Just viewed a BUNCH of weird, obscure, and pretty damn original horror films the last couple of days… so expect A LOT of movie reviews to be posted soon… 😀
RIFFTRAX LIVE: SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS
Ever since the early 90s, I have been a HUGE fan of Mystery Science Theater 3000.. and was one of the millions who were devastated when the show was not only canceled, but taken off the air completely. So, when it made it’s some-what return (in the form of Rifftrax) I did not hesitate to check them out.
With just about every Rifftrax Live event (from the ones I have been to at least).. they always open with a short (or two).. In the Holiday spirit, the 1951 short film ‘Santa and the Fairy Snow Queen’ is unleashed upon it’s unsuspecting audience. This short is filled with enough terrifying and frightening images to feed my nightmares for the next 3 years. The only thing I could gather from the ‘Storyline’ was that a tweaked out ADHD ‘brownie’ (Santa no longer enlists the assistance of elves anymore apparently) tries to make children appreciate the toys they are given on Christmas. Then, what seems like a heroin addict dressed as a ‘Fairy Snow Queen’… umm.. ‘dances’.. and brings all the toys to life. Think of this as a really Fucked up version of Toy Story… played by Drug Addicts.
I have never seen ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’ (the movie.. or the MST3K/Cinematic Titanic episodes)… so this was a fresh experience for me. The film tells the story of the Children on Mars. Basically, they all look like they take too much Prozac and Ambien. The leader of the Martians decides to kidnap Santa to bring cheer and happiness to Children on Mars. On the way, they end up also kidnapping two Earth Children on the way… which somehow sets off a series of events leading to an attempted Mutiny and all kinds of Shenanigans
Now.. onto the Riff itself. This is one of the funniest Rifftrax Live Events I have been to. They perfectly balanced out the levels of humor to make sure every demographic is entertained. There was only one or two mess-ups with the lines… which added to the entertainment and charm. I HIGHLY recommend downloading this when they release it on VOD or DVD.
APARTMENT 143 (2011)
I’m not going to lie… I had VERY LOW expectations for this movie. The found-footage genre is getting so repetitive and forgetful, that only a few movies manage to actually pull it off… Cannibal Holocaust and Chronicle seem to be the only ones I don’t seem to mind.
Alan White and his two kids are plagued by unknown forces no matter where they go. Minutes after his wife died, the events began… And fearing for his children’s safety… He contacts a Paranormal Investigative team to move in with him and document everything. Not even an hour after they set up, they witness horrifying phenomena. As they investigate the events surrounding the family, they slowly uncover the truth to what is going on.
Just a few minutes in, I realized this was not another knock off of Paranormal Activity. I expected to be exposed to small hauntings that built up over time, feeding off the family’s fear. Boy, was I wrong. The hauntings pick up immediately, and it is paced unlike others belonging to this genre, in that you never know what’s going to happen next.
The acting was carried out well. I enjoyed seeing the two investigator assistants interact with each other. They acted realistically, which almost never happens. I guess Gia Mantegna carried out her part well, because I wanted to bitch slap her into next week. She plays Caitlin, Alan’s Distespectful rebellious teen daughter, who not only blames him for her mother’s death, but ends up being a key ingredient to the truth surrounding them.
There is a lot of mystery to this movie. It is never truely established what actually went down, but we do get plenty of theories to make everyone happy. Is the house haunted? Are they plagued by a demon? Is she possessed? Is the little boy like Damien? Who knows… It’s up to the viewer to decide.
All in all, I was very pleasantly surprised by this flick. Good scares mixed with knowledge of paranormal investigation.. And kept it believable, unlike “Grave Encounters”. I recommend this to anyone who was disappointed by what Paranormal Activity promised and ended up delivering… Because this film has all sorts of levels that are waiting to be explored.
CROWHAVEN FARM (1970)
Maggie Porter (Hope Lange) inherits some property from distant relatives, causing her and her Husband, Ben, to pack up their lives and move into the isolated farm. Immediately upon arrival, Maggie can’t shake the feeling that she’s been there before. She knows where the secret doors are hidden and even begins recalling past-life memories. Turns out.. Not only is the land haunted, but a coven of witches have something planned for one of them. If that wasn’t bad enough… Add a creepy little orphan, pacts with the devil, And John Carradine.. being creepy as usual…And you got yourselves a story for a creepy, unknown, made-for-TV movie.
The acting was surprisingly well-done… Especially for a made-for-TV movie. I can’t really vouch for Carradine’s performance, because EVERY SINGLE FILM I’ve seen him in… He plays the same creepy man. I consider Hope Lange and Paul Burke performances to be slightly above average… But in all honesty.. They could have been Oscar-Worthy and nobody would have known. Just about everyone was out-shined by Cindy Eilbacher, who played the Creepy-As-Fuck Bipolar Orphan Girl.
At first I was kind of disappointed that this was not the typical haunted house flick. I was in the mood for some atmospheric horror film that didn’t rely on CGI or jump scares. Most of the ‘scares’ are off screen. If you don’t have much imagination… Or hate pacing that wasn’t developed for the ADHD Generation… You will be disappointed. And for God sakes… When will people learn to NEVER BUY A HOUSE IF JOHN CARRADINE IS INVOLVED!
Yesterday was a very special Valentine’s day for me. Why would this day be any different in the eyes of a single guy surrounded by those annoying couples who pretend their relationships DONT completely suck for one day of the year? Because the Official Trailer for [REC]3- GENESIS was released… and I can’t wait to see it.
When I was a child, I was very sheltered in the world of Cinema. The most violent film I was able to see was a made-for-tv Christian flick. Then one summer weekend, I went on vacation with my friend and his family… Where I was introduced to my first horror film of all time: THE AMITYVILLE HORROR. It opened my eyes and ushered in New possibilities. Ever since then, I’ve been obsessed with Horror Movies. So, even though it wasn’t THAT GOOD of a movie, Amityville holds a special place in my heart for opening the gates of Violence, Bad Jokes, Gorefests, and Nudity.
So… That being said… When I heard that there would be additional entries into the Amityville universe… I didn’t hesitate to track down a copy and let the good times roll…
Unfortunately… There were no good times… Why? Because this was a rushed attempt to ripoff an upcoming big budget Amityville sequel… Who would do such a thing? Asylum, of course….
From the very start, I knew this would be dropped in the $2.00 bin at my local used video store. It not only tries to be a sequel to the franchise… But it manages to get all the facts wrong. For example, in the intro, it is said that the Lutz family lived in the house for 2 years… When it’s widely known that they stayed for less than a month. I facepalmed and braced myself for as much fail as an hour and a half movie could pack in.
The film surprised me a few times, I will give it that. It wasted NO TIME AT ALL with the killing. Some of the kills came out of nowhere, so I will give them credit for that. It also doesn’t follow the ‘Found Footage’ formula too much. It tried to bring it into a new direction at times, which I appreciated. When the ghost is shown, which doesn’t happen that often in this film, it was delivered very well.
However, the bad outweighed the good by far. Most of the acting was…. Not up to par.. To say the least. The way the film was edited annoyed the shit out of me. When a new scene would begin, the first frame would remain paused for a second or two before playing. So during the scenes of ‘Tension’… The attention is immediately lost and results in not caring at all. What kind of camera did they use anyway? The only camera I had that on rare occasions did that was a Hi-8 Handicam. This takes place in the present. This is evident by the video the main character finds that is stored on a victim’s iPod touch.
It was no surprise that this was going to be a negative review… Being associated with ASYLUM usually brands that to you automatically. This would be best watched as a last resort due to boredom.. Or if you are an Amityville Junkie who has OCD when it comes to anything related to the Amityville Saga.
I’m not gonna lie, I expected a mixture of RINGU and THE EXORCIST when I pushed play on this flick. I was at that moment I learned not to judge a film by its title. This movie is not your typical Head Spinning, Pea Soup Purging, intense make-up kinda movie.
The story involves a young woman who learns that her sick sister is missing. She travels back home to find her, but just as soon as she gets there, people start dying around the building. Now she has to solve the mystery of her sisters disappearance and reveal the sinister force surrounding her.
This movie keeps a really slow pace. It’s hard to stay interested in it. The story goes all over the place. One minute it tries to be a mystery, then it tries to be The Grudge, and occasionally it shows elements of all the exorcism movies.
I’m not going to recommend this at all. Although some of it is interesting and redeemable, the film just can’t stay on task… Maybe it needs some Adderall or Vyvanse. It’s an interesting viewing, but nothing special.
Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to update the site in quite a while… Well, that’s about to change.
Starting tomorrow, expect new reviews, news, updates, exclusives, and all kind of surprises coming your way.
TETSUO: THE IRON MAN 
Holy Christ in a basket. I got tired of ignoring this movie on my Netflix instant que… So I decided to take the plunge. About 15 minutes into it, I sent at least 20 txt messages to my friend trying to explain what the fuck I was seeing. I decided to just stop the movie… Had him drive to my house… And like the video from THE RING… I had to show it to him and spread the mayhem.
It’s hard to explain what the plot of this film was. If there is one, I guess it would have to be explained as the story of a man and his girlfriend running down a man with a freaky metal fetish with their car. They attempt to cover it up and they drive away. Naturally, the hit-and-run incident pisses the metal fetishist off… Resulting in the oddest, strangest, most gruesome and completely original method of revenge. The unnamed fetishist delivers his vengeance by transforming and mutating the driver of the vehicle into a.. For a lack of better words.. A gigantic, grotesque, and deformed metal freak.
What astounded me the entire movie (which is only just over an hour long) was how I could be disturbed by a film that:
1.) had an absurd idea that didn’t even attempt to put itside in the realm of believability.
2.) was very low quality and was only in black and white.
3.) a filming style that went by no traditional rules.
4.) followed no real structure
5.) and never tried to explain…well.. Anything that was going on to the audience.
Those listed above are NOT flaws of the film. Instead, utilizing these attributes and mixing them with:
A.) AMAZING Gore
B.) WTF moments that will have you questioning what you are even looking at.
C.) Gruesome kill scenes
D.) outstanding and original set design
…make this film secure itself as one of the strangest and most obscure cult films of all time.
For the reasons I mentioned above, this film’s methods also work against it. To be honest, it took me 5 times to actually finish the movie… And that was because I had a friend watching it with me that we would occasionally riff.
The lack of structure made this hour long film seem to be MUCH longer. Also, most of the time.. I kept wondering WHAT THE FUCK was going on. It got to the point where I was seriously getting angry at the TV. I just wanted to know what the Hell was going on.
Depending on your mood and your tastes for cinema… You will either LOVE This film… Or Absolutely HATE IT.
Either way, this is a must see for anyone tired of all the typical cut-and-paste garbage that Hollywood seems to be shoveling out.
EVIL DEAD TRAP (1988)
For several years I have seen the DVD of EVIL DEAD TRAP II for sale or rental, but never part 1. This is probably the reason why I waited until now to actually take the time and trouble to track down a copy and watch it.
The plot is relatively simple. A TV reporter receives a mysterious video tape that may or may not be snuff. At the end of the tape, it shows the building where it all went down followed by images of the reporter. Curiosity gets the better of her and she decides to take her news team to explore the abandoned factory to verify if the tape is real or a fake. Immediatlly, her friends begin to die one-by-one in obscure ways as she tries to escape to safety.
This movie was basically the poop baby of Dario Argento’s Golden Years that had buttsex with Sam Raimi’s ‘Evil Dead’ films. The score, as much as I wanted to like it, sounded like a failed attempt to become GOBLIN (Mostly the score from SUSPIRIA). The POV shots were obviously mimicing THR EVIL DEAD by getting the camera man to hold the camera and run around in the woods.
Even though this “borrowed” from MANY other films from other countries, I have to hand it to them.. They eventually turn the film around and add more WTF moments that had everyone around me scratching their heads or dropping their jaws.
The gore was very well done, but the kill scenes were a little unbalanced for my tastes. One character gets impaled by several peices of wood and ends up looking like a human jack, yet another character… gets her hand cut open by a knife.. and falls over dead.
There’s a lot of twists and unexpected goodies that I won’t mention for your benefit, but trust me when I say this, its literally the last thing you will ever suspect… and most of these treats take place during the final 20 minutes. For these moments alone, I forgave the similarities to other movies and confusing plotholes. This film is DEFINITLY worth a look… and I only hope the sequels are just as obscure as this was.