Posts Tagged ‘Review’

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Re-REVIEW: The Dead Matter

October 16, 2012

Written by: Tony Demci & Edward Douglas

Directed by: Edward Douglas

Starring: Andrew Divoff, Tom Savini, Sean Serino, Tom Nagel, C.B. Spencer

QUICK FIX:

A young woman is guilt-ridden and depressed over the death of her brother and hey, who wouldn’t be? After several supernaturally inspired attempts to contact him on The Other Side end in failure, by shear luck and good plotting she comes upon an ancient mystical scarab charm necklace that she soon finds out just so happens to control the dead. Or should I say undead, as he (or she) who controls the scarab also commands and controls an army of zombies. Not the always hungry, brain-eating kind. I’m talking the mindless, soulless, kill-on-command, at-your-command, by-your-command kind of zombie – my kind of army of darkness right there. It’s like having your very own platoon of Paul Walkers at your fingertips to do your bidding! But wait, there’s more…

There also just happens to be a couple of vampire dudes who have been fighting back and forth with each other for centuries – one who is embracing a new way of life in a very GODFATHER type of role and another who refuses to renounce the old ways – who are after the scarab, each for his own degrees of nefarious intent. And guess who’s caught in the middle of all this mess? Damn right – the guilt-ridden, depressed girl and her friends. Enter a fearless vampire hunter into the mix, and what we have here folks, is one hell of an epic G vs. E tale unfolding RIGHT HERE on our very own TV screens. So pass the Super Duper Nachos and Jameson, and make some room on the sofa for me – we got us a party goin on right here!!!

RAMBLINGS:

Let me start by saying this right out of the gate – I really wish this flick had gotten a nationwide theatrical release. Sparkly, sanitized vampires glowing with emo-angst-ridden lust preening about to a 30 Seconds To Mars soundtrack have been steadily littering our screens for the last few years and honestly, sitting through one of those lazily written tales of a boring teen torn between two different, even more boring, groups of vamps and lycans has been more than enough to make me want to drive a stake through my own heart, standing in the sunlight no less. I was very much afraid that the days of brutal vampirism in the vein (HA!) of 30 DAYS OF NIGHT had been forever whitewashed into a six-movie deal of a love triangle.

Now, finally, someone has stepped up and said, “There will be none of that shit goin down in MY house!! NOT IN MY HOUSE!!!!!”, and I will forever be grateful Mr. Edward Douglas for bringing back the true vamps of old. I’m not saying this is balls to the wall action in the 30 DAYS OF NIGHT style. There is action and oh yes, there is blood, but there is also style, substance, and much like onions and ogres, layers. Good old fashioned storytelling here, folks. I’m talking multiple story arcs and conflict-ridden characters all very well written and all coming to a believable culmination by the time all’s said and done.

On the acting front, you’d better believe your ass that once again and as always, Divoff and Savini never disappoint. If only they had more screen time together to add to their epic battle…but hey, even if they were on screen together for every second of every frame and this were an eight-hour miniseries, I’d probably still bitch that they weren’t together enough. After all, this is the Djinn and Sex Machine on screen together dammit, so that’s just the geek in me coming to the surface again. Everyone else did their jobs extremely well…when you have great material to read from, you can’t go wrong. Only one small complaint about the whole deal…Sean Serino is a very beautiful young lady, but I just could not wrap my head around why such a pivotal character with so much happening to her and around her and with so much conflict in her life would be portrayed as so spacey and aloof the whole way through the flick. It was almost like she was about 37 doses too heavily into Prozac Heaven. More than once, it almost took me out of my viewing experience, but thankfully everyone else brought me back where I needed to be.

I must also send a special shout out to my kickasstastic SyFy Saturday Premiere Girlfriend – the lovely and talented Jen Sharlow, who portrayed Concubine. Tis a small role, sadly, but I’ll take what I can get. So watch for her, drool over her, want her for yourself, but most importantly, cast her…there’s a ton of heart, talent, and brains wrapped up in that body just waiting for a mass horror audience to revel in.

But now…NOW…that dream could very well come true hopefully sooner rather than later the more people that see it. Right now, THE DEAD MATTER is available at many places including your favorite online retail outlets. And before long…wait for it…WAIT FOR IIIIIIIIITTTTT…I can’t say just yet, sorry. But rest assured that soon…SOON, my fiends, you will know all the facts, and it will be in your face bigger and brighter than HD Blu-Ray porn.

LAST WORDS:

I reviewed this flick once already a couple or so years ago, as you may or may not remember. But in light of a huge announcement coming VERY soon from the one & only Midnight Syndicate, I’m coming out of reviewing retirement and resurrecting my review for a special return engagement. But still, after all this time, while keelhauling my brain for something more recent to compare this flick to in order to peak your interest like mine is, my mind became way too preoccupied with the pleasure of being keelhauled and went completely when it came to anything else. But it DOES defy every single page of the current Hollyweird rulebook of horror movie making by being neither a remake, a former TV show, nor edited in today’s standard quick cut Super Hi-Meth mode – it’s an actual story unfolding right before your very eyes, just like the old Dracula movies from Hammer Films did back in the late 60s to early 70s. So there you have it, I guess – it’s like a modern Hammer film! So get your ass out there, support incredibly well done indie horror, and put this sucker in your DVD collection!!!

– Craig

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REVIEW: Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader

August 30, 2012

Craig McGee

Written by:  Mike MacLean

Directed by:  Kevin O’Neill

Starring:  Jena Sims, Ryan Merriman, Sasha Jackson, Olivia Alexander, AJ Llamas, and Treat Williams

 

 

QUICK FIX:

In this update of the 1958 classic, ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WOMAN, cute yet pimply and mousy college freshman scientist Cassie helps develop a new serum that could revolutionize the beauty industry and will quickly turn a “Butterface” (or worse) into “OHHHH HELLS YEAH!!!” seemingly overnight.   With the funding she gets from this, the world could be her burrito – guys, money, fame, new science projects…everything a lab geek could possibly want, right?

Well, not exactly.  See, Cassie, more than anything else in the world, just wants love and acceptance but she’s a girl that’s lookin for love in all the wrong places – from pleasing her vain mother to joining the cheer squad to getting into the hottest sorority on campus – those are her college goals.  So what’s a cute yet pimply and mousy college freshman scientist to do?  Faster than you can say “THE NUTTY PROFESSOR”, she runs back to the lab and injects herself with the magical serum and the next morning BAM, superfox.  But that’s not all…of course with the super hotness also comes getting accepted everywhere she wanted that shunned her before, as well as greater strength, enhanced coordination, etc.  But then our gorgeous young Cassie begins to grow…and grow…and GROW…and before long a guy would need goggles and a snorkel just to…oh, wait…kids read this, don’t they?

Anyway, it isn’t long before a pesky arachnid and Cassie’s hot yet peskily bitchy nemesis, Brittany, also fall victim to the side effects of the body growth serum and on top of dealing with that there’s the pesky-nasty pharmaceutical company rep and his platoon of goons trying to harness Cassie and her size as well.  As Confucius would say, “Short man who dance with tall woman get bust in mouth.”  Let’s hope our gorgeous heroine is able to…stand tall, during all of this…

RAMBLINGS:

Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader

Oh, Roger Corman, you’ve done it again!!!  For decades you’ve been entertaining me in the wildest ways by producing flicks on a budget for each movie that was more than likely lower than my annual property taxes and for that I’m not only thankful, but more than a little envious as well.  You’ve had way more hits with me than misses and that far exceeds most other writer/director/producers in any genre, especially horror, so thanks for the mammaries and here’s to many more to come…CHEERS!!!

Speaking of hits…I know that in two years’ time, I’ve written now a total of four glowing reviews for all four movies that Mike MacLean has written.  DINOCROC vs. SUPERGATOR, SHARKTOPUS, PIRANHACONDA, and now ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT CHEERLEADER.  That’s four for four, for those of you keeping track.  I don’t know this man personally and unfortunately he doesn’t pay me for these awesome reviews, I just like to reward excellence and repeatedly thank the man for writing flicks that I am constantly and consistently entertained by and can watch over and over and over again.  I say this again – keep your eyes on this dude, he is a force to be reckoned with.  His writing that I already love improves with every feature and you just can’t ask for much more than that.  This was also a departure for MacLean, as yes there are still giants in this movie, but except for two little scenes all the giants are in fact human.  I always enjoy little breakout moments like these, especially when the giant female cast is so easy on the eyes!  MacLean…KEEP WRITING MOVIES!!!!

The horror vet cameo list is long and distinguished this time around with appearances by the awesome Mary Woronov, Sean Young, Ted Raimi, and in one hilarious classroom scene (one of my favorite scenes) John Landis and The Man himself, Roger Corman.  Not to mention we get Treat Williams (who will forever be Finnegan to me, as well as my favorite Substitute) chewing up every scene he’s in with the glee of 37 William Shatners and seems to enjoy every second of his time on screen.  I know I sure as hell did – one great line after another.  But my favorite came when Cassie’s nerdy scientist colleague whipped out his phone and threatened to call the FDA on them.  But of course, Treat sez, “Why don’t you set your phone to ‘Shut The Fuck Up!’” before tazing the shit out of him.  Ohhhhhh, what I wouldn’t pay to have that line as my ringtone!!

LAST WORDS:

This may come as a surprise once you see my name attached to this review, but it was actually NOT a SyFy Saturday premiere.  It was in fact a Saturday, but it premiered on the Epix Movie Channel instead and I for one am thrilled and grateful.  This flick would NOT have worked on SyFy very well.  Why?  BOOBS, GLORIOUS BOOOOBS!!!!  The giant topless Royal Rumble at the end alone would’ve had to have been heavily blocked or edited and we just cannot have that in this day and age.  No, sez I.  Yes, I AM still a 12 year old at heart, thank you very much.  But think about it – when a hot chick grows to ten times her normal height, the clothes don’t expand with her…thank goodness, if you catch my drift.

No word yet on a DVD release date, but we will keep you posted.  I cannot wait to add this flick to my collection.  Oh, which reminds me…I FLIPPIN LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!  Take the giant Jena Sims and stack the giant Olivia Alexander on top of her (Hmmm…) and multiply by 1000 and that MIGHT come close to explaining my love for it.  Cheesy, schlocky, hokey giant woman flick where toplessness happens at random; a giddy Treat Williams chomping up scenery like a starving Sharktopus, and trademark Mike MacLean one-liners, ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT CHEERLEADER is my favorite Saturday night date so far this year!!!

– Craig

 

 

 

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REVIEW: ParaNorman

August 20, 2012

 

Mr. Frights

It’s pretty hard to go into this movie and not know what it’s about. The trailers do a decent job of setting expectations, giving the audience a clue as to how much fun this movie is going to be without going so far as to ruin it. Like a skilled pusher, they give you a taste & then you’re on the hook for more, unable to resist wanting to see this. Even people outside the targeted audience are clamoring to check it out. The thing is, it’s WAY better than you think!

I went in a couple days late, I’d not seen a lot of discussion on the flick, but comments were favorable, not that it really mattered because like I said, it looked great! If you follow my blog then you saw me post about ParaNorman being worth seeing and tossing you it’s website. Hopefully you went to check it out because they have some fun things on there including a mobile game, info on the characters, info on the people who made the movie, it’s a good pre-show experience. If you haven’t seen it yet, go check out the site: http://www.paranorman.com/

And don’t forget to hit up the production company’s website which looks pretty cool as well: http://www.laika.com/

Without giving anything away… The story is about a kid who can see and talk with the deceased, but he’s used to it and it’s like they are just normal people. There’s this curse on the town and it’s his time to use his gift to help save everyone after his creepy uncle who has the same gift ends up passing on. Norman is joined by a typical group of “friends” to help him along, however, they turn out to be anything but the usual lot after all which does a lot for the movie. The film is full of scares and very intense moments, especially toward the end, but it’s also filled with a great message or two not just for the kids, but for everyone; and it hits on many levels without being preachy.

The first writing & directing credit for Chris Butler, it’s a very impressive mark on both kid films and horror cinema. Previously Chris worked on “Corpse Bride” and “Coraline”, according to IMDB, as a storyboard artist. So, who knows where he got his ability to put something so completely amazing together. The movie is Co-Directed with Sam Fell, who also doesn’t have a huge IMDB resume just yet, other than the hit “The Tale of Despereaux”. Another thing of note is the music which was really impressive. I don’t know too many films that had me paying any attention at all to the score they way this did and this just stirred something in me, especially how it added to the movie – so I have to mention it.

I didn’t recognize a ton of names in the cast, but they all did a great job. My only issue with the movie is that the mom’s face looked really weird to me for some reason. It kind of reminded me of someone who might have had dental work done recently and just had this deformation from swelling or something. Oh and John Goodman’s character has this beard that reminded me of one of those shag type carpets that are so popular these days. So nothing really big deal to dislike, and nothing took me out of the story.

Anyone who goes to check out this flick is going to have a lot of fun! I saw it in 3D and that was exceptionally done with the right depth and not just as a gimmick. Not to mention I got a sweet pair of special green ParaNorman 3D glasses!

ParaNorman | Official Theatrical Trailer – Rated PG [HD] – YouTube.

As for this being a movie for the whole family… I went and saw it with my 8 year old daughter. I saw someone post it would be scary for kids, and I can totally see what they are talking about, but she loved it! The movie is intense and it’s not your typical family fun flick. They did a great job with this movie, giving everyone something to enjoy, they pushed the intensity though and that’s the part that might get to a child if they scare easily. However, there’s no real gore or anything, the zombies are a bit scary but fun, and it is a cartoon so…

I highly suggest going to see this in theaters, the scope of the film and the intensity of it makes it one of those movies you don’t want to pass up while it’s out there. Especially the 3D aspect of it. If you want to see a family horror movie done the right way, this one is what will hold up as the standard both as a family horror flick and as a 3D movie. It’s a great opening to the Halloween season of films and while I’m looking forward to the other similar type of movies coming along here in the next month, this one sets the bar pretty high!

Enjoy the horror my friends!

– Mr. Frights

http://www.facebook.com/frights

 

 

 

 

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REVIEW: How To Tell the Difference Between a Zombie and The Cable Repair Guy

August 16, 2012

Mr. Frights

Every year about this time I begin to search for family Halloween or horror books. They don’t always jump out at you, so I want to bring as many as I can to your attention. This time I’m reviewing a new book that you can get for your Kindle (though you definitely don’t need a kindle to read it. You can download a free kindle app for your computer or your smart phone) and it’s perfect for your little ones as well as fun for adults. I laughed pretty hard while going over this one.

 

Author Jennifer Ritter has put together an amusing “how to” with fun stick figure style illustrations. The drawings are done by the author and in a very tongue-in-cheek kind of way, poking fun at her own art skills along the way. But it’s also very appropriate for the story too.

 

We have here a short [or kid sized] book explaining just what the title says – How To Tell The Difference Between a Zombie and The Cable Repair Guy. This is a creative look at something we often take for granted in our lives and the idea that we should be observant of the things around us. I may be putting meaning into this that the author didn’t intend, but it’s totally there.

Cover for “How To Tell The Difference Between a Zombie and The Cable Repair Guy” by author & illustrator Jennifer Ritter

The comparisons of a zombie and a cable repair guy are pretty funny and the way that this just keeps finding more differences to help you discern between the two creatures is incredibly humorous, so don’t be afraid to chuckle out loud like I did, even if you’re by yourself. The humor starts from the very title page of the book and even in the copyright statement.

 

I really enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would. The surprise and delight I ended up experiencing while reading this, for me, makes this an instant must have. I shared it with my daughter and she LOVED it! Jennifer put a truly fun and funny book together and at just $3 bucks you really can’t beat it. The bottom line is that this should be a hit with parents and kids alike, especially if you are a fan of horror, Halloween, or humor.

 

To find out more about the author please see her page on Amazon.com – [Jennifer’s Author Page]

 

To get your hands on the book please check out this [link]

 

And if you’d really like to get to know the author I highly suggest checking out the interview I did with her here: http://mrfrights.com/j_ritter.html

 
 

It would be a smart thing for you to get this book, especially if you have kids and need to teach them to tell the difference between a zombie and the cable repair guy. After all, better to be prepared and not need it than to need it and not be prepared.

 
 

Enjoy the horror my friends!

– Mr. Frights

www.mrfrights.com

 
 

 

 

 

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REVIEW: PIRANHACONDA

August 15, 2012

Craig McGee

Written by:  Mike MacLean  

Directed by:  Jim Wynorski  

Starring:  Michael Madsen, Rachel Hunter, Robert “Rib” Hillis, Terri Ivens, Shandi Finnessey

 
 

QUICK FIX:

After an arousingly catchy BEACH BLANKET BINGO-style opening theme song warning us to “Look out, look out – PIRANHACONDAAAAAAAAA!!!” by a band I’ve since become a fan of – The Cheetah Whores – we’re treated to Mr. Blonde himself as a University professor trying to bring an egg or four from Hawaii back to the mainland to study, even though we know he’s got ulterior motives since he admits he’s been tracking these creatures for over 20 years since his Daddy went missing.   

From there we get introduced to more main characters than a Frank Herbert novel – an entire low budget film crew shooting a slasher flick, an army of mercenaries led by an awesome dude who looks like a buffed-up Sean Connery and a still hotter than doughnut grease Rachel Hunter who kidnaps the rich and holds them for ransom till they gets paid, a scrawny movie geek and his big-boobed-blonde girlfriend, and a GORGEOUS female doctor looking for the legendary Ghost Orchid along with her trusty assistant and a female guide.   

Meanwhile, our title creature is chomping up main characters and tourists and extras faster than I was shoveling my homemade special recipe Deluxe Fatass Nachos into my piehole loving the shit outta the major cheese I was watching on my TV screen!! And all this is happening in Hawaii??  MAGNUM P.I. definitely left the seamier side of the island out of his stories, I take it…  

 

RAMBLINGS:

Why such a huge cast for a SyFy Saturday premiere, you may or may not ask?  The answer is, of course, easier than my first wife – when you’ve got a couple 100ft fish-snakes (Finakes?  Snish??) trying to track down their missing eggs, that’s a hellabig workout and they get hungry.  They’re out for vengeance AND sustenance, so many, many characters are needed to feed these suckers and chew up the running time.
 
That being said, there are writers out there that I will admit I have huge admiration for that in a couple of cases even borders on worship and envy – Joss Whedon, James Gunn, and Todd Farmer immediately come to mind.  But when I want to sit back and chill on a Saturday night with a big glass of rum and enjoy a bloody, funny, schlock-filled cheesefest of a SyFy Saturday creature feature there’s only one name that comes to mind, and that name is Mike MacLean.
 
Mike MacLean speaks to me.  Not in real life, but this is the first time that a writer has been so in tune with my Saturday night needs that ALL of his movies are in constant rotation in my house.  Let’s do a headcount – DINOCROC vs. SUPERGATOR; SHARKTOPUS; PIRANHACONDA.  And I’m positive that his next effort, debuting in late-August on the Epix Network – ATTACK OF THE 50FT CHEERLEADER – will be even MORE epic (nope, not doin the pun… too easy) to me than any of his previous work.
 
Never in my side job reviewing movies nor in the history of SyFy Saturdays has one writer knocked it out of the park for me every single time. To be quite honest, they usually piss me off more times than not. So when I praise this man’s genius, it’s not kissing ass – we’ve never met, we don’t know each other personally, he doesn’t call me at home, I’m not getting anything from him in return; it’s just a professional respect from one writer to another.  Plus in this case, this is one writer who also moonlights as a horror movie reviewer so I get to throw my voice out there to be heard and spread the good word.  A sample, you say?  Sure, like this exchange between three mercenary characters:
 

“It’s like an unholy union between a piranha and an anaconda.”
“You mean, a Piranhaconda??”
“I can’t believe you just said that.”

Or my personal favorite that I have taken to using on several occasions over the last couple of months:

“You guys are cuckoo for Psycho Puffs.”

See what I’m saying…it’s like he’s writing specifically for my sense of humor!  Apparently, I AM his target audience!!
 

Syfy Original Movie – Piranhaconda – YouTube.


 
 
LAST WORDS:
 
I love how the miraculous healing powers of the Ghost Orchid will never be known.  I love how the old “I’ll be right back” trick was used to perfect effect and I still laugh my ass off every time even though I knew what was gonna happen the first time.  I love my new drinking game, The Stumbling Leilani, which is where you take a shot every time two characters say Leilani’s name in just one four minute scene – use the bottle, you won’t have time to pour shots into a glass, trust me heh heh heh.  And I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ending… well played, Sir.  It’s all part of the magic that makes this movie very special to me.  Mike MacLean, your mission is simple… write more movies NOW – my SyFy Saturday crew needs you!!
 
No word on the DVD release date yet, but you can bet your sweet schlock-lovin asses I’ll keep you posted.  One word of warning though – if you didn’t like SHARKTOPUS, chances are you’re not going to have your tongue planted anywhere close to firmly enough in your cheek to truly enjoy PIRANHACONDA, and that’s alright – it’s not for everyone.  Speaking of that, last year when I wrote that SHARKTOPUS was “full of kickassitude” and “cheesy goodness covered in awesome sauce”, I totally meant it.  But PIRANHACONDA goes way beyond that… it’s like a ginormous ball of cheese deep fried in awesomocity and is in full-throttle kickasstastic mode from start to finish and never, never, NEVER lets up on the gas or gives you a chance to breathe, and that’s just the way I like it!!!!

– Craig McGee

 

 

 

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AVENGERS’ CABIN (AKA – TWO…TWO…TWO MOVIES IN ONE YEAR THAT WERE NOT ONLY WRITTEN BY THE SAME GUY BUT THAT BOTH GAVE ME A FULL-ON GEEKGASM EVERY TIME I WATCHED THEM)

July 9, 2012

Craig McGee

First, I suddenly realized after writing the title above how much I am totally in love with the word “Geekgasm” and have come to the conclusion that, A) I should Trademark the word before it’s stolen from me like “Crackwhore” was by Norm MacDonald back in the day, and 2) I don’t use it in sentences nearly as much as I should.   But that can easily be remedied as I shall from this point forth incorporate that word into as many daily conversations as possible right along side my other favorites – “Holy balls”, “I’ve heard it both ways”, and “Said the liar…

Second, I consider myself a huge fan of Joss Whedon’s work.  I’ve especially always envied the way he can juggle so many main characters at once and give them ALL something important to do and say (no one is really a secondary throwaway character in his stories) – and I’ve liked practically everything he’s ever come out with…well, except DOLLHOUSE…yes, Eliza Dushku is hotter than doughnut grease without a doubt, but I just couldn’t get into this one.  But while it’s true I am a huge fan of the man’s work, I have always vehemently fought against the rabid fanboys out there (Looking at you most of all on this one, Milhouse) who’ve tried their damnedest to get me to join their herded ranks and classify me as a “Whedonite”.  But after this year I’m seriously considering rethinking my stance on that…

And seriously, who wouldn’t reconsider??  HAPPY FATHERS DAY DADDY LOVE, ALLYCAT!!  **WRITER’S NOTE – As I started writing this blog on Father’s Day, the realization hit me that any writings I leave open on screen and unattended while I go outside for a smoke break are fair game for anyone, especially my deceivingly crafty yet incredibly sweet daughter.  Plus, it’s so damn cute and thoughtful I had to leave it intact.  So, thank you very much, Allycat ? I love you too!!  END WRITER’S NOTE**

Now where was I…oh yeah, got it!  And seriously, who wouldn’t reconsider??  The man single-handedly brought quality, multifaceted horror with all the high school to college to adulthood angst that goes with it as well as a very entertaining and successful spinoff to that series that constantly reinvented itself to great success every season, as well as a sadly short-lived Sci-Fi/Western series followed by a wrap-up feature film companion to that show which to me is undeniably the best Science Fiction movie since THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, and hasn’t been topped since.  SERENITY is indeed THE bombdiggity of Sci-Fi flicks.

But let’s talk about now, shall we?  In a story that started in Joss’ head about 10 years ago and finally got written and greenlighted and shot, it still took another three long years to get it to the big screen.  First it was going to be converted to 3-D, so that took forever.  Then suddenly it wasn’t again.  Then it seemed to disappear for over a year completely off anyone’s radar as if it had been unmercifully shelved for good.  But then…then…BAM!!!  CABIN IN THE WOODS had a definitive release date and the studio stuck with it.  Even though it has been three months since its theatrical debut, I still don’t feel as if I can talk about it properly without spoiling anything for those that haven’t seen it yet.  Yes, it’s THAT good.  And it’s nothing like the previews made it out to be.  And with the exception of a very obvious tribute to the EVIL DEAD movies and just a smidge of THE CUBE thrown in, it is NOTHING like you’ve ever seen before.  For me, it is THE horror film to beat so far this year, hands down.  I will be arrogantly smug and confident enough right now to proclaim that it will make the top of my year-end list.

AVENGERS….assemble!!!!  Yep, I’m well aware that this flick ain’t horror.  Although if you stretch & squeeze the Vikings making Thor and Loki into deities, the inter-dimensional travel aspects of supernaturally mechanical buggers that Loki brings into our world to destroy us, and who we ultimately find out he was working for (nope, won’t spoil that here either), then you can certainly find horror elements to it, soooooooo, THTHTPPPPTTT, it counts.  Whew, I pulled that off!  And, Joss Whedon pulled off writing & directing duties on this movie amazingly (even for him) well given the huge task at hand – seamlessly incorporating already laid down storylines told over the last four years in several superhero origin movies done by other writers and directors before he took over the reins on this one while at the same time giving us his own vision of how The Avengers would come to work together and setting up a new storyline and sequel perfectly.  I never doubted him for an instant.

Click for full wallpaper

As I said before, Whedon (along with James Gunn) are the only solo writers that comes to mind at the moment who can juggle so many main characters all at once and give them so very much life and purpose and not a single one of them gets shorted on screen.  But now my envy has turned to inspiration and from this point forward I will try my absolute best to stretch and grow myself as a writer by trying to incorporate their storytelling traits & talents into my very own traits & talents and certainly into my own work.

 

 

 

 

So yeah, this can be considered my gushing fanboy blog of the year, and I couldn’t have picked a better guy, in this announcer’s humble opinion.  Both movies hit DVD/Bluray in September, and I suggest you start saving your hard-earned pennies now.  Both movies Joss Whedon had a huge hand in bringing to us, both movies are my two favorite of the year so far in any genre, and both movies deserve to be in everyone’s collection!!

 

– Craig McGee

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Review: Goliad Uprising

July 9, 2012

Mr. Frights

I’m not really sure what it is, but people keep sending me NON-HORROR stuff to review. This makes the third request in a row. The only thing about this that is horror is Shannon Lark’s past filmography. So before I go any further I want to clarify this [and I in no way mean to be a dick here] I AM NOT INTERESTED IN ANYTHING THAT IS NOT HORROR RELATED, NOT HALLOWEEN RELATED, NOT SCARY, OR NOT FUN! Sorry folks, but I thought the name itself gave that away. Mr. FRIGHTS is ALL about HORROR and HALLOWEEN! And now just so I get something out of the 98 minutes I spent watching this, I’m posting my review.

Most of the time I do a review I’ll let the filmmaker take a look at it before I post it. I know how much image is worth to someone who put all their effort into a project and I don’t want to insult or wreck anyone with my words. However, I’m always honest about my thoughts and feelings on a movie. I have withheld reviews for people before because their ego won’t let them face the truth, that at least one person didn’t like their work. However, with this one, I’m still publishing it regardless because 1. I did the work and 2. I’m proving a point about honesty.

Shannon Lark as Ariel

Like I said, the only thing horror about this movie is Shannon Lark’s past filmography. I love me some Shannon Lark. She’s sexy. She’s got her game together. She’s smart and knows what she’s doing on screen. I’m not trying to kiss ass here, I just like her. I don’t know her personally, though I’d really dig that. She hasn’t done all good work, but she’s been pretty incredible regardless. But that’s just my opinion. How she got mixed up in this stinker I just don’t have a clue.

That’s right, I said stinker. This movie starts off OK. It’s a familiar story, with a contemporary spin which all of us modern smart device using folk can connect with. I’ve also seen this in a Dr. Who episode once. Basically the story goes that there’s a company putting out a new technology that people are sucking up like they do new iPhones these days. The problem is the devices are brainwashing people. There’s a rebel movement of sorts that is trying to stop it from happening and there ya go.

The movie comes from Writer/Director/Producer Paul Bright and stars Shannon Lark & Aaron Weisinger. You can find out more over on their website: http://goliaduprising.com/

The great thing about this movie of course is Shannon. She delivers her performance with professionalism and is spot on. However, the character as it is on screen falls a bit short. She [the character] comes off as fun and quirky and borderline crazy, as close to an over the top fantasy life changing character can be without accomplishing the goal. This seems to be a theme in this film as most of the characters are just bland or fall short of being over the top, which would have scored big.

I should mention Aaron Weisinger did a good job with his character as well, but again, the character falls just short of what it should have been. The main bad guy was horrible. I’m sure he’s a fine actor, but miscast none-the-less, or misdirected. If anyone is supposed to be over the top, it’s a bad guy, and this fella could have been made out of cardboard for all it mattered. His soft spoken words of wickedness were just boring. They should have been spoken with true bravado and boisterous flamboyance. I wasn’t impressed.

Click to Order the DVD

The editing jumps around a bit and leaves some things out which hurts the movie. Instead of lead-ins and lead-outs from scene to scene we get someone saying to go do something and suddenly without notice they are doing the action or have done it. Time jumping this way just shows a lack of story telling ability on screen. Usually that means they didn’t get a usable shot or forgot something during filming. The sound FX are off too. Not that they don’t exist, but they used some things that just don’t fit at all, like silenced handgun sounds for guns that are clearly not silenced and muffled automatic weapons fire when it should have been louder for sure.

 

The other big thing that was hard not to notice, with this type of movie you’d expect a nice soundtrack to go with it. Not just music from some bands or recording artists, but real soundtrack stuff like symphonic music to help move along the story or help the audience connect with the moments in the movie that are tender or exciting or scary. This has a few songs thrown in where they could put them, but mostly it’s quiet.

This puts most of the focus on the dialog which isn’t exactly smart either. Some of the shots suffer from camera work without dialog when you’d expect it, like the level of filmmaking were less than experienced. One scene has the camera tracking the couple through a crowded room capturing the various people in the area and settling on the couple while you can hear the background noise of chatter going on. With the camera settling on the two main actors I’d expect some dialog to be forthcoming, especially with the amount of time the camera lingers on them, but all I saw was the two whispering to each other for a moment and I’m left wondering what was said or what the point of that shot was. Another was how some of the dialog was delivered, just didn’t make sense. One conversation has Ariel talking to David and she gets upset out of no where for no reason. This happens a couple times throughout the movie, like there’s no settlement on what emotions are supposed to be playing out during these exchanges.

One of the things I hate most about reviewing any movie, is ripping it up. I know what goes into making a film and no one starts out thinking they are in this endeavor to make shit. But sometimes, in the end, that’s what you end up with. Here, I can only give kudos to the filmmaking team for undertaking the quest of making a film and completing it. That is the first big success of any movie even if it’s bad. The rest of this is just a failure of writing, filmmaking know how, story telling know how, and to much playing it safe.

The movies we love are filled with over the top characters, the books we love too. You have to start with a good story, a solid script, decent actors, and an experienced or talented crew, but in the end the biggest part of that story you’re telling is how the characters come off to the audience. No one likes bland every day characters. We love bigger than life characters that take us on incredible journeys. This film has so much potential but fails to deliver it at almost every turn. I’m not sure if this is the first movie from these guys, but regardless, they have a long way to go before it looks like they know what they are doing [and by “they” I mean whomever was in charge of the overall production].

The bottom line for me is, the movie should have been bigger. The characters should have been bigger. The scope of the story should have been presented in a bigger way. They did OK with what they had, but with a bigger budget and in the hands of an experienced filmmaker/story teller, this would have been a great flick.

I’m giving this flick one scream because it wasn’t unbearable, just disappointing at the large amount of missed opportunities it had. And of course, it’s not horror.

– Mr. Frights

http://www.mrfrights.com

 

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