June 30, 2016

Theatrical Review: The Shallows (2016)

"The sleeper hit of the Summer is here."

(aka Girl vs. Shark.)
Release Date: June 24th.
Country: USA.
Rating: PG-13.
Written by: Anthony Jaswinski.
Directed by: Jaume Collet-Serra.
Starring: Blake Lively, Oscar Jaenada, a shark, and Steven Seagull.

The Shallows has already made $22 million against a budget of $17, and that's only after 5 days of release. This sucker could creep to the $50 million mark domestically, and with it hitting the Foreign Box Office soon, it could end up being a huge hit. It's nice to see a smaller Genre movie like this doing well at the Box Office when it's surrounded by way bigger tentpole flicks that are supposed to dominate ticket sales.

After the death of her mother, Nancy drops out of medical school and heads for a secluded beach in Mexico for some catharsis; you see, this is the very beach where her mother came when she was pregnant with her years ago, so it's special. It's also a perfect spot for surfing, so, bonus.

After catching some waves with a couple of friendly locals, Nancy is pulled under the water by a massive great white shark, leaving her leg badly injured and bleeding. Spotting a nearby rock, she swims for her life, and makes it to safety before the shark gets a chance to  finish the job. Of course she's hurt, bleeding, and 200 yards away from shore with a hungry shark circling her, but hey, she's alive.

From here on out, Nancy does her best to survive the shark, blood loss, a school of jellyfish, sepsis, the onset of gangrene, and a shifty looking seagull named Steven Seagull... who just may want to peck her to death! Just kidding, he's her pal.

Intense survival ensues.

The Shallows is an intense killer shark movie that makes the most of its lean 87-minute runtime. We get a few character-driven moments here and there, but for the most part, this movie is nothing but Girl vs. Shark, and that's how it should be. It's also a gorgeous movie that boasts some stunning shots of a perfect location. The jellyfish scene was breathtaking.

Did I mention that it's also a a pulse-pounding thrill-ride that involves a terrifying shark who is trying to eat a sweet, vulnerable, sexy girl? Because it is.

Making a movie that involves one person, in one place for 80% of its running time is never an easy thing to do. Buried (2010) did it well. So did 127 Hours (2010.) The Shallows, while featuring a few scenes with other minor characters, is essentially Blake Lively's show, and she carries it off really well.

I've never really considered Blake Lively a great actress. Maybe it's because I haven't seen most of her movies, but she just never struck me as the "Oh, she's in it? Then it must be good!" type of actress. This movie has made me turn the corner on her though. Think about it for a second. How hard is it for any actor or actress to sit in one place for the majority of an 80-minute movie, and make it interesting? The girl is stuck on a rock in the middle of the ocean, and it kept us glued to our seat. Of course, the shark had a lot to do with that, and her seagull sidekick added some entertaining emotional depth, but Blake worked it out on her own for the most part, and we never once thought that she couldn't handle it. 

Blake Lively's character gets a really nasty shark bite on the leg, which we get to watch her try and sew up, and a few dudes get eaten by a shark. There's also a rotting whale carcass. There's definitely some blood and viscera throughout this one.

It's PG-13, so no nudity. Blake Lively does look fantastic in a bikini though.

  • The part towards the end where Blake Lively hits her nose on the buoy and starts bleeding was real. We give her credit for finishing her scene after smashing the shit out of her poor face like that. 
  • Blake Lively nicknamed her bird co-star Steven Seagull, which we thought was kind of fun.

The Shallows is one of the best killer shark movies we've ever seen. That may not sound like high praise, because most killer shark movies aren't very good to begin with, but this movie can be safely mentioned in the same breath as Jaws and Open Water when the best of them is discussed, and that's saying something.

If you're looking for an exciting flick to see at the theater, The Shallows is a way safer bet than Independence Day 2. Give it a go.


The Shallows is in theaters now.

We love Blake Lovely Lively.

Horror Hotties: Blake Lively (The Shallows)

Blake Lively is looking good in The Shallows. The movie is great, and she acts her ass off in it, but the unsung star of the show is that bikini. The way that she wears it helps too.

So ahead of our review of The Shallows, let's take a quick look at Blake Lively and her form-fitting co-star, shall we?

June 29, 2016

July's Blu-ray of the Month: Return of the Living Dead (1985)

"On his first day on the job at an army surplus store, poor Freddy (Thom Mathews) unwittingly releases nerve gas from a secret U.S. military canister, unleashing an unbelievable terror. The gas re-animates an army of corpses, who arise from their graves with a ravenous hunger... for human brains! And luckily for those carnivorous cadavers, there is a group of partying teens nearby, just waiting to be eaten!"

Being that Return of the Living Dead is one of our favorite Horror flicks of all time, we already own it on Blu-ray. Of course the version we own is pretty plain and bare-bones, so the idea of upgrading to a Collector's Edition of the movie that boasts a new 2K scan and a ton of awesome bonus features is absolutely fine with us.

Especially since Scream Factory are the one's who are releasing it.

A new scan of the movie is reason enough for us to buy this one, but the fact that this 2-Disc set is going to include the EXCELLENT Horror Doc, More Brains: A Return To The Living Dead, makes it an absolute Must Own. Plus those other bonus features...

Bonus Features:


  • NEW 2K Scan Of The Interpositive.
  • NEW Audio Commentary With Gary Smart (Co-author Of The Complete History Of The Return Of The Living Dead) And Chris Griffiths.
  • Audio Commentary With Director Dan O'Bannon And Production Designer William Stout.
  • Audio Commentary With The Cast And Crew Featuring Production Designer William Stout And Actors Don Calfa, Linnea Quigley, Brian Peck, Beverly Randolph, Allan Trautman.
  • The Decade Of Darkness – Featurette On '80s Horror Films (23 minutes.)
  • Theatrical Trailers.
  • TV Spots.
  • Still Gallery – Posters, Lobby Cards, Movie Stills And Behind-The-Scenes Photos.
  • Still Gallery – Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Special Make-up Effects Artist Kenny Myers' Personal Collection.
  • Zombie Subtitles For The Film.
  • In Their Own Words – The Zombies Speak.

DISC 2: 

  • NEW The FX Of The Living Dead With Production Designer William Stout, FX Make-up Artists William Munns, Tony Gardner, Kenny Myers And Craig Caton-Largnet, Visual Effects Artists Bret Mixon And Gene Warren Jr. And Actor Brian Peck (Expanded Version) (30 minutes.)
  • NEW Party Time: The Music Of The Return Of The Living Dead With Music Consultants Budd Carr And Steve Pross And Soundtrack Artists Dinah Cancer (45 Grave), Chris D (The Flesh Eaters), Roky Erickson, Karl Moet (SSQ), Joe Wood (T.S.O.L.), Mark Robertson (Tall Boys) Plus Musicians Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks) And John Sox (The F.U.'s, Straw Dogs) (Expanded Version) (30 minutes.)
  • NEW HORROR'S HALLOWED GROUNDS – Revisiting The Locations Of The Film
  • The Return Of The Living Dead Workprint – Includes 20 minutes Of Additional Footage (In Standard Definition.)
  • More Brains: A Return To The Living Dead – The Definitive Documentary On The Return Of The Living Dead (120 minutes.)
  • A Conversation With Dan O'Bannon – His Final Interview (28 minutes.)
  • The Origins Of The Living Dead – An Interview With John A. Russo (16 minutes.)
  • The Return Of The Living Dead – The Dead Have Risen – Interviews With Cast Members Clu Gulager, James Karen, Don Calfa, Brian Peck, Thom Mathews, Beverly Randolph, Linnea Quigley And More… (21 minutes.)
  • Designing The Dead – Interviews With Writer/Director Dan O'Bannon And Production Designer William Stout (15 minutes.)

Even in a year when we're still getting new Blu-ray releases for movies like Phenomena, Suspiria, Session 9, and The Thing, this Collector's Edition of Return of the Living Dead has us excited in ways that we can't even begin to describe. You probably wouldn't want us to either.

This is a DAY ONE purchase for us, and it should be for you too. Pre-order that bad boy below.


ICYMI: The VOD Releases of June!

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*Check out our other Release Date Pages: Blu-ray & DVD, Theatrical, VOD, TV.

With close to 30 new movies of interest hitting VOD in June, there was never a shortage of things to watch. If you missed out on anything you wanted to see, or if you're looking for something new to entertain you, you can do so by clicking the posters below.

We'll try to steer you in the right direction.

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  • Green Room was excellent. Read our review HERE.
  • The Batman v Superman Ultimate Edition is said to be a VAST improvement over the lackluster theatrical version. I'm waiting to grab it on Blu-ray to make that call for myself, but for those of you who prefer digital media to that of the physical realm, it might just be worth a rental.
  • Midnight Special was a solid Sci-Fi flick. Read our review HERE.
  • We didn't dig Clown as much as some people did, but it was entertaining in its own twisted way. Read our review HERE.
  • We've only seen the first movie in the Department Q Series, The Keeper of Lost Causes, but we really liked it, and we're excited to see the other two. Read our review HERE.
  • Intruder and The Last Heist are two that we're still planning on watching. We've heard good things.

June 21aJune 20170 x 250
Yeah, we have no desire to see these.

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  • Blackway was a decent Thriller, with a really solid cast.
  • Cell was alright, but man could it have been way better. Read our review HERE
  • You Are Not Alone was watchable. Read our review HERE
  • The Midnight After, Sunrise, and Urge are all still on our To Watch list.

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