Thursday, October 26, 2017

Free Online Horror Film Festival

I just got an email about this! It sounds awesome. Now through Halloween, visit the free Diabolical Horror Film Festival. There's no charge to watch anything on their site! They have some full short films plus trailers for new features and shorts currently making the festival rounds. Only for a limited time though so get over there quick! More full films will be up soon. The direct link to their Screening Room is right here. The full shorts will be taken down after October 31st so catch them while you can!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: House II: The Second Story (1987)

I was a bit disappointed with this since it didn't seem like a sequel at all. It's not really related to the first one in the slightest except it's yet another house hooked into an alternate dimension or something but this feels much more like an adventure movie. I guess it's not bad really but you get less monsters. The story focuses on a glowing crystal skull (please don't remind me of Indiana Jones 4: Don't Repeat Its Full Name) that again has nothing to do with the original movie. Instead of more cool monsters, you get a caveman bodybuilder type and some Aztec natives or something. That is a little weak in my opinion. There are a couple dinosaurs but sadly no T-Rex and then there's a large mutant rat (I think that's what it was). Bill Maher shows up (he's an actor?). The kid spends the whole movie with his decaying zombie grandpa who is pretty funny and they befriends some kind of giant caterpillar dog. A little weird there then the big bad is another decaying old dude who wants the skull for himself. Eh it was alright. I prefer the first film. Very little horror in this one.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Review: House (1986)

Can't believe it took me so long to watch this one. It was fantastic. Loved the old school FX. That fat monster lady reminded me of The Evil Dead. Is it just me or did this film have one of the best posters? I always remember seeing it as a kid. Sadly, there's nothing in it that reaches that level of creepy goodness. The movie is definitely more of a horror comedy but you still get some pretty sinister creatures. The winged skeleton that stole the shotgun was pretty amazing. I'm a sucker for stop motion animation. I really didn't expect all the Vietnam flashbacks. The film actually seems quite centered around that and the big bad villain at the end, his undead soldier friend, was nicely menacing (again love the FX). The first monster that jumps out of the closet was also very frightening. That almost seemed like a Giger Cronenberg creature or something. It was brilliant. I like his goofy neighbor too who thinks he hit the jackpot with a famous author neighbor only to be drawn into a real nightmare.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Review: Dead Ringers (1988)

Definitely another masterpiece of Cronenberg. Of course, Jeremy Irons is phenomenal. The subtle character work he does as each twin is mesmerizing here. I was completely engrossed the entire running time right up to the tragic finale. Geneviève Bujold is also amazing. You really see how complex human relationships can be and all the different psychological factors that come into play. At first, it's just amusing the way the twins unknowingly switch with their partners or patients but then once real love strikes, it takes a dark turn especially when Bev's fragile nature comes into play. It's pretty heartbreaking. On the other hand, the opening is quite funny when the twins, just mere boys, casually ask a next door girl for sex in a bathtub to conduct their own scientific experiment without realizing how inappropriate that request is. It sets them up quite well (science geeks) and even foreshadows where they will get in trouble in the future (relationships with women). The writing is brilliant and clever. The final image horrific and aching with real pain. One of my top Cronenberg films.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Review: Motel Hell (1980)

How does this have a 6.1 on IMDb? I love '80s horror too, but this is a mess. Nothing much happens in this movie. It's quite boring. Huge kill count? No. Is it a slasher? Not really. What is it? Basically, a very dull Texas Chainsaw ripoff. You get some demented farmers burying people up to their heads to flavor their food but it's kind of a slog to get through. The Scream Factory Blu-ray cover sold me on it big time but the pictured psycho killer with a pig mask and chainsaw doesn't occur until the very end. The poster to the left is much more accurate (and by accurate, I mean it shows you the movie ain't going to be very good). I guess it's supposed to be a parody but it's not very funny. I love black humor but I didn't laugh much at all during this. Too many people have nostalgia blinders on, which I can understand (again I love '80s horror and I'm always looking for more I overlooked) but this film is a massive letdown. I don't blame Scream Factory (love their Blu-rays and awesome special features) but their cool cover is completely misleading. Cool title. Weak movie.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Review: Suicide Club (2001)

Time for a little Japanese horror. The opening scene is nuts. Gorehounds, welcome to heaven. Sadly, not much after lives up to that. The ending is rather limp. Ok, it's symbolic. Still limp. I do like the unique style of the film, and the fate of the detective is truly tragic. Poor bastard. Japan has the highest suicide rate of any developed country so there's plenty of material to mine there although I think this film could've done more to explore that. In a way, they do with the detective clearly working too much and being disconnected from his family as a result but there are many other things going on beneath the surface in Japan like all the hidden pressure that could've added more to this. Of course, I'm still a big fan. I love Japanese horror. I don't think we could've got a movie like this in America. Definitely not but I don't think it's perfect. The killer teen cult that abducts and tortures girls reminds me of A Clockwork Orange but not done nearly as well. I like how they try to claim responsibility though to get famous when it's clear they're not really behind it. It's an interesting film.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Review: Spring (2014)

Quite good and different. I didn't know what to expect, but I liked it a lot. A unique love story to say the least. The acting is extremely believable and natural. Plus, the Italian location is insanely beautiful like the lead actress. There is a tiny touch of CGI, but I think it's handled rather well. All the effects and transformations are pretty cool. It could've used a little more horror I guess since it's light on scares and more of a romantic drama; however, I don't think all horror films need to be the same. That is actually one of the best parts of the horror genre: its flexibility. You can really tell whatever kind of story you want. I really love the opening of Spring. It quickly gets you on the side of the main character and makes him sympathetic. Even when he gets into a fight, he does it to save his friend. That is smart storytelling. This kind of character could've easily gotten annoying via "woe is me" all the time, but they wisely sidestep that dilemma. I'm always a fan of Lovecraftian twists, and this one definitely doesn't disappoint especially for an indie.