December 5, 2016

Festival Recap: Hudson Horror Show 14 has Ended

Seven years in and going stronger than ever. It is amazing watching this force of cinema exert its will on an audience and watching them all eat it up. Beginning as a small, unassuming screening of some horror movies, some local, independently made shorts, and a few vendors, it has grown into a colossal beast, an entity known far and wide, able to sell out theaters in minutes. One of the biggest changes was when they expanded into a second theater last year. Even the threat of losing the venue a few years back was not enough to get them down. The Hudson Horror Show has become an institution and easily among the best genre related events of the year.

Movie Review: Christmas Evil

As the Christmas season rolls around each year, there are a few certain films that always get watched. I always visit seasonal classics such as Christmas Vacation, A Christmas Story, Elf, and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Then there are the action regulars, most notably Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, and Lethal Weapon. Those are all well and good, but being a horror movie fan, there are the darker holiday films that need to have some time spent with them, this includes the likes of Black Christmas and Silent Night, Deadly Night. In recent years a new film has come to my attention and has quickly risen through the ranks, Christmas Evil.----- Read the rest at Shit Movie Fest as part of annual 25 Days of Shitmas.

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December 1, 2016

Movie Review: Pigs (1972)

Pigs. Yes, the movie is called Pigs. Sure, it has gone by many names over the years, from The 13th Pig to Menu for Murder, to Daddy’s Deadly Darling, to Love Exorcism. It is one of those movies where when mentioned to mainstream loving friends will be received with a cocked eyebrow and a clueless stare. Rest assured, it is their loss for not knowing it and another notch in your belt for seeking out and watching obscure oddities. Yes, Pigs can and should be considered an obscure oddity. It is also another winning release from Vinegar Syndrome, plus it has some pretty snazzy reversible cover art by Chris at Quiltface Studios.

November 28, 2016

Movie Review: Psychic Killer

Here is another 70’s era exploitation feature that has come to my attention by way of a Vinegar Syndrome release. Psychic Killer is a fun, pulpy romp that is not as serious as it wants to be, nor as in depth as it could be. It is a movie that you really have to accept on its own terms. I found that the minute you begin to question it, is the same time your interest will begin to waver. It is buoyed by some decent performances, but even as I was entertained, I wonder what it could have been had it been given another rewrite or two.

Movie Review: Luther the Geek

Genre movie fans owe a debt of gratitude to boutique distributors such as Vinegar Syndrome. Thanks to them, some truly bizarre films are being preserved and made available to the public. In some cases this is their first ever home video release and in other cases it is in a beautifully restored version, where the movie looks as if it were brand new. The movie at hand today is called Luther the Geek. It is a truly odd feature from 1988 that features a clucking killer who never says a word, and some truly unsettling atmosphere. No, it is not the best film, but it is surprisingly effective and certainly worth the effort to watch.

November 17, 2016

Movie Review: Moonchild (1994)

There are a lot of movies out there. Even if you just consider the ones that you have heard of, that’s a lot of movies. Now, widen that scope and think about all the movies you’ve never heard of, that total number of movies is going to jump way up. I have stumbled across unheard of movies in a number of different ways, one those ways is the Video Vortex series at the Alamo Drafthouse. The series takes obscure, low/no budget, regional obscurities and rips them straight from VHS tape and throws it at the big screen. Is it pretty? Absolutely not, but it is an experience and a fun way to experience often terrible movies.

November 13, 2016

Movie Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

I have to admit to feeling a little burned out on superhero films over the past year or two. There are just so many out there that they are hard to escape. Besides that, Marvel has planned so far ahead that it seems to sap a lot of the potential drama surrounding the heroes being defeated or perhaps dying. Then there is the problem that as impressive as the Marvel cinematic universe is, it has become studio driven more than creator driven giving everything a sense of sameness. This is why I like it when characters a little out of the mainstream arrive, like Antman last year. The fact we have a Doctor Strange movie adds some knew elements to the mix, shakes things up somewhat.

November 10, 2016

Movie Review: Death Force aka Vengeance is Mine

Death Force is one of those movies that you are really likely to stumble across on the shelves of a brick and mortar store like Best Buy or Target. It is one of those types of movies that seems destined to be forgotten, and for a the majority, it likely is forgotten, along with so many others. This is why we should be thankful for companies like Vinegar Syndrome who go out of their way to not only obtain the rights to films like this, but to go through restorations from the best elements they are able to find. The results here are quite good. The film does show its age and some of the scratches and marks may have been printed in the source. Still, any complaints are minor next to the solid and uncut presentation.

September 16, 2016

Movie Review: Blair Witch

Way back in 1999 a movie was released that took the word by storm. It was called The Blair Witch Project and it came out in the days before the internet was everywhere as it is today. What does that mean? It means the film was in perfect position to be marketed in such a way that people did not know if it was real or not, something that most likely would not be able to done today. I guess it was the last hurrah of the “is it or isn’t it” type of word of mouth marketing. Long gone are the days of Faces of Death and the perceived reality of said film’s contents. Why is any of this important? A sequel was made under cover of darkness, which has now been unleashed upon the masses.

August 9, 2016

Movie Review: Lights Out

I don’t remember how long ago it was, a year, maybe two (three?), I don’t think it’s been that long, but I am too lazy to check; anyway, there was a short that made the rounds on social media that was an effectively creepy film that only lasted a couple of minutes. Well, that short caught the attention of Hollywood and it was green lit to be turned into a full length feature film. That movie bears the same name as the short, Lights Out, and while not perfect, proves to be a highly effective movie. Sure, it feels like a stretched out short at times and there is precious little exposition, but it still manages to unsettle and delivers a nice emotional punch at the end.

August 8, 2016

DVD Review: Summer Camp

Ever hear of the movie Summer Camp? I hadn’t either until it appeared at a local movie theater a few months ago. The title did not sound all that exciting, so I was going to pass on it, but something told me I should give it a shot. To my surprise it turned out to be a horror movie. Even more surprising was that it was actually pretty good. It has some decent blood and gore, and an old school feel. While it is not exactly a shining piece of original filmmaking, it was surprisingly good and I am glad I decided to check it out. The interesting thing now is to see how well it holds up a few months later.

August 7, 2016

Blu-ray Review: The Lobster

The Lobster is the sort of movie that defies explanation, a nebulous slice of bizarro cinema that begs to be seen if not understood. Well, that may not exactly be true, on some levels it is perfectly understandable, perhaps even relatable, but the execution takes it to another level of odd. It is a film that challenges expectations, makes you laugh at the absurdity, cringe at some of what it shows, and in some ways touch you on an emotional level. Of course, this is not a movie for everyone, and while I would recommend it to everyone, I cannot guarantee your enjoyment.

August 2, 2016

Movie Review: Train to Busan

A couple of weeks back I started seeing a movie title pop up in my social media feeds that I had not heard of before. All of the buzz surrounding it seemed to be pretty popular, but figuring I would never get a chance to see, I did not pay it any mind. Things have a way of changing situations pretty quickly and I did find myself with an opportunity to go see it. The movie is called Train to Busan and it hails from South Korea. Another factor that played into my not really looking into it more quickly is the title, it is not really an attention grabbing title, you know what I mean? Well, then I discovered it was a zombie film and I got a little more interested.

July 16, 2016

Movie Review: Ghostbusters (2016)

Way back in 1984 a movie was released to theaters that has stood the test of time, entertaining millions over and over again for over thirty years. That movie was Ghostbusters, a movie that ranks among the greats and has inspired legions of dedicated fans. A few years later a sequel arrived, and while I do not love the movie, it still has a lot to like. Ever since then there have been ideas of adding a third movie to the franchise. Before now, the closest we had gotten was a video game featuring the voices of the original cast that was released back in 2009. In recent years there were talks of a third film with the original cast, a feature that transitioned the ‘busting to a new generation, and then, most recently, rival male and female team based films. The one that was made was the one featuring all female leads. This led to all manner of controversy before it ever hit theaters.