July 31, 2014

Blu-ray & DVD Round-Up for July!

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july ban 1
Curtains, Scanners, The Raid 2, Bloody Birthday, Bloody Moon, Ginger Snaps... July was one hell of a month for Blu-ray releases.

If you missed out on ordering any of these great flicks, then click below and rectify that issue immediately. After all, quality movies are good for the soul... or something.

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July 30, 2014

DVD Review: Wer (2014)

We've said it before, and we'll say it again; a good Werewolf movie is hard to find. Vampire and Zombie flicks? Hell, they're a dime a dozen these days, and always have been. A lot of them end up being quality efforts too. Quality Werewolf movies though, are a rare find indeed.

Wer is really not a Werewolf movie at all though, as it's more of a Wolf Man type of story. If you're sitting there thinking "what in the hell is the difference, asshole?" let me explain; Werewolf movies involves men shape shifting into feral beasts. Wolf Man movies involve men growing a bunch of facial hair and longer teeth, but remaining mostly humanoid.

Whatever kind of movie that Wer is or isn't though,one thing is for sure; it's not a very good one. That's not really a big surprise, considering that Wer was written and directed by the same guy that gave us the abysmal The Devil Inside, but we were hoping for better. We really were.

Wer opens with a woman in a hospital bed recalling her family's camping trip, which involved the full moon and some sort of creature that killed her hubby and kid. Once again we have a movie that offers quantifiable proof that heading into the French Countryside is basically suicide.

Le chew toy.
A creepy local man named Talan (play on words?) is taken into custody for the murders, and hot little defense attorney Kate rushes to his aid. Even though she has a brilliant Criminal Minds, she soon discovers that her client may be doomed... because he is a Werewolf! A French Werewolf, which is probably the least threatening kind of all were-creatures, but a Werewolf none the less.

"Le growl!"
She is aided in her defense by a wispy British guy who thinks he's tough, and an American dude who looks like the Indian guy from Chuck (because he is the Indian guy from Chuck.) Together, they head deep into the woods (smh) to Talan's house to interview his Mother, who seems shady as fuck. Also, the wispy British dude gets more annoying by the second.

Le meow.
After a battery of tests, Talan finally loses his shit and kills all of his doctors, and escapes into the heart of Paris... where he kills a bunch of other people, most of whom didn't deserve to die at all. They guy is clearly on a mission of some sort... Can Kate calm the savage beast that lives inside of Talan? Will Talan kill everyone in France, thus making the world a markedly better place? Will this movie end with a fight scene so cheesy that felt like it belonged in the Twilight-verse? Far be it from us to spoil anything for you here, but suffice it to say that we're not exactly sure just wer this movie went wrong.

No. Just, no.
Wer is a movie that tries really hard to put a different spin on the Werewolf story, but ends up falling mostly flat in the process. To be fair, Talan is more of a Wolf Man in this movie than he is a Werewolf, so right off the bat this movie is more comparable to Wolf or The Wolfman than it is The Howling or Dog Soldiers.

Either way would be fine by us, just so long as the story and visuals were compelling, but with Wer, both are sadly lacking. Once in beast mode, Talan looks more like an angry caveman than he does any sort of feral beast, which for us, never allowed the movie to feel all that intense or frightening. Add to that a boring plot, and characters that we really didn't give two shits about, and Wer left us mostly cold.

Really? You're doing push-ups now?
The plot made very little sense at times as well. For instance, after Kate, Talan's lawyer says "I'm not defending him anymore" why does she stay? Human Rights activist or not, there's absolutely no reason for her to run around chasing after Wer-boy with the French Police, thereby putting the lives of her and her crew in danger. Misunderstood or not, Talan is a mass murderer who kills more and more people as the movie wears on, and yet she's follows after him like she herself is some sort of superhero, all in hope of saving him? Blah.

Let us not forget the ending that was so cheesy and predictable, that we actually laughed through most of the final sequence.

French microwaves are weird.
Wer is also a movie shot in that Found Footage/POV style, though it's not truly a FF flick, which makes it both interesting and nauseating at the same time. Shaky Cam is the Devil's tool, you see, and it would be a really good thing if it were never used in another Horror movie, ever again. Especially when the movie utilizing its nauseating stylings isn't even a true FF movie to begin with.

We do have to admit that both of the "eye" scenes in Wer made us cringe in a good way, as eye trauma is never an easy thing to endure. Some of the bloodletting was fun also, although it was punctuated by some truly goofy wire-fu mechanics that made it feel a bit too over the top and fake.

We also enjoyed AJ Cook in this one, even if she had very little to work with, script wise.

We'll always have the tunnels under Paris, AJ.
Maybe some of you out there will get something out of Wer that we weren't able to. We found it to be clumsy, boring, and underwhelming, and not at all the fresh take on the Werewolf trope that we had hoped for. Maybe though, fans of all things Lupine will find something to love about this one, and if so, then good for you, because you're of a stronger mind than we are.


Wer is available now on VOD, and will hit DVD on Spetember 23rd.


AJ Cook needs to be in more movies, especially since we gave up on Criminal Minds about three seasons ago. She's too much of a QT not to be in more genre efforts.

July 29, 2014

Blu-ray & DVD: The Digital Dread Report for July 29th

July bows out with a very small week for genre releases.

It's really all about the Blu-ray release of Curtains, for us, and even though we're not happy that no one seems to know why we don't yet have our copy (that we pre-ordered weeks ago), we're still anxious as hell to see how it all turned out.

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Curtains is an obscure little Slasher flick from 1983 that boasts one of the coolest scenes in Horror History; if you haven't seen the "skating pond scene" yet, then you're in for a treat when you check this one out. Severin Films has painstakingly restored this one into a true 1080p beauty, which is so far above the quality of any previous version of the movie, that it's almost unbelievable. This is a big of a Must Own title as there is as far as 80's Slashers go.

We don't usually post pictures in our DVD Column, but in this case, we feel we need to give you an example of just how great this movie finally looks. The pic below shows three versions of the same frame from Curtains:

1- DVD.
2- VHS.
3- The Synapse Blu-ray.
*It could be the other way around on the first two, as Google didn't really specify. Either way, you get the point that both previous Home Video versions of Curtains were pure shit.

Also of note this week is Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery, which collects the complete TV Series, the movie, Fire Walk With Me, and a wealth of extras that will satisfy even the most rabid of Twin Peaks fans. For the cherry pie lovers of the world, this Blu-ray set is a Godsend, and really can't be missed.

It's always great to get a new Mystery Science Theater 3000 box set to devour, and for fans of the series, there's no need to explain why. For non-fans of the series, it's funny as hell. That's why.

The Den (our review HERE) is a movie that started of very promising, but quickly devolved into a mess of silly stupidity. At least for us, it did. Lots of people are digging on this one, so maybe it just rubbed us the wrong way, or maybe they're wrong for liking it! Either way, fans of the Found Footage conceit may get a kick out of this one.

Finally we have The Complete Blind Dead Saga, which we're sad to say is only available on DVD, and not on Blu-ray. What can you do, you know? The Blind Dead movies are a bunch of cheesy old school fun, and maybe even the highpoint of 70's Spanish Horror. This is classic, fun stuff, to be sure.