Thursday, August 29, 2013

REC 3: Gensis (2012)

REC 3:  Genesis (2012)
directed by:  Paco Plaza
starring:  Leticia Dolera, Diego Martín, Ismael Martinez
Genre:  Horror
Format:  Online Preview

(Out of 5)
     Not going to waste a lot of time on this negative rant but here goes nothing.  The REC films by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza are sheer masterpieces.  Raw terror, unrelenting brutal deaths at the hands of the possessed!  Not zombies, not infected, not kidding.  It takes watching both films to really understand what's going on in the apartment building where it seems as if an "infection" is happening.  Both films run right off one another as if it's just one whole movie.  You cannot say that at all for this movie.  It's called Genesis and I've read it ties in things you missed from the previous 2.  Where?  When?  Maybe I was just seeing red the whole time but I never saw it and nor did I need to.  I don't have a whole lot of questions left after 2.  Certain films are done so well to make a shitty sequel is just to me a travesty especially when the director is one of the two who directed the first two.  Well obviously we know who the driving force was in the previous films. 
     The art was gone, the novelty was gone, and the terror was gone.  What we have left is really not a terrible film per say but tagging on that REC in the title just ruins it period.  It's not POV, so it's not an REC film end of story.  At first it seems that way then the camera man gets killed and bang it jumps to regular film shooting style and thus it was all I could do to not shut it off.  Our leading lady is the only reason this film doesn't get a DUD rating from me.  Oh and our possessed have the ability to fly in this one and it jumped from two of the scariest films ever to just another jokey gore film.  Which I like but not this time.  Great fx let's throw that in and that's all I have to say about the movie for the most part. 
     It takes place during a wedding a bunch of the party goers get possessed and attack the non-possessed including our chainsaw wielding heroine.  The chase starts in the ball room and kitchen and ends up in the sewers with plenty of gore and effects to go around.  Making a crappy remake doesn't burst my bubble it's a remake, making a bad sequel however just plain, "sucks" to quote Beavis and Butthead.  It should be noted the REC series also spawned an American remake one year later which wasn't awful but that cinematography wasn't the same and frankly it irritates me when they remake a film because America movie goers can't handle other languages.  The Grudge is the worst example of this by far.  Plus I don't know there should be some kind of time rule for remakes hahaha.


Gothic and Lolita Psycho

Director - Go Ohara (Geisha vs. Ninjas)
Starring - Rina Akiyama (Einstein Girl), Ruito Aoyagi (Frogs on Screen), and Asami (Zombie Ass: Toilet of the Dead)
Release Date - 2010
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Format - Streaming (Netflix)

Rating (Out of 5):
     Recently I watched the Asian splatter flick Helldriver and I fucking loved it.  After I took out the DVD for that film I quickly turned to Netflix to see what I could find that was similar to that one and I found a slew of films.  I couldn't make my mind up so I just closed my eyes and whichever the cursor fell on would be my next movie.  That movie just happened to be Gothic and Lolita Psycho.  This movie was one I had never heard of before but if it was similar in anyway to Helldriver then I had to give it a go.  The poster did not look as silly as the one for Helldriver.  It made the movie seem like it was a little more serious and that intrigued me even more.
     The film follows a young girl who lives with her loving mother and father.  They have the picture perfect family until one day a gang invades their home and kills her mother and leaves her and her father for dead.  However, her and her father survives and she turns to the gothic lifestyle and vows revenge on those who took her mother away from her. She wields her black (and sexy) ensemble and a deadly umbrella and sets out to kill all those responsible.  Each person she kills is represented by a tarot card and she hunts them in order often culminating into a fight scene.  She makes her way through all the killers until she reaches her final fight where her father's life is on the line.  You will have to watch it to find out what happens.
     I don't understand why there are no American films like this.  Sure, we have our own share of splatter flicks like those by the Godfather of Gore, Heschell Gordon Lewis, but none are comparable to those being made in Japan.  The closest thing I can think of off the top of my head anywhere close to this that was made in America was the damn play scene in the 1991 film The Addams Family where Wednesday and Pugsley sword fight.  Anyway, I think Asian splatter is starting to become a new obsession with me.  I have instant queued every film I can find on Netflix and made several trips out to buy them on DVD and Bluray with this movie only adding to that obsession.  This movie is entertaining from start to finish.  Within the first 15 minutes the viewer is treated to a noodle eater being disemboweled and a beautiful women is ripped apart by an umbrella.  The acting is the the same most other Asian splatter films.  It is over-dramatic, zany, and over-the-top making it fun as hell to watch.  The story is your typical revenge tale but this film is a little more serious than Helldriver, Machine Girl, and Mutant Girls Squad.  Don't get me wrong, it did make me laugh but as an overall film it is a lot more serious.  Finally, this film has some of the best practical effects I have seen out of the Asian splatter flicks.  The kills and gore look great and will satisfy even the most stubborn critic.  However, there is a few scenes that utilize CGI and it is very noticeable.  I'm not saying that it looks bad but it sticks out.  Overall, this is fantastic film filled with fight scenes, blood, beautiful girls, and tons of gore.  I highly recommend.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Prowler

aka Rosemary's Killer

Director - Joseph Zito (Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, Invasion U.S.A.)
Starring - Vicky Dawson (After School Specials), Christopher Goutman (The Edge of Night), and Lawrence Tierney (Wizards of the Demon Sword)
Release Date - 1981
Genre - Horror
Tagline(s) - "It will freeze your blood" "The human exterminator" " if you think you're safe... you're DEAD wrong" and "the film that shocked America"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

 Rating (out of 5):
     It is no secret that I love slashers.  I will watch a slasher regardless if it is worth a damn or not just to see it.  However, there are very few 80's slashers that I can tolerate to watch over and over again and then there are even fewer that I can say I like.  Most are part of the Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm St series.  The remaining few are the original My Bloody Valentine and April Fool's Day.  Sadly, that is all I can think of as the moment.  That being said.  One more that I can watch over and over again and never tire of is The Prowler but most VHS collectors may know it as Rosemary's Killer.  I was in high school when I watched this movie for the first time.  A friend of mine was obsessed with Tom Savini and collected everything he touched.  It was only a matter of time before my friend found a copy of this on VHS and ordered it and I have watched it multiple times a year ever since.  
     The film opens in 1945 and a graduation ball is underway.  Prior to the ball a young girl, Rosemary, broke up with her boyfriend with a "Dear John" letter.  Later that night her date and her are brutally murdered with a pitch fork. The film jumps thirty-five years and the graduation ball is once again underway.  As everyone rushes to get ready for the ball people start to go missing and bodies turn up.  The police suspect the original killer is behind it all but is he?
     Slashers are not known for their heartwarming and complex story lines.  Instead, they rely on nudity and debauchery while giving the audience great kills.  That is why I love this movie.  The movie follows the true slasher formula perfectly and delivers one truly entertaining slasher film.  The acting is easily one of the best I recall seeing in a slasher film outside of a franchise.  The entire cast does a great job and that helps make the movie easy to follow.  The story is nothing original and can be seen hundreds of times in other slashers, however, the special effects and kills are what set this one off from the rest.  The special effects in this one are great and that is because they were handled by fx expert Tom Savini.  I really wish Savini would do effects on the modern wave of 80s inspired slashers.  That would make them so much better.  Overall, The Prowler is a top notch slasher that should be watched.  It may not offer anything new to the sub-genre but it is fun and gruesome.  I highly recommend it!


Director - Yoshihiro Nishimura (Mutant Girls Squad)
Starring - Yumiko Hara (Helter Skelter), Eihi Shiina (Audition), and Kazuki Namioka (Death Note: L Change the World)
Release Date - 2010
Genre - Horror/Comedy/Sci-Fi
Tagline(s) - "A joy ride" and "buttobase"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     It is surprising what you will find if you dig deep enough in to the $5 bin at Wal-Mart.  I have found some of my favorite DVDs doing that.  Sure, you have to dig through the chaotic mess of Van Wilder and random VeggieTales DVDs but every once in awhile you strike gold.  That is how I came across this film here.  I have seen it on Netflix while searching for a movie but never really gave it much thought.  One day I was literally digging through the $5 bin when I found this near the bottom.  I had no idea what the movie was about but with the Sushi Typhoon logo you cannot go wrong especially for just $5.  So I grabbed it and after a few months I decided to give it a go.
     The film begins with a meteor crashing through the chest of a young girl's wicked mother ripping out her heart. She then rips out her daughter's heart, who she can not stand, and puts it back in her chest before she is encased in a yellow cocoon.  She then spits ash in to the air.  The ash coats the northern part of the country turning the inhabitants into the flesh eating undead with a yellow stock protruding from their forehead.  The young girl is rescued and has an artificial heart put it before she is charged with going in and killing the zombie queen...her evil mother.
     If you have seen Machine Girl and Mutant Girls Squad then you may think you know what to expect from a film like this but your mind is completely incapable of thinking of the stuff this movie has to offer.  To be completely honest I don't think I could fully explain this movie in the space I have available for the review.  As for the film, the acting is completely over-dramatic and outlandish but that only adds to the film making it even more enjoyable.  The film is dubbed so that makes it a little harder to judge the acting but you can still really enjoy it.  The plot is not in place to tell a story but only there to hold all the gore and blood together.  There is just way too much going on to try to follow every little detail so I recommend to just sitting back and turning your mind off for some mindless fun.  Finally, the film is busting at the seems with great special effects and some amazing on screen kills.  There film has a metric ton of practical effects meshed with some CGI.  The practical effects look great, however, the CGI in some scenes look bad.  Once the two are combined the film looks amazing.  Overall, this film is insane, bloody, gory, and completely mental.  I highly recommend this one especially if you love Asian horror.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Psycho's Medley

Writer - Terry M. West
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Horror
Format - E-Book (Personal Copy)

Rating (out of 5):
          When I was in high school I was a huge fan of Buckethead.  When he starts to shred you shut the fuck up.  Anyway, I was a huge fan of his and discovered he did the soundtrack for the horror flick Flesh for the Beast directed by Terry M. West.  I ordered it from ebay because the nearest store to my home at that time that sold DVDs was over an hour away so ebay was my only hope.  The second I watched the film I became an avid fan of West and tried to follow his career and then it abruptly stopped.  Recently, I became friends with West on Facebook where I have been star struck from day one and he was nice enough to send me the book to review.   So thank you Mr. West for sending me this book to review!
     The book is an anthology consisting of six short stories.  The first story is A Psycho's Medley which depicts a serial killer that has been apprehended by the police.  He is now in a mental institution and has been given pen and paper to tell his life story.  The second story is The Night Out and follows a pervert that goes out on the prowl to find his next euphoric event only to cross paths with someone from his past.  The third story is called Morsel and follows a a business man away from his nagging wife on a business trip.  He calls up an escort and has his way with her.  He then mutilates and disembowels her but was it only a dream?  The fourth story, Waiting for Thunder, is a short about commitment more or less.  The fifth story is Traiteur and follows a father and son pair hunting in the swamp but the game is not what you would expect.  Finally, the sixth story is the Blood and Hair Machine and follows a young boy who lost his parents and has went down a dark path where he eventually meets a sideshow performer who has a dark side of her own.
     I finished this book a few days ago but decided that my review for the book would be biased but I decided to review it anyway because I would be honest regardless if I am a fan of the author or not.  As for the novel, it was great.  The last book I completed was The Hobbit about 6 months ago and I have yet to read a book since then.  However, reading this amazing piece of literature by West has sparked my old love of reading and I am now working on his newest short Car Nex to review very soon for you beautiful people.  The book is a very easy read and the stories West has crafted are very enjoyable...for the most part.  Just like most anthologies this one has some high points and one very low point.  All the stories, with the exception of one, are great but my favorite had to be Blood and Hair Machine.  That short was great and I would love to see a film adaptation of it.  Sadly, the story Waiting for Thunder was the weakest in the anthology.  The entire anthology would have been better as a whole if that one would have been exempt from the final product.  Overall, West once again shows he knows horror and what fans truly want out of the genre.  I highly recommend it. 


Director(s) - John B. Sovie II (F4L: Friends 4 Life) and Kristian Hanson (F4L: Friends 4 Life)
Starring - Travis Hanson (The Black and White Maze of the Painted Zebra), Kristian Hanson, and Dustin Bowman (The Pancake Killer)
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline(s) - "He is just a psycho with a sledge" and "He didn't drown, he wasn't burned, and he doesn't hear voices; he's just a psycho with a sledge"
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Not long ago I was browsing horror reviews on blogs when I came across a review for the film Sledge.  The movie looked really good but I was unable to find a link for the film.  After just a few minutes of searching I gave up and quickly forgot about the film.  A few days later I visited another blog and saw a review for the same film.  This time the review had a link but when I clicked it I discovered a dead link that was not properly added to the review.  Later, I checked my Facebook and noticed a few people had actually liked the page so I was able to finally find them.  I messaged them and they were nice enough to send me an online screener to review so thank you guys so much!
     The film follows a beautiful young girl watching a late night horror show.  The film she is watching is Sledge.  So this film is essentially a film in a film.  In-sledge-tion?   Anyway, the film she is watching follows a group of twenty-somethings who decide to go camping. The group consists of two couples and a fifth wheel who is the ex of one of the girls.  Unbeknown to them a killer is stalking the woods killing everybody in his path unless you are mentally disabled and eat dog shit skittles.  Anyway, the wisecracking killer works his way through the group until only the two ex-lovebirds are left and they reveal they still love each other only to have a final showdown with the masked killer.
     The reviews I found for this film all made the film sound great but they did not do the film justice.  This is honestly one of the best slashers I have seen in recent years. When I requested the screener the person behind the Sledge Facebook page kept warning me that it was a horror comedy which indicated they had no idea who I was or what kind of films I like.  I love a good mix of horror and comedy and I especially love seeing them combined in a sub-genre that I am not used to seeing it in.  I have seen humor added to slashers but it usually goes unnoticed other than the Nightmare on Elm St series and Student Bodies.  This film was able to incorporate it in and made it very effective.  I laughed a lot at this film which is a shocker when compared to other indie horror flicks.  The acting is very good by the entire cast and an amazing performance was delivered by the man behind the mask.  This film needs a sequel starring the same masked killer and we should not have to wait years for it.  The story is nothing new.  This is the same tired slasher formula but with humor added to it.  Sure, the film relies heavily on one liners and puns but it still entertains and that is the bottom line for any film.  Finally, the film does not have a lot of on screen kills.  Instead, the film opted to have them mostly off screen with the blood and gore splattering on the screen.  This was effective and a great way to make the kills look good without relying on horrible practical effects that could ruin the kill.  Overall, Sledge is a fun slasher flick that will make you laugh even as the blood as flying at you.  Brutal and funny just the way I like em!  I highly recommend it.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Watch This

Director(s) - Shawn Burket (Bludgeon), Ryan Stacy (Midsummer Nightmares), and Jesse Kennedy
Starring - Scott Gillespie (Bludgeon), Erin R. Ryan (Easter Casket), and Ayse Howard (The Sleeping Soul)
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Horror
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
A few months back Concept Media's Shawn Burkett hit me with some information about an upcoming anthology film with segments directed by himself, fellow Concept Media co-founder Ryan Stacy, and Jesse Kennedy.  I was unfamiliar with Jesse Kennedy but I was very excited to see what Ryan Stacy and Shawn Burkett had in store for us now.  The film consisted of the segments Woodford County directed by Jesse Kennedy, the segment Summon written by horror hottie Ayse Howard and directed by Shawn Burkett, the third segment is The Way of the Buffalo directed once again by Shawn Burkett, and the final segment is Ladies Night directed by Ryan Stacy.  I have watched and reviewed The Way of the Buffalo before (catch the review here) but I was really excited to see the other shorts.  Burkett was kind enough to send me an online screener to review so thank you good sir!
     The film consists of four segments.  The first segment is Woodford County.  This segment follows a deranged killer that is killing a small community one by one.  The second segment is The Way of the Buffalo and is a found footage film about a sadistic man that idolizes serial killers of the past until the point he starts to stalk and kill his own prey.  The third segment is Ladies Night and follows a group of young girls that decide to party with three guys after becoming lost where things quickly turns bloody.  The final segment is Summon and follows two girls who are madly in love but their local community have shunned them.  They turn to the occult and raise a demon to so they can live the life they want. 
     I hate reviewing anthologies and I especially hate reviewing anthologies when each segment is directed by someone different. I love anthologies but I feel that I should separate each segment and give them the proper respect they all deserve.  So lets get down to it.  Woodford County was the weak point of the anthology.  The acting shown a lot of inexperience making the film really hard to follow.  This is another prime example of practice coming in handy.  The story is also something very unoriginal and not delivered very well.  It had potential but fell short.  I am not going to discuss The Way of the Buffalo.  I reviewed it once before and no need to go over that one again.  Ladies Night, the third segment, is easily the high point of the film.  The acting is not the best but does show talent.  Some scenes are better than others when it comes to that aspect.  However, the ladies are extremely beautiful and makes me wonder if I should be moving to the state the director calls home.  Jaw dropping beauty.  The story is one I am sure has been told before but not in this way.  The movie totally catches you off guard with the twist ending and I would love to see a sequel to this one with the lovely young ladies returning.  The final segment, Summon, is another great segment but is way too short.  Right when the story is getting good we get a "to be concluded" logo across the screen.  This one needs to be concluded fucking soon.  The acting is the best in the film and once again we get something nice to look at with Ayse Howard and a scantily clad Erin Ryan as the demon.  This only solidifies that I need to pack up and move to this unknown location overrun with beautiful ladies!  The story is also one that has been told hundreds of times but with a modern twist that fits perfectly with the modern LGBT movement.  Overall, Watch This is a solid anthology filled with deadly beauties, demons, and maniacs.  I highly recommend this solid indie flick!