Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Death Stop Holocaust

Director - Justin Russell (The Sleeper)
Starring - Lisa Krenisky, Jenna Fournier (The Sleeper), and E. Ray Goodwin (Murder Machine)
Release Date - 2009
Genre - Horror
Tagline - " For two young women, an island paradise is about to become... A nightmare of terror!" & "They take em and they kill em"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     A title can make or break a movie.  When visiting any store that sales movies you can find a slew of horror films with violent titles, however, that does not make them good horror flicks.  Movies like Brutal, Borderline Cult, and Dead Season all sound like amazing horror films but they are not.  The title for this film sounded like some sort of torture flick that would ride the rail of mediocrity.  Aside from the Hostel series, I am not a fan of torture films.  After watching the trailer I knew this was nothing like that.  I liked the trailer for this flick a little more than I did for The Sleeper.  The trailer made the film feel like it had a little more emotion.  Horror thrives on emotions and that really excited me.  
     The film follows two girls, Elizabeth (Krenisky) and Taylor (Fournier), as they travel to Elizabeth's father's summer home.  When they are near the summer home, the pair encounter the locals acting strange and the arrival of a white van.  The locals do not bother the three in the van and let them carry on any macabre business they wish.  The three men wear masks; one is a pig, the other a horse, and the last has long hair with an unidentifiable mask reminiscent of Mick Thomson from Slipknot.  The men grab the two girls and kills Taylor.  Elizabeth is able to escape with Taylor's body and rush her to the hospital.  Once she arrives the nurse sedates her and the three men come and pick her up.  Once again she is able to escape and calls her dad before she is abducted one more time.  The three try to take her to an abandoned building to torture her but she is able to kill one of the men before she is subdued.  Her dad arrives but it is too late and finds his daughter dead.  He then kills himself while the two men watch.
     Writing this review is extremely difficult to do after reviewing The Sleeper.  Both films have the same redeeming qualities.  However, where The Sleeper hit with the 80's vibe, this film delivers that grainy and raw feel of 70's cinema.  Russell has a talent for creating that look and feel of decades long gone and I definitely await his future films.  The acting in this film is actually decent.  I was expecting no-budget grade acting and was treated to above par talents.  Most of the cast has no prior acting credits and this is a shame.  The lead actress is amazing and could make a name for herself as a scream queen and final girl.  The special effects are a bit of a disappointment.  In fact, the film does not offer any at all.  Some blood is smeared here and there and one throat is slit.  This film lacks those great kills scenes I was expecting to see.  Also, this is a little weak for a movie boasting the cover art that it does.  The killers are this movie's saving grace.  All three have a menacing manner that is lacking in recent slasher films.  Russell even left that element out of his most recent film, The Sleeper.  The killers bring about their own atmosphere that dominates the screen and really make this movie worth seeing.  Finally, the story is extremely unoriginal but executed flawlessly.  Russell is a great up and coming director and to date this is my favorite film by him.  This is one to own so grab yourself a copy.



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Sleeper

Director - Justin Russell (Death Stop Holocaust)
Starring - Brittany Belland (The Many Monsters of Sadness), Tiffany Arnold (Frat House Massacre), and Riana Ballo
Release Date - 2012
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "If I die before I wake..."
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     Sometime last year (2012) I came across this movie on and loved the artwork.  I threw it on my wishlist and completely forgot about it.  Lately I have been on a bit of a slasher kick and started going through my wishlist and ordering them.  After re-discovering this flick, and Russell's Death Stop Holocaust, I decided to go ahead and order it.  I heard a lot of good things about both films and was a bit excited to see it.  I knew nothing about the film except it is a homage to 80's slasher flicks.
     The film takes place in 1981 and a sorority house is throwing a party for all the new pledges.  However, the sorority sisters have an uninvited guest.  There is a psycho stalking the Greek sisters with intentions of helping them "sleep."  As each sorority sister goes missing one by one, good girl Amy (Belland) has to survive her sandman attacks as the police scramble to find the killer.
     This movie is a great throwback to 80's slashers.  The film has that dark and brooding atmosphere that made the classic slashers so appealing.  I like the techniques the director used to give the film that "retro" look and feel.  This movie does succeed as being a homage to the classic films, where as of late a lot of films have failed at trying to recreate that same vibe.  The acting is not the best but it does not take away from the overall look and feel of the movie.  Some of the cast does a decent job, however, others are just painful to watch.  The special effects are not the greatest either but Russell knew that and added great camera work and lighting to make them more effective and gruesome.  Finally, the story is your typical slasher story and in many aspects remind me of the original Black Christmas.  Though the story is not that original and was played out in the 80's it is something not been seen since making it feel almost new.  I thoughly enjoy this new phase of making throwback films.  Overall, this is a great tribute to 80's slashers and I highly recommend it.



Monday, January 28, 2013

Zombie A-Hole

Director - Dustin Mills (The Puppet Monster Massacre)
Starring - Jessica Daniels (The Puppet Monster Massacre), Josh Eal, and Brandon Salkil (Night of the Tentacles)
Release Date - 2012
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Unstoppable...unrelenting...undead"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     When I ordered The Puppet Monster Massacre I went ahead and ordered Dustin Mills' other flick, Zombie A-Hole.  The trailer for this film looked awesome, not The Puppet Monster Massacre awesome, but awesome none-the-less.  After watching PMM I decided to go ahead and throw this one in with hopes that it would blow my mind like the previous film did.  I doubted that it would be worth a damn because I have seen a huge trend in recent years.  Up and coming directors start out with a bang and quickly start filming straight up garbage.  I was wrong.
     The film follows Frank Fulci (Eal) as he kills countless scores of the undead in search of a creature that killed his sister and left her twin disfigured.  The creature was once a man, a twin, that found an amulet which allowed a demon to enter his body.  The demon feeds on psychic energy and the best source for this is the brain matter of female twins.  As Fulci makes his way closer and closer to kill the vile creature he crosses paths with the demon's twin.  Fulci brings him along so he can use his psychic link to his brother to track him down, however, his one eyed sister is following them.  Fulci does not want his only surviving sister to pursue her revenge and forces her to go home.  Fulci and the demon's twin are able to track him down, however, the twin is mortally wounded after stealing the amulet from his brother.  The demon is now vulnerable but is still too powerful for Fulci to kill on his own.  Lucky for him, his sister does not listen very well and arrives just in time to kill the zombie a-hole with a giant laser...a giant fuckin' laser.
     I believe that Dustin Mills is a genius.  His films are fucking brilliant.  The look and feel of his films are amazing.  He is able to make his films look as if he had a bigger budget.  The acting in this is a little off.  Josh Eal does a great job when kicking undead ass, however, his character interactions are horrible.  With more work he could be a great actor, but I'm just not feeling him in this one.  The practical and visual effects are great and make for an amazing experience.  Mills definitely knows what he is doing when it comes to this aspect of the film.  This movie truly looks amazing.  I love the use of zombie puppets and how he incorporated them in to the film.  The shitty CGI only adds to the amazing appearance of the film.  The CGI is done in such a way that it only adds to the film instead of take away like it does in other films.  However, not all the special effects look amazing.  I do not like the look of the main villain, Zombie A-Hole.  The mask he is wearing gives the actor no room to express facial expressions.  This makes him look and feel fake.  Finally, the story is great.  Mills offers a new spin on the zombie sub-genre and adds a twist on your typical voodoo undead.  Overall, this a solid flick that will definitely hit you in the nuts.  Grab a copy.


Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Puppet Monster Massacre

Director - Dustin Mills (Zombie A-Hole)
Starring - Steve Rimpici (Alien Connection), Jessica Daniels (Zombie A-Hole), and Bart Flynn (The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy)
Release Date - 2010
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "The felt is gonna fly!"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     Horror films are simply amazing.  They can be bloody, gory, and filled with boobs or they can be aimed for children.  Horror is such a wide subject that can easily be molded to fit any situation or scenario.  Movies like Romero's classic Dawn of the Dead and Burial Ground offer the blood and guts while films like ParaNorman and Frankenweenie are only horror in spirit.  Then you find movies that fall somewhere in between.  These films are not for your serious gore hounds, your typical movie fans, or children looking for a little goosebumps.  These films are made to be fun and campy while taking the horror to ridiculous proportions.  After seeing the trailer on youtube for this film I knew this one would fall in to the latter.  The trailer is honestly the best trailer I had ever seen.  I watched it about 5 or 6 times back to back before ordering this film.  
     The film is simple enough.  A group of Nazi scientists create the ultimate fighting machine. They were able to create a creature that could eat nonstop and never be filled.  The creature could also grow after each feeding making it the perfect weapon to take over the world.  However, an American squad arrive as the scientists were celebrating their success and slaughter them all, except for Wolfgang Wagner.  He is able to escape as his wife and fellow scientists are gunned down.  We then jump to 1985 and young Charlie has been invited to a House on Haunted Hill style competition.  Charlie's grandpa is worried about the competition and his grandson's safety.  He knows Wagner is bad news but can not remember why.  Once inside the mansion, Charlie and a group of other local teens have to fight for survival against the flesh eating monster.  Wagner hand picked each person because they are related to the team of soldiers that slaughtered his wife and Charlie's grandpa led the attack.  Once Charlie's grandpa realizes who Wagner is he calls in a favor.  He once punched Hitler in the dick and the government owes him one and lend him an army.  After the creature feasts on numerous unnamed soldiers, it grows to imaginable proportions...that is until bad ass Grandpa kills it and Charlie kills Wagner.  
     I knew from the trailer that this film would kick my ass and I was right.  This film is absolutely amazing.  I love the mix of puppetry, animation, and cheap CGI.  I normally hate CGI but Dustin Mills is a genius and did it in such a way that the CGI folded perfectly with the animation.  I loved the story.  It was a nod to classic monster films and set during my favorite decade.  I also loved the nods to other classic films such as the original Night of the Living Dead and House on Haunted Hill.  The film mixes humor in with the horror creating a great atmosphere that does not leave a dull moment.  The special effects are amazing.  Like I said earlier, I really enjoy the look and feel of the movie.  The deaths are awesome and over the top.  I could write and write about how awesome this movie is but I will not.  You really need to go get your own copy of this amazing movie.  This movie is one hell of a ride that will leave you entertained and your underwear sticky. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

VHS/DVD/BluRay Update 1/25/13

Here is another update for you guys.  I just ordered near $250 so I wanted to post this update before those get here in the mail.