Archive for the ‘Movie Review’ Category

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Slew Poster - V115 - Stockholm(1)A local rite goes frightfully wrong when a group of teenage boys encounters a sinister hunting party, a bloodthirsty tribe and a mythical beast in the backwoods of New Hampshire.

Midnight Releasing has announced that American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire – starring Dayo Okeniyi (The Hunger Games, Terminator: Genisys) – will be released via Video-On-Demand, streaming content providers and select Redbox kiosks throughout North America beginning in JUNE.  A brand-new full-length trailer and poster designs are now available for public consumption, while additional artwork AND exclusive clips will be released in the coming days and weeks leading up to the street date.

TRAILER:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YE9pRK6WBk

American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire – which was awarded “Goriest Scene of the Year” by Rue Morgue Magazine and nominated for Best Feature, Best Actor and Best Editing at the 8th Annual Shockfest Film Festival – will also be available on DVD on June 9th.  Bonus Features include 5.1 Surround Sound, Gag Reel and Audio Commentary by writer/director Flood Reed and seven cast members.  Pre-orders are currently available through Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/American-Backwoods-Hampshire-Dayo-Okeniyi/dp/B00RW5AFV0

In addition to rising talent Okeniyi, the ensemble cast also boasts the likes of underground horror maverick Michael Todd Schneider (August Underground’s Mordum), Jeremy Isabella (Ghoul), French television actress Gaya Verneuil and a whole slew of majestically bearded actors.

American Backwoods: Slew Hampshire has not been rated, but is intended for mature audiences due to graphic violence, profanity, nudity and sexual content.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/slewhampshire
Twitter:  @SlewHampshire

scream-factory-all-night-horror-marathon-Vol2

Around Halloween of 2013, Scream Factory released its second offering of their All Night Horror Marathon series. The series was designed to release films from the past that couldn’t support a solo, or even double feature release. I think it is a great idea, although I was a bit let down by the fact that it was released on DVD only. Due to popular demand, Cellar Dwellar and Catacombs will be getting the double feature treatment on Blu later this year. Personally, I would have chosen The Dungeon Master over Catacombs, but I am happy to see Cellar Dwellar getting a better release.

Cellar_Dweller

The first movie I watched started the marathon off with a bang! Cellar Dwellar was directed by John Carl Buechler and had a small appearance by the always awesome Jeffrey Combs. It tells the tale of a comic book creation come to life, killing the inhabitants of an art school. The story and creature are really great and this is the best movie in the collection in my opinion.

dungeonmaster

Next on the list was The Dungeonmaster, also known as Ragewar. I don’t recall this one from my youth, which is odd, seeing as how I was a total D & D nerd back then. Dungeonmaster is broken into several segments, each directed by a different person and featuring Paul, a computer programmer battling Mestema, and evil wizard / dungeon master and his various challenges. Charles Band produced Dungeonmaster and the directors feature John Carl Buechler and Ted Nicolaou, plus a few other names I didn’t recognize. While the movie is pretty cheesy (not a bad thing), Richard Moll plays a pretty awesome villain. This flick was worthy of inclusion in the marathon on his role alone.

Contamination dot 7

I rolled from The Dungeonmaster right into Contamination .7. It’s actually had several different titles including Troll 3, Creepers and The Crawlers. Much like Troll 2, this movie has no connection to the previous entries and doesn’t even feature a troll. It’s about hazardous waste turning tree roots into killers. This little gem comes from us from no other than Joe D’Amato, which may explain the multiple titles. Anything to sell the film. It seems like the worse the movie, the more names it has to confuse potential viewers. This is easily the worst movie in the collection. It’s pretty boring and the acting is horrendous. . It’s a good thing I embarked on this marathon during the day, otherwise I would have likely fallen asleep. This was tough to sit through for me.

Catacombs

The finale to the marathon is Catacombs (also titled Curse IV: The Ultimate Sacrifice). I intend to go back and revisit this one as I was pretty jaded by Contamination .7 when I watched it. A school teacher is visiting an ancient monastery for research, but doesn’t realize that the monastery happens to be the prison for an ancient demon. The demon gets loose and chaos reigns. Catacombs was directed by David Schmoeller, who also delivered Tourist Trap, Puppet Master and Crawlspace, among others, so he has delivered some pretty good stuff for Charles Band. The demon had a pretty cool look to him, reminding me a bit of Castle Freak (just not as mutilated and also not dickless). I’ll be checking this out when it hits on Blu Ray for sure, because as it stands now, I don’t recall much of the movie, other than I didn’t overly enjoy it.

All in all, this is a pretty great set, especially for the price. I’d pay the full price just for Cellar Dwellar, so you have to look at the other movies as a bonus. Contamination .7 is the only stinker in the bunch (I’m guessing Catacombs is better than I am giving it credit for). I’d like to see Scream put out another of these sets and would really like to see them do one of these on Blu-Ray.

Ghoulies Poster

Directed By: Luca Bercovici

Starring: Peter Liapis, Lisa Pelikan, Michael Des Barres, Jack Nance, Peter Risch, Tamara De Treaux, Keith Joe Dick, Ralh Seymour

Synopsis: Jonathan inherits a sprawling estate only to be drawn into a mystical book and magic rituals.

Thoughts: Ghoulies is one of those movies that always had my attention at the video store back in the day. Seriously, how could it not appeal to a preteen kid making his way through the shelves of the horror section? It has a little green demon in suspenders sitting in a toilet.

Needless to say, this movie has a special place in my heart. I can’t recall how many times I’ve seen it, but it never fails to put a smile on my face when watching it. Truth be told, it really isn’t that great of a movie. The story is pretty solid, but the acting is even worse than most 80s horror movies,  It’s got most of the usual stereotypes of the genre, including the stoners a bubble brained hot girls. My absolute favorite has to be Dick, or as he likes to be called, Dick. Just about every line of his cracks me up as they are all overacted and completely ludicrous. Ghoulies also features a couple of magical dwarves played by Peter Risch and Tamara De Treaux. I’ve always thought that the movie could have flowed better without them, even though they serve to move the plot along.

The real stars of Ghoulies are the demons themselves, created by John Carl Buechler, SFX wizard and genre director. It’s the puppetry of the Ghoulies that I really enjoy. If Ghoulies were to be made (or remade) today, it would likely be replaced by CGI. Sure it may look better, but it wouldn’t have the same nostalgia as the puppets. It’s a lot like PuppetMaster in that regard, it just isn’t the same without this particular style of FX.

I know Ghoulies is a favorite of a lot of us that grew up in the 80s and I could easily see someone seeing it for the first time not enjoying it, but it is something I am glad to own and something that will get played often in my house. Scream Factory recently released a nice double feature of Ghoulies & Ghoulies II. It’s affordable and the picture looks great, which is no surprise coming from the folks at Scream.

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Muck (2015)

Posted: May 6, 2015 in Movie Review
Tags: ,

Muck

Directed By: Steve Wolsh

Starring: Lachlan Buchanan, Jaclyn Swedberg, Stephanie Danielson, Lauren Francesca, Kane Hodder, Bryce Draper, Puja Mohindra

Synopsis: A group of friends take refuge in a Cape Cod home from a group of mysterious creatures.

Thoughts: I don’t recall being more confused as I was at the beginning of Muck. It starts like you are halfway through the movie with the group of friends on the run from…something. After watching the movie and doing a bit of research, Steve Wolsh intends Muck to be a trilogy, with the first movie actually being the centerpiece, with a prequel and sequel to follow. It’s an interesting concept, but made for quite a confusing start.

It’s pretty easy to see the director Steve Wolsh wanted this to be a bit of a throwback to the 80s with the practical effects and copious amounts of nudity. The attempt works to a degree and I think Wolsh has a pretty good start on a mythology with the creatures he conjured up, but the execution was a little lacking. I actually thought that the nudity was a little too over the top and distracted from the movie. Instead of building nay tension, we’d see scenes of ladies getting naked for no particular reason. If I wanted to watch a movie just for naked women, it wouldn’t be a horror movie.

The second issue I had was with the characters. I didn’t really like any of them. They all seemed to fall into the same stereotype and I never found myself investing in any of their fates. The blame can be shared by the script and the cast I suppose.

Even with its flaws, I was able to enjoy Muck, I just thought it could have been so much better. The effects are pretty top notch and I thought the creature designs were very good. They reminded me of a cross between Lord of the Rings and The Descent. I found them to be the most interesting characters in the movie and want more of them. Hopefully Wolsh improves on the next movie, because I think that the concept has a lot of potential.

Clown Poster

Directed By: Jon Watts

Starring: Andy Powers, Laura Allen, Peter Stormare, Elizabeth Whitmere, Christian Distefano, Eli Roth

Synopsis: Kent McCoy dons a clown suit for his Son’s birthday, but is unable to take it off. Disturbing changes and urges ensue.

Thoughts: Clown’s origin is an example of brilliance in Guerilla Marketing. Jon Watts, the eventual Director, released a fake trailer and had the gall to attach Eli Roth’s name to it. Normally, this would result in something along the lines of a cease and desist order, but Eli thought it was fantastic and backed the movie, becoming a Producer, and played a bit role.

Luckily, Jon Watts had more than just a few minutes worth of a story when it came time to make a feature length movie. The story is original, even if the content is bit repetitive, but what isn’t these days? Kent’s transformation throughout the movie is reminiscent of Seth Brundle in The Fly, becoming more monstrous while still trying to hold on to his humanity. Clown also breaks a pretty significant unwritten rule (at least in mainstream American horror), by killing children onscreen. This rule isn’t just broken though; Clown may have set a record for amount of kids killed. I mean, Kent heads to a Chucky Cheese for some snacks, which just proves my belief that that place is Hell on Earth.

I was really impressed with the acting throughout the movie, which is often a common area that I find fault in movies. Andy Powers, who plays the lead, was convincing, being able to be scary and invoke sympathy throughout the movie. Peter Stormare, who is seemingly everywhere these days, is almost always great fun to watch, and doesn’t disappoint here either.

The effects are top notch as well, and Clown splatters the red stuff around liberally. Clown does a good job of pulling the camera away at the right moment while still being pretty damn gory.

There have been plenty of movies that looked great from the trailer (real or fake), but have failed to deliver a quality product. In my opinion, Clown delivers. It’s been one of my favorite discoveries of the past year, and I’m a little surprised more people aren’t talking about it. A portion of that could be that it has yet to be released in the US, which is also a surprise to me. Maybe it’s the fact that children are killed, but I have to believe that there are distributors that would give it a shot. If you do get a chance to check this out, give it a shot.

Wolfcop Poster

Directed By: Lowell Dean

Starring: Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Jonathan Cherry, Sarah Lind, Aiden Devine, Jesse Moss, Corrine Conley

Synopsis: Part man. Part wolf. All cop.

Thoughts: Wolfcop was destined for my shelves the second I saw the poster. When the poster hit the internet, it created an immense amount of buzz based on the image alone. It’s currently available on video, as well as hitting the convention circuit.

I picked up one of the limited Blu Rays available only at Best Buy, which was a good move by them as I hadn’t been in my local store for quite some time. I’ve since watched it a couple of times, as well as most of the special features. Wolfcop was successful in being more than just a great poster and interesting premise. It delivered with a decent story and pretty damn good practical FX to boot.

The acting is pretty uneven, but the cast is largely unknown. Leo Fafard, who plays Lou Garou and the titular Wolfcop, overplay his role a bit at the beginning of the movie, but really hits stride once the lycanthropy action ramps up and ends up being very likable. Sarah Lind is smoldering as the local bar owner Jessica, and actually displays some acting chops as well. There are a few lines and scenes that are a bit clunky, but overall this is a well-acted small budget movie.

Although the cast is strong, the effects are the real stars of the show. Wolfcop prides itself on practical effects, and it should! The transformation scenes are great, and bring a new twist to werewolf movies. Let’s just say that Wolfcop proves that Wolfman has nards. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when WC rips off a bad guys face, leaving a very comical, yet bloody, skeletal face.

If you couldn’t tell by the premise and poster, Wolfcop has plenty of humor throughout. It succeeds by blending campy humor and groan-worthy one-liners with some pretty gory moments and a dash of T&A thrown in for good measure. This is a flick well worth seeing and supporting, so grab a beer and enjoy!

Croczilla (2012)

Posted: February 22, 2015 in Movie Review
Tags: ,

Croczilla

Croczilla (2012)
AKA Million Dollar Crocodile {Bai Wan Ju E}

Directed By: Li Sheng Lin

Starring: Tao Guo, Barbie Hsu, Suet Lam

Synopsis: A 36 foot crocodile raised in a sanctuary escapes after being sold and rampages across the country side.

Thoughts: I’ve long been a sucker for killer croc movies, so when I was paging through options on Netflix and Croczilla flashed across the screen, it was an easy selection. It’s been a long time since watching a horror movie with no preconceived notions or any idea what the film entailed, so I was really looking forward to watching it. In fact, until clicking play, I didn’t even realize that this a Chinese movie!

Even though Croczilla is billed as a horror movie, there’s just not a lot of scares to be found. It mimics some of the 1970s Godzilla movies with its comedic moments and there are a couple of pretty cool scenes where the croc attacks, but it just isn’t enough to make this a worthwhile entry into a favorite subgenre of mine. It plays a lot like a dubbed ScyFy Channel movie.

I don’t recommend checking out this movie, but if you do, venture forth with copious amounts of your favorite alcoholic beverage and a couple of friends to help you riff on the movie. Don’t be fooled by the awesome poster I found either.   It is easily the best part of the movie that I’ve experienced.