Monday, August 31, 2009

Dracula 2000 (2000)

I want to preface this by saying I may be biased on this one. I really enjoy DRACULA 2000, but it may be because of the nostalgia I have in seeing it for the first time in theaters. That, and the soundtrack ranks as #2 of all-time (behind THE CROW), with an awesome line-up including Pantera, Linkin Park, System of a Down, and Slayer. Also of interest, I just noticed that Gerard Butler of 300 fame starred as Dracula, which previously went unnoticed. Now, on to the review:

Under Miramax and thereby the evil Disney, Dimension kicked off the late-90s with a string of soft-R Horror flicks geared towards raking in the teenage dollar. SCREAM and AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN PARIS lead the way with their teen-edgy language and implied nudity, so it was only a matter of time before a New Age Dracula graced the screen. DRACULA 2000 steps in with a fresh, 'hip' take on the classic tale, retaining many of the original character names and events while modernizing them with relevant actors familiar to the teen crowds. The unfortunate side effect of doing so is that the obligatory comic relief and cheesy acting are expected results. Butler plays a charming and seductive villain, which is much more in line with Langella's performance in the 1979 rendition than the bestial Lee or theatrical Lugosi. The film manages to marry visual and practical FX very well, with the few computerized scenes looking very convincing. It also offers some decent atmosphere through several brightly colored interiors and creepy vampiresses reminiscent of the classic Hammer films. Some might consider the final reveal to be too contrived, but for what its worth, it is a unique take on the legend. I find it to be an entertaining if not average ride that would have benefited by less studio involvement. Definitely worth checking out if you havent seen it!

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Number of views: 5.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Beneath Still Waters (2005)

While the make-up FX and visuals in this film were extremely ambitious, BENEATH STILL WATERS manages to take a unique plot and convolutes it with numerous inconsistencies topped by bland acting. A small town's secrets are buried under a wall of water when a damn opens its gates and floods the cursed city below. Forty years later, the ancient evil as awoken, and the Satanic plague is unleashed upon a new generation of victims. The film is very odd, because it starts off with a creature similar to the ooze in CREEPSHOW 2, then there is a skeletal beast that haunts the damn, but neither seem to have anything to do with the central villain Mordecai that is attempting to open the gates of hell from beneath the sunken city. At first glance, the film benefits from Horror vet Brian Yuzna's stylish eye, it just doesnt back up the visuals with any substance. It also lacks a linear narrative, and jumps back and forth between competing storylines with several of the characters, none of which are particularly interesting or relatable. Despite its flaws, there are still enough elements in the film that work to draw the audience in, even if there is no payoff in the end. Worth a least a single view!

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Number of views: 1.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ants! (1977)

When it comes to animal attack horror flicks in the post-Jaws 70s and 80s, I always set the bar low and hope for a good time. While ANTS! wasnt a complete waste, it just never picked up momentum or built any suspense. A lakeside hotel is overrun by poisonous ants. People die, then get revenge in a global anticide. The awesome: watching people pretend to be terrified of ants while playing it completely straight. The terrible: watching a movie where the villains are ants while always expecting something more to happen than ants walking around, only to be let down. In the back of your mind, you assume there has to be something awesome thats going to happen, otherwise, why would they make a movie about ants? Well, there isnt. There are top-billed names in the cast, the acting is above average for a made-for-TV film, and the filming and editing made the film visually interesting, but not enough so to make up for the stretch of a plot. If the film would have ended at the hour mark, I would have given it a 6, but the extended hotel escape sequence that fills the final half hour KILLS the pacing. I say pass unless you are a huge killer bug fan.

Rating: 5/10.
Number of views: 2.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell (1974)

A young doctor with similar morbid fascinations is sentenced to prison beside his mentor, Baron Victor Frankenstein, as the two 'borrow' bits and pieces of the inmates to create a new creature whose strength is only rivaled by his intelligence! This final entry in the Hammer Frankenstein run shows no signs of wear as such, and offers the same enamoring sets, colorful acting, and Gothic horror as each of its predecessors. Peter Cushing plays a much more subdued Frankenstein for most of the film, that is until his new plot is revealed and he drops his calm and collected demeanor to become the crazed scientist that has been developed since CURSE. His new assistant (as played by Shane Briant) acts as a counter-balance to his cruel intentions, offering reason and empathy when dealing with the demon spawned by Frankenstein's recent work. The monster itself garners a crude sympathy with the audience, since it lacks the will to live and curses Frankenstein for having created it. As compared to several of the earlier entries, the gore and violence are both minimal, but the story is entertaining and as well played as any other Hammer production. The one hang-up is just that after six films, not much has changed in the standard formula that made the series successful. Absolutely recommended to any Hammer or classic Gothic horror fans!

Rating: 8/10.
Number of views: 1.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dead Silence (2007)

One would be hard-pressed to find a more stereotypical, average American Horror movie than DEAD SILENCE. It takes a perfectly creepy premise and expands it into a grossly over-budgeted and over-stylized mess that feels forced at every step. Ventriloquist dummies are frightening enough as they are; they require no computerization, no loud bursts of sound, and certainly no fast-paced editing to make them scary. James Wan attempts to take the rough-cut and modern editing style that worked perfectly in his previous film and adapts it into what should have been a small scale and minimalist production. The result is a series of cheap scares built on loud noises with absolutely no suspense, and a flip book of disjointed plot elements that is supposed to serve as a twist ending a la SAW. While the film offers several classic Gothic elements and atmosphere, such as fog-drenched graveyards and a huge abandoned opera house, these locations feel out of place in the small town setting. Honestly, what is a towering four-story opera house that is only accessible by boat doing in a town with a population just shy of 1,000 people? While the acting isnt terrible, none of the characters are particularly interesting, and even the legend of Mary Shaw feels underdeveloped and passe. The only reason this saw a theatrical release was based on the marketability of Wan after the success of SAW, and as a result it has already fallen into obscurity. An angry husband returns to his small home town after the death of his wife, seeking out the ghost of the ventriloquist he feels is responsible for the death of his wife. Next.

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Number of views: 3.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Body Double (1984)

I have a love-hate relationship with Brian De Palma. He has undeniably established himself as being one of the most prolific Horror directors of his time, but he has done so by riding on other filmmaker's coattails and using form over function. The technical aspects of BODY DOUBLE are clearly above average, with uniquely framed shots, extended camera movements, and engaging set designs. The problem is that none of that means anything when your film is an uninteresting knockoff homage to a far superior film. We find a failing actor house sitting a luxurious bungalow while the owner is on vacation. The plot thickens as he begins spying on a sexy neighbor through a conveniently placed telescope. One night, his new obsession is killed by a disfigured stranger, and he is thrust into a game of murder, money, and betrayal. Unlike Jimmy Stuart's character in REAR WINDOW, the lead here garners no empathy or respect, as he is just an awkward, mopey failure. The cleverly placed clues throughout the script do manage to piece together a decent mystery, but they are all too contrived and leave the audience with little to no suspense. In the end, the film is an over-stylized and distracting take on the voyeuristic theme that was perfected by Hitchcock and Powell. Fans of De Palma's knack for flair and flashy camera work may find more to like here, but I am not a fan of the film and typically do not recommend it.

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 6/10.
Number of views: 2.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: What's Cookin' (1992)

Tales from the Crypt S4Ep6

"What's Cookin'"

Director: Gilbert Adler.
Cameos: Christopher Reeve.
Synopsis: A failing restaurant manager is saved by the mystery bar-b-que recipe handed over to him by his drifter busboy, but can he live with himself when he finds out just what Gaston is cooking?
Moral: You are what you eat.
Humor: 6/10.
Irony: 6/10.
Gore: 8/10.
Suspense: 7/10.
Technical: 8/10.

Rating: 8/10.

Easily a top ranking episode, complete with a cute nod to SUPERMAN and the ironic casting of Meatloaf as the landlord slash dinner special. Great acting, a classic EC plot, a real winner!

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: Beauty Rest (1992)

Tales from the Crypt S4Ep5

"Beauty Rest"

Director: Stephen Hopkins.
Cameos: Mimi Rogers.
Synopsis: A voluptuous model goes to any lengths to win a beauty pageant after her roommate steals a commercial deal out from under her feet. Its too bad she didnt ask what the pageant was for in advance..
Moral: Sometimes, curiosity saves the cat.
Humor: 3/10.
Irony: 7/10.
Gore: 4/10.
Suspense: 6/10.
Technical: 7/10.
Mimi Rogers' Hotness: 8/10.

Rating: 7/10.

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: Seance (1992)

Tales from the Crypt S4Ep4

"Seance"

Director: Gary Fleder.
Cameos: John Vernon.
Synopsis: Two bumbling cons must hold a fake seance in order to convince the blind wife of one of their deceased victims to release a large sum of money to them.
Moral: If you are going to speak for the dead, make sure the dead arent listening.
Humor: 3/10.
Irony: 6/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Suspense: 6/10.
Technical: 8/10.

Rating: 7/10.

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: On A Dead Man's Chest (1992)

Tales from the Crypt S4Ep3

"On A Dead Man's Chest"

Director: William Friedkin.
Cameos: Tia Carrerre.
Synopsis: A heavy metal rocker gets more than he bargained for when he goes in for a mystic tattoo.
Humor: 1/10.
Irony: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Suspense: 6/10.
Technical: 7/10.

Rating: 7/10.

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

A Blade in the Dark (1983)

By the early 80s, the Giallo had become a well-established sub-genre in Italian Horror cinema. A BLADE IN THE DARK does not introduce anything new to the standard formula, but it does offer a fun and bloody entry into the film grouping. A musician that is finishing the score for an upcoming Horror film becomes wrapped up in a murderous plot that is unraveling at the Italian villa he has chosen as his temporary studio. Director Lamberto Bava takes obvious cues from the works of his father and family friend Dario Argento, with the occupation of the lead, musical homages, and the slow revelation of clues echoing DEEP RED. The film successfully drives the audience in several directions, keeping them guess as to who the killer might be up until the finale. What is most notable, though, are the extremely brutal deaths. It is not enough for the killer to just stab the victims; one of the girls has her hand pinned to the sink with a knife as the killer repeatedly slams her face against the porcelain, all while suffocating her with a plastic bag wrapped around her head. Though the story is engaging, it is really these gory moments that make the film. Bava has a keen eye behind the camera, but there are several points where the pacing slows dramatically, which is one of the few distractions that drops the film down a notch. There are certainly better Gialli out there, but I have always really enjoyed BLADE, and recommend it to any gorehounds or Italian Horror buffs!

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 7/10.
Number of views: 3.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Believers (2007)

Cults are a scary thing. The theme of brainwash and loss of personal identity is a frightening concept that is underused in the genre. The hope, then, would be that this small Indie film would stand a fighting chance as one of the few Horror films to take on the task. What it provides, instead, is an hour and a half of unconvincing acting and characters that fail to realize the premise' potential. Two paramedics are caught up in the twisted grasp of a death cult after answering a distress call from a young girl. They must find a means of escape before they become forced participants in the final "sleep." There are several things that distract from the film's ability to build any suspense or terror. First, the serious tone is unevenly paired with comic relief from one of the leads. Secondly, we find two of the main characters locked in a bathroom stall for more than half of the run time. Third, but certainly not last, the cult's religious tenets just arent interesting or worth exploring any further. Its members are dull, their acting is expectantly stereotypical, and they never convey a plausible belief system that is necessary for the audience to question whether or not they are insane or have legitimate and reasoned convictions. I wanted to like this one, but one would be hard pressed to find it interesting in the least.

Rating: 6/10.
Number of views: 1.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Nature's Grave (2008)

Many environmental Horror films will force their social agendas down your throat to the point where the film loses all interest and integrity as a work of art. NATURE'S GRAVE is not one of them. Through breathtaking settings and engaging characters, the film instantly captivates the audience while it slowly introduces its underlying ecological theme. A bickering married couple find themselves on a desolate beach in the Australian outback while vacationing on their long weekend, but their slovenly behavior, littering, and abuse towards the local animals sparks an all-out attack by Mother Nature. Fans of fast-paced action and gore need not apply, but anyone that can appreciate a slow but steady character driven film will find a lot to like here. Though both characters are antagonizing throughout the entire movie, their natural dialogue and the realistic scenario they find themselves in lends instant credibility to the events that follow. The biggest stretch is the outlandish finale that drops the suspended disbelief and becomes almost silly. Prior to that, though, there are scenes of true suspense and horror as the characters disrespect their environment and each other. This is a refreshing change of pace from the average teen Slasher or Gore shocker, and comes recommended!

Rating: 8/10.
Number of views: 1.



HorrorBlips: vote it up!

Special thanks to Johnny at Freddy in Space for the recommendation on this one!
Read The Full Post HERE!

HorrorBlips Poll: Myers Vs Myers

Beyond the jump, you will find an excellent and timely poll presented by HorrorBlips on a topic everyone is sure to have an opinion on:

Myers vs. Myers, Who is Scarier?

I Like Horror Movies had the chance to participate in the discussion, so be sure to stop by and see what each of the top-rated Horror bloggers thought on the subject in the link above! Each of the entries were limited to 250 words, so you can find our abridged version on HorrorBlips, or you can read on for our feature write-up:

"No horror remake has split genre fans more evenly than Rob Zombie's HALLOWEEN remake. The question isnt necessarily whether Rob's film was superior to the original or not, but rather if his interpretation was complete garbage or gold. Regardless of how fans reacted to the changes that were made to the story or the characters, there is one thing that genre fans cannot deny: Tyler Mane's posturing in the role of Michael Myers truly was frightening. The man is a brick wall, and brought with him the force of a MACK truck and the image of a giant. This added a huge intimidation factor, and also grounded the character's strength and abilities into reality, limited only by Mane's physical restrictions. Unlike the precise and meticulous knife work in Carpenter's version, this new incarnation is absolutely brutal and unrelenting, resulting in several blood-soaked deaths and mangled corpses.

There are two main problems with the new take on The Shape that stand out more than any other. Understanding the inner workings and motivations driving Michael's madness only serves to humanize him, which is opposite of what Carpenter's film looked to achieve. It also peels back the curtain behind why Laurie Strode became the focus of his obsession, a key plot element left out of the first film that only furthered the mystery and the darkness of the character. The second issue at hand involves the choppy editing and busy set designs that only serve to distract rather than impress. What worked for DEVIL'S REJECTS only works against HALLOWEEN, and makes it nearly impossible to watch. Michael is lost entirely in several of the chase sequences where the audience isnt given a single moment to focus, and is instead bombarded by a barrage of fast cuts and mangled backdrops.

Jump back 30 years, and we have a fundamentally different version of the character as portrayed by Nick Castle. After a brief but effective set-up, the character of Michael is only described as a soulless embodiment of evil incarnate. There is no rationale behind his actions, no motive, no explanation. He is just an unstoppable force that enjoys killing, and does it well. On screen, Castle is still very imposing at only 5'10", which is a credit to Carpenter's use of angled shots and framing to make the character appear larger than life. Myers then becomes much more accessible to the audience since he is the height of any average person, meaning the person next to you or the neighbor could become the next evil avatar. Where his later counterpart would come in and obliterate his victims in a series of thoughtless slashes, retro-Michael plants the tip of his blade with pin-point accuracy, then stands back to admire his work. Carpenter's Michael is then a much more subtle, sinister, and methodical killer, unlike the rabid dog unleashed by Zombie.

What is most effective about the original Michael Myers is his stark contrast against the dark sets, brought out even more by the minimalist backgrounds that emphasizes his presence. The blank, white face of the mask as it slowly appears out of the darkness creates an iconic moment in film that is as terrifying as it is memorable. Carpenter also leaves the interior settings empty and open, which immediately initiates a response in the audience for anyone that has ever been spooked when they are left home alone in a dark house, but also makes Myers' presence that much more apparent and intimidating. The audience isnt left worrying about the shards of splintered wood or dilapidated housing that Laurie had to struggle through in 2007; it is just her and an intimidating foe pitted head to head. This places the central focus on Michael and makes him infinitely more frightening.

Is Rob Zombie's Michael Myers scary? Yes. Is John Carpenter's Michael Myers scary? Definitely. Between the two, however, there is no question that The Shape that started it all is the scariest of any of the slasher icons that came before or since the 1978 classic. We can only hope that the new incarnation of Michael Myers will continue to evolve and terrify the audience in the films to come."

-Carl Manes
Editor, I Like Horror Movies

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sublime (2007)

To this day, I still dont know exactly what pretentious means, but oddly enough, I know when something is pretentious. Enter SUBLIME. The film really thinks that it is breaking new ground, and that it is super smart. It really isnt. In fact, it is painful to watch. Not because of the select torture sequences or mild gore, but because the final reveal is so expected and tired. We find a wealthy entrepreneur imprisoned in a seedy hospital after a routine colonoscopy goes horribly wrong, while the shady medical staff find new excuses as to why he remains hospitalized and explain away the various disfigurements he is discovering. Tension mounts as his friends and family are unwilling to help, and he must relive the errors of his past during morphine-induced nightmares. Everything from the score, to the overly serious acting, to the forced social commentary gives the film an air of undeserved importance. While the technical aspects of the film are slightly above average, the filming isnt engaging enough to make up for the tedious set up and unsatisfying finale. I honestly wouldnt know what group to recommend this to; Im sure there is a collection of Horror fans that only watch "deep" films that "transcend the genre," so if thats you, please, be my guest. Otherwise, pass.

Rating: 7/10.
Entertainment: 6/10.
Gore: 4/10.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Rottweiler (2003)

What can you really expect from a film that was re-titled from TERMINATOR DOG? I'll tell you: nothing. At least the alternate title makes the audience aware in advance that they are about to watch a cheap, low-budget knock off with a lame B-movie premise. An escaped convict must make his way through rugged terrain to elude a vicious cyborg hound that is hot on his trail as he makes his way back to the woman that was stolen from him. Who kidnapped and sexed up his girl, you may ask? Thats right, Paul Naschy. Paul Naschy peed in her butt, and now he wants revenge. All of the prerequisites for terribleness are ever-present, including bad acting, worse dubbing, unconvincing puppetry, and the mandatory lame CG. There is only one thing that sets this film apart in a sea of D2DVD crap: a 15m scene of male nudity. Seriously. The lead is washing his clothes in the river, when Rottweiler surprises him and eats his gun (literal, not figurative). He takes off into the mountains with his fun bag slapping between his legs, and (I timed it) remains undressed from 35:03-51:13. Honestly, was that really necessary to further the plot? I dont think I have been unfair here, I will say the film offers a few scenes of decent gore, but considering this was one of Horror great Brian Yuzna's most recent films, it is sure to disappoint. There is, however, one actor that stands out as a diamond in the rough:



Avoid this film with extreme prejudice unless you are a SciFi Channel Original aficionado!

Rating: 5/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Number of views: 2.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Boo (2004)

Boo is a surprising little Indie Horror effort that manages to take what little it had and create an effective ghost thriller that is sure to appeal to most Horror fans. The premise is simple enough, with a group of teens being trapped in an abandoned hospital on Halloween, only to discover that the rumors of it being haunted are frighteningly true! Most viewers will appreciate the commitment to physical FX used throughout the entirety of the film. The make-up, costuming, and gore ground the scares into reality, and the only gags that are computerized are shots that simply could not be achieved practically on a film of this scale. Director Anthony Ferrante has a clear grasp on the genre, creating genuinely suspenseful moments through clever light play, subtle but jarring ghost reveals, and creepy atmospheres. Unfortunately, he is much better with suspense than with actors, which leaves much to be desired in each of the performances and reminds the audience that this was still an amateur effort. The biggest asset to the film and budget had to be the shooting location at Santa Mira Hospital, which required minimal dressing and provided plenty of frightening sets. Outside of the acting, my only other gripe is that the pacing drops off in the second half, but overall for a film of its size, it is handled very well. I would like to see more fans give this one a chance! Its definitely worth a rent.

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Number of views: 3.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Thir13en Ghosts (2001)

If this film couldnt take itself seriously, why should I? Thir13een Ghosts has three things going for it: K, N, and B. The make-up work and gore is the only thing that makes this remake worth revisiting. The characters are all annoying, but none more so than Matthew Lillard playing a pseudo-intellectual ghost hunter and token black chick playing the comic relief. Apparently, no one told Shannon Elizabeth that this wasnt a skin care commercial, but thankfully she and her on-screen brother disappear half-way through the film, only to reappear in the final scene. The film is about a family that inherits their uncle's strange mansion, which turns out to be a machine built to open the gateway to hell once the 13 ghosts imprisoned within its walls are gathered to power the engine. After some surprisingly vicious gore and action sequences in the first act, the film falls into average teenie-horror tedium that is entirely without suspense. The few creepy scenes are built entirely on KNB's make-up work, with no credit due to the acting or directing. The film is a guilty pleasure that only manages to get dusted off every couple of years as a reminder of the failed late 90s, early 2000's attempt to modernize the campy 50s haunt features using current FX and jump scares. Dont expect much.

Rating: 6/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Number of views: 4.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Population 436 (2006)

Though it is impossible to ignore the influences that The Wicker Man and 2000 Maniacs had in the making of this film, Population 436 still offers a smart and engaging Indie Horror effort. A census statistician arrives in the small town of Rockwell Falls, only to find out that the population has remained the same for centuries, and that the friendly facades of the citizens hide a shocking secret. Though the film has a very clear direction, some of its strength is squandered by the actors attempts to capture small town life, but coming off as unnatural and out of place. Regardless, the mystery that is left for Jeremy Sisto's lead character to unravel is laid out with many clever clues for the audience to help discover without ever feeling contrived. Though the ending to the film is alluded to repeatedly, it still leaves the superstitious beliefs of the townspeople open to interpretation. Fans of the English classic The Wicker Man will find a lot to like here, as the two share similar themes of radical religious prophecies gone wrong and an emphasis on character over action or gore. It is worth seeking out, but will not appeal to all genre fans.

Rating: 7/10.
Number of views: 3.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Infection (2004)

The staff of an impoverished hospital falls under siege by an infectious disease that is causing their patients internal organs to dissolve. Infection offers a very slow but steady build, with a concentration on the characters of the doctors and the hardships they face in their decision making under the monetary constraints of the hospital. The sacrifices and cutbacks that they must undertake in order to keep their jobs come back to haunt them, both physically and mentally. Every scene is shot in a sickly green hue, which leaves a constant feeling of unease that is accentuated by the low and high angled shots as well as the long, empty hallways. There is a very clear and intentional use of color as a metaphor, however after two viewings, I still dont entirely understand there meaning in the final reveal. While the acting and structure of the film are both well above average, it just seems to trip over itself in the end and never gives the audience the sense of satisfaction or closure to the strange events that preceded it. There are a few squeamish moments of light gore, but this one will appeal more to fans of slow paced entries like Session 9 than anything else.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Number of views: 2.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Godzilla (1954)

Godzilla is a cultural icon, and is even more well known around the world than any of the slashers to come out of the 80s, but who among us can say they're actually seen the original Godzilla? I have to admit, this was my first viewing, and I have probably only seen 2-3 other entries in a series containing more than 20 films. My thoughts?

Coming off of the giant monster B-Movie extravaganza that was the 40s and 50s, Godzilla takes a familiar plot, but introduces a biting social and political commentary that reflects the fears of the nuclear fallout that were ever-present in post-World War II Japan. After the disappearances of several ships, scientists discover that their nuclear testing has awoken an ancient creature from the Cretaceous period, the legendary Godzilla, who returns to destroy Tokyo on a feeding frenzy. All of the basic elements of the classic giant monster movies are present in the film, but what sets it apart are the stunning special FX and the sinister looking beast that leaves a trail of destruction in its path. The filmmakers employed a range of different techniques to create the illusion of the towering giant, from stop motion animation, to puppetry, to forced perspective, to scale models that are so meticulous and intricate that they are indistinguishable from the actual buildings. When each of these methods are combined, the results are simply spectacular. As much as everyone laughs at the camp value in the later films when Godzilla gets into the ring with other Kaiju monstrosities, it cannot be denied that the FX work in the series is unlike anything of its time. In terms of the human element in the film, there is a mild love triangle and struggle between three leads, as well as the interactions between government officials and the scientists trying to stop the rampaging monster. The performances are all played straight and never fall into the cheesiness of other efforts like The Giant Gila Monster, but there are several stereotypical moments that have been imitated in the media for decades since. For the time in which it was made and the ingenious methods used in its filmmaking, Godzilla truly stands the test of time, and will always remain to be one of the greatest monster movies ever made.

Rating: 10/10.*
Number of views: 1.

*This review was based on the original, uncut Japanese version of Gojira, and not the Americanized Godzilla: King of the Monsters.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Woods (2006)

At first glance, The Woods comes off as a cheap imitation of Suspiria, with a near-identical plot line, setting, and atmosphere. Anyone willing to invest their time in the film will find that it is actually a well-constructed homage supported by competent acting and directing. Lucky McKee proves once again that he has an amazing visual eye, engaging the audience with smooth transitions, a beautiful but muted color palette, masterful framing, and elegant set pieces that each contribute to a timeless look and feel. A better cast could not have been selected for the film, although it isnt one single performance that sets it apart, but rather that each of the players are very fitting in each of their respective roles. I enjoy this film more and more with each viewing, and though it lacks the visceral gore and brutal violence of The Three Mothers trilogy, this would have made a much more worthy successor to Inferno than The Mother of Tears. Those seeking blood and guts need not apply, but anyone seeking a dark, atmospheric, and subtle Gothic Horror tale will find plenty to love. A stubborn new student finds herself caught in the midst of a coven of witches as she discovers the secrets behind the disappearances of several of her classmates from their remote boarding school. Highly recommended!

Rating: 9/10.
Number of views: 4.



HorrorBlips: vote it up!
Read The Full Post HERE!

Black Water (2007)

I prefer the original Australian title "Fuck, We're Stuck in a Tree Mate!" Black Water finds three tourists stuck on a remote river in the outback after a violent crocodile attack strands them. The film is structurally identical to Open Water, with our protagonists battling unseen forces of nature and the elements with little to no on screen action. The similarities dont end here, as several of the scenes (particularly a lightning-set night shot) are directly lifted from its superior predecessor. The film's greatest asset is also its biggest flaw, as it successfully conveys a realistic situation that is entirely within the realm of believability. The problem here is that reality is often very boring, especially when the reality is three people hiding in trees from (mostly) hidden crocodiles for over an hour. The filmmakers do deserve credit for the creative framing and editing that integrates footage of a real crocodile seemlessly into the frame with the actors, made all the more impressive by the lack of any computerized imagery. Black Water isnt entirely without merit, but it is an obvious clone that does not improve upon the uniqueness and originality Open Water offered its audience.

Rating: 6/10.
Number of views: 2.



HorrorBlips: vote it up!
Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, August 17, 2009

TftC: This'll Kill Ya (1992)

Tales from the Crypt S4Ep2

"This'll Kill Ya"

Director: Robert Longo.
Cameos: Dylan McDermitt.
Synopsis: A cocky scientist is taught a lesson about not rushing his partners' findings into the public eye when they pretend to switch his insulin with an experimental drug. He doesnt find it nearly as funny, and exacts revenge on those he thinks have killed him.
Moral: Patience is a virtue.
Humor: 2/10.
Irony: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Suspense: 7/10.
Technical: 7/10.

Rating: 7/10.

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: None But the Lonely Heart (1992)

Tales from the Crypt S4Ep1

"None But the Lonely Heart"

Director: Tom Hanks.
Cameos: Treat Williams, Tom Hanks.
Synopsis: A conman seduces rich widowers then offs them to steal their millions, but with his court date fast approaching, he tries to sneak in one last kill before his escape to the Mediterranean.
Humor: 6/10.
Irony: 6/10.
Gore: 7/10.
Suspense: 9/10.
Technical: 10/10.

Rating: 9/10.

I know I have said this before, but this really is my favorite episode. Perfect build, perfect composition, and Treat Williams offers what I consider to be his single greatest role. This entry is smart, darkly funny, and just evil. One of the best entries in the series, hands down.

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Stanley (1972)

Anyone that has spent any amount of time fishing through the oldest entries on the site will know that I have a certain affinity for rattlesnakes and rattlesnakes in cinema. Knowing that, one would also assume that Stanley would be my holy grail, the film to end all rattlesnake films. Horror gods, why do you mock me? All I want is for there to be some ridiculously awesome underground rattlesnake movie that no one knows about that I can discover and praise as my new idol. Stanley is the epitome of cheesy, low-budget filmmaking that serves as a cheap cash in on a more popular and better made film. Director Bill Grefe plainly states in the making of that the film was dreamed up shortly after he noticed the box office success of Willard, and that there was absolutely no script and only a string of ideas taped together when the film was being sold.

Let me first commend Chris Robinson for his gut-wrenching bravery in handling live rattlesnakes, even hanging them around his fucking neck!! In truth, I was terrified throughout many of the snake-handling scenes, where there were absolutely no cheap stand-ins, but rather true Florida Brown rattlers with their fangs trimmed. I dont care how fucking safe you think that is, all it takes is for the wrangler to accidentally forget and put one live one in the bunch and your dead. Robinson casually handles several 5' long serpents reaching up to 35lbs, and that is absolutely commendable. Ugh, sends shivers down my spine..

Now, back to the actual review. Stanley tells the tale of a backwoods animal lover, Tim, who seeks revenge against those who have wronged him, using his pet rattler Stanley to do his evil bidding. Oh, and he's telepathically linked to the snake. There is no mistaking that while there was a glimmer of a plot in there somewhere, the overall idea here was never fleshed out, resulting in a painfully slow pace and an abundance of unnecessary scenes that only serve to distract and bore. Given the budget, the acting is forgivable, and Robinson plays a pretty convincing role. Grefe manages to do as much as he can with the few bucks he spent, but there is a serious lack of action that loses any momentum that the snake attack scenes may have built. To his advantage, he was able to use the Everglades setting to give the film a larger feel and attractive background for the characters. As much as I tried to stay involved and interested, however, I just couldnt do it, and found myself tempted to fast-forward towards the end (heresy!!). I highly recommend checking out the featurettes, though, which are infinitely more interesting than the film itself, and are an excellent resource for up and coming indie filmmakers. In the end, this film is only for the hardcore animal horror fans, or nostalgic fans that grew up on low-budget 70s horror.

Rating: 5/10.
Gore: 4/10.
Number of views: 1.



HorrorBlips: vote it up!
Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

TftC: Yellow (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep14

"Yellow"

Director: Robert Zemeckis.
Cameos: Dan Aykroyd, Lance Henriksen, Kirk Douglas.
Synopsis: The cowardly son of a World War I general is sentenced to death after betraying his troop and his country by fleeing a battle, but will his father's compassion save him from the firing squad?
Moral: “A man’s worth is no greater than the worth of his ambitions.”
Humor: 2/10.
Irony: 8/10.
Gore: 7/10.
Suspense: 7/10.
Technical: 9/10.

Rating: 9/10.

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: Spoiled (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep13

"Spoiled"

Director: Andy Wolk.
Synopsis: A frustrated housewife lives out her sexual fantasies with the cable guy, but her genetic scientist of a husband finds his two newest subjects when he discovers the two together..
Moral: Cheaters never prosper.
Humor: 8/10.
Irony: 4/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Suspense: 6/10.
Technical: 8/10.

Rating: 8/10.

This episode is chocked full of sexual innuendo and clever writing, and it is certainly a favorite of mien. Season 3 has proven to be one of the strongest of the series!

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

TftC: Deadline (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep12

"Deadline"

Director: Walter Hill.
Synopsis: An ex-reporter loses his job over his drinking, but finds the scoop that will save his career in a messy murder plot..
Humor: 4/10.
Irony: 6/10.
Gore: 3/10.
Suspense: 6/10.
Technical: 7/10.

Rating: 6/10

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Friday, August 14, 2009

TftC: Split Second (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep11

"Split Second"

Director: Russell Mulcahy.
Synopsis: A young lumberjack is seduced by his boss' wife, but when their secret is uncovered, her jealous husband has an axe to grind with his apprentice..
Moral: Dont shit where you live!
Humor: 3/10.
Irony: 4/10.
Gore: 7/10.
Suspense: 6/10.
Technical: 7/10.

Rating: 7/10

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: Mournin' Mess (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep10

"Mournin' Mess"

Director: Manny Coto.
Cameos: Steven Weber, Rita Wilson.
Synopsis: A reporter tries to get his job back by trailing a series of murders surrounding a suspicious graveyard for the homeless, but how far will he go for the scoop?
Moral: Curiosity killed the cat.
Humor: 7/10.
Irony: 4/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Suspense: 6/10.
Technical: 8/10.

Rating: 7/10

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Pieces (1983)

If ever there was a film that Bible-thumping, God-fearing parents would want their children to avoid, its Pieces. Pieces is eighty-five minutes of gratuitous nudity, graphic violence, and brutal gore, and yet somehow it managed to avoid the infamous "Video Nasties" list in Britain. It is what most non-horror fans probably imagine Texas Chainsaw Massacre is like, but they couldnt be more wrong. Sure, the chainsaw maulings are among the most bloody and memorable in the genre, but the truth of the matter is that the filmmaking and pacing are both abysmal. In terms of plotting and character development, the film couldnt be more bland and formulaic, and really doesnt leave the audience with a single lead character to carry them through the film. With the exception of genre favorite Christopher George, the acting ranges from uninspired to laughable, winning both the "Most Random Ninja" and "Most Unnecessarily Long Scream" awards in Horror. Still, the friggin awesome gore makes this one a must-see for all genre fans. Nothing says Grindhouse better than Pieces! A chainsaw wielding maniac is offing co-eds and harvesting their body parts for a sadistic human jigsaw puzzle in this 80s classic.

Rating: 5/10.

Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 10/10!
Number of views: 4.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

TftC: Undertaking Palor (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep9

"Undertaking Palor"

Director: Michael Thau
Synopsis: A group of teen horror fans sneak into a mortuary to make a film, but they soon find themselves to be the next victims of a mad mortician!
Humor: 5/10.
Irony: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Suspense: 6/10.
Technical: 7/10.

Rating: 7/10

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: Easel Kill Ya

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep8

"Easel Kill Ya"

Director: John Harrison
Cameos: Tim Roth.
Synopsis: A struggling painter finds inspiration and fame in painting portraits of the dead, but struggles when its time to find new models..
Moral: An artist's work is never done..
Humor: 4/10.
Irony: 10/10.
Gore: 8/10.
Suspense: 8/10.
Technical: 9/10.

Rating: 9/10

This is my all time favorite episode in the series. It is very reminiscent of The Driller Killer, with a stellar performance by Roth and one of the darkest plots in the series.

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: The Reluctant Vampire (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep7

"The Reluctant Vampire"

Director: Elliot Silverstein
Cameos: George Wendt, Malcolm McDowell, Michael Berryman.
Synopsis: A cowardly vampire must save the blood bank that serves as his nightly cover as well as personal diner by killing criminals and harvesting their blood in order to drive sales.
Moral: Even vampires can take a bite out of crime!
Humor: 7/10.
Irony: 5/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Suspense: 5/10.
Technical: 8/10.

Rating: 8/10

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)

In a surprising twist of fate, I truly loved this film. It is exactly what I was hoping for from the series, with a reprisal of two of the strongest characters that were missing from the first sequel and a battle of epic proportions! Set hundreds of years in the past, Rise tells the tale of a tragic love story between the daughter of the vampire lord Viktor who has fallen in love with her father's slave, the werewolf Lucian. There is a pretty even blend of computer FX and physical FX, but while the costumes for the vampire and werewolf legions look amazing, many fans will not be able to overlook the excessive use of computerized imagery and blood. I am usually the first to complain in a case such as this, but the majority of the scenes where the computer FX are most apparent couldnt be achieved on this scale using practical FX. The environments and dark castle settings all make for a creepy and Gothic atmosphere, maintaining the same moody blue filters from the previous films and draped in fog. There are a number of huge battle sequences between the clans that are simply awesome, but what I enjoyed most was the back story that does each of the characters justice and makes it a most gratifying prequel. While a few key actors have been replaced, each of the leads offer strong performances, and the film perfectly fits into the previous entries. Though the filmmaking here does not surpass that of the original, any fans of the original MUST seek this film out! I felt it was the most entertaining of the three, and completely blew away all expectations and satisfied my curiosities behind the series' history and mythology.

Rating: 8/10.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Underworld: Evolution (2006)

This sequel is the exact big budget upgrade that the original didnt need. It was inevitable that the follow-up would receive much better treatment after the success of the first, however it only acts in the film's disinterest. The extravagant sets and bigger, badder action sequences are always nice eye candy, but do not fit the tone or feel created previously. The direction the plot takes is also a very weak choice considering the infinite possibilities the series had laid before it. Here, the vampire lord Marcus sets out to free his imprisoned brother William, the first Lycan, in order to take over the world with a new breed of hybrid creatures in their own image. It is up to Selene to stop them both and save the world! On paper, that sounds great, but the execution falls desperately short. None of the acting, costumes, or FX are necessarily bad, I just always find myself asking "Why?" the whole time I am watching the film. There are also several awkward hang-ups that stop the pacing dead in its tracks, particularly the sex scene that is entirely unnecessary and unwanted. Without spoiling anything, the climax also gives an unsatisfactory closure to even more key players and effectively ends the continuation of the saga when there should have easily been 3-4 films that could have been made before ending it all. The prequel that follows this one was the absolute right move to make, but we can only hope that future fills will make better use of the characters and mythology.

Rating: 7/10.
Number of views: 3.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Ehhhh-- WRONG!! NOT the TV series. I have kept my penis intact and I can honestly claim that I have never seen more than 5m of the series flipping through channels. We are talking about the crazy-cool 90s B-Movie that started it all! I havent seen this flick since (dont laugh) we got it on Pay-Per-View. Upon revisiting it, I was blown away to see faces like David Arquette, Ben Afflec, Hillary Swank, and countless others in the background, let alone Donald Sutherland and Rutger Hauer in leading roles. Buffy tells the tale of a ditsy high school cheerleader that is recruited by a skilled trainer after he discovers that she is the chosen vampire slayer foretold in the ancient prophecies. The film reeks of the 90s, and the depictions of the Valley Girls fall closer to conventional stereotypes rather than the clever satire found in Clueless. With a title and premise like this, one cant set their expectations too high, so it comes as no surprise that there are many contrived and illogical moments in the script, but for the fun of the film one must suspend disbelief, sit back, and enjoy. As for our big name actors, I wouldnt say this is their shining moments, but it is good to see familiar faces in the crowd. The cheap wire work and cheesy FX also shine through numerous times throughout the movie. My biggest beef with this one is the abrupt and anti-climactic ending after a steady build. For all the training and silly acting, I just wanted to see some sweet ass kicking in the end, but I only left with disappointment. Buffy is an enjoyable throwback film that has its moments treading between Romantic Comedy and Horror, but the memory of it outlives the film itself. I wish someone would make a 1950's version of the film in black and white, that would be a total blast!

Rating: 7/10.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Underworld (2003)

I have to admit, exiting the theater after first seeing Underworld, I thought it was a desperate cash-in on the Matrix generation. It wasnt until the DVD hit that I grew a real appreciation for the film. At first glance, many of the action and FX sequences look like they are entirely CG, which turned me off entirely at first. As the behind the scenes featurettes will prove, however, the film actually employs a great deal of physical FX and wire work, effects that are ironically so convincing it is easy to suspect them of cheating. Underworld finds two rival clans of vampires and werewolves pitted against each other in an epic battle, and follows a vampiress as she unravels the werewolves plot to end the feud by fusing the two bloodlines together in a human host. No one can deny the hotness of the sleek and sexy Kate Bekinsale, but she along with each of the other actors (minus Shane Broly) contribute commanding roles, giving this considerably small film a greatly expanded feel. The biggest inhibitor is the short run-time (even at 2hrs), as the plot and mythology behind the clans certainly offers enough back story alone to fill an entire hour and a half, let alone the events that take place during the film. I would have liked to have seen more of Amelia and Viktor, since their roles had to be cut down significantly, but they were successfully shortened to hurry along the tight pacing. Though not my favorite, the werewolf costumes are pretty intimidating, and even the vamps look pretty cool and relevant to the times. The sophisticated weaponry and gadgets of the vamps being contrasted with the primal fury of the werewolves is also a perfect contrast for the action sequences, but more importantly there is never a point where either side ever has an obvious advantage. In the end, Underworld manages to create a thrilling, spectacular, and stunning viewing experience, and despite its relatively simple plot, it establishes the series as a complete and unique world that deserved to be revisited in future films.

Rating: 9/10.
Number of views: 6



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

The Unborn (2009)

I dont even want to take the time to review this one. Here is a breakdown of my viewing experience:

10:00 - The first jump scares begin. Movie loses integrity.
20:00 - The dialogue and characters have already become intolerable. I am already divested from the film.
40:00 - I officially want to just turn it off and cut my losses, which I never do.
1:00:00 - I stop eating sunflower seeds. Sleep is inevitable.
1:13:00 - I wake up and theres some sort of exorcism happening. The wife is asleep, the dog is running in circles barking at the ceiling, so I turn it off and call it a night. Care-o-meter rating on missing the ending: -12.64/100.

I cant believe this film was released in theaters, it should hardly have been given DVD treatment. The only successful scares are completely computerized and directly rip-off the styles of the Asian ghost films and Stir of Echoes; everything other attempt is a cheap startle moment with no suspense or impact. What is probably worst, though, is the awful writing. Example: The chick just randomly shows up at her father's job. Hes in a business meeting with top execs. He excuses himself: "Hey, Honey!" "Do I have a twin?" "Yes." "I that why mom went crazy?" "It was a long time ago, he died in utero." Sure, that may be paraphrased, but it is also 90% accurate. The father doesnt excuse himself from the meeting, doesnt say "Can we talk about this later?" Doesnt ever ask how she found out or why she wants to know.. The script entirely lacks cohesion and is nonsensical, only made worse by the shit-ass acting of a few made-for-TV teens. I cant stress enough the importance of missing this film, do NOT allow the distributors and filmmakers to profit off of garbage like this and avoid at all costs!

Rating: 4/10.
Entertainment: 2/10.
Gore: 0/10.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Funhouse (1981)

Unlike many of the unpolished and much lower budget Slashers of the time, The Funhouse demonstrates a much more studio-polished look and feel, which is not surprising since Tobe Hooper had Universal backing the picture. Money doesnt make a movie though, and while the film is fun at times, it never takes off or transcends mediocrity. A group of teens decide to spend the night in the funhouse of a traveling carnival, but discover that it is the home of a misshapen beast that has been leaving a trail of bodies at each of the carnival's stops. Typically I love the carnival setting, but it is not used to its full advantage in the film, and anyone who has ever been to a carnival spook house will instantly be able to tell that the funhouse is overdressed and extremely over-sized (shit, it has a basement!). That already annoys the hell out of me, but whats worse is the terribly unbelievable creature FX that look like a cheap mask for the lead villain. In terms of blood and gore, there are really only 4 characters left when the action begins, 6 if you count the villains, so its clear the body count will be low from the start. The deaths are very tame, but not as smartly played as, say, Terror Train. Hooper does instill a decent level of suspense, and the acting is on par with other Slasher entries of the time, so this one comes in at a solid "C".

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Number of views: 5.



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Panic (1976)

Another standard radiation-scarred monster movie out of Italy, where a scientist is mutated after being infected by a flesh-eating bacteria that turns him into a bloodthirsty beast. Surprisingly, the creature FX at the end of the film arent bad at all, and seem to use the same bladder FX that were later employed by Rick Baker and other cinematic geniuses. That isnt to say that the monster or FX are impressive at all, just that they are one of the only successful attempts that the film makes. The only deaths the audience are privilege to are pretty tame, and even if there was any blood or gore, it disappears into the murky backgrounds. The rest of the run-time is split between the hapless scientists trying to figure out what went wrong while the cops quarantine the entire town for fear of contamination. The uneventful film has a fitting anti-climactic ending, where the monster is just shot to death and the cops call off the air raid set to destroy the city. Everything else in the film is pretty muddled together, with uninspired acting and direction that earn this one a well-deserved place in Public Domain hell. Pass.

Rating: 4/10.
Gore: 4(?)/10.

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Flight of the Living Dead (2006)

AKA "Excruciatingly Boring Generic Zombie Movie Where the Horrible Acting and Plot are Only Exceeded by the Shitty CG." There is absolutely nothing redeeming about this movie. The logical inconsistencies and continuity errors are absolutely impossible to overlook. Prime example: its clear from the start of the film that they couldnt afford many extras, and the establishing shots in the first hour show no more than 30 passengers in a plane full of empty seats. The magic zombie / leprechaun faerie must have been one of them, because the eventual zombie outbreak shows at least 30+ zombies being killed, while more than half of the extras and cast are still alive.

The set design looks like the film sneaked on to the Snakes on a Plane set after hours to film this travesty, with the only major difference being that this plane looks like it is 40' long judging by the one cabin it shows on screen. Fans of terrible computerized FX and CG blood are in for a treat, because this one easily tops the list in the Shit category. The exterior shots of the plane look like they came straight out of the cut scenes from Warcraft 2. Even if the horrible genre cliches were meant as some sort of ironic satire, the audience is never laughing with the film, only at it.. And does it really take 1hr to establish the characters in a zombie film? There is NO action for the first hour of the film amazingly, so the only audience members left to see just how bad the film gets are the few of us that thought "Heh.. Flight of the Living Dead.. Thats funny because its a take on Night of the Living Dead.. I'll pay $0.01 for that on Amazon!" Waste of my god damned money. I had to watch it this second time so that the $3.00 I paid after shipping equated to $1.00 per hour of entertainment.

Dont watch this film, unless you treasure SciFi Channel originals or hate your life and are looking for wasteful ways to spend your days to punish yourself for living. A zombie plague is unleashed on an unsuspecting aircraft; nothing happens, then its over.

Rating: 5/10.
Entertainment: 3/10.
Gore: 4/10 (Points deducted for lack of physical FX).
Number of views: 2.

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Madhouse (1974)

A veteran horror movie icon is driven mad after his fiance is brutally murdered. Upon his release from the institution years later, he is coaxed into reproaching the role that made him famous, but the horror has only begun as a trail of bodies lie in the wake of the latest installment of Dr. Death! This film couldnt have been cast with more appropriate actors, with both Vincent Price and Peter Cushing playing characters of themselves in a self-aware Slasher recalling many of their previous roles. As it stands, the film is a pedestrian retread of most other Slashers, but does manage to incorporate some of the elements of the Gialli that were booming in Italy at the time (particularly the black-gloved killer motif). It is not that the acting or plot are necessarily bad, it is just that neither stand out to make this film particularly memorable or interesting. There are a few bloody and rather brutal deaths in this one, but they are easily overshadowed by Price's previous entry Theater of Blood, and each have been done better before and since. Price fans are likely to enjoy this one, otherwise it can easily be missed.

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

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: Dead Wait (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep6

"Dead Wait"

Director: Tobe Hooper
Cameos: Whoopi Goldberg, John Rhys-Davies, James Remar.
Synopsis: A clever conman is hired as a farmhand on a prominent island plantation, and after scheming with the plantation owner's mistress, he sets out to steal the owner's priceless pearl. The gem comes at a high cost, as he becomes wrapped up in voodoo, deceit, and murder!
Moral: The entire world's riches arent worth a good head of hair.
Humor: 2/10.
Irony: 6/10.
Gore: 5/10.
Suspense: 6/10.
Technical: 8/10.

Rating: 7/10 Read The Full Post HERE!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Theater of Blood (1973)

A failed thespian returns from the grave to exact his revenge against the critics he blames for destroying his career in this Vincent Price vehicle. This was another perfectly suited role for the character actor, and perhaps explains my mixed feelings about his career in film. Price proves himself to be a true Shakespearean actor with his roots in theater, and he excels in each of the roles that allow him to take his performances to far extremes and eccentricities. His unique cadences and accent play much better in a theatrical setting, making this one of my favorite of his films to date. The revenge plot is not unlike the Phibes films, with the most notable differences being the more serious and somber tone set in a much less flashy environment. Each of the ironic deaths serve a significant purpose and are marked by the plays and performances that drove the character mad. The title is also very fitting, as the film delivers on the promised blood and grue. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, though it is much more conventional and low-key as compared to the similarly themed Phibes saga.

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



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Pet Sematary 2 (1992)

While the first is clearly the better film, Pet Sematary 2 will always be the more frightening film to me. I distinctly remember having to run from my bed and sleep in the living room with the lights on just from seeing the trailer, I was that terrified. Even now, the scenes of Gus and the deteriorated Zowie haunt my dreams. The story progression is very similar in structure to the first, with the new kid in town befriending a social outcast when the two of them get caught up in more undead horrors after burying a lost pet in the desecrated Indian burial ground. The acting and plot are both just above average for most of the film, though neither the opening nor the forced ending ever sat well with me. It does continue to succeed where the first film did by unnerving the audience through a constant sense of unease, a chilling score, and a barrage of nightmarish images with that god damned dog from hell. Fuck is that thing scary. I have a soft spot in my heart for this film despite its many flaws, but I think it is entirely worth seeing and offers many truly terrifying scenes.

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



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: Abra Cadaver (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep4

"Abra Cadaver"

Director: Stephen Hopkins
Synopsis: After a practical joke goes awry, a vengeful ex-surgeon uses his experimental drug to place his offender in a state of living death while he performs a torturous autopsy on him.
Moral: Certain sacrifices must be made to get ahead in medicine..
Humor: 4/10.
Irony: 5/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Suspense: 7/10.
Technical: 8/10.

Rating: 8/10

Another great entry, with a clever (though expected) plot. Highly recommended!

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972)

After lying dormant for 3 years, the eccentric Dr. Phibes returns to revive his beloved by unlocking the secrets of the River of Life below a secret chamber in Egypt.. But not before leaving a trail of bodies in his wake! This prompt follow-up retains all of the same black humor and tone set to the bizarre stylings of the previous installment. The deaths are exceedingly graphic by comparison, but in most other aspects the similarities outweigh the differences between the two, which makes Phibes return feel too much like the original. That being said, it is still so absurd, surreal, and unique that one cant help but become enthralled with the film. The circus-like theatrics, bloody murders, and over the top acting reflect the stage performances of the Grand Guignol, focusing more on the strength of the visual style over the substance of the film. Price delivers another excellent performance as our anti-hero Dr. Phibes, with more impressive miming as he conveys the clearly insane but inquisitive and sad character. Although it falls short of the first film, I found this one to be an enjoyable followup, and it is entirely worth the run-time to hear Vincent Price's rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow over the credits!

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



HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!

TftC: The Trap (1991)

Tales from the Crypt S3Ep3

"The Trap"

Director: Michael J. Fox
Synopsis: An insurance fraud scam goes south when a scheming husband mistreats his wife and brother who are helping him fake his own death..
Moral: Blood may be thicker than water, but money is thicker than blood..
Humor: 4/10.
Irony: 6/10.
Gore: 2/10.
Suspense: 4/10.
Technical: 6/10.

Rating: 6/10

HorrorBlips: vote it up! Read The Full Post HERE!