Friday, May 30, 2014

MALIGNANT takes control of you


RATED- Unrated
RUN TIME- 84 Mins
WRITER(S)- Brian Avenet-Bradley
STARRING- Gary Cairns, Brad Dourif, and Nick Nicotera 
DIRECTOR- Brain Avenet-Bradley

Synopsis taken from IMDb
After the death of his wife, a grieving man becomes the victim of a horrific experiment to cure his addiction.

After Allex (Gary Cairns)  loses his wife tragically, he turns to the bottle and makes a bad habit of it. Being an alcoholic is affecting every aspect of his life, including getting him on his boss' bad side. It seems like a lot of people around Allex have noticed his addiction, yet no one has stepped in to help. That is until The Man (Brad Dourif), tries to help Allex in unconventional ways, that only makes things worse for wear.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: THE LOST BOYS (1987)

RUN TIME- 97 Mins
WRITER(S)- Janice Fischer, James Jeremias, and Jeffrey Boam
STARRING- Jason Patrick, Corey Haim, and Dianne Wiest 
DIRECTOR- Joel Schumacher

Synopsis taken from IMDb
After moving to a new town, two brothers are convinced that the area is frequented by vampires.

Last week, I told you all that I'd review my favorite vampire film of all-time....tada!

"The Lost Boys" was only one of many classic and memorable horror films to come out in 1987, the birth year of Grimm here. Although it's in the latter part of the 80's, that still didn't stop the 80's from kicking major ass. This was one of the first genre movies that I was exposed to growing up, and because of it's comical humor, it was always being played by my Dad, or my mom, or my sister. As a matter of fact, I still have the VHS from my childhood.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dani Carnage reviews "GODZILLA"

Me and Dani Carnage go back a bit, and aside from being a well-known blogger, he's become my friend. For only our second time, we're doing crossover reviews. This time, it's of the blockbuster reboot of "Godzilla". His review is published below. To read my review, go visit his blog here: Grimm Reviews Godzilla (2014)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Horror Toy Tuesday: NECA 30th Anniversary ultimate Freddy Krueger

Photo source: Neca

Full Figure Description from

To commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the original A Nightmare on Elm Street we are proud to present the definitive version of Freddy as he first appeared in the 1984 classic.

Freddy stands nearly 7" tall and features an all new fully articulated lower body featuring ball-hinged thighs and knees, Freddy includes 3 interchangeable heads including closed mouth, open mouthed grimace, and skull face. He features interchangeable left hand with two fingers cut off and includes a dead skin mask, tongue phone, and his trusty fedora. Loaded with features, detail and articulation this is the Freddy figure to own.

Monday, May 26, 2014

DAYS OF FUTURE PAST keeps hope alive for mutants and fans alike


RUN TIME- 131 Mins
WRITER(S)- Simon Kinberg, Jane Goldman, and Mathew Vaughn 
STARRING- Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, and Hugh Jackman
DIRECTOR- Bryan Singer

Synopsis taken from IMDb
The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants.

The "X-Men" films were always second to me, right after The Dark Knight trilogy. In fact, I really thought that "X-Men: First Class" was better than "The Avengers". While I'm not a fan of the Wolverine solo movies, I've liked all of the other "X-Men" films, even the third one. It's kinda sorta a tie for me between "First Class" and "X2" as the best installments, but there for a while, the series hit a rocky road for fans who had plenty to complain about. With the unsteadiness of a lot of people not liking the third movie, and then to be followed by an even less liked solo Wolverine movie, moviegoers and comic fans alike began to believe that the series had peaked. Then "First Class" landed, and it changed things up. It rebooted the franchise in a way, by introducing a new cast of old characters, and telling the origins of Erik Lehnsherr and Charles Xavier.

Friday, May 23, 2014

HOPSCOTCH short film (Screener Review)

"Bridget, a hooker by trade, is lured into a big, beautiful house for what she thought would be a normal night. Instead, she is tricked by two women who have more than just candy to offer her."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: FRIGHT NIGHT (1985)

RUN TIME- 106 Mins
WRITER(S)- Tom Holland
STARRING- Chris Sarandon, William Ragsdale, and Amanda Bearse
DIRECTOR- Tom Holland

Synopsis taken from IMDb
When a teenager learns that his next door neighbor is a vampire, no one will believe him.

When I say that "Fright Night" is my second favorite vampire film ever, the first question I'm asked is the obvious 'what's your first favorite?' So, I'll nip that in the butt now, and say that if you want to know what my favorite vampire film of all-time is, you'll have to pop back in next Thursday once I review it, and see. Tom Holand's classic blood sucker tale, "Fright Night" is an ageless classic that has stuck with me since my childhood. Still considered by some genre fans as the best of its kind, and still has as strong a fan base as ever. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

COMPOUND FRACTURE shows the past can come back to hurt you


RATED- Unrated
RUN TIME- 90 Mins
WRITER(S)- Renae Geerlings and Tyler Mane
STARRING- Tyler Mane, Muse Watson, and Derek Mears 
DIRECTOR- Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein 

Synopsis taken from IMDb
Michael left home when he was a teenager and never looked back. Now, after the death of his sister, Chloe, he's returning home with his fiancee Juliette and his angst ridden nephew Brandon. On arrival, they realize that home isn't exactly what it used to be. With high walls surrounding the house and security cameras in every nook and cranny it's more of a military compound than anything else. Enter Gary, Michael's estranged father who, while happy to be reunited with his son and grandson, seems more distracted by other things. As the strange family reunion commences, an uninvited guest shows up and we learn bits and pieces about the real reason behind Chloe's death and why Brandon is so closed off from Michael. The fractured family will have to come together to fight the ghosts of their pasts and make it out alive!

The first thing that drew me to this motion picture was the cast. When I saw that it stared Tyler Mane (Halloween 2007), Derek Mears (Friday the 13th 2009), and Leslie Easterbrook (The Devil's Reject's 2005), I knew that this was one worth a viewing. The opinion of horror fans overall seemed positive, so that was another reason to check it out.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Horror Toy Tuesday: GODZILLA (2014) action figures

I've already seen the movie twice, and I'm going back today for a third and possible final theater viewing. I own a poster, and one of the action figures I'll be showing off. So yeah, it's safe to say that the latest revision of The King of Monsters has had a positive effect on me.  Since "Godzilla" 'stomped' on the box-office this weekend, bringing in over $100 million, I figured it was only appropriate to showcase some of the toys being released from this remake. Although there's a handful of cool stuff available now, it's only common sense to make the assumption that there will be a lot more merchandise in the future. Especially now that the sequel is already in the works...

Godzilla (2014) 24 inch action figure by Jakks Pacific: $49.99
Release date- May 2014

Godzilla (2014) Deluxe Attack and Roar action figure by Bandai: $34.99
Release date- Available now

Godzilla (2014) Fighting action figure case by Bandai: $29.99
Release date- Available now

Godzilla (2014) Deluxe Destruction Playset by Bandai: $19.99
Release date- Available now

Godzilla (2014) Movie Destruction Playset case by Bandai: $35.99
Release date- Available now

Godzilla (2014) Movie Modern Series 1 Action figure by Neca: $16.99 
Release date- June 2013

The last figure posted is the one I am a proud owner of. I found it at my local Toys R Us and couldn't resist having it in-hand, so I didn't bother ordering it. With it being made by Neca, it was a no brainer purchase. It's easily the best Godzilla figure from the latest movie in 7" form. It's hard to say whether or not I'll purchase more action figures from "Godzilla" (2014), but it's a high possibility. And the good news is; they're all very affordable, and are only one click away at Entertainment Earth. Just click the link below to start shopping.

Entertainment Earth

Monday, May 19, 2014

THE FIRST STEP short film (Screener Review)

"Based on traditional campfire and bedtime ghost stories, 'The First Step' tells the short tale of Sara, who on her first night in a new house with her mother is tormented by a creature in the basement."

Coming from Wild Eye Pictures, this creepy tale is short and to the point. Though co-directors Daniel Brown and Kate McMeans say this is their first "real story in the genre", you can see that this is a horror film made by horror fans. Running about six minutes long, "The First Step" has plenty of time to creep you out and get right to the point. It's an intense ride, that's thrilling, and incredibly eerie. The creature's voice, and the noises (groans) it makes just kept me on edge and I found it awesomely unsettling. The creature's makeup FX could have been better, and I found it scarier when it wasn't focused in on, especially the stairs scene. Nonetheless, it reminded me of The Pale Man in "Pan's Labyrinth".

For a small budget and production, it definitely delivers. The fact that it manages to come off so suspenseful and dreadful is a big win. The acting is good, as is the overall simple concept. "The First Step" has not only reached film reviewers like myself, but also some film festivals. So, if you're into short films that will scare you with the lights out, keep your eyes peeled for this one. I'd bet that anyone home alone watching this wouldn't step foot in their basement afterwards...

Luckily, I don't have a basement (laugh). 

3.5 out of 5 stars

Sunday, May 18, 2014

ON/OFF short film (Screener Review)

"On/Off is a French sci-fi short film (13 minutes) produced by Julien Renaud and Thierry Lorenzi, whose theme is transhumanism and post-humanity. On/Off follows astronaut Meredith having only one mysterious voice message to stay connected to her humanity. Directed and written by Thierry Lorenzi with Carole Brana (A L'Adventure, Red Nights) and Arben Bajraktaraj known for playing the Azkaban Death Eater in the last three episodes of Harry Potter. The visual effects company based in Montreal, Rodeo FX (Pacific Rim, Now You See Me...) is responsible for making credible the sensation of weightlessness. In the end, no less than 150 people and three years were needed to complete this spectacular and mesmerizing odyssey." 

It takes a lot to awe me, but this may very well be the greatest short film effort that I have ever seen. When I was approached to watch a private screener, I never expected it to be what it actually was. "On/Off" probably has the biggest vision I've seen for only a 13 minute movie. It reaches at the heart of humanity, and has a very deep and poetic purpose and meaning. This is the "Gravity" of short films, there's no doubt about that. However, this is a more sci-fi approach, and rather than just go into big effects, it manages to focus more on humanity than the disaster element. 

It's subtitled because it's French, and the visuals are beautiful. The special effects are outstanding, and the acting is edged out well. There's hardly any dialogue, but what is said is natural and not forced. The score to this film is right on point. I don't think I've ever seen anything like this, as far as short films go. Overall, I'm extremely impressed. 

It took a long time, and a lot of hard work to complete, but in the end result it shows. Well done. And the surprise ending is a nice, emotional touch. For more info on "On/Off", you should visit the site here.

4 stars out of 5

Friday, May 16, 2014

Boredom is all you'll be AFFLICTED with


RUN TIME- 85 Mins
WRITER(S)- Derek Lee and Clif Prowse
STARRING- Clif Prowse, Derek Lee, and Michael Gill
DIRECTOR- Derek Lee and Clif Prowse 

Synopsis taken from IMDb
Two best friends see their trip of a lifetime take a dark turn when one of them is struck by a mysterious affliction. Now, in a foreign land, they race to uncover the source before it consumes him completely.

The first things that came to my mind when I was watching "Afflicted" was how it's yet another found footage film. I understand these types of movies are hot in the filmmaker community, if not just for the financial benefit of them not costing much to make, but this trend needs to die off already. Or at least tone it down. Found footage features are getting to the point of zombie flicks now, with how many terrible genre installments there are yearly. I think that as of now, unless it's done by a well known director who I support, I'm staying away from this sub-genre. It offers nothing new, and has been used to death.

We meet Derek (Derek Lee) and Clif (Clif Prowse), and we find out that Derek has AVM. Basically he has a tangle of blood vessels in his brain, and his time in this life may be limited. If there's an accident, and he hurts his head, that's all she wrote. So, rather than bask in his own self-pity and misery, Derek decides that he and his best friend since childhood, Clif, should tour the world. Of course, they have to film the entire experience for a live travel blog that they title "Ends of the Earth". Clif, wants to spend the time with his buddy before it's too late, he may not get another opportunity like this again in Derek's lifetime.
I appreciate the character's chemistry and history, and you can tell that they're bond is real. Both seeing their interactions on screen, and the photos of them as children, it's easy to see that the friendship is legitimate.

After meeting up with some friends who are in a band, Derek takes a girl back to he and Clif's hotel room. When Clif arrives later, he finds an unconscious Derek who's also wounded on his face, and has a nasty gash on his left bicep. After refusing to see a doctor and get his head and wounds checked out, Derek starts acting strange, and he throws up a lot in a restaurant, causing a scene. And his face and hands start burning, turning red and covered in welts. After constant refusal to see a doctor, his 'affliction' worsens, and the film goes in a different direction than I expected.

Aside from feeling and looking ill, Derek realizes that he has the ability to now punch through rock walls, and break rocks in half. He can also run over 160 miles per hour on foot, and he can leap unnaturally high. Clif, is not okay with all of this, but doesn't want to force his friend to stay in a hospital. If you ask me, Clif should have manned up and made Derek see a doctor, instead of catering to his feelings. After a confrontation in the street with random guys, Clif posts the video online. He then reads the comments left by viewers, and a small detail is brought to his attention: Derek licks blood off of his hand after a confrontation.

I think anyone watching can figure out where this is going once that little incident happens. And being honest and blunt, the characters are idiots. I understand not wanting to make your trip miserable, but at what point do you break down, put your selfish reasons aside, and get examined by a doctor. Not doing so only results in a worse aftermath, and both of them get what they deserve for beings so soft and stubborn. Rather than insist on Derek seeing help, Clif aids him in killing a pig for the blood. Then Clif whines and complains that he's traumatized from the animals savage death.
Like I said, idiocy. It's really hard to like characters in a movie when they're doing ridiculously dumb things.

And things turn messy real quick because neither Derek nor Clif know how to clean up after themselves, and leave a trail of chaos behind them. There's one part that is surprising and got a reaction out of me, and that's when we see Derek in his semi-animalistic state from starvation. As it turns out, human blood is required to survive, animal blood won't do the trick. Derek remains unconscious for 11 hours. After complications involving Clif offering up his blood, Derek is solo the duration of the film, which leads up to the best scene in the movie; Derek's suicide attempt.

When Derek goes in the sun, we see some pretty well-rounded makeup effects for burns. And once he's on the run from the police, he ends up broke, trying to survive and looking for answers. From there on it's just silly, and I lost any and all connection with this film. I noticed that this motion picture was much better carried on the shoulders of two leads than one. Derek's journey isn't intriguing enough without the input of Clif. It's just a bunch of scrambling around to find a cohesive plot.
The first act was a lot better than the second and third.

The worst scene for me, involves Derek being totally animalistic and savage, yet he's still holding the camcorder, recording all of the violence. It makes no sense, and scenes like this are why the found footage sub-genre is on it's last leg. We're at the point now where we'll need a miracle in found footage for this style of movie making to become everything but the laughing stock of horror. But regardless, stick around through the credits for a last minute surprise.

2 stars out of 5

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: PET SEMATARY (1989)

RUN TIME- 103 Mins
WRITER(S)- Stephen King
STARRING- Dale Midkiff, Denise Crosby, and Fred Gwynne 
DIRECTOR- Mary Lambert

Synopsis taken from IMDb
Behind a young family's home in Maine is a terrible secret that holds the power of life after death. When tragedy strikes, the threat of that power soon becomes undeniable.

"Pet Sematary" is one of the first genre pictures I ever saw, and I was only a child at that time. The film had been out for a few years already by that time, and I can't recall how old I was, but I know I was in the single digits age-wise. I also don't remember how or why I watched it at such an impressionable age, but the nerd in me is glad that it happened. I have a lot of memories with this one, my entire family are huge Stephen King fans, so this was a hot topic in my neck of the woods.

My older sister saw it when it was released in theaters, and she also was only a child when she experienced it. A story that I grew up hearing about is how my sister urinated herself in the theater at the first appearance of Pascow, played to perfection by Brad Greenquist. I also have a story that might be funny to other people, but it sure as hell wasn't funny to me at the time. As a child, I had a three foot tall Power Ranger plush toy of the Red Ranger. My dads maniacal mind deviated a plan to pose the toy in my doorway, and out of any light source, so all I could see was its silhouette.
My father quoted (at the time) young actor Miko Hughes' memorable line as Gage, "now I wanna play with you...". It was the middle of the night, and when I heard the words spoken, and turned to see what looked like a child standing in the doorway to my bedroom, I screamed out and damn near wet myself. My dad got a good laugh out of it, and I guess you can say I get my twisted sense of (torture) humor from him.

I'd probably be too scared to listen to anything this guy said. 

I mean, even the opening credits are creepy. The children's singing along with the dark, demented tombstone visuals sets the mood, but doesn't prepare you for what you're about to experience. Ya know, aside from Rachel's (Denise Crosby) father, I don't think there's a single character that isn't likable. I mean, the second they move into their new accursed home, Judd Crandall (Fred Gwynne) saves Gage from an oncoming truck, and becomes a fan favorite. You just know you're going to like him, he seems genuine.

When Louis (Dale Midkiff) can't save Victor Pascow at his new job as a doctor at the University of Maine, he's soon haunted by his image. Only Pascow doesn't want to bring harm or bad luck to Louis, instead he wants to warn him of coming events, and save Louis' life for trying to save his. Louis thinks he's just dreaming until he awakes and finds his bare feet covered in mud after dreaming of walking through the Pet Sematary. After learning of the gravesite for children's deceased animals, the door opens for the Creed's lives to change for the worse. Especially after Judd tells Louis the truth about the cemetery; that it's an old Indian burial ground with the ability to bring dead animals back to life when buried there

I wonder if Church would still be pissy if he'd been given catnip?

So when his daughter, Ellie's (Blaze Berdahl) cat Church is hit by oncoming traffic, Louis does the only logical thing there is to do: he buries the cat in the cursed Indian land that lays beyond the children's Pet Sematary. When Church arrives home, he's a changed cat. He's mean, calculating, and dreadful. Not to mention he stinks...

We get some character time between Louis and his wife Rachel, and we see that they're making ends meet, but like all family's, they have their issues and drama. We get small hints at why Louis is hated by Rachel's father, and subtle things like that that fill in gaps nicely, and add a lot to the overall story and the way we view characters. Rachel's backstory is actually possibly the scariest scene in the entire feature. I don't think there's a single person out there who isn't somewhat creeped out by Rachel's sister, Zelda, who is actually played by a man named Andrew Hubatsek. While I think we can all agree that Rachel wasn't completely wrong with letting her sister die, she also wasn't right. So with complex storytelling like that, we get the black, white, and grey areas in their lives that allow us to sympathize with them.

Screw the brains, Gage goes straight for the throat!

Then of course, poor little Gage gets hit dead by a freight truck after chasing his kite through the grass. A co-worker of mine, and avid horror fan, told me once that the scene at Gage's funeral when his casket tips is the scariest scene ever. While I disagree, I can agree that it is unsettling, and scary in an unconventional way. It's more just uncomfortable for me, really. Judd tells Louis of a past story involving a man burying his son, who died in the war, in the land beyond Pet Sematary. The story includes details of that son coming back from the grave, and savagely attacking his family, only to be stopped by townsfolk burning his house down with everyone in it.
However, logic is beyond Louis, so he doesn't take a hint. While Rachel and Ellie are at Rachel's parents house, Louis digs up Gage from his peaceful plot, and takes him up to the dreaded land and buries Gage anyway. This is where it gets really, really good.

When Gage returns from the grave, it's nothing but bad news for everyone in sight. Starting with Judd, Gage goes on a eerie killing spree. The scene in which Judd Crandall is murdered by Gage is horrifying, and it defiles the innocence of a child. Breaking down such a delicate barrier, Stephen King is really able to reach for your heart and squeeze it. While he may look cute, Gage is an animal, and kills in ruthless ways. When Rachel leaves Ellie behind, she is guided subconsciously by Pascow.
Since Louis didn't listen to his advice, he seeks the hope that Rachel will heed his warning. Only she ends up being Gage's second victim, and while her demise happens off screen, we still get to see the after effects of it.
They say beauty is only skin deep, about as deep as that knife's about to be in Louis' back

When Louis awakens to find that his friendly neighbor Judd, and his wife have met their end at the hands of his now-evil son, Louis again, does what any man would do: kills his son, burns his neighbors house down, and buries his wife, saying that she hasn't been dead long enough yet to come back messed up. At this point in the film and story, Louis has gone mad, and actually plans on picking up his life the way it was, nevermind the fact that Rachel only has one eye now, and she's rotting. But his plans don't work out in the end anyway, because Rachel makes Louis her first victim. I remember seeing Denise Crosby in her final makeup on screen for the first time, and I didn't sleep right for weeks. I used to turn my head every time it shows her at the end with her leaking eye and vehement grin. It wasn't until a few years of watching the film that I could brave fully watching the end.

"Pet Sematary" has the credit of being one of the only films to ever really scare me. Not only that, it was another lovely entry into the genre that I'd grow up to be obsessed with. It's creep factor is still intact, and it hasn't lost it's touch. I consider King to be one of my biggest idols but, I have to admit that I think the film outdid his novel in this rare case. Though the book has more details, and the ending is more open, I think the cinematic representation told the story better, and in an everlasting way. It remains one of my favorite horror movies of all time, and I recently bought the Blu-ray with the sweet holographic cover of Church.
If my house were burning down, and I could only grab a few movies before it all turned to ash, "Pet Sematary" would be one of the few picked. I've got memories with this movie, and I just genuinely think it's an amazing horror film. I also didn't mind the sequel, "Pet Sematary II", although it's nothing compared to the original.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

BLUE RUIN is as violent as it is tragic


RUN TIME- 90 Mins
WRITER(S)- Jeremy Saulnier
STARRING- Macon Blair, Devin Ratray, and Amy Hargreaves
DIRECTOR- Jeremy Saulnier

Synopsis taken from IMDb
A mysterious outsider's quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect is estranged family. 

Seeing as the trailer basically gives nothing away, I didn't know much going into this one except for it's somewhat notorious critical appraise. I knew that it was a revenge thriller, but that's about it. And I refused to read about it online for the sake of running into spoilers. But it seemed like my kind of flick, and with all the good words said about it, I figured there had to be something to it.

Dwight (Macon Blair) is a beach vagrant who breaks into vacant homes during the day to take baths. He also sleeps in his car and eats out of dumpsters. He's a quiet, socially awkward guy, who's beaten up from the past. 20 years ago, his mother and father were murdered, and he's never been the same since. But when he hears that his parent's killer, Wade Cleland, Jr. is getting released from prison, he decides to go back home to exact a terrible vengeance.

One of the things that let me know that I was going to like this piece of cinema is that it's kind of a slow-burner type of thriller. It takes it's time, and when the payoffs come, they aren't what I was expecting. It's not very predictable, and it really takes you on an emotional journey. They don't delve too much into how much Dwight's parents' deaths affected him, but it still gets across to the viewer because of the emotionally gripping performance by Macon Blair. His acting in "Blue Ruin" is genuinely convincing, and I can't help but feel terrible for the guy. Although he's quiet and a loner, with his reasons and purpose, he's easy to get behind and invest some emotion into.
 He's a real character, and that's what resonates the most about the story.

After Dwight changes his appearance by shaving and cutting his hair, his new look doesn't protect him from the Cleland family, who are now seeking him out as well as his closest family member, his sister Sam (Amy Hargreaves). When Dwight realizes that the hunt for his life won't end, he's forced into making final drastic decisions. Again, Dwight being the heartfelt character that he is, isn't a pro at killing or booby trapping, so he fumbles and often shows how vulnerable he is. He's just a man with a plan, and he's trying to execute it. And he doesn't expect it to end well. While I was watching, I think it's safe to say that I assumed the same type of outcome.

Honestly, there's a few scenes that are heart-stopping. I was frozen in my seat, heart pounding several times. Everything is done in a very realistic way, so you know that if something serious goes down, that it's going to stick and have an effect. The characters aren't untouchable, and they aren't safe, and that's what keeps the suspense element ever-present. This film also isn't afraid to show bloodshed, and graphic violence. But it keeps a grounded approach that fits, and doesn't just throw buckets of blood around to overcompensate. This is a combination of "A History of Violence" and "Death Sentence". It's not for the faint of heart, but doesn't go far enough to make any of the vehemence unnecessary.

Although I thoroughly enjoyed watching "Blue Ruin", there's one nitpick that I can't help but be annoyed with, and that's that Wade goes unnoticed far too much. He pulls up and pumps gas with a guy screaming and thumping inside his trunk. Scattered moments like this lessen the realism the movie sets, and reminds me of the latter seasons of "Dexter".

There's an unpleasant plot twist towards the end, and it's a game changer. There's some unexpected deaths, and the film as a whole is incredibly intense. Dwight has a death wish, and only lives for revenge. Even though he's in over his head, he knows the only way out of his situation is to end it himself, and take it into his own hands. Powerfully compelling storytelling. I actually liked this more than I expected, and I can't wait to own it on Blu-ray.

3.5 stars out of 5

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Horror Toy Tuesday: SHARKNADO pop vinyl collectible figure

It seems that just about everywhere you go now, you run into these little pop vinyl figures. It's like Funko is taking over the world with these charming little guys (and girls). They've covered a wide array of characters in pop culture history, including television and movie stars, as well as musicians. There's still a few characters I'd like to see them tackle that they haven't yet, mostly I'd like to see an Elvira. While I mostly find them funny looking because they're so cute, what really baffles me is how they get such a good likeness off just using eyes and hair.

Now, they're even taking on a "Sharknado" pop vinyl, and it is easily one of their best ideas and designs. Regardless of your feelings towards the actual movie, this thing is awesome looking, and since it's affordable, why not, right? Trust me, I'm a toy guy, and this is a conversation piece, guaranteed. This vicious little guy is due for release next month (June) and is only $9.99. You can pre-order it now at Entertainment Earth.

Monday, May 12, 2014

BLOOD GLACIER is the Austrian answer to THE THING


RATED- Unrated
RUN TIME- 98 Mins
WRITER(S)- Benjamin Hessler
STARRING- Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, and Brigitte Kren
DIRECTOR- Marvin Kren

Synopsis taken from IMDb
Scientists working in the Austrian alps discover that a glacier is leaking a liquid that appears to be effecting local wildlife. 

From the opening, I could see the global warming messaging in this feature. So my spidey-senses were going off, and I was praying that this wasn't a movie wasted on more political messaging. And I wasn't let down. I was glued to my seat from the opening credits, and I could tell that this was going to be something unique.

The actual blood glacier reminds me of the ending of the 1988 remake of "The Blob", so I like the way it looked, and it had a screen presence that made me feel uneasy. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that this thing is not good news. And there's some really nice creature effects that under the circumstances, have to be heavily influence by "The Thing". The fox-beetle, or whatever you wanna call it is nasty, and is sure to creep out anyone who's afraid of insects. Though there's gross elements throughout, this isn't a gross-out fest, it's a serious horror/sci-fi motion picture.

Some journalists arrive unprepared for the situation ahead of them, and once they're introduced, the acting in the movie really pops. Good story and acting, and it's definitely creative. My favorite scene is probably the autopsy scene, it really showcases the special fx, and gives you an understanding of what's going on. Upon the autopsy, we discover that this creatures' cells make new cells, and it's a single-celled organism. The lead character, Janek's (Gerhard Liebmann) dog gets attacked early on by the organism residing in a semi-lifeless fox. The dog progressively gets sicker as the film rolls.

Courtesy of the autopsy scene, we also learn that these organisms could make werewolves, vampires, and Egyptian myths true. And when wildlife gets infected with these organisms, they become vicious and infectious. Despite how serious the conditions are, the group of scientists and journalists have to try and avoid this incident from leaking out and avoiding mass panic. But the group is tested when they start losing their patience both with one another, and their current predicament. As the movie went on, I remained to be entertained.

However, there is one of the most idiotic deaths I have ever seen featured when one of the characters attempts to get one one of the bug-like organisms off of a female characters face by beating her face in with the rock. I understand that people get confused in quick-panic type of situations, but that was just plain stupid, and the character responsible gets his just desserts.

Probably the most impressive creature-effect is the mutated Ram charging at them. You only see it for seconds at a time, and it's amidst chaos, so you don't really get to focus in on it. I like that a lot because it leaves a lot to your imagination while also putting you on edge and looking for close-ups. While the overall pace slows for a time, it picks back up in the last half hour, delivering the goods, including copious gore.

We haven't seen a film like this since "The Thing" remake, unless you count that worthless 2011 prequel. There's an attempt at a love story, but not a lot of character development to back it up. And in the end, you're left with an open ending, that in my opinion isn't eventually going to end well for the characters. The characters were smart and calculating up until the end, but by keeping a certain specimen, they're just asking for future trouble. You don't get a full explanation of what went on, but that doesn't bother me as much as the dull ending. It didn't climax as strong as I'd have liked it to, but it's still good.

3.5 stars out of 5

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Throwback Thursday Review: BRAINDEAD (1992)


RUN TIME- 104 Mins
WRITER(S)- Stephen Sinclair, Fran Walsh, and Peter Jackson
STARRING- Timothy Balme, Diana Peñalver, and Elizabeth Moody
DIRECTOR- Peter Jackson

Synopsis taken from IMDb
A young man's mother is bitten by a Sumatran rat-monkey. She gets sick and dies, at which time she comes back to life, killing and eating dogs, nurses, friends and neighbors.  

Peter Jackson's "Dead Alive" is one of the elite films in a handful that I can watch at anytime, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what my mood. It partially has to do with the fact that it's got a little bit of everything in it. But mostly, it's because it's just a fun and enjoyable movie. This flick has attached to it a rarity, when people watch it, it gets all sorts of reactions. Laughs, gags even, and screams. It's an all around blast of a horror movie.

This is just one of the horror genre pictures Jackson has done. He's also the man behind "Bad Taste" (1987), and "The Frighteners" (1996). That's right, the man now known for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy once tackled the horror genre. And if we're lucky, he'll make a gory return someday.

The New Zealand gore-fest has countless memorable quotes and scenes, starting with the Sumatran rat-monkey. The stop motion animation isn't something that's forgivable to pull off nowadays, but back then when horror was fun, it did just the trick. The rat-monkey hails from the fictional  Skull Island, the same location King Kong originates from. Peter Jackson has openly stated that the original Kong film is his favorite movie, ever since he was a child. And you can see it reflect in his work.

It's funny how despite how gross and bloody this flick is, it's still not as harsh and cruel as films by today's standards. It wasn't about pain and torture, it was about enjoying yourself and having a good time. And the opening says all you need to know about what you're getting into.

Now that's a face only a mother can love...

There's not a lot of character development, and it's not a character driven motion picture. However, the characters are completely likable, and even relatable to a certain extent. It's not so much that you're dreading what happens to the main characters as much as you're looking forward to seeing how they get out of their predicament. When Lionel's (Timothy Balme) mother, Vera (Elizabeth Moody) is savagely attacked by the nasty little rat-monkey, it ceases any progress that Lionel and his new girlfriend, Paquita (Diana Peñalver) are working towards. Though the intrusion was intentional by Vera, the rat-monkey taking a piece out of her arm wasn't. Lionel crawls back inside of his shell and tends to his mother, ignoring the outside world and Paquita.

Things only go from bad to gross as Vera's condition worsens and her skin starts to peel off. Not to mention one of her ears. Her refusal to lay in bed and rest, is responsible for possibly the nastiest scene in the entire motion picture: the 'custard' scene. As her bite wound aches and pusses its way into her and Lionel's guests desert, it invokes all sorts of reactions from the viewer. Most often people turn their heads, or they look in awe with their had over their mouth. Like it or hate it, it's one of the most memorable scenes from a gore-fest film ever. Only to be rivaled by the infamous 'lawnmower' scene towards the end of the picture.

Lionel tries as hard as he can to contain his mothers condition, but that proves to be an impossible feat as he loses control of his mother and the situation. After viciously snapping a nurses head back, and half off, he now has another body to watch after once it too becomes re-animated and blood thirsty. But he still keeps it a secret until a priest and punk rocker get added to the collection of zombies courtesy of Vera. Lionel even uses tranquilizer to keep the undead in his basement safe and sound. Then comes the baby that is procreated by none other than the nurse and the priest. With all of these living corpses stuffed in his dank basement, he soon can't control them anymore and is blackmailed by his uncle Les (Ian Watkin).

And to think, the house was so tidy before all the guests arrived

After agreeing to give up his inheritance from his deceased mother, Les agrees to keep Lionel's secret. But he makes Lionel take care of the zombies in the basement, a task that Lionel screws up terribly. He accidentally gives all of the living dead a poison that is actually an animal stimulant. So seeing as all this started from a monkey bite, the corpses don't die, they have even more energy. Busting down the basement door and crashing uncle Les' housewarming party full of his friends and colleagues, things get really gory. All this leads up to the unforgettable aforementioned 'lawnmower' scene.

As Lionel breaks out of his shell, he fights back in the most unconventional of ways; he attacks the now houseful of living dead by shredding them to pieces with his trusty lawnmower. What goes down is easily to this day, still one of the goriest scenes in motion picture history. The entire house is nothing but crimson, body parts, and wet chunks. But the fight doesn't stop there, because the main villain, Vera, doesn't show up until the final few minutes of the film. Only she's now monstrously tall, and completely mutated. Upon threatening Paquita, Lionel finally takes stand against his mother and kills her. 

Lionel and Paquita walk off together leaving the gritty aftermath behind them as we hear the baby conceived by the nurse and priest, screaming in the fire. I find all of the scenes with the baby to be awesome, especially the 'park' scene in which Lionel tries to act as though it's a normal baby, but to no avail.

Did someone say they need a Swiffer?

In the end, "Braindead" is a film that will be talked about for ages to come. It may not hold its appeal to younger fans nowadays as it does to those of us around when it came out, but it's a solid movie never to be forgotten. It's one of those ones that it's as easy to sit through as it is hard to watch at times. And to think I only summed up the film, I could go on and on with this one. The moral of this review is that if you haven't seen this movie yet, you need to fix that asap. And if you have seen this one, then thanks for reading, doing so shows your fandom for this classic.

4 out of 5 stars

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