Horror Comedy

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
MOVIE REVIEW: Gravy (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Gravy (2015)

By Nick Durham

https://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: Fangboner (2015)

MOVIE REVIEW: Fangboner (2015)

Nathan Rumler's Fangboner Is a Winner

By Amy Lynes

Fangboner artwork

Written and directed by: Nathan Rumler

Starring: Brian Papandrea, Emily Hilborn, Sadie Tate, James Bell, Sheri Darling and featuring an appearance by Angelina Leigh

Meet Dick. Dick is a guy with an active sex life and a very interesting theory on STD's. Dick likes to party, get totally wasted, pick up random slutty chicks at parties and have mindless sex, usually forgetting the girls name soon after.

Meet Suzy. Suzy is a bit of a slut and one of Dick's drunken one night conquests.

Dick has so much mindless sex that he winds up infected with a strange unknown virus after having yet another casual one nighter with someone he only refers to as "Sucky the Succubus".

The same day he is struck with the virus, Suzy calls wanting to see him and talks him into coming over to watch movies and "chill". He goes to the bathroom and realizes that maybe something isn't quite right below the waist and hilarity ensues. After the bathroom crisis is over, they wind up in bed together and by the next morning Suzy is also infected but neither of them can remember the events of the night before.

Soon after Suzy becomes infected, they discover that they no longer want food, now they want BLOOD, only blood and lots of it. Not only that, but they need to suck the blood from the crotches of their victims. The pair hatch a plan to find victims, drink their blood and have a chance at staying alive and more hilarity ensues.

To make everything worse, the alien beings who are responsible for the virus that is wreaking havoc on their bodies have realized that they are infected and what they are doing in order to survive. The "Master" makes "Sucky" return to Earth in an effort to find and eradicate Dick and Suzy before they infect the entire world.

From there on, watching Dick and Suzy fumble around while the virus slowly erases their memories just gets funnier and funnier and you find yourself routing for these two idiots while simultaneously laughing your ass off.

Fangboner is the directorial debut of Nathan Rumler. It's highly original and fun to watch. Its in the same outrageous vein as many Troma movies, so if you are a fan of those types of films, I'd say Fangboner might be a good recommendation for you. I laughed so hard that my abs literally hurt for most of the next day and I kept using quotes from the movie all day long and calling people "Crotch Suckers". Classy, eh?

All in all, it was an entertaining watch and I am glad I bought myself a copy. The acting was great and the sound was extremely well done. I did not have a low budget sound at all and Nathan did a phenomenal job with the soundtrack and the bonus features are a must see also.

You never know what you are going to get with these low budget indie films. It's usually hit or miss but I really think that for a first effort, Nathan Rumler hit it outta the park with this one. If tasteless humor is your thing, you'll love Fangboner and I can't recommend it enough.

I give it an 8/10

Click here to buy your own copy of Fangboner today!

Posted by Alan Smithee in MOVIE REVIEWS, REVIEWS, 2 comments

SERIES REVIEW: Scream Queens

By Machete Von Kill

Scream Queens

Directors: Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy, Bradley Buecker, Michael Uppendahl

Writers: Ian Brennan, Brad Falchuk, Ryan Murphy

Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Skylar Samuels, Lea Michelle, Nick Jonas

Rating: TV-14; Run Time: 45 min; Genre: Comedy, Horror; Country: USA; Language: English; Year: 2015

Tuesday night, Fox premiered its new horror-comedy from Ryan Murphy Scream Queens. Murphy previously brought us Glee, Nip/Tuck, and American Horror Story. In Scream Queens, Murphy takes us to Wallace University and the Kappa Kappa Tau sorority house in this slasher spoof. The episode begins in 1995, with an unexpected birth by a KKT pledge in the bathtub during a party. Rather than interrupt the party and get help for the girl, the sisters decide the pledge must stay there and they will return to the party. When they return after the party, they find the pledge dead. Flash forward 20 years to the KKT new class. Lead by AHS alum Emma Roberts as Chanel Oberlin and her "minions" - Chanel #2, Chanel #3, and Chanel #5. Both pledges and staff are showing up dead.

I have to say Roberts plays her role of as a spoiled, vapid, self-centered sorority brat quite well. Mere minutes into her first scene I wanted to punch her in the throat. That feeling grew as the episode continued.

The one bright spot, in a cast of people I really couldn't care any less about, is horror veteran and the original Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis. Ms. Curtis plays the role of university dean Cathy Munsch. She has some secrets of her own - pot smoking, student seducing, covering up the bathtub death 20 years ago - but let's not focus on that just yet. She's had enough of sororities in general but especially Kappa Kappa Tau as she tells Chanel #1 (Roberts) in her office. As Chanel#1 sat there being an indignant brat, I was really hoping Munsch would come across the desk and channel Michael Myers for just a few minutes.

I don't want to spoil it for anyone that will be tuning in, but I will say there were some decent kills, some mystery and a few laughs. For me, it may be a little too spoofy. If Scary Movie, Scream 2, Beverly Hills, 90210, and Mean Girls could somehow have a baby, this little bastard would be it. I will give it another episode or two, but that's mainly out of respect and love for Jamie Lee Curtis. And I won't lie, I wanna see the demise of Chanel #1.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

THIS JUST IN: Rob Zombie and Mila Kunis are Trapped

Rob Zombie and Mila Kunis
Are Joining Forces

Trapped Coming to Starz

By John Roisland

Trapped Zombie Kunis

Rob Zombie and Mila Kunis join forces? I always thought that when a well named celebrity hit TV, their careers were about over. But nowadays it seems like more and more big names are jumping on the TV/series bandwagon. News has broken that Rob Zombie (musician, writer, director, actor, artist) and Mila Kunis (producer, actress best known for her roles in Ted, That 70s Show, Black Swan, and, of course, the voice of Meg Griffin on The Family Guy series) have joined forces and will be executive producers on an upcoming Starz series Trapped.

The show is being written and created by Joey Slamon. This horror-comedy series takes place over the course of one night in a wealthy family's home, who are under attack from a crazed and murderous cult. Seems to be a storyline Zombie would get into or maybe come up with himself.

Rob Zombie is said to also be lending his eye as director. That really wouldn't surprise me, and I wouldn't mind it either!

No release dates or names of cast additions have been released as of yet but we will of course keep you up to date on any developments as we hear about them.

We here at HoTS wish the two good luck on this new venture, and we hope it is a success!

Posted by John Roisland in COMING SOON, HORROR COMEDIES, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments

COMING SOON: Deathgasm (2015)

By Kev B.

Deathgasm

Deathgasm

In a world overrun with found footage films and remakes full of computer generated special effects, it’s not often I actually look forward to a new release, but I am seriously psyched for the new heavy metal splatter flick Deathgasm. It’s been described as “Brutal as fuck”, and I really hope it lives up to my unusually high expectations.

According to the synopsis in the press kit for Deathgasm at the official site:

High School is Hell! Metal-thrashing Brodie is an outcast in a sea of jocks and cheerleaders until he meets a kindred spirit in fellow metalhead Zakk. After starting their own band, Brodie and Zakk’s resentment of the suburban wasteland leads them to a mysterious piece of sheet music said to grant ultimate power to whoever plays it. But the music also summons an ancient evil entity known as Aeloth the Blind One, who threatens to tear apart existence itself. Their classmates and family become inhabited by demonic forces, tearing out their own eyes and turning into psychotic murderers... And this is only the beginning!

It’s up to Brodie, Zakk, and their group of friends to stop a force of pure evil from devouring all of mankind.

A blood-soaked and hilarious horror comedy, Deathgasm features an amazing original soundtrack of fist-banging metal and practical effects to satisfy metalheads and splatter fans alike. Deathgasm will gush bodily fluids, rain limbs, and tickle your funny bone, before tearing it out and giving you a stiff beating with it.

In an interview with metalinjection.net, writer/director Jason Lei Howden was asked to think of one sentence that would get readers excited about seeing Deathgasm. His reply:

If you took a baby, got it really stoned, made it listen to Skinless on repeat while an endless stream of horror movies played on a shitty old VHS player, feeding it only pizza, beer, and disapproval, then after a couple of decades it would end up making Deathgasm (Please don’t do that to an actual baby, you sick bastards).

He sounds like a man after my own heart, and has an impressive list of influences too. Citing fellow New Zealander Peter Jackson's Bad Taste as the first horror film he ever saw and Cannibal Corpse as the first metal band he ever heard, it sounds like his head and heart are in the right place to have created a new midnight movie masterpiece. He worked for Jackson's special effects company WETA Digital for six years but says the effects for Deathgasm are not CGI and the film is soaked in gallons of blood in an homage to gore fests like Dead Alive and Dead By Dawn.

With a sequel (Deathgasm II: Live Undead) already in the works, this semi-auto biographical coming of age story drenched in blood and guts is poised to become an instant splatstick classic. It looks like a good old “save the world and get the girl” kind of flick, dripping with gore, a nice dose of humor, and a soundtrack filled with some serious black and death metal. The countdown has begun. Coming to VOD and select theaters in the US on October 2, 2015.

View the full interview with writer/director Jason Lei Howden and check out the official Deathgasm website.

Posted by Alan Smithee in COMING SOON, HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Ash vs. Evil Dead

Ash vs. Evil Dead

Evil (Dead) Has Met Its Match?

By John Roisland
Ash vs Evil Dead on Starz

October 31, 2015, Halloween night, saw the world television premiere of Ash vs. Evil Dead on Starz.

The long awaited follow up to the huge cult film franchise that began in 1981 as The Evil Dead. Not a bad night to open with if you want my opinion!

The series is set 30 years after The Evil Dead, with Ash living as a loner who is unable to come to grips with what happened all those years ago. Ash lives a dull life but seems to prefer it to fighting the forces of evil. Unfortunately for Ash, a Deadite invasion has begun, and Ash must draw upon his experience, boomstick, and chainsaw to stop the evil from spreading. all while finally coming to terms with his past.

The first season is set up with ten half-hour episodes and is produced by Sam Raimi (Drag Me to Hell), Rob Tapert (The Possession), AND Bruce Campbell (Bubba Ho-Tep) – all of the original The Evil Dead team. Campbell reluctantly jumps back into action as Ash, the chainsaw-handed demon hunter we’ve all come to love! Starring alongside Bruce is Lucy Lawless (Xena: Warrior Princess) as Ruby Knowby, a character who strongly believes that Ash is to blame for the evils that they encounter. (Ash vs. Evil Dead also sees Campbell, Raimi, Lawless, and Tapert reunited, the quartet having all worked on Xena: Warrior Princess.) The show also stars Ray Santiago (In Time), who plays Pablo Simon Bolivar, Ash’s loyal sidekick.

So let the kids run amok in the other room until they pass out from their trick or treating sugar high! Plop your ass in your La-Z-Boy, and grab your remote. It’s time to fight evil!

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments
Tucker and Dale vs Evil…2?

Tucker and Dale vs Evil…2?

Evil Will Meet Its Match...Again

By John Roisland

Tucker and Dale vs Evil Blu-ray menu
Remember Tucker and Dale vs Evil? Who doesn't?!?! Everyone who is anyone has seen the hysterical and blood soaked 2010 film. Recently announced at Horror Hound in Cincinnati, Ohio, by the stars themselves, there will be a Tucker and Dale vs Evil 2. Tyler Labine (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Alan Tudyk (Firefly), who were guests at the convention doing a celebrity panel together, said that the producers emailed an outline them both. They duo continued, "We are honing in on who we want to write it. We really want to make another one!"

Tucker and Dale vs EvilThe story itself doesn't have a screen writer yet, and both stars have openly stated in the past that they “would never do a sequel if it's shit", so its a safe bet that this one is gonna be a bit of a wait. Sadly, the original film didn't have a long run at the theaters. However, it has enjoyed its own found success by rapidly becoming a huge cult classic since, so the fan base is most definitely there and eagerly waiting to see what happens!

Posted by John Roisland in HORROR NEWS, 0 comments