Thursday, November 16, 2017

Crying Wolf

Ok....I'm going to keep this light fun. As light and fun as this film is.

First, I'm going to say that this film has flaws. Sure. It's stomping around in low budget territory for sure. The effects can be dodgy. The werewolves are clearly wearing masks. There's a lot of 3D elements in here. There are even some cartoon comedy sound effects. But, this film has heart and knows not to take itself too seriously.

And, it's just fun. A great, silly, splattery, comedy horror film that I really enjoyed.

The film plays like an anthology. We see various stories related to our wolf pack. How they got there. Who they've killed and why. It zips along through various tales and never stops trying.

There are some fun comedy elements that actually work really well. I found myself laughing a lot. The end does run off the rails a bit, but I still found it to be an enjoyable tale.

I've said it before, but I'll say it again. Tony Jopia knows how to have fun with genre movies. I always find his stuff to be entertaining. It's funny - the film trips and slips from time to time, but I still find it far more entertaining than some low budget items I've seen of late. I believe it's due to Jopia's sense of fun and whimsy. I'd still love to see what he's make with a higher budget.

Give it a viddy if you're in the mood for some horror fun and you're not taking things too seriously. I think you might dig it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Marilyn Manson: KILL4ME video

Agent K.BaRToN hipped me to another amazing Marilyn Manson video recently. I have to say, the man is knocking it out of the park with this latest round of videos. This time, editor Bill Yukich is in the Director chair. Yukich has worked on videos for Beyoncé, Selena Gomez, Maroon 5, Audioslave, and Godsmack just to name a few, but it's always been in the editor chair. It's obvious from this KILL4ME video that he'll be doing a lot more Directing in the near future. The video is grand.

And, of course I love it because it has a very giallo feel to it. Masked Manson in a trench. Johnny Depp rolling about with women lit with reds and blues. The video has a fantastic look and is a grand bed for the heaving hitting, grinding beat of the song and it's dark lyrics. Matt Bass' cinematography is fantastic.

Check it!

The Big Racket

Ok...this isn't horror, but it made me SO FRIGGIN' HAPPY that I had to write a little bit on it. 

James Hancock posted a scene from the film on Twitter and it was brilliant. It showed Fabio Testi (What Have You Done To Solange?) being rolled down a hill in his car by an angry mob. But, they don't just show the car rolling down the hill. They have cuts to Testi in the car rolling with debris flying around in the car as he rolls! It was amazing. I had to see the film.

The plot is classic crime gialli. A good cop named Nico Palmieri is tracking down these hoods that are shaking the store owners in a small town down for protection money. He's trying everything in his power to get this racket dealt with, but he's not getting any support from his department. And, if people happen to brave the mob and come forward to help Nico, horrible things happen to them and their loved ones. Tensions run high as things don't get any better. Finally, he needs to take things to another level.

This movie was so much fun! I found myself cheering for the good guys and booing the bad guys. As things escalate, I thought I had an idea about just where the film was going, but it took it to a whole new level and kept upping the thrills until the bullet ridden conclusion.

I need to see more of Enzo G. Castellari films. I've heard a lot about his work, but after doing some looking i found out that this was the only film of his that I've seen. I've heard of others like The Inglorious Bastards, 1990: The Bronx Warriors, and The House by the Edge of the Lake, but I have not seen a single one. After seeing his work on this film, I'm going to seek more out right away. And the guy is still making movies! Amazing.  I just saw that he did a film called The Heroin Busters in 1977 with Testi and David Hemmings. I think that might have moved to the top of my list.

It took me a minute to place Testi. I loved him in Solange, but there he was rocking this wondrous beard. I don't recall seeing him in anything else. I've heard that Contraband is a good one. I'll have to seek it out. He has this super cool, tough guy thing going in this film that I loved. At one point - after the car rolling - he has a cast on his arm. He goes to arrest some of the hoods and gets into a fight where the cast turns out to be a super solid shield and weapon! Just fun, fun, fun through and through.

We have a classic cast of characters in the film as well. All the hoods are grand, flat, bad guy bad guys. There are some other folks who take on roles as victims that have various sides to them from vengeful spirit to sad broken man to one foot out the door and they are work really well.

If you love crime thrillers along the lines of The French Connection, gun fights, and classic good guys verses bad guys, this film is a must view. I plan to own it in the near future. I can tell that this will be in rotation often! WELL worth a viddy! 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


THE SUBSTITUTE on Shudder at the time of this posting.
Directed by Nathan Hughes-Berry  • 2015 • English • 24min

Wow! This 24 minute short film was really well done. It has a high creep factor and reflects today's current political and news climate. It's a rather sad reflection of the "male" in today's society.

A substitute teacher starts a job at a school where there is a strong system set in place between boys and girls. Something is very wrong here.

Fantastic acting and a strange, TWILIGHT ZONE / NIGHT GALLERY feel to the whole of it.

I can't wait to see more from Director Nathan Hughes-Berry. Fab style.

And Madeleine Sims-Fewer as the substitute Ms. Byrd was fabulous.

Check it out at once!

The Red Queen Kills Seven Times

I just watched THE RED QUEEN KILLS SEVEN TIMES (La dama rossa uccide sette volte) for what must have been the fifth time and it still holds up wonderfully. The ARROW blu ray is fantastic, as usual. It was fun to see the film without horrid compression finally.

This is a classic, gothic tale of Family dramas and dark histories. We start by seeing two children playing. "Playing" - really one is playing, then another runs up and starts messing with her. The little dark haired girl steals the blonde girl's doll and runs into their massive castle home and to the room where their Grandfather is resting and reading. He calms the girls down and they get lost in staring at an awful painting one woman killing another with a knife. We find out that these are the Red Queen and Black Queen - a dark part of their family history. The Black Queen killed the Red Queen, but the Red Queen came back and settled the score, killing six people who were involved and killing the Black Queen last.

The small, brunette girl says that she's the Red Queen and destroys the doll with the same knife seen in the painting. The Grandfather orders that the painting be destroyed after seeing the effect it has on the little girl.

Kitty and Fraziska Wildenbrück

Now, I know I usually keep these short, sweet, and to the point, but this was a key issue for me with the film. From this child scene, we cut to the future. The Grandfather is being taken care of by a blonde woman I assumed was the blonde girl from the beginning of the film, but later after the Grandfather is dispatched by a mysterious woman in a flowing red cape, we see TWO blondes talking about how their sister - Evelyn - in in America. This totally through me for a loop the first time I saw this film. I thought, "Where was this third child in the beginning?" That aside....

The story flows seamlessly through as this Red Queen character starts killing people left and right, leaving Kitty and Fraziska Wildenbrück wondering if their sister is really in America at all. The Grandfather's will still needs to be read. Perhaps there is something worth killing for within it? And what about Kitty's boyfriend Martin?  He seems to be gaining a lot with each passing murder. The police inspector is on the case and Kitty's co-workers all seem to have some involvement in one way or another.

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And so it goes to the films wondrous conclusion.

The pace of the film is fantastic. We're shot from one event to another and characters are moved around like pieces in a chess match. Emilio Miraglia's Direction is fantastic, but the real star here is his work with Fabio Pittorru's story on their screenplay.  It's tight and super solid. The gothic nature of the plot and location makes me very happy every time I watch it. And the mystery elements keep you guessing and guessing all the way through.

I love this RED QUEEN killer. It just comes off as wicked and cruel and mean with a fantastic, cruel laugh. It's a stylish, wraith-like vision. 

I also had a blast J&B whiskey spotting in the film. Not as much as STRIP NUDE FOR YOUR KILLER, but it's up there! :)

The lovely Barbara Bouchet isn't given a whole lot to do here as Kitty, but she is still extremely interesting when she's on screen.

Ugo Pagliai is great as Martin. He has just the right amount of bite without coming off as mean and overly macho. The can be an issue in these films for sure. The only issue I have with him is the fact that he looks a lot like Harry Shearer and I find that a bit distracting. hehehehe

Sybil Danning is in the film as well and people seem to swoon over her, but I found her to be in a rather awkward phase of life looks wise. She had a strange makeup thing going and didn't have her smoldering stare down yet. She just comes off looking angry and confused.

I was watching my new copy of the film and thought, "AH! Now I remember why I wanted to get this film on Blu - I LOVE IT!" 

It's a great giallo and a fun mystery. WELL worth a viddy!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Hank Boyd is Dead

Hmph. Hank Boyd is Dead. I really enjoyed this odd little film.

I'm not going to say a whole lot about it - I don't want to spoil it. I've been seeing a lot of screeners and many of them don't get a review. I still have my If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all stance on films, so many of these screeners get watched and forgotten. However, Hank Boyd is Dead has a fun edge and interesting story that made me very happy.

We have a caterer named Sarah who is struggling along trying to get that cash. She's going to work a funeral for a killer. Not many people are expected, so her boss feels like it's going to be fine for her to work the event alone so the boss can go work elsewhere for the day. Begrudgingly, Sarah takes on the task.

The small cast unfolds before us. The guy Sarah knows from High School who's now a police officer making sure the funeral doesn't get any unwelcome visitors. And the Family of the wretched deceased - David, Aubrey, and the matron Beverly. Sarah does her best to get her job done and get out, but manages to get on David's bad side right off the bat sending things into a wonderful,  downward spiral.

The small cast in a single home is so much fun. It has Serling and Hitchcock elements and a great dark comedy edge that's never overplayed. No, this isn't a straight up comedy, but it has some moments that made me giggle and grin for sure. The acting is super solid as well, which really helped pull this "bottle episode" style film together nicely. This is Sean Melia's first feature film and I can't wait to see more from him!

Do yourself a favor - avoid the trailer and just dive into this film head first. Mind you, the pool may not be filled with water. :) It's a fun watch that's well worth a viddy! I really dug it.  Available on Amazon at the time of this posting.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dawning of the Dead (2017)

Noooooooo...not DAWN of the Dead. DawnING....of the Dead. :)   (AKA Apocalypse )

I have to say that this was a fun watch overall. More good stuff from the UK.

It doesn't really bring anything new to the table, but I think that's ok. It doesn't shy away from using copious amounts of computer driven graphics and blood - again, ok. But, it does take me back to a time where my friends and I would hit the video shop, scan the shelves for the most gory boxes, and gleefully flee home to watch the gore fest unfold. That's this film in a nutshell.

We have the dead. Some complex military source for the outbreak. And then carnage set mostly in and around a television station. Pretty much sums it up. Kinda like the beginning of the original DAWN mixed with DEAD SET. The film moves along at a good clip and things never get boring. Zombies run - sometimes in slow motion, and eat people up. Blood sprays. Eyes are white. You know the drill.

However, Tony Jopia knows how to have fun with a horror film. He make it fun to watch. I've seen my fair share of horror that IS NOT fun to watch and it's painful. It physically hurts to watch it. hehehe  Jopia lays down a solid base and moves the characters around skillfully to assure the viewer some good times while watching. I felt the same way while watching his other film CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS  It's just a good time that takes me back to the good old 80s and gems like THE VIDEO DEAD, MOTEL HELL, STREET TRASH, and the like.

I have his other film CRYING WOLF (2015) on deck for later. Again, it looks like it'll be a fun time.

Don't take things so seriously, squint with the CGI kicks in, and just let Dawning of the Dead wash over you. It's a fun time. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

GOBLIN live at the UC Theater

I was so happy that my friend Agent Fleming suggested that we go see GOBLIN. I'm pretty much a homebody - locked away in my home at night watching films or working on projects. So, we he told me about the concert, I actually waffled about going.

"'s on a Friday and it's late and it's right after Halloween and I'll probably be tired...."

(Little did I know there would be a fourth round of layoffs at my job as well!)

But, wisdom prevailed and I just purchased the tickets the same day and committed to going in the months that followed and I'm so glad I did!

The concert was fantastic. So fantastic that I didn't really spend time clicking photos or videos. I was just engrossed in the music, watching it being played, and glancing at the visuals they had playing - clips from the films the music was from.

This was the "New Goblin" formed in 2010 which included Maurizio Guarini, Massimo Morante, and Claudio Simonetti from the original version of Goblin, together with Bruno Previtali and Titta Tani from Simonetti's band Daemonia. (( I think I'm missing something here - let me know in the comments. This was from the UC site ))

They were spot on last night. The music sounded spectacular and the band seemed like they were really enjoying themselves. And, with music that was new to me in the mix, I now have a whole new group of films to check out along with re-watches of my old favorites on deck!

The setlist was a fun mix of the familiar and the unknown for me. They opened with "Killer On The Train" which is now a new favorite for me. There were some new pieces (pieces that were not from 70s films) that I really enjoyed as well like "In The Name of Goblin" from their Four of a Kind album. But, the things that really struck home for me were the classics that I hear time and time again as a teen while we watched things like DAWN OF THE DEAD over and over again. Hearing that theme played live as a suite was fantastic.

And...just when I thought all was well and that things just could not get any better...they announced that the final piece would be from SUSPIRIA. This is a personal favorite of mine as you may know. Hearing that suite (WITCH! WITCH! WITCH!) made me super happy.

Sadly, the group I was with departed shortly after, but not before Agent Fleming told me there was going to be an encore piece. I had to stay for fear of missing something, so I parted ways with them and hung out for "E suono rock" and "Magic Thriller". I'm glad I did. It was more music that I had not heard before.

If you get a chance to see them live, GO! It was a fantastic time! 

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