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Photos From The 2014, 4th Annual Calgary Horror Con


Alien Horror Week – Movie 5: Deadly Spawn (1983)

ThedeadlyspawnIt was a toss up as to whether or not we were going to watch Alien or Deadly Spawn. My buddy made the argument for Deadly Spawn as it is a much less known movie, and I went along.

So, a small town is invaded by a life form from space that looks a lot like a giant multiple headed lamprey with a penchant for making slug like babies (lots of them), and eating the locals. A group of four geeky science nerd teens and a young boy do their best to save the town (and most likely the world) from this infestation. It’s kind of weird that three of our movies had similar themes and creatures (Slither, Night of the Creeps and Deadly Spawn), not in that they are alien infestation movies (it’s kind of the theme), but the fact that the three creatures in the mentioned movies all propagate by releasing slug like grubs, liked to enter through the mouth id possible, and the main “mother” creature found someplace out of the way to grow and develop. Well, if they copied each other, this is the progenitor of all of ‘em.  A silly movie, Deadly Spawn stays entertaining, and cheezy which is perfect for me. Lots of campiness to go around, and some really questionable actions by it’s characters may make you moan at times…but don’;t let that stop you from enjoying the movie. A true representative of it’s time, the early 1980’s, it still stands out as a fun, throwback to the creature features of the 50’s and 60’s…

Watch this film, my friends!


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:


Eastwood Week Movie 3 – Any Which Way You Can (1980)–Clint’s Great Follow Up To Every Which Way But Loose

Any_which_way_you_canIf you read my review of Every Which Way But Loose, then you know I like that movie. Well, this is the sequel to that movie, and you know what? I like this one too.

Any Which Way You Can is the 1980 follow up to the block buster comedy, Every Which Way But Loose, and it is damned funny. Clint Eastwood returns as the Truck Driver/prize fighter, Orangutan owning Philo Beddle, as well as Geoffrey Lewis as Orville Boggs as Philo’s best human buddy, and Manis the Ape as Clyde, Philo’s best non human buddy. Also returning is Ruth Gordon as Philo’s cantankerous mother and Sandra Locke as Philo’s love interest, Lynn Halsey-Taylor. In this movie, we find Philo has continued his side line as a tough son of a bitch prize fighter. Only he’s decided to retire, having noticed he was starting to enjoy the pain. Unfortunately, the Mafia wants to setup a match between Philo and Jack Wilson, a new style of fighter that mixes boxing and martial arts together, and has managed to kill three opponents and scramble the brains of a fourth victim. Approached by the Mafia, hoping to setup this fight, Philo initially says no, but when the mob ups it to $50,000, win or lose, Philo changes his mind and accepts the fight. When Philo and Jack actually meet, it turns out that they actually get a long. They decide there is no real reason for the fight and mutually decide to call it off. The Mafia, seeing that they are about to lose the biggest grossing illegal prize fight ever, decide to kidnap Lynn Halsey-Taylor, Philo’s returning (and redeemed), love interest in order to force the fight. Frank and Philo take care of that situation, but both realize that they can’t leave the question of who would have won the fight open, so they decide to battle it out. Oh! Also returning the is Black Widows: a comical outlaw biker gang that really have it in for Philo, despite the fact that when ever they come into conflict with him, he ends up kicking their ass and they end up with less bikes. This time though, things end on a high note for them and their relationship with Philo.

This is such a fun movie, and watched back to back with Every Which Way But Loose would make for a great evening of movie watching. I heartily recommend this film and it’s predecessor. Check out the trailer below:


Eastwood Week Movie 1 – High Plains Drifter (1973)

High_Plains_Drifter_posterWow… Wowwowwow.

Wow.

How have I not seen High Plains Drifter before this? this 1973 Western is a gritty, dark tale. A tale of deceit, of murder and vengeance. Heck, it’s even a ghost story. This is a very unique film, and a very good one at that. A drifter enters a small town, apparently looking for a drink, a shave, a bath and a bed. Once there he is confronted by three guys, Company men, they are called. In defense he kills all three. The local sheriff tells him they were known to be trouble and that he didn’t have to worry about charges. Heck, the sheriff would like to hire him to protect the town from three gun fighters, just released from jail that will most likely be coming back to the town to seek vengeance for their incarceration. The stranger, played by Clint Eastwood, at first declines, but when the sheriff offers him “anything he wants,” he accepts the job, and goes about making big changes to the town. These changes cause some of the town to question the decision to put him in charge of the town’s defense. The stranger is also troubled by dreams, dreams of the town’s Marshal being whipped to death by the men who he is hired to protect the town. While the murder is taking place, the people of the town stand by and do nothing to stop it. Is it a dream? Or are these memories? It seems pretty obvious to me. The stranger gets the town busy making changes. He run drills simulating an attack and has the town folk put up resistance, preparing them for the inevitable attack that is to come. He also orders unusual things to be done, like painting the town red, and having the towns people tear apart a livery barn to build picnic tables an such… The business men of the town are really questioning their initial decision to hire this stranger. So much so that they try to kill him themselves… Yeah, good luck boys. When the attack comes, the towns people’s weak attempts at fighting off the gun men come to little, and eventually (hell, pretty damned quickly), they have the upper hand, and have gathered the remaining towns folk together in the saloon. Well, this isn’t over folks – they still have to deal with the Stranger…

Okay, let’s not give it all away. I will say that this is a creepy, dark Western. It’s also one of the best Westerns I have ever seen. Actually this is just a really good movie, chock full of darkness and hidden meanings. Heck, it’s a Western and a Ghost story, and it does both great. For the first movie of Eastwood Week, I have to say it’s an incredible start. Check out the trailer below, and then immediately go find yourself a copy and watch it today!


Tarantino Week–Movie 3: True Romance (1993)

True_romance

True Romance is a crazy, wild ride of a movie. Written by Quentin Tarantino, and starring Christian Slater as Clarence Worley and Patricia Arquette as Alabama Whitman, a young couple who meet at a Sonny Chiba triple play at a theatre in Detroit. They hit off real good, have dinner and then both end up at Clarence’s apartment, having sex. Alabama then admits she’s a hooker hired by his boss, to help him blow off some steam. She also admits that she’s managed to fall in love with him over the course of the evening.  This is fortunate, as apparently Clarence has fallen in love with her also. Having known each other for a whole night, they do the logical thing and get married. Now Clarence has to deal with Alabama’s Pimp, Drexl (Gary Oldman). What confronting the pimp, and after a ruckus, and a visit from Clarence’s muse/alter ego/imaginary friend in his head, Drexl ends up dead, and Clarence accidentally ends up with a suitcase full of cocaine. The newly webs hatch a plan to sell the cocaine and restart their lives somewhere warm… Well, the coke was the Mobs, and soon the two are being tracked down by some unsavoury characters, one being the always awesome Christopher Walken as gangster Vincenzo Coccotti. Before the duo leave Detroit for California, they stop by Clarence’s estranged fathers, a police officer by the name of Clifford, played by Dennis Hopper a Detroit police officer, to find out what the police believe the motive for Drexl’s murder. After they leave, Coccotti and his crew end up at Cliffords to drill him on the location of Clarence and Alabama… A great exchange between two great actors happens…only one survives.

Off to Cali, the dynamic duo meet up with an old friends of Clarence, who begrudgingly agrees to help him sell the cocaine to a director he kind of knows, using a go between, played by Bronson Pinchot. Things go wrong, cops get involved, a meeting happend and everything goes to crap…

This movie is crazy and cool – crazy cool? Yeah. Unlike the Kill Bill movies (and the others I will be reviewing), this is written by Tarantino, but directed by Tony Scott, and therefore has a different feeling than Tanatino directed films – but don’t think that is a bad thing, it’s just different. This is a great film and deserves to be watched.

Check out the trailer:


Switchblade Sisters (1975)–Gloriously Terrible

switchbladesisters1975’s Switchblade Sisters (a.k.a. “Maggie’s Stiletto Sisters) is a mid-1970’s exploitation flick on steroids.

Telling the story of a female gang, know as the Dagger Debs (a sub gang made of the girl friends of The Daggers, and all male gang), run by tough chick Lace (played by Robbie Lee) who rules her gang through fear. Soon a small time confrontation in a diner ends with a new member of the gang, Maggie, who impressed Lace with her whip like skills and lack of fear.Lace and Maggie grow closer, which get’s fellow gang member, Patch (played by Monica Gayle), jealous as Maggie seems to be displacing her as Lace’s right hand girl. At the same time, Dominic (played by Asher Brauner), leader of the Daggers and Lace’s man takes a fancy to Maggie, forcing himself on her in her home one night. Seeing an opportunity, Patch starts laying the seeds of dissent by planting the idea that Maggie is actually after Dominic.

After a raid on a rival gang at a roller rink goes bad, and Dominic is killed, and Lace ends up in the hospital, Maggie decides that the remaining Daggers are just too weak to follow, she brings the girls to a “Black” neighbourhood and meets up with some militaristic woman gang members whom they team up with to take out that rival gang. Successfully destroying the rivals, now a conflict breaks out between Lace and Maggie. Believing Maggie is trying to usurp her as leader, and that she was trying to take Dominic (before he died of course), Maggie and Lace engage in a switchblade fight…

Okay, enough… I actually had fun watching this terrible movie. There are very few redeeming qualities to this film, or even this genre of film, but it is damn fun. The incredible cheeziness of the script, acting and overall concept makes this an almost must watch!

Check out the trailer below and make your own decision.


Tank Girl (1995)–Tank Girl, You Rock My Movie Watching World

Tank_girl_posterOh my… why has it taken so long for me to watch Tank Girl?

So, I remember when this movie first came out back in the day and thinking “that looks like crap” and never bothering to watch it. Well this week my movie watching buddy suggested we watch it, and while not totally enthused, I agreed. I’m glad I did.

Tank Girl is a 1995 post apocalypse Sci-Fi movie based on a comic of the same name. Taking place in the year 2033, 11 years after a comet hit the Earth devastating the environment. One large, evil company, Water and Power (WP) controls the World’s water supply. They are run by the equally evil Kesslee (played very well by Malcolm McDowell. Rebecca, (Tank Girl, played by Lori Petty) is a crazy ass resistance member that survive off of water they extract themselves – something very much against WP’s company policy. In a raid, most of Tank Girl’s compatriots are killed, while her young friend, Sam (Stacy Linn Ramsower), is captured. After managing on killing a good number of WP’s men, Tank Girl is also taken into captivity. Impressed by her ability to kill so many of his top men, Kesslee offer’s her a job. Refusing, Kesslee put her through a series of tortures in order to break her will… Good luck with that.

When not being tortured, she is forced to work gruelling shifts for WP. There she meets Jet Girl (played by Naomi Watts), a girl with talent, butt very timid. They get to know each other when Tank Girl saves Jet Girl from the advances of a guard. Eventually Tank Girl escapes (with a tank – go figure), and goes off to look for her friend Sam (now forced into servitude at a brothel). Along the way she meets he Rippers – mutant humanoids (and something else – watch the movie to figure that out) that fight WP at every step. Eventually Tank Girl gains the trust of the Rippers (who are actually quite civilized in their own way), and she and the Rippers take on WP. Pretty vague description… but that is on purpose.

Tank Girl successfully combines action, Science Fiction and comedy all together into a goulash  of awesomeness that I completely did not expect. This movie had my attention from the beginning, and while completely weird, is also completely awesome. I heartily suggest you watch this crazy movie.

Check out the trailer below:


Bounty Killer (2013)–A Silly But Entertaining Homage to Corman Films

bountykiller2013’s Bounty Killer has been touring the movie circuit (recentlyplay at Edmonton Alberta’s Dedfest), and having recently watched it, I thought I should tell you a little about it.

Starring Christian Pitre as Mary Death and Mathew Marsden as Drifter, two Bounty Killers competing for fame and fortune in a post apocalyptic world. Like bounty hunters of today, but always bringing in their bounty dead (simpler that way). They’re pretty much against the establishment – until the establishment is destroyed by a giant Company – then they join forces to kick some corporate butt.

Oh, and there’s some personal history between Drifter and Mary Death

This feels like someone put a whole bunch of Roger Corman ideas in a blender and came up with a modern version of something that would be at home at a 1970’s drive in theatre. This is not a good movie but it is a sure a fun movie.

Don’t watch it expecting as serious film – watch it expecting something ridiculous and you will not be disappointed.

Check out the trailer below:


Freaked (1993)–Awesome Movie–Why Haven’t I Heard of It Before Now?

freakedWell, this movie was a surprise. Coming out in 1993 and having a pretty damned big cast, I have no idea as to why I’ve never heard of it up until last week.

1993’s Freaked stars William Sadler as Dick Brian, a former child star that, along with a group of compatriots, are turned into mutant freaks by mad scientist/Showman Elijah C. Scruggs (played very well by Randy Quaid), and held captive, along with his other victims turned performers for his own Freak Show. Of course i’s up to them to plot an escape, which leads to a whole new bunch of excitement. Retelling the tale of the incident that left him horribly disfigured and ended his acting career on a daytime talk show hosted by the vacuous Skye Daily (played by Brooke Shields), while in shadow (presumable to hide his horrible disfigurement), the movie is shot as a flashback, and occasionally returning to the present either for a dumb, but funny comment from Skye, or a silly commercial. Quaid’s Scruggs is an awesomely over the top character, and his stable of freaks is truly impressive. I especially enjoyed Mr. T as the Bearded Lady! Special effect makeups are fantastic and completely over the top. The film combines horror with humour very successfully, something that isn’t easy to do.

A silly film that deserves your attention, I heartily suggest this as a watch.

Check out the trailer below:


The Dead Mile (2013)–Flawed But Very Fun Independent Zombie Film… And It’s Canadian!

DeadmileSo, I just watched a Zombie movie that was filmed in my home city of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It was a low budget film, and it lacked polish and there was some questionable performances. You know what? Who cares – this was a fun, silly Zombie film.

The Dead Mile is a truly Canadian movie that combines hockey, a Zombie Walk and real Zombies to create an end of society, Zombie outbreak movie that delivers on the fun and the gore. A group of friends are preparing for an annual Zombie Walk when an actual, cow transmitted Zombie virus hits the city. The Zombie Walk participants are actually turning into Zombies, and our little group of friends need to find a way to survive. One of our characters, Tyler, works for a dick, Kevin Wong, who owns a comic shop, who is hosting a a signing event for a couple of horror stars to coincide with the Zombie Walk. Well these two get wrapped up in the whole Zombie outbreak and join forces with Kevin and his friends. They are soon joined by two simple, hockey obsessed guys, who suggest they make a break for the hockey/ice rink – a fortress according to them. Of course, like in all Zombie films, the fortress is never quite as… fortressy (yes, I know that’s not a real word – but it’s my blog so nananana-boo-boo), as they hope. One by one the group is diminished as members fall prey to the Zombie hordes. You know, like in a Zombie movie.

This movie is low budget and flawed, but really, who cares: most Zombie movies are. At least this movie delivers on the humour, and for a low budget film, it manages to look pretty good (and thank you for not finding it necessary to make the film look grungy and 70’s like – that works when for 70’s films only – you deserve kudos for not doing that). They also deliver on the gore, like a true Zombie movie should. I say this is worth a watch, especially if you are Canadian, and even more so if you are from Calgary. The movie’s writer/Director , K.J. Kleefeld and his crew did an admirable job. The film it self is available to rent online at https://vimeo.com/ondemand/thedeadmile for $4.99 – I though it was a little steep for a rental of an independent film, but I said “What the Hell,” I’m supporting a small film maker” (who just happens to be local – GO CANADA!!!). Check out the trailer below, and then go spend $4.99, you cheap bastard, and help some independent film makers.


Calgary Horror Con 2013 Was Amazing!!!

Thank you to everyone that made the Calgary Horror Convention an AMAZING event. A fantastic lineup of guests, including a reunion of the cast from the fantastic 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead: Bill Moseley, Tom Savini, Patricia Tallman and Tony Todd,


Basket Case Trilogy (1982,1990,1992)–Hilariously Ridiculous

coverWow… I had never heard of the Basket Case movies until my buddy suggested we watch them about a month ago. Well, last night we finished the last of the three movies and I have to say that I was left pleasantly surprised at how much these movies entertained me.

The Basket Case movies tell the story of two Siamese, or co-joined twins, separated in childhood. One twin, Duane Bradley (played hilariously cheezily by Kevin Van Hentenryck) is a fully formed, mostly normal looking guy, but his brother, Belial, is a disgusting blob of flesh with one dangerously powerful arm and, a very strong leg and a disturbingly human face with a mouth full of jagged, dangerous teeth. Belial is a dangerous character who is understandable unbalanced. Spending most of his time in a basket (hence the name of the movies), he and Duane have a psychic bond and can communicate without words). Duane and Belial were separated against their will when children in a horrific home surgery. Now Belial and Duane are looking for revenge on the doctor’s that did the brutal operation. Belial, extracting his revenge – this little guy is a damned efficient killing machine – having killed a large number of people, gets into a scuffle and he and Duane fall out a window together. Apprehended and brought to a hospital, they both escape.

Basket Case 2 picks up where Basket Case  left off – now Duane and Bradley find themselves in the home of Granny Ruth (played by Annie Ross), a woman who has taken it upon herself to provide sanctuary for horribly and bizarrely deformed people. The cast of strange creatures is interesting and funny – I thing the creature designer on this film most likely had a great time. This is a place where Belial can feel at home and not have to hide from the world. Duane, though is having a tougher time fitting in, as he feels like the outsider. That said, he manages to fall in love with Granny Ruth’s assistant, Susan (played by Heather Rattray), a seemingly normal young lady – and it seems that she loves Duane, too. Also, Belial finds love himself when he falls for a similarly mutated Eve. Soon Granny Ruth’s sanctuary is threatened by a sleazy reporter and photographer. Duane and Belial decide to organize the ragtag group of mutants into an efficient and deadly defence. After saving the day, Duane and Susan start to get it on… and Duane finds out the real reason Susan stays with Granny Ruth. Duane flips out and goes off the mental deep end (and something happens to Susan)… And the movie ends. Oh, I can’t forget to mention the weirdest love scene ever between two lumps of mutated flesh.

Basket Case 3, starts the moment Basket Case 2 ends. Duane wakes up to find himself in a straight jacket, calling out to whomever claiming that he’s all better now. Granny Ruth enters his padded cell and explains how long he’s been there and why. She also gives him some good news: he’s going to be an uncle, as Belial has impregnated Eve. Eve, being massively mutated, is starting to go into labour, and Granny Ruth is concerned that she may require medical attention. She packs up the entire group of mutants into a school bus and they take off to a sympathetic Doctor referred to as Uncle Hal. Uncle Hal has been taking care of a genius, multi-armed mutant, Little Hal. Duane, still a loose, mildly crazy loose cannon, is trying to escape at any cost. Meanwhile Eve Gives birth to a…a lot of little Belial copies, despite the fact that Belial loses it and attacks Uncle Hal (due to a flashback). Getting the attention of the Sheriff’s daughter, who he stupidly trusts, he soon finds himself behind bars, while the stupid deputy’s decided that they want to capture Belial for a reported $1,000,000 reward offered by a rag newspaper. Yeah, well that doesn’t go very well and one escapes with his life and a basket full of baby Belial looking offspring. The mutants aren’t going to stand for that, and they launch a brazen attack on the jail in order to save the babies. Things get even weirder.

Okay, these are low budget movies that leave a lot to be desired. That said, I really enjoyed them. Duane is an unbelievable silly character that while fake, is super fun to watch. Belial is such a weird character that it’s hard to find him scary, and the gallery of mutants under Granny Ruth’s roof are very… crazy. Still, I really liked these movies – they have a certain charm that is very rare in the horror genre, and if you can suspend your sense of disbelief, you might just have a good time watching these crazy movies.


Remake Week Movie #4 – Psycho (1998)

Psycho98Okay, I watched this movie this morning before work, because my buddy that watches these movies with me had no interest in re-watching this movie as he hated it. I watched it back in 1998, and while I barely remembered watching it, I do remember that I liked it. Re-watching it today, I think I have to suggest that my friend re-watch it himself, because this is a damned good movie.

Anne Heche revises Janet Leigh’s iconic role of Marion Crane, a secretary who steals $450,000 dollars from her employer in an attempt to get her boyfriend out of debt so that they can start a life together free of debt. Taking off to go visit him, she decides to stop at a roadside motel, the Bates Motel when he journey takes longer than anticipated. Once there she finds she is the only guest at this lonely hotel. She meets Norman Bates (played very impressively by a young Vince Vaughn), who take a liking to her, gets her a room right next to the office and invites her to dine with him. They have an awkward but friendly visit, and Marion goes back to her room. Soon we see that Norman has put a secret peephole in the wall between the office and the room that Marion is in – we learn this by watching Norman spy on her while… pleasuring himself.

Soon crapp hits the fan,and in a good recreation of a very iconic bathroom/tub murder scene, Marion end up dead at the hands of… someone. Soon we see Norman running from the house to Marion’s room, in distress and finding her body. Hmmm… Interesting. Next thing you know, Norman is cleaning up the room and dumping Marion and car in a swamp.

Okay, well people have noticed that Marion has disappeared (with a lot of someone else’s money), and are looking for her. First onto reacjh the hotel in a quest for Marion is private detective Milton Arbogast, played by William H. Macy. He questions Norman on whether or not Marion was at the hotel. His questioning trips up Norman a few time, making Norman agitated. Not satified with the answers he got from Norman, Milton decides to do a little more investigating – which leads to tragic results. Soon Marion’s sister and Marion’s lover enters the search putting even more stress on Norman. Norman starts making mistakes, and despite trying, isn’t able to take care of this latest incursion into his little world with a well placed stab of a knife or a good bludgeoning. No, the gig might be up for Norman.

So, better than the Hitchcock original? No. Good? Very. Watch both.

Here’s the trailer:


Remake Week Movie #3–Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003)

Texas_chainsaw_massacreGood remakes may be hard to find, but I’ve been doing pretty good lately.

2003’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre (TCM), revisit’s Tobe Hooper’s ground breaking horror classic of (almost) the same name (add “The” to the beginning of the original), and gives it a great, modern refresh.

Inspired very loosely on the horrendous crimes of Ed Gein in 1950’s Wisconsin,  TCM tells the story of a group of young 20 somethings on their way to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in Dallas. Along the way they stop and pick up a dazed, confused woman who is walking around in the middle of the road by herself, almost unresponsive. They take her into the van in order to get her some help, but in a short time she kills herself using a pistol that she had concealed… Forced to look for help from authorities, they drive into a small town…and perhaps Hell on Earth.

What ensues is a battle between this group of youths and a hillbilly clan that seems un escapable. Call the Sheriff? Sure – too bad he’s mixed right up in this hillbilly killer family. No matter where they turn, the group finds themselves deeper and deeper in crap -  One by one, they fall gruesome victims to Leatherface and his family.

If you haven’t seen the original, you can still watch this movie without missing anything, but seeing the original’s stature in the horror world, you would be doing yourself a dis-service. Is this better than the original? Well, it really is good – maybe not as important as the original – but possible as good. Jessica Biel does a great job (and looks great), and the rest of the cast is good to.

Watch it!

Here’s the trailer:


Rebooting Remake Week

Hi Folks;

Well remake week didn’t go as well as planned when I was distracted after two movies – Well, I plan on putting up 7 remakes (including the two already posted), though maybe not all in a row.

One reason why they may not be in a row is for example the THING from 1982 – my buddy that watched these movies wants to watch the prequel that came out in 2011 first – no problem, but that delays that viewing by at least a day – gonna’ try to get him to watch that prequel tonight so we can go onto the remake.

So, sorry for not powering through 7 days of remakes, but they are coming… starting now!


Django (1966)–Violently Awesome (Spoiler Alert)

django

The other night I watched the classic Lee Van Cleef Spaghetti Western, Death Rides a Horse, which left me a taste for more Spaghetti Westerns, so last night I watched the 1966 classic, Django.

It was a good choice.

Staring the ice blue eyed Franco Nero as Django, a coffin dragging drifter who seeks revenge for the death of his wife at the hands of KKK leader and ex military man, Major Jackson.

The film opens with Django rescuing the attractive, Maria (played by Loredana Nusciak), a prostitute, from Major Jackson’s men who had just killed a group of Mexicans that were in the process of whipping her for trying to escape from them.  Jackson’s men were going to burn her alive for going with the Mexicans in the first place.

Soon Django finds himself the target of Major Jackson, though Major Jackson does not know who he is dealing with. A series of confrontations between Django and Jackson’s men leaves Jackson’s forces seriously depleted, as Django turns out to be one bad ass. The depletion of Jackson’s men leaves an opening for a former Mexican General to move in on Jackson’s turf. It is soon revealed that Django and the General are old friends, Django apparently having saved the General’s life while they were both in prison together. Together they hatch a plot to raid a Mexican fort that holds a large amount of gold. The plan being that after the heist Django and the General are to split the gold. When the General delays giving Django his share, Django decides to take it all. Leaving with Maria and the gold, something soon goes wrong and the gold is lost. Soon the General and his band of men catch up to them. Taking into account that Django had saved him in the past, the General spares Django his life, but has one of his men smash his hands into bloody pulp. That should stop him… right? No freakin’ way, as this is Django and he has a mission. Taking Maria back to town, he tells the bar/hotel/brothel keeper to hide her from Major Jackson, and to tell Jackson that he is waiting for him at the cemetery. Since Django’s hands are a mess, he bites off the trigger guard from his pistol and waits for the Major. Once the Major arrives, he starts hurling threats at Django, and shooting at him – teasing him with shots that just graze him. Thinking Django is defenseless, the Major is careless… and that is a deadly mistake. I’m not 100% of what the symbolism means, but with the help of an iron cross (no, not the German military medal) on a tombstone, Django finally extracts his vengeance on the man responsible for the death of his wife.

Wow… This move is a violent festival of death. When it was released in 1966, it was considered possible the most violent film released. Heck, the U.K. didn’t allow it to be released until 1994!

If you like Spaghetti Westerns, then this one is a must watch, right up there with For a Few Dollars more.

Here is the trailer:

And here is a great interview with Franco Nero on the Making of Django:


Death Rides a Horse (1967)–Spaghetti Western Wonderfulness

DRHIn the 1960s there was an explosion of Westerns made in Italy by Italian film makers. These were dubbed “Spaghetti Westerns” and are/were the Western equivalent of Grindhouse films, and while most of these movies were pretty damned bad, occasionally one would actually turn out to be a good movie – 1967’s Death Rides a Horse is one of those good ones.

Starring John Phillip Law as Bill Meceita, a man seeking revenge on the bandits that he witnessed killing his family when  he was a young. The only evidence he was able to gather, as a boy. was a single, unique spur that one of the murdering bastards left behind. Years later a recently released convict, Ryan, played the always great, flinty eyed Lee Van Cleef, kills two men in self defense that were sent to kill him. The Sherriff noticed that one of the dead men was wearing spurs that exactly match the one that had been left at the scene on the Meceita family massacre so many years before. The sheriff informs Bill, and tells him the name of the stranger, Ryan thinking that perhaps Ryan can help lead him to the men who killed his family.

When Bill catches up to Ryan, he finds him sympathetic but not willing to help, as he has a large amount of money owed to him by the same bastards that killed Ryan’s family, and if Bill kills them, Ryan can’t collect. Leaving Bill temporarily stranded (in order to gain a head start), but not defenseless. Of course this only works for a bit as Bill is extremely motivated to get these guys. Ryan is looking at collecting $15,000 from each member of this gang, as he spent 15 years in prison for something they ALL took part in. Bill, killing these guys, makes it harder and harder to collect. Add to this a sub plot where one of these banditos is now a town official, promising to improve the lives of the town folks, but actually planning on taking off with all the town’s money, in a faked heist, and making it look like Ryan is part of it. Bill comes to Ryan’s aid, and for the rest of the movie they work together as a team. An interesting twist near the end makes the relationship between Bill and Ryan even more twisted. Add in some great shootouts and you have this film.

This is a long movie, and the conversion from film to digital (at least the version I have), is very crapilly done. There are bit where you can tell a few seconds of film are just missing. It’s dirty and very low resolution. Some of the actors voices are very obviously dubbed (hey, most of them were bit part Italian actors working for very little money) and not particularly great thespians. Even so, this movie oozes cool, especially with an awesome soundtrack from the amazing Ennio Morricone I absolutely enjoyed every second of this film and most likely will go on a minor Spaghetti Western binge.

And… we’re in luck folks: Not only is this movie available for really cheap on almost countless cheap bin DVD compilations, it’s also available for streaming for free (for now at least).

Check out the trailer below and the entire move below that (please let me know if the link is broken):

 

Death Rides a Horse (1967) – Trailer

 

Death Rides a Horse (1967) – The Entire Movie


Piranha (1995)–Just How Many Remakes of Piranha Are There?!?!

PiranhaSo I found my self with a little extra time on my hands and decided to watch the 1995 version of the Rodger Corman classic, Piranha. Now, you might be thinking that you read one, no two reviews of Piranha on this blog already. You’re right, and now here’s a third.

This 1995 release has a new story (mostly) and new actors but reuses the actual piranha attack clips from the original 1978 release – Hey, it’s good to recycle, right?.

Like all Piranha movies, the fish are accidentally released into a river or lake (river that dumps into a mam made lake this time), and a few good people have to convince some bad people to cancel an even that takes place at a beach. And like all other Piranha movies, the bad people refuse to believe them until it’s too late.

There really isn’t anything in this version that screams must watch, though it is fun. One little tidbit: the young daughter of the main character, Paul Grogan (played by William Katt of The Greatest American Hero), is played by a very young Mila Kunis. I did not know this while watching the movie, and despite not having a lot of lines, I was thinking that this child actor is the only one in the whole movie that seems believable. Looking up the cast after I was done watching is when I found out it was Mila – good job!

So, to summarize: This version of Piranha doesn’t bring anything new to the table an early performance by Mila Kunis), but it is fun nonetheless,and if you like these B-Movies then this one is as good as most and might bring a smile on a boring afternoon.

Check out the trailer below, and below that a link to the entire movie, for as long as that works (please let me know if the link is dead!):

 

Here’s the whole movie on Youtube: