Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Horror at Gallery Kay


The Horror at Gallery Kay (2018) - Official Teaser from Third Lows Productions on Vimeo.

Director - Abe Goldfarb
Starring - Maine Anders (Nefertitty in Space, Yule a Go-Go), Rosebud, and Brian Silliman (Orange is the New Black, Blue Bloods)
Release Date - 2018
Genre - Horror/Fantasy
Tagline - "Breaking up isn't the end of the world"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
 
    Horror is such a vast genre and  the possibilities are endless.  I've seen some amazing horror films over the years.  Some had stories unlike anything I had seen before while others hashed together different ideas from other movies.  I don't care how they got their ideas.  I just want to see a good movie.  Sometime ago I was approached to review the new horror fantasy film The Horror at Gallery Kay.  I had no idea what the film was about but I'm always curious to check out something different and I'm glad that Horror Society was considered among the first few to check out this unique film.
     The film follows two young ladies who is getting relationship counseling after they start drifting apart.  Things were perfect for the young couple until they went to a private showing at Gallery Kay.  Since then one of them has been acting different and distances herself from the other but still very much loves her.  The counselor is trying to listen to their problems but learns of a curious train ride they were a part of when things changed.  Then the counselor received a phone call and is forced to go to the gallery where all this started with the young couple and learn that there is a world hidden with their own and an ancient presence has been revealed.
     I like all horror for the most part and can find redeeming qualities in almost any horror flick but sometimes a movie just isn't for me.  It doesn't make it a bad movie but one I just didn't get into.  The acting in this one is fantastic.  The entire cast is phenomenal and work perfectly together.  Their characters are well written and they do an amazing job bringing them to life.  This horror flick wont be for everyone but the cast is still mesmerizing to watch.  The story for this one has so much potential but is lost somewhere in the scenes.  The film moves along on the words of each scene and not with the actions of the cast.  The film is very dialogue rich which makes for a unique film but a slow one.  The story is a rich one and visually seeing it unfold before our very eyes would have been more entertaining that hearing others talk about what they saw.  The movie moved at a snails pace and tried my patience.  Finally, The film isn't that bloody or gory but does have a few scenes with some blood.  The gags take place off screen but does have a little of the red (black) stuff.  The effects are minimal but effective.  Overall, The Horror at Gallery Kay is a well acted and stunning film that has a solid story but delivered in a way that I did not find entertaining.  If you like unique horror films with broad stories you may want to check this one out. 


Monday, August 13, 2018

Ghost Witch



Director - Joseph Lavender (The Ghostbusters: A Web Series, The Mark)
Starring - Chase Steven Anderson (Father Figures, Van Wilder: Freshman Year), Mandi Christine Kerr (The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries), and Josh Sinyard (It's Supernatural, Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies)
Release Date - 2015
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Fear the curse of Seven Toe Maggie"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     A year or so ago I was on Facebook commenting on a directors status about his film that was set to be released by Wild Eye.  Most of you know I'm a huge fan of Wild Eye so I was very interested in this release.  On that same status was another director, Joseph Lavender, mentioned Wild Eye was releasing his film as well.  I had to find out what movie it was.  I asked and he told me it was The Legend of Seven Toe Maggie.  What a fucking title that was.  I loved it.  Time passed and I forgot about the movie until I went to toss in Wild Eye's Ghost Witch to review when I heard them mention a local legend - the legend of Seven Toe Maggie.  I grabbed the DVD and checked the back of the case and saw the tagline along with Lavender's name.  I went from excited to see this one to really excited.  Thanks Wild Eye for sending this one my way!
     The film follows an amateur paranormal investigator who meets a young woman at a party when her brother tosses him in a pool.  The two hit it off and she tells him about a home that her family owns.   He tells her about a team of investigators he works with and the two set out to investigate the home and the legend of Seven Toe Maggie that the property is known for in hopes of capturing evidence of the paranormal but what they uncover is a decades old secret involving Maggie her and descendants. 
     I really wanted to like the film.  I'm not much on paranormal flicks but the title Ghost Witch really intrigued me.  I do enjoy a good witch story but this one was a bit of a let down.  The film has some decent acting and beautiful cinematography but the story was lacking.  The acting in this one is decent for the most part.  The cast is dedicated to their roles but some of the scenes is a little awkward to watch.  Their emotions and demeanor is just doesn't fit the scene at times making for an experience almost as enjoyable as Haters Back Off...which isn't that enjoyable.  I liked what the story tried to accomplish.  It had some elements I really enjoyed but at the end of the day its a low budget horror paint by numbers with some plot holes.  The films drags on for most of the running time before kicking in the last 20 minutes or so in what is a very predictable ending.  Finally, the film isn't a bloody mess that most of us enjoy.  We do get a little blood with minor effects but that is it.  I was impressed by some of the visual effects but they do get lost in the pacing of the film.  Overall, Ghost Witch isn't a bad movie.  It has some solid acting and a decent story but it has no replay value.  It deserves a watch but don't expect to remember it a few weeks down the road. 
     

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Fisted



Director - Tom Martino (Cheeseballs, Race War: The Remake)
Release Date - 2018
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "The kid's got dynamite flowing through his veins"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
      Several years ago I was brought onto Horror Society to contribute.  I mostly did reviews on my blog so I kept that going on Horror Society.  At first I was reviewing the newer films that I would purchase every Tuesday when new releases hit the shelves.  Almost a year went by and a director reached out to me to review his film.  This was something new to me and I was shocked he asked.  I obviously accepted and after sharing that reviewing on his page several other filmmakers reached out to me to do the same.  I was shocked people wanted me to review their films.  I reviewed what was offered to me and decided to contact a few indie distribution companies to review their stuff.  The first one I reached out to was Wild Eye Releasing.  They were on board and sent over several movies for me to check out.  Among them was Tom Martino's Race War: The Remake.  If you don't know what this movie is then you are missing out.  Race War is a flick I often recommend to any horror fan looking to get into Wild Eye.  The film is just so much fun.  I found Tom on Facebook and added him.  I had to.  A few years later he released his second feature Cheeseballs.  Sadly, the film was just as crazy but didn't flow as well as Race War.  It has been a few years since Tom released a new film but he came back strong with his new feature Fisted.  Thanks Tom for sending this one my way!
     The film follows a group of youths (adults portraying children) who are going away for an overnight camping trip with their counselor who is also a pedophile.  He thinks he is going to have his way with the youths all night but they have a different plan in store for him.  Years of sexual abuse has made them bloodthirsty.  They plan on killing him and feeding his body to the gators but the van throws a rod which shoots through the driver's seat and pierces his ass...killing him instantly.  They think their nightmare is behind them now that he is gone but what they don't know is that a maniac lives in the woods.  He has explosives running through his veins and uses his fire fist to kill anyone that enters his territory. 
     People forget to have fun with movies.  Most people sit down and expect a movie that will move them with a heartfelt story or a documentary about how someone overcome ridiculous odds.  Fuck that noise.  I want a movie that is fun to watch.  Show me over the top characters and absurd stories.  Show me crazy effects and monsters I wouldn't expect.  That is why I love Race War so much.  The movie is balls to the wall insanity and never a dull moment.  Fisted is more of the same and I can't wait to revisit it.  The acting in this one is energetic and lively.  The cast does a great job keeping the pace up with the film and making it as entertaining as they do.  The characters are some you would find in pulp comics and Troma flicks which are always welcomed in my home.  I love their chemistry together and how the cast fed off each other.  The story for this one is fucking bonkers.  We have a killer in the woods with a flaming fist, a pedophile getting his untimely demise from a metal rod in his ass, demon hunters, and giant ants that burrow in your ball sack.  The price of admission is well worth it when you consider all the fucking crazy antics you are about to see.  The film packs a lot into it and is able to pull it all together in a round about way.  The pacing is perfect until the last 20 minutes or so and then it does seem to taper off a bit.  It almost feels like the ending was tacked on after the fact.  Finally, the film is full of death.  Some of the scenes used some practical effects and others use cheesy visual effects.  The visual effects are far from perfect but that is intentional to make the film even funnier than it was to begin with.  Honestly, I like how Martino combines the two.  It makes for some unforgettable carnage.  Overall, Fisted may not hit you in the feels but it will punch it you the dick.  If you can get the stick out of your ass you may actually enjoy this one.  Hell, you may even laugh a time or two before sharing your Trump/Hillary banter on social media. Check it out. 



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The Gate II: Trespassers



Director - Tibor Takacs (The Gate, I, Madman)
Starring - Louis Trip (Dick Francis: Blood Sport, Detroit Rock City), Pamela Adlon (Bob's Burgers, Beavis and Butt-Head), and Simon Reynolds (The Conspiracy, Saw IV)
Release Date - 1990
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "There's only one thing more terrifying than their first visit.  The second"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     When I was growing up I found myself obsessed with horror intended for children.  Movies like Monster Squad, Lady in White, and The Gate along with television shows like Monsters, Are You Afraid of the Dark?, and Goosebumps.  These films and shows shaped my tastes in horror and I still enjoy the horror tales that are more light hearted.  When I was younger I watched The Gate a few times and really enjoyed it but I never had a chance to check out the sequel.  My recent Scream Factory marathon gave me a chance to remedy that.  Thank you Scream Factory for sending this one my way!
     The film picks up sometime after the events in the first film.  Glen has moved out of town leaving Terry (Tripp) behind to pick up the pieces as his home life falls apart.  He doesn't think his dad can sink any lower after his mother's death so he attempts to use the magic they used before to get his father's life on track.  His ritual is interrupted by two goons and the beautiful Liz (Adlon).  The decide to stick around for the ritual and things go south when a minion escapes.  They think they kill the creature but Terry knows better.  He takes it home with him and discovers that the ritual actually worked.  His father's life starts looking up but what price did the youngsters pay in order to change fate?
     The Gate is one of those films that people have never seen it or fucking love it.  I can't think of a single person that has seen it and doesn't like it.  The thought of a sequel does excite me but I was hesitant because I never hear horror fans talk about it.  I had seen bootlegs of it at horror cons but there was always dozens of copies which gave me the impression that no one was buying them.  After finally checking it out I can say that it is a solid flick but nowhere near as charming as the first film.  The acting in this one is solid.  The role of Terry is dialed down somewhat.  In the first film Trip delivers an outcast type character almost like Rudy from The Monster Squad.  This is slightly held back with the introduction of the older outcasts that bully Terry and interrupt his ritual.  I wish he was able to portray that particular character instead the one we get but he still does a solid job with what he was given.  The supporting cast does a great job as well.  The characters, outside of Terry, are better written and the cast does a great job with their performance.  The characters are fun and their performances was solid.  The story for this one builds upon what was set in the first film.  The ideology is touched on and then more is set on top of it making for a darker film.   It does move slowly but the scenes are still fun with the character interaction until the last 20 minutes when the action finally kicks in.  I really liked how this one approached the story but it does lack the fun the first film has.  Finally, this one isn't gory but does have some creature effects, some cheesy visual effects, and a little blood.  I really enjoyed the look of this film...even the tacky visual effects.  The film was released in 1990 but looks older and I like that.  Overall, The Gate II: Trespassers is not the classic the first film is but it still deserves a spot in your collection.  Check this one out!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

68 Kill



Director - Tent Haaga (Chop)
Starring - Matthew Gray Gubler (How to be a Serial Killer, Excision), AnnaLynne McCord (Day of the Dead, The Haunting of Molly Hartley), and Alisha Boe (Amusement, Paranormal Activity 4)
Release Date - 2017
Genre - Action/Horror
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
 
     Since the birth of my third child and the crashing of my crappy laptop I've been slowly climbing out of the pile of movies I've been sent to review.  I decided recently to have a Scream Factory marathon.  I decided to start with Hell Night.  This was a slasher I had never seen but was always curious about.  Plus, it had Linda Blaire so it was a must for me.  I have several other Scream Factory releases to work through but decided to go with the 2017 Trent Haaga directed 68 Kill.  Haaga is known throughout the horror community for his performance in Terror Firmer from Troma and as Killjoy in the Full Moon series.  I knew this was going to be a fun one so I tossed it in.  Thanks Scream Factory for sending this one my way!
    The film follows reluctant lady's man Chip (Gubler).  Chip is in love with the gorgeous Liza (McCord) but Liza has a few screws loose.  She sleeps around for money and uses her hold on Chip to get what she wants.  One night she learns that the guy she has been fucking for cash is sitting on 68 thousand dollars.  She makes Chip help her rob him but what Chip doesn't know is that she plans on killing the guy and the two taking off with the cash.  What they don't expect is another woman there to complicate plans nor did Chip expect to fall in love with the new woman.  This sends Chip into a series of events involving his would be serial killer brother in law, a trailer full of prostitutes and junkies, and even more beautiful woman.
     68 Kill is one of those movies that I never expected to get in the mail and know very little about.  When I saw that Trent Haaga had directed it I was very curious to see how this one would play out.  Honestly, it is one of the better team ups from IFC Midnight and Scream Factory.  The acting in this one is amazing.  The entire cast is spot on.  Gubler and McCord is brilliant together.  Their characters are portrayed perfectly and they work so well with each other.  Casting is on point with these two.  I also enjoyed the supporting cast as well.   Haaga and company did a fantastic job bringing this talented group together.  The story for this one has a lot going on but it works well.  The botched robbery, the serial killer brother, the redneck sex ring, and the crazy hottie all adds layers to a story that would be rather boring without it all.  It's not a complex story but it does have a lot going on creating a very action rich thriller.  Finally, the film is rather bloody.  We get several awesome kills with top notch practical effects.  The kills are not that original but they are still entertaining.  Overall, 68 Kill is a fantastic watch.  I highly recommend this one so check it out. 

Monday, August 6, 2018

A Quiet Place



Director - John Krasinski (The Hollars, The Office)
Starring - John Krasinski, Emily Blunt (Wind Chill, Into the Woods), and Millicent Simmonds (Woodstruck)
Release Date - 2018
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "If they hear you they hunt you"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
      Every year there is a handful of films that are released and sweep over the horror community.  A few of the bigger releases this year were either really entertaining or some big duds.  I saw several disappointments this year after hearing all the praise from the horror community.  People like to bitch and moan about certain films regardless if they've seen it but tend to flock like mindless drones to a film just because they hear others talking about.  One film that caught a ton of praise was the mostly silent film A Quiet Place directed by The Office's John Krasinski.  I had seen a handful of people bashing it but most of my horror minded friends loved it.  I wanted to check it out in theaters but my wife was almost 9 months pregnant so we had to skip on it.  When it was announced on blu I reached out for a review copy and was lucky enough to get one. 
     The film follows a family living in the country and fighting to survive.  Most of mankind has been eliminated by blind creatures who rely on sounds to hunt.  They lost a son to the beasts and a year later are expecting a new child.  They prepare for the bundle of joy by soundproofing a bunker but things go south and a series of events puts the family in danger when the creatures invade their home.
       I really enjoyed A Quiet Place.  It wasn't an action packed blood filled gore ride that I typically enjoy but I did really have fun with it.  It marched to a beat of a different drum and held my attention the entire time.  The writing and directing team really crafted something unforgettable.  The acting in this one is fantastic.  The cast had to work around using dialogue to create their characters.  They work very well with each other and the addition of sign language brings even more impact to the story.  The cast did a fantastic job.  The story for this one is solid but does have a few plot holes.  Honestly, it reminded me of War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise.  The no hope aspect mixed with the eradication of mankind only to be stopped by the simplest of things put me in mind of War.  Aside from that the film is fantastic.  The plot holes are very minor and take very little away from the overall production.  Finally, the film doesn't have gore.  There is a little blood and some CGI monsters.  The monsters do stand out and will not stand the test of time.  The CGi is rather cheap when compared to other films of the time.  I liked the creature design but the CGI is far from perfect.  Overall, A Quiet Place is a modern horror classic that clawed its way up to a spot with the greats.  Be sure to check this one out!
 


Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hell Night



Director - Tom DeSimone (Chatterbox, Savage Streets)
Starring - Linda Blair (The Exorcist, Repossessed), Peter Barton (Stir, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter), and Vincent Van Patten (Wonder Woman, Rock n' Roll High School)
Release Date - 1981
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Pray for day"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I'm still deep in a review hole trying to slowly climb out.  After my daughter was born my laptop decided to shit out on me.  I was trying my best to work on reviews after the fact but the power cycling every 15 minutes.  It was frustrating.  Now I've resorted to getting my reviews typed out on an iPad which is an even bigger chore but I get results.  After watching a solid vampire flick and an underwhelming supernatural short I ventured to my review stack in hopes of finding something fun.  I didn't want a film that forever changed cinema.  Instead, I wanted a movie that was entertaining and maybe had a few chuckles here and there.  As soon as I laid eyes on the 1981 slasher Hell Night I knew it was the film for me.  Thank you Scream Factory for sending this one my way to check out. 
     The film follows four college students pledging Alpha Sigma Rho.  They have a tradition where all pledges are tasked with spending Hell Night in a dilapidated mansion that was once home to a disfigured family.  There night was supposed to be filled with partying, sex, and some scares but turns into a nightmare when they learn that the local legend is true and a disfigured man is hunting them down one by one. 
     Hell Night is one of those slashers that I had always heard about but never actually seen.  I remember seeing the tape at the local video store but I never rented it.  A few years ago I grabbed the now OOP Anchor Bay DVD for a solid price but discovered I was ripped off.  I had bought the original DVD case and artwork with a burnt disc.  I was very disappointed with that and couldn't bring myself to watching the abomination.  Now that I have a real copy I couldn't wait to check it out.  Sure, its far from the best slasher film to come out of the 80s but it is still entertaining.  The acting in this one is solid for the most part.  The cast tried their best but the characters are horribly written and boring.  Even horror legend Linda Blair couldn't make her character seem interesting.  The story for this one is generic in terms of slashers but I did like the Hell Night angle.  I always enjoyed the frat/sorority house slashers and though this one feels like a haunted house film it still flows very much so like a slasher.  There is some very slow burning scenes and when the action does pick up it is not very exciting.  Finally, the film has several on screen deaths that are not that very engaging but are still fun for what they are.  The effects are minimal and use simple camera tricks.  With that being said, I actually liked them and how the killer looked.  Overall, Hell Night may not be the slasher you compare other slashers to but it is still a solid effort.  Check it out on blu from Scream Factory!



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Confined

Director - Christopher Picone
Starring - Tim O'Brien, Sabrina Ahmed, and Josh Diolosa
Release Date - 2017
Genre - Horror
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)
Rating (out of 5):
       We are living in a time where anyone can turn their dreams of becoming a filmmaker into reality.  We now have smartphones that shoot video in higher quality than most movie cameras.  Digital cameras are now inexpensive and most standard laptops are capable of editing movies with no problems.  I'm not saying filmmaking is easy, because it isn't, I'm just saying that anyone with the drive and knowledge can cut a film.  It is because of this that there is so many indie horror productions getting kicked off the ground.  Horror Society gets several emails a day from young filmmakers, actors, producers, and so forth trying to get their film promoted.  Recently, actor Tim O'Brien contacted us to review a short he recently starred in.  The Confined is a 5 minute short that shows a lot of promise but didn't leave a lot of meat on the bone.  Thanks Tim for reaching out to us!
     The film follows three twenty-somethings who visit an apartment complex that was once the home to a cult that committed suicide together.  The three decide to explore the property but find themselves separated and one by one they fall prey to the evil forces still on the property. 


     I've seen so many effective shorts in my short period of time reviewing.  Some have solid stories that use their short running time to shove as much as possible at the viewer.  However, for most shorts they are short because their story is lacking.  They don't have enough content to make a feature length film.  The Confined is one of those shorts where I can't tell which side it falls into.  The short is only 5 minutes long and has the set up to be pretty fucking epic but fails to capture any of it.  The acting in this one is decent but the film doesn't give the viewer enough time to actually see the cast interact.  They immediately separate and what acting we do see is very underwhelming.  The story for this one has so much potential but this short is not able to pull it all together.  An apartment complex where a cult killed itself has so many possibilities but what we get is three people dying off screen by an unknown presence.  This could have worked but the deaths happen in rapid succession off camera.  Then we have the talking head in a box gag that was laughable.  It took the seriousness out o the short and made it feel very cheesy.  I love cheese with my horror but it didn't fit the short.  Honestly, I feel like this is an investment video to raise funds for a feature length film.  Finally, the film looks great and I really liked the projector on the dilapidated wall but the one "death" scene we see with the head in the box was not that entertaining.  The effects are limited but solid for what we do get.  Overall, The Confined had a lot going for it but just didn't give the viewer's enough time.  The short runs a little over 5 minutes and lacks character development and real tension.  With some more time and a little more substance for the story this one would have been a knock out but as is it misses its mark. 

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Teenage Bloodsuckin' Bimbos



Director - Anthony Cantanese (Sodomaniac, Hi-Death)
Starring - Gigi Gustin (Hijab, Frat Star), Destyne Marshai (3: The New Normal, Sam and Saah), and Amanda Renee (Zombies, Scumbag Night)
Release Date - 2018
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "Being a teenage...really sucks"
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
      Anthony Cantanese is probably my favorite director you've never heard of.  That kind of sounds like a dick thing to say but I mean it with the utmost respect.  He is an amazing filmmaker.  A few years back he released his slasher Sodomaniac and has since contributed a segment to the anthology film Hi-Death.  His films are always fun which is what many indie directors forget.  They want to be extreme which results in another boring film filled with guts and no story.  Cantanese makes horror fun and after watching Sodomaniac I was hooked.  When he announced Teenage Bloodsuckin' Bimbos I was ready to love it.  I knew he wouldn't try to follow trends or make a pointless film.  I was ready for a fun vampire film like the ones I grew up with.  A few days ago he reached out to me to review the film and I couldn't be anymore excited.  Thank you for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to see the film!
     The film follows a young woman who lives in a trailer park with her alcoholic mother and baby brother.  She is often made fun of at school and left to tend to her younger sibling but that changes when she meets three strong women who shows her that she doesn't have to be the victim any longer.  Her broken will convinces her this is the way and they turn her into a vampire.  The power trip works for awhile but she soon realizes that she wants to be human with her little brother so she enlists the great (17x) nephew of Van Helsing and a mullet headed porn addict to help her stop the three vampires and return her back to her old self.
     I went through a spell where I was obsessed with vampire flicks.  Especially 80s vampire flicks.  The Lost Boys opened the door to Fright Night, Once Bitten, My Best Friend is a Vampire, Vamp, Near Dark, and Vampire Hunter D.  As you can tell from the films I just listed I really enjoy the vampire flicks that have colorful characters and oddball humor.  Teenage Bloodsuckin' Bimbos had that and then some. The acting in this one is great.  The characters are very eccentric and colorful.  The cast did a fantastic job bringing them to life.  Some of the characters were more fun to watch than others but everyone did their part and moved the story along flawlessly.  The story for this one would have been perfect for the 80s.  I recall a few vampire flicks that followed a group of friends trying to turn one of them back into a human.  In fact, that is pretty much the basis for Once Bitten.  I loved the modern retelling of this with the 80s homage and montages tossed throughout.  The horror is light and the humor is spot on.  I also loved how fun the characters was.  If Cantanese would have made the characters more realistic and flat the film would have fell apart.  Finally, this is as a good vampire film should be.  Full of beautiful women and blood.  The women are smoking hot and there is a lot of blood.  Sadly, the effects are very limited but that is the nature of vampire flicks.  Cantanese handles the gags very well and utilizes camera angles and trick shocks to make the neck bites work.  Overall, Teenage Bloodsuckin' Bimbos is a fantastic.  This is one of the best vampire films I have seen in years.  This film has bite but no suckage.  Check it out.