The Weekly Horror Movie(s) Thread

Discussion in 'The Media Hub' started by Mitch Henessey, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. X

    X RIP Sgt. Michael Paranzino / RIP CM

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    Another post, another classic slice of 80s horror cheese that I grew up on. I have a fond memory of watching this at a Halloween sleep over party when I was maybe six years old (after we had finished Creepshow and were all subsequently terrified of cockroaches for years to come). As odd and homoerotic as it might sound the main image I remembered was the fat guy mooning people out the window of his car. I saw it again properly years later as a teenager and loved it, the punk rock aesthetic (look at all those amazing hardcore band stickers on their boom box!) the back and forth between goofy and serious tones, Linnea Quigley at her absolute hottest, some decent gore and a killer soundtrack and setting. And that ending! Right out of left fucking field man, but fantastic. Left my pal and I with a big dumb grin on our faces when we saw it. Since then this has become a favorite and a staple with my best friend and I, and we'll usually find the time to throw it on once a year around Halloween and just get obliterated to it like we used to.

    And of course, gotta mention Angela's dance scene. Stigmata Martyr by Bauhaus was such a perfect choice and lends this menacing, dark feeling to the whole thing and the way she just twists her body around you really feel like this actress might be possessed. I think that scene may have even been my first introduction to Bauhaus' music, who have become a band I adore in the years since (In the Flat Field is a masterpiece of an album).
     
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  2. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Sal's reactions and facial expressions during Angela's dance are just priceless. He's mesmerized and aroused, when Kinkade starts crawling and slamming her hands on the floor, but he quickly does a 180 with the looks of panic and fear on his face, when the stereo turns on by itself, and Angela goes nuts with all the spinning and darting across the floor.

    I know The Return Of The Living Dead is a top choice for Quigley's most popular and notable role, but Night Of The Demons is a personal favorite of mine, and Quigley's lipstick tube scene is one of the more memorable highlights in NOD. And the bloody ending is something else, when the miserable and bitter old man gets his comeuppance. Apple pie and razor blades, man. Apple pie and razor blades.
     
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  3. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    For anyone, who's interested Scream Factory is releasing a deluxe edition and a collector's edition for The Thing 1982, and they released some early previews for the artwork and the box covers:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm not sure which one I'll do first, but the Night Of The Demons remake and Night Of The Demons 2 are up next, but I wanted to take a look at a few upcoming horror films that I'm interested in.

    Don't Breathe

    Release Date: August 26, 2016

    [YOUTUBE]76yBTNDB6vU[/YOUTUBE]​

    I soured on Evil Dead 2013 a little bit after watching in theaters for the first time, but it's still an impressive debut for Fede Alvarez. Jane Levy is a solid actress. She's capable of holding her own in a leading role, and Don't Breathe has some potential as a claustrophobic horror film, but I have a bad feeling they'll rely on too many jump scares.

    The Neon Demon

    Release Date: June 24, 2016 (limited)

    [YOUTUBE]YqFhKdRFPvA[/YOUTUBE]​

    A lot of mixed reviews for this one so far, and you get the impression The Neon Demon is one of those psychedelic and ambiguous horror films. I have no doubts The Neon Demon will deliver its fair share of impressive visuals and gruesome gore, but hopefully there's more to Jesse's decent into madness.

    31

    Release Date: September 16, 2016 (limited)

    [YOUTUBE]_SBHFmLkF-E[/YOUTUBE]​

    Rob Zombie is a talented director, and I always respect and admire his passion for the horror genre, but he needs someone to write screenplays for him. A good trailer for 31, but at the same time it looks the same old routine for Zombie, and it's hard to ignore the similarities to House Of 1,000 Corpses. To add to that, Zombie having to resort to crowdfunding for this one is not a good sign.
     
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  4. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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    What is a thread featuring so bad they're good horror movies without a classic Clint Howard flick? A pretty bad ass thread, but Clint Howard is still awesome.

    Back in the 1980s, when the very mention of *gasp* SATAN would make people huddle into the holiest corner of their homes and recite Bible verses until a priest permits them to move again of their own free will, a movie called "Evilspeak" came out to mock the religious frenzy that was at the top of most people's priority listing.

    Clint Howard plays a teenager who turns to Satan as a means of dealing with the stress of military school. It stars Lenny Montana, who's more commonly recognized as that nervous enforcer from The Godfather and less commonly recognized as a former NWA Texas tag team champion with Gene Kiniski. It also stars Richard Moll as the evil Satanic guy from the intro, who would later go on to play the loveable hulking dim-wit Bull in Night Court.

    Don't enjoy this one too much:

    [YOUTUBE]vXT61J08bLU[/YOUTUBE]
     
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  5. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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    I'm making a quick post here because I want to add a horror movie to this record that I feel has gone criminally overlooked since it was released. It received so-so reviews on its release, but I promise that it is one of the most thrilling movies you'll ever see.

    There was a movie released in Spain in 2011 called "Secuestrados" or Kidnapped. It's a movie about a home invasion, where by the rules of movies things would eventually get way out of hand. Some lines that other movies won't cross are surpassed very sadistically in this film, but thankfully this movie doesn't promote itself solely on the brutality of its content.

    The actors in this film perform brilliantly, they are so amazing that you would swear at times that you're watching a go-pro account of a real life ordeal. One scene in particular, where the daughter finally gets the better of one of the home invaders, is jaw-dropping in its realism. I could piece together in my mind how they'd pull of the scene, but even then I had to consider that most of this film is continuous shots that extend over extremely long periods of time. The actors had to be pumped for insanely tense scenes while they were acting out the more placid eye of the hurricane scenes.

    The trailer to one of my absolute favorite movies of all time:

    [YOUTUBE]C4nNDcHXEDc[/YOUTUBE]
     
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  6. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Ah, yes Evilspeak. Had plans to get to this one at some point, but you beat me to the punch. The bloody and over the top massacre at the church definitely ranks high up on my list for one of the best finales in horror films. I also love how the movie maintains an uneasy and brooding tone from start to finish, and the slow burn build really works, because you know something terrible is about to happen, when Coopersmith finally summons Father Estaban. Definitely one of the more underrated and overlooked horror films about bullies picking on an outcast, and said bullies receiving a gruesome comeuppance, when it's all said and done. And the eerie cliffhanger is a nice touch.

    Clint Howard is usually good for some laughs in horror films, but he does a good job of playing the awkward outsider/loner here. If we're talking about another one of my personal favorites for obscure Clint Howard roles in horror films, Howard also has a part as the creepy and disgusting slave for the witch clan in Silent Night, Deadly Night 4: Initiation, and a small cameo in Silent Night, Deadly Night 5: The Toy Maker. If we're talking about so bad it's good horror films, I've never been able to see the upside for Ice Cream Man as a guilty pleasure. Tried over and over again, but I just can't get into it.
     
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  7. Jeff Deliverer of Mail

    Jeff Deliverer of Mail Money for nothin, chicks for free
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    I love this thread Mitch. I'm a pretty big horror fan. I've been hooked ever since I was a little kid and the shocking appearance of Jason jumping out of the lake (when everything was peaceful and the movie was supposed to be over) sent me jumping right off of the couch in fear. Now, many moons later, I find myself hoping the horror genre can make a comeback and give us some new, iconic horror characters to cheer for. When was the last time we got somebody like Freddy or Jason? Go ahead, make it campy , funny and scary, its what makes a horror movie fun. Sadly, I get over critical of horror movies now a days and it seems like a ratio of 1 out of 15 are good.

    Paranormal Activity busted open the found footage boom and nothing has been as good as the original film. Only now the found footage technique is finally calming the fuck down where its not every second horror film. One could argue Blair Witch, but I think Paranormal Activity really set it off.

    Why Paranormal Activity is important to me is because it scared the shit out of me. It started the ghost boom as well. I was home alone, late at night watching it with the surround sound cranked up. Every crash, demon scream sent chills through me. Why the hell would they investigate that? I'd be diving out my second story window and running down the street, no joke.

    Anyway, great thread.
     
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  8. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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    Sometimes a movie that few people have seen has very far reaching influence on other genres.

    There was a movie released in 1985, starring a 15 year old Jennifer Connelly, called Phenomena in Italy and Creepers in the US. It's a neat little film to check out, you'll also be treated by Donald Pleasance in one of his many lesser known performances.

    Jennifer plays Jennifer, a 15 year old girl who's recently been enrolled in the prestigious Swiss Academy for Girls. Jennifer loves flies, she thinks they're really cool and they help her solve a murder mystery. Fast forward to when shit gets real, and yeah, it gets really real. So I don't over-explain the complex plot involving the movie's main villain, I'll sum it up by saying that it's ridiculously derivative of the original Friday the 13th.

    Before I go into how Phenomena inspired other genres, here's the trailer:

    [YOUTUBE]m4ItlbA-ogo[/YOUTUBE]

    Notice the scissors in the first part of that trailer? That, and the idea behind the movie's main villain, apparently inspired an entire video game franchise. That game was Clock Tower, and the main character of Clock Tower looks exactly like 15 year old Jennifer Connelly.

    Here's a brief vid of the game:

    [YOUTUBE]FF6c5cm4zuE[/YOUTUBE]
     
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  9. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Unless I'm missing something, Victor Crowley from The Hatchet films is as close as you'll get to someone, who's in the same vein as Voorhees or Myers, if we're talking about mass murderers and maniacs for horror icons. But his popularity is middle-of-the-road at best, and you can say the same thing about the quality of The Hatchet films. The Hatchet films are too obscure, and they're only going to appeal to die hard horror fans and gore fiends. Chrome Skull is another one of my favorites, but the first Chrome Skull film received a very limited theatrical run, and the sequel is a straight-to-video release.

    John Kramer/Jigsaw is as good as it gets for a top choice for modern day, or recent-ish horror icons. Although, the problem with Jigsaw is the Saw series doesn't have that one iconic, great, or very good film, so the inconsistency really hurts his legacy, or lack there of.

    Paranormal Activity 3 and The Marked Ones are the only two films in the PA series I truly enjoyed, and I still believe 3 is the best film. The PA series was smart to stick to a formula that worked, but PA just ran out of steam towards the end. The series really peaked after 3, they had a hard time maintaining the momentum, and I wouldn't call The Ghost Dimension a satisfying finale. It's not a big surprise, though, because more often than not, horror franchises usually flame out after two or three (maybe four) films. It happened with A Nightmare On Elm Street after Dream Warriors, Saw after III, Halloween after Season Of The Witch or The Return Of Michael Myers, and Friday The 13th had a few surprises with Jason Lives and Jason Takes Manhattan, but everything is too up and down for good, mediocre, or bad films after the 1980 original.

    I haven't seen the sequel yet, but it looks like The Conjuring is the only modern horror franchise that's worth putting any stock into. Annabelle 2 has some potential, and Annabelle was a solid spin-off, but my only complaint was The Forms were horribly bland and uninteresting main characters.
     
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  10. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Night Of The Demons (2009)

    [​IMG]


    Plot- In the 1920's, seven demons trick Evangeline Broussard (Tatyana Kanavka) into holding a seance at her mansion. Evangeline is desperate to fall in love with Louis Devereaux (Michael Arata), and after a series of failed love spells, Evangeline turned to the demons (using the guise of kind spirits) for help.

    During the seance, Evangeline and others unleash the demons, but Evangeline narrowly escapes the massacre. To complete their return to the living world, the demons need to possess everyone inside the mansion before sunrise. A demonized Louis tries to lure Evangeline into a trap, but Evangeline wants to stop the madness, and she doesn't believe Louis' words, so she uses a rope to hang herself.

    In the present, Angela (Shannon Elizabeth) is low on cash, so she decides to throw a Halloween party at Evangeline's old mansion. Angela's friend, Suzanne (Bobbi Sue Luther) brings Maddie (Monica Keena) and Lily (Diora Baird) to the party. Meanwhile, Lily's on-again, off-again boyfriend Dex (Michael Copon) and his friend, Jason (John F. Beach) join the party, and a drug dealer named Colin (Edward Furlong) makes a secret deal with Diana (Tiffany Shepis), Angela's business partner, so he can sell drugs at the party.

    Eventually, the police shut Angela's party down, because she failed to fill out the proper forms for a permit, and Diana quickly escapes with the cash box before Angela notices anything. A distraught Angela, Maddie, Suzanne, Maddie, Lily, Colin, Jason, and Dex stay behind to play party games and kill time after a few unsuccessful attempts to unlock the front gate.

    Angela and Colin explore the lower levels of the mansion, and together, they find skeletons in the basement. After spotting a gold tooth, Angela reaches for the tooth, but the skeleton suddenly bites her.

    Possessed by the demon, Angela seduces and successfully turns Dex and Suzanne. The demons can't possess a dead body, and as the remaining survivors, Maddie, Jason, and Colin join forces to fight Angela and her minions. Will Maddie, Jason, and Colin survive? Or will their time run out before sunrise?

    My Thoughts- Things are different for Angela in the remake. She's not portrayed as an outcast, because she's more of a wild party girl here, and she's popular. Elizabeth does a good job of holding her own as Angela, and she's at her best, when the demon takes over (i.e. the scene towards the end, where Angela taunts Maddie at the door, while the remaining survivors are barricaded in the room with the protective spells). And I'm reminded why Monica Keena is one of my favorite final girls in the remake. Keena has a good amount of funny scenes throughout the movie, but overall, Maddie is a scrappy, fearless, and rugged character, who refuses to quit, and man Keena really knows how to deliver a one-liner (Freddy VS Jason, and check out the end of the trailer for Night Of The Demons).

    Bobbi Sue Luther and Diora Baird are basically eye candy here, but the banter and humorous chemistry between Keena, Beach, and Furlong is one of the major highlights here. One more thing about Luther, on the DVD commentary director/co-writer Adam Gierasch says there's no connection between Sue Luther's 2009 Suzanne and Linnea Quigley's Suzanne from the original, but it's almost impossible to ignore the similarities.

    A lot of horror remakes (well, remakes in general) take the easy way out for a cash grab, you'll just see a lazy retread, or a shot for shot remake with no real effort. Night Of The Demons 2009 really works as remake that simultaneously pays homage to the original, while bringing something different and new to the table, and the story for the remake is more thorough. A lot of intricate details, with Evangeline's maid using spells to keep the demons out of the upstairs room, the seance, Evangeline chasing Louis, using rust to fight the demons, etc.

    Also, you have to appreciate the effort to put a spin on certain scenes from the original. Quigley has a brief cameo here, but Gierasch takes paying homage a step further with Quigley's lipstick scene from the original. In the original, the tube of lipstick in Quigley's scene disappears, but in Lily's lipstick scene, she completes the magic trick with a bloody finale.

    The effort is there, and they never took the easy way out with this one. The remake is another horror film that gives horror fans everything they could possibly ask for with beautiful women, nudity, graphic gore, and tons of blood. If we're comparing soundtracks, I'll take the original's soundtrack over the remake's soundtrack, but that's not a knock the 2009 soundtrack. A lot of solid and enjoyable songs, and the main theme from 45 Grave is catchy and a perfect fit for the movie:

    [YOUTUBE]X4cOR3KFTug[/YOUTUBE] ​

    NOD 2009 is one of the better horror remakes, it's better than most straight-to-video horror films, and there's a good mixture of humor and the spooky stuff, so NOD never leans too far on one side. It's rare you'll find a remake (especially in the horror genre) that's not widely panned and hated by fans of the original, and NOD 2009 is that film.
     
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  11. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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    I'd be remiss if I didn't make mention of my favorite horror film, and one of my favorite movies of all time.

    Released long before I was born, but still as relevant as it ever was, 1973's The Wickerman.



    I watched this when I was very young, and it took me to a level of terror that I hadn't even considered. Typical horror movies that would make me turn away in disgust would usually follow the same tired tropes, a crazy individual is murdering unsuspecting teenagers and it's up to that one teenager to stop the psychopath.

    The Wickerman was a movie that showed me the power of a group think mentality. That at times the horror isn't in a usurper to a well ordered society, but in the price that must be paid by that society to maintain order. An overly pious man wanders into a society and attempts to correct their seemingly pagan rituals, and his faith is tested to the point where he must admit that he had been a fool all along. Hearing someone say "wickerman" gives me chills to this day.
     
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  12. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Night Of The Demons 2 (1994)

    [​IMG]

    [YOUTUBE]V9LMUDGRXhM[/YOUTUBE]​

    Plot- Following the events of Night Of The Demons, Angela Franklin (Amelia Kinkade) is the sole survivor after the massacre at her bizarre Halloween party. Angela's parents committed suicide after receiving a grisly Halloween card with her signature, and Angela still wanders the halls of Hull House, waiting for more unsuspecting victims.

    At St. Rita's Academy, a catholic boarding school for teens, Angela's younger sister Melissa "Mouse" Franklin (Merle Kennedy) is an outcast, and she's the main target for a bully named Shirley Finnerty (Zoe Trilling). An insensitive Terri (Christine Taylor) pokes fun at Melissa, but Bibi (Cristi Harris) tries to befriend her, and Sister Gloria (Jennifer Rhodes) keeps a watchful eye over Melissa.

    On Halloween night, Shirley convinces Bibi, Melissa, Terri, Bibi's boyfriend, Johnny (Johnny Moran), and Johnny's friend, Kurt (Ladd York) to go to Hull House for a Halloween party. Melissa tags along, but she's unknowingly walking into Shirley's prank. Shirley, her boyfriend, Rick (Rick Peters), and Rick's friend, Z-Boy (Darrin Heames) force Melissa into a fake ritual sacrifice, but the group has bigger problems to worry about, when Angela appears.

    Eventually, the group escapes Hull House, but Angela secretly hides in a tube of lipstick. At St. Rita's Academy, Angela wreaks havoc, and she convinces a vulnerable Melissa to return to Hull House with her. Angela promises a happy reunion as sisters, but unbeknownst to Melissa, Angela plans to murder Melissa during a sacrifice to prove her loyalty to Satan.

    Perry (Bobby Jacoby), a student at St. Rita's Academy, is obsessed with demonology, so he joins Bibi, Johnny, and Sister Gloria in a rescue mission to save Melissa from Angela. Father Bob (Rod McCary) doesn't buy into the supernatural side of Melissa's plight, but things change, when Angela's demonized minions attack the rescue party......

    My Thoughts- Angela is more confident and devious (i.e. Angela murdering the two Jehovah's Witnesses in the early stages of the movie) in the sequel, she fully embraces the dark side, and there's an effort to maintain some continuity here. Angela's return, and they did a good job of building up Angela's mystique. Also, Terri's ghost story about what happened at Hull House and the fallout after the party in the original is a nice touch.

    Melissa is an easy top choice for likeable characters in the series. She's innocent and nerdy, and you're waiting for that one moment, when she finally stands up for herself, because she's basically a punching bag throughout the movie, and that moment happens during the ceremony. Angela, believing her mission to brainwash Melissa is complete, orders Melissa to kill Sister Gloria. Melissa's holding a sword, and she puts this sinister smile on her face. For a split second, you believe there's a chance she might do it, but she turns around shoves the sword into Angela's gut. Angela's reeling, and Melissa says "My name is, Melissa!" All of this happens after Angela shouts "Now, Mouse!" over and over again.

    They tried to recreate the strange spontaneity from Angela's dance scene in the original, when Angela dances at St. Rita's Halloween party, and she pours a bowl of punch over herself. Sorry, but it just doesn't work, and the generic rock music (Stigmata Martyr played a big part in the dance scene from the original) in the background doesn't help. If we're talking about humor, NOD 2 is a whackier film, with Sister Gloria's antics, a Super Soaker loaded with holy water, and a lot of corny jokes. To give you an example, there's a scene, where Angela uses her sword to behead Kurt . Before it happens, Angela says something along the lines of "What a strapping young buck! How's about a little head, tiger?"

    And I know it's a low-budget straight-to-video horror film, but Angela's transformation into the giant demon snake during the big fight at Hull House is just awful. She's supposed to be more intimidating, but the snake is just so tacky, and I have similar feelings for the closing cliffhanger, with the CGI snake popping out of the tube of lipstick.

    Still, Night Of The Demons 2 is a solid sequel, and it's better than most straight-to-video horror sequels. Kinkade is still sharp as Angela, and we're introduced to another memorable character in the series with Melissa. The cornball style of humor ranges from so bad it's good laughs to cringeworthy, but NOD features a good amount of disgusting gore, blood, and gruesome deaths (i.e. Father Bob's death.). And for some strange reason Angela uses a sword in the sequel. No reason or explanation for the sword (she doesn't use or have the sword in part 3), so it's kind of odd how it just pops out of nowhere.
     
    #37
  13. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    The Poughkeepsie Tapes (2007)

    [​IMG]

    [YOUTUBE]XdjFcoe2950[/YOUTUBE]​

    Plot- A serial killer named The Water Street Butcher wreaks havoc in Poughkeepsie, New York, with a series of brutal murders. The Water Street Butcher tortures his victims, he records the brutal killings, and The Butcher keeps an organized collection of VHS tapes, featuring the vast majority of the murders. He carefully covers his tracks, and during his killing spree, The Butcher kidnaps and tortures nineteen-year-old Cheryl Dempsey (Stacy Chbosky) for eight years........

    My Thoughts- I kind of mellowed on my disdain for found-footage horror films over the years, and usually, they're not my cup of my tea, but The Poughkeepsie Tapes is one of those films that gets it right. Mixing the documentary style of stroytelling with found-footage really works, because it's easier to suspend disbelief. You really get the feeling you're watching a documentary about a madman, complete with interviews from FBI agents, doctors, the victims (well, it's just Cheryl) the victim's family members, criminal profilers, the police raiding The Butcher's house, clips from news broadcasts, a grisly behind the scenes look at The Butcher's killings and the crime scenes, and a recorded interview with Ted Bundy (they wanted tips from Bundy to help catch The Butcher). The videos for The Butcher's killings are murky, grainy, and distorted, and some might complain about the picture quality, but the raw cuts add a sense of realism to the movie.

    The Water Street Butcher is one sick bastard and a really creepy dude. He's a vicious, cold blooded-murder with no remorse and a lot of loose screws, so his "relationship" with Cheryl is a strange one. The Butcher repeatedly tortures and humiliates Cheryl, he forces her to kill, and he forces her to refer to herself as "slave."

    In a strange twist, The Butcher actually spares Cheryl, leaving her inside a coffin for the police to find, and Cheryl returns to her family. But she couldn't recover from the psychological damage. Cheryl's self-inflicted wounds at the hospital, and she declares her love for The Butcher during an interview. Towards the end, the audience learns Cheryl committed suicide after the interview. It's a bizarre storyline, because Cheryl was brainwashed to the point, where she believed The Butcher was in love with her. And after Cheryl's funeral, it's heavily implied The Butcher is the one, who dug up her casket to take the corpse.

    It's a mash-up of mockumentary meets found-footage, and The Poughkeepsie Tapes is definitely an underrated and overlooked horror film in my eyes. The Water Street Butcher is a truly detestable antagonist. He's not a cool bad buy, or someone that you're rooting for, because he brings the inventive and brutal kills for a bunch of nitwits, when his character pops up. No, he's sadistic and callous murderer. You'll need a lot of patience for The Poughkeepsie Tapes. I can understand some boring complaints for the documentary style, but The Poughkeepsie Tapes is a worth a try, if you're a horror fan, and if you're looking for something different. Although, I'll warn you, this a nasty and dark horror film with a good amount of blood, and gruesome deaths.

    For those, who don't know, The Poughkeepsie Tapes was never released in theaters, on DVD, or Blu-Ray. TPT had a short run on DirecTV's VOD service a few years ago, but MGM pulled it after a number of weeks. John Erick Dowdle (the director) hinted at a wider release a few years ago, but unless I'm missing something, nothing ever happened.

    It's kind of odd how TPT never receiving a release date is a bigger story than actual film itself. I clearly remember seeing the trailers years ago in theaters, and I couldn't wait for The Poughkeepsie Tapes. I was excited for TPT, but I have to believe the fear of a big flop was one of the main reasons why the powers that be never released TPT. Bottom line, it's all about making money in Hollywood, and TPT will only appeal to a small niche of die hard horror fans. That, and "The Poughkeepsie Tapes deserves a run in theaters!" cult following is not strong enough.
     
    #38
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  14. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Halloween 4: The Return Of Michael Myers (1988)

    [​IMG]

    [YOUTUBE]1O0OSajq9Z4[/YOUTUBE]​

    Plot- Ten years after the events in the original film, Michael Myers returns to Haddonfield, Illinois after escaping an ambulance and murdering the paramedics. Waiting for the right opportunity to strike, Myers targets a young Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), the daughter of Laurie Strode, on Halloween night, and anyone, who gets in his way. Jamie lives with Richard (Jeff Olson) and Darlene Carruthers (Karen Alston), and their teenage daughter, Rachel (Ellie Cornell), and after a change of heart, Rachel agrees to take Jamie trick-or-treating.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) purses Michael, and he warns Sheriff Ben Meeker (Beau Starr) about Michael targeting Jamie. At first, Meeker is reluctant to believe Loomis' story, but after a series of bizarre incidents and brutal murders, Meeker realizes he needs to do whatever it takes to stop Michael.

    Rachel, her boyfriend, Brady (Sasha Jenson), Jamie, and Sheriff Meeker's daughter, Kelly (Katlheen Kinmont) barricade themselves inside Meeker's house under his orders, but it's only a matter of time before Michael finds them........

    My Thoughts- Jamie Lloyd is this innocent little girl, who's just trying to live her life, and she's an outcast at school, because her uncle is the "Boogeyman." On top of all that, she's being stalked by a murderous force of evil, so it's easy to feel sympathy for her. The bond Jamie shares with Rachel is one of the main highlights in TROMM. At first, you get the impression she's the stereotypical bratty teenager, when she's complaining about cancelling her date with Brady, because she has to babysit Jamie. But as the story progresses, it's clear Rachel will do anything to protect and save Jamie.

    Out of all the new characters, Sheriff Ben Meeker is easily my favorite. He's this rugged old school sheriff, who's not afraid of a fight, and Starr has one of the funnier moments in the movie playing the overprotective father, when he warns Brady about getting too close to Kelly. Of course, you have the usual set of disposable characters, with Brady and Kelly receiving a significant amount of screen time. Basically, Brady is a pretty boy, but he has his moments of redemption, when he tries to protect Jamie and Rachel from Michael. Kelly? There's not a lot to say about her. She has the little confrontation with Rachel at her house, because Rachel won't "wise up to what men what," she runs into Myers, and that's about it.

    We're at a point in the Halloween series, where Loomis is overly paranoid and he's losing his mind, but it's all understandable, when you consider Loomis' history with Myers. Sure, Pleasence's performance is unintentionally hilarious at times, but he's still entertaining, and you'll see some of Loomis' best outbursts and hear some of his best quotes here. A few of my favorites:

    TROMM sticks to a basic slasher formula, but it really works. Solid execution, TROMM delivers some brutal deaths (i.e. Michael crushing Brady's skull with his hands), and the shot with Michael standing by the fireplace, when he comes face to face with Jamie at Meeker's house is definitely one of the more memorable moments in the series. And I never had any real complaints about the harmless sub-plot with Rachel and Brady's relationship, and Brady cheating on Rachel with Kelly. Also, the stuff with Earl and his buddies (or the "beer bellies") from the bar running around town with shotguns to find and kill Myers is good for a few laughs.

    Everyone knows Michael survives every last stand attempt to kill him, but TROMM ends with a great cliffhanger, as Jamie stands at the top of the staircase with the bloody pair of scissors. As far as Myers goes, his return doesn't feel triumphant (he only missed one film), but the mystique surrounding his character was till strong here, and there's no denying that.
     
    #39
  15. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    To All A Goodnight (1980)

    [​IMG]

    Can't find a good trailer, and the only other trailer I've seen for To All A Goodnight is on the DVD I have, and that trailer basically spoils the entire movie from beginning to end with one big highlight reel.

    Plot- It's Christmas vacation at the Calvin Finishing School For Girls, and a group decides to play a prank on another student. The group chases her upstairs, the young woman panics, and the prank has tragic results, as the young woman falls to her death.

    Two years later, the majority decides to leave for Christmas vacation, but Nancy (Jennifer Runyon), Melody (Linda Gentile), Leia (Judith Bridges), Sam (Denise Stearns), Trisha (Angela Bath), and Cynthia (Lisa Labowskie) decide to stay at the school. Leia and others secretly hatch a plan to distract the house mother, Mrs. Jensen (Katherine Herrington) for a quiet get-together with their boyfriends. Eventually, Leia's boyfriend, T.J. (William Lauer), Sam's boyfriend, Blake (Jeff Butts), Trisha's boyfriend, Tom (Jeff Butts), and Alex (Forrest Swanson) arrive on a small plane at a nearby, leaving the pilot (Harry Reems) behind to watch the plane. Meanwhile, an unknown killer murders Cynthia and her boyfriend, Paul.

    The groundskeeper, Ralph (Buck West) gives Nancy an ominous warning about suspicious activity and evil, and shortly after that, Nancy accidentally trips over Ralph's corpse in the field outside the school. Polansky (Sam Shamshak), the Chief Of Police, leads the investigation, he urges everyone to stay at the school for safety, and Polansky leaves two policemen named Jim and Dan behind for protection.

    Nancy is a nervous wreck, and things go from bad to worse, when the murderer returns to continue the killing spree. Wearing a Santa Claus suit, the killer is determined to eliminate everyone left at the school one by one, and the situation takes a bizarre turn, when a second killer wearing a Santa suit shows up..........

    My Thoughts- Jennifer Runyon is the only one in the cast, who delivers a noteworthy performance in To All A Goodnight. Buck West nails the oddball act, but he doesn't last long here. The rest of the cast? Well, they're all disposable characters with no real depth for the most part. Katherine Herrington is solid in her role as the housemother, but you get the feeling everyone else is just there to suffer brutal deaths and add to the body count.

    If you're looking for a lot nasty gore and gruesome deaths here, you'll be disappointed. There's the one scene, where Sam and Blake are having sex, and the killer, dressed in a suit of knight's armor (in the early stages of the movie, the knight's armor is basically a decoration for the main room) pops out of the corner, and shoots Blake in the back with a crossbow, killing him. After that, the killer uses an axe to cut Sam's head off. It's a creative and nasty death scene with a good surprise, but Sam and Blake's death scene is the only one that really stands out, because the majority of the kills in To All A Goodnight are pretty lame.

    The big reveal with Mrs. Jensen as the first killer works as a good shock....but the second reveal for her accomplice weakens the shock factor. The young woman, who dies during the prank at the beginning was Mrs. Jensen's daughter. The second killer? It's Polansky, and he's Mrs. Jensen's husband. The Polansky reveal fills in some logic gaps, because at first, you'll have a hard time believing a woman, who looks like she's in her 50's holding up and strangling a grown man (T.J.) with a metal wire, while she's high up in a tree. Still, they pulled off a good surprise with Mrs. Jensen, so the Polansky reveal feels like a shoehorned shock for the sake of delivering another shock.

    To All A Goodnight is supposed is supposed to be a Christmas horror film, but it doesn't feel like a Christmas horror film. Sure, the story takes place during Christmas vacation, and the killers are wearing Santa suits, but To All A Goodnight is more of a whodunit slasher, using Christmas time as a backdrop, as the killers butcher a group young and horny nitwits.

    To All A Goodnight is a low budget slasher, you can really see it throughout the movie, and the editing is just awful, with Mrs. Jensen death and her daughter's death as prime examples. And after watching interviews with the cast and the screenplay writer Alex Rebar, I have to believe a lack of money and rushing things really hurt this one. The powers that be were pushing hard for a holiday horror film and a Christmas time release, but that didn't happen (To All A Goodnight was released on January 30th in 1980). Also, according to Rebar, 20th Century Fox was supposed to pick up To All A Goodnight, but they passed on it, when they found out Harry Reems (he was a pornstar) was apart of the cast.

    To All Of A Goodnight is one of those obscure 80's slashers, and to be honest, it's only worth a try if you're really into slashers and Christmas horror films (To All A Goodnight is on You Tube, if you're interested). It's a very predictable film, and you just know Jennifer Runyon will make it to the end as the final girl. Leia going nuts with her dancing and singing towards the end comes out of left field, and To All A Goodnight is an okay film overall, but don't get your hopes up for anything special.
     
    #40
  16. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Don't Open Till Christmas (1984)

    [​IMG]

    [YOUTUBE]GAWTX-2ahSg[/YOUTUBE]​

    Plot- During a Christmas party in London, Kate's (Belinda Mayne) father, dressed as Santa Claus, is murdered by an unknown assailant. Chief Inspector Ian Harris (Edmund Purdom) and Detective Sergeant Powell (Mark Jones) from Scotland Yard are on the case, hoping to solve the mystery behind a string of recent Santa Claus murders.

    The killer is targeting Santa Clauses, and Harris pegs Kate's boyfriend, Cliff (Gerry Sundquist) as the prime suspect. Meanwhile, a reporter named Giles (Alan Lake) wants to help Powell solve the case with some inside information, but he only wants to share what he knows with Powell to help further his career.

    The murderer's killing spree continues, but the mystery takes an odd turn, when Kate and Powell suspect Harris is the killer. Kate digs into Harris' personal life and his past to find some troubling red flags, and the killer holds Sherry (Kelly Baker), a woman working at a peep show, hostage at his hideout after she witnesses one of his murders. Harris, Cliff, and Giles' suspicious behavior raises questions, but Kate finds the answers she was looking for, when she comes face to face with the killer.......

    My Thoughts- Don't Open Till Christmas is undeniably sleazy. The Santa Clauses are not jolly old men, who love Christmas and children. With the exception of Kate's father, they're bums, alcoholics, elderly losers, who live with their mothers, they go to peep shows, they stumble out of bars in the middle of the night, and you get the feeling they're just in it for some extra cash. I'm not saying you shouldn't feel sympathy for them, when they're murdered, but the Santas fit right in with Don't Open Till Christmas' setting, story, and the atmosphere throughout the movie.

    It's a murky and dank horror film, the shots of the more rough and trashy parts of town adds to the uneasy feeling here, and the sequence where the gang of punk rockers chases one of the Santas really gives the impression of a seedy hellhole with no real bright spots. Don't Open Till Christmas has its fair share of grisly death scenes. The gross-out factor for the practical effects is low, because you can tell it's a low budget horror flick, but the effort is there. The killer burns one of the Santas alive, when he's roasting chestnuts over an open fire, and it's hard to forget about Kate's father. He's coming up on stage dressed as Santa, and the killer throws a spear through the back of his head, and he exhales on the party blower as he dies.

    Don't Open Till Christmas does a decent enough job of building up the mystery for the killer's identity, but crossing names off the list during the process of elimination is easier, as the story progress. After a while, you realize there's no way it's Harris or Cliff, so you're left Giles, and of course, he's the killer.

    Giles is Harris' brother, and he had a traumatic experience as a kid, when he witnessed his father (dressed as Santa Claus) cheating on his mother. Giles' mother was knocked down the stairs during an argument after his father was caught in the act, and Giles developed a deep hatred for Christmas. Giles spent a good chunk of his life in a mental institution, and he wanted to give his brother a challenging case to solve.

    Eventually, Sherry escapes from Giles, she turns the tables on him during a struggle, but she's stupid enough to stand over him, when he's on the ground. Giles chokes her, and this leads us into the flashback, where Giles caught his father cheating on his mother. Lake is believable as the unhinged lunatic, but the reveal is not a big shock, because earlier in the movie, Powell learns the truth about Giles, when he finds out he doesn't work at the newspaper, and he's not a reporter, so as the viewer you know something is off about him.

    It's hard to ignore the stupid horror movie moments during the fiasco with Sherry and Giles. She gets him to lower his guard, and she tries to escape, but of course the door to the room is locked, so she ASKS him for the key. Yeah, the nutcase, who's holding you hostage, is just going to hand over the key with no questions asked. To make matters worse, Sherry, finally gets the upper hand on Giles, he's incapacitated, so instead of running away, she stops to check on him, giving Giles the opportunity to choke her. Also, Don't Open Till Christmas ends with a bang (figuratively and literally). During the early stages of the movie, Harris receives a present with a "Don't Open Till Christmas" label. Of course, the gift is from Giles. Harris opens it, and it's a music box with a tiny Santa Claus. He lets it play for a little, and it's revealed the music box is actually a bomb. It explodes, the bomb kills Harris, and the blast knocks him off his chair before the credits roll.

    Don't Open Till Christmas is unfocused at times, but there's a reason for that, because the movie had three different directors, and the screenplay was re-written. Still, it's a passable Christmas slasher, and there's a real effort to deliver a darker and more serious film here, without too much cheesy comedy. The chase sequence with one of the Santas at The London Dungeon is easily the highlight of the movie for me, and DOTC features some tie-ins to Christmas and the Christmas season, including Giles losing his faith in Christmas as a kid, and growing up to hate the holiday. With all that said, Don't Open Till Christmas is another Christmas horror film that's only worth watching, if you're curious to see a Christmas horror film, or more Christmas horror films. DOTC is not the type of film that's going to leave a lasting impression on you, and nothing changes, if you want to lower the bar for a guilty pleasure.
     
    #41
  17. X

    X RIP Sgt. Michael Paranzino / RIP CM

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    I am so very sorry to have not been here to post in this thread dude. So, you know, thoughts and such since I was last here roughly 7 months ago.

    Night of the Demons remake? Surprisingly good. We've both expressed our love for this film before in this thread and I happen to have just rewatched both the original and remake a few months back during the Halloween season. I hadn't seen the remake in years but just as I remembered it's a decently entertaining film and one I wouldn't be ashamed of holding the Night of the Demons moniker. I mean you throw in Eddie Furlong, Shannon Elizabeth, and Monica Keena in a horror film and I'm probably goin to watch, even if I know it's dogshit.

    The Poughkeepsie Tapes. One I watched maybe a year or so back and while my sick ass could appreciate some of the more realistically mundane aspects of the POV torture and murder, it lacked a certain something that similar films like Henry or Angst delivered in spades. In spite of the dirt and grime and low budget it still felt very polished and while I'd probably still recommend it for a single viewing for genre fans, it's nothing I was impressed by.

    And Halloween 4? Halloween 4 is like fucking crack cocaine to me. Those that know me know that the original Halloween is my favorite film, and that I have been very much obsessed with the franchise since I was a child. And while I could never say another film in the franchise comes close to the power or impact of the original, I will gladly say that Part 4 is possibly the most entertaining of the entire canon. There's something about this film that just makes me feel like it's Halloween, nearly as much as the original. Perhaps it was AMC cable showings growing up, or maybe it's that opening credits scene that sets up the creepy atmosphere from the get go, but I never tire of this film and just like the original it's one of those films I can recite line-for-line.

    Have you seen The Witch yet Mitch? I know it came out over a year ago and I've had it sitting in a pile for almost that long but I only just got around to watching it a few days ago and it kicked me square in the balls. Something about witches and the New England forest man, it gets to me like nothing else. Probably the best new horror film I've seen
    since Martyrs. Which was, what, a decade ago now?
     
    #42
  18. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    It's all good, man. I'm past the holiday horror posts now, and things will pick up again soon.

    Yeah, NOD '09 definitely ranks high up on my list of horror remakes, and it's another reminder why Monica Keena is one of my favorite final girls. And I didn't know this until I looked it up, but apparently plans were in place a few years ago to make a sequel (After Party) to the remake. The kickstarter campaign failed to reach its goal, and I guess Kevin Tenney and others just gave up after that. A part of me would love another NOD film, but I also think about the finished product resembling Night Of The Demons 3.

    I'll admit The Poughkeepsie Tapes is nothing to write home about. It's basically one of those obscure under the radar horror flicks, and the clusterfuck situation with TPT never receiving a release date is a bigger story than the actual film. For me, the big thing with TPT is, it's one of the few horror films that actually nails the found-footage concept with the camerawork, and the style of storytelling.

    The annual Halloween marathons on AMC? That's how I got into Halloween (and Friday The 13th) in my teens. God, I loved the Halloween and Friday The 13th marathons before I bought all the DVDs, easily one of the best binge-watching marathons.

    With the exception of II and Season Of The Witch, it's kind of a shame how the Halloween sequels and the remakes are basically thrown into groups as crap films and unnecessary, forced sequels. The Return and The Revenge both had good cliffhangers, and I'll usually take 5 over 4, but Tina has to be one the most annoying character in the series.

    Yep. I caught The Witch in theaters the first time around, and I'm convinced it's one of best horror films over the past couple of years, with It Follows and The Babadook. It's slow, but The Witch is one of those, dark and brooding horror films, and it's undeniably creepy in certain parts.

    2008/2009. There's a remake out there, but it's almost impossible to find a good or decent review on it. Basically, it's the same old, same old, trashing Martyrs 2015 as an unnecessary and lazy remake.

    Speaking of remakes, I caught most of the Cabin Fever remake the other night. I don't know if you're interested in it or not, but it's nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Although, the majority of the reviews for it are overwhelmingly negative. I can understand the complaints about the remake failing to bring anything new to the series, they go word for word with dialogue from the original in certain parts, but they do make some changes, with a few minor tweaks here and there. It's a harmless and decent remake, and I still can't believe it. Loved the original, but I stopped watching after Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever, because the trailer for Patient Zero was just awful.
     
    #43
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  19. X

    X RIP Sgt. Michael Paranzino / RIP CM

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    You know I don't think I've even seen the third. Because good luck finding a copy of that these days and it never crossed my Blockbuster path in the 90s. That's one franchise I think is okay to leave alone. It's a time capsule type of film, it gives you that warm fuzzy 80s teen horror nostalgia feeling in yer gut and that's really all I want from that franchise.

    Now that opinion might get you into some trouble with some of my fellow obsessive Halloween fans, as most deride Part 5 as a big step down from Part 4 and I'd agree. Jesus those goofy cops alone with the circus music as they walk around? Awful. That movie has problems but I still enjoy it, but nowhere near to the level of Part 4. And yes, Tina is an awful, awful character. And Christ, little stuttering Billy? Throw him right onto that pyre pantheon of annoying as fuck kids from horror movies.


    I'm mad I waited so long to see it. It has been a very long time since a horror film filled me with that old feeling of genuine fear, the type you'd get watching a film as a child and you'd get up and make sure all the lights in the house were on and all the doors were open, you know, just in case. I watched this in the middle of the day and I still did that. Witchcraft, the eighteenth century, the New England forest....throw that shit in a pot, mix in some Satan and creepy children dressed as adults, and you've got me by the balls. Perhaps it's my New England roots, the fact that the Blair Witch terrified me when it was released, or just a general fear of the unknown, but these things push my buttons in ways most topics and tropes in the horror genre don't anymore.

    I refuse to watch it. Why bother? I know it will be shit. It's just another case of "Hey this film is so awesome....but wait the masses don't want to read subtitles because they're impatient lemmings, better Americanize that shit dawg". No thanks, not interested in seeing one of my favorite horror films sanitized and streamlined for cretinous consumption.

    The original Cabin Fever is another personal favorite, one tied with great memories of seeing it in theaters with my sister and her friend who was like a horror mentor to me, a guy who showed me all kinds of awesome stuff. I love it very much for it's dumb simplicity, and it had me so excited to see what Eli Roth would go on to do. Well, he hasn't done much to impress me since. So when I heard he was putting together a remake of his own film from little over ten years ago I just cringed. So hard. Sounds like the most unnecessary remake ever, but I'll probably give it a whirl one drunken night about five years from now. I'm sure you're eagerly awaiting my analysis from said drunken night. In time Mitch, in time.


    So since this is basically just a PM convo between us about horror movies, what are some of your favorites from this year? I'm trying to catch up on 2016 stuff. Because I live underground in a time warp, you see. I'm only allowed out once every few months to post on WrestleZone. Help me Obi-Mitch Hennesy, you're my only hope.
     
    #44
  20. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Consider yourself lucky, if you haven't seen Night Of The Demons 3. It's basically a bottom of the barrel straight-to-video horror sequel, with bad acting, terrible special effects (understandable with a low budget, but still), and man it's a chore to sit through. Night Of The Demons 2 was an unnecessary film, but it was fun. And to make matters worse, Hull House looks like something out of Architectural Digest in 3.

    Oh, trust me I know. The cops and the circus music? Indefensible. I'm all for the right amount of comedy in slashers, but the cops and that awful music is just too much. I don't want to ramble on and on about him, but you're right about Billy being one of the most annoying horror kids, and I hated the decision to kill off Rachel in the early stages of the movie. And of course, Michael, with an out of charcter moment (the crying, when Jamie tries to get through to him) is enough to create a shitstorm. Just a personal preference, and the ending with Wynn bursting into the police station, murdering everyone, and busting Michael out of jail.


    All true. I don't know if you know, but the director is supposed to do the Nosferatu remake next. I'm not saying he can't or won't do a good job, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea, because a. Nosferatu is in the upper echelon of all-time great horror films, and b. you just know there's a good chance critics and fans alike will shit all over it no matter what.

    A shame people won't give certain films a chance, because they don't want to read subtitles, especially when there's no need for a remake. Off the top of my head, the Let The Right One In remake is the only film I can think of that was actually good, and it didn't feel like a second-rate knock off.

    As long as we're talking about Roth, did you ever see The Green Inferno? Asking, because you know more about cannibal horror films than me. I thought it was okay at best, with the subtle social commentary about phony social justice warriors, and activists, who really aren't willing to risk anything.

    From what I remember, 2016 was a pretty lame duck year overall for horror. Although, I'll admit I missed some films. Don't Breathe was great, and Fede Alvarez is slowly proving himself as one hell of a director. The Conjuring 2 was a good follow up, but I wouldn't call it a memorable film.

    I had high hopes for The Neon Demon. A horror film directed by Nicolas Winding Refn? I couldn't wait to see it, but the movie really didn't do anything for me. Keanu Reeves does a hell of a job as this sleazy motel manager, and visually, TND is an impressive film. Still, I just couldn't get into a story about the deeper meaning behind a bunch of jealous models basically fighting for the top spot, and Elle Fanning's character is not too bright. But I'll say this, there's a creepy scene in there with Jena Malone and a corpse.

    Lights Out and the Ouija sequel received a lot of praise, but for me, Lights Out was and tedious repetitive. And if you take away the 60's nostalgia, Origin Of Evil is just a boring, bland, and unnecessary sequel. The Shallows was a solid shark horror flick, and the new Blair Witch was better than original.

    I still have to get through a pretty big pile of DVDs I bought (and I put that on top of another big pile of unopened horror DVDs), when MovieStop was having a going out of business sale. Freaks Of Nature, Final Girl, and some other stuff I'll drop in here along the way. Plus, when I get around to it, I want to give The Monster, Viral, and The Autopsy Of Jane Doe a try.
     
    #45
  21. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Siren (2016)

    [​IMG]

    Plot- Jonah's (Chase Williamson) fiance, Eva (Lindsey Garrett) encourages him to have a good time with his friends before their wedding, so Jonah's brother, Mac (Michael Aaron Milligan) plans the ultimate bachelor party trip to Garden City. Jonah, Mac, Elliot (Randy McDowell), and Rand (Hayes Mercure) all follow Mac's lead, but the first stop at a strip club doesn't live up to the group's expectations. But things change, when a stranger invites the group to a secret club deep in the woods.

    The group is introduced to Mr. Nyx (Justin Welbron), the proprietor of the club, and he promises an unforgettable experience for Jonah, but he demands payment in the form of the group's fondest memories of their mothers. Mac, Elliot, and Rand return to the main room for the show and drinks at the bar. Meanwhile, Jonah is treated to an unusual peepshow from Lily (Hannah Fierman), one of Mr. Nyx's main attractions. After the peepshow, Jonah notices a padlock on the door to Lily's room. Lily urges Jonah to stay with him, so Jonah devises a plan to free and rescue Lily with Rand's help.

    Jonah and Rand's mission is a success, but the trio runs into one of Nyx's men during the escape. Rand is injured and he falls behind during the struggle, and Lily steals a set of keys to unlock the shackle on her ankle. Lily and Jonah are cornered in the bathroom by Nyx's associate, and Lily reveals her true form as a vicious creature, when she attacks and murders the henchman.

    A terrified Jonah manages to escape with Elliot, Mac, and Rand, but the group is separated, when Lily snatches Elliot from the speeding car, and Rand is hit by a car (driven by one of Nyx's men). Stuck in the middle of nowhere, Mac and Jonah are limited to running and hiding from Lily for the time being, but Lily wont stop until she has Jonah all to herself. Nyx is determined to recapture Lily, and he uses a wounded Rand as an insurance policy for a trade. Nyx plans to use Jonah as bait for the final showdown at the church were he captured Lily as a child, but what's going to happen, when Lily shows up?

    My Thoughts- For those of you, who don't know, Siren is a spin-off/full length adaptation of the Amateur Night short in the original V/H/S film, and Hannah Fireman reprises her role as Lily.

    Siren features a familiar storyline/sub-plot for bachelor parties. Jonah is the nice guy, he's nervous, and he's reluctant to do anything that might upset Eva. Mac is the cocky loudmouth, who promises a wild night, and Rand is the other friend in the group, who shares Jonah's concerns. Of course, everyone follows Mac after a while, but things spiral out of control, when Lily is released. Granted, Siren has a darker twist with more blood and guts, but the "BACHELOR PARTY!!!" pattern is still the same for the most part.

    Hannah Fierman's dialogue is basically limited to "Don't go," or "I like you." Fierman mainly conveys Lily's emotions through facial expressions, and she delivers a really solid performance. At first, you want to believe she's this innocent little lamb, who's in desperate need of help, but when she fully transforms into the creature, Lily becomes a ferocious killing machine. Lily's creature form is truly grotesque, with that big, bloody split in the middle of her forehead, the fangs, and Fierman's bulging eyes. But Fierman is not 100% feral, when she's in her creature form. Lily still shows some characteristics of a normal person during her interactions with Jonah, so Lily is not limited to being a scary monster, who runs around, killing everything in sight.

    Fierman delivers, but it's kind of hard to ignore the stupid horror movie mistakes here. Nothing could possibly go wrong, when you accept an invitation to a party from a weird stranger in a strip club, right? To make matters worse, the group follows the stranger to an isolated mansion (the club) that's basically in the middle of nowhere, and no one suspects anything fishy, when Nyx asks them to pay with memories of their mothers? On top of all that, Eva warns Jonah about avoiding the "seedy" dives, so if you've seen a fair amount of horror movies, you just know something bad will eventually happen, when the group finally reaches the club.

    Siren is a bit uneven at times, the movie has a few unintentionally funny moments (Jonah yelling "Everybody's dying!" when Nyx's men catch up to them in the woods), and the special effects are sub-par, but Siren is a small, low budget horror film, so I expected that. Overall, Siren is a solid horror flick, featuring a good amount of blood and nasty gore, and the supporting cast is decent enough, with Welborn standing out, as the eccentric club owner. The club works as a creepy and unnerving setting for evildoing and depravity, and there's a love story between Jonah and Lily here. Of course, Lily chasing Jonah, and Jonah facing the dilemma for helping Lily and abandoning his life with Eva gets lost in the shuffle with Lily's killing spree, Jonah and Mac running from Lily, and Nyx trying to recapture Lily. Also, Siren features one of the more bizarre sex scenes I've seen in a while.

    If you're a fan of the V/H/S films, or the Amateur Night short, Siren is worth a try. The movie has its flaws, and it's not perfect, but Siren is on a short list of shorts in the V/H/S series that have enough intrugie and room to work with the story to develop a full-length feature. Safe Haven in V/H/S 2 is still my pick for the best short in the V/H/S series, but that short has a beginning and a definitive ending, and for the most part, you could say the same thing about Bonestorm in V/H/S: Viral. They actually show Lily as a kid here, more information on how to control her is revealed, and there's a nice cliffhanger at the end. Usually, I'm against more sequels, but I would love a second film that takes more time to explore Lily's origins, and what might happen if she tries to live a normal life.
     
    #46
  22. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    Final Girl (2015)

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    [YOUTUBE]Ec1-3Fjxy0c[/YOUTUBE]​

    Plot- As a young girl, Veronica meets William (Wes Bentley) after the death of her parents. Veronica passes all of William's tests with high marks, so William invites Veronica to join a program, and Veronica accepts.

    Twelve years later, William pushes Veronica (Abigail Breslin) during the final stages of her training as an assassin. After a field test, William believes Veronica is ready for her first mission after she withstands the effects of a powerful hallucinatory drug.

    In a small town, Jameson (Alexander Ludwig), Daniel (Logan Huffman), Nelson (Reece Thompson), and Shane (Cameron Bright) work together to lure young girls into the woods near town. Here, the four friends hunt and kill their unsuspecting victims.

    Veronica meets and befriends Shane's girlfriend, Jennifer (Emma Paetz) at the local diner to pick up some more info on the group, and Jennifer opens up to Veronica about the troubles in her relationship with Shane, and the cracks within the group.

    One night, Veronica's pure, innocent look, and her blonde hair (Jameson targets blondes) catches Jameson's attention at the diner. Jameson invites Veronica on a date, and she accepts. Veronica wants to go over a gameplan with William for the mission, but he informs her she will have to eliminate the boys alone.

    After a game of truth or dare in the woods with the boys, Jameson reveals the group's true intentions to hunt and murder Veronica. Jameson gives Veronica a five minute head start to escape, but unbeknownst to Jameson and his friends, they're going up against someone, who has the skills and the training to fight back.........

    My Thoughts- Abigail Breslin gives a good effort as the confident and cerebral assassin for a decent performance. And Wes Bentley, playing the serious and disciplined trainer/mentor, really makes his character work.

    The relationship between Veronica and William is a strange one, but it's one of the main highlights here. Veronica is clearly in love with William (she writes "I love you" on a mirror before the mission), and before her first field test, you're lead to believe William is the only man or person Veronica knows in the world. On top of that, William basically raised Veronica, so you can understand why she has feelings for him. There's a scene in a motel room, where it's heavily implied Veronica wants to have sex with William. Of course, he refuses, and you have to believe a lot of that has to do with Veronica's age, and William not wanting to cross that line with his pupil.

    The antagonists are basically are bunch loony man children, with a lot of loose screws. Daniel is kind of wacky, Nelson is clearly in love with his mother, and Shane is a bit more serious more often than not, but overall, he's just another warm body. Alexander Ludwig fills the role of the leader with a solid performance. He's this smug, arrogant prick, and you get the impression he's one of those untouchable cool kids in high school, who walks around with a cocky smile on his face.

    Together, Jameson, Daniel, Nelson, and Shane are bit to comical at times, but I didn't have too much trouble buying into them as a pack of bloodthirsty psychos. One example that sticks it out is, Veronica panicking at the thought of a sexual assault before the game starts. But Jameson reassures Veronica the group has no plans to rape Veronica, because a weakened Veronica will take all of the fun out of the game.

    The hallucinations during Veronica's mission sparks one of the bigger conundrums for me. On one hand, the hallucinations (Veronica puts a powerful hallucinogenic in the flask before the party) during the fight scenes cover a lot of gaps in logic. I know she has the training, and I know she's supposed to be a lethal bad ass, but Abigail Breslin is a tiny, tiny woman, and you can you really see it, when she's standing next to the group (especially Jameson). It's a movie, but for me, suspending disbelief to believe someone, who might weigh a little over 100 lbs. soaking wet could manhandle a group of lunatics without any help is a little tricky.

    On the flip side of that, yes, the hallucinations give Veronica the upper hand, but some of the hallucinations are kind of silly, and they undermine the tone of the film. Shane seeing Jennifer, and realizing his worst fears with Jennifer knowing the truth, and Jennifer having feelings for Jameson fits. But the hallucinations with Daniel fighting guys wearing panda heads before Veronica attacks, or Nelson mouth kissing his mother are out of place here.

    Final Girl is not perfect, but I'm really looking forward to any future films from director Tyler Shields. The lighting, and Shileds' crisp and striking vision is something to admire. The nostalgic and simplistic 50's (or 60's, they never give any clear hints for the timeline) setting helps, and visually, there's no denying Final Girl is a unique experience.

    Final Girl puts a spin on the final girl trope in horror films, when Veronica fights back, and "The Hunted Becomes The Hunter" is one of the taglines for this film. I'm glad they decided to go the route of one girl training to stop Jameson and his crew, and they only show the group murdering one girl (Gwen) to avoid redundancy, and all the cliches in a formulaic slasher. The "parties" take place deep in the woods. You're in the middle of nowhere, and you're sitting on dirty, broken down furniture, so you're pretty stupid, if you seriously believe you're going to a party in the middle of nowhere.

    Final Girl doesn't live up to the potential of its unique premise, and truth be told, Final Girl turns into more of an action/thriller, as the story progresses. I can understand why Final Girl received so many bad reviews, but I always appreciate the effort to try something different. You can call it a swing and a miss, and there's no way around this, but the idea of spinning the final girl trope is the only real hook for this one.
     
    #47
  23. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    The Final Girls (2015)

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    [YOUTUBE]zreNh78kTjg[/YOUTUBE]​

    Plot- A frustrated and struggling actress named Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman) is trying to prove she's more than a scream queen after her role as Nancy in the 80's cult classic slasher Camp Bloodbath. Amanda's daughter, Max (Taissa Farmiga) is her support system, but Amanda is killed in a car accident after an audition with Max in the passenger's seat.

    Three years later, Max reluctantly accepts an invitation from Duncan (Thomas Middleditch) to a special double feature showing of Camp Bloodbath and Camp Bloodbath 2: Cruel Summer at the local theater on the anniversary of Amanda's death. Gertie (Alia Shawkat), Chris (Alexander Ludwig), and Vicki (Nina Dobrev) join Max and Duncan at the double feature, but Max tries to leave before her mother's death scene. A fire causes a bizarre incident, and Max uses a fan's machete to cut through the movie screen with hopes of reaching the backdoor exits, but Max, Gertie, Duncan, Chris, and Vicki are transported into the original Camp Bloodbath film.

    Eventually, Duncan realizes the group is stuck in a time loop. The friends agree to pose as a camp counselors to break the reoccurring patterns, so they join Camp Bloodbath's camp counselors at Camp Blue Finch. At first, Nancy, Tina (Angela Timbur), Blake (Tory N. Thompson), and Kurt (Adam DeVine) welcome the friends with open arms. Paula (Chloe Bridges), Camp Bloodbath's final girl, has doubts about unregistered counselors joining the camp, but Nancy dismisses Paula's concerns.

    The group runs into trouble, when Billy Murphy, the killer, and Camp Bloodbath's primary antagonist, shows up. Duncan believes the group is safe, because they're not characters in the movie, so Billy can't hurt them. But Billy squashes Duncan's theory, when he wounds him with his machete.

    Max, Vicki, Chris, and Gertie quickly realize they're not in a safe zone, so they devise a plan to stop the counselors from showing any nudity or having sex to stop Billy, and they agree to protect Paula at all costs. But the plan goes awry, when Paula dies.

    Flashbacks provide temporary safety for Max, Vicki, Chris, and Gertie, but with Paula dead, a new final girl needs to take her place to stop Billy. Both sides work together to stop and kill Billy, but Max has to fight the urge for a second chance to reconnect with her mother......

    My Thoughts- It's almost impossible to ignore the similarities to Friday The 13th and Jason Voorhees. Camp Bloodbath is basically Camp Crystal Lake, and Billy and his backstory mirrors everything that happened to Jason. I know it's a horror comedy, and I'll admit this is a nitpicky complaint, but Billy's mask is just awful.

    The Final Girls features every character you can think of from a slasher. Tina is the ditzy and promiscuous airhead, Kurt is the perverted and obnoxious tool, Nancy is the sweet and innocent virgin (you can say the same thing about Max), Vicki is the "mean girl," and Chris is the clean cut good guy with all the brains. Duncan reminds me of Jamie Kennedy's character in Scream: the geeky horror movie buff, who knows all the ins and outs of slashers and horror films, and he believes he has the blueprint to stop Billy.

    A big problem with films similar to The Final Girls is, they eventually devolve into the crappy film they're poking fun at, but The Final Girls doesn't have that problem. The sub-plot with Max running into a conundrum for protecting a movie character played by her mother helps. At certain points, I actually believed Max would risk everything to stay in the movie with Nancy, because she was so desperate for a second chance, and she never had a chance to say goodbye. But in the end, she has to let go, and face the soul-crushing reality, because Nancy is supposed to die in the movie. The Final Girls really has a decent amount of emotional depth, when you consider Max and Nancy's relationship, and what happens, when the friends accept the realistic possibility of dying in the movie.

    If you know slashers and horror films, predicting the final girl is pretty easy. You'll only see one gruesome death scene here. It's kind of strange. They're working in the confines of a PG-13 rating, but at times, I had the feeling they were tip-toeing around a restrained approach, and trying to deliver more extreme gore. And exposition is a bit of a problem here, when all the rules of survival and staying alive are explained.

    Still, The Final Girls is an enjoyable homage to the slasher genre, and it's a solid parody horror comedy with consistent laughs. Fans of 80's slashers should get a kick out of The Final Girls constantly poking fun at the usual cliches, tropes, and characters in a slasher film and the final girl trope itself. The retro 80's trailer for Camp Bloodbath works as as little nostalgia buzz to open the movie, and The Final Girls features a good amount of genuinely hilarious moments and scenes, including Tina's striptease, and Paula's death after her big entrance, because everyone was convinced they were safe, when she finally showed up. And you have to laugh at Nancy, Max, and Chris not having a chance to outrun and escape Billy, because they're stuck in slow motion. The 80's counselor's confused reactions to smartphones, modern clothes, and Vicki telling Nancy she shouldn't get her hopes up for losing her virginity to George Michael? Yes, it's predictable, and you know it's coming, but the usual time travel humor works for a few cheap laughs.

    If we're talking about parodies, satire, breaking the fourth-wall, and the movie within a movie approach, The Final Girls is basically Last Action Hero for horror fans. The cliffhanger at the end clearly teases a sequel, but I hope it doesn't happen. They covered all the bases for cliches in a slasher here, so I just can't picture a scenario, where fourth-wall breaking won't hurt the wow-factor for a sequel. I'm also worried about a sequel devaluing this film. Give The Final Girls more time, and we're looking at a legitimate cult classic.
     
    #48
  24. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    You're So Cool, Brewster! The Story Of Fright Night (2016)

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    [YOUTUBE]gH2MJxX8Jcg[/YOUTUBE]​

    They cover the original Fright Night, Fright Night Part 2, and the remake in this documentary. I'm not surprised they completely ignored Fright Night 2: New Blood here. It's a poor cash grab film for Fright Night fans, who are looking for something new, because they need their Fright Night fix.

    They have interviews with just about everybody from Fright Night '85 and Fright Night Part 2 '88, and Simon Bamford's Peter Vincent impersonation is spot on. The documentary is loaded with a lot of great stories from the cast, Tom Holland and Tommy Lee Wallace, and there's more than enough behind the scenes "Did you know?" info in this documentary to satisfy Fright Night fans. Tom Holland wouldn't allow Charlie Sheen to audition for Charley, because he had the look of a movie star, so William Ragsdale landed the role. And I never noticed this, but Amy's more monstrous vampire form inspired the artwork for Fright Night's original poster:

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    You'll also see how The Menendez Brothers and the murders basically killed Fright Night Part 2's chances for receiving a normal theatrical release, because Fright Night Part 2 was a "one man operation" under Jose Menendez. Fright Night Part 2 has a strange past. The Menendez Brothers, Russell Clark, Merritt Butrick, and Roddy McDowall are dead, and the sequel never had a proper release on DVD or Blu-Ray. The DVDs and Blu-Rays are out there....if you're willing to pay for the ridiculously overpriced copies on Amazon, Ebay, and other places.

    You're So Cool, Brewster! is a great horror documentary. It deserves a spot in the upper echelon with the documentaries for Friday The 13th and A Nightmare On Elm Street, but if you're not a die hard Fright Night fan or a fan of vampires in general, you'll probably have some trouble sitting through YSCB. YSCB's runtime is over 3hrs. and 37 min., and they go over every little detail for both films, including the materials and the chemicals they used for the practical effects.

    The box cover art is amazing, and I'm still going through the bonus features. The mini documentary covers Roddy McDowall's career and the ironic similarities between McDowall's status in Hollywood and Peter Vincent, they have an interview with Tom Holland and Amanda Bearse sharing their memories of McDowall, and YSCB is dedicated to Roddy.
     
    #49
  25. Mitch Henessey

    Mitch Henessey Deploy the cow-catcher......
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    The Monster (2016)

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    [YOUTUBE]RUYyqIAiJVc[/YOUTUBE]​

    Plot- Lizzy (Ella Ballentine) and Kathy's (Zoe Kazan) road trip takes an unexpected turn, when Kathy hits a wolf on the back roads leading to Roy's, Lizzy's father, (Scott Speedman) house. Kathy is injured, but Jesse (Aaron Douglas) eventually arrives with a tow truck to help.

    Lizzy realizes something is not right, when the wolf disappears, and Jesse is nowhere to be found. A mutilated Jesse tries to make it to his car for safety, but a vicious monster attacks him. The ambulance is en route, but Lizzy and Kathy are forced to use the car as their only means of protection before the monster strikes again.....

    My Thoughts- Throughout the movie, flashbacks reveal why and how everything devolved into a mess in the mother/daughter relationship between Lizzy and Kathy. Kathy is an irresponsible trainwreck and an alcoholic. Every now and then, Lizzy tries to help her mother achieve sobriety, but she eventually reaches a point of frustration with her mother. Showing Lizzy and Kathy's relationship in flashbacks helps build more sympathy for both characters. Kathy knows she could've been a better mother, and she knows she wasted her time with Lizzy. Kathy was a terrible mother, but Lizzy realizes she was too hard on Kathy. Both characters have to accept their mistakes and move on, because Lizzy is a scared little girl, who needs her mother, and Kathy has to do everything she can to protect her child.

    Ballentine and Kazan share believable chemistry, when Ballentine is not trying to hide the fact she hates her mother, but things do feel a little bit forced, when they start to bond during the attacks from the monster. Kazan is believable as a selfish, walking disaster, and Scott Speedman only has two scenes (technically, it's only one, because he's on the phone with Lizzy after the accident).

    The Monster benefits from a simple setup and setting. Two unsuspecting characters are stuck in the middle of nowhere at night during a rainstorm, with light and fire as their only weapons, while a monster waits for the right moment to attack. They're basically cutoff from getting any help, and things don't go as planned, when the ambulance finally shows up. It's a tense, isolated setting, and I'm glad director Bryan Bertino didn't feel the need to rely on too many jump scares. The Monster only has one true jump scare, and you know it's coming, but I can't complain too much, because it's a good one.

    The actual monster? Eh, I have some mixed feelings about it. The monster is intimidating, when you can only see the fangs and certain parts of the body, and the unfocused shot of the monster standing behind Lizzy, when she's in the woods is great. When they finally show you everything, the monster loses a lot of its mystique. I always prefer the less is more approach, and I understand you have to show the monster at some point, but the overgrown demon dog form really didn't do anything for me.

    The Monster takes a simple and effective approach to stroytelling, and the slow burn build works (i.e. Lizzy examining one of the monster's fangs), because you know it's only a matter of time before something bad happens. Before the monster shows up, Kathy constantly reminds Lizzy monsters are not real, but a known childhood nightmare becomes a reality pretty quickly, and the parent has to protect her child.

    Part horror film, part drama, The Monster blends an even balance of both worlds together for a quality film. The ending with Kathy executing her plan to save Lizzy was too tedious for me, but overall, The Monster surprised me. The 1 hour and 31 minutes runtime helps, and Bryan Bertino delivers some suspenseful and terrifying sequences, and the blood and nasty gore is kept to a minimum here.
     
    #50

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