Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tale of Two Sisters, The Bad Seed

A Tale of Two Sisters

This movie follows two sisters (naturally), their distant father, and their overbearing, abusive, and possibly psychotic stepmother.
This is a pretty hard movie to give a plot synopsis of.  The sisters move out into the family's house in the country.  The sisters are convinced that their stepmother hates them and is planning something nefarious.  The stepmother has reason to believe that the sisters (one of them, in particular) hates her and wish ill upon her.  Before too long, there are strange happenings in the house: visions of a girl begin appearing in the house.  Bloody bags being drug through the house are there one minute and gone the next.
So, basically, it's a haunted house movie.  That's a fairly lazy comparison, as there are a lot of things going on in this movie, but it's the only comparison I can make without giving too much away.

This was a slow moving/developing movie.  It took a while to set up, and I was a little bored at the beginning.  But, after it got going, it roped me in.  It really drew me into the world they had created, which is what is needed to really enjoy this movie.  I can't say that I loved it, but I liked it.  If you have a little bit of time on your hands and want to lose yourself in a movie, this isn't a bad choice.

Rating: 4/5

The Bad Seed

In my experience, classic horror movies can go one of two ways: they can still hold up and be enjoyable (Psycho, Bride of Frankenstein, etc.), or they can feel extremely dated and cheesy (The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Dracula).  Thankfully, this one leans a little bit more towards the former.  While I wouldn't put it in the category of Psycho or Bride of Frankenstein, it was still a very good movie.  Of course, my only hope was that it would be better than The Good Son, so it definitely exceeded my expectations.

The plot is easy enough: a woman (Christine) has a daughter (Rhoda).  The woman slowly comes to the realization that her daughter is an evil creature, capable of murder, and incapable of feeling.  She doesn't want to believe it.  It is, after all, her daughter.  How could her own daughter be capable of such unfeeling evil?  How does she act on this information?

The set-up is easy enough.  After all, the movie is called The Bad Seed.  Even if I didn't know what it was about before I started watching, the title would have tipped me off.  Rhoda is convinced of killing one of her classmates over a penmanship award.  Christine struggles with the information as she learns more about it: we immediately know that she is guilty.  The gardener at their apartment (Leroy) knows, too.  He claims that he knows that she is "mean" because he is also "mean".  Leroy does not meet a friendly end at the hands of young Rhoda.

All in all, it was a good movie.  Enjoyable throughout.  And it had a very dark ending.  I thought it was dark watching it recently: I can't imagine what the reaction to it was in 1956.

Rating: 4.5/5

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas

To get in the spirit of Christmas, I decided to watch some Christmas movies.  That list almost always includes It's a Wonderful Life, Bad Santa, Ernest Saves Christmas, A Christmas Story, Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Miracle on 34th Street, Pinky & The Brain Christmas, The Year Without a Santa Claus, and others.  But this year I thought I would check out a couple other movies to see if they would be added to that list.

Silent Night, Deadly Night

This movie starts with a family visiting their father/grandfather in a nursing home.  Apparently he had not talked in a very long time.  The parents leave the room, leaving Billy alone with his grandfather.  His grandfather can talk, and he tells Billy that Santa rewards children who have been good.  But, if children have been bad (even once during the year), then Santa will punish them.  It freaks him out, and he leaves.
Meanwhile, someone dressed up in a Santa costume robs a convenience store and kills the clerk.  He leaves the store, and breaks down in the middle of the road.  Billy's family comes across him on the road, and they stop to help him.  He shoots Billy's father and mother, while Billy flees, hiding in the bushes.  He is extremely scarred from these events, and he ends up in an orphanage.
He grows up into someone who is still freaked out by Santa.  He ends up working in a store, and, through a series of circumstances, is forced to play Santa.  This does not end well.

He kills everyone who was working at the store (saying things like "Punish!" and "Naughty!"), then ventures out into the city, killing people who have been naughty.  Of course, this usually involves sex, so there is quite a bit of nudity (of course there's an 80s slasher movie).

So there is a lot of blood, a lot of nudity, and quite a few laughs (most of them over ridiculous a deaf priest getting shot in the back).
Last but not least...there was a bit more rape than I was comfortable with in a Christmas movie.

All in all, not a terrible movie.  I mean, it was terrible, but it was also pretty enjoyable.  I'd watch it again.

Notable actor sighting: Linnea Quigley

Rating: 3.5/5

Silent Night, Zombie Night

It's a few days until Christmas in LA, and there are zombies.  We follow two cops, who have been longtime partners (Frank and Nash), and Frank's wife (Sarah), who has been cheating on Frank with Nash.  So Frank and Nash hate each other, while they both love Sarah.  And, of course, zombies.

There's not much to this movie.  They're dealing with their personal stuff, and they kill zombies.  At some point, some survivalist types show up in their Hummer, blasting zombies.  Apparently they're holing up at the airport, and they're gathering up as many survivors as they can find.  One of the people involved is a pretty short woman, and she runs more awkward than anyone I have ever seen.  How she had survived as long as she did was a miracle.  So that was pretty funny.

They also had two different types of zombies: "roamers" and "runners" (or something along those lines).  The roamers were normal zombies: slow, shambling flesh eaters.  The runners behaved more like the zombies in 28 Days Later: fast and relentless.  They have a scene where they talk about the differences: something about the runner zombies having something attached to their brains.  They didn't expand on it too much, but it sounded like it could have been alien in nature.  Like I said, they didn't expand on it too much, so I could just be reading too much into it.  Either way, I thought it was pretty cool that they had two different kinds of zombies, and that they had a distinction between them.  It was very well thought out.

It was an enjoyable movie.  Very low budget, but the zombies looked pretty cool, and it was very well done.  I recommend it.

Rating: 4/5

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Midnight Meat Train, Wrong Turn 4

Midnight Meat Train

Going in, I figured this would be a mindless, bloody slasher movie.  I got the “bloody slasher movie” part correct, but it wasn’t exactly mindless.  There is a psychological aspect to it that really held my interest. 

Bradley Cooper plays Leon, a photographer, who, in an attempt to get his pictures featured at an art exhibit, walks around the city in the early hours of the day, trying to capture the city as it really is (dark, dirty and dangerous).  He comes across a group of thugs trying to rape a girl, and he stops them.  He watches the girl go into the subway, and he leaves.  The next day, he finds out that she has gone missing.  He continues to stalk the streets, and comes across Mahogany (played by Vinnie Jones), someone who rides empty subway cars by day and works in a meat packing plant by day.  Leon becomes obsessed with Mahogany, who he believes has something to do with the disappearance of the girl he photographed.  It consumes his life.

Like I said, there’s a lot of blood, but there’s also something else that drew me into the movie a little more.  Also, there’s a twist at the end that I did not see coming.  So that was fun.

Overall, it was a good movie.  Much better than I was expecting.  Also, Bradley Cooper’s character is named “Leon”.  I found that endlessly amusing.

Notable actors: Bradley Cooper, Vinnie Jones, Leslie Bibb, Brooke Shields

Rating: 3.5/5

Wrong Turn 4: Bloody Beginnings

Having watched Wrong Turn 1-3, I had witnessed the declining quality with each movie.  So, while I was kind of excited to watch this new movie, I did not have high hopes for it.  I knew this was a prequel, but that's all I knew.

In this movie, we see the early life of the inbred family that shows up in the first three movies.  At the beginning of the movie (set in 1974), they are children, living in an insane asylum in West Virginia.  They escape, release the other inmates, and kill all the employees.  
Fast forward to 2003.  A group of college kids head off for a ski trip in the mountains of West Virginia.  They get off course.  With a snow storm on the way, they needed to find a place to stay.  They find the abandoned asylum, and decide to stay for the night.
Of course, the brothers are still in the area.  They begin to terrorize, kill and eat the kids.

I liked it.  It wasn't as good as the first movie, but it was at least as good as the second movie.  The script wasn't amazing, but it was pretty good, and the story moved along pretty well.  The acting wasn't great, but it was better than I expected.  
And that's how I felt about the movie as a whole: better than I expected.  If you're a fan of the inbred-slasher subgenre, you'll like this movie.

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Midnight Movie, Slaughter Night

Midnight Movie

I read a review of this that sounded good, so I thought I’d check it out.  I ran to Wal-Mart and grabbed a 4-movie pack that had this movie in it for only $5.  Thank you, Sam Walton.
As it turns out, this movie was highly mediocre.

The premise is what made the movie interesting.  A madman made a movie.  After said madman watched it in a mental institution years later, everyone ended up dead, and the madman escaped.  Five years later, the movie (The Dark Beneath) was being shown for the first time since the incident, in a little run-down theater at midnight.  The movie itself pretty much looks like a rip-off of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, with elements of Psycho thrown in for good measure.  Before too long, strange things start happening, and the handful of people watching the movie begin to realize that the killer is somehow escaping the confines of the screen and killing people in the theater.  So, basically, the theater turns into a horror movie, and the patrons are the victims.

Like I said, it was an interesting premise.  The slasher genre seems like a hard one to do something different with, but this movie manages to do it.  The acting and script weren’t great (which is a huge understatement), which made the set-up pretty rough to get through.  But the inventiveness of the plot was enough to carry the movie once it got going.

It wasn’t a great movie, but it added something new to the genre, and that’s always cool.  I can definitely recommend it, but it’s more of a, “Check it out if you get a chance,” rather than a, “You need to watch this movie now,” recommendation.

Rating: 3/5

Slaughter Night (SL8N8)

We were looking for a movie to watch after Midnight Movie.  I had added this one to my instant queue a week or so earlier, so we decided to check it out.   It’s called Slaughter Night, and the girl on the front was covered in blood (and was also fairly attractive).  What could go wrong?

A lot.  A lot could go wrong.  First of all, that girl on the cover doesn’t appear in the movie.  At all.  Second of all, it was awful.

There was a long set-up having to do with a 19th century child murderer somewhere in Denmark (which is where the movie was filmed and set).  The cops tracked him down and killed him outside of the mine in which he operated.  Fast-forward to present day, and there is a girl who gets in a car wreck with her father.  He father (who had been studying this child killer) dies.  She becomes intrigued with the case, and decides to go to the mine with her friends, because…well, I don’t know why.  Fun, I guess?
They go into the mine, where the spirit of the child killer is still roaming about.  He surfaces, and people start getting killed.

I think that’s what happened, anyway.  After about 40 minutes, we came to the conclusion that the movie was terrible and boring, so we decided to fast forward it until it looked like something interesting was happening.  We stopped a couple of times, but even the scenes where someone was getting killed seemed boring.

In other words, don’t see this movie.

Rating: 0/5

Monday, October 31, 2011

Favorite Horror Movies

In honor of Halloween, I have decided to list some of my favorite horror movies.  So here are two lists: the first is comprised of my favorite older horror movies, while the second is comprised of my favorite newer horror movies.  I went with a top 5 classics and top 10 modern, because I make the rules around here.
If anyone is actually reading this thing, I would encourage you to comment with your own favorites.

The Classics Division:

5. The Bride of Frankenstein

4. Nightmare on Elm Street

3. Halloween

2. Night of the Living Dead

1. Psycho

The Modern Classics Division:

10. Scream

9. The Orphanage

8. Colin

7. 28 Days Later

6. Severance

5. Shaun of the Dead

4. Amityville Horror

3. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

2. Dawn of the Dead

1. Quarantine

I know I’m missing some (I feel like Trick R Treat should be somewhere in the Modern Classics), but, overall, I think they’re pretty good lists.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cyrus, Rubber, Trick R Treat, Severance

Cyrus: Mind of a Serial Killer

I saw this movie in Best Buy a couple weeks ago, and I thought it looked interesting, so I grabbed it from Netflix.
It was a decent movie, but not great by any stretch of the imagination.
In this movie, we follow Maria (played by Danielle Harris), who works for a show called Last Steps, in which she goes to places of notable murders and interviews people.  She goes to a small town for a story on Cyrus, “The County Line Cannibal”.  She finds a man named Emmett (played by Lance Henriksen) who knows a lot about the life of Cyrus.  After we get his backstory, we see some of the murders. 
The more Emmett talks, the more we realize that he knows a lot more details than he probably should.

Like I said, it was a decent movie, but it never really pulled me in.  It seems like they were going for a specific mood, but I don’t think they were quite able to capture it.  Danielle Harris and Lance Henriksen were great, but the guy who played Cyrus (Brian Krause) wasn’t great, and that kind of hurt the movie.

When I watched this movie, all I could think of was how much better Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer was.

One final note: it says that this movie was based on a true story, but I haven’t been able to find out what story that is.  I’m pretty sure it’s “Based on a true story” in the same way that The Strangers was based on a true story.  Which, in this case, would mean that there once was a serial killer who lived in a rural area.

Rating: 2.5/5


I had actually started watching this movie about a month ago, but I just wasn’t in the right mood for it.  I’m not sure I was in the right mood for it this time, either, but I watched the whole thing.  So that’s something.

Rubber follows a tire named Robert (I know it’s his name based on the synopsis…I don’t think they ever actually say it in the movie) who can explode objects (bottles, animals, human heads, etc.) through telekinesis.  It rolls through a town, exploding everything it comes across.

There’s a whole “movie-within-a-movie” thing going on here, which is pretty funny.  I thoroughly enjoyed the dialogue, and the acting was fantastic.  I only recognized a couple actors (David Bowe and Charley Koontz), although there were a couple more that I’m sure would be recognizable to others (Wings Hauser, Roxane Mesquida and Stephen Spinella).

Overall, it was a really bizarre movie, but with enough funny moments to keep me interested in it.  I doubt I’ll ever watch it again, but I’m glad I actually sat down and watched it this once.

Rating: 2.5/5

I had seen these next two movies before, but I rewatched them this past week, so I thought I’d throw them up here.

Trick R Treat

An anthology of horror stories, all taking place in a small town on Halloween.

I think I liked it better the second time around.  It’s a terrific movie, and it’s extremely well done.  Great stories.  Great actors.  And it’s legitimately creepy at times.  There aren’t many likable characters in the movie, but it still works.  If you haven’t seen this yet, you definitely need to watch it.

Notable actors: Anna Paquin, Dylan Baker, Brian Cox, Tahmoh Penikett, Leslie Bibb

Rating: 5/5


A British horror/comedy, which follows a group co-workers who head to a lodge in Hungary for a team-building weekend.  They start hearing things and seeing glimpses of people outside of the lodge.  And, eventually, people start dying.

It’s fantastic.  It’s really funny, but there’s also a fair amount of gore and tense moments.  They mix comedy with the slasher genre (as well as some scenes that would actually fit really well in the torture-porn genre) extremely well.  The characters are funny, but also very human. 
It’s never an easy task to mix genres, but they do it to perfection here. 

Notable actors: Danny Dyer, Toby Stephens

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

From Hell, Chromeskull

From Hell

The story of Jack the Ripper, as imagined by Alan Moore.  In this version, we find out who Jack the Ripper is...and we find out that it may have been a little more than just one man acting alone.

This is, of course, a big budget movie.  The headliners in the movie are Johnny Depp and Heather Graham (both of whom are fantastic).  There are also a couple other recognizable actors in this movie: Ian Holm (Bilbo Baggins) and Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid) were the two that really jumped out at me.

I enjoyed it.  It was a unique take on an old story, and it looked great.  It really drew me in to the world they had created.

Rating: 4/5

Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2

I watched the first movie in this series (Laid to Rest) a year or so ago.  I enjoyed it for what it was...a pretty standard slasher movie.  This guy was high tech, mounting a video camera on his shoulder to tape his kills, locking his victims in coffins and communicating with them by text message, etc.  He never talked, and you never saw his face...he always wore a chrome mask, which I assumed was because he had a messed up face.
The killing was violent, graphic and quick (well, quick provided it wasn't one of his preordained which case it was slow).

This one was kind of along the same lines...but not as good.  The "not as good" part mainly comes because the acting was terrible, the script wasn't great, and Brian Austin Green was prominently involved (seriously.  That guy is terrible).
In this movie, Chromeskull isn't a one-man killing machine.  He has an entire organization behind him.  Brian Austin Green was one of his cronies, but he wasn't happy just helping out.  He wanted to join in on the killing.  So he does.  Which doesn't make Chromeskull happy.  It all goes downhill from there.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stake Land

With my baseball team (the Tigers) playing game 6 of the ALCS tonight, I wasn't planning on watching a horror movie.  But a 9 run third inning by the Rangers is probably going to change that.
For now, I'll review a movie I watched a couple nights ago.

Stake Land

This showed up as a "you might like this movie" on Netflix.  So I grabbed it.
You know what?  They were right.  They usually are.
This is a vampire movie that feels more like a post-apocalyptic zombie movie...all scorched earth and undead things roaming around.  The big difference, of course, is that vampires can't come out during the day.
I don't remember them ever saying what caused it, but the movie begins with the world being overrun with vampires.  We follow Martin as he is getting ready to leave with his family, only to watch his family get killed, and himself only surviving because a man (simply known as Mister) comes by and saves him.  Martin begins traveling with Mister, and Mister shows him how to kill a vampire, and how to survive in general.
They pick up a couple of people along the way: a nun (Sister), a pregnant country singer (Belle), and a Marine (Willie).  They are trying to make their way to New Eden, a place in Canada that is supposed to be vampire-free.
But vampires aren't the only thing they need to worry about.  There is a fanatical religious group that calls themselves The Brotherhood, and is fronted by the sadistic Jebedia Loven, who believe that the vampires are a plague brought down by God.

The vampire behave more like zombies than vampires.  They have one goal: to feed.  They don't think.  They don't feel.  They can be killed in the standard vampire ways: stake through the heart, decapitation, and sunlight (although the only one we really see is the stake through the heart).

The movie moves a little slow in parts, but I think it works well.  It sets a good mood overall.  The music works really well for that mood, as well.  Lots of piano.  Pretty stark.  It fits the feeling and mood of the movie perfectly.

Overall, I really liked it.  It was a little different for a vampire movie, but it worked really well.  There were some parts that seemed a little clumsy, but, overall, it worked.
There was one thing that threw me off.  One of the cowriters of the movie was Nick Damici, who also played Mister.  Mister is great at killing vampires, and he's always cool, calm and collected.  So, basically, he's supposed to be a really cool character.  And that character was played by the guy who wrote him.  That just seemed a little cheap to me.  But it doesn't distract from the movie too much.  Just seemed a little odd.  Then again, Sylvester Stallone co-wrote for the Rambo and Rocky series...but Damici is no Stallone.

There were a few people in the movie that I recognized.  Danielle Harris (Rob Zombie's Halloween series, Hatchet II) played Belle, Kelly McGillis (Top Gun, Witness) played Sister, and Michael Cerveris (one of The Observers from Fringe) played Jebedia Loven.

Rating: 4.5/5

The Rangers are now up 12-4.  Guh.  Guess it's horror movie time.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Urban Legends, Ripper, Village of the Damned

Urban Legend

It's an interesting take on the slasher genre: someone is killing college students (at Pendleton University) in the manner of urban legends.
People fight.  People die.  The ones that aren't dead try to figure out who is behind the killings before they die.  There's really not much to it, but I think it's a fresh take on the genre.  I really like it.

There are a handful of big names in this movie: Joshua Jackson, Rebecca Gayheart, Tara Reid, Jared Leto, and Robert Englund.
There are also some other, not-so-big names in this movie: Loretta Devine (who plays the Foxy Brown loving security guard), Alicia Witt (better known for her role at the clarinet player in Mr. Holland's Opus), Brad Dourif, and Danielle Harris.  My favorite connection here is Dourif and Harris.  Dourif played Harris' father in the Rob Zombie Halloween series.  And, while they never share screen time here, I still liked that they were in the same movie.

Rating: 4/5

Urban Legends: Final Cut

This movie is a sequel in name only.  The only character who shows up from the first movie is Loretta Devine, who is now working as a security guard at a new school.
This movie takes place at a film school.  I can't remember the name, but I guess it's not really important.  The main character can't figure out what her senior film thesis should be.  But, after talking with Devine's character, she decides to make a movie where someone kills people in the manner of urban legends.  Shortly thereafter, a friend of hers is said to have committed suicide, but she believes otherwise.  As she begins work on her movie, her friends (and crew members) start being murdered.  Although, unlike the first movie, they're not being killed in the manner of urban legends (except for one).

I don't like this one quite as well as the original, but it was still an enjoyable movie.  I thought it ended really well.

Random actor sighting: Eva Mendes, Anthony Anderson, Joey Lawrence

Rating: 3.5/5

Urban Legends: Bloody Mary

Another sequel in name only.  They reference the events of Pendleton University in passing, but that's about it.  No characters from the first two movies show up at all.

The basic plot: the movie starts in the 50s at a dance.  Football players drug three girls in order do what football players do to girls after they drug them.  One refuses her drink, and fights back.  She is accidentally killed, and her killer stuffs her in a box in a storage room.
Fast forward to present day.  Three girls are having a slumber party, and they talk about Bloody Mary.  So, after a pillow fight, one of the girls says "Bloody Mary" three times.  They giggle.
The next morning, the girls are missing.  As it turns out, some football players drugged them and took them to a cave.  Or something.  Basically just to pull a prank on them.  One by one, the football players start dying in terrible ways.  We find out that it's the girl who was killed in the 50s, exacting her revenge.

This was a terrible movie.  It was just awful.  About the only thing worse than the acting was the script.  This was an amazingly terrible movie.  At about the 15 minute mark, I just started fast forwarding through the movie, stopping at points to see if it got any better.  It never did.

The only person I recognized in this movie was Kate Mara.

Rating: 0/5

Ripper: Letter from Hell

Years before, Molly Keller (AJ Cook from Tru Calling) was the only survivor of a terrible massacre of her friends.  She is now in college, and is studying serial killers under a famous FBI profiler.  One by one, her classmates start getting murdered in the same manner of Jack the Ripper's kills.  By studying Jack the Ripper, the class hopes to find out who the next victim might be, and who the killer is.

This was a fun movie.  Not altogether different from most slasher movies, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Rating: 4/5

Village of the Damned

Since this was on Netflix instant watch, I opted for this version over the 1960 original.

In a small town, the entire population loses consciousness at the same time.  When they wake up, all the women are pregnant.  Then, 9 months later, they all give birth at the same time.
Before too long, it is apparent that these children are not normal.  There are a series of deaths, all of them ruled accidents.  As it turns out, the children are the spawn of an alien race, and are capable of mind control.  As they get older, the children get stranger.  They all have white hair, they all hang out together, they show no emotion, and they kill anyone who gets in their way.
The movie turns into a fight between the townspeople and the children.  But, as the townspeople find, it's hard to fight against a group of mind-controlling children.

It was an enjoyable movie.  The set-up was a little long, but, once it got past the birthing scene, it was really good.

Big name actors in this movie: Christopher Reeve, Mark Hamill and Kirstie Alley

Rating: 4/5

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I Know What You Did Last Summer Series

I had never seen either of these movies, so I did what any normal person would: I bought a pack with both of the movies on Ebay (for the record, I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer doesn't count as a movie in the series, so I didn't watch that one).  Both of these were pretty predictable horror movies...pretty much exactly what I expected.  But I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Our four main characters are Julie (the good girl), Helen (Julie's best friend), Ray (Julie's boyfriend...he's also supposed to be the poor boy in a rich town, only he doesn't look even close to poor.  Of course, when you're played by Freddie Prinze Jr, it's kind of hard), and Barry (Helen's boyfriend.  He also is, by far, the biggest jerk in the movie).  Helen wins the local beauty contest, and the four of them go out to celebrate.  They get drunk and hit a guy.  Instead of calling the cops, they throw him into the ocean, presuming him to be dead.
A year later, with all four nursing some sort of guilt, people in the town start getting killed, and the four of them are stalked.  They run.  They fight.  They try to figure out what is going on.  And so on.
I will say this for Helen (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar): she's a fighter.  Where Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt) makes every stupid mistake imaginable, Helen scraps and claws and punches and jumps out of windows...all to try to get away.

The two survivors from the first movie (Julie and Ray) have defeated killed The Fisherman and are back to living their lives.  Julie is in college, and Ray is working as a fisherman.  Julie and her college friends win a trip to the Bahamas, so they go.  Ray tries to make it, but The Fisherman reappears, killing his friend and putting Ray in a coma.
Somehow, some way, The Fisherman follows Julie and her friends to the Bahamas and starts killing people (including Jack Black, who shows up as a stoner).  They fight back.  And on it goes.
There wasn't much of a difference between this movie and the first one.

Again, there was nothing overly surprising about either of these movies, but I really liked both of them.  For a high school slasher movie, you could do a lot worse.

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Horror Movies I Have Watched Recently

It's been a while since I've updated this blog.  Really, after the Zombie Prom, I didn't really have any motivation to keep up with it.  But I'm still watching horror movies, so I thought I'd throw some more reviews at you.

Dead & Breakfast

This description of this was, "The American Shaun of the Dead."  The cast includes David Carradine, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Oz Perkins, Diedrich Bader, Portia de Rossi, and other faces that you would recognize.  Knowing those things, I assumed I would like this movie.
I was wrong.
The basic story revolves around a demon that was trapped in a box.  It was accidentally released, turning Oz Perkins into Lord of the Zombies.  Before long, he had turned the majority of the town into zombies, trapping the majority of the survivors in the bed & breakfast.  
It doesn't sound bad...but it is.  For some reason, they felt the need to include a country singer to narrate random parts of the story.  It was supposed to be funny.  It was not.
I enjoyed parts of this movie, but most of it just came off as extremely cheesy and forced.

Rating: 1.5/5


I heard this was scary.  And, for about 40 minutes, it was.  There were creepy scenes, and parts that made me jump.  It freaked me out a little.
Then the story took a turn towards the ridiculous, and I couldn't take it seriously after that.  Also, this falls into the category of, "Once you see the monsters, it's much less scary."  There is actually a scene where the main demon (which looks ridiculous to begin with) is sharpening his claws on a wheel.  It's laugh-out-loud funny (it reminded me of the scene in Jeepers Creepers when the demon is sitting at a sewing machine).
This is a movie that starts out with great promise, but it falls apart in a hurry.  There are still a handful of creepy moments in the last half of the movie, but they're few and far between.

Rating: 2/5


This is really less of a horror movie, and more of a strange love story that takes place in a world with aliens.
The set-up: six years prior to the events of the movie, aliens crash landed in Central America.  They are big, tentacled monsters (they basically look like glowing land-octopuses).  During the six years, the government was able to quarantine them into an area just south of Texas (called the infected zone).
The story revolves around two people: Andrew (who goes by his last name, Kaulder) and Samantha (who goes by Sam).  Kaulder is a photographer who works for Sam's father.  Sam was injured south of the infected zone, and Kaulder is tasked with going down and bringing her back to America.
You can probably guess where the story goes.  
I loved their characters.  It's a sweet, well-written story that takes place in a world that doesn't look altogether different from this one.  The cast was perfect, too.  There were times when it moved a little slow, but I didn't really mind too much.
Like I said, this wasn't a horror movie, but I watched it because I thought it was one, so I thought I'd review it here.

Rating: 4.5/5

Quarantine 2: Terminal

I loved Quarantine.  It is one of my favorite horror movies in recent memory.
So, when I saw that this movie was being released direct to DVD, I tried to temper my expectations.  I wanted it to be good, but I wasn't expecting it to be good.
As it turns out, it was decent.  This movie takes place on a plane (and then in a terminal), and it runs parallel to the events in the first movie.  
There's really not a whole lot to say about it.  It's a not-nearly-as-good version of the first movie, but I still found it enjoyable.

Rating: 3/5


I watched this because it was set in Kentucky.  It follows 7 college-aged students who go hiking somewhere in Kentucky (I don't think they ever said where), and run into murderous inbreds.  It's a tale as old as time.  This is basically the same movie as Wrong Turn (and countless others), but with less likable characters (seriously...I don't I liked a single person in this movie).  And the acting was terrible.
Still, I kind of enjoyed it.  I mean, I wasn't expecting anything from this movie other than lots of murder and some gore, and I got that.
If you lower your expectations, you may like it.  But you won't love it...that's impossible.

Rating: 2.5/5

I have quite a few more to catch up with, so hopefully I'll get around to doing that soon.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Zombie Prom

As I mentioned in my last post, the Zombie Prom was a tremendous success.  Around 150 kids showed up, which far exceeded expectations.  I hope this means that we'll do it again next year.
I was slightly discouraged at first.  I had spent months putting together a playlist of monster/zombie/sinister songs, only to get 10 minutes into the event and have people start clamoring for Britney Spears, Willow Smith, Ke$ha, "The Electric Slide", and other such songs.  So the majority of my playlist was scrapped about 10 minutes in.  
Like I said, I was kind of discouraged at first, but, once I settled in, I had a blast.  I was able to mix in some of my music with some of the top 40 stuff (Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Misfits, Parov Stelar, Raveonettes, some horror theme remixes, etc.).  Everyone seemed to have a ton of fun.
About halfway through the night, a big thunderstorm hit.  It didn't really do any damage, but the lightning made for a great effect.
The people at the Arts Center set up a projector connected to a laptop, which put a bunch of zombie related clips on one of the walls.  It was amazing seeing all these kids dancing while zombies appeared on the wall behind them.
So, it was a lot of fun, and I'm really looking forward to doing it again next year.  In fact, I hope it comes a little sooner than that.

As promised, here are some pictures.  You can find more here (courtesy of Paul Muth) and here (courtesy of Ryan Bowe).

The folks at the Arts Center boarded up the windows and made it look terrific.

Brandon and me, getting ready to start


Me again (I love this pic)

The Zombie King and Queen (they were crowned to my modified version of Nan Vernon's "Love Hurts")

As you can see, there were a lot of kids there, and there were some terrific costumes.

Thanks for all the fun, kids.  Let's do it again, real soon.

As a reminder, my remixes can be found here.