Friday, February 18, 2011

Not Ready

Due to recent events in my personal life, I'm not 100% ready to return. If anyone out there reading this is a "praying" person, please pray for me. I'm going to try and muster up enough courage to make it through another review soon, but if not, please enjoy the archives while I try to mend my life right now. I'm struggling, and I can't really review anything right now. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this matter.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

REWIND: Monkey Shines Review

I got a bombshell last night. A very personal issue, involving my marriage. I do not feel like talking, writing, or breathing. I feel like shit. I am seriously not sure what will happen next, but if what is looming happens, I will be living my biggest nightmare ever, failing at life...which I seem to have been good at lately. Enjoy the repost/rewind for now, maybe I'll have news in the next couple of days.

Monkey Shines Poster

George Romero’s Monkey Shines is a piece of horror gold, and if you haven’t seen this film, you’re missing out on one of the creepiest pieces of film to ever come out on vhs and dvd.

The movie revolves around a newly crippled man. While jogging one morning, Alan Mann is hit by a truck while jogging, causing him to lose use of his limbs. Meanwhile, his doctor starts dating his girl, and he just dips into a deep depression. After his scientist friend discovers Alan trying to kill himself by putting a bag over his head, things start to change. Alan’s friend gets him a trained monkey, to help him with tasks.

Now, if you remember the Simpsons episode where Homer got a monkey, and used him for cheap labor, you’ll immediately understand the capacity of this movie, because it essentially starts out that way. The helper monkey is completely trained and seems to start working out quite well, but like all horror movies, there’s a catch. This monkey was clinically dead at one point, and no one knows! No one except the mad scientist and Alan, who starts to grow accustom to the Monkey’s autonomy.

Homer and Monkey

Meanwhile, back at the lab, the scientist is getting pushed around by none other than the voice of Bill from King of the Hill. Hilarious! Things start going awry, as with all horror films, and Alan is getting really pushy towards his nurse, and starts to love his monkey way too much. Within 45 minutes of this film, nothing horror related happens, and we just have to settle for a lot of build up, but the build up is great, as things have a tendency to go downhill after that period of time.

Here is a trailer for Monkey Shines:

There is not a lot of gore in this film. There are not a lot jump scenes, and the pacing seemed a little slow. It really turned into a science fiction, mad scientist story, rather than a straightforward slasher or zombie epic, that we are used to seeing from Romero. However, this one is the epitome of a slow burner, you have to really hang on, and try to keep your wits, or else you’ll miss out on the overall tone of this film. The movie is hard to watch at times, because there are a lot of emotional sequences, which really take some getting used to, considering that horror films have a tendency to hit you in the mouth at times.

The film takes a weird turn towards the fourth act, showing a sex scene with a disabled person. That was definitely awkward, and I don’t know if I enjoyed that very much, but I guess that’s a good thing, considering that disabled people can still use their genitalia. I’ll leave it at that.

The monkey starts to kill people off, that’s the crux of the film, and while there is a revenge plot towards the end, it’s too little too late for a lot of fans. However, just like a lot of other man vs. beast stories, the beast gets too smart and turns on man, and we are treated to a really creepy film, a really creepy and grotesque piece of film making.

Monkey Shines was based on a novel, which is out of print right now, but if you have a chance to score one, get it. The book might dive into a lot more medical detail and story than this film, and like Stephen King adaptations, is most likely lackluster by comparison. The movie is tense, but it’s a slow burning, very slow paced intense film. The horror elements come from your thoughts of “what if” rather than relying on scare tactics or gore, which I appreciate greatly from this film.

The final act of this film is the most tense and really provocative in a lot of ways. The film makers and trainers did a great job of juxtaposing real live Monkey's with fake ones, and it never looks out of place and doesn't look fake at all. I have seen a lot of "animal" movies, and there's always that moment of disbelief, but this film really tries hard to break that, and I am impressed with how well this movie ended up portraying trained animals. This movie's monkey is creepy, scary, and an amazing example of how good animal based villains can be. Too bad Hollywood didn't learn their lesson from this film.

If you haven’t seen Monkey Shines on dvd, you gotta check it out at least once. If you’re a fan of Romero, don’t expect his usual gore fest, but expect a very creepy, and I do mean it, creepy piece of film making. I haven’t seen such a creepy film with little gore, since I was deep into reading those darn Goosebumps books. Monkey Shines is a classic example of science fiction, with a touch of horror, but not in the traditional sense.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

No Review For My Birthday

Many years ago in a poorly lit basement, my mom was in labor for many hours. The recounting of the story of my birth is straight of a horror movie. Doctor's smoking in the delivery room, blood and guts everywhere, unsanitary conditions, no dulling agents, and the ugliest baby boy anyone's ever seen.

That ugly child, grew up to be JASON....oh wait, wrong story.

For my birthday (today) I am invoking my "no review" clause, and will not review anything today. I'll return Wednesday with an all new write up about crap that you love or hate, or don't read.

Until then, enjoy "My Bloody Valentine" as most of you horror nerds will most likely watch.

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Top 5 Urban Horror Movies

One of the major categories that I appreciate in horror is blaxploitation, and while some people say that has passed us by, I say it is alive and well. I recently was given a copy of "Black Santa's Revenge" and that my friends is living proof that the Urban Horror market is alive and well.

I'm not black, but I have African American (black) friends and they love horror movies with "brothers and sisters" cast in leading roles. I for one am hoping that people do Mexploitation films because I feel like my people aren't represented well in horror,but I digress.

Here are the Scary Film Blog's top 5 Urban Horror Movies:


5. Blacula - While I haven't done a full review of this one, it's a favorite of mine none the less. This 1972 film is a shining example of taking a good horror formula and making it for an African American audience. I loved it, and I love the sequel, it's a shining example of Urban Horror in an era that would allow you to say a lot more in film, not necessarily show more. There are some lines in this vampire tale that you can't get away with today, because film makers are far more "pc" than I'd like them to be.

wes craven people

4. The People Under the Stairs - This 1991 film really made some great box office hysteria when it came out. I happened to remember fondly going to the movie theater and waiting in line, hearing my friends say stuff like, "I can't wait to see The People Up Under Them Stairs" as if that was the title of the movie. Sure, it's a Wes Craven film but Ving Rhames takes center stage when he has to fight flesh-eaters from beyond! Or if not beyond, under them stairs!

bones dvd

3. Bones - I have no idea how anyone would think that Snoop Dogg is a great actor, but he somehow made his way into a great urban horror movie with this better than expected piece of work. Bones is a 70's gangster movie trapped in a horror package and despite some terrible lines and stupid decisions by the characters in the film, there is a great deal of finesse and care taken to bring you a new scary piece of urban horror. If you haven't seen this one, watch out for Pam Grier, she's still hot.

def by temptation

2. Def by Temptation - I recently reviewed this one, and despite not being a great film, it has a lot of key moments that made me rethink the whole urban horror tag. Samuel L. Jackson is in it, which is one major reason to see it, but there is enough scary points to make you question your own reality. If ever there was a reason why young men should stay away from hot women, it's this one, man, I'm scared of any bar where hot chicks are hanging out. Then again, I'm scared of bars anyways, because I'm a nerd and a horror geek with a crazy imagination.

tales from the hood

1. Tales From The Hood - The best of the genre, is not even a new film. This anthology horror film is one of my favorite horror films of all time. It features several stories that will scare you to death. Of course my favorite is the abusive father story as it is something that I had to go through in my life, well stepfather, but still, this movie packs a serious punch and it is worth checking out. If you haven't seen it, you're just missing out on a tremendous opportunity to see some great, slick Urban horror.

There you have it folks, my top 5 Urban horror films. Of course, I've seen far more blaxploitation than the average person, and while there are a lot of films that I could've shoe horned in here, I decided to go with these 5. Obviously, we can argue what is better and what is worse, but since no one really reads this site and comments enough, I'll have to take my list and run with it, until someone comes up with more movies.

NO, Ax'Em is not going to grace my lists, unless I do a "worst" horror movie list. But even Ax'Em with all the terrible things I've seen with it, isn't the worst film ever made...and NO Troll2 isn't the worst me, you don't want to see what I've seen...because I've seen the worst, worst than you can ever hope to imagine. Maybe I'll do a list later...just not now, I'm going to go and play scrabble (aka words with friends) by myself, because i have no friends.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Poltergeist II: The Other Side Review

Poltergeist II

I've seen some bad movies, and this one has to be one of the worst sequels to a major release ever. Yes, it did manage to make some money, and yes it is reviewed positively by many that have fond memories of this film franchise, but let's just be clear, Poltergeist II is NOT anywhere near as good as the first film, it's seriously one of the worst attempts at cashing in on a good film, and really is embarrassing for everyone involved.

The film's plot is once again about the spirit world and how it is out to get a little girl. There are some interesting points but mostly the film relies heavily on the tie in about Native American burial ground that was exposed in the first film. There is a great deal of detail given to the back story of the first film and why Carol Anne is getting targeted by evil spirits. A tie in into a cult leader hits the audience over the head, and eventually there are some visual effects to supplement the terrible, slow pacing, and over reactions of the family members.

There is no major gore, no blood, and the pacing is a problem. The movie does star Craig T. Nelson and some other quality actors, but they seem to be phoning it in. The visual effects are laughable, but there is one memorable scene. There is a sequence where a young boy is trapped and buried with his own braces! That's right, brace attack! The braces also attack his family as they try to save him, and that was a unique way to trap a kid, although like I always's taboo to kill a child, so that's the end of that. (He's saved)

I tried to watch this straight through, and it sucked. I couldn't really get into it, there were jarring points with terrible terrible editing, over acting and so much more. You can't possibly like this film. Sure, the legacy of the original over shadows the attempts to cash in on it, and maybe there are some out there that really get into the nostalgia of this film. But it's not that great.

Poltergeist II: The Other Side is NOT a great film, it's not worth it. It's really not worth watching unless you're already familiar with the film and like it. If you're new to the horror genre, you're going to be sorely disappointed by the lack of truly scary things. If you're like me, and can suspend disbelief, maybe you'll enjoy it. I can't get behind this one, it's just not that fun to watch, and lacks a certain entertainment quality that you'd expect from something with Poltergeist in the name.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bachelor Party At The Bungalow of the Damned Review

bachelor party horror

Independent film is not usually this bad, but then again, it's straight to dvd independent horror, so anything can happen. I was surprised that this film is not more pornographic, considering the cover art is looking a lot like something you'd see in the adult section of an indie video store. Bachelor Party at the Bungalow of the Damned isn't as bad as some people say it is. I read some comments that said this was the worst of Netflix, but that's not possible, because I've seen Ax'em, and I've seen me.

The film has an easy premise to follow, a bachelor party goes awry when some prostitutes start to come undead during intercourse, and that throws a wrench into the plans of a bachelor party in session! It's literally that paper thin, and as a scorned girlfriend makes her way to the party, the guys have to figure out how to clean up before she arrives and gets suspicious of the tom foolery that has gone on.

Nudity and sex are up front in this film, and you don't necessarily want to see it. It's not necessarily that "sexy" type of nudity, it's really gross. The gross parts turn into gore parts, and at one point it is nearly vomit inducing. We see a complete transformation to the undead at one point, and the colors of the rainbow aren't enough to describe how bad things get for one of our victims. As the movie continues the gore levels are trumped up, and you get full blown chaos, far more than any modern horror movie I've seen in the mainstream.

Gore and sex doesn't make a great movie, but it works here. That's the thing that attracted me most to this movie, and despite how bad it is, it features a mix of good latex and make up effects with lots of blood and guts. There are some terrible cg effects and there is some of the worst acting I've seen in horror, but overall, this movie isn't as bad as people have said in the past. Bachelor Party At The Bungalow of the Damned is not going to win any awards, it's not even going to get much love by most horror movie fans, but it's not the worst. It's far from the top of the heap, but it's far from the worst. If the poster artwork was different, and Lionsgate released it and changed up the menus and what not, this film could actually be salvaged. Sure, it's got problems, but what do you expect from indie horror? Seriously? For those looking for nudity, gore, and blood, this one does it well.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Puppet Master 2 Review

puppet master

I was a little kid when this movie came out, and that's not saying a whole lot, but my idiot parents let me watch horror, and I recall this one frequenting my vhs player for some odd reason. I'm not sure why I liked it so much, but I just enjoyed it at the time. Watching this movie again really woke up a lot of things from my memory, and seeing the rack on one of the main actresses reminded me as to why this movie is rated R and not pg-13. The movie's main actress is cute, and that's what I first remembered once this thing started, the film I refer to is Puppet Master II.

Elizabeth Maclellan is pretty cute, and the rest of the ladies aren't half bad either. This movie starts out with a simple premise, and unravels more complex things as it moves along. The main plot revolves around a group of paranormal investigators looking for weird things at an abandoned hotel, when they start to see some strange happenings, mainly a puppet kills one of them. As the movie progresses we are introduced to the puppet master and his clan of toys, he tries to win one of the main characters over, and hopes to convert her into a puppet to be his bride! The plan also showcases two very awkward full sized puppets that come to life towards the end, and really put a fine point to this creepy sequel.

The plot moves slowly, and the average viewer will most likely grow tired of the film because it is truly tiring. After you get the first death scene, you start to wonder who was in charge of continuity and design. The puppets change in size, and scope. The laws of physics are really thrown out the window during this movie, and the frequent changes in size between scenes and puppets is hilarious at times.

The film breaks a few taboos, especially in a scene where one of the main puppets kills a child. This is a big "no no" in horror, and rightfully so, the movie cuts to another scene instead of showing the death of the kid.

For those looking for sexual situations, there is the lamest and most tame love scene I've ever seen in a movie. At one point the camera barely moves over a leg, yes, a leg, and that's suppose to be sexy? I think I saw an elbow or something, but it's hard to tell. The sex scene is so mild that it doesn't even need to be in the film, it's just ridiculous. There is a shot of nudity later on, but at that point the average viewer is just too tired to care.

The film wraps up with an interesting twist, and it sure is creepy. The creep factor rises as there is an open ending that is most likely going to lead you to believe that the third film will follow the ending quite well.

Puppet Master 2 is not a scary movie, it's not even that entertaining. The lines are forced, the acting is bad, and the sex scene is the most tame thing I've ever seen. There are some creepy moments in this film, and it definitely is showing its age. I wouldn't recommend checking this movie out, unless you're an idiot, like me. I followed up a viewing of this film with "The Station Agent", which is not a horror movie. The stunts and death sequences have a few noteworthy points, but other than that, I'd stay away from this sequel, that's for sure.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Top 10 Horror Camp Movies

I once did a review of the best 3 horror camp movies, but here is an extended cut, with an all new set. This is the best 10 summer camp and/or camping horror films. These are well worth checking out, if you haven't seen them.

10. Summer Camp Nightmare - Some argue that this is not a straight forward horror film, it is still a scary piece of cinema. This film has a group of teens over throwing their camp counselors under the reign of a dictator and really moves forward. As the movie progresses, things go awry for the camp and the nightmare truly begins. There's not much gore, and this drama filled, slow moving film, is interesting to note, but really lacks a punch. As far as Camp films go, this is a good place to start, not end.

camp fear

9. Camp Fear - Back when Direct to Video didn't necessarily mean terrible, Camp Fear came out and proved to be interesting to watch. The film has enough science fiction and horror to move even the jaded fan to at least watch it the whole way through. While four young women go out on a little camping trip, they are terrorized by a gang, a monster, and a satanic priest, making up an interesting array of antagonists to chase hot chicks all over this film. Not a terrible one, not a great one, but definitely an interesting camp film.

camp slaughter

8. Camp Slaughter - Some might remember this film as Camp Daze, but I remember it as camp Slaughter. Mix Groundhog Day and an 80's Slasher film and you start to understand the plot of this film. It's an interesting nightmare scenario for a group of summer camp goers trapped in a recurring nightmare. A serial killer is on the loose, some time travelers are there, and things keep getting worse as the movie moves forward. Mixing genres, and creating a good straight to dvd movie is tough, but somehow director Alex Pucci does it with a cast of unknowns. I loved the dvd artwork, as well as the film itself, it's another piece to the horror camp movie pie.

camp slaughter

7. The Blair Witch Project - Touted as the scariest film ever, this was definitely interesting to watch. It lacks nudity, gore, and lots of traditional pieces of horror, but really packs a punch in the third and fourth act. Some people thought this was a snuff film when it came out, and others argued that it was real, but in reality, it's just a slow moving daze with a carefully plotted ending. The sequel was terrible, but this one remains as one of the worst nightmares in terms of camp horror, especially if you've ever been in the woods at night.

6. Iced - This horror film is similar to that of "Shredder" that I reviewed recently, but is 20 years older. This movie is not one that many people have seen, but it's worth while. A slasher film at camp, in the snow? Yep, it works, but I can see why it's not a classic amongst horror movie fans. This one is a little more obscure than the rest of the list, but still worth noting.

5. Blood Lake - Blood Lake is a relatively obscure 1980's film which is interesting to watch, even if it's not your #1 choice. The film is about a group of campers going to enjoy a nice vacation by the lake, and find themselves face to face with a slasher. This film is loved or hated by viewers and really lacks a lot, but with a cool box cover, and body count that rivals many other slashers, Blood Lake is a must see, if you are looking for straight up camp horror film.

cheerleader camp

4. Cheerleader Camp - I loved the cover of this vhs tape, and it's an interesting movie to check out. It's a 1988 fim that stars many familiar faces and is a slasher film set in a cheer leading camp. I first thought it was a porno, but it turns out it was far better than any adult film I've ever seen. As the cheerleaders are killed 1 by 1, you start to wonder who's the villain, and the final twist will have you wondering why you even try to invest time into horror film. I liked it, and recommend it.

the burning

3. The Burning - I first saw The Burning after trying hard to find a specific scene in horror film of a slasher villain using a pair of hedge clippers, but never truly found it. This film is an interesting take on the camp nightmare scenario where we see a group of campers stalked by a villain. As a murder spree occurs, and the campers are no longer safe, the usual sex, drugs, and slayings come to life yet again in this 1981 slasher film.

sleepaway camp2

2. Sleepaway camp II - Yes, I love the firs tone, and find it interesting, but I love the second one more. The second film in the Sleepaway Camp series introduces to the audience a new horror queen, and she really packs a punch. The female villain kills any camper that doesn't like following the rules, and boy do we get treated to some great points. This film also includes a great ending, not quite as good as the first, but still quite good, and Pamela Springsteen rocks!

friday the 13th

1. Friday the 13th - The mother of all Camp Horror movies really outdid anything that came before or will come back again. A group of teens let a young boy drown and now his mother's out for revenge and the campers here don't even realize it. This gorey masterpiece is on the top 10 list of every single horror movie fan, and it's revered by all as one of the scariest and most poignant of horror films based around summer camp or not.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Shredder Review


Shredder is a movie that caught my eye because of the artwork. The artwork made me think about my days at the hell hole of a job that laid me off and put my career into a spiral, or rather, completely backed out on their end of the deal. I had some options, and they promised not to fire me if I would stay long term, well, they screwed me and fired me. Screw them.

This movie has a simple premise, it is about a skier that is killing off anyone that comes to the mountains to snowboard. The film opens up with a decapitation, and we move forward with your standard slasher fare. A group of young adults are going to a remote mountain to snowboard on some powder, and they encounter this killer, or killers as we'll find out.

The acting is sub par, the editing is horrendous, but there are some great snowboard sequences. It's interesting how good the snowboarders are in this film, and that is one of the better parts of the film. The plot moves forward quickly and the deaths start coming after some sexual tension between the young adults. The most notable actor, and I don't remember his name, nor do I want to look it up, played DJ's boyfriend Steve in the show "Full House". He doesn't do a great job.

I noticed that there were no black or Mexican actors, and that made me want to say something about how racist this film was, but then I remembered, the brown man and the black man don't snowboard! Excuse my racism, I can only speak about the brown man, since I am one, and let's just say I don't do well in the cold.

Oh right, back to the movie, Shredder moves fast to slaying each person and it's done in interesting manner, for at least a couple of them. There isn't much gore involved until the third act in which we get a ton of corn syrup all over the place, and it's done in quite a creative way, soaking through the floorboards and dripping across several places. While the characters try to figure out what's going on, we get several red herring's and when the final showdown occurs, it only proves that there's more to this story than meets the eye.

This slasher film has everything you'd expect from slasher films coming from the 1980's. You'll notice that this film does everything that the genre would require of it, including showing off some skin in the shower, and a sex scene in a hot tub. You get a taste of a lot of different things, sprinkled with some sick gore, and a great final fight which makes the wood chipper scene in Fargo look really tame.

I wouldn't recommend Shredder to most people, and could actually live without it. I didn't find it to be as great as some of the other films I've seen in the genre, but as a quick romp through modern slasher cinema, it works. It looks better than your average straight to dvd film, the acting is horrendous, but the quality snowboarding sequences and closing moments makes for an ok film to watch when you're really bored.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan Review

Friday the 13th Part VIII

Last night I was making 1" buttons for my webstore The Button Kids dot com, and watched this film. I've seen it before, and I used to own the original vhs tape. The poster for this edition of Friday the 13th is one of my favorites. Not just the one I decided to use here, but the "I Heart NY" one with Jason slashing through. Friday the 13th part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan in pure form is nothing more than a slasher, and very predictable. You already know the story, but the writers and director try to mix it up with some cool interesting points, but overall, you're not missing much if you haven't seen this one.

The film's plot revolves around a boat trip going to New York. Jason is awakened here thanks to an underwater power line that electrifies the body, and he rises from the grave. The start of the film immediately gives us a love scene, and the Rated R quotient is completely placed early on. The movie then progresses to slayings by Jason, as he completely kills most of the crew and people on the boat. It's interesting to note that we once again do not care about any of the characters, and are treated to a blood fest.

The movie surprised me at first, because I realized for the first time in a long time that the movie doesn't really take place in New York. In fact, the majority of the film only takes place on a boat headed for New York. So if he's taking Manhattan, he's not doing a great job. The movie's plot moves fast, and you just wait for the next idiot to get slayed, and nothing more. In that sense, this film is nothing more than a Friday the 13th film, and really is poorly crafted.

Comedy reigns in this film, especially with some of the killings. At one point, my favorite, a character boxes with Jason. He just goes forward and lands a lot of punches against the villain, and tires himself out. After he tired himself out, Jason punches him and completely decapitates him! That's the funniest thing I've seen in horror since "Vegas Vampires". If you don't remember that film, in the Vegas vampire film, at one point Jim Brown (i think) kicks a vampires head off, completely decapitating him, during a street fight! A great piece of Urban horror.

So Jason kills a bunch of people on a boat, they eventually get to New York, and that's that. Friday the 13th VIII: Jason takes Manhattan is not my favorite of this series, but it has something for fans of the movie, and those looking for that classic 1980's slasher formula. I didn't expect a whole lot, so I was entertained. You might enjoy it, but if you miss it, don't worry yourself.

jason takes manhattan dvd