Thursday, November 1, 2018

Halloween (2018) Review

Halloween (2018) Poster
I waited for this movie to settle in my guts, and well, I finally saw it.

I took my sister to see this movie in a nice theater in Culver City, California and what I found was a trope that was very much in tune with the original movie, although with a lot of elements that are just, normal, in many ways. This takes on the idea of a sequel to the original movie, and it’s a testament to how creative people are today at times, but it also feels like a safe entry into the movie world that features one, Michael Myers.

You get a lot of people coming back to the series in this movie, and the plot revolves around a break out from the insane asylum, as per usual, and Michael shows up to his old haunts to look for Laurie and her kid. We catch up with Laurie, her kid, and the revenge that is going to be waiting Myers, if he shows up, and he does.

To say that Halloween is “safe” is an understatement. Every nook and cranny of this movie is predictable. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t entertaining, but in the course of horror movie sequels and attempts to revive narratives, this does nothing for me. Sure, it has a lot of nostalgia with the way it’s filmed, with some of the slow moving, cut away death sequences, but it also throws some notes to all the rest of the world of Halloween, including Season of the Witch. It’s easy on the eyes, but in the third act, it starts to get a little boring, and by the time you get to the end, you realize that you’ve been swindled into seeing the same movie again, only updated a few decades.

This is a movie that features what you want, death, mayhem, and of course, a nod to the past, without changing the future. It’s a solid entry, and it works for what it is, but let’s not look at this with rose colored glasses, because it’s not that great. The performances are good, Jamie Lee Curtis is great, and the rest is good, but the story suffers from formulas that are nothing short of paint by numbers. I don’t recommend spending money on this one, but hey, it’s part of a larger framework, so I guess it works to a certain degree. I didn’t think it trumped the others, and I don’t think it’s the best horror movie I’ve seen this year, or any year for that matter.

I could definitely wait for Blu Ray on this one, it’s that underwhelming and overrated for me. This, of course, after reviewing more than 900 movies for this blog.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Camp Death III in 2D (2018) Review

Two things happened to me this morning. One, I stabbed myself in the eye with my finger, trying to rub something out of it. Two, I saw “Camp Death III in 2D” with only my left eye. If you only have one eye, then you are no doubt going to enjoy the Scary Film O Vision that I experienced watching this movie that caught me by surprise. The director emailed me, and I normally ignore all directors, because they don’t want to give me money, and I need to pay bills. Director Matt Frame didn’t offer me money, but he did offer me a chance to see his movie, and after exploring my options, I decided, why not, let’s watch a horror movie, with a comedic element to boot! Plus, I’m a fan of the cast, and there’s one brunette in particular that I fell in love with, as she looks like my high school crush, and the one that got away, or well never came, because she totally ended up going out with my best friend and marrying him, and dissing me because I had no money, car, or a band. Oh, right, the movie, “Camp Death III in 2D” is a kick in the balls of parody horror movies, and boy, did it throw a lot at the proverbial wall.

The movie is a parody of Friday the 13th, yet it does a lot more to throw in all sorts of camp horror cliche moments, and then some. The comedy is played up as absurd at times, and sometimes it’s one liners, then you throw in the push towards POV shots, and gore, and you have yourself a movie that takes the notion of a camp horror movie and adds equal parts porno parody, sans the sex, and kaboom, you got yourself a movie that reminds me a lot of “Sleepaway Camp 3” in the lack of large cast, and some clever gore and killer shots that make you think this came out of the 1980s. If it had additional film grain, you’d swear this was a cult classic, mind you, it’s got those chops.

Comedy horror movies run the gamut of absurd to gross out humor, and then some. This movie plays on everything, but doesn’t go into the world of “Scary Movie” for laughs, as they go beyond at times, and really play up to the bad taste that comes with horror movies that are fully horror and fully comedy, not just parody. Suffice to say, you’ll laugh when appropriate, and you’ll be impressed at times with the sheer horror of it all, because at the core of this concept is a true to the source material, horror story of a slasher at a camp. That’s not to say the movie doesn’t have slapstick, it’s just that there’s still a sense of “horror” to this, not just comedy for the sake of comedy. Then again, there’s a Star Wars scene that will offend a lot of geeks, but I found great!

Right when you think the movie goes for strict horror, they throw down the gauntlet and go completely off the rails, so my previous statements are null, as the script calls for humor that cannot be contained in traditional means. You get into the WTF category of humor. Splendid!

You should go out of your way to find this movie. Show it to your friends, show it to your spouse, show it to your escort in Vegas, this is one hell of a horror comedy, and while it has some serious notes at times, it goes for the gusto in terms of trying to make you laugh and scare you all at the same time. It’s a dream of a movie in many ways, and I swore my teenage brain thought of this one, but alas, I was too busy doing random bs.

This is one hell of a comedy, horror movie. Watch this movie alongside “Black Devil Doll” and “The Taint” and you’ll have one hell of a triple feature! Learn more about this movie via the official Facebook Page HERE and check out the trailer below. I recommend this one, it has everything from straight laced horror to gross out humor to gore and more. It's something else, it's just something it!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Crush The Skull Review

It’s always nice to see independent horror movies get funded. I didn’t know that this was a movie that had a kickstarter, and well, with the budget that they pulled from that site, the crew of “Crush The Skull” was able to create a horror movie that pushes the limits without going too overboard with the gore, then sets up a final twist that you may not see coming. While some people will think that this movie has a bit of derivative elements, it’s far greater than the sum of the parts. The reason why is simple, the acting and direction is handled very well, and I for one am impressed with the editing and some of the shots that were pushed through for the final result. “Crush The Skull” is a horror movie that may seem like another indie movie, but it has a few gripping moments, including a starting line that I didn’t see coming at first glance.

The movie is simple enough, a group of veteran thieves break into a house and think that they are going to ransack the place. But when they enter, they end up getting locked up, because this house has been rigged to not only capture them, but to torture them. While it doesn’t have the same kind of frenetic pace as “Saw”, this is a movie that holds you through dramatic components, and a focus on the tension between the party, escaping, and the next turn of the proverbial screw.

There’s not much gore here, and the gore that is found has a great deal of blood that is computer generated, or taken off screen. If you are looking for another horror movie that has a lot of gore in it, this is not for you. “Crush The Skull” is not meant to have that, it’s actually a bit more tension filled, and at times reminds me of “The Collection” more than it does “Saw”. Although, I’m sure that people will be throwing their opinions in the direction of the other trapped gore filled series.

As the movie unfolds we lose characters, and there’s a lot of classic one liners, comedic attention, and a focus on the coming storm. Throughout the course of the movie, the tension builds and builds into one hell of a finish, which gives you a satisfactory element, including a classic line about crushing the skull to make sure someone is dead.

“Crush The Skull” is highly recommended, and if you’re a horror fan, then you’ll appreciate the work that Viet Nguyen and his cast put together in this one. I was impressed with the visual design, and the tension filled horror that comes with this interesting premise, and execution.

You can purchase this movie online by clicking HERE, and seeing why I recommend it greatly.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Heroin Skateboards - The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Skateboard Deck Review

We take a step away from the world of horror movies proper, and we are going to spotlight a skateboard that features the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This is a deck that was released by Heroin Skateboards, and it is a limited edition collaboration, that if you find, you need to pick up. It is a silk screened graphic that is then heat treated, and put on a skateboard with relative ease. If you’re a skateboarder and want to pick up this deck, your time is limited right now.

This is a 8.26 x 32 skateboard deck and it’s one of the coolest collaborations that I’ve seen in a long time. I am not sure how long this is going to last, mind you, so you have a limited scope of time to go and find it. I have found one at skate warehouse online, but other than that, I haven’t seen it in shops, so good luck.

While you can't find this particular one, you will find that there are other collaboration decks from Heroin Skateboards and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and you can buy them here, while supplies last.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Mom and Dad Review

Mom and Dad (2018) Poster 
Have you ever wanted to see Nicolas Cage go full blown Nic Cage? Well, then for that reason alone you have to take some time out of your oh so busy schedule to check out the psuedo-horror film, "Mom and Dad", which takes on a whole new meaning to the ideas of zombies, and technology as a whole.

The start of this movie is safe enough, the average home, and then things start to get a little odd. Nic Cage starts to have a bit of a problem in his ear, and there's an audible issue that no one is really sure why. Then we are taken to an average high school where the teachers are finding out that there's a problem. The problem? Parents are starting to kill their children, and that they should not be left out.

Of course, that doesn't stop a couple of kids from escaping, but all hell breaks loose as parents break down the gates and doors and start attacking. This is like zombies, but we don't see anyone getting eaten, as much as they are getting killed. We see a few notes of the parents, their problems, and the way that life was with backdrops that are interesting, but overall this is a showcase of horror for Nic Cage and Selma Blair, whom are middle-aged and having marital problems, blaming it on their kids.

The movie is fast paced, without a lot of filler, focusing on the larger story, then going back and forth to fill in the gaps for why Nic Cage and his Wife are feeling a bit down about being parents and in their 40s. There are call backs to the past, but there's a frequent focus on the frenetic pace afterwards, with a lot of shaking of the camera, and fast running with a zombie like frenzy at times. If you like the Italian zombie movies, then you'll like the way this is treated, as the parents are in a frenzy to kill their kids.

Meanwhile, the kids get the upper hand, and there's a lot of push back, and it all leads to some pretty gruesome sequences, and some hard hits, with great stunt work. I'm surprised at the quality of the cinematography, considering this wasn't a big budget movie at all. In fact, I was so impressed, that I ended up surprised by the ending, which doesn't really bring about closure. However, there's some serious fight here.

"Mom and Dad" is a movie that takes a zombie type of premise, and then shoves in a revenge plot and much more. It's hardcore, yet it's somewhat tame in certain areas. It's Nic Cage going full Nic Cage, to a laughable level at times. It's a fast paced, good working movie, and something that I doubt you're going to hate, unless you hate Nic Cage. I loved it. I am highly recommending this one.

Hey, hey, if you want to get this movie on Blu Ray, make sure that you click HERE and pick it up.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Angel Review

Angel (1984) Poster
I was first exposed to the movie "Angel" when I saw the poster at a video store in Inglewood, California. I was a kid, but the poster looked like a porno movie, and I always had a fascination with porno posters. This movie came out in 1984, and it is an exploitation movie, that has a tinge of horror, but mostly it's a thriller with notes of sexploitation. This is a grindhouse picture that would play in theaters alongside other B-movies, but it has some good moments. The movie was directed by Robert O'Neill, and stars Cliff Gorman, Susan Tyrrell, Dick Shawn, and Donna Wilkes.

The plot of this movie features an underage girl who is just an average prep school teenager by day, but at night, she becomes a hooker. She walks the streets with her friends, and they are all part of the sex trade, or performing on Hollywood Blvd. After you are introduced to both sides of her world, you start to meet her friends, and they are all performers, or prostitutes. Once the introductions are done, a serial killer strikes, killing prostitutes in brutal fashion. A rogue detective comes on board and talks to the ladies and men of the night and tells them to work in pairs and to keep an eye out, and that he's not going to bust them, he wants to get the killer. Well, the movie progresses and we see the killer stalking Angel and her friends, even her transgender friend, and things get way out of hand. When Angel has enough, she gets found out, her life starts crashing down, and she gets even, with a revolve and street justice.

This is the same kind of movie that you would expect from Charles Bronson and others at Cannon. It's a good movie, in the sense that it has the tropes of a grindhouse movie, with bad acting, illicit elements of sex, and of course vigilante justice. That alone makes this movie one of the many standouts that you'll get to see when it comes to the world of cinema. It's the start of a 4 movie picture series, and it features the same premise nearly every time, with a woman that is working the streets by night, but by day is a normal school girl.

I'm not sure if this is a true to life tail, but it has a bit of sex, violence, and mostly drawn out dramatic moments. It's nonsensical at times, that's for sure. There's a bit of film grit to the movie, and at times I think it's similar to a porno movie that would star Ginger Lynn from the same time frame. In fact, some of the sets even looked like one of her movies that I reviewed online before.

"Angel" is a movie that walks the line between sexploitation and horror. It's not quite horror, it's more exploitation and grindhouse than anything else. It's a stellar ride, and it's something that many people will enjoy, but it's definitely not purely horror. It's a sign of the times, and something that wouldn't get made today. I love the plot, the killing fields, and the idea of the main character being a prostitute trying to make ends meet. She makes the choice, she's not being exploited.

You can order Angel from 1984 by clicking here, and getting the trilogy in one box set. Or you can order below:

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Time Machine Review

The Time Machine Poster From 1960
Today, for the sake of this site, we are going back to a science fiction masterpiece. We are going back to the 1960 science fiction era, and reviewing “The Time Machine”. This of course was a movie that was adapted from the novella by H.G. Wells, and it is one of the classic movies that would garner a great deal of cult status after it was released. It would also win an Academy Award for the photographic effects that were included in the film. This is an interesting movie on a lot of levels, and it’s something that you must see, if you haven’t seen it before.

The story is simply enough, George is a man that has figured out time travel, and he wants to tell his friends about it. When none of them believe him, and they all just don’t’ really think he should be going forward or backwards in time for that matter. They all leave, and some just dismiss it, but he can’t stop himself from moving through time. So he gets into his time machine, which is a large contraption, and he goes through time. He stops in a few places, and he sees what would happen to his home, the future, the past, and then gets stuck in the year 802,701. He meets a tribe of people that willingly go to a suicidal location, but they don’t really understand what is going on. As George explores a bit more, he encounters Morlocks, and they are the villains that are killing people left and right, so he decides to rescue them and fights back. After fighting back and figuring out how to get rid of them, he travels back to his time and place. However, he decides that he doesn’t like it, so he heads back to spend time with the hot chicks in the future. Even though there’s an element that could easy become a porno movie, this is not exactly like the Peter North film that has a similar name.

The cast all look familiar to me. They include Rod Taylor, Alan Young, Yvette Mimieux, Tom Helmore, and Sebastian Cabot just to name a few. The film grain is great on DVD and Blu Ray, and I’m fascinated how the whole thing was restored and kept up for sound design and more. You’ll be shocked by how well it all looks today, even though this was made in the 1960s.

The overall plot and movie move fast, and while it’s not scary, it certainly follows the story of the H.G. Wells Novella really well. The time travel mechanic is fast, has no scientific basis, and really just formulates a monster movie plot that is quite fun to watch. I enjoyed the way the movie went forward, and it felt like a longer edition of “The Twilight Zone”, rather than a full length movie. It’s a testament to how well this movie worked back then, and how well it works now. I enjoyed it.

If you haven’t seen “The Time Machine” from 1960, perhaps it’s time to get your hands on this one. It works on many levels, and if you really want to dig into something from the past, this is a good one. It features good acting, excellent effects, and a story that is very much in the science fiction and horror genre, without pushing gore or anything like that. Heck, I’d let kids see this one, it’s that tame at times. It’s a good little movie, and one that many a nerd will reference here and there.

You can purchase “The Time Machine” on Blu Ray and other formats by clicking here, and I highly recommend you do so.

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