Friday, July 22, 2016

Stranger Things Review


I didn’t expect to see this, as I don’t usually watch a lot of Netflix originals, but my wife decided to spend a full day binging this show. I didn’t hear anything about it until it started playing and realized that a lot of people online were talking about it. No one in my circle was, and I follow sites like Fangoria. Whatever the case was, this show pulled me in through the premise, and didn’t let go until the end credits of the final episode came through.

The premise of “Stranger Things” is simple. A 12 year old boy goes missing from an Indiana town. The boy’s name is Will and his mother, and friends go on a quest to find him. Along the way, the friends meet up with a young girl that has been the victim of science experiments in the facilities nearby. On the other hand, no one believes Will’s mother who swears the boy is alive. Along the way a skeptical sheriff fights back, the FBI comes through, and a nod to all things 1980s Hollywood and horror comes flying at you right away.

How much do you love horror? “Stranger Things” tests you in everything that you know about horror, meanwhile creating a new lavish scenario that is quite good. Every episode ties together so well, and the visual design flow from the credits through the actual events and story, remind you of something else. It’s a homage at times, it’s a rip off to others, it’s fascinating honestly. There are moments where you swear you’re trapped in an alternate universe where “Stand By Me” meets “Needful Things” and gets tossed around in “Alien” and “The Thing”. If you aren’t a horror fan, you will miss all of these things. There’s so much paid tribute to through the episodes that it’s almost as if the show is a love letter to horror movie fans that have been jaded by so many trivial releases.

“Stranger Things” puts on a showcase of creativity at every turn. The story of a young boy’s death or kidnapping is pushed through every emotional query. A science fiction element similar to “Creature” by John Saul is pushed forward too. There’s so much going on here, that you’ll be swimming in a sea of references that you either get, or you just don’t understand. Alone, this is a seriously good thriller and horror movie. However, the sum of its parts makes you feel that you’re reading a Robin Cook novel, let alone a television program that was made outside of the television landscape.

At the end of the day, “Stranger Things” puts you in the 1980s horror movie world. With a telekinetic girl, a group of friends coming of age, aliens, monsters, and even a little bit of “Signs” for good measure. I didn’t love ever single moment of this series. However, I loved enough of the parts to say that this is one hell of a show, and definitely worth your month’s subscription to Netflix. Color me impressed. Color me interested in seeing more. A stellar showcase, and yet, it feels all so familiar somehow.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Ghostbusters Review


The amount of hate that hit this movie before it was released was shocking. People apparently love to hate on anything and everything. The saddest part for me is that they make money off of this. I have been reviewing horror movies and culture on this site and others, and yet I don’t make a dime. I try, but no one buys anything, no ad companies are asking to help, and I can’t even find writers to help me write reviews. I forge on alone, and well, that’s not a bad thing, but it’s draining sometimes. So much negativity. Well, I put on my pants, and I went into see this travesty that some called it, and you know what? I didn’t know what to really expect. Ghostbusters opened this past weekend, and I got 2 tickets, a large soda, a large popcorn, and a very good Ecto Cooler cocktail at the AMC bar before the show.

Ghostbusters is a fun movie. It starts out really hard, and then softens up a little. The jokes are not insane, they are subtle at times, they are fun too. This is not the 1980s, and the pacing of this movie shows it. Things go by a little faster. The cinematography wasn’t terrible, the story wasn’t insane, but rather in line with a lot of the elements that you would expect from the series.

The acting was not bad, the movie heralded some good, overall moments. I didn’t hate anything I saw in this movie, and at times, I wanted to join in on throwing tomatoes. Instead, the plot of a few scientifically driven women to capture paranormal activity was done well. From the opening to the finale, I had a good amount of fun with Ghostbusters. I didn’t take it too seriously, and I viewed it with an open mind.

I am older than most of the idiots that are talking bad about this movie. I loved this. I really wished I had a daughter to share the amount of empowerment showcased in this movie. The standout for me was the interaction between the women. There’s a lot of little things, from hand gestures, to looks, to smiles, that make this movie fun. The plot is simple. Someone’s trying to open up portals to ghosts and become a super power. It’s up to these women to stop it. The movie then moves forward into a hero’s story with this team getting through some great visual effects, and some fun musical cues.

There’s a lot of cameos that you may not realize, and some that are absolutely obvious. Overall, Ghostbusters didn’t deserve the hate. Not even from the Angry Video Game Nerd, which has let the money go to his head. Must be nice to be rich. I’m not. I loved this movie, and am still impressed with some of the set designs and notes that made it into this movie. Look, if you love movies, you will love this. It’s a popcorn flick, simple as that. It’s not meant to be Oscar Award Winning cinema, and it never feels that way. So there you have it, go see it, disagree with me, and review it for yourself. Don’t let idiots sway you, this is a fun romp.

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Monday, July 11, 2016

Nailbiter Volume 1: There Will Be Blood Horror Comic Book Review


I have been on a little break from viewing horror movies, simply because I have reached horror review number 890 with that last opus. So today, I wanted to talk about a book that I recently picked up and read. It’s a graphic novel volume of the first few comics from the Nailbiter series. I had nothing to really consider about this option, other than the cover. They say you shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, but I say, you should always do so! Judge it, and read it!

Nailbiter is written and illustrated by Joshua Williamson, Adam Guzowski, and Mike Henderson. These guys have created one well of a story, and it is not too unlike what made “True Detective” such an epic first season run.

The story of Nailbiter follows an NSA agent, and local sheriff in Buckaroo, Oregon. This city is famous for producing the 16 serial killers, all of which are absolutely insane, and horrific. Why this town? Why now? Well, a fire, a murder, and a lot more mystery starts to unravel in the pages of this horror comic series, and it holds you tight, until you absolutely buckle.


I loved the way that the dialogue flowed, the images showcasing just enough gore, and the frightening elements found within the narrative. Nailbiter does a good job of going for gusto, and then reeling back when you have been hit with something heavy visually and dramatically. It’s a solid focus that will absolutely give you chills, and make you think through the last page.

Nailbiter asks the question, “Where do serial killers come from”, and then knocks out an answer that will stun you. It’s a work of great fiction, rooted in the detective narratives, and horror movies that you may love. This is a thrilling first round up, and one that will make you a true believer, no doubt.


You can pick up Nailbiter Volume: There Will Be Blood by clicking here, it’s well recommended.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Late Phases Review


If you have been following me along 800 plus reviews, then you know I love a good werewolf movie. I love the concept. I even gave an escort a copy of “Howling II” when I was in Las Vegas one year. She wanted to be a writer, and told her that she would benefit from writing about werewolves. It was a brief encounter, but last I checked she was in San Francisco writing for the Huffington Post. Good for you! As for this movie, it’s a different kind of werewolf movie. It is a drama that was directed by Adrian Garcia Bogliano. This was his first attempt at an English language movie and he knocked it out of the park if you ask me. Written by Eric Stolze, and starring Nick Mamici, Ethan Embry, and Lance Guest, this is a tightening screw of a horror film that pushes your emotional buttons until it breaks down your guard and eats your heart out. Like that? Good!

The plot is simple. A blind veteran moves to a small town. He wants to live on his own and doesn’t like a lot of people. One night a werewolf visits him and attacks, his dog goes down and he has to kill it. It’s a gut wrenching scene, especially since seeing eye dogs are masterful helpers and well this guy is now left without his best friend and guide. He thinks a werewolf is at play, and through the course of the movie you see him gearing up for a fight.


Pick Up Late Phases Blu Ray (click image)

Meanwhile the villain is turning all the individuals in the town into wolves, and things are going to rise up, creeping closer. As the body count starts to rise, our main hero, Ambrose, gets ready to take on werewolves, all the while blind, mind you. The ultimate battle takes on a very unique twist, with our hero’s disability taking center stage.

Late Phases has a lot of dramatic leads. It is a slow moving fire. I disagree with “Shock Till You Drop” completely. I do NOT think that they were going for a “Bubba Ho-Tep” vibe at all. That is ludicrous, and stupid to compare. This is not the same, it’s not a comedy in my opinion. Needless to say, this movie is far more dramatic than you may think. It has some serious soul, feeling, and then when you think it’s done, it unleashes the wolves.

Look, the wolves aren’t great. The costuming is lackluster, but the transition was good, and the overall meaning isn’t lost. The bites, the gore, and the horror that sets in is vibrant, with a lot to offer even the most jaded of horror fan. This is a well put together movie, regardless of what pundits said about it. It’s acted well enough, and it truly has a heart. I liked it. I liked the climax, and the overall visual tone of the movie. The “sheep’s” clothing metaphor works just as well here as it did in “Stephen King’s Silver Bullet”. I recommend this one, I liked it a lot, and think that “Late Phases” is worth checking out.

You can purchase “Late Phases” by clicking here, and reviewing it yourself, you know you want to.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Stalled Review


What would you do if you were in the bathroom when the zombie apocalypse happened? Seriously? What would you do? That’s the premise that comes forward in this cult classic, Stalled. Stalled is a movie that I didn’t want to watch for a while, but eventually had to, because I didn’t want this site to die. So here we go, my thoughts and opinions about one of the cleverest zombie movies I’ve seen in a long time. I kid you not, this was creative, and fun.

Stalled came out in 2013. I was aware of the movie, but didn’t really watch it at the time. The movie was written and directed by Dan Palmer, and boy did he do a good job. Hats off to you Mr. Palmer, what a hell of a movie you created, with the help of others of course, but still, this is written very well if you ask me. Of course, no one asked me. If you are looking for a zombie Christmas movie, here it is, a Christmas treat with zombies and a bathroom stall from hell!

The plot is simple. W.C. is a maintenance guy at a high rise and he gets trapped inside of a bathroom stall when the zombie apocalypse goes down. That’s it. Simple plot, and it slowly moves forward into a nightmare. The movie progresses from W.C’s point of view. He eventually realizes that there is a girl in another stall, and the two try to escape, only for the woman to eventually has an emotional crisis about being fat, and gets eaten alive while our anti-hero ends up watching through a peep hole. There’s an identity crisis going on, and I wrongfully thought that it was another cheap ending, but nope, this was smart, it swerved me.

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Overall the gore is tight, the cinematography is good. However, I do have one major critique. The camera stops moving a lot. There are times when you don’t hear anything, and the camera is fixed, with nothing going on. It’s worse than Kevin Smith’s early work. That’s really jarring, but perhaps the method is to get you nervous, sucked into the plot, and waiting for what goes on next. Whatever the case is, Stalled really picks up steam in the third act and never lets go.


There’s comedy, there’s horror, there’s gore, and there’s even a little hot lesbian action! (I kid, but not really)

At the end of the day, Stalled is one of my favorite horror movies that features zombies. This is a quick, 84 minute romp through a “what if” scenario that you no doubt have talked about with your friends, while throwing back a few drinks. I loved it. Even though the pacing was a bit off sometimes, and the quality of film isn’t on par with a lot of mainstream releases, this British horror movie got me hooked fast. I recommend checking it out, especially for the brain bashing toilet humor that is sewn throughout. Great job!



You can purchase Stalled on DVD by clicking here, and why wouldn’t you? It’s damn good!

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