Monday, April 28, 2014

Hell’s Ground Review

The Middle East is not known for their horror movies. They just aren’t. That’s why “Hell’s Ground” is so special, it’s straight out of Pakistan. That’s right, it’s a Pakistani horror movie and they do something that shocks your senses, even if the story is somewhat derivative. I’m not familiar with the culture there, but there are some notes in the movie that seem to point at the fact that the characters are getting what they deserve.

The story revolves around a group of teenagers or young adults, as they travel across their native land to check out some awesome rock music. Along the way the dead rise up, and they are victims of a treacherous, zombie like invasion. Mix equal parts slasher flick and zombie movie, and you get a sense of what you’re going to be getting with this one.

Gore is turned up to 11 here, and you’re going to get hit with it at all different sides of the proverbial coin. The kids are constantly asked why they aren’t doing more beneficial things instead of questing to see a band. This definitely points to the fact that the culture doesn’t necessarily appreciate the notion of rock and roll, and therefore the characters are going to get gutted for their “sins”.

“Hell’s Ground” is not an amazing movie. If you put it into context, however, you see something special. It’s a novelty horror movie at best, but one that is definitely needed in the cluster of terrible movies we’re seeing coming out today. It came out in 2007, and it holds up somewhat well. It’s a good flick to check out, whenever you’re out of movies to see. Chances are, no one in your party has seen this one, so buy it and enjoy the schlock. I give it thumbs up, and all that jazz.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

We Are What We Are Review

Jim Mickle directs this cannibal movie in a very artistic manner. “We Are What We Are” is based on a Mexican horror movie, and I only saw this one, not the other one. The film is a slow moving drama, until you realize that there is something sinister going on with the Parker family. They seem to be in need of food, and the only thing that will wet their whistle is human flesh. The movie takes a lot of time setting up the full reveal, with a lot of points that just seem unnecessary.

As far as visuals, this movie is interesting. You get a lot of artistic shots across the board, where nothing is left to chance. You will not find a shot that is not meant to reveal something or push the story forward, even if the dialogue is barren. It’s definitely an artistic and imaginative picture, but one that can seem tedious to trudge through. You aren’t given the tension boiling of “Ravenous” or the pay off, but you do get some very creepy moments here and there.

The movie ramps up the gore through the end, and when you finally want to shut it off, the director takes a major turn, leaving you with your jaw on the floor. The turn was definitely out of the blue for me, as I didn’t expect it to grab my attention at the end. I had given it a fair chance, and it most definitely paid off in an absolutely horrific way. I’ve seen a lot of on screen violence and gore, but this one had some components that were just cringe worthy.

Overall, the movie is good, but it’s slow paced. If you like slow moving pictures with artistry in the way they are filmed, check this one out. If you love cannibal movies from the 1970s and 1980s, this is not for you. It’s far too nuanced and dramatic for your tastes. This is not a Troma film, and it shows. “We Are What We Are” is available through streaming, or you can pick up a copy here. It will stay with you, but it takes a lot to stick with it, it’s a bit boring at times, at least in my opinion.

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Friday, April 4, 2014

The Troop by Nick Cutter Getting Serious Press

There is a lot of hype around “The Troop” by Nick Cutter. The front cover of the book touts a recommendation from Stephen King. Every review that I’ve read makes mention of that, with the exception of industry insider’s that talk about the bulk of the story. The story centers around a group of boy scouts on a trip in the woods. They encounter a man who has a deadly disease and while the scouts are ready to help, they end up discovering something sinister about the stranger, he’s part of a larger problem, a victim of a disease that is very much like “Cabin Fever”.

People are calling this book old school horror. The reviews are mostly positive so far, and it’s interesting to note. The cover is interesting, not too complex, and features something kind of boring to say the least. mentions that this is classic set up that you’ve already seen 100 times, and I can see how some may be turned off by that. They gave it a favorable review, and many other sites are pushing the same notes, that it’s an isolationist horror film.

“The Troop” by Nick Cutter is on my list to read right now. I haven’t bought it yet, and I’m debating getting the paperback when it comes out. I keep seeing it on trips to bookstores, and I just haven’t picked it up. However, the reviews are favorable, the sales are solid, and I may in fact invest. I recommend looking in this one, it’s getting hyped as an instant horror classic.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

5 Horror Movies That are Completely Over Rated and Continually Get Recommended To Me By The Masses

The horror movie genre has some stinkers. I know this because I’ve sat through more horror movies than anyone else I know. I also have no friends. Ok, I have 3 friends, a girlfriend, a sister, a pseudo-friend in Stockton, a friend in San Francisco, one in Arizona, one in Seattle, oh never mind. The point is that I spend a lot of time alone with my thoughts and I also watch a lot of movies, so I’ve seen terrible. I mean completely horrific messes, and out of all of those I have seen some seriously over rated tripe.

You will most likely disagree with me on this list, and that’s fine. I hate these movies, and more so I hate how much people tell me that they are so good, when in fact, they are nothing but drivel. I would rather eat a cement sandwich, than have to watch these again, even though I’m sure I’ll catch them one day when I can’t sleep, due in large part because I have sleep apnea and no money to buy the equipment (hint hint, buy stuff from amazon via my links).

5 Terribly Overrated Movies

Sam Raimi is responsible for a lot of great movies in the horror genre, and outside of it. However, he put out a brick on this one. A loan manager is cursed and a demon comes to essentially drag her to hell? The simple plot aside, this movie was rated pg-13 when it came out, relies a lot on CGI for the scares, and is acted out by a junior high drama class. It’s awful. Was this supposed to be a comedy? Because I was laughing at the ridiculous nature of how bad this was. I revisited it recently and can confirm that this is heavily over rated, so stop telling me to see it again. I quit. Prove me wrong, buy the blu ray and review it yourself, I dare you. But first, buy it from my shop. I kid. Use it as a coaster.

I hate these movies. I hate them all. These movies suck and showcase the worst of society. Not only do the characters treat themselves terribly, the movie relies heavily on jump scares without little to no real substance. They made 4 or 5 of these schlocks, and people go to see them in droves. I can’t stand the tedious nature of these movies and how boring they truly are. In the time it takes you to watch one of these movies, you could easily knit a sweater and have a hot dog. The movies are terribly boring, slow moving, and are just not worth watching. I’d rather watch a cuckold theme porno movie than see this. Speaking of which…I’m about due…never mind.

The book is something, this movie though? I don’t know. I go back and watch it and it’s just laughable in a lot of ways. I understand the history, and I get the fear that it struck. I even wrote about this stuff in the past and how good this is to watch, but come on, it’s not that great. It’s overrated, even though it’s a guilty pleasure, it’s not as great as people think it is. The sequels and prequels are worse, and some of them go into pure comedy. Does this stuff really happen? I met a lady in Los Angeles that swears on it and is part of an exorcism group. I don’t know, but I will tell you this much, this movie and the sequels are overrated, but I’d still watch them. I’m a sucker for these things, but on a comedic level, not a serious one.

The first movie in this entry is awful. It’s boredom at its finest and it’s a lot of hype with little delivery. However, the sequel is awesome and creates more of a disturbance than this one. I remember my girlfriend refused to watch this, and one day I managed to coerce her into seeing it. She saw it and asked “that was it?” and that’s how you sum up just how overrated this movie is. Face it folks, it’s not that grand and it’s just internet and other media hype. I love the sequel though, as it featured more gruesome points of interest. This one, however, it’s just not that good.

The number one overrated horror movie of all time is Weekend at Bernies. You see, two friends have to keep a dead man looking alive through 90 minutes of…what? This wasn’t a horror movie? But they made a sequel, and the sequel made money. But it has a dead guy, and he’s rotting and still getting chicks and stuff. You mean to tell me that Chud II was better? Ghoulies Go To College was better? You’re out of your mind, Weekend at Bernies FTW!

I was tired, sue me. What about your picks? Let me know, drop me a line, find me on facebook, or buy some stuff and prove me wrong!

The Howling 2 by Gary Brandner Review

I recently picked up this book from an online used book store and I first thought it was like the movie. Howling 2: Your Sister’s a Werewolf is one of my favorite movies in horror, so I immediately thought that this was the source material. It is noted that it has nothing to do with the movie, so that’s what piqued my interest.

The story takes place in Seattle, Washington and it follows the aftermath of the first film. Karyn Beatty has set up a new life in a new place and doesn’t want to remember the things that occurred in the first novel (Set in California). In fact, this book starts with a news flash, a fire has hit California and her husband is missing, and many are dead. Fast forward to the present, and Karyn has to deal with a nightmare that is returning, her ex-husband, and werewolf!

This book is a small one, and much like a lot of horror books, it has gone through a lot of republication. My copy is from 1978 and has a cool metallic green cover design with some fangs coming through. I love the artwork, and the book is well paced, fast moving, and features some nice touches of gore.

The Howling 2 by Gary Brandner may be an older novel, but it’s still a classic werewolf tale and one that you have to check out. It’s not going to take you long to read it, and if you buy an older edition, you can get the really cool artwork that I mentioned. It’s a good cheap read, and it’s part of a greater werewolf tradition well worth exploring.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Jeepers Creepers Review

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Another entry from 2001, the movie Jeepers Creepers came out to a lot of fanfare. I didn’t catch it until after it was popular, and in fact, I didn’t remember to pick it up until I had moved to Seattle in 2007. The movie is a classic monster movie and it’s done very well, with a lot of emotional ties to the characters involved, without making it a drama filled boring loop. The movie has a solid little niche, and while it doesn’t have a huge cast, it still works out well, much like “House of Wax” did, the updated version that is.

The movie centers on a couple of young adults that are trying to get home from college. They get run off the road by a seriously bad guy and then uncover that he may be dumping bodies and doing far worse than just driving people off the highway. When they uncover that this is in fact a serious murder mystery, they get thrown into a cycle of hell that drives up the suspense a whole lot.

The movie twists and turns through suspense, and leaves the gore out at times. It is more of a mystery or a thriller than it is a straight up horror movie. It has supernatural elements which are nice, and the effects are good for what they are. Justin Long does a good job here, far better than that crap from Raimi that was pg-13 a while back. I don’t even remember the name, something about going to hell or whatever, it sucked, and he sucked in it. (Terrible writing, I know)

We get some nice thrills, and a good duality angle that involves law enforcement, but this is not going to be as memorable as some of the other entries into the 2000s horror line up. It still has some solid acting, good timing, and narrative that isn’t too terrible. It spawned a sequel, but this original is a solid entry point for anyone that wants a horror movie that isn’t all gore and splatter. I liked it, and I think it deserves a second shot for those that haven’t seen it in a while. Jeepers Creepers isn’t going to win awards, obviously, but it has a certain cult like status in my book so scope it out today.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Ginger Snaps Review

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Ginger Snaps is a movie that I saw while working as a video store clerk in Culver City. It was my favorite job, and the movie was part of the late night movies I would play before closing up shop. It came out in 2001 and spawned a few sequels. The movie centers on werewolves in a whole new way. It takes the notion of going into womanhood and flips the tables, pushing new life into a tired genre that is still hard to do today.

The plot follows a couple of sisters that aren’t exactly in the popular crowd. As one turns into a woman through her menstrual cycle, a beast comes out of the blue to attack. She then begins to change slowly, turning into a monster, and while at first she thinks the urges are sexually based, they are for much worse, complete and utter chaos and rampaging beastly things.

There is a good sense of gore in this movie, but it is obvious that there wasn’t a huge budget. You don’t get the transformation scenes that the 1980s had, and you don’t get that compelling narrative that was in “Silver Bullet” and “Howling” but you still get a good werewolf flick. There’s nothing cute about the movie when it gets going, even though you sympathize with the characters at first glance. It’s when Ginger turns into fully beast mode that you start to really get a feel for the characterizations and in some way punch the validation card on the movie.

Ginger Snaps is a solid entry into a genre that has been done to death. It is not my favorite in this genre, but it’s a powerful movie with a lot of deep seeded meaning if you so choose to explore. Forget the 1980s, this is an updated version of the wolf lore that is definitely better than some of the mainstream releases that were put out before and after. I like it, you may like it, and it’s well worth the few bucks to get it. Ginger Snaps is a solid horror flick, and Katherine Isabelle as well as Danielle Hampton play their roles to perfection.

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