Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Just Before Dawn (1982)

By 1982, the 'killer in the woods' plot had already been played out and had become cliche. Just Before Dawn stepped in and managed to offer something unique and different while following the same basic Slasher structure without the pitfalls of self-awareness or self-parody. The introduction of the characters and slow, steady build maintains a sense of realism through the naturally flowing dialogue and common daily activities that disarm the audience into a suspension of disbelief. This is where I feel the film succeeds over the similarly themed Wrong Turn, which places its characters in several situations that exit the realm of believability. There are several scenes that generate a high level of suspense, created through the creative framing and lighting as well as a backwoods terror that has been handed down from Deliverance. The unfriendly locals also feel rooted in reality, as opposed to the super-human qualities inherent in Slasher favorites like Michael Myers or Jason Voorhees. Even so, the twins prove to be very menacing in their sheer bulk and brutal violence. Now, while there are many things the film does well, it is also a very slow paced ride, and as a Slasher flick the deaths are all pretty tame. It offers superior filmmaking to many of the cheap imitators of the time, but in all its seriousness it just isnt as fun as most of the peak Slashers. It is worth seeking out for any Slasher fans, just not a favorite of mine. A group of teens are stalked by a demented family at their campsite deep within the woods of a National Park.

Rating: 8/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.



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Vengeance of the Zombies (1972)

I am a huge Paul Naschy fan, which often clouds my judgment when it comes to rating his films. Such is not the case with Vengeance of the Zombies, which borders on a horror comedy in some of its overacting and ridiculousness. With a score that is a strange cross between cheesy porn music and upbeat techno, it is difficult to build any suspense or take the film seriously. This is hampered even more by the out of place zombie women that smile and laugh as they attack their victims. While he is still a step above the rest, Naschy also hams it up with over the top facial gestures and excessive theatrics. Klimovsky's stylism that was also used in Werewolf Shadow is very apparent here, with filming techniques like slow motion capitalized to set the mood. While the make-up for the zombie slaves is rather bland, there is some amazing work put into Naschy's FX, but it is just too little too late. Though Naschy has a supreme love for the genre, his writing isnt always up to par, and it shows in this one. Hardcore fans will still enjoy it, but it is otherwise unimpressive. Britain is caught up in a sinister plot ripe with murder, betrayal, voodoo, and zombies when a vengeful Indian strikes back against the daughters of the families that thought they had killed him several years ago.

Rating: 6/10.



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Monday, June 29, 2009

Wishing Stairs (2003)

There is something that is just right in all three of the Ghost School films. They are original, spooky, twisted, and intelligent. Wishing Stairs captures the same look and feel of the previous two films, while offering another unique ghost revenge plot packed with jealousy, betrayal, and obsession. Another class of girls at the nefarious boarding school begin to have their wishes granted by a magic staircase, but they are quick to spoil the gifts on petty rivalries that lead to evil ends. The film is beautifully shot and acted well, factors that enhance the character driven plot and maintain interest throughout the slow and dramatic build. There are several perfectly framed shots that are frightening but subtle, none of which fall back on the now conventional Asian ghost cliches. It also has a built-in mythology that is hinted at but not fully explored, adding a hint of mystery and fantasy to the horror. This one can be enjoyed separately, but is a nice bookend to the series started in Whispering Corridors and followed by the superior Memento Mori.

Rating: 8/10.



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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Big Alligator River (1979)

A Jaws clone in every sense of the word, where a river resort is devastated by a series of alligator attacks, and it is up to a daring photographer (??) to stop it! The film is complete with the owner who doesnt want to scare the tourists off, ridiculous underwater scenes that were obviously shot in a pool, and a suspiciously similar ending. The crocodile (also ??) is convincing at times, and a terrible motionless toy being dragged in an unconvincing aquarium at others. There is minimal gore, the pacing and acting are about par for an Italian jungle adventure flick, but overall it fails to live up to Martino's MotCG or Torso. In the end, it is just another cheap cashin that you can miss and somehow manage to carry on with your normal life.

Original Rating: 5/10.
Latest Rating (6/29/2009): 5/10.



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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Madhouse (1981)

More appropriate titles: "The House Where Nothing Happens", "Deliver Us From Nothing," etc.. Madhouse is a slow ride, with the majority of the murders being committed by a pissed off rottweiler, and not the deranged sister the description would lead you to believe was the killer. The film draws heavily from Italian cinema, with a soundtrack that immediately recalls Cannibal Holocaust, a plot reveal that has more in common with the Giallo than it does with the Slasher, and blatant references to Argento, Fulci, and others (particularly the dog scenes and colorization, borrowed generously from Suspiria). There are some bloody deaths, but they are very few and far between, and do not warrant the conventional and otherwise boring plot that ties them together. After a second viewing, I can say that the acting and particularly the filming are both pretty good, and I did enjoy it more on the second watch through. In terms of gore, the film hit the notorious Video Nasties list in the UK, but there is nothing spectacular that sets this film apart from any of the other Slashers of the time. Slasher completists may enjoy this one, but it isnt high priority. A woman is stalked by her jealous sister who has escaped from the mental institute, with a trail of bodies piling up in her wake.

Rating: 6/10.



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Friday, June 26, 2009

The Grudge 3 (2009)

In one word, terrible. The Grudge 3 feels in every way like the cheap direct-to-DVD sequel that it is. It is in no way entertaining or engaging, and even manages to make the ghost characters completely unscary and laughable. I have always told myself that the first film to truly capture every day life in a real setting without scripted dialogue would be an instant success, but I was wrong. Dead wrong. The first third of the film is so slow and dry it is absolutely impossible to get involved in the plot, but what is interesting outside of the film is that the scenes are all played well and have a natural flow and feel to them. It is just like being a fly on the wall in some persons living room while they talk about their day and fold laundry. What bothered me most about the ghosts was that they were constantly appearing against white backgrounds, which hadnt been done in the previous films but with good reason. White on white = not scary. The deaths are extremely toned down and lame, and the FX for Kayako coming out of picture frames leave the bitter taste of cheapness in the mouth. Half of the plot is told in a series of flashbacks from the previous film, and actually manages to make The Grudge 2 make sense. The rest of the plot is told in a linear fashion for the first time, but all of it seems like a lame excuse to bring the curse to the US rather than the original Japanese setting to bring costs down. This one should be missed intentionally, it is really bad an inexcusable. The deathly curse that has been brought over to an apartment complex in Chicago continues to claim more victims, and it is up to the sister of the evil spirit to stop her now!

Rating: 5/10.



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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dead and Breakfast (2004)

This is a little known Indie flick that commonly overlooked but well worth reproaching. A group of friends must fight for survival when an evil spell is unleashed from the bed and breakfast they stopped in for the night, awakening a curse that drives the townspeople into a murderous frenzy. The film is an even blend of clever comedy and awesome gore, with a touch of a musical as a house band transitions between scenes and the (for lack of a better word) zombies break into a spontaneous dance number. It is packed with familiar faces, including Jeremy Sisto, David Carradine (!!), Diedrich Bader, and many others, and is played perfectly by the entire cast. The editing and cinematography are both very ambitious and professional, lending the film a much bigger look and feel than would be expected for the size. Though there are familiar elements in the script, the entire film feels fresh and original, with many unlikely turns and a unique story chocked full of smart dialogue, great comic timing, and fun gags. On top of everything else, the gore is off the wall, with chainsaws through the neck, heads being blown off, and decapitations being just a few sweet examples. Great Indie effort that deserves much more attention, be sure to check this one out when you get the chance!

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 8/10.



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Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things (1972)

CHILDREN is years ahead of its time, and it must be seen to believe. A group of thespians attempt a Satanic ritual in a graveyard in a comic attempt to raise the dead, but their trespasses don't go unpunished as the corpses return to life to seek revenge. Director Bob Clark of BLACK CHRISTMAS fame brings us this awesome low-budget effort, which starts off with a very light and silly, but quickly descends into a terrifying and bloody zombie shocker. The purposefully over-the-top acting and dialogue may turn many fans away initially, but it can be truly appreciated for its dark humor and pure camp value on repeated viewings. Once the evil spell is cast, the living dead that befall our motley group of heroes are completely unlike any other zombies in the genre, with make-up and costumes of all different shapes and designs. For the year it was made and the budget, the FX are very impressive, with many creepy zombies and no lack of blood and gore. The only thing more surprising than the zombies are the societal taboos that are obliterated in the film. It touches on everything from black magic, to homosexuality, and as far as necrophilia, all in a film shortly following NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. Though the pacing may be inhibiting for first time viewers, this one is absolutely worth sitting through, and it demands repeat viewing for full effect. I love this film, it comes highly recommended and is a must-see zombie flick!

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 9/10.
Gore: 6/10.



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The Grudge 2 (2006)

After the success of the first film, it was inevitable a sequel would emerge. Unfortunately, the non-linear plot devices used in the original get out of hand and make this second film nearly incomprehensible. From what I gathered after three viewings, the sister of the protagonist in the first film returns to Japan to bring her sister home, only to get thrust into the curse that has begun spreading outward from the haunted house. Meanwhile, an apartment complex in Chicago falls prey to the same curse after a new tenant arrives in the building. The convoluted plot immediately distracts from the otherwise decent acting and scares, since it is just far too difficult to track what is going on in what seems like 3-4 intertwining storylines. The ghostly spirits manage to bring more frights this second time around, however the images appear to have been recycled from the previous film and do not have the same effect in the end. There is also a strange backstory provided for Kayako that seems uneven and doesnt particularly serve the plot. The sequel is worth checking out, and lovers of abstract art might find the film more appealing, but it does not reach the same overall effect as the previous film.

Rating: 7/10.



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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mother of Tears (2007)

Expectation was only exceeded by disappointment in this bookend to the Three Mothers trilogy originated in Dario Argento's Suspiria. Started over two decades earlier and in an entirely different era of filmmaking, it seemed inevitable that this film would have difficulty recapturing the look and feel of its predecessors. Gone is the unnatural coloring borrowed liberally from Bava, having been replaced by a bland color palette set in earthly tones. Gone is the constant sense of tension and danger set by a steady stream of unnerving imagery. Though the film has a distinct look and feel unto itself, it still manages to pull together a similar theme, with the descendant of a white witch discovering the truth of another powerful mother witch causing the recent rash of disaster and murder plaguing Rome. Argento brings the gore, so there is certainly no lack of brutal violence and gallons of blood, but the deaths just do not retain the sickening beauty of the first two entries. Much of the acting is overlooked or forgiven since it is dubbed, but in reality it isnt very good. Argento's daughter Asia is overused, and does not bring the level of empathy and intrigue as her counterparts. The film unfortunately falls under much harsher criticism since it comes from the master of horror, and despite the negative remarks above, The Third Mother is still better than the average horror film. It just does not live up to Argento's stellar track record, and is a significant step down from the horror perfection achieved in Suspiria.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 8/10.



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The Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008)

If this had been the pilot movie for a Lost Boys TV series aimed at the average Buffy fan, it may have actually been successful on some level. As it is, as a cheap direct to DVD straight sequel to the 1987 classic, it is an immense let down, but that isnt to say that it is an entire disaster. A brother and sister move to a small beach town, only to have the sister become involved with a new band of Gen X vampires. It is up to the brother and a surprising ally to save the girl and the town. There are plenty of throwbacks to the original film and other pop culture references, but what should have been tasteful homages feel like banal stabs at its predecessor. The acting and plot average the same level of quality as most weekly teen serials, and it moves at a stead pace with decent action and gore. The bloodshed is most surprising, with literal fountains of the red stuff spouting from the human prey. The biggest misstep the film could have taken was aligning itself with a title that has an implied level of expectation and quality. With the bar set so high, a film of this size would be hard-pressed to win over the fans. As a conventional teen horror TV episode, the film may have been received better, but as a stand alone sequel it doesnt break any new ground or offer the audience any reason to be impressed.

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.



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The Legend of Hell House (1973)

Hell House is a film that is harder to appreciate in a time when the spectacular and sensational rule, and where special computerized FX have made literally anything imaginable possible. The film uses creepy, subtle scares to convey a sinister unseen evil, but its disasterously slow pacing may be enough to derail the average fan. A team of investigators enter a haunted mansion to recover hard evidence of its spiritual activity, but will any of them leave alive? There is a lot to like in this supernatural thriller, particularly for fans of films like Burnt Offerings, The Changeling, or The Haunting, each of which rely on the strength of the characters, setting, and dialogue to create the frightening mood over excessive blood and violence. The players in this one (including Roddy McDowall of Fright Night fame) truly sell the horror, aided by rattling furniture and housewares being moved by disembodied entities. Hell House also makes for a darkly beautiful but alarming setting, with plenty of dusty quarters and forgotten passageways to claim the unsuspecting victim. Though the film is made well, there have been many other films that have improved upon the theme in many ways, but it is a classic haunting tale and worth checking out for any phantom fans!

Rating: 7/10.



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Friday, June 19, 2009

The Lost Boys (1987)

Who would of thought that the man single-handedly responsible for destroying the original Batman series was the same man behind one of the best vampire entries of all time? Joel Schumacher brings us the tale of two brothers that fall prey to a gang of teen vampires that are terrorizing the town of Santa Carla, and must enlist the help of a pair of unlikely vampire hunters to save the town and themselves. Everything in this film works, from the creative camera and FX work, to the superb acting, to the simple coastal setting that is turned into a dark and atmospheric dreamscape. It was years before I drew the connection with Peter Pan, but the exchanges between the classic vampire elements and the childhood characters make for an excellent modern horror fantasy. Like Near Dark, Vamp, and countless other 80s entries, The Lost Boys updates many of the classic conventions of the undead without the cheesy cliches or cloaks. The film also contrasts innocent and disarming scenes with clever humor against extremely chilling sequences, and though most of it functions as a safe children's horror entry, it proves to be frightening to even the most seasoned horror vet. Its impossible to find fault in this staple 80s classic, and The Lost Boys serves as an example of horror perfection. Well, there is one fault. The dude playing the saxophone is pretty dated. Other than that, it is timeless.

Rating: 10/10.



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Wrong Turn 2 (2007)

After being bored to tears with the first film, my hopes were in the gutter for the direct to DVD sequel. I couldnt have been more wrong. Wrong Turn 2 is one of the funnest over the top gore flicks to hit DVD since Feast. It is absolutely absurd how much of the red stuff Joe Lynch crammed into the short hour and half, with bodies being blown apart, axe chops bisecting people, and Henry Rollins eating people's faces off through their assholes. Unlike the original, the film makes no attempt at seriousness at any point, and sets up the drab stereotypical characters only to be knocked down. The acting is entirely stiff and expected, but the audience soon forgets about it when the idiot characters' brains are splattered all over the screen. Lynch's direction and framing are about what you would expect from any D2DVD release, but he has a hard on for the genre and answers any gorehounds prayers. If you dont go in expecting great filmmaking but banking on the gore, you should have a blast with this one. Contestants on a Survivalist reality show get more than they bargained for when the game turns deadly thanks to a family of cannibalistic inbreds in the woods!

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 9/10.
Gore: 10/10.



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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wrong Turn (2003)

I have never been a fan of this film. I find it to be extremely derivative and boring, which confuses even me considering every other Slasher and Survival flick recycles elements of each of the films preceding them. The film is technically proficient, with beautiful cinematography, an excellent sense of timing for the scares, and thoughtful make-up designs. What turns me off immediately is when the characters and scenarios are completely unbelievable in a film that otherwise takes itself very seriously. This is most apparent when the protagonists leap from a towering forest ranger station into the trees, miraculously catching the branches and swinging to safety, only to battle the mutants in the trees. There are plenty of obvious nods to classics like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and several good gore sequences, but the film never contributes anything new or different to the genre. I cant tell you exactly why I dont like it, since the acting, filming, and FX are all above average, I just dont. A group of friends must battle to survive off a backwoods road after being stranded and stalked by an deformed group of inbreds.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 7/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.



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Twilight (2008)

All right, so I have finally given in and seen Twilight thanks to the wife's new Netflix account. Where to start. The film is good. Its shot well, the drained color palette set by the cold filters that were used makes for dreary and dreamlike imagery, and the acting is pretty good. Each of the characters are interesting in their own "Im a misunderstood and marginalized highschool student, and I play by my own rules" sort of way, and the angsty teen romance is "cute." I just wasnt overly interested at any point. What I appreciated most about was the scene where Bella is introduced to whatever the hell the guy's name is' family, with the humorous and humanizing effect it lends the film. What I grew tired of was the rival vampire clan and the (anti) climactic battle. Kristen Stewart is ok in her role, but the guy just looks too freakish and obviously stands out with his constant scowl and pale complexion. I also had trouble buying into the characters due to the scripted dialogue that was far from naturalistic and bordered on a serial drama like 90210. I do like the mythology that the film offers, and the unique world that it is being set up, so I am willing to continue with the series, and I hope a second viewing will offer a more positive outlook on the original. I cant fault the hordes of prepubescent teens for drooling over this one, and there is plenty that the film does well, so this ones gets a "B" in my book and is worth checking out. Just be sure to bring your emo eyeliner and a box of tissues. A teen moves in with her father in a small town, and falls in love with an alluring local that turns out to be a vampire.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 0/10.



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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Madman (1982)

Here we have a pure, simple, and unadulterated 80s Slasher in the woods that meets and exceeds all of the basic prerequisites of the sub-genre during its peak. A group of teen camp councilors are stalked and killed by a legendary madman that lives in the nearby woods. Yep, thats it! The killer in this film is Madman Marz, a hulking farmer that was a womanizer and sadist, and was hung by the townspeople after he slaughtered his family with an axe, only to disappear. Whats greatest about this horror icon is that he bumbles around like a giant ape with an axe while grunting the entire film, but when it comes down to murderizing the teens.. It gets awesome. The film offers some of the most brutal and graphic slayings for the period, with absolutely no sense of self-editing in order to achieve a rating. There are axes to the chest, face, skull, and probably the crotch, along with a decapitation via truck hood and much, much more. The camp setting is all too familiar, but equally welcomed, and makes for plenty more terror in the woods. What makes the film even more fun is the absolutely dreadful / awesome over-acting by the homeliest group of 30yr old "teen" actors youve ever seen. Case in point:


On the technical side, the filming perfectly captures the look and feel of the 80s greats, though the writing is extremely bland and the film could be enjoyed just as much on mute. From start to finish, this is a conventional but awesome and often overlooked Slasher flick, and it is an absolute must-see for any Slasher fans!

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 8/10.



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PS - I cant rightfully end this review without mentioning the hot tub scene. Honestly, who twirls around in circles slowly along the edge of a hot tub in order to seduce their mate?It looks like the two are in a washing machine. Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Eden Lake (2008)

The set-up for this film may have been the most captivating build I have seen in the past several years. By the half-hour mark, I was completely invested in the characters, my emotions had been stirred by the antagonists, and the suspense and tension had already been set. As the film continued, however, the survival struggle in the woods became a test in tedium, with an over-extended game of cat and mouse played out between a resourceful woman and a group of teens that are pushed past the point of super-villainy in their torturous terror. The leads both earn a degree of empathy with the audience, but that link is stretched thinner and thinner as the plot continues. Ive focused on the negative here, but only because the film was composed so well at the beginning that it had the potential to be one of the best of 2008, only to drop off into an above average Survival horror. The film is shot beautifully, takes place in a hopeless forest setting, and offers very good acting for the most part. There are just moments where the filmmakers pushed the envelope too far and immediately destroyed the illusion of suspended disbelief. For a sleek Survival flick in the vein of The Strangers or Them, Id recommend checking this one out. It is still a very good film, though not without its flaws.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 6/10.



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Dance of the Dead (2008)

Upon its release, DotD was heralded as being one of the best of 2008. After two viewings, the only way I can see this claim being accurate is if the list was "Best After School Horror Specials for 10 Year Olds." There are many things that do work in this film, with actors that look like legitimate high schoolers, a butt load of zombies and gore, and some very funny moments. I wanted to like each of these aspects as much as everyone else, but even the things I liked felt very scripted and amateurish. The writing feels like a 'teen-edgy' blend between XYZ Zombie Flick and Superbad, minus any real scares or clever dialogue. Bishop clearly has a great grasp of the genre, and steps up the technical aspects with interesting camera work, fun gags, excellent makeup, and an attempt at a unique script despite the derivative storyline. In the end, he does pull of an impressive and ambitious effort for a small Indie film, but the look and feel of the film is completely evident of the small scale and low-budget. The acting and character exchanges feel very forced and there are many moments in the plot that are also clearly contrived. Taking all things into account from the size and scale to the final outcome, the film is a better-than-average Indie film and is worth checking out for sure. A group of teens must ban together to save the prom after it is overrun by a zombie epidemic!

Rating: 8/10.
Entertainment: 6/10.
Gore: 7/10.



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Tower of Evil (1972)

I would best describe Tower of Evil as being an even blend of Raw Meat and Lighthouse, which is funny to me in my geekdom since I am comparing a relatively obscure English horror film to two relativelier obscure English horror films. A team of investigators set out to a remote island lighthouse in hopes to determine why a young girl slaughtered her three friends weeks earlier, only to find out the dark truths behind the island's secret past. Tower is a great watch, but much of the fun is at the film's expense. The acting ranges from ok to laughable, the miniatures and blatantly superimposed backgrounds are ambitious but obvious, and best of all the costume of the final creature looks like it was stolen from Troll 2! Despite all of its flaws, though, it moves at an excellent pace, offers a dark and dreary setting, has plenty of great deaths, and tosses in several scares for good measure. For a campy 70s Slasher this one makes for a bloody good watch, its worth seeking out at least for a single view!

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 5/10.



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Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Flesh and Blood Show (1972)

This Pete Walker entry entirely fails to impress, and falls into conventional Slasher tedium quickly. An aspiring actress joins a group of thespians hoping to make it big in an underground show called "The Flesh and Blood Show," but the name becomes all too literal when the curtains begin to drop for the actors one by one. Unlike the superb House of Whipcord and Frightmare, there are no interesting or captivating characters this time around, and the death scenes are pretty bloody, they just arent interesting enough to warrant the slow pace, minimal suspense, and standard plot. The theater setting does add a degree of atmosphere, with creepy mannequins and dark passageways galore. Id mark this on the Low Priorities list, but fans of English horror in the vein of the classic Hammer and Amicus films will find enough to like.

Rating: 5/10.
Gore: 6/10.



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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Horror Hospital (1975)

While it had its moments, this campy English slasher is a whole lot of waiting for a whole lot of nothing. Two teens end up at a a deadly hospital where a corrupt doctor is conducting mind control experiments on the local youths. Death ensues. Fans will enjoy the deathmobile, a few clever quips, and some of the hammy performances, but there is very little originality in this film that hasnt been covered by other genre entries in the past. It also suffers from stereotypical characters, bland dialogue, and a repetitive cat and mouse plot, but what is most annoying is that the attempt at a background story leaves more questions than answers (and not in the fun, abstract way). While it fails on many different levels, it is still a fun if not stupid Slasher that serves as a good enough time killer, just expect the usual conventions and very little logic.

Rating: 5/10.



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Curse of the Voodoo (1965)

Curse of the Voodoo is curse of the boring, and never achieves any level of suspense, action, or horror. A rich upperclassman kills a lion on safari in the territory of the Simbaza tribe, who curses him for killing one of their revered animals. He goes crazy, starts to die a little, then seeks revenge. The acting is standard enough, and both the tribesmen and African setting are believable, but the curse only amounts to a guy having delusions about scantily clad men stalking him with spears (??). It delves into a "Is he crazy with guilt.. or is he CURSED!!1" plot line, which just doesnt pay off in any way. I cant think of any particular group that the film would appeal to, so it is not recommended to anyone, ever. Its not that it is filmed poorly or that the acting is terrible, its just pointless. And whats with calling it Curse of the Voodoo when voodoo is taken from Caribbean tribalism, and is only partially intermixed with African mysticism?

Rating: 5/10.



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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dark Waters (1994)

Im going to try something different and arrange this review in a similar fashion to the film. Dark Waters is an experience for the senses, particularly in its insane visuals, while focusing on aesthetics over creating a linear and coherent plot. With that in mind, here are a few random things the film succeeds at:

Disturbing sound clips of babies crying that are distorted and twisted into demonic howls. Surreal shots with stunning cinematography. Dark subterranean catacombs lit by thousands of candles. Nuns burning crosses against a moonless sky. Children worshiping an ancient demon. A geek that eats the guts of raw fish on a ferry. Saturated color palette with deep red, orange, brown, and black hues. An overall feeling of dread and discomfort for no single discernible reason.

The film follows and English girl that returns to a remote island that is home to a secluded church that her recently deceased father has been supporting. She becomes wrapped up in the demonic trappings of the church when investigating why her father invested so much of her inheritance in protecting its secrets. I thoroughly enjoy this one, and constantly want to rewatch it for the dark and unnerving imagery, but it is a very abstract film that offers more questions than answers. The film cant be rated on the same level as other films, since it would be like rating a Post-Modernist painting against a work of the Renaissance. Instead, it should be enjoyed as a series of disturbing images strung together by a loose plot. Fans of Santa Sangre should definitely enjoy this one!

Rating: 8/10.



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Dark City (1998)

With a dark mixture of the Gothic grandeur in Metropolis, the eerie make-up of Nosferatu, and the alternate realities of The Matrix, Dark City borrows from several sources to create a masterful horror fantasy world with its own unique set of laws and identity. A man with a stolen memory must escape from a group of beings stalking him in a world that they shape and control, while trying to remember his past and figure out how and why they have created this city shrouded in eternal darkness. Though elements of the production may feel borrowed, the plot itself is creative and original, acting as both a murder/mystery and Sci-Fi thriller with horrific themes of the loss of personal identity, mind-control, and distorted perceptions of reality. The cast selection fits the film very well, with Sewell, Connelly, and Friels capturing a nostalgic Film Noir. One of the most impressive aspects of the film is the incredible set design paired with excellent computer FX, giving the cold city an organic life as it shifts and molds to The Strangers sinister designs. This gives it a modern epic feel, while the sepia tones and color palette deliver a throwback to classic Sci-Fi ventures like The Twilight Zone. I am a huge fan of this film, and though it is a difficult one to convey adequately, I feel it comes very close to perfection in terms of what they were looking to achieve in its production. Highly recommended and often overlooked.

Rating: 9/10.



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**Note: Rating and review based on the theatrical cut of the film. Read The Full Post HERE!

Inseminoid (1982)

I honestly dont even want to bother with a review on this one, but I will try to maintain my integrity and do my best. Inseminoid is a cheap and utterly worthless Alien rip-off that delivers nothing more than boredom, terrible acting, and a giant penis-shaped alien. Unlike Creature, which made bold attempts at producing big-budget FX on a shoestring budget, this cashin doesnt even try to create interesting sets or ambitious miniature work. Instead, it takes place in what looks like a squirrel's burrow, and both the computers and spacecrafts pre-date dirt. There is maybe 2m worth watching, which would be edited down to a few gory deaths and a giant man-penis peeing in some girls butt. End review. A research crew is attacked by an alien specimen that possesses its members and begins killing them. Snore. F-.

Rating: 4/10.



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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Thirst (1979)

Excellent Australian vampire entry that succeeds in nearly every way, with an entirely unique and gripping plot propelled by great acting and directing. A cult of elitist vampires kidnap the last remaining descendant of Elizabeth of Bathory and attempt to program her into joining their sadistic society by putting her through several trials by fire. Contouri plays a tortured and empathetic lead, drawing the audience in with her deep, sullen eyes eyes and emotive performance. The Farm setting is beautifully disarming and treacherous at the same time, with free roaming human cattle and a 'dairy' where blood is collected from the livestock daily. The aspect that will either captivate or annoy audience members the most is that there is no point where it is clearly discernible whether the character is dreaming or awake, since her captures induce surreal nightmares during her training exercises and its never even certain whether or not The Farm truly exists. There are many disturbing sequences throughout the film as a result, where the lead will think she has regained consciousness only to turn the shower on and be bathed in blood. I highly recommend checking this one out, it is very original and unlike anything else I have seen. Fans of Lets Scare Jessica to Death or Lemora should find a lot to like here.

Rating: 8/10.



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Monday, June 8, 2009

Bubba Ho-Tep (2002)

There are three syllables that are right with this movie: e-very-thing. I absolutely love Bubba Ho-tep, and it stands as one of the most original and inventive Indie horror films to come out in a long time. Bruce Campbell is so convincing as Elvis that I find myself forgetting its a character throughout the entire film and buying into the fact that it is truly Elvis. The supporting cast including Ossie Davis is unmatched, playing into the sullen and depressing convalescent home setting perfectly. There is plenty of humor to be found in the clever dialogue and unique characters, but despite much of the absurdity, the actors each play the film entirely straight which makes it even funnier. I consider this to be Coscarelli's most technically proficient film, with a beautiful earth-toned color palette, stylish cinematography, and an epic score with a deep Bluegrass influence. Some may find the pacing a bit of a struggle, but I feel it contributes to the theme of the slow movement geriatrics falling prey to a mummy feeding on the weak and disabled. There is little not to like in this film, and highly recommend it to any genre fan! An invalid Elvis must enlist the help of his elderly friend JFK to help him defeat a soul-sucking mummy in a run down convalescent home.

Rating: 9/10.



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Patrick (1978)

Another great example of slow, subtle horror that can create effective suspense with minimal gore and FX. We find Patrick comatose in a hospital, where a sadistic doctor is performing experimental tests on him since he is clinically dead. Patrick strikes back using telekinesis to exact his revenge on his tormentors. Robert Thompson does an amazing job portraying the vegetative Patrick, remaining deathly still and unblinking for minutes during extended sequences. The rest of the cast offer good performances, though they play second fiddle to a character that doesnt speak the entire film. Like in The Changeling, it is small and simple FX that achieve the scares in this one, with a phantom typewriter conveying Patrick's fears and windows and doors constantly being left open after the staff securely closes them. It would have been nice to see a little more background behind Patrick's character and motivations, but as it stands the film is a fresh story and fun watch.

Rating: 7/10.



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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Frightmare (1974)

This Pete Walker entry gives us a deranged mother who is harbored by her husband and daughter in a small English cottage after being released from the mental institute for a series a murders. She begins cracking once more, and the family must take drastic actions when bodies start turning up in the hay.. The film has a pretty slow build, but the pacing is maintained through the interesting characters and competent acting. Though each of the other actors put in good performances, Walker veteran Sheila Keith steals the show as the cannibalistic mother with a taste for the locals. Much of the strength of the film also lies in the suspenseful build up to the implied violence that happens off-screen, though there is still a good amount of gore intact in the aftermath of the killings. The entire plot leads the audience in a very specific direction, but the finale throws out a perfectly planned twist as a finishing touch on an all-around smart and fun slasher. Frightmare makes for a very good watch, and certainly ranks among Pete Walkers greatest achievements.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 6/10.



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The Eye (2008)

Im going to catch hell for this, but in all respects this was an ok film. Had the original film not been made, this version would not have received such negative criticism. The problem is, the original does exist, and it makes it so that the new film really holds no appeal. Nothing has been drastically changed (for the better at least), and American remakes just never seem to recapture the eeriness and creep factor of the Asian ghost movies. The music makes the film feel too cinematic, whereas the minimalism in the original instills in the viewer a sense of lonliness and despair, and plays in to the fact that the main characters other senses have been heightened from being blind by focusing on the ambient sounds rather than an overly dramatic score. This version does offer decent acting, great camera work, and a few off-setting visuals, but the computerized spirits reduce the effect and the whole film feels overly dramatized. Worth checking out as a means of comparison, but this one has very little rewatchability and will be forgotten soon enough.

Rating: 7/10.



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Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)

This modern vampire tale has all of the trappings of the classic Hammer Dracula entries, introducing a new, equally seductive and vicious vampire Count to the genre. Count Yorga (or Iorga) is a wise, sophisticated, and charming seducer that has taken residence in 1970s Los Angeles, where he quickly befriends members of the upper-class and begins preying on the women than meet his particular tastes. It is up to the remaining men to attempt to save their loves from his evil clutches! The film is played out very smartly, with the protagonists attempting to outwit Yorga by playing dumb and trying to draw him into the sunlight by engaging him in conversation throughout the late hours of the night rather than showing their cards and attempting a direct assault. Yorga's elegant mansion recalls the beautiful set designs of the classic Gothic films with touches of modern flair. The characters are each strong and rounded, with sound performances carrying the roles. One cant help but be reminded of Hammer by the bright red blood, costume design, and FX work in the film either, which isnt necessarily a bad thing though it reduces the originality. This is a good vampire flick, always recommended to any Hammer fan!

Rating: 7/10.



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Strange Behavior (1981)

The teens in a small town fall under a sinister influence and begin murdering the townspeople, but who is behind this evil mind control? Strange Behavior is a slow ride, but the characters are all thoroughly fleshed out and contribute to a subtle and unique plot. Many of the set designs throughout the film are unnerving in their beautiful but awkward symmetry, giving the institute a surreal nightmarish quality while still appearing very sterile and clinical. The acting is very naturalistic, and immediately allows the audience to identify with the players in their daily activities. These arent overacting prepubescents like in Children of the Corn; they are simple, average teens that arent outlandish in any way that just happen to get wrapped up in an evil scheme. There is some scattered gore and a few kills, each of which have a much more profound impact than the average Slasher movie because of the manner in which they are filmed and the slow, precise cuts and injections that are made. It is very difficult to watch a teen slowly draw a blade up his wrist as the blood slowly trickles out, taking away the safety net of excessive comic gore and grounding the cuts in reality. There is a lot to like about this film, and if the biggest fault is that it is uneventful at times, I'll take it. Check this one out when you get the chance, its a good watch!

Rating: 8/10.



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The Pit (1981)

The Pit is fun, relatively unknown gem about an autistic and unliked boy that lures anyone that crosses him into a pit in the woods that is filled with bloodthirsty beasts. The acting and production screams low-budget 80s horror, with no strong leads and an annoying child actor, but the kid is almost endearing in his spoiled overacting. There is plenty of off-beat humor, as the bratty kid blackmails his teacher into stripping, tries to drag a cow into the pit, and tricks each of his aggressors into falling into the pit through different clever means (including pushing an old invalid women in). The troglodytes themselves are pretty terrifying looking, best described as hairy CHUDs or pig-faced werewolves. The film is relatively tame until the creatures get their hands on anything, then it goes from a PG kids flick to an excessively gory mess! It is enough to make your jaw drop, since the film is seemingly so innocent. There are also some creepy moments where the childs teddy bear speaks to him telepathically and commands him to kill. There is no mistaking that this is not a great film, but for a dark little creature flick it will satisfy any horror fan and comes highly recommended!

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.



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Horror Games: Jaws

Jaws

Game System: NES.
Publisher: LJN.
Rating: 6/10.
Replay Value: 7/10.
Graphics: 6/10.

Description:

This can't be! There has never been a Great White in these warm tropical waters before. NEVER! This is more than a coincidence... this shark appears to be possessed... as if it's hunting you down... like it's personal. You'd better prepare yourself and strike back before it's too late. Will you use the mini-sub, sea plane, sailboat or just scuba gear? Perhaps it won't even matter. Remember, this is some kind of unbelievably powerful eating machine you're dealing with. Quick, grab your weapons, pack your explosives and check your maps. It's out there... you know it... and it's coming for you. This is serious! This is the ultimate Jaws challenge, because this time it's not over until only one of you is left alive!

Tips and Tricks:

Jaws is just one of those games you are more likely to reproach because its such a pain in the ass to beat than because its a great game. Essentially, you are navigating back and forth between two docks on a map trying to collect power ups and weapons to help you defeat Jaws. While you are en route, Jaws will be tracking you down, and you may hit random locations that drop you into the ocean. You become a diver (presumably Lance Guest's character from The Revenge), and you must shoot an array of sea animals (only) including jelly fish, sting rays, and baby sharks before Jaws attacks in all his looking-like-a-whale-shark-with-flat-baleen-teeth glory. After killing the animals, you will receive the following random drops:

-Conk shells
-Crab Speed Bonuses
-Starfish

It took me 20yrs to find out the crabs give you speed bonuses, so treasure that info. The conk shells must be collected in order to purchase upgrades and powerups at the two dock locations. The starfish only award you extra points.

Extra points are necessary in this game in order to access the bonus rounds, where you can earn extra conk shells by aerial bombing jelly fish, just like in real life. Points can be earned by collecting items and by shooting enemies. Jaws may scare the shit out of you on the map when your sonar starts acting up and that nefarious fin starts following you, but shooting Jaws awards the most points in the game outside of collecting items.

You start the game with 3 Extra Lives, and extra lives can also be awarded with high scoring. Your life ends immediately after being hit by a single enemy, there is no life bar. This means you need to take your time, dont get cocky, and leave plenty of space between you and the enemies to avoid accidental annihilation. As you continue to increase in power, the animals will get trickier, with the jellyfish moving diagonally as well as vertically, so watch out! Also, keep in mind that there are two water levels: shallow and deep. If you hit a drop location by the shore, you will be placed in the shallow water, which gives you limited space for maneuvering and can lead to an early demise, so try to stay in the deep as much as possible. Also, items are the easiest to collect after being dropped once they hit the sea bottom. Seems easy enough to grab them, right? Wrong. Jellyfish materialize right beneath the sand, and if the random spawn location happens to be where you are swimming, its instant death. Try not to be a bottom feeder, since it is extremely dangerous. If you do get hit by an enemy at any point in the game, you immediately lose a life, get sent back to the original port, and half (!!) of your conk shells are removed.

Each time you exceed 36,000pts on your total score, a submarine will become available for collection on the map screen. This is a highly maneuverable upgrade to your swimmer that also allows you to take an additional hit before dying. It can shoot horizontal torpedoes at enemies, or it can lob bombs to hit enemies below you in a lateral arc.

Powerups are purchased in each port using the conk shells earned in the water and bonus scenes. It is important to collect item drops and shoot enemies to gain points because the bonus scenes allow you to collect many more conk shells with a much greater ease. The following powerups can be purchased at the docks with enough conk shells:

 5 Shells - Receiver (tracks Jaws)
3 Shells - Power Level 2
5 Shells - Power Level 3
7 Shells - Power Level 4
10 Shells - Power Level 5
15 Shells - Power Level 6
20 Shells - Power Level 7
25 Shells - Power Level 8
30 Shells - Power Level 9
10 Shells - Buys An Extra Strobe

So you have gathered all of your conk shells and powerups, and you think you are ready to battle Jaws? Alright, here is what you need to know. Normally, you want to avoid Jaws on the map screen while you are collecting powerups, since his presence is anxiety-inducing, he blocks you from attacking other enemies, and you must take extra care in avoiding him in the water. When you have enough power to destroy him, it is best to try to hit him dead on in order to use your boat at the beginning of the battle. Normally, when you hit something in the water, you are dropped as the diver; when you hit Jaws directly, you are taken to the water scene but you remain in the boat until you are hit by Jaws. The boat allows you to launch lateral bombs at Jaws as he approaches, which allows you to deal him a great deal of damage without the fear of being hit. Once you land in the water, you must attempt a rapid-fire assault on his shark-ass head on while he approaches, and then from behind after you narrowly swim above or below him and begin shooting his tail. Destroy any animals that may be in his or your way to avoid being hit by wussy jellyfish while attacking Jaws. Also, if you remain at the very top of the screen (only as the diver, this will not work as the sub), you can glide right over Jaws without being hit. This is an effective way to reduce the chance of being hit by enemies since you will only be able to be hit from enemies directly in front or behind you. Continue to just fire away until Jaws' life bar is completely reduced... Then its on to The Final Battle of Ultimate Evil and Some Doom!!1

The final battle will place you in the boat once again in a first-person view with the ocean extending out in front of you about 100 meters. You can shift the boat to the left and right to align yourself as Jaws begins a forward assault on the boat. He will also be shifting left and right to throw you off, so take your time and be sure to align yourself perfectly before acting. Jaws will attack and retreat infinitely with no damage being done if you do not attempt to hit him on any of his attacks. Jaws must be aligned PERFECTLY in front of your boat if you are to have any chance of hitting him. This means the dorsal fin during his attack must be within the first ripple of water on the screen, and he must be centered. Once Jaws has been lined up, hit the B button in order to stun him with your strobe light (??) so that he pops up from the water. Jaws must reach the height of his leap from the water in order for your attack to be successful. I know, believe me. Its a bitch. Once he has hit his apex, thrust the pole of the ship forward by pressing A, stabbing Jaws through his stupid face and winning the game!

I have a strange affinity for this game that cant be explained, I think its fun as hell in a frustrating 8-bit sorta way, but its worth reproaching for anyone that hasnt played it! Good luck, youre going to need it.



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Saturday, June 6, 2009

Creatures from the Abyss (1994)

I only wish I was Italian and could have seen this one in the original language, maybe the jokes would have made sense and the dialogue wouldnt have been so terrible. Probably not. Very, very, very lame killer fish flick with dreadful dubbing and worse acting. The film would be a complete waste, but what it DOES offer is some absolutely ridiculous FX, with spiny fish heads ripping through peoples skulls, plenty of nudity, and chicks crapping out a bunch of fish eggs. Some of the scenes are absolutely absurd, so it almost amounts to a decent B-movie, but the gore is just too little too late. A group of teens happen upon a deserted yacht that turns out to be a research vessel attempting to recombine fish genes into mutant monsters. Then people die. Hardcore B-movie fans looking for the worst of the worst need only apply, otherwise avoid this train wreck!!

Rating: 4/10.
Gore: 6/10.



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Friday, June 5, 2009

Creature (1985)

I wrote this film off on the first watch through as being just a cheap, throwaway rip-off of Alien. After a second viewing, it still is, but I give it much more credit for the ambitious efforts that went into the set design and prop management. A team of scientists are attacked by an alien life form after boarding a rival vessel on a forbidden planet of evil doom. Everything from the alien design to the concept of crew members becoming hosts to the alien organisms is taken liberally and shamelessly from Ridley Scotts far superior film, but one must give William Malone credit for doing what he does best in creating a low-budget / high production value film that comes admirably close to its inspiration for the money and scope of the picture. The acting and dialogue are generic and serve primarily as filler (in fact I dont think I remember a single thing that was said from the entire movie), but the main strengths of this one lie in the visuals. Good miniature work, good costuming, plenty of blood with a few decent FX, and an alien planet that is believable enough. For what it is, the film is better than it should be, but it suffers tremendously from slow pacing and may be a chore to watch for most viewers. Hard core Space Horror and Alien fans should definitely enjoy it!

Rating: 7/10. Budget and design factor largely.
Gore: 5/10.



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Phantom of the Opera (1998)

While it isnt the intolerable mess many make it out to be, Phantom of the Opera certainly doesnt rank among Argento's best. What his version does offer is some incredible gore, decent set design, and some man-on-rat action, but it is met with bland acting pitiless characters that draw no emotion out of their performances. Interestingly enough, The Phantom of this film is not disfigured at all, though he remains a recluse that was raised by rats in the catacombs beneath the opera house. This Phantom doesnt take crap from anyone, though, unbiasedly and brutally dispatching anyone who makes the mistake of trespassing in his cavernous home. The uneven blend of off-beat comedy, horror, and romance makes it hard to accept the film as a serious attempt on the classic story. On top of that, it just doesnt make any improvements on any of the adaptations that have been made in the past, but rather turns it into a cheap slasher throughout the majority of the film. I have commented mostly on the negative aspects of the film, which is unfair because it is still an ok watch, it just suffers from the burden of comparison against both Argento's canon of works and the previous films that have been made of this story. Check it out, see what you think, then shelve it.

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 7/10.



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Death Becomes Her (1992)

Death Becomes Her seems to have been forgotten in the years since its release, but the humor and amazing FX work in this clever satire still have plenty to offer any genre fan. Two embittered friends battle over their prized lover, resulting in sex, betrayal, murder, and (with the help of a little magic potion) revenge from beyond the grave! Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, and Bruce Willis offer excellent performances, with Willis standing out in particular as a bumbling surgeon that is quite unlike his previous roles as the lead hero. They each bring a hilarious characature of vain upper class society to their roles, with sharp deliveries on their lines and equally funny physical comedy. What is most surprising are the groundbreaking special FX rivaling those of even Terminator 2. Using a combination of blue screen and digital FX, the leading ladies are able to contort their bodies in ways that are unimaginable, and though it does appear slightly awkward at times on screen, the desired effect in astonishing the audience is still achieved nearly 20 years later. Fans of twisted dark comedies like The Stepford Wives or Beetlejuice are sure to enjoy this one, and I fully recommend seeing it at least once!

Rating: 8/10.



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Bad Inclination (2003)

Very sad attempt at renewing the Giallo over 30 years after the height of its success. Several women that have fallen out of the lime light find an opportunity to renew their fame by pretending to fall victim to a ruthless serial killer, but how far will they go to be famous again? There is very little to like here, with my biggest complaints being the awful dubbing, amateur editing and direction, and.. well.. the acting, dialogue, plot, and settings. Other than that, its great. Florinda Bolkan does return as a major player, which is a nice throwback to the golden age of Italian horror, but even she doesnt recapture the strength of her previous roles. The one thing that the film does offer is some graphic and brutal slashings that are not over the top and look believable and forceful. Most of the characters are just so friggin annoying you cant rightfully get through a scene without wincing or rolling your eyes. For the hardcore Gialli fan, this may be worth checking out, once, after you have seen every other film in the sub-genre, but for the average horror fan this is an absolute pass.

Rating: 4/10.



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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974)

Captain Kronos offers the same familiar trappings we have come to expect from a solid Hammer entry, with flamboyant colors, elaborate sets, overt sexuality, and a convincing medieval backdrop. A town is rescued from a series of vampire attacks that have been draining their youth by a dashing young swordsman and his cohort. Janson plays a charming and debonair Captain Kronos, adding a fun new slayer to Hammer's ranks. It is really a pity the character wasnt reprised in later films. The film is shot beautifully, and both the acting and dialogue meet Hammer's high level of quality. Most of the violence is implied off-camera, and is done very tastefully through shadow play, blood splatter, or cries in the distance. It is also nice to see a vampire that drains not just blood but youth as well, giving the ghouls in this film some differentiation. Classic Gothic horror fans will find plenty to like here, and it comes with the ILHM Seal of Approval!

Rating: 8/10.



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Lady in the Water (2006)

I know, I know.. Its not exactly horror, but it has elements of horror and fantasy, so F it. Lady in the Water is an attempt at a modern fairy tale placed in an urban setting, but in attempting to create a new mythology, the film just ends up feeling forced and pretentious. A water nymph befriends the superintendent of a remote apartment structure, requiring his help to allude an evil beast as he assembles a group of tenants that must awaken the heroes within themselves to save the nymph and bring magic back to the world. Shyamalan is sure to convolute the plot as much and as often as possible, introducing new rules, characters, and background story every few minutes while building up to unexpected twists that have come to be expected. Subjectively, I prefer films that exclude the audience, and exist in a world with their own rule set that has already been set in motion, and doesnt require over-explanation. That is part of the fun in suspending disbelief. Oddly enough, Subterano (which was reviewed recently) managed this, but Lady fails miserably in that it feels obligated to dumb down the plot so that no corner is left unsolved. The acting is fine, with obvious inflections and timing that has become apparent in all Shyamalan's films, and the plot still manages to hold attention, but the story itself will never take hold of children or adults alike in becoming the modern fairy tale it was intended to be. It is worth checking out to make your own opinion on the film, but I am certainly not a fan.

Rating: 7/10. Points awarded for the technical work.



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Magic (1978)

A magician with a promising ventriloquism act escapes fame for a week to visit an ex-love, but his calm demeanor begins to snap as he and the dummy prove to have a deeper, more sinister connection. Anthony Hopkins leads in this Suspense / Mystery that calls back to slower, character driven films like Lets Scare Jessica to Death or Audrey Rose. With a cast including Burgess Meredith and Ann-Margaret, the acting is very good and lends credibility to each of the roles, and though there are a few moments that go beyond the realm of believability, overall it is very well played. Fats, the dummy, is molded after Hopkins' features, which paired with his personality, 'dialogue', and cleverly framed shots, makes the doll exceedingly creepy. The film is predominantly small-scale and takes place in a run down hotel by a lake in the Catskills, which is sort of strange and unexpected for a plot about magic and ventriloquism. There are really only four major players, and very little magic. Rather, we have a character study of a man driven to madness by lack of success, who ironically finds it while losing his mind. This makes the plot a little off-kilter, but the schizophrenic undertones pay off regardless of the setting. It is a good film, certainly above average, but recommended more towards the crowd that prefers slow, character driven horror over blood and body counts.

Rating: 8/10.



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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Incubus (1981)

An evil spirit takes human form and goes on a raping spree throughout the city, with the cops hot on its tail. And by hot, I mean not hot at all, disastrously slow movingly not hot. Spell check came back with a mushroom cloud when I tried to correct the grammar on that one. The biggest problem with the film is that the plot is repeatedly inter-cut between three main threads: some teen that has nightmares of medieval spirit rape, the off-screen spirit going on his rape-a-thon, and the cops and doctors investigating the women whose uteri are being exploded with semen. This time, Im not joking. There are also several awkward scenes thanks to the strange editing of the film, cutting back and forth between a laughing crowd in a concert and a girl being brutally raped in a bathroom at one point. The acting isnt terrible, there is some unexpected gore, and the 'evil spirit going around trying to bone everyone' plot is vastly underused in cinema, so the film does have a few perks, but for the most part it is uneventful and unengaging. The one thing that is absolutely awesome is the final monster reveal at the end. Might be worth checking out?

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.

A quote taken from the review on IMDB:

"The script's reluctance to explore the dramatic repercussions of a fertile premise exemplifies the major problems with this vapid Big-Schlong-On-The-Loose exercise."

I concur.



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