9.28.2011

APOLLO 18 (2011) Review


I only just watched this a few days ago and I have to confess I liked it a lot. I know it's been getting a lot of negative reviews, and it's current score on Rotten Tomatoes is only 22%. But I'm a sucker for found footage films (well most of them) and I thought the format was perfect for this movie.

The film insists that after the last manned flight to the moon in 1972 there was another flight, a secret trip funded by the US Department of Defence. A trio of Astronauts were sent to install devices which would be used to spy on the Russians. But when they got there they uncovered a terrible secret. A Russian lander, the remains of a Cosmonaut and a deadly extra-terrestrial life form.

It's all bullshit of course, but the film's website claims it all to be true and that's the only way these found footage films really work. They need to seem real. So whether or not you believe in this conspiracy may just gauge how much you will enjoy watching the film.
I thought the best aspect of APOLLO 18 was the atmosphere it creates. The footage is supposedly from the 70s and was meant to be filmed on the moon, so obviously it isn't going to be great quality. I thought it looked and sounded great, and is probably as close as you could get to reproducing actual lunar footage. And the cameras don't seem out of place at all like they do in some of these found footage movies, because if you're going to the moon you're obviously going to want it on film.
I was disappointed that it didn't feel as tense as I thought it would, and there are plenty of opportunities for frightening moments that could have been better utilized. Even still, you can feel the panic as the Astronauts come under attack, and there is a real sense of hopelessness when they discover that the DOD don't intend to bring them back to earth.
I know that there was a lot of viral marketing before this movie hit theatres, and I was expecting to see a terrifying horror masterpiece. It was far from terrifying and far from being a masterpiece but I still enjoyed it immensely. It felt like more could have been done, but I'd still recommend seeing it at least once.



UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING Poster

Everybody's favorite leather clad Death Dealer is back early next year in UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING and thanks to Horror-movies.ca here is the official high quality poster.


Synopsis: Underworld Awakening brings a stunning new dimension to the epic battle between Vampires and Lycans, as the first film in the franchise to shoot in 3D.

Kate Beckinsale, star of the first two films, returns in her lead role as the vampire warrioress Selene, who escapes imprisonment to find herself in a world where humans have discovered the existence of both Vampire and Lycan clans, and are conducting an all-out war to eradicate both immortal species.

UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING hits theatres January 20th 2012.

Watch the trailer below.


YELLOWBRICKROAD (2011) Review


Directed by: Jesse Holland, Andy Mitton
Starring: Michael Laurino, Cassidy Freeman, Alex Draper, Laura Heisler

I really wanted so much to like this movie because it had a great sounding story and the trailer looked really good. But unfortunately I found it to be a bit disappointing, and the movie has stayed with me but not for the right reasons.

In 1940 the entire population of Fryar, NH walked up a mountain path and never returned. Later their bodies were found mutilated or frozen, or not at all. There was one survivor. That description had me hooked instantly.
So now it's 70 years later and Teddy (Laurino), Erin (Freeman) and Walter (Draper) have got their hands on some declassified documents and decide to walk that same path and write a book about it. They gather up a team and head out to find the yellow brick road. The documents provide co-ordinates which first lead them to a movie theatre in the town of Fryar and although nobody in the town seems to want to have anything to do with them, they do find a young woman Liv (Heisler) who agrees to help them if they let her tag along. Seeing as they don't have much of a choice they agree, and soon find themselves at the trailhead.
It's probably good that I explain that this is a psychological horror and a fairly slow burning one at that. By around the 40 minute mark nothing much has happened besides a whole lot of character development. No doubt this will turn a lot of people off, but it pays off later when things start to get fucked up.
After walking for days, they find themselves unable to turn back because it seems they've ended up in some sort of Twilight Zone where the landscape is constantly changing and is playing havoc with their equipment. One moment their GPS reads that they are in Guam, then the next it tells them that they are in Italy. But once they all start to hear strange music coming from an unknown source, it begins to have an effect on them too.

I really enjoyed the first 80 or 90% of the film. The shots all looked great, the acting was superb and the character development was spot on. For a low budget film this was very well done, and one of the movie's strongest points was the audio. At one point there is a kind of assault on the senses scene which was one of my favorite parts, where there is a lot off sharp, jarring audio and the entire screen shakes and blurs while all of the characters struggle to stay on their own two feet. And the few deaths in the movie are really kind of grotesque but not in a gory way, in more of a psychological way.
But when it came to it's conclusion, I felt disappointed and almost robbed. The ending came out of nowhere and didn't explain anything at all. If you have any questions while watching YELLOWBRICKROAD you will no doubt still have the same questions when it is over. After the quality of the first three quarters of the film, the ending just felt kind of tacked on and pointless. I like it when movies leave a few questions unanswered, but when a movie leaves every question unanswered it kind of makes me wonder why I just sat through the entire experience.

Aside from the ending, this movie was great and is definitely worth watching if you're into this kind of slow burning psychological horror. Just don't expect to have any of your questions answered.





9.26.2011

Official Trailer For THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE PART 2: FULL SEQUENCE


Finally the moment has arrived. I really don't care how many people hated the first film or how many people have already condemned the sequel, I am really looking forward to this. I love it when a movie pushes the boundaries, and THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE most certainly did that. After watching the trailer it's looking like those boundaries may just be pushed to breaking point. Enjoy.
Oh and by the way, yes the entire film will be presented in black & white.



Synopsis: “”Martin is a mentally disturbed loner who lives with his nagging mother in a bleak London housing project, where loud neighbors and cramped living conditions threaten to plunge this victim of sexual and psychological abuse over the edge.
He works the night shift as a security guard in an underground parking garage, where customers and their vehicles come and go as he indulges his obsession with THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) watching the film over and over on the small TV set in his office and meticulously examining the scrapbook he has lovingly filled with memorabilia from the film, including the mouth-to-anus surgery instructions made famous by Dr. Heiter, the mad scientist from Martin’s favorite movie.
Pushed to the brink by his harridan mother, haunted by the teasing voices of his abusive and incarcerated father, Martin sets into motion his plan to emulate Heiter’s centipede by creating his own version, in a rented warehouse, which he begins to fill with victims, including a loud neighbor, two drunk nightclubbers, a prostitute and a lecherous john, and several more … including Martin’s pièce de résistance, one of the actresses from THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE).
Except that Martin lacks the surgical skill, medical instruments and operating theater necessary to create a larger centipede in the image of Dr. Heiter’s masterpiece. So he makes use of materials at hand: duct tape, staple gun, household tools and a fanboy moxie.
What follows is one of the most harrowing and terrifying films ever conceived, featuring a central character that makes FIRST SEQUENCE’s Dr. Heiter seem downright cuddly in comparison. THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FINAL SEQUENCE) is a triumph in biological horror by one of the new masters of the horror film.”

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 First Clip


It's less than a month until PA3 hits theatres and still we have no official synopsis yet, but the consensus seems to be that it's a prequel to the previous films. As a part of the film's viral marketing the guys over at Bloody-Disgusting received a VCR along with a VHS tape which apparently has footage from September 1988. The footage is just more of what we've already seen, but go ahead and give it a watch if you feel so inclined.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY hits theatres October 21st.

9.24.2011

SIX DEGREES OF HELL Official Teaser Trailer


Well the moment is finally here! SIX DEGREES OF HELL has just had it's world premiere at the Buffalo Niagara Film Festival and now the teaser trailer is online. I'll make this short so you can enjoy it yourself, but personally I think it's looking pretty amazing.

Synopsis: Six individuals are caught up in a supernatural perfect storm as an evil lays claim to one of them while threatening to tear apart the soul of a small Pennsylvania town.




THE ORPHAN KILLER (2011) Review


Directed by: Matt Farnsworth
Starring: Diane Foster, David Backus, Matt Farnsworth


"The Orphan Killer is a tour de force murder flick that defies classification. It goes far beyond current trends in gore and breaks open a new suffering genre of horror. Marcus Miller is a serial murderer hellbent on teaching his estranged sister Audrey what it means to have family loyalty. His lessons are taught in massive doses of vulgar and unimaginable pain. Throughout her brutal torture we learn that Marcus is not the only Miller with Killer in the bloodline as Audrey proves to be a formidable adversary."


That is the description given on the film's IMDb page and it is absolutely spot-on. This is easily one of the most entertaining movies I've seen this year and has been the only one which delivers on what it promises. The story isn't anything new, in fact it is a lot like Halloween except a lot more brutal.
After the death of their parents in a home invasion, Marcus and Audrey Miller are sent to an orphanage. Marcus is abused and steadily becomes withdrawn and violent. His sister is eventually adopted out, while Marcus is locked away and basically left to rot. Obviously Marcus is not exactly happy with his sister and so he comes to hunt her down and exact his revenge. The whole story is slowly revealed piece by piece through a series of flashbacks.
As you can see the plot isn't very deep or original, but I found that easily forgivable because it's not supposed to be the strong point of the film. THE ORPHAN KILLER's strength lies in the graphic and uncompromising scenes of violence and torture. If you enjoy buckets of blood, brains, amputation and head crushing then you will definitely find a lot to like here. And the quality of the practical effects was great, the blood looked real and a few of the scenes will definitely make some people uncomfortable.


As for acting I didn't notice anything especially great, although Diane Foster as Audrey does a brilliant job in the second half of the film and David Backus as the unstoppable killer Marcus makes for a formidable villain.
The soundtrack is predominantly metal from bands like Walls of Jericho and This is Hell, and even though I wasn't too keen on it while watching the movie, looking back on it now I actually have to admit that it did work fairly well. This is a great film which fans of Laid to Rest and similar movies will definitely appreciate, and it's one of the few movies which I hope will spawn a sequel.
If this sounds like your kind of movie and you like supporting independent films then pick up a copy at the TOK store here.





9.23.2011

Three New Stills From THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2


THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE PART 2: FULL SEQUENCE has just had it's world premiere at Fantastic Fest and to celebrate we have four new stills. They show the film's perverted madman Martin (Laurence R. Harvey) and Ashlynn Yennie who returns to play herself. You can also read an exclusive review here.

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 will have a limited North America theatrical run on October 7th, before hitting Video on Demand on October 12th.

Synopsis: Martin is a mentally disturbed loner who lives with his nagging mother in a bleak London housing project, where loud neighbors and cramped living conditions threaten to plunge this victim of sexual and psychological abuse over the edge.
He works the night shift as a security guard in an underground parking garage, where customers and their vehicles come and go as he indulges his obsession with THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE (FIRST SEQUENCE) watching the film over and over on the small TV set in his office and meticulously examining the scrapbook he has lovingly filled with memorabilia from the film.
Pushed to the brink by his harridan mother, haunted by the teasing voices of his abusive and incarcerated father, Martin sets into motion his plan to emulate Heiter’s centipede by creating his own version, in a rented warehouse, which he begins to fill with victims.



Four New Stills From SIX DEGREES OF HELL

As you may know, the first trailer for upcoming 'scariest movie of 2012' SIX DEGREES OF HELL should be released this weekend. While you're waiting though, feast your eyes on these fresh stills from the film. I'll let the images do the talking however first I have to mention that these characters not only appear in the film, but are actual performers you can find at the Hotel of Horror in Saylorsburg, PA.
Stay tuned for more info regarding the trailer.

Synopsis: Ever walk through one of those Halloween haunted attractions and wonder how real it all looked? What if it was? Six individuals are caught in a supernatural perfect storm that has come to claim one of them and tear apart the soul of a small town. Corey Feldman headlines a cast of veterans and newcomers in Six Degrees of Hell.






Zombie Nazis In THE 4TH REICH


I first heard about this film well over a year ago and kind of forgot about it. But I stumbled across it today and thought I'd do a post about it for the people who haven't heard about it yet. The film is in pre-production and according to the official Facebook page it is still casting, but the cast members who have been confirmed so far have me more than a little excited. So far they include Sean Pertwee (Dog Soldiers), Tom Savini (From Dusk Til Dawn), Johan Rudebeck (Evil Ed), Simon Bamford & Doug Bradley (Hellraiser) among others.
THE 4TH REICH is directed by Shaun Robert Smith who directed award winning short film The Soldier back in 2007. Not sure when filming is supposed to get underway, but apparently it will take about 7 weeks if all goes well.
Head on over to the movie's official website to get all of the info and even download some of the goodies they have in store.

Synopsis: During the early hours of June 6th 1944 a bloody but victorious offensive took place in occupied Western Europe that would claim thousands of lives. Codenamed Operation Overlord the armies of the combined allied forces would begin their long push to Berlin, with the aim of bringing down the despised Nazi regime.

But the chilling realities of Hitlers true intentions are exposed, to create a force that can never be beaten, a 4th Reich - The New World Order. A team of Nazi doctors and scientists were charged with generating a superior race. Their experiments and research would produce unspeakable evil and change the face of humanity forever.

A small select brigade of soldiers from the British 3rd Infantry Division, under the command of the battle hardened Captain Bathurst embark on a dangerous quest to liberate Europe. Fighting their way through the French countryside, villages and war ravaged towns. Every advance they discover increasingly strange events until they reach an abandoned research facility where the true horrors begin.

9.22.2011

THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II Official Poster

I know a lot of people have been waiting to see this (including myself) and now thanks to Dread Central here it is. I really liked the poster for the first film, but I have to say I think this one is even better. Not much else to say really, I'll just let the poster do the talking.

Synopsis: The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence tells the story of a man who becomes sexually obsessed with a DVD recording of the first film and who imagines putting the 'centipede' idea into practice. Unlike the first film, the sequel presents graphic images of sexual violence, forced defecation, and mutilation; and the viewer is invited to witness events from the perspective of the protagonist. Whereas in the first film the 'centipede' idea is presented as a revolting medical experiment, with the focus on whether the victims will be able to escape, this sequel presents the 'centipede' idea as the object of the protagonist's depraved sexual fantasy.

Coming to theatres October 7th.


SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE (2011) Review


Directed by: Steven C. Miller
Starring: Lauren Holly, Marcelle Baer, Todd Haberkorn

After watching Sharktopus I told myself that I'd stay away from these Syfy original movies, but I realized I can't judge them all on the one horrible film I did manage to see. There were a few reasons which compelled me to watch SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE. First of all I'd seen the poster, which I think actually looks really well done and hints at the possibility of some gratuitous nudity in the film. Then I watched the trailer which wasn't amazing, but at least it made the movie look a hell of a lot better than Sharktopus. I also read somewhere that this was Syfy's 200th original movie, so I was hoping that they'd gone to the trouble of making it something special. And finally, I had to watch the film because Lance Henriksen is in it.
Unfortunately all of these things that led me to watch the movie ended up being not quite lies, but very misleading. There was absolutely no nudity at all, not even in the single sex scene. The movie was nothing like the trailer made it seem, and Lance Henriksen is only introduced about 10 minutes before the movie ends. But I guess these are just a few of the ways they like to rope in suckers like me.

SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE starts in 12th Century Ireland with a small group of knights on horseback chasing what looks like a beautiful young girl in a red cape. After skewering her with a specially made forked weapon, it becomes apparent that this isn't any ordinary girl. The knights fight the beast until one of them throws his perculiar cross-shaped shield at it. The shield transforms in midair, folding into a steel box which lands on the beast's head and cuts it off, sealing it inside the box.
900 years later we meet Professor Isla Whelan (Holly) and her students who are archiving an assortment of ancient artifacts in the basement of a university. A box with no return address arrives and is found to contain a 12th Century Irish steel gauntlet and a map. The map just so happens to be of the very same university in which the professor and students are working. The map leads them to a hidden room, inside which they find a mysterious wooden crate marked with the word 'DUNCAN'.
They haul out the crate and open it up. What they find inside is a strange steel box (think Lemarchand's box from Hellraiser but bigger) which appears to be sealed. A strange vibrating and breathing sound is heard from within the box. Professor Whelan works out that the Irish gauntlet is actually the key to opening the box, and so she opens it. Everybody screams when the contents of the box turn out to be the disembodied head of some strange beast. Obviously it seems to be dead, but eventually it opens it's eyes and then it's mouth and lets out a scream before seeming to evaporate without a trace.
For the rest of the film the professor and students find themselves haunted by the banshee creature, who systematically begins to kill them one at a time, while they search for a way to defeat it.
There's also some kind of weak romantic subplot in there which really doesn't need to be there.

Funnily enough, the best part of the movie was the opening scene with the knights in Ireland. It actually looked like it was going to be a great film. But unfortunately the combination of bad acting, bad writing and terrible effects made this movie a chore to watch. I actually found myself about half an hour into the movie, distractedly flipping through a Metal Hammer magazine because it was so bad. I actually could have forgiven the acting and effects if there was enough gore or at least one frightening moment, but the only blood you real see is either trickling from people's ears or splattered upon the wall. And for some reason nobody seems to care at all that their ears are bleeding. Do they go the hospital? No of course not, they just clean the blood off and continue with what they were doing. And all of the 'scary moments' are predictable and not scary at all. Another thing I'd like to add is that while I was watching this movie at home by myself, my fiance arrived home and looked the the television and actually asked me "Are you watching a soap opera?" because the one scene where Professor Whelan and her daughter are having some sort of deep conversation seems like a scene from the Bold and the Beautiful.
The only reason I'd ever watch SCREAM OF THE BANSHEE again is if the only other alternative were Sharktopus.




9.21.2011

THE DEAD (2011) Review


Directed by: Howard J. Ford, Jonathan Ford
Starring: Rob Freeman, Prince David Oseia

I'll start by saying that this is not your typical zombie movie. If you're looking for a fast paced movie with huge hordes of undead and buckets of gore, then you might be a little disappointed. That's not to say that there weren't plenty of zombies and head shots in THE DEAD, but it is a lot different to films like the Dawn of the Dead remake. I guess you could say it's a more serious and mature zombie film, and as a matter of fact it probably more accurately fits into the same category as those apocalyptic road movies like The Road, where the main characters are on a long journey facing threats along the way. It's definitely a very bleak and desolate film, which is helped immensely by the location. It was shot primarily in Burkina Faso, Africa and the wide open landscape ranges from sandy deserts to mountain ranges. But no matter where the two main companions travel, the undead are waiting for them.

American Airforce Engineer Lieutenant Brian Murphy (Freeman) was on the last evacuation plane out of Africa after the dead started coming back to life. Unfortunately they were attacked before the plane was properly prepared, and consequently it crashes into the ocean just off the coast. Murphy washes up on a beach and is immediately set upon the the undead. After fighting his way from the beach he comes across a small abandoned community and finds a partially taken apart ute. Being an engineer, he quickly has the ute back together just as the zombies catch up with him. He takes off through the scrub and eventually gets stuck, but is helped out by an African soldier named Daniel (Oseia). The two don't get along so well to begin with, but realizing that they're better off working together they travel together.
While Brian is trying to find a way out of the continent, Daniel has a different problem. His village was attacked by the zombies and his wife was killed. His son however was among the survivors, and Daniel believes him to be at a military base in the north. After finding a small airport with no planes or helicopters in sight, Brian accepts that his best chance will be to follow Daniel to the military base. They continue their journey while fighting off the undead and trying their best to survive.

I know it probably doesn't sound like a really interesting story, but the emphasis isn't on the actual plot itself, but rather the two main characters and their quest. While at first they seem suspicious and wary of each other, they soon form a friendship and come to depend on each other. The movie does move at a bit of a slow pace, but it is steady and I never found myself bored. And even though the emphasis is on storytelling and character development, there is still enough gore and terror to satisfy most horror fans. The night scenes in particular, where the headlights of the ute suddenly wash across a zombie on the road are really kind of creepy and claustrophobic. And there are enough of those panicky moments too, like when the radiator overheats and the zombies are advancing from all around. And for a low budget film, the attention to detail that has gone into this is pretty amazing. The make-up fx are excellent (no CGI here), and I heard that they even used amputees to play some of the zombies. Another thing that makes THE DEAD stand out is the fact that it wasn't filmed digitally, but rather on old fashioned 35mm film, and you can really see the difference.

I'm going to make a bold statement here and say that THE DEAD might just be the best zombie film I've seen since Romero's Night of the Living Dead. It's definitely worth a watch, and is a personal favorite film of the year so far. I'd give it full marks except that I found Rob Freeman's acting to be not the best, and there were maybe a couple of scenes which were a little slow.




CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST II (2011) Review


Directed by: Robert Hall
Starring: Brian Austin Green, Nick Principe, Danielle Harris, Thomas Dekker
It seems like I've been waiting forever to see this film, ever since I first watched Laid to Rest which I enjoyed immensely. September 20 has now come and gone and I finally had my chance to see Robert Hall's CHROMESKULL: LAID TO REST II.

I guess it's not really necessary to have seen the first film if you want to enjoy this sequel, but I would recommend it. The movie picks up where the first one left off. The unknown girl from the first film and her companion Tommy (Dekker) are the only survivors from Chromeskull's massacre. He has had his face melted off, and his head bashed in so obviously he is dead right? Wrong. Chromeskull is not dead, and neither is he alone. After Tommy and the girl flee the scene of the crime, the rest of Chromeskull's organization show up to revive him and clean up all of the evidence.
While they're patching him up, another member of this organization, Preston (Green) decides to find the nameless girl and kill her himself. Chromeskull gets more than a little pissed off about this, because as he says via text message "I CATCH MY OWN FISH". Unfortunately Preston keeps pressing on, and in fact for the bulk of the film the real Chromeskull doesn't even make much of an appearance, it's just this Preston guy in a mask.
Meanwhile Tommy is trying to help the police catch the masked killer, and rescue another female victim who has been kidnapped. Things don't go so well at the police station and Tommy finds himself abducted and imprisoned alongside with the missing girl Jess (Mimi Michaels). They alert the police to their location, and all they can do while they're waiting is to try and stay alive.

I won't say any more since I don't want to spoil the film. I actually enjoyed this as much as the first movie, and it has plenty of gore and a few inventive death scenes too. I've always loved the death scenes and the way that Chromeskull's knife seems to slice though flesh, muscle and bone with such ease.
Most of the carnage happens in the last half hour or so, but the wait is definitely worth it. There are a few holes in the plot and some things that don't make a lot of sense (like the fact that the organization seems to have a tattoo artist conveniently on hand) but I could say that about almost every movie I've ever seen. The organization isn't really explained at all either. Where do they get all of their resources? Why are they killing people? What is Chromeskull's obsession with putting young girls in coffins? I have no clue, but it didn't bother me one bit. I actually preferred not to know, it's a lot better than trying to explain it with some weak back story like a lot of other films do. And perhaps best of all, the end of the movie leaves it open for another sequel. This is definitely one of the better horror films to come out this year, and I highly recommend it.




9.17.2011

CREATURE (2011) Review


Directed by: Fred Andrews
Starring: Mehcad brooks, Dillon Casey, Serinda Swan, Sid Haig

I'm not really sure where this film came from or how it ended up in theatres this month, but after watching it I honestly think that CREATURE probably should have been a straight to dvd deal. I can think of dozens of other horror films that deserved to make it to theatres than this one. Despite the title, the movie actually plays out more like a slasher, and a pretty generic one at that.

CREATURE follows a group of young adults on a road trip through Louisiana. They stop at a seedy looking gas station for a bit of a pee break and a little chat with the locals. The inside of the store is a kind of recreation of Captain Spaulding's from House of 1000 Corpses, complete with oddities and even Sid Haig himself.
Oscar (Casey) seems to have a keen interest in all of this folklore crap, and asks the store owner Chopper (Haig) about 'the house that Grimley built' which is part of a local legend involving inbred hillbillies and a strange alligator/human hybrid creature. So Chopper draws them up a map and sends them on their merry way. They find the house, and decide to set up camp and stay the night. Of course not long after nightfall, all sorts of bad shit starts to happen. They find themselves stalked by a terrible creature from the swamp.

There are a couple of little sub-plots involving an ancient ritual and some incest in there too, but basically that's the story.
I was actually a little excited when I first started watching, because in the first minute of the film there is some gratuitous full frontal nudity and I was hoping that this would be a bit of a throwback to those classic monster movies. And it kind of is, except for the fact that there is very little gore. I know that gore doesn't always make a good horror movie, but in a slasher like this there really should be a lot more. Most of it happens off screen, and all you really see is the end result.
The creature after which the movie is named, looked a little ridiculous in my opinion and wasn't very entertaining at all.
I'm not really sure what else to write about. I guess the acting was pretty good, but nothing fantastic. But I didn't find CREATURE to be a particularly original or entertaining film. If you don't see it, you're not really missing out on much at all. If you want something similar but more entertaining you might want to try Hatchet.




THE WOMAN (2011) Review


Directed by: Lucky McKee
Starring: Angela Bettis, Sean Bridgers, Polyanna McIntosh

I've been hearing a lot about this movie in recent months, about how violent and shocking it is and I even watched the Youtube video of the guy walking out of the Sundance Film Festival disgusted with what he'd just seen. I finally got around to watching the trailer and honestly, it looked nothing like how it had been described. The only real reason I watched the movie is because it was directed by Lucky McKee and written by both him and Jack Ketchum, so I knew it would be at least a little out there. But apart from a few kind of surreal moments, it wasn't really as strange as I expected. And although the movie as a whole isn't really quite like anything you've seen before, it is composed of familiar aspects which have been seen in countless other films. The whole dysfunctional family thing, and the taming of the wild beast have been told with greater success in other movies, but when put together in this way it was a rather unique film.

The Cleek family appear on the surface to be a normal happy family, with Belle (Bettis) being the stay at home mum and looking after the three children, while Chris (Bridgers) is a successful lawyer with his own firm. But after Chris goes out hunting and discovers a savage woman in the forest, it soon becomes apparent that this is no normal family. He decides to capture this woman and keep her locked up in the cellar. He has taken it upon himself and his family to try and train her and 'civilize' her. Clearly the women of the family are horrified, but their inability to speak up shows just what kind of iron grip Chris has on his entire family. But as they say, like father like son and Chris' son Brian is not horrified at all. Just like his father he seems to think this is a great idea, and begins taking a much too unhealthy interest in their new 'project'
Things predictably go horribly wrong towards the end of the film, and the woman has her revenge.

If you're familiar with McKee's previous work then you may realize that he's a bit of a feminist filmmaker, and it's obvious throughout this film even though it is shown in a misogynistic way. And one of the clear messages within THE WOMAN is the perpetuation of domestic violence through the generations. This is most obvious in a few scenes where the young boy Brian tortures the woman, and then later is seen abusing another. I don't really like to delve too deep into these social commentaries.
Technically speaking the film is put together pretty well, but I did have a number of problems with it. First of all is the slow pace at which THE WOMAN limps along, and the fact that this time is not used to create suspense but rather focus on character development. Secondly is the soundtrack, which is composed of a bunch of alternative pop tracks that don't seem to match the mood of the film at all. And thirdly was the inconsistency of the acting. Everybody did a great job, except for Carlee Baker who played one of the children's teachers. Her acting was terrible, very awkward and distracting.

I'd say that this is probably a movie worth watching, if only for the fact that there is nothing else out there quite like it. But after all I heard about it, I have to say I was really disappointed. And if you're worried about the 'graphic torture and rape scenes' which the film is purported to have, then don't be. The rape scene is one of the most tame I've seen, and the torture is a thousand times worse in a thousand other movies I've seen.




REC 3: GENESIS Official Trailer


The guys over at Horror-movies.ca reported that a trailer would be coming out on Friday September 16th. And true to their word, here it is. It's a bit unusual as far as trailers go, but I won't say any more. I'll just let you enjoy it yourself.

Synopsis: “The original REC crew are back, ready to submit their ensemble cast to another fight for survival against the zombie infection. This time to the backdrop of an original soundtrack. The new chapter will see the film “open up” by using a more traditional cinematographic style. However, the film’s roots have not been forgotten, and viewers will still be immersed in the action watching certain events unfold through the eye of the video camera. The action in REC 3 GENESIS encompasses the events of the first two films and after the sense of claustrophobia previously experienced.
The action now takes place miles away from the original location and partly in broad daylight, giving the film an entirely fresh yet disturbing new reality. The infection has left the building. In a clever twist that draws together the plots of the first two movies, this third part of the saga also works as a decoder to uncover information hidden in the first two films and leaves the door open for the final installment the future, REC 4 Apocalypse.“



REC 3: GENESIS opens in Spain on March 30th 2012


9.15.2011

New TV Spot For THE THING Prequel


Well it's only about a month or so now until THE THING hits theatres, and so far I haven't really been able to make up my mind as to whether I want to see it or not. But after watching this TV spot I think it's safe to say I will indeed be buying a ticket for this film. Check out the new TV spot after the jump, and if you haven't seen the official trailer yet you can view it here.

Synopsis: At an Antarctica research site, the discovery of an alien craft leads to a confrontation between graduate student Kate Lloyd and scientist Dr. Sander Halvorson. While Dr. Halvorson keeps to his research, Kate partners with Sam Carter, a helicopter pilot, to pursue the alien life form.

Keep an eye out for THE THING at theatres October 14th.

9.14.2011

Fans Furious At HALLOWEEN II Blu-ray Alteration

Alteration? I hear you ask. Yes that's right, but it's probably not as extreme a change as you may be thinking. No, they haven't replaced Michael Myers with a CGI model. No, they haven't added or cut any of the scenes.
I'm actually still not 100% sure what's happening here, but since this incident has taken up about a third of my Facebook news feed I thought I'd post something about it.
It seems that horror fans are in an uproar about an alteration made by Universal to the credits on the new HALLOWEEN II Blu-ray release. In the credits where Moustapha Akkad's name would normally appear, it has been replaced with the words "Universal, an MCA Company" and apparently it has been done rather sloppily. The font doesn't even match the rest of the text.
To make things even more confusing, Moustapha's name still appears on the packaging. To replace the name in the credits but not on the case itself seems kind of strange to me, and I honestly have no idea why this has happened. I will do a little more research and see if I can find out why.
If like a lot of other people, you are outraged at this change then you can sign a petition to boycott the film right here. You can also head on over to Facebook and like the Boycott Universal's Halloween II page.

And if you're a little unclear on who Moustapha Akkad is exactly, then let me inform you.
He was basically the person who made the Halloween films possible and kept them going. He was the one who believed in John Carpenter's vision, and financed it to make it a reality. He also gave complete creative control to Carpenter, which just shows how much faith he had in him. Unfortunately Moustapha was killed 6 years ago, and this is probably what is making the incident more volatile. Many fans are angry that Universal has posthumously remove his name when he is not around to defend himself, and in a way diminished his legacy. How do you feel about it?

UPDATE 09/16/11: The Boycott Universal's Halloween II Facebook page seems to be making some headway. This morning they posted the following status:

"Universal promises to "make it right"! We are not sure what that means yet...but you can be sure that everyone's support here played a big part! We won't let up yet, but will say THANK YOU to all the fans who spoke up for the man who gave so much to this series. More details as soon as we get them..."


UPDATE 09/17/11: Another status reads:


"Universal has said that they will fix the situation, and apologized for the error. We believe that no harm was intended and it was a mistake."



Second Teaser Trailer For GINGERCLOWN 3D


Hungary's first ever English language 3D film GINGERCLOWN 3D didn't reveal a whole lot with their first teaser trailer, and now it looks like the second trailer is more of the same. In fact, if the words GINGERCLOWN 3D weren't shown at the end, you would probably have no idea what the hell was going on.
On the plus side, showing very little is a good way of making sure that they don't spoil the film for people like some trailers do.
This is one movie that I'm really looking forward to, mainly because of the fine voice talent including:

Tim Curry (Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Brad Dourif (Child's Play)
Lance Henriksen (Aliens)
Michael Winslow (Police Academy)
Sean Young (Blade Runner)

Synopsis: “1983: A group of high school students are having a great weekend in the Hollywood Hills when they bump into a loser from their school, Sam, who’s just on his way home.
Sam is in love and would do anything in order to get the girl of his dreams, Jenny’s, attention. Unfortunately for him she’s also the girlfriend of the school’s bully, Biff, the quarterback of the football team.
Biff and his buddies are keen to take Sam to the old abandoned amusement park to make him prove his courage as part of their initiation ceremony into their group. They involve Jenny in their cruel game as the grand prize of the competition. Sam accepts the challenge, but Jenny wouldn’t let him go in by himself so she follows him into the amusement park, thereby embarking on a night neither of them will ever forget.
The old park holds a secret. Hidden in the darkness are frightening and somewhat eccentric monsters, who love to torture innocent human beings while intensively annoying each other.”

GINGERCLOWN 3D is set to hit theatres in October 2011.
For more info, keep your eye on the official website and Facebook page.

9.11.2011

MIRRORS 2 (2010) Review


Directed by: Victor Garcia
Starring: Nick Stahl, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Lawrence Turner
I've been putting off watching this movie for a while now, because I just had the feeling that it was really going to suck. I don't normally like to judge movies before I see them, but in this case I can say that my instincts were right.
I actually enjoyed the first MIRRORS film from 2008, and it did surprisingly well making almost $80 million worldwide. But I've noticed that the vast majority of horror fans really didn't like it at all. Suffice to say, if you didn't enjoy the first movie, you will absolutely hate the sequel.

Max Matheson is a young man recovering from a car accident in which his girlfriend was killed. He is in a deep state of depression and blames himself for his girlfriend's death. After one of the security guards at his father's department store 'goes crazy' and cuts himself up, his father offers Max the job as replacement nightwatchman. The department store is of course the Mayflower, but not the original store in New York. The new store is in New Orleans and is brand new from the ground up. Luckily however, they saved one of the mirrors from the original store and are now using it as a centerpiece.
Max starts his job and immediately starts seeing visions of a cadaverous woman in the mirrors. After telling his doctor, she reassures him that these visions are in fact a good thing, and a sign that his mind is ready to heal. He's not so reassured however, when he starts to see people's deaths in the mirrors. Especially when those people wind up dead.
Eventually he works out that these visions are linked to a young woman who worked at the Mayflower, but has since gone missing. He teams up with her sister to try and get to the bottom of things, and eventually everything unravels and they save the day.

I've probably said a little too much there, but honestly it's a fairly predictable film and after the first few scenes you already know what's going to happen anyway. In fact that might just be the one thing this film has over it's predecessor, it's a lot easier to follow than the first movie. A little too easy.
The death scenes were really disappointing, and other than the one involving an almost-clever glass-guillotine they were pretty boring and unoriginal. Another aspect which was both disappointing and confusing, was the fact that they changed the whole mythology from the first film. In this sequel for some reason, Max could see other people's deaths in the mirrors before those people actually died. In the first movie though, people could only see their own death in the mirrors.
If the movie wasn't titled MIRRORS 2 and the department store wasn't called the Mayflower, you could swear that while they were making this sequel they didn't even have the first film in mind.

The acting was pretty poor across the board. Nick Stahl (Sin City, Terminator 3) who played Max gave a predictably wooden performance, and the others were really not much better. Lawrence Turner (Red, 9 Dead) as Keller Landreaux was probably the most interesting character, but still showed some sub-par acting skills.
I didn't really care about any of the characters at all. There wasn't enough depth to any of them. Maybe if the film had worked on a little character development I might have enjoyed it more.

If you've seen the first film you will no doubt be disappointed by the sequel. If you haven't seen the first, then you might just enjoy this one, but I doubt it.



9.08.2011

EL MONSTRO DEL MAR Release Date


I mentioned this Aussie horror film in a post a few months back, and now I'm glad to say that it has been picked up by Monster Pictures Australia and has a release date scheduled for October 5th 2011. After doing the rounds at festivals in 2010, EL MONSTRO DEL MAR picked up a ton of awards both in Australia and overseas. Watching the trailer it's not hard to see why. This looks like one kickass movie.

Check out the film's official website for more details.

Synopsis: Three gorgeous but deadly hired killers, Beretta, Blondie and Snowball, hole up in a small beachside community to keep a low profile. But this town has a dark secret. The local old sea baron, Joseph, tries desperately to warn them to never go into the water. But these crazy vixens listen to no one, especially no crazy assed old fool.  So the Kraken awakes! Now, along with Joseph and his beautiful grand daughter, Hannah, they must fight for their lives against this furious creature of the deep as the sea rises in a tidalwave of blood.

Starring film veteren, Norman Yemm and new comers, Nelli Scarlet, Kyrie Capri, Karli Madden and Kate Watts. Also starring Scott Brennan (Comedy Inc, Skithouse), Steven Stagg (Flipside, Demonsamongus), Richard Wolstencroft (MUFF), Rusty Benson (Review with Myles Barlow) & David Gannon (Eraser Children).


Source: Horror-movies.ca , Monster Pictures

9.07.2011

First Official Poster For SIX DEGREES OF HELL



I gotta say, I've loved everything that the guys involved with SIX DEGREES OF HELL have released so far. The promo shots and the film stills were awesome. And now once again they've met my expectations with this amazing looking poster below. I can now honestly say that I am really, really excited to see this movie.
But it doesn't end there! A trailer is scheduled for some time later this month and as soon as it's released I will let you know.

The film stars the one and only Corey Feldman, along with a cast of newcomers and veterans and is directed by Joe Raffa from a script by Harrison Smith. A 2012 release date is likely, so stay tuned for more. You can also find out more info at the movie's official site or their Facebook page.

Synopsis: Ever walk through one of those Halloween haunted attractions and wonder how real it all looked? What if it was? Six individuals are caught in a supernatural perfect storm that has come to claim one of them and tear apart the soul of a small town. Corey Feldman headlines a cast of veterans and newcomers in Six Degrees of Hell.

 

9.05.2011

STAKE LAND (2011) Review


Directed by: Jim Mickle
Starring: Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Danielle Harris

I wasn't sure quite what to expect when I watched STAKE LAND. I hadn't seen the trailer or read any reviews, in fact all I knew about it was that it was a vampire flick. That didn't exactly get my pulse racing, because it seems that every other day there is a new vampire film out and unfortunately about 90% of them suck (pun not intended). But then I saw the dvd cover which actually looked pretty cool, and I also noticed that Danielle Harris was in the cast. That's what persuaded me that it may actually be a good film, and after watching it on the weekend I can honestly say that I loved it.

I have to admit that it's not a very original story. It's basically Zombieland but without the humor and with vampires instead of zombies. Add a little I Am Legend and maybe The Walking Dead and you'll get a pretty good picture of what the film is like. And unlike Zombieland there is no sign of that annoying bastard Jesse Eisenberg. Instead we get Connor Paolo (Gossip Girl, World Trade Center) who I think was brilliant. And playing the part of Woody Harrelson is Nick Damici (Mulberry St, In The Cut) who was great as the tough but loving father figure. Unfortunately there is no Bill Murray cameo, but I think we can all live with that.

Martin (Paolo) is a young boy who was rescued by Mister (Damici) after vampires attacked his home and killed his family. Mister has taken him under his wing and taught him how to survive as they make their way to the legendary New Eden in the north. Along the way they spend their nights in abandoned houses, buses and even Mister's car if need be. Occasionally running into vampires which they kill and extract the fangs, which are used as a kind of currency. They collect a small group of companions on their journey, most notably Sister (Kelly McGillis) and the pregnant Belle (Danielle Harris).
Occasionally they come to fortified towns known as 'lockdowns' where people have gathered to keep some kind of semblance of normal life, to pick up supplies and information before continuing north.
But on the way they discover that the vamps aren't the only threat. They come face to face with a group of jesus-freaks known as the Brotherhood who are lead by a bald nut named Jebadia (played perfectly by Michael Cerveris). The Brotherhood abduct them, keeping Sister as a sex slave and throwing Mister to the vamps. Martin escapes and eventually winds up finding Mister's car, along with Mister himself who is hiding in the trunk.
They keep driving, sticking to the backroads until they come to one last lockdown on the way to New Eden. But then the Brotherhood come along and air-drop vampires into the town, causing chaos and further incurring the ire of Mister.
The big showdown inevitably arrives between Mister and Jebadia towards the end of the film which then winds down as New Eden looms ahead.

I'm really struggling to find some aspect of this film that I didn't like. The writing, direction and acting were all pretty amazing. The makeup and FX on the vampires were fantastic, as was the whole atmosphere of the movie. I wouldn't give STAKE LAND top marks for originality, but it is definitely a great film and one that I would watch again.



THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II: FULL SEQUENCE Australian Teaser Trailer



I just had one of those moments of joy last night, when I saw a post by Monster Pictures Australia's official Facebook page. Not only did it include the new Australian teaser trailer but it also noted that while THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2 has been banned in the UK and will be cut in the US, it will be unleashed in Australia 100% uncut. Just the way Tom Six intended.
The teaser trailer below doesn't actually show any footage from the film, but instead shows apparently 'real' audience reactions, interspersed with quotes from the BBFC. Enjoy.

9.04.2011

Stephen King MILE 81 Book Review


Another e-book from Stephen King. But if you don't have a Kindle then don't worry, because you're not really missing out on much. Being such a huge King fan it really pains me to say this but I was very disappointed with this story. Not only was it way too short (around 50 or 60 pages), but the actual story itself just seemed like a mash-up of King's previous work. If you've read Christine, From a Buick 8 and The Raft, just imagine mixing them all together and this is probably what you would get. I was really looking forward to MILE 81, I preordered it and read it all as soon as it was released. But by the time I finished it, I wasn't very satisfied.

10 year old Pete is too young to play with his older brother and his friends, so to prove to them how tough and daring he is Pete decides to explore the abandoned rest stop along the nearby Mile 81. After looking around the decrepit building, he drinks a little too much vodka and falls asleep on a filthy mattress. While he is asleep, a mud covered station wagon pulls up in front of the rest stop. The door opens but nobody steps out.
A good samaritan driving a Prius sees the wagon parked out the front of the rest stop and decides to see if there's anybody in need of assistance. He doesn't see anybody nearby, so approaches the car instead. I won't tell you what happens next, but let's just say that he doesn't live very long.
Another considerate person then sees the station wagon and the Prius and decides that maybe she can help.
This happens repeatedly until there are quite a few cars out the front of the rest stop.
Eventually Pete wakes up from his drunken slumber and of course saves the day, in a bit of a disappointing finale.

That's about it. The writing is top notch as always, but the story is not great. It's basically a short story which Stephen King has pieced together using recycled pieces of his previous work. Kind of like Frankenstein's monster, all it needs is a brain.