MorallySound's 31 Days of Horror

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by MorallySound, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    I thought I'd spice things up as well this Halloween and contribute to some entertainment for the site! I co-host a film review radio show on a local station and we also review films for our blog as well as contribute to SoundOnSight.org so I thought I'd give it a go and challenge myself to reviewing 31 horror films this October! So I'll be posting a review-a-day!

    Day 1: Season of the Witch (1972)

    George A. Romero wasn't afraid to take artistic risks and explore different genres of filmmaking early in his career, even if they did ultimately still involve horror elements. After dabbling in bleak horror with Night of the Living Dead and comedy in There's Always Vanilla, Romero next decided to tackle dark drama. Season of the Witch (also known as Hungry Wives and Jack's Wife) was his third film and is a highly underrated exploration into the horrors of mid-life crisis through the eyes of middle-aged housewife.

    Joan Mitchell's (Jan White) life is spiralling away from her. Her husband Jack (Bill Thunhurst) is constantly away from home on business and her teenage daughter Nikki (Joedda McClain) is rebellious and soon leaves home. Seeking solace through close friends, Joan is introduced to witchcraft as a means of exploring her own path via a local tarot reader and soon embarks on a journey of self-discovery. Haunted by nightmares of being alone and her fantasy of being loved, Joan uses her new-found calling as a witch to seduce a young man (Ray Laine) to fulfil her neglected desires.

    Season of the Witch is a slow-burn exploration into the desire to be loved by those around you when those around you seem to ignore that you even exist. While working with an extremely low-budget and inexperienced actors, Romero still manages to flesh out enough social commentary and subtle nuances of lost hope into this story of self-loathing that multiple viewings are encouraged to truly appreciate the layers present. Using the theme of witchcraft to bridge Joan's self-discovery allows both alienation and empowerment to be reflected upon the viewer, and work as a connection into Joan's character and her struggle with her family's sudden disconnectivity.

    Often overlooked by reviewers who consider it 'amateur' or 'boring', Season of the Witch is neither of these and is a rather haunting portrait into the confusing and dark world of mid-life crisis through the eyes of a woman. Low-budget production values and amateur acting still can't hinder the talent a young Romero had with creating contrasting characters and realistic situations that any family can experience, and the horrors of wanting and needing. Whether you're a horror fan, a Romero fan, or are just looking for interesting and challenging 'lost' cinema, don't pass up this forgotten gem.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/of-wife-or-witch.html

    Enjoy! And stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  2. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 2: Let Me In (2010)

    When a film of such stark power, horror, and beauty comes along like Let the Right One In it seems incomprehensible how mainstream audiences cannot embrace subtitles and ultimately rule that a remake is necessary. Normally a hack director is hired so that audiences with attention spans of goldfish can forgive any mistakes and blasphemies against the original when these remakes are pumped out to cash in. But Matt Reeves is not a hired gun, nor is he unfamiliar with the source material, and he actually cares about what cinematic audiences think and feel.

    Los Alamos, New Mexico. 1983. Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), an only child caught between the divorce of his parents, faces growing up on his own against the pressures of bullying and friendship. Spending time alone in the apartment courtyard, Owen meets Abby (Chloƫ Grace Moritz), a girl seeming to be around his age who moves in next door. The two forge a friendship that satisfies both their needs to feel accepted, but Abby hides a secret that only blood can quench.

    Based upon John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel and screenplay for Let the Right One In, Matt Reeves faithfully adapts the story of belonging and growing up with minor changes to properly set the film in America. Taking place during the Reagan era, Reeves' adaption and attention to detail is astounding and the Cold War politics play a subtle key of tension to the backdrop and atmosphere of the film. These changes add a great depth to the film. A few scenes from the original are axed, such as the cat lady scene, but not without reason. The performances by both young actors are expertly realized and a strong anchor to the emotional impact the film presents. A few things this retelling has specifically over its 2008 predecessor is Greig Fraser's absolutely gorgeous cinematography and Michael Giacchino's beautifully haunting film score reminiscent of 70's gothic horror, both of these excel beyond expectations.

    At the time of its announcement Let Me In was pointless and seemed like a blasphemy against the brilliant original, but now after witnessing Matt Reeves faithfully and sure-footedly spin his take on this tale of adolescence with a vampiric twist, the film is more as if another director had a shot at adapting John Ajvide Lindqvist's novel, rather then just a remake. While still not as wholly impressive as the Swedish masterpiece, Let Me In retains the emotional resonance and purity of horror without tarnishing the original.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/innocence-in-blood.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  3. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 3: Death of the Dead (2010) - Also features 2 interviews conducted with both director Gary King and lead actress Christina Rose.

    Ever since the Zucker Brothers had us busting a gut with comedy spoofs like Airplane! the parody genre has come and gone in waves. But when combining the elements of slapstick with the horror genre these films seem to be of appeal to audiences either in the theatre market or the direct-to-video scene no matter how good or bad. Gary King was hired to direct an entry into this popular genre and decided it was time to keep with the camp but also have it still appeal to the "wine-tasting crowd" so-to-speak, even if it does feature 'nutchucks'.

    Wanda (Christina Rose), your typical nerd, is training under the good karate Master Sensei (Jack Abele) to help fight the Evil Sensei (William Lee) from taking over the martial arts industry in town. But when a school bus accident and a vat of an experimental toxic chemical collide head-on the entire rival evil karate club are turned into karate-zombies! Now it's up to Wanda, with the help of her sex-toy loving Master Sensei's magic belt, to realize her potential and kick some undead ass!

    Death of the Dead plays out like a mash-up between a Zucker Brothers comedy and a Troma film. Sight gags, one-liners, body humour, and karate-zombies go hand-in-hand and generate some actual belly laughs. While some of the gags fall short and end up too juvenile and sophomoric, Death of the Dead is still a rather fun time waster. Filled with lots of great camp, this low-budget comedy-horror actual boasts some great acting as well. Christina Rose is fantastic as Wanda and she kicks some awesome zombie ass. Gary King who's previous filmography is actually in the art house and dramatic vein brings some of that talent to what could have been a flaccid and unfunny flop and injects some interesting characters and heart into the film.

    While the spoof genre may not appeal to everyone, Gary King has infused enough of his intelligence and talent from working in other genres to make this an above-average entry into parody cannon that has the potential to reach audiences outside its initial scope. King even manages to include a few one-liners from cult faves Troll 2 and The Room which will have those in the know giggling. Death of the Dead manages to have audiences laughing out loud while retaining a surprising amount of heart not commonly seen in the genre. Worth a look.

    To listen to the interviews, click the link below:

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/dead-laughter.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  4. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 4: Midnight Blue (1979)

    When Last House on the Left broke down fences of decency and sexual horror in 1972 no one expected the Italians to turn out rip-off after rip-off of the rape-revenge genre. From Night Train Murders to Last House on the Beach to Terror Express this sleazy and violent genre flooded the European markets and satisfied those looking for ultra-sleazy exploitation. A few of these roughies have been lost to North American audiences and one of these ultra obscure imitations is Raimondo Del Balzo's Midnight Blue.

    Three beautiful female athletes (led by Christiana Borghi) take a weekend off from training to vacation at a relative's villa complete with private beach. While relaxing, enjoying the water, and topless sunbathing the girls' weekend alone is interrupted by three escaped criminals on the run. Led by Pierre Luigi (Antonio Cantafora), the three criminals take the girls hostage and submit them to torture and rape before the girls get their bloody revenge.

    Midnight Blue features all the components you'd expect from the genre; beautiful women, sleazy creeps, and a secluded location, but the film doesn't pack on the sleaze or violent impact that the other more notable entries exuded in spades. The terror of the hostage taking of the girls doesn't even happen until the 35-minute mark and prior to that it's just scenes of the ladies relaxing, some nudity, and a romp with the seemingly good guys. The criminals themselves are never threatening enough and the girls' terror is limited to a few very short scenes. Even master cinematic composer Stelvio Cipriani's score is uninspired and repetitive. However, there are a few amusing scenes involving the horrible English dubbing, including a hilarious trip to an outdoor market and two bumbling cops (pretty much a direct homage to Craven's Last House on the Left) who's dubbed voices sound like they were rejected extras from the Dukes of Hazzard set which definitely doesn't fit in with the Italian setting of the film. And you've also got to laugh as well when the demise of two of the perpetrators is via javelin!

    But those few laughs aside, Midnight Blue is a rather boring and forgettable entry into the rape-revenge genre. A lost revenge classic it sure isn't so it's not too much of a pity we haven't seen an official release of this roughie yet. If Del Balzo had layered on more sleaze, violence, and true terror brought on by the escaped criminals to the unsuspecting female athletes it could have been an exploitation fan's dream, but as for what it is, Midnight Blue only belongs in the collections of genre completists.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/last-villa-on-beach.html
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2010
  5. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 5: The Fury (1978)

    Brian De Palma solidified himself as a household name after the success of Carrie. He'd tackled the horror genre previously, and noteworthy, with films such as Sisters and Phantom of the Paradise, but Carrie firmly placed his stamp as a filmmaker to watch. Following on the wave of Carrie's success De Palma decided to stick with the theme of psychokinetics with his next film The Fury written by John Farris and based upon his novel.

    Peter Sandza (Kirk Douglas) is a wanted man on the run trying to locate his son Robin (Andrew Stevens) who's been kidnapped by a secret government agency because of his pyschokinetic powers. Desperate to find him, Peter stumbles across Gillian (Amy Irving), a girl with similar psychic abilities. The two team up to try to uncover Robin's whereabouts and stop Ben Childress (John Cassavetes) from forcing and turning Robin's powers against them.

    Brian De Palma shifts his gears slightly with The Fury when compared with his previous entries into the horror genre. While the elements of horror remain, he's instead set it more to the background while bringing action and thriller elements forefront. Featuring a few action-set-pieces and a car chase The Fury attempts to get the adrenaline pumping rather then going for the jugular. Kirk Douglas unfortunately plays Peter Sandza quite ham-fisted and his attempts at humour feel wrongfully injected into the script which fall flat and detract from the story. John Farris' script also feels weak and drawn-out to where the film would have played better at a 90-minute runtime.

    The Fury ultimately loses momentum after the opening sequence and neither De Palma's direction nor Farris' script can fully decide if they are making an action movie, a thriller, a horror film, or even a comedy in some cases. The acting is luke warm across the board even though it features heavy hitters like Douglas and John Cassavetes, but the characters just aren't engaging. But aside from being quite boring and tedious The Fury does have one positive: it features one the most explosive climaxes that predates the infamous exploding head in David Cronenberg's Scanners that will have you rewinding the ending just to see it again. But that aside, The Fury ends up being a lame followup to the pyschokinetic mastery of Carrie that De Palma hoped to cash in on, which is unfortunate because the premise and the people involved should have at least been hopeful.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/mind-games.html
     
  6. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 6: The Psychic (1977)

    Lucio Fulci is probably best known to horror fans for his extremely gory exercises such as City of the Living Dead and The Beyond, but prior to unleashing the floodgates Fulci contributed four entries into the wonderfully stylized Italian thriller genre known as the giallo. From Perversion Story to Lizard in a Woman's Skin to Don't Torture a Duckling, all regarded as classics of the genre, Fulci's last giallo before going into a blood frenzy was The Psychic (aka Seven Notes in Black).

    A clairvoyant woman, Virginia Ducci (Jennifer O'Neill), has a chilling vision where she witness a women being walled up and murdered. After she recognizes the room from her vision in her husband's (Gianni Garko) old home she uncovers a skeleton hidden behind a layer of brick in the wall. Now Virginia is determined to uncover the mystery of who the woman was and who exactly put her there, but the deeper the mystery unravels the further Virginia's life is put into danger.

    The Psychic showcases a side of Fulci not commonly associated with the Italian maestro - a quiet and refined side - wherein the suspense is thoughtfully plotted and quietly executed, and bookends his giallo outings. Normally those familiar with the director's work commonly refer to his crazy, mostly incoherent, and insanely violent films like Zombi 2 (which are horror classics in their own right) as their main impressions of his filmography. But Fulci should also be regarded as a master of suspense. The Psychic features a great performance from Jennifer O'Neill and some great Hitchcockian twists and turns that keep the viewer guessing.

    Slow building suspense and foreboding danger play the main tune in this Fucli thriller. Even with a few flaws The Psychic, while not quite as strong as the previous efforts, such as the masterful Perversion Story, is still none-the-less a worthy and methodical giallo. Fulci fans and giallo fans alike should discover this lost Fulci gem and place it firmly in their collections.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/deadly-premonition.html
     
  7. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    Love this feature you're doing, man. I have a warm appreciation for The Psychic, it indeed showcases that Fulci can craft a thriller without gore or violence as a crutch. Love the music in it, too. I think I prefer this to Perversion Story (never liked that title for it).
     
  8. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    While I myself am a big fan of THE FURY I find your reviews to be most entertaining and well though out.I'm enjoying the thread.Well done !
     
  9. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Thanks for the feedback! Much appreciated!

    Glad you guys are enjoying them!
     
  10. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 7: Ghoul School (1990)

    In the world of low-budget filmmaking it really doesn't take much to make a horror film. All you need is a camera, some friends, a few buckets of blood and guts, and a basic idea. But talent? Pfffft, you can just throw that to the wind! Somehow a bad horror film doesn't always end up being bad. Especially when you have a bunch of friends over, and a couple of cold ones readily available, these train-wrecks end up being a whole lot of fun to behold. So grab your backpack and head back to Horror High with Ghoul School.

    A couple of bumbling criminals break into the boiler room of a local high school and unexpectedly unleash a toxic chemical into the school's water supply. Soon the high school swim team are turned into undead ghouls after doing laps in the contaminated pool and start munching on the student population. Now it's up to Steve (William Friedman) and Jeff (Scott Gordon), a couple of horror movie loving nerds, as well as the members of a local heavy metal band to save the rest of the uneducated from the undead!

    Not based off of the awesome old-school Nintendo game of the same name, Ghoul School is a low-budget schlock-fest filled with horrible dialogue, choppy editing, and a ridiculously nonsensical plot. If you're looking for entertaining camp you're in the right class. Featuring horribly incoherent and out of place cameos from both Joe Franklin and not very funny comedian Jackie the Joke Man, Ghoul School will have you scratching your head and laughing at its ineptness. Timothy O'Rawe has created a shot-on-16mm butt-number that features some hilarious gore gags (where when your limbs are torn off it's actually giant blood-filled condoms underneath your flesh, not veins and arteries like science would have you believe) and a ghoulish swim team that resemble dollar-store versions of the demons from Lamberto Bava's Demons.

    Filled to the brim with horribly amateur acting, late-80's mullets, the worst 'air band' in history, and enough blood splattered gore, Ghoul School is just too bad to not have a good time while watching. Bad comedies are bad. Bad dramas are bad. But bad horror movies somehow always manage to entertain, no matter how deranged, loopy, or incompetent. At least most of the time... So Ghoul School deserves a diploma simply for that because it's that special kind of fun, even if it is just to hide the fact from the rest of the alumni that it really is doomed to never graduate Horror High.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/splatter-high.html
     
  11. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 8: Pin (1988)

    Parents lie to their children. All the time. And it's not frowned upon as it is just a part of growing up and the rules of parenthood, with the pressures of consumerism and Santa Claus to the loss of a tooth to, hell, even religion in some aspects. It's just a fabricated comfort to keep the young and impressionable happy and safe from the harsh reality of life. But to think back on all this now, those lies told just to keep us smiling and innocent seem actually quite diabolical. And with that horrifying theme rooted deep in our reality author Andrew Neiderman and director Sandor Stern bring us the chilling tale of Pin - a plastic nightmare!

    Growing up Leon (David Hewlett) and Ursula (Cynthia Preston) were given advice and life lessons from 'Pin', a life-size medical dummy in their father's (Terry O'Quinn) doctors office. Throwing his voice and using 'Pin' as a teaching aid, Dr. Linden's helpful lies have a profound effect on Leon. After a tragic car accident leaves both parents dead, Leon and Ursula, now fully grown young adults, are left alone in their home, but Leon has taken on an exceedingly unhealthy friendship with 'Pin', which now has a disturbing voice of its own.

    Pin is an unnerving and disturbingly effective psychological horror film. Dealing with themes of growing up, family, mental health, and even a darker theme of incest, Sandor Stern's direction is perfectly honed where the subtle, quiet, and almost too clean and neat look of the characters and surroundings act as a double-edged sword towards the subject matter. David Hewlett's performance as Leon is meticulous and his decent into paranoid schizophrenia is scary to watch. Cynthia Preston is a pleasure on screen, encompassing Ursula's fear and pain of her brother's condition while retaining her sisterly love for Leon where she doesn't want to see him locked up.

    Often referred to as the Canadian Psycho, Pin spins a suspenseful tale of the fragility of mental health and family bonds where the lies we were told to shield us ultimately lead to our destruction. Sandor Stern, who also wrote the screenplay for the original Amityville Horror, knows the complexities of family and the cracks in mentality that can divide us as he expertly used these themes, to different extents and under different circumstances, in both The Amityville Horror and Pin. Taut, chilling, and expertly crafted, Pin is a masterpiece of intelligent horror that will have you thoroughly creeped out.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/plastic-nightmare.html
     
  12. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    I forgive Sandor for Amityville because of the work he did with PIN. Great movie, and between this and Scanners 2, David Hewlett deserves more props as a cerebral leading man. Coming out during the era where everything was a sequel or a slasher, PIN still stands out as a surprisingly fresh experiment. Now, it's your obligation to keep Canadia going by reviewing The Pit.
     
  13. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 9: The Mummy (1999)

    When Stephen Sommers decided to revamp Universal's original The Mummy starring Boris Karloff he wanted to keep the look of Imhotep from those first few minutes of the original where the mummy is actually bandaged, decayed, and symbolizing death. Because for the rest of the original picture, after that first scene, it's just an 'aged' Karloff wearing a cap. So with this new version of The Mummy, Sommers wanted that spectacle and horror that goes along with the look of a mummy. And not only that, but he wanted it as a full blown action-adventure a la Indiana Jones.

    An English librarian (Rachel Weisz) fascinated with Egyptian history and mythology receives a treasure from her thieving brother (John Hannah) which happens to be a key, containing a secret map, to the lost city of Hamunaptra. Teaming up with an adventurous American (Brendan Fraser) serving in the French Foreign Legion to find the lost city, the trio embark on an archaeological dig which results in resurrecting a three-thouasand year-old mummy (Arnold Vosloo) with unfinished business.

    The Mummy is a sprawling, exciting, and often funny action-adventure romp with just the right amount of horror elements to keep the mummies scary. Taking after the action-adventure archetype that George Lucas and Steven Spielberg crafted with the Indiana Jones films, Stephen Sommers successfully fabricates this new version of The Mummy around that archetype. Constantly entertaining the film features great set-pieces, fun performances, and some great scares using its Egyptian setting. Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, and John Hannah must have had a blast making the film as it shows on screen. Arnold Vosloo is also entertaining as Imhotep, the High Priest seeking evil vengeance.

    Unfortunately some of the CGI hasn't held up very well since The Mummy is already over 10 years old, but it still doesn't detract too much from the action taking place on screen. Industrial Light and Magic had quite a task creating all the visual effects, but even outdated as the effects are they are still quite inventive. The Mummy is a blockbuster-esque epic that succeeds at completely entertaining; providing both action, laughs, and horror. It's may not be high art or true-to-the-genre horror, but it sure is two hours of pure escapist fun worth revisiting.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/rags-and-bones.html
     
  14. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 10: Strangeland (1998)

    The art of body modification is always an interesting subject. It is such a strong topic that divides people; the act of marking, piercing, or cutting your flesh to express yourself, to be closer to yourself through pain and beauty. Tattoos, piercings, branding, scarification - all different forms of body art that both please and disgust the masses to varying degrees. With this as the physical and visual theme, Dee Snider, the frontman from the classic hair metal band Twisted Sister, invites us into a world where pain is pleasure and pleasure is pain. Welcome to Dee Snider's Strangeland.

    Teens are going missing in Helverton, Colorado after being invited to a party by "Captain Howdy" (Dee Snider), an online alias for a killer who uses body modification to torture his victims and bring them to experience "life and death" at the same time. When Detective Gage's (Kevin Gage) daughter goes missing the trail leads straight to "Captain Howdy", and upon exposing his sick and twisted dungeon Detective Gage rescues his daughter and puts "Captain Howdy" behind bars. But now four years later, after rehabilitation and a court ruling of not guilty on reason of insanity, Carleton Hendricks, the man behind the alias, is let back into society. But it's not long before angry parents unleash "Captain Howdy" once again on the people of Helverton and Detective Gage's daughter is once again caught in the horror.

    Strangeland not only deals with societies varying views, both good and bad, on body modification, but also on the dark subject of Internet predators. "Captain Howdy" lures his victims via a local teen chat room under the guise of a hip teen holding a house party. Quite early to address this theme in a film, Strangeland starts quite strong but unfortunately falters after the initail opening scene. Kevin Gage could have come across as a gritty detective character but his lack of emotion considering his daughter is missing, and potentially murdered, really takes any fear out of the situation and leaves the audience unengaged. A plus though is that Dee Snider is actually quite convincing as an almost modern-day boogeyman and the effects involving the body modification to his victims is quite realistic. Robert Englund, the original cinema boogeyman, is featured as an angry parent who leads a party to 'vigilante justice' against Hendricks.

    While it had potential to be quite disturbing and establish a scary, realistic new horror villian, Strangeland veers off course after the first 15 minutes and takes too many predictable turns. The acting, other than Dee Snider himself, is not up to the emotional level it should have been and the characters are under-developed. Dee Snider had actually tapped into a truly terrifiying theme with Internet predators, but being a first film to show his writing talents, he still needs to hone his storytelling skills. Strangeland isn't as dark as it should have been and the ending isn't nearly as sastisfying, but for horror fans and Twisted Sister fans it's still worth watching once.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/modifying-horror.html
     
  15. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    More nice reviews,keep up the good work !
     
  16. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Special Canadian Thanksgiving edition! Review for Day 11: Blood Rage (1983)

    Absolutely no holiday is safe for teens, adults, and even children when it comes to holiday-themed slashers. From Black Christmas to Halloween to New Year's Evil to Bloody Birthday, if it's a special day you better run and hide! With nearly every holiday under the sun done to death in the slasher genre a few still remain open season. Of these few safe days people are unaware that Thanksgiving has in fact been tackled! And no, it wasn't Eli Roth with his faux trailer Thanksgiving (which is still in the works to become an actual feature), but with a little known and underrated slasher known as Blood Rage, or under its alternate title Nightmare at Shadow Woods.

    1974. At a drive-in two twin brothers sneak out of the back of their single mother's car. One of the twins finds an axe and proceeds to murder a man who's making out with a girl in a nearby car and blames it on the other twin. Cut to ten years later, it's Thanksgiving and the Clemens family are sitting down to dinner when they hear the news that Todd (Mark Soper) has escaped from the psychiatric clinic and may be headed back home for the holiday. Now Terry (also Mark Soper), the twin who actually committed the murder, will do whatever it takes to keep his family and the rest of the tenants at the Shadow Woods apartment complex from finding out Todd is actually innocent.

    Blood Rage is a completely overlooked horror film. Fast paced, fun, and filled to the brim with some inventive blood and gore, this Thanksgiving slasher should be mandatory viewing on the holiday. Mark Soper is terrific in the dual role of the twins. As Terry he's cocky, smart, and evilly hilarious spouting such lines as "It's not cranberry sauce!" and in one scene he even continues toking on a joint from a victim he just impaled with a machete. As Todd, he's timid, shy, and clearly not a killer. Bruce Rubin's script and characters are all fun and well thought out and John Grissmer keeps the direction lean and focused on the laughs and kills without overusing the stuffing. One of the highlights is Richard Einhorn's synth-rock score. It's so catchy, bouncy, and 80's it deserves it's own release on vinyl that any fan would spin over and over, but sadly it's nowhere to be found on any audible format. The theme song alone should become as recognizable as Carpenter's Halloween theme, at least as far as holiday slashers are concerned. Will someone please release this score? Pretty please!

    A quintessential 80's slasher through and through, Blood Rage is a blast! But keep an eye out as there are two versions of the film, and one is quite cut and butchered when it comes to the onscreen kills. Released on bargain bin DVD as Nightmare at Shadow Woods, under this title it's the cut version which is missing a full two minutes of carnage. So if you want the uncut version featuring all the flowing 'cranberry sauce' and a few additional scenes you'll have to seek out the Prism VHS under the Blood Rage title. Blood Rage never lets up and keeps entertaining while providing both laughs and screams, and also ensures us once again that the holidays, even Thanksgiving, just aren't safe! And remember, it's not cranberry sauce!

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/its-not-cranberry-sauce.html
     
  17. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 12: Faust - Love of the Damned (2000)

    The Faust graphic novel series started in 1988 and are sometimes regarded as an inspiration for Spawn, detailing an anti-superhero straight from Hell. David Quinn, one of the original creators, wrote and pitched a script for a feature-length movie version in 1996 but it took serval years before it finally was made. Under the helm of director Brian Yuzna, Faust jumped to the silver screen... but is it worth your soul?

    John Jaspers (Mark Frost) sells his soul to M (Andrew Divoff) for the chance to get revenge for the death of his girlfriend. Spouting metallic razor claws John becomes Faust, an evil entity consumed by blood. But after getting his revenge and his hands bloodied, John wants nothing more to do with the pact. But M controls his soul and has plans to open the gates of Hell. With the help of a beautiful psychiatrist (Isabel Brook) John will try to control his urges and stop M before it's too late.

    According to fans of the original graphic novel series, Faust fails miserably as an adaptation. As a film it's convoluted and messy, filled with fast cutting that leaves the viewer unable to understand what is happening and terrible overacting from the majority of the cast, most notably bad is Mark Frost. Quite a bit of blood is spilled and the special effects are fairly good for the low budget, apparently it won an award at Stiges for the effects, but the actual look of Faust is extremely laughable. Faust, when fully transformed, looks like a cross between Batman, Wolverine, and the Devil, but not in a good way. It looks like an actor in a giant rubber suit and the razor blades just wobble all over the place. David Quinn's script is extremely weak considering he's very familiar with the source material.

    While there are a few cool gore gags, including a right-hand woman to M who gets reduced to nothing but a slimy pair of tits and ass, Faust ends up being unfathomably boring and inconsistent to keep anyone's attention for more than a minute. Arguably Brian Yuzna's worst directorial effort, those looking for a cross between the superhero genre and the horror genre should avoid this one at all costs. So to answer the above question, is it worth your soul? Absolutely not at all.

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/selling-your-soul-short.html
     
  18. rhett

    rhett Administrator

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    Blood Rage is some kind of amazing. I will be forever in your debt for introducing me to that one.

    "That's not cranberry sauce, Arty!"
     
  19. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Hahaha, you're welcome!
     
  20. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    Review for Day 13: Idle Hands (1999)

    The Three Stooges defined physical comedy. Cheech and Chong defined the stoner comedy. And the 80's defined the slasher genre. Now let's go out on a limb here and say Moe took a hit off of Chong's bong and proceeded to get it on with Angela from Sleepaway Camp. What bastardly abomination would come of that unholy trinity you dare imagine? Well, how about one of the most underrated horror-comedies of that last 15 years! From the folks who brought you an episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and Leprechaun 2 comes Idle Hands! And it's pretty freakin' awesome!

    Anton Tobias (Devon Sawa), the laziest slacker on the planet, discovers his parents have been murdered and turned into Halloween decorations one morning. After smoking a bowl, Anton and his two buddies Mick (Seth Green) and Pnub (Elden Henson) discover Anton's lazy right hand has become possessed and is being used as a tool for the Devil! Determined to be rid of the evil Anton lops off his hand, but soon it's escaped and on it's own demented mission to sacrifice his girlfriend (Jessica Alba) and open the gates of Hell! Now it's up to Anton, his undead buddies, and a demon hunter (Vivica A. Fox) to stop the hand before it's too late!

    Idle Hands is hands down one of the best horror-comedies ever, perfectly balancing the laughs with the scares. Unafraid to be gory, gross, and violent while retaining its fun fast-paced vibe, Idle Hands is a horror film that appeals to multiple genre audiences. Rodman Flender's vision is colourful, goofy, and bloody and Terri Huges and Ron Milbauer's script is filled with great homages to the genre and witty, hilarious sight gags and dialogue. Devon Sawa is great as Anton and displays great comedic timing, almost akin to Bruce Campbell in The Evil Dead, when acting with his possessed hand. Seth Green and Elden Henson play well off each other and generate some great laughs as the side kicks. And a big surprise is Graeme Revell's score which somehow maintains an absolutely creepy tone throughout it's guitar-riff laden horror score.

    Part slapstick, part slasher, and part stoner comedy, Idle Hands is a perfect modern teen horror film. A great cast and a lean and mean script make this a must watch during every Halloween season. Almost a mash-up of The Evil Dead, The Exorcist, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, if you're looking for a good time and some laughs, but also want some genuine scares and inventive and gory kills, you just can't beat Idle Hands. Highly under appreciated Idle Hands is a must, so if you have yet to check this one out, get off your lazy ass and track down a copy - hell, it goes great with pizza and munchies! But remember, Idle Hands are the Devil's playground!

    http://reeltoreelradio.blogspot.com/2010/10/reefer-madness_13.html
     

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