April 30, 2015

VOD Release Dates for May-June!

April was a pretty lackluster month for VOD Releases, but May and June look to meet our streaming needs in a much more dynamic way!

What We Do in the Shadows, Maggie, Der Samurai, Horsehead, Burying the Ex, and Let Us Prey are just a few of the titles coming our way over the next few months that have us excited, and there will surely be more be more added to that list in the days and weeks to come.

*Click the banner above, or HERE, to be taken to our full VOD Release Dates page, and happy streaming!

April 29, 2015

VOD Review: The Pyramid (2014)

Late last year we reviewed a Found Footage flick called As Above, So Below (Review); another "Subterranean Horror" flick that featured a gang of Archaeologists heading down into a forbidden place, foolishly searching for history, and instead finding only death.

Most critics hated it, we didn't think it was all that bad.

Like As Above, The Pyramid features a bunch of archaeologists delving into the dark catacombs of a long lost world, essentially courting death while trying to discover some long lost part of history.

Of the two, The Pyramid is the lesser film.

I guess the best way to put it is that if you think this movie looks stupid, then skip it. If you think "Hey, that looks alright" then go for it.

Either way, you'd be right.

The Pyramid is about a bunch of archaeologists who find an entrance to an ancient pyramid, which they instantly decree as being "the find of the century," because when you're into old bones and ancient clay pots, just about anything will get you excited beyond belief.

When ordered to leave the site, they throw a hissy fit because "they are so close!" To what? Who the hell knows. Forget the fact that they're in a foreign land which is experiencing a massive social uprising, because as Americans, whatever they're doing is far more important than some civil unrest that is threatening to tear the country around them apart.

Of course they don't leave, instead opting to send their billion dollar droid into the pyramid, in an effort to discover something. Or multiple somethings. When the droid is somehow destroyed, they go in after it, because because with everyone else gone, why wouldn't they stay and explore an ancient series of catacombs that potentially hold untold dangers? Sounds like a smart move to me.

Spoiler Alert: Anubis and a bunch of frisky CGI cats are inside of the pyramid, and they really hate Americans, so you can pretty much guess how it's going to end for most of them.

To its credit, The Pyramid looks slick, and the dark atmosphere of its creepy setting is pretty effective. Also, once he shows up, Anubis makes for a pretty credible threat as well. The movie also boasts a fairly strong cast, lead by the always entertaining Denis O'Hare, and the mesmerizing beauty of Ashley Hinshaw.

This is not a good movie, per se, but it does enough things right to be a fairly enjoyable one (at least on the surface), if you can manage to shut your "thinkin' machine" off for a while, and just enjoy it for what it is. Really though, you somehow have to waylay the portion of your mind that processes logic in order to get something positive out of this movie. Add to that the frustrating trappings of the typical Found Footage effort (shaky cam, jump scares, and characters that play towards the camera, etc...), and a lot of people probably will not dig this one.

I really hate saying "It's alright, if you just turn your brain off..." about any movie, because you should really never have to think less to be able to enjoy something.

As an example of what makes this movie so frustrating: Once they're good and lost inside the pyramid, a soldier shows up out of nowhere to rescue them. When they become separated from him, they still wander around aimlessly trying to figure a way out, somehow forgetting that a random dude managed to get in and find them in pretty short order. How about you go back the way that the solider came? Unless I missed something, none of them said anything like "How did he get in here? Let's backtrack his trail and get out of here!" I mean, wouldn't there be at least some sort of trail with all of the dust and sand on the pyramid floor?

And why is it always these strong, driven, overly-aggressive female characters that end up costing everybody their lives in these kind of movies? "I know that it's really crazy to even think about going in there, but we have to. Trust me!" Of course later, after the idiots follow her inside instead of saying "Have fun, I'm staying here," and most of them have died painful deaths, we get the same chick saying "I'm so sorry."

I mean, I know they only sent a robot in there to begin with, but even that, under the duress of having to leave in such a hurry, is a stupid idea. It's like everything is a big adventure with no real consequences...  I guess that's how they have to get them inside of the pyramid so that there can be a movie to begin with, but it's so frustrating to watch.

Just once I'd like to see "that" female character be the voice of reason and common sense in one of these movies, instead of being the voice of blind optimism and careless ambition that gets everyone killed.

And when they find a piece of their little robot, which has clearly been torn apart by something, instead of leaving like anyone with a brain would do, they decide to delve deeper into the pyramid to search for the rest of it? Something in the pyramid destroyed the robot, and they want to explore further into its deep, dark, unknown passageways to find it? Come on.

What wonders another treatment or two of the script would have done for this movie.

Much like 2014's other "idiot people travel underground into ancient ruins to die" flick, As Above, So Below, The Pyramid isn't a truly awful experience, but it certainly is a trying one. At times, it's even a frustrating one, but it's got enough good stuff in it to keep if from being a total train-wreck. If you're an optimist at heart, that is.

Despite our issues with the movie, it's probably worthy of a rental for most Horror fans... but only if you've already seen As Above, So Below. That one is much better.


The Pyramid will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on May 5th, and it's on VOD now.

Oh, Ashley Hinshaw, you sassy, sassy little thing. Also, Christa Nicola.

April 28, 2015

Blu-ray & DVD: The Digital Dread Report for April 28th

A battle between Serial Killers; some Liquid Schwartz;  and one of Vincent Price's last movies... this is The Digital Dread Report for April 21st!

It's kind of a quiet last week in April as far as Blu-ray & DVD releases go, which is fine by us, because May & June are shaping up to be huge months for Must Own titles. Still, there are a few releases this week that will be taking the shekels out of our wallets...

*So read on, and be sure to click the pics to order whatever strikes your fancy.

The Barber has been getting some mixed reviews, but it looks like something that we'd watch anyhow. You don't see many movies that highlight Serial Killers squaring off against one another, so we can't help but be intrigued by this one. The fact that Scott Glenn is in it, and is playing a bad guy, only intrigues us more.

We'll probably rent this one first, as we aren't big on blind buys of unproven movies these days, but see it, we will.

Recommended, but with caution.

As far as comedies go, there weren't many who did it better than Mel Brooks did in his prime. Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, History of the World: Part 1, and Spaceballs stand as some of the funniest movies ever made.

Spaceballs is probably our favorite of them because it parodied Star Wars, so right there it appealed not only to our inner nerd, but to our need to laugh; and it's not many movies that make us laugh as hard as Spaceballs does, especially not when they're nearly 30 years old, and we've seen them as much as we have this one.

For under $10, this Blu-ray is a steal. *Plus we really dig that black case.

Highly Recommended.

Also known as The Offspring, this obscure little 80's gem is one of the better Horror Anthologies that we've ever seen. It's gory, nasty, uncomfortable in its subject matter, and it boasts one hell of a cast, including Vincent Price, Clu Gulager, and Lawrence Tierney, among others.

Being that this is a Scream Factory release, we expect it to look and sound great, and come with some great extras, and for the $16 price, we'll be finding out just how good it is in short order.

Highly Recommended.

  • I suppose The Boy Next Door looks like an alright Thriller, if you can stand watching J-Lo try to act for 90-minutes or so. We probably aren't that strong.
  • It's been a while since we've seen the 1990 remake of The Lord of The Flies, but we have nothing but good memories of it. We think. It's been a long time. *This was James Badge Dale's first role.
  • Mommy is a pure drama, but it's garnered some extremely strong word of mouth, and so we'll be checking it out as soon as we get the chance.
  • Wild at Heart is one of David Lynch's best movies, and even though it's just another plain old drama, we wanted to at least give it a little shout-out here.
  • Everything else, as always, is a crap-shoot.

boylordsilenceghosthuntedmommywildwire170 x 250Banner-2

THC's 2015 Summer Movie Preview!

Furious 7 has already made $1.3 Billion Worldwide, and with Avengers: Age of Ultron opening to more than $200k Overseas, it won't be long before it too hits that massive mark. That's a pretty impressive start to the Summer Box Office, and we're still only in April.

So what else is coming out this Summer that we really need to see?

These are the movies that will be eating up our free time this Summer. Some are blockbusters that will own Multiplexes everywhere, and some are smaller titles that we'll have to catch on VOD; either way though, they're sure to give us plenty of thrills and chills throughout the Summer's hottest months. We hope.

*Remember, no matter how bad some of these movies may end up being, they won't be as bad as Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. Not even close.

*Be sure to click the pics to watch each movie's trailer.

"When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth's Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to The Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for a global adventure."

Call us Fanboys if you will, but we're Marvel marks, through and through. Aside from Iron Man 3, there really hasn't been an MCU movie that we haven't liked (although Thor 2 and Iron Man 2 had their issues), and there's no reason for us to think that Avengers: Age of Ultron won't kick all sorts of ass.

The one thing that we care about above all else in this sequel, is that they get Vision and Scarlet Witch right. They're both such dynamic and powerful characters in the comics, that they almost have to come off as game-changers in the movie to do them justice. If that happens, then we'll be pleased.

Game-changers or not though, our butts will be in the seats come May 1st, ready to experience some more Avengers awesomeness.

"A teenage girl in the Midwest becomes infected by an outbreak of a disease that slowly turns the infected into cannibalistic zombies. During her transformation, her loving father stays by her side."
Since returning to acting full time, I think it's safe to say that Arnold hasn't had the best of luck with the projects he's chosen. He's set to return to the Terminator franchise this summer with Terminator: Genisys (which looks really bad, on many different levels), but it's his turn as a loving dad trying to save his zombie-daughter's life in Maggie that has us truly excited.

Let's hope that the movie plays half as well as its trailer does, because we could be in for a real treat if that ends up being the case.

"An apocalyptic story set in the furthest reaches of our planet, in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and almost everyone is crazed fighting for the necessities of life. Within this world exist two rebels on the run who just might be able to restore order. There's Max, a man of action and a man of few words, who seeks peace of mind following the loss of his wife and child in the aftermath of the chaos. And Furiosa, a woman of action and a woman who believes her path to survival may be achieved if she can make it across the desert back to her childhood homeland."

When we think about Mad Max, we usually like to pretend that Beyond Thunderdome doesn't exist. How they ever went from the Post Apocalyptic perfection that was The Road Warrior, to the family-friendly popcorn movie bummer that was Thunderdome, is still beyond me. To us, Thunderdome was like a slightly edgy riff on Peter Pan, and it just never felt right to us. 

Fury Road, however, looks to get back to the dark and dire roots of the Mad Max franchise in a big way, and there's no better actor working today to make Max Rockatansky into a bad-ass once again than Tom Hardy. This movie looks like it's going to kick all sorts of ass.

Aside from Avengers: AOU, there is no other "big" Summer Movie that we're dying to see more than Fury Road.

"Taking inspiration from Tom Six's The Human Centipede films, Governor Hughes enlists the help of Warden Bill Boss and Bill's charming and devious boyfriend Dwight Butler to create a 500 centipede experiment with the use of prisoners from Boss' prison."
I'm not sure why we're happy about this movie coming out, and maybe we're really not, but we do have to admit that we're intrigued. After the sickness that was The Human Centipede, and the ultra-sickness that was The Human Centipede 2, we're not really sure where director Tom Six is going to go with this story, but we're sure that it will be someplace... well, sick.

This is the finale of what will probably be the only ATM trilogy to ever be made, so as nasty as it's sure to be, we're hoping that the series will at least close out with a bang.

"Legendary filmmaker Sam Raimi and director Gil Kenan re-imagine and contemporize the classic tale about a family whose suburban home is invaded by angry spirits. When the terrifying apparitions escalate their attacks and take the youngest daughter, the family must come together to rescue her."

Did this movie need a remake? Not at all. Now that it has been remade, will it be in good hands with a Horror legend like Sam Raimi overseeing its production? Probably so. At least to a point.

Nothing will ever touch the original, but at least this remake has a great cast, looks well-made (don't they all, though), and that frigging clown scene looks terrifying. Everything about this movie looks so crisp and polished though, that we have to wonder if it can come anywhere close to being as creepy and effective as the original.

I suppose we'll find out.

"Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory."

Alright, so this one looks more like a family-friendly fantasy movie than it does any sort of genre movie that we'd ever cover here, but it looks so good that we just had to give it a quick mention. Don't judge us!

I don't know, maybe we're just suckers for George Clooney (no homo.)

"In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey across the state in order to rescue his estranged daughter."
The Rock fighting an earthquake, the hotness of Carla Gugino, and Alexandra Daddarios's mammarios: there's absolutely nothing about this movie that doesn't look awesome.

Disaster flicks may tend to be big and stupid, but sometimes big and stupid is exactly what we need from a Summer movie. As long as there's CGI destruction on a massive scale (which there no doubt will be), this one will deliver exactly what we need it to: some exciting, escapist fun.

"A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity."

As many great Horror properties as Leigh Whannell has had a hand in writing and producing (the Saw Series, Dead Silence, Insidious 1&2, Cooties) it's crazy to think that Insidious 3 will be the first time that he's stepped behind the camera to direct.

It looks like it's going to be just about the same thing as the first two movies were, and as long as it offers up some effective scares, we're fine with that.

"A wolf strives through the woods around an isolated German village. Jakob the young local police officer is onto him, but scents something more in the darkness. What he finds is a man, it seems, wild eyed, of wiry build, in a dress. He carries a katana, a Samurai sword. When the Samurai invites Jakob to follow him on his crusade towards the village, it becomes Jakob's mission to pursue the lunatic to end this wanton destruction. At the end of the night Jakob has experienced too much, is too far from whom he once was. Something hidden has been unleashed to meet the first rays of daylight."

This odd little German flick has been on our radar for months now, and even tthough we're not sure exactly what to make of it, it's got us all kinds of excited. We'll be seeing this one when it hits Blu-ray & DVD (and most likely VOD), on June 9th.

"Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly."

Massive, rampaging  CGI dinosaurs. Is there anything else that really needs to be said?

"When Max (Yelchin) learns that his new live-in girlfriend, Evelyn (Greene) is controlling and manipulative, he is afraid to end the relationship. However, fate occurs and Evelyn is killed in a freak accident. A couple months have passed and Max meets his dream girl, Olivia (Daddario). The new romance gets tricky when Evelyn comes back from the grave and insists on continuing their once relationship by all means."
Remember when Joe Dante was turning out work like Piranha, The Howling, Gremlins, and The Burbs on a regular basis? We do, as the man and his films had us completely captivated throughout the 80's. His last genre effort was the vastly underappreciated, The Hole, back in 2009, and so naturally we're pleased as punch to see him return to the genre that he helped build with Burying the Ex.

Plus, two movies starring Alexandra Daddario in one Summer is a good thing. 

"Following the death of her maternal grandmother she hardly knew, Jessica reluctantly returns to the family home. She doesn't get along with her mother very well and is not looking forward to seeing her again. Upon her arrival, Jessica discovers that her late grandmother is lying in the adjoining room to her own during the wake. After a rough first night made restless by a strange nightmare in which she meets her dead grandmother, Jessica suddenly becomes ill. Stuck in bed with a high fever, the young woman decides to use her lethargic state to try out lucid dreaming."

Another oddity coming our way from Artsploitation Films in June, is Horsehead. Where Der Samurai (their other release) looks oddly comical, Horsehead looks like a trippy, disturbing acid trip on film. This trailer mesmerized us, and we can't wait until it hits VOD or Blu-ray.

"20 years after a horrific accident during a small town school play, students at the school resurrect the failed show in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy - but soon discover that some things are better left alone."

That trailer may only show us one scene, but that one scene is more than enough to whet our appetites to see this one. We'll have to wait to see some more before we get truly excited, but for now, we're intrigued.

With its no-name cast, and a director/writer team that hasn't really ever done anything before, let's hope that this is one of those happy It Follows type of surprises, that comes out of nowhere and kicks our asses.

"Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, con-man Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world."

As much as we love Marvel, and as well as their Guardians of the Galaxy gamble paid off, Ant-Man has us a bit worried. We love Paul Rudd, and Carey Stoll looks like he's going to make a great Yellowjacket, and the idea of Evangeline Lilly as Wasp is pretty neat too, but the tone... can they get the tone right?

We'll trust Marvel, because they haven't really done us wrong so far (mostly), and we'll hope that Ant-Man ends up being the same kind of pleasant surprise that Guardians was last Summer.

"Ethan and team take on their most impossible mission yet, eradicating the Syndicate - an International rogue organization as highly skilled as they are, committed to destroying the IMF."

Call Tom Cruise crazy all you like, but the man knows how to make top-notch action flicks. Did you see him scaling that building in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol? Did you see him free-form rock climbing in Mission Impossible 2? Guy does his own stunts, and in the latest M:I movie, he's hanging onto the side of a plane while it takes off. 100% real. 100% him.

Tom Cruise is the biggest action star in the world, and Rogue Nation should be a great time at the movies.

"After the death of the Oswalt Family and their daughter's disappearance (the first film), a young mother and her twin sons move into a rural house that is marked for death and where they will be stalked by the evil deity Bughuul and his victims children, they must survive before they become his latest victims."

Much like Insidious 3, this sequel looks like it's going to be more of the same, but since we really liked the first movie, that's not a bad thing at all.

"Set in 1980 in a small Minnesota town where a man is arrested for sexually abusing his daughter. He admits his guilt despite having no memory of it. With the help of a psychologist, he relives the memories and implicates a police officer as his partner in crime. The man’s estranged son and other townspeople are also suddenly able to relive suppressed memories of horrific abuse. At the same time, the local news reports blame a Satanic cult that has been performing rituals of orgies, assault, killing animals and even babies, for years. The officers are alarmed when similar reports come in from all around the country—they believe they’ve uncovered a national and possibly supernatural conspiracy. Is the abuse real, or something else?"

Looks like a pretty effed up movie to us, and the fact that Emma Watson is starring in a movie with such a disturbing premise has us intrigued. The fact that this movie was directed by the same guy who brought us Tesis and The Others, makes it look even better.

Sounds like a creepy way to close out the Summer to us.

Honorable Mentions: Dark was the Night (July 24), The Vatican Tapes (July 24th), The Gift (July 31), Alleluia (July TBD), Cub (Aug 18 DVD), Goodnight Mommy (Aug TBD)