Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Cult of Chucky (2017) Movie Review



Surprised at how enjoyable this film was. The seventh outing for any franchise can be brutal, and not in a gory slasher movie way. The original idea flogged to death with a wet noodle. A slow anguishing process that that has anyone wishing for a bullet to the head instead of being subjected to even rumors of another movie. So bad Al Bundy would rather go up to the bedroom and to Peg kinda way.


Andy Barclay is back to finish Chucky off, once more. The first time back since 1991's Child's Play 3. Jennifer Tilly/ Valentine is back riding shotgun with Charles Lee Ray. And stuck in this asylum is Nica from Curse of Chucky. Brad Dourif, the voice of Chucky, is the only (voice) actor in every movie. Andy was in Child's Play 3 but played by Justin Whalin, not Alex Vincent. So every film is represented here on screen by actors except Child's Play 3. To bad, they didn't bring back Perrey Reeves (the only reason to watch CP3). Thankfully the Seed of Chucky doll thing is left alone as just a bad memory.



Cult of Chucky doesn't take it's self seriously. Briskly cracking jokes at the expense if everyone involved. It takes a few dark turns and flips back and forth from campy to ridiculous. With so many characters to keep track of the movie jumps around a little. Interestingly the characters seem to keep the tone from the movies they originated. Which provides a nice balance. Bringing all previous movies into nicely into the story. Except for CP3, thank god they didn't try and bring back whinny little Tyler who mindlessly obeys every commend of that creepy little psychopath doll. Tyler most-likely grew up having major abandonment issues by being shipped off to military school at such a young age. On top of the whole killer doll thing in which he helped kill multiple people. To cope with the drama, you know since his family wasn't there to comfort him and the school claiming bankruptcy, from all the wrongful death lawsuits, clearly wasn't his home anymore, he turned to drugs and alcohol. Becoming a homeless hustler in Kansas City Missouri before joining a hippy commune on the banks of the Mississippi River. Still to this day suffering from PTSD, any time he sees a doll he pees his pants and sucks his thumb. Even a barbie or cabbage patch doll. Of course, Andy has some baggage of his own......


Written and Directed by Don Mancini who has been involved since the beginning. With so many of the main actors back and carrying a fresh score on Rotten Tomatoes of 83%, it could have been theatrically released. It's a great movie to watch during the Halloween season. If it was between this movie or The original Friday the 13th..... I would pick Chucky!



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Blood Circus (aka House Rules) (2017)


Sean is a loser who spends his days drinking at the bar his ex-works at. Once a promising MMA fighter, now he's a joke, with no job except chasing away paying customers. After rolling a couple of wannabes (and thoroughly pissing off his ex) an offer comes in he can't refuse. Three fights, with the winner walking away large, the losers...... not so much.

Sweeney Photography

Shot in Connecticut on a tight eighteen-day schedule that had a snow storm hit midway through the shoot. With a budget of $750,000 its impressive what director Jacob Cooney and Producers David Gere, Charles Lago, Christopher Johnson put together. The names of the cast members read like a Hollywood blockbuster; Tom Sizemore, Vincent Pastore, Kevin Nash, and Chuck Zito. Christy Carlson Romano is a face most will recognize from the Even Stevens (2003) and a couple of the Cutting Edge movies (2006 & 2008). It is very well shot film, there were a couple really good scenes I had to rewatch. Creative use of camera angles and light throughout.

Sweeney Photography

Poor Jamie Nocher who plays Sean, not that he is a bad actor it's just being surrounded by legends in this movie, he isn't on their level. Plus, fight scenes in a movie with a budget of less than one second of an action sequence in a Mission Impossible film isn't going to show much. The best fight scene in any movie was They Live (1988), the budget was four million dollar and they practiced the fight for three weeks (longer than it took to shoot this movie). The script doesn't help him out much either. Being the lead with so much screen time anytime Sizemore shows up for thirty seconds he steals the scene. Sizemore is one of those actors like Woody Harrison that always play interesting characters showing up in small roles all over the place. Watch Mother Wolf (2016) to see him just take a movie over, he's only in the movie for five minutes. Chelsea Vale is distractingly way too beautiful to play the girl-next-door type. She has a ton of movies coming out in 2017 be interesting to see her in a bigger role.




It is really hard to have a 'fight' movie without a budget. Without money, not much in the world of movies gets done, not choreographing the fights, practicing the fights, shooting from multiple angles, not much makeup. Stallone has talked in interviews about how long it took to film fight scenes in the 'Rocky' movies (1976-infinity). It took days to get a couple minutes of run time. Rocky (1976) also had a bad ass theme song. Blood Circus could really use some music. Oh, and Rocky had a budget of 1.1 million dollars of 1976 money, on top of a badass theme song for its training montage. If we have learned anything from South Park (1997-infinity+1) you have to have a training montage. Overall it's an enjoyable movie, that without its aforementioned budget constraints could be a major Hollywood release.  

Sweeney Photography