Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Splinter (2008)

SPLINTER is an exciting new take on the NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD scenario, where a group of strangers are forced to defend themselves from an onslaught of deadly creatures by holing up in a remote gas station. The offender this round is a carnivorous fungus that spreads by forming deadly barbs that infect living hosts, bonding with them and turning them into bloodthirsty killers! These infected creatures are truly terrifying, retaining their human form but in twisted and mangled forms that use their broken and contorted limbs as weapons. In the spirit of John Carpenter's THE THING, Toby Wilkins infuses the film with adrenaline-pumping thrills and impressive creature designs to keep audiences on the edge of their seats. In addition to the painful bone-snapping and bloody special effects, SPLINTER also includes a nauseating amputation sequence that can't help but get a reaction. This is one of the few recent creature-features to put a unique twist on familiar genre conventions, with bloody results!

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Number of views: 2.

If you liked SPLINTER, check out:
THE BONE SNATCHER, NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, THE THING.



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

Trick or Treat (1986)

A bullied rocker that is obsessed with his late Heavy Metal idol Sammi Curr begins earning his revenge against his high school tormentors after following the messages hidden in Sammi's final recording in this late-80s possession tale. It plays out many of the revenge fantasies of the average teen misfit, set to a rocking soundtrack, atmospheric locations, and all of the rubber monsters and gratuitous nudity one would come to expect in 80s Horror. Only a film made in this decade could have a demonic Rock icon return from Hell to kill off the local teenagers by shooting lightning bolts from his electric guitar! Marc Price is enjoyable as the outcast lead, while Tony Field's wild looks and outlandish performance make for an entertaining villain. TRICK OR TREAT also plays on many of the controversies surrounding the music scene of the time, touching on censorship, repressive religion, and the unfair media associations between Rock 'N Roll and sex, drugs, and violence. This supernatural revenge flick is sure to please unexpecting fans of 80s Horror!

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked TRICK OR TREAT, check out:
976-EVIL, BLACK ROSES, ROCK 'N ROLL NIGHTMARE.



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

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Skinned Deep (2004)

This TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES clone pits a terrified young teen against a demented family of deformed killers after her family's car is run off of a back country road. The atrocious acting and amateur production in SKINNED DEEP are almost made bearable by the film's color set pieces, explosive gore, and ambitious make-up work, but even its stronger elements have been lifted from its obvious influences. Fans of Rob Zombie's pop Horror might salvage some entertainment out of this low-budget gorefest, otherwise it can be left alone.

Rating: 5/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Number of views: 1.

If you liked SKINNED DEEP, check out:
BASKET CASE, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES.

SKINNED DEEP'S "Surgeon General:"

HOUSE OF 1,000 CORPSES' "Doctor Satan:"



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

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Perkins' 14 (2009)

Officer Dwayne Hopper discovers that he may have the man that kidnapped his son ten years earlier locked up in one of his cells. After interrogating the man and sending a friend to investigate his home, Hopper unwittingly unleashes his prisoner's fourteen victims, whose years of torture and drug exposure have turned them into feral killers! What begins as a suspenseful play on the familiar SILENCE OF THE LAMBS motif quickly descends into a bloody survival Horror film with unexpected thrills. PERKINS' unlikeable characters manage to garner the audience's support when they are faced with the unstoppable PCP-induced teens. Craig Singer brings a frenetic energy to the attack sequences, which include a number of inventive deaths (the most memorable of which involves a black screen broken only by the light of a flashlight as it hammers into a policeman's skull repeatedly). The film is a welcome surprise out of the After Dark Horrorfest III!

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Number of views: 1.

If you liked PERKINS' 14, check out:
THE COLLECTOR, MANHUNTER, THE UGLY.



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

The Golem (1920)

Preceding James Whales' FRANKENSTEIN by over a decade, this tragic Promethean tale of a man-made monster that wreaks havoc on a small Jewish ghetto resonates just as strongly with today's audiences as it had nearly a century ago. In THE GOLEM, the revered Rabbi Loew predicts that a terrible fate will befall the Jews of Prague, which comes in the form of an edict from the Emperor that calls for each of the Jews to be removed from the city. Rabbi Loew shapes a giant protector out of clay in order to save his people, and then steals the word of life from the demon Astaroth during a magic ceremony. The Golem awakes and serves the rabbi faithfully, warding off the Emperor and his guards... That is, until the stars align and break the spell that binds the creature. Its rampage leaves the town in ruin, and leaves the Rabbi Loew to stop it once and for all! THE GOLEM is most recognized for Paul Wegener's uncanny performance as the monster, itself. His icy glares, robotic movements, and rigid costuming convey a truly believable clay creation brought to life. The exaggerated performances of Steinruck and the remaining cast members are entirely indicative of the period, displaying wide-eyed excitement, jealousy, fear, and rage with overly dramatic statements. Each of the incredible sets exhibit the same twisted Expressionist designs that would be found in the films of F.W. Murnau and other German directors of the time. A tense scene in which a young child gives the towering giant a flower would later be referenced in FRANKENSTEIN, while the picture's most stunning sequences is delivered through Loew's conjuration of Astaroth in his darkened workshop. THE GOLEM is an integral piece of film history, and an unquestionable classic among Horror aficionados which will continued to be enjoyed by many generations to follow.

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

If you liked THE GOLEM, check out:
THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI, FRANKENSTEIN, NOSFERATU.



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

Monday, July 12, 2010

Cabin Fever 2 (2009)

CABIN FEVER 2 first broke Horror news with a number of controversies prior to the film's release. Ti West, director of the cult favorite HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, disassociated himself with the project, citing numerous difficulties in the production process. Anyone that has seen the final product can understand why, but this straight-to-video sequel isn't the complete disaster it has been made out to be. Students at the local high school are in for a big surprise when the flesh-eating virus from the previous film finds its way into the prom care of a case of infected spring water. Though the teen-edgy script is wholly idiotic, it is equally entertaining with its low-brow humor and gooey gross-outs. Even the stock characters and empty plotting are outweighed by the exploding bodies, projectile vomit, bloody water sports, and countless other repulsive gags. Following Roth's lead, Ti West also includes a number of references to genre classics, most noticeably in the reprisal of the PROM NIGHT theme on the dance floor. Despite its harsh criticism, CABIN FEVER 2 is a surprisingly enjoyable if not utterly stupid shocker.

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

If you liked CABIN FEVER 2, check out:
DANCE OF THE DEAD, BOY EATS GIRL, THE ROOST.



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

Horror (2002)

Illicit drug use and bad religion mix to become an ill-omen for five escaped mental patients when they arrive at a remote farm owned by a deranged preacher. Their minds create a hallucinatory nightmare that drives them to murder and madness as they attempt to escape from their own personal hells. HORROR adheres to a surreal dream-logic, where scenes bleed into one another and dreams blur into reality without ever distinguishing between the two. Director Dante Tomaselli focuses entirely on creating a frightening aesthetic, atmosphere, and mood, rather than establishing a linear story structure. Backlighting, fog effects, color filters, high- and low-angle shooting, each of these techniques are combined to heighten the constant state of unease and terror. HORROR also introduces a number of truly disturbing images that are accompanied by an unsettling score. The performances by the untrained cast are also forgivable given the size of the picture and the minimal dialog. Tomaselli comes through with this twisted vision of hell from the same vein of Horror as the works of Jim Ven Bebber.

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

If you liked HORROR, check out:
THE MANSON FAMILY, BLUE SUNSHINE, SHROOMS.



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

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cabin Fever (2003)

A weekend getaway to a cabin in the woods turns deadly for five friends when they become infected with a flesh-eating virus in Eli Roth's debut Horror film. Roth is known for being a true-blooded genre fan, which is evident in the visual and musical references he makes to films like LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, DAWN OF THE DEAD, and others. CABIN FEVER caters to the modern Horror audiences that grew up with the excessive Splatter films from the 80s, dishing up gratuitous amounts of nudity, gore, and gross-outs. It introduces a series of oddball characters, from the off-beat shopkeepers in town and their pancake-loving son to the party-crazed Deputy Winston. Roth brings together an enjoyable cast, but his writing is decidedly weaker than in his next effort, HOSTEL, and there are many spotty moments found in the performances. Despite its flaws, CABIN FEVER strikes an even balance between the dark humor and horror, while also offering clean cinematography and a unique twist on classic genre conventions.

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

If you liked CABIN FEVER, check out:
HOSTEL, EVIL DEAD, CABIN FEVER 2.



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

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Strangers on a Train (1951)

A chance meeting on a train brings together a lackadaisical playboy, Bruno, and an innocuous tennis player, Guy. Bruno explains how he despises his domineering father, while goading Guy into discussing his messy divorce with his cheating spouse. Bruno then confides in Guy, relating his theory about how two strangers could get away with the perfect murders if they were to crisscross their victims in order to allude the police. Shortly thereafter, Bruno puts the plot into motion despite Guy's reluctance in order to blackmail Guy into performing his role in the sinister ploy. STRANGERS ON A TRAIN is a masterful suspense thriller that displays some of Hitchcock's finest work. His command of the medium shows the same level of control, precision, and artfulness that would carry over into his later films. Hitchcock establishes complex, multi-layered characters in Bruno, Guy, and each of the side players both through the clever script and his superior use of visual storytelling. Robert Walker and Farley Granger are each fantastic in their respective roles, with Walker demonstrating a calculated fanaticism and Granger playing his innocent and powerless pawn. Miriam's unforgettable death at the hands of Bruno marks the height of STRANGERS' suspense and stylization, and serves as a cinematic milestone. STRANGERS ON A TRAIN may be one of Hitchcock's lesser-known films, but the careful craftsmanship is befitting of the Master of Suspense.

If you liked STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, check out:
DIABOLIQUE, REAR WINDOW, DIAL "M" FOR MURDER.

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


Read The Full Post HERE!

Curse of the Mummy's Tomb (1964)

In 1900, an archaeological dig uncovers the tomb of Ra-Antef, son of Ramses VIII and brother to Be, who is said to guard the secrets of resurrection. As the bountiful treasures are relocated to England to begin their world tour, the mummy's curse proves that "anyone that opens a Pharaoh's tomb is doomed to die, horribly." CURSE is a worthy followup to Terence Fisher's original in the Hammer mummy series, offering an engaging (though familiar) plot, keen photography, and enjoyable performances. One can't help but sense a note of English cynicism in the characterization of Alexander King, the opportunist American that desecrates the ancient tombs of Egypt in order to turn a quick buck. The tattered make-up designs are very effective in this entry, however Dickie Owen's portrayal is a clumsy, hulking mess that pales in comparison to Boris Karloff or Christopher Lee. One of the most effective sequences would be replayed in THE EXORCIST nearly a decade later, where the mummified Ra appears at the top of a misty staircase and casts his victim down in a painful death. CURSE would be followed by THE MUMMY'S SHROUD and BLOOD FROM THE MUMMY'S TOMB in the years to follow.

Rating: 7/10.
Number of views: 1.

If you liked CURSE OF THE MUMMY'S TOMB, check out:
THE MUMMY LIVES, THE AWAKENING, THE MUMMY'S SHROUD.



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

Monday, July 5, 2010

Island of the Fishmen (1978)

ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN is one of three films belonging to director Sergio Martino's Adventure trilogy, which also includes BIG ALLIGATOR RIVER and gore shocker MOUNTAIN OF THE CANNIBAL GOD. In it, a prison boat capsizes on an uncharted island, where the surviving shipmates fall prey to a species of mutated fishmen with a taste for blood! They soon discover that they are not alone, and that there is more to fear in the secretive doctor working on the island. Much of the action and horror has ultimately been reduced in place of the wordy dialogue in this specific cut of the film, but between the island's many booby traps, pitfalls, and amphibious terrors, the pacing maintains a steady flow. ISLAND'S full-bodied creature designs and miniatures are considerably well-made for the budget, recalling Roger Corman's HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP that would follow two years later. Where the film finds the most fault is in its familiar Z-movie plotting, bland writing, and stock characters. Falling somewhere between Martino's other two Adventure films, ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN is a mildly entertaining creature-feature that is sure to appeal to Italian film buffs.

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

If you liked ISLAND OF THE FISHMEN, check out:
THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, HUMANOIDS FROM THE DEEP, BIG ALLIGATOR RIVER.



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

The Two Faces of Dr. Jeckyll (1960)

Henry Jeckyll tirelessly strives to perfect a serum that can separate the "good" and "evil" inside each man. With no one else to test the drug on, he uses it on himself, unleashing the wicked Mr. Hyde. Hyde is driven by instinct and personal desire with no moral conscious, and he lashes out at Jeckyll's wife and friend who have been caught in a lover's affair. Paul Massie steps into the famed roles in this Hammer production, but while his portrayal of the debonair monster Mr. Hyde can be enjoyable at times, his Dr. Jeckyll is quite heavy-handed and often silly with his ridiculous make-up and voice-masking. Christopher Lee and Dawn Addams attempt to breath some life into the picture, but even they seem to struggle with the empty material they have been given. Many of the stronger points in the original story have been omitted to make room for this invented love triangle, and Mankowitz fills the script with a heightened sexuality and surprising language. The sordid tale of Jeckyll and Hyde is one that relies entirely on the strengths of its performers when adapted for the screen, and unfortunately Hammer's lackluster take on Robert Louis Stevenson's novella leaves much to be desired.

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

If you liked THE TWO FACES OF DR. JECKYLL, check out:
Dr. JECKYLL AND MR. HYDE, PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, THE AWFUL DR. ORLOFF.



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

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Stan Helsing (2009)

Stan Helsing, video store clerk extraordinaire, sets off with a group of friends to a Halloween bash, but a fateful stopoff at Stormy Night Estates reveals that Stan is the last remaining descendant of Van Helsing, the famed monster slayer. Stormy Nights' resident demons attempt to destroy Stan and the gang before he comes to realize his hidden potential! With a strong premise, licensing for each of the major Horror characters (including Pinhead, Chucky, Freddy, Jason, Leatherface, and Michael Myers), and the producers of SCARY MOVIE on board, this should have been a home run. Instead, audiences are left with a criminally unfunny Horror Comedy that is completely devoid of intelligence, and one that relies solely on the worst toilet humor to try to scare up cheap laughs. The Slasher icons are wasted on this pathetic film, appearing for less than a quarter of the runtime, while the leads run around in circles without direction or purpose. After over an hour of painful dialog and uneventful plotting, the monsters finally catch up with Stan and friends, but rather than confronting them in a final battle, the inhabitants of Story Nights force the two factions into a Karaoke battle to decide the champions. STAN HELSING is an awful mess that should be avoided at all costs.

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

If you liked STAN HELSING:
STOP WATCHING HORROR MOVIES.



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

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

A remote research vessel houses a team of scientists that are performing illegal experiments in order to find a cure for Alzheimer's Disease, using genetically-modified sharks to extract a key enzyme from their brains. The tests create a breed of vicious and highly intelligent man-eaters that break free and terrorize the crew. Viewers were initially turned off to the idea of introducing computerized creatures in to the shark film, but what many fail to recognize are the incredibly realistic designs given to the robotic, radio-controlled sharks that were used in-camera. The film is also (justly) criticized for the questionable casting of rapper LL Cool J and for several of its over-the-top death scenes, but when one considers the alternatives found in SHARK ATTACK and other low-budget pictures, DEEP BLUE SEA is the only choice when it comes to killer sharks in the post-JAWS era. It is easy to overlook its many flaws and downright silly moments for the fast-paced action and unexpected gore, making this a guilty pleasure for any of the shark fans out there!

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

If you liked DEEP BLUE SEA, check out:
SPHERE, JAWS 3, DEEP RISING.



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

Zombie Bloodbath 3 (2000)

In short, ZOMBIE BLOODBATH 3 is terrible. It carries with it the same awful acting, writing, and directing as the two preceding titles. Amazingly, it does manage to do a few things right where the others had failed. The plot, which involves time-travel and otherworldly invaders that are set to battle a zombie army created by the United States government, is a vast improvement over both of the other BLOODBATH'S, even if it is still just another ridiculous Z-Movie premise. Todd Sheets introduces a much larger scale, stronger set pieces, and some of his most impressive make-up work, while doing away with the distracting editing and failed social commentary carried over from the second film. If anyone can get past the abusive amount of foul language and weak performances, this one might be a tolerable zombie film.

Rating: 4/10.
Gore: 8/10.
Number of views: 1.

If you liked ZOMBIE BLOODBATH 3, check out:
SORORITY SISTERS AND THE DANCE-A-THON OF DOOM, THE DEAD NEXT DOOR, RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD 4.



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

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Grapes of Death (1978)

Jean Rollin achieves what many consider to be his finest work in THE GRAPES OF DEATH, which also serves as one of the first French Gore films. This second dubious honor is a bit misleading, however, as the film is intended to be a surreal fantasy rather than a zombie shocker. A woman returning home to her family's vineyard is horrified to discover that the pesticides being used on the local crops have turned the villagers into the living dead! As is the case in the majority of his pictures, plot and character become secondary to creating a visual canvas (a trait that would carry over into the works of Lucio Fulci). Rollin paints the French landscape in mists, fogs, and dilapidated buildings, which add to the rich atmosphere and eerie setting. His zombies still retain shreds of their humanity, with many of the ghouls begging to be put out of their pain and misery as the rot eats them alive. One of the film's most disturbing sequences finds a blind girl stumbling over the bodies of her dead neighbors as she searches for her family before she is captured, nailed to a door, and beheaded with an axe. While there is some brief nudity, THE GRAPES OF DEATH comes well before Rollin's venture into the softcore sexual thrillers with his long time collaborator Jess Franco. It is an important and influential entry into French Horror cinema.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Number of views: 2.

If you liked GRAPES OF DEATH, check out:
THE BEYOND, LET SLEEPING CORPSES LIE, FASCINATION.



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