December 30, 2014

Movie Review: Big Eyes

I recall first seeing the trailer for Big Eyes and immediately being excited for it. First off, it has a cast of actors I like, led by Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. Secondly it was directed by Tim Burton, one of my favorite directors. Beyond those facts, there was something else that lent me hope this would be a good film, that is it appeared the subject was something personal to Burton, it wasn't a remake of something else, which has made up the bulk of his output over the past decade or so. All of this combined to make this a must see, a hopeful film of quality for this fan.

December 29, 2014

Movie Review: The Gambler (2014)

Let's get one thing out of the way right up front, if nothing else The Gambler gave me one thing I can go the rest of my life without seeing again, and that is John Goodman without a shirt on. I love the guy, but please, shirts on from now on. OK? Thank you. As for the movie itself? Meh. I kind of liked some of the speech making and the way things were worded, but it was not always a good flow and often seemed to be rather self aware of what it was trying to do rather then letting it be. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some stylized speeches and dialogue, but it needs to be off the movie rather than the movie itself. Not sure I made sense there, but I think you understand.

Movie Review: Unbroken

Unbroken has arrived in theaters and while I feel it is a competently made film, I did not find it to be a particularly good film. It is a movie that feels emotionally manipulative rather than genuine, it tells a slightly disjointed tale that covers its subject in broad strokes while never really digging beneath the surface. I will say nothing bad about the real subject of the film, what Louis Zamperini was forced to endure and his efforts to retain his humanity, his morals, and fight through incredibly adverse conditions. His is not the only tale like this, but it is an amazing one nonetheless. Unfortunately, the movie is not nearly as engrossing as the reality is.

December 28, 2014

Movie Review: The Imitation Game

So, I finally had the chance to check out The Imitation Game last night and I have to report that it was a rather good movie. Honestly, I was not sure what to expect as it looked like another biopic with WWII as a backdrop. I did (do?) not know an awful lot about Alan Turing, aside from him being credited as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence. The specifics of his life were not known by me. Now, to be sure, I do not take this movie as blind fact, but as an embellishment of a reality in an effort to make an entertaining movie with a basis in fact. It is a mistake to take any movie as reality, that is where trouble begins.

Coming to Netflix - January 2015

As Netflix commits a culling of the queue, it does give back with a slew of new offerings during the next month. Here is a list of ten movies coming over the next few weeks that may be worth spending some time with. While I am always sad to lose good stuff from my queue, they always do a pretty good job of bringing some more stuff in that I can waste some hours with. I figured since I am going to do it, perhaps I should share some of these titles with you so that others can do the same. With that said, there are some pretty good movies on the service to check out.

December 26, 2014

Disappearing from Netflix come New Year's Day 2015

As we all know, Netflix cycles through movies on a regular basis. It seems that the big dumps of titles happen at the beginning of each month. It sucks, but it is a fact of life. I am sure it is not something Netflix wants to do, but it is the nature of the game and the contracts that get signed. I would love if everything was available in one place. Anyway, I thought I would highlight a few expiring titles that you may want to watch before they disappear, that is if you have time this holiday weekend. Yes, there are more than these, so check your queues for expiration dates!

December 21, 2014

The Outcast sends Santa a Letter

Yes, you read that right. For the first time since I was, maybe. 8 years old I wrote a letter to Santa. Of course, it was horror themed and rather unlikely to be answered, but there it is. So, make sure go read it at, the only place you can read! Check out some of other letters and posts, too.

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December 17, 2014

CritCast #29: Christmas Horror (Oh, the horror!)

While I was sitting in my car during my lunch break at the day job, I decided to record a quick video. I though I would talk a little bit about Christmas horror movies. So, that is what I did. Completely unscripted and unplanned. When I do that, this is what you get. Go ahead, give it a look and then let me know about your favorite Christmas horror.

Video Alert: Allegaeon - “Threshold of Perception”

I have been a fan of these guys for a few years. Their music is heavy, technical, catchy, and just kicks ass. I really recommend that you check them out. Below is the video for a tune off their latest album, Elements of the Infinite. It is fun to see them shed the seriousness and make a silly video. These guys know there way around their instruments, it also looks like they were beat after a tour and had some time to kill. Either way, it is a good tune.

December 16, 2014

CritCast #28: Exodus, Top Five, Silent Night, Deadly Night

You don't think that last week's back from the dead video would be the last, did you? Well, sorry to disappoint. I am back again to talk about movies and subject you to my ugly mug. At least this time I have a spiffy Zombie hat from Inked Up Merch to distract you from my words. In any case, here is that video... if you dare.....

That Time of Year: Monster Mania Guest Announcements Begin

Over the past few years I have really begun to enjoy going to conventions. I love the opportunity to have a moment with the celebrity guests, to ask them a question, or thank them for their work, or something. To that end, the winter months always tend to be a bit lonely as the con season is over and we are in a holding pattern. Well, things just began to warm up as Monster Mania, a personal favorite con, has started to announce guests for their March 2015 line-up. Five names in and I can hardly wait.

December 15, 2014

Movie Review: Automata

While I have not really had the time to read novels for quite awhile now, one of my favorite authors growing up was Isaac Asimov. There was something about his writing that really struck a chord with me. Now, as I have become much more of a movie watcher than a book reader, I have been waiting for that time when someone would adapt Asimov to the big screen (or any size screen, for that matter). The latest news I had heard was Jonah Nolan working on a television adaptation of Foundation. Of course, there was also that I, Robot from Alex Proyas, and I had read about a proposed Caves of Steel adaptation.

December 12, 2014

Who will Take the Helm of Star Trek 3?

Who is going to direct Star Trek 3? That seems to be a big question these days. Originally, Roberto Orci, who co-wrote the first two films (as well as those Transformers flicks) with his writing partner, Alex Kurtzman, was set to step out of the writer's room and direct his first feature until suddenly pulled out a little while back. Since then we have all been wondering who is going to take his place. Now, Orci is not leaving the project, he is still slated to write and produce. I can only guess that he realized he was not ready to helm a massive project like this. Good for him, we all want a good movie.

December 11, 2014

Trailer Alert: Alone

Something that you may now know about me is that I enjoy Bollywood films. I do not go out of my way for them, but when the local theater gets them, I try to go and see them. They will never be my favorite type of film, but it is interesting to see different ideas on how to make a movie and what should be in them (not to mention how long they should average). Now, the one thing I have not yet seen is a Bollywood horror film. Well, there was Go Goa Gone, which was amazing, but that was more horror/comedy and seemed targeted to a Western audience. Now there is this trailer for Alone.

December 10, 2014

News: The Gathering Gathers Star Power

Have you heard of this horror movie project called The Gathering? No? Me neither, until now. It appears to be a horror anthology type film where the Devil gathers some great horror writers (Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, HP Lovecraft, etc.) together to tell their untold tales. Now, I am not the biggest fan of anthology films, but the cast this movie has attracted is just absolutely astounding. It is to the point where I have to see this just because, and it isn't even made yet!

If It's Christmas. It's Gotta be Treevenge

It has become something of a tradition to watch this short film this time of year. It was a few years ago that I stumbled upon Treevenge, but I am so glad I did. It runs a scant 16-minutes, but it packs a punch. It is clever, cute, and delightfully violent. It pulls no punches and depicts nature having its revenge on the slaughter of trees for Christmas. It also features great use of Fabio Frizzi's theme from Cannibal Holocaust. It really needs no more introduction, except to say it is not for sensitive eyes:

Trailer Alert: Mad Max - Fury Road

Oh man. Oh man. Oh boy. This. Looks. Amazing. Now, one can only hope that it lives up to the promise of this trailer. Still, by the looks of it, Max is back and is going to be a force to be reckoned with. It certainly looks like Warner Brothers is behind it and it will hopefully get the push it seems to deserve and launch a new series of post-apocalyptic action. Seriously. The originals (well, the first two, with some lesser love for the third) are absolute classics that epitomize what a car movie can be. This one certainly looks to live up to the standards.

Single: Twiztid - "Back to Hell"

While my tastes lay decidedly to the metal side of the coin, there is one group that is most definitely not metal but will always lay claim to my allegiance. Twiztid, the horror-rap duo formerly of Insane Clown Posse's Psychopathic Records, is set to release a new album this coming January. The first song has been released and I have to say I like it. It is a little different, a little dark, pretty fresh, and most definitely Twiztid. I know some of you may not understand why I like these guys, but they are really good and have a way of twisting a phrase, turning a beat, and getting into your head.

December 9, 2014

Movie Review: The Pyramid (2014)

Against the better advice and even my own judgment, I went and saw The Pyramid. I was warned off by a few people, telling me it was really bad and not worth my time. Mind you, these are people whose opinions I respect, but I, obviously, disregarded them and went in oping for a tasty fun horror movie. What I got was a boring slog that seemed to replay As Above, So Below (which wasn't all that good to begin with). The only real difference being a change of scenery from the Catacombs under France to the pyramids of Egypt. They also, somehow, made it even more boring. Seriously, listen to better judgment, or at least me, and pass on this.

Movie Review: The Babadook

This past August, while enjoying my time at Hudson Horror Show IX, I had a conversation with Fangoria's Michael Gingold about upcoming horror movies to keep an eye out for. One of the titles he mentioned, the only one I actually remember, was The Babadook. He said it was one of the best in recent memory. The name was unique enough that it stuck. In the weeks after that I kept hearing nothing but praise for the movie. Of course, my interest was piqued and I knew I had to see it. Still, I must admit to being a little bit skeptical. Heck, I even kinda wished I did not like it. You know, not to seem like I was going along with the hype.

December 8, 2014

News: Oh No! There goes Tokyo! New New Godzilla!

Yes, dear fans of the giant monster, Toho has indeed announced plans to bring back Godzilla to the big screen. It has been a decade since the screen was last graced with the man-in-suit destruction of giant monster in Godzilla: Final Wars. Plans are to shoot the movie next year with an eye on a 2016 release. How this will fit in, or not, with the recent Hollywood kickstart is yet to be seen. Still, this is definite cause for G-fans to celebrate.

Hudson Horror Show X - The Night Train Mystery is Boiled while They Creep (or something...)

Hudson Horror Show X is now in the rear view mirror and, once again, it provided to be an eventful day filled with movies, wares, friends, and fun. It is really starting to get repetitive when I write about these shows once they happen. There is a common thread to these recaps, about the fun, the friends, whatever. It is almost like I am writing the same column over and over again, but it really doesn't matter. If you could see the smile I have on my face for the entire day, not to mention as I think about it for days after. It sounds really corny, but it is true, I love this event and I eagerly look forward to each and every one as if it were the first.

December 4, 2014

Casting News: Ryan Reynolds returns to Deadpool

So, that Deadpool movie is going to star Ryan Reynolds after all. I cannot say I am disappointed by this. In fact, I like the casting. I just hope they ditch the history made with the character's appearance in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. That was just a travesty. I mean, for a character know for a very distinctive costume and his chattiness, they cast the right guy, but then they sew his mouth shut and never use that great costume. I can only hope they learned from that debacle.

Trailer Alert: Terminator - Genisys

Terminator has had quite a history. There was the classic original film from 1984 that introduced us to this frightening world, not unlike a slasher tale. Then there is the the 1991 sequel that took everything to the next level. Since then it has been something of a mixed bag. Terminator 3 was entertaining, but does not stand up to the first two. There was a television series which was getting pretty good when it was canceled. Finally there was the fourth film which had some interesting stuff but was really not so good. Now, they are trying to reboot the series with Terminator: Genisys.

December 3, 2014

Blu-ray Review: Dead Snow 2 - Red vs. Dead

In 2009 Tommy Wirkola unleashed his vision of undead Nazi soldiers upon the world, Dead Snow. The movie was well received by the horror community, despite not being the most original movie. It was made with energy, enthusiasm, and a healthy dose of respect for the films that inspired it. Wirkola would go on to make an English language studio picture, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, which was surprisingly entertaining, before returning to his native Norway to make a Nazi zombie movie sequel, Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead. This sequel, shot in English (no doubt to cash in on the first one's international success), ups the ante in pretty much every way. It is a success.

December 2, 2014

Movie Review: Dead Snow

Nazi zombies, as a sub-genre of the horror genre and a sub-sub-genre of the zombie film, is one that is not very well packed with movies, but it is one everyone seems to know about. Even if they haven't seen a sample of said film, everyone acknowledges it like it is a thing. Considering the few titles that I have found that fall into this category, I am not sure it even qualifies. Still, I am pretty sure it doesn't really matter. This 2009 Nazi-zombie entry may be the most popular at the moment, but it still owes some credit to predecessors like Zombie Lake and, in particular, Shock Waves.

CritCast #27: Horrible Bosses 2, Dr. Cabbie, The Theory of Everything

It's been over a year since the last CritCast appeared. Not sure if anyone cares, but thought I would take another stab at it. This was completely off the cuff, nothing was written or rehearsed beforehand. This is the only take that was done. I think it came out decently.

December 1, 2014

Trailer Alert: Man with the Iron Fists - Sting of the Scorpion

Wow. I cannot say I ever expected to see this appear, but I am happy to see it, although it does not look to be as much fun as the first. Man with the Iron Fists was a lot of fun and despite being a dud at the box office has apparently found its fan base. It was a movie the was directed by, written by, and starring RZA, who clearly did his martial arts homework with how everything was depicted (the guy knows his kung fu movies). This second film RZA on the screen and as co-writer, directing duties have been handed to Roel Reine (Death Race 2/3, 12 Rounds 2).