Friday, October 31, 2008

Month Death Toll October Edition

This month's death toll wasn't the biggest, but it sure had some interesting views. I didn't really start getting too serious until "The Prestige" review where I started to contemplate these movies a little more than I should. It's a good thing, it makes me appreciate the art form a little more. Below are the movies reviewed in October followed by a list and links to all the reviews I've done so far. Enjoy your Halloween and I'll return on Monday with a new month of horror movie goodness.

Ted Bundy Review
Rest Stop 2: Don't Look Back Review
Saw V Review
The Blair Witch Project Review
Drive Thru Review
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge Review
Chaos (2005) Review
Saw IV Review
Joy Ride Review
Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Review
The Prestige Review
Captivity Review
Ice Spiders Review

All the reviews done to this point:
Ted Bundy Review
Rest Stop 2: Don't Look Back Review
Saw V Review
The Blair Witch Project Review
Drive Thru Review
A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge Review
Chaos (2005) Review
Saw IV Review
Joy Ride Review
Friday The 13th Part VI: Jason Lives Review
The Prestige Review
Captivity Review
Ice Spiders Review
The Dead Next Door Review
Pumpkinhead Review
Child's Play Review
Silent Night, Deadly Night Review
Monkey Shines Review
The Devils Rejects Review
Wes Craven's Shocker Review
The Changeling Review
Vacancy Review
House of 1,000 Corpses Review
The Tattooist Review
Feast (1992) Review
Death Race Review
Lost Boys: The Tribe Review
Hard Candy Review
Mirrors Review
28 Days Later
Feast
28 Weeks Later
Night of the Demons Review
Midnight Skater Review
The Howling Review
Dee Snider's Strangeland Review
Vampires: Los Muertos Review
High Tension Review
Blood: The Last Vampire Review
The Relic Review
The Wizard of Gore Review
Wrong Turn 2
Hatchet
The Ruins
Blood Car
Videodrome
Masters of Horror: We All Scream For Ice Cream
Believers
Cabin Fever
Dolls
They Call Her One Eye
Inseminoid
The House on Sorority Row
Planet Terror
Rob Zombie's Halloween
Funny Games
Friday the 13th
Sleepaway Camp
Camp Slaughter
Feed
Wrestlemaniac
Population 436
The Faculty
The Omen IV: The Awakening
Otis
Ax' Em
Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter
The Curve
Lifeforce
P2
The Machine Girl


Looking for grindhouse, horror, or sci-fi films? Please check out our amazon astore featuring all things horror. Don't trust astore? Check out amazon.com, surprisingly they have more grindhouse,horror,and rare sci-fi than you may not have thought possible.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

From The Mail Bag: Ted Bundy Edition

Dracual Hammer Edition

Today I (sir jorge/don jorge) will answer a piece of "mail" which is really just a comment from one of my posts via an extended blog post. It's my way of giving back to the blog that provides me with so many great...oh nevermind.

Jenn of HorrorQueen.today.com writes in regards to my review of Ted Bundy:

There's been so many Bundy movies released that it gets to the point where you think nothing else can be shown. If I remember right, I think this one came out at the same time as Ed Gein and Dahmer?


Let’s see, there is Ted Bundy on dvd (2005), Ann Rule Presents: The Stranger Besides Me (2005), and the Biography Channel’s Ted Bundy profile on dvd. However, the wikipedia page on Bundy cites an additional movie that was made in 1986 as a two part made for television promotion. So while there has been an apparent overload of the same story, the latest one I reviewed was the most graphic sexually. At many points it did seem that the director reveled in showing the brutal sexuality of Bundy and was almost offensive at times. I still question the actresses involved, because they looked in real pain. That might be a credit to their acting abilities, rather than anything legitimately painful.

Dahmer and Ed Gein seem to share the promotional company behind the Ted Bundy dvd. There’s a box set of their three biopics available as well as another film tied in with John Wayne Gacy’s bio pic as well.

thebonebreaker writes in regards to my review of Rest Stop 2: Don’t Look Back:

This movie does deserve to be dumped upon, as does the 1st one - they are both terrible!


You’re absolutely right. Those two pictures, released straight to dvd by Raw Feed, were horrible. I can’t believe that people make these films, however, in the 80’s we had a lot of bad movies going to theaters and were basically a waste of time for many people investing millions into some of these films. The straight to dvd market sucks, but I wouldn’t say that it was as bad some of the Hammer Films that were coming out back in the day.

That's about it for this edition of "From the Mail Bag". I appreciate all comments placed on this website and appreciate the time you guys spend reading my crappy posts. Tomorrow being the final day in in the month, I'll be posting my death toll of the month alongside links to all the reviews I've done so far.

My halloween plans are simple, they are to watch WWE Smackdown as they are going to have a Casket Match. I know, I'm lame.

If you're feeling generous, please check out the dvd store at the links below, or check out amazon for some Halloween deals on horror dvd movies. If you buy from those links I get like 20 cents and it doesn't cost you anything extra.

Looking for grindhouse, horror, or sci-fi films? Please check out our amazon astore featuring all things horror. Don't trust astore? Check out amazon.com, surprisingly they have more grindhouse,horror,and rare sci-fi than you may not have thought possible.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ted Bundy Review

Ted Bundy Dvd

In 2002 Ted Bundy came out and tried to chronicle the real life story of a man obsessed with sex and serial killing. Ted Bundy is a scary dvd, but more importantly was a scary individual to have running around our world.

Ted Bundy tells the complete story and unflinching at times in its show of sexuality, and brutality, it seems at times to be a made for tv movie, but its over the top fascination with gore and sex seems to point to a short run in theaters and/or a straight to dvd film. I’m not quite sure of the circumstances. However, this one is interesting on many levels.

Here is a trailer for Ted Bundy:



The story tells the same biographical story that most of these movies start out with. Introducing their childhood and an attempt to give you some background, but this one is nothing extreme. Since Bundy didn’t really start getting into some serious business until he was older.

The story is laughable at times as the character seems over the top, and stupid. However, it starts to thicken up quickly as a relationship goes sour for Bundy and he starts to go insane. What bothered me at this point was how quick this guy turned from slacker to serious, career driven Ted Bundy. He really turned things around and started dating two girls at once, and then he really started to get into a cycle of killing. The movie makes a point of showing a lot of rough sex between Bundy and his love interests. Apparently this is to set up his murders later in the film, but the graphic sexual scenes are done with some sort of sincerity and are not too unlike softcore movies that were once shown on the Spice Channel (cable). I’m not sure how the actresses felt about making these scenes because they are really taking some punishment at times, and it is way overdone for this type of movie.



We then move forward to the murders, these are done without remorse (at least the way they are shown) and Bundy is sly and quick in these. He gains the trust of several women with his good looks, and then comes the hammer. He knocks them out, sexually assaults them and at some point even has sex with corpses. This is pretty sick, and what makes it worse is that its not a fictional story.

If those things weren’t bad enough, the film shows Bundy getting letters from women offering all sorts of things to him. It even shows Bundy getting visits from women and then paying off guards to let him have sex with them in the “family meeting” room. Whether or not this is true it’s appalling to think that this could in fact have happened.

The film quality is right above straight to dvd levels. The visual aspect is dead on and even though the actors do seem played na├»ve and over the top, I went along with it fine. I didn’t really have a lot of problems with the visual storytelling in this film, even if I did find some of the edits and time frames a bit amateur.

Why Ted Bundy is a scary movie: The movie seems a bit too pretentious to be a horror film. However, it is in fact a horror film as it glorifies the violence a little too much to be a straight forward biopic. This film tries to make Bundy an anti-hero, as some of the 80’s slasher flicks turned several serial killers into fan favorites. If you weren’t keen to knowing that Ted Bundy was indeed a real person, you might be a fan of his slayings as fictional accounts. However, this is not 100% fiction, and the fact that he was able to slay so many young women and have police fooled is amazing to me. It’s scary to think that the human mind could allow themselves to get a level where they would habitually kill and sexually assault women. Not only is the acts scary, it’s scary to think that police were truly baffled for so long, and furthermore that Bundy was smart enough to get away with it for so long.

The brutality, whether implied or not, is disturbing to say the least. There is even a seen where Bundy is being prepared to go to the electric chair and they stuff him full of cotton. I won’t tell you how, but you can imagine the horror in this scene. There are a lot of bad things in this film, and I’m not sure if the director and film makers wanted to glorify such things, but they sure make an entertaining portrait of Ted Bundy in this film, and like Leatherface, Michael Meyers, and so many other fictional killers, Bundy can easily be placed on horror fans mantels as an icon of horror; if it wasn’t real!

Ted Bundy is a scary movie on a lot of levels, but the most horrific aspect of this film is the narrative of truth that it does spin. While the movie takes a lot of creative freedoms with the film, further investigation of Ted Bundy’s story will point you to one of the most prolific and smart serial killers ever to walk the earth.

I would recommend this film to anyone that likes true crime. The fact that this is based on real life makes it even more scary than anything fictional. It might even be true what they say, truth is stranger than fiction. Ted Bundy is available on dvd and is worthwhile in the same category as other “true event” horror movies.

Looking for grindhouse, horror, or sci-fi films? Please check out our amazon astore featuring all things horror. Don't trust astore? Check out amazon.com, surprisingly they have more grindhouse,horror,and rare sci-fi than you may not have thought possible.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rest Stop 2: Don't Look Back Review



Rest Stop 2 is a sequel to a much better, much scarier straight to dvd film entitled Rest Stop. For the sake of sanity, I’m not even going to try to fit this into my “why is this scary” review format, and am just going to come out swinging, as this movie deserves every bit of the fight that I want to give to this piece of crap horror film.

Rest Stop: Don’t Look Back starts out kind of interesting. A family in an RV picks up a hitchhiker and they are weird, just out of the ordinary weird. The mom of the group is over the top in her sexual advances to the stranger and eventually gets her to do him in the RV, meanwhile the rest of the family is eating dinner. The father rushers in and stops them, cutting out the eyes of the hitcher, and we fast forward to the future where the family has been mercilessly slaughtered; no real explanations are given to anything in this film, so I won’t try to explain it either.

The movie picks up in the present with a returning soldier meeting up with his girlfriend and friend. He vows to find his lost brother and his girl, who disappeared a year ago. Tom is our main character and he thinks that he can do what the police and others can’t; find his brother. So he embarks on a trip out to where he believes his brother was and starts randomly asking questions. Meanwhile his girlfriend and his brother’s best friend find themselves along for a strange ride.

Here is a trailer for Rest Stop: Don’t Look Back



The movie looks good. It is filmed in HD or at least a higher quality camera than most of these straight to dvd movies. I do credit the makers with that much, as the camera and the scene’s are filmed well. There is a good amount of gore and torture in this film. Besides eyes getting gauged out, there is also a fair amount of boobs shown for no reason and even though the love scenes are arduous at best, they offer a glimpse into the development of the characters that make you wonder if the film makers actually “tried” making this film a little bit more than just a straight boredom movement. Gratuitous nudity aside, the movie does a good job of filming it, even if the edits are a little odd, as it moves from still shots to first person view points with such a hard line to follow. The editing is hard, but we should be used to that in todays horror movie market.

The villain sucks. A mad truck driver? I can get behind that, but what I can’t forgive is that the truck and the driver vanish into thin air. There is a supernatural tinge to this film and it makes me mad because it doesn’t explain this at all. Not only that, the characters meet up with their friends and do two things: 1) Follow them into a bathroom, where they disappear and 2) have sex with them. One minute a dude is having sex with his missing friend’s girlfriend and the next she’s gone and that’s that. No explanation, just no follow through and the movie assumes you’re going to follow along.

Ok, so lets just say we bought into the stupid premise that this villain is supernatural and he’s torturing people, the good guys don’t even have a shot! They start to fight back in the third act only to have the trucker disappear! That’s right, he just vanishes! So what the heck? Only to come back and fight them to the bloody death and wins! The bad guy wins this one, and that’s where this film really annoys. Not only that, it opens up for a possible third sequel!

I’m ok with a lot of horror films insulting my intelligence, but they do so in a certain set of rules. They don’t really make you feel completely stupid, and this film does. The real pain from ghost driver and ghost truck is awesome, but then when the good guys fight back the driver is not hurt? To have a villain that you can not really harm is ludicrous to me, and only works if you explain things a bit more. This film explains nothing and just throws you into scenarios that are unlikely, and are stupid. The family in the rv that supposedly got slaughtered, come back and attack our heroes in the end too!

Maybe I’m just jaded right now, but this is one of the worst films in horror. They don’t even try, and that’s what makes me upset more than anything. There’s nothing really scary about this film, it’s just stupid.

This movie shouldn’t have been made at all. It makes no logical sense at all. You’ll be asking yourself why and what the whole time, check out the first one, at least it kind of made sense, this one just turns the story inside out and takes a dump on it.

Looking for grindhouse, horror, or sci-fi films? Please check out our amazon astore featuring all things horror. Don't trust astore? Check out amazon.com, surprisingly they have more grindhouse,horror,and rare sci-fi than you may not have thought possible.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Saw V Review

Saw 5

This weekend I did the unthinkable, I went to see Saw V in the movie theater. I read a lot of reviews when I got home and everyone that claimed to be a horror movie fan seemed to take a dump on this film.

I beg to differ.

The latest edition of Saw isn’t as bad as people say. Saw V doesn’t suck as bad as people think. The story revolves around two detectives. One detective from Saw IV (who now is Jigsaw) is shown setting up the guy that is chasing him, Agent Strahm. The movie is not too unlike Saw IV with someone urged NOT to chase the leads and they do, which ends up in mistaken identity and anonymity for our main villain. Meanwhile, there is a back story that retells how Jigsaw accomplished his previous kills and it all ties in together via flashbacks. On the other side of the coin, there are 5 people trapped in a room who must work together to survive, and they are urged to not follow their instincts. This has expected outcomes, and we’ll discuss this further later in the review. We get the same sort of blame shifting that we get in the fourth film, and well….it’s a Saw movie.

Here’s the trailer for Saw V:



I was really excited about seeing this film. I have been following the Saw franchise from day one. I was in College when the first film came out, and every year that there has been a Saw movie, I’ve been there to see it. My wife and I both have sat through these films each year as they come out, and it has been a joy for us. This movie didn’t have the impact of the first film, which I loved on a lot of different levels. The first film had such a twisted ending that sitting through a lot of gore was worth every minute of time invested. The subsequent sequels each had their own moments of zen, and this one is no different.

The best part of this film is not so much the outcome of the traps, or the story itself it’s the way it ends. This film has such an iconic final sequence, it is artful as the colors and light mix with blood and imagery, only to fade to black and have the credits begin. This piece of film making is great, and can only be thought of as great because of the frenetic, train wreck of the filming process. The film utilizes a lot quick edits and camera motions to evoke emotional response to characters that you know nothing about nor care about. The characters involved in the elaborate traps are there for death, not really substance, and while the real drama is played out in the desperation of human emotion, the bigger picture isn’t really clear to me.

I will fault this film with having one of my deadly sins of film making. It has a flashback within a flashback, which I find as atrocious as having a musical montage in a comedy. I can’t stand flashbacks, but will put up with them if necessary, but this film has several flashbacks and several story elements pushed on you in the form of a flashback within an already going flashback story! This just doesn’t fly with me well, and I thought it was a lazy way to tell the story.

Tobin Bell is still great, even if he is in flashback form. I think he could replace the movie trailer guy, with his voice.

The execution of this film is iffy, I admit, it’s not the most solid of the series, however I liked it a lot better than then I did Saw III and thought it matched up well to Saw II and Saw IV. This one does not beat the first one though, as I felt that movie wasn’t well made at all. However, it had enough of that “saw” juice to get me to enjoy it. That final sequence especially, I thought that was well played.

There was not a lot of gore in this film. We did not see any autopsies, or massive head trauma. We did not see a lot of the traditional gore pieces that we are accustomed to in the previous installments of Saw. I’m not sure why, but this film was actually tame in regards to the gore and blood levels. There were death scene’s and there was a horrific arm being sawed in half, but overall, the gore and blood was turned way down. Not even the compound fracture of an arm towards the end of the film could or would warrant this film’s “saw” related angle.

Why Saw V is scary: The scariest parts of this film is not so much the traps, or the serial killer plot points, it’s the fact that the FBI (who is now involved in the investigation) is so stupid. They let people just steal files, they let rogue agents continue serial copy cat killings, and they seem to believe that since jigsaw is dead, the murders and missing people involved in the new deaths are unrelated somehow.

What scares me about this is the portrayal of the FBI. Sure the FBI looks dumb in a lot of movies (The Jackie Chan Collection, The Silence of the Lambs, JFK, Big Momma’s House, Out of Sight, Corky Romano, Casino, Miss Congeniality, Point Break), but these guys just seem so out of it that it’s embarrassing. Maybe that’s a good thing, so that criminals underestimate the prowess of one of the biggest gangs….er…I mean law enforcement groups in the world. The other scary part about this film hinges on my faith in God. The Bible talks about how the heart is wicked in all ways, and that selfishness rides high on the reasoning for decision making. This film illustrates that point so well that it hurts. The characters involved are seeking their own selfish desires. Whether it’s fame, notoriety, or simply survival, and the film goes across the emotional landscape showing that at our most primal we are not righteous at all. I even considered what I would do in the situations, and it’s true, I would probably attack someone in order to save myself if the time came to decide in a trap, with only moments to decide what to do next. I am a bad person, I admit it, and that’s why I personally need a savior. But that’s not the point. The point is that this movie is scary because it shows us in an explicit and outlandish life or death situation how terrible the human soul could get. Whether it’s the act of killing someone, or not stopping them from killing someone else, or it is the callous and lack of emotion that is tied into the outcome that really serves as a catalyst for why this movie is a horror film at it’s deepest core, is arguable. This movie is scary, and relevant if you ask the right questions.

It is interesting to note that James Wan, writer and director of Saw and Dead Silence is still a producer on this film, so his initial vision still lives with the fifth installment. That’s a pretty great thing for horror, because if you consider film in general not a lot of series make it to five films and still remain somewhat successful. I mean if you consider A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Child’s Play, Silent Night Deadly Night, Halloween, Howling, Hellraiser, and Rocky, each film got progressively worse as time went on. Saw V reaching this milestone is not as bad as people are saying, considering there are not a lot of horror movie franchises being created today that reach this milestone, and people don’t seem to credit Saw with that at all. The majority of people just throw the movie out without warranting any questions or relevance.

That’s what separates true horror movie fans, and those that are to might to recognize that horror isn’t always a perfectly pieced jigsaw puzzle of emotional and horror elements with good acting…that’s reserved for more “important” movies like “There Will Be Blood”. Saw V was good enough for me, and if you’re a fan of the movies you’ll enjoy it on a serial level, but not more than that.

Looking for grindhouse, horror, or sci-fi films? Please check out our amazon astore featuring all things horror. Don't trust astore? Check out amazon.com, surprisingly they have more grindhouse,horror,and rare sci-fi than you may not have thought possible.

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Blair Witch Project Review

The Blair Witch Project

When I was younger I would easily get scared at horror movies. The Blair Witch Project scared me the first time, but once it was out on video and dvd, it really lacked the punch that it had when I first saw it. I revisited the movie, just because I thought there was some value to it still, and you know what? It still holds up very well, although the “Book of Shadows” is a horrible encounter with horror sequels. The film was initially released in 1999 and it went on to gross $248,639,099 dollars and was made on a budget of 22,000. That’s huge! I was 16 when I first saw this film.

The movie follows a group of college students trying to film a documentary about the “Blair Witch” who haunts the woods near Burkittsville, Maryland. They are assumed dead as no one finds their bodies, but a year after they go missing, someone finds their footage and we get treated to seeing it.

Here is a trailer for The Blair Witch Project:



The movie is filmed with a mix of handheld cameras. This is before everyone wet themselves while watching the horrible film “Cloverfield” earlier this year, and before we started seeing this style of first person shooting frolic through Hollywood movies. The shots are really grainy, and they are not too unlike that horrible film I reviewed called Ax’Em. That’s not a compliment, as I found it terribly odd that I was paying full price to see a horrible and grainy looking film.

The movie was marketed as a true story, and word caught on fast that this was in fact a real documentary and that it was the scariest thing they had ever seen. The first time I saw this I was a big fan of horror and I was easily scared with jump scenes, however, at home I had amassed a HUGE vhs horror collection the likes that you’ve probably never seen before. I was an odd kid, I’ll tell you that much. Of course we now look back and laugh at the stupidity of these claims, however this was before the internet took every single person by storm, as broadband was still not as rampant as it is today. The marketing aside this movie wasn’t really a true story at all and those that still believe it today are complete morons.

The movie goes through various slow moving scenarios, and the climax really gets to you. We’re surrounded by darkness at one point, and then right when you think things are going to really get good, something bad happens, the cameras get shut down and the credits start to roll.

Blair Witch Dead

Why is The Blair Witch Project Scary?


The film is scary on a very simple level; fear of the supernatural. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, people are often startled easily with darkness and noises. In fact, I have yet to meet a single person in the world that isn’t scared when in the dark in a strange place with odd noises occurring. We are all scared of darkness combined with noises and this film has plenty of that towards the end. This film also scares us on an emotional level, because the majority of people that saw this film were not country people. We are urban dwellers, living in the city and far away from the forests that will eat us alive if we allow them to. The despair and desperation of people lost in the woods is nothing new, as we have seen it before. In fact, a lot of movies scare us because people are lost somewhere, even the Ocean (Open Water) or a cave (The Cave, The Descent, The Ruins). Being lost scares a lot of people and the main antagonist of this film has to be that the students are lost and don’t know how to get back to civilization, which only complicates the plot further down the line.

The Blair Witch Project is a scary film, but only if you allow yourself the immersion of believing that this is real. Back in 1999 when someone said a film was based on a true story, they were usually talking about adaptation and creative liberties. However, this film combined shaky, grainy, documentary style footage with a loose story that made people really believe. That’s the scary part as well, the fact that we all believed that these things were real, and not just fabricated for movie’s sake.

Now that we are all veterans of horror, and smart fans, always crawling the internet, The Blair Witch Project and The Blair Witch: Book of Shadows, pales in comparison to other films like “The Exorcist” or “The Amityville Horror” in terms of “based true events” marketing. However, at a time when shaking the camera wasn’t a part of production values, this film scared the crap out of a lot of horror movie goers. It holds up well, but only if you go at it with the proper mindset, otherwise you’re going to be bored at the snail pace that you are revealed the footage. I recommend The Blair Witch Project at least once more, and the sequel I would say just avoid. However, you’re not going to be missing out on much if you don’t watch this one again, as I doubt the horror movie world will return to such a vapid sense of instability. It did make for a good time back in 1999, with all the y2k scares going on, as if it were 2008 and the media was scaring us thanks to the economy….but it’s ok, people say Obama will save us. I disagree, but who cares. The Blair Witch Project is not showing up on any top 10 lists anytime soon, but it was once one of the scariest pieces of film making and marketing ever created. But to put it in proper perspective, Limp Bizkit was also one of the top selling rock bands at one point.

Blair Witch Sounds

As a Bonus, I'll just say this about Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows: It had a great soundtrack. Yep, Blair Witch 2 sucked, but the Soundtrack was awesome. The Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows Soundtrack featured music from: P.O.D,Rob Zombie, Godhead, System of a Down, Marilyn Manson, Slaves on Dope, Death in Vegas, Project 86, At The Drive In, Elastica, Queens of the Stone Age, and dare I say....Nickelback. The movie is horrendous, but the soundtrack is a winner!

Looking for grindhouse, horror, or sci-fi films? Please check out our amazon astore featuring all things horror. Don't trust astore? Check out amazon.com, surprisingly they have more grindhouse,horror,and rare sci-fi than you may not have thought possible.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

In a new part of this site, I’m going to broaden the scope of horror movie cinema reviews by doing some reviews under the guise of “guilty pleasures”. Not so much serious reviews with lots of thought provoking questions and reasoning, but rather a fun and fluffy sort of review.

A lot of horror movies are not even serious, and I learned that trying to fit serious thought into laughable films like “Drive Thru” is just too hard to deal with. Seriously, it was taxing to try and come up with seriousness in a movie that wasn’t meant to be taken seriously at all.

The guilty pleasure portion of this site will feature a lot more fan fare from me than other reviews. This of course is due in large part to the fact that I love horror and will go down swinging with anyone that wants to fault horror movies for being horrible and unwatchable pieces of entertainment.

So look out for my column of guilty pleasure reviews coming up shortly. In the meantime, enjoy some of the movies we’ve reviewed so far.

Looking for grindhouse, horror, or sci-fi films? Please check out our amazon astore featuring all things horror. Don't trust astore? Check out amazon.com, surprisingly they have more grindhouse,horror,and rare sci-fi than you may not have thought possible.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lots of Movies Coming This Way

dimension films

Today in the horror news, there's a TON of crap to go over. So instead of a review today I would like to take some time to talk about what's coming out, and what has been unleashed to the masses, all courtesy of /film.com.

Dimension has greenlit 18 new horror movies for next year. The only catch, they are all going to be straight to dvd affairs. That's right, all the films that are coming through the pipeline as far as horror is concerned are going to be straight to dvd. If that's not bad enough, they are going to consist of mostly remakes, sequels and reboots. Yep...there is truly nothing new under the sun. Here's a partial list of what's going to be coming out, and please, don't cry...things could be worse. The List: A new Children of the Corn,Feast 3: The Happy Finish, Hell Ride 2, a comedy from the screenwriter of Monster-in-Law called Last Man Standing, a zombie film from Raw Nerve (Hostel) Dead by Daylight, Midnight Man, Midnight Man 2 and Midnight Man 3 and of course so much more.

Sad news indeed, but good news for horror fanatics. I guess I'm somewhere in between on this news, since I enjoy straight to dvd affairs, but come on, 18 of them? Seems a bit much from just one company.

In other news, Friday the 13th has a trailer up and running now. That's right, a new Friday the 13th film, and it's just a reboot of the series, not really a direct sequel, and I'm not exactly too thrilled just yet. Peep the trailer below:



There you have it, just a quick news bulletin of sorts. I'm working on my other sites today, so I'm here and I'm not. Please help this site out by checking out our links, and if you're in the mood, buy something via our amazon links and enjoy.

Looking for grindhouse, horror, or sci-fi films? Please check out our amazon astore featuring all things horror. Don't trust astore? Check out amazon.com, surprisingly they have more grindhouse,horror,and rare sci-fi than you may not have thought possible.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Drive Thru Review

Drive Thru Poster

Drive Thru is a straight to dvd horror comedy, which features more laughs than horror. The overall tone is dark, but the gore is immense, and the comedy is so-so, but it’s worth at least one viewing.

The story surrounds a villain named Archie, who for the rest of this interview is known as Horny the clown. When he was young the local kids would play tricks on him, and one day he invited everyone to his birthday party, but instead of having everything go right, the kids burn the burger joint down and Archie is presumed dead inside.

That’s the spoiler kids…Horny goes from kid to kid killing all the children of the kids that caused the fire.

Here’s a trailer for the film Drive Thru:



The movie is straight to dvd, so the quality isn’t exactly very high at all. It’s above television quality, and I presume it was filmed in HD. The main character “Mackenzie” is hot, or at least she was when I saw it, and maybe I’m just fond of “punk/emo” chicks in horror movies, or maybe I’m just weird, but I thought she looked good. Whatever the case is, the movie progresses through lots of slayings fast, and it doesn’t really get going until the third act when everything starts to unravel.

The comedic value and tone to this film is almost immediate. The start of this film has some wannabe gangsters ordering food from Hella Burger only to meet their demise with Horny the clown. This clown isn’t all that scary, he’s a punk rock version of what you would imagine a killer clown would be like. He moves fast and kills with a cleaver, and is often found spewing horrible one liners. I’d give you an example, but I’d rather not.

There is an attempt at a love scene, but I’m assuming the girl involved was either too young or the director couldn’t get her to commit, because the camera pans away, the screen fades out and we never see any of the action. For a rated R film, this makes no sense, especially since they tease that through the whole first and second act of the film.

The killings range from straight up slash and hack deaths to deep fryer kills, and even a few explosions. Overall, the body count is massive for such a corny film. The final turn of events and explanation onto what is going on is stupid. I hated the way the film treated me like a complete idiot, but at the same time tried to act serious. Morgan Spurlock even shows up as the Hella Burger manager at one point! The producers were NOT serious when making this horror comedy, and it’s hard to take it seriously when the makers weren’t serious at all.

Why Drive Thru is Scary: The scary parts of this film have nothing to do with the plot and are directly linked with the harsh themes found in this film. The revenge is over the top, and I’m not sure if revenge killing has ever happened in real life, but it makes you think about the whole notion of “you reap what you sew” and in this case that’s what happened. The mean kids grew up and had children of their own, only to have them snuffed out by someone from their past. Sometimes we move on, and we don’t realize that we hurt someone in our past, and just like those crazy killers out there with “hit lists”, revenge is never a good thing. I guess the scary notion is that anyone would harbor such hate for so long that they would seek out this sort of devastation as a result. Drive Thru is comedy before horror, but to a lot of people the gore levels in this film will be enough to induce vomiting or nightmares, because after all, it’s still a horror film.

Comedy or not, the film must have made some money because a sequel is planned to hit dvd stores and it will most likely follow along the ending of this film, which you can guess at this point. The saving grace of this film relies heavily on the cuteness of the lead actress (Leighton Meester of Gossip Girl Fame), and the Morgan Spurlock cameo. Otherwise, I would only recommend viewing this film if you’re a diehard horror fan like myself, and just must see everything. If you’re more of a discerning movie fan, you’re going to hate the lack of support from the actors, writers, and director on this film. They basically phone it all in. However, if you are a fan of horror and terror in a Fast Food setting, let me recommend an awesome book collection of horror stories all based around Fast Food: Fried! Fast Food, Slow Deaths, which is a great book that I got to read a few months back and recommend it highly today.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge Review

Freddy's Revenge Poster

Here we go, another classic that shaped my youth and many others. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is sometimes referred to as the “gay” Freddy movie, and although many arguments have been made towards that direction, I fail to really see it on a bigger scale. Sure there are some homoerotic pieces, but nothing so extreme as to call the whole movie a gay movie at all. More on that later in this review.

The story follows a new family, moving into the old house that was featured in the first film, and things start to go bad immediately. Jesse Walsh starts having bad dreams featuring none other than our favorite antihero Freddy Krueger! The film follows his steady decline into a full fledged serial killer puppet, controlled solely by Krueger and his dreams.



There is a couple of intertwining side stories, but the major events that unfold all revolve around Jesse and his fight to not allow Freddy to control him completely.

The movie is plotted really slow, and it’s not too unlike the pacing found in Sleepaway Camp, with the first have showing very little action. The action really doesn’t develop until the third and fourth act of this movie. Initially, we only get a lot of forced dialogue between the characters, and a lot of speculation as to what is going on. Jesse seems to be dimwitted in a lot of this movie, and no one in the town seems to fear that the events that occurred in the first film could be happening again. The town is so stupid that no one seems to be in an uproar over any of the murders that occur in the film! This really bugs me, and as a kid I never noticed this sort of flawed logic, however, now that I’m older I see through the very thin plot points and see a vapid film.

Freddy 2

As for the big underlying gay tone, I don’t really think about it. I grew up watching professional wrestling and I never figured that it was homoerotic, nor that there was anything gay about it. Not until I went to college and some teacher told me that professional wrestling was inherently gay, which is ludicrous to me, but whatever. People like to compare the death scene of the coach, and the party that happens in this film with gay underground culture, and for the 80’s it does seem a little gay, however, I don’t think that calling this movie gay is a proper category for it. Apparently people really didn’t have this sort of problem with Sleepaway Camp, or the kink and S&M references that Clive Barker’s Hellraiser has. Furthermore, even if there are small, subtle, gay undertones, they are only put there by a society struggling to fit gay fascination and culture in movies that never were intended to have anything to do with that lifestyle. So no, A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is NOT gay, nor should people categorize it as the “Gay” Freddy Krueger film, and if they do, than I don’t really believe that they are looking at this movie with the proper lens. However, that is just one man’s opinion on this subject, and not everyone’s. Apparently the director, Jack Sholder, even claimed that there was a gay subtext in the film, so maybe I’m just an idiot.

Nightmare 2 Poster

Why A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 is scary: The scariest part of this film is not so much that the main character is going insane and no one believes anything he has to say about his dreams, it’s the fact that he is killing his friends and doesn’t even realize he’s awake. What’s worse is the fact that Freddy is the puppet master here and Jesse can’t control his own dreams. Furthermore, it’s scary to think that parents are so out of the loop that they miss what could be a chance to help their son by writing off the events that helped them get a house for so cheap.

Skepticism is easily found in today’s society, and these films are prime examples of a greater culture that is quick to dismiss psychosis on many levels, simply because they are occurring only in someone’s head and not manifesting themselves into real life. However, this film tries to change that by having Freddy seem real and appear to lots of different people, including the Father who grabs a shotgun in the third act and attempts to shoot his own son, who now has the appearance of Freddy!

It’s also scary to think that a super villain can be easily defeated by “love” and “kindness” an overtone that is not mirrored in real life at all. We do not hear of exorcisms being completed with love and kindness. Even pop culture like “Constantine” doesn’t have “love” as a vocal point in the matter of salvation of a loved one who is trapped by evil. This is scary for many reasons. We are often times told that love conquers all, and movies like “The Notebook” seem to project that image to many people and it really doesn’t always work to that effort. One might argue that this is only a movie and that love and romance films that portray the same sort of attitude are really just entertainment, but I would argue that these archetypes are to blame for a lot of different factions of our society’s marital problems, relationship problems, and many other social inconsistencies.

I know, I’m trying to draw in a huge emotional connection based on the ending of a horror film, but come on, consider how many people believe the notion that all you need is love. Think about how many love songs there are, how many romance novels, movies, and drama’s have been broadcast and permeated through the minds and eyes of people of all ages, and then think about how this film ends, with a girl’s love and admiration saving the main character, and defeating Freddy.

Some might argue that I’m reaching way too far, but if we are to consider horror films on a deeper level, than that is what I personally get from this film’s defeatist attitude towards Freddy. Freddy is dominant, but not when a young girl casts him out by loving Jesse? Sure, there is a major twist afterwards, and a jump scene to take us home and into a third film, but this sappy kind of final battle really makes me cringe. A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge is scary. The dogs with faces on them are reminiscent to the dogs that are inside out in “Resident Evil”, and if you’re scared of jump scenes this one has many for you to jump at.

I recommend this film to fans of the series, however, many people will find this plot to be laughable, the ending to be stupid, and the jump scenes just hokey at best. This film might have scared a lot more people in 1985, especially with the conservatives in clear power of our nation, however, today it doesn’t hold up as well. While this film is scary if you think about it, it is not something that you’re going to have nightmares about. For a real nightmare inducing piece of entertainment, I suggest “Hell House” by Richard Matheson. Otherwise, check out A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge as a fitting sequel to a better initial film, as it usually is in horror cinema. This one shouldn’t be viewed with such thought provoking questions as I did here, so just get some popcorn and sit back and relax. I looked into this film way too much simply for the sake of this blog’s format, but it’s hard to really take any of this seriously, as the film isn’t exactly the most serious entry in the Nightmare on Elm Street series.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Chaos (2005) Review

Chaos 2005

Chaos is a brutal and coldhearted movie that borrows heavily from “Last House on the Left” only brings the gore and violence to a near x-rating. It is NOT an easy to watch horror, slasher, or cautionary film. You have to have nerves of steel and a really good grasp on reality and fiction to sit through this one.

Chaos follows a similar storyline to “Dee Snider’s Strangeland” but resembles “Last House on the Left” a lot more. The movie is about two girls that go into the woods for a rave, score some drugs, and then are brutally raped and murdered. The rape scene’s are so intense and rabid, that at this point most will turn off their television sets. This is not too unlike the rape sequences in the film “Irreversible” but this is harder and involves mutilation and the camera doesn’t hold anything back. It is a horrible sequence of gore and horror and I wonder if the film maker’s intentions were to make a kink or snuff film because there is a very tight and fine line that the movie follows between what could be real and what definitely isn’t.

**NOTE** Since the movie is out of print, and obscure, there is no suitable trailer for me to put in this review, so just imagine it...via my boring synopsis.

The movie is hard, hard to watch, hard to believe, but is somehow true? The movie goes through a storyline of murder, then revenge, but the ending is something that bugged me greatly. I am always looking for movies where the villain wins, and in this film I get that, but not in a good way. I don’t want to see this sort of victory, and while I want an antagonist victory I don’t want it at the cost of brutality and gore for the sake of gore. I would have preferred a Hollywood hero ending, not this one, this one just seems to kick you while you’re down, considering the levels of gore and rape involved.

The movie is shot in hd but is a lower quality, and most likely was a straight to dvd release.

Why Chaos is scary: The only scary parts of this film are the facts that each year there are rapes and murders that are most likely like the ones depicted in this film. That is not to say that we should see or make films that show brutality as clear cut as shown in Chaos. The scary part is that this film’s storyline could happen, at least the first half for sure. The second half is not something that I would credit with happening, however, if John Wayne Gacy could murder so many kids and bury them under his house for so long, then this story could be rooted in the headlines of newspapers across the nation. This film is scary because of the brutality and reality of such cases.

Chaos steals the main premise of “Last House on The Left” and doesn’t credit Wes Craven at all. If you do end up watching this film, you’re going to most likely not want to watch this during dinner or after a big meal. Even the most diehard horror movie fanatic will not see this movie for anything more than a low budget attempt at snuff or horror pornography. I don’t find a whole lot of merit to this film on an artistic level, but I do understand the freedoms that would allow such a film to be made. Furthermore, I also think it’s a necessary ingredient to the bigger horror movie genre. I just don’t personally find it done well, and overall just don’t like it that much. Sure it was worth watching once, but to own it? I’m not sure if I’m the guy to watch this one over and over again. While it isn’t completely pornographic like “They Call Her One Eye” it’s got enough innuendo and brutality to make me not appreciate it the same way. Plus, this movie was done way better by Wes Craven and I would rather recommend “Last House on the Left” instead of “Chaos”, but you decide for yourself.


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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Saw IV Review

Saw 4 Poster

Saw IV creates another staple in the Saw franchise
, but this time around, things are more ridiculous than ever. However, that doesn’t mean that this movie isn’t scary or relevant, it just means you have to dig a little deeper to get anything out of it, besides disgust.

The opening gore of this film is tremendous if you’re not used to horror movies. Even if you’re a casual fan, this opening could make you sick. We’re treated to a complete autopsy of the mastermind Jigsaw, and we get the first mysterious piece to an overall puzzle that will take us through this side story of sorts, painfully I might add. Inside of Jigsaw a wax tape is found, and once played things start to roll. We are then treated to a story that is not too unlike “Game of Death” or “Fist of Legend” in many ways, even though those two examples are NOT horror related, they are similar…you’ll see.

A detective is called out and he has to go through different scenarios, and instead of the victims being tested alone, their fates all hinge on this detective making the proper choice. He misses all opportunities, and then we get treated to the ultimate twist ending. Oh and of course they spit in your face with the timeline as well, and I won’t spoil that for you.

Here is a trailer for Saw IV:



The gore portions of this film are elevated to craziness. If you’re easily disgusted by blood, this film is NOT going to be for you. This is not comedic gore, it’s geared toward “reality” in a lot of ways, and I can only correlate the levels to “slaughterhouse” portions as we see flesh being ripped, autopsy (initially) scenes, and just painful traps. We see heads getting crushed, barbed wire pieces, glass, and all the things that the previous 3 films had but turned into more extreme levels. This movie plays on the gore level a lot, and the twists, although interesting for a few seconds, are really not the glory of Saw IV at all.

We are also treated to clever back story, and Tobin Bell does a good job in this film, even if he is dead. The puppet is still creepy, and the voice of Jigsaw is insane to me, and really gives me quite the chill. Lets have him do trailer voiceovers now, he could sell me on any film.

What boggles my mind is the fact that the budget for this thing isn’t very high, it’s merely 10 million dollars, and yet it makes hundreds of millions worldwide and even more on dvd. This film isn’t all that great, and I have to admit that when this was coming out I was excited and even saw it opening night. To be even more honest, I’m going to be seeing Saw V opening day too, well, maybe the Saturday of the release. I’m a sucker for these marketing ploys and sequels, because I just am. I don’t even know why anymore, I just am always roped into these…but then again, I didn’t get into “Quarantine” so maybe I’m learning.

Saw IV really poops on the audience in a lot of ways with the ending and introduction of a new jigsaw to takeover the work of the now dead villain.

Saw 4 2

Why Saw IV is scary: You have to throwaway your consumer based review of this film. Do not think of Saw IV in terms of a movie, and you can really create a scary premise. A psychotic killer that is offering hope to his victims via elaborate traps is scary. What is more scary is that in this film, the people are not 100% responsible for their demise, as there is a detective that is the bigger victim, as he has to live with the consequences that are involved with the deaths of what he perceives as innocent. This of course can be stretched into a nice sermon illustration for those of you that are Christian or religious of sorts.

The scary part of this film is not so much the gore and the deaths, even if you too perceive the victims as innocent. The far scarier thing in this film is the depiction of clueless law enforcement. I don’t know about you, but I would like to have some kind of confidence in the Detectives in my city, and while I poke fun at the police a lot, I don’t want to think that the real world is like these detectives. However, reading a lot of true crime books, I’ve realized that a lot of police departments have failed to capture many serial killers in the past and some of which were NEVER captured. That boggles my mind, and every time I think about how serial killings like those found in Saw or Seven are just movie based stories, I realize that there are a lot of true crimes and unsolved mysteries in regards to murders. So that my friends is a very scary notion to me; if you remove trust in law enforcement then what do we have when we lose a loved one to ungodly acts like serial killing?

Saw IV is not the greatest piece of the Saw Franchise. In fact, it’s probably the weakest link, but closely behind Saw II if you ask me. I don’t like this one that much, but it still shows a scary enough notion when contemplated in terms of this site, but that doesn’t mean you should run to go buy it. However, if you are a fan of the series, now is the time to buy the dvd’s as they are all on sale and cheap…I mean dirt cheap. Saw IV is forgettable, but if you overthink it, like I do, it can be a scary film!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Saw The Ride, Really?

Saw The Ride

I've had some heated arguments with people over the Saw franchise, and have defended the first film with such passion at times, that you would think that I made the movie. However, I'm an idiot, because all these arguments have gone for not...with the announcement of a rollercoaster named and styled after the Saw Franchise.

Yep.

I don't know what to say about selling out anymore...Saw V is coming, but come on...a ride? I guess it was just a matter of time.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Vacation

Hey guys,

I'm on vacation until Next Wednesday October 14th 2008. I'm going to Los Angeles and won't be able to do full reviews on this site until then.

However, if you'd like to jump in and write in my absence you are more than welcome to do so. Simply email me at sirjorge AT gmail dot com with whatever review you have in either a word document or inline text and I'll post it here with the movie poster and a link to your site.

I appreciate the comments and you guys that have purchased a dvd through the amazon links or have simply subscribe to the site. Thank you, I appreciate everything, and I promise I'll figure out a way to repay you guys.

In the meantime, go watch some horror movies, and enjoy yourselves. I'll return promptly and give more of my thoughts on my favorite genre.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

More Scary Kids

Alright folks, I've talked about Asian Horror films and the idea that kids are always victims in their movies, but now it's getting ridiculous. The new movie "The Unborn" seems to be pulling a fast one on us and it features a scary looking kid. This is more than just "Hide and Seek" or "The Omen", it seems to be coming out of the Michael Bay camp, and if you watch this trailer closely you'll see shades of "The Ring" or "The Grudge" and I'm not sure that I like it. It seems to be relying heavily on atmosphere, and shock/scare points featuring loud noises. You decide what's what with the official trailer for "The Unborn".



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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Joy Ride Review

Joy Ride Poster

Joy Ride brings driving on the freeway to nightmare levels, but it’s not exactly a top ten contender at all.

Joy Ride revolves around a group of friends on the open road. Lewis Thomas is on a road trip to pick up his girlfriend, meanwhile he stops off to pick up his brother, who happens to be fresh out of jail. All is good, and the two share friendly banter and things are going very smooth. However, along the way Fuller (the brother) decides to play a joke via their cb radio. He pretends to be a girl named Candy and evokes a psychotic stalker to chase them down, and business picks up fast.

Here's a trailer for the movie Joy Ride:



Paul Walker in a driving movie? Steve Zahn in a serious role? This has to be a cruel joke right? Paul Walker was thrown into the front man lead with a series of movies, “Varsity Blues”, “She’s All That”, “The Skulls” and “The Fast and the Furious” all before landing the lead role in this film. On the flipside we have Steve Zahn, who is usually doing comedy performances, so it’s hard to get serious about this film considering the resume leading up to this film isn’t going to promise a lot.

Joy Ride In car


The actual film is set on the road, so there’s a lot of shots of driving, quick in and outs and overall footage of the open road, and sometimes you really feel like you’re on a cross country trip, meaning that this thing gets boring really fast. The trucker is never really shown, but his rig is massive. Logic gets thrown out the window, because what trucker would leave his route to chase down a couple of practical jokers? It just doesn’t make sense to me, since I know a few truckers and they said this movie is really improbable, the truckers #1 purpose is to deliver the load, not chase down some jokers. So right then you really get turned off by the film.

The film is relatively short, and Walker does try to do some serious acting. He really pushes it, like he did in 2000’s hit “The Skulls” which isn’t saying a whole lot, but it proves that there’s a little more to him than his “Meet The Deedles” role. Walker saves the film at times, and you know what? Zahn’s performance isn’t all that bad either, and he puts on the comic relief when things really do get dry.

Joy Ride pic

Why it’s scary: This movie isn’t all that gorey, or really scary. Sure there premise lends itself well to the world of horror movies, but it isn’t the greatest film known to man. I personally had a hard time relaying how this film could or would be scary. The characters have it coming, because they are the antagonists. However, there is something scary about this indeed, and it relies on at least one of the two points that I made in the Jason Lives review.

Let’s consider that you are on a road trip. I’ve been on a few cross country road trips, and the road is monotonous. It’s a long hard thing to drive cross country and even with family or friends. Friends make it fun, but you can easily hate one another and really have a hard time making the whole trip on good notes. However, turn the lights out, night driving causes some weird moves, and then factor in the cb radio joke that is played. If you are getting chased by a trucker, what do you do? I personally would be scared of getting hit by the trucker, and am not a stunt driver at all, and most likely would die immediately if the trucker got his friends to jump in on the revenge! In fact, this movie is scary because it makes truckers look like they are dangerous or can be dangerous if provoked.

It’s farfetched, and the fear that this movie tries to get out of you really relies on your fear of getting into car accidents. Not just those, but car accidents that are involving big rig trucks, because there is no real fear outside of the size of these machines. Sure the trucker is scary, but he’s not a real threat outside of the rig. Take the car elements out of this film, and I’m not really scared. So consider the actual driving and night shots of this film, and it becomes scary. Take those away and you really aren’t too scared. Furthermore, why not just call the police? The police would handle this immediately, and you know what? I’ve seen so many episodes of wild police chases to know that this type of behavior wouldn’t fly very long.

If you want a better “big rig” movie, I would recommend the movie “Breakdown” with Kurt Russell. Ok, maybe only because the ending has a big rig crushing a guy. While this movie has scary moments, it is not a complete tale of horror, and like I said early in this post, the characters have it coming! I don’t sympathize with them all that well because they are the antagonists and instigators. Sure it’s extreme to get nearly killed, but come on, you shouldn’t have used the cb radio for that.

I recommend watching Joy Ride at least once, but not more than that. Paul Walker really tries to get into the leading roll territory, but not really. He does ok, but not as good as my favorite Paul Walker flick: Running Scared. Running Scared is Paul Walkers “The Godfather” and if you’ve seen it, you know what I mean. Go watch “Running Scared” it’s not a horror film, but it’s better than Joy Ride. A sequel to Joy Ride is out now, so maybe the second one overshadows the original, and I’m 100% positive that Paul Walker and Steve Zahn are NOT in the second one.

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