Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Splatter Disco





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All Singing, All Dancing, All DEAD

The owner of a fetish club finds out that, along with dealing with his wife who wants to leave him, his dying father, and the city wanting to close his club, he now has to deal with a psycho killer offing his employees and patrons. Starring Ken Foree ( Dawn of the Dead), Debbie Rochon (Tromeo and Juliet),and Lynn Lowry (The Crazies)

Commentary with Director Richard Griffin
Behind the Scenes
Alternate Scene
Trailer Vault



Poltergeist


Director - Tobe Hooper (Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Salem's Lot)
Starring - Craig T. Nelson (Coach, The Incredibles), JoBeth Williams (Dexter, Jungle 2 Jungle), and Beatrice Straight (Wonder Woman, Bloodline)
Release Date - 1982
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "It knows what scares you"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     When I was little, I'm talking elementary grade age, I loved all types of movies.  I didn't care if it was made for children, action, comedy, horror, or sci-fi.  I just loved movies.  Movies that I were obsessed with were Space Jam, Ready to Rumble, Halfbaked, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Air Bud, and Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist.  As you can tell I was pretty lame growing up.  It wasn't until I was a little more older that I fell in love with Sam Raimi's Evil Dead trilogy and Romero's "Dead films.  Poltergeist was about it in regards to horror.  I have probably watched the film at least a hundred times by now and when Scream Factory sent me Poltergeist II and III it only made since to review the entire series.
     The film follows the Freeling family, father Steven (Nelson), his wife Diane (Williams), and their three children Carol Anne, Dana, and Robbie.  Steven is a real-estate agent and developer that has built the perfect life for himself and his family.  However, all good things must come to an end.  The family starts to see strange things occurring around the home that leaves the family on edge but one day something catastrophic happens and Carol Anne is taken to another plane of existence.  The family tries to find help with some paranormal investigators but they are unable to help so they bring in a medium to help.  She is able to get Carol Anne back but their problem is not yet put behind them.
     When I was little I remember liking this movie for the action and uncertainty.  The film gives you several false endings before pulling you back in to the dread and chaos.  I really enjoyed that and it's something that really respect about this film as I'v gotten older.  The acting in this one is great which is weird to say about a film that is centered heavily around children.  Most of the time child actors are awkward to watch in a more serious role but the late Heather O'Rourke and Oliver Robins did a great job in their roles and really sold the film for me.  Craig T. Nelson and the gorgeous JoBeth Williams was great as well but Heather and Robin were really what made the film so damn enjoyable.  The story for this one is fucking terrifying for a child and adult alike.  It is very claustrophobic and the angle or a young child getting trapped in another plane of existence is utterly terrifying for a child but it hits harder for an adult who has a child about the same age as Carol Anne like I do now.  The film also gets the viewer with the false ending before throwing them into even more horror.   Finally, the film has some great practical effects that Spielberg, who produced it, is known for.  The visual effects are very dated but the practical effects do stand out even by modern standards.  Sadly, there is a little blood or gore but not that much which is expected considering this horror film is family friendly.  Overall, Poltergeist is a must for any horror fan.  It has an amazing story, the perfect cast, and can really get under your skin...literally.  Check it out.




Sunday, March 19, 2017

Mortuary Massacre


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Everyone Will Rest in Pieces!

This classically 1980s-styled horror anthology finds a police detective investigating several bloody, mysterious deaths, which all took place on Halloween night. His search leads him to the local mortician, who then tells him the bizarre backstories of three of the victims, with each tale more gruesome and insane than the next, until the lines between reality and fiction begin to blur.



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pet


Director - Carles Torrens (ABC's of Death 2.5, Apartment 143)
Starring - Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men's Origins: Wolverine), Jennette McCurdy (iCarly, Robot Chicken), and Ksenia Solo (Orphan Black, Black Swan)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "A love story"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I've been reviewing films for Horror Society for over four years now and writing review in one form or another for almost six so I have made many, many contacts over the years.  Most of the time I request a film to review.  When I request a film for review I look at two things - the first is how much interest I have in the film and the second is whether or not I think anyone would read the review.  If I see no interest in either then I skip on the film but if I look forward to it or think people will like it then I jump on it.  Not long ago I received a review copy of the 2016 horror film Pet starring Lord of the Rings' Dominic Monaghan.  It was cool to see Monaghan in a horror film but I honestly had no interest in the film nor would I think people would read my review.  I did not request the film and it just showed up one day.  I appreciate whoever sending it over thinking of me but it just didn't look like my kind of film.  I threw it on the stack and when the time came to watch it I skipped it.  I felt bad for it later and tossed it in where I was very surprised by how awesome it was.  I want to thank whoever it sent it my way because I really enjoyed it.  My only real criticism for the film is to change the name and artwork to something more interesting.
     The film follows the anti-social and withdrawn Seth (Monaghan) who works for an animal shelter.  One day while riding the bus he meets a former crush and becomes obsessed with her.  He tries to ask her out but his plans continue to fall apart so he begins to stalk her.  He puts in motion a plan to abduct her and put her in a cage underneath the shelter.  What starts out as a stalking gone wrong quickly turns into a humanitarian mission when he learns she is not the woman he thought she was but can't stop loving her.
     When I first received Pet my initial thoughts on the film was that it would be a slow burning horror film with a lot of one sided romance scenes where someone obsesses over someone else.  Oddly enough, I was not wrong.  However, the film has a lot more to it than that which is something the title and artwork does not give the viewer.  The acting in this one is fantastic.  Dominic Monaghan plays a very convincing Seth who is socially awkward and very backwards.  You think the film is going to take Dominic down a dark path but it doesn't.  He is able to play this character very convincingly through the entire film.  The real surprise performance that left me in shock was from Ksenia Solo.  I'm unfamiliar with her but she showed that she can fucking act.  Her performance can almost be considered a dual role where she starts out as a helpless woman before flipping the switch and turning into a psychological maniac.  She was absolutely brilliant and I look forward to her future contributions to horror.  The story for this one is not what it seams.  It does add a simple twist to the now clich├ęd abduction horror films that we are used to but that twist is very effective and makes it feel like an entirely new film.  With that being said, the film has a painfully slow start that effectively does nothing but establish the characters which could have been done in half the time.  Finally, if you are looking for gore then you can find a little here.  The film has some pretty bloody kills and effects that look fantastic.  Nothing too graphic or original but they were unexpected which made them stand out in comparison to other films that tried to pull off the same gags.  Overall, Pet was a surprisingly fun horror film.  Just when you think the film is going to be a generic torture porn flick it mixes it up and throws something different at you.  I really enjoyed it.




The Devil Lives Here


Director - Rodrigo Gasparini (ABC's of Death 2.5) and Dante Vescio (O Dia do Comelo)
Starring - Pedro Caetano (Disparos), Pedro Carvalho (Snuff Said: Morte em Video), and Mariana Cortines (Young Hearts)
Release Date 2015
Genre - Horror
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I've been lucky lately in regards to the films I've reviewed.  I recently got to check out Suddenly in the Dark from Mondo Macabro and loved it.  It was beautifully shot and very stylish which is something I don't see a lot of.  The next film I watched was the horror flick Pet.  Aside from looking like a generic torture porn, it was actually pretty entertaining and had one hell of a cast.  I would love to see more horror films like it show up in my mail box.  I wanted to keep the momentum going so I went over to my review pile and the next film up to bat was the Artsploitation release of The Devil Lives Here.  This one looked like a bloody Evil Dead clone which I am fine with.  Evil Dead II is one of my favorite films so any film that pays tribute or is inspired by is ok in my book.  Thank you Artsploitation for sending this one my way!
     The film follows four twenty-somethings who return to the home of one of them as park of a prank and an urban legend.  The house was once owned by a slave owner who performed evil magic on his slaves.  The young boy, Apolo, made an agreement with the descendants of the slaves to stay out of the house during certain times as to not raise the evil locked in the basement.  Apolo did not listen and freed the evil.  Now the descendants must stop the evil before it kills them all.
     I was looking forward to this film and had the impression that it was going to be bloody as hell.  Sadly, it was not but that doesn't mean it's a bad film.  No at all.  The movie was actually very entertaining but I was a little let down by the lack of practical effects and gore.  The acting in this one is very convincing and fits the film perfectly.  The characters are not that well written but the cast is able to knock it out of the park.  Some characters have are a little more complex than others and the cast does a great job at showing their depth and their connection to the story.  The story for this one is very well written and very dark.  The characters needed more to them but the film gives us a tremendous amount of backstory.  With that being said, it wasn't as brooding and atmospheric as I was hoping for.  It was dark, don't get me wrong, but I was expecting something brutal and claustrophobic which it is not.  Finally, if you want gore then look elsewhere.  The film is not as bloody as I was hoping.  A movie with type of story would normally be filled with gore and practical effects but this film misses out.  We do get some kills and blood but nowhere near the amount one would expect.  Overall, The Devil Lives Here was a fun experience.  The film looks good and has some awesome horror moments but there was some room for improvement.  It more than deserves your attention so check it out.  




Suddenly in the Dark


Director - Young Nam Ko (A Viper, Deadly Kick)
Starring - Il-bong Yun (Day and Night, Silent Room), Yeong-ae Kim (Mirror of the Witch, We are Brothers), and Ki-seon Lee (Lost Youth)
Release Date - 1981
Genre - Horror
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     The movies I've watched recently have been a rollercoaster ride to say the least.  I started out with some really bad horror films before picking it back up with a few great horror films and I started back down again after watching Gas-s-s-s last night.  I had high hopes that the follow up film didn't suck because I often find myself watching three bad movies back to back before I finally get to check out something decent.  I ventured over to my review stack and saw that my next film to check out was Suddenly in the Dark.  This 1981 Korean film was recently released by Mondo Macabro and they were kind enough to send a review copy my way.  Thanks guys for hooking me up!
     The film follows a married couple who hire a young and attractive maid to clean up for them in their big home but the wife starts to second guess her decision.  As time moves on she finds herself suspecting that her husband is sleeping with the help and becomes jealous by how young and attractive she is.  After some time the tension comes to a boil and the maid dies.  The wife becomes distraught by her death and her involvement but that is not the end of the maid's tale and the horrors that unfold in their home. 
    Have you ever looked at a movie and just know you will love it?  That rarely happens for me but Suddenly in the Dark let me know up front that I would love it...and I did.  The acting in this one is not the best I have seen but it was far from bad.  The cast shows a lot of enthusiasm and excitement for the role but they have a hard time convincing the viewer that they are, in fact, their characters.  Their emotions needs pulled in a little bit and their conversations need to feel more genuine.  As I said earlier, the cast is not bad but there was aspects that made a few scenes awkward to watch.  The story for this one is a little sloppy and moves at a snails pace but once it picks it up it hits hard.  Most of the film is character development and setting the tone for the suspense and atmosphere.  The film does a great job at this but there is very little action or interest to hold the viewer's attention.  However, all that can be forgotten once we hid the final act of the film and the real horror appears.  The story, at this point, is very simple but the way it was executed is brilliant.  This portion is beautifully shot and delivers on the chills.  Finally, if you are looking for gore then you are not going to find any here.  However, There is some blood but that is not what makes this film so fun.  It's the beautiful cinematography and lighting that makes this film so enjoyable.  The film is eerie and can chill you to the bone but it is also beautiful to look at almost like a Korean supernatural giallo.  Check it out.   




Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Creature Below

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 the depths of our oceans, something has awoken.

During a traumatic accident whilst on a deep-sea dive in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean, Olive, a gifted, young marine-biologist discovers an unearthly creature. Loosing her dream job, Olive smuggles the creature home, intent on studying it in her basement, unbeknownst to her devoted boyfriend Matt. Whilst struggling to re-adjust to landlocked life and recover from her recent trauma, Olive begins to realize that she and the creature share a symbiotic bond that drives her to carry out its sinister will. Plagued by gruesome nightmares, her fractured memories of what happened during the accident in the depths of the ocean begin to unravel and reveal an eldritch horror far older and malevolent than she could ever imagine, one which she has unwittingly set free. Olive's obsession leads to madness as her discovery consumes her entire humanity, with deadly results for those around her.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Gas-s-s-s


Director - Roger Corman (Bloody Mama, The Raven)
Starring - Bob Corff (Fright Night, The Beverly Hillbillies), Elaine Giftos (Tales of the Unexpected, Knight Rider), Bud Cort (Dogma, Theodore Rex)
Release Date - 1970
Genre - Comedy/Adventure
Tagline - "Invite a few friends over to watch the end of the world!"
Format - Bluray

Rating (out of 5):
     When I get a post-apocalyptic film in to review I usually think it will go one of two ways.  It will be bloody and gory set against a desolate landscape like The Walking Dead and Stakeland.  These are my favorite post-apocalyptic films.  However, the more famous of the post-apocalyptic films are movies like Mad Max and Turbo Kid.  These are always fun and offer the viewer some unforgettable characters.   Sometime back Olive Films sent me the Roger Corman post-apocalyptic film Gas-s-s-s on blu.  I enjoy most of Corman's films and was excited to see how he would handle a film like this.  thanks guys for sending this one my way!
     The film follows a group of survivors who fight to survive when the world's population is wiped out from a gas that kills anyone over 25.  Now, they make their way across the country and encounter other survivors who have their own way of surviving after the fall of society.



   
     Gas-s-s-s was not the film I was expecting.  When I first tossed it in I was expecting a film similar to Death Race 2000.  Even though I had never seen the film I had seen the trailer several times so I get the general premise so I was a little let down when the film did not play out like that...or like any post-apocalyptic film I had seen before it.  If I can say anything about Gas-s-s-s is that it's original.  The acting in this one is over the top.  The characters are very colorful with a lot of flavor.  They stand out from other films like it and the cast does a great job bringing them to life.  Some are more likable than others but that is due to the writing and not the acting. The story for this one is a waste.  It's political in nature considering the time.  During the late 60s and early 70s America went through a period where the youths, mostly, did not agree with the government which came to a boil with the war in Vietnam.  The film plays on that where all adults over 25 die leaving the teenagers and early twenty-somethings to live however they want.  This is a cool idea if you set yourself in the time period but the story is painfully slow and very repetitive.  There is just not enough to go around for the running time we do get.  Finally, no blood or gore in this one.  Hell, there is no effects of any kind.  The film relies heavily on character development and a paper thin story to hold the viewer's attention...and fails.  I was looking for excuses to turn it off.  I even changed a shitty diaper just so I didn't have to set through it.  Overall, Gas-s-s-s just couldn't go the distance.  The story was a solid concept but needed a lot more work.  I cannot recommend this one.