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  #61  
Old 10-06-2017, 10:07 PM
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Constant re-releases and special editions are annoying, but it’s hard to ignore the new collector’s edition for Silent Night, Deadly Night. Amazing box cover art from Scream Factory as usual, the bonus features look good, and it’s a nice package, if you’re a fan of Christmas horror and the original film:

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Pet Sematary Two (1992)




Plot- After his mother, Renee (Darlanne Fluegel) dies during a freak accident during the filming for her new movie Castle Of Terror, Jeff (Edward Furlong) moves to Ludlow, Maine with his father, Chase (Anthony Edwards). Chase works as a veterinarian, and he’s hoping to start a new life away from Los Angeles with Jeff in Renee‘s hometown, while the housekeeper, Marjorie (Sarah Trigger) lends a helping hand. Jeff befriends Drew (Jason Mcguire), who lives with his mother, Amanda (Lisa Waltz), and his stepfather, Gus (Clancy Brown), the town Sheriff.

Chase runs into a bizarre problem after Gus murders Drew’s dog, Zowie. Following the story of The Creed Family, Drew buries Zowie in the ancient Indian burial ground beyond Pet Sematary with hopes of resurrecting him. Zowie returns with a nasty mean streak, and Chase can’t figure out how Zowie is moving around with no heartbeat and a fresh gunshot wound that won‘t heal.

Zowie attacks and kills Gus on Halloween night, so Drew buries him. A zombified version of Gus returns, and it doesn’t take Jeff too long to realize he can bring his mother back to life, but things don’t go as planned, when Renee returns…..

My Thoughts-Edward Furlong's personal life played a big part in his downward spiral in Hollywood, but Pet Sematary Two was a BIG step down after T2. Furlong made a name for himself in the 90’s playing the rebellious teenager with an attitude in T2 and American History X, and it’s the same routine here. Two was Furlong’s first film after T2, and it looks like his version of John Connor walked right off the set of T2 for this film. Just listen, when he shouts “MOM!” during Renee’s death, and imagine Linda Hamilton in the movie.

You want to feel sympathy for this young kid, who just lost his mother, but the strange (and borderline devious) turn for his character towards the end is baffling. He’s basically salivating at the thought of his dead mother coming back to life, and he doesn’t have a problem with his mother murdering an innocent Marjorie.

Pet Sematary Two has a couple of unlikable characters. Gus is a pushy and domineering hard-ass, who pushes Drew to be a man with tough love. Clyde (Jared Rushton) is a bully, who torments Jeff, so when you look at the big picture, Chase is the only pure good guy here. He’s just a single father, who’s doing his best to raise his bratty teenage son after a tragedy, and he never gives up on Jeff. Honestly, Clancy Brown (before he returns) is the only one, who delivers a noteworthy performance. He’s spot on as the stereotypical stepdad with a bad temper, and it’s easy to feel sympathy for Drew and Amanda, because they have to deal with this jerk on a daily basis.

Pascow was the true harbinger of doom in the original, but you could also say the same thing about Jud. Jud Crandall is one of my personal all-time favorite characters in the horror genre, and Fred Gwynee was an ideal choice for the role. The original Pet Sematary doesn’t work without Gwynee’s performance. Gwynee is the essential lynchpin, but Two is missing that one impactful character and performance.

Pet Sematary Two is supposed to be a sequel, but they only make slight references to what happened in the original film. Clyde tells a story about what happened to Ellie (she murdered her grandparents, and she escaped from an asylum), but there’s no real connection to Pet Sematary with new characters and a new story. Two feels like a remake, so if you didn’t watch the original, or if you didn’t read the book, you’re going to be lost, when they start talking about Louis, Rachel, Gage, and Church.

If we’re talking about themes involving death, not being ready to move on, and second chances, Pet Sematary Two basically takes a giant dump on everything in the first film. When Louis resurrected Church, Jud believed his young daughter wasn’t ready for her favorite pet to die, and Louis resurrected Gage, because he was heartbroken over losing his young son. You could say Louis resurrecting Rachel was a stupid decision after everything that happened with Gage and Church, but you also have to think about a devastated and lonely guy, who has to explain what happened to his young daughter (Ellie). Missy hung herself, because she was sure she had cancer, and she didn’t want to suffer. And Rachel admitted she was happy, when her sick sister Zelda finally died, because she was a little girl, who was stuck with something a child couldn’t handle mentally or emotionally.

Pet Sematary Two gives you the impression it’s cool to come back as an evil, undead badass murderer (i.e Gus killing Clyde), and you’re basically untouchable. In Pet Sematary, Jud warned Louis about burying loved ones:

Click for Spoiler:

"Well sometimes, dead is better. The person you put up there ain't the person that comes back. It might look like that person, but it ain't that person, because whatever lives on the ground beyond the Pet Sematary ain't human at all."

"Louis, sometimes dead is better. The Indians knew that. They stopped using that burial ground when the ground went sour. Don't think about doing it, Louis. The place gets holier, but the place... is evil."


Renee shouting “dead is better!” over and over again is one of the more cringeworthy moments in the movie. When Jud said “dead is better” in the original, it was his way of explaining how moving on was the better option over an “abomination” returning from the grave with malicious intentions.

Pet Sematary Two has a noticeable plot hole, dumb choices from the characters, inconsistencies, some unanswered questions, and a pointless subplot. What was the point of brining Clyde back to life? And what happened to the “you have to bury your own” rule for the ritual to work? Clyde wasn’t buried by his mother or father, and they basically ignored the strict rule for a surprise return at the end. When Renee returns, she’s coherent, speaks well, and she has no problems with carrying herself as a normal human being, but the dead version of Gus is a brainless and homicidal goofball? What was the point of Marjorie being obsessed with Renee and her career? She comes off as a creepy stalker/crazy fan, Renee kills her, and there’s no real resolution after her death, so it’s a useless subplot that doesn’t add anything to the movie. Gus either tries to or rapes Amanda, and they ignore what happened or didn’t happen? Seriously?

Pet Sematary had some comedy (“fuck off, hairball!”) and silly moments, but the movie also had emotional depth. You can see the pain in a conflicted Louis’ face, when he has to kill Gage (again), and they tried to recreate a similar moment with Renee and Jeff at the end, but it doesn’t work, at all. It’s just awful, when Renee is repeatedly shouting “DEAD IS BETTER!!” in a high-pitched, cackly voice, while her skin is melting off, and Jeff and Chase are watching her demise.

Pet Sematary Two delivers more nasty gore and blood, but it’s a terrible film. They tried to play up this big mystery behind Zowie’s more feral behavior, but if you’ve read the book, or if you’ve seen the original film, you know what’s happening and you know why it’s happening, so the element of surprise is dead. When fans take to the internet to bitch and complain about unnecessary sequels, Pet Sematary Two is the best example for the certain types of sequels they’re complaining about. There was no need for this, and you can see why Stephen King wanted his name removed from this mess. It’s just an obvious cash grab trying to capitalize on the success of the original, and it's another crappy and forgettable "bad things happen, when loved ones return from the grave" horror film.
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  #62  
Old 10-18-2017, 09:58 PM
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Freaks Of Nature (2015)




Plot- Dag (Nicholas Bruan) lives an unusual life in Dillford, Ohio. Vampires, humans, and zombies coexist, but a sudden alien invasion disrupts the shaky relationship after a series of paranoid accusations. Eventually, mistrust and anger within the community reaches a boiling point, sparking a violent war between the vampires, the humans, and the zombies, and Dag realizes he’ll have to put his pursuit of Lorelei (Vanessa Hudgens) on hold.

Dag teams up with his old friend, Ned (Josh Fadem), and Petra (Mackenzie Davis) to stop the aliens, with hopes of reuniting the town, but Dillford’s famous riblets might hold the key to stopping and defeating the aliens…

My Thoughts- Freaks Of Nature puts a lot of effort into the details for social rankings between the vampires, the humans, and the zombies. The zombies are stuck at the bottom of the totem pole. The zombie kids have to ride the short bus to school, they have to wear shock collars to stop them from eating other students, they eat canned brains, and they’re forced to live in a trashy, rundown part of town. The vampires are dominant, and they’re easily at the top of the food chain. It’s cool to be a vampire, so they attract a lot of people, imitators, or “wampires” (vampire wannabes), who will do anything to be one of them. Rick Wilson (Denis Leary), the rich owner of the riblet plant, is the lone exception, but as far as the humans go, you get the feeling they’re just trying to quietly go about their lives without disrupting anything.

The social rankings and the fine details go deeper in the story to give you the feeling you’re watching what happens, when zombies, vampires, and humans have to live together. The tension, the bullying, and you get an inside look at the daily routines for vampires and zombies. A keg filled with blood at a vampire party, blood instead of morning coffee, and I got a good chuckle out of Mr. Keller’s (Keegan-Michael Key), Ned’s teacher, troubles to find companionship on vHarmony (eHarmony for vampires).

Freaks Of Nature features just about every cliché and familiar character from a coming-of-age film with a horror twist. Dag is the shy nerd, who’s tired of being one of the losers in high school. Dag wants to join the ranks of the popular kids, so he decided to cut ties with a geeky and insecure Ned, his childhood friend. He wants a chance with Lorelei, because she’s the perfect ten, who’s supposed to be out of his league. But Dag doesn’t realize Lorelei is just using him to hide her weed at his house, because he’s desperate for a shot at losing his virginity to her.

Ned is obsessed with good grades. He’s tired of living with, Chaz Jr. (Chris Zylka), a star on the local high school baseball team, who embodies every stereotype for a young meathead, and he doesn’t want to settle for selling Hyundais with his father, or taking a dead end job at the riblet plant. He’s an outcast, so he wants to join a group of outcasts. His plan? He allows a zombie girl to bite him.

Petra falls in love with Milan (Ed Westwick), the popular vampire at school. The problem? He’s a dick, a bully, and he doesn’t really care about Petra. Petra is young and vulnerable, so he took advantage of her, and he turned her into a vampire.

Josh Fadem is okay in the leading role, but to his credit, he’s playing a character that’s been done to death in coming-of-age films. The supporting cast features a few solid performances. Keegan- Michael Key is hilarious (“I don’t want your quarter of a doughnut! I want a full doughnut!”), Mackenzie Davis nails Petra, and the different emotional stages for the character throughout the movie, and Hudgens is a believable as the pothead/free spirit. I wish Denis Leary had more screen time, because he’s good for some laughs as the pushy and rich asshole, who owns a red Porsche. A nod for Bob Odenkirk and Joan Cusack for playing Dag’s parents, as the kooky and eccentric married couple, and Patten Oswalt’s character had some potential. But his total screen time might add up to three minutes.

Freaks Of Nature is very predictable. You know it’s only a matter of time before Dag falls in love with Petra, and you can see Dag giving his big speech for the town to come together as a united front to stop the aliens coming from a mile away. And of course, the dysfunctional trio of Petra, Ned, and Dag putting their differences aside to work together represents hope for Dillford to follow in their footsteps. I know it’s a comedy, but the ending was a bit too silly for me, with the aliens using the riblets to transform into one giant being. Freaks Of Nature is a low budget film, and the CGI was bad, so one the bigger moments in the movie doesn’t have the wow-factor or the necessary impact.

Freaks Of Nature doesn’t live up to the full potential of a fun premise, but it’s an effective mash-up of a horror comedy and a coming-of-age film, and taking a thorough and detailed approach for all things zombies and vampires should appeal to die-hard horror aficionados. They dropped a few hints (sort of a nod to Teen Wolf) for Dag’s transformation, but Dag’s transformation during his fight with Milan was too convenient and out of left field for me. Still, Freaks Of Nature delivers fairly consistent laughs, likeable characters, and more than enough blood, gore, and carnage.

With all that said, there’s a good chance we’re talking about a beloved cult classic now, if Freaks Of Nature was released in the 80’s. Vampires, zombies, and humans fighting each other and working together to stop invading aliens, who want the town’s cheap meat (loaded with enough chemicals and garbage to literally take years off of your life) for their signature rib sandwiches? Yep, and you can pretty much guarantee the numerous special edition re-reassess and box sets, but if you’re looking for 80’s nostalgia, you’ll be disappointed. The premise, the characters, and the story screams 80’s horror, but Freaks Of Nature definitely has the look and feel of a modern horror film, including the themes.
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  #63  
Old 10-20-2017, 01:48 PM
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I watched The Bad Batch over the weekend and what utter trash that turned out to be. Even with a fairly solid cast that included Jim Carrey, Jason Mamoa, and Keanu Reeves it just feel incredibly short of expectations. Bad Batch is billed as a cannibalistic, dystopian society type of movie, but there is hardly and gore, nor is there really even motive for why the characters are doing what they are doing. Not to mentioned a much to prolonged story arc involving walking through the dessert, which based on earlier scenes, really doesn't take that long. I've seen worse, but not much. If you wanna check it out it's on Netflix
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Old Today, 07:31 PM
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Mitch Henessey Mitch Henessey is offline
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Just watched the trailer, and I'll give it a shot one day, but The Bad Batch looks like one of those horror films that crosses into different genres. Usually, it's a hit-and-miss experiment, because it's hard to nail each genre without the film devolving into a big mess, or it's easy to notice they're just trying too hard.
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