A couple are camping when they are held hostage by another couple fleeing to Mexico. They then come under attack at a petrol station by living host that have been taken over by the Splinter Parasite.
Together they need to find a way to survive.
So the story is basic and the actors are good and the characters are also good.
Nothing new here but what sets this film apart for me is one very important factor missing in most horror films.
This is 99% practical effects. From the severed hand crawling across the floor to the human sized creature made up of all the victims.
I’m sure there is more CGI in it but you don’t notice and that’s how it is supposed to be/ To compliment practical effects especially on a low budget film.
And the effects are fantastic. Refreshing in fact. Oh and gory.
From the violent contorting that breaks and then re-breaks bones to the parasite absorbing or merging for lack of better words it’s victims to create a hideous… thing.
Yes this film is John Carpenters The Thing (1982) but in a petrol station near the Mexico border.
That’s not a bad thing (no pun) as the film makers seem to know what they are doing and lets face it we don’t see many like The Thing too often but have slasher and possession and found footage thrown at us 10 a day.
There are flaws with it as always yet at 82 minutes long the makers clearly had an idea and didn’t feel the need for too much fluff. Lets get to it and waste no time.
There’s a sub plot obviously and redemption blah blah blah but not too long is spent on that slowing it down.
You could say this is almost a throw back to film making of the 80’s where you made the most of your budget and everything was done on screen.
Forget the characters and the story and just enjoy it ~ Lead Cenobite
This might contain spoilers but it isn’t worth seeing so who cares.
Two brothers break a town curfew set in place because children have started to go missing, to go into the woods where they find a treehouse with one of the missing children inside.
The older brother goes for help after the younger says he won’t leave the girl.
And then the film falls apart because of one reason…
She’s been hiding there for a day with her feet cut up but very quickly blames the brothers for bringing the hunters to her.
She’s annoying, bossy, stroppy, acts tough but cries too much.
She talks down to the brother and cannot speak to him without being rude and sarcastic.
He on the other hand is nice and good and tries to do what’s best and not once stands up for himself with her. Well if you’ve seen a horror film you’ve seen this stupid dynamic a hundred times before.
Oh and despite being a horrible person they end up falling in love at the end.
Put a bullet in her head now son while you still can.
You wouldn’t want to save her so it’s to the brothers credit that he keeps trying.
There’s a subplot done through memories involving the brothers dead father which had him as a soldier who comes back and portrays him as this violent abusive mess yet one running theme is him making his dad proud!?!
I just don’t get that.
What this film does do different is instead of giving us a Jane Rambo as usual at the end it gives us a John Rambo but that is done so poorly that it is as laughable as the Jane Rambos so at least that is consistent.
They do give her her tough girl moment when she shoots one of the hunters.
Problem is the brother already killed him so that too is laughable.
We could’ve had an average film if they had written the token female better.
For hunters they aren’t very good.
They know they are in the treehouse and they see them leaving yet the two teens wonder through the woods then fall asleep til morning and the hunters don’t find them???
Not only that but when they wake up they find themselves probably 100 metres from a house!!!!
The hunters are normal people yet somehow they can drag 3 dead bodies up 3 different trees during the night to hang them near the treehouse without making enough noise to disturb the teens.
Stupid film that started off quite good but fell apart.
They find two automatic rifles but when taking them out of the back of a police car they wave these obviously plastic toys about with just one hand.
Don’t bother unless you like watching films so bad and with so many mistakes, which being horror fans we do from time, otherwise you’ll be pulling your hair out
So I’ve been putting this one off for a while.
I couldn’t stand Amy Pond in Doctor Who and the less I see Karen Gillan mugging the camera the better.
Well my Internet went down and I had time to fill.
Better than I thought.
My expectations were low anyway so that’s not saying much.
I knew nothing of this before hand and 5 minutes in I felt like I knew how this was going.
Bland predictable characters played by bland predictable actors in a bland predictable film with a bland predictable script.
Most of the film centres around scenes with McMuggy and her brother switching to flashbacks of a time in their past with their parents.
Thankfully it isn’t that predictable. It sets itself up as such only to twist things round.
I don’t know if that’s intentional but it was different.
For instance we’ve seen the slasher/intruder chase scene with a clumsy attacker that would fall over his own shadow. Well here it’s a woman.
Different but still as pointless and annoying and only there because of lazy writing and direction.
The film did pick up for me and manage to grab my interest which is impressive given the first 5 minutes but as I was wrong about most of the film I was right about Gillan.
She’s so emotionless and selfish.
Talks to everyone like they’re her underlings with no consideration for what they might be going through like her brother having just being released from the hospital he’s been held in for 11 years because he killed his father in the family home, she immediately talks about the incident and guilts him into going right back to their childhood home.
She coldly recites what happened to them when they were children but when he tries to reason with her she’s so dismissive and unwilling to listen. Just like Amy Pond.
She always has to be right and let everyone know she’s right just like… well you get it and just like Amy Pond everyone is written to simply put up with her.
She’s basically playing that character again but less annoying and that makes the ending, whilst predicable, when it happens so very sweet.
Not that bad. Picks up a bit and if you can get past the Amy Pond factor then give it a go
Grand Piano (2013)
Starring Elijah Wood as a pianist who’s having his comeback concert which he really doesn’t wish to do as his last concert 5 years ago knocked his confidence but is pushed into it by his wife who has set the event up for him.
Whilst playing he learns there is a sniper who will kill him and his wife unless he plays every single note perfectly.
Up til this point Elijah’s character was already incredibly nervous and full of self doubt played wonderfully by Elijah but something else he plays wonderfully is the piano.
I don’t know if he can actually play or there was some clever filmmaking going on but as almost all of this film takes place during the concert that is one factor that the film he’s to get right and does.
There are some nice camera shots and good use of sound too.
I liked who I was supposed to and disliked who I was also supposed to so something else for me that the film achieved successfully.
While you know that Grand Piano will follow some of the usual conventions that films based around ‘person forced by threat of death to do something against will for faceless menace’ have done before it was competent enough that I didn’t mind.
One scene does set itself up to fall into typical slasher fight/chase scene but mercifully doesn’t stray into that territory.
There is a plot device that is unrealistic yet again it works here.
Mostly serious there is some black humour whether intended or not and I’m so happy I didn’t see the cast list as that gave me a nice surprise when watching.
A fun film short of 90 minutes so not too long and doesn’t try to be too clever and shoehorn too much story wise into it keeping it relativity easy to follow and keep up with.
The music sounded great (check out the packaging for the vinyl release of the ‘unplayable’ La Cinquette composed especially for Grand Piano) and with everything else it gets right I suggest you give this one a go.
Next up tonight is Zombeavers.
I think I might be talking a step back in quality
27 June 2015
As a big fan of wrestling and zombies in the 80s I’m surprised it took this long to combine the two into a horror film.
After seeing Monster Brawl (2011) a while back and really enjoying it I couldn’t be more excited for this.
It starts of well, I mean look at the poster and the cast… Kurt Angle, Matt Hardy, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, “The Franchise” Shane Douglas and the legend “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.
Then the film starts and it goes to shit.
Apparently this film cost $230,000 to make but they couldn’t afford a decent camera.
Or any sort of sound equipment.
This looks cheap.
Sounds it too.
It seems they couldn’t afford a tripod as well. The camera is constantly moving when just placing it on a table would’ve worked.
If you suffer from sea sickness you might want to avoid.
The audio is so bad that most of the time there’s a rock song playing.
Problem with that is the songs sound high quality unlike when it goes back to the dialogue.
Everyone here’s recorded video on their mobile phones right?
That’s how the audio sounds.
That’s how the film looks.
The plot is Shane kills some guy in the ring for revenge so the dead persons brother makes a pact with the devil to re-animate the dead to kil… doesn’t matter we came to see wrestlers fighting zombies which is what we get for the most part.
Like the rest of this film that is poorly done too.
Not the wrestlers fault as they know what they’re doing and the zombies are also mostly professional wrestlers as well but it’s the camera work.
The wrestlers try to escape, lead by obligatory unconvincing tough girl who constantly insults anyone that comes up with an idea especially if that idea is run but what does she do?
She can’t fight and it is embarrassing seeing The Franchise having to poorly sell her fighting moves because she doesn’t know what to do but I suppose he’s had to sell a lot of bad wrestlers over the years just not this bad.
She throws a zombie off her but the actress playing the zombie lands wrongly (not that she could’ve done anything about it) and I thought she might have died for real ao the director decided to keep that in as that was the first convincing shot in the whole film.
It looked painful.
Kurt, Shane to a point and especially Rowdy give decent performances plus we get the standard smiling zombies these low budget films attract.
From start to finish this is cheap. I’ve seen $5000 films that were far better made.
At least the budget is so small they couldn’t afford any after effects level CGI.
There are some nice jokes only wrestling fans will get but this is rubbish from start to finish.
I recommend you go watch Monster Brawl instead.
What happened Rowdy? Your performance in this alone shows how you are too good to be appearing in this film ~ Lead Cenobite
10 July 2015
A Deadly Adoption (2015)
This is a TV movie for Lifetime (an American TV channel that produces most of those crappy TV movies you spend your daytime TV viewing avoiding) starring Will Farrall that is supposed to be a spoof or satire on the typical crappy Lifetime TV movies for the channels 25th anniversary of Lifetime’s movie franchise and the excellent The Hand That Rocks The Cradle (1992)
The trailer in the UK set it up as a dark humoured thriller but Lifetime themselves have backed out of calling it a parody or homage yet that is how it was originally announced.
I think they seen it and realised that might be considered false advertising. You’ll see why below but I thought I’d give it a go anyway as I hate these films so anything that takes the piss is ok with me.
Starting off well we get the implausible setup as to why Will and his wife need to adopt and they find the seemingly perfect (with a bit of a temper so still looking good) young girl looking to adopt her baby out.
After a sob story about her current living conditions they invite her to live with them until the baby is born to which see agrees.
How does that work?
Do they kick her out whilst she’s in hospital recovering? If they bring her and the baby back to the house maybe she’ll bond with the sprog and decide to go back on the agreement but this is Lifetime.
You know the rest. She’s the typical misandristic female these films always need (and the only character with any personality but still she’s as one dimensional as everyone else just less bland), he had an affair years ago with her when drunk and know she’s obsessed with him and wants to replace the wife in the family unit.
Predictable and slow, god this is slow, yet nicely filmed with no tension; this isn’t a parody or satire it IS a Lifetime TV movie.
There are no jokes, and apart from the opening no parodying of it’s source material.
Well there is the based on a true story at the end which made me chuckle.
This films misses the mark in every way.
Unless they promised that this was a parody to Will just to con him into the film it is a failure.
I couldn’t care about anyone apart from the little girl who it turned out was not irritating at all as little girls in films are usually written to be.
I was hoping she’d kill everyone just to have something interesting happen.
Was this supposed to be parody? Was it supposed to be serious? Was there supposed to be a point to watching this?
A wasted opportunity and the fact is the advertising for this lied to the audience.
Another Lifetime TV movie, and god knows we need more of those, but nothing else.
Do not be fooled. There is no satire here just a straight up boring “thriller” without the thrill.
Just another crappy Lifetime TV movie
Go watch The Hand That Rocks The Cradle instead ~
Made by WWF (now known as WWE) who also made the quite entertaining See No Evil and it’s lesser sequel by all accounts I sort of knew what to expect.
And what did I get? Well if I had to describe it in 3 words I would say…
Moronic, moronic, moronic.
Starts of with the bickering couple that every film needs to have because what films need are added drama that isn’t needed.
Ok so this is setting up something later in the film but it still isn’t needed and what it sets up contradicts this part of the film.
A couple are travelling when they are harassed by the standard unstable member of a gang of hicks.
They get kidnapped and Luke Evans (Bard from the Hobbit films) has to escape and exact revenge.
But there’s a twist.
A quite good one as it happens but that’s where the myriad of twist end at being good.
Turns out he’s a bit of a psycho and the hicks find one of his victims.
She is the most inconsistent character I think I have ever seen in a film.
She goes from being scared victim to kung fu master (not joking) to trying to be cocky but extremely complaint hostage to sociopath and many more that I wont give away.
She has one scene where one of her kidnappers convinces her to kill the other kidnapper because they don’t think in the moment they could (I liked that, very honest) whereas she could and she says why don’t I kill you both.
Exactly. Why don’t you.
The film tries to be clever but fails almost everytime.
From the pschobabble and the plot twist with the setups for the story that are moronic and unconvincing just like a lot of the scenes.
Take the catfight between the two female hicks that becomes a full on wrestling fight.
I like wrestling and I like catfights but this serves no purpose. It appears out of nowhere and is forgotten immediately.
Having them fight in their underwear couldn’t have made this scene interesting or relevant.
The killer hicks who are violent and deadly become cowardly arguing wimps who I decided I wanted to survive over the hostage and Luke Evans seeking revenge.
I don’t know why other than they were the least annoying once it all got started.
Luke Evans character manages to set up so many traps that Nancy Thompson would be impressed and jealous.
It starts to look like this film is less See No Evil and more The Marine
Such a crappy story so why watch it?
Well WWF horror films do one thing that no other studio does that every other studio needs to do and that is ALL PRACTICAL EFFECTS!!!
All the blood is on screen and no cgi.
All the head exploding and body slicings are all on camera.
No cgi, well maybe some but only as a transition between the actor and the practical effect of a head exploding but I didn’t check too much as it works and I like it.
The effects here are top notch. The deaths are great and gory and bloody and the blood looks great.
It looks red.
It’s not a long film and the effects are good plus the plot and characters are laughable in how serious and clever they are trying to be so check this out.
But don’t pay for it
Metallica Through the Never (2013)
Basically this is a Metallica live concert with a story going on based around the concert as it is happening.
Starring Metallica, with horror collector extraordinaire Kirk Hemmets beautifully designed guitars that are posters of old horror films, obviously but also Dane DeHaan who played Harry Osborn\Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) who is a roadie for Metallica and given the task of collecting something very important for the show just as it starts.
This involves travelling into an oddly very empty Vancouver to pick it up.
After witnessing some very unusual sights, and being involved in a car crash, he walks into the middle of a riot.
And I mean directly into the middle; just as it’s about to start.
I watched this on Blu-Ray in 3D with the surround sound on and naturally it sounds amazing. All your favourite Metallica songs so good it’s almost like being there…
The picture quality is also truely fantastic here. Crisp with vibrant colours and none of that “teal” colour correction that’s flavour of the month.
All this helps the 3D which helped give depth to the concert sections. A little too much at times as when hands would be raised directly in front of the camera I found myself for a moment wanting to ask that person if they could put their hand down, this is my flat and you’re blocking to the TV.
It isn’t perfect, especially when the camera moves fast but that could be my TV yet after a while it didn’t bother me at all.
I’d say 3D is the way to watch this.
I have to say that the object Dane is tasked to collect is nothing more than a MacGuffin so don’t expect an explanation as the story is more about Dane’s effort to escape the riot and more importantly “The Rider” so don’t be left felling confused at the end.
Dane carries with him a doll in a noose that reminded me of Blade from Puppet Master (1989) and this film does have some nice traditional stop motion animation which are very nicely blended into the scenes.
All in all a must for any Metallica film. If you like some classic Rock and Metal then give it a go and if you don’t then I don’t think I can talk to you anymore.
What I want to see now is Iron Maiden do the something similar. Imagine all your favourite Iron Maiden songs played live whilst Eddie destroys the world behind them.
Now that would be beautiful
Modern horror has lost a lot of its charm and willingness to take a random idea, then make it fun whilst not complying to what the rules should be.
Most horror these days plays it safe and abides by the same rules and clichés that you would find in Coronation Street.
I’m not saying Wolfcop is the perfect throwback to the 80’s but it’s about as good as it gets these days.
So a drunk, lazy copper becomes a werewolf and then starts cleaning up as Wolfcop.
I’m not spoiling anything here. What you see is what you get.
Firstly… Practical effects. Did I spy a squib as well?
Honestly I don’t remember but I also don’t remember too much CGI blood so points for that.
Secondly this is a low budget horror. 1 million Canadian dollars if what I’ve read is true so that’s about pony in British terms.
Shouldn’t make any jokes about the Canadian currency as a Canadian is currently in charge of the Bank of England.
Despite the low budget this doesn’t look like a YouTube films as most horrors do these days.
Has a nice quality about it. The audio though is a bit flat but not the worst.
So what about the film?
Loved it. the humour is bad and made me laugh. Not as many wolf puns as I expected and they aren’t in your face as well.
A couple made me chuckle.
Good enough performances and very good directing given the budget.
Decent plot that doesn’t wear itself out; which would be hard in 80 minutes but it does happen.
The finale I felt lost its way a bit and was a bit out of tone with the rest of the film but it was still good and satisfying.
Overall I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought and even though there is a sequel coming out that I will watch, my expectations for it are going to remain low but I am looking forward to it.
Quirky and not too long with some excellent gore. The man having the skin ripped of his face cheered me up I suggest if this could be your thing then check it out.
How can you not like the tagline “Here comes the fuzz”
Unfriended is about a group of friends who are all at their respective homes video calling each other who suddenly come under cyber attack by someone posing as a dead friend of theirs except their lives are in very real and not virtual danger.
This is all seen through Blaire’s computer screen while she uses it.
Now I have a pet peeve (one of many with modern films) to do with how people use computers in films.
Mostly it’s a pre-rendered animation used to simulate someone using a computer so you end up with very precise and unrealistic mouse movements or someone randomly tapping keys on a keyboard and running whatever programme or opening whatever file perfectly or the classic use of zoom.
It’s bullshit and thankfully this film shows a more accurate use of how someone would use a computer and switch between programmes.
Obviously not completely accurate but good enough though I do question how someone who uses her computer with such ease does not know what a troll is.
So Blaire is the good wholesome if slightly bossy self-obsessed final girl. No spoilers there, we’ve all seen enough horrors to spot the final girl within 5 minutes.
We have her perfectly nice if a bit under-the-thumb boyfriend, the overweight computer nerd who hangs out with the perfectly formed attractive gang for no other reason than to shoehorn a computer expert into this computer based film.
The mean girl, bad boy\jerk and slutty female friend… well she isn’t slutty just a nice normal girl so at least they went against trope with one of the characters there.
In fact one of the good points of this film is that every character is hiding something. So the good ones might not be as pure as they seem and the bad ones, are still bad but maybe in this situation not as guilty as the others.
It starts of well with them trying to get rid of someone from their group chat they don’t know, trying to figure out just who they are and to stop them but this person soon shows how serious they are by killing one of them.
Nicely done until the blender death and then the deaths get a bit silly and start to take you out of the film a bit.
The performances get good when they turn on each other and secrets are revealed with the story holding up mostly provided you suspend belief as to how someone could be doing this and understand that that person or thing is as much of a nasty piece of work as the worst in the group.
Not the deepest film and not to everyone’s taste but competently made and something different so why not try wasting 83 minutes of your life.
You was only going to waste it on another modern horror that would probably have been yet another 21st Century shambles.
In fact try watching it on your laptop with headphones plugged for a more immersive experience.
Wish I had though of that sooner.
Also I chose this poster because I hate the one with Blaire crying open mouthed. It’s so wretched to look at and reminds me of the snot nosed scene in The Blair Witch Project (1999).
In fact watch that instead.