March 31, 2015

Movie Review: It Follows (2015)

Do you ever feel like someone is following you? Get that creepy feeling up the back of your spine? I would be really surprised if you haven't. After watching It Follows, you will likely experience that sensation. It is not really a pleasant one, it is like someone is after you, a sense of dread that you cannot shake, cannot escape. It is not unlike the spectre of death. It is inevitable, there is no escaping it, no talking to it, no deals to be struck, it just keeps coming after you. Sure, you can take care of yourself, but in the end, death will be there. With It Follows, you get a visual representation of death, a metaphor for STDs. It is creepy, has no escape, and is not graphic.

March 30, 2015

Movie Review: The Human Centipede II (full sequence)

I remember with the first Human Centipede movie came out back in 2009, there was so much hype around how gross and disturbing it was. When I saw it, it did not live up to the expectations. Still, I liked it, although I do not believe there was anything else to it other than trying to gross out a mainstream audience. On that note, they succeeded. The mainstream press jumped on it, at least until the next thing came along (currently, that seems to be the Sharknado franchise). It should come as no surprise that a sequel sprang up a couple years later (2011), the surprise may be that it took until now for me to see it.

March 28, 2015

Movie Review: Killing Car

The other night is was scrolling through my Netflix queue looking for a movie to watch. I did not know what I was looking for, just something older that I may want to write about. I chose poorly and ended up with the 1954 science fiction feature Gog. What a bore that was, sure it had some interesting ideas, but I had no interest in writing about it. So, last night I went back to the well and stumbled across Killing Car. It had a release date of 1993 and had some interesting cover art. As I pressed play, I had absolutely no idea what I was in for. Some would probably say I struck out again.

March 26, 2015

The Love of Horror Conventions is Under Attack... or something.

There has been a lot going around on Facebook of late concerning the rising costs of conventions. This is nothing new, but a firestorm was kicked up by a picture someone took of the price list for an actress on a currently hot television show. I am sure you all know who I am talking about and the show I am talking about. . The picture was taken at the recent Horrorhound convention and I cannot really say I am against the trouble or brewed up. Seriously, it was a cash grab taking advantage of fans and nothing less. I would have walked away too.

March 24, 2015

A Tale of Two Movies: The Gunman/Run All Night

The other day I went to the movies and saw a pair of recently released action films. The first one I saw was really bad, the second one, fortunately, was really good. It made me take pause and wonder about why there was the chasm between them in terms of their quality. They both had competent directors and cast that has seen success. The difference in their relative effectiveness was pretty stark. I did find that a lot of it came down to emotional involvement, an element I have found to really want in recent years, not always, but more often than not. I also wondered if the filmmakers stopped o watch the finish product before unleashing it.

March 23, 2015

Horror Legacy: Freddy vs Jigsaw

During the build up to the last Monster Mania, I had a few conversations about Tobin Bell's legacy. This was not really a jab at Tobin Bell's ability, it came up when I had him on my “maybe” list for meeting at the convention. He was a maybe for me based on what I was assuming his cost was going to be versus what I felt it would be worth. It was an interesting conversation as we discussed the idea of autograph/meet and greet value to those who perceive the performer in different lights.

March 22, 2015

News: Hudson Horror Show #11 is Coming!

If you know me, you know how much Hudson Horror Show means to me. It is not something I can easily explain, and also something that has grown over the course of the group's ten shows over the past five years. I think what really struck it home for me was how I felt when they almost folded following the loss of their venue after their eigth show. Fortunately, the venue was saved allowing them to continue playing host to the movie marathon. This led directly to the success of their return show this past August, and only built throught the tenth show (which sold out in 4 days). With a their 11th show fast approaching, you will not want to be left out in the cold.

Movie Reviews: Divergent/Insurgent

It was just about a year ago that a little movie called Divergent hit the screens. At the time I took a pass on it, as it looked a lot like all the other young adult adaptations that have been hitting the screen. Frankly, I just was not interested as they all seem to pale in comparison to The Hunger Games, which seems to have nailed to format in a worthy and entertaining fashion. I felt vindicated in my decision to skip it when I faltered and saw The Maze Runner, which attempted to hide narrative deficiency in fast moving action. The the trailer for Insurgent arrived, and I felt my resolve slip.

March 18, 2015

Convention Experience: If it's March, it Must be Monster Mania XXX

It is that time of year again, when I start going to conventions and the big one to kick off the season for me is Monster Mania. Ever since I found out about the con and started going back in 2011, I have been hooked. Each successive edition seems to get better and better. It is not just about meeting the celebrity guests, or autographs, or finding cool stuff to buy in the vendor rooms. More and more it is becoming about the family, the friends, the fun. Seriously, each one is more fun than the last. Plus, it is the only convention I can go a full weekend at.

March 10, 2015

Movie Review: Unfinished Business (2015)

Do you ever watch a comedy and wonder where the funny was? Of course you have, probably many times. Well, add Unfinished Business to the mix. The latest Vince Vaughn "comedy" has landed with a thud. Now, I cannot speak for you, but when I saw it, there was very little to even let out a chuckle to. It just played out like a limp noodle. There was no life, no spark, nothing to be interested in. Of course, you probably know that already and it is my fault for going to see it in the first place. I should have known better.

March 8, 2015

Movie Review: Chappie

Neill Blomkamp has returned with his third feature, and hoping for a return to form. He burst onto the scene in 2009 with District 9. It came out of nowhere and gave us a great science fiction film. From there he gave us 2013's Elysium, which is not well thought of. I liked it when I first saw it, but it really is something of a mixed bag, even Blomkamp has recently come out and apologized for the missteps. I went in to Chappie hoping that it would be a return to form, something to start building faith for his recently announced Alien project. What I found was not great, but not terrible either.

March 7, 2015

Casting Stones: Cannibal Holocaust becomes Muppet Holocaust

So, the other day I was driving to work and for some reason my mind wandered upon what it might be like if Cannibal Holocaust was recast with Muppets. Yes, you read that right. We have seen them in A Christmas Carol and Treasure Island, why not one of the most notorious horror films ever made? A movie that has so captured peoples minds that it continues to disturb folks to this day. Some of the ideas changed between those drive time thoughts and now, and it does not work perfectly, but below you will see the casting changes I would make to bring some puppetry into the mix.

March 5, 2015

A Revisitation: Saw

So, the other night I decided to revisit the original Saw. I was curious to see how it held up of if my opinion of it had changed. Now, I never officially reviewed it on its original release, and I am not reviewing it now, but I thought i would reflect on it a little bit now that my memory is refreshed. The movie, and series in general, has become something of a lightning rod in terms of mainstream horror and can sort of be looked at as a more current counterpart to the Friday the 13th films from the 1980's. You can see that, right?

March 3, 2015

Movie Review: The Lazarus Effect

Some movies are better in concept than they are in execution. The Lazarus Effect is one of those movies. It sort of races along from point to point, never pausing to catch its breath or to even tell a solid story. Running a scant 83 minutes (including credits), it just hurries along its merry way, happy to simply try and make you jump. At the same time, it is a movie that does a better job of reminding me of better movies than trying to be a good movie itself. To that end, I really do not have a strong desire to spend a lot time on it. Just remember that you would be better off taking a pass on this one.

Movie Review: Focus (2015)

Do you ever watch a movie and wonder just what the point is? I have. The most recent example of this sadly all too common phenomenon is Focus. It is a movie about con men and thieves and the focus needed to excel at this sneaky profession. Now, for a movie called Focus, it is surprisingly not. Yes, that's right, Focus is unfocused. It is a movie that just seems to sit there, not wanting to do much more than give Will Smith a starring role and try to convince us that Margot Robbie is the next big thing. I don't know, the movie failed to do much of anything for me and when it was over, I was happy for it.

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?