View Full Version : After Dark Festival #2 - Winners & Losers?
03-26-2008, 03:56 AM
I only saw a handful of the After Dark #1 films and was determined to see all of the ones from the 2nd round so that I could assess the festival picks as a whole. Well, I saw 3 in the theater last November and the other 5 on DVD recently.
Here are some brief thoughts - I'm interested in other people's opinions. I decided to rank them in order of best to worst:
1. Borderland (A) - brutal, great photography in that in uses various light and I felt captured the grimy side of mexico pretty well. engaging story, for the most part very realistic and terrifying - especially the apartment chase
2. Deaths of Ian Stone (B) - very fresh ideas. cool effects, interesting demon design. good production. ending not as strong as it could have been, bordered on silliness
3. Tooth and Nail (B) - again, new take on the apocalypse & cannibals. Kept me interested. Watch for Louis from Revenge of the Nerds as a creepy older bearded professor. Super cool warehouse location. some nice twists
4. Mulberry Street (B-) - strong gritty flick. check out the excellent thread in the General forum, I agree with most comments there. The old dude was unexpected. The fat dude wielding the frying pan was a nice touch.
5. Crazy Eights (C) - decent cast, mediocre acting. awesome location - that hospital is creepy as fuck. pacing not great, some effective scenes, story had a few interesting twists
6. Unearthed (D) - good start goes downhill quickly. what I thought was an eddie murphy impersonator turns out to be his brother in real life. the monster is barely glimpsed and the overall effectiveness is hurt by terrible CGI where at times it looks like a smear when it's running. Tough to see a lot of the action.
7. Lake Dead (D-) - I have read that this film rips off Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Motel Hell and Just Before Dawn. This is spot on - nothing new here. Production isn't great, the first death scene kicks ass though. More than once I felt insulted by the script. Pacing here also not great.
8. Nightmare Man (F) - the worst of the lot. Terrible production, poor make-up, bad acting and shoddy script made this very difficult to sit through. Surprised how this and the Lake Dead made it into the theater. Insulted.
03-27-2008, 11:25 PM
here's my best to worst list...
2 THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE
3 MULBERRY STREET
4 TOOTH AND NAIL
5 NIGHTMARE MAN
6 CRAZY EIGHTS
7 LAKE DEAD
03-28-2008, 05:29 AM
I saw them all in the theater,I'd rate them...
1.THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE
7.TOOTH AND NAIL
8. LAKE DEAD
STONE is undoubtedly the slickest,sort of a horror themed DARK CITY.MULBERRY STREET is an effective,gritty low budgeter.BORDERLAND was the darkest and most disturbing,nasty but well made.Can't claim NIGHTMARE MAN is traditionally good,in fact,it's SUPER CHEAP,but it brought back some fond memories of some of the odder 80's horrors.UNEARTHED is a standard monster movie, decent,though a tad lacking in character.CRAZY EIGHTS has a good cast and a lot of promise,but seemed cut down a bit,the DVD is said to be longer.TOOTH is a throwback to those eighties end of the world flicks,solid cast but dull,a miss.LAKE DEAD steals everything from TEXAS CHAINSAW,MOTEL HELL and JUST BEFORE DAWN,...except their craftsmanship and entertainment value.The worst of the lot IMHO.
03-28-2008, 05:59 AM
This is a useful thread. I haven't seen any of the second bunch (and still only THE ABANDONED from the first). Great to read these comments. I'm very curious now about BORDERLAND and THE DEATHS OF IAN STONE.
03-28-2008, 06:21 PM
Just watched Mulberry St. last night and I think I'm gonna have to watch it again...it works, but goddammit I can't stand all that hyper-fast editing and quick cutting. It just becomes so tiring to watch after a while, feels like your eyeballs are going into an epileptic seisure!!! It's low budget for sure, but not so low that you don't believe it. The characters are pretty believable and mostly likeable...the premise is a little tired, but what isn't anymore. All in all I enjoyed it, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of these, although I gotta admit, after last years selection it just makes me wonder who's in charge of choosing these films! I mean, they're good and all, but not nearly as scary, disturbing, or cutting edge as the overhyped trailers would lead you to believe.
03-28-2008, 07:53 PM
So far I've only watched Lake Dead and Crazy Eights.
I can't see anything being worse than Lake Dead, what a piece of shit that was.
Crazy Eights was alright, no idea what the fuck was really going on but the performances were good and it had some nice atmosphere.
03-28-2008, 08:02 PM
Good thread! I've yet to see any of these yet, but want to. I'm well behind on last year's. Circuit City had them for $4 each last week, so I bought The Grave Dancers and Dark Ride and really enjoyed both of those, but to be honest, the only other one that looks interesting to me is Penny Dreadful. This year there are quite a few I want to check out, especially after reading this thread. I really want to see Mulberry St. and Tooth and Nail!
03-30-2008, 09:11 AM
Just finished Borderland and it was great, certainly the best of the 2007 set that I've seen thus far and maybe even the whole franchise (Or whatever you want to call it).
03-31-2008, 01:07 AM
My list thus far would go:
1. Nightmare Man (4/5)
2. Mullberry Street (3.5/5)
3. Lake Dead (2.5/5)
4. Crazy Eights (2/5)
5. Borderland (1/5)
These are the only ones I have seen thus far. I have talked of my love for Nightmare Man elsewhere on the board, and talked about what I liked and disliked about Mulberry Steet. Lake Dead was ok in my opinion, but suffered from some terrible acting and even worse CGI. Another big problem was that the script seemed to be from the Rob Zombie "Let just have the characters say "fuck" every third word" school of screenwriting. Crazy Eights was a total 'been there and done that' movie experience that felt like it was missing alot of footage. I really hated Borderland. Even more been there and done that...with a villain that was laughable and characters I couldn't care less about.
03-31-2008, 06:36 AM
So far I've seen 3.
Mulberry Street (4/5) - Being a big zombie fan, I'm always checking out new flicks within the subgenre and most of them suck ass. While technically this isn't a zombie film, it comes close and I really liked it. It was good to see a horror film not played by some people from the CW network.
Nightmare Man (5/5) - I loved this movie. I'm not sure why some hate this. I had a blast with it. This movie isn't meant to be taken seriously. Its more a comedy than horror. Plus any film with Tiffany Shepis is good in my book! :D
Lake Dead (2/5) - I expected more out of this slasher pic. The killers looked like some rejects from the recent Hills Have Eyes films. Not scary at all, characters were annoying, the old lady had a weird overdub on her voice (it was distracting to say the least), not a lot of gore, especially for something that is unrated, etc...
04-01-2008, 12:27 AM
Nightmare Man was awful, not even Shepis could save it. It's probably just barely a step above Lake Dead.
04-02-2008, 11:17 PM
Borderland (5/5) - best of the bunch I've seen so far. I really liked the visuals of the film. It made the border towns seem like a different world (and from what some people have told me, it is a different kind of world in that area). Not a hostel clone like some people have stated, but there are a few similarities.
04-03-2008, 04:02 AM
my best to worst
3.Tooth and nail
5.Deaths of ian stone
04-03-2008, 06:44 AM
I take what I said before back, Mulberry Street is easily the best film of this and last year's sets.
04-21-2008, 09:12 PM
I started with Nightmare Man and really liked its fun 80s vibe. It may not be for everyone, but it damn sure was for me.
Then I moved on to Lake Dead, a horrible, terrible excuse for a movie that had me wondering if I wanted to bother with the rest of After Dark.
Because I have no resistance, I eventually dived back in with Borderland, which was just fantastic and beat all expectations that I had.
I wonder if the rest of them are going to be an up and down roller coaster ride like it has been so far. I just really hope nothing is out there waiting for me as atrocious as Lake Dead. That has to be the bottom of the barrel, right? :nervous:
04-21-2008, 10:31 PM
So far, I've seen five of the new ones:
Three were pretty damned terrible (Nightmare Man, Lake Dead, Crazy Eights)
Tooth and Nail was okay, but I didn't find it great honestly.
Borderland was the sole one that I thought was anything memorable.
I'm in no real rush to see the others. Truthfuly these films seem like most DTV films being released these days, albeit with a trendy "After Dark" tagline on them.
04-22-2008, 12:11 AM
I've seen three of the new ones thus far, and I've enjoyed all of them.
Borderland is outstanding. I was looking forward to this one since before the fest added it to their lineup, and it didn't disappoint. The film has some beautiful visuals (loved the dreamy editing in the carnival scene) and cinematography, but in spite of this, it manages to pull off a very gritty, hopeless feel throughout. The characters aren't the usual annoying teens either. For instance, I liked how the tough guy wound up being anything but in the face of what he was up against. It felt real. Anyway, I really felt sorry for them. This cult meant business, and each demise had a meaness to it that got to me. By the way, it was great seeing Sean Astin in a role like this. He nailed it. This is the best film that After Dark has gotten their hands on.
Mulberry Street was alot better than I thought it'd be. Despite the low budget, the apocalyptic feel really comes off. I also liked the idea of rat people, and thought they were much creepier than your typical zombies would've been. I heard alot of complaints about the camera work, but I didn't find it troublesome at all. The characters were a little overly quirky perhaps, but nothing too bad. By the way, this film has some wonderful music.
Unearthed has been getting blasted, but I had a really fun time with it. One problem with the film, and it's a big one, is how dark it is in many sequences. I had a hard time seeing what was going on half of the time. There was also a ridiculous scene involving an exploding building. The creature effects actually worked for me. I loved the shot towards the end where the smaller creature jumps back onto the main one before it attacks the house. The film also makes a respectable attempt to build on the characters, and I liked the unpredictability of who would live and die. It's no classic, but a fun monster film it certainly is. I just wish it weren't so damned dark.
04-22-2008, 01:17 AM
I recently saw Mulberry Street and thought it was a nice credible little effort. Sure it's low budget, but they certainly made the most of what they had. The performances were good, and they weren't afraid to make sacrifices mainstream horror shies away from. The idea is preposterous, but it's good enough to make you go along with it. So kudos to them, it's a decent little film and certainly not a waste of time.
04-22-2008, 04:19 AM
The ones I liked thus far are:
The Deaths of Ian Stone
Nightmare Man (Man Blythe Metz is hot, Tiffany Shepis as well)
Tooth and Nail
Disliked: Lake Dead, a ridiculously foul premise with bad acting, but some nice T & A.
05-05-2008, 09:42 PM
I don't know...not even the titties could save Nightmare Man. Horrible on every conceivable level if you ask me. If they were trying to be tongue in cheek it didn't work. The lame ass heavy metal music didn't help either.
05-05-2008, 10:13 PM
I've seen all of them now and I must say that this year was MUCH better than last!!! I almost skipped these entirely, just based on last year, and I'm glad that I didn't! :)
I was really impressed with the lack of CGI (except IAN STONE and UNEARTHED) and that the films seemed mostly like throw-backs to early 80s horror a la TOURIST TRAP. Sure, some of them didn't work as well as others but I loved them for what they were. Actually, IAN STONE was my least favorite because it was so polished and, frankly, not really a horror film. It seemed like something made for the Sci-Fi Channel...but it didn't suck enough to be one of their productions.
05-06-2008, 03:23 AM
I just took Nightmare Man for what it was, cheesy . Still I thought it was kind of cool with a nice little twist ending.I liked one of the director's other films There's Nothing Out There. This year's offerings were miles above last year's entries.
5. Borderland (1/5)
I really hated Borderland. Even more been there and done that...with a villain that was laughable and characters I couldn't care less about.
Glad I wasn't the only one who felt this way. Rented this over the weekend and was thoroughly bored. Almost everyone here was calling this the best of the bunch, maybe best of the two series', and I just found it to be a mediocre Hostel rip-off. Plot-wise it was uninteresting, they would frequently go off on tangents that proved irrelevant (the hooker with the baby, for example). Technically it wasn't that good either. The ADR was really bad, and the "freak-out" effect of the shrooms was like someone exploring the video FX of Final Cut Pro.
If that's the best, I doubt I'll be checking out any more of them.
05-13-2008, 04:52 AM
So far, here's what I have seen:
Mulberry St. - The best I've seen so far. Awesome as hell. I own it.
Crazy Eights - Cool plot and a moment or two, but it's a major p.o.s.
The Deaths Of Ian Stone - A horror movie done Matrix style. It blows.
Tooth And Nail - Great flick. Don't own it yet, but would like to.
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