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Wolfcop (2014) – Canada, Meet Your New Hero

wolfcopWolfcop is a little Canadian production that has been fighting to get made/released for a couple of years. Well I am so very happy to say that today, I watched Wolfcop in a major theatre.

A couple of years ago I ran into the folks behind Wolfcop at their table 2014-04-29 02.01.38at the Calgary Entertainment and Horror Convention. At that time they were trying to drum up votes in a contest amongst indie films to get funded. They didn’t win, but they did drum up interest, and this year when they appeared the the expo, they were announcing the up coming release of Wolfcop. I was really glad to hear this as the folks behind the film seem pretty damned cool. Both years they handed out Wolfcop badges to those who would tweet or post to Facebook about Wolfcop. I did it both years and have both versions of the badge, which is pretty awesome. They did a good job grabbing my attention and I have been waiting to see this film. I am happy to say it was worth the wait.2014-04-29 02.30.23

IMG_0512Wolfcop tells the tale of Lou Garou, a drunk cop in a small town who get’s turned into a Werewolf. Instead of just going rogue like most Werewolves, he decides to start kickin’ criminal ass as Wolfcop. Also, while he’s doing that, he’s got to get to the bottom of why he’s a werewolf, and just what the hell is going on in his little town.

Wolfcop is a low budget homage to the cheezy slasher/monster horror flicks of the 70’s and 80’s. It’s not a movie to be taken seriously, it’s a movie to be enjoyed for what it is. This is the movie for the person who enjoyed Machete and Hobo With a Shotgun. If you rented those cheezy horror movies from your corner video store as a kid in the 80’s then Wolfcop is the movie for you. Watch it with an open mind, and take it for what it is and you might just find that you’ve watched a brilliant film.Unfortunately, it most likely won’t be in the theater for long, and even if it did, it’s a Canadian only release. But that means it most likely will be available for purchase, and if that’s the case, I say buy it!

Check out the trailer below:


Godzilla (2014)–Wow–The American’s Got This One Right!

Hey! Check out my video review of the recently released American Godzilla movie. Did they make up for the 1998 crapfest they called Godzilla? Damn straight they did!


Neighbors (1981) A Perfect Dark Comedy

Today I take a look at the 1981 dark comedy, Neighbors, starring John Belushi and Dan Akroyd. I’ll explain why I feel this is one of the best dark comedies and why it has stayed fresh in my mind over so many years. Check out the video review below:


Shaky Cam Movie Week Movie 3 – REC (2007)– Infectiously Awesome

Rec_posterIf you’ve seen the movie Quarantine and wish you had the time you wasted on that back… well I can’t help you there, but I can suggest you watch REC, as this is what Quarantine was supposed to be, as this is the movie that it was based on.

2007’s REC is a Spanish horror film that follows a reporter, Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), and her camera man as they document the goings on of a Spanish Fire Hall for her show, While You’re Sleeping. At first it’s regular stuff, talking to the Firefighters about how they spend their time, what and when they eat and sleep, what they do for fun while waiting for a call and such. But when they tag along on a call of an old woman trapped, and possibly injured in her apartment, everything changes. Arriving at the apartment building, they find a police vehicle there already. The officer explains that the lady is in her apartment in the upper level of the building and that screams were heard from the suite. Breaking in the door and entering, they find the lady, distressed, and bloody, wearing her night clothes (or a slip). Approaching here, calmly and talking, trying to get her to relax, she attacks and bites the hell out of one of the fire fighters in a fit of manic rage.Everyone quickly retreats from the apartment. though one firefighter stays behind on the upper floor, and the bitten firefighter quickly falls gravely ill… Meanwhile, the residents of the building, who have been gathered in the foyer of the building are getting nervous, and tense, demanding answers. When the department of health shows up and seals off the building, preventing anyone from leaving, the tensions grow even higher. You see, there is a disease going through the place and the authorities obviously see t as a severe threat, treating it on par with a chemical, germ or nuclear threat. As time passes, the threat grows, with the already bitten and injured rising up, zombie like and attacking the non-injured. Add to this a cop that has obviously been put into a situation that is above his pay scale, things really start to fall apart, and with no end obviously in site for the trapped.  The fearful remaining unaffected people are starting to throw blame around… eventually, when a health inspector enters (dressed in a hasmat suit that makes the already frightened residents more upset), he is compelled to reveal that one of the residents dog, brought to the vet as ill, was carrying an unknown, extremely viral disease. The dog, showed the same aggressiveness as the people did once fully sickened. As time goes by more and more fall to the disease or the attacks of those already afflicted… all the while Ángela keeps filming, capturing everything, while trying to find a away out of the infected building… Trying to escape the growing hoard, they make their way frantically to the Penthouse suite, reported closed up for years by it’s owner. In the suite the reporter and her cameraman discover what may lay behind the outbreak… and something much more terrifying.

This movie, was so good. I had no idea as to what it was about, but my movie watching buddy thought it would be a good choice for this week’s theme and he was right. If you haven’t seen this gem then you should. It’s pretty short (only an hour and fifteen minutes), but so packed with tense action that it feels longer (in a good way). So, as stated at the beginning of this write up, if you were dissatisfied with the movie, Quarantine, and want to see the way it should have been see this film. Or, if you just want to watch a god movie, also watch this film.

Check out the trailer below:


Shaky Cam Week Movie 1 – Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014) –Maybe They Should Have Stopped After The First Few

Paranormal_Activity_-_The_Marked_Ones_2014_posterThe first Paranormal Activity movie back in 2009 was a scary, effective and unique horror movie. It was pretty damned good, actually. The next couple were still pretty good, but eack, in my opinion, was a little less good than the previous movie. With The Marked Ones, it’s just redundant and getting pretty boring now.

So some young adults/late teens stumble upon some black magic, manage to raise something from the depths of darkness, and now they are marked for death and one of their own is seemingly becoming possessed and has superhuman strength and psi powers. Oh, and they communicate with the evil spirit by using an old classic Simon game. Of course they try to defeat evil and get to the bottom of whatever is going on…

Okay, I am sorry, but this franchise is done for me. It should have been done with the second movie, but definitely should never have progressed past the third movie. If this is your thing, then go for it, because it’s not absolutely terrible, I just find it increasingly uninteresting.

Come on, make a NEW movie.

 


Shaky Cam Week–Found Footage Movies

So, we’ve decided to do a week of found/lost footage movies (i.e. “Shaky Cam”). You know what those are? Movies that are supposed to look like they were recorded on handheld devices, like The Blair Witch Project. There are quite a few, but just a tiny few worth watching. Hopefully we’ll see a couple that you would like to watch…

Keep your eyes on the site!!!


Alien Horror Week – Movie 4: Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)–Classic Remake Of A Classic Movie

Invasion_of_the_body_snatchers_movie_poster_19781978’s remake to the 1956 classic movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is in itself a true classic of Sci-Fi horror. Starring Donald Sutherland, Brook Adams, Leonard Nimoy and a very young Jeff Goldblum (among others), this great casted movie tells the story of an Alien Invasion of a most insidious sort. You see, and alien life form has appeared as an attractive flower… Only problem is the flower eventually creates a duplicate of yourself, while you whither and die. New York is now full of Zombie like individuals, who seem to be able to communicate without the need of verbalizing. Friends and family members, not yet infected are reporting that their affected loved ones seem to have been replaced, and that only the outside resembles them. The infestation spreads exponentially, and the unconverted are hunted by the converted. Some have learned that you can fool the duplicates if you keep to yourself, and show no emotions. Of course, how long can someone go on like that?

Invasion of the Body Snatchers does a good job of creating a very creepy mood, with a combination of filmography, great casting and a fantastic use of ambient sounds and anxiety creating music. I think another reason this movie seems scarier than most (to me at least), is that the people affected seem like real people and not just characters on a page. Also, the fact that it all takes place in a normal cityscape and not removed in space or in the far future makes it seem just that more real. If you like Sci-Fi and Horror then you’ve got to watch this one. Easily one of my favourites of this genre,, I have watched it many times and will watch it many more tomes before this mortal coil is done. Also, if you like this one, definitely check out the original, too as it also ids a fantastic story/movie.

Check out the trailer below:


Alien Horror Week – Movie 3: Killer Klowns From Outer Space (1988)–Now This… This is A Movie You Should Watch

Killer_klowns_poster1988’s way over the top, Killer Klowns From Outer Space tells the tale of a group of evil aliens that come to Earth, specifically Crescent Cove, California, in their space craft  to harvest humans. Pretty typical of a Sci-Fi horror film, I know, but these aliens look like demented clowns, and their space ship looks like a giant circus tent.

Starting off with a farmer going to investigate what looked like a comet that has fallen to Earth (he thinks it is Halley’s Comet), and stumbling across the Circus tent like Alien spacecraft, he and his dog are quickly captured by the Aliens. Now, of course the Farmer wasn’t the only one to see this shooting star like object. Mike (Grant Cramer), and his girlfriend Debbie (Suzanne Snyder), decide to also check it out. They find the spacecraft (just like the farmer did), and manage to find a way in, where they discover the remains of the farmer and his dog, cocooned in a cotton candy like substance (hey – they’re alien clowns… errr “Klowns”), and themselves just barely missing being capture by one of the aliens. After a hairy escape (including being chased by a balloon animal, they head to the police station. They tell their story to officer Dave Hanson (John Allen Nelson), who happens to be Debbie’s ex boyfriend. The story, of course sounds ridiculous – I mean, really? Space Alien Clowns? Bodies cocooned in cotton candy? It’s fair to say that Dave is is sceptical, but his fellow officer, the gruff jerk of a cop Mooney (played by the awesome John Vernon) calls them outright liars and wants to put them in jail for making up stories about murders and such. Dave at least agrees to chesk out what they are saying as they did say a couple of people were killed. Dropping Debbie off first (against her wishes), Mike takes Dave out to where they found the ship and the bodies, but unfortunately the ship is no longer there and Dave thinks they made the whole thing up and places under arrest. Well with the clowns loose in the town and more and more people falling victim to their ridiculously amusing weapons and ways, Dave and Mike don’t get far before Dave sees for himself the Killer Klowns and what they are capable of. Meanwhile, back at the police station, Maloney has himself that the entire town is trying to mess with his head with a coordinated series of call from all over town about killer clowns. When Dave calls into the station and instructs Maloney to call for back up, describing the Klown menace, he just thinks Dave is in on the whole thing to and refuses to get or give help. It’s not until one actually strolls into the station that he actually realizes this isn’t hoax. Of coarse, by that time… well, you know. So it’s all up to Mike, Dave and Debbie to infiltrate the Klown ship and save the day… Okay, I left a whole bunch out there at the end because I realized I was just rattling off the movie instead of reviewing it. I don’t want to do that. What I do want is for you to watch this movie because it’s cool, crazy and funny and desreves to be watched by soimeone who can appreciate it for what it is: a fun movie.  No one can argue that it isn’t original – Hell, I doubt there is any movie that even resembles this film. A crazy concept, wrapped in a funny script and created by people that must love the genre, this is a film for any Sci-Fi/Horror or Comedy fan. Yeah, it is ridiculous, but it is supposed to be so. Sure, if you watch this movie expecting it to be a serious horror/sci-fi film, you will be mistaken – and most likely stupid, too. I mean, really: it’s about Killer Aliens from space that travel in a Circus tent space craft and look like demented clowns. Still,

it’s great ands it’s fun and you should watch it. Oh, you already saw it? Well, see it again!

Check out the trailer below:


Alien Horror Week – Movie 2: Night of Creeps (1986)–Simply Awesome

NightofthecreepsposterHaving just watched Slither (again),last night and remembering the outcry from a lot of fans of the classic 1986 Night of the Creeps due to the many similarities between the two movies, I just had to watch Night of the Creeps (again), tonight.

Night of the Creeps is a neat Horror/Sci-Fi/Comedy about an infestation of alien slug like creatures when they are released on the unsuspecting Earth during the 1950s, landing  in a town/city in the states. Initially infecting an escaped lunatic, and a young man on a date with his girl, resulting in a couple of deaths. Cut to the 1980’s where a couple of friends, Chris Romero and J.C.are new to college and trying to fit in. Chris has a crush on a hot girl, Cynthia Cronenberg. Cynthia, though has a meathead boyfriend who is in charge of the frat house that the two want to join (so Chris can hopefully impress Cynthia). In order to join, the two are given the task of stealing a cadaver and leave it on the steps of a rival frat house. While the two manage to enter a lab where they think they will find a corpse, they actually manage to stumble upon a body in cryogenic suspension,. They decide one body is as good as another, and try to take this one. When the corpse opens it’s eyes and grabs a hold of one of the two, they take off “screaming like banshees” (you’ll know why I put that in quotes when you watch the film). Well, turns out this is the corpse of the guy that was infected by the alien life form way back in 1959. So, now we have a reanimated corpse, under the control of an alien life form… The corpse, a sort of alien zombie kills a scientist in the lab and heads out…on the town, eventually ending up on the steps of a girl’s frat (the same one Cynthia calls home). Cynthia sees the zombie and sees his head explode, releasing a bunch of those alien worms… and they spread out. Soon a crap load of the town is infected, including the dead, which rise (hence the Zombie word), animated by there worms. J.C. himself falls prey to the creatures also, but not before he learns the secrets to the destruction of the worms…

Of course everything ramps up to a big good versus bad scene, but I have told you more than enough of the story. You should watch this movie, as it is damned fun. Definitely an homage to the sci-fi creature flicks of the 50’s and 60’s, if you enjoy sci-fi, horror and comedy then you have to see this one, folks. Check out the trailer below:


Alien Horror Week – Movie 1: Slither (2006)–A Great Sci-Fi Horror With a Lot Of Humour

Slithermovieposter2006’s Slither does something very difficult: it manages to mix horror with Science Fiction (Sci-Fi), and adding a large dose of comedy…and gets it all right. I’ve reviewed the move in the past (here is the original, tiny write up: Slither 2006). It was so good, that I decided we should watch it again, and maybe put a little more effort in the write up this time.

Starring Canada’s own (hell,we were in the same high school at the same time), Nathan Fillion (Firefly anyone?), as Chief of Police of the town of Wheelsy, South Carolina, where a meteorite crashed to earth, carrying an alien life form. Shortly after it crashes to earth, local, well to do guy, Grant Grant (played by Michael Rooker), gets taken over by the creature after poking at the gelatinous, pulsing mass in the nearby woods (after almost, but not quite cheating on his wife). Soon Grant starts craving fresh, raw meat, and also starts mutating. When Grant’s lovely wife, Starla (Elizabeth Banks), see’s a misshapen Grant, he explains he had a reaction to a bee sting. Well, soon other things start happening, including the disappearance of neighbourhood pets, as well as Barbara, a local drinkin’ floozy…

Well, you see, Grant is now the host of an alien intelligence who spreads through taking over individuals, either through assimilation or through infection via a parasitic worm/slug like form. The creature can also use a life form as a host to breed the aforementioned worms/slugs…and it does – boy does it ever. Of course this turns in to a battle of a few against a lot, and is tense and action packed… as well as a lot of always cool grossness. The creature design is fantastic, and the whole cast does a great job in creating what feels like a heartfelt homage to the alien invasion/creature films of the 1950’s and 1960’s. This is a great Sci-Fi/Horror/comedy that I strongly suggest you check out.

Here is the trailer:


Godzilla Week Movie 3 – Godzilla Vs. Hedorah (1971) – Godzilla Takes Out The Trash!!!

Godzilla_vs_Hedorah_1971Most people in North America would know this movie as Godzilla Versus the Smog Monster, though it’s original release title is Godzilla Versus Hedorah. That said, they are both the same movie.

In 1971’s Godzilla Vs. Hedorah , Japan has a new enemy: a new creature that has evolved to live on the pollutants of our modern society. Not only that, but it is producing deadly pollution itself, incapacitating and humans that may get close. This is a disaster!!! Oh, and guess what? Godzilla doesn’t like to see other monsters on it’s own turf. Yeah, Godzilla and Hedorah are heading for a showdown. I pity the Japanese that get caught in the middle!

So, this is a time when the Godzilla character was transitioning from a bad guy who seemed to get kicks from beating the crap out of Tokyo and other Japanese cities, to a protector of the Japanese people. That doesn’t mean that you won’t be injured or killed if you get too close: Godzilla is a Big Picture kind of monster, and may stomp the occasional person or building on the sidelines. Heck – you might even get drowned in a big piece of polluted monster if you are not careful – should have stayed away from Godzilla, idiot…

Godzilla Vs Hedorah is actually one of my favourite Godzilla movies, and I really like the three stage design of the Hedorah – pretty cool, and add a neat, cheezy transition effect between the stages and you’ve got gold. Add to that the hippiness of the movie – lots of trippy music and psychedelic gels, and some trippy animated series really reminds you of when this movie was made – and that in my opinion is a very good and neat thing. Without a doubt, I would say that this is the most unique Godzilla movie that I have watched (so far, at least). Should you watch it? You should watch ALL Godzilla movies (with the exception of the Mathew Broderick version), but you should especially watch this Godzilla movie.

Check out the trailer below:


Godzilla Week Movie 2 – King Kong Versus Godzilla (1963) Gorilla Versus Lizard Madness

King_Kong_vs_Godzilla_1962I am so damned glad we are doing Godzilla Week because I am getting to relive some great childhood memories along the way.

1963’s King Kong vs Godzilla is a movie that I saw as a very young child and I tell you, it stuck with me through the years. Heck, I thought this movie was in black and white – turns out I watched it on a black and white TV back in the day! Well, this movie is in glorious colour.

So, a Godzilla has escaped from a frozen chunk of an iceberg, and recently King Kong has been discovered to be a real thing. Okay, he’s a bit of a lush (or junkie), having become addicted to a narcotic berry juice that the locals on the the south Pacific island that Kong calls home. Back to Godzilla: Of course Godzilla is bent of some big time Japanese destruction. From their previous encounters with Godzilla, the Japanese know they are in trouble. Why not play Godzilla off against Kong and maybe the two monsters will destroy each other and Japan can go back to it’s daily normal schedule? Well that is just what is done, in this epic meeting of two iconic movie monsters.

King Kong Versus Godzilla is a fun monster mash of Japanese destruction, tied together with and interesting concept: The action is being described and reported (between scenes), by what appear to be reporters working for the United Nations. Fun stuff!

So, check out this amazing monster movie!

Here is the trailer:


Godzilla Week Movie 1 – Gojira (1954) – Godzilla Makes It’s Debut And Japan Is Screwed

Gojira_1954_Japanese_poster1954’s Gojira (the Japanese name for Godzilla, and not some cheap knock off of the Godzilla licence) if the first appearance of Godzilla in film, and it’s a good one.

A Japanese film, through and through, Gojira tells the tale of an ancient beast, a creature of legends, that has been released from it’s lair beneath the ocean when it’s home is destroyed by atomic tests being conducted in the Pacific ocean (this is the early to mid-1950s, after all). At first a few boats go missing with no clues. When a few survivors are found, they speak seemingly gibberish about the ocean exploding. Seems only an old and grumpy man, knows what’s happening when he starts talking about the old legends of a giant lizard beast that would emerge and wreak havoc, and how they used to appease the beast by setting the occasional girl adrift on a raft for the creature’s snacking pleasure. Finally enough sightings and reports of the creature start coming through that a scientific research team is put together to study the beast. Once they discover that Godzilla is real, it’s then up to the military to destroy Godilla, who is now working it’s way towards Tokyo. As usual, (though not “as usual” for the audiences of 1954), traditional tactics do nothing but piss the monster off, and just causes more destruction. It’s not until a physically and emotionally scarred scientist is convinced to use his discovery, a device that destroys oxygen and liquefies living flesh, that Japan has even a slim hope of surviving the monster’s attack.

Gojira is as good as an introduction to a movie beast as any I’ve seen. The creature design has proven solid, as this 1954 Godzilla still looks like the same Godzilla that you would find in the 60’s,70’s and beyond (except for that crappy American Godzilla movie). Also, the creatures iconic roar is there, right from the start. It’s also interesting to watch this film with the knowledge that this was made in a Japan that is very different from today’s Japan. This is a Japan that was still healing from a World War that almost decimated them. The war is mentioned, and the testing of nuclear weapons are highlighted as a bad thing. If you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this film. If you are unsure if you like Godzilla, then you have to watch this and a number of other Godzilla movies if you really want to decide if you are a fan or not. I know I am.

Check out the trailer below:


Godzilla Week!!!!

Godzilla_'54_design

You read that right: This week of movie watching is dedicated to everybody’s favourite, reptilian destroyer of Japanese cities, Godzilla (a.k.a. Gojira).

Why Godzilla? Well, it started after watching Dragonslayer – I was talking to my buddy and thought that perhaps a week dedicated to movies about Dragons might be a cool idea… Until I started searching out movies about Dragons – there aren’t many, and for the most part, the ones that do exist I am not interested in. Except one thing: I consider Godzilla to be a Dragon, and there are a lot of Godzilla movies to choose from, and I just happen to like Godzilla. I think this is what is known as a Win/Win situation folks. Over the next week I will write up the Godzilla movies I watch and share them with you, as usual. But take note: I will not be watching the travesty of a Godzilla movie that starred Mathew Broderick – to me that is not a true Godzilla movie.

So… Welcome to Godzilla Week my Internet friends!


Dragonslayer (1981) – To This Day, Still One Of My Favourite Movie Dragon Designs

DragonslayerPoster1981’s movie, Dragonslayer, blew my twelve year old mind when I fist sat through this movie with my good friend, Robin. Now, 23 years later, I am still liking this movie.

Staring Peter MacNicol (better known to some as the short, curly haired lawyer, John Cage, from the TV show Ally McBeal), as Galen Bradwarden, a young apprentice of the Wizard, Ulrich of Craggenmoor (Ralph Richardson), who takes up the Wizard’s quest to slay the Dragon, Vermithrax Pejorative, after Ulrich is apparently killed while proving a point by brutish henchman Tyrian, right hand of King Casiodorus (Peter Eyre). Ulrich had just accepted the task of killing the Dragon when a delegation of peasants approached him asking for his help. Kind Casiodorus had implemented a lottery, offering up a female virgin each year to appease the beast. The people have had enough of the Lottery and living under the fear of the Dragon, and are at their wits end. Now seeing their hopes die almost immediately, with the death of Ulrich, they head back to their town. Soon, though, they are joined by Galen, who has just inherited the Wizard’s magic amulet, who states that he will take up his former Master’s task and slay the Dragon himself. Along the way he risks strong resistance from the King, who believes his lottery system is best for his people, and is temporarily jailed so as not to meddle with the lottery. It’s not until the King’s own daughter is in jeopardy that the King releases Galen in the hopes Galen can actually end the Dragon menace. Along the journey, Galen discovers one of their party is not what they seem (no, not a traitor)…

So, this early 190’s fantasy film still looks beautiful (not something that most movies with special effects from that era can say), and is still interesting. As stated in the title of the review/write up, the Dragon in this movie is still one of my favourite designs of a Dragon in movies, ever. Maybe it’s second to Smaug, now, though I’ll decide that after the third and final Hobbit movie. Still, this movie, in my opinion, still hold up well. I heartily suggest this as a must watch for any fan of the Fantasy genre.


Sinister (2012) – Now This Is a Creepy Horror Movie

SinisterMoviePoster2012A true crime author moves his family into a home where an unsolved horrific multiple murder took place and finds a stash of 8mm home movies in the attic, he believes he’s found evidence of a serial killer going all the way back to the 1960s. Ethan Hawke plays Ellison Oswalt, a famous (though his fame is fading) true crime writer who has moved his family into the home where a grisly multiple murder happened. The movie actually opens with what appears to be grainy, home movie video (or film) of the crime that happened in this very home. Now, he hasn’t told his wife or young family that a murder happened here… You see, he’s trying to write his next big (and hopefully biggest yet), book and perhaps living in the house of the crime he wants to write about may provide that inspiration. Late one night, while investigating some nocturnal noises, Ellison finds himself in the attic where he finds a stash of 8mm home movies, and a projector. Over the next few weeks/months he reviews these movies… only to be led to believe he has stumbled upon the proof of a previously unknown serial killer with crimes that go back to the 1960s. Trying to get information about the crime that happened from the local chief of police isn’t going to be easy as he isn’t a fan of Ellison’s work, as it often makes the police looked like buffoons. Luckily he is able to get an inside to the police by befriending one of the newer Deputies, who happens to be a big fan of Ellison’s. Uncovering proof of other unsolved murders which seem to tie in with the scenes found on the movies he discovered in his attic. He also enlists the help of a Professor Jonas (Vincent D’Onofrio), as there are similar symbols left at the scenes of each crime scene. The more Ellison investigates, the weirder and deeper the weirdness grows. Now his own kids are seeing and doing the unexplained…

Damn this is a good, creepy horror movie. Hell, it even includes what I would condiser a half-decent twist! I find that the movie managed to create and sustain a level of suspense (and aforementioned creepiness) that is rare lately. Also, it’s nice o see Ethan Hawke in a movie, as I always enjoyed his acting.

So, check out Sinister if you are looking for a better than your run of the mill suspenseful horror flick. Check out the trailer blow, folks:


Vampire Week Movie 7 – Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) – Full Circle

DracposSo, here we are, with the seventh and last movie of our Vampire movie week. With this movie, 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula, we have in a away returned to the beginning. Our first movie of our Vampire week, 1979’s Dracula starring Frank Langella, and tonight’s movie, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992), are both retellings of the classic Dracula story.

Starring the great Gary Oldman as Count Dracula, and taking place primarily in 1897 (with some important scenes happening in 1462). Count Dracula has decided to purchase several properties in London, England and his case has been handed to a new solicitor (like a lawyer), Jonathan Harker (played by Keanu Reeves, with the absolutely worse English accent I have heard in I don’t know how long). Harker has taken on Dracula’s portfolio from a Mr Renfield (played extremely well by Tom Waits), who has since gone completely insane. Harker must travel to Transylvania to meet with Count Dracula to discuss his plan to purchase Carfax Abbey. Once in the hands of Dracula, he soon finds that he is a prisoner. While there are some perks (there are some pretty sexy vampire chicks), he escapes, a changed man, and heads back to London. Dracula, himself changed from a decrepit, creepy old man, to a now dashing young gentleman, has put a spell on Harker’s fiancé, Mina (played by Winona Rider who also struggles with her accent… though nothing like Keanu’s). Oh… He also seduces, rapes and drains Lucy, Mina’s friend. Yeah, this is Dracula – he does stuff like that. Enter Van Helsing, (portrayed by Anthony Hopkins) everybody’s favourite Vampire hunter.

Okay – this is the classic Dracula story, retold in 1992 with a good cast and a big budget. Director Francis Ford Coppola did a good job bringing the story back to the screen in this very watchable retelling. Is it better than the 1979 version? I wouldn’t say so, but it is good enough to watch and enjoy. Also, it’s good enough to forgive that awful accent of Reeve’s. Check out the trailer below:


Vampire Week Movie 6–Martin (1976) – Is He or Isn’t He?

MartinfilmposterGeorge A. Romero’s 1976 (or 1977 or even 1978 depending on your source), film, Martin, tells the tale of a man, Martin, who may or may not be a vampire…

Martin is a weird film. John Amplas played the title role, a weird, young looking man who has come to live with his great uncle, Tateh Cuda, an Old World Man who accuses Martin of being a Vampire – referring to him as Nosferatu. It doesn’t help that in the opening minutes of the film, we witness Martin drug, rape and bleed a woman on the train he took to get to said Uncle’s house. Once at the house, his uncle instructs Martin forcefully not to speak to Christine (a cousin I believe), and then goes about trying various traditional Vampire repellents (you know, like garlic and crucifixes), but Martin let’s him know that there’s no real magic. Martin starts working at Tateh’s butcher shop and meets local women while making deliveries – these woman later become his victims (or meals, if you will). One of these women eventually becomes Martin’s lover (she’s cheating on her husband). She finds herself attracted to Martin’s quietness, and lack of opinions and judgements. Martin, at first, runs from her advances, but after talking over the phone (and on air), with a local late night DJ, he decides to give into her advances. At the same time, while speaking to the DJ, he tries to remove the mystery from Vampirism . The DJ’s audience just eats this stuff up, and Martin is a hit. Martin’s relationship with this woman changes his feeding habits, and the fact that his uncle forbade him from feeding on anyone from their already dying town, so he soon finds himself in Pittsburgh looking for victims. There he manages to feed well, but took chances  that almost got him caught twice. Sated, he returns home only to find his love interest has taken her own life. And that event triggers… another major event.

So we have a guy that may or may not be a vampire who is becoming a bit of an anonymous pop icon, sleeping with a local, married woman, living in a home with a Great Uncle who is trying to ward you off, as he is convinced Martin is none other than Nosferatu.  This is pretty interesting stuff here and it’s all put together by one of the Horror genre’s greats, George A. Romero (Night of the Living Dead, anyone?). You never really know if you’re watching a vampire or just a crazy guy who believes he’s a vampire. We see scenes in black and white of events that would have to happen a long time in the past, but we’re never told whether or not these are Martin’s memories or figments of his imagination. Add that to the fact that he tells Christine, in passing, that he is 84 years old. What… What is going on here. A good movie – that, my friends, is what is going on here.

Check out the trailer below, and if you get a chance, check out the movie too.


Vampire Week Movie 5 – Shadow of the Vampire (2000)–The Troubles of Casting a Vampire – In Your Vampire Movie

ShadowoftheVampireposterSet during the shooting of the iconic 1922 Vampire film, Nosferatu, Shadow of the Vampire tells the tale of the dangers that can face you when you look for too much realism in your films. Staring John Malkovich as famous German Director, Frederich Wilhelm Murnau, during his filming of the above mentioned Nosferatu. Taking his cast and crew to film on location in Czechoslovakia, where he instroduces the rest of the crew to the star of the film, Max Schreck, whom, Murnau explains, will be in character for the entire time of the filming, and will only be seen at night. Schreck is played masterfully by Willem Dafoe. When members of the crew start to disappear, we see interesting back and forth  between Murnau and the Vampire, in which we find out that Murnau has made a very interesting and questionable bargain with the Vampire: His good behaviour for the life of one of his cast. Shame it’s so difficult to deal with the undead. 

Shadow of the Vampire puts a new twist to the Vampire movie: it’s a movie about the making of a vampire movie – wherein the Director of said movie chose to hire a real Vampire to play the title role. The cast is composed of a lot of “A” Listers and they all do an amazing job in this unusual film. The story is gripping, and the switch between regular filming, and the representation of what Murnau is capturing on his cameras is a great way to capture the dualism of the story. After watching this, I was compelled to watch the original, 1922 Nosferatu the very next day. If you enjoy horror movies, plot twists and damn good acting then you owe it to yourself to watch this film. Check out the trailer below:


Vampire Week Movie 3 – 30 Days of Night (2007)

30_Days_of_Night_teaser_posterSo this week is turning out to be pretty good week for movie watching for me. Three days in and so far three good movies!

30 Days of Night tells the tale of a Vampire outbreak in the little Alaskan town of Barrow, during the 30 day polar Night (in the Arctic, there is a period each Winter where the sun sets and does not rise again for 30 days, due to the axial tilt of the planet Earth). A great time for light fearing creatures of the night. Just before the beginning of the long night, strange things start to happen. Peoples cell phones are going missing, and all means of escape from town are either vandalized or destroyed (including dog sled). Once the night hits, it gets weirder when the town’s power is cut. Investigating, the Sheriff, Eben Oleson (Josh Hartnett), discovers that the crew at the power plant have been brutally murdered and the plant vandalized. You see, the Vampires have planned for this night… This is going to be a gory, un-dead versus the unsuspecting soft, humans. Of course there is the hiding to stay safe while one by one the survivors numbers shrink situation – like there is in almost all these movies.

These are dark, dirty, evil vampires. They seem much closer to a complete, separate species than just turned, ancient humans. That said, these Vampires can turn humans into Vampires also, but I did get the feeling that some of them may have been old, greasy dirty powerful killer hominids. I thought it was an interesting take (especially the use of a separate Vampire language). This is not a perfect movie, but it is an enjoyable, action and gore filled bloodfest that I thoroughly enjoyed. Have I seen better Vampire movies? Sure, but I would watch this again and not feel like I wasted my time. Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself if this movie is for you:


Vampire Week–Day 1: Dracula (1979)

Dracula 1979There are a lot of movies about Dracula and Vampires over the years and many if not most are pretty damned crappy. Well it is my pleasure to say that the 1979 release of Dracula is a great telling of the Dracula story.

Staring staring Frank Langella in the title role of Dracula, the movie tells the story of the infamous count after relocating to Victorian England. Shipwrecked on the shores of the town he was moving to, Dracula is found on the shore by Mina Van Helsing (portrayed by Jan Francis). Later, to thank Mina for saving his life, Dracula visits the house of Doctor Jack Seward (Donald Pleasance), where Mina is staying while visiting the Doctor’s daughter, Lucy Seward (Kate Nelligan). While visiting Mina has a spell, and while Doctor  Seward is quick to suggest a dose of Laudanum, the Count suggests he try to help her, and quickly puts Mina under a hypnotic spell. While under, he commands that she listens to him, and tells her she’ll fell no pain upon waking. Releasing her from the trance, Mina wakes feeling fantastic. Later that night, while Lucy and her lover (and Dracula’s lawyer), Jonathan Harker (Trevor Eve) are fooling around, Dracula appears to Mina in her room, revealing himself to be that Vampire that he is, and drains her of her blood. The following morning Mina passes away while struggling for breath. While everyone is upset, Mina was known to be sickly. Doctor Seward calls for Mina’s Father, Professor Abraham Van Helsing (the great Sir Laurence Olivier), so as to attend her funeral. Upon arriving, Doctor Seward fills in Professor Van Helsing on the nature of his daughter’s death – a great loss of blood. Investigating, Van Helsing starts to suspect a Vampire is the culprit in his death, and does his best to convince Doctor Seward and Jonathan of this also. Meanwhile, Dracula is now casting his spell on Jonathan’s love interest and Doctor Seward’s daughter, Lucy.

Well, I just realized that if I continue as I was above, I would just tell you the entire movie and there would be no need for you to watch it (yeah, right – I don’t write that well). So let me say that I have no problem saying that I think that this is one of the best re-telling of the classic Dracula story. Frank Langella is masterful in his portrayal of the Count. In fact all the actors do a great job in all their roles. Director  John Badham does a great job creating moods through lighting and colour – just fantastic.

I think you get the point: I like this movie. Check out the trailer below, and then go find a copy on Blu-ray (or whatever you watch movies on in your dwelling).


Devil’s Pass (2013)–Wow: A Good Found Footage Horror Movie–These Are Rare

Devil's_Pass2013’s movie, Devil’s Pass, tells the story of a group of Americans, led by amateur film maker Holly King (played by Holly Goss), who head to Russia to investigate the Dyatlov Pass incident and the now infamous doomed hiking party of nine that were found inexplicably dead, mutilated, nearly nude and one member dosed in radiation. Over the years many people have put forward theories as to what happened to the original group, but know one really knows the truth. This group wants to be the ones to find the real reason for the slaughter. The group makes it to the area of the original events faster than expected. Once there they notice strange foot prints that seem to appear out of nowhere and disappear the same way, leading some of the group to accuse Holly of faking the prints for her film, something she categorically denies. Things get weirder: Holly and another member of the group uncover a large metal door that locks from the outside in the side of the mountain. Later, in the middle of the night the group is wakened by deafening noises and forced from their tents due to an avalanche, in which they lose one of their group and another gets a nasty compound fracture of the leg. Shortly after this, one member fires off a flare, hoping help may come. Soon two men approach, and while at first they believe it’s help, one of the group  notes that the would be rescuers have no packs or supplies and therefore are most likely a threat. This turns out to be true when the two start firing at the group. Holly and one member have to leave behind the injured member whom they witness getting shot by the two men. Holly and friend open the mysterious door into the mountain and enter, the door immediately being locked (from the outside) behind them. Once inside, things start to get even weirder. Finding evidence of an old, secret US experiment in teleportation via photos amongst other documents, they start getting the idea that perhaps strange forces are at work. Soon the movie switched from horror to Science Fiction/Horror.

Devil’s Pass is a found footage style movie – a style that has been ridiculously over used ever since The Blair Witch Project proved you didn’t need expensive cameras and production values to make a good, scary movie. Unlike most of those found footage movies, this one is actually pretty good. I chose it seemingly at random on Netflix, I recommend this movie if your looking for something creepy and new to watch.

Check out the trailer below:


It’s Alive (1974)–Finally Tackled a Childhood Terror

its-alive-posterWhen 1974’s horror movie, It’s Alive was released, there was the creepiest commercial for the movie where you see a baby carriage, and hear what appears to be a normal baby cry…but as the camera pans around the baby carriage, you see a big monster hand coming out from inside the pram… Well that commercial used to scare the living crap out of me… seriously (hey, I was 4 or 5 at the time). Well, today I finally faced down that fear and watched the movie.

Check out that scary (for a 4 or 5 year old) TV spot here:

 

It’s Alive tells the tale of a couple, Frank and Lenore Davis (John Ryan and Sharon Farrell), who give birth to a child that is nothing short of a monster. The initial birth is a little tough, as the baby is larger than a normal baby, but the doctor is still confident is all right… Next thing you know the delivery room is full of the dead or dying bodies of the doctors an nurses that were assisting in the birth… and a monster baby is on the loose in the city of Los Angeles.

Dad wants the baby dead because it’s an abomination who’s existence has caused the loss of his job, and the ruination of his family. The big drug companies want the baby dead in the off chance he’s a by product of there chemicals. And the police want the baby dead… because it’s killing people. The only one that seems not to want the baby dead is the mother… at first, at least.

This is definitely a creepy movie, and reasonable well done, if a little slow. Having been as scared as I was of the damned commercial as a child, I do wish the movie was scarier than it is, though I am happy that it doesn’t totally suck. An interesting concept and if the idea sounds like something that you’d like, then definitely watch it.

Check out the trailer below and decide for yourself: