Friday, October 24, 2014

The Taking of Deborah Logan

Wow. a nutshell. This film does what many...MANY others have tried to do in the past. There are many elements we've seen before.
Faux documentary style footage. Cameras mounted on walls that we see footage from. Hand held camera footage with people running about and shouting things. BUT....The Taking of Deborah Logan does it all a lot better than many of the films I've seen of late.

The factors? More real world applications of the above and a better execution. The acting backs it all up as well. So, we have many of the same elements with a feel that makes it seem far more realistic than some of the other docu-footage films I've sat through and been sad about once they are done.

Example? Towards the end of this film I stood up, moved towards the TV and  folded my arms in front of my chest staring intently at the images on the screen. Then at one point I said, "Wait....WHAAAAT?! Holy CRAP!" out loud at the TV.

At another point I said, "Oh....fuck YOU guys!" and laughed because the filmmakers TOTALLY got me with a jumper. And, at yet another point I physically backed away from my screen a few inches and groaned, "Oh man...that's messed up."

The film is friggin creepy. It has a fantastic "spine" to build off of story wise and it makes use of every once and inch of it. Simple setup - a documentary crew is on site to film Deborah Logan as she fights Alzheimer's with her daughter in the family home. When Deborah takes a quick and unexpected turn for the worse, things get interesting. Nuff said.

And the acting. Holy crap.

Jill Larson
Anne Ramsay
Jill Larson turns in a frigging wondrous performance as Deborah. Riveting. Anne Ramsay plays her daughter, Sarah, and she is equally grand. Very believable and super solid performances that I never scoffed at. The rest of the cast was fab as well, though I have to say they were overshadowed by the performances of Larson and Ramsay. You know what they didn't do? They didn't fail the film and that's huge. In some of these films, the acting of a few misplaced folks completely KILL the film - ripping the viewer away from their involvement in the story into a realm of tearing their acting apart and bemoaning their presence.  Everyone felt "real" here and that was huge. Great casting all around.

And....Adam Robitel. Bravo, man. REALLY nice work.  Really knocked it out of the park with this one. There's a great interview with him on THE INSIDERS, but you should listen to it after watching the film.  He's a smart guy that is bound to do, more grand things in the future.

"FINE! Don't mention ME by name. I did a good job, too. Michelle Ang. I'M Michelle Ang! :)

Ok ok ok...Michelle Ang was good as well. :)

Man...I really enjoyed this film. Is it for everyone? No. In this internet anonymous world we live in, I'm sure people will bash SOMETHING about this film. 

"There's too much TAAAAAAlking...."  Whaa...quiet. I'm trying to listen to actual plot and character driven story. Go play with your CGI ghosts and silly jump-scares somewhere else. :)

"They are just doing stuff like Paranormal Activity." are thousands of others, but the difference is these guys are kicking arse at it like Oren Peli did with the original.

Like story?  Good acting? FRUCKING CREEEEEEEPY scenes and genuine WTF?! moments?

Check out The Taking of Deborah Logan at once!    

Currently available on NETFLIX, AMAZON and iTunes at the time of this posting.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Amazing vinyl toys

Agent M FLEM found some really amazing vinyl toys recently. Sadly, they are not available for purchase...YET!   :)   A great design style and fun characterization.

More here:


A Clockwork Orange

An American Werewolf in London

The twins from The Shining

The Torrances from The Shining

The dwarf from Don’t Look Now

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Horror Show Halloween Music Playlists

We've added some items to the HALLOWEEN MUSIC PLAYLIST and we've broken items out to make a KID FRIENDLY Halloween Music Playlist as well!

Listen straight through or put it on shuffle to mix things up a bit. Ideal for putting you in the Halloween....spirit! :)



Monday, October 20, 2014

Mario Bava Movie Mash

I recently checked out for more Mario Bava films. I'm a huge fan of THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH and BLACK SABBATH. A BAY of BLOOD is always a hoot as well, that strange film. I wanted to add some more titles to my list to get a good feel for Bava's works. The lighting and camera style is always pleasing and I wanted to see if it carried through to his other movies. It seems like it does!

I didn't love these films like I loved the work above, but they were good to see. They held my interest and some where so strange and crazed that they seemed like the stuff of nightmares. Pulled from someone's bad dream and placed on film. Rather cool if you dig that style.

And, as with this years new change, I'm going to keep these reviews short, sweet and to the point.

LISA and the DEVIL (1973)
This was a strange one for sure. Elke Sommer plays Lisa who stumbles her way through the streets of Italy and bumps into Telly "Who Loves Ya, Baby" Savalas who is buying a mannequin in some shop. And, oddly, that's not the strange part. SOMEHOW, Lisa gets lost again and....oh man....
Lisa ends up in a spooky mansion with a strange, Bava cast of characters including Telly again. The dummy he purchased is real....then it's not. There's a blind woman...but she's not blind. Her son...who seems.....not sane.  More dummy action. More crazy Telly WITH signature lollipop (KOJAK was in full swing in 1973).
This film had me wondering WHAT was going on out loud several times and I had to push through in some areas, but then the cool factor came into play. The film is bonkers, but it seems like a dream or nightmare. It has dream logic throughout and that makes it interesting and worth a viddy.


5 DOLLS for an AUGUST MOON (1970)
This was the weakest in this group for sure. I wasn't invested at all. There's a plot that had me yawning and at one point - I'll be honest, I wasn't watching at all. A group of people at a beach house and a plot to get a load of money. People die. :::shrug:::  The end. Not for me.

"He didn't like us, Dear. Stop writhing around and get me another drink."   :)

Back on the dream logic train! WHOOO WHOOOOOOOOOOO!   :)
This is a very HAMMER feeling piece. Three years after SABBATH, this film has a similar feel -  a turn-of-the-century Carpathian village. Spooky ally shots, fog and the signature Bava lighting and shadows had me smiling. This small town has a ghost going round exacting vengeance. People in town are dispatched in various, bloody ways as a small ghost child peers through windows 32 years before the ghost of Sadako crawls out of the well in THE RING. :)

The dashing doctor and the ravishing blonde have to find out what's going on in Villa Graps before they are dispatched as well.
Fun story and some great visuals here for sure.

HATCHET for the HONEYMOON (1970)
Again, 30 years before Patrick Bateman in AMERICAN PSYCHO, there was John Harrington in HATCHET. More mommy issues and crazy, dashing dudes in this thriller. But, they do the same American Psycho deal here - not the classic giallo black glove killer treatment. We know dude is crazy right from the start. HE tells us he is. He's bonkers and hates his wife. However, things take a few interesting turns as the cops try to catch the killer cat and mouse style. Fun stuff.


"I'm a winner."
So, I think the winner here was KILL BABY, KILL because it was the most consistent and steady with a solid story and some really creepy shots. The nightmare feel was strong and the lighting rang the BAVA BELL - light and dark, shadows and colors that I just eat up with a spoon! :) LISA and the DEVIL was fun as well, but in a more wacky vein. It's a strange one.

Bava is still up there in my top Horror Director list. 

All of these are available on NETFLIX STREAMING as of the time of this posting.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Detention (2011)

I'm going to go out on a limb and say DETENTION is a horror film for smart folks. A modern classic that deserves cult status along side....wait for it....ready? HEATHERS, REPO MAN, RE-ANIMATOR, BRAIN DEAD, JOHN DIES AT THE END and IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS.  

THERE! I said it. I liked this film as much as REPO MAN and BRAIN DEAD, gawd damn it! :)

Why? Because it's SO STRANGE and SO GOOD. The writing is amazing and odd - taking the viewer into slasher territory and leading them along through Twilight Zone scenarios and plain wacky bizarreness. It's thick with references that you'll need to Google up on a second viewing to appreciate the many levels of the experience.

There's no explaining the story. It really does start out as a slasher, but then it just runs RIGHT off the rails and and slams through several genres and styles in an amazing way. Stuff happens in here and the world that the flick lives in is so off center and strange that nothing seems wrong when...say....someone has a TV for a hand at one point. :)

Director Joseph Kahn does some amazing stuff in here. His music video background REALLY makes this film a kinetic fun house.

I'm not sure how the film did overall. It came out in 2011 and I could see the masses walking out, scratching their heads and mumbling, "I don't....get it...." while people like me were walking out feeling like kids again with massive smiles on our faces.

And, this was another odd release. Some sites list it as 2011 while others say 2012. The estimated budget was $10,000,000 and it came out in a limited release. Rotten Tomatoes has a very low rating of 38% and MetaCritic has a mixed 45, which makes me sad.  After seeing this film, I was SURE that it had some massive groundswell and that everyone saw it as a special bit of cool. I guess that wasn't the case.

PLEASE check this film out. I thought it was a funtastic horror comedy experience.

Nightmare City

I was an 80s horror kid. VHS tapes rented, junk food purchased...I would snuggle in and watch horror all weekend or stay up late on Friday night watching horror triple features with my pals playing "Who's gonna fall asleep first" as we plowed through gore filled grinders.

NIGHTMARE CITY was one of the 1980s wonders. An Italian gorefest that was filled with the crazy crap we loved to laugh at. It wasn't really scary. Nothing that would have you checking around corners for as you went to bed. This was pure Italian blood spraying at silly levels.

Don't like gore? DO NOT bother with this film! LOL! It's packed with the goo.

Umberto Lenzi has 65 director credits from 1958 to 1992 including fab splatter like EATEN ALIVE!, CANNIBAL FEROX, THE HELL'S GATE and NIGHTMARE BEACH to name a few. He's classic Italian, tossing stuff in all over the place and keeping the action high even if it makes no sense! :) The film had three writers which I find funny because it still really doesn't have a plot! hehehehe  MAN, I LOVE THIS FILM! hahahahaha

NIGHTMARE CITY stars the fab Hugo Stiglitz (...who's name was used in Inglourious Basterds...) who is forced to battle these violent, radiation zombies. They don't only eat people. On NOOooo...they just....LASH OUT and RAMPAGE throughout the movie. Guns, knives and whatever else they can get their crispy little hands on. The movie bounces from scene to scene as people stumble around making little to no effort to avoid the massive plague of radioactive psychos as they kill everything in sight.

In short - a FANTASTIC popcorn movie to put on with fellow gore-hounds!!!  Breakout the adult beverages, pass around the popcorn and have a few "WTF?!?!?!", laugh out loud moments. :)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Plus One

The shorter, more concise reviews continue! :)

I really liked Plus One (+1)
I almost passed it up based on the Netflix art. Again, you can't base much on Netflix streaming artwork. I've seen cool art that's lead me to horrid shite and I've almost passed up cool flicks like this based on artwork that doesn't hit the mark completely.

No, this film isn't about a strip club.

+1 is a cool little sci fi horror time mind F movie that is well written and entirely engaging. I won't spoil too much here. The long and the short is that something hits Earth and time itself has been crashed in and spun around creating loops and doppelgangers. If someone doesn't do something, our whole planet as we know it may disappear.

The film takes place at a giant, "BEST PARTY OF THE YEAR! WHOOOOO!" type party with booze, party gear and strippers on a giant stage. Sure. Why not.

There's a love story element that totally works, taking the classic post teen breakup party meetup and turning it on it's ear. "There she is - the ex. And she's going to hook up with some party dude. You have to get her back. Take action! Oh...wait...there she is again...over by that tree. Wait...who's who?!"  Party guests - like the young lovely to the left - start acting strangely and doing strange things.

I was guessing and guessing at the films outcome and was pleasantly turned around and sent packing - not being able to figure out how things would end up.

The writing and direction carry the film along with some good acting from relative unknowns. Based on his story, Dennis "Last House on the Left Remake" Iliadis makes duplicate people and actions look easy in what must have been a film with a LOT of storyboarding and planning. It's a complex little nugget for sure.

Dig sci fi based, Twilight Zone style goodness? Check this out.