Monday, August 29, 2011

Necronos: Tower of Doom (2010)

"You Can Not Kill What Is Already Dead."

Synopsis: Necronos (Thomas Sender), one of the mightiest minions of the devil himself has come to earth to create an invincible army of the undead under leadership of barbaric demons, called Berzerkers. To achieve his goal Necronos needs numerous often very macabre and difficult to come by ingredients. So Satan sends him two assistants to achieve his goal - Goran (Timo Fuchs), a Blood Demon and footman loyal to Necronos as well as The Mighty Witch (Manoush) to locate the chosen one - a virgin witch.

My Thoughts: This has got to be one of the most difficult movies to review that I have ever come across. It's such a mixed bag, in every aspect of the film, that I don't know where to begin. You see what we have here is really a fantasy gore film, that at times seems like a slasher, and at other times almost feels like some of demented art film.While I do like the creativity that went into the storyline, the 2 hour run-time really took a lot of the flow out of it.

After getting through the first 10 painful minutes, in which the story was explained through a series of short clips of the past and extremely drawn out title card sequences, we finally get to the opening credits. Once that's over the film, now in present day, starts to pick up. The director (Marc Rohnstock) makes it pretty clear early on that he has no problems with nudity or extreme gore (which in my opinion is always a plus). Not all of the gore was great, but it had it's moments and believe me I've seen a lot worse.

If you could sit back and just take this movie for what it is, then you might be able to get something out of it. I for one can appreciate the obvious time and effort that went into making this film. This wasn't just thrown together in a week or two. So if you're into gore films and you're looking for something a little different then this medieval gore-fest from Germany might just be the movie for you.

My Rating: 5 / 10

Not at all a perfect film, but worth a watch. I can honestly say that I've never seen anything quite like it. In the often stale world of indie gore flicks, Lars and Marc Rohnstock definitely have their own thing going on and I'll be interested to see what they can come up with in the future. 

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Episode #6 Is On The Air!

In the 6th episode of Horrorphilia’s ‘Much of Madness/More of Sin’ podcast, we review Broken Lizard’s 2004 slasher spoof, ‘Club Dread’ …the 1975 Cronenberg classic, ‘Shivers (a.k.a. They Came from Within)’ …1990′s ‘There’s Nothing Out There’ …the 1980 killer crab movie, ‘Island Claws’ …the 2008 British slasher, ‘Flick’ …and the 1986 cult classic, ‘Neon Maniacs’.
We also run down some of the new stuff that’s rumored to be in production and discuss the 2010 indie short, ‘Trilogy of Blood’ from Ruckus Productions.
Music by: ‘Bill Paxton (a.k.a. Coconut Pete)’, ‘Wir’ and ‘The Cramps’
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Monday, August 22, 2011

Fright Night (2011)

"You Can't Run From Evil When It Lives Next Door."

Synopsis: In this remake of the 1985 classic, teenager Charley Brewster (Anton Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Colin Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths in the neighborhood. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (David Tennant), a self proclaimed vampire killer and Las Vegas magician, to help him take down Jerry.

My Thoughts: I can go on and on about what was wrong with this movie, but just so I don't have to waste any more time on this 120 minute dud, I'll narrow it down to my 3 main complaints:

1: WHO CARES? - The 'new' Charley Brewster was one of the most uninteresting and unlikable main characters that I've seen in some time. It's nearly impossible to give a shit if anything happens to the guy, or his Mom, or his girlfriend, or any of his friends.

2: WE'VE SEEN IT ALL BEFORE - The CGI effects were mediocre at best and the kills were very unoriginal. Overall, pretty weak.

3: WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? - They completely butchered the 'Evil' character. When I heard that Christopher Mintz-Plasse (aka 'McLovin') was cast in this role, I thought he was the perfect choice for a 2011 version of 'Evil' Ed. He's got the geek thing down, he's a little weird and we know he could bring the comic relief. The problem is they didn't let him do what he does best. Instead, they had him deliver a few bad jokes, then made his character irrelevant to the story leaving the rest of the comedy to David Tennant (who was horrible in the Peter Vincent role). I'm sorry, but Peter Vincent and his wife giving each other the finger over and over isn't really that funny. 

My Rating: 4.5 / 10

Believe or not, a pretty good performance by Colin Farrell is wasted here. My advice would be to spend your $11 or $12 on a dvd copy of the 1985 version, because the best thing about this one is that it's forgettable. Wait for redbox and if you're a big fan of the original ...wait even longer.

...and how could they not have played 'Come To Me' (the 'Fright Night' theme song) in this movie, shame on them. It's pretty obvious that the director (Craig Gillespie) wasn't too big of a fan of the original film and believe me 
it shows on the screen.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Be Kind, Rewind: The VHS Reviews ~ Cry Baby Lane (2000)

"Someone Wants To Meet You"

Synopsis: Andrew (Jase Blankfort) and his older brother Carl (Trey Rogers) enjoy listening to ghost stories that the local undertaker (Frank Langella) tells them. One night he tells the tale of a local farmer whose wife gave birth to Siamese twins, one being good natured while the other was clearly evil. The farmer, ashamed of them, kept the twins locked in their room. Eventually the twins got sick and died together, so the farmer sawed them in half and buried the good twin in a cemetery and the bad twin in a shallow grave near the house. Later, Carl and his friends decide to hold a séance in the cemetery where the good twin is buried, but they unintentionally awaken the bad twin instead. Gradually, he possesses nearly everyone in town and it is up to young Andrew to stop him.

My Thoughts: Okay, so the story of 'Cry Baby Lane' goes like this. Back in 2000, Nickelodeon decided to air a horror flick (that they produced) during their big Halloween weekend. Kids love to be scared on Halloween, right? So they got their biggest star at the time, Melissa Joan Hart (or 'Sabrina the Teenage Witch'), to introduce it and everything would appear to be fine. Until it aired that is. Apparently, parents were outraged by how frightening the film was, so they bitched about it, the network backed down (like they always do) and it's never been aired again on Nick or any other network.

Is this as scary as advertised? No, of course not. The problem Nickelodeon made was throwing the TV-7 rating on it. There is definitely images in this movie that could scare the crap out of a 7 year old. There's a lot of creepy crawlers and skeletons, but no gore. I think if they just played it safe with a TV-13, then all of the problems would have been avoided. It's not like the network was trying to build it up to help sales on a dvd release ...though maybe they should have.

The movie itself? Well, it's not too bad. The acting from the kids is no better or worse than you normally see on Nick or the Disney Channel. Frank Langella does a great job as the creepy undertaker, Mr. Bennett. The effects are decent enough, especially for a lower-budget TV movie.There's a pretty nice looking scene where a spider crawls out of a little girl's mouth and onto her tongue.

One thing I did like about this movie is that there's an oddness about it. It's not quite like any other horror movie that I've seen. I don't know if it's the story, the dialog or just the way the characters interact, but there's definitely something different about it. If anything I have to give the director (Peter Lauer) some credit for that. Also, I could see how if I saw this a bunch of times as a kid there could be some nostalgia for it. It's too bad Nickelodeon never gave it a chance.

My Rating: 4.5 / 10

Still no release for this one, but you can check it out on youtube before they pull it off again. 

Watch It Here...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coming Soon... 'BILLY CLUB'

Independent filmmaking these days is a scary thing! So we are looking to YOU to help support our next film and keep creative people making bigger and better projects! 

About the film:
Billy Club is an independently produced horror film from directors Nick Sommer and Drew Rosas. This is a psychological thriller following in the footsteps of Halloween, Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. In 2010, Rosas and Sommer created the instant cult classic Blood Junkie, pick up for distribution with Troma Entertainment. This summer they are teaming up again to produce their new film Billy Club, a haunting new vison in the realm of independent horror cinema. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Be Kind, Rewind: The VHS Reviews ~ The Guardian (1990)

"Tonight, while the world is asleep... an ancient evil is about to awaken."

Synopsis: After stealing the baby that she had been hired to look after, for her Druid (tree worshiping) practices, Camilla (Jenny Seagrove) inquires about babysitting for Kate (Carey Lowell) and Phil's (Dwier Brown) son, Jake. She eliminates her competition for the position and quickly becomes part of the family. It appears they have found the perfect nanny for their son, until they begin to discover that Camilla might just have some special plans in store for baby Jake.

My Thoughts: The first thing that comes to mind after watching this movie is 'Why?'. Why would a guy, who directed one of the greatest horror movies of all-time ('The Exorcist'), even want to put his name on a movie like this? I guess we'll never know, but he wrote it it's on him.

If you can get yourself past the dumb-ass plot, you're immediately hit with the boring-ass dialog. Then, if you stay awake long enough to make it all the way through, you're rewarded with some horrible special effects and an extremely predictable ending.

On the good side (if there was one), the acting was decent enough and at least we got to see some wolves fuck somebody up. Besides that, it's a total waste. I mean, come on ...Trees! We all know that Sam Raimi is the only one who can make a tree scary.

Friedkin made another return to horror with 2006's 'Bug', which makes it pretty obvious that the guy should give up on the genre.

My Rating: 3 / 10

Unless you happen to worship trees yourself, there's not a lot to like about this movie. The DVD is out of print and very expensive ($35 used on, so I'd suggest skipping it or maybe catching it sometime on Showtime or Starz if you're really, really bored.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

My Pure Joy (2011)

Synopsis: The story follows a teenager named Adam. Introduced to horror films at a young age by his father, he had soon become obsessed with them. After his father's death, Adam takes his obsession to the next level by acting out the bloodiest scenes from his favorite slasher films on unsuspecting victims. When his life starts to fall apart, he decides to fix things by choosing his victims a little closer to home.

My Thoughts: Let me start by saying that the director (James Cullen Bressack) definitely shows some balls here, especially for it being his first feature film. This movie hits you with more gore, language and nudity than you'll get from 90% of the horror flicks being released nowadays. Plus, it also has a great WTF moment that forced me to rewind just to make sure that I saw what I thought I saw.

Some of the inexperienced actors weren't very good, although Alexei Ryan's performance as the psychotic teen, Adam, really stood out. The gore effects were decent enough in some scenes, but not so much in others. I thought the homage to the original 'Psycho' shower scene was really well done. However, the scene when Adam chops off the rapper's fingers ...well, not so good.

This movie could've been a lot better if it wasn't for the editing (or lack of editing). I understand that one of the hardest things for a director to do is cut out scenes that might have taken hours to shoot, especially for a younger director. Unfortunately, most of the time that's what it takes to improve the flow of a film. Cutting some of the longer dialog scenes and the repeated flashbacks would have really helped this movie.

My Rating: 4.5 / 10

This is a horror movie made by a hardcore horror fan for hardcore horror fans. The genre needs new young directors like James Cullen Bressack. Youth and inexperience isn't always a bad thing. It does lead to a lot of mistakes, but it also gives a director no fear of failure and that can lead to great things. This guy definitely seems to be on the right path and if he keeps his edge there's a great slasher flick in his future.

Psykik Junky Pictures

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Monday, August 8, 2011

Rich's Reviews ~ Simon Says (2006)

"Time To Have Some Fun"

Simon Says is about twin brothers, one has psychotic tendencies and severely injures his brother when they are young children. The story takes place years later when the brothers are grown. Teens looking for a campground run into the twins, played by Crispin Glover, and soon get knocked off one by one. The teen characters consist of the jock, the stoner, the virgin, the slut and the smart chick.

Even though the characters all have been seen before, as well as the story, this movie works fairly well. The acting is above average. Crispin Glover was born to play this kind of role (of the odd twins). The gore is exceptional and the murders are creative. For example,  the virgin girl gets it with a portable CD player shoved down her throat and the stoner is forced to smoke a giant joint.

Simon Says gets a 7 1/2 out of 10. It's good fun!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Horrorphilia's Much of Madness/More of Sin Podcast: Episode #5

We're back with Episode #5 of Horrorphilia's 'Much of Madness/More of Sin' podcast. In this episode, we review the 1983 killer snake movie, 'Spasms' ...2003's direct-to-video sequel, 'The Hitcher II: I've Been Waiting' ...the 1974 zombie classic, 'The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue' ...John Landis' 1992 vampire comedy, 'Innocent Blood' ...and both of the Dick Maas killer elevator flicks, 1983's 'The Lift' and 2001's 'The Shaft'.

We also run down some of the new stuff that's rumored to be in production and discuss Gris Grimly's 2007 indie short, 'Cannibal Flesh Riot!'.

Music by: 'Hola Ghost', 'Iggy Pop' and 'The Cramps'

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