Thursday, October 30, 2014

October Horror Challenge 2014 - Day 29

STANLEY is the story of an American Indian who uses his pet snakes to exact revenge on any he feels has wronged him or mistreated his snake friends. This is pretty standard drive-in horror fare but it worked and was an enjoyable flick.

It seems like I can't go more than three or four movies this year without a total disaster of a movie and the latest was LEPRECHAUN ORIGINS. Another WWE production with their resident Irish little guy Hornswoggle as the titular monster. This isn't anything like the Warwick Davis films where the leprechaun has a personality and cracks jokes, no, this leprechaun is an ancient monster that is more beast than horror villain and basically just eats people and I guess cares about their gold too. This movie is fucking awful. It's on the same level as Syfy channel productions but without the so bad its good aspect that some of those movies have. This is just bad. And boring. It's boring and bad and is among the worst movies I've seen this month.

Finally a long overdue viewing of RAWHEAD REX was due. I haven't seen this movie in somewhere close to 8 years. Based on a story by Clive Barker this purely cheese of the finest variety. An ancient demonic monster is resurrected and running amok on an Irish village. Some local clergymen worship him and try to help him while the beast tears apart everyone that crosses his path, man, woman, or child. RAWHEAD REX is one I have to visit more often.

Today's Rundown
Stanley - 6/10
Leprechaun Origins - 2/10
Rawhead Rex - 8/10

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

October Horror Challenge 2014 - Day 28

Getting back on track a bit on day 28 with three movies. The first of which is one that has been an anomaly of sorts since being made in 2007 and then pretty heavily promoted before being pulled from release and never getting any sort of theatrical run or home video release. Interest was recently revived as it had a short stay on VOD on a single cable provider but was again pulled. THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES is a faux documentary about a serial killer stalking and killing many victims across Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio. He made detailed videos of his crimes, fetishsizing each one. He was brutal and unpredictable having never been caught and still on the loose. The film has some disturbing moments, many of which are with the killer's slave who was under his control for almost a decade. Unfortunately some of the acting from the law enforcement characters is beyond hammy and totally unrealistic while the writing is messy as well with a couple people in the documentary simply disappearing from the film with no conclusion or resolution to their part. It's a bit too shock value for shock value's sake but I think the idea and attempt at it was a noble one.

Afterwards I decided to go with something familiar and fun. THE LOST BOYS fit the bill perfectly and gave me exactly what I wanted. Some easy and entertaining while I was finishing some stuff on the computer. I don't think I need to go into depth with this one, it's a classic of the 80s with just enough camp, cool characters and a fantastic soundtrack. I've loved this movie ever since I saw it a friend's birthday party in 4th grade.

The day was wrapped up with a movie I've seen before but needed a refresher on - SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT. This drive-in era slasher type film is pretty decent, and better than it probably has any right to be. An axe-wielding maniac terrorizes a mansion that used to be a mental hospital during the Christmas season. It isn't the tightest film in the world, but it gets the story across and the acting isn't too shabby led by John Carradine and Mary Woronov.

Today's Rundown
The Poughkeepsie Tapes - 4.5/10
The Lost Boys - 8/10
Silent Night Bloody Night - 6/10

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October Horror Challenge 2014 - Days 26 and 27

A couple days of light viewing should have me reset to finish the challenge strong. The lone movie for day 26 was AUDREY ROSE, a psychological horror drama that will be getting a full review of the limited edition Twilight Time Blu-ray tomorrow, so be on the look out for that. I'll say that it was a disappointment given the talent on board the production.

Day 27 also only had a single viewing and this one was enough to shut the whole challenge down. V/H/S VIRAL is the third entry in the V/H/S series of anthology found footage horror stories. I'm not a huge fan of the first two installments but each had segments that I liked and they weren't awful movies as a whole, though neither had a good wrap around story which certainly hurts the overall film. VIRAL is a complete piece of shit from start to finish, top to bottom. There's not a single fucking thing worth praising and not a single redeeming quality. I could have been easily surprised by something good. Or even remotely good. Instead a series of mediocre films takes a massive step down in quality and entertainment. Not only is V/H/S VIRAL terrible it is fucking boring and poorly thrown together.

Today's Rundown
Audrey Rose - 4/10
V/H/S Viral - 1/10

Plastic (DVD Review) - Arc Entertainment

Directed By: Julian Gilbey
Written By: Chris Howard, Sacha Bennett, Julian Gilbey, William Gilbey
Starring: Ed Speelers, Alfie Allen, Will Poulter
Color/102 Minutes/R
Region 1
Release Date: October 28, 2014

The Film
A group of college kids make money by hacking credit card accounts and flipping merchandise. Unfortunately they make a hit on the wrong person and get tangled up in a group lead by a merciless gangster who demands $2million in two weeks or he'll kill them. The group has to pool their knowledge and resources to come up with a high stakes but extremely high risk heist on some extremely rare and valuable diamonds that will take them across the Atlantic Ocean and back to London and hopefully they escape with their life.

PLASTIC is a damn good crime thriller. It has the perfect amount of comedy blended in with intense action, very cool heist and crime scenes and some sexy moments for the cherry on top. The cast is excellent and bring an equally excellent script to life with enthusiasm and fervor. The chemistry is great and each character has a specific role to fill within the film and they do so brilliantly. PLASTIC is quite a fun film and entertainment is the most important part. PLASTIC is incredibly entertaining from start to finish so grab a beer and a big bowl of popcorn and have some fun!

The Audio & Video
Arc Entertainment gives PLASTIC a nice looking DVD release with a 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The picture has a nice sharpness and high quality look. The picture is clean and detail is rather good for DVD. The Dolby 5.1 track is crystal clear with no background noise or audible hiccups. The mix is excellent and dialogue comes across loud and clear.

The Extras
-Making of PLASTIC featurette

The Bottom Line
If you're in the mood for an action packed crime thriller with some really likable characters that is both clever and high quality you should check out PLASTIC. 

PLASTIC is available HERE

Monday, October 27, 2014

Wong Turn 6: Last Resort (Blu-ray Review) - Fox

Directed By: Valeri Milev
Written By: Frank H. Woodward
Starring: Anthony Ilott, Chris Jarvis, Aqueela Zoll
Color/91 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: October 21, 2014

The Film
I have to be honest with everyone- Despite not being much of a fan of the WRONG TURN series I'm pretty happy it has reached the sixth entry. I feel this way only because it's rare for horror series to reach such high number of entries and it makes me think of how fun it must have been to always have an entry from Halloween, Friday The 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street etc... coming out even if quality began to slip.

The WRONG TURN series is based around a series of inbred cannibal hillbillies from the hills of West Virginia and they terrorize anyone that unknowingly stops foot in their territory. The original film was a pretty decent backwoods terror type horror film and the second wasn't half bad either taking a bit cheesier turn but after that the series takes a pretty hard turn for the worst and by the time part 5 rolled around on the Syfy channel it was pure crap. Here in part 6, LAST RESORT, a man who is struggling to get his life back together goes to an old hotel with his girlfriend and friends to meet distant relatives who have summoned him to inform him that he has inherited the estate. Come to find out he's a member of the backwoods cannibals that have raised hell for five previous films and he has pure blood, just what they're looking for to have sex with his sister/cousin to keep the bloodline going. They drug him, get him on board to leave the world of Wall Street and become an incestuous backwoods hick and they murder all of his friends.

WRONG TURN 6: LAST RESORT is fucking terrible. There's no other way to say it. It sucks in every way. The makeup effects on the deformed cannibals was beyond shitty. Shitty enough that early on in the film I was convinced they had just put shitty rubber masks on the actors and pretended it was makeup. The acting is also pretty fucking terrible, especially from the cousins running the hotel. And perhaps worst of all it just is not interesting. I was grasping for a positive to the film and the only thing I (and my friend that watched it with me) was that all of the attractive women in the cast got naked, all 4 of them. That's it. Tits on screen were the only thing worth a Goddamn single fuck in this and in the day where tits are everywhere that isn't worth much.

It's possible that if you absolutely love the WRONG TURN series that you'll be attached to the characters enough to overlook everything that you're seeing and pretend to like it and try to convince yourself that the movie is good but for the rest of us that aren't wearing rose tinted glasses we'll have to deal with the shit that just got thrown at our face.

The Audio & Video
20th Century Fox gives WRONG TURN 6 a very nice looking release. The 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer with great detail level in skin tones and surfaces and vivid colors both in the country exteriors and old hotel interiors. Black levels are deep and handled very well. The 5.1 DTS-HD master audio track has excellent clarity and a perfect mix of dialogue and score. There's no background noise or crackling or popping.

The Extras
-"Inheritance" featurette
-"All The Kills In Them Hills" featurette
-"Hobb Springs: A Place To Rest... In Peace" featurette

The Bottom Line
I can't recommend WRONG TURN 6 to anyone except absolute die hard fans of the franchise and even then I warn you to proceed with caution.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

October Horror Challenge 2014 - Day 25

THE VAMPIRE'S NIGHT ORGY feels typical of a 70s horror film where a group gets stranded in a creepy Eastern European town that happens to be inhabited by vampires. I'm sure you can guess what happens. There's nothing special or notable here. It feels typical and it feels like you've seen it before even if you haven't.

I found a pleasant surprise in THE DEVIL'S NIGHTMARE where a group of tourists get stranded in a creepy Eastern European town and have to take refuge in a castle. Sounds pretty familiar, huh? This movie features a Succubus stalking the group and offing them in various ways inspired by the seven deadly sins. There's some cool deaths and set pieces and a few gorgeous women that are all eye candy for the viewer and while the movie isn't particularly graphic it still manages to be gruesome.

These days zombies are the big thing. It's pretty annoying and most things dealing with zombies suck currently. THE BATTERY is a film about two baseball players, a pitcher and a catcher, surviving the zombie apocalypse together. Wisely, this film focuses on the characters and not zombies or gore. THE BATTERY has me a little torn as I thought the acting was superb and I really liked the catcher character. On the other hand I didn't care for the pitcher character and there's a few spots in the film where it seems like they hit a road block and didn't know how to progress the story. And to be a bit contradictory, this is a zombie film and a bit more action with them wouldn't have been a bad thing. The film would have still focused on the characters but it would have juiced things up a bit.

The day ended with some much needed Mario Bava - BLACK SUNDAY. I chose to watch this with the Tim Lucas commentary track and it ended u being a great listen. Lucas delivers some great facts on the cast and crew along with the production and history of the film. BLACK SUNDAY is one of Bava's finest film and it was great to revisit this way.

Today's Rundown
The Vampire's Night Orgy - 3/10
The Devil's Nightmare - 6/10
The Battery - 5.5/10
Black Sunday with commentary - 9/10

The Inside (2010)

When a man buys a video camera from a pawn shop he plays the tape inside and finds that it contains footage of a group partying in an abandoned building of sorts until they're interrupted and brutalized by a few men who murder or rape most of the group. A couple of the girls escape into a subterranean tunnel system and desperately try to find a way out while being stalked by the killers. Using the night vision function on the camera to see one of the girls escapes and runs towards the populated area of the city dropping the camera in the process. Instead of calling the police about what he's seen on the camera the man decides to trace the steps to the spot where the crimes were committed in hopes of uncovering some clues. While there he finds another girl who has been victimized and tries his best to help her escape.

THE INSIDE is 93 minutes of grueling torture. While watching it I glanced at the counter on the DVD player and found that I was 66 minutes into the movie. It honestly felt I was on hour three. The film is poorly made, with lots of dialogue being lost in the shuffle of the found footage style. A good bit of the dialogue that is present is just shouts of "no no no no noooo no no" so it isn't like we're missing out on any Shakespearean monologues here.

The story just plain sucks. It makes no sense that the girl who escaped would drop the camera that proves her crimes and clearly shows the face of the attackers and it makes even less sense that the man who bought the camera would go investigate it on his own after seeing just how fucked up the criminals are instead of bringing the tape to the police when the tape clearly shows the fucking face of the killers. The end of the film while stupid, was a welcome reprieve from having to watch anymore. I don't think I could handle any more shaky handheld night vision or anymore cries of "noo no no no no nooo no noo". You can go ahead and skip this one.

THE INSIDE is available HERE