Monday, September 24, 2012

555 Hardbox (Massacre Video) Unboxing

Got a great release from Massacre Video today, the 555 hardbox! This was assembled in Germany so it has the authentic feel that I so desire. He previously released Orozco: The Embalmer and has Junk Films and Demon Queen coming out soon. All the releases are available in hardbox, VHS and DVD format, very limited quantities available. For more info on Louis Justin and Massacre Video, check out the Facebook page: . Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Last Broadcast

1998. Stefan Avalos. Lance Weiler. This film is one of those that's ahead of its time, pioneering and inventive, yet just out of reach of the limelight. I've made it no secret that the 'Found Footage' corner of Horror is one of my guilty pleasures. I believe it comes from my love of documentaries and mondo/shockumentary films. When done correctly, such a film can be gripping, but often it's seen (or used) as a gimmick to pad poor writing or acting. 

The general plot of The Last Broadcast revolves around a double murder, the hosts (Steven Avcast and Locus Wheeler) of a public access cable show, 'Fact or Fiction.' They had set out to find the mythical Jersey Devil, supposedly located in the Pine Barrens, a thickly wooded and remote area. A sound engineer (Rein Clackin) and a man with supposed psychic powers (Jim Suerd) are invited to join the group as well. The story is essentially the meeting of these characters and their fateful trip to the Barrens. The whole even was streamed on the internet and cable tv, a feat I found interesting since the internet was still not widely available at the time of making this film. Again, ahead of its time. A documentary filmmaker (David Leigh) is our narrator, he feels that the crime wasn't properly researched and a guilty man was convicted of murder. Suerd was immediately fingered as the killer, with the evidence being blood found on his clothes of all three victims (yes, I said three - more on that later), being the only surviving member and his outbursts on the video recordings. That's really the whole backstory. What we see is David Leigh talking the history of their show and organization of the trip, with their footage mixed in. 

There's a major documentary feel to this film and save the last ten or so minutes does that very well. The cast has a good chemistry, while the acting isn't top notch, for me it doesn't have to be. I find it smart writing how the two lead actors invite these two supporting into their group, as that creates a natural barrier to them appearing a long-time buddies, a fault that so many films try and do. What others have mentioned as a negative, I find quite the opposite. Our narrator, on the other hand, is stiff as a board. I'm almost positive he reads his lines, there's a noticeable lack of charisma but that may be his intention. The film does show some choice moments where Suerd is lashing out towards the group, but again, these guys aren't buddies. Suerd has the trust of the group on his back and due to his psychic powers, is leading the expedition. This leads to one of my main gripes with the film - I can't figure out if Leigh is really for proving Suerd's innocence or not. Obviously, having watched the film I realize why his opinion jumps but for a first time viewer it can be confusing. I say that, but the ending is very confusing regardless. 

As we are shown more of this trip, the tape runs out. Literally, as Wheeler says it's time to change the tape, that's supposedly the last tape recovered from the group. We then see a mysterious package arrive at our narrator's house, a package containing several feet of tape. He takes this to a data retrieval expert (Michelle Monarch), who says she can recover what's salvageable on the tape and attempt to repair the rest. This was my favorite part of the film, seeing the footage recovered with all the glitches and tears that would be present on a damaged video tape. Even more amazing is this film was the first all-digital release ever. Those guys had some very convincing VHS effects. Continuing, the footage shows Wheeler and Clackin discovering a large pool of blood after looking for Avcast, who had went out alone searching for the creature. This is my main gripe. We are told by one of the experts detailing the case that Avcast could not have survived, in relation to the amount of blood found at the scene. That's fine, I can deal with that, but to never close his chapter of the film? Suerd was only charged with a double murder yet there's strong evidence that the third and still missing party had died as well. I'm don't want to pick that much but I really was hoping Avcast was actually the killer, but that's unfortunately not the case.

I'll attempt to not totally spoil the ending, but after the footage is repaired thoroughly enough to reveal a face, the film changes suddenly. The perspective changes from a first-person documentary view to a standard multi-camera setup. This took me out of the film, as what genuine quality the film had was completely taken away. The remaining final minutes of the film shows a brutal murder, not with gore but with sheer force. Talking more about this shot would spoil the entire film, but just know that when the perspective changes, the whole mood changes with it. I found it a questionable choice, an unnecessary one seeing how the film was headed in a certain direction. I get that it's a shocking twist and that's fine, but if they would have continued the story as it was heading, I would have been much more satisfied. With that, it's a film and a scene that has to be watched to truly understand. I had read reviews and still when the events unfolded, I had to use my head a little to figure some things out. Maybe a second watch will take me where the filmmakers had planned, but that remains to be seen. All in all, a film that deserved more fanfare than it received, overshadowed by a similar film, The Blair Witch Project. I hope that all who read this will be intrigued enough to search the film out, it's not super easy to find but out there. Thanks for reading, I apologize for the lack of pictures but I'm typing this on the road.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

This layout...

I don't like how when I post videos my widgets are overlapped. That's odd. Part of the process, I suppose. I can always change the layout again. Some cool things coming up, I joined a horror group on Facebook, Horror Fans Asylum, and they're in the process of starting a new site. I'll hopefully be posting content on that site as well as my own, which was my goal starting out. I'm really working on a weekly content schedule, and I think it's going to work out just fine. Hoping for 1-2 videos and reviews a week going forward. Tell your friends about my site, share it, like the posts...whatever you feel like doing. The more feedback I get, the more time I will put into my projects. Keep your eyes peeled, more is coming.

Weekly Update 09-16-12

Not a whole lot of new things to show but I talk about some things I've watched recently and what's to come later this week.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Burning

1981. Tony Maylam. This is a film I've known about for years, one of those slashers that pops up on the fringe of conversation. It legacy is mostly due to Tom Savini's masterful effects, including some fantastic kills that haven't been replicated to death, no pun intended. The killer is referred to as Cropsey, a name that I found curious as I watched a documentary by the same name a few months ago. The film opens with a group of camp kids plotting to scare the aforementioned killer, and that prank going horribly wrong. I found the little things enjoyable, as instead of just having him die and reappear as the killer, we spend time with him. There's a decent chunk of time showing his treatments and rehab over five years, ending with Cropsey walking out of the hospital, scarred beyond repair. He dresses in black from head to toe, walking the street at night. He comes up on a prostitute who then leads him to her apartment. I found her curiously inviting to a shady looking guy, but hey, this is horror. She quickly sees his face and after screaming in fear, is stabbed with a pair of scissors. We then are shown a camp not far from the original, which was closed after the burning. Cropsey already decided to lurk this campground, as the kids that nearly killed him are now counselors. I won't lurk much on the middle of the film, campers do camp things, relationships are made and there's sex of course. Also a nice bit of nudity, full frontal as well. It's always a let down when nudity is provided in a film and the actress is not attractive. Not in this case, fortunately. Now, seeing that I've alienated my female readers, I'll continue. The campers are planning a three day canoeing trip, to the appropriately named Devil's Creek, which is several miles from camp. The first night, a campfire story about Cropsey's legend is told. It's odd since it was known he was in a hospital these past years but still has a legend. I realize that a film taking place at a camp HAS to have a campfire scene, but it's a nitpick. When two lovebirds attempt to make that next step, the lady isn't wanting to move as far as her companion is. Proves to be a fatal mistake, as she is soon dispatched with a mean pair of gardening shears. The next morning, there's a search planned for our latest victim. Soon they find their canoes missing. Being basically marooned at their campground, the idea to fashion a raft is made. A crude raft is built and some of the campers set out to find both their friend and hopefully their canoes too. The scene this film is infamous for happens here.
A canoe is found and as the raft reaches it, Cropsey stands up in it and holds his shears high. He massacres the group, cutting off fingers, slashes throats and dismembering them in a flurry of quick cuts. It's such a shocking scene, even amid the brutal kills since is happens so suddenly. The next few scenes show another couple having sex, but he doesn't exactly satisfy her desires. It's a pretty funny scene, with Cropsey killing the girl while she's in her sleeping bag. When her mate returns to her and finds her dead, he is quickly impaled onto a tree. This would be another set of counselors missing if not for Alfred, wanting to spy on them seeing the killings. He then brings the head counselor, Todd to the scene and is attacked by our killer, but not fatally. As Cropsey pursues the survivor, Todd stumbles back to his feet, heading back to camp. The next morning, the raft with the mutilated teens comes into view of the remaining group. Todd soon reaches them and seeing the raft, tells all the ones that are left to head back to the campground as he looks for Alfred, who has been captured by Cropsey. He hears the screams of Alfred and finds him being held hostage by Cropsey, who has a really nice modified blowtorch, which has been made into a flamethrower. We finally see Cropsey's face and it didn't disappoint.
He reminded me of a zombie from Nightmare City, actually. There's a little bit of cat and mouse as Todd fights for his life. Cropsey attempts to set him on fire but Alfred frees himself and stabs him with his own shears. Michelle arrives with police as Todd and Alfred are walking out of the mine where he was held. Cropsey gets back up and tries to attack them but Todd puts an axe in his head for the effort. Alfred picks up the flamethrower and sets Cropsey on fire, walking away as his body burns. I kinda felt bad, they set the poor bastard on fire twice. If you think about it from his perspective, it's quite a depressing film, haha. I rank the film right up there with some of the best slashers, it's definitely worth a watch. Savini added a lot of credibility but the film also has a good story and doesn't suffer from sequelitis as so many do. I hope you enjoyed the review, this film can be enjoyed on Netflix, do yourself a favor and check it out.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Poughskeepsie Tapes and V/H/S.

I didn't intend on this being 'VHS' day, but that's how things worked out. I actually planned on watching The Last Broadcast as well, but time wasn't one my side. The Poughskeepsie Tapes was quite unsettling during the footage scenes, but the documentary actors brought that level down every time they were on screen. I did enjoy it, the interview with Cheryl Dempsey during the final act really caught me off guard. Not even sure what it was, but I can't get that whole scene out of my head. That never happens, I assumed I was desensitized by this point.
V/H/S is a film I've waited to see for some time. There's a very effective trailer floating around, and it had my attention for sure. Having finished it only minutes ago, the feeling I had hoped for just isn't here. I didn't expect scary, actually when I read how scary the film was, that made my expectations drop a bit. These days, 'scary' tends to mean jump scares and quick cuts. Those did exist, but not to the extent that is common in horror these days. I found the segments enjoyable, the main plot was interesting at best. I won't say much about V/H/S, as I plan to review it in the near future. It's a film that deserves to be watched more than once, and it has earned a few hundred words to explain my opinion.
All in all, a very enjoyable pair of films, both as similar as they are different. I am positive I will enjoy The Last Broadcast, everything I've read seems to strengthen that. I will do more of these small updates on films I don't want to fully review, it brings more content and allows me to watch more. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Some Exciting News.

It's official, I will be taking a trip to California this October.  Not only will I finally be able to visit the Museum of Death, but there's a horror convention going on the while i"m in town.  Some people I've wanted to meet for some time will be there.  Here's the link to their site:  Also, I'll be going to the Full Moon Horrorfest in Chattanooga this September.  I missed out on the Nashville con this year but hopefully I'll be able to take some good videos and if I'm lucky, some of them will have a guest.  Hopefully.  I'm working on two reviews now, if I wasn't so long winded my posts would be more frequent.  Just how I am, haha.  I plan to have a video ready tomorrow with some new picks and maybe a short review for ATM.  I will ask this, whoever manages to find this site and read my posts, please like or tweet them, at the least visit my YouTube channel or just post a rude comment.  I want some interaction, it will help bring the content people want to see.  Thanks for reading.

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Devil Inside

I decided to watch this film in spite of overwhelmingly negative press and reviews.  I enjoy 'found footage' most of the time, but this was almost a pseudo-documentary.  In 1989 (they had HD cameras back then) Maria Rossi murdered three people while they were performing an exorcism on her.  She was then committed due to insanity to South Hartford State Asylum, finally being relocated to Vatican City.  How convenient.  Some twenty years later, her daughter Isabella and a filmmaker named Michael set out to discover the truth about her mother and find out if she is possessed by the devil.  She goes to the Vatican School of Exorcism and meets two priests, Father Ben and Father David, and they agree to let her witness a true exorcism. 

Before I continue, I know the scene was supposed to be scary and unsettling.  There were multiple cameras, quick cuts, static and blurring...these effects just don't make a movie scary.  The camera work was well done when compared to other contemporaries, but in order to stand out there needs to be more.  The shouting in multiple languages and knowing Isabella's name were nice touches but still didn't do it for me. I'll continue.

After the successful removal of a demon, the priests feel ready to attempt the same with Maria Rossi.  Isabella visits her mother and finds she is erratic and unfocused.  She has carved crosses into her arms and lip, and also speaks in multiple accents (which is mentioned at least three times in the film, so the director really wanted to make that point) before she lets out a blood-curdling scream.  She didn't seem overly demonic or evil, more toying with Isabella, to the point of calling her a murderer for having an abortion at some point in the past.  When the exorcism is ready to happen,  Father David starts to fall apart.  He has growing fears that he will lose his position at the church, as such acts aren't sanctioned without significant proof.  He decides to go on with the exorcism, and the film's 'big' scene begins.  Maria continues her mocking of the group, calling out Ben for things he had done in the past and again talking about Isabella's abortion.  She lets out another fantastic scream and breaks free of her restraints, attacking Ben and David before being subdued.  The scene suffers from the same camera shots used earlier but still maintains a decent pace, making a more dramatic exorcism scene.              

The recordings are presented to the church as evidence, and as Ben plays some of the audio over and over, David seems to react. They discover that Maria is not possessed by one demon, but four.  This didn't deliver the shocking twist that I imagine the film was shooting for.  Suddenly, David says he must leave to perform a baptism and Mark says he will join and film it.  Convenient.  During a seemingly normal procedure, David begins to mumble and stare right into the camera.  He then holds the baby underwater, not releasing until some of the crowd rushes him.  At this point, I realize that the discovery of multiple demons will probably lead to the main characters getting possessed.  It's just obvious.  Moving on, the next scene finds Ben seeing David and the wounds he has inflicted on himself.  Police enter the room and David grabs a pistol from an officer and threatens to kill himself.  Ben cries out to him, hoping to reason with the demon inside but to no avail.  David recites the Lord's Prayer and near the end blows his head off.  The instant he hits the ground, Isabella starts to convulse and Ben figures she is possessed now as well.  

The finale takes us to a hospital where Isabella has just been admitted.  When the camera finds her room, a nurse is covered in blood spewing from her neck as Isabella attacks her.  Ben and Michael take her and they drive off, Ben hoping he can release this demon as well.  The demon is very repetitive, as once again an act he committed in the past is mentioned and he is attacked. Michael loses control of the car and Isabella breathes into his mouth, immediately showing signs of being possessed himself.  He speeds into oncoming traffic and the next few seconds are dark with scenes of the car spinning and their bodies crashing about. The film comes to its conclusion here, with no resolution and the three characters likely dead.  Text reads the case is still unsolved and directs to a tie-in viral site with more information.  

It's hard to say much about this film that casts it in a good light.  There are interesting scenes but they either have no setup or go nowhere.  The widely panned ending is such a letdown, it's clear that all stops were out as the demons jumped to all of our characters but that stopped abruptly with the crash.  I'm all for most of a cast dying, but give us something.  The only death that had weight was David's and only because we had a few moments of setup.  This could have been an enjoyable film, but the focus was on replicating something already done and little would have been added, even if it found success.  

The character of Maria was the standout of this film and Suzan Crowley did an excellent job of being genuinely weird and unsettling.  The times she would scream were a treat and possibly just because I don't really see 'possessed' characters just act weird as hell.  It was a good move, and if I get real serious about the subject, biblically demons would mock those around them in an attempt to discourage continued attempts.  -Also see The Exorcist, haha.  Exorcism scenes are starting to become stale although one could say they were as soon as religious horror became the flavor.  The establishing scenes with these characters are what I relish and that's the positive I will give.  I hate that another good idea was ruined with poor execution and wasted talent.  


Friday, July 27, 2012

The Raid: Redemption

I finally, after nearly a year of waiting, have watched The Raid.   Not the true original cut which is titled 'Serbuan Maut', but the Sony Pictures edition.  Only difference I have been able to find other than the title is the score, by Mike Shinoda and Joseph Trapanese.  I can't imagine a more appropriate soundtrack, just to be clear.  This is, aside from the opening scenes, literally a one-set picture.  My only real concern with a film this ambitious is how can there be the slightest hint of character development or story?  I was very surprised at what took place and there's a twist that I didn't see coming for a second.  The plot revolves around a SWAT team, led by Sgt. Jaka infiltrating a drug lord's apartment building in Jakarta and to my surprise, our main character is a rookie cop named Rama.  The lord, Tama Riyadi, is known to have two bodyguards names Andi and 'Mad Dog' and countless others inside.  Once they open the doors, it's non-stop action for the duration.  

When a boy spots the team and alerts the guards of their arrival, carnage immediately ensues.  As the team slowly makes their way through the building, they have no idea the opposition is already in place.  They are soon ravaged by gunfire and the 20-man team is decreasing rapidly.  They soon realize that the odds are stacked against them tremendously, as their support on the ground is killed and now they are trapped inside.  An announcement over the loudspeaker offering sanctuary to those that are successful in killing any cops brings nearly the whole building into the mix.  We learn that this whole operation has been monitored on the 15th floor by our antagonist, leading to questions of how this operation was intended to succeed - a detail that I won't spoil.   As our now small and wounded police team are running out of bullets, the tone switches and hand-to-hand combat becomes the focus of the film.  I loved this plot point, so often in action films the 'good guys' have an unlimited supply of ammo and this makes the film much more realistic and gripping.  So many creative attacks and props are used to make one the scenes brutal and full of impact.  Men are thrown out of windows, stabbed violently, limbs broken and this is often in close-up shots.  I will say that the knife fighting choreography is the best I've ever seen.  

I want to talk more about the specific scenes but this is a film I can't allow myself to spoil.  Part of the excitement I had watching this is not knowing a lot about it, other than the basic plot.  The story does evolve as a relationship between an officer and one of the attackers is revealed, this took the film in a different direction than I expected.  'Mad Dog' has two fantastic fight scenes, including the vicious finale battle where he takes on two men.  I was on the edge of my seat since in this film, nobody is immortal and anyone can die at any point.  Gareth Evans has created something spectacular in making one of the best pure action films I've ever had the pleasure of watching.  It pulls no punches with the gore and brutality that Hollywood has taken from mainstream films and manages to tie a great (albeit small) story in as well.  Going into this review I hoped to tell enough to make people interested and leave enough to keep it fresh and exciting.  Hope I did that, thanks for reading.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Dark Knight Rises (From IMDb)

This is my IMDb review of TDKR.  Wanted to have it somewhere else, seeing as there are nearly a thousand reviews on there already.  Originally posted at

To begin, I was really nervous about this film. Ending a trilogy, bringing in a new villain with Bane, a major new character with Selina Kyle, and an original character/sidekick in John Blake all within three hours. That's a daunting task for any director, Nolan or otherwise. I won't touch on every character or scene, just the ones that stood out the most to me. The shots are wide and grand, some scenes playing out with little to no score - a move that gives complete focus to the screen. The opening with Bane's arrival had me on the edge of my seat. Tom Hardy played the character as few could, showing a strong physique and unquestionable mannerisms. Bane's voice (a source of debate) was unique and brought a different edge to the antagonist. I knew watching this character that he could - and would kill or main anyone in his path and also had the brain to create plans on a massive scale. Selina Kyle is a very welcome addition to the film. Anne Hathaway with her sly personality and actions created a very good character, but the 'suit' scenes were the weak point of her performance I feel. I hoped Catwoman wouldn't be the major focus and I was pleased, she was a burglar, not a superhero. That, actually, is what I feared the most. Adding two companions to Batman's already strong group with Alfred and Gordon could easily dull their screen time. Gary Oldman once again brought a very emotional and strong role. With Gordon being taken out and staying in the background for most of the duration seemed to add weight to his performance. Alfred was placed in a similar role, doing a fantastic job of bringing the tears when he was in the frame. Michael Caine has proved himself to be a master actor, and even in a small role he brings a presence that only he can. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was in a very good showing as John Blake, though how certain he was that Wayne was Batman struck me as a little off. For Gordon not to know with large amounts of face time between both sides of Wayne and Blake to know wasn't badly written, just made Blake look exceptionally sharp. Which is likely how the character was intended to be. I did buy him as both an officer and a detective, as did Batman, who took him in almost immediately. I liked their banter and even though the character wasn't 'Robin' as seen in the comics, he was a fitting helper to Batman and one that had his trust. Blake had a triumphant final act, as he was charged to save as many citizens as possible while facing military opposition. Levitt was the standout in a stacked film, as his character gained strength as the film went on. The finale, while in reality three separate endings, was his shining moment. What better compliment to the strength of an actor than to (presumably) place him in line for the next film? Of course, the direction of the franchise remains to be seen and it wouldn't shock me if this canon was disregarded completely. I hope that doesn't happen. The action scenes, especially the fights between Batman and Bane, are jarring and large. That's the moment I wanted to see, and it came much earlier than I expected. The epic showdown between the stars. The nods to Bane's actions in the Knightfall storyline - using Wayne's long layoff being the catalyst for his failing to succeed, goading Batman into a fight he wasn't ready for - these provided the same feeling I had reading issue #497 some nineteen years ago. I felt the time Wayne spent in the prison was a bit bloated, I know that he needed to rehab his back and literally climb out of hell but it did take some time. That's my only real issue with the film, the five months that Bane ruled the city and Wayne suffered in prison seemed lacking as there was no pressing of time. Wayne is successful in making the impossible climb and as he suddenly - and without any type of explanation - reappears in Gotham, the time scale materializes. The final act simply didn't have it for me. Miranda Tate's sudden turn and quick demise did nothing for me, which is why I haven't mentioned her character. Marion Cotillard was fine in her role, but her character disappeared suddenly and I was forced to embrace this new role and back story without the time to fully accept it. By the time I did, she was gone. Batman's ending made sense by the forced ending of a trilogy. Killing two characters while giving a suitable explanation as to how Wayne survived was okay, I had a lingering feeling throughout that Bale would not truly die. Didn't seem appropriate. The act gave Batman brought his credibility to a wounded city, while I assume Wayne would not be mentioned again. Bane's death was anticlimactic, he was moments away from killing Batman when Kyle silently drove up and shot him. The blast would have killed anyone, so instead of an epic end to the villain he was just quickly disposed of. These small issues I had with the film did nothing to lessen its impact, my eyes were glued to the screen both the first and second viewings. For the final film in a trilogy, the plot points were nicely wrapped up and new characters successfully introduced and ended. At the base level, the film is very complete. I have jumped around in my review but in closing, I loved nearly every moment and am fully happy by what I saw. The actors couldn't have been better, Bale is Batman. For all I'm concerned he will be Batman.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Failure and Triumph.

I suppose it's obvious that my keeping up of this blog has failed.  I started strong and fully realized the issue early on:  I wanted to start a blog/channel reviewing my favorite genre.  What's the problem with this?  The films that demand reviewing have already been watched.  I withheld that information from you all, the critical bit that I wanted to be watching the films for the first time then reviewing.  Why did I settle for this's not productive.  I have probably two hundred horror films, a hundred shock and gore films...I've watched most.  Also in this time period my wife and I have moved.  We have (mostly me but she's joining) been thinking about our health.  I'm overweight and have a family full of medical issues.  Priority hasn't been in watching films, much less the reviewing of them.  I have taken a month off from gaming and I have several days off the next couple of weeks.  My promise to you is that I will watch films, both new and old.  I will type and I will record.  I never cared how many views I had.  That wasn't the point.  I just want to share my passion.  Thanks for reading and watching, things will start happening again.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My Lapse in Posting, Explained.

I haven't kept up my posting, even of videos. The answer is simple. I have been gaming like a madman, that's taken all my time. I never said that my blog would consist of purely horror...I could talk about other things. While I have many films I can review and I do not want to review games, I can still talk about that subject. Yeah, that's my plan. I'll make a video talking about life in general and rest assured it will be as dorky as humanly possible. I may actually gain some followers. Yeah!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

An Observation.

I didn't realize how much I say 'um' in a given period. Haha. Maybe I should podcast and read off notes.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Incubo Sulla Cittá Contaminata (Nightmare City)

1980.  Umberto Lenzi.  This is one of my all-time favorites and I always tell people to watch it.  The ratings aren't great and the film isn't necessarily popular but I love it.  The zombies, which are more infected than shambling are super fun.  Wielding hatchets, firearms, sticks and knives, they destroy everyone in their path.  Note the extreme violence to women as nipples are attacked and strangely enough, the amount of women that have their shirts ripped open before being bludgeoned is way too high.  Again, this adds to the character of this film.  I'm not going to spoil any plot but touch on the high points.  Zombies with guns will always be laughable.  The massacre during an odd erotic aerobic show taping is also a riot.  Add Hugo Stiglitz slapping a hysterical Laura Trotter to quiet her down and you have the perfect recipe for laughs.  The plot is very thin, as par for the course but the finale at an amusement park delivers all the thrills needed to make up for that.  I tend to completely disregard the ending, it adds nothing but aggravation to the fun.  This is readily available on both Anchor Bay and Blue Underground but I am fairly certain the releases are similar.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Evil Dead 2 (25th Anniversary Edition)

Evil Dead 2 is one of those films that have a near-perfect blend of everything.  The story is somewhat easy to follow (even without seeing the original) and the acting is quality for the most part.  The irony throughout the film is what makes it so fun.  After chopping off his hand, Ash tops it with a stack of books, the top one being A Farewell to Arms.  Brilliant.  Revisiting this film after several years was a  blast.  The blood spraying out of the cabin walls after being shot?  The cabin coming to life to laugh at Ash?  There are so many great moments throughout the course of this film that it's not easy to list them all. I will get to some specifics, though.  This Blu-Ray, along with a companion DVD, were released in November 2011.  After countless editions being released over the past two decades, especially in the last 15 years, these seem to be the most complete that will be available.  The picture, for being a low budget film that's 25 years old, looks especially clean and sharp.  There are some moments of grain, but those may have been newly found scenes or badly damaged prints.  Overall the quality of this remaster is something the studio should be very proud of.  Once I get moved in a couple of weeks, I'm going to watch my older Anchor Bay DVD of this and see how the picture has improved from the previous transfer.  That's always been a hobby, tracking down multiple prints and editions of films.  I love seeing how things improve as technological advances in mastering bring quality higher and higher.  Back to the Blu, though.  This belongs on every horrorphile's shelf, no matter how many copies of the film are already owned.  Evil Dead 2 is one of those masterpieces that somehow brings everything together needed to appeal to nearly anyone.  There's plenty of humor, charm, but also genuine scares and tons of gore.  Not just red, but black and green as well.  My favorite scenes are the tree vines dragging Bobby Joe through the woods, the cabin coming to life, Jake dying in a massive blood explosion, the very impressive physical comedy scene with Ash and his hand, and the always praised chainsaw/loadout scene.  I could watch those again and again.  In closing, I will again suggest that everyone who doesn't have this should pick it up, I found it for under $10, at that.  This will be the reference quality edition, I don't see how anyone or anything could improve over this package.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I have watched The Dead, Human Centipede 2 and Evil Dead 2 blus this weekend. I should have 2-3 video updates tomorrow.

Monday, February 13, 2012

DVD Update 02-14-12

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What led me to create this blog?

I have been a fan of horror films since I was around 8 years old. Started off with the classics, slashers being what impressed me the most. Over the past 19 years, my love of film in general has grown by leaps and bounds. Seems like every few years I find something new and exciting that piques my interest. The films of Lucio Fulci, effects master Tom Savini, Troma, giallo films...all these led to me loving horror in multiple ways. Over the last three or four years my tastes reached a high (or low, depending on who's reading) point. The films of Fred Vogel (August Underground trilogy in this case) and Jorg Buttgereit found me wanting more and more gore and disturbing films under my belt. Purchasing several Bava and Argento films had me loving giallo films, something I never thought I would have the patience for. Finding those little gems that few can enjoy, The Taint, Niku Daruma (Tumbling Doll of Flesh), Sledgehammer, Schramm, Holy Mountain and El Topo...I could go on. Back to my point, I don't have but a small handful of people I can share my thoughts and talk horror with. I had hoped that creating this would both give me an outlet to talk and maybe meet some new friends. Enjoy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hatchet 2 - 2010

The Hatchet series is unashamedly made for classic horror fans. I'll take an original story over a remake any day, but this could have been so much better. I am glad Danielle Harris took the lead in this one, and Tony Todd played Zombie as best he could. The extremely thin cast doesn't offer much, even less character development than I'm used to in horror these days. Now I'm not trying to knock the film completely. The film was a good time, I enjoyed the TCM 3 chainsaw, ha-ha. I just wish Adam Green could have taken this to the next level, but it seems he's getting another chance with Hatchet 3. The kills were original and very gory, deaths spraying everything in sight with blood. The strongest positive I'll give is that there wasn't any CGI present, looked like everything was practical. That's huge in this era of horror. To finish, I did enjoy this film, judging it harshly only because I really want a franchise that has lasting power for the next few years. We will see what Green & Co has in store for this year. 5/10 Originally posted on IMDb.

Waxwork - 1988

Caffeine, Nazis, yuppies...basically Less Than Zero in a horror setting. Two girls are invited to an oddly-placed wax museum. Assuredly odd due to the fact its placement is discussed no less than four times. Early on, the girls and friends (who will surely die quickly) seem completely brain dead. References to sex, drugs, alcohol and school are typical of these films but here sound much more tacked on. As the group approaches the waxwork, they seem randomly terrified by an otherwise normal looking building. A horrific baby-faced midget welcomes the group inside as 'Lurch' makes an appearance. Lots of self-opening doors in this place. The portal to another dimension that lurks inside a display doesn't seem to bother yuppie guy much. He seems quite content, except for the lack of cigarettes, that is. POV shot of a wolf on wheels? Of course the rescue squad drops the bullets. Wolfman brushes off a chair shot and squeeze-rips a useless man in half. What looked to be an interesting transformation was halted before any real effects showed up. The next set piece looks to be Snow White in a very empty dining room. Nice neckerchief in this scene. Raw meat? I find it odd that these teens don't seem very nervous to be in completely different times and or settings. The blood sauce is a nice touch. The meat is eaten with no problem, that's what everyone does when presented with raw random meat, right? These vampires sure are sloppy. The slightest step throws an attacker completely off his game. Finally, at 33 minutes we get some gore fx. What a surprise, the missing flesh from the random guy on a table was the main course earlier. There was actually a discussion about this. The remaining vampires attack and, seconds after being told how to kill them, she stabs one in the stomach. Guess that exact information was forgotten real quickly. Super gooey forehead melt. One vamp is dispatched by champagne impalement, close up of the bottle spraying through her. Wettest bite of all time as the neckerchief leader gets his girl. Funny how when the displays are shown, they all move. Supposed to be wax, right? Couldn't hold that breath for one take I guess. The entire museum can be searched in about eight seconds. Cue blues harmonica and odd 'karate' crewneck. Phantom of the Opera moved a bunch in that close up. Awkward romantic conversation, one of the worst I've ever watched. Girl leans in for a kiss, backs away and says that's not what she's looking for. Then thanks the odd. Suddenly we are taken to a large Spanish woman that's throwing paper at a clock. The plot thickens as an echo and incorrectly chosen music plays. "I told you everything I know, yes!" Police investigation of missing people consists of looking at one display for less than a minute. Horrendous overacting during the classroom scene. The police station has the loudest fan blades of all time. "Staff Only" sign is on the opposite side of entrance, how would he know? Officer scrapes a clay cheek and decides to core out an entire jaw. Strong Ouija board placement in the revelation scene. Marquis de Sade? Now I'm sold on this film. How does someone "seem" to die in great pain? The waxwork owner has been dead the whole time? How convenient. Super close up of a pinky ring. Mummy's hands slap together when a scroll is removed, shouldn't he be dead...zombie mummy from hell squishes heads. Chocolate sauce leaks from mouths as a hand cannon goes off, slowest approach and strike ever captured on film. Godfather wears safari clothing and has a jungle-trimmed wheelchair. Snub nose revolver, wayfarers and supercop gets his neck snapped as soon as he appears. Big man Lurch gets real small when yelled at. 666 finally makes an appearance. Even the handicapped godfather can't be trusted! Lighter fluid to burn down a building, why not? Wax figure screams? Everyone seems to have very loud snaps. A night filled with rape, beating and whipping doesn't seem to faze this lady. Monochrome graveyard drippy zombie action. Lurch is suddenly slow and weak. About to die by whipping yet, no blood. Now that the hero is aware of Satan's masterful wax plan, escape is possible. Cancel that. The finale set piece is filled with blue lighting and horrid effects. Wait! A legion of armed senior citizens arrive to save the day! An amazing quick sequence of a tribesman being thrown and emotionally killed saved the film. "We've got battles to win!" For a man having just been stabbed, he seems quite comfortable. Exploding clay baby and a bat headshot! Audrey 2? A plant-thing says "feed me" and is fed indeed. Fencing scene lasts a tab bit long. So, she threw the hatchet? Is that a ray gun? Eww, he fell into milk gravy. Godfather's head wasn't very securely fastened. Bad burning shot of the building as music I swear was on the Kickboxer soundtrack plays. So, the hand survives? Suspension of disbelief, indeed. This film was a hilarious mix of gore and unintentional humor. So many odd things happen that I had to just talk about them all. The last ten minutes are great. 6/10

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Video Violence - 1987

This was one of the films I always saw as a kid...big box, lots of gore on the back. I never did watch it, though. When Camp Motion Pictures released their Retro 80's collection a few years ago, I recognized this (and a couple others) immediately. Considering this is a shot-on-video, micro budget film, it's quite enjoyable. The acting is bad, the gore, while very plentiful, is extremely cheap but effective. Never thought I'd see an arm in a meat slicer. Basically revolving around a town that captures passers-by and kills them on tape, this simplistic story intrigued me. By the end of the film, the size of gore fiends is quite large and I wasn't expecting the finale to be so bleak. That's a strong reason why I enjoyed this so much, though. Lots of kills, nudity, horrible acting and a fun story makes for an overall good time. The soundtrack is also nice, especially the main theme. This is packaged as a double feature with the sequel on the disc as well, commentary for both films, a featurette and a trailer collection. 6.5/10

The beginning.

Sure, this will look bad for a while. I have a few different ideas for the blog, wanting to link it with YouTube and such. The main idea is that the reader is aware of the film or will watch it, as that fits with my review structure. Fin.