Friday, July 30, 2010

From the Mail Bag End of July 2010 Edition

With the end of July comes another set of comments from you, the fine readers. Despite my constant requests for you to comment, for me to visit your sites, and much more, I still seem to not be getting anywhere. I wish I had a few extra bucks to throw more contests and what not, but alas, I'm still broke and barely making it right now.

Anonymous replied to my Zombieland Review:

hell yeah

I hear ya loud and clear.

iZombie left this comment on my post about the "Black Devil Doll Bobblehead":

Welcome to Horror Blogger Alliance [HBA] I am just stopping by to say hello, "Hello", I am the unofficial "Welcome Wagon"... great things await you here at the club...

Stop by to my zombie blog, walk around, get infected...

Jeremy [iZombie]


Jeremy, thanks! And thank you for the nice welcome wagon to the Horror Blogger Alliance. I've been trying to get into an alliance of horror bloggers for a while now but people aren't so welcoming. Furthermore, I've tried to get in good with the League of Tana Tea Drinkers and they continually ignore me. I'm beginning to think I'm the black sheep of horror movie bloggers. At least the L.A.M.B still likes me.

Thanks again, you have a cool site; I love zombies.

Trick or Treat Pete said in regards to my "The Final Review":

Sigh...think I will pass on this and watch Elephant again instead, which if you have not seen yet, I highly recommend.
Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum


Yes, pass on it. Unless you absolutely love punishment and torture. There are some shades of brilliance, but they are just that; shades.

That is the end of the month comments for this month. Thanks again for all the comments and thanks for those that continue to read and comment on this petty blog of mine. I'm trying hard to continue, even with a limited line up of films to review and no money to speak of.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Berdella Review

berdella poster

I've seen a lot of films based on serial killers, but none of them seem to be quite good, and the majority of them hit below the radar. Most recently, I was contacted to see if I'd be interested in reviewing a film about serial killer Bob Berdella. At first glance this film is quite creepy, and upon reading more about Berdella and the murders that he's attached to, the intrigue rises and the true horror begins.

Much like the "Gacy" biopic, this film starts mildly enough with the main character and his daily life. He's got some friends, he is a somewhat ordinary fellow with a cool mustache.

The film has a "straight to dvd" feel, but the editing and the music, alongside with heart beats and sounds make this film above average in the same regard. The creep factor rises even more when the camera angles shift towards how mild mannered Berdella seems and how easily he slays his victims.

The gore levels are treated quite well, and this one is no shocker, as the film takes an unflinching road in showcasing the violence, and no, it's NOT torture porn. I hate that title. Berdella is creepy as hell, and genuinely scary in this film. You'd almost think that he's a super villain from an 80's slasher instead of an average guy with a deadly secret.

The film carries through quite well and is watchable above many other serial killer biopics. The treatment of the subject is never hokey nor glorified to an odd extent. It is scripted and acted quite well, and is creepy throughout the scenes of drug use, torture and much more.



IS Berdella a Scary Film?: Yes.

Much like the GACY film, this one is a sick and twist ride. The worst and most scary point of the film is not so much the gore and violence that is involved with the character. It's not that he's a predator in mild mannered clothing, but rather that he blended in so well in real life! Yep, this is based on true events, and even the wikipedia page has some information on the real life killer.

The most scary thing about biopics like this is that society today has these guys lurking around. I'm not scared too often, but the thought of a mild mannered guy in a community, is not only plausible, it has happened time and time again through history. I would suspect that within my lifetime, there will be another creepy serial killer and my kids will most likely have to watch a documentary or biopic about a serial killer.

This independent film has a way of getting under your skin, much like harsher movies in the horror genre do. Berdella lacks the technical prowess and money that mainstream horror does, but boy does this thing pack a punch in what it does. You have to enjoy that aspect.

Trailers, media, and a way to order the dvd is available for exploration at the official Bob Berdella website here. This is one tight and heavy handed film.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Final Review

the final

I saw a lot promotion for this film before it came out, but I never got around to actually watching it, until now. The Final couldn't be released several years back, and it is really a product of something that can only happen now. Why is that? Simply put, this film would have been banned for being too gruesome in the light of a little American incident called Columbine. That's right, as soon as I mention that, you'll understand why this film is a harsh one in light of what happened in Colorado.

The movie has a very basic and simple plot, but it moves along quickly and gets to the action, albeit somewhat boring at times. The movie is about several teenagers that are picked on and are plotting some sort of revenge on the “cool” kids of their school. The movie showcases some of the points where the kids are being mean to the rejects, and the movie progresses to a complete revenge plot and near exploitation cinema style execution.

The highlight of this film for me, is that the cameras and cinematography is a little better than most films. This film looks and feels like a real theatrical release, even though it screams of straight to dvd. The acting is horrendous, and is saved only by the brutality of the torture sequences. At one point I saw glimpses of Surviving the Game, but it wasn't meant to be.

There's not a whole lot more to say about this film, as it really breaks down in the third half and eventually spins out of control into obvious and stupid realms. It is not a great film, and I'm not going to recommend it. It's barely even scary, but hey, it looked polished, which is a lot better than 90% of the made for dvd releases that I have to endure.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Black Devil Doll Weird Wobbler Presse Release and Announcement

Instead of today's scheduled review, I'd like to interrupt and post this special message from Black Devil Doll, and their supporters...and makers.





Cult Collectibles is proud to announce the release of its first "Weird Wobbler" bobblehead style figure from one of the most outrageous underground films ever made: BLACK DEVIL DOLL! Pre-orders are available now with product shipping in September 2010!

The 2008 film is the story of an executed Black militant who is reincarnated into a vicious ventriloquist’s puppet, causing endless mayhem and murder (to put it mildly). Widely hailed by cult film aficionados and simultaneously condemned for its overt (yet completely tongue-in-cheek) offensiveness, Art Ettinger of Ultra Violent magazine stated, "Black Devil Doll is a triumph, seamlessly blending crass un-PC humor with cerebral artistry. The Lewis Brothers deliver one of the most original exploitation films of the new millennium, a singularly unique mix of brain and brawn."

Owner of Cult Collectibles, Mark Jason Murray comments, “I became a tremendous fan of the film even before I saw it and when I started brainstorming what would be the perfect license to launch my toy company, BLACK DEVIL DOLL seemed to be the best fit. Thinking as a collector and fan, this is something that I would love to have in my own collection and since the film character is essentially a “toy” it was an easy choice. From a business perspective, I know the film already has a rabid fan following and that the film’s creators would be able to provide an incredible amount of publicity for it right out of the gate. I am also very keen to work with people who I considered friends.”

The figure was created with great attention to detail while still allowing it to have an identity of its own. "A lot of time was spent getting the details of the figure just right," states Murray. "It was still important for the figure to appear as a characature, which the bobblehead format is famous for, but only slightly as anything "cute" would have gone against the character in the film. It's really very accurate, from the subtleties of the facial expression down to its boots."

Besides holding a knife in one hand, even further details were included to help bring out the spirit of the film character and one of the film’s biggest jokes. “What started as a simple afterthought during the initial planning of the figure turned out to be one of the figure’s best features and one of the most difficult to obtain. We wanted the figure to be holding a bucket of “Oakland Fried Chicken” and initially it came back looking like Colonel Sanders on the bucket which was the exact opposite of what it’s supposed to look like so after multiple design revisions it finally got to where it needed to be and it brings a whole new level of hilarity to the figure that I am sure fans of the movie will really enjoy. I am very happy with everything about this figure. It was great to work with the creators of the character and film and perhaps we can collaborate on something else in the future.”

Murray’s company strategy is simple. “I really want to do figures that put Cult Collectibles in a category of its own and this provided me with the ability to do just that. I anticipate the figure will sell out quickly.”

Cult Collectibles is already at work on three future limited edition “Weird Wobbler” figures scheduled for release late 2010/early 2011:

- The “Demon Doll” will pay tribute to the Italian horror films of actress Geretta Geretta (Lamberto Bava’s DEMONS, Lucio Fulci’s MURDEROCK, RATS: NIGHTS OF TERROR, etc.)

- The “head wound girl” from Lucio Fulci’s THE BEYOND (in association with GRINDHOUSE RELEASEING)

-Lucio Fulci from his film CAT IN THE BRAIN (in association with GRINDHOUSE RELEASING)

BLACK DEVIL DOLL “Weird Wobbler” details:

-Limited edition of 1,000 hand numbered figures

-7 inches of lightweight polyresin

-housed in a full color retail box designed by BLACK DEVIL DOLL poster artist, Stephen Romano

-Special exclusive BLACK DEVIL DOLL trading card available ONLY during pre-order period through www.cultcollectibles.com

-Pre-orders available now with figure scheduled to ship by mid-September 2010

For more information on Cult Collectibles visit: www.cultcollectibles.com

For more information on Black Devil Doll visit: www.blackdevildoll.com



You can read and complain about my Black Devil Doll Review HERE, and HERE just in case you don't know what's going on! I for one am looking to save some cash to buy this thing, cause it's AWESOME!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Timecrimes Review

poster of time crimes

I haven't seen a lot of great motion pictures in the science fiction and horror genre that really stuck with me for a long time afterward. However, leave it up to the Spanish and those outside of the United States to make something so chilling that it unravels the ideas of time and space for long after you finish watching the film. Such is the case for Timecrimes, a foreign film that has captured my imagination and at the same time terrorizes the notion of time travel without a cerebral impact that Primer had. While Primer dealt with a lot of talking heads, this film utilizes a great deal of action and motion to illustrate the perils of traveling through time.

The story starts simple enough, with a couple moving into a new home. You see the point of view from our main character, but as we move forward we start to go into a time loop that features, for lack of a better term, clones. It's a temporal paradox situation, much like other time travel films, but as the story progresses you aren't sure what's going on.

The film sets you up for a major hit, but not without illustrating thematic elements such as abuse, murder, and voyeurism. That's right, there is a lot of setup here, and some might actually give it up. The film is a slow burner at first, and as soon as our main character gets stabbed in the arm, you start to realize that maybe this film is a slasher flick, and the temperature rises and the story starts to unravel. I liked it, and the frenetic pace gets our main character involved in a time traveling machine with a mystery man, and boom......he goes back in time.

Where other films focus on a singular core of events, this film focuses on the actual time traveler amidst several temporal paradoxes and characters. Each piece to the overall puzzle is revealed and much like a relay race, the story continues with the replicant/clone of sorts. It's really hard to explain the synapses and cues that the film takes to showcase what is going on for this one person. As the movie continues and things get worse and worse, time travel is not explained but pieces are placed together, giving no “technical” aspects, but enough information to make this film worthwhile.

As the film progresses, the body count isn't huge, but there is something quite good that happens and the notions of time and space are shaken, giving you an end result that will either make you hate science fiction, or make you think about how horrible time travel just might be.

time crimes screenshot

Is Timecrimes a Scary Film?: Yes.

This film might not be meant to be a “horror” film, straight up. However, there are some premises that are quite clearly, scary. Now, consider the idea of time travel for a moment, and consider how you might not be able to change the future. Much like “The Butterfly Effect”, at least the first one, but in a much more subtle way. The time travel doesn't go back years in time, it goes back just 40 seconds before the last jump in time.

Now, the scary notion is more about cloning and time paradoxes. In the film “Primer”, this paradox is cerebral explained and showcased by having the main characters stay in a hotel room while they wait for the time to catch up. Here, the main character runs the risk of changing his own history and at one point is driven to kill his former/current self to get back to the original story with his wife, but keeps screwing it up, and in most times, subtle.

The idea of “self” is one of the on going themes in this film. One of the worst things about science fiction film that I hate is the “identity crisis” where the main character is in an alternative state of mind. That's not the case here, the temporal paradox is high and mighty here and that drives the plot from A to B to C and it works like gangbusters! I loved it.

Timecimres is the best scary movie I've seen in a while. The process is tense, the visuals are great, and the movements are well done. With only about 4 characters, and some key horror elements, this film really gives you a lot in a simple package. I really enjoyed the way the story plays out, much like a play, or a serious drama. Sure, it's not the greatest film I've ever seen, but the elements are all there for a high-tension thriller with horror elements and science fiction roots. I enjoyed it, and recommend it, in a rare turn of events. I'm still thinking about it. I don't know if everyone will agree, but I wasn't expecting what I saw, and maybe that is why I loved it so much.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Contact Review

No, this isn't a review of that sci-fi garbage about aliens that the major studios put out. This is an independent short film that I was forwarded and boy, it has some legs. Sure it's a short film, and sure it's not a major release, but it has enough atmosphere and creepy moments to drive you nuts. That is if you let it.

The film is quite strange, and starts off silent. You get to see an old married couple at a dinner table, and then progress to an odd area where a drug deal is going to happen. The movie feels like an art house film with shots carefully plotted and camera movements slowly revealing the bigger picture.

The film takes a weird turn as two lovers smoke some sort of drugs and become connected and then ripped apart in one of the scariest looking scenes I've seen on film in a long time. Is it all in their heads? What's going on? A drug induced minefield explodes and the noises and nuances of their shared experience flows throughout the film, and you're taken to an odd place.

Then back to the dinner table.

Contact is an odd short film directed by Jeremiah Kipp. It features some slick cinematography and a soundtrack of ambiance that only present a scary piece of footage.

This short film was better than a grand majority of major motion pictures that I've seen in a long time, and it didn't even need 90 minutes. It's quite interesting to watch and if you have a few moments, check it out.

You can check out the film by clicking here, and read up on Jeremiah Kipp here, as well as read something cool about a new film featuring Tom Savini.

Oh and, my review for this was prompted by an email from the Director, and a shout out goes out to him. Thanks for sharing this cool short film, and big props for creating such a scary feature with limited time. I enjoyed it.

Friday, July 16, 2010

REWIND: Vacancy Review

This week I picked up Vacancy for $1 at my local book store. It was used, but in watchable and likable condition. The film isn't the greatest ever, but it's straight forward and has some brutal sequences including some of the best revenge parts of any grindhouse film. I love the cameras towards the end of the film and the car exploding through the motel...oh man, I think I might have to watch it again.

Here's a rewind of sorts that goes back to 9/11/2008 and reminds me that I should get back to more reviews, and I will...don't worry.


Vacancy Poster

Vacancy mixes horror elements and gore to provide a good overall horror film. The movie surrounds a couple in the midst of a road trip, who run into some car troubles in the middle of nowhere, out in the middle of nowhere. They are basically stranded and end up getting a room in a nearby hotel, which they have conveniently ended up in front of. They talk to the front desk, and the clerk is super rude and not at all cool, and after some banter David (Luke Wilson) finally gets a room and the two end up in a seedy motel room together. What occurs next is like a homage to classic horror stories and movies from the past, as they put in a tape of what seems like their room, only a different couple getting snuffed out. Turns out that the motel does in fact film snuff films, and they are the next couple to get in on the action, and the clerk is involved. This film turns into a great piece of horror cinema, but only if you hang in there, it is a slow burner. The acting isn’t exactly great, but if you hang on, there are some crazy scenes.

Luke Wilson can seem boring at times, and his deadpan reactions really are hard to swallow, but then again, I think about myself in his predicament and I might end up acting similarly.

Here is a trailer for the movie Vacancy:



I have some problems with this film, I admit it. The movie is relatively short, and only the last parts of this film is really good. The director creates a lot of mood with some slow moving shots, and we get treated to some great moments when the couple fights back with all they’ve got. Proving once again that the human spirit can not be broken easily, as David goes to hell and back trying to survive what seems to be his last moments, including driving a car straight through the hotel room and killing a guy, pinning him to the wall! You have to see this scene as it really got me riled up and I was cheering for Luke Wilson at that point.

Vacancy Photo

There are some great quirks and good dialogue, but that’s not without its problems. Sometimes this movie feels like an episode of Tales from The Crypt, and not a full length studio horror film. There are also lazy points in this film, where the director seemed to have given his assistant the camera and slept under his chair. If you can see passed those blemishes, this movie seems to be the sibling of some other crazy slasher films that were relevant in the 80’s. I admit, this movie does get the torture porn moniker for no apparent reason, but I could see where that argument is relevant. I won’t immediately sweep that idea under the rug, but this film has a lot more to offer in the scary department than most people seem to realize.

Vacancy is not a straight forward horror flick, and it is not the goriest, it is not the best, but it offers enough entertainment for you to enjoy and it even spawned a sequel that should be out sometime in 2009.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

From the Mail Bag Mid July 2010 Edition

We're about the midpoint of the month of July this 2010 and I didn't get nearly as many comments as I think this site should have, but hey, I don't exactly force you guys to reply.

Just a few things before we get to the comments.

Why do horror lists, tea drinkers, and horror blog society website hate me?

I've tried emailing member sites, talking trash, emailing owners and all sorts of things and yet none of them seem to want Scary Film Review to be a part of their websites. Some of the sites they sponsor are completely crappy and full of ads, yet my humble site isn't good enough?

I am thinking of starting my own league of tea drinkers, horror society and random crap and we'll join together to feud with the other idiot websites.

Whatever.

Here are the comments.


willy jerk-off said in regards to my post, "Puppet Master Review":

I want to bugger Dolly Parton (as she was when she was 18, not as she is now obviously). By the way, any of the "Puppet Master" movies chosen completely at random would be better by itself than everything that the British film industry has produced in the last 121 years put together, just another of my occasional reminders to keep you far away from British garbage. OH...DOLLY, OH DOLLY what a babe (the 18 year-old version that is).

Dolly Parton eh? I'm not sure she'd enjoy the buggering, but yes, when she was 18 maybe she'd like some lovin. As for British film, you got to admit Hammer had a few good films, at least 1? I haven't run across a lot of British horror, and no one is really sending me anything from there, except for this Vampire movie I was sent, but the dvd wouldn't play on any of my devices, so it's their loss.

Trick or Treat Pete left a comment in regards to my "Puppet Master Review":

I have a weird fear of marrionettes or basically little dolls that move around on their own like in the Puppet Master film. They give me the heebee-geebee's every time, but I agree, while enjoyable, the Puppet Master films aren't all that scary.

Have you ever seen the movie "Dolls"? Similar type of story, not exact, but similar. Creepy old people with a house full of dolls that are actually alive and don't quite like most visitors.

Great article, thanks for reminding me of the Puppet Master franchise.
Hmmm..."Puppet Master vs. Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood"...I think Lady Elaine would scare the pants off the Puppet Master puppets...all that "Boomerang, toomerang, zoomerang" jazz, then she'd trap them in her "museum-go-round"...I think Lady Elaine is one of the creepiest puppets ever...right up there with "Kookla, Fran, and Olly" *shivers* Great, now I feel like I have to check under my bed for some tiny minion with a knife, like that Zuni doll from Trilogy of Terror 1 & 2.

Dreaded Dreams
Petunia Scareum


I want one of the puppets, it'd be cool. Mr. Roger's Neighborhood vs Puppet Master? I'm buying, and I'm sure the producers might want a crack at that too. We'll see how it all turns out with that, since word on the street is that they're making a new one.

Zuni doll from Trilogy of Terror? What about "Black Devil Doll" now that's a creepy doll.

I have seen the movie Dolls, and I reviewed the movie Dolls for this blog HERE. I liked it, although it wasn't nearly as good as Puppet Master 2, which I'll have to review sooner than later.

Thank you for your insightful comments, and keep em coming!

That's about it for the comments this week, and hopefully there'll be more to come. I'll keep the reviews coming, that's for sure. If you have an extra dime or two, consider patronizing our sponsors, I really need some extra dough, since I have no job and no hope and am battling depression these days.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Shutter Review

Shutter Review

There is a great deal of horror and science fiction coming out of Asia. Specifically Japan, Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, and others. It's interesting to note that the good ones from those lands are repackaged, remade, and recreated at around pg-13, then getting an “Unrated” dvd release. This is no different, and while the first time I saw it, I was bored, this time around I actually liked it; some of it.

The film Shutter is relatively easy to follow and is relatively formulaic. The film follows a photographer to Japan, his wife and himself are enjoying the city and working out well, but as the film progresses our main character starts to feel odd things, and in his photographs appears someone from his past, little does he know, she is going to haunt him to death!

The movie oddly enough starts with a car accident. The couple runs over a woman, and that sets the tone for the film. The rest of the film plays out like an episode of the “Twilight Zone” and the ending is exactly what you would see from the popular series.

A majority of the film is spent looking for “ghosts” and “paranormal activity” among “experts” in the Tokyo area. They even visit with a magazine that specializes in photography that features ghosts and much more. This whole thing throws you off, and when bad things start happening, after a good amount of set up, you start to believe that the woman they ran over, didn't die, at least not all the way.

The gore effects, despite being pg-13 are higher than some of the rated R films I've seen in the past few years. I did enjoy the kills, even if they were only two, and understood the plotting, especially at the end when the whole film starts to unravel in terms of story. Joshua Jackson does a good enough job being that loveable loser at first only to turn into a conceited, stubborn idiot.

I didn't like that there was no way out. Sure, the main character and his cronies might be perverted and caused the rape of a woman, but she's killing them all? She's so obsessed with the American that she's haunting him? Really?

The film does look good, and I appreciated the overviews of the Japanese areas. The lights, the urban setting, and Roy from “The Office” was definitely cool for me to check out. I think there were moments that made me want to visit the area, and if I were given a chance, work there, but I snapped out of it when the crap hit the fan.

On a side note, I can't get the picture of Charlie Conway out of my head. You know, Joshua Jackson in the Mighty Ducks series. Speaking of which, what happened with The Mighty Ducks 4? I wish they'd do that one.

Shutter

Is Shutter Scary? : No.

This film has some creepy moments, and I admit, I often wonder about photography and motion blurs. I've seen paranormal photographs, strange lights, and all sorts of weird things, but to the point of fear? Not really. This film does give off a weird notion, the idea of haunting spirits that literally weigh you down and punish you for your sins.

The remake is obviously “lighter” in a lot of ways than the original. I'll watch the original and confirm my thought, but overall, this remake is on par with the rest of the Asian horror remakes. It's watered down, it gets tedious at times, and you really have to throw out the rule book to enjoy it. While the visuals are nice, the story isn't nearly “horrific” enough in American terms to justify the remake.

I would recommend Shutter if you like the other Asian horror remakes, and if you're a horror movie blogger. Otherwise, I'm not so quick to give my whole hearted recommendation. However, I did buy the film, so maybe I'm an idiot and this film is better than I'm giving it credit for. Shutter is definitely watchable, but not necessarily a must see.

Friday, July 9, 2010

REWIND: Take Me Down To Nightmare City Where The Grass Is Green

And the Zombies are pretty!

Well, you can blame a bad promo disc for this rewind edition of Scary Film review. Unfortunately, not every disc I get sent works, and therefore the schedule gets a bit wacky. That's ok, here's a classic rewind look at Nightmare City, one of my favorite Euro-trash films.It was made in Italy, and it's got some chops.


Nightmare City

I saw this video a while ago, but then I recently got a dvd of this film and instead of just throwing you a list, I'm going to review this film, then sending you through list hell for the three days following. This movie has a lot messed up things. There is a lot of different scenarios that are so unrealistic that you will laugh. The best part about this film is not so much the lack of story at times, it's the fact that the zombies are fast, they are smart, and they don't necessarily eat you. This is a great little Italian film that I enjoy, but not necessarily for the right reasons. So join me in a little review of Nightmare City.

Nightmare City is a 1980 Italian film by famed director Umberto Lenzi. The movie has been released in different names on video, including "Incubo Sulla Citta Contaminata" and "City of the Walking Dead" and of course Nightmare City. The movie immediately looks like an Italian movie, meaning that the distinct horror movie style that we have noticed in previous Italian Horror movies like "Cemetery Man", "The Church", and "The Night Train Murders", is again seen here. These "tells" of Italian genre horror is more than just terrible dubbing, it's olive tones, and muted colors alongside casual acting and panicking.

Here is a trailer for the 1980 Nightmare city:



The story is about a military plane that has emergency landed in an unnamed European airport, and the press is waiting for a scientist that is coming down. As the press and military await the plane's opening, something weird happens, it's not really explainable really, you just have to see the film. The doors open and out come fast zombies come busting out, stabbing and shooting people outside. This is insane, because the zombies don't really eat the victims, they jst kill them. They stab, shoot, and fight their way through people and magically, don't eat the victims.

The movie then slows down completely. you either love this portion of the film or you hate it. The movie slows down to a crawl and the story starts to take center stage and the film really doesn't make a lot of sense. The zombies also seem to show up at impromptu times, in odd places, an it just continues.

The makeup effects on some of the zombies is lackluster to say the least. The Zombies, at least some of them, have just black stuff on their face. There is a complete lack of attention to detail here, and it makes you kind of sad and/or mad. There are a lot of lazy moments in this film, and then the film pulls the ultimate lazy move...it restarts.

That's right, the end of the film is a restart of sorts. This will jolt you into a frenzy, and it is upsetting. I won't tell you the technique, but it's bad.

Is Nightmare City Scary? : No. This film is entertaining to me. However, there is nothing scary about it to me. Sure there are moments in other zombie films that are meant to be scary, but this film misses everything. Every point that you could possibly have to scare someone is missing in this film. This film is slow paced, and really only worth it for diehard fans of the genre.

I tried to think of the scariest thing for you guys, and the only thing that I could think of was the sub plot of the people stuck at the airport worried about their families. Yes, that can be scary, thinking that your family can be in the line of fire. Without technology, like cell phones, this movie makes a lot of sense and could be scary, only if you really think about that. The film is dated, it feels dated and really isn't worthwhile.

If you are a fan of the genre you might like this, otherwise you should just avoid it. Nightmare City is a nice little piece of film, however there are a lot of holes, and some obvious lazy film making. Nightmare city is scary, but not in the way you expect or want.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Shutter Island Review

Shutter Island

It's not often that a mainstream film actually gets scary, but to my surprise, there were some moments that actually made me think that mainstream Hollywood might know what they are doing, then the “on rails” type of story made its way to proving me right again, and dare I say it once more, I HATE IDENTITY CRISIS MOVIES! Shutter Island....2 hours of interesting film making and about 8 minutes of trash.

Shutter Island is one of the biggest films of last year, and it's quite interesting to see Martin Scorcese and DiCaprio together in what seems like an easily predictable film. The plot surrounds a couple of detectives on a mental asylum that is located on an island. They are looking for a missing patient, and one of the detectives wants to get to the man that burned down his house and caused the death of his wife and kids. This is one screwed up story line, and for the first hour or so, it takes a while to set up.

The film visuals are impressive on this film. It's a throwback to start, and you can immediately draw ties between Alfred Hitchcock and Scorcese's film style as the two detectives stand on what seems to be a “fake” ocean background. I really liked it, I don't know why, but it just had a simplicity that isn't really seen in a lot of film today, at least not done so well. The movie moves through a lot of visualizations and while there are CGI moments, I found them to be artful in their use. There's one sequence where blood flows in a natural way tying together a surreal instance of horror and emotion.

The film takes a while to set up, and the pacing is quite good, revealing more and more pieces of the puzzle with some clever acting from Sir Ben Kingsley and Mark Ruffalo. By the time the movie starts to reveal the inner dimensions and the final sequencing starts to fall apart, you're completely enveloped into the story of a man wanting revenge, but only finding out that what he thinks is real, is not.

Is Shutter Island A Scary Film?: Yes and No.

There are moments where this film has a morality tale that is quite scary. He ends up finding the man he is looking for and has a chance to beat the hell out of him, but instead, he finds that he may have already done something to him, and therefore things go awry. I was reminded of “repressed” memory and the film “Session 9” which had a similar notion of memory and repression.

There are other parts that are scary as well. The visuals aren't scared, but the idea of losing your mind and repeating a sequence through combat shock, and other ideas really make for some scary things. When you begin to see the psychology of the main character, and find out that he might not really be where he thinks he is, and the whole film starts to derail, you start to seriously question your own reality. It's an existential nightmare, and it is done quite well, until you start to realize that it took 2 hours to get there.

Shutter Island does a lot of great things. I loved the way it looked, the classic throwback and mental break down that occurs in the film. However, the whole identity crisis plot point really upsets me. I didn't really like that, and I've never really liked it. While there are a few moments where I thought it was clever, the final moments weren't that good. The final lines are quite good and when you listen to them, you start to realize that this film is much smarter than the plot twists, and I enjoyed it. I recommend it, but I'm not saying it's amazing, but it's better than 90% of the films I've watched in this film.

Maybe this film wasn't supposed to be so scary, but oh well.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Puppet Master Review

Puppet Master Poster

1989, another summer, a funky drummer...oh right, this is a horror movie site. This film started a franchise that is often times forgotten, and often times referenced in other films. Heck, Saw steals the puppet angle quite nicely, and no one ever talks about it. Puppet Master came out at the break of the late 80's and I remember it being quite crazy when I was a kid. So I took a stab at it, now that I'm older and I'm more “mature” in regards to horror film. I don't necessarily remember much about the franchise, but this film started it all, so here I am talking about yet another horror film.

The movie starts with a weird old puppeteer making a jester puppet. The puppet then gets put into a box behind a wall, packed with an ancient Egyptian paper, and what followed this thing was insane. The old puppet master takes a gun and blows his brains out in a very weird, gorey sequence, a classic. Two Nazi's break in and were about to kill him, but nope, the puppeteer does himself in before anything goes down.

The story goes into an odd story line, and I wasn't sure why. The movie focuses on a group of psychics who all have weird dreams. When all of the psychics convene at one location and their friend is dead, things start going bad. The movie turns into a haunted house type of film, and is not really that good. In fact, the majority of the film's set up takes a lot of time. I almost gave up on the film, but then things started turning good.

The gore here is mild at times, but the perception is high, with each individual puppet having a set of “killing skills”. There's one female puppet that literally throws up leeches, in real time. The effects are dated, but I didn't mind, and the gore/latex and blood all make for an interesting array of points to look forward to.

From what I can tell the final act is all about “good” psychics and evil psychics, which is really convoluted. The final death sequence takes a long time, and just seems ridiculous as the main villain gets trapped in an elevator. I thought it was stupid, and while there were some cool little tidbits and effects, the camera pushed away and the gore was toned down.

Is Puppet Master A Scary Film?: No.

I'm not scared, you're not scared, and this film is dated. It is a slow moving film with some minor gore effects that I liked. The movie seems similar in terms of effects and plotting like the film “Dolls”, which is not very good to begin with. Puppet Master actually sucks at times, and despite the fact that it's sometimes revered as a classic, it's not that great.

I admit, it's creepy, it has some unique points, but overall, it's not my favorite film. I'll have to check out the sequels, because otherwise, this film isn't all that worthwhile. Sure it is revered by a lot of different people, but honestly, I can't see why. I'd still own the complete set though.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Uncle Sam Review

Uncle Sam horror Movie

Quite possibly the only 4th of July Horror movie, and it's a doozy, Uncle Sam want's you dead! This movie is definitely a good way to kick start your July 4th celebration, and since there aren't a whole lot of different holiday themed films in the horror genre for independence day, here's a shot in the arm for those that needed a little help with the doldrums of having to be patriotic.

Uncle Sam has an interesting premise, an Uncle Sam killer is on the loose and he's killing anyone that is unpatriotic, and deserves punishment.

You'll have to hang on, because this film takes a while to set up the gore and violence. The movie revolves around a soldier that has been found dead, after a long search, but he turns out to be undead! Armed with some stilts and an Uncle Sam costume, the ultimate patriot is terrorizing anyone that is unpatriotic.

Much like other horror films in the slasher genre, this thing is on rails. You know exactly what is going to happen, and you get scenes that aren't too shocking, and you just wait for the kills to occur. The gore effects are above standard, and I liked that aspect of the film. Even though the film was made in the late 90's the film grain stays true to the genre and it looks better than 90% of the straight to dvd releases in the genre today.

The gore is all you need to know. The film is not great, it's not even good, but there are a lot of cool death sequences that makes this movie a must see for 4th of July, and no other time.

Uncle Sam is NOT SCARY.

This film is boring for a good portion of the film, but if you're searching for July 4th Horror Films, this is going to be your #1 pick.

If you like Troma films, this is going to be awesome for you, otherwise, it's a poor excuse for a film. Uncle Sam is also available in BLU RAY...don't know why.