Monday, March 31, 2014

Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Ponies

Director - Laurent Malaquais (Clean Sweep)
Starring - John de Lancie (Zombie Hamlet), Alex Tibcken, and Tim Star
Release Date - 2012
Genre - Documentary
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     January of this year marked the one year anniversary of me writing for Horror Society and April brings about my 2 year anniversary of writing reviews on my blog in one form or another. In that time I have been sent numerous films to review and nothing is more humbling than receiving one to review.  Most of my reviews are for horror films that I receive but every once in a while I will get one that is not.  That brings me to the documentary Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony.  This was a new one to me and was out of my element but I wanted to review it because that was why it was sent to me.  So after sitting on it for awhile I decided it was time to give it a go.
     This documentary follows the children's television show My Little Pony that surprisingly turned into a hit among adults.  The documentary explores the unexpected cultural impact on the adults, music, and other forms of art and expression.  The film also dives into the lives of hardcore MLP fans, also known as bronies, and how this obsession has changed their lives.  This obsession has changed many of their lives for the better but for some it has brought about ridicule and scorn.
      Like I said earlier, I am always humbled when I receive a movie to review.  The fact that someone thinks highly enough about me to give a damn about my opinion really makes me feel like my words are going unnoticed. However, when I received this one I honestly couldn't figure out why.  However, I still wanted to review it because my friends over at MVD Visual was kind enough to send it to me and honestly I am glad I gave this random documentary a chance.  I like to randomly pick a documentary to watch on Netflix regardless of the topic.  That is the point of a documentary after all.  A documentary is made to educate those that do not know the topic.  However, I hate when a documentary only gives you one side of a subject and thankfully this one does not.  This documentary gives the viewer both sides of the bronies obsession.  We get real life testimonies of how people were affected positively and negatively by the show and in both cases it is really amazing at how this show has impacted these people like so.  The documentary also does a great job at providing mountains of information to the viewer.  The team behind the documentary did a great deal of research and it shows.  Sadly, due to the subject matter not many people will be able to experience all the hard work dedicated to this film.  Overall, Bronies is a well put together documentary about a naturally recurring phenomenon involving adults and a children's television show.  Sadly, not many people will be able to appreciate this due to the subject matter.  Hell, I don't give a fuck about the television show but this is one solid documentary.  Check it out if you are in the mood for something different.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Dog Dick

Director - James Bell
Release Date - 2014
Genre - Drama
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     Sometimes I will watch a handful of indie flicks that make me think that not all indie features are original. Some borrow heavily from other films and in most cases it's the films that inspired the filmmaker to make films.  I'm not saying all indie films are unoriginal just stating that a good portion borrowed from other films in one fashion or another (cue the angry emails).  However, I do come across some films that are so original that I can't find another film to compare it to.  That brings me to the experimental indie flick Dog Dick directed (or edited in a sense) by James Bell of Very Fine Crap Videos.  This film is unlike anything I have seen before which can be seen from the film's poster, stills, and trailer.  A horror minded friend that has recommend so many films to me for review told me that I really needed to check it out and I am damn glad I was able to check out this bizarre piece of cinema. 
     The film actually has no storyline.  The film follows various individuals as they go through the different stages of their day. Some of these people clearly have some sort of mental disabilities, physical disabilities, and possible drug or alcohol problems.  That also references the film's alternate title The Great White Apocalypse

     Before I saw this film I knew nothing about it other than the fact it would be extremely unique. After watching the film I personally had several questions.  Did Bell film this himself or did he find this footage at a yard sale or thrift store and then edited it together?  I was unable to find this information but Bell's YouTube channel stated that it took him three years to complete the project and I think all that hard work shows.  The film lacks actual actors and story but it more than makes up for it with several "what the fuck moments" that you just can't seem to pull your eyes away from.  The best way to sum this film up is to compare it to an extremely overweight couple eating in public.  You are disgusted with the entire scene but you just cant stop watching.  With all that being said, I did have a little trouble with a few of the scenes.  Most of them involving animal carcases and a wounded bird that could not fly.  Before you go all P.E.T.A. on Bell I have to take up for him.  He did not kill these animals nor did the people on film.  These animals were found dead and the bird was already found wounded.  Overall, Dog Dick is the weirdest fucking movie I have ever seen. I grew up in the poorest county in West Virginia and I saw a lot of shit growing up there, however, my life there did not prepare me for what director James Bell was about show me.  I highly recommend this one but be warned, if you have a weak stomach I would think twice about seeing this film!


Return to Nuke 'Em High Vol. 1

Director - Lloyd Kaufman (The Toxic Avenger, Terror Firmer)
Starring - Asta Paredes (The Secret Life of Walter Smitty), Catherine Corcoran (The Lovely Bones), and Vito Trigo (Science Team)
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "Readin...writin...radiation...again!"
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
      Troma is a name that everyone in the horror and indie community knows and loves.  Their films may not have big budgets and amazing talent but fuck are they entertaining. Troma made a huge stamp on the horror scene when they released the radioactive comedy The Toxic Avenger that was directed by Troma founder Lloyd Kaufman.  The film is hands down the most popular in the Troma catalog and that is for a good reason.  However, I personally enjoy the often overshadowed Troma classic Class of Nuke 'Em High.  Don't get me wrong, I really like Toxie but CoNEH is hands down my favorite Troma film.  Several years back I heard rumors and speculations on various horror sites that ol' Uncle Lloyd was working on a fourth film in the Nuke 'Em High series.  I, of course, jumped for joy but it would be years before solid evidence would surface.  I waited paitently and when the chance showed it's head I reached out to Troma who was nice enough to hook me up with a screener and for that I thank you so much!
      Return to Nuke 'Em High once again takes us back to the nuclear capital of the world, Tromaville.  It has been twenty years since the events that unfolded in Class of Nuke 'Em High: The Good, The Bad, and the Subhumanoid and a a food processing plant of some kind has been placed in the rubble of the former nuclear power plant.  This food plant provides Tromaville High School with their lunches which backfires in true Troma style.  Shit then hits the fan when the glee club is turned into a gang of mutants known as The Cretins.  The Cretins go on a bloody rampage killing and maming everything in Tromaville forcing two lesbian lovers, Chrissy (Paredes) and Lauren (Corcoran), to use their mutant dicks and tit milk to stop The Cretins from destroying everything they love. 
     Lloyd Kaufman and Troma knows sex, blood, and violence sells and that is why they cram so much of it into their movies.  When I get ready to watch a Troma film I can expect to see beautiful women that are afraid to wear clothes, buckets of blood and gore, and several violent act that most people would never consider putting in their films.  That is one of the many reasons I love the original film so much but Lloyd had to up the ante and he does just that making this film a worthy sequel to the original.  The acting in this one is hit or miss among the cast.  The actors that portrays The Cretins did a great job in their dual roles.  They are very convincing nerds and even more convincing anarchists.  Also, Asta Paredes and Catherine Corcoran did an amazing job...and they are hot as hell.  Watching Paredes flicking her bean is life changing and one of the film's many rewind moments.  Sadly, some of the other cast members made their scenes awkward to watch resulting in the viewer not fully appreciating the gag Kaufman was trying to pull off.  The story is not really new especially when dealing with this series.  The story is the same told in the original but with more modern pop culture references strung throughout.  In fact, I have spoke with other Nuke 'Em High fans that believe this to be a remake.  Finally, the film has more blood, gore, slime, and goo than any one film should.  The on screen kills and deaths are great and the special effects are even better.  Overall, Return to Nuke 'Em High is the bloody, and sexy, return of Lloyd Kaufman and Troma to the films many of us grew up loving.  This film needs to be seen by any Troma fan and any fan of great horror.  Check it out!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Day Job

Director - Dave O'Shea (Project M)
Starring - Dave O'Shea, Dominic Casazza, and Vanessa Guajardo
Release Date - 2012
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "Throughout history every stalker, every murderer, every monster had bills to pay"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     I love almost every horror sub-genre.  From comedy, to slasher, to zombie.  However, I have never been a fan of extreme horror. These films usually lack story and try to make up for it with shock value and twisted perversions.  I'm all for sex and violence in film but it has to fit the plot otherwise it would just be a porn.  However, I do sometimes cross paths with an extreme horror film that has a solid point and is able to draw my attention in without fucking a girl in the rectum with a crucifix.  That brings me to the film Day Job by director and star Dave O'Shea. Dave emailed me about reviewing his film and I graciously said yes.  I knew nothing of the film before hand but the poster and tagline definitely intrigued me. 
     The film follows Nick (O'Shea).  Nick is a your typical cable guy.  Nick is like most of us.  He has to work to pay his bills while making sure assholes and beautiful women have access to their day time television shows. The thing that sets Nick apart from the rest of us is his dark obsession with the women he helped.  He often steals their panties but his dark desires do not end there.  Nick then obsesses over the females until he kidnaps them and takes them back to his torture chamber where him and another man in drag rapes and tortures these helpless women until one day they snag the wrong girl.  Nick kidnaps a stripper whose father owns the club she strips at.  He is able to track Nick and his transgendered partner and kill them both.
     When I received my copy of the film I expected this to be one of those boring ass extreme horror films that try to shove as much disgusting and vile acts as it can in the film's running time. However, what I was treated to was a film that was dark, disgusting, and sometimes funny.  Though the film can easily be categorized as part of the modern torture porn sub-genre (Saw, Vomit Gore Trilogy) it stands out due to the humor and characterization.  This film truly is unique.  The acting in this film not award winning or amazing by any standard, but I wouldn't say it was the worst I have seen.  In fact, is it far from being the worst acting I have seen.  The talent is there it just lacks the experience.  The story for this one is very fun and shows a lot of thought has been placed into.  Which is kinda scary considering what the story for this film is.  I also really enjoyed how this film had some laughs (intentional and unintentional) while keeping the dark and deranged tone.  With that being said, the film is a little too long and some of the scenes had unnecessary dialogue and filler.  Finally, the film does not really have that many impressive kills and special effects.  The film does not try to impress with blood and gore.  Instead, the film's intended purpose is to tell a story and that story is EVERYONE has a dark side.  Overall, Day Job is a realistic look at the life of a true maniac.  This is truly a depraved masterpiece.  Check it out and enjoy!

Scream Park

Director - Cary Hill (Battle of Athens)
Starring - Nicole Beattie (Young Harvest), Steve Rudzinski (Super Task Force One), and Kailey Marie Harris
Release Date - 2012
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Death is the new attraction"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Lately I have been reviewing a rather large amount of indie slashers and to be honest I love every minute of it. Sure, I could grab one of the thousands of these post-Walking Dead zombie apocalypse horror films that offers nothing new nor entertaining.  But I would rather watch something fun and entertaining.  These slashers are mostly great and pay homage and tribute to the slashers I loved growing up.  I was excited to watch and review the slasher Scream Park.  I found a review for the film floating around and had to see it so I reached out to the Facebook page for the film to see how I could get a copy.  However, before I received an answer the film arrived in the mail.  It was sent by one of the best indie distributors, Wild Eye Releasing, and the second I had a chance I sat down and gave it a go.
     The film follows a group of teens that work for a failing amusement park. The park is closing and the teens, along with the park manager (Steve Rudzinski), decide to have one last night of partying at the park after it's last day open.  However, they are not the only ones at the park.  In true slasher style each member at the party ventures off and dies a horrible and gorey death until they eventually realize that two mask men are out to kill them all.  It is then that the park manager remembers a conversation he had earlier with the park's owner (Hellraiser's Doug Bradley).  The park owner mentioned that if something macabre or sinister took place at the park then people would once again pay to enter.  It is then that the park manager and the film's final girl realize that the park's owner is behind the massacre in order to increase profits.
      I love when a modern slasher pays homage to the classic slashers of the 80s.  I love it even more when the film's plot follows the same formula as those films from that era and then swerves off the path somewhere near the end for a fun and entertaining story.  Personally, I love the original formula that most slashers followed involving revenge and the whole "who done it" angle.  However, I also like when a film ventures from the beaten path.  That is one of my favorite parts of Scream Park.  The film is a straight forward slasher until the films final moments and it is revealed who the killers really are and why.  I thought this was fucking clever and made me really appreciate the film even more.  The acting in this film is actually pretty well done too.  The entire cast did a great job and this is another film that shows that director Steve Rudzinski not only has a talent for behind the camera, but in front of it as well.  The film also showcases some extremely beautiful ladies.  These girls are fucking hot as hell.  Finally, the film has some impressive slasher kills.  The kills are great to look at and the special effects are just good enough to pull them off but they are nothing new nor original.  Overall, Scream Park is the slasher that modern slashers try to be.  It has a great story and solid kills making this one a keeper.  Check it out!

Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan (2013)

Axe Giant:  The Wrath of Paul Bunyan
Directed by:  Gary Jones
Starring:  Joe Estevez, Don Haggerty, Thomas Downey, Amber Conner, Tim Lovelace, Jesse Cove, Christina Kopf, Jill Evan, Clifton Williams, Victoria Ramos, Chris Hahn
Format:  Netflix Streaming
Tagline:  This Tall Tale Is Killer

(out of 5)

     What is it about SyFy style monster movies that I love?  I absolutely hate bad cgi with a passion especially blood as I probably mention in every review but for some reason these kinds of movies just get a pass.  In fact I look forward to the cheese of their computer generated imagery.  I must say that this one did have some really shoddy cgi scenes for example any of the scenes with Babe the big blue ox but other than that the cgi was actually not so bad.  Using both practical fx and cgi really set this one above some of the others like it.  I also have a fetish for fairy tale/urban legends/superstitions turned into horror films.  So here we have Paul Bunyan the great axe wielding lumberjack who took down trees with just one swing of his axe. 
     So a group of boot camp wannabes head out in the woods for a little field trip of sorts, teaching them about life that sort of thing.  The kids have all had their fair share of legal problems but their biggest problem has just become a giant head chopping forest freak named Paul Bunyon.  See Paul Bunyon was not the man who we know from our books of fairy tales.  Paul was banished from the small local town close to where the kids are camping.  After he was banished a group of hungry hunters go out in search of Babe the blue ox when times get tough one winter in regards to food sources.  Once the hunters bag Babe they take her back to their cabin and cook her up over a fire.  Well of course Paul is out searching for Babe and when he finds her charred body over a
spit at the hunter's cabin he goes completely ape shit and kills them all with his axe except the very man "Grizzly Adams" himself who shot Babe right between the eyes.  Good ol' Grizzly Adams gets a tree saw through the head and boy was that kill a gruesome one. 
     So of course as I mentioned before this is the land where our group of outcasts decides to camp.  One by one they are all killed by the 15 foot monster.  The gore is great in this movie.  I can't say it's all top quality but it definitely didn't fall short with the red stuff.  One girl even gets chopped in half from her head to her feet.  I've seen a bunch of reviews trashing the hell out of this movie including my most hated site which I will not plug here because it's so "rotten" but I think most people critics or otherwise sit down and rate every film by the same standards.  Not me every movie has it's own standards and this campy fun type of film did very well in comparison to a lot of films of it's kind. 
   In the end I was more than happy with this one.  Yeah sure Babe looked like a video game effect and some of the gore was not practical and the acting was a bit sub-par but all in all considering I liked the movie enough to take it to the third hand print.  It's no award winner but for a good Saturday afternoon ball of cheese I'll take it!