Monday, February 28, 2011

A Blade in the Dark (1983)

a.k.a. La casa con la scala nel buio
"When the lights go out, the knife goes in."

Synopsis: A composer, working in isolation on a score for a horror movie meets two women who used to know his house's former tenant. When the women disappear, he's forced to look into the film he's working on to determine what happened to them, and who's responsible.

My Thoughts: A late-era giallo from Lamberto Bava (Demons, Demons 2), son of legendary Italian horror director Mario Bava (Black Sunday, Twitch of the Death Nerve). After you get past the fact that the lead actor is a dead ringer for Eric Foreman from "That 70's Show", you can actually sit back and enjoy this under-rated whodunnit?/slasher flick.

This would be a perfect pick for a movie night with friends. There's enough goofy characters and ridiculous dialog to keep the wise cracks flowing from beginning to end, especially on the English dubbed version. There's also plenty of cheesy mood music ...and even some much appreciated gore.

In the end, this turns out to be a pretty fun movie and would be a good place to start for someone who wants to get into watching giallo films.

My Rating: 6.5 / 10

Recommended. The dvd's going for under five bucks on, I might just have to add it to the collection.

"click here to see the trailer"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

51 (2011)

a.k.a. Area 51
"Welcome to the future"

Synopsis: "51" chronicles what happens after political pressure from the American public forces the Air Force to provide a few well-known reporters with limited access to the most secretive base on the planet: Area 51. When one of the base's hidden 'long term visitors' exploits this unprecedented visit as a chance to liberate himself and his fellow alien captives, Area 51 turns from a secure government base to a horrifying destination of terror.

My Thoughts: I'm not mad, I'm just disappointed. That's seems to be the best way to describe my feelings of the After Dark Originals that I've seen so far. After watching "Husk" a couple weeks back on SyFy Channel, I was stunned. This time around, I was a little more prepared. I mean, when you see an alien movie premiere on SyFy starring Bruce Boxleitner and Jason London, you know what you're gonna get. I won't even get into how bad they miscast Rachel Miner.

I'm really hoping that these two films (that were pulled from the theaters at the last minute by After Dark and given SyFy premieres) are just bad because of SyFy's involvement. "Husk" was a very poor film all-around, maybe 2.5 out of 10. "51" (or "Area 51") could've been worse, but it had the whole cheesy SyFy Channel movie feel. It had the SyFy storyline, the SyFy dialog, the SyFy sets, the Syfy effects/CGI, the SyFy acting and on and on and on.

Now don't get me wrong, I actually get a kick out of some of SyFy's original movies. They have their share of fun killer animal, giant insect and mutant fish flicks. I also realize that After Dark has had a good number of stinkers through the years, but I guess I was still expecting more.

My Rating: 4 / 10

Maybe worth a watch on SyFy channel. Let's hope the 6 remaining non-SyFy channel After Dark films can finish strong and save this year's horrorfest.

"click here to see the trailer"

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rule of Three (2008)

"The things they did to her..."

: Rule of Three hits the ground running with Jon Morrow (Ben Siegler) losing himself in panic at the lack of police follow-ups in the investigation of his daughter's disappearance. She has been missing for weeks and what few clues there may be are getting colder with every minute lost. Jon obsessively packs a gun and returns to a motel room that was the last place his daughter had been seen. She never checked out.

My Thoughts: It's not very often that a low budget independent film comes around that is well written, well directed and well acted. After two successful years on the film festival circuit, Eric Shapiro's directoral debut was finally released on dvd in October 2010.

This thriller is directed more like a play than a feature film with the majority of it taking place in the same seedy motel room. The entire cast was incredible including the film's writer, Rhoda Jordan who played the missing daughter, Lo. Indy horror favorite, Tiffany Shepis also made a brief appearance and stold the show, as always.

My Rating: 8 / 10

Highly recommended. This is a great start for the husband & wife (Sharipo & Jordan) team. I just can't believe they met on the set of "Aquanoids". I mean, have you seen "Aquanoids"? Wow!

"click here to see the trailer"

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Troll Hunter (2010)

a.k.a. Trolljegeren
"You'll believe it when you see it!'

Synopsis: A group of students investigate a series of mysterious bear killings, but find out that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.

My Thoughts: I gotta admit, going all the way back to "The Blair Witch Project", I've pretty much been a hater of the hand-held video camera faux documentary horror flicks.  There have been one or two that I can tolerate, but nothing that I would ever purchase or even suggest to a friend. Though unlike most of the true haters, I do always give the next one a chance. Maybe I've just been looking for the one movie that would convince me that it's not an utterly hopeless form of entertainment. Well, it took the Norwegians to pull it off.

This film finally delivers where many (if not all) of it's predecessors have failed. The main reason they show you what you wanna see. If it's a ghost movie, show me some damn ghosts. If it's a troll movie, show me the trolls. Not only do they show you what you came to see, but the trolls are fuckin' badass ...and really pissed off.

The story is interesting & well written. The acting is believable. The camerawork isn't too shaky and the scenery of Norway's wilderness really fills in the holes where the viewer might tend to get a little bored between the action sequences.

My only complaint is that I would have liked to have seen a little gore, which would have made this in my mind the perfect film of it's kind. Suck on that "Paranormal Activity"!

My Rating
: 8 / 10

This is one movie that should definitely be delivered to the American public. So dub it over in English, give it the million dollar advertising campaign (ala Blair Witch, Paranormal Activity) ...hell, even turn it into 3-D. These Norwegians should get their just due.

"click here to see the trailer"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chain Letter (2010)

"The art of killing"

Synopsis: Six friends receive a mysterious chain letter via text messaging and in their email accounts from a maniac who's hunting down teenagers who fail to forward his online chain letter. Who knew they should take the threats in the chain letter seriously? Or that chain letters using the teens' favorite technologies to track them can kill? This maniacal game pits friend against friend as they race to beat rules that seem impossible to escape. Break the chain, lose a life. Do you pass it on? Does friendship mean anything?

My Thoughts: "Chain Letter", as with producer/director Deon Taylor's previous film "Dead Tone", involves telephones. I can only assume that the man is a huge fan of the "Scream" series. Am I getting tired of cell phones in horror movies? Kind of, but then again I'm getting sick of seeing people with cell phones stuck to their head altogether.

The movie itself is nothing new, but I can't really think of too many negatives. The story was fine, for a slasher. The acting was decent enough. Brad Dourif (Child's Play, Rob Zombie's Halloween) was great as the paranoid school teacher. The fact that they teamed up Keith David (They Live, The Thing) and Betsy Russell (Saw, Private School) as detectives was pretty cool, since I'm a fan both of them. I mean, who isn't?

So what makes this otherwise average movie, slightly above-average? The gore. I was really surprised too because they leave you hangin on the film's opening kill (pictured below), but do they come back strong. Smashing a dude's face with a chain, crushing a guy with a car engine and then going back to finish the opening scene before the movie wraps up. Way to save what could have been a forgettable film.

My Rating
: 6 / 10

Deon Taylor's (Nite Tales, Dead Tone) best effort to date. Good for a Netflix rental, so queue it up!

"click here to see the trailer"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Primal (2009)

"Evil Lies Within"

Synopsis: Anja (Zoe Tuckwell-Smith) and five friends join anthropology student Dace (Wil Traval) on a journey to study a remote ancient rock painting. Their excitement vanishes when Mel (Krew Boylan) becomes delirious after skinny-dipping in the waterhole. Feverish bleeding confused she physically and mentally regresses to a vicious predatory state. Mel has gone primal. Mel's lover and friends realize they are the prey as she savagely hunts them down. Before they can escape another one of them starts to regress posing a hideous choice kill their friends or be killed by them. Their only hope of survival is through a cave where Anja learns too late the meaning of the ancient rock art they came to study.

My Thoughts: I'm a big fan of Australian horror flicks. They really know how to take advantage of their incredible landscapes. This film is no different. On the other hand, scenery can only take you so far. That's why director Josh Reed decided to throw a possessed flesh-eating psycho bitch into the mix.

This is a pretty fun movie for the gore fans out there. Some people might not like the fact that it seems to borrow a little from "The Ruins" and maybe "Cabin Fever", but I think there's enough differences in the story (with the flesh-eaters and all) where it's not really an issue.

I liked how it starts with a quick set-up and doesn't explain the entire story in the intro like some films tend to do. A good pace was kept throughout the film. The actors were believable, especially during the fight scenes. The gore was also top notch. Another thumbs up to the Aussies.

My Rating: 7 / 10

I think Josh Reed might be a horror director to keep an eye on.

"click here to see the trailer"

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Psych:9 (2010)

"Fear is all in the mind...?"

Synopsis: A young woman (Sara Foster, the 'new' 90210) with a troubled past takes a job at a recently closed down hospital. Working the night shift alone she begins to experience a series of unsettling events that lead her to believe that the hospital may be connected to a number of recent murders in the area. To uncover the truth she will have to revisit the past behind the walls of Psych:9.

My Thoughts: It's not often that I watch a film that has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. Roslyn (Sara Foster), the main character's job in the movie was to go through and somehow organize all of the files for a hospital that's been there for like a 100 years and I'd still rather help her do that than watch this shit again.

The story itself had some potential, although I wouldn't exactly call it original. The rookie director (Andrew Shortell) gave this film no sense of atmosphere. The cinematography was awful. There was only one cheesy jump scare thrown in to keep the audience awake.

The acting was piss-poor. Michael Biehn (Terminator, Aliens) wasn't very good as the one-dimensional detective, but compared to Cary Elwes (Saw 1 & 7, Dracula) he was frickin' Daniel Day-Lewis. I mean, I've never been a Cary Elwes fan by any means, but his performance here with his stupid fuckin' fake accent. I think I hate him.

In addition to the quality of the acting, there wasn't one likable character in the bunch. I mean they're all douche bags. By the time you were 45 minutes in, you just didn't give a shit about any of them.

As for the two things that could have possibly saved this heap, gore & skin. The gore was minimal and during the sex scene the bra never came off. I know she had a shitload of scars from getting burned as a kid, but they weren't on the goodies what the fuck!

My Rating: 1.5 / 10

When it takes companies like Lionsgate 3 or 4 years to release a movie on dvd there's usually a reason for it. If it's a foreign film sometimes it just takes longer to reach the U.S. and there's a possibility of it being somewhat decent, but if it's an American film (and even though this one was filmed in Prague, it's still an American film) it's usually because it sucks. Avoid It.

"click here to see the trailer"

Welcome, Gorehounds... the 'Much of Madness/More of Sin' horror movie page. I've tried several times through the years to get this thing going with no success. Why? Laziness I guess. This time I'm hoping things will be different. I've recently been forced onto a different shift at work (those bastards!), which leaves me much more time to dedicate to the site.

Other than the obvious movie reviews, I really don't know what direction I'm gonna go with this. One thing I plan on having a series of VHS reviews for the forgotten classics yet to be released on dvd. I'm also open to suggestions, so feel free to add your comments on the site or e-mail me at

I do intend to eventually start up a 'MoM/MoS' podcast to coincide with the blog, hopefully sooner than later.

Enjoy the site!
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