Sunday, December 3, 2017

The Brood Review

The Brood Criterion Collection Cover Blu Ray 
For today’s review we are going to have to go back to the year 1979. That’s when David Cronenberg shocked audiences with a very heavy movie that features horror and science fiction all in the same level. Cronenberg has a knack for creating beautifully haunting pictures, and he has a way of mixing the grotesque with stellar ideologies. In this case, you’re going to find an “art house” focus with the cinematography of Mark Irwin, but the grotesque is not lost, as there’s an insanity plot that you have to see to believe towards the end. The movie in question is none other than the famed movie, “The Brood”.

The focus of the movie is on a psychiatrist and his patient. He is working with a technique that is known as psychoplasmics, which is supposed to let go of problems within the body, and then manifests it outside in other arenas. There are physiological changes to the patient, and through focusing and redirection of the energy, the sickness leaves and manifests in another benign area of the body. However, things get weird when the psychiatrist gets a visit from a patient’s husband, embroiled in a custody battle, he wants to get sole custody of their child. However, the doctor wants to protect the best interest of his patient, so he creates an intense plasmic environment, which ends up causing serious issue.

The plot thickens when small alien children start attacking people around the ex-husband’s world, including a grandmother, and others. As there becomes an investigation, it turns out a dark secret is being held within the compound of the psychiatrist, which turns out to be quite sickening. You see, the patient in question is giving birth to alien children based on her psychotic episodes, and Cronenberg shows you a cycle of birth that is equal parts grotesque, horrific, and gore filled. You have to see it to believe it, as it’s 1979 yet the practical effects are far beyond what you’d expect for the time.

The movie breaks a major taboo towards the end, and that’s the killing of children. You never see that, but in this movie, “The Brood” are not just children, they are alien children, and they will murder at all costs.

The movie is incredible. It has a slow pace, but quickens in the end, so if you aren’t a fan of slow burns, you may miss out. It takes time to build, but when you finally see the villainous brood, you cheer for the main characters and hope for something grand in the end. It has a lot of elements that are going to shock and awe, but only if you invest in the movie long enough to see the end. I can see some people getting bored with this, even though the Howard Shore music keeps you entertained. This is very much a subdued, psychological horror masterpiece, with a nod to science fiction as well. However, it’s slow pacing is going to cause some to turn it off, while others will be grossed out by the birthing cycle that is evidenced in the third act reveal.

If you’re a fan of David Cronenberg, you’re going to love this one. It’s got every trait that you’d expect, and it’s well put together. I highly recommend checking it out, especially for the special effects that are evidenced towards the end of the movie.

You can buy the superior Criterion Blu Ray Edition of “The Brood” by clicking here, as it’s well worth an addition to your collection.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Deep Red Review

Deep Red Poster (1975)
One of the best directors in horror is Dario Argento. He is an Italian horror director that creates lavish set pieces, with amazing colors and commentary that is absolutely grand. I love his work, and have reviewed many of his movies on this website. However, today, we are going to talk about one of my favorite movies of his, and it’s “Deep Red”. This is a movie that features a lot of different elements that you would get from horror, and with the idea of “Gialo” detective movies. The music, the visuals, and the story will definitely stun most.

The movie features a man that looks a lot like Paul McCartney, and he is a piano player. He is working on a piece when something happens during a lecture. A psychic seems to see something evil, and she senses it. When this is all said and done, she goes to her apartment, and out comes a figure in the dark and hatchets her to death! I kid you not. You don’t see the killer, you get a POV version of the events. This also occurs to several other people that have something to do with the music, and our main composer is on the hunt, alongside a journalist. The two have a slight love story, but the bodies keep piling up. Along the way, you get to see POV style death sequences that are over the top, grotesque, and yet charming with the way that Dario Argento works through the color palette and the music of Goblin. Great stuff.

The movie is a bit slow, and my version of the movie didn’t have subtitles at all. It would cut in and out of Italian, and it was a bit difficult to manage. There was dubbing for half of the movie, and the other half had Italian. Now, I speak Spanish and Italian is not too far away from it. I liked that, and it was interesting to listen to the languages. Goblin’s score is great overall, and I loved it.

As for the movie, this is an interesting take on horror, and features a detective subplot, with a little love thrown into the overall elements. However, when the killer is revealed, you feel like air is coming out of a balloon slowly. The buildup is epic, but you’re going to end up laughing at the ludicrous nature, and the overall findings. It’s funny, and not at all what you’d expect. However, the special effects, the visual design, and the movie is quite good overall.

Dario Argento’s “Deep Red” has a lot of creepy moments. Good direction, misdirection, and quality music from Giorgio Gaslini and Goblin. It really is a good horror movie, and it’s paced well, with some great elements of fear, especially considering this was from 1975 of all years.

You can pick up “Deep Red” on blu ray by clicking here. It’s worth checking out, especially on Halloween!

Did you see “Deep Red”? If you did, drop me a comment below.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Frankenhooker Review

Frankenhooker Poster
Let’s journey back to the 1990s, and check out a movie that most people don’t even remember. That’s right, we’re going to talk about the black horror comedy entitled, “Frankenhooker”. Now, this came into my view via an adult website, and once I realized it wasn’t an adult feature, I had to check out the film. It starts Penthouse Pet Patty Mullen, wearing a fat suit at first, and a bunch of no-name stars, but that doesn’t matter, because this is not going to make a career out of anyone, with a few exceptions.

The movie is a fast paced horror comedy, and features a young man’s quest to bring his fiancĂ© back to life. When his girl dies from a lawnmower accident, he goes through a lot of endeavors to reanimate her, but doesn’t have enough parts. So he starts to hire prostitutes, but when they find his super crack, they start exploding. That upsets their pimp, and while he is able to make his woman come back, she becomes a Frankenstein monster, and hooker, and well that leads to a lot of shenanigans.

The movie is only 85 minutes long, but there are a lot of great sequences here. There’s the constant exploding of the hookers, there’s the continual beat downs that Jeffrey Franken gets, and of course the nudity. If you’re a fan of gratuitous nudity, then you’re going to love the middle point of this movie because there’s a lot of exposed breasts. The movie goes from horror to absurd in 60 seconds, and you can’t really take this one too seriously.

Aside from the “Frankenstein” plotting, this is a movie that features a lot of interesting points, and is a nice set piece to the original book by Mary Shelley. But is it worth your time? YES! This is a great romp into the 1990s, late grindhouse era of movies that have good overall effects, funny moments, and classic one liners. The same guys that did “Basket Case” are responsible for this movie, and you can see it through their gross out effects, the explosions, and musical selections. This movie has one killer ending too, making it one of the better horror comedies to come out of the 1990s. It’s one that you have to see to believe, because you can’t get away with a lot of the things that this movie had in it.

This is one hell of a movie, and it is worth checking out. It has everything you'd want in a horror movie, and then some.

You can purchase "Frankenhooker" by clicking here. 

Did you see "Frankenhooker"? Drop me a line in the comments. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Cult of Chucky Review

Cult of Chucky 2017 Cover
This is the seventh movie that features the killer doll, and you would think that they would run out of ideas. But nope, here we are with an all new full length feature that is all about Chucky and his killer ways. This time around there are some very nuanced kills, and thrills, with a story that isn’t too bad, but isn’t going to win any awards at any point either. “Cult of Chucky” went straight to DVD and Blu Ray and is now available, but I wasn’t paid so here’s my honest review sans any sponsorship as per usual.

The movie picks up where the previous one ended, this time around with Nica in a wheel chair and trying to figure out why she’s in an asylum after blaming Chucky for burning down her house and family. Of course, that’s the doppelganger because the movie is going to feature a lot of different elements that will tie this to the past, and the future.

In another section of the movie we catch up with Andy, the kid that started it all, and he has Chucky’s head and has been torturing it for a long time. Through the course of the movie, he has been trying to tell the asylum that holds Nica that Chucky is alive and is going to kill again. They don’t believe him. They throw him out, and of course we continue our story.

The movie is a slow moving starter, but it starts to gain steam when Chucky comes alive, and you realize that there’s more than one. Then you start to think that this movie is lazy, with the idea of the existence of Chucky being only in Nica’s mind, but that’s a red herring. The movie switches tones, and starts back into the one liner, comedic elements of Chucky, with him slashing, and dicing his way through the asylum.

There’s a lot to this movie, but at the same time, there’s a limited cast, and it really drives through a convoluted voodoo plot that throws away a few ideas, but at the same time, builds into the ethos of what made “Child’s Play” so good. There’s a lot going for it, and the visual design is the main key factor. The visuals and kills are juxtaposed with a clean, white, and pure asylum in contrast to the redness of the blood.

The movie was good. It had some decent acting, some great pacing, and a body count that rivals the original film. You get a lot of loose ends tied, and eventually, Chucky and Tiffany reunite. Woops, I spoiled it! Hahah!

I recommend checking out “Cult of Chucky” it’s a modern send up to the classic series, and not half bad if you ask me.

You can purchase “Cult of Chucky” via Blu Ray by clicking here.

What did you think of “Cult of Chucky”? Drop me a line in the comments below.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Mother! Review

Mother 2017 Poster
Darren Arnofsky once again pushes the limits of film making and has divided audiences. Even in my own house, things are divided when it comes to this movie. There is no “one” consensus that I’ve seen online from reviewers, and fans alike. Everyone has an opinion, and you can take this movie in two very different directions. It is a scary film in one way, but it is not a horror movie in the traditional sense. It’s a claustrophobic, pretentious art film with some incredible acting, and some very unique elements that keep you on your feet, even if it does drag a little through the middle of the movie.

The premise is simple enough, but the details are where things get really murky. The story follows a writer who is struggling to come up with his next hit book, and is having a hard time. He is living in the middle of nowhere, the woods, with his wife, and they are living a quaint lifestyle. But then a stranger shows up and throws a wrench into their world, only to have his wife come in and step all over their life, and ruin a set piece that is the life blood of the story. Things continually get out of hand, as the story unfolds and you find out that people are starting to discover that the famed artist and writer lives there, which then prompts chaos as the movie goes on. But if that’s not enough, the main characters go through a pregnancy, and delivery of a baby, only to have it worshiped by the followers of the poet, and beyond. But that’s only glossing over the surface, because this movie throws you into a centrifugal forced loop before dropping you off in another dimension, as only Arnofsky can do.

Javier Bardem was in this movie where he played a man dying of cancer in “Biutiful”. I loved that movie, and this felt a lot like that performance. He was brooding, emotional, and it seemed like he was dying again. Jennifer Lawrence was squarely in this movie, as the camera had her reactions, face, and much more for a lot of it. Even sequences that were meant to be blistering, and shocking, showcased her face and the transitional elements of computer graphics, alongside her face and aging process rather than stepping back. One reviewer said this was claustrophobic, and I tend to agree.

There’s no music. That threw me off. There’s a lot of Foley work, and a lot of scary moments with blood, cursing, and nightmarish situations that all pose to be alliteration to many tales of religious ceremony. I can count all of them, but you only get them if you are religious or are a scholar of any sort of divinity. If you’re not, then you’re going to think this movie is about the creative process, or about marriage, or about mother Earth. There’s so many symbolic elements, and yet nothing really prepares you for what seems like a lazy bit of writing at the end.

Like my review of “Time Crimes”, I think this is a good movie as a stand alone tale. However, it falters in that it is very pretentious, on the edge of preaching to the audience, while inserting so much symbolism that it loses connection with the audience many times. It’s a long movie to watch, and one that will grab your attention, but it is not horror, it’s not really scary, and you really have to be an intellectual to grab all of the things that Arnofsky is throwing you at you.

Mother! Will either bore you, or make you think long after it’s over. For me, it made me bored, then made me think, before I gave up on it again. It’s not a bad movie, it’s just not horror, and to me, felt a lot like an Italian Art House picture instead of a major film from the states. It’s not bad, it’s just not as good as some people think.
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