January 31, 2010

January 2010 in Review

The first monthly wrap up of the new decade! Woo! Yeah, whatever. We spent the first three weeks of the month with nos erver, but a new rig has us up and running to catch up. How exactly did the horror genre ring in the new year? Let's take a look... At the theater we got: Limited releases of Case 39 and Bitch Slap, which were both guilty pleasures in their own right. Case 39 was better than I'd expected, and Bitch Slap was just sleazy fun. Splice and Buried played Sundance, and the early word on both is that they could be awesome when they see a proper release. Daybreakers was pretty good, but should have been better. The Lovely Bones was fantastic, and I can't wait to own it on Blu-ray. The Book of Eli is still on our "need to see" list, but it looks great. Oldman and Denzel... it has to be good. Legion underwhelmed us, hence us not rushing to pop the review up. Afterdark Horrorfest 4 is solid so far, and may be their best outing yet. I'll let you know after we see the last 4 movies. On DVD we got: Own it- Blood Creek, Dawn of the Dead Director's Cut (2004, Blu-ray), The House on Sorority Row, Kingdom of the Spiders, The Toolbox Murders (1978, Blu-ray), Pontypool, Rent it- Moon, Saw VI, Pandorum, Gamer, Downloading Nancy, Skip it- Paintball (VOD), Wicked Lake (Blu-ray), Halloween II, Whiteout, Bad Biology. Rent it or skip it, we can't decide- The Final Destination, Across the Hall. The ones we didn't see- Hellweek, Spree, Ravage, Inalienable, Alone in the Dark 2. So, theatrically January was a pretty good month for horror, while DVD wise it was kinda blah. Will February be any better? Frozen, Shutter Island and The Crazies may just make the box office better, and flicks like House of the Devil, Zombieland, Cabin Fever 2 and Dead Snow look to impress on DVD, so we horror fans may just have a great month ahead of us. Stay tuned.

January 29, 2010

Do Not Want- Paintball (2010)

This movie is such a mess, I don't even know where to start. 

The constant shaky cam might be a good place. The horribly written and acted characters might be another. Better yet, the shoddy story that felt like it had been written by a couple of Middle School Kids might be it too. Take your pick, it's all equally worthy of our collective venom. 

The story borrows heavily from films like Martyrs and Hostel, with touches of Gamer and let's say every Backwoods Horror movie you've ever seen thrown in, and then shits on it all. 

A lot of it didn't make much sense, but it's basically about a group of tools on a paintball trip who realize soon enough that the game is real and the stakes are -dun,dun,dun- their lives! Interesting enough premise, but too bad the execution was so horrible. 

Do these people know how to play paintball? They stand out n the open, talk loud and even scream. When people start dying, they still scream. Loudly and often. Once the first person was killed, wouldn't you think that shutting up and keeping out of plain sight might be for the best? So many of the characters actions were nonsensical or cheesy, that about 15 minutes in, I didn't care anymore. I really hate when characters are nothing more that plot devices, without a trace of depth or worth other than to be there, act stupid, and die. 

I also hate when filmmakers treat me like I'm a moron. You see, if the camera is looking one way and we the audience can't see something, then neither can the characters, right? Even if it's something in plain view of all of them, like a body stretched out in the open right in front of most of them. IN PLAIN SIGHT. But the camera swings and... the characters react! Too much of the film made no logical sense, and again, within 15 minutes I was well past the point of wanting to watch any more.

And what's with the shaky-cam thing? The entire time, the camera jiggles and shakes as if we're watching things from an unseen killers point of view, but we're not. The killer's POV was all shown through thermal imaging goggles, and the death scenes were mostly shown through them too, basically editing out any gore we may have seen. I don't get what the filmmakers were going for with most of it, but it grated on the nerves. And the ending... what the hell even happened? Screw it. It just doesn't matter.

That's right, the master was not pleased at all, and he thinks that neither will you be if you waste your time on this movie. Bad writing, bad acting, bad camera work, bad directing... I could go on and on about the bad points of this movie, but it would be a fruitless exercise. It's been a long time since a movie left me truly pissed off, and this is coming from a guy that was shaking mad after watching last year's Halloween 2. I think I'd actually watch that one again first.

Now had this girl been in the movie... no, it still would have sucked.

Do Not Want- Whiteout (2009)

When I saw the trailer for this movie, I was excited. I love movies set in isolated, snowy wilderness locales, I love Kate Beckinsale, I usually love Tom Skerritt, and above all I really love Horror Thrillers. Serial killer flicks just do it for me, as do movies like this which are basically "adult slashers." I guess I should have known that it would suck after going through so many rewrites, re-shoots, acting and directing changes, and sitting on the shelf for the better part of two years, as that doesn't generally happen to good movies.

Why does it suck? Mainly because it should have been so much better. A great setting, a great premise, a great cast... but the storyline, script and pacing were so predictable and weak, that everything else ceased to matter one bit. I guessed the "twist" near the beginning (and I'm not bragging, it was just that obvious), and it was lame. Worse still was the dialogue, which was so bad in places that it made the pacing seem even more tired and slow than it was on its own. Kate Beckinsale is hot and a decent actress, and I felt bad for her as an actress having to plod through this script. She's much better than the shite that she has to work with here, as is Tom Skerritt for that matter, and they both seemed to be trapped not by an impending Antarctic whiteout, but by the trappings of a shoddy movie.

Stopping looking for the script Kate. There's nothing around you but snow.

I will say that the movie's poster is truly awesome. Do yourself a favor at stare at it for 90 minutes, and don't waste your time on this blizzard of crap. Watch the Fritt Vilt movies instead if you want to see a good snowbound slasher.

 At least Kate Beckinsale is always pleasant to look at. At least there's that.

January 28, 2010

Blood Creek (2010)

"Who doesn't love a good story about a Nazi necromancer and a herd of zombie horses?"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0450336/
Sub-Genre- Occult
Cast Members of Note
Dominic Purcell, Henry Cavill, Michael Fassbender, and Emma Booth.
*Directed by Joel Schumacher.

During WWII, a German family living in America is bribed by the Third Reich to let a Nazi scholar come and live with them on their quaint little Town Creek farm. It turns out that the scholar is in search of a rune stone that is buried on their property, and wants to use it to turn himself into a Super Nazi bad-ass. Subsequently, the family is trapped on their farm (which is frozen in time) and put through hell for the next several decades.

"Ich liebe untoten Pferde!"
Fast forward about 70 years, and we meet Evan; an EMT with a heart of gold (?), who lives near Town Creek. He's been a mess ever since his brother Victor disappeared while they were camping together 2 years earlier... my question is, how do you stay lost in the woods for 2 years? That shit is beyond me, but when Victor suddenly shows up in the middle of the night looking like Dan Haggerty on crack, the two of them head back to Town Creek to get revenge on "Those Kraut Bastards" who have been keeping him a prisoner all along.

For the love of God I hope he's planning to shoot Channing Tatum.
The problem is, "Those Kraut Bastards" have a Super Nazi bad-ass Necromancer with a thirst for warm blood locked in their cellar, and when he gets out, they're all pretty much destined to die painfully. Can the brothers defeat the evil Nazi Sorcerer? Will Zombie Horses nip a guy in the shoulder and pull him through a window? Do the words "bone armor" make anyone else laugh as much as they do me? Maybe, yes, and they just have to.

Bone armor... lol.
I am absolutely astounded at how good this movie was. First and foremost, I loved the premise; the Nazi's sent "Scholars" to America to find ancient rune stones, hoping to harness their Occult powers to win WWII, and thus rule the world. If that isn't creepy, I don't know what is, especially since the Nazi's actually were into the Occult.

The Occult aspect of this movie is its strong point. Magic rune stones, reanimated dead people (and animals), blood rituals, wards painted on the house to keep the evil at bay, people frozen in time, the Lovecraftian "third eye," and those creepy Necromantic spells that the Nazi whispers... It was just all really, really cool.

I actually felt tense during much of this film, and especially once the Super Nazi shows up and starts kicking all sorts of ass. The guy can reanimate anything dead to do his bidding, which makes things all the more interesting. Zombie Horses, y'all. Yep. Bad ass.

It's nice to see Joel Schumacher making a strong return to the Horror genre; after all he is the guy that gave us The Lost Boys and Flatliners. And two horrible Batman sequels... anyway, welcome back, Joel.

*Addendum- This movie features a pre-Superman Henry Cavill and pre-Magneto Michael Fassbender, which is kinda cool.

Yeah, this actually happened.
Zombie Horses. Not only are they huge, mean, and very creepy to look at, but they are near impossible to kill. If they don't die after 10 shotgun blasts, I'd quit shooting and run. Or, I'd turn the gun on myself.

Zombified and under the control of an evil Nazi Necromancer, Butternut tried to rape everyone in the cabin, earning him a hide full of buckshot and a heart full of shame.
After a few title changes and basically no promotion whatsoever, Lionsgate dumped this movie into a handful of Dollar Theaters and then banished it to Straight-to-DVD hell. Why? Did anyone see The Stepfather, Whiteout, or Sorority Row? They all got Theatrical Runs, decent promotion, and they all sucked. Badly. Blood Creek is a great little movie, and I refuse to believe it couldn't have made enough $ at the B.O. to justify even a Limited Release... and no, Dollar Theaters do not count. I just don't get it.

This one is a Gorefest; blood drinking, bloodletting, torture, bone-knives through chins, all sorts of shotgun violence, Zombie Horse violence overkill, dog stabbings, zombie violence... there's all sorts of messy goodness to be found here.

Ouchie.
No.

"That's mine." or "No. You're going to feed me."

Zombie Horses are really hard to kill. Also, Evil Nazi's never die, which means that Hitler is probably a zombie somewhere in Guam or something. Great.

This movie was as enjoyable as any I've seen lately, and the best Horror flick of the year so far. Creepy, tense, interesting and bloody as all get out, Blood Creek is far better than its treatment by Lionsgate would have you believe. If you love Nazi's, zombies, or just have a love for the Dark Arts of Necromancy, then you'll love this movie. You definitely need to rent this one, if not buy it, as soon as you get the chance.

A

Emma Booth is in this. *Apologies to Emma Booth for our mistaking her for Winter Ave Zoli. Hey, they do look kinda similar...

January 27, 2010

We've been snubbed!

So we just found out that Bloody Disgusting is holding a "Best Horror Blog" award thingy over on their site, trying to spread the horror love throughout our little community, and recognize the quality blogs of our corner of the blogosphere for their hard work and genre support. Naturally, we head over to see what the dealio is, and lo and behold out of the 50 or so blogs nominated... We weren't one of them! Oh, the humanity! One of the nominated blogs on the list doesn't even exist when you click it, and we aren't even as good as them? That my friends, is the story of my life. Up hill both ways, on rubber crutches, on a road made of broken glass. I have no idea what I'm even saying :) At least some of our friends got nominated. Tower Farm and The Jaded Viewer, most notably. And some other great horror blogs that we love got the nod too, like Kindertrauma, I like Horror Movies, Heart in a Jar, The Lightning Bug's Lair, to name a few more. Click below, and head on over to vote one of them up, because they deserve the love.
P.S. Next time, we will vote for ourselves! We appreciate our own sassy brilliance and reverent horror knowledge, even if no one else does! We also like our ass a lot. It's like a firm muffin. A buttery, firm muffin.

January 26, 2010

Release Date List updated!

...and in a big way. We added a BUNCH of new release dates and posters, though the list still looks sparse. Hell, no one has anything coming out in November yet! It's still early in the year though, so keep checking back, as we do update constantly.
Release Date List

Horrorfest kicks off this Friday!

Don't forget that this years After Dark Horrorfest 4 starts this Friday in a theater near you. Out of the 8 Films to Die For, we've seen 4 so far; Lake Mungo, Dread and Kill Theory are all great and worth a look see. Skjult (Hidden) was decent enough, thought it did frustrate me a bit. Check out our reviews below. As for the others, The Graves, The Final and The Reeds look pretty promising, while Zombies of Mass Destruction makes me hesitate for some reason... Overall, it looks as if this years Horrorfest is going to be the best of them yet, so get your butts to the show and support the genre you love. Or don't. But you should.
Check out our Horrorfest 4 reviews:
Dread
Kill Theory
Lake Mungo
Skjult

January 25, 2010

The DVD Club for January 26th, 2010.

As January comes to a close, we can only hope that Tuesday's in February will give us better DVD's to look forward to than this week (and month) did. I'm not gonna lie, it's been kinda blah. Here are this week's notables: Saw VI is just what nobody needed this Halloween, but we got it anyway. Many may love it, but I won't be buying this one. Pontypool, on the other hand, is exactly what the horror world needs; something that feels fresh and new, and treats us as if we have a brain in our heads. It might be more of an aquired taste in some ways, but I'll take that any day over pointless sequels from tired franchises. The original 1978 version of The Toolbox Murders is a dandy, and is finally getting a sweet transfer on Blu-ray. Skip the lame 2003 remake and check this one out for a dose of gritty, bloody, unpolished 70's style slasher exploitation goodness. Blade of the Ripper is another slice of retro horror fun, this time in the form of 70's Italian Giallo. Violent and stylish, this is the first movie by the guy who went on to direct Torso, so you know it's worth a look. As for the rest of this weeks releases -Inalienable, Alone in the Dark 2, Zombie Apocalypse and Bad Biology- we're gonna take a pass and watch them once they hit cable. Maybe.

A quick review of The Road (2009)

The Road is not a really much of a Horror film. It's certainly a genre flick, full of post-apocalyptic ruin and chaos, and some truly horrific visuals and themes, but at its heart, it's really a drama about a father and a son.

Still, I believe it to be relevant to most Horror fans interests to share my thoughts on the film, as it should be right up most of our alleys. Ahem.

Penned by Cormac McCarthy (No Country For Old Men), The Road is a story of a father (Viggo Mortensen) and a son (some kid actor) fighting for their very survival in a world of post-apocalyptic strife and ruin. Food is scarce, bands of armed thugs roam the roads looking to take anything from anyone they come across, and hope is all but nonexistent. Did I mention that cannibalism is pretty rampant too?

It's a sparse, bleak, and truly a depressing film in many ways, but it's also an uplifting meditation on sacrifice, and just what a father would do to see that his child is safe and cared for. I cringed a few times and the lengths Viggo went to.

I hated the ending, although I get the point of it, and the whole thing just left me feeling blah. Still, it was poignant and had something to say, which made enduring its bleakness that much easier. It was a really good movie, but you may want to wait to see it until you're in a down mood to begin with. Otherwise, it might just ruin the rest of your day.

If I were grading, The Road would be a B+

 So apparently this movie is set in Detroit?

January 24, 2010

I really love this poster.

Sure, the movie doesn't come out until April, but at least we can feast our eyes on this baby until then. Set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, it revolves around a man who struggles to make the payments on a heart he has purchased. He must therefore go on the run before said ticker is repossessed.

January 23, 2010

Daybreakers (2010)

"The first horror flick of the new decade is here, and it's... pretty good!"

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0433362/
Sub-Genre- Vampire
In Attendance- Me, Machine, Dave and... Machine's Dad?!?
Cast Members of Note- Ethan Hawke, Sam Neill, Willem Dafoe, Claudia Karvan and the HOT as all hell Isabel Lucas.

Daybreakers begins with a scene showing a cute little girl committing suicide by setting herself on fire. From that point on, any illusions we had about this movie being some cheesy romantic turd pile like Twilight, went right out the window. Thank God.

"Maybe we could kill Edward Cullen with fire?"
In 2019, Vampires rule the earth. The few humans that are left either hide out to avoid becoming food, or are hooked to machines and farmed for their blood, thus becoming food. So, either way, food. Problems with this genius system arise when the Vampires realize that soon, there wont be any humans left to milk, and they will all be screwed. Why are they screwed you ask? Well because without blood to sustain them, the blood suckers will become half-Vampire, half-mongoloid atrocities.

Vampoloid.
Not wanting to turn into uncivilized monsters, there are those amongst the Vamps that are trying to find a cure for their "condition." One of them (Ethan Hawke), along with the help of Elvis and some hot chick, race against all time and hope to find a cure for Vampirism and save the world, and reestablish dominance of the Human Race. Lead by Ethan Hawke. Think about that one. Ethan Hawke is humanity's only hope. Yeah.

"Yeah! Go kick some ass... Ethan Hawke?"
Daybreakers was a pretty damned decent Vampire movie. Not only did it offer us a ton of blood and gore, but the look and feel of the everyday Vampire Society was really interesting to witness. I expected more action, and a little more Vampire badness, but overall it worked with what it was trying to achieve; a look at a normal, average Vampire Society, if such a thing is possible.

Willem Dafoe and Sam Neill are great in this one too, but then when are they ever not great? They're so good that they even made me believe that Ethan Hawke was good too, which he kinda was. Wow, I just said that. You win this round, Ethan Hawke.

He always plays an awesome bad guy.
Jump scares. Do we really need a bat to suddenly fly into the camera, accompanied by a sharp and loud musical cue, only to fly out of the camera just as quickly? Oh, that's real scary. This movie certainly didn't need any of that crap, and it made me wince in shame and pain more than once.

I'm a bit upset that Isabel Lucas didn't get more screen time. She's so cute, and her character could have been so much more integral to the plot instead of just showing up and being rushed out of the storyline. Did I mention how adorably cute she was?

Like she reads books LOL
 
Vampire suicide, exploding Vampires, Vampire vomiting, staking, decapitation, pouring blood, dripping blood, splashing blood... in short, yes, it's all kinds of gory.

We get some human boobage, but it's not very sexy or hot.

"Living in a world where Vampires are the dominant species is about as safe as bare backing a 5 dollar whore." Classic.

Ethan Hawke doesn't suck as much as we originally believed. Also, Vampires are people too. But not really.

Aside from the fact that we expected to see an all out Vamp vs. Human war, and didn't, this was a pretty enjoyable blood-sucker flick. The premise was interesting and the blood flowed freely, which is really all we can ask from a movie like this. It could have been a bit tighter in places, but all in all if you dig Vampires, you'll probably dig this movie. Check it out if it's still in a Theater near you.

B-

Well hello there, Isabel Lucas.