April 30, 2014

Blu-ray & DVD Round-up for April!

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April is all but finished now, so let's take a quick gander back at the New Releases that made the month special! Alright, maybe not "special," but at least a bit more fun...

Big Bad Wolves, House on Sorority Row, and Get Carter were the big Blu-ray releases for us, and were all day one purchases. Broadchurch is about as good as British TV gets (at least in most ways), and the 2nd Hobbit movie was way more enjoyable than the first.

We still haven't seen A Field in England, Dead Shadows, or Knights of Badassdom, but we will rectify that issue shortly.

You can keep Devil's Due, Nurse 3D, and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, as they are three of our most disliked movies of 2014 thus far.

Everything else, is a crap shoot.

So as always, click the pics for info on the flicks, and let's get ready for May!

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VOD Review: Afflicted (2014)

Even though most Found Footage efforts leave us shaking our heads and wanting to hit something, every once in a while a movie comes along which reminds us of the reasons that we actually like the whole Cinema Verite style of filmmaking.

Afflicted is one of the good ones, so to speak, in that it takes the entire FF/POV conceit and does something completely different with it... or maybe it just does something better with it... or maybe it's a little bit of both... either way, whatever Afflicted did do, it did well, and it got a lot of things right that many other FF flicks don't.

This is a movie that is best gone into blind. There's no real major shocker in the movie for us to spoil, but letting the movie unfold in a natural and unspoiled progression is for the best.

I mean, you already know that someone gets afflicted with something, and that said affliction is recorded so that the movie can exist, and we as an audience can enjoy it, but really, you need to discover the particulars on your own.

We'll keep this one short, and as detail-free as possible.

Cliff and Derek are lifelong friends who decide to embark on a global pub crawl, and film the whole thing for their new Web Series, "The Ends of the Earth." The whole endeavor is deeply personal to the friends due to the fact that Derek suffers from a Brain Cloud that will eventually kill him. I guess that they figure a bunch of strenuous travel and hard partying seems like the best bet. 

Guess which one has the Brain Cloud?
They meet up with some of their cronies in France -because don't we all have friends who just so happen to be traveling Europe at the same time that we are- and the travelogue kicks into high gear. Life is good for the pals until Derek hooks up with some French Whore in a club, and ends up going back to her room for a little menage a deux... and then wakes up with the creepiest hangover ever.

His Brain Cloud is not happy at all right now.
From here on out, Derek falls ill and Cliff freaks out, figuring that the French Whore ruptured his Brain Cloud with her dirty vagina, and that this is the end of the road for his heterosexual life partner. The truth is though, that Derek is "Afflicted" (hence the title) with something far worse than a Brain Cloud, and despite his newly found superhero-like powers, things are about to get really bad for the two burgeoning Webcasters.

I bet they have fanny packs too.
We will say no more, so as not to ruin stuff and things about the movie for you.

Yes, Afflicted felt a lot like Chronicle, at least in some small ways; both movies were about a gang of friends who have to deal with the fallout of new found Superpowers, all within the framework of the Found Footage sub-genre, and there's a lot of showcasing of these superhuman abilities, Aside from that though, the two movies are nothing alike.

Afflicted is a solid entry in the oft-times infuriating Found Footage genre, as it somehow manages to feel fresher than most of its contemporaries. It's clever, fun, creepy, and it gets fairly bloody towards the end. The real reason that Afflicted works as well as it does though, is because of its two leads, Derek Lee and Clif Prowse. These guys gave us two characters that we really liked and rooted for, which is atypical for these types of flicks. So likable were the characters, that even when some of the plot contrivances irked the hell out of us, we still cared about the story, and more importantly, about them.

That says a lot about Lee and Prowse as writers, directors, and actors. Afflicted may not be a perfect effort, but for a low-budget first film, it sure as hell is an enjoyable one.

A secondhand selfie?
We liked the feel of the first half of the movie better than we did its second. Somewhere in the middle of the film, Afflicted went from feeling like a realistic, fresh Videolog of two friends' adventures across Europe, to becoming just another Found Footage flick. The back half of the movie was still solid, but we just really liked the vibe in the early going, and when it changed, we really missed it.

Stop staring at us like that.
Not only did Derek's "transformation" throughout the movie look good, but that very transformation lead to some pretty bloody moments as the movie wore on.

Never go home with a French Whore, because you do not know where they've been. Also, everybody has a Web Series these days, because literally anyone can do it. Literally. Even babies.

He should have gone to Switzerland. Their whores are way less "whorey."
If you like the whole Found Footage aesthetic, then Afflicted is one movie that you need to put on your Must See lists asap. Sure, there are parts of the movie that feel familiar, and that delve into territory explored by countless other films of its ilk, but the main bulk of the proceedings here are well done and feel fresh enough that you can live with the film's negative aspects.

Afflicted is an above average Found Footage flick, and is definitely worth a watch. It's available on VOD now.


Sure, Baya Rehaz might be really hot, but it turns out that loving her will kill you faster than a terminal Brain Cloud! Still, we'd take our chances...


April 29, 2014

The Digital Dread Report for April 29th

The last week of April is here... and it's still in the damn 40's! The asshole Winter does not want to let go of us yet, so we're glad that we've at least got some good movies to keep us warm at night.

First and foremost this week are the five titles by Code Red, all of which are old & cheesy movies that are hitting Blu-ray for the first time. They're also limited to 1000 copies each, so if you want one, you'd better hurry. We'd buy Nail gun Massacre and Neon Maniacs, and maybe even Savage Streets (because Linda Blair was an 80's exploitation classic.) All of them look like a good time though.

We reviewed Trouble Every Day way back in 2008 (HERE), and here it is just now getting a U.S. DVD release. If you have a biting fetish, or if you just want to see an odd & disturbing flick, this one should please you greatly.

We're curious to see Dead Shadows and Escape From Tomorrow. With Godzilla-mania about to sweep over the world like a fanboy tidal wave, the Gamera flicks sound like a fun time, and Locker 13 looks like it might be worth a rental.

The Redemption releases are most likely must-own material for fans of the exploitation Genre. Redemption really pumps them out on a regular basis, don't they?

Finally we have the complete series of Hill Street Blues finally coming to DVD for the first time. Long before NYPD Blue paved the way for the ultra gritty Cop Shows of today, HSB paved the way for it. It's a really solid show that we'll be happy to revisit. We'll be grabbing this one at some point.

So as always, click the pics for info on the flicks.

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