Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Director - Billy Gaberina (Necroville, I Heart U)
Starring - Jeremy Owen (Feeding the Masses, The Stink of Flesh), Paul Alsing (Defective Man, Black), and Megan Pribyl (The Lone Ranger, Killer Women)
Release Date - 2012
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Happy hour is over"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
    Writing reviews is something I absolutely love.  I love watching and reviewing horror films and you never know what you are going to get next.  A few weeks ago my friends over at Alternative Cinema sent over two of their newest releases to check out.  The first was an Ivan Cardoso collection which was a let down.  I reviewed all four films and was severely let down by what I saw.  The second film was Rotgut from director Billy Gaberina.  Gaberina is one of my favorite actors in the indie game but his directorial efforts are always funny.  Necroville made college for me so when I saw he starred and directed Rotgut I knew there was fun to be had.  Thanks Alternative Cinema for sending it my way.
     The film begins with two junkies stealing a bottle of alcohol from a dumpster.  The bottle has a worm in the bottom and the two decide to drink it up and chase the worm.  One of them actually drinks the worm and becomes ill.  After a few minutes his eye popped out of his head sending the other into a panic.  He goes to the local bar and tries to warn them but no one listens.  The manager of the bar buys some alcohol from a back door vendor and just happens to buy several bottles like the guy just tried to warn them about.  Several people buys shots from the cheap booze and before they know it they are fighting for their lives when those that drink it have their heads exploding and killer worms come out.
     I was looking forward to Rotgut when I first discovered it was directed by Gaberina.  I knew it would have a solid mix of horror and humor.  Which it did, but there was several missed opportunities.  The film was still fun and better than most indie horror comedies but there was several flaws.  The acting in this one is solid but I was expecting a little more considering.  The films lead, Jeremy Owen, is great in his role.  This is my first film of his but I can see why Gaberina cast him.  He is strong, wise cracking, and could be the film's bad ass when it called for it.  We also get a solid performance from Paul Alsing as the professor.  He was very well spoken, intelligent, and made every scene he was in feel bigger than it was.  Sadly, that was it in regards for cast.  The rest of the performances fell flat and did not offer up anything for the viewer to latch on to.  The story for this one is fun and reminded me a lot of Zombie Town meets Night of the Creeps.  Both of which are great films.  In both films, just like this one, we follow zombie like creatures who have worms/slugs busting from their heads to infect someone else.  I absolutely loved that angle.  The story makes good use of the location to help with the film's budget and cast.  Sadly, the film does move painfully slow at times but more than makes up for it with the ending and action sequences.  Finally, the film does have some kills and lots of blood but there is several missed opportunities that were skipped either by effect's limitations or budget.  The effects we do get are decent which makes me wonder why we didn't get better kills.  The effects and skill are there.  Overall, Rotgut is a hit from Alternative Cinema and once again shows why I mention Gaberina as much as I do when I talk about indie horror.  It has a fun story and some decent effects but the cast misses their mark.  Check it out.

Night of Something Strange


Five teenage friends set out for the beach on their Spring Break vacation. Good times are cut short when one of the group, Carrie, contracts a deadly sexual transmitted disease during a bathroom stop. When they stop for the night at an isolated motel, the real terror begins when the STD virus starts running rampant, turning those infected into the living dead. However, there's more going on at the motel than meets the eye.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Carnage Park

Director - Mickey Keating (Ritual, Darling)
Starring - Ashley Ball (The Last Exorcism, The Walking Dead: Webisodes), Pat Healy (Tales of Halloween, Captain America: The Winter Soldier), James Landry Hebert (Super 8, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror/Exploitation
Tagline - "Out here, god don't pick no favorites"
Format - BluRay (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I sometimes refer to myself as the horror skeptic.  Not that I'm skeptical of horror but I'm skeptical of what a mass majority of horror fans like.  When I see a large number of people praising a film I get a little excited.  I love watching movies that are entertaining so when a large number of people claim a movie is good it means I have another opportunity to watch an entertaining film.  Sadly. most of the time these movies are let downs or just down right shitty.  That brings me to one of Scream Factory's newest releases.  I saw several horror minded friends on Facebook share their love for Carnage Park.  It looked interesting so I reached out to my friends over at Scream Factory and they were kind enough to hook me up with a review copy.  Thanks guys.
     The film follows two small time bank robbers who botch a job and one of them is shot.  They kidnap a young woman from the bank and flee into the desert with their hostage.  They drive through a chain blocking the road and hide in the desert where the one that was shot dies.  What they don't know is that they are now trespassing on the property of a deranged survivalist who tortures and kills everyone that finds their way onto his land.  They must now fight an expert sniper in a land that he knows in and out.
     Carnage Park looked interesting enough but I was skeptical.  Like I said earlier, when most of the crowd goes one way I often find myself going the opposite direction.  However, Carnage Park hit like it should.  No, it wont be in my top five or even top ten for the year but it was entertaining.  The acting in this one is absolutely fantastic.  The entire cast was at the top of their game.  Ashley Ball is great as the victim.  I know this is clichéd and slightly sexist but she plays one of the best victims/final girls I have ever seen.  She pulls in raw emotion and really makes the viewer feel for her.  Opposite of her we have Pat Healy who is very testing.  He pushes the boundaries of what we think a homicidal maniac should look like.  His ex-militant survivalist character is very well spoken and mild mannered which is opposite of what most movies would portray such a character as.  He is deadly, calculating, and straight up chilling.  Supporting these two is James Landry Hebert who tricks the viewer into thinking he is the films true villain.  His character is simple but has that southern style that makes Devil's Rejects so much fun.  The film has an outstanding cast.  The story for this one is a little uneven.  The film starts out like a love letter to Tarantino with the witty dialogue and sharp start to the story but by the halfway point this has faded and we get a game of cat and mouse.  The film has a strong start but the middle drags before the story is able to gain more momentum and finish on a high note.  A little something added to the middle of the film to make it engaging would have went a long way with this one.  Finally, the film has some solid kills and great practical effects.  We get a head explosion and the aftermath along with some more kills.  The film, believe it or not, is not a blood bath.  Instead, it milks the few kills we get but offers up a lot of character.  Overall, Carnage Park is a solid entry for indie horror.  It has some tension, great kills, and a story with heart.  It is well worth the watch so check it out.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


Director - Luciano Onetti (Sonno Profondo)
Starring - Luis Emilio Rodriguez, Gustavo Dalessanro, and Raul Gederlini
Release Date - 2015
Genre - Horror
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     Giallo and I never truly got along.  Sure, I enjoy the works of Dario Argento but the other giallo films bored me to death.  Argento has a style that can not be duplicated regardless of how hard the others tried.  His copy cats and rip offs were never able to capture the style, tension, and suspense like he could.  With that being said, there is some modern giallo films that I really enjoy.  The first being a parody of the sub-genre, The Editor.   This Astron-6 masterpiece is nothing short but brilliant.  It captures everything we love about Argento's giallos but was able to make you laugh at those very things.  The next up is the perfectly crafted Sonno Profondo.  This film from first time filmmaker Luciano Onetti hits all the right notes and makes you think you are watching a giallo from the heyday of the giallo film.  It is beautiful, well put together, and wraps it all together with the giallo style that Argento mastered.  When I found out that Onetti was at it again with another giallo I had to see it.  The film, Francesca, was acquired by my friend over at Unearthed Films and the Francesca Facebook page messaged me with the details.  I held off reviewing the film until I could get my hands on the amazing bluray that Unearthed is known for.  It was sent my way from my friends over at MVD.  Thanks guys for allowing Horror Society and myself the opportunity to see this amazing film!
     A town is rocked by a series of gruesome murders and two detectives are tasked with stopping them before they kill again.  However, this is no easy task.  Their only lead is an unsolved abduction from 15 years ago when a little girl named Francesca was kidnapped and her father was stabbed.  Now they must find her abductors in order to stop this ruthless killer.

     When it comes to giallo its all about style.  We need stylish settings, stylish camera work, stylish kills, and so on.  Style is key.  That is what I liked so much about Sonno Profondo.  The film didn't throw blood at us for no reason and didn't give us more story than we needed.  What we got was enough story and style to hook the viewer.  Sure, we got some kills but that was just the icing on the cake.  Francesca very much followed in Sonno Profondo's footsteps.  The acting in this one is questionable.  Most of the film's cast is new to cinema.  Their imdb pages are all bare with the exception of Francesca.  They have no experience and due to language being a barrier we get some flat performances.  More experience would have went a very long way in this instance.  The story for this one is very giallo inspired and borrows heavily from those films of yesteryear.  The film flows like a slasher was combined with a murder mystery all while being painted as a giallo.  That is what makes giallos so much fun.  We never know who is going to be doing the killing and what kind of twists we will be getting.  The film does move slowly but that only adds to the atmosphere of the film.  Finally, the film does have a couple kills but they are nothing memorable or entertaining for that fact.  The blood is at a minimal.  With that being said, the film was not intended to be a bloodbath.  Instead, it was made to look and feel like an authentic 70s giallo.  Overall, Francesca was worth the wait.  Nostalgia is high with this amazing piece of indie cinema.  If you enjoy giallos then you need to see this.  Check it out.

The Shape of Things to Come

Director - George McCowan (Affair with a Killer)
Starring - Jack Palance (Horror of the Hungry Humongous Hungan), Carol Lynley (Howling IV: The Freaks), and Barry Morse (Dracula: The Series)
Release Date - 1979
Genre - Adventure/Sci-Fi
Tagline - "Beyond the Earth...beyond the moon.  beyond your wildest imagination"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     Growing up I was into some sci-fi but once I found horror I would often disrespect the genre I once enjoyed.  I grew up watching Star Trek, Star Wars, Lexxx, Farscape, Stargate, Sliders, and so many more with my grandmother.  She absolutely loved the Sci-Fi channel way before they changed their name to Sy-Fy.  As I got older and my mind became horror obsessed I found myself shit talking and degrading sci-fi and I honestly have no idea why I did it.  Now I realize that I was a fucking idiot and often revisit some of those shows and films I grew up living.  Sometime ago Blue Underground announced that they would be releasing the 1979 sci-fi classic The Shape of Things to Come on blu.  I had never seen it but heard great things so I reached out to them and they were kind enough to hook me up with a copy.  Thanks guys!
     The film follows the human race who no longer live on Earth due to the devastation from the robot wars.  They have colonized the moon and we meet the people of New Washington but it is starting to look bleak for the survivors as they need a radiation drug to survive.  Their ship carrying the drug is hijacked and crashed by the self proclaimed emperor of Earth who wants the colonies of the moon to recognize his rule.  This forces the hand of some of the crew member of New Washington to step up and stop the evil emperor and get the much needed radiation medication or suffer utter annihilation.

     I had a lot of my movie friends, not my typical horror pals but my friends that love movies of all genres, tell me that this one was a fun watch.  I was warned by a few that it was very campy and dated but still offered up some fun.  The acting in this one is laughable.  Not in a bad way but it did not fit the era the film was made.  The cast was always upbeat and optimistic regardless of the situation.  It reminded me a lot of how the cast acted in the original Lost in Space series and the Adam West Batman series both of which originally aired in the early 60s.  This made me laugh considering we saw a more serious sci-fi film released that showed real terror in Alien.  The cast is not bad it just doesn't fit a sci-fi film that is closing out the 70s.  The story for this one is solid but very played out by this point.  Not only was it unoriginal for 1979 it has been done to death by 2016.  For a first time watch in 2016 it is very predictable and not very eventful.  It moves very slowly and you can see what is coming from a mile away.  Watching it for the first time in 1979 it can still be predictable but may not be as common as it is now.  Finally, those of you looking for a space adventure in the lines of Star Wars and Alien may be disappointed but if you want something campy and clichéd as the original Star Trek series then you are in the right place.  The film uses several cheap gags to pull off the space effects similar to what Star Trek did in the show which aired well over a decade before this film was released.  Some of the sets and props are laughable like the clear cookie jar on the emperor's head that prevented him from dying.  This stuff is silly and could have been handled better.  Overall, The Shape of Things to Come is a cheap sci-fi film with a modest budget.  The crew didn't seem to care how the film turned out but for those of you that like campy sci-fi and horror flicks this one is well worth your time.  Check it out.

Saturday, November 26, 2016


Director - Remy M. Larochelle
Starring - Stephane Bilodeau (Someone is Watching), Julie-Anne Cote (Rollerball), and Philippe Chabot (The Descendant)
Release Date - 2003
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     When it comes to depravity there is a hand full of movie companies you can turn to for your fix.  Some look to ToeTag for their gore.  ToeTag has built a large following over the last decade and a half or so with films like the August Underground trilogy, The Redsin Tower, and Maskhead.  Then you have the Florida based Unearthed Films owned by the uncompromising Stephen Biro.  The company is known for releasing films like Where the Dead Go to Die, Black Metal Veins, and the Vomit Gore trilogy.  The company recently made an even bigger splash when Biro stepped behind the camera for American Guinea Pig: Bouquet of Guts and Gore.  Though I was not fond of the film I can see how it took the faux snuff film to a whole new level.  I recently befriended Biro and he was kind enough to start sharing Unearthed Films' press releases.  Sometime ago he sent over a pr for Mecanix.  It looked unique to say the least and soon after I found the film in my mail box from my friends over at MVD.  I want to thank Biro and MVD for sending this one my way.
     The film takes place in a world where all of humanity is gone except two people.  The world is populated by machines who cover themselves in the corpses of bones of different animals.  They control one of the two surviving humans.  He is a scientist and he is tasked with stopping the other human who is carrying an embryo that is said to save mankind from extinction.

     I had no idea what Mecanix was about when I first received the initial press release.  The film looked crazy but I could not make heads or tails out of what was going on in the trailer.  Frankly, I still don't which is fine because I still enjoyed myself.  The acting in this one is non-existent.  The cast is mostly made up of animated creatures and mechanical beasts.  We do have two or three human characters but they have no true lines of dialogue and act against a backdrop.  They could be seasoned actors or new to film and make their roles work.  The story for this one is fun but I wish it was a little more like a traditional film.  The story following a world where humans are no longer the top of the food chain is chilling.  The mechanical creatures covering their body in the dead is even creepier.  However, I wish there was a little more to it.  A story like this would have been perfect for a short but with the length we are given we need more to it.  This raised more questions than it had answers.  Finally, the film looks spectacular.  The film uses live action and animation/Claymation to get its unique look.  The film does not have any blood and a little gore but does have marvelous creatures and cinematography.  Overall, Mecanix is Ray Harryhausen meets Clive Barker.  It may be short on story but more than makes up for it with beauty.


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Diary of a Deadbeat: The Story of Jim VanBebber

Director - Victor Bonacore (Ice Cream Sunday, Eat Me)
Starring - Jim VanBebber (The Manson Family, Deadbeat at Dawn), Vic Noto (Daredevil, The Haunting of), and Richard Kern (Zombie Hunger 2, Worm Movie)
Release Date - 2015
Genre - Exploitation/Horror
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):
     When I was growing up my horror knowledge was limited.  I loved all genres of film but when I was in the fourth grade my mind became very horror-oriented.  Once I became horror obsessed I relied heavily on the local video store for my fix and if they didn't have it then there was no way I was going to watch it.  I lived in the middle of nowhere.  The closest Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Magic Mart, and mall was well over an hour away so this video store was my only hope for horror.  So I indulged myself in George A. Romero, John Carpenter, Wes Craven, and any VHS that caught my eye.  When I was older and I got my first computer and I joined several horror forums whered my mind was opened to even more horror and exploitation filmmakers.  This was when I first heard of Jim VanBebber.  So many people I met on these forums told me to check out Deadbeat at Dawn.  I wish I would have because now that movie is nowhere to be found.  Anyway, sometime back Victor Bonacore directed the documentary Diary of a Deadbeat which is about the life of Jim VanBebber.  I spoke with Victor about it some and actually met him just last month at Cinema Wasteland.  I bought a copy from him at the Massacre Video table and promised to review it for him.  It may be late but I'll never break my promise.
     The documentary begins with a look back at the early works and childhood of Jim VanBebber before we move on to college and what it was like for him as an outsider.  We then take a look at what it was like for him and his crew when they went from making short to feature length films.   We move from Deadbeat at Dawn, to Roadkill, The Manson Family, before hitting VanBebber today and how he struggles as an outsider trying to make movies independently.
     I have only heard good things about Deadbeat at Dawn and The Manson Family.  Both films come highly regarded from fans of horror and exploitation cinema.  I kick myself everyday for not buying both films when I had the chance.  Watching Diary of a Deadbeat has only made my desire to see these two films only stronger.  The interviews in this one is pretty solid.  We get several from the man himself ranging from 2010 to 2015 along with some interviews from different points in his career.  I love when a documentary follows a certain person and we get interviews ranging decades.  We see a young Jim VanBebber in 1992 talking about his living arrangements and what it was like to fund his own films.  We then move forward and see him on a local cable access show, or possible online video series, where he is talking about the changing industry and how difficult it is for indie filmmakers.  We then following him within the last 5 years and how he looks back on it all, as well as, his future.  We then jump through some others who are interviewed.  We speak with fans, colleagues, former cast members, and some family.  We get several different aspects from Jim's life.  Some are good and, sadly, some are bad experiences.  I enjoy when there is a documentary about one person in particular and the interviews turn up some bad experiences along with the good.  No one is perfect and a good documentary should show that.  Too much praise of one person can make for a boring documentary.  Finally, this documentary is edited together very well and pieced together with some great footage of Jim attending cons and interviews with some great people.  The editing is great and moves everything along at a great pace.  Overall, Diary of a Deadbeat is a fantastic watch about an outlaw in the indie cinema world.  VanBebber is a name everyone who loves counter culture should know and this documentary will bring that name to younger generations.  I own several Massacre releases and this is hands down my favorite one so far.  Check it out.