March 2, 2015

Bit-O-Sexy: The Art of Kevin Spencer

This is just a quick plug for my latest exclusive column where I show off some great work by Kevin Spencer, who will be at the fast approaching Monster Mania XXX Convention. Check it out HERE.

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March 1, 2015

Movie Review: The DUFF

It seems that every few years we get an updated teen comedy that attempts to shine a light on high school life. You would think that by this point they would have gotten it right and stopped making them by now, but no. Granted, you could say that about any type of film. Anyway, the tried and true formula needs to get tweaked every once in awhile to accommodate new ideas and the changing high school landscape. Although, I still think they were at their peak in the 1980's with movies like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and Weird Science. Fortunately, there are still a few who can squeeze out further worthy films.

Screening Report: Cannibal Holocaust with guest Robert Kerman (Alamo Drafthouse 2/28/15)

Last night I went to a screening of Cannibal Holocaust, one of the most infamous of notorious movies. It has previously been banned in a large number of countries, although I am unsure if any of those still actually stand. In any case, it is a movie I have had something of a contentious relationship with over the years (evidenced by this review I wrote upon my first viewing back in 2006). In the years since, my disgust has softened and I have become something of a fan of it, even if I have some issues with the animal violence. On a happier note, how could I pass up a screening with an audience?

February 25, 2015

Movie Review: The Turnpike Killer

There seem to be a lot of filmmakers out there intent on recapturing past glories. And by past glories, I mean stuff us genre fans have come to love about the past. Examples would be Tarantino's Death Proof as an ode to the grindhouse, and Adam Green's Hatchet series, paying homage to slashers. The problem is that horror, at least mainstream horror, is full of ironic touches and references. To make a true grindhouse type film is a chore, the classics were made with genuine earnestness, not made as a joke or to be funny. Now along comes The Turnpike Killer. It is not mainstream, it's not ironic, and it is not nice. This is grindhouse era exploitation.

February 24, 2015

Movie Review: Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Nearly five years ago a little, unassuming movie arrived in theaters with the absolutely ridiculous title of Hot Tub Time Machine. It still sounds silly. Right? It does, doesn't it? It sounds really goofy and probably really bad. Surprisingly, that movie was really quite good. I guess it had a decent enough of a theatrical run and a solid DVD market that Paramount figured a sequel would be a safe bet. The problem is that it took five years to come out and also that it arrives missing one of its stars. John Cusack did not return for this trip, in his place we have Adam Scott. So, was a sequel really needed? Is it worth checking out?

February 18, 2015

Movie Review: Mr. Jones

I am actually a little surprised to say this, but I am getting a bit tired of foud footage movies. Sure, I still like the good ones and I am still willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I think some fatigue is starting to settle in. The gimmick can be an effective format, but, I don't know, it is becoming a bit predictable. Even with those thoughts in the back of my mind, I took a stab at Mr. Jones. The movie proved to be interesting, to a degree, but sort of reinforced some of the things that are pushing me away from the style. Still, I think it is a movie worth giving a shot to, it is a blend of good and bad, resulting in a compelling mediocrity.

February 16, 2015

Movie Review: Rape Squad (1974)

The 1970's were a wild and crazy time. While I do not remember much of the decade do to my youth, but reliving it through the movies, well dang, it was a free for all. You could pretty much make a movie about anything you wanted, make it as sleazy and over the top as you want, make it gritty, unsavory, disgusting, anything. You would likely be able to find a home in the grindhouse/drive-in scene at the time. Think about it, what are the chances of getting a movie made called Rape Squad these days? Nevermind what it is about, the title alone would be enough to get you black listed. Of course, it did get re-released as Act of Vengeance, but still...

February 15, 2015

Movie Review: Kingsman - The Secret Service

When I first saw a trailer for Kingsman: The Secret Service, I was not sure what it was going for; however, seeing that Matthew Vaughn was listed as director, I was certainly interested. The guy has a solid track record, with movies like Layer Cake, Stardust, Kick-Ass, and X-Men: First Class on his resume. The big question going in was what he would bring to this. No, I was not aware of the comic book origins, but it seems to make sense with the over top nature of the tale. It strikes me as a blending of movies like Layer Cake and Kick-Ass, with the result being a spy movie and superhero movie being rammed into each other.

Movie Review: The Spongebob Movie - Sponge Out of Water

Let me say, right up front, that my exposure to the Spongebob Squarepants phenomenon is limited to the two movies (and I really do not remember much of the first) and a few clips here and there. I have never seen a full episode of the show. Something tells me that I would probably get a kick out of it if I were to watch it. With that said, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was pretty brilliant. Seriously, this movie is a genius piece of demented stream of consciousness. It has the great lesson of teamwork towards a positive conclusion, but is just crazy enough to entertain all age groups and never feels like it is preaching. Of course, it may induce some ADHD-like symptoms, but I found they wore off quickly enough.

Movie Review: Cut! (2014)

Snuff films, legend or reality? I don't know, I only hope they remain in the realm of legend. I would never want to know, definitively, that things like that actually exist. Now, on the other hand, films that simulate them or pretend to be making them are a different thing altogether. Things like 8mm (you remember that Nicolas Cage movie, right?) and Mute Witness (underrated thriller that it is) are examples of this. Now we have Cut!, a movie that devolves into snuff film making and brings together a couple of recent trends in horror, torture porn (hate that term, but you know what I am talking about) and found footage. The end result is interesting, although it takes a little while to get going.

February 10, 2015

Movie Review: Violets Bloom at an Empty Grave

Over the past few years I have come to the realization that there is nothing quite like Italian horror of the 1970's and 1980's. In particular, I have become a big fan of Lucio Fulci. Granted, I have only seen a handful of his films, but his horror output is second to none, delivering some of the move surreal nightmares ever put to the screen. With that in mind, I approached watching this short, Violets Bloom at an Empty Grave. It is a short horror film written and directed by Chris Milewski (under the name Luciano Imperoli), and it delivers a nicely surreal tale that brings Fulci to mind.

February 9, 2015

Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending

You know, every once in awhile I watch a movie that I do not feel like writing about. Well, it is probably more than once in awhile, but you get the point. Still, there are times when I feel a little obligated to put some words down on it. This is one of those times.

February 8, 2015

Movie Review; Seventh Son

Today is born the seventh one, Born of woman the seventh son, And he in turn of a seventh son, He has the power to heal, He has the gift of the second sight, He is the chosen one, So it shall be written, So it shall be done, Seventh son of a seventh son, Seventh son of a seventh son, Seventh son of a seventh son, Seventh son of a seventh son. Oh, wait, what? This isn't an Iron Maiden concert? That explains why Julianne Moore is here. It is a shame, I suspect that a concert would have been more fun. I guess I really should say something about this big medieval fantasy tale of knights, swords, witches and monsters. Hey, that sounds like fun.

Movie Review: Don't Go in the Woods

Before really getting into this, I think we should thank Vinegar Syndrome for unearthing, restoring, and releasing some long forgotten films. Without them, I do not think we would ever be talking about a screening, much less a Blu-ray release, of a movie like Don't Go in the Woods. It is not the sort of film that a widespread mainstream audience is going to be clamoring for, but it has a certain audience, an audience that may not be aware of just how much they need this movie. I have to be honest, I did not think that I needed this movie until I saw it projected on the big screen. I need this movie in my life.