as well. 

I also really enjoyed the acting by the whole cast but particularly the interaction between Rachel and Six, especially at the films climax. 

In spite of the slow burn I did enjoy this one tremendously and would recommend the rest of you giving it a watch. There are far worse ways to waste your time and money, trust me. Do yourself a favor and check this one out. 

I give Let Us Prey 7/10 assholes who had it comin'

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 0 comments
MOVIE REVIEW: Dead Snow (2009)

MOVIE REVIEW: Dead Snow (2009)


By : John Roisland


In 2009 the snow covered mountains of Norway were invaded by Nazis. Flesh eating Nazis, and did I happen to mention that they are also dead?

Writer/ director Tony Wirkola who also brought us Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, Hansel + Gretel: Witchhunters (written by),  brings you one of my most loved in the zombie film genre, DEAD SNOW.


A passer by  warns them of evil things in the area, of course  our group pays them no mind until they discover a box containing old  gold jewelry and golden coins. Then, things get fun.

Seems the new treasure was once a buried treasure that belonged to , ... you guessed it, NAZIS!!! Now they are rising from the snow covered earth to reclaim what is theirs got it, NAZI ZOMBIES!!! Seems during WW II, the Nazis would bury their new found treasures during the war in the hills. Seems like I smart thing to do, after all, who's going to find it...other than a group of now drunk friends on a weekend outing.

Let me tell you what, I am in way shape or form trying to sound like I am supporting the SS, but damn, those outfits were awesome!!!

The films is a horror comedy, and a great job they did covering both ends! There's enough blood spraying to make a thousand vampires drool. And the best way to explain the comedy aspect of it is to compare it to the likings of Evil Dead meets Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. And it works!

The film stars, Vegar Hoel (Dead Snow 2, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), Stig Frode Henriksen (Dead Snow 2, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), Charlotte Frogner (Dead Snow 2), Evy Kasseth Rosten (Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Max Manus), Jenny Skavlan (Body Troopers) and was released by Euforia Film and Barrents Film AS.

Sadly enough when the film hit the states, it bombed, bad! It only grossed 41k. The film has however turned into a bit of a cult horror classic, and seems to be gathering more fans all the time!

The film to me is a pure fun time, and posses some truly classic scenes. How could you not get into a film where a guy hangs off a cliff holding on to dear life, a zombies intestines .

This and its sequel Dead Snow 2 : Red vs Dead are both currently on Netflix, so if you haven't, must!!


Keep it Evil

Posted by John Roisland in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 1 comment
MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Poe (2014)

MOVIE REVIEW: Tales of Poe (2014)

By: Stephanie Roisland


Tales of Poe 2014

Directed by: Bart Mastronardi of MastroPiece Productions and Alan Rowe Kelly of SouthPaw Pictures

Produced by: Nicole Alexis, Robert Kuiper, Bart Mastronardi and Alan Rowe Kelly

Associate Production by: Amy Lynn Best, Mike Watt and Marcus A. DeCosta

Screenplay by: Bart Mastronardi, Alan Rowe Kelly and Michael Varrati

Music and sound design by: Tom Burns/ Really Horrible Music

Including a cast of: Adrienne King, Amy Steel, Caroline Williams, Randy Jones, Lesleh Donaldson, Desiree Gould, Alan Rowe Kelly, Debbie Rochon and Bette Cassatt


I was personally looking forward to reviewing this film, as an Edgar Allen Poe fan myself, this was intriguing and anticipated.  The ambitious and twisted portrayal of these writings was a refreshing approach to these horror classics.

Over a great many years, Poe has spoken to the world of love, death and the struggles life pans out for those in the grasps of a dark cloud. We each in our minds have built a story, where the characters come alive, we tend to think towards the obvious and literal terms in which he writes. What if we didn't, what if we really analyzed the depth of his words and the embraced the darkness in his heart.  That's what Tales of Poe has done, made a film and characters to match the emotions spoken in his works. The characters reach out and grab you in this beautifully made reenactment of the dark and macabre.


The Tell Tale Heart was amazingly preformed, a few of those actors being Desiree Gould, Adrienne King and Alan Rowe Kelly. Nurse Malliard was a sinister bitch with a true power trip, while the real murderous and scary presence was the quiet Private Nurse. I loved the feel of this segment of the film. Miss Lamarr was a terrorizing sight and that bell! I don't think ever in my life I will forget the sound of those repetitive chimes and the overwhelming echo they unleashed. The ending of this amused me to no other, I really enjoyed the bloody finish.


The Cask was an abrupt entrance into a story that had been building for years. A celebration to a future, one thinks its forever, and the others' plan differs just a bit. This story has one twist and then another, never think at any time you have the upper hand because a set of stairs and some cement can fix that uneven karma real quick. I really enjoyed the setting of this and the underground catacombs were super creepy. The cast included Brewster McCall, Alan Rowe Kelly and Randy Jones. Mr. Kelly played Gogo Montresor and I must say did it brilliantly. His presence is exuberant and had me captivated from the first word spoken. I love how he takes center stage and holds your attention till the end.


The last and final segment of this brilliant production is Dreams.  Supported by a cast composed of Brewster McCall, Caroline Williams, Adrienne King, Amy Steel and Bette Cassatt as" the Dreamer". This was a horrifying and yet gorgeously dark look into the world of dreams. The tapping of the umbrella foot sounds of a grandfather clock pendulum and Caroline Williams owned the Angel of Dreams character. Though she was good and had a sense of calming in her presence, the horror and murderous blood scenes were a nice treat. Some sad but some a little amusing and confusing all in one, exactly the way you feel in a vivid dream. Bette Cassatt was a wonderful addition to the feel of the film, her character was made for her. She has this delicate essence to her and she nailed it in my opinion.  The makeup in this film was dark but exuberant , some bloody and gruesome and others creepy and sinister. They all carried an Alice in Wonderland feel, which was a pleasant surprise in a silent film. The narration in the middle and towards the end was a welcomed treat but not needed to understand what was happening.

Tales of Poe is a great addition to the horror community and is welcomed by me. It has been screening at various film festivals across the United States and Canada including New York Horror Film Fest, LA Horror Fest and H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival. The film has received 16 awards and continuing press since its release and Alan Rowe Kelly has stating that they are "courting distributors for the right home".  Please checkout the trailer posted above or the website

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


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 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!



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


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