July 31, 2017

ICYMI: Our July Reviews!

No Escape kicked off July with a most welcomed bang, and with Hounds of Love, Killing Ground, and The Lure, we ended the month on a movie-watching high note.

It was also a good month for Short Films, with Zygote blowing us away, Dedalo working rather well, and Skypemare and Slit entertaining us.

So here are all of the reviews that we did in July, listed in graded order, from “best” to “worst.” If you haven't read through them yet, feel free to do so now, and enjoy!

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VOD Review: The Lure (2017)

"It ain't easy being a teenage mermaid."

Mermaids have long been a terrifying concept. Beautiful half-fish/half-woman creatures who sing their gorgeous songs to lonely sailors in an effort to see their ships crash into rocks, or eat them. Presumably both. That is the stuff of dark legend.

A movie like The Lure mixing that already terrifying legend with the equally terrifying legend of the whims of the teenage girl sounds like double the carnage to us. Add in some poppy, Polish new wave music, and you have a movie that is every bit as captivating as the most lyrical siren song.

But damn is it weird.
A band called the Figs n' Dates is relaxing on a beach, playing some music and just enjoying whatever the hell there is to enjoy in 1980's Poland, when two mermaids pop out of the water and captivate their hearts and minds. The mermaid sisters, Silver and Golden, decide to join the band instead of eating them, which given the music, is kind of a bummer. So they all head to a gaudy strip club in Warsaw to make music together, and get naked.

Silver is the sweet mermaid sister. She longs to live a more human life filled with sex, cigarettes, and love. Golden is the bad girl, who just wants to rip people's throats out, devour them, and return to the sea. She also likes sex and cigarettes too, but it's 1980's Warsaw, so that's to be expected.

The sisters become so popular that they start their own band called The Lure, and even though they're loved by their fans, the whole eating people vs. finding love thing causes a rift between them. Needless to say that people get eaten, tails get fingered, and we're pretty sure that the filmmakers slipped us acid right before we watched this one.

Musical numbers, nudity, and mermaid violence ensues.

Every so often, a movie comes along that just confounds the ever loving shit out of us, and The Lure is exactly that kind of movie.

It's a Horror movie, about a pair of mermaid sisters who decide to come ashore to feed on human flesh. It's also a musical that offers some surreal and weird numbers that are oddly hypnotic. It's also a coming-of-age film that showcases both the delicate nature and voracious cruelty that is the teenage girl.

It's bold and it's very out there with its visuals, storytelling, and the way that its musical numbers play out, but at the same time it's a bit of a tonal mess. And it's frustrating to watch at times, like a train that stops and starts over and over again, blaring loud, cheesy music and dropping balloons and confetti on its passengers each time it stops.

The mermaids also look cool and realistic, and the actresses playing them get the whole angsty/emotionally vulnerable thing right on.

The mermaids feed, and humans bleed.

Lots of nudity in this one, including naked teenage mermaids, mermaid vaginas, an inter-species lesbian scene, and a WTF-like breastfeeding scene.

It's... different.

I have to admit that as odd as it was to watch this Horror Musical at times, that some of the music was pretty damned good. Don't ask me to tell you what the songs were, because they're in Polish, but the heavy metal number along with the one where the girls are dressed up like Diane Lane in The Fabulous Stains were the standouts.

Is The Lure a good movie, or is it a tedious exercise in oddity and shock? Well, that depends on how much you appreciate truly bizarre movies with an exploitational bent. Good or not, I have to say that it's a mesmerizing movie, and one that hits the right notes more often than not, even if we have no clue what in the hell the overall song is supposed to be about.

It's worth watching, if you like the weird turned up to 11.


The Lure is available now on VOD, and it hits Blu-ray & DVD on October 10th.


We've fallen under the spell of Michalina Olszanska's siren song. Mermaid song. Whatever.

R.I.P. Sam Shepard (1943-2017)

He may not have been a big name in the Horror genre, but we lost another giant today as Sam Shepard passes away at 73 from complications from ALS.

If you knew the guy's work in front of the camera, then you know it's hard to match him for intensity and gravitas. He brooded and emoted sympathy and emotion with ease. He played tough. He played terrifying. He played loving.

And he played them all captivatingly well.

I think I took his talent for granted until I saw him a few years back in the excellent Cold in July (review HERE.) He blew me away in that movie, and over the following weeks I sought out and re-watched other movies that he shined in, like The Right Stuff, Country, Thunderheart, The Pledge (review HERE), Mud, and of course, Blackhawk Down.

All excellent films, each of which boasted great performances by the man. Seek them out if they are new to you, you won't regret it.

And let us not forget what a prolific playwright he was, to the tune of winning a Pulitzer Prize.

A headline on Twitter today read "Sam Shepard: the Poet Laureate of America's emotional badlands", and that just about says it perfectly.

Rest in peace, good sir, and thank you for giving us so much.

ICYMI: The Blu-ray & DVD Releaaes of July!

With quality new releases like Here Alone, Pulse, Species, Lake Alice, Beyond the Darkness, The Stendhal Syndrome, and Slither, it's safe to say that July was very kind to us on the BD/DVD front. *It appears that for some reason, Slither was delayed a week and will now be coming out on August 1st, although you could still get it right now from Scream Factory's website (for way more $$$).

So here's a quick recap of what came out and when in July, just in case you missed any of our weekly Digital Dread Report posts.

*Remember to click the pics below if you want to order anything, as every order helps keep columns like this going. Thank you kindly.

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