Sunday, December 31, 2006

DVD Review: See No Evil

See No Evil brings yet another WWE wrestler into the horror genre with The Big Red Machine, also known as Kane, starring in this slasher flick. I have to say, he's a perfect fit for this role. As Jacob Goodnight, Kane turns out as ruthless and violent a villain as I've seen in recent years. The way he smacks the one girl into the door frame as he's carrying her out of the room made my heart leap with joy. Finally a killer to be taken seriously! Kane's nearly wordless performance was spot on, even if everyone else in the film was annoying. The story follows a group of juveniles that have to clean up and repair an old hotel as part of their punishment. Unbenknownst to them, somebody is living in the dilapidated hotel. Oh yeah, it turns out the man in charge of the juveniles is none other than the old cop who lost his hand to Goodnight years prior. Yeah, it does sound silly, but believe me, it's fun to watch and you forget about the little annoyances when Kane's a-killin. A nice little slasher flick to warm up to on a chilly night with Kane more than making up for Triple H's disastrous role in Blade 3! I give See No Evil **** out of *****.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Report of My Demise Has Been Greatly Exagerrated

Yes, faithful readers, I still live. (Some may weep joyous tears, while others I'm afraid to say may be raising their fists in the air while muttering "Curses!") I haven't been able to post any reviews in quite a stretch of time due to various job situations, but never fear, the reviews will be back starting tomorrow. A few that I have on tap are:

See No Evil

30 Days of Night: Rumours of the Undead by Steve Niles

Live Feed

Fears in the Water by The Vincent Black Shadow

and many more.

Stay tuned fiends, it's gonna be a bloody ride!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

DVD Review: Slither

Slither marks the directorial debut of James Gunn, the writer of the first Scooby Doo Movie as well as various Troma films and I must say, I really dug it! It's cleverly written, well acted and you just can't help but sit back and smile as the legion of slimy little creatures run amok, turning people into zombie-style abominations. This film is what every throwback to the old campy sci-fi films should be. The story starts with a meteorite landing in the woods outside a small town. A local guy happens to find the egg that was on board and he gets "infected". He, in turn, spreads the wealth while undergoing some physical changes. It's up to the newly elected police chief to stop the madness. The film stars Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Serenity) and he does a smack up job! The bonuses on the disc are great and numerous. If I could watch a film like Slither every Saturday night, boy wouldn't it be great! Thanks Mr. Gunn. ***** out of *****.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Book Review: Into The Fire by Richard Laymon

Richard Laymon writes the kind of fiction that would be sold at a fast food joint. You know it's not good for you but damn if it's not tasty! A guilty pleasure if there ever was one, Laymon's stories are filled with gratuitous sex and overflowing violence. Into the Fire continues the tradition. Laymon is the master at taking two totally seperate stories, each great in their own right, and forcing them upon each other into a climax of momentous proportions. In this novel, we have the story of a woman who gets abducted by a former high school stalker. She gets taken into the desert to become his plaything, but something happens along the way. In the other story, good boy Nathan gets unexpectedly teamed up with a crazy duo, turns to feral desires and a life of crime. As the two stories careen toward each other, much is learned about the players and their lives. Sex, blood and violence. Hey, it's all good! It's all Laymon. **** out of *****.

DVD Review: Masters of Horror--Pick Me Up

I have a lot of catching up to do as far as these Masters of Horror episodes go, so here's another. Unfortunately, it's another foray into "horror's could have been". Coming from Larry Cohen, I was expecting a decent film. It was choppy at best. It's bad when you care more for the killer than the unassuming victim. The victim in this case is the ever crabby Fairuza Balk. Boy, does she ever not play a crabby bitch? Talk about getting pigeonholed! She has the terrible luck of becoming the prize in a duel between two serial killers. Michael Moriarty does a great job, in my opinion, of at least making his character somewhat memorable. You know you should never pick up a hitchhiker, and that goes for Pick Me Up too. * out of *****.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

DVD Review: Masters of Horror--Imprint

Anyone who knows me knows that I truly admire Takashi Miike's work. I think he has an incredible vision and for the most part, has been one of our better directors in recent years. However, he does have a habit of falling prey to the WTF bug every once in a while. Imprint is unfortunately, one of those times. Originally banned from American broadcast, even on a pay-channel like Showtime, it finally makes it onto DVD. I was curious as to what could be so bad about it that it got banned. After watching it, I concluded that there's no way the American public would stand for this. It was atrocious! It was horrific! No, I'm not talking about the dead fetuses, I'm talking about Billy Drago's acting goddammit! Holy smokes, if you've never seen overacting before then you need to check this one out. The story is about Drago's character returning to the Orient to find the love of his life, who happens to work in a brothel. Too bad for Drago, she was realistically tortured and killed a while ago. As he learns the story from a disfigured concubine he reacts in very dramatic fashion. And then, the disfigured girl has a talking hand with buck-teeth come out of her head! I wish I was making it up, but I'm not. What started out as atmospheric and melodromatic quickly turns into a ridiculous foray into the surreal as lies are uncovered and the truth is revealed. I wouldn't have banned it because it was edgy, I would have banned it because it sucked. Imprint get * out of *****.

Monday, November 06, 2006

DVD Review: Dark Reality

The creators of Dark Reality not only made a movie, but they tapped into a medical phenomenon. They discovered the cure for insomnia! This is possibly the most boring film I've ever had the displeasure of watching. There is no plot, there is no story, the guy on the box cover isn't even in the film! If you've never listened to my reviews in the past, do so now! This is a major crapper. The film is about a few women who get abducted, tortured and held captive by an unknown man. That's it. There's no mystery as to who the guy is, why these particular girls, no cop on the trail, no nothing. The only mystery I can find is...why am I watching this crap?! The film quality is terrible. It's grainier than a bag of whole-wheat bread! Plus, all the close-ups and over-the-cheek shots are enough to send you over the edge. The Reality of this situation certainly is Dark! 0 out of *****. I would give it negative points if I could!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

DVD Review: Feast

The Project Greenlight horrorfest finally makes it to the masses, and the verdict, not too bad. The writing was creative and I really liked the way the movie kicked off. It was original and I really dug it. The acting was over-the-top good, especially from Henry Rollins, who plays a self-motivating guru. The creature makeup was good when they finally shed their stupid looking costumes, I wish they would have left the furs and stuff off them the entire time, they looked goofy in them. The monster fighting scenes were filmed in that now-familiar shaking mode that's supposed to lend an air of frantic desperation. Unfortunately, I don't remember ever hearing anything about who or what these creatures are or where they came from. Maybe it'll be uncovered in the sure-to-be-sequel. Basically the movie's about a group of people in a dusty old desert bar, who get attacked by blood and sex-starved monsters. There's tons of blood and guts and all that good stuff. Overall, Feast is a fun ride, not to be taken seriously, but with a few minor slips. It get *** out of *****.

DVD Review: Halloween Night

OOOOOOOOO...Scaaaaarrrryyyyy. It's Halloween and when better to check out Halloween Night written by Fangoria's very own Michael Gingold. Gee, I wonder how they'll review this one, because let's face it, it's not too good. It says it's based on a true story. If it is, then real life really is stranger than fiction because there is a lot of people getting killed in this movie. It's actually one of the better things about it, all the killing. The problem is, is that the killing is lackluster and not much creativity went into the scenes. There was no buildup of tension, the acting was herky-jerky and it was just bland. It's like getting an ice cream cone filled with colorful scoops of ice cream and finding out it's all vanilla. Some of the characters were downright annoying and the guy that played the cop should never act again! Ok, so apparently. back in 1982, a guy escaped from a mental institution and killed a bunch of people in his former house, sound familiar? Unfortunately, Halloween Night couldn't be scary even after eating half a bag of candy from tonight's activities. What's next, The Afternoon of Friday the 13th? Sheesh! * out of *****.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

DVD Review: Rest Stop

AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!! I so wanted this to be what it looked like! The previews looked so good! Alas, another drape of wool over my eyes. This was a weak, boring and non-sensible entry into the serial killer genre. If there was less blood, language and skin (not that there was much of any to begin with), it could be a Lifetime movie of the week. Where did the girl in the skirt on the cover come from? The girl in the movie had jeans on! It's stupid little things like that, all through the movie, that you notice. Oh yeah, and if it wasn't bad enough, it had Joey Lawrence in it. I kept waiting for him to say "Woah" as he proved why he hasn't worked in years. The main actress was annoying and the way her character acted was insipid. The plot goes like this--A girl and her boyfriend leave Texas for the bright lights of Hollywood. Along the way, they are tormented by a guy in a yellow truck. They stop at a rest stop and end up at the wrong end of this guy's furor. There are goofy "imagination" sequences, stupid dialogue and lousy acting by everyone included. The ending can be seen coming a mile away. The multiple endings included on the disc show that the lousy, overly-used ending was actually the best one of the crappy lot! Lucky us. Pass this Rest Stop, keep driving, run out of gas if you have to! * out of *****.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

DVD Review: The Pumpkin Karver

It's that time of year again. When a rash of Halloween themed movies head straight to DVD to try to make some quick cash. Which one will be this year's Satan's Little Helper? It won't be The Pumpkin Karver, but don't let that stop you from checking it out. This film has potential, but it just didn't make the most out of the premise. First off is the young man who is the central character. Is he mentally challenged or not? Why does his sister have to stay with him on Halloween night when they're both like 20 years old? I was just wondering, in a movie like this, some detail would be nice. That being said, it wasn't a terrible slasher film, maybe a little tame for my standards since all the carving was done off screen, but the old man's performance is worth watching. His gritty performance as a crazy old coot is simply great. The two stoner dudes I just couldn't take though. Their comic relief was neither comical nor a relief. I also had a problem with the fact that with all those kids at the Halloween party, only a few get killed and you never see what happens to all the rest of them. Do they continue to party on? Do they go home? I'm a sucker for Halloween themed slashers but there are too many questions left unanswered with this one. A slasher movie doesn't need to be this stupid. They can be well thought out at times. Call this "the little slasher that almost did". It carves a ** out of *****. Oh, yeah, that face on the box cover, that's not the Pumpkin Karver, I don't know who that is, he's not in the movie, but he's creepier looking than the killer and should have been in it!

DVD Review: Hillside Cannibals

Was the Hills Have Eyes remake so popular that it needs this many low budget rip offs? Hillside Cannibals is actually more in the vein of Jack Ketchum's novel Off Season, but without everything that made that novel so great. This is a rather boring foray into the cannibalistic hill dwellers genre. A "family" of cannibals reside in the hills of a desert out in the middle of nowhere and they feast on anyone who gets too close to their lair. With more grunting and hooting than what's heard at the local zoo, for some reason the actors were told to act like monkeys. Monkeys aren't cannibals. Maybe it was their take on a caveman. Cavemen weren't cannibals either. I don't know, but it made for an irritating movie experience. Don't head into these hills. * out of *****.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Book Review: Ghost Road Blues by Jonathan Maberry

Damn you Maberry, damn you I say! If I were to write a novel, this is exactly the type of story I'd tell! Thank you Maberry, thank you I say because you actually wrote it and it kicks serious ass!! This is the best book I've read this year, hands and goat hooves down! This story has it all. Evil murderers, blues-playing ghosts, tow-truck drivers trying to run down kids, and a creepy feeling town to boot! I want to move to Pine Deep, even though my life would be on the line, that's my kind of town. This book is poetic, a beautiful story woven from delicate strands of gristle and fiber. The first in a trilogy, Maberry has started something that I hope he can keep up with. The book is flawless, from the opening page to the last. Buy and read this book NOW! It's the perfect time with Halloween right around the corner and autumn coming on strong. I'm not even going to try to explain the plot, it's too delicious and I don't want to do it a disfavor. You're a good man Mr. Maberry, keep up the great work! ***** out of *****. You've gotta let me know when Dead Man's Song comes out bro! I'll be the first in line.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

DVD Review: Stay Alive

Here comes another PG-13 movie released on DVD in a special unrated version, that closely resembles a PG-13 movie! When Stay Alive was released in theaters, a few review sites (some that I rather admire) claimed that although it was PG-13, there was a lot of blood and some nice death scenes. They must have been enjoying some magical popcorn when they watched it. It is what it is--a PG-13 horror movie. Even so, I had high hopes after the opening. It was original and creepy and had the feel of a Japanese horror film. Sadly, the rest of the movie sucked. The premise is that the spirit of an evil lady is released when a certain poem is read aloud at the beginning of an underground video game. If your character in the game dies, then so do you, in real life. Lousy acting, and some of the dumbest police characters I've ever seen on film do not help. Stay Alive never should have been born in the first place! * out of *****.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

DVD Review: Hard Candy

This is a brilliant movie. It makes you think about it long after the show's over. The acting is incredible and the direction is first-rate. The people behind this movie really thought this through, understanding that the viewer is going to question their very own point of view after watching this. I, for one, thought it ended brilliantly! Find out what happens when a 30-something man meets up with a 14 year old after an internet chat session. It's not Dateline, and there's no Chris Hanson! Amazingly subtle, yet poignantly powerful, this is a classic film that every member of society should watch. This should be Oscar-nominated, but the Hollywood machine can't get it's mind around filmmaking this good, so I'm sure some period piece on an English Queen will get the nod instead. Watch this film! I was riveted to my seat. ***** out of *****.

Friday, September 22, 2006

CD Review: A Matter of Life and Death by Iron Maiden

This was hard to come by. Not the CD, the review. I had mixed feelings when I heard the album for the first time. I thought it was a little boring, a shadow of what Maiden used to be. Then, the more I listened to it, the better it sounded. Turns out I actually like the album, although it's still a shadow of what Maiden used to be. Call this the "new era of Iron Maiden". It started with Brave New World and continues here. Most of the songs start off with that soft bass line that is so familiar to Maiden songs and then they pick up tempo. Here's the tracklist:
  1. Different World
  2. These Colours Don't Run
  3. Brighter Than A Thousand Suns
  4. Pilgrim
  5. Longest Day
  6. Out of The Shadows
  7. Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg
  8. For The Greater Good of God
  9. Lord of Light
  10. Legacy
As you can see, the songs are patriotic in theme as Iron Maiden is making their comment on modern society. Like I said, it's a good album, certainly not Maiden's finest, but it nice to see the old geezers still pumping out some very good music. Newer bands will never have the longetivity of the classic forefathers of rock, like Maiden, Priest, Kiss, and AC/DC!!! I give this latest Maiden disc ***1/2 out of *****.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Book Review: The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

I absolutely love the Agent Pendergast novels. Full of action, intrigue, twists and turns, I'm telling you those books are great! That's why this is so hard. This latest journey with Pendergast isn't as fun or exciting as past visits. The thing is, is if you're a fan, you have to read this book. There are a lot of things that happen that are very important to the series in Book of the Dead. We find out more about Diogenes, the Pendergast family, and even Constance. When we last left the eccentric agent, he was locked away in Herkmoor prison, framed by his evil brother Diogenes, for the murders of many prominent people. Diogenes is on the loose plotting his ultimate crime. Lt. D'Agosta and the strange Eli Glinn collaborate on a plan to get Pendergast out of prison. The setting is again the New York Museum and focuses on the re-opening of the cursed Tomb of Senef. The same familiar faces are back in the fold, and by now you'd think they'd close the museum down after everything that's happened there! It's a delicately written, carefully constructed story that has a tendency to plod along at times, and the ending sets up an encore. The past two novels were better in my opinion, but as I said, a lot of important things are exposed in this one, so if you're a fan, read it! Overall, I give The Book of the Dead *** out of *****.

DVD Review: Dark Fields

I'm convinced that the artists responsible for cover art should be more involved with the actual film. This is yet another prime example of a DVD cover that is way better then the film. A group of teens get a ride from the pimply-faced school nerd to the big concert, unfortunately, nobody really knows how to get there and they run out of gas. They coast to a stop right by a big old scary house! Never mind the fact that there are tail lights from passing cars about 25 yards from where they are, they're STRANDED! The pimply-faced nerd goes to see if the scary house has gas, where he meets his demise, I guess, they never really say, but later, the others do find a drop of blood. Seems there's a killer on the loose. Just so happens he has a vendetta against gas thieves. I'm serious, that's his M.O., gas thieves. Never mind the fact that the pimple boy left him $10 and wasn't stealing gas, maybe the Gene Simmons wig the killer seems to be wearing obstructs his vision. I don't know, this film has some laughable scenes, whether or not they were intended to be funny is another matter. This is just a mindless film, with some mildly funny spots, and if not taken too seriously isn't too bad. I give Dark Fields ** out of *****.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

DVD Review: Are You Scared

Five seconds into this film and you're thinking "This is just like Saw!". Yeah, it is just like Saw. A group of young adults each wake up in a desolate, abandoned warehouse. It seems that at one time, they all applied to be on a new reality TV show called "Are You Scared?". The Jigsaw-like voice explains to them the rules of the game. One by one, they each have to head off to face their fear, and needless to say, they usually don't win. If Saw had never come out, this would have been a decent film, but now it just seems to be a copycat. There were a few scenes that were worth the price of admission, however. Unfortunately, the contestants were kind of irritating, and I figured out what the "twist" was to this one about 20 minutes into the film. Having said all that, it's still better than some of the crappers out there. I would recommend it on a night when there's nothing on, and Saw 2 is already rented. I give it **1/2 out of *****.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

DVD Review: Satan's Playground

I have mixed feelings about Satan's Playground. On one hand, the entire story is riddled with holes and there are times you feel like turning it off. On the other hand, it has a sort of tongue in cheek quality to it that forces you to smile and keeps your finger off the stop button. The story takes place in Satan's actual playground, which is New Jersey, for those of you who don't live here. No, it really takes place in the Pine Barrens of NJ, and for once I'm glad they actually filmed here and didn't try to pretend the lush forests of Canada are the Pine Barrens. I'd recognize that sandy soil and those twisted, gnarly tree limbs anywhere! As for the actors, it feels like the casting director picked up a few people from a turnpike rest stop to play the roles, except for Mrs. Leeds, she was great. The story deals with a family driving to God-knows-where, through the Pine Barrens. Their car breaks down, and they find an old house in the woods. Things go awry from there as crazy sociopaths, satan worshippers, and the Jersey Devil all come together to wreak havoc on the family. That's one mean strech of Pine Barrens real estate! Dante Tomaselli directed this film and after watching the interview with him on the disc, I have to say I thought more of the film than I previously did. He has talent that is still on the fringes of being released, and when it does, he'll be more than just a good director with a great sounding name. He's definitely one to keep an eye out for. Satan plays with **1/2 out of *****.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

CD Review: Fang Bang by Wednesday 13

Whoever said that Marilyn Manson was this generation's Alice Cooper has obviously not heard Wednesday 13. This dude knows how to write 'em down, dirty, bloody, and yeah, a little fun too. Fang Bang is the highly awaited sequel to Transylvania 90210 and if put in movie terms, Fang Bang would be The Empire Strikes Back compared to 90210's A New Hope. Yeah, it's that good. Here's the set list and with track names like these, how can they be bad?:
1.) Morgue Than Words--A great rocking tune to open the record with.

2.) American Werewolves in London--If you don't find yourself singing to this, you're dead.

3.) My Home Sweet Homicide--A great track with a great video. Should see heavy MTV rotation.

4.) Faith In The Devil--Profanity laden goodness.

5.) Happily Ever Cadaver--This generation's Cold Ethyl.

6.) Curse of Me--Perhaps the best track? Definitely the most well constructed.

7.) Haddonfield--An ode to Michael Myers. If it doesn't show up in Rob Zombie's remake, there's no justice in this world.

8.) Too Much Blood--A frenzied, fist-pumping rager.

9.) Till Death Do Us Party--An ode to Jason Voorhees. If it doesn't show up in the next Friday the 13th flick, there's no justice in this world.

10.) Buried With Children--Made for the mosh pit.

11.) Kill You Before You Kill Me--The title explains it all!

12.) Die Sci-Fi--This tune rocks! It has a more mature sound than the others.

13.) Burn The Flames--If this track doesn't remind you of vintage Alice, yeah, you're dead.

This CD kicks total ASS!!! This album progresses on everthing he's done since Murderdolls and Frankenstein Drag Queens. All hail the next incarnation of Alice with a brutal twist. ***** out of *****!! Pick this album up TODAY!

Monday, September 04, 2006

DVD Review: The Tooth Fairy

There has never been a more true tagline in the history of cinema: "The Childhood Fairy Tale Becomes Your Worst Nightmare"! This movie was a nightmare. Whether it was from the convoluted plot, the crappy acting or the lousy directing, I'll never know. The story is about an old woman with a bad complexion, who as a child was constantly ridiculed by her peers, and the havoc she wreaks. She lures children to her wooded abode with the promises of goodies in exchange for their loose tooth. After she gets the tooth, the kid gets the axe! And the tooth goes in a box, along with the kid's soul. Now, it's many years later, and a new owner is changing the witch house into a bed and breakfast. All the painting and cleaning apparently awakens the old crow and she starts killing people. Oh yeah, did I mention the owner has a girlfiend with a little girl (who happens to have a loose tooth!) who also happens to be staying with him for a while. Throw in the stripper with a heart of gold, a love for birds, and a tender side ("He was going to be an electrical engineer...sob...sob") and we've got a potboiler! This tooth fairy movie makes Darkness Falls look like a masterpiece! Just like the real tooth fairy, pretend this film doesn't exist! It gums its way to 0 out of *****.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

DVD Review: Silent Hill

Without a doubt, Silent Hill should get an Oscar nomination for set design. The environment of this movie is phenomenal! I can't believe how similar everything looked compared to the game. Of course, for those not in the know, Silent Hill is based on the popular video game of the same name. When a couple's adopted daughter has sleepwalking dreams and keeps muttering "Silent Hill" in mid-slumber, Rose, the good mom that she is, decides to take the girl to the abandoned ghost town to try to help her with her illness. On the way there, she speeds away from a cop and gets into an accident, right on the fringe of...Silent Hill. Knocked out by the crash, Rose awakens to find her daughter missing. She then sets out through the wierd, shadowy town to try and find her. The atmosphere is as eerie as I've ever seen in a movie. The acting is very good and the effects are unbelievable. The directing is top-notch and the sound is incredible. There is not much bad to say about this movie. I really did thoroughly enjoy it. It's by far the creepiest American-made movie in years. Silent Hill screams out with ***** out of *****.

Friday, September 01, 2006

DVD Review: Night Watch

This movie is brilliant! The first in a trilogy, Night Watch tells the tale of a world in which vampires and witches and other nasties walk among us. Centuries before, the battle between the forces of light and the forces of dark raged on and eventually came to a standstill. A pact was formed to lend balance to the land. Thus the Night Watch and the Day Watch were formed. The Night Watch is a group of people, who have supernatural powers, that watch over the legions of the dark and ensure they don't get too out of control. They even issue licenses for the dark ones to legally do their bad deeds. The dark ones are fed up with the control issues and some act out. Every time an Other is found, the two forces each try to get him to join their faction. This synopsis doesn't do this movie justice. This is a kick-ass, visually beautiful film with an engaging storyline. It's hard to believe this Russian filmed epic was made for about 4 million dollars. If it was made in America, it would have cost at least 100 million to get these kinds of visuals. I don't know why, I just know it doesn't make sense. Expertly directed, this was a joy to watch, and now I can't wait for the sequel called Day Watch. My only beef is, I wish the subtitles were below the picture, in the black letterbox frame. With the words in the picture, it was a little hard to get used to, but eventually you enter the movie and you forget about it. This is another disc that really sounds as good as it looks. The soundtrack is absolutely fantastic. Night Watch gets ***** out of *****.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

DVD Review: Zombie Honeymoon

I thought this was supposed to be a comedy, but it wasn't. It was a heartfelt tragic story of newlyweds and their horrific honeymoon at the Jersey shore. Yeah, honeymooning at the Jersey shore is tragic and horrific, but that's not the worst of it. After spending a blissful day of loving and laughing, our doomed pair head to the beach for a bit of surf and relaxation, with a little infection thrown in. After a chance encounter at the beach, Danny is pronounced dead at the hospital, only to come back to life on his own later. Thinking they narrowly missed a disaster, the couple continue to love life and plan to escape to Portugal. There's only one problem. Danny's not the same since he came back to life. He's found his once vegetarian lifestyle to be slowing him down. Now, he's a meat man, as in flesh, yo! What's a loving wife to do? This movie tugs at the heartstrings like no other zombie flick I've seen. Brilliantly acted and directed, this is a very good movie. Plus, it has it's share of gore for being such a love story! This is truly an original and fresh view of the undead, and those who love them. It has a great soundtrack to boot! This honeymoon suite gets ****1/2 out of *****.

Friday, August 25, 2006

DVD Review: I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

No, No, No, No, NO!!! Don't tell me I just saw what I thought I saw!! Ridiculous! Insane! Incomprehensible! Unreproachable! What they just did with this series is way worse than having Brandy star in the second one. I cannot believe they went this way with it. I'm dumbfounded and dare I say it, a little insulted. Near enough to the original to warrant plagarism, this third chapter in the series even has characters nearly identical to the first one. Much of the dialogue sounds stolen from it too. "We take this to our grave! Say it, Say it!!". I'll say it! "If anyone asks me if I saw this movie, I'll deny it! I'll take it my grave!!" There, that's better. Forget the cozy seaside port town, where the fisherman makes sense. This one takes place in Colorado, now what's a fisherman doing way out there? You wouldn't believe it even if I told you. It's time we start forgetting what happened last summer and let bygones be bygones! 0 out of *****.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Book Review: The Conqueror Worms by Brian Keene

With cover art like this, I was very wary about spending my precious free time reading a crapper. Luckily, it turns out the joke was on me. This was one of the best books I've read in quite a while. An extremely quick read, The Conqueror Worms is filled with action and gore. Surprisingly, it's a rather touching emotional ride though armageddon. I can't help but think that Brian Keene has touched on the way it really will end. In an endless downpour. The story reads as a personal account, or a diary, of one Teddy Garnett, an aging widower going through a bad case of nicotine withdrawl. He tells the story of what's happening around him, as the rain pounds down and the worms, well, read the book. There's a section in the middle where Keene loses me a little, but he quickly rights the ship. A tale told in classic Stephen King style, with fantastic dialogue, this book is destined to be another in a fine line of armageddon classics. ****1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Motor Home Massacre

In terms of movie making, they got the massacre part right. In terms of surprise endings, they got the massacre part right. If they planned on making a lousy, piece of crap movie, damn, they done got it right! When a group of co-eds take the nerd's father's RV out for some humpin' under the stars action, they have no idea that death waits them! I almost died from boredom watching this. Actually, my spirit is writing this from the other side, I did die when I saw the asinine shot at a twist ending! Yeah, it's a massacre. 0 out of *****.

DVD Review: Ghost Game

This film is unrated, but don't let that fool you. It's really PG-13. There's no nudity, the kills are not very graphic, there is alot of cursing, but that's about it. But surprise, surprise! I kinda liked it. I don't know if it's intentional or not, but this is a pretty funny movie. The dialogue is hilarious and covers for the fact that there's not much blood. There are two shades of acting in this movie. Some of the actors are really good, and some are lousy. The good ones make up for the bad ones. The story centers around a group of friends vacationing at a cabin on an isolated island. They find a box left behind by a trio of witches many years prior. Despite the warnings, they open the box and get caught in a "game" of life and death. It kept me entertained throughout, even though it's no masterpiece. The makers of this film, and a few of the actors, are going to go far in the industry. Ghost Game plays up ***1/2 out of *****.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

DVD Review: Sweet Insanity

I have to admit, the box art cover is what sold me to watch this one. It looked like this would be a wild and bloody fun ride. Oh, damn you cover designers, damn you to hell! From what I can tell, the girl on the cover isn't even the same girl in the movie. If she is, then I'm the one insane. The movie did drive me nuts though because for some reason, at random points, the dialogue moved from the center speaker to the rear speakers of my surround system. Needless to say, the sound editing sucked. They even had a blooper reel running through the end credits, but you couldn't hear them over the lousy rock music. It's a crappy tale of multiple personalities and the people they kill, all in glorious PG-13 fashion. The group of guys, who in the beginning you can't stand, actually turn out to be the funniest and most enjoyable part of this poopy film. I don't know, maybe I just don't care for 39 year old actors pretending to be high schoolers. It gets * out of *****.

DVD Review: King of the Ants

Stuart Gordon is simply incapable of making a bad movie. The man is amazing. Whether he's directing a Lovecraftian tale about fish people (Dagon), or a brutal revenge movie like King of the Ants, the mastery of both the lens, and his incredible ability to get the most from his actors, shine through. George Wendt is unbelievable in this movie. Newcomer Chris McKenna is outstanding. Daniel Baldwin gives the best performance of his career. It's a brutal tale about a young man named Sean (McKenna) who gets into a hornets nest of bad luck when he does a "job" for the local bad guy (Baldwin). After things get out of hand, the bad guys decide to make Sean "disappear". They have no idea of this guys intestinal fortitude! Brilliantly shot, there are portions that make you cringe at the realism of pain. The movie kept me entranced all the way through, the way they're meant to do. I give it ****1/2 out of *****.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

DVD Review: The Butcher

Things turn bad when a group of college co-eds take the scenic route and have a run-in with a mean trucker. After a horrible accident, the kids find out just how mean this trucker is, and wait until they meet his old lady! The Butcher is a decent film. It basically combined elements from all the hillbilly, inbred cannibal movies that were all the rage over the last few years. There's even one scene that's almost identical to one in Wrong Turn. You'll notice pieces of Hills have Eyes, Texas Chainsaw, Wolf Creek, and others all wrapped up in The Butcher. But with all that mimicking, it's still its own movie. Very good acting for the most part, although a few parts were over the top. The direction was solid and the sound was decent enough. All in all, it is a very nice film to wile away a Saturday night to. It's not Angus, but it's not spoiled either. The Butcher chops up ***1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Severed-Forest of the Dead

This one came as a surprise for me. I had no previous knowledge of it, there was no promotional push, yet it turns out, it's a very nicely made zombie flick. The DVD was rented out at my local mega-store, so I had to catch this one on pay per view. So as far as the DVD specs are concerned, I have no idea. The film wastes no time getting underway and for that i am grateful. It's filmed in a herky-jerky hand-held kind of way. I think it's a new "zombie movie camerawork" phase filmmakers are going through. The frantic camera does add a bit to the tension, but it's a little over done here. The actors did a very nice job throughout. The story is about a logging company that's using a chemical additive to enhance the growth of trees. There's an unexpected reaction when the chemical comes into contact with humans. It turns them into flesh eating zombies! There are alot of environmental issues on display here, and the filmmakers did a fantastic job of showing both the log worker's and the tree hugger's points of view. And here's another thing that I loved about this movie---It took everything dead seriously! With zombies all around you, and you're quaratined on an island, there are no jokes to be made! The ending may not be for everybody, but I thought it was fitting. Severed is one of the better zombie movies to come out in the last two years. It gets ****1/2 out of *****.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Vote for Rob Zombie!!

Hey Fiends, Spike TV is having a Scream Awards show for the Sci-Fi/Horror genre. Click HERE to cast your votes. Be sure to vote for my good friend (if we ever met) Rob Zombie and his film, The Devil's Rejects!! Do it now.

DVD Review: The Graveyard

The Graveyard. It’s hard to imagine that after all these years of horror movies that that simplistic title has eluded many a producer. Now, it finally sees the cover of a DVD and unfortunately for all of us, it should have stayed elusive. What starts out as a run of the mill “revenge” movie, The Graveyard quickly takes a path that not many films take…that of a run of the mill “revenge” movie. There is nothing new here to make it worth anyone’s while.
The plot of this film goes something like this: A group of teens are spending the summer at a campground. They head to the nearby cemetery to play a game called “Run for Your Life”. It’s basically Hide and Go Seek. The poor bastard that has to do the seeking is the unknowing pawn in a bad prank and yeah, he ends up dead. Five years later, the one kid that actually had to do time for the death is being released from prison, and the rest of the gang wants to help him come to terms with everything that’s happened. They do the kindly thing and take him back to the campground where everything happened! Besides everybody being on edge, everything is hunky-dory. Then people start to die.
The DVD’s video is clean and pretty crisp. Lionsgate is the distributor and they rarely put out a crappy looking disc. The director tried his honest best with what he had to work with, which was not much. It’s hard to believe that these were the best actors in the auditions, not to mention that the script was a piece of crap. Let me ask you, if there’s a homicidal maniac running around killing all your friends, would you stop to sit on a log and make out with the camp cook? These scenes have no place in horror movies. Nobody cares about romance after the killings have started---it makes no sense! Not to mention that the nighttime forest is lit up like an airport runway, but strangely, there are no lights. Surely we’re not to think that the quarter-moon they keep showing is shedding that type of luminosity?
The audio on the disc is nothing to write home about. It’s better heard through your TV’s speakers rather than your sound system. There is no surround available, so it’s not even worth turning it on, you’ll only get frustrated. Same goes for the extras on the disc. There’s no “making of” segment, no bloopers, no nothing. Just a few preview trailers. Easily one of the lamest horror discs recently released. It’s like a bad after-school special with a few scenes of gratuitous (and I do mean gratuitous—they must have paid the poor girl an extra ten bucks!) nude scenes.
If you’re looking for entertainment, The Graveyard is not it. Actually going to a graveyard at night, now that would produce more chills than watching this crapper.
It gets 1/2* out of *****.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

DVD Review: The Hills Have Eyes (Unrated)

Wes Craven's thriller re-imagined for a new age of moviegoers. I'm ho-hum on this one. It could have been much much better. Sure, there was a ton of violence, blood, and gore, but there was no suspense. Things just happened, with no real buildup of tension. That killed the fear aspect immensly. This could have been a very creepy, effective scarefest, but it wasn't. Not that it was terrible, it was entertaining as a movie, but just could have been so much more. The plot's the same as the original so there's no point going over it. It's worth a look if you like realistic violence, but if you're looking for scares, set your eyes on other hills. **1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Cemetery Gates

From the creators of Boo comes a nice return to Saturday night monster matinees. The creature is cheesy and is shown way too much, but you just can't help loving every minute of it. You just have to sit there and smile as the beast tears into unsuspecting victims. The producers must have gotten a great deal on stage blood because there is a ton of it spilled here! A couple of well intending activists steal a creature from a lab, intent on setting it free. What they don't know is that the creature is a tasmanian devil that's had some serious testing done to it! Once free, the beast wrecks havoc and only the scientist (Phantasm's Reggie Bannister) responsible can stop it. Can he do it before it kills his estranged son and his goofy friends? ***1/2 out of *****.

Friday, May 26, 2006

DVD Review: The Nun

I thought this was a good movie. For a small budget film, the director got absolutely every penny's worth on the screen. The effects were great, the locations were great, the camera work was perfect, the sound was very good, the acting was---okay. But hey, 4 out of 5 ain't bad! It all started at a girl's school run by nuns. One of the nuns is a real mean old beeeyatch. She takes out her evil tendencies on the girls. Then, the nun goes a little too far, the girls revolt, and the nun dies in an accident. Jump to present day, and one by one the women begin, yep you guessed it, dying! It's up to the daughter of one of them to uncover the truth! An enjoyable film from start to finish---except for one mind numbing part---with a killer nun floating around, would you really take the time to make out with someone in an old, dilapidated school? Stupid!! Everything else was great. **** out of *****.

DVD Review: Camp Slaughter

At least this film had a unique premise. However, it was a little difficult getting through this one. It's not scary or gory, but it can be a little silly and a little irritating at times. The plot goes like this---A group of college kids are driving along when all of a sudden, their truck stops running. They stay the night in the truck and they each have a terrible dream. When they wake up, they're surrounded by camp counselors who are stuck in the 80's, like totally! Over the next hour and so, you will chuckle at the 80's style and lingo a couple of times. When the group decide to leave, things start to go crazy---like people dying. The kills are generally PG-13 and are nothing to write home about. You do get the feeling that the filmmakers really did try their best, and it was an admirable job. If the kills weren't so bland, and they could have toned down the African American chick, it would have gotten a higher score. It gets ** out of *****.

Friday, April 28, 2006

DVD Review: Hostel

Here's another I've been dying to see. I wanted to wait for the unrated version to really get the effect of the film. Again, I was rather disappointed. While it was way better than Wolf Creek, I just don't feel it lived up to the hype. It just took too long to get going. I know there has to be some character buildup, but these weren't exactly complex characters. There was alot of gratuitous nudity in the first 30 minutes or so, and if I had my druthers, I'd have substituted some of it for some scares. The premise of the movie is definitely horrifying and I'm hoping that like the Saw franchise, the second installment is better. If you don't already know the plot, it's about a hostel in Europe where rich people can pay to torture and kill people and the two college kids that get caught up in the mix. Supposedly, these places really exist and that's the scary part! **1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Vlad

This movie starts out pretty impressive. There is alot of history about Vlad the Impaler and his family. Unfortunately, things go south real quick. Brad Dourif and Billy Zane give good performances, and that's just about all the good I have to say about it. It's about Vlad's amulet that supposedly has the power to bring him back from the dead. Four college students, one of whom is Romanian and has the amulet, are on a trek to learn more about Vlad for their research papers. As you've already guessed, the original Dracula returns, and kills people rather boringly. The location shots are nice and authentic but the movie drags. * out of *****.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

DVD Review: Wolf Creek

I don't know why I get excited anymore. I waited and waited for this one to come out, with so much hype about how scary it was, I was brimming with excitement. It turned out to be one of the biggest disappointments for me in a long, long time. There was nothing...and I mean nothing, in the first hour and twenty minutes! We have to wait that long for something to happen? And then when the action picks up, it's neither scary, nor tension-filled. The movie is based on a true story about an Australian, who kills people out in the desert. He comes off as a swell guy, just trying to help out some kids whose car broke down, and eventually, he ...well, you know. The accents are hard to follow at times, there are a few moments where you mutter to yourself "How did he...?", and it's just plain boring for the first 83 minutes. For that, it gets * out of *****.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

DVD Review: King Kong

Another remake of a classic. The big difference here, Peter Jackson. He does another amazing job directing a huge movie with exceptional results. This new version of Kong is more exciting, action packed, and violent than any of it's predecessors. I was initially not impressed with Jack Black, however, as the movie rolled along, he was better and better. That pretty much goes for all the actors in the movie. But they're not the reason we watch this movie. The movie is the Ape. The CGI is phenomenal and you can actually feel Kong's emotions. The gorilla is the star of the movie and that's the way it sould be. I also have to add that Jackson creates some of the scariest looking natives ever. I'd be more afraid of them than Kong! A three hour roller coaster that ultimately ends as all the Kong movies end. Even though you know what's coming, the emotional impact of it is resounding. The surround sound is stellar on this disc and makes the film that much more enjoyable. If you don't have a 5.1 system yet, then go get one and then watch King Kong. If only all remakes could hold to this level of expertise. ****1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: 2001 Maniacs

2001 Maniacs was a pleasure to watch. A great mixture of horror, comedy, gore, and southern hospitality! A group of college co-eds are heading down to Florida for Spring Break when they get detoured to the lovely town of Pleasant Valley. They're just in time for the big barbeque festival. Led by the mayor (fantastically played by Robert Englund), the town does it's best to make the strangers feel welcome. Unfortunately, Pleasant Valley's idea of feeling welcome is down right nasty. This one is a gem in an ocean of crappy movies, so do yourself a favor and check it out. It's a promising debut from an up and coming production company, I hope they keep it up. It gets ****1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Satanic

Horrifying! Terrifying! Ruthless and careless abandon! No, not the movie, the acting!! This is an absolute snorefest. The acting never gets emotional or even human-like. If you watch closely, you be amazed at how many people get hit in the face. Somebody should have hit the director in the face and stopped this tragedy. Even the talents of Jeffery Combs and Angus Scrimm can't raise this crapper from the dead. I have a feeling your soul will be damned just by sitting through this thing! No bother describing the plot, it's ridiculous, lame, boring, and bad. Another one gets 0 out of *****.

DVD Review: Harvest of Fear

What in Sam Hill?? Wait a minute, here! Are my eyes deceiving me? If you scroll a little down the page, you'll see a review for a movie called Path of Evil. Call me goofy, but this is almost the exact same movie! Same actors playing the same exact roles, in a different movie with nearly an identical plot! How they got the opportunity to destroy two reams of film is beyong me. 'nough said. 0 out of *****.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

DVD Review: Fear of Clowns

Fear of Clowns is a worthwile horror film. While it's not great, there were some very good aspects to it. It was directed really well, acted decent enough, and it had a really sinister looking clown. The black eyes really did it. I can't go on and say that it was "terrifying" or "frightening", but it was an entertaining horror movie. I mean, come on, I haven't seen a truly "terrifying" horror film since I was eight! Those reviewers that say those things have been watching too many Jennifer Aniston movies. There's already a sequel in the works and for that I'm glad, they deserve it. The story is about a woman who paints clowns and is divorcing her husband. Let's just say it's not the most peaceful breakup. Oh yeah, and there's a sinister clown with black eyes! There's also a very good "making of" segment on the disc that really takes you into the problems that some of these independent filmmakers have to go through. I give it **** out of *****.

DVD Review: Joshua

The cover screams "I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul!". Uh, different movie. This is the latest offering from Fangoria's Gorezone line of films and it's not bad. The director thinks he's Hitchcock with all the queer angles and closeup camera work, but it does add to the quirkiness of the film. The film is about a group of friends that did a terrible thing while growing up and when one comes home for his father's funeral, it sets off a chain of events, none of them good. The ending was a surprise, I'll give it that. This was another one that tended to drag in places, but it was engaging enough to see it through to the bitter end. I give Joshua ***1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: Pulse

What the hell is this?! Supposed to be the scariest film of the year?! This was the worst Japanese horror film I've ever seen! It's boring, it's too dark in spots, the sound is muffled and the picture is grainy and that's only a few things that are wrong with this picture. There's an American remake coming out this year and all I can say is "Why?!". The face on the front is never in the movie, not unless it is one of the extremely dark scenes and that means you'll never see it anyway. The movie is about death, and how lonely we are and...oh who cares! It feels like it's four hours long! It just plods and plods and plods. Stay away. 0 out of *****.

DVD Review: 3 Extremes

It's been a long time between reviews, but I'm back! And I wish I had a better movie for you to watch. 3 Extremes, while not terrible, was a disappointing viewing experience. I've come to expect the unexpected while watching Japanese horror and frankly, this movie didn't cut it. It's actually three short movies on one disc, with the second disc holding a longer version of one of the shorts, titled "Dumplings". All three films were directed nicely, one each by Miike Takashi, Fruit Chan, and Park Chanwook. Surprisingly, Miike's film titled "The Box" was the worst of the lot. Chanwook's offering, "Cut", was probably the most entertaining and the full version of "Dumplings" by Fruit Chan was the best overall. Never scary, and worse yet, never extreme, these three are decent films that should have been packaged under a different anthology. There's a second helping of 3 Extremes being released next month, hopefully they are a little more extreme than these three. I give it **1/2 out of *****.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

DVD Review: Saw 2

After sitting through the first Saw, I was reluctant to play Jigsaw's game again. It was one of the first films that I reviewed on this site, and needless to say, I wasn't impressed. The same cannot be said about the sequel. This is one of those rare sequels that overtakes the original. It starts off with a jolting, skin crawling scenario and keeps it coming all the way up to the revealing end. This was cleverly written and orchestrated and I never saw the end coming. That is incredibly hard to do in today's cinema. I just read the other day that there will be a third installment and as long as they up the ante like they did here, then I'll be waiting in line to see it. It's hard for me to say it, but this is one Hollywood made movie that delivered the goods in an original, fresh way. If only they could all be this well made! Saw 2 gets ****1/2 out of *****.

DVD Review: War of the Worlds

Sorry it took so long for this one, but it just kept falling to the back of the line. It's always a weird feeling when you're watching a sci-fi movie, and with all the far out stuff happening on screen, when the tiniest reality-based goof sets you off. This picture is loaded with them. For instance, the lightening storm takes out ALL electrical devices in the area, even wrist watches, yet people's cameras and video cameras still function. Or, how many times does an airplane fall from the sky, leaving a nice ready made trail to drive through, not to mention not even scratching the paint on the van parked about 5 feet from the wreckage? Infuriating, I say! There's no doubt that Spielberg is a great director and there are a few scenes in this movie that are amazing but with all his attention to detail, there were way too many little things that got by the man. As far as the look and sound, they were both spectacular. It's a good disc to show off your new surround system with. All the little things added with an anti-climactic ending are too much to overlook here. It gets **1/2 out of *****.