Thursday, October 28, 2010

Paranormal Activity 2 (2010)

*There might be spoilers ahead....it's sort of hard to even start reviewing this movie without giving away a bit of the premise*

I'm a little late on this post, sorry!  I saw Paranormal Activity 2 this weekend, and I loved it, dammit.  Usually I have equal hatred for both hype and sequels, but I really think that the Paranormal Activity series is sort of a new animal in the horror universe.

Paranormal Activity 2 serves as sort of a prequel to Paranormal Activity.  So if you've seen any of the crazy Tweets or whatever about "OMG MICAH IS ALIVE!!11!!!" it's not anything about ghosts.  PA2 simply takes place mostly simultaneously with the events in PA.

In PA2, Kristi is Katie's sister.  Kristi and her husband Dan have a baby Hunter, who joins their family with their older daughter, Ali.  We follow the first months of Hunter's life and everything is fine and he is super-cute.  All is well until their house is suddenly vandalized.  However, all that is stolen is a necklace that was a gift from Katie to Kristi.

Fear causes the family to install cameras around the house for their security.  But in the meantime, their housekeeper/nanny, Martine suspects that something supernatural is afoot.  Dan fires Martine for burning incense and trying to rid the house of spirits.  Meanwhile, the violence in the house escalates as a supposed demon continues to terrorize the family.

I really did like this movie and I found it seriously creepy.  The end was especially scary and I loveddddd how everything was tied together.  I especially appreciate the explanation for why their whole family (including Katie) was being terrorized.  It was definitely not a cop-out.  And of course, they left it open for Paranormal Activity 3.  In fact, the whole story worked together so seamlessly, I wonder if they were planning to make all three in the first place...?

Personally, I thought that Paranormal Activity was scarier, but my husband thought that this one was.  So your thoughts might go either way.  But definitely check it out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead

I was lucky enough to receive the first eight episodes of the underground-ish zombie show, Zombie Hunters: City of the Dead.  For those of us who love low-budget horror goodness, this is the Evil Dead for zombie fans.

Long before The Walking Dead hit AMC, Zombie Hunters was creating undead drama in delicious half-hour bites. ZH follows a small band of vigilantes fighting a zombie attack that threatens to consume New York City.  Although the group's core is John, Billy, and Bates, they join together with others along the way.  It's an interesting look at a zombie plague.  They're not in 28 Days Later survival status quite yet, but defending their city and preparing for the apocalypse.

The zombie makeup on this show is impressive, and very reminiscent of Savini's style.  Although this is produced on a limited budget by people with day jobs, the special effects are pretty good, and keep improving as the series progresses.  The drama is solid, and I definitely looked forward to each episode to see what would happen next.  There are several unique storylines and viewpoints to keep your attention.

That's not to say that Zombie Hunters doesn't have its faults.  The acting is hit or miss, with the main characters being pretty damn believable and the supporting cast being generally meh.  The storyline tends to be disjointed at times, and you might find yourself asking, "hold on, what's happening?  Did I miss something?"

Creator Patrick Devaney is definitely a graduate of the Romero zombie school.  His influence is seen everywhere, but not in a rip-off type of way.  The vigilantes, and many of the supporting characters, are down-home types that you really find yourself rooting for.  The show's got a hell of a lot of heart, and that's more than you can say for most horror nowadays.

So support independent horror, bitches!  Zombie Hunters airs on television in NYC, but you can also order and watch episodes at their website: www.zombiehuntershow.com.  They'll also be making an appearance at the Chiller Theatre Con in Jersey this weekend.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Raw Meat (1972)

Snore, snore.....zzzzzzzzz.  I really, really tried to like this movie, but it was just really hard to do so.  I was excited to see a pre-Halloween Donald Pleasance, but the movie was mostly him talking and not much else.  I wish this movie was more about cannibalism and less about two London detectives wandering around, interrogating people over and over, and rudely demanding tea. 

Raw Meat follows a young couple, Patricia and Alex, who, when leaving the subway late at night, see a man collapsed on the stairs.  Although Alex wishes to ignore the man and go about with their evening, Patricia fears he may be hurt or dying.

They involve police, who return to the spot and find the man missing.  Detectives soon discern that not only is the man a prominent civil servant, but also that there have been several other strange disappearances from this particular subway station.  A little digging reveals that 100 years prior, men and women working on the subway were trapped alive when a tunnel collapsed.  But little did they know that these individuals lived for decades, reproducing and feasting on human flesh.

However, now only one man remains, after the death of his pregnant companion.  The man appears to by dying himself, having contracted a disease after living amongst filth and vermin.  The man eventually becomes desperate for food and companionship, and takes more severe measures.

You would think that this would make for quite the salacious story but it was just SO slow and boring.  The action (or lack thereof) just plodded along at a glacial pace until it got all Hills Have Eyes during the last few scenes.  I see that this has gotten a lot of good reviews and has been considered to have achieved cult status, but I just wasn't feeling it.  Sorry, Brits.

Living Death (2006)

Elizabeth (Kristy Swanson) and Victor (Greg Bryk) are living a marriage of convenience.  Victor just gained control of his late father's estate, and Elizabeth has no intentions of losing her meal ticket and cashing in on her lousy prenup.

Victor is less than faithful, and tends to enjoy strapping women to certain torture devices he keeps in his attic.  Elizabeth is not the model wife herself, banging their lawyer on the side and plotting Victor's untimely demise.  They plan his death by using extracts from a poisonous blowfish.  They dump it on dude's pad thai and wait for it to kick in.

They cart Victor off to the morgue, assuming that he has kicked the bucket.  But is it just the paralysis of the blowfish poison making him appear to be dead?  And what revenge will he seek on his "killers" once he gets loose?

I might be in an odd mood this weekend, but I actually thought this movie was pretty decent.  It was really more drama than horror and there wasn't as much torture as something like Hostel but it was a decent revenge flick.  Kristy Swanson for life, yo.

Drive Thru (2007)

Hehehehe this movie was a blast.  It brought me back to the days of nonsensical 80s cheesefests that were just a good time to watch with some friends and beers.

I have no idea why, but this movie is full of people that are currently pretty decent stars.  We've got Leighton Meester (Gossip Girl), Nicholas D'Agosto (Heroes and Inside), Penn Badgley (Gossip Girl), and Melora Hardin (The Office).

Drive-Thru is basically the story of a bunch of rich Orange County kids.  They go to school, they drive around, they party, they have underage sex.  But a killer is on the loose.  Horny the Clown, the mascot for local chain Hella Burger, has a score to settle.  Kids are disappearing left and right, without anyone aware that everyone has a connection.  Soon enough the parents realize that they, and their kids, all have a rather sinister connection, Nightmare on Elm Street-style.

This movie is certainly no Exorcist (or NOES for that matter) but it was corny, bloody, and a ton of fun to watch.  Grab some brews and buds and have a good laugh at Drive Thru.

The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

I liked this movie.  It reminded me a lot of the Amityville Horror remake, which I also thought was pretty badass. 

The Haunting in Connecticut is based on an actual true story of a Connecticut family.  Matt Campbell (Kyle Gallner) is a teenager who is dying of cancer.  In order to get the treatment he needs to have any chance of survival, his mom Sara (Virginia Madsen) has to drive him for hours in each direction in order to attend the clinical treatment trial.

Exhausted and stressed from the constant traveling with an incredibly ill person, Sara decides that they need to find a rental home closer to the hospital.  She finds an incredible deal, with one catch.  The house was previously a funeral home with a bit of a sordid past.  Desperate for a place to stay, Sara rents the home, not telling anyone in the family about its history.

The whole family moves in, with Matt opting to stay in the basement/morgue as it has it's own private bathroom.  Immediately after moving in, Matt begins to experience strange visions.  He chalks it up to the medicine from the treatment, but things get progressively worse.    As Matt's condition worsens, the hallucinations get more intense, and he feels he is possessed by a boy who used to live in the house.

After digging up records and consulting with a reverend, Matt and his cousin Wendy (Amanda Crew) discover what really went down in the old house.  To say the least, some spirits were dug up and they're not ready to rest quite yet.

I found this movie to be seriously creepy, the background story was good, and the acting was better than you get in most horror movies.  This movie probably got a lot of flack for being so mainstream, and PG-13 to boot, but I thought it was a good flick.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Spiral (2007)

I think my initial problem with this movie was taking Joel Moore (Mason) seriously.  Maybe if I had never seen Dodgeball....but it was just really hard getting into this guy being a creeper. 

It is pretty tough to get into this movie.  It's pretty slow-moving and there were a couple of times when I was ready to give up on it.  Spiral is the story of a weird loner (Mason), who only has one friend (Berkeley) until he befriends a bubbly co-worker, Amber.

They begin dating, and she is energetic and patient enough to see past his weirdness.  Mason is an artist, and desires to sketch Amber, which she enjoys at first.  The sketches become a little more provocative, and Amber plays along....right into Mason's bed.  However, she soon makes an interesting discovery, which turns the tables on the relationship.

Honestly, I sort of saw the twist on this one coming from a mile away.  I was hoping for something more sick and demented but I guess that's what you get for PG-13.  I honestly didn't find it as creepy as it was described.  I'm sad to say I was pretty disappointed with this one.

The Rig (2010)

I love me some William Forsythe.  And he's rocking the Southern accent/badass mustache all Devil's Rejects-style up in this movie.  Well, three cheers for a new concept.  This is definitely the first time I've seen a horror movie taking place on a oil rig (correct me if you know of one!)

I'm not much for creature features, but damn IMDB reviewers are hating on this movie.  I actually liked this flick.  A group of roughnecks are stuck on a rig overnight because of a large storm.  All "non-essential" personnel have been sent back to the mainland, while the real badasses ride it out.  I liked that this wasn't just a sausage fest and there were girls up in this rig as well.

Those who get separated from the group are rapidly attacked by some sort of crazy looking creature from (presumably) the sea.  Sadly, William Forsythe is not in this movie as long as I would have liked, but the remaining cast is pretty solid.  As the crew is picked off one by one, the survivors struggle to keep the creature at bay. 

Sure, the special effects weren't the great, but come on, this thing didn't have an Avatar budget.  I thought it moved pretty fast, the acting was decent, and the story was original.  That's more than you get in most horror movies these days.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Movie News: Inkubus and Infected

I was lucky enough to attend a panel at the New York Comic Con, featuring up and coming director Glenn Ciano, as he discussed his two upcoming projects, Inkubus and Infected.  I was really unfamiliar with both of these movies, which is crazy considering how many popular horror actors are in them.  It just seems the buzz hasn't really been too heavy around these two flicks, but let's get some started.  First off, Inkubus.


Inkubus stars Robert Englund, and also features William Forsythe, Joey Fatone (seriously) and Tom DeNucci.

Here's the plot summary from IMDB:

"Inkubus tells the story of a skeleton crew, including officers Caretti and Cole, working the final shift of a closing police station. This night takes a gruesome turn when a demon named Inkubus calmly walks in with the severed head of a murdered girl. He allows himself to be restrained and begins to confess his litany of crimes. Why? Inkubus wants his one phone call to contact the single detective who almost caught him some thirteen years ago. They have unfinished business that will reopen a haunting unsolved murder. The cops unlucky enough to be present are fated to participate in, and witness, Inkubus' crowning achievement of murder, gore, and mayhem."

We saw the preview for this (there's a crappy recorded version available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYUEBFdDlMM) and this thing looks pretty freakin' badass.  Robert Englund is doing his best to play the super creeper and I'd say he's still got it.  Glenn Ciano said that they're hoping to premiere it at the NYC Horror Film Festival, which is taking place November 10-14. 

Next up, Infected.  Now I would say there's even less information available on this flick, as they only started filming it last Monday.  However, we were able to get an inside scoop at the panel.  This isn't going to be the typical zombie movie.  It's going to be kind of a lyme disease gone wild type of deal, where some crazy strain of the sickness makes people go all kinds of bananas.  There's an awesome cast featuring Michael Madsen, William Forsythe, Christy Carlson Romano, Tom DeNucci, and Joey Fatone.

Looks like Glenn Ciano is fixing to be the next Rob Zombie, using repeat actors in his movies.  Not that I have a problem with that ;o)  However, if you want my honest opinion, the title could use a little work.  There have been three "Infected"s in the last 5 years and I really think this movie can stand out due to it's premise.  Just my two cents.

This is filming in Rhode Island as we speak, and Ciano promises it will be bloody, gory, and exciting.  He also hinted to the fact that this could be part of a trilogy, 28 Days/Weeks/Months-style.  I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Random: New York Comic Con Day 2

Bruce Campbell was at the Comic-Con but he was charging $40 for autographs.  I love ya, Ash, but $40?  Come on.  So instead, I stood sort of near him and took a photo.  He looks much older than you would think.

Day 2 of NYCC was quite eventful.  We were running very late in the morning and were pretty sure that we were going to miss the Lost Boys/Corey Feldman panel.  However, once again, I misjudged the demographic of this event, and they didn't even fill the room for Edgar Frog himself.  No worries though, because I was excited to see Corey Feldman and get a peek at the new Lost Boys sequel.

If you guessed that Corey would show up dressed like Michael Jackson, with Jersey Shore style shades, you would be correct.

Here's a bit of a better picture:

Corey Feldman was actually a LOT funnier that I thought he would be.  He's very good at laughing at himself, admitting that he's made some mistakes along the way and that Lost Boys: The Tribe was just plain awful.  He also talked a lot about Corey Haim, which was touching, and they even showed a clip of the two Coreys together in the original Lost Boys.  We got treated to tons of clips from Lost Boys: The Thirst and although it looks relatively cheesy, I'm still going to check it out.  I have tons of video from this panel that I will post at another time.

Next up, we hit the exhibition floor running.  I saw a lot of the same horror stuff I had seen the previous day but it was good to check it out again.  Snagged a couple of horror posters that I had missed on Friday, and checked out some cool costumes, comics, and anime craziness.

The most disappointing part of the day was the Saw signing.  Got there at about 1:15 for the 2pm signing.  We were about 100 people back in line, and I should have known this was going to be a shitshow because absolutely no one was managing the line.  It moved at a glacial pace for the next nearly two hours until we finally reached the front around 3pm.  We watched NYCC volunteers establish a cutoff point about 30 people behind us.  Sweet, we were in.  Until, without warning, when we were TWO PEOPLE from the front, they announced the signing was over.  WTF?!  We got signed posters (not personalized, of course) as a "consolation" but everyone was pretty bummed at that point.  They really should have established the cutoff point earlier so we didn't waste time.  Also, I missed the MTV horror panel to deal with that nonsense.



We checked out Bruce Campbell and walked around Artist Alley for most of the rest of the day.  We stopped back to the Walking Dead setup to see if there were any giveaways or fun stuff, but it was still just the badass banner and comics for sale.  Boooo.



All in all, a fun experience.   Stay tuned for my "tips for attending NYCC" and more in-depth posts on Inkubus and Infected.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Random: New York Comic Con Day 1

This is me being a massive nerd, as I am BEYOND excited to be hanging out with Michael Madsen.  Luckily enough for this horror freak, he was on a panel we were going to.  As everyone else was preoccupied with the James Marsters panel, he was just kind of hanging out, shooting the shit.  We discussed House and although I don't want to blow up his spot, the conversation was hilarious.  We also chatted about an upcoming movie (non-horror) that he's doing with "Billy Forsythe" (squeeeee!) called "Loosies."  But back to the actual con.

There's not a gigantic horror presence at the Comic Con, but I liked what I saw.  There were tables passing out swag for Frozen, Let Me In, Suck, and Sanctuary, which I can't find info about anywhere.  I don't recognize anyone on the poster either.

There's also a huge set up for the Alien Anthology, where they're giving out this ridiculous alien stick things that gave me a splinter.  There's also a huge presence for The Walking Dead but to be honest, nothing fun.  They are selling the comic books, but besides that, it's one of the most boring booths at the con.

Suffice it to say that there is definitely a large vampire presence at NYCC.  In the minds of con-goers, it was a sin to take Buffy off the air, and Sarah Michelle Gellar should suit up again and put Twilight out of it's misery.  Seriously, this is the most popular shirt I saw all of yesterday.  There are lots of booths pimping vampire books and movies, likely trying to capitalize off the success of True Blood and Twilight.

I attended three panels yesterday: How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse (surprisingly lame) A Geek's Guide to Podcasting and Blogging (very informative) and Inkubus and Infected (which was totally fucking awesome)  Let me explain.

Inkubus and Infected are two horror movies being created by up and coming director Glenn Ciano.  We got to the panel super-early because we thought Robert Englund might be there and the whole place would be freakin' mobbed.  Well, everyone was busy with the James Marsters panel, and it was not in fact mobbed.  Instead, we got treated to a pretty much private Q&A with Glenn Ciano, Michael Madsen, Christy Carlson Romano, and Tom DeNucci.  I'm definitely doing a whole separate post on these two movies, so stay tuned, but here are a couple shots from the panel:



So that's it for yesterday, folks!  Getting my coffee/breakfast together now and off for another day at the Con.  My feet still freakin' hurt though.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Random: A Helpful Guide for Googlers


People get to this site by searching some strange-ass things.  Like stuff my psychotic mind wouldn't even think of.  So I thought I would try to address some of the keywords used to get here.  You know, just for fun while I wait for The Human Centipede to arrive from Netflix.

Also, props to Final Girl for this idea.  She wins for best Google search EVER, which has to do with Dallas.  I could write one of these things every week and I'm never going to get a search that good.

"Leslie Easterbrook Hot"
  Why, yes, I suppose she is an attractive lady.  I don't discuss her looks too much on here, but I sure do love The Devil's Rejects.

"Poughkeepsie Tapes Mask"
 Yes, that shit is seriously creepy.  If only the whole movie could have been as awesome as that crab walk scene.

"2001 Maniacs sex scene"
 Which one, yo?  There were some pretty crazy ones in the first movie, but the one with Bill Moseley and Lin Shaye in the sequel seriously gave me the willies.

"Kate Norby + Fiber One"
I get a lot of these, so I must have been right that it was her in that cereal commercial.
Anything to do with the movie Fortress
 
I get TONS of searches about different aspects of this movie.  Several years ago, I rediscovered it online by Googling frantically about kidnappings and Father Christmas masks.  I hope I can assist others in finding this childhood gem.  I can't help you get it from Netflix though.  That seems to be a lost cause.

"Naked Fear" "Is She Naked"
 Yes.

"Dee Snider Strangeland How Were His Piercings Made"
 Good fucking question.  I have no idea though.

"Danielle Harris rape movie"
 
I get a shit-ton of these searches.  I am not aware of any movie that Danielle Harris gets raped in.  But then again, I haven't seen them all.

Several variations of "horror movies suitable for children"
 Unless you want your child to become a deranged individual like myself who takes joy in seeing decapitations, maybe you should spare them the horror movies.  They'll find them on their own anyway.

"movie where student pretends to be a stripper and is tortured in an insane asylum"
 No clue on this one.

  "nun smocking" (spelling error on purpose)
 Not only do people search this and get to my site.  But they stay on here for a while.  I cannot explain that.

Movie News: Hatchet 2 gets pulled from US theaters

The largest release of an unrated movie in 25 years came to a screeching halt on Monday morning when AMC pulled Hatchet 2 from theaters.  We all know there was a ton of hype about this thing being unrated and in theaters.  Honestly, I couldn't figure out why the damn thing was deemed NC-17 anyway.  Sure, there was tons of blood and gore, but I think something like Hostel was way more disgusting.

Anyway, Adam Green will get to slap the "BANNED FROM THEATERS" onto the DVD and make more sales that way.  Dark Sky Productions is already planning on pushing it out to the masses ASAP, so everyone else will get to see it soon enough. 

Personally, I think it's kind of crazy that you can buy unrated DVDs and such right at Best Buy (and I don't believe they card you or anything) but you can't go to the movies and see an unrated flick.  The whole rating system is bizarre in my opinion.  But I am glad I got to see this before it got pulled.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hatchet 2 (2010)

[Minor spoilers ahead!]

I feel like Hatchet 2 was so hyped up that I was really surprised that there were only SIX PEOPLE in the Upper West Side theater on a Saturday night.  Whatever, I was psyched for some damn unrated horror.

I liked this flick.  It wasn't that scary, it wasn't breaking too much new ground, but it was hilarious and gory as hell.  There were some awesome deaths in this movie that included an abnormally large chainsaw, among other weapons.

Basically Hatchet 2 picks up where the first one left off.  Marybeth (Danielle Harris) manages to get away from Victor and gets rescued by some swamp dweller.  She explains who she is, dude freaks out and tells her that if she wants answers, she needs to go to Reverend Zombie (Tony Todd).  She schlepps her way back to New Orleans and begs Zombie to tell her what the f is up. 

He does so by telling her the whole story of Victor Crowley and how it all came to be.  So we get a lot of extra backstory and Kane Hodder looking dead freakin' sexy.  Then Zombie himself gets an idea.  What better way to start his business back up than to rid the swamp of Victor Crowley's ghost, therefore making evening boat expeditions safe again?

He pulls in a bunch of locals with the promise of $500 for anyone that comes along, and $5000 to the person that brings him Victor Crowley's deformed head.  Almost everyone peaces out, but it seems that some really need the money and they're in for the long haul.  Marybeth's uncle joins as well, seemingly to keep an eye on his niece.  But does Rev. Zombie have even more sinister motives?

This movie was fun and gory and just an all around good time.  And let me just say that Danielle Harris is the mother f'in reigning scream queen right now...I don't care what y'all say.  If you had a blast watching the first one, definitely check out Hatchet 2 for a good time.