Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Another quickie review.

I remember seeing the trailer for this and saying, "Hmmm...that looks interesting. I'll have to keep an eye out for it." Well, as these things go, it came and went and I missed it. I eventually forgot it.

Then, :::POP:::  ....my friend NETFLIX suggests it. Almost like it KNEW I'd like it. hehehehee  And, I did!

EXETER is a fun, formula film with a few well written twists. Here we are in the asylum-like, empty, abandoned old wreck of a building. (Yup...again.) Here we're having a wild party. (Check.) Everyone goes leaving a select few. (Uh huh....again. Go on.) Here we are performing a ritual we should NOT be performing. (Nope...you shouldn't even be in there. You'll get tetanus!

But then, it swerves a bit. I mean, even the standard formulas were well executed. No one was too cartoonish or blank. Good acting. Well shot. It already brought a bit more to the table. But then it starts to get interesting and fun in a bit of a new way. It adds a bit more to the possession tale, tossing in some well written intrigue as it plays out - something many of the cranked out possessed films miss completely these days.

Solid story and acting make this film a real hoot. I was riveted and actually gave a shit about the characters. This was no mere "Set 'em Up and Knock 'em Down" cast list. These people were actually developed and engaging.

Interesting. The Director took on the FRIDAY THE 13TH remake, the TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE remake and the CONAN the BARBARIAN remake.  Those are tough arse rows to hoe!

"Yeah...these are classic cult films with a HUGE and RAVENOUS fan base that will literally EAT YOU ALIVE if you fuck it up. Give it a go...THREE TIMES." 

Not really fair odds for Mr. Marcus Nispel. I'm glad he was able to direct something without the sort of past those other films had. He also wrote the screenplay along with Kristen McCallion - who had written TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D. hehehe  Wow.

And, you like gore? It's got it including a scene where I literally said, "Whoa...I haven't seen THAT before!" And, I've seen A LOT.

Definitely check out Exeter!  It's a fun and thrilling ride. 

Monday, August 31, 2015


Dear lord.

I watched EXCISION recently and, when it ended, I just stared at the screen with my jaw slack muttering, "Damn...that was dark...."  It's a very interesting and disturbing film.

AnnaLynne McCordplays Pauline - a REALLY disturbed teen with a blood fetish, really. Blood and internal body exploration. She has hyper-stylized sexual fantasies involving cutting people open and playing with their insides. She seems fine, right? :)

 Her sister as lung disease and her mother - amazing Tracy Lords performance - spends her time cooing over the sickly sister, bitching out the husband and getting all over Pauline's case on the daily .

The film has this strange mix of horror and comedy that works really well. AnnaLynne McCord transforms from her real life persona (she's usually a hot bombshell type) into this mess that is Pauline with her slouchy, slightly cave woman-like performance. It's really wild. Someone equated the film to a bloodier MAY and I agree completely. That would make a fantastic double feature if you could stay happy and together through the pairing.

The film is riddled with dark spots where you just KNOW this girl is really sick and needs help she is clearly not getting from home nor the Priest her mother is sending her to for guidance. (Played by John Waters!) You're laughing and wincing through the film, but always thinking things are relatively light, but knowing that there is a dark, dark ending planned for these folks. It's looming and you can tell. When you reach the end, it's as if you've been riding this fun roller coaster and you've just shot up the last hill and 70 mph...only to see that the tracks are no longer there and you're sailing through the air.

Whoa....what a messed up little film this was. It stuck with me for days afterwards. I kept saying, "Man...that film really messed me up."

Check it out of you like this sort of nightmare. :)

Friday, August 28, 2015

Crucible of Horror / The Corpse

(( Minor Spoilers, but it really doesn't matter with this film! heheheh ))

I was in a British 70s horror mode a few days back, so I tossed on THE WICKER MAN (THE ORIGINAL, not the Cage-ified version) - a feature I had not seen all the way through in one sitting for one reason or another. Well, it turns out after viewing it that I had never even seen it! I was so happy, even though I knew what the end twist was. It was fun to watch it play out.

After basking in it's glory for a few moments, I wanted to see some more British horror, so I ran through some of the NETFLIX offerings to find more 70s UK horror goodness....and found CRUCIBLE OF HORROR instead. hehehehe

Now...mind you...I didn't hate the film. Not at all. It stuck with me on many levels. However, there were moments where I thought I passed out and missed something. Whole chunks of plot and story line just...disappear in this film right from the opening.

Michael Gough plays a sadistic Father who rules his home with an iron fist and schoolmaster cane. His wife is a wreck - doped and sealed up in her room painting during the days. The son works with the father in finance and is a proper Brit ponce. And the daughter played by Sharon Gurney is supposed to be 16, but looks like she's 26. :)

The son kisses up to the father properly and is a little lapdog, so the father leaves him alone. The daughter, however, is abused daily - possibly even sexually by the horrid father, as the mother sits weakly by doing nothing. The daughter is beaten, her mail is gone through and she's kept from doing much of anything. Finally, the mother and daughter decide that it's time to do something about the situation. They need to kill the father.

They hatch a plan and set off to do the deed when he's off at a hunting weekend, but something goes...very wrong...with their plan.

WHOLE POINTS, SCENES, AND CHARACTERS DISAPPEAR IN THIS FILM!!!!!  hehehehe  It's wild. The very beginning of the film shows the dad being a menace, so we know he's evil from the get-go. However, there's a scene in the very beginning of the film where the daughter returns from a trip via bicycle, heads upstairs and pours a smoking liquid into a perfume bottle - the image used on the poster. However, I don't recall ever SEEING THE DAMN THING EVER AGAIN! heheheh No mention of it. It's just...gone.

People have whole exchanges with the family in one way or another, then...poof...they are just gone, seemingly outliving their welcome and just...not being brought up again.

Then towards the end, you know something is going on, but think that maybe there will be a HUGE twist reveal of some sort.

The brother knew about the women's plot against the father and uses it against them somehow? Nope.

The father knew, got the son involved, then the two of them were pitted against the two women? Nope.

They were spotted by the neighbor who has the hots for the "16 year old" daughter and HE was messing with them? Nope.

MAGIC? The Father was so evil that he came back to life? I don't have ANY idea....maybe?

Well....major spoiler.

The father just comes back to life, scares the crap out of the mother and daughter, then everything goes back to the usual day to day abuses and boring breakfast banter. The daughter stares on as if drugged - not believing what's going on, I guess. The father opens another love letter, tears it up and says, "Well, I don't think you'll be going out to meet any boys today, will you?" or something to that effect.

A one liner is tossed at the mother by the father ("What are you going to do today? More of your PAINTINGS?") then the camera pans over to the mother and it looks like she's aged 15 years. Maybe 25. She's old, grey and wrinkled. Then, she slowly fades away. Yeah....fades away and disappears.


This film has all the makings of a classic, HAMMER HORROR style mystery, but runs so far off the rails it's crazy making. Things happen in here that had me re-watching whole scenes because I just didn't get it.

I had to do some digging to see if I missed something or if it was just really a cluster-F of a film and it turns out...it's just a cluster-F. It's script is at fault - the acting and the way it's shot is really spot on for what the film is and is a lot of fun to watch. But it just goes south at one point and spirals into this WONKY ZONE of "what the fuck?"

I'd love to get the inside scoop on this film. How did this happen? I mean, someone watched this after it was done and said, "Yup, that's about right. Let's release it." It's mind boggling. 

Take a look for yourself. It's a must see for the strangeness of the script alone. The score is grand as well. So mysterious and swirly - just like the film itself, I guess. COMMENT!

Complete film----

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Big Bad

I just caught an odd little film called THE BIG BAD and I enjoyed the hell out of it.  This genre film really makes an effort to be different and to bring that difference to the table in spades. It's a styled and crafted fairy tale for the time and it's well written and executed. I wish I had watched it around 2am or 4am like I did with THE STRANGE COLOR OF YOUR BODY'S TEARS.  That would have been perfect - this film has the same dream / nightmare quality to it.

Bryan Enk's Direction is fun. It has a little NIGHT GALLERY, 70s horror vibe to the whole of it. The camera is kinetic and wild as it takes in all of these strange sights and sounds. 

Jessi Gotta wrote the story and stars in the film, which is interesting. I think she does a grand job in the role. The writing is very "fairy tale" and it hits a few fun moments throughout the storytelling. It's wild stuff. A little rough around the edges at times - sure, but well worth the view. It's highly entertaining.

Now, mind you, this is a lower budget feature and I'm sure people can poke holes in it left and right, tossing stones around in their glass houses. hehe  However, I liked the newness and the craft of the tale. I found myself smiling and thinking how nice it was to see something different roll through. I wasn't even second guessing where it was going. I was just happy to be along for the ride...wherever we were going.

The plot is rather straight forward. A woman is "searching for the monster that destroyed her family" so she can get her revenge. She meets a wild cast of characters along the way and goes deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole as she gets closer and closer to the monster she's searching for. But, what a strange journey our Alice - Frankie Ducane (Jessi Gotta) - takes along the way.

It's currently streaming on NETFLIX as of the time of this posting - check it out when you're in the mood for something that leans towards the strange and dreamlike.

Jessi Gotta's 2013 film - THEY WILL OUTLIVE US ALL - needs to be watched now! I need to check it out. It looks like she produced a short in 2014, but has not done anything since. I hope she hasn't stopped writing. I dig her voice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Horror Podcasts

I listen to a fair share of podcasts. A lot, really. I fill my chore hours with podcasts to take my mind off of the task at hand...and to drown out the voices in my head. heheheh  I took a look at my growing list of podcasts recently when I found myself running short on iPhone space and thought, "Wow...that's a lot of horror podcasts in there. Maybe I'll spread the word about some of the ones I like today." So, here is the current list of items on my phone.

A great HAMMER HORROR podcast. These three gents do a fantastic job of covering the Hammer offerings and dive into some of the backstories and details nicely.

This falls under story podcasts and I love it. THE BLACK TAPES is a paranormal serial, really, going over the Black Tapes - a series of cases of a paranormal de-bunker with an interesting past.

The Black Tapes is a weekly podcast from Pacific Northwest Stories and Minnow Beats Whale, and is hosted by Alex Reagan. The Black Tapes Podcast is a serialized docudrama about one journalist's search for truth, her enigmatic subject's mysterious past, and the literal and figurative ghosts that haunt them both. 
How do you feel about paranormal activity or supernatural? Ghosts? Spirits? Demons?
Do you believe?

Another cool group discussion about horror films and related topics. They are a lively bunch with a vast horror movie viewing history to pull from. Good conversations and some funny banter.

Not strictly horror, this story podcast offers up some fantastic literature readings. It's a "smart" podcast as well with some quick and nimble writing.

The Drabblecast is a weekly podcast featuring flash fictions from a variety of genres. Its singular message is that of off beat, funny, eclecticism. It is a paying fiction market, accepting submissions. The Drabblecast is the winner of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 Parsec Awards for Best Speculative Fiction Audio Magazine.

Sadly, these guys don't "put out" as often as I'd like them to. hehehe They are REALLY funny and, while the audio quality can vary a bit, the content is always interesting and very humorous.

THE FACULTY OF HORROR podcast is rather interesting in it's overall approach. It's more like a horror class in college with a bent towards women in horror and the roles of women in horror in various horror films and collections of horror imagery and tropes. They really do a grand job and it's always an interesting listen.

Tackling all things horror with a slash of analysis and research, horror journalists and occasional academics Andrea Subissati and Alexandra West are your hosts for brain plumping discussions on all things that go bump in the night.
Produced independently in Toronto, Ontario The Faculty of Horror is your best source for classic and contemporary horror film discussions that will haunt the libraries of your mind!

I used to LOVE the old MONDO MOVIE PODCAST and I was really sad when it ended. Listening to to fun English gents talk horror was a hoot. Well, HAMMERED HORROR brings it all back with two highly entertaining English gentleman talking and laughing about horror films whilst sipping adult beverages from time to time adding to the wild nature of the podcast. I love it. It's one of those, "MAN! These guys seem like they would be fun to hang with!" podcasts. :)

These two may not put out podcasts regularly, but the content is well worth the wait in most cases. I keep them in my podcast list and I'm pleasantly surprised when I see a new podcast in the listing. They are just super busy, which I completely understand. One of them even makes actual horror movies, which I can get behind completely!  Very entertaining horror discussions.

I'm relatively new to this podcast, but I dig it so far. Another group situation with lively conversations. What I've noticed so far is that these folks don't always agree on each others opinions and they are NOT afraid to let each other know about it! hehehehe  I've enjoyed people having debates on execution and the like - it makes it a more lively podcast indeed!

I love this podcast. It's fantastic. Jim Moon really knows his subject matter and I look forward to the podcast content every time. He covers a wide variety of offerings as well, which makes things interesting and highly entertaining. He covers film, literature, authors and more. His research is fantastic - a comprehensive coverage of the subject at hand for sure. One of my all time faves - especially when he does Christmas Ghost Story readings around the holidays!

Another favorite of mine, this horror story podcast is fantastic. It's presented in a very interesting way as well. Hardly any music or background sound effects. It's like you've walked into a room where someone is waiting for you. You sit down and listen to their story - a true telling of an even or happening in that person's life. Some of them are really chilling. Fantastic podcast.

For those who prefer a little more production in their story telling, there's the NO SLEEP PODCAST. Great acting and presentation for some truly creepy tails. Very NIGHT GALLERY in feel, these tales really do promote insomnia! :)

In the spring of 2010, a new forum appeared on Reddit.com. It was called “Nosleep” and the concept of this forum (or “subreddit”) was to be a place for people to post original scary stories about frightening experiences. It was an online version of telling spooky stories around the campfire.
A year later, as Nosleep was growing at a rapid pace, one member named Matt Hansen proposed the idea of doing a podcast where some of the top stories from Nosleep would be narrated in audiobook style. The response was quite positive and over the next few months a small group of members endeavored to put together what would come to be known as The Nosleep Podcast. On June 13th, 2011 Episode #1 was released.

A wide variety of horror tales can be found here. PSEUDOPOD has been around for a long time and you can see why when you listen. It's really one of the best horror story podcast offerings out there.

WARNING: This is a podcast of horror fiction. The stories presented here are intended to disturb. They are likely to contain death, graphic violence, explicit sex (including sexual violence), hate crimes, blasphemy, or other themes and images that hook deep into your psyche. We do not provide ratings or content warnings. We assume by your listening that you wish to be disturbed for your entertainment. If there are any themes that you cannot deal with in fiction, that are too strongly personal to you, please do not listen.

Horror discussion on the hip (...but not lame hip) side, these guys play well together and present a lot of interesting info and banter for sure. Lively and entertaining horror discussion. 

The ScreamCast is a podcast hosted by Sean Duregger, Brad Henderson and BJ Colangelo. It began as a celebration of one of our favorite Horror flick label, Scream Factory. Since then, however, we’ve moved into celebrating the many other boutique horror labels like Synapse, Vinegar Syndrome, Cult Epics and more.
With special guests, celebrity interviews, top 10 lists and reviews we celebrate all things retro, cult and fringe in horror!

These folks focus on the script of films and cover a wide variety of topics and films, not just horror related. They manage to focus on the script without being too dry about it, which is grand. This could be a super dry, saltine cracker of a podcast, but they manage to keep the conversation lively and interesting, bouncing from the film overview to how the script is structured. Very cool stuff.

This is one wild podcast. It's played out like a small town radio station broadcast about the ULTRA-FRUCKING STRANGE goings on in NIGHT VALE, a location that one could look at as the place where every NIGHT GALLERY, TWILIGHT ZONE and RICHARD MATHESON story originates from! hehehehe  I love it! It's strange and fun and funny and the production is tight and crisp. ALWAYS entertaining. ALWAYS strange.

"The new dog park is now open. Remember, there are no dogs allowed in the dog park. Do not talk to the hooded figures that you may see in the dog park. Stay away...from the new dog park."   :)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It Follows

SPOILER FREE, as usual! :)

Director: David Robert Mitchell

Writer: David Robert Mitchell

Stars: Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Olivia Luccardi

"A young woman is followed by an unknown supernatural force after getting involved in a sexual encounter."

I didn't even know THIS much when I fired this up last night. The trailer - curse it - made this film seem like another, run-of-the-mill slasher/monster/ghost film. Girls were screaming...running around. I'm not even sure I finished the trailer, honestly.

NOTE: DO NOT WATCH THE TRAILER!!!!   DON'T DO IT!    Just watch the film!!!!!

Like many other genre films, the production folks had to sell the story to potential audiences by giving away the milk for free, as it were. The trailer is riddled with many of the films key, cool scenes. I'm happy I stopped it - I would have been spoiled for much of the goodness.

The film is lovely. It sets up the danger right away - and it's brutal. So, when these other characters stumble into this horrific world, you know what's at stake and it's scary stuff. I loved the pace and tone of the film. It's sad, dim and dark. And above all, it's supremely creepy on many fronts.

The film is part of this current wave of story over effects films that have come out over the last few years. I love that. The story is strong, the writing is fantastic and the acting manages to really sell the situations at play. Mitchell's direction is grand and helps set many of the films most tense moments brilliantly.  The young actors in the film never come off flat and silly. They are all working and fun to watch.

I've seen many...many horror films. "Good, bad, I'm the one who'll watch."

However, I believe this film brings a little something new to the genre. Again, the strong writing makes this very interesting. I wasn't able to pick out plot holes that would submarines the film. Nor was I second guessing elements before they popped up. I found that to be wondrously refreshing.

Is this...   ((http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/it_follows/))
"One of the best horror films in recent years."
"One of the most provocative horror films in recent history."
" A great work in atmosphere with solid emotional impact." 

Yeah. Yeah, it kinda is. :::grin:::  Like HOUSE OF THE DEVIL, the slow burn that rolls through this film keeps adding layers and layers of tension as you watch. And, the films fantastic "visual hook" ((Again...not giving it away...)) adds a fun, Hitchcock-like device into the mix that has you scanning every frame of the film with an eagle eye.

The film also had a bit of the Euro feel you get from the likes of Dario Argento or Mario Bava - I'm not quite sure how to explain it. A quiet you're afraid of. That thing in the dark you can't see, but know with all your heart is there...waiting. heh

IT FOLLOWS is grand. Watch it at once. Toss your Amazon rental money at it or the $39 for a theater ticket  :) and know that you're most likely going to walk away from the film nodding your head and saying, "Yeah...that's a pretty damn good film."

Friday, August 7, 2015

DAWN OF THE DEAD 2004 opening

I love the opening (and whole film, really....)  of Zack Snyder's DAWN OF THE DEAD from 2004. It's so perfect in every way, shape and form.

We see the hospital and seemingly mundane bites and wounds. We see a busy night, but we're thinking that it's a normal weekend . We see the normal day to day and life in a small suburban town neighborhood. Then, we're thrust into the OH MY GAWD of things. Overnight, things have gotten bad. REALLY bad.

I liv on a dead end street with people who know each other and kids who roam the neighborhood. Seeing this opening really hit home. Things have imploded. The world is ending. Things are over, but the main character doesn't know it yet.

We also see just how fast this "virus" strikes. one to two minutes after a character is bitten, they are turned into the living dead. Things go from 0 to 60 so fast your head spins.

It''s shot beautifully and the pace is a kinetic wildfire.

Seeing this in the theater had me laughing out loud, happy that I was going to be seeing the film I wanted to see.

From the madness of the opening, we roll into the credits, which in and of themselves are amazing.

Oh, I love the original - don't get me wrong. It's awesome and has been watched over and over. But, as far as remakes go, this film is a frucking masterwork. 

Great work Zack Snyder, George A. Romero and  James Gunn. Great work.