Friday, July 20, 2018

Wrestlemassacre



Director - Brad Twig (Milfs vs. Zombies)
Starring - Richie Acevedo (Frames of Fear, Outsiders), Rosanna Nelson (Grindsploitation 2: The Lost Reels, Fiendish Fables), and Julio Bana Fernandez (Killer Campout, Zombie Horror)
Release Date - 2018
Genre - Horror
Tag line - “You can’t tap out when you’re dead”
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
 

    It feels like it's been awhile since I watched some good no budget horror movies.  When I first started writing reviews on my blog I focused on old action and exploitation films from the 70s and 80s but my love for horror pushed me in the indie horror direction and soon I was befriending directors who was looking for reviewers.  Now it feels like most of my time is spent on rereleases of old movies on blu from Vinegar Syndrome, Scream Factory, Arrow Video, Vestron, and so on.  This is fun so don't get me wrong but I do miss those crazy no budget passion projects.  I just finished reviewing the third entry in the Death-Scort Service series when a review copy of Brad Twigg's new film Wrestlemassacre showed up.  This is one I had been excited to see so I immediately tossed it in.  Thanks Brad!
     The film follows Randy (Acevedo) who is a sexually frustrated groundskeeper.  One day Randy falls in love with one of his customers but is unable to impress her.  Things change when he sees a commercial for a wrestling school and decides to turn his childhood dream of becoming a professional wrestler into a reality.  Sadly, he finds himself on the business end of an ass whooping his first day in training resulting in him becoming the laughing stock of the locker room.  When he returns home from training he finds out that he lost his job and now his father hates him.  This sends Randy over the edge and he becomes a killing machine unwilling to break keyfabe. 
     Wrestlemassacre started out as a segment in the Fuzzy Monkey Films' anthology Frames of Fear.  This segment was one of the more popular segments in this amazing anthology which prompted Twigg and company to adapt it into a feature length film.  The wait was worth it.  The acting in this one is solid and reunited several familiar faces from other Fuzzy Monkey films along with several iconic professional wrestlers.  The film stars wrestler Richie Acevedo who is known in wrestling circuits as the Cuban Assassin.  I absolutely loved his performance at the end of the film when he is crushing and killing.  He was fantastic and really made the film as fun as it was.  With that being said, he didn't have me sold on his performance earlier in the film.  It is here that Acevedo's character is established as a big hearted guy who can't catch a break.  Acevedo struggled to bring that aspect of the character to life but he more than made up for that during the last portion of the film.  We once again see Julio Bana Fernandez, Rosanna Nelson, Nadia White, Rick Jermain, and Alex Neumeler among several others who have appeared in several other Fuzzy Monkey Films.  They all deliver solid performances and do a great job moving the story along.  It was also cool seeing iconic wrestlers like Tony Atlas, The Sandman, The Boogie Woogie Man, and Rene Dupree just to name a few.  Their roles was fairly small but it was awesome to see them in the film.  The story for this one is more of what we got in the short but with a lot more backstory.  In fact,  the back story and why Randy kills takes up a majority of the film.  It does a great job at establishing the why but fans of the short will have to wait to get to the carnage.  Finally, the deaths in this film is my favorite part.  I grew up during the WCW and WWF Monday Night wars with ECW rolling in on cable early in the morning.  This was my favorite time in wrestling.  WCW had the gimmicks I loved, WWF had the names that filled the seats, and ECW had the energy.  Wrestlemasscre takes the gimmicks from WCW and adds it to the energy and viciousness of ECW to deliver wrestling inspired deaths that will not be forgotten anytime soon.  The kills are brutal, fit the story, and have solid practical effects.  There was a few instances where you can spot the film's budget but Twigg worked with it to make it effective.  Overall, Wrestlemassacre is everything you need for a late night horror treat.  It has a fun story, some nudity, and plenty of gore.  Check it out!

Death Wish 3



Director - Michael Winner (Death Wish, The Mechanic)
Charles Bronson (The Dirty Dozen, The Magnificent Seven), Deborah Raffin (Grizzly II: The Concert, The Sentinel), and Ed Lauter (King Kong, Cujo)
Release Date - 1985
Genre - Crime/Action
Tagline - "He's back in New York bringing justice to the streets."
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     If I like a movie I tend to watch the sequel, prequel, remake, whatever with some excitement.  While most people bitch and moan about a new film I go into it expecting a good time.  I had never seen the first Death Wish film until recently and once I saw it I was a fan.  Sure, it wasn't nowhere near as good as people made me believe but it still entertained.  The sequel was more of the first film with nothing new but it was just as fun.  Sadly, because the second film didn't offer up anything new I was a little burnt out of the Paul Kersey story after just two film.  I decided to push on through and check out the second film on the Death Wish double feature.  This third entry in the film would become my favorite of the series.  Thank you Umbrella for the hook up!
     The film once again follows Kersey who is visiting NYC to see an old war buddy.  Right as Kersey enters the apartment building his friend is murdered by a gang.  The police find him standing over the body and accuse him of doing it.  They rough him up but eventually the inspector recognizes him.  With crime on the rise in the city he lets Kersey go if he can help them clean up the city.  Kersey settles into his old friends apartment and sets his sight on the gang responsible for the death of his friend. 
     Death Wish 3 may not break the mold for the series but it definitely made it even more fun.  This installment could have been extremely bland but DW3 made it over the top and fun.  The acting in this one was way more enjoyable than the first two.  The cast seemed to embrace the exploitation and really got into their roles.  Their characters are fun and you wont be forgetting them anytime soon.  Also, Bronson fucking smiles.  Not a little smirk like in the other films but a real fucking smile.  I think he may have this acting thing down now.  The story for this one breaks away from the rape and revenge of the first two films.  Instead, it went down the gang war film similar to 1990: Bronx Warrior.  I absolutely loved the way this series turned and I loved the story given to us.  Finally, the film does has some on screen kills.  These kills are just like the other two films and deliver gun shots that require minimum effects.  Overall, Death Wish 3 is fucking fantastic.  I could have used a little more blood but I still loved it.  Check it out. 

Another WolfCop



Director - Lowell Dean (Wolfcop)
Starring - Leo Fafard (Corner Gas: The Movie, Humanity Bureau), Amy Matysio (Vampire Dog, Stranded), and Jonathan Cherry (House of the Dead, Final Destination 2)
Release Date - 2018
Genre - Horror/Comedy
Tagline - "Dirtier.  Hairier."
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
      When I was growing up I loved movies.  I didn't care what genres.  I loved watching movies but I quickly found myself in love with old action and exploitation flicks.  Soon that lead to horror where I fell in love with Romero.  My love for Romero impacted the horror films I watched.  Obviously I went after zombie flicks but that shifted after watching Fright Night.  I became obsessed with 80s vampire flicks.  After I watched The Monster Squad I become very interested in werewolf flicks.  I checked out The Howling, Silver Bullet, Wolfen, and so many more.  I loved them.  Sadly, we don't get a lot of werewolf flicks anymore which is mostly due to the fact that fans want transformation scenes which can be tricky and costly.  A few years ago we got the horror comedy Wolfcop and it was fantastic.  It had humor, a solid story, and some great effects.  As soon as it was released fans wanted more so Dean set out writing a sequel and now we finally have it and I was lucky enough to get it in for review!
     The film once again follow Lou who is still a drunk cop with a monthly problem.  Every month he locks himself away from the world during the full moon but is able to sneak out to raise a little hell and fight crime.  During one nightly adventure (where he rips apart Canadian heroes Astron-6) he finds his old friend Willie (Cherry) who was thought to be dead but was actually being held captive by lizardmen and implanted with synthetic life.  The two try to move on with their lives but soon an evil robot is killing people across town and a new brewery is threatening to end all mankind if they don't stop them.
     The first Wolfcop was a fantastic horror comedy that should be recommend for any fans of Tucker and Dale vs. Evil.  However, Another Wolfcop is a different breed.  It is one of the few sequels that actually surpass the original film.  The laughs were on point, the cast was killer, and the story was fucking batshit.  I loved it.  The acting in this one is great.  Leo Fafard is great in his role as the drunken cop/WolfCop.  The fist film was centered more around this character and his performance but this follow up is so busy that Fafard and WolfCop almost has to ride shotgun.  He does a great job in his role and has created a horror comedy character that the world will not soon forget.  The supporting cast is fantastic as well.  Amy Matysio and Jonathan Cherry are fantastic.  Their characters are just as important as WolfCop's to the story and they have fun with the roles.  It was also cool to seen acclaimed filmmaker Kevin Smith and the unforgettable production team Astron-6.  I was not expecting to see them and I'm glad they were there.  The story for this one takes the insanity from the first film and dials it up to 11.  We have werewolves, aliens, a penis person, and a killer robot.  The story is rather bonkers but I like that.  Just when you think you have it figured out something even more ridiculous is tossed at you.  The busy story doesn't overcomplicate things.  In fact, it makes it even more fun.  Finally, the film is full of practical effects.  We have an outstanding transformation scene, werewolf titties, plenty of gore, and an alien penis bellybuster thing.  I really enjoyed the deaths.  They are over the top and gruesome which fits perfectly with the comedic tone of the film.  Overall, Another WolfCop is the perfect sequel and a damn fine werewolf flick.  You can't call yourself a horror fan if you don't own this film!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Death Wish II



Director - Michael Winner (The Sentinel, The Mechanic)
Charles Bronson (Breakout, St. Ives), Jill Ireland (Star Trek, Hard Times), and Vincent Gardenia (Little Shop of Horrors, The Twilight Zone)
Release Date - 1982
Genre - Action/Crime
Tagline - "He's planning to clean up the city.  His way!"
Format - Bluray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I watch a several horror movies during my week.  No one can argue that I don't love the genre.  My whole life has been dedicated to horror but I do find myself burnt out on my beloved genre from time to time.  Some of you may notice that I review five to ten horror films and then take a break for a few days where I often check out some sort of exploitation flick.  I have a special place in my heart for 80s action films especially those made famous by Cannon.  Not long ago the Australian company Umbrella Entertainment sent of Death Wish 2 & 3 in a double feature blu set.  I had never seen these films before and used this as an opportunity to check out this classic series.  Thank you Umbrella for sending this one my way!
     The film follows Paul Kersey (Bronson) who has put the past behind him and has moved to L.A. to rebuild his life with his daughter who is still recovering from the gang rape she endured years earlier.  Kersey loses his wallet after a gang pickpockets him and decide to pay his house a visit.  They find the maid inside and they gangrape her while they wait for Kersey to arrive.  When Kersey and his daughter arrive at their home they are confronted and Kersey is knocked out.  They kidnap his daughter and rape her.  Once they have finished she jumps through the window and kills herself.  When Kersey comes to he finds the news and he returns to his killing ways.
     I really enjoyed the first Death Wish.  It wasn't as amazing as what people had lead me to believe but it was worth my time.  I was curious where the sequel would take me.  It does rehash most of the plot from the first film but it still entertained which is all I can ask for.  The acting is exactly what you got in the first film.  The supporting cast tries their best to deliver memorable characters while moving the story along whine Bronson shambles through every scene emotionless.  He has a right to be emotionless given the story but he never changes facial expressions throughout the entire film.  The story for this one is more of the original film.  We once again follow a gang who rape and murder leaving Kersey in an emotional spot.  Very little in way of plot changes but we do get a little more in the way of murder which is perfect for the action and horror fan with a soft spot for exploitation.  Finally, this one has several on screen kills that are brutal in nature but nothing original that we haven't seen before.  The kills are once again gun shots which required very little effects and some blood.  Overall, Death Wish II may not deliver something different but it does entertain.  Check it out. 

Death Wish



Director - Michael Winner (The Mechanic, Bullseye!)
Starring - Charles Bronson (The Stone Killer, Chino), Hope Lange (Fantasy Island, A Nightmare On Elm. St. 2: Freddy's Revenge), and Vincent Gardenia (Little Shop of Horrors, The Twilight Zone)
Release Date - 1974
Genre - Crime/Action
Tagline - "Vigilante, city style - judge, jury and executioner"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     When I started reviewing films I wanted to review old movies that people may have never heard of or forgot over time.  Some of you may remember my early reviews on my blog where I tackled old Chuck Norris films and forgotten early 80s action films.  The Charles Bronson classic Death Wish is one I always heard about but never had the chance to see it.  Recently Umbrella Entertainment sent me Death Wish 2, 3 4, and 5 on blu.  This was the perfect time to check out the original classic before working my way through the series. 
     The film follows Manhattan architect Paul Kersey (Bronson) who is working late one day when his wife and daughter visit the grocery store.  They leave their items for delivery and head home when a group of thugs find her address in the box of groceries.  They go to their home and beat his wife to death before gang raping his daughter. Crime in the city rises and Paul takes to the street with a revolver to eliminate those breaking the law.
     I had heard so many amazing things about Death Wish for years now.  In fact, I had heard so much praise that I was afraid that it wouldn't live up to the hype.  After seeing the film I can see why so many people enjoy it.  It is a fantastic film but not the best exploitation film I've seen.  The acting in this one is ok to say the least.  The supporting cast is fun and do a great job but Bronson doesn't sell the film.  He sells the emotionless killer that had his family ripped from him but during the incident he shows no fucking emotions what so ever.  Almost as if he didn't care his wife was dead which makes the vigilante killing seem not so bad ass.  The story for this one is fun for an exploitation action flick.  It's pretty straight forward but a little disappointing that we don't see Jeff Goldblum's and a few of the other's die.  Seems like a few details was left out along the way.  Finally, we do have a few on screen deaths that are simple.  The violent deaths are a result of gun shots so we get very little practical effects and blood.  Those wanting the red stuff will be disappointed.  Overall Death Wish is a classic and I can see why so many love it.  You need to check this one out. 

Cursed World Problems


Director - Doug Hawley (Red Christmas, Alamo Down)
Starring - Jeff Austin (The X-Files, That 70’s Show), Doree Seay (Helpless, The View from Here), and Fernando Hernandez
Release Date - 2017
Genre - Comedy/Horror
Tag line - “In this family evil is what you can expect when you are expecting”
Format - Streaming (Online Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I hate streaming films for review.  I especially streaming films to review on YouTube and Vimeo.  I live in southern West Virginia which is a place known for it's rolling mountains and not technological advancements.  The mountains, gorge, and rivers make it difficult for a lot of areas to get high speed internet.  Where I live I can stream Netflix or Hulu but it takes forever for YouTube and Vimeo vids to load.  This is the same on every device I own.  I've spoke with tech support, updated all my routers and still the same.  It's been this way for 8 years now.  A few months ago I was contacted to review the horror short Cursed World Problems.  I kept putting it off because I knew it would be a hassle to review but I started to feel like a dick.  I decided it was time to check it out.  It took me a little over 2 hours to watch this 9 minute short.  I really enjoyed it but the hassle was real.
     The film follows a young married couple who is expecting their first child.  While visiting his family they drop the news that their bundle of joy is a boy.  They learn that their bloodline has a gypsy curse and their first born male child never survives because of an incident involving the gypsy and a stolen chicken.  They panic and prepare for a battle with the gypsy for the survival of their unborn when they have a brilliant idea...just give the gypsy money to save the little life that is hanging in the balance.  
     I had no idea what to expect from Cursed World Problems.  At first I thought it was a loose adaptation of an indie comic that I covered on Horror Society when I was first brought on.  I mentioned the comic and learned that this had nothing to do with that comic.  The two projects simply share the same name.  Regardless, this was a fun watch.  The acting in this one is great.  The entire cast brings some fun characters to life which is what makes this short so damn entertaining.  The cast fully submerges themselves into their role and I love it.  The story for this one is short and sweet but left a lot of meat on the bone.  I liked the gypsy curse and the comedic take on a family trying to protect the unborn child but I feel that story was so much bigger than the short we are given.  I could see this short becoming a feature film with so much possibility.  Finally, this isn't a bloody one.  It does have some great make up effects and effective use of CGI.  No budget films typically use horrible CGI but this short is not one.  It looks great.  Overall, Cursed World Problems is a damn fine short that could be a fantastic feature.  Check it out. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Ichi the Killer



Director - Takashi Mike (Audition,13 Assassins)
Starring - Tadanobu Asanto (Thor: Ragnarok, Battleship), Nao Ohmori (Vibrator, The Outside), and Shinya Tsukamoto (Vital, Tokyo Fist)
Release Date - 2001
Genre - Horror/Crime
Format - Blu-ray (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):

     I've been a hardcore horror fan years.  I've been obsessed with horror for most of my life and my love had landed me on several horror movie forums and social media groups.  In the groups I would always hear certain movies pop up from post to post.  One of these "amazing" movies that I always heard about was Ichi the Killer.  So many people praised this film and several had images from the movie in their signature.  A few years ago I bought the movie on DVD at FYE for a little under $5. I wasn't able to check it out due my work and review schedule so it collected dust on my shelf for sometime.  Sometime ago the film was released by Well Go USA on blu.  I reached out to them and they were cool enough to hit me up with a review copy.  It was about time I finally checked this one out!
     The film follows a crime boss that is kidnapped after pulverizing a prostitute.  The gang he reigns over sends in a sadistic man who thrives on pain to hunt him down.  He follows up on any lead he has but soon the gang finds themselves at odds with his method resulting in him being exiled creating a rift in the gang.  Now some follow him while he hunts for their former leader.  Also on the loose is an unhinged serial killer who has hyper reflexes resulting in the death of their leader and several prostitutes.  Soon the two meet and bloodshed follows.
     I had always heard great things about this one.  I was afraid it wouldn't live up to the hype and in many ways it didn't but it was still a fun one.  I'm glad I finally got to check it out and in glorious blu.  The acting in this one is fun.  The entire cast contributes something to the film.  Some of the characters are grounded giving the film a gritty base but several of the main characters are bigger than life which is what makes the film so much fun.  The characters are highly detailed and violent which makes for a great movie.  The story for this one is rather predictable but it doesn't stop it from entertaining.  The film flows at a normal pacing and you can see where we are going before arriving at our final destination.  However, what makes the film so fun is the spontaneous violence.  The random murders and torture scenes come when you least expect them making the film feel different and unpredictable.  The characters are very colorful and move the story along as well.  Finally, the film is full of practical and visual effects.  The practical are fucking fantastic.  They look great and get the desired affect.  Sadly, the visuals are complete trash.  For the time they may have worked but they are very dated and look horrible.  Overall, Ichi the Killer scratched the itch that  I didn't know I had.  It was a brutal horror film that will stay with you forever.  Check it out!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Scream, Baby, Scream


Director - Joseph Adler (Sex and the College Girl, Convention Girls)
Starring - Ross Harris (Night of the Living Dead, The Crazies), Eugenie Wingate, and Chris Martell (Flesh Feast, The Gruesome Twosome)
Release Date - 1969
Genre - Horror
Tagline - "Cosmetic surgery can change the way you live...and die"
Format - DVD (Personal Collection)

Rating (out of 5):

     This holiday week is going by way too fast.  With July 4th quickly approaching I realized that I am now hitting Tromatic Thursday time.  I've been diving deep into the Toxie's Blood Bank box set and decided to go with the 1969 classic Scream, Baby, Scream.  This is a film that a lot of Troma fans tell me to check out and one that I was actually asked to check out in one of my earlier Tromatic Thursday reviews.  Will it live up to the hype?

   



     The film follows a couple who are aspiring artists with two different world views.  One is very talented but he believes he will never make it as an original artist so he has his sights set on becoming an illustrator.  His girlfriend has bigger dreams and wants to become a well known artist like her idle Charles Butler who mixes the macabre with beauty.  She meets her idle and becomes even more infatuated with him but she doesn't know that he abducts beautiful women and turns his horrible paintings into living works of art.

   


     I didn't know what to expect from this one but I do have to say that I was excited for it.  The movie reminded me a lot of the classic The Undertaker and His Pals which is a favorite of mine.  The film was fun but the quality of this particular DVD release from Troma left a lot to be desired.  I really liked the acting in this one.  The character's are a little clich├ęd even for 1969 but the cast has fun with it which really makes the movie just as fun.  The cast works very well with each other and it shows in each and every scene.  The story for this one is not what I was expecting.  The film is definitely a product of the time.  The story and imagery is a time capsule to the late 60s and early 70s but the story just didn't fit the setting.  I could see this story taking place earlier in the century.  It still works but a missed opportunity was had here.  The film does drag for a good portion of the film but several interesting ideas are mentioned in the film.  Sadly, a lot of those awesome ideas are never followed up with.  Finally, this one isn't that bloody but it does have some practical effects make up.  The disfigured looks cool but you can see their budget.  Overall, Scream, Baby, Scream is a fun watch.  It is far from Troma's best but I really enjoyed it.  Check it out.