Thursday, March 31, 2016


Director - Reinert Kiil (Fuck Norge)
Starring - Isabel Vibe (Dr. Sex), Rudy Claes (Maniac), and Kenneth Falkenberg
Release Date - 2009
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "A woman's ultimate revenge"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Norway is a country known for many things but not their horror which is sad because the ones I have seen were very impressive.  Films like Dead Snow and Trollhunter were great because they were light hearted and full of comedy.  Sadly, not all of Norway's horror films are like that.  Most try to be too extreme and lacked any real story to pull the viewer in.  Most of you know how I feel about extreme horror.  It only works if you have the right story.  Gore and depravity never works if you don't have a story that could be believable.  My most recent review focuses on one of the newest releases from Wild Eye.  The film, Whore or Hora in Norwegian, is considered the first grindhouse or exploitation film from Norway which is a big deal historically.  I had high hopes for the film.  I never watch a trailer to a film I'm going to review but I was just too curious about this one.  The trailer painted a pretty bold picture and the film's female lead, Isabel Vibe, is a knockout.  I looked her up and learned that she is actually a porn star and yes, I did watch some of her films.  Can't blame me for that!  Thanks for sending this one my way!
     The film follows author Rikke (Vibe) who decides that she needs to get away from people to focus on her new book.  She goes to a cabin in the countryside that is secluded for a little peace and quiet.  She stops for gas on the outside of town and meets some of the local men who have an eye for a nice ass.  They flirt with her a bit and then she leaves.  She gets settled in to her home to write but finds herself just relaxing around in her underwear and smoking most of the time.  Things take a dark turn when those men she met earlier, along with a simpleton cashier at the grocery store, arrive and have their way with her.  They rape and torture her repeatedly before carving hora on her forehead and leaving her for dead.  She quickly recovers and goes on a bloody rampage killing any and everyone that had something to do with her brutal rape and torture.
     I went into this one thinking it would be similar to I Spit on Your Grave which is the first film I ever watched that bothered me on an emotional and psychological level.  I was 12 when first saw that film around 1998 and it bothered me for days.  It took some time before I was able to forget that movie but I have since watched it several times and really respect the impact the film has on cinema especially considering when it was originally made.  I knew the film would be similar but I had no idea it would be a Norwegian remake with none of the style or tension the original possessed.  The acting in this one is surprisingly well done.  The film's lead, Vibe, is extremely sexy and used that to her advantage.  She relied heavily on this instead of her acting skill.  Her sex appeal was nice to look at but she was not the best actress and her scenes paid the price for that.  Even her rape scene was unconvincing.  With that being said, the rest of the film was very well acted.  Vibe's supporting cast brought some great performances.  The film's villains were on point and you really hate them after the rape scene.  The story for this one is almost a scene for scene remake of I Spit on Your Grave.  The original film was released in 1978 and left an impact on horror at the time.  Sadly, the story has been played out by 2009 resulting in films that no longer have the shock they once did.  The story was not that original nor was it that effective.  Finally, the film has several on screen kills.  These kills are bloody and brutal but nothing we haven't seen before.  They were entertaining but used very little practical effects.  This minimal approach to the effects stops the kills from reaching their full potential.  Overall, Whore is not the film I was expecting.  It is unoriginal and has no sense of atmosphere and suspense.  The kills are decent but nothing memorable.  If you want a great Wild Eye film then I suggest checking out Rags and skipping this one.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Madness of Many

Director - Kasper Juhl (Monstrosity)
Starring - Ellen Abrahamson (Version Noll), Alexandra Alegren (Supernova), and Dinna Ophelia Haeklund (Tour de Force)
Release Date - 2013
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "The most controversial film ever made in Denmark"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     When it comes to horror there are names that everyone knows and respects.  Fred Vogel and Toe Tag, Ryan Nicholson and Plot Digger, Dustin Mills and Dustin Mills Productions, and Stephen Biro with Unearthed Films.  Sadly, just because they are well known and respected that does not mean that everyone likes their films.  Stephen Biro and Unearthed Films have carved a name for themselves in the horror underground with their releases of American Guinea Pig, Vomit Gore Trilogy, Collar, and so forth. Recently, they released Madness of Many on DVD from Denmark filmmaker Kasper Juhl.  I was intrigued by this but I have not been a fan of Unearthed Films.  I did not care for AGP but Collar was a solid release.  I tried to keep an open mind but deep down I was afraid this would be a big stinker.
     The film follows Victoria.  Victoria has lived a very rough life.  She was sexually abused by her parents when she was young and this lead to her dependency on drugs.  As she gets older she finds herself selling her body to anyone with some change so she can get her next fix.  She is soon bound, tortured, and starved for sometime until she is able to escape but her freedom does not last for long.  She soon finds herself in the middle of a hell she can not fathom.

     Sometime last year I reviewed the experimental gore film Flowers released by Unearthed Films.  The film lacked plot but offered up some great gore.  It was a chore to watch but the gore was amazing and made up for the film's lack of story.  Fast forward to today and this Unearthed Films release of Madness of Many feels like I was watching the same exact film that lacked the gore.  The acting in this one is not that great.  The film just follows Victoria, and other characters, while she narrates.  This gets old very quickly.  There is no real acting other than the cast just standing around acting out scenarios with little to no dialogue.  Maybe some real scenes with dialogue and character interactions would have made this film a lot better.  The story for this one is lacking.  The plot does not have enough substance to make a full length feature film.  Edited heavily it could have been an effective short but lacks a coherent story to hold the viewer's attention for over an hour.  The film's high point is the little bit of gore we do get but gore without story is just that, pointless gore.  Finally, the film does have several scenes full of torture and gore with some great practical effects but it is just a small portion of the film.  Overall, Madness of Many was a huge let down.  The film had no story and very little gore considering.  The film tries to be something more than your everyday horror flick and fails to offer up anything entertaining.  Skip this one and check out Flowers.

Death Walks Twice: Two Films By Luciano Ercoli

The Italian horror classics finally premiere on Blu-ray in this beautifully restored, limited edition collection.

Emerging at the peak of the giallo boom of the early '70s, Luciano Ercoli's Death Walks films are two superlative examples of the genre linked by their shared casting of the stunning Nieves Navarro (billed under her adopted stage name of Susan Scott) as the lead woman in peril. In Death Walks on High Heels (1971), exotic dancer Nicole (Navarro), the daughter of a murdered jewel thief, finds herself terrorised by a black-clad assailant determined on procuring her father's stolen gems. Fleeing Paris and her knife-wielding pursuer, Nicole arrives in London only to discover that death stalks her at every corner. Returning in Death Walks at Midnight (1972), Navarro stars as Valentina - a model who, in the midst of a drug-fuelled photoshoot, witnesses a brutal murder in the apartment opposite hers. But when it becomes clear that the savage slaying she describes relates to a crime that took place six months earlier, the police are at a loss - forcing Valentina to solve the mystery alone. Offering up all the glamour, perversity and narrative twists and turns that are typical of the giallo genre at its best, Luciano Ercoli's Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight anticipate the super-stylized trappings of Brian De Palma's early psycho thrillers (most notably, Dressed to Kill).

Limited Edition boxed-set (3000 copies) containing Death Walks on High Heels and Death Walks at Midnight
Brand new 2K restorations of the films from the original camera negatives
High Definition Blu-ray (1080p) and Standard Definition DVD presentations
Original Italian and English soundtracks in mono audio (uncompressed PCM on the Blu-rays)
Newly translated English subtitles for the Italian soundtracks
Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing for the English soundtracks
Limited Edition 60-page booklet containing new writing from authors Danny Shipka (Perverse Titillation: The Exploitation Cinema of Italy, Spain and France), Troy Howarth (So Deadly, So Perverse: 50 Years of Italian Giallo Films) and writer Leonard Jacobs,
Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas
Introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
Newly-edited archive interview with director Luciano Ercoli and actress Nieves Navarro
Master of Giallo - brand new interview in which Gastaldi discusses Death Walks on High Heels and offers up his thoughts as to what constitutes a good giallo
An interview with composer Stelvio Cipriani
Original Italian trailer
Original English trailer
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx
Audio commentary by film critic Tim Lucas
Introduction to the film by screenwriter Ernesto Gastaldi
Extended TV version of the feature [105 mins]
Crime Does Pay - brand new interview in which Gastaldi discusses Death Walks at Midnight and a career script-writing crime films
Desperately Seeking Susan - a visual essay by Michael Mackenzie exploring the distinctive giallo collaborations between director Luciano Ercoli and star Nieves Navarro
Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx

Tuesday, March 29, 2016


Director - Krist Rufty (Psycho Holocaust, Cutting Room)
Starring - Vanelle (Dark Awakening, It's Supernatural), Billy Garberina (Necroville, Geek War), Samantha Novak (I Heart U, Wicked Wood)
Release Date - 2011
Genre - Horror/Fantasy/Comedy
Tagline - "It will tear you to pieces"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     This year I have watched some very unique films ranging from sexploitation to horror.  The few years I have been reviewing indie horror films I find myself watching no budget slashers and Walking Dead rip-off zombie flicks.  Very few horror films have imagination.  Most of the one's that I review are always very simple stories that almost always have a story that I have seen in at least a dozen movies.  Not long ago Wild Eye sent me some more films to check out.  Among the stack of movies was the 2011 horror fantasy film Rags from director Krist Rufty.  The film had my attention but when I saw Billy Garberina was involved I was hooked.  Thanks Wild Eye for sending another one my way.
     The film follows a female junkie who lives with her pimp and another whore.  He pimps them out to as many Johns as he can and, in return, allows them to get fucked up on his stash.  She was once married and expecting but left her husband to come back to her pimp and drugs.  She lost her child during birth and now her ex-husband is trying to find her.  He hires a private investigator to find her which he does.  He pounds her out and then tells the husband where she can be found.  He warns him about how dangerous the pimp is but the husband refuses to listen.
     Rags is a bit of a confusing film.  The film's artwork, above, paints a pretty gruesome picture but the film was anything but.  The movie actually surprised me and Garberina had me in stitches.  The acting in this one is very one sided.   The film has some amateur performances that show talent but lack experience and then you have the intense performance from Billy Garberina who steals every scene he is in.  It was not fair to the remainder of the cast that they had to share the camera with Garberina.  The story for this one is a great fantasy horror film that I believe borrows heavily from Alice Through the Looking Glass.  It was great, had tons of twist and turns, and then went bleak delivering some horror that was very unexpected.  The film did drag on a bit at times and needed edited a little better to make the story tighter but it still delivered when it counted.  Finally, the film does have a few on screen kills hat are not that impressive or entertaining.  However, the film delivers the gore in other ways that I will not mention to prevent from spoiling.  The effects for these are minimal but they rely heavily on camera work and editing to pull the gag off.  Overall, Rags is one impressive piece of indie cinema.  The film has one of the most memorable characters I have seen in recent years and one highly entertaining story that goes against the current infatuation with slashers and zombies.  Check out this highly original film whenever you get a chance.  


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Blood Rage

Director - John Grissmer (False Face)
Starring - Louise Lasser (Frankenhooker), Mark Soper (Graveyard Shift II), and Marianne Kanter (Devil's Angels)
Release Date - 1987
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "This Thanksgiving it's not cranberry cause"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Horror is and always will be my favorite genre.  I love em all for the most part from zombies, to comedies, and even the ones made for children.  They all offer up something different and unique while others simply bore me like giallo and Italian cannibal flicks.  However, what truly makes me happy is an 80s slasher that I have never seen before.  Lucky, for me there is hundreds out there that have never been release or had a limited VHS release and is sitting on a shelf somewhere until an agreement can be met.  One film that I was sent recently to review from Arrow Video was the 1987 slasher flick Blood Rage aka Nightmare at Shadow Woods.  Arrow has yet to let me down with a release so I was very excited to check this one out.  Thanks Arrow and MVD for sending this one my way.
     The film begins sometimes in the 70s with a single mother and her date attending a drive-in movie while her twin boys are asleep in the back.  When the couple starts making out, the kids seize the opportunity and sneak out.  They look around the property and find a hatchet and then find another couple making out.  They open the door and one of them hacks a young man up while his girlfriend watches.  He then covers his silent brother in blood and starts screaming pinning the murder on him.  We then jump forward some time and both boys are now grown up.  One lives with his mother while the other is locked away.  However, the good son that is locked away escapes and the news reaches his mother and the bad brother.  The bad brother uses this to his advantage going on a bloody rampage until the good brother can step in.
     There is nothing better than sitting down with an extra cheese pizza, a cold Blue Moon, and an 80s slasher.  I love the style, the kills, the casts.  I love everything about them.  I love even more when I find an obscure slasher that I had never seen before.  Blood Rage really impressed me and the Arrow release was even more impressive.  The acting in this one is definitely some of the better acting I have seen in a slasher from this time.  The cast works well with each other and are consistent throughout.  They all work well but the film's obvious star is Mark Soper who flawlessly plays a duel role in the film as the adult twins.  He is easily very convincing as the egotistical brother that has a blood lust.  He then flips the switch and breaks the viewer's heart as the mistreated brother that was locked away for a crime the other did.  He was amazing and easily one of the highlights of the film.  The story for this one is your typical slasher flick but with a bit of a twist.  That twist is obviously the twin angle which played out very well.  This is a simply slasher that was very effective and worked very well.  Finally, the film has several amazing kills that are fun, gory, and full of great practical effects.  These kills were amazing and really brought the film on home as an outstanding slasher.  Overall, Blood Rage is one of the better slashers to come out of the 80s and easily one of the most underrated.  The only way to watch this film if on Arrow's blu.  Watch it as soon as possible.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Peter Rottentail

Director(s) - The Polonia Brothers (Splatter Farm)
Starring - Dave Fife (Bigfoot vs. Zombies), Brian Berry (Werewolf Rising), and Brice Kennedy (Splatter Beach)
Release Date - 2004
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "You'll be having a bade hare day"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     I love holiday themed horror flicks.  If you flip through my reviews you will find dozens of them.  I love how corny and fun they can be when they turn something we find associated with a holiday into a weapon.  No holiday is safe from the mayhem.  We have thousands centered around Halloween, dozens set on Christmas, a few for Thanksgiving and New Years, one for April Fool's Day and a remake, President's Day, and even one of the holiest days imaginable, Easter.  Easter, surprisingly, has several horror films but there is nowhere near enough for this holiday.  There is so many possibilities with this holiday and a lot of potential is just sitting there waiting to be made.  One Easter horror film that I had always heard about but never actually seen was Peter Rottentail.  This Polonia Brother's horror comedy was in a box set released from SRS Cinema titled American Gore Stories.  The set was cheap and I wanted to see the movie so I ordered it last summer and waited patiently to see the film when the time was right.  
     The film begins with a shitty magician trying to pay his bills by working kid's birthday parties.  The kids patronize him and ridicule him.  He leaves the party distraught and comes across a long haired man who offers him a vile with a magic potion inside.  He accepts the gift and the next day uses it as part of his act.  It fails to work and he kills himself.  We jump forward some time and the man is now an urban legend.  Teens gather on his grave on the anniversary of his death to party it up.  Two cousins reunite to clean their deceased grandmother's home to put on the market when one of them starts having visions of the magician.  Soon, former friends of theirs starts dying one by one with only one connection, they all attended a birthday party together in their youth.  Now he starts to suspect that the magician is back to kill him and anyone that attended the party while dressed as a rabbit.
     People give films like this too much hate.  They forget what kind of films these are and start watching them like they are horror movies that are meant to be serious.  These films are campy, corny, cheesy, and any other word like that I am missing.  They take items associated with the holidays, i.e. crosses, eggs, Christmas trees, whatever, and turn them into instruments of terror.  How can you take a film seriously if the killer is wearing a rabbit or Santa costume?  You can't!  These films are stupid for the sake of being stupid and Peter Rottentail is no exception.  The acting in this one is surprisingly not bad.  Not saying it is good but it is far from being shit.  The cast is fun and really rolled with the vibe of the film but they are far from winning any rewards.  I can see why the Polonia Brothers cast the people they did.  They all work very well with each other which makes the scenes very fun.  The story for this one is nothing new.  In fact, it is the same story that I have seen in so many slashers.  In fact, it is a story that will continue to be used to this day with Easter Sunday borrowing from it heavily.  There has been so many slashers that follow a killer returning from the grave to seek out those that have wronged them.  Hell, that is the basis for most of the slashers from the golden age of slashers.  Finally, the film has no on screen kills.  All the deaths take place off screen which is very disappointing for a slasher.  The whole point of a slasher is to watch a masker murderer kill teens.  If we can't watch teens die then why watch a slasher.  Overall, Peter Rottentail is a fun no budget slasher.  The cast is decent and the story is nothing new but it still entertains.  Just don't expect to see some breath taking kills.  Check it out if you can get it for cheap.