Monday, January 31, 2011

Mutants (2009)

Two survivors struggle to outlast a deadly mutant plague that has turned most of the world into bloodthirsty killers. Unfortunately for Sonia, her husband Marco has also become infected, and she must sit back and watch as he slowly succumbs to the disease within their isolated refuge. MUTANTS kicks off to a ferocious start before taking a more timely approach with its two main characters. It quickly transcends the average zombie shocker due to its emotional depth and its compelling themes surrounding terminal illness, grief, and loss. David Morlet builds a gripping suspense as the audience awaits Marco's final descent into madness, watching intently for the moment when his mind will snap into a feral rage. Not soon after he finally does, Sonia is apprehended by a group of militant scavengers, who take over their stronghold and prevent Sonia from administering the treatment that has slowed the effects of the disease on her husband. Their arrival alerts all of the infected within earshot, and the inevitable bloodbath ensues. From here, MUTANTS becomes a more familiar monster, pitting the last of the living against the infected and themselves. With plenty of gory effects, the film has just as much to offer the flesh fiends as it does intellectual Horror fans.

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

If you liked MUTANTS, check out:
THE FLY, ZOMBIE HONEYMOON, 28 DAYS LATER.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Contamination .7 (1990)

Nuclear waste is being illegally dumped in the forest, which causes the roots and vines to come to life and begin killing the locals! CONTAMINATION .7 is more recognizable under its alternate title, TROLL 3, despite the fact that neither of the TROLL sequels have anything to do with the original (or each other) in any way. The one thing that TROLL 2 and TROLL 3 do have in common is that they are consistently terrible from start to finish. Joe D'Amato wastes no time in ripping off Sam Raimi's "ram-o-cam," while basing most of the kills on the notorious forest scene in EVIL DEAD. The film is a trial in patience and bad acting that relies on its hefty death toll to maintain the audience's interested. Unfortunately, it only features one bloodless kill after another where none of the victims fight back and most of them inexplicably die as soon as the vines grab their legs. CONTAMINATION .7 only has a few moments worth watching for, and each of them involve one character patronizing another with humiliating laughter.

Rating: 4/10.

If you liked CREEPERS, check out:
EVIL DEAD, THE WOODS, THE GUARDIAN. Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Horsemen (2009)

A police detective must track down a group of sadistic serial killers that are posing as the four horsemen of the apocalypse before they complete their ritualistic murders in 2009's HORSEMEN. Amongst other unmistakable similarities, HORSEMEN rides on the same type of religiously-themed murders as David Fincher's SE7EN, but with less style and a far less convincing storyline. The two films share so many likenesses, in fact, that HORSEMEN comes dangerously close to becoming straight plagiarism. With no interesting or compelling characters for it to fall back on, director Jonas Åkerlund simply falls back on the shock value of the murders to try and maintain interest. The plot twist is painfully obvious from very early on, and the ending is completely unsatisfying. Dennis Quaid appears as if he was drinking his way through his performance, and who can blame him? The four villains plead with the police to 'Come and see,' but this reviewer would have to warn against it.

Rating: 6/10.

If you liked HORSEMEN, check out: SE7EN, FARGO, ZODIAC.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Death Note (2006)

After hacking into the police database, a young law student is horrified to see that the legal system is failing, and its criminals are being released without charge. Angered, he sets out to confront the criminals himself, but instead, he finds a mysterious notebook lying in the street: the Death Note. Amongst other rules, the book claims that any person whose name is written within its pages will be struck dead in seconds. Light is amused with the idea, and writes down the name of a murderer he saw on the television before going to sleep. The next day, Light awakens to the news that the same man was discovered dead from a heart attack. Realizing that he has the power of the gods in his hands, Light sets out to cleanse the world of evil using the book, but his ego quickly consumes him, and he begins killing anyone that threatens to oppose him. Now, a resourceful computer hacker that goes by the name of "L" has teamed with the police in order to expose the wayward vigilante and bring him to justice.

Based on the popular Japanese manga of the same name, DEATH NOTE is a high-powered parable that demonstrates how absolute power corrupts absolutely. It is told through an exciting murder mystery where there is no clear hero or villain. Light Yagami is noble at heart, but by superseding the court system and acting as judge, jury, and executioner, he has become that which he hates. L, on the other hand, seems to have the same fundamental beliefs in justice, but his true motives and intentions are never revealed in this first act. The deep philosophical questions that are raised by the Death Note reflect on society's views of good and evil, justice and immorality.

Tatsuya Fujiwara, who is best known for his lead in BATTLE ROYALE, captures the duality of Light's character perfectly. He is sincere in his nobility, but his ego prevents him from giving up his new found powers since he has become consumed with winning the battle of wits against L. This causes him to compromise his own ethics by killing the innocent police detectives that have gotten too close to the truth. Kenichi Matsuyama plays opposite of Fujiwara as L, whose odd appearance and awkward mannerisms make him a strange but interesting choice as the supposed hero. Each of their intricately-laid traps and foiled attempts to draw one another out into the open drives the mystery and suspense as they enter into a deadly game of cat and mouse.

Shusuke Kaneko has done an excellent job adapting the popular series on to the big screen, allowing DEATH NOTE to take #1 in the box offices in Japan upon its release and making it one of the strongest Japanese exports in years.

Rating: 9/10.

If you liked DEATH NOTE, check out:


Read The Full Post HERE!

Blood Surf (2000)

Blood surfing: -verb. to chum the water with blood in order to surf with sharks. Ex. Two surfers head out to the tropics to make some quick cash blood surfing for a nature photographer, but they run into big trouble when a 31-foot salt water crocodile takes to the waves instead. BLOOD SURF takes a fun idea and destroys it by cramming the film with so many unnecessary subplots that the original story is hardly recognizable by the end. Thankfully, it never tries to be anything more than the silly and stupid B-movie that it truly is. The physical blood surfing only lasts for a single scene, where the visual effects team had their one and only shot to display their terrible computerized sharks. Although John Carl Buechler does slightly better with the mechanical croc, the cheap green-screening makes it look entirely unconvincing. Director James Hickox shamelessly references every key scene in JAWS throughout the picture as well, and the little amount of gore towards the end does nothing to save it. BLOOD SURF can be filed right alongside LAKE PLACID 2, CROCODILE, SUPERCROC, and so many other terrible straight-to-video releases.

Rating: 4/10.

If you liked BLOOD SURF, check out:
SPRING BREAK SHARK ATTACK, MEGA PIRANHA, LAKE PLACID 2.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Mutant Chronicles (2009)

The world is at war. Corporations rule every inch of the globe, and each of them seek to control the last remaining resources left on the planet. But now, a new dawn is approaching. Their selfish fighting unearths a machine beneath the Earth's crust that contains a new mutant menace, and one that threatens to destroy all of mankind. A sage cleric uncovers an ancient tome, the Mutant Chronicles, which may be the key to destroying the infernal machine. He must assemble a team of skilled warriors to accompany him into the bowels of the Earth to battle unknown terrors if humanity has any hope for survival!

MUTANT CHRONICLES is a live-action adaptation that takes its source from the popular Science Fiction role-playing game and graphic novel series of the same name. Simon Hunter, director of the underground hit LIGHTHOUSE, delivers this enormous epic using the same type of computerized environments found in SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW and SIN CITY. The stylized world that Hunter and his visual effects team have created cannot be confused with the cheap computerization that is found in so many other Hollywood productions. MUTANT CHRONICLES possesses an incredible scale with elaborate designs and a precise attention to detail, all of which were made for a fraction of the cost. Although it opened to mixed reviews, the film is an impressive feat considering its size. This is the film that Neil Marshall's DOOMSDAY should have been if it had been handled properly.

Hunter proves to be an enormous talent and an amazing visualist, bringing to mind other notable filmmakers like Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet. His practical set pieces are impossible to distinguish from the computerized effects, which gives the digital facades a heightened sense of believability. The costuming, weaponry, and architecture also blend elements from the past, present, and future to create a unique aesthetic with its own rich history. MUTANT CHRONICLES maintains a steady stream of action that is fast-paced and intense, ranging from explosive gun fights to thrilling hand-to-hand combat sequences. As if this wasn't enough, it also packs in a ton of gory effects, where the mutants slice and stab their way through countless opponents in a spray of blood on screen.

Thomas Jane stars as Major Mitch Hunter, a roughneck marine that unknowingly assumes the role of the prophesized Deliverer that will destroy the machine. Jane is just as perfectly understated as he had been a year earlier in THE MIST. Ron Perlman, on the other hand, seems completely out-of-place and ambivalent about his part in the film. Each of their many co-stars also work to create a winning team of warriors, although SIN CITY's Devon Aoki stands out the most as the sword-wielding Valerie Duval.

MUTANT CHRONICLES may have become an instant classic if the story had only been more involved. While nothing can count against its visual style, the thin plotting seems entirely reflective of its roots in tabletop role-play. The characters are assembled and given a difficult task, but from there, it is simply a matter of hacking and slashing their way into the heart of the machine. This simplicity makes it easy to follow but lacks the emotional investment that ties the viewer to the characters and events in the film. Outside of this unfortunate shortcoming, MUTANT CHRONICLES proves to be one of the most ambitious recent entries in the Science Fiction genre.

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

If you liked MUTANT CHRONICLES, check out:
NATURAL CITY, CASSHERN, DOOMSDAY. Read The Full Post HERE!

Blackout (2008)

Three people are trapped in an elevator during an unfortunate blackout, but they soon find out that thirst, hunger, and the fear of being forgotten are the least of their worries when one of them turns out to be a ruthless killer. What was shaping up to be a claustrophobic psychological thriller like Adam Green's FROZEN quickly diminishes into a substandard Slasher in BLACKOUT. The character-heavy plot suffers most from one thing: the terrible choice in characters. Amber Tamblyn plays another sappy and melodramatic student who is trapped alongside Armie Hammer's rough but sensitive biker and Aidan Gillen's clever and calculated doctor. Guess which is the killer. Each of them are poorly written, and their back stories do nothing to earn them any sympathy or compassion. The realistic fears that the situation represents are forgotten as the film spends more time focusing on the victim's issues that exist outside of the elevator. Without the unnecessary Slasher element, BLACKOUT may have had some potential. As it stands, it is a pretentious and predictable bore that creates neither tension nor suspense.

Rating: 6/10.

If you liked BLACKOUT, check out:
DEVIL, FROZEN, IDENTITY.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Horseman (2008)

Christian suffers the worst fate that any father could possibly imagine when the police inform him that his daughter has been found suffocated to death after being physically abused and pumped full of drugs. After receiving an anonymous package in the mail, Christian learns that his daughter had fallen into an underground pornography ring, and he immediately sets off to find his daughter's killers and make them pay! Steven Kastrissios' breakthrough Independent feature THE HORSEMAN is an abrasive thriller that follows one man's violent and bloody quest for revenge. Unlike so many other antiheroes, Christian is neither sly, stealthy, or self-assured. He frequently loses his composure and breaks down into quivering fits of rage, madness, and sorrow as he interrogates each of the men that he feels are responsible for his daughter's death. Peter Marshall is intimidating in the role, with a fiery intensity that explodes on screen. The young hitchhiker, Alice, that he picks up on the road serves as the only remaining link to his humanity, a surrogate daughter for him to protect in place of his own. Although the action beats can become repetitive as Christian uses the same methods of torture to extract information from his victims, the raw violence and gritty gore are painfully realistic. Kastrissios constantly forces the audience to question the morality behind Christian's vigilante justice, especially when each of the men involved in the sex tape claim that his daughter was already on drugs when she arrived and that she was a willing participant at all times. Blinded by rage, Christian willfully ignores the fact that his daughter may have been responsible for her own asphyxiation. With its tightly drawn tension and suspense, THE HORSEMAN stands out as one of the strongest action films to come out of Australia since the original MAD MAX!

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked THE HORSEMAN, check out:
TAKEN, 8MM, PRINCESS.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Confessional (1976)

Be prepared to pay for your sins when you enter THE CONFESSIONAL! Cult British Horror director Pete Walker uses the film to take a penetrating look into religion, particularly in the archaic practices of the Catholic church. Father Xavier Meldrum uses his confessional booth to spy on his parish, using the tapes he collects to blackmail the members of his church and coerce them into doing whatever he likes. Young Jenny becomes the object of his obsession, and when blackmail fails to bring them together, he tries the next best thing: murder! The priest claims to be cleansing his flock by forcing their sins out into the open, where he threatens to expose their adultery, premarital sex, and abortions to their friends and families. The more modern Father Cutler frequently tries to convince Meldrum of the church's outdated practices, but Meldrum is locked in his ways, and accuses Cutler of allowing their members to fall into temptation. These impacted questions of morality are as relevant today as they were in 1976 upon the film's release, allowing THE CONFESSIONAL an added significance and deeper meaning than the average exploitative shocker of its kind. Walker's key lighting creates an ominous mood in the church setting, where a great number of the unexpectedly brutal and bloody murders take place. Although its pace often suffers, the performances by Anthony Sharp, Stephanie Beacham, Norman Eshley, and the great Sheila Keith hold the audience's attention throughout the slower exposition. This is one of Walker's better films, falling somewhere between HOUSE OF WHIPCORD and FRIGHTMARE in quality and style.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked THE CONFESSIONAL, check out:
ABSOLUTION, ALICE SWEET ALICE, HOUSE OF WHIPCORD.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Revenge of the Ninja (1983)

A former ninja master escapes from Japan with his son after a rival clan destroys his family. Cho starts a new life in America where he begins training his young son in the ways of the ninja, but when his business partner gets wrapped up in a botched drug trade, Cho is forced to suit up and launch an all-out assault against the mafia crime bosses and a mysterious masked warrior. Martial artist Sho Kosugi stars in this off-the-wall action flick that is jam-packed with kicks, flips, and tons of clanging katanas! REVENGE OF THE NINJA speeds forward with non-stop violence and gore as the not-so-mysterious villain eliminates his enemies using a variety of deadly weapons. The final rooftop battle between the two disciplined warriors best demonstrates Kosugi's immense fighting skills.

While it is highly regarded as one of the best ninja films from the 80's, it is also hard to overlook many of the sillier aspects that the film represents. NINJA opens with some of the clumsiest and most overweight ninjas the world has ever known as they fail miserably in their attempts to kill Cho. Later, a conspicuously dressed mob informant with an eye patch is killed in broad daylight after a secret meeting in the middle of a public square. The informant isn't the only person that seems out-of-place, considering director Sam Firstenberg throws in every single action movie cliche that he can think of into an hour and a half. From the greasy Italian mobsters and an Indian scalper to the hilarious assortment of street punks in the park, NINJA shamelessly exploits every racial stereotype possible. Much of the choreography is expertly achieved, but there are still many stunts, edits, and fight sequences that are laughably bad. Some scenes are so absurd to the uninitiated action fan that is almost seems like a bad joke. Firstenberg films the entire thing without a shred of indignity, however, which makes the unintentional humor that much more enjoyable.

Whether it is watched for the onslaught of violence or the goofy humor, REVENGE OF THE NINJA is a fast-paced and immensely entertaining action flick that is a must-see for fans of the martial arts!

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 8/10.
Gore: 5/10.

If you liked REVENGE OF THE NINJA, check out:
NINJA ASSASSIN, BLIND FURY, RIKI-OH.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Seventh Moon (2008)

Newlyweds Melissa and Yul find themselves at the mercy of the spirit world after their driver strands them in an abandoned town during the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. The two try to find help in a neighboring village, but they are hunted by a pale-faced pack of ravening creatures in the night. BLAIR WITCH PROJECT co-creator Eduardo Sanchez helms this chilling Chinese ghost story with a surprising amount of atmosphere and suspense. Sanchez sets an oppressive mood through the use of his voyeuristic shooting style, subtle score, and jarring sound effects. The creatures are kept just out of focus throughout the adrenaline-fueled chase sequences in order to drive home the terror without spoiling the shocks in the end. Each of the scares are expertly timed to maximize the effect when the audience is least suspecting another assault on the senses. Amy Smart and Tim Chiou have a genuine chemistry on-screen that makes it easy to bond and relate to them in a pair of strong performances. The final scenes are also the most beautiful and frightening, although the underexposure of the film makes it extremely difficult to see much of the action. SEVENTH MOON is an underrated entry in supernatural Horror that will hopefully find a growing audience in the years to come.

Rating: 7/10.

If you liked SEVENTH MOON, check out:
VINYAN, THE GHOST, THE DESCENT.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

House of Fears (2007)

Things aren't all fun and games for a group of friends that decide to sneak into the local haunted attraction when they unwittingly unleash a number of vile demons from an ancient relic that is mistaken for a stage prop. Each new room brings to life one of the teens' greatest fears as they struggle to escape alive! HOUSE OF FEARS may not live up to its premise, but does put together a few decent frights and some moody atmospherics. Ryan Little makes full use of the shooting location, which outperforms his actors in every way. The cast members are unenthusiastic as they sleepwalk through the spooky maze, rarely screaming or laughing as the various gags spring out at them from all sides. Things quickly change when they start being chased down by a gnarled scarecrow, a terrifying clown, and a pale faced killer. Clumsy writing makes it difficult to tell who is afraid of what or why the monsters attack the entire group and not just the individual, but it's best not to over think the picture. Although HOUSE OF FEARS would make a better attraction than a film, it adds a few fun shocks to the average teen Slasher.

Rating: 6/10.

If you liked HOUSE OF FEARS, check out:
HALLOW'S END, DARKWALKER, BOO.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Shark Attack in the Mediterranean (2004)

SHARK ATTACK IN THE MEDITERRANEAN is just another painfully boring killer shark film in a long line of made-for-TV garbage. An ex-marine diver team ups with a shark researcher in order to track and destroy the monstrous great white shark that had attacked and killed his wife years earlier, the same shark that is now threatening the Mediterranean coast of Mallorca. Together, they discover that the Megalodon isn't the last surviving member of an extinct species, but the unfortunate result of genetic experimentation by a greedy corporation. Considering the fact that the film was produced for German television, the computer effects and acting could have been worse, but that does not excuse the endless filler and exhausting action sequences. While the original German language track may have been passable, the English dub is simply atrocious, which makes the audience even less unenthusiastic about the film than the voice actors had been. Unfortunately, it isn't even bad enough to laugh at. With no gore and a purely derivative plot, SHARK ATTACK IN THE MEDITERRANEAN leaves nothing for most fans to enjoy.

Rating: 4/10.

If you liked SHARK ATTACK, check out:
SHARKS IN VENICE, DARK WATERS, SPRING BREAK SHARK ATTACK.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Alligator (1980)

A baby alligator is flushed down the toilet, but years of eating a genetics lab's leftovers turns the lovable pet into a giant man-eating beast that breaks free from its subterranean home to tear through downtown Chicago! The urban legend of alligators in the sewers comes to life in this clever creature feature from 1980. Robert Forster stars as David Madison, a streetwise detective who must team up with a lead herpetologist in order to trap the mutant gator before it attacks again. ALLIGATOR uses all of the same devices as JAWS and the other killer animal films of its time, but it does so with its tongue placed firmly in cheek thanks to another sharp script by PIRANHA's John Sayles. It features some astounding special effects and miniature work that are unusual for a film of its size. Ramon is the most convincing giant gator costume in the genre, even beating out more recent additions like ROGUE and LAKE PLACID (as a bit of trivia, Horror fav Kane Hodder played the mechanical gator in an uncredited role). Mother nature gets her revenge when Ramon sets his sights on a dinner party that is being held by his ungodly creators. More than anything, the quality of this B-movie is elevated by Lewis Teague's impressive direction, which gives the film a polished appearance. He also takes the opportunity to sneak in several apparent nods to JAWS and other pop-culture references along the way. When it comes to giant gators, ALLIGATOR is king.

Rating: 8/10.
Gore:

If you liked ALLIGATOR, check out:
BIG ALLIGATOR RIVER, CROCODILE, LAKE PLACID.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Zombie Farm

Some Things Are Worse Than Death…

THE ZOMBIE FARM

First Horror Film Available in Spanish and English

Horror Breeds on DVD March 8th

LOS ANGELES, CA - January 24, 2011 – The un-dead are reborn when voodoo awakens an uprising of zombies, who terrorize a small town in the soon-to-be cult classic The Zombie Farm, debuting on DVD March 8th from Maya Entertainment. Khotan (El Cartel, Dame Chocolate), Adriana Catano (Cotorreando), Roberto Montesinos (Hawthorne, Gridiron Gang) and Monika Munoz (Rebelde) star in director Ricardo Islas’ (Lockout, Night Fangs, Headcrusher) trip into the horrifying world of the un-dead where voodoo and zombies collide. The Zombie Farm will be available on DVD for $27.98 SRP.

Synopsis:

Part zombie, part voodoo! Desperate to end her husband’s domestic abuse, a young woman seeks asylum from a local voodoo priestess. When warned that her husband (Khotan) may “change” if given a special potion, the abused wife is relieved. But waking up in bed next to a zombie isn’t exactly the transformation she was hoping for. Her once violent husband becomes the leader of a zombie uprising, terrorizing, and then converting the townsfolk into un-dead assassins. Clearly, some things are far worse than death.

The Zombie Farm was filmed in both English and Spanish. It has a running time of 90 minutes and is not rated. Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Spreading Darkness

Indy Horror goes Hollywood Mainstream


HOLLYWOOD, CA - January 24, 2011 - The all star cast line up for Josh Eisenstadt's new thriller "Spreading Darkness" has just been released.

The film stars Eric Roberts (The Expendables, The Dark Knight), James Duval (Donno Darko, Gone in 60 Seconds), Jon Savage (The Godfather III), Musetta Vander (Xena Warrior Princess, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Rena Riffel (Mulholland Dr., Showgirls, Striptease), Louis Mandylor (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Friends) and Tara Cardinal (Legend of the Red Reaper, Delivery).

Spreading Darkness is a dark psychological thriller about Stu Undercoffler (Eric Roberts), a man who seems to have it all. That is, until the people he took it from decide they want it back. Stu seems to have it under control, until visions of his dead wife (Tara Cardinal) become more and more real.

Like all good movies, this film has a Facebook fan page.

http://www.facebook.com/search.php?q=spreading+darkness&init=quick&tas=search_preload#!/pages/Spreading-Darkness-the-film/116729585063281 Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I Spit On Your Grave (2010)

A successful writer runs into trouble when four men mercilessly rape and torture her outside of her remote cabin by the lake. She barely manages to survive, but then returns for revenge against each of the men that assaulted her. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. An infamous name in Horror. The exploitation classic returns to the small screen care of Steven Monroe's 2010 remake. Unlike the restraint that was shown in the recent retelling of THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, Monroe and his cast are unafraid to push the envelope, often making this updated version just as putrid and unbearable as before. While the cinematic style reduces the visceral appeal of the original, it makes the violent scenes of rape no less difficult to watch. The same basic story has been carried over, but here, the second act introduces a new layer of mystery and suspense. Where Meir Zarchi's film fit better with the Exploitation films of the time, the excessive gore in the 2010 release brings it much closer to the Horror genre.

Unfortunately, Monroe's version is not without its flaws. In just one of the many logical inconsistencies, his villains are sure to cover up all of the evidence of Jennifer's arrival in town -- with the exception of the clean designer clothes that they somehow left behind for her to find. In addition to plotting the methods of her revenge, Jennifer was apparently plotting a number of clever one-liners as well that are forced and out of place. Most of the acting falls back on drab Hixploitation, and though Sarah Butler comes through strongly during the rape scenes, her performance is way overblown in the end.

I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE is not a perfect film, but unlike so many other remakes, it remains just as edgy as its source material, and takes a chance with several noticeable changes to the plot.

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

If you liked I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, check out:
THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, HOUSE ON THE EDGE OF THE PARK, DEATH WEEKEND.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Arena (1989)

ARENA wages a battle beyond the stars, where warriors from across the galaxy compete in hand-to-hand combat in an intergalactic coliseum! Now, a human fighter must enter the competition in order to overthrow the corrupted system and earn the prize money he needs to return home to Earth. Paul Satterfield stars as Steve Armstrong in this ambitious and highly entertaining Sci-Fi adventure from Empire Pictures. ARENA features an array of incredible creatures and impressive set designs that are every bit as imaginative as the ones found in the STAR WARS series, with a surprisingly grand scale considering the size of the production. Like Rocky before him, Steve must train hard and earn the audience's respect in this underdog tale if he hopes to become the first human champion to win the event in over 50 years. The budgetary constraints result in a great deal of filler in between fights, but the excitement in the ring is worth the wait. B-movie fans that are looking for plenty of alien action and Space Age fun, the ARENA awaits you!

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

If you liked ARENA, check out:
TERRORVISION, MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME, OBLIVION.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Strip for a Cause

Women in Horror Clothing Drive to benefit Covenant House

STRIP FOR A CAUSE


BURBANK, CA - January 23, 2011 - Join several of Hollywood's latest Scream Queens for a charity event unlike any other!

Date: Saturday February 12, 2011
Location: Dark Delicacies

3512 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505
Time: 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm PST

It’s Women in Horror Month (aka February) – created by Hannah Neurotica, and your favorite Scream Queens, Horror Actresses and Horror Icons are at it again!

All fans of everything horror are invited to join the hottest Scream Queens and entertainment celebs at Dark Delicacies for a meet and greet – and a little giving back to the community.

Headlining the event are some of the top names in Indie Horror including: Elissa Dowling, Victoria DeMare, Monique Parent, Rachel Grubb, Eileen Dietz, Michelle Tomlinson, Mo Whelan, Reyna Young, Melissa Krimsky, Brooke Lewis and Tara Cardinal. Many more are expected to make appearances to support the event.

The Clothing Drive aka “Strip for a Cause” hosted by Actress Tara Cardinal, will benefit the LA Chapter of Covenant House. Representatives from Covenant House will be on hand to collect donations. Covenant House California is a non-profit agency whose mission is to reach out to at-risk homeless youth living on the streets and offer them opportunities to turn their lives around, and your donations are tax deductible (Miss Cardinal will be personally autographing your tax donation receipts). In addition, several of the Scream Queens are offering discounts on their merchandise for sale to anyone who donates new or gently used clothing. Tara Cardinal will be offering autographed copies of her Warner Brother’s film “Delivery” for only $5.00 to anyone who donates. Items specifically requested by Covenant House are as follows:

Gift Certificates – all kinds, food stores, clothing stores, restaurants, movie stores, book stores etc…

Every day Essentials (Large & Plus Sizes needed!), Underwear, socks, gently used bras, T-shirts

Clothing and Accessories (Large & Plus sizes needed!) – Professional and casual clothing appropriate for older teens and young adults – shoes, ties, belts etc..

Personal Items – iPods, Walkmans, watches, jewelry, cologne, perfume, bath and body gift packs, sunglasses, batteries (all sizes)

So come out, meet the girls, get your memorabilia - and bring something for the kids.

Dark Del’s is also hosting a food drive! Your non-perishable food items are greatly appreciated and will go to feed the homeless and hungry in Los Angeles.

Our gracious hosts for the event are DAI GREEN (horrornews.net) and owners of Dark Delicacies: Sue and Del Howison. Dark Delicacies is your one stop shop for all things horror in Burbank, CA.

You may visit www.darkdel.com for more info.

California Tax ID 13-339-1210

www.covdove.org

Since 1988, CHC has impacted the lives of more than 160,000 homeless youth out of our Los Angeles and Bay Area locations. More than 80% of their funding comes from private donations. Read The Full Post HERE!

Friday, January 21, 2011

TerrorVision (1986)

A rogue signal from space unleashes monsters and mayhem out of a kooky family's TV set in 1986's TERRORVISION! Charles Band and Empire Pictures deliver this zany Horror Comedy from another dimension, featuring make-up and special effects work by GHOULIES designer John Carl Buechler. Ted Nicolaou uses the film's silly premise to poke fun at 80's pop-culture, playfully ripping on everyone from Cyndi Lauper, E.T., and Elvira while paying homage to Science Fiction classics like the Japanese space epic THE MYSTERIANS and INVADERS FROM MARS. Despite all of the on-screen insanity, a deeper message can be found behind the action and gore that speaks against the destruction of the family unit as a result of television's gripping hold. Each of the characters ham it up as the plot takes one ridiculous turn after another. The giant googly-eyed monster for which the film is most fondly remembered liquidates its victims before slurping them up with its monstrous tongue. TERRORVISION's gooey deaths and off-the-wall humor make it a campy cult-classic that 80's fans are sure to enjoy!

Rating: 6/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 5/10.

If you liked TERRORVISION, check out:
INVADERS FROM MARS, ARENA, THE DEADLY SPAWN.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Let the Right One In (2008)

Oskar is ignored at home and bullied at school, but he soon finds a friend in his new neighbor next door. Eli is strange and distant at first, but as the two grow closer, she reveals that she is a young vampiress who must consume blood to survive. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is Tomas Alfredson's beautiful and captivating adaptation of John Ajvide Lindqvist's best-selling novel. It incorporates the coming of age theme with a budding romance, while molding the classic vampire mythos into something wholly original. Alfredson's restrained shooting style is subtle but extremely effective. By paring down the color palette to a collection of cool blues and grays, he not only emphasizes the frigid surroundings, but also Eli and Oskar's icy dispositions leading up to their friendship. He then contrasts the bleak coloring with saturated reds as a form of foreshadowing. Rather than simply relying on computerized imaging to display her powers, Eli's supernatural abilities are implied just off screen in a number of cleverly crafted shots. A review of the film would mean nothing without mentioning the moving performances by Lina Leandersson and Kåre Hedebrant as the two young leads. Because the majority of the picture is spent following their growing relationship, the more horrific moments become that much more shocking and unexpected. LET THE RIGHT ONE IN defies each of the recent trends in Horror by focusing on its compelling characters and touching love story over excessive amounts of gore and violence.

Rating: 10/10.

If you liked LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, check out:
MARTIN, SHADOWLAND, NEAR DARK.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Doghouse (2009)

Neil, Graham, Patrick, Mikey, and Matt head off for a weekend retreat filled with drunken debauchery to help their friend Vince get over his recent divorce, but they quickly find out that they picked the wrong place to party when all of the women in the small village of Moodley are transformed into a pack of flesh-eating zombies! DOGHOUSE wastes no time as it jumps right into the action, comedy, and gore. It introduces the audience to a group of cheeky blokes that are always good for a laugh, even if the characters are a bit one-sided. Once the group begins to hole up in the buildings around town, however, the pacing comes to an immediate halt. The gags are silly and stupid for the most part, but they do help to maintain the light mood in between the bloody mayhem. Any intended social commentary between the sexes is lost along the way, although the women are blatantly painted to be monsters and the men are each imbeciles. The one area where the film does succeed is in its outrageous special effects and creative deaths. Jake West makes a valid attempt to bring something new to the tired zombie genre, but unfortunately the script lacks the sharp wit and satire needed to make DOGHOUSE anything more than mindless entertainment.

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

If you liked DOGHOUSE, check out:
SHAUN OF THE DEAD, THE TAINT, THE COTTAGE.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)

Rod Serling's classic TV series finally reaches the big screen care of 1983's TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE! This omnibus film features updated versions of three famous episodes and one new entry as directed by genre greats John Landis, Joe Dante, George Miller, and Steven Spielberg. The first story follows a steaming racist who is transported back in time through Nazi Germany, to the days of the Ku Klux Klan, and then into the swamps of Vietnam, where he must live out the horrifying life experiences of the people he claims to hate. Up next, the residents of Sunnyvale rest home are in for a treat when a magical game of Kick the Can restores their youth for one last night of fun. A young woman falls under the spell of a young telepath who has trapped her in his twisted dream world along with the rest of his fearful family in the third entry. Finally, an unfortunate passenger with a fear of flying spots a hideous creature tinkering with the engines, but his attempts to alert the crew only get him detained as the plane begins to plummet! TWILIGHT ZONE boasts a star-studded cast, including appearances by Dan Akroyd, Albert Brooks, Vic Morrow, Scatman Crothers, Kevin McCarthy, Dick Miller, John Lithgow, and many others. The film gets off to a mediocre start with Landis' ironic morality tale that more closely resembles the EC comic stylings from the 1950's, and then moves on to Spielberg's more sentimental approach to the series. These first two entries are only mildly entertaining, but Joe Dante and George Miller prove to be the big winners with the last two shorts. Miller's retelling of Nightmare at 20,000 Feet is a frantic and terrifying tale of paranoia and fear, itself, that offers up one of John Lithgow's most memorable performances. Overall, TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE is an enjoyable throwback to the original series with plenty of colorful stories and an even blend of light humor and horror.

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked TWILIGHT ZONE, check out:
TALES FROM THE CRYPT, ASYLUM, BODY BAGS.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Straight-Jacket (1964)

Joan Crawford stars as a scorned housewife who murders her cheating husband and his lover in a fit of rage right before the eyes of their young daughter. Years later, she is released into her daughter's custody, but it isn't long before she slips back into her own psychosis and bodies begin to turn up all around her. STRAIGHT-JACKET served as the first collaboration between PSYCHO writer Robert Bloch and director William Castle. The two patterned the film after the popular psycho-biddy sub-genre that was established two years earlier in WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE, where a deranged older woman is pushed over the edge through jealousy or rage. Crawford is wickedly over-the-top in another one of her signature performances. Diane Baker also puts in a winning performance as Lucy's seemingly calm and collected daughter. Like HOMICIDAL and DEMENTIA 13 before it, STRAIGHT-JACKET features a surprising amount of on-screen violence and early gore that ramps up the shock value. While the twist ending comes as little surprise, the high level of camp and surprising ax murders make this a wild ride!

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

If you liked STRAIGHT-JACKET, check out:
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE, FRIGHTMARE, HUSH... HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Planet of Terror Podcast NOW ONLINE!!

Cortez the Killer launches the

PLANET OF TERROR PODCAST

Now available online!!


DALLAS, TEXAS - January 20th, 2011 - Independent news source The Planet of Terror is proud to announce the launch of their new podcast, which plans to introduce a number of exciting new interviews in the coming months. Taken from the site's creator:

"Yes indeedy fine ladies and gents. The Planet of Terror podcast is here and ready to take over the world, slappin' sucka MC's! Not really. Because as you'll see, the very first one has a few glitches. Namely:

1. A false start cuts into an awkward lead-in
2. Voices cut in and out sometimes
3. My extreme nervousness and
4. I forgot to signoff with a proper 'goodbye'

But it's all a learning process, and thankfully, my guests were here to save the day.

This will be a fairly regular occurance on the blog with me and my partner in crime trading off hosting duties. We'll talk with writers, directors, actors and lots of our fellow cohorts in the blogosphere world. And hopefully, at some point, we'll start doing these live and fielding calls from listeners.

For the 1st episode, I had the pleasure of interviewing Writer/Director/Producer/Editor/Cinematographer/Caterer Adam Rehmeier and Actress Rodleen Getsic. Both were involved in the production of The Bunny Game. It's one of the most disturbing horror films that I've ever seen (review here).

The interview was really interesting, going in directions I hadn't anticipated. Click play and learn how this nightmarish film came together. And hear Rodleen do a fine imitation of a death metal vocalist."

The Planet of Terror podcast can be found at the link below:

http://www.planetofterror.com/2011/01/blog-post_20.html

Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Dinoshark

“Dinoshark is epic”
- MonstersAndCritics.com

“I loved every minute of it.”
- NYPost.com


ROGER CORMAN PRESENTS...
A PREHISTORIC HORROR OF MONSTROUS
STRENGTH AND APPETITE MEETS
THE 21ST CENTURY!

DINOSHARK

Produced by the legendary Roger Corman and Julie Corman

Released on Blu-ray™ and DVD April 26, 2011


BEVERLY HILLS , CA – January 20, 2011 – For millennia, it slept inside a frozen glacier: waiting to be set free. But with an unexpected shift of climate, the glacier cracked, and what was once extinct was reborn to unleash terror in a brave new world. On April 26, Anchor Bay Entertainment releases the hit Syfy Channel original movie Dinoshark on Blu-ray™ and DVD. Produced by the legendary Roger Corman and Julie Corman, Dinoshark bites with an SRP of $24.99 for the Blu-ray™ and $19.98 for the DVD with pre-book on March 30th.

Born in Antarctica, Dinoshark noses his way down the warmer currents to Mexico , towards a popular vacation spot crowded with party-goers unwittingly ready to fall prey to a prehistoric eating machine. When the killings begin, it becomes clear that no normal animal can be responsible for such savagery.

Local captain Trace McGraw (Eric Balfour – “24”, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Skyline) and marine biologist Carol (Iva Hasperger – “ CSI ”, “Cold Case”) seem to be the only ones convinced that the creature terrorizing their shores is something other than the expected man-eating shark. They enlist the help of the world’s only expert on the Dinoshark (Roger Corman himself). Together, will they be able to reel Dinoshark in?

Dinoshark is the story of a terrifying sea-creature that threatens to turn a holiday swim into a bloodbath. This fierce, finned predator has to be seen to be believed: if he will let you live that long! Bonus feature includes a full-length commentary track with producers Roger and Julie Corman.

About Anchor Bay Entertainment:

Anchor Bay Entertainment is the home entertainment division of Starz Media, LLC. It includes the Anchor Bay Films and Manga Entertainment brands. It distributes feature films, children’s entertainment, fitness, TV series, documentaries, anime and other filmed entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray™ formats. It is the exclusive distributor in the U.S. of the theatrical titles from Overture Films. Headquartered in Beverly Hills , CA , Anchor Bay Entertainment has offices in Troy , MI , as well as Canada , the United Kingdom and Australia . Starz Media (www.starzmedia.com) is a controlled subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation attributed to the Liberty Starz tracking stock group (NASDAQ: LSTZA). Read The Full Post HERE!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Voices (2007)

A pair of unfortunate sisters are caught up in a terrifying curse that is causing their closest friends and family members to try and kill them, but who can they turn to when they cannot even trust each other? VOICES combines the mysterious forces at work in PULSE with the gory violence found in BLOODY REUNION to form a fast-paced thriller that is drenched in blood. Director Ki-hwan Oh leaves the cause behind the killings ambiguous until the very end, which allows him plenty of time to develop the film's gripping suspense and paranoia. Unfortunately, however, the plot suffers from constant confusion as it jumps back and forth between a family curse and a sinister demon that may be behind the murderous madness. What makes the deaths the most shocking isn't just the amount of gore, but the voracity of the killers and the sudden onset of the attacks. This leaves Ga-in and Ga-yun vulnerable from all sides at every moment. Where VOICES falls short in establishing a cohesive plot, it succeeds in creating a brooding atmosphere and sneaking suspense.

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

If you liked VOICES, check out:
THE SIGNAL, PULSE, BLOODY REUNION.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Chain Letter (2010)

A group of technology-obsessed teens become the targets of a sadistic serial killer who is selecting his victims through an e-mail based chain letter. Follow the rules and live, but break the chain and he will break you in half! CHAIN LETTER has nothing to offer but a few brilliant moments of gore in your otherwise typical bubblegum teen Slasher. Its weak stabs at youth culture and the Information Age fail to draw blood, and the limitless possibilities that the web and cell phone technologies represent to an electronic killer are hardly used in any original or interesting way. The cast is littered with teen idols and C-list celebrities, with the noticeable exceptions of genre stars Brad Dourif and Michael Bailey Smith (as the chain-totting madman). While the film walks through all of the same familiar motions, Deon Taylor at least presents it in a glossy fashion with no pretentious undertones. Thankfully, the special effects crew was working overtime, because CHAIN LETTER features a two bloody bisections, a splitting headache, and a face that is flossed in half with a link of razor-sharp chains. Like LAID TO REST and SEE NO EVIL, this one is only tolerable for the massive amounts of gore.

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

If you liked CHAIN LETTER, check out:
STAY ALIVE, SEE NO EVIL, ONE MISSED CALL.

Read The Full Post HERE!

EXCLUSIVE: Set Photos from EVIL BONG 3-D!!

I Like Horror Movies was invited to the Full Moon sets this week for the filming of Charles Band's upcoming Horror/Comedy EVIL BONG 3-D: WRATH OF BONG! The theatrical release of EVIL BONG 3-D will be presented in 3-D and “Sniff-O-Rama," and is scheduled to hit theaters on National Pot Day – April 20, 2011. This marks the first Full Moon film to see a theatrical release in over a decade, and it is one of several pictures that are expected to be released from Full Moon in 3-D within the next several years. Although we have been sworn to secrecy regarding the plot, itself, we are able to offer up a set of EXCLUSIVE photos from the set that can be found below! and be sure to check out the official Press Release at the bottom of the page:






http://www.ilikehorrormovies.com/2010/12/press-release-evil-bong-3-d.html

Photos © Carl Manes 2011. Read The Full Post HERE!

Press Release: Bijou Studios LLC Names New VP

Visionary Company Seeking Genre Content
Fies Named VP of Programming


LOS ANGELES -January 19, 2011- Indie filmmaker Elisabeth Fies has been appointed Vice President of Programming for Bijou Studios LLC, a new distribution force made by and for independent filmmakers. Nic Brown co-founder for Bijou states "We are very concerned about the outlets for independent cinema, so we took matters into our own hands".

Bijou Studios will have a soft launch late February streaming independent genre movies, with a cable and VOD launch scheduled for summer 2011. Four films will receive a midwest theatrical release under the Bijou brand. Fies is the writer/director of acclaimed edgy feature THE COMMUNE. Lis, along with her producing partner and sister Brenda Fies, founded the monthly female genre film festival BleedFest in Los Angeles. Select BleedFest winners will be offered a first look distribution deal with Bijou Studios, and upcoming partnerships include a half hour anthology series of BleedFest shorts hosted by Fies with filmmaker interviews.

"Lis brings a sense of vibrancy and passion to this role" say Bill Dever one of the seven co-founders of Bijou "Her passion for alternative visions is not to be matched".

Bijou's programming mandate includes cutting edge indies, feminist films, filmmakers of underrepresented races, foreign pictures, erotica, historical B Movies, and well-produced genre titles with high production values. The focus of Bijou Studios is to artistically and financially partner with filmmakers to mutual benefit, to provide the public with the best of current underground cinema and an education about the movement's rich past, and to add to the advancement of cinema. Bold thinking, outsider point of views are welcomed and encouraged.

More information and the contact form are available at: http://www.thebijouchannel.com/ Read The Full Post HERE!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vampire Girl Vs Frankenstein Girl (2009)

Yoshihiro Nishimura brings to life another absurd gore spectacle in VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL with more of the same mindless murder and mayhem that has made him a cult sensation in Japan. Nishimura had previously served as the special effects supervisor on MACHINE GIRL and MEATBALL MACHINE before directing his own insane splatterfest TOKYO GORE POLICE, and here he applies the same comic book action and over-the-top violence from before. The new girl on campus seduces Mizushima into a steamy romance, but his bitter ex-girlfriend refuses to give him up. What neither of them know is that Monami is a bloodthirsty vampire, and she has infected Mizushima with her curse. Keiko relies on the help of her father, a brilliant but utterly psychotic scientist, who transforms her into the fearsome Frankenstein Girl using a drop of Monami's blood. The two must battle it out atop Tokyo Tower, with Mizushima's love hanging in the balance! This intentionally offensive Horror Comedy is steeped in foul humor and ridiculous gags, earning itself a couple of cheap laughs long the way in an otherwise idiotic plot. The titular battle of the beasts is an unsurprising let down as compared to Nishimura's earlier films, but the geysers of blood and monstrous exploding head sequences that lead up to it will not disappoint. Thankfully, Yuki Kawamura and Eri Otoguro are both cute and campy as the two teen leads in a pair of entertaining performances. As the title implies, VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL can't be watched with even a shred of seriousness, and can only be appreciated for the tasteless bloodbath that it truly is.

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

If you liked VAMPIRE GIRL VS FRANKENSTEIN GIRL, check out::
MACHINE GIRL, ROBOGEISHA, TOKYO GORE POLICE.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Missing (2009)

A trip to the country turns deadly when a quick stop off at a small restaurant gets Hong killed and Hyun-ah locked up in a cage by the shop's sadistic owner. Hyun-ah must obey his every command if she hopes to live, but her troubles have only just begun... MISSING fits right in with the recent rash of "torture-porn" exploitation films that has now spread into Asian cinema. The clean cinematography and solid acting can be deceiving, since behind them lies images of rape, mutilation, and murder. Sung-Hong Kim includes many brutal and bloody shots, the most horrifying of which shows one character being fed through a grain grinder while she is still alive. MISSING is surprisingly well-made, which is a rare feat in a graphic film of this nature. Where it falls short is in telling an interesting or compelling story, instead relying mostly on its shock value to move things along at a decent pace. Seong-geun Moon proves to be a sufficiently creepy villain, starting off the film as a tired and bitter old fool before revealing his inner monster. The production quality of MISSING gives it a higher ranking than most other cheap exploitation films of its kind, but Kim's strict adherence to standard convention holds it back from becoming anything more.

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

If you liked MISSING, check out:
HOSTEL, THE BUTCHER, CALVAIRE.

MISSING Press Release for Jan 31st Release in R2
Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Let Me In (2010)

Horror fans around the world cried foul when the phenomenal Swedish vampire tale LET THE RIGHT ONE IN was scheduled for an American remake within one year of its DVD release. Thankfully, writer/director Matt Reeves manages to pull together an equally beautiful film that retains the heart and soul of the original in its overall mood and aesthetic. LET ME IN follows Owen, a shy boy who is constantly tormented by his peers. When a strange young girl moves in next door, the two bond out of their shared loneliness to form a close friendship. What Owen doesn't know is that his new playmate is an ageless vampire, and that she is sustaining herself on the blood of their neighbors. Reeves uses the same drained color palette and restrained shooting style that can be found in Alfredson's film, filling each scene with cold blues and muted browns in order to give LET ME IN a bleak but timeless look and feel. Its story and characters share the same level of warmth and depth from before, brought over from the portion of John Ajvide Lindqvist's original screenplay that was left intact. This would have meant nothing without the stellar leads played by Kodi Smit-McPhee and Chloe Moretz, who bring the characters to life with a pair of incredible performances from such young actors. With few exceptions, LET ME IN also remains as subtle and effective as LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, however there are a few moments that have been cheapened through the unnecessary use of computerization. These minor trespasses are easier to overlook when Reeves has gone to such great lengths to honor and respect the film's source material. In the end, LET ME IN proves to be one of the most confident and skillful remakes to come out in recent years, yet it still begs the question "Why?" when so little has been changed. Still, it more than serves its purpose in retelling the same exact story for lazy American audiences that can't be bothered with subtitles.

Rating: 9/10.

If you liked LET ME IN, check out:
SHADOWLAND, MARTIN, NEAR DARK.

Read The Full Post HERE!

And Soon the Darkness (2010)

Two girls set off on a bike tour across Argentina, but when one of them goes missing after they become separated, the other gets caught up in a small town's sinister conspiracy. AND SOON THE DARKNESS is the 2010 remake of the classic British thriller bearing the same name, although it is hardly recognizable here. Marcos Efron draws more inspiration from the American "torture-porn" cycle than he does from Robert Fuest's superior film, reducing his characters to weak stereotypes while replacing the high-strung suspense with cheap exploitation. DARKNESS begins with a girl who is bound and tortured in some filthy dungeon, just to remind the impatient viewer that yes, there will be blood. After a tiring opening act, the more annoying of the two girls is thankfully kidnapped, but she is plainly shown being dragged away from her resting site, thereby dismissing any possibility that she may have gotten lost or left the town out of anger after the girls' brief fight. The ambiguity behind Ellie's disappearance is what drove the mystery and suspense in the original, and yet it is somehow non-existent in this version. One question must be asked after watching this film: Who was the intended audience? It obviously wasn't good enough to earn itself a theatrical release, and only the small minority of Horror fans that have seen the first film would even recognize the title on video. To extend that further, those that have actually seen the original would be sure to hate the changes made in the remake. So again, who was the intended audience for this film? AND SOON THE DARKNESS is not only cliche and forgettable, but it is also a disgrace to its source material.

Rating: 6/10.

If you liked AND SOON THE DARKNESS, check out:
HOSTEL, TURISTAS, WOLF CREEK.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jaws of Satan (1981)

In one of the most confused JAWS rip-off of all time, the devil assumes the body of an escaped King Cobra and commands the local serpents to lash out against the inhabitants of a small Southern town. Despite the concerns voiced by a pair of doctors who have identified the recent deaths as being caused by snake bites, the town's greedy mayor is unwilling to alert the authorities for fear that it will have a negative affect on the opening of their new dog track. It is up to the last remaining descendant of Saint Patrick to seek out the evil that is threatening his congregation and destroy it once and for all! JAWS OF SATAN inexplicably combines elements from both JAWS and THE EXORCIST to form "THE SNAKESORCIST" in an absurd but oddly hilarious twist on the killer animal genre. The film is completely devoid of logic, and is filled with plenty of awkward moments and inane dialog. It can only be taken halfway serious thanks to Dean Cundy's keen photography and the straightforward performances from each of the cast members, many of whom had to physically handle the intimidating six-foot rattlesnakes. JAWS OF SATAN is only worth watching for its many moments of B-movie cheese, but it ranks right alongside NIGHT OF THE LEPUS when it comes to unintentional humor.

Rating: 5/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.

If you liked JAWS OF SATAN, check out:
SSSSSSS, STANLEY, ALLIGATOR.

This film was reviewed as part of Project Terrible: ILHM vs Mondo Bizarro.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Press Release: Jon

JON
Who says imaginary friends are harmless?


HOLLYWOOD, CA - January 13, 2011 - Jon Sloan, a socially challenged computer engineer doesn't have any luck with the ladies. A desperate loner looking for love, Jon finds himself the constant victim of rejection from the local bar girls. In a state of depression Jon questions his sanity as he begins seeing a large man in black through out his daily life that he recognizes, but can't place who the man is.

After an online date goes wrong, Jon finds himself thrust into a world of darkness when the man in black turns out to be Blackie; Jon's sociopath, childhood imaginary friend that has returned to his life to taunt and entice him to live out a life of lust and murder.

Jon is a Dark Drama about a man's struggle to deal with who he is, and what he will become.

Directed and written by William Instone, also a member of hard rock band BlyndfoldMary. Starring Parker Dash as Jon and the director William Instone himself as Blackie, his imaginary friend. Also appearing in the film is Bill Johnson (Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2), Lloyd Kaufman, Simon Day (Run Fatboy Run), Kim Sønderholm (Tour de Force, Little Big Boy) as a crazy TV evangelist and a lot, lot more.

Director's Statement:

"For my debut film I wanted to make something that felt real to me. I knew I wanted to do a horror film, but didn't want to do the same old psycho killer in woods hacking up teen aged kids. Jon came to like when I recalled an even in my life when my real life friend JON met a drag queen at a bar and some of the online dating stories I had heard about. While driving to work one morning I came up with the basic idea of the story, 3 days later the script was written. It was important to me to make my characters as real as possible, almost every character in this story I modeled after real people I have known through out my life, in the end I feel strongly that this approach to the writing really paid off and made it very easy for my actors to embrace their character and breath life into them.

Making Jon has been a very enjoyable learning experience. Shot in guerrilla style; the film was made with a 2 man crew and limited budget. This truly was film school by doing. I not only learned what to do, but i learned what not to do and that is something that you only learn by doing it. I'm very proud of what I created and hope that others will enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it."

IMDb info: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1592557/

Official 2011 Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=un1HysVCfCw

Interview with William Instone, director of Jon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s36dggsTzlE Read The Full Post HERE!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Plague Town (2008)

A family's idyllic vacation turns into a terrifying nightmare when their last bus home leaves them stranded in the Irish countryside. They soon discover that they are not alone when a group of deformed children begin stalking them through the woods. PLAGUE TOWN is bogged down by weak dialog and robotic performances that make the first half of the film a difficult watch. Things pick up immediately once the children set in on their victims and the family stops talking and starts running. It makes up for its many difficulties with an increasing sense of dread, moody atmospherics, and an ample amount of gore. The dimly lit forest setting and fog-laden sets call back to the supernatural 60s and 70s, bringing to mind films like LEMORA and LET'S SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH. Most horrifying of all are the children's twisted make-up designs that resemble fiendish porcelain dolls. David Gregory's first feature film provides plenty of disturbing imagery and haunting sound effects, but unfortunately his skills as a director do not carry over into his writing.

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

If you liked PLAGUE TOWN, check out:
THE OFFSPRING, THE GRAPES OF DEATH, LEMORA: A CHILD'S TALE OF THE SUPERNATURAL.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Puppet Master: The Legacy (2003)

PUPPET MASTER: THE LEGACY can be considered either the best or the worst entry in the entire series. We begin with the beautiful thief Maclain, who breaks into the Bodega Bay Inn to steal the secret formula that gave Andre Toloun's puppets life. Instead, she finds one of Toulon's pupils, a German refugee living under the name of Eric Weiss. Her questioning brings on a heated debate over Toulon's true intentions: whether he was a selfless Nazi killer, or a cruel master to his puppet slaves. The new footage in THE LEGACY only constitutes a fraction of the film, and is used to frame a series of clips from each of the previous entries in an attempt to piece together some sort of cohesive storyline. Charles Band does as best he can to string the varying plots into a single narrative. In doing so, he removes much of the weaker exposition that littered the series, and is able to increase the puppet action using each of the best scenes at his disposal. The scenes are edited together well enough, although this naturally leads to all sorts of contradictions and inconsistencies. Newcomers to the PUPPET MASTER movies will enjoy seeing the best that the series had to offer, but longtime fans will find this entry to be entirely redundant and unnecessary.

Rating: 4/10.
Entertainment: 7/10.
Gore: 5/10.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mothra (1961)

A military expedition into the nuclear testing grounds of Infant Island reveal that the territory which was once thought to be uninhabitable is actually home to a tribe of natives that have somehow survived the blasts. When the outsiders kidnap two of the island's tiny priestesses, the Infant Island Twins, the tribe calls upon their elder goddess Mothra to rescue them, but Mothra's coming may signal the end of Japan! The Nuclear Era brings forth another towering force of nature in the form of the giant winged monster Mothra, Guardian of the Earth. Unlike Godzilla, Rodan, and many other monsters, Mothra is a gentle protector, and her attack on the city is the unfortunate result of an unconscious urge to free her people. Long-time collaborator Eiji Tsuburaya introduces some of his greatest work yet, from the incredible flood sequence to Mothra's raid through the streets of Tokyo. His highly ornate and meticulously designed miniatures are indistinguishable from their life-size inspirations, and Honda effortlessly combines them with the live-action shots to maximize their effect. Although Mothra commands the screen for much of the picture, the human element is just as engaging as the monster mayhem. Shinichi Sekizawa's engaging story provides a warmth of emotion and depth of character as well as plenty of lighthearted humor along the way. Jerry Ito is excellent as the suspicious Clark Nelson, playing against a charming and charismatic Hiroshi Koizumi as the linguist Dr. Chujo and Frankie Sakai as the jovial news reporter Senichiro Fukuda. They are joined by the beautiful Kyoko Kagawa as the photographer Michi Hanamura, and the three of them help Japan avoid total annihilation by freeing the Infant Island Twins and ending Mothra's search. MOTHRA soars high above many of the other films of its kind as one of Honda's most iconic monster movies!

Rating: 10/10.

If you liked MOTHRA, check out:
GOJIRA, RODAN, REBIRTH OF MOTHRA.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Monday, January 10, 2011

The H-Man (1958)

A crafty gang member disappears after a daring bank robbery, leaving his wife behind to deal with the police. Chikako is caught between the police investigators and Misaki's gangster friends, each of whom want him found. The police are approached by a local scientist, who offers them a theory regarding nuclear radiation that may have transformed Misaki into an amorphous blob capable of absorbing men alive! THE H-MAN is a reactive response to the fears of the Nuclear Era that is presented in a unique and interesting new way, featuring startling special effects by master craftsman Eiji Tsuburaya. Director Ishiro Honda melds elements of the classic Film Noir into his Science Fiction fantasy film with an even blending of both genres. Unfortunately, the pacing severely detracts from the plot, with far too much time spent wasting away in the jazzy nightclub as the police stakeout Misaki. Tsuburaya's effects take center stage once again, especially as the collapsing bodies of Misaki's victims deflate and dissolve into the greenish blobs in a horrifying display on screen. While it may not have had the same significant effect as GOJIRA, THE H-MAN nevertheless takes a strong stance against the devastating effect of nuclear radiation, and serves as an excellent companion piece to the American-made THE BLOB from the same year.

If you liked THE H-MAN, check out:
THE INCREDIBLE MELTING MAN, MATANGO, THE BLOB.

Rating: 7/10.

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The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009)

Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist return in 2009's thrilling followup to the critically-acclaimed THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO! After returning home to Stockholm, Lisbeth Salander learns that she has been implicated in the murder of two journalists who were just days away from releasing a shocking expose on human trafficking in Millennium magazine. Mikael Blomkvist, her only friend and colleague, attempts to locate her and clear her name with the help of the police, but they are caught in a race against time as the secret agency behind the sex trade operation closes in on her themselves. THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE is a surprising change in pace from the timely-relayed mystery found in the previous film. Daniel Alfredson drives a heightened tension as each of the people closest to Lisbeth fall into the hands of her enemies while she continues to elude capture. Lisbeth proves to be just as intelligent and resourceful as before, only this time, she must wage an all-out war against those that seek to harm her. Although this entry is not nearly as sexually explicit, Alfredson is never afraid to use graphic violence during the brutal action sequences. FIRE answers many of the burning questions surrounding Lisbeth's mysterious past, drawing out shocking family secrets that become integral to the plot. Unfortunately, the details behind the human trafficking subplot seem to be forgotten as the film wares on. Rapace and Nyqvist also share very little screen time, and their unique relationship is greatly missed. Despite a few minor oversights, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE is still a riveting success that continues to build on Larsson's brilliant characters and masterful suspense.

Rating: 9/10.

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

A rogue reporter is hired by a wealthy business man to search for his missing niece, who he believes was murdered by one of the family members living on their island estate some forty years ago. Blomkvist receives anonymous tips on the case by a beautiful young computer hacker with a shrouded past that has been hired to track him. Together, they will uncover a series of murders spanning over four decades as they unravel the family's dark secrets. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is the first feature film to be made based on Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, the top-selling novels out of Sweden. Niels Arden Oplev's thrilling adaptation combines the shock and suspense of THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS with the mystery and intrigue found in THE WICKER MAN. Noomi Rapace plays the street smart Lisbeth Salander, who is repeatedly brutalized by each of the men in her life. Despite Rapace's cold demeanor, she puts forth an electrifying performance as the strong and resourceful researcher with a vendetta against abusive men. She is joined by Michael Nyqvist, whose subtle but calculated maneuvers make him perfect for the role of Mikael Blomkvist. GIRL offers devastating displays of rape and violence that are never sanitized for public consumption. Larsson's contempt for these deplorable acts manifests through Lisbeth's character, who strikes back at her aggressors with a fiery vengeance. The novel is beautifully adapted for the screen, although Oplev is sure to ground the events in reality with his restrained shooting style. Only the ending feels rushed, where many of the unanswered questions are resolved in rapid succession. This tightly-wrought mystery is sure to entrance audiences as much as it shocks and disgusts, making THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO one of the best in 2009.

Rating: 9/10.

If you liked THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, check out:
THE WICKER MAN, THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, ANTIBODIES.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Battle in Outer Space (1959)

First, the Mysterians attacked Earth. Now, the battle rages on in space! BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE is Ishiro Honda's exciting followup to 1957's THE MYSTERIANS, where Earth's mightiest nations must once again band together in order to defeat an alien threat that is attacking cities around the world from their base on the moon. It features more fantastic special effects and miniature work from Toho great Eiji Tsuburaya combined with the beautiful art designs of Akira Watanabe and another booming score by GOJIRA composer Akira Ifukube. Although BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE may lack the power and impact of THE MYSTERIANS' captivating plot, the creative special effects and huge action sequences make it a bold Science Fiction spectacle unto itself. A hint of influence can be seen in Mario Bava's PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES, specifically in the rich use of color and the way that the aliens implant their thoughts into the minds of their human hosts, while the final battle between Earth's X-15 fighters and the alien mothership might easily have shaped the attack on the Death Star found at the end of STAR WARS. Complete with death rays, laser battles, and intergalactic dogfights, BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE is an exhilarating space opera from Japan's greatest fantasy director!

Rating: 8/10.

If you liked BATTLE IN OUTER SPACE, check out:
INVASION OF ASTRO-MONSTER, DOGORA, PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES.

Read The Full Post HERE!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Press Release: Legend of the Red Reaper

Legend of the Red Reaper
creator seeks ARTISTS for the comic book spin off

HOLLYWOOD, CA - January 8th, 2010 - Legend of the Red Reaper, the long awaited comic book style feature film from Indy film from the twisted brain of scream queen Tara Cardinal announces the launch of the franchise.

The feature film, which stars well known Scream Queen Tara Cardinal (Song of the Shattered, Delivery), David Mackey (The Sacred, Drop Dead Diva), Eliza Swenson (Witches of Oz 3D, Transmorphers), Shayne Leighton (The Incubus), Tom Nowicki (The Blind Side, Never Back Down, Letters to God) Christian Boeving (fitness model and celebrity), Legendary comic book artist George Perez (Superman, Wonderman, Spiderman, etc..) Al Snow (WWE, TNA), Joe Hollow (Blood Struck, Cut, Absentia) Devanny Pinn (Nude Nuns with Big Guns) , Lloyd Kaufman (Troma) and Barry Ratcliffe (Brothers and Sisters, Water for Elephants) has begun development on a new comic book and the film.

The story, written by Michael J Schaefer (Joe Hollow’s “Cut”), follows a young Red Reaper (played by Tara Cardinal) and her rocky relationship with her mother, The Teller Witch (played by Eliza Swenson) and her mentor: Kreios (played by Cal Simmons).

What’s exciting about the comic project, in addition to the “300-esque” style of the film is George Perez’ involvement in the feature (although not the comic, due to his exclusivity contracts with Marvel and DC).

George has drawn covers and pages for such classic titles as Action Comics, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Justice League of America, Superman, Super Girl, Star Trek, Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, Avengers, Conan, Fantastic Four, Hulk, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, and X-men.

Several promising artists are being considered, but submissions will be accepted throughout the first quarter of 2011. Interested artists are highly encouraged to submit samples of their work to: taracardinal@eternalnightstudios.com

Both George Perez and Michael J Schaefer have significant roles in the film. George plays the advisor and confidante of the Prince (David Mackey). Michael J Schaefer is the fully human mercenary/brick wall that no man can pass.

Legend of the Red Reaper is enjoying a lengthy and leisurely post production process. For up to the minute information, exclusive photos and news, please join the Facebook Page.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Legend-of-the-Red-Reaper-Cast-Crew-and-Fans/119155728106851?ref=ts

http://george-perez.com/
www.redreaper.com Read The Full Post HERE!

Living Doll (1990)

Howard is hopelessly in love with the flower girl upstairs, but she hardly even notices that he exists. When she ends up toe-tagged on one of his slabs in the morgue, Howard decides to take his work home with him... George Dugdale and Peter Mackenzie Litten present this nauseating tale of necrophilia with a morbid sense of humor. Like Buttgereit's NEKROMANTIK, the LIVING DOLL is much more than a simple gore spectacle. It is a look into the deteriorating mind of a man obsessed, where reality and fantasy are blurred as Howard imagines an idyllic life that he shares with Christine. Howard's LIVING DOLL is brought to life through a series of incredible special effects created by HELLRAISER's Paul Catling, whose oozing designs are frighteningly realistic and lend a great deal of credibility to the film along with the motionless Katie Orgill in the role of Christine. Litten and Dugdale attempt to even out their repulsive display with several lighter moments in the script and dialog, but the awkward performances by Mark Jax and Gary Martin can be extremely silly at times. LIVING DOLL is sure to shock and disgust, but most of its strength lies in watching Howard's spiraling decent into madness.

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

If you liked LIVING DOLL, check out:
BEYOND THE DARKNESS, NEKROMANTIK, CANNIBAL MAN.

Read The Full Post HERE!

The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953)

A prehistoric beast is unleashed from its icy tomb by a nuclear test that is conducted in the Arctic. The only witness, a brilliant physicist, tries to convince the military and top scientists of the creature's existence, but his stories are laughed off as the ravings of a madman. More rumors begin to surface as the giant lizard travels south along the Atlantic, and the professor is finally able to gain the support he needs in order to stop the beast, but not before the beast reaches New York City on its path of destruction!

THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS is the first combined effort between two of Science Fiction's most brilliant artists: writer Ray Bradbury and special effects master Ray Harryhausen. The two would start off on their long road together with this low-budget monster movie, directed by Eugene Lourie. Both men shared a love for 1925's THE LOST WORLD that would permanently shape each of their individual careers, and which can clearly be seen all throughout the film. BEAST would also be Harryhausen's first feature-length opportunity to display his own spectacular stop-motion animation in a series of stunning effects sequences that mirror the works of his mentor and colleague, Willis O'Brien (KING KONG). The Beast's rampage through downtown Manhattan has become one of the defining moments in Science Fiction cinema as a result, effortlessly blending Harryhausen's effects with the live-action events on-screen.

The story line from THE BEAST can also be recognized in countless Science Fiction and Fantasy films from the 1950's and 60's, where both the country's leading scientists and military officials must team up to destroy a common threat. This, and the socio-political subtext surrounding nuclear testing, would have an immediate effect on the Nuclear Era, most notably in THEM! and GOJIRA from the following year. Paul Hubschmid's charming and charismatic scientist serves as a strong lead, with many enjoyable moments also coming out of Cecil Kellaway's performance as the reluctant professor.

THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS is an important milestone in the Science Fiction and Horror genres, and one that would help to shape the Giant Monster movie for decades after its release.

Rating: 10/10.

If you liked THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS, check out:
KING KONG, GOJIRA, THEM!

Read The Full Post HERE!