Thursday, December 29, 2005

CD of the Month (December): 1968 by American Werewolves

This CD rocks! Thirteen ghoulish grooves from the 'wolves. This is a great album to crank up and piss the neighbors off with. Trevor Moment's howling vocals grabs you by the throat and squeezes, while the rest of the band cranks out some rocking tunes. My favorites include "Nothing in the Dark" and "For Your Blood". Creative lyrics inspired by B-movie mayhem coupled with Do-Wop styled hard rock is always a Frankenstein I'll dig and not many do it better than the American Werewolves. 1968 gets ****1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Based on a true story, this Hollywood version of this supposed real-life exorcism is as far away from the real story, it's ridiculous. The "real" Emily Rose was actually a german girl named Anneliese Michel. I guess rather than tell a "true" account of the case, Hollywood has to dumb it up for the American public. It's a shame, because the movie is actually not bad, and Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Emily Rose, deserves a best actress nod in my opinion. The story follows the trial of a priest who is being tried for homicide by neglect. Even the trial is as far from the real events as you can get. In reality, the parents were also indicted for the homicide, and the sentence in the movie is different as well. Well, like I said, it's a good movie, take it for what it is but if you want the true story of Anneliese Michel, google her. There's a reported other movie being made on her called Requiem by german director Hans-Christian Schmid that's supposed to stay truer to the real life events. I give it ***1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Bloodline

Bloodline was a bit of a surprise for me. I was expecting a lame story and bad acting but the plot was pretty well conceived and the acting wasn't bad at all. It's the tale of two brothers, one seemingly normal and one an introverted mute. The story follows the two roads that their lives take. After watching the film, what we find out at the end leaves us putting all the pieces of the story back together into context. I really don't want to give too much of the film away. If I go into too much detail, there's no reason to see it. Check it out, you could do alot worse. ***1/2 out of *****.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

DVD Review: Creep

We've all heard the stories, of people that live in the underground subway and sewer systems. Peolpe who haven't seen the light of day in decades, living in filth and squallor. That's the premise of this film, although it's just one man, not a colony. An unassuming young lady falls asleep while waiting for her subway and when she awakens, she finds that she's locked in the subway system for the night. Little does she know that she's not alone down there. It quickly turns into a cat-and-mouse game. While not as bad as some I've seen lately, Creep does have a bad habit of not explaining who this guy is and why he's down there. There's a photograph of him as a young boy with his doctor father, but that's about it. And then there's a doctor's office type of room in the subway system, it just didn't make any sense why. There were some good scenes in the movie and there were some tense moments, but the creep was seen way too much to be effectively scary. Oh yeah, can someone explain to me why, in scary movies, people stand in front of broken out windows with their back to the window? Or why when the bad guy gets knocked down, the heroine throws her weapon down and then runs away unarmed? Some things just drive you insane when you watch these things. Whether it's the writer's or the director's fault, I don't know, but it's enough to make me throw the remote! Creep get *** out of *****.

Friday, December 23, 2005

DVD Review: Cry_Wolf

I thought they were all wrong, all the other reviewers that skewered this movie. It couldn't be as bad as they say, could it? The trailer looked really good, I was excited to see for myself. Oh damn it! If this isn't THE worst film I've seen all year, it's at least in the top three. All the more so because this thing was a theatrical release with a ton of promotion behind it. It's films like this that cause the horror genre to slip off the theater release radar. Instead of being unrated it should have been rated "unwatchable". Boring, with characters you don't give a crap about, this is a stupid, pointless and unbearably bad piece of filmmaking. Not even the thespian stylings of one of this generations greatest actors (Jon Bon Jovi) could save it. Ha Ha, but really, the only way you'll not know what's going on is if you fall asleep during it, which is very plausible. A group of bratty college kids decide to play a prank on the rest of the school. A fake email is sent out describing a campus killer, what he's dressed in, when he'll strike, blah blah blah. Then it seems as if the email is true as the events start to happen. The filmmakers here are trying to make another Scream--without all the wit, killing, guesswork and scares that that classic had. Stay away from this movie! 0 out of *****!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

DVD Review: Santa's Slay

Just in time for the holidays, a new Christmas classic comes down the chimney. Starring ex-wrestler Bill Goldberg as the evil Santa, this movie never fails to entertain. The story goes, Satan once had a child, who he named Santa, and he was a demon of demons. Then, a thousand years ago, an angel took the form of a man and challenged Santa to a contest. The angel won and Santa was forced to be good and bring boys and girls toys for 1,000 years. Well, time is up and Santa's ready to make up for lost time! He creatively kills anyone that gets in his way all in tune to your favorite carols. It's up to a young man and his girlfriend to put an end to Santa's rampage. Can they do it? Do yourself a favor and see. There's also a little stop-motion piece ala Rudolph, that details the contest between Santa and the angel that's great. Not to mention the cameos, there's some surprisingly familiar faces in the opening scene. As if all that's not enough, the disc is filled to the brim with extras, you'd think this was a theatrical release, but it's not, it's better, it's Direct-to-DVD! I've got a new holiday film tradition. It gets ****1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Scarred

There were things I loved about this movie and there were things I hated about this movie. There were exciting parts where I was captivated and there were boring parts were I was falling asleep. Those are too many things to deal with in a horror movie! The movie is about a young girl who gets her face cut off by her drunken father and ends up being the local urban legend of the monster girl who takes pretty girls faces. A family of campers (who, trust me, you'll want to end up dead!) find out the truth when they come face to ugly face with the mean-ass girl. I haven't heard so much roaring from a woman since Ice Queen, sheesh! It's easy to see where the actress that plays the monster girl got her inspiration-with her rolling eyes and flailing arms she totally brings to life the Bumble from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, but she don't bounce! Anyway, this is a middle of the road flick, something to watch when everything else is rented. I give it **1/2 out of *****.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Don't Stray...

More reviews are on they're way! On deck is the subterranean chiller Creep, the legend-come-to-life thriller Scarred, the independent award winner Stillwater, and a host of others I have to check out.

The nominees for The Daveys will be posted soon. There are a couple of good films coming out that could slip in at the last minute.

The December CD of the Month will be up today or tomorrow so you can run out and grab it for your favorite someone if you haven't finished your Christmas shopping by now.

Until then--Stay Scared!

Book Review: Straken by Terry Brooks

This is the third and final installment of Terry Brooks' High Druid of Shannara series. I have to admit that it was better than the previous two. Now, I liked both Jarka Ruus and Tanequil, but this one was much more action packed and not as slow moving as the others. Albiet, it is the finale, so it should pack a punch. The story picks up where Tanequil left off, with Pen trying to find his way into The Forbidding to save his aunt, Grianne, who used to be the evil Ilse Witch but is now the Ard Rhys of the Druid Order. She was banished there by a group of evil Druids. The fate of the world is at stake because with her banishment to the Forbidding, a demon was released from the Forbidding with plans to tear down the veil that stands between us and them. I would like to see Brooks take on something different than the Shannara series. His last venture was The Word and The Void series and that one was fresh and exciting. His neverending Ohmsford family in the Shannara series is getting a little stale and I think it would benefit both the fans and himself to take a break from it. Other than that, the book was good, just a little tiresome because of the "been there done that" feel to this series. I give it *** out of *****.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

DVD Review: Heebie Jeebies

If you're going to put the tagline "Scarier Than Hell" on your DVD cover art, then you'd better try to make it so. If Hell is as scary as Heebie Jeebies, then it's no big whup. The film deals with a young woman who has prophetic dreams about her friends dying. Since she has a habit of her dreams coming true, she decides to have them all come out to a dilpidated old farmhouse so she can protect them from their imminent demise. Interspersed throughout the movie are little "dream" segments that are like little movies in themselves. They're each actually better than the movie as a whole. The film was a little grainy and the sound was a little low, but nothing to really complain about, I mean it is a B-movie. One thing I did like, I did like the twist at the end. It was creative at least. I think this film would have worked better as a Creepshow-type of anthology because like I said, the shorts weren't bad. This film suffered from a flow problem, it just wasn't smooth. Hopefully the directors, Doug Evans and Michael Hawkins-Burgos, used this as a learning experience and will only get better, because the shorts show their talent. Also has a funny blooper reel on the DVD. I'll give it *** out of *****. Same score as Star Wars, for 150 million dollars less!

DVD Review: Star Wars-Episode 3-Revenge of The Sith

Well, I may be the only one out there, but I'm kinda glad this series is over with for now. This latest from George Lucas' money making machine is beautiful to look at, but is as hollow as a gourd. The acting is unbearably bad, by some of the best in Hollywood don't forget, and the story isn't much better. But there's never been a better looking or sounding DVD. This thing rings true through the surround sound and the visuals are amazing. If only Lucas could take the whole human element out of his films and just use his Lucasarts team to make CG movies, then they'd be great. This is the part of the series that ties the new trilogy in with the old, the creation of Darth Vader. The fact that we already know who lives, because of the original Star Wars, takes so much away from this movie. We know Anakin doesn't kill Kenobi, we know Padma has twins and dies in childbirth, this movie doesn't tell us anything we didn't already know. I don't know, I wasn't impressed, other than by the sound and the effects. I'll give it *** out of *****, just for technical mastery if anything else. And it's a great film to show off your surround system.

DVD Review: One Missed Call

From Takashi Miike, another masterfully chilling film. This guy knows his way around a camera! The plot is about a group of young people, who one by one start to recieve a call on their cell phone. The phone rings in a tone that's not their's, and it's a spooky tone let me tell you, and when they don't answer it, they find out there's a message left. The message is from themselves, days in the future, at the time of their death. The tone of this movie is absolutely great! You don't know what's going to happen next and everything is slowly revealed. The acting is top notch and the atmosphere extremely creepy. This just may be my favorite Miike film yet. Of course, there's always the troublesome ending with Miike, but I think I figured out his meaning on this one. ****1/2 out of *****. Why are those long haired Japanese women so scary!?

DVD Review: Werewolf Hunter

This one is certainly not your run-of-the-mill werewolf movie. It takes place in the 1800's and is about Europe's first serial killer, Romasanta, who's defense was that he was a werewolf. As the cover says, it's based on a true story. The location shooting is fantastic and really lends an atmosphere of old world charm to the picture. The film stars Julian Sands (Warlock), and the acting is actually very good with the direction and choreography top notch. But, as in many a bad advertising methods, the creature on the cover does not make an appearance in the movie. And we all know how that steams me. For such a well directed movie to have such a stupid cover on it just to garnish some sales is a shame because the film is much more than a werewolf movie. I'll give it **** out of *****. It lost half a star because of the cover lie.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

DVD Review: Audition

Takashi Miike's scary look into the world of dating will make you think twice before asking that pretty young thing out! This film makes Fatal Attraction look like a cartoon. The story goes like this-a man in his forties loses his wife to illness. With the help of his friend, he decides to hold an audition for a role in a movie they are trying to produce at the same time checking out the girls to find his next love. He can't get one girl out of his head and so he decides to go for it. Everything is hunky-dorey until, well, you have to watch it. It's a very character driven movie with great atmosphere and there's always the sense of something beneath the surface. The acting is stellar and the direction is usual Miike, which is to say, very good. It is a little slow at times, don't pick it up expecting Ichi the Killer, it's not, but it's just as effective. **** out of *****.

Monday, November 28, 2005

DVD Review: Doll Graveyard

I told you I was a Full Moon fan. Another in a seemingly endless number of "doll" movies from Charles Band, but this was at least more in the vein of a Full Moon movie. Band's movies just don't have the creativity, or the gore for that matter, that they had in days gone by. This was unrated, but could have easily been PG-13. The plot is of course-demonic dolls return to find vengeance. The direction was good and the sound was good, even the story was decent for a Full Moon feature but the execution of the final product lacked oomph. Doll Graveyard doesn't come close to the Puppetmaster series or Demonic Toys. Oh, how I yearn for the Full Moon of old, the makers of Subspecies, Netherworld, hell, even Doctor Mordrid was better than anything they put out recently. I give it ** out of *****.

DVD Review: Ice Queen

Ugh, I don't know, this one sucked. The premise was good, the effects for a b-grade movie were decent, but something about this movie just didn't do it for me. Maybe it was the constant roaring of the Ice Queen, who never shut up or maybe it was the idiotic love triangle or the fact that there's a killer monster on the loose and nobody really seems to care. A scientific discovery is hijacked and stolen (the discovery being the Ice Queen) and after some technological breakdowns, she awakens in the airplane and causes it to crash at a ski resort, causing an avalanche that isolates the resort. The owner is a former drunk, so when he calls 911, nobody listens to him. The Ice Queen then runs around the resort yelling and killing the few people that are there. This one should have never left the freezer. *1/2 out of *****.

Friday, November 25, 2005

CD of the Month (November): Werewolf Order by Shadow Reichenstein

Got his little black beauty in my mailbox the other day and haven't stopped listening to it since. An unbelievable piece of horror-rock if there ever was one. The songs are crisp and perfectly produced. Shadow does an incredible job of summoning Bela Lugosi. It's about time Halloween got its own music and It's Halloween is the perfect tune for it. The lyrics are ghoulishly fun with the music a little harder here than on their last cd. My only beef is that they included an updated version of a song (Be My Victim) from their debut. A minor snag in an otherwise perfect coffin lining. ****1/2 out of *****.

Movie Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Despite all of the things left out from the book, this is still the best one of the lot. Plenty of action, intrigue and eye-candy for any movie fan. Harry's getting older and so are his freinds so there's plenty of hormonal problems going on here. Throw in the Tri-Wizard Tournament and the return of Voldemort and we've got ourselves a winner. Beautifully directed, wonderfully acted and perfectly scored, this movie keeps you going well past the two-hour mark. The absolute greatest thing about this franchise is the fact that they keep the same actors for the same roles, something that's rarely done. They are also able to snag some really great actors for the bit parts. Order of the Pheonix just can't get made quick enough! Highly recommended. ****1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: The Gingerdead Man

That's it! Call the coroner and toe-tag me, I'm dead! Full Moon Studios have put out some bad films over the years, but this one takes the cookie. From a studio that can make masterpieces (Subspecies, Castle Freak) when they want to, this is just a bad, bad movie. Not even Gary Busey's thespian masterwork can save it. Didn't he get nominated for an Oscar once? Oh how low we fall, first Celebrity Fit Club and now The Gingerdead Man! Busey plays a killer who goes to the electric chair and happens to return from the dead as a killer cookie. That's all you need to know, the rest of the story doesn't mean a thing. If Charles Band wants to save his company, he'd better hire Ted Nicolau back and put out some higher quality stuff. 0 out of *****. And I'm a die-hard Full Moon fan!

DVD Review: Jack O'Lantern

What did I do to deserve this? I watched this crapper over Halloween weekend and it took me this long to write a review about it. You see, I've been in the toilet throwing my guts up and gouging my eyes out since then! Never before have I seen someone die by being run off the road, and hitting ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. The front end is smashed up and there's ABSOLUTELY NOTHING in front of the damn thing. Anyway, the result of the ghost wreck is the dad is killed and the son is left brain damaged. Then a mysterious pumpkin is left on the boy's porch and when he goes to carve it, there's blood in it and somehow he gets possessed by something and he turns into a big pumpkin man, or something like that. It's even more funny watching the making of because everyone is saying how great the movie is. They must have been high. Another one of these and I just may kill myself! 0 out of *****.

DVD Review: Blue Demon

Holy Mama, simply put, Blue Demon is one of the lousiest movies I've ever had the displeasure of watching! For everyone that reads my reviews, you know that's really saying something because I watch some stinkers! A scientific team creates a group of "smarter and deadlier" great white sharks that they're able to control, all of them except a particular nasty one called "red dog". Never mind the fact that just about everyone that comes into contact with these man-eaters are able to walk away before they get attacked! There's only 3 deaths in this entire crapfest! Oh yeah, the sharks escape the laboratory, oh no look out, blah blah blah. Included in this masterful piece of crap is a stunning performance by Jeff Fahey (by stunning, I mean laughably bad). Forget the sharks, this movie will kill you! 0 out of *****.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Just a note to let you know some new reviews will be up very soon. Some of the DVD titles are Blue Demon, Jack-O-Lantern, Werewolf Hunter and a few others. Don't forget to keep an eye out for the November CD of the month. It's been a tough choice this month, but I think I have a winner, so stay tuned. Other than that, thanks for the nice words about the site, don't eat too much turkey and Stay Scared!

P.S.-Don't forget, the Davies are right around the corner and the list of nominees is shaping up nicely, they'll be posted next month!

Friday, November 04, 2005

DVD Review: Boo

Finally, another competitor for a Davey comes out of the woodwork. For a B-movie, Boo is a very atmospheric and well acted spookfest. The story takes place in an old abandoned hospital where the ghosts are extremely active on the third floor. On Halloween night, a group of kids plan to wander the halls of the place in hopes to scare their girlfriends. One of their other buddies went in ahead to set up some props, only thing is, this place don't need no stinking props! Add in a cop looking for some other kids that were missing, a loaded gun and the ever present Dee Wallace Stone, and you've got a gripper! The main evil spook wants to leave the hospital and can only do it in a human body, so paranoia sets in as the characters begin to wonder who's human and who's not. Nicely directed, I give Boo **** out of *****.

DVD Review: House of Wax

The latest incarnation of the House of Wax horror movies is a hard one for me to review. I thought it was decent, but on the other hand, I kept nodding off while trying to watch it. I don't know if I was just over-tired or maybe the movie's not as good as I thought it was. I may have to watch it again to be sure. On the good hand, it had a few jumpy parts, the acting was solid enough and the sound was good. On the bad hand, it was slow to get moving early on, Chad Michael Murray is extremely annoying in it, and after the slow beggining, it still plodded along in other parts. I won't bother with the plot, it's a house of wax movie, you can figure it out. For now, I'll give it **1/2 out of *****.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

DVD Review: Land of the Dead

The latest zombie flick from the man that invented the genre, George A. Romero is a pleasant surprise. I had heard alot of disappointing things about it so I was wondering how bad it was going to be. Well, not bad, not bad at all. Romero tells a fresh rendition of the zombie flick where the zombies actually start to regain some type of thought control back over their bodies. The world is overrun with the dead and a caged-in city is the only safe haven. The city is divided into a class system with only the rich getting the goods and the lower class citizens living on the streets, hey just like real life! Eventually, the zombies get tired of the humans coming out into their world and killing them and taking supplies for the big city. It's time for a revolt! the zombies are able to think on a barely-there level, but just enough to get by, almost like they were modeled after George Bush, but with a little more smarts. Romero does an effective job of portraying his behind-the-scenes social commentary which I think is about social status and racism. Nicely directed with plenty of gut ripping, I give Romero's latest **** out of *****.

DVD Review: The Hollow

Nothing like a good old Headless Horseman movie on a chilly October night, oh, can anybody recommend one to me cause this one ain't it. Not unless you like your Horseman riding around with a gigantic rubber pumpkin on his head. This thing was more like a watermelon than a pumpkin! And when he rode, the damn thing was bobbing this way and that! It looked ridiculous. And to boot, the rider was never headless like on the cover, he always had the melon on his head. The fact that Nick Carter gets the lead billing tells you something about this one too. He plays a tough kid so that also tells you a little about the casting. The plot is basically this-Icabod Crane escaped the Horseman the first time round and now his ancestor (Kevin Zegers) must face the reemerging threat of the Horseman. Stacey Keach was at least entertaining as the graveyard keeper but can someone please get Judge Reinhold a decent haircut! Kaley Cuoco from TV's Eight Simple Rules was no better than Carter in the acting department. Just too many things working against this one--**1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Sin City

Frank Miller's cult comic hit comes to the movie screen with Robert Rodriguez directing. Sounds like a match made in heaven, sometimes yes and sometimes no. There's just too much going on in this movie. It's comprised of three seperate yet intertwining stories. Each story was good enough for it's own movie and yet they had to be squashed down to all fit within one movie. The direction is stunning with the black and white with certain things colored look. The movie was a visual treat to watch but the way the stories were combined took away from an otherwise good film. Mickey Rourke was fantastic as Marv, he was the highlight of the movie and his story was the best. Given that, the movie as a whole gets *** out of *****.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

New Award Show!!

The year is rapidly coming to a close and we all know what's coming don't we? No, not Christmas! It's THE DAVEY'S!! Forget about the Oscars, the Emmys, the eleven award shows on MTV, Peoples Choice Awards, Billboard Awards, and others that don't even deserve mentioning. There's only ONE award that's worth getting and that's a DAVEY! In the upcoming months, I'll be doing some true soul searching to try to figure out exactly who deserves this truly prized award. I'll be picking the very best in the following catagories: Best CD, Best Direct-to-DVD film, Best Novel, Best Television Show and maybe if I have the time, I'll pick best actors and actresses or some junk like that. Julia Roberts won't win, I'll tell you that! And Russell Crowe can stay home! This is for the REAL hard working people in show business, the people who get hardly no exposure or credit. Not the pampered poohbahs like George Clooney and his gaggle of bought freinds! Stay tuned, the list of candidates will be up eventually. Unlike the other awards, I give people the entire year to make the list so if a film comes out on December 31st, it's still in contention for this year's award. Not long after the New Year, the winners will be revealed and some people will rejoice and have a great year and unfortunately, some will cry out and fall into a bottomless pit of self loathing and hatred, but so it goes in the brutal world of entertainment. Until next time, rent the movies I recommend, listen to the CD's of the month and by god, don't watch Snapped!!

CD of the Month (October): Dark Light by HIM

The leaves are piling up on the ground, the sky is overcast, a chill wind blows and all around the skeletons and ghouls of Halloween are playing in the yards. Perfect time of year for HIM to release their latest disc. All the moodyness and poetic madness is in full effect on Dark Light. Every song has references to the grave, death and/or love as is usual from Ville Vallo and gang. I don't understand how certain bands get overexposure (My Chemical Romance, Good Charlotte, etc.) and some, better bands don't get any. HIM has been consistently putting out some great music over the last few years and I see alot of merchandise in Hot Topic but I never hear them on the radio or see them on TV. I think that may change with this release. Every song is radio freindly and I can't see them not getting some exposure this year. From the Exorcist-style opening of "Vampire Heart" to the final refrains of "In the Nightside of Eden", Ville takes us on a ten song trip through the graveyards of love. Recommended, even if you aren't a ghoul with a broken heart. ****1/2 out of *****.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

DVD Review: Satan's Little Helper

Just in time for Halloween, a film that takes place on Halloween. How can you refuse to rent a movie with this kind of cover art? Satan's Little Helper is chock full of dispicable acts of various brutality. No one is safe here, not the blind man, the pregnant woman, the baby in the carriage, not even the cat! The film is about a little boy who's obsessed with his new video game called "Satan's Little Helper". He then sets out on Halloween to find the real Satan and become his helper. "Satan" here being a ruthless killer in a scary mask, he delights in taking the boy from murder to murder enlisting him to even lure some victims. I have to tell you, the little boy really makes this movie. This is a well directed and acted B-movie that really deserves an audience. It's more of a black comedy/horror mix than a straight out horror movie. Amanda Plummer plays the boys mother and after the first act, she gives a good performance. I recommend this film, it's more of a treat than a trick. **** out of *****.

DVD Review: The Amityville Horror (2005)

With The Fog remake hitting theaters this friday, and with the scores of horror remakes looming on the horizon, it's no surprise that horror re-do's (or as they say in the biz--re-imaginings) are a new hot commodity. Michael Bay started the craze with the success of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake and the new version of Dawn of the Dead only fanned those flames. Bay's next re-do is The Amityville Horror. While not a bad film, I feel that it didn't have the effect of the original. Now, I don't mean that the original is scarier by comparison, I mean that at the time the original was released, it had a much more of a horrific feel to it. If you watch the original today, it's almost laughable, but at the time...oohhh, spooky! And that's what you don't really get with the remake, the feel. It was well directed and acted with Ryan Reynolds giving a surprisingly good performance. By now, we all are familiar with the true story of the Lutz family, so I won't rehash it here. I still wonder how families that go through this kind of thing even contemplate staying in their house. The first time I see a malevonent spirit in my house, sayonara house! Still, I recommend the film for a rental, there's a few points in the movie that are tension filled and a few jumps here and there. Should have and could have been scarier though. I give it *** out of *****.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

DVD Review: Kung Fu Hustle

I loved this movie. It was exceptionally directed and choreographed. While in theaters, it was being promoed as a comedy, and while there were some funny parts, I thought it was a standout action movie with more martial art ballet than alot of kungfu movies. The plot involves a small town filled with cast-offs and ruffians that lies in the poor section, therefore it's never had problems with the big city gangs that plague the rich section. However, certain events lead to the Ax Gang waging a war on the seemingly helpless people. They find out that they're not so helpless after all and a hero is born from an unlikely place. Like I said, watching the ads for this film had me expecting a Kung Pow type of movie but I was pleasantly surprised. It's beautiful to watch and the ending is touching. I give it ***** out of *****.

DVD Review: Dead and Breakfast

I was chock full of joy when I found out this film finally came out on DVD. I was waiting over a year for it and it looked promising. You can see, on the cover it's touted as being the U.S. answer to Shaun of the Dead. Not by a long shot. Just because a movie is funny and has zombies in it doesn't make it Shaun quality. The fact is, it's not really that funny and it's definitely not scary. But I can't say it's all bad, it's decent in spots, and there were some chuckles here and there (mostly delivered by the Something about Mary-type singer between the scenes). For a B-movie, it has some familiar faces in it. David Carradine, Jeremy Sisto (May), Gina Philips (Jeepers Creepers), Eric Palladino (Strange Frequency) and Portia de Rossi (TV's Arrested Development) in a tiny role. The plot involves a bed and breakfast that is a local bad spot, everyone talks about the strange things going on up there. When a group of young friends, on their way to a wedding, decide to stop for the night, one of the does something bad and unleashes an unearthly evil. The evil will stop at nothing before it turns the entire town into a bunch of wisecracking, dancing zombies. Well shot and well intended, I just didn't feel it delivered on a horror level. I'm going to give it *** out of *****.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

CD of the Month (September): Fiend Club Lounge by Misfits Meet The Nutley Brass

This is a must have disc for any Misfits fan. The Nutley Brass have made a brilliant album comprised of their own renditions of 11 classic Misfit tunes. The only complaint is it's way too short at only 21 minutes of playing time. But what a truly inspired 21 minutes it is! It really is surprising to see how layered and complex these old punk rock songs are. Skulls and Teenagers From Mars are true masterpieces that really stand out. This is just a fun disc to listen to, singing the ghoulish lyrics set to horns and piano. I'm telling you, this is a great novelty record, perfect to take the seriousness out of these terrible times we live in, if only for 21 minutes! ***** out of *****.

DVD Review: Snapped

I've been out of commission for a while and THIS is the movie I pick to start reviewing again?! Damn me! A crapper through and through, Snapped is a movie made with a bunch of cast-offs that can't get parts in regular B-movies and they prove it the entire time. Granted, the main character wasn't as bad as the rest of the cast, but she's no Angela Bettis! The plot follows a young woman, who gets hired by a strange art house that specializes in displaying death art. Feeling the need to be the best she can be and prove her doubters wrong, she goes to some extreme measures in the name of her art. All this while dealing with a breakup with her druggie boyfriend, who happens to look like a bad Keanu Reaves impersonator (and who's acting happens to make Keanu's look like Lawrence Olivier!). Pass on this one, the subtitle says it all--You'll be better off Picturing Yourself Dead than watching this stinker. 0 out of *****.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

DVD Review: Sleepover Nightmare

Seven years ago, while partying with his friends, a seemingly fine upstanding young citizen loses track of his girlfriend. While he was away getting hamburgers, it turned out she was in the mood for a hotdog, and not his! The clean cut lad goes carayzaay and does a number on the hotdog deliveryman. Then drives his car over the bonfire, oh the humanity! Fast forward to him being transported to a different prison in one of the most secure vehicles around, the Ford Aerostar! While playing around, the driver loses control and the madman is freed! He happens upon a gaggle of twenty-somethings having a party on an isolated estate on the lake. They begin to drop like bored flies in variously lame ways. As crappy as a film I've watched in a while! Very bland and not very entertaining. The house on the lake was the star of this film, that's how bad it was. I wonder what it is about the insane that enables them to have superhuman strength, the silent capabilities of a cat and the dissapearing qualities of Houdini? Maybe it's the straw hat. Sleep through this one. 0 out of *****.

Remember Your Favorite Hosts

An upcoming DVD titled American Scary will soon be released and it has a coffin-load of footage from the old television horror shows with hosts like Zacherley, Svengoolie and Cecil Creepe just to name a few. Check out the trailers for the film HERE.

BOO! Just in Time for Halloween

The DVD release of the haunted hospital film Boo is scheduled for October 25th. I know I can't wait for this one either. Perfect timing for the release if you ask me. Also on tap for the Halloween releases will be George A. Romero's Land of the Dead hitting the shelves on October 18th.

Rejects Release Date

My favorite film of the year so far, The Devil's Rejects, will be released unrated on DVD on November 8th. Oh I can't wait!

Movie Review: Ichi the Killer

I had the opportunity to catch Takashi Miike's violent film Ichi the Killer the other day on the Sundance Channel. Everything I heard about this movie was how utterly violent and brutal it was. I thought the film was very good and not the hardcore gorefest everyone makes it out to be. The story is very engaging, the acting very good and the direction was pretty ahead of it's time for a film made in 2001. When an underworld Boss gets brutally murdered, his main hitman, Kakihara (pictured on the cover) goes on a rampage to find his killer. Kakihara is a sadomasochist and anxiously awaits the showdown. The killer of course is Ichi, a young man so troubled internally that he constantly cries and can't control his killing tendencies. The duo have a date with fate that ends with very questionable results, I have my own theory about what happens at the end of this film. If you would like to discuss it, leave me a comment and I'll tell you what I think. I really liked the movie and will search out Miike's other films to see how they stack up against this one. I give it **** out of *****.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

CD Review: X&Y by Coldplay

I didn't want to like this CD, I really didn't. But I do. It's mellow melodies flow from your speakers enveloping your ears in cool soothing sounds. Coldplay finally finds its style and sticks with it throughout the album. You can forget all the Radiohead comparisons, they come into their own on this album. The album starts off with Square One, a song that says we're all the same and finishes with the beautiful Twisted Logic. Their hit Speed of Sound isn't even the best track on the album. It truly is a beautiful sounding CD and their best so far. It gets ****1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Hide and Seek

It really doesn't take much for people (mainstream movie reviewers mostly) to be frightened by a movie. I say that because there was alot of talk about Hide and Seek while it was out at the theaters. It got mainly good reviews and did well at the box office. Many reviewers said the movie was truly scary. They're all lame and pawns to the Hollywood machine. This is just a run of the mill thriller, tailor made for the Hand That Rocks The Cradle type moviegoers. Despite having some top notch actors involved, the movie plods along at a snails pace and any decent horror lover can figure out the "twist" long before the mid point of the movie. On a good note, it did have good sound, the 5.1 surround was very good. But it takes more than sound to make a movie. I give it **1/2 out of *****. Oh yeah, as for the 4 alternate endings, they're just different variations of the same thing and not much of a bonus.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

See the Masters of Horror!!

The website for Showtime's upcoming Masters of Horror series is now live with a fantastic trailer for the season's episodes. I must say that it looks like it rocks! I now have to consider getting Showtime just for this show. At present, there will be 13 one hour episodes directed by many of horror's biggest directors. Click HERE for the site.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Book Review: Dance of Death by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Ah yes, another Agent Pendergast novel from Preston and Child, and what a top notch story it is! When we last saw Pendergast, he was bricked up in a wall in a castle in Italy, left for dead. This novel picks up only a few months after those startling events with D'Agosta left to try to solve the puzzling note from Pendergast's brother Diogenes all alone. Diogenes gave them a note with only a date written on it, a date that he promises to pull off a terrible crime. D'Agosta has only seven days to figure out the riddle, when one by one Pendergast's friends and associates start being murdered. Diogenes turns out to be just as wiley as his brother but insanely insidious. This novel is an exciting, intriguing and action packed one and a perfect way to spend these hot, lazy days of summer. I give it ****1/2 out of *****. Would have been perfect but for all the shameless plugs of their other novels, kinda bugged me after a while.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Gingerdead Man

Serenity (Trailer #2)

A Sound of Thunder (Trailer #2)

Deep Blue

Transporter 2

News and Updates

George Lucas has noted that his next project will be for television and it will be an animated Clone Wars series as well as a previously noted Star Wars live action series.

Internet rumors have Indiana Jones 4 getting under way with Paramount eyeing a Feb. 2, 2007 release date. The rumors also have Harrison Ford agreeing to star.

Another franchise that refuses to die, Highlander, is gearing up for another installment to be called Highlander: The Source. It's the first of a trilogy detailing the Immortal's quest for the Holy Grail of their world.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, the Hugo Award winning novel by Susanna Clarke is in the works for movie adaptation with Christopher Hampton (Dangerous Liaisons) penning the screenplay.

Greg Grunberg (Agent Weiss) told TV Guide Online that he will be leaving ABC's Alias this fall after four seasons. Also on the Alias front, ABC has released this synopsis for the upcoming season starting on September 29:"After they both survive the crash, [Sydney] learns that the man she has known as Michael Vaughn is under investigation and suspected of being a double agent. She questions whether their business and personal relationship over the years had all been a lie. When Sydney discovers that she is pregnant with Vaughn's baby, she is determined to uncover the truth about him. Meanwhile, because of Jack's [Victor Garber] past betrayal by Irina [Lena Olin], he begins to worry that his daughter may suffer the same fate as he did. He will also have to deal with the fact that he will soon become a grandfather, while still learning how to be a dad. Sloane [Ron Rifkin] will have to do some soul-searching of his own, as he makes an unholy alliance in his desperate fight to find a cure for Nadia [Mia Maestro], who is still in a coma." Alias will be on Thursdays at a new time slot, 8:00.

Congratulations go out to Battlestar Galactica for winning a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form. It's fraggin' great!

Final Destination 3 is set to be released in theaters on Feb. 24th, and the Texas Chainsaw prequel, subtitled The Origin, is scheduled for an October 6th, 2006 release.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

CD of the Month (August): Octavarium by Dream Theater

Dream Theater's one of those bands that you never know what you're going to get. So, needless to say, I was very surprised when I heard this disc. I feel it's easily one of their best, good enough to be this month's pick. The album starts off with a rocking tune (Root of All Evil) in classic DT style, then slows down a bit with Answer Lies Within. I was taken back by that song, it wasn't what I'm used to with DT but it is a great track in itself. They have an homage to 9/11 on the disc called Sacrificed Sons that is very moving and the intro itself is hard to get through. The title track is an epic of an opus clocking in at 24 minutes but the styles used in the song evokes memories of Rush, Kansas and Yes to name a few. Only eight songs on the disc but each is a journey of it's own and you'll find yourself listening to it constantly. Beautifully produced and masterfully orchestrated, this is one hell of a good album. It gets ***** out of *****.

Friday, July 29, 2005

DVD Review: Devour

Warning, Warning! When a cover of a DVD is all red, stay away, stay away! Just like Cursed, this movie sucks! Both covers are all red. Coincidence? I think not! This crapfest was like watching Dawson's Creek with a little satanism thrown in. The emotions, the sound, the filming. Everything felt like I was watching a teen drama on television. When kids start playing a computer game called "The Pathway", it starts taking over their life, telling them to kill people and then themselves. Unbeknownst to them, it was created by a satanist! And they're being possessed by Lucifer himself! Oh no! Why am I watching this crap?! Pass on this one, please. May the director of this never work again! 0 out of *****.

DVD Review: Tremors 4-The Legend Begins

Just as the title says, this is the beginning of the long running Tremors series. The only problem is they never say where the worms came from! They were just there all of a sudden. Besides that little snafu, the film was entertaining. I've always liked the Tremors films, some more than others, but they are all fun, and this one fits right in. Here, we find out the original name of the town was "Rejection" and up at the silver mine, people are dying. When no one will enter the mine, the town starts to shut down. The owner of the mine (Michael Gross) comes to town to find out what's happening and upon finding out about the killer worms, hires a gunman (Billy Drago) to take care of them. I must say Drago is great in his role as Black Hand Kelly. This is a good little flick without all the computer generated monsters that ruin alot of films. Nicely shot and acted, when a series gets into it's third sequel, they rarely have the quality that this one does. I give it ***1/2 out of *****.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Movie Review: The Devil's Rejects

Best film of the year hands down! What Rob Zombie accomplishes in only his second feature film is absolutely mesmerizing. He takes the most foul, mean, low down and dirty group of miscreants known to man and makes you fall in love with them. I liked House of 1000 Corpses, but this sequel blows it away. I didn't want the movie to end. It's a shame popular Hollywood refuses to acknowledge this genre because both Bill Moseley and Sid Haig deliver award worthy performances. Their facial expressions alone convey more than most actors can with a book full of dialogue. This film picks up where House left off, the Firefly family coming under attack by the police and Otis and Baby escaping to hook up with Captain Spaulding. A sherriff obsessed with revenging his brother's murder is shadowing them the entire time and he takes to extreme measures to extract his revenge. I can't convey how good this film is, Rob Zombie is the man! It gets ***** out of *****. It's about time a movie delivered the goods!

Friday, July 22, 2005

DVD Review: Urban Legends- Bloody Mary

The third in the Urban Legend series starts out slow but after it gets going, it turns out to be a good little movie. When Mary Banner dies in 1969 on her prom night, her body is hidden by her date and she's never found. Fast forward to current times and when a group of high school jocks kidnap the school newspaper reporter who printed a scandalous photo of them and her two friends, Mary decides to come back for little payback. It's actually better than that quick synopsis. The film is shot very good, the acting is decent and the sound's not bad. This is a movie that could have easily been a crapper, but the director put enough care into it to make it better than alot of Direct-to-DVD fare available. I give it ***1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Deep in the Woods

Another taste of horror from France and after seeing the trailer for it, I was excited to see it. I thought it was going to be a better film than Haute Tension. I was wrong. It was not better than Haute Tension and I was wrong to be excited about it. A group of actors are hired by a wheelchair bound man to put on a show for the strange little boy that lives with him in his sprawling wooded estate. I don't know if the kid is his son, nephew, friend or what, it's never revealed. Anyway, one by one the actors start to bite it. Oh yeah, plus there's a subplot dealing with a mad rapist running around the countryside. All this adds up to a crappy, hard to follow piece of French filmmaking. Don't get fooled by the trailer like I did, pass on it. 0 out of *****.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Book Review: The Loch by Steve Alten

What a ride! Steve Alten's latest book is his best so far and I'm wondering how he's going to top this one. He gets better and better with each book and The Loch blew me away. I've said it before on my site that I love everything about Nessie and hands down this is the best book about the old girl out there. Packed with action and more information about Scotland and Loch Ness than I ever thought existed, this is one entertaining and educational read. I actually learned things from this book. The plot follows Zachary Wallace, a fallen from grace marine scientist, who's called back to Scotland for his father's murder trial. While there, the beast attacks some tourists and Zach gets caught up in trying to find the reason why and put to rest his own "demons" from the past. The explanations of what Nessie is and how things got to be the way they are are all very believable and I have to say the best theories I've ever read on her. The best read of the summer, order it now from the picture on the right side of the site, you will love it and you won't be disappointed! I give The Loch ***** out of *****.

Friday, July 15, 2005

CD Review: Dirty Diamonds by Alice Cooper

As Alice Cooper nears 60 years old, he's showing no signs of slowing down. What he started with The Eyes of Alice Cooper, he continues here, going back to old school rock and roll. A few of the songs on this disc sound as if they were recorded back with Billion Dollar Babies or School's Out. Even as he ages, his voice is as good as ever. So many times watching bands like The Who or Pink Floyd recently at the "One" Concert, you ask yourselves "They still sound good, so why aren't they putting new music out?". Someone usually answers "They can't write stuff like that anymore.". Well Alice is proving them wrong again as this disc is very old style sounding (except " Stand"). If you liked Eyes, there's more where that came from here. It gets **** out of *****.

Movie Review: The Fantastic Four

The summer's second big superhero movie made a huge payday on opening weekend but sadly, wasn't as fantastic as everyone was saying. Not that it wasn't entertaining. It's just that in today's day and age, previews ruin movies. If you've seen the previews, you've seen the movie. There were very few action sequences that weren't in the trailer. Dr. Doom (as the hooded and masked Dr. Doom) is in the film only at the end. I know that this is the first of what should be many, but I felt a little cheated. The effects were good but my cineplex put the film in a theater with lousy sound so that didn't help matters. The acting was pretty good throughout the movie and the makeup on The Thing was really good, alot better than the CGI Hulk. Here's hoping the crew returns for the sequel and that it's a little more action packed. As for me, I liked Batman Begins better but I still give Fantastic Four ***1/2 out of *****.

Book Review: Make Love The Bruce Campbell Way by Bruce Campbell

The Chin's second foray into the publishing world is just as an entertaining read as his debut, If Chins Could Kill, Confessions of a B-Movie Actor. Long held in my heart as one of my favorite actors, Bruce puts on display his unending wit and humor as he describes his misadventures trying to become a part of a big league "A" list movie starring Richard Gere and Renee' Zellweger. As the movie unwinds around him and blame is cast upon the "B" movie actor, Bruce takes to some desperate measures to clear his name and save his reputation. Filled with laugh-out-loud pictures and action sequences as only The Chin could write, this is a must read for any genre fan or any fan of humorous stories. Even better than his first, this book gets ***** out of *****. Noboby can pile it on like Bruce Campbell.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

CD of the Month (July): Once by Nightwish

Each new Nightwish release gets bigger and better than the last one. Once is their best so far. The sound is HUGE on this album and it's easily one of the best produced albums of the year. Seriously, every track hits it's mark. The musicianship is unbelievable and Tarja's vocals are as powerful as ever. "Dark Chest of Wonders" starts the CD off with a great guitar riff and the songs have an almost cinematic feel to them. There are eleven songs on the album and every one is fantastic, even if one is sung in Finnish (Kuolema Tekke Taiteilijan). I don't know, it must be something in the water over in Finland, Once is the second CD of the Month from a Finnish band so far this year. Viva' La Finland! The disc gets ***** out of *****. Perfect.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Movie Review: Batman Begins

This is the best Batman movie ever! Gone are all the colorful backdrops, stupid jokes, crappy big name actors and terrible scripts. This is how a Batman movie should look. Dark and dreary like the main character. Christopher Nolan directed a masterpiece here and Christian Bale really is the best Dark Knight yet. Also not to be forgotten is Michael Caine, as the butler Alfred. Everyone was casted wonderfully, even that goofy bastard's girlfriend wasn't bad. Even if you're not into superhero movies, I'd have to say you would like this movie. It's a very character driven drama. I give it ****1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Skinned Deep

Another offering from Fangoria's line of DVD's and for all intents and purposes, another stinker. The character on the box, called The Surgeon General is the only interesting character here. The plot has a family falling into the clutches of a sadistic family consisting of Mama, the Surgeon General, Plates (a plate flinging Warwick Davis), Brain, and The Creator. Brain actually has a gigantic brain sticking out the top of his head. Anyway, all the family members are killed except the teenage daughter, who Brain happens to fall in love with. The thing is, if you read the movie description, it's NOTHING that actually happens in the movie, I mean, you can bend it really out there to make it fit but come on! The only thing that can save this movie is watching it on the same night as Cold Grip! It gets * out of *****.