Thursday, October 27, 2011

Marshmallow Ghosts - Corpse Reviver no.2 Review

On a recent chilly October night, after putting my reviews on hold for too long, I decided to give ‘The Marshmallow Ghosts - Corpse Reviver No.2’ a shot.

Now, granted, I had never listened to them before, nor did I know anything about them. Which makes this all the more genuine of a review in my opinion.

Side “A” is a CD of the eerie and mellow music that I personally enjoyed while cruising the city streets of LA late at night. I am personally fond of “The Hearse Song” - which reminds me of singing the childhood rhyme for “the worms crawl in . . . “

Side “B” is a full-length music video collection of the songs found on side “A”. This starts out with a young girl taken for a tour in a hearse around the seemingly small town and is told ghost stories by the driver. Each story at the end pans into one of the dark and beautifully done music videos.

I was not too fond of the dialogue with the driver and the young girl. The girl was very bland and almost not even noticeable at times. The driver, although I did enjoy his voice in the mic, bumbling around and his somewhat unprepared mannerisms in the hearse did not seem to fit in with the premise of the video. This may have been what they were going for when they made the video, but I did not care for that part.

The videos were amazing and well done. Very dark and nostalgic in the shooting style you see, you will be brought back to another time. There are a few that are comparable to being in an art gallery with animated paintings. The styles vary from early 1970’s horror style all the way back to an art nouveau and Victorian style. Some of which even creeped me out a little bit. The pig man and the girl in the coffin, for example, gave me a genuine case of the willies.

I can definitely say that while The Marshmallow Ghosts may not be on a constant rotation in my mp3 player, they will for certain be a go to when I am hosting my Halloween party or throwing back a bottle of Merlot and searching my darker artsy side.

That is all for now. Thanks for reading.


***Bonus Content***

I have to admit, out of all the screeners I've received, I'm going to have to agree with Dollface's review here. The music and visuals found on this cd/dvd combo are incredible. Some of the finer musical tones I've heard in a while, and one of the more ambient and dark musical numbers that I've listened to.

You can find more information via GraveFace Online Here.

Here is a VIDEO for the Track Hearse Song:

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Scream 4 Review

Earlier this year I was trying to see this film, and just couldn’t get myself to see it. I tried to take a few people, and they kept telling me no, and instead of going alone, I just waited for something out. The movie is the fourth film in the Scream franchise and it brings back a lot of the original cast, and really packs a good punch, even though I couldn’t stand some of the highlights. Scream 4 is a film that will most likely pick up steam later on than now, and while Wes Craven is getting older, he can still create a visual feast, especially with some of the use of lighting, sound, and make up effects.

Scream 4 starts with a few pieces of comedy, making fun of itself and movies of the horror genre in recent years. You will enjoy the writing, and you’ll see the greatness early on, but then the brakes get started. We get thrown into modern day Woodsboro, and our original hero Sidney Prescott is back again. She is on a book tour and has to hit her hometown, and when she arrives, things have changed, but others have stayed the same. We catch up fast with Dewey and Gale, which is quite interesting and sews up swiftly before we get into the main plot point.

The body count isn’t as large, but it happens fast, and it’s interesting to see the use of gore, even if I’m on the fence as to whether or not it was CG or not. The blood and guts found here are fast, and the killer is obviously fast, but not as strong as previous incarnations. You also see that it’s more than one from the beginning. The film then starts to derail towards the mid-point, before it jumps fast and starts taking out anyone that moves. No one is safe here, and we see some sick moments with stabbings going for broke and even the Sidney gets it. My girlfriend didn’t quite nail the villains, and I was completely wrong, but you will find a lot of red herrings here before you get the death.

Scream 4 is somewhat boring at times, but it picks up in the final act. The twist ending was quite good, and I liked it a lot. They don’t pull punches in the final acts, and you’ll be amazed how things pan out, and the final acts are insane, even if it’s a bit extreme. I was just happy that there was no “identity” crisis ending.

Could there be another one in the pipeline? Probably not. This film sums up the Scream series, and it doesn’t leave a whole lot of room for anything else. If Wes Craven makes another Scream, it will have to deal with something outlandish, because at this point, there’s nothing left to be said about the characters in the series. Is it the best in the series? No. I think the second one is best, but the first is an instant classic, and I remember when it first came out, so it has a nice place in my heart. I recommend Scream 4, it is a quick moving horror slasher, and it works well in a sea of PG-13 BS that we get fed on a regular basis.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Throne of Blood Review

throne of blood

I thought that this film was a more straightforward horror film, just because of the name, but as it continued to display on screen, I realized that this film is nothing more than an adaptation of the Macbeth play. Throne of Blood is not necessarily a scary film, but it is a very good morality tale with lots of twists and turns, set in Feudal Japan.

The story revolves around a military battle. The battle ends up being played out often off screen with much dialogue coming through to tell of what has happened. Two warriors are trapped in a forest and amidst the density they find a woman who predicts great things for one and not so great things for the other. Meanwhile the two end up rising through separate areas, one of which is pushed to take over the Emperor, the other becoming the emperor and this film goes off the rails midway through.

The movie really is played out nicely by the actors and the screenplay, acted out with entertainment, yet with a nostalgia look that is uncanny, gripping the viewer with emotional swiftness, and making it quite intriguing to watch. There is no major gore, the black and white tone doesn’t really allow for much, but the use of fog, cold, shadow and more, really made for some spooky settings at times.

I found this film to be far better than other Shakespeare adaptations, and the dark themes really pushed the envelope to more of a scarier version than anything you might see stolen by Disney. While this is not a horror film, I found it horrific, in the way it juxtaposes emotional discord in ancient Japan with how modern thought is. If you can connect the dots of intellectual nuances, you will find this to be a thrilling piece of cinema, even if it does seem a bit slow at times. Sure it’s not horror, but man doe sit have a few moments that are so tense, you can feel it in your soul.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Top 5 Cannibal Movies

I was taking a shower yesterday and it hit me, I want to compile a list of the best top 5 cannibal movies ever made. Now, this is going to cause some controversy, especially for those that are either purists or just don’t like the genre. Here is a list that I had to fight over to consider writing and making into a list. These moves are hardcore, and not for the faint of heart.

5. Cannibal Holocaust – This Italian film is the go to film when you want to throw a cannibal viewing party. The film was made for roughly $200,000 and it has to have made the money back by now. It was released in 1980 and then came to video stores all over the world in the mid-1980’s. The insanity was banned, censored, and edited for content. The movie is still one of the more controversial films simply because of the subject matter. It’s got some sick gore, but the pacing lacks luster, which is why this is #5.

4. Jungle Holocaust – Based on a true story? Yeah, the title card says this really happened, but who knows if it really occurred? This jungle film came out in the late 1970’s and it is just as poorly paced as the other films in the genre. This Italian film featured a lot of animal violence and was censored until now. While Peta is not going to enjoy seeing wild animals trampled, severed, and killed, many purists will say it’s nothing more than anything that you’d see on the National Geographic channel. This film features lots of weird nudity, and well, cannibalism. It’s a bit better than the more famous later film.

3. Cannibal Apocalypse – Some call this Euro trash, others just call it what it is, a straight up zombie/cannibal film. I thought this film was actually one of the best options coming out of the Italian horror films. The movie features graphic brutality, and it’s not just cannibals, its police force, wild doctors, hospitals, and so much more. I love this film, and love the poster, and it’s really worth checking out. Mix zombies, cop films, and even a little military action, and you’ll see why this one is awesome.

2. Eaten Alive – While this isn’t a pure sick film, it features some amazing pieces of gore. The film features Crocodiles and Cannibals and well…is an interesting take on the gore filled shock flicks of the 1970’s. The most important thing to remember here is that Robert England stars! Before he was Freddy, he was in this low budget B cannibalistic, monster flick featuring killer crocs!

1. Ravenous – My favorite cannibal film is not something that most people have seen. This film is about a cowardly military officer that gets punished and sent to a remote campsite in the dead of winter. When a mysterious man shows up to the campsite, things start going awry, as we find out that cannibalism has taken hold of everyone, and this thing goes off the rails. It features one of the best endings, and wow, what a way to go out.

There you have it, my 5 top cannibal movies. They are hardcore, they have gore, nudity, and only now are they presented uncensored if you buy them. You'll enjoy them if you like the harder side of cinema. These aren't movies to watch with your children or parents, so make sure that you set aside a few hours for just these things.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Top 5 Dracula Movies

There are a lot of genres in horror that have been done to death, and one of those genres is vampirism. There are so many vampire movies, that it’s hard to throw a rock in the horror section of any (if they are still open) video store and not hit a vampire movie. It’s hard to say which of the many films are the best, especially since there are so many good ones out there, but alas, I thought about the granddaddy of them all, Dracula. I wanted to compile a list, and here goes a list that will spark a few arguments here and there. Here are my picks for the top 5 Dracula films of all time.


5. Nosferatu – This film follows the original Bram Stoker novel quite closely. The silent film is a visual feast, and the sound is not bad either. This German expressionist film is still one of the best ever. The shadow, lighting, and overall themes were horrific for the time, but now, they seem very tame. This 1922 film should be an instant classic for anyone that hasn’t seen it this day.

horror of dracula

4. Horror of Dracula – This 1958 film from Hammer really took over the genre for many. While the sequels are terrible, with the exception of Dracula 1972 A.D. this genre really took an interest turn. Hammer’s studio lent a good place to recreate the story into a new world. The sets are gothic and cool; the blood is rad, and all natural breasts? Oh yes, you got to give some love to this old school classic. Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee unite to make Dracula and Van Helsing worth checking out for years to come. Hammer might not get as much love from everywhere, but I give it love whenever I can.


3. Blacula – This 1973 Blaxploitation film is one of my favorites. It showcases that Count Dracula is really an asshole, as the whole point of this film revolves around his decision. An African Prince asks Dracula to stop the slave trade, and instead of helping, the Count turns our Black Prince into a vampire and locks him up. Fast forward to the 1970’s and we see an all new world, and our Prince now he’s got to get his love back and feed on blood. While this is not strictly a Dracula film, it is worth noting as my #3 because of his direct involvement in the first plot point of this movie. Plus, I couldn’t resist adding a Blaxploitation film in here.

bram stoker

2. Bram Stoker’s Dracula – Whether you loved it or hated it, this early 90’s film is a complete visual feast. The film might not have the best cast, but you still get some stellar performances, and you get to see a sort of “love” story unfold, where there might not have been one intended by Stoker. The colors are so vivid here, and the book really comes alive in a modern way, even if it takes full notes from the setting of the book. If you haven’t read the book, read it, then watch this film, they are somewhat close, if only by visualization of the images, which are lavishly presented for viewers to see.

spanish dracula

1. Dracula – During the 1931 filming of the Universal classic, a Spanish Language version of the film was being made by George Melford, and it was better than the American version. Many people will disagree, but once you sit down and watch it, you’ll understand that this classic is quite good, even though it deviates from the source material a little bit. The difference here is noticeable with better lighting, more movement of the camera, and a richer cast in many ways. This version should be the one shown more often, but alas, Lugosi is a great vampire, so it’s hard to pick this one ahead of the other.
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