Sunday, August 13, 2017

FINAL GIRL

Final Girl Movie Trailer

William (Wes Bentley, P2), a master...trainer? Hit-man? Boxer?...well, we're not quite sure who he is, but we know that his wife and child were killed by a "bad man", meets Veronica, a young girl who has just lost her parents. Over the next 12 years he trains her to be...a hit-woman? Assassin? Avenger?...we're not quite sure of that either, but once we meet a group of young men who enjoy luring young women into the woods for the purpose of letting said young woman run so they can hunt her down and kill her, it becomes obvious what Veronica's purpose will be. How did William know about this pack of killers? Who knows--that question is never answered either...if you're noticing a pattern here, there's a reason, and it's the biggest problem this movie has--there are so many unanswered questions and unexplained nonsense going on that it's hard to keep focus on the film--the poor dialogue and equally poor acting do nothing to make the movie any more enjoyable.

Don't even get me started on this guy

The notion of baiting a group of killers is an interesting one, but the execution lacks, as do the scenes when the killers inevitably face their deepest fears. If all this weren't enough, the pace of the movie is terribly slow, and our hero isn't particularly likable. All this said, there are a couple of things to like about the movie--the film has some strange David Lynch crossed with a live-action anime feel to it at times, and the tension actually hits an effective level during the game near the woods--these things, however, do not justify spending the time it takes to watch this movie.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4

Final Girl Movie Trailer

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

CURSE OF THE UNDEAD

Curse of the Undead Movie Review

The year is 1959. Vampire movies had been a staple on the big screen for years, and westerns were all the craze on television, so it was only natural that a movie that combined both genres be made, and that's what we have here with Curse of the Undead. As dead bodies begin to pop up, the denizens of a small Old West town begin to panic, and false accusations are tossed around. We have many of the things you expect from a western movie--drunkards, saloon fights, shoot-outs, arguments over land and whatnot, and a mysterious stranger dressed all in black--it will surprise nobody to learn this is the killer, and, naturally, the vampire.

And snazzy dresser to boot

From this point the movie shifts more toward a vampire/horror film, and brings some interesting twists to what people in 1959 knew as vampire movies--our vampire here can walk in the sunlight, he doesn't turn his victims into vampires, and is only a vampire himself because he killed himself in his previous life. He doesn't seem to WANT to kill people--he just does. Michael Pate does a decent job as Robey, the vampire, but the rest of the cast is sub-par, to say the least. The story struggles to gain traction and never really does find its footing, and the direction leaves a lot to be desired. Worst of all, the movie is really just...boring. As a fan of both horror films and westerns, I was somewhat excited to see this hybrid of the genres, but unfortunately, Curse of the Undead fails to be good at either.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4


Curse of the Undead Movie Trailer

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

ISLE OF THE SNAKE PEOPLE (aka The Snake People aka Le Muerte Viviente)

Isle of the Snake People Movie Review

An evil scientist (horror legend Boris Karloff) oversees an army of zombies on LSD, which, with the help of the equally evil dancer, voodoo priestess, and snake handler Kalea (dancer Yolanda Montes, aka "Tongolele"), he uses to fight off anybody who dare attempt to enforce law on his island...or something like that. This 1971 film (which was shot a few years before release) is an absolute mess of a movie--at times you will swear there was just a bunch of stuff filmed and thrown together to see what sticks. The directing is so off the wall and different from scene to scene you'd think it has a dozen directors--it doesn't, but it does have two--Jack Hill shot the scenes with Karloff in the United States, and Juan Ibanez shot the rest in Mexico. There are many, many scenes where the camera moves rapidly into the faces of the actors, to the ground, to random...stuff--not a zoom, but more of the scene through the eyes of a drunkard who has stumbled upon some dark rituals. There are tons of snakes and snake handling and snake dancing, primarily from the "hot" (I use that term very loosely) Kalea...


"Do you like what you see?"

...and also a little from Annabella (Julissa...yes, just Julissa), our damsel somewhat in distress.

Yeah, I'm not touching this one

Unfortunately, this movie suffers greatly from a thin plot, no direction at all, and multiple scenes so boring you will slap yourself to stay awake, and it all starts with an extended opening scene featuring a weird midget (that's his name in the credits--"Midget") grunting for fifteen minutes as a ritual involving another man and a chicken is performed. 

"Don't forget to take home some tasty friend chicken!"

As you watch all this unfold, you will find yourself wondering how Karloff ever got himself into something like this--he certainly deserved much better, and this would end up being his next to last movie. While this film does lack much substance, it is the bizarre you may find yourself attracted to--scenes such as Annabella dreaming of chasing herself are so out there and unique that they almost make the movie worth watching...almost.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4


Isle of the Snake People Movie Trailer

Saturday, July 15, 2017

GET OUT

Get Out Movie Review

WARNING! THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS!!

Daniel Kaluuya stars (and does a wonderful job) in this film that is just like The Stepford Wives, except that instead of creating robot wives, rich white people kidnap black people and turn them into who they want them to be--it's also pretty much just like Invasion of the Body Snatchers, except that instead of aliens taking over the body of a host, it's aging, rich white people doing so. There's also much more profanity in this movie than in the other two, the last fifteen minutes packs more violence and bloodshed than those two, and it's not as good as either of those films, much less as good as you've heard it is...but it's certainly not a bad movie.

On A Scale...

"Wait, you're not done already are you?!"

Yes...yes I am.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6


Get Out Movie Trailer

Friday, July 14, 2017

WAR OF THE WORLDS

War of the World Movie Review

After diving under the ground on bolts of lighting, aliens re-emerge, driving massive implements of destruction and killing every human being in their paths. This Steven Spielberg 2005 take on the H.G. Wells story follows Ray (Tom Cruise, The Mummy) and his two children as they run and do whatever they can to survive.

"Well there's something you don't see every day"

The aliens arrive via an apparent storm, and right from that moment, you know you're in for a big budget, big screen blockbuster film, and when Spielberg is involved, that's almost assured to be gold. After the initial destruction, we get to know the characters a bit more--Cruise is really good as Ray, an every day blue collar guy who, though he loves his kids, isn't quite sure how to protect them--we don't get the story of an every day guy who is suddenly the world's ultimate survivalist with all the answers here--Ray is flawed, scared, and never sure he is doing the right thing, and Cruise plays that role surprisingly well. After seeing their tripod machines and snake-like cameras, we finally get a look at the aliens, and they are actually fairly frightening looking.

"Say, do ya have any Germ-X handy?"

The main drawback to this film is Rays kids--they are SO over-the-top irritating that one has to wonder how Ray managed not to smack them repeatedly--I would pay money to be able to enter the movie world, track Robbie down, and beat the living hell out of the kid. They whine, scream, and overall make poor Ray's life even worse than it already was--it's a wonder he didn't just surrender himself to the aliens to escape the kids. The ending, which ties into what I just said, also fails to deliver the punch you are expecting, but overall, I still find War of the Worlds to be an entertaining, fun film to watch every couple of years.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


War of the World Movie Trailer

Monday, July 10, 2017

THE BYE BYE MAN

The Bye Bye Man Movie Trailer

We start off in 1969, where a man grabs a shotgun and shoots everybody--including himself-- familiar with a certain name. Flash forward to modern times, and eventually some college kids discover writings left by the shotgun -wielding madman, and repeat what he was saying--"don't think it, don't say it"--over and over again. The name, as you probably know, is The Bye Bye Man, who will appear, alongside his trusty pet dog, to destroy the lives of anybody who dares know of him.

"Who said it?! Who thought it?!"

Who is The Bye Bye Man? Where did he come from? We don't know--nor do we ever really find out, which is just one of many problems with this film that, surprisingly, actually hit the big screen. Some other problems include a very shaky (at best) plot, poor (for the most part) acting, a barrage of horror cliches, and characters that are largely unlikable. Not all is bad here, however--there are a couple fairly scary scenes, some twists you may not see coming, and a somewhat decent performance from Douglas Smith as Elliot, the lead character--less impressive is Carrie-Anne Moss (Memento), who seems absolutely bored in her brief appearance. The Bye Bye Man is a so-so horror film that is so unoriginal it is destined to be lost in the ever-growing shuffle of forgettable horror films of this decade. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


The Bye Bye Man Movie Trailer

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

THE SNAKE WOMAN

The Snake Woman Movie Review

After years of being treated for her madness with snake venom, a woman dies while she is giving birth and villagers are killing her scientist/snake handler husband. Fast forward twenty years, and the village is experiencing several deaths via snake bites, and a mysterious woman (Susan Travers), who appears to be about twenty years old, is seen wandering about.

Our title character

This movie starts off slow, and only gets slower. The dialogue is dull, and the pace is so sluggish you will have difficulty staying awake. The only thing that is moderately interesting in the plot is when somebody plays a snake charming instrument--horribly--and our snake woman loves it. The acting is at times wooden, at times Una O'Connor-esque. This film tries to be some sort of combination of a Universal Monster movie and Hammer film, but fails at being even close to either. To make matters worse, it's set around the turn of the century in England. All of this leads to a boring and predictable ending--certainly not following in the Hammer footsteps there! If you are wanting to do yourself a life favor today, decide to never spend your time watching this movie.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3


The Snake Woman Movie Trailer

Thursday, June 22, 2017

GAMMERA THE INVINCIBLE (aka Gamera: The Giant Monster)

Gammera The Invincible Movie Review

An aircraft is shot down by a fighter jet, landing in a frozen tundra and unleashing a prehistoric monster--Gammera The Invincible! It's not long before Gammera makes it to Tokyo and starts destroying everything in sight. This 1965 film was the first in the Gamera series, and for reasons I can't explain, there's an extra M in his name here. This movie is also notable for being the only Gamera movie filmed in black and white, and our lovable turtle monster isn't quite so lovable quite yet--in fact, he's the fire-breathing, people-crushing antagonist here!

Gammera? 

So scientists and experts try to figure out a way to stop the monster, while turtle-loving child Toshio, who Gammera saves at one point, tries to convince them the monster is actually nice and misunderstood--I saw the American version, and though I could find no evidence to prove it, the voice actor for Toshio sounds an awful lot like the woman who did the voice of another misunderstood, lovable beast from the 1960s.

This guy!

The scenes not involving Gammera are typically somewhere between mind-numbing and sleep-inducing, but those featuring our monster are absolutely fantastic--it steals borrows heavily from Godzilla, yes, but when it is pulled off this well, I have no problem with that. The movie also features on of the all time great scenes in movie history--as Gammera is destroying the city, there is a dance hall party going on with a band singing about how great Gammera is--and the song is catchy as hell by the way. The police bust in, demand they all leave, and after a brief pause, the band ignores the police and continues to sing about how great Gammera is until the beast destroys the entire building! The movie also features a fantastic ending. While not my favorite monster movie ever, Gammera The Invincible is a lot of fun, and a must-see for anybody into these type movies.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


Gammera The Invincible Movie Trailer

Monday, June 19, 2017

47 METERS DOWN (From The Theatre)

47 Meters Down Movie Review

Side note before we get started: The movie theatre I saw this in had a fantastic cardboard cutout advertising this movie, but alas, I forgot to take a picture. If I make it back there in time, I will get that picture and put it here.

Sisters Lisa (singer Mandy Moore) and Kate (Claire Holt, The Messengers 2) vacation in Mexico and decide to go scuba diving in a cage surrounded by sharks. Things go very wrong for the sisters, however, when the cable connecting the cage to the boat snaps and the girls, still inside the cage, plummet--yes--47 meters (or almost 155 feet) down to the bottom of the ocean.

Well, you did do THIS voluntarily!

The movie starts off like every other horror film about Americans vacationing in a foreign country--there is a minor bit of relationship drama, the Americans party and get drunk, they meet some questionable people who want to take them on the time of their life, one of them (Lisa in this movie) thinks it's all a very bad idea but gets talked into it anyway--you get the picture. Thankfully, this film doesn't spend too much time with all that--the movie-makers here know we've come for the sharks and for the terror of being trapped at the bottom of the ocean, and they waste little time in getting us there. They also avoid the cliche of every foreign person is out to kill American tourists, which is nice. Visually, the movie is very impressive, and the scares are usually genuine, if not somewhat predictable. The gore is kept to a minimum, but if really isn't needed here. The acting isn't top of the line, but nobody is offensively bad. The ending will leave a bit to be desired--it was set up to be perfect, but the final couple minutes kill what could have been a very memorable end to this film. 47 Meters Down is far from a great movie, but it delivers what you expect, and does so fairly well. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


47 Meters Down Movie Trailer

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

THE MUMMY (2017) (From The Theatre)

Warning: While I generally try not to include any spoilers in my reviews, in order to fully tell the tale of this film, and to encompass everything surrounding it, there will be some minor spoilers within this review. Proceed with caution.

The Mummy Movie Review

Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella), upon learning she will not become the most powerful person in the world when her father dies, murders her entire family--she then makes a pact with Set, the Egyptian God of all things chaotic, and when she attempts to kill her lover to give Set a human form, she is captured and mummified alive. Flash forward to present time, where treasure hunter Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) discovers the underground tomb Ahmanet was buried in, and, of course, unleashes her. Meanwhile, mysterious Doctor Henry (Russell Crowe) is interested in capturing Ahmanet, the knife and stone she used when she attempted to kill her lover, and Nick. There's also a love story involving Nick and Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis), a woman who may not be quite who she seems. Oh yeah, and Nick's buddy Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) gets cursed and becomes a ghost/zombie thing.

"Am I forgetting anything?"

So yes, there's a lot going on in this movie, which serves as the kick off of the new Dark Universe series from Universal. You may ask yourself "Is this a remake of the original The Mummy, or is it a reboot of the series starring Brendan Fraser? Is it horror like the original, or more action/adventure like the Fraser series?" Honestly, it's a bit of both. The special effects are large and frequent, and the horror is dropped in here and there. While it makes it a great movie to see on the big screen, the CGI is a bit much for my taste--that said, it is done very well. I am personally a Tom Cruise fan so I enjoyed him in this one, even if he does ham it up a bit too much. The story, while convoluted, is an interesting one, but the dialogue leaves a LOT to be desired. Crowe, who I am typically not a huge fan of, is actually good as Henry, who we discover later is Doctor Henry Jekyll--I didn't see that one coming! I admit to also getting a slight bit giddy when I saw Gill-Man's arm and Dracula's skull in a passing scene. While the film was a lot of fun, my main complaint comes from the horror, or lack thereof.  The Princess, while looking a bit scary, is seldom presented as a mummy--no, I didn't expect her to be wrapped in sheets the entire movie, but to see her in the mummy form more would have been nice.

She looks like this for most of the film

Her troops were some sort of sand zombies that were so ineffective they came off more like the Argonauts Jason fights off in the 1963 film--only not as cool. You never got the sense there would be a time Nick wouldn't be able to fight them off. All that said, I still enjoyed watching this movie--it's a rocky start to the Dark Universe series, but it's worth watching, especially on the big screen.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

The Mummy Movie Trailer (2017)

Monday, June 12, 2017

THE UGLY

The Ugly Movie Review

In order to determine if he is rehabilitated, Dr. Karen Shumaker (Rebecca Hobbs) visits serial killer Simon Cartwright (Paolo Rotondo) in a dilapidated insane asylum.Through a series of intense questions and flashback sequences, we learn of Simon's past, one filled with mean classmates, an abusive mother, and the one person who ever cared for him. Simon explains he hears voices from "visitors" and "The Ugly", an alter-ego of sorts, and all lead him to his killings.

"Don't mind us. We're just visiting"

This 1997 film from New Zealand is very low budget, but it did manage to win a handful of awards upon its release. The acting is hit and miss--Rotondo is acceptable as the killer, and Shumaker, who looks like some strange crossing of Gillian Anderson and Kate Winslet, does a good job, but the rest of the cast is rather forgettable. The premise of the movie is interesting, but the script never quite lives up to the potential. While the film may make the viewer feel uneasy at times, it never quite reaches the level of "scary"--this is very much a slow burn type film, with the action and intensity picking up at the end, but unfortunately, the ending is quite disappointing. I bought this movie many years ago, and it sat on my shelf, unused, for probably the past fifteen years--upon coming back to it, I found The Ugly to be a movie that is much better in memory than reality.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 6


The Ugly Movie Trailer

Monday, June 5, 2017

RINGS

Rings Movie Review

Professor Gabriel Brown (Johnny Galecki, I Know What You Did Last Summer) discovers the VHS tape from The Ring and, just as in that film, if you watch the tape you receive a phone call telling you that in seven days you will die, with the only out being making a copy of the tape and having somebody else watch it. Brown tries to create a network that will keep the cycle going forever, with the video naturally entering the internet age, but the rules begin to change. This third film in the series gives us a more in-depth look at the history of Samara, the girl in the well.

She still doesn't look well

Instead of taking this in a whole new direction, we practically get a remake of the original film, sprinkled with just enough to distance it, and instead of delivering an interesting backstory on Samara, we get a lazy story involving a priest (Vincent D'Onofrio), with predictable results. The story is lazy, the film isn't particularly well shot, and the acting leaves a ton to be desired--even D'Onofrio, who is almost always gold, seems disinterested. The movie tries to recreate the legendary television scene from the first film, and though it is still fairly scary, it pales in comparison. After a climax that will make you yawn more than shriek, we get a final scene that, if you're a fan of the original films, you will see coming a mile away, but is also a scene that is visually pleasing. Unfortunately, there's not much to like about this movie--we can only hope they will let the franchise die now. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4


Rings Movie Trailer

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Home For The Holidays Movie Review

At the insistence of their dying father, four sisters reunite at his mansion, where they suspect their old man's new wife is poisoning him. Soon after, the sisters begin dying off as well. Not to be confused with the 1995 Robert Downey Jr. and Holly Hunter comedy that long time readers may recall being on this site back in its early days, this is a 1972 made for television film, so we know right off the bat not to expect much blood and guts. What we do get is a somewhat interesting story, lots of standard 1970s zooms, and some surprisingly good acting.

And a young Sally Field

The sisters--Field, Eleanor Parker, Jessica Walter, and Jill Haworth--all turn in decent performances, though Parker and Walter go a little too over the top during their respective character climaxes. If you're into the 70s look, you may also find the gals visually pleasing as well. Julie Harris as Elizabeth, the new wife, is the real acting gem in this film, as she plays the character straight as an arrow. The movie goes for a twist or two in the end, but you will likely see them coming, so it doesn't get many points for this. The scares are few, but for a made for television film from 1972, the death scenes push the envelope somewhat. While far from a classic, Home For The Holidays is a little better than I expected, and is worth a watch. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


Home For The Holidays Television Spot (This is really cool)

Friday, May 26, 2017

SHUT IN

Shut In Movie Trailer

Clinical psychologist Mary (Naomi Watts, The Ring) has to care for her 18 year old stepson Steven (Charlie Heaton, Stranger Things) after a car accident kills his father and leaves Steven in a vegetative state. Some time later, another boy Mary is treating goes missing, and Mary begins having a mental breakdown, having difficulty distinguishing her dreams from reality. 

She's wishing this movie was just a dream

This movie starts off slow and doesn't really pick up at all until the last fifteen minutes or so, but by then you've probably given up on the film completely. The scares are nonexistent, as is any tension, uneasy feeling, blood, gore, or anything else that would make for a good horror or thriller. Watts, who is typically at least a decent actress, is horrible here, and not even Oliver Platt, who is good in just about anything he does, seems not to care enough to do more than phone this one in. Heaton at least tries in his role, but it gets to the point of laughable over acting. The plot, which could have built an interesting story surrounding Mary and Steven, or even around the missing boy, falls into cliche after cliche, leading to an unexpected twist ending--don't think of that as a positive here, as the twist is so absurd and unlikely that you will shake your head and roll your eyes when it unfolds. Thankfully, the movie is at least shot well, and the lighting adds mood otherwise missing from the film. Still, this is not enough to make this film one worth going out of your way to watch.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4


Shut In Movie Trailer

Thursday, May 25, 2017

GODZILLA VS MONSTER ZERO (aka Invasion of Astro-Monster)

Godzilla vs Monster Zero Movie Review

Two astronauts land on Planet X, where they come across human-like aliens who ask them to bring Godzilla and Rodan from Earth to battle their "Monster Zero", who we know better as Ghidorah. There's also a side story involving an inventor selling an electronic siren device to a woman who rips him off, and this all comes together when the alien beings inevitably turn out to be evil, but do we really care? We watch this movie for one thing: the monsters.

These guys

The monsters, of course, look awesome, but the fight scenes, unfortunately, leave a bit to be desired. This movie was the sixth installment in the Godzilla franchise, and, also unfortunately, was when our lovable monster began to become more comical than menacing--this includes, but is not limited to, Godzilla DANCING after a fight.

No, I'm not kidding

All of this adds up to a rather disappointing Godzilla film, but hey, it IS Godzilla, along with the other two coolest monsters from the Godzilla-verse, so it can't be all bad. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


Godzilla vs Monster Zero Movie Trailer (In Japanese)

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

OUIJA: ORIGIN OF EVIL

Ouija: Origin of Evil Movie Trailer

Fortune telling swindler Alice Zander (Elizabeth Reaser of Stay), with the assistance of daughters Lina (Annalise Basso, Oculus) and Doris (Lulu Wilson), makes a living conning people out of their money; things change, however, when Alice decides to add a Ouija board to her props, and suddenly the restless spirits really do begin communicating with the family. Set in 1967, this is a prequel to the 2014 film Ouija, and lays the groundwork nicely for that film. There really is a lot to like about this movie, and it starts with the retro Universal opening, and continues with the 1970s looking title. Director Mike Flanagan (Hush) continues the throwback awesomeness with some interesting post production decisions, including inserting cigarette burns, fading in and out and abrupt scene changes. Unfortunately, the acting brings the movie down quite a bit, especially Wilson, who fails to deliver the creepiness one would expect in this role. Flanagan also relies far too much on jump scares, and the cliched demon voice is present throughout--this is not to say there is nothing scary in the film; in fact, some scenes are terrifying, and Wilson does look frightening at times.

Like here

Ouija: Origin Of Evil had all the pieces in place to be a classic, but ultimately falls short--that said, this is still a pretty good horror flick.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7

Ouija: Origin of Evil Movie Trailer

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

28 WEEKS LATER

28 Weeks Later Movie Review

Set 28 weeks after the initial events of 28 Days Later, we find that NATO forces have taken control of Great Britain and have created a safe zone from the virus, which they believe to be almost completely eliminated. Two kids sneak out of the zone to visit their old home, where they find their mother still alive. The U.S. Military, headed up by sniper Doyle (Jeremy Renner), brings the kids and their mother back only to discover the woman has the virus, as well as an immunity to it. To nobody's surprise, the virus breaks out again and all hell breaks loose.

There's one way to escape

Much like in the first film, one could argue about if these are zombies or not--I won't argue one way of the other, because it really doesn't matter. This movie takes the violence and bloodshed of the first film and turns it up a notch. This was arguably Renner's breakout role--it's certainly what made me a fan, as he does a fantastic job here. Robert Carlyle (Eragon) also turns in a fine performance, and Rose Byrne of Insidious fame stops as well, but overall the acting is a step down from the first film. The movie moves at a very good pace, and there are some pretty surprising moments along the way. The story is very smart and the film is sure to keep you glued the entire time. The movie ends with a lead in to what has long been rumored to be the third installment of the film, allegedly 28 Months Later, but alas, nothing has come about yet. While most sequels do not live up to the original, this one comes awfully close.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 8


28 Weeks Later Movie Trailer

Monday, May 8, 2017

28 DAYS LATER

28 Days Later Movie Review

Bicycle courier Jim (Cillian Murphy) awakens in a London hospital to find the city largely abandoned, the result of a virus that has eliminated much of the country and turned thousands into raging killing machines. This 2002 film sort of set the horror world on fire upon its release, and really brought new life to the zombie genre--of course, the argument could be made that what we see in the movie aren't zombies at all, and it's a fair argument, but lets face it--this is a zombie movie.

"What did you call me?!"

Jim meets up with a woman named Selena (Naomie Harris, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies), and they eventually come across a man named Frank (Brendan Gleeson, the Harry Potter Series) and his daughter Hannah (Megan Burns), and after hearing a radio broadcast, the group decides to travel to a supposed safe camp, but when they arrive, and we see it is a military camp, we know things are going to go bad. The wheels begin to fall off when the characters at the camp begin to unleash their real intentions, but there is so much to like about this movie that it likely won't turn you off to the film. The acting is top-notch, with all four of the actors mentioned above doing a tremendous job. The violence and gore are unrelenting, the music is fantastic, and the directing (Danny Boyle) is wonderful. The zombies are presented in a way we had not quite seen before, which, when the movie hit theatres, truly blew the audience away--you could almost hear the entire world all at once proclaim "the zombies are FAST!". 28 Days Later is considered a modern classic, a title it certainly deserves. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 9


28 Days Later Movie Trailer

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

MORGAN

Morgan Movie Review

A genetic-engineering company sends in a risk-assessment employee (Kate Mara, 24) to evaluate their latest creation, human hybrid Morgan (Anya Taylor-Joy, Split), who, at five years old, has physically developed about five times fast than humans and has surpassed them in intelligence...and she has quite a temper to boot. After stabbing the eye out of Dr. Kathy Grieff (Jennifer Jason Leigh of Fast Times At Ridgemont High) and killing a psychologist (Paul Giamatti, Lady In The Water), it is decided Morgan must be destroyed, but that's easier said than done.

A bit of foreshadowing?

This is a slick sci-fi/horror film that hooks the audience with a cool premise and delivers on the action. The acting is pretty good in this movie, especially Taylor-Joy as the title character and Giamatti in his limited role. The directing leaves a little to be desired, but it works, and the story moves along at a nice pace, though it is a bit slow coming out of the gate. The film skips the typical argument of whether this type of science should be done, thus saving the audience from cliches we expect. The plot is a bit thin, so it will never be considered a classic in the genre, but it gets the job done. There is a twist ending that is effective--I didn't see it coming, but in a true rarity, my girlfriend did. Morgan is one of those films I didn't have great expectations for, but it was better than I thought it would be. 

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 7


Morgan Movie Trailer

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

THE MAD GHOUL

The Mad Ghoul Movie Review

Scientist Dr. Alfred Morris (George Zucco) experiments with a nerve gas used centuries ago by the Mayans, and discovers he can essentially turn people into zombies he can control. He uses this on his right hand man, medical student Ted Allison (David Bruce), in an attempt to win the love of Ted's girlfriend, Isabel (Evelyn Ankers).

Planting a seed

By the way, the only thing that keeps Ted alive is fluid from hearts, so a good bit of grave robbing and cutting out of hearts takes place as well. The acting is actually pretty solid in this movie, which makes up for the slow pace and, at times, tedious dialogue. Around the time this movie was released (1943), some of the most popular monsters in movies were ones that transformed, and Teddyboy falls into that category, going from a handsome fella to a ghastly looking monster.

...or an insomniac

The bodies begin to pile up, and the doctor seems on his way to seeing his plan come to fruition when Ted figures out what is going on long enough to turn things around, leading up to a really good ending. The Mad Ghoul will never be considered one of Universal's best movies of that era, but it's not a particularly bad movie either.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 5


I couldn't find a trailer for The Mad Ghoul, so here's a look WAY back at a quick promo for the movie on Son of Svengoolie!

Monday, April 24, 2017

THE SHADOWS

The Shadows Movie Review

After a storm topples their boat, five friends end up stranded in a run down house on a small island. They soon begin to hear mysterious noises, see strange shadows, and question their reality. Do you ever pop in a low budget movie, sigh at what you expect, but then as it unfolds you think to yourself "maybe this won't be so bad'? This is one of those movies...for a while at least. The CGI is really bad but will incite a laugh, and is used minimally. The acting is a bit of a step up from what you would expect from a film of this budget and with the same last name appearing repeatedly in the credits--Collett is the name in this one--this includes writer/producer Paul Collett, film editor Dianna Collett, and actor Alan Collett, who sounds like Nathan Lane and looks like...somebody...I couldn't put my finger on it.

Any help?

The movie rolls along, and the storyline is actually somewhat interesting...why are they there? Are they really there? Who is this odd Hispanic lady who sometimes can habla ingles and other times can't? Are they alive or dead? Are there really pirates coming?! Unfortunately, this all gets bogged down with an uninteresting love triangle, and the third act completely falls apart. Of all the disappointments, the arrival of the pirate is the biggest let down. By the time the final couple scenes unfold, you have stopped caring, and the film overlays that come from out of nowhere only add to the annoyance. The Shadows isn't a terrible movie--just a disappointing one.  

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 4


The Shadows Full Movie (...allegedly. I'm not watching the entire movie again to verify this)

Monday, April 17, 2017

EEGAH (aka Eegah: The Name Written In Blood)

Eegah Movie Review

After spotting a giant caveman, Roxy Miller (Marilyn Miller) enlists the help of her boyfriend, Tom (Arch Miller, Jr.) and her father, Robert (Arch Miller, Sr., credited as William Watters for this role and as Nicholas Merriweather for director and producer of the film), to track the mystery man down. The caveman soon kidnaps Roxy and Robert, taking them to his cave, while Tom looks for them. So half the film is spent in the cave, as father and daughter figure out the caveman's name is Eegah, has dead family members with him, and act much more like husband and wife than father and daughter. With a little help from Tom, they eventually escape, but Eegah, smitten with Roxy, tracks them down at a pool party, where our movie mercifully ends. The film is filled with dialogue that makes little to no sense (and that's not even considering the caveman gibberish), lots of time of nothing happening, and terrible audio dubbing, including the infamous "watch out for snakes" scene.

Courtesy of MST3K

Apparently Hall Sr. was determined to make his boy the next Elvis, so with the money they made from the much more enjoyable The Choppers, Hall made this film, which, like The Choppers, has multiple scenes of Hall Jr. singing--these are actually probably the best scenes in this movie. Roxy is a chick who is just guy crazy--aside from dating Tom and practically seducing her father, she takes a fancy for an extra near the end of the film and suffers a serious case of Stockholm Syndrome after escaping Eegah's clutches--the argument could be made she has actually fallen for him too.

The beard, however, had to go

Known as one of the worst films ever made, Eegah was actually a financial success for Hall, allegedly making over a million dollars in drive in theaters--this only adds to the weirdness that surrounds this film.

On A Scale Of One To Ten: 3

Eegah Movie Trailer