Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Revenge (2018) Movie Review



Most will steer clear of this French twist of a rape film. Seventy's sexploitation movies like 'I Spit on Your Grave' (Originally 'Day of the Woman' (1978)) and 'House on the Left' (1972), both inspired by European movies, were more focused on the grittiness of the story. Revenge is a visually stunning cinematic masterpiece. Mixing the beautiful landscape and symbology (yes know, I need to stop watching that movie, it makes me dumber with each viewing) to make the almost two hour run time go flying by. Many directors lose focus during the long process of making a film. Michael Cimino known for making the biggest Hollywood bomb for almost forty years was so caught up in having every shot be a cinematic marvel, nothing else mattered. Heaven's Gate is a very beautiful film that's nearly unwatchable, especially at four-plus hours, unless you're a French film snob.


Most smaller films stretch the run time because they want the film to be a full-length feature and not be confused with being a short. The average moviegoer would rather be blown away with a short film than having to wish for a 'mister fast forward button'. Master's of Horror (2005-2007) showed a really good story could be told in fifty minutes. Director Coralie Fargeat keeps the action moving. While lingering on some scenes that need to be taken in. The two hour run time is justified, Coralie fills it brilliantly. Defining the wolf-pack mentality, building to the assault and transformation of Jen to the bad-ass heroine of death. Any of you prepubescent, vape smoking, basement dwelling, Gargamels, who only going to watch this to see some boobies. Well, be warned not only is there subtitles, but Coralie clearly has a stalkerish thing for male lead Kevin Janssens. You're going to see a lot of his ass and junk.


There are some issues that pull the viewer out of the story. We all love a good movie that sucks the viewer in, where thought and time cease to exist. First, off the twelve gauge shotgun that shoots like a rifle. Why don't people who make movies learn how guns work. Only the French would put a scope on a shotgun. I'm sure someone will tell me about this special French gun they have. But if it looks like a twelve gauge pump shotgun and uses twelve gauge shells, it's a shotgun! Second, the amount of blood used and the length of the final kill both cross over from dramatic to comedic.


YouTube Revenge Trailer

IMDB Revenge page

Revenge is a great movie to watch. The long runtime doesn't seem like it. Old westerns had long run times. And they seemed like it! Anytime the cowboys started to move the heard across the river, you knew you had at least ten minutes for a bathroom break. The transformation of beautiful dainty Jen from party-girl being creeped on, to the angel of death is entertaining as hell!


Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Tremors: Cold Day in Hell (2018) Movie Review

Direct to Video- May 1, 2018

What started out a little cute low-budget movie that became a classic, has in each proceeding sequel played on the weakest storylines, the monster comes back, look-like ancestor in the old west, long-lost relatives show up. Sequel three added some new twists and number five the magical unknown son both kept a little charm and humor of the original. Cold Day in Hell doesn't add anything new or meaningful.


All five sequels have followed Burt Gummer, this one screams it's time to come up with a new story-line. Instead of trying to flog this dead character follow some new blood. Since Tremors are popping up in new and exciting places how about exploring a new group of people trying to figure out how to survive. Instead of Burt showing up with his guns, being a cocking know-it-all, and in this one acting more like an over the top weekend warrior than normal. If Ashey Slashy can call it a day, it is definitely time for Burt to hang the Elephant Gun over the fireplace.


There has been rumors, press releases, and chatter about a new tv series starring Kevin Bacon. But after a couple of years of low-level whispers, one starts to lose faith. First, it was announced on SYFY now maybe Amazon...... This might be another case of development hell.


Special effects have gotten better and cheap since 1990. But they just fall flat here. The monsters show up to no one's surprise, they don't make the audience look up from their smartphones. An Ass Blaster shows up, doesn't do anything, then disappears. We've seen these creatures defeated time and time again by Burt, they pose no threat. The viewer feels no danger nor really care if anyone dies. The creatures just don't seem dangerous, when someone actually dies it's almost comical.

YouTube Tremors 6 Trailer

The first rule of making a movie is, don't do a story that you don't have the capabilities to pull off. If there is no access to horses don't try and make a western. From some reason Tremors Six has been set in the Arctic Circle. Filmed, as was the fifth one, in South Africa. Which looks nothing like the Arctic Circle. A huge distraction to the story, that no matter how many jokes about global warming, like Jason in Manhattan, I just don't by it.


Seeing a bad sequel of your favorite cult movie can feel like visiting an old friend. He might be broken down and the state of his life is sad, but it's nice to catch up, find out what he has been up to since last seen, get closure on the past. This go around doesn't provide any nostalgia. No warm fuzzies. Maybe next time they will let the Tremors win......


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Dead Shack (2017) Movie Review


This little dirty gem of an undead movie has flown under everyone's radar. Premiering at the Toronto After Dark film fest last year. There isn't anything over the top or dripping gore about it. But it is a really cute horror movie filled fill pre-ball dropping boy humor and dad jokes. Anytime people go into the woods to camp and they end up fighting for survival, is normally the start of a good movie. Think Deliverance (1972), Evil Dead (1981), Sleepaway Camp (1983), Cabin Fever (2002), Dead and Breakfast (2004), Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (2010), and Don't go Fuck in the Woods (2016).


Barely getting off the ground by raising 12,000 Canadian dollars on Kickstarter (that doesn't pay for catering on most movies, what is that like 420 US dollars?)(update: Mr. Ricq informed me they had additional funding, very cool to get feedback from the director!). It's impressive what director Peter Ricq is able to crank out. Of course with no money for FX, guns, fight scenes, vehicles, film, cameras, and props there ends up being a lot more time to work on dialog and style. By using practical effects and cute banter there isn't one second where mister fast forward button had to be used. 


Originally Finn Wolfhard was cast but once those Stranger Things dollars started coming in, making an Indie movie wasn't high on his list (sleeping in a roach hotel and eating canned tuna fish for two weeks, no thanks). So close to getting a big name right before they hit big. A photo of him is still on the Kickstarter page. Lauren Holly plays the Z-wrangler but isn't top listed or mentioned anywhere on the posters or promo materials. Weird since she was an A-list actor in the 90's. Normally horror icons and big named actors get their names splashed everywhere to help movies gain recognition.


Most horror movies also need a hottie showing a little skin. The mandatory skinny dipping, Jaws (1975) or running through the woods in a thong, Jason X (2001). The character of Summer is supposed to be sixteen, but it would have been weird for that character anyway. Daddy's hottie little train wreck of a, too drunk to run away, girlfriend could have gotten a little freaky. Doesn't look like this movie was rated by the MPAA. But having a little spice would have helped it a little. Nail Gun Massacre (1985), once it was picked up for distribution, had some new footage shot to help it out.



A very impressive movie when compared to over bloated Hollywood drivel. Too many movies have a zillion dollars and no life. This movie has a budget of four dollars and twenty cents US and is completely dead (bad pun completely intended). Gather your friends, put Billy Bong Thorton down, and waste an hour and twenty minutes of your life watching this (better than watching another Simpsons rerun or Get Out (2017)), low in budget but high in blood, movie.  A movie so bad Finn Wolfhard agreed to be in Stranger Things instead of this (joking of course, he had to dropped out due to Stranger Things starting to film season two)!


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981) Retro Movie Review



Another movie that critics hated (prerequisite for a lot of films I like) and gets undue hate from horror aficionados. There is many issues in continuity and ability of a mentally challenged deformed man-child. The beginning of the film just simply confused people and didn't make a lot of sense. First Jason never died, second, he learns to use the phone and walk into the city unnoticed and stalk the lone survivor from the first film all while looking like the villain from The Town That Dreaded Sundown (1976)? The first moments of a film normally set the tone for the rest of the film. This opening could have been left DOA on the editing room floor. Making a better film.


When half the camp decides to go to the bar leaving easy pickings for our murderer savant. The bar strangely looks like the one from Porky's (1981). The first killing is a tad weird with the psycho just hanging out with his arms wrapped around a large tree holding a garrotte waiting for someone to stop by close enough to get the wire over their head. And the spearing death paying homage to Bay of Blood (1971) was almost completely cut out due to gore and nudity. The film seems to have been filmed in order. Explaining why it gets better as it unfolds. With a first-time director Miner seemingly hitting his stride towards the end.


Ms. Voorhees was already established as batshit crazy. But knowing Jason was alive the entire time smears guano all over her face and has her dancing in the moonlight naked in front of her son kind of crazy. It helps show how crazy she was and opens a reasonable explanation to the opening. A schizophrenia split personality that happened when she thought Jason died. She later found him in the woods alive but the mental break already incurred. So Jason was raised in seclusion by a person who bounced back and forth thinking he should be dead and the loving mother. Talk about a rough childhood. This scenario makes the film that much more twisted. With the stalking and murder of Alice being done by a copycat.


Friday The 13th Part 2 YouTube Trailer

Everyone thought the resurrection of Jason was a bad idea. The director, Tom Savili (makeup), and most of the people involved with the first one left. So in steps Steve Miner, an assistant on the first one, who ends up having a long successful career in Hollywood cranking out movies like House (1985), Lake Placid (1999) and Day of the Dead (2008). Initially Paramount wanted the rights to make a reoccurring series of horror films with a different non-continuing story (John Carpenter envisioned the same for Halloween) but the only way they could get the rights was to make a film centered around Jason. Which no one thought made any sense!


The MPAA played a big part in the toned down special effects. They were heavily criticized in giving the first one an R rating. So blood and guts were noticeably absent from this outing. But having naked girls wasn't taboo yet. Sheena (1984) had Tonya Roberts naked washing in a river during the whole opening credits, rated PG. But the problem with the T&A was the actress they hired to provide most of the T&A ended up being underage.


Part 2 is also the first outing for Frank Mancuso Jr. who became the showrunner for the series. Who went ahead creating the horrible tv show. That had nothing to do with the film or horror genre. It was a boring tedious labor of excruciating pain to watch. Think Supernatural (2005) without any humor, script, babes, monsters, wit or charm. The show did gain a cult following simply by having the name. But for some reason Jason's Nightmares (1988-1990) which was an awesome show, no one has ever seen. Friday the 13th: The Series (1987-1990) people kept tuning in waiting for Jason to kill all these boring people.


Worth noting everyone got over Jason being alive. The 3rd film released one year later did much better. The 3rd Friday introduced the hockey mask (that's right the first movie Jason was a tragic dead kid (not the villain), the second movie he didn't have his signature hockey mask (a burlap sack that made him look like the Elephant Man). The 3rd movie also had Richard Booker as Jason which cast a more sinister presence due to size. Another issue with this movie is Jason isn't very scary. Not in size or how he kills. Miner seemingly made an anti-Halloween (1978) movie with no suspense or build up.


This is another good example of a movie that time has been kind to. No one now finds it weird Jason is the killer or alive. Where Jason has now morphed this supernatural undead boogie man the opening scene isn't so awkward (you know after killing half of Manhattan and leaving a trail of floating blood bubbles in outer space). Miner's zippy movie pace makes it easier for today's audiences to watch compared to Halloween (1978). Amy Steel provides a good performance. Miner moves the film along at a brisk pace. The psychological aspect of the film plays better to audiences used to smarter films. Even the smaller Jason plays better in a day that most action stars and villains are no longer muscle-bound He-Men. Definitely worth a look or second viewing.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Booze, Broads, and Blackjack is Underway!


Not wanting to take a chance on sleeping with the fishes, Hectic Films is wide awake and underway on Booze, Broads, and Blackjack

A mobster film that has been finely tuned and scripted by the author himself, Carl Nicita.

The sets are being built, the cement shoes poured, and the actors have gathered to begin filming on this very ambitious project. 

Not wanting to wait around for the perfect time and opportunity, Hectic Films is doing what they do best. Putting their feet to the ground, their eye to the camera, and making Blockbuster style films on budgets that would terrify even the most Indie of filmmakers. 

Speaking of which, I know a guy who knows a guy who can get you in the credits and some other amazing perks if the price is right. Whattaya say? 

Head over to Indiegogo to check out the campaign that is up now.

Normally you gotta be a Made Man to get a deal this good, but we trust you. We can trust you, right?

I just got some more insider news for you as well. Come here. A little closer. Don't worry about the plastic on the carpet, I'm having the place painted soon. 

Joe Raffa will be starring as 'Jack King', Erica Rey will be 'Misty Rebel' and Sarah French will play 'Alicia Gonzalvo'.They will be joining Felissa Rose Esposito Miller who appears as 'Savannah Holly' and Dana (DT) Carney who will portray Detective Tom Maselli.


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Day of the Dead: Bloodline (2018) Movie Review


Safe to say after the 2008 remake there was little demand for this update of the Romero classic. Just like the Bay Watch movie, there is no demand for this. Remakes very rarely capture all the ingredients that made the original so good. Either it needs to refocus the story, have new twists, or better special effects, generally better overall. Hopefully all the above. Rarely does a remake get a Director with vision, that can pull off a Zombie's Halloween type of, didn't know how much better it could be movie!



The 1985 original was gritty, violent, all hope was lost theme. Miguel severed from PTSD along with deeply questioning his faith was just ready to die, representing, depressingly, the middle ground. The military just wanted to survive without hope by closing themselves off. And the civilians who had hope, either for a cure or to find an unpopulated island. The real threat was from people themselves, not the zombies. The last few people on earth had little reason to play nice with each other, even though their lives depended on it. Romero gave up half the budget just so he could make his unrated version.



Bloodlines just starts-out bad. The opening montage comes off cheesy. From crazy amounts of over spay from bites to zombies going right through plate-glass and car windows. A zombie breaks through a narrow plate-glass window to snatch a girl riding past on her bike. Since the zombie couldn't be able to see her beforehand or normally break through glass like that, it just set the tone for the movie. There never is any tension built up. No characters to get emotionally attached to. Not to mention one static camera shot after another and cardboard characters. Dr. Logan is gone from this retelling, who is key to justifying Rhodes outrage and unraveling. Bloodline had a different take on Bub that was interesting for a sec. But had a weird Heath Ledger Joker look.......


The original made thirty-four million on a budget of three point five million. The 2008 knockoff did three hundred thousand on a generous budget of eighteen million. Bloodline has a budget of eight million and should make less than the 2008 version. It's just that bad. Horror fans aren't hard to please. Some gore, some boobies, some characters you really want to die horribly, some cheesy one-liners. See the classic Romero 1985 film, in all it's brutal gory. The zombie gore-father delivers!


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Over the Edge 1979 Retro Movie Review


This movie has an interesting history. Never really released (couple showings 1979) due to fears of the controversial content, after fights broke out during other 'gang' movies (The Warriors, 1979) released earlier in 1979. It had a successful run on HBO in 1981 that led to a bigger theatrical release later that year in a couple of theaters in New York. It received a huge cult following in the 90's when Kurt Cobain stated this was his favorite movie and the inspiration for 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' and frequent late night showings on cable. It was finally released on VHS in 1993.


Based on a true story of kids in Foster City, California in the 70's. Stuck in a planned community that had no malls, stores, or movie theaters to keep the kids entertained. The construction sites of new homes were easy picking to steal tools and equipment to buy drugs and alcohol. These empty homes also provided a place to hang out and party. One of the things that doesn't get talked about is how the rise in video gaming and cable/VHS gave kids something to do. Witchcraft and other problems were greatly reduced after the rise in video gaming and easier access to movies.


YouTube Trailer Over the Edge 1979

This film was shot in Aurora and Greeley Colorado. Multiple sources call out the sun setting the wrong way in one scene. But if you're shooting a film based in California but you're in Colorado you want it to look like the sun rises over the mountains. Just like California, Colorado has vastly different landscapes. It's a wonder more major films aren't shot here. 2015 was a banner year with both 'Furious 7' and The Hateful Eight' getting some of the mountains scenery into the screen. Of course, a few documentaries get shot here. But outside of a couple westerns and some cult films like 'Vanishing Point' 1971 and 'Strangeland' 1998 not many films get shot in Colorado. Just some tracking footage of the mountains.


An awesome movie that doesn't get much love. Largely forgotten about. Mostly gets mentioned as Matt Dillon's first role. Many actors in Hollywood would love to have such a great movie as their first role. Think Jennifer Aniston in 'Leprechaun' 1993, Stallone's 'The Party at Kitty and Stud's' 1970, Renee Zellweger and Matthew McConaughey 'Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation' 1994.


It's also aided by a great soundtrack. Relying heavily on Cheap Trick. Unlike many low-budget movies that have, if they're lucky, one good song. Over the Edge has one killer track after another. The Producers signed the rights to Cheap Trick's music before they hit big. Songs like Baba O'Riley by the Who would have broke the budget. Which would have been the perfect song for the end scene, 'It's only teenage wasteland......'