Saturday, February 28, 2015

I Am Legend: Book Review


10/10

"Come out Neville,"(Matheson 5). 

A little over a week ago, I reviewed the film "The Last Man on The Earth," and it was the first of many movies to be inspired by I Am Legend. This 1954 classic tells the story of a man named Robert Neville's years of survival in a mid 1970's vampire apocalypse.  The book really gives everything a reader could possibly want including; extremely emotional scenes, an interesting plot, beautiful writing by author Richard Matheson, and a feeling of authenticity that is very rare in the genre. 

As the novel begins, we meet Robert Neville, and he is a loner in the society.  A plague has taken over, and everyone that had once surrounded him became vampires.  Robert has taken matters into his own hands, and he spends his days hunting the monsters, and researching to find out more about how they exist.  Throughout the entire novel, the reader sees Robert's personal battles in his life, and many events that really change his outlook on the world. 

The first thing that this book did very well was the characterization of Robert Neville, because he is the ultimate antihero.  As a person, he has so many demons in his life, whether they are depression or alcoholism.  Along with portraying this problems in his life, we also get a glimpse of him battling them so he can be free.  One of the main battles that Robert has is trying to forget the past, because he knows that remembering the bad events really makes his depression worse.  A really awesome line that was written to show that the past can't be forgotten was, "And he’d thought the past was dead. How long did it take for a past to die,"(83).  This line really haunted me when I read it, because it almost made it seem like Neville would never be able to escape the hell that he was in.  It was absolutely perfect to have the character like this, because it makes the storyline so much more realistic and gritty.  Even though Neville has this dark side, one also sees a very soft and insecure man later in the novel. It is shown that he really just wanted someone or something to be with him in these hard times. As a result, the two times this happens for him really mark a huge change in his personality. 

The first time that we get to see a love come into Robert's life is his relationship with the dog he finds.  The entire chapter 13 is absolutely brilliant, because it goes from the animal running away from Robert to their very close but short friendship.  The line that really hit me the hardest in this part was right before the end of the puppy's life, and Matheson wrote, "The dog looked up at him with its dulled, sick eyes and then its tongue faltered out and licked roughly and moistly across the palm of Neville’s hand. Something broke in Neville’s throat. He sat there silently while tears ran slowly down his cheeks,"(60).  This quote showed how much Robert really loved the dog, and how the entire situation was just terrible for him.  Honestly for myself, this was one of the saddest scenes, because the dog was innocent, and really loved Robert too, but was ruined by the sickness. 

The second time this happens to Robert is with a woman named Ruth. The addition of Ruth as a character was absolutely essential for the book, because she really marked the point of where Robert could get rid of his darknesses, because he was so in love with her.  Even though he started off not trusting her at all, his thoughts end up trading to the point where he never wants her to leave him. You can really tell this by his coddling nature that he began to have, because the only thing he had on his mind was protecting her. 

The next thing that I really liked about this novel was Matheson's writing style. His way of words is very simple, yet beautiful and full of imagery at the same time.  Never before have I ever felt like I was watching a movie while reading more than in this experience. Whether it is the sounds he talks about, or the movements being made, everything is crystal clear for the mind, and it makes things so much more enjoyable for the audience. 

Something that made this book stand out from many others in the vampire genre is that the main character Neville reveals many facts about the mutants from extensive research he did on them during the novel.  He gives hypothesizes about garlic, crosses, and how the humans become vampires in the first place. I really found this to be intriguing, because it filled in every hole that could possibly been left open, and it made the possibility of vampires going around in real life so much more convincing. 

As I read through the story, I really saw that Matheson was trying to make a criticism of society at the time.  He did this with many lines showing how brutal of a civilization we had become. The first quote that really showed this was, "Such thoughts were a hideous testimony to the world he had accepted; a world in which murder was easier than hope,"(77). This line put chills through my whole body, because it is really so true to how a lot of people are in our world. Everything can be done with peace, yet so many people use murder as an easy way out, and they don't even think of the consequences they will face for it.  The second quote that blatantly displayed this was, "He tried to believe that the men were forced into what they were doing, but shock brought terrible doubt,"(88). This one was also disturbingly true, because in our world we really do have the crazy people that take pleasure in killing, in their own free world.  I think it was a great idea that Matheson brought these themes into the story, because rather than just being a scifi-horror novel, there is also a lot of reality in it too. 

The ending of the novel really gave everything that a reader could want, and it didn't leave anything hanging at all. It was very sad, yet triumphant at the same time.  I honestly had to fight back tears as I read, because it hit every vulnerability that a person could have, and it was just done so perfectly.  Personally, I see it to be one of the greatest book endings in our history. 

Every fan of literature should read this book, because it will work for everyone regardless of genre.  It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, and it will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time. This was definitely the finest piece of literature I have read thus far, and it cannot be missed. 

                                                                   
                                                                Work Cited

Matheson, Richard. I Am Legend. New York: ORB, 1995. Print.









Friday, February 27, 2015

RIP Leonard Nimoy...


Image: http://fantasticocomic.com/tienda/blogE/1433

Today marked the sad death of iconic actor Leonard Nimoy. He was 83 years old. Nimoy will be remembered as one of the most famous actors in scifi and horror, especially for his character of Spock in "Star Trek," and for his many movies like "Them."  RIP Leonard, you will be missed. 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

American Horror Story Actor Dies At Age 34


Image

http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/tv/2015/02/23/american-horror-story-actor-ben-woolf-dies-after-accident/23914399/

Very sad news has hit our country with the revelation that actor Benjamin Woolf has died in a freak accident. Woolf had been struck in the head by the side view mirror of a car, and died from the trauma at age 34.  Best known as the character Meep on "American Horror Story," Ben will be missed by the nation very much. I really give best regards to his family and friends, because this is a tragic and saddening event.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Addams Family(The Musical)


9/10

Last night, I got to experience three hours of the funniest macabre I've ever seen.  "The Addams Family" is a new musical that has been released, and it recreates the classic 60's horror comedy for our time.  I have honestly never laughed harder in my entire life, because it was the highest quality musical ever. 

The first thing that I really liked about the show was the gags that took place. There were so many references to pop culture, and also many horror related subjects(hence why I put this review on my site).  There were times of physical humor also, and moments of innuendo laden hilariousness. I swear I left with all of my ribs broken from laughing so hard. 

The next thing that really made the show was the casting. Every single member really reincarnated the characters America grew to love almost perfectly.  Gomez was still suave, yet easily seducted, and Morticia was the perfect seductress.  Wednesday was still very dark, even though we saw her soft side because the love of her life. Pugsly was absolutely hilarious in his role, because he was so devious, only for what he thought was right. Out of everyone though, my favorite character was Uncle Fester.  He gave 90% of the musical's comic relief, and his loud, obnoxious, yet sweet personality was replicated perfectly.  Everyone really made me feel a lot of relief, because I got close to the same feeling that people in 60's must've felt when they saw the characters for the first time. 

The music in this show was absolutely exquisite. There were songs from every genre, because some really rocked, and some had the groove of a showtune.  They were honestly so much more amazing then I could've ever imagined, because I originally thought it would be the weakest link of the show. Along with just the shows themselves, every vocalist and member of the orchestra was so talented, and they blew my mind on many occasions. 

There were two complaints I had in the show. The first was that the "Addams Family Theme Song" was never sung. I felt this as a punch to the face, because the music started, and I was so ready to sing along, but it never happened. The second thing that bugged me was that Lurch never said "you rang." Being this may be the most notorious part of the whole TV show, I thought it would be in the musical for sure, but I was wrong, and that sucked big time. 

Overall, I enjoyed this show more than I can even express.  It made me so happy from start to finish, and there wasn't a moment I didn't like. If this musical comes to your town, then I highly recommend going to it, because it is an experience that can't be missed.  

The Pyx Review


6/10

Does anyone truly know the full story of a death?  Was it murder?  Or suicide maybe? This 1973 horror film vaguely raises this question, as we see the story of a troubled girl named Elizabeth's untimely passing.  This movie was good in my book, because of a very interesting storyline and great cast. 

The movie begins with a big city night.  The street lights fill the dark skies, and cars cruise slowly on the asphalt.  One particular driver is soon scarred by the tragic falling of a girl from her building's window. It makes very little sense of why this happened, and what actually happened to be frank. Soon after, the viewer gets to witness the investigation at the scene of the death. People are crying from this horrid event, and there are cops everywhere.  I think this intro scene was very well done, because it was very real, and it was extremely interesting. 

One of the cool things about this movie is how it goes back and forth between after the death, and the events leading up to it. This was much more interesting than the movie just having investigators find stuff out the whole time, because it gave us a chance to do the work ourselves. It also gives us the chance to have a better look of who this girl Elizabeth really was.  We saw her personality, her demons, and her daily life.  This helps us have sympathy for her, instead of just seeing her as the dead chick. 

Another thing that I liked quite a bit was the acting.  Karen Black was exquisite in the role of "Elizabeth Lucy" because she had so many faces to her.  At some moments, she was seductive with her fiery grace, and at others she could experience a complete mental breakdown.  It was amazing to me that she could have so much diversity in her acting, because it made the character so much more authentic.  Both Christopher Plummer and Donald Pilon were fantastic in the roles of the detectives, because they had a lot of toughness to them, and a real lack of sympathy for anyone.  This really got portrayed well, because both men did a great job of being stoic for a lot of the time.

The movie is very slow moving for a lot of the time, and at a few points it gets a little too dry. The one thing that makes up for this is the gritty realism of life portrayed. There is the horrors of drug addiction, prostitution, struggles of homosexuals and crime, which were all done very authentically.  This makes the movie more than a horror movie, but also a criticism of the problems in our society.  So basically, a good thing came from a possible weakness, and broadened the horizon of the movie's artistry greatly. 

"The Pyx" uses a very religious motif, and there was really a big clash between the very catholic people in some parts, and the satanists in others.  I feel that Elizabeth's character has a little bit of catholic symbolism to her, because even though she had many many bad things that she was responsible for, she tried to keep her praying and religious faith too. This made me think of Mary Magdalene a little bit, and this made her character all the more likable.  There were also scenes that took place in a convent and churches, which showed the love for Catholicism even more. As the film grows closer and closer to its climax, the whole cult and satan aspect begins to come in, which makes the feeling of a horror movie come in. I think this mix in faith makes things much more interesting than one or the other, because it gives an onscreen comparison of how much more peaceful the Christian religion is. 

The climax of the movie is very freaky.  Elizabeth is lured to a cult meeting, and we finally get to see exactly what happened. The nature of the movie becomes much more evil, and the darkness is absolutely insane. There are chants from a choir in the background, and the grainy filming makes things so raw and messed up. You can really tell that these people in the group are absolutely soulless.  They seem to have not one ounce of happiness in them, or mercy either.  The only problem with these scenes leading up to the end is that, even though there are details revealed on the death of Elizabeth, nothing too exciting really happens. I feel that any movie with a satanic undertone has the complete capability of being insane.  This one didn't do this though, and while it ended well, I just wish more thought had been put into it. 

Overall, there are many interesting factors to this film, and while it wasn't anything too great, it was still enjoyable enough to recommend a viewing to others. Be prepared for a slow moving and long movie, but also get ready for some great acting, and a gritty portrayal of a troubled life that you don't see too often.  All horror fans should give this movie a chance, and whether you like it or not is your choice, because it is extremely different and not for everyone. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dire Wolf Review



7/10

Werewolves are nothing new to the horror genre, but how about dire wolves?  This movie brings the subject right to your home in a way I have never seen before. "Dire Wolf"(aka "Dino Wolf") tells the story of a genetic mutation gone bad, and it does it in brutal ways that would not be expected. While this film is quite obscure, and it didn't get the best reviews by most critics and viewers, I enjoyed the movie a lot for it's fun and gory antics. 

The movie begins in a lab, where a woman and security guard are working. As the security guard named Ed walks around, he is devoured by a genetically mutated creature that got loose. This monster is half human, and half dire wolf, and it is horrifying and brutal as can be. The wolf then kills the girl that was working too, and the intro credits kick in. While this scene was very predictable, it was still really cool, and quite brutal to be honest. 

As the next scenes comes in, we meet Sheriff Parker, and his foster son/warden Jim Martin. The two talk of things in the town, including a vandalizing of the station. Both of these characters were likable enough, and the rest of the people in the bar vary a lot, which makes a realistic feel to the atmosphere.


The first thing that I really really liked about the movie was that most of it was done practically. The wolf was a man in a suit, and while many people would think this is cheesy, I personally love it, because it means no stupid CGI. I truly respect the filmmakers for doing this so much, because it gives a very vintage feel to it.  The gore is also done with authentic effects, and it is absolutely insane. Blood flies everywhere, and the wolf literally takes the guts out of people on screen. This is definitely one of the goriest horror movies I have ever seen, and it was done very well.  

The acting in this film has quite a range from good to horrible. Maxwell Caulfield does a great job in the role of Sheriff Parker because he is very tough, and kind of reminds me of a Bruce Willis performance. Blake Cooper Griffin was also great as Jim, because he was the most likable actor, and causes a lot of sympathy for his character. Gil Gerard(actor that played Buck Rodgers) was very hard in the role of Col. Hendry, and he made it very believable that he was a though military man. I felt that the least talented actors in the movie were Kimberly Horner as Amber, and all of the actors playing the scientists. It was very easy to tell that they spoke right from the script, and they gave very cheesy performances.  Luckily, being the movie is a B-Movie, these cast members can get away with this, as they are still enjoyable either way. 

I think that the fact that the movie brings prehistoric elements with the topic of "dire wolf" is cool, because it gives an original twist to the werewolf genre. It also made the film have some touch with science, and made it a little more complex than the normal horror film. 

A lot of the B-Movies of the 2000's tended to be very dumb and boring, but this one was an exception. Watching it, I actually got a little bit of the feel of the old movies I really love. A lot of it came from the very tense yet melodramatic dialogue, the cheesy scenes of the science lab, and just the entire tone of the film. While many people have seen this as a flaw because of its low quality, I see it as a virtue. Sometimes when I watch a horror movie, it's really fun to get a good laugh, and this one did that perfectly for me.

The plot twist at the end of the movie was extremely bizarre, and I was not expecting it at all. While its a little absurd and threw the movie off, I feel that it gave a good enough originality to set the movie apart from others. 

Overall, this movie is really really enjoyable. I would never try to make it out as a masterpiece in any sort, but it is a gory, disturbing, and often hilarious movie that I could watch again and again.  While there are many flaws, there is not a minute I was bored at all. Definitely check this movie out, because it isn't one to miss. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

House on Haunted Hill Review



8/10 

In 1959, a horror masterpiece was made. "House on Haunted Hill" was a surprise hit with critics and fans alike.  Vincent Price was shot even further into stardom, and was now at legendary status. This movie has been applauded for decades for its balance in silliness and creepiness, and it still tends to be one of my favorite classics. 

The movie starts off very chillingly, as screams fill the air, and strange noises and laughs respond.  We are then shown the head of a man named Watson Prichard.  He tells of the house that he owns, and that it is actually haunted.  Immediately after, Frederick Loren comes onto the screen, and tells us of the challenge he has constructed for a party at this house(which he rented).  If people stay in the house for 12 hours, then he will give 10,000 dollars to each one of them(or their next in kin if they don't survive.  After this, the guests of the party come to the house, and we are introduced to each one of them, and their motives for coming.  I really like all of this scene, because while it could be deemed cheesy, I find it very innovative, and it helps the character development move very quickly. 

As all the members enter the house, they begin to talk about how nervous they are. Watson makes things even worse by telling of murders and such.  The only thing that is keeping them in the house is their desperate greed. I really like this a lot, because it is almost a statement on the society in the way that people will do anything for money.  Frederick than introduces himself to everybody, and he spooks them all with talk of ghosts.  In the remainder of the film, spooky things happen to every single guest, and they soon figure out that coming to this house was the worst decision they had ever made...

One of the things I noticed while watching this movie was that it was the absolute innovator of its type of film. There are so many scenes in the haunted house that have been repeated so many times, and it blows my mind. There were also some truly gruesome moments that wouldn't have been mainstream in these early times of American cinema.  A great example of this was when the bloodied and decapitated face was shown in the old chest. 

The next thing that impressed me was the casting.  For starters, I don't think anyone could've done the role of Frederick better than Vincent Price. He had the perfect darkness and evil nature to him, and he could do it all with a smile on his face. It really amazes me how effortless he was in performing, because it comes off as his natural self.  He also had the most amazing voice for a horror actor, because it was so booming and haunting that he was almost like a ghost.  All of these traits really worked, because his character is such a mysterious and disturbing man. Even though he comes off as very hospitable, he has so many demons, and there is a huge possibility that he is a murderer.  So while it was a safe choice to use Price, I really was so happy to see him. Carol Ohmart was also awesome in the role of Annabelle, because as the wife of Frederick, she is very dark and almost soulless. She tries to get sympathy from the others, but in the end, we know she is shallow, greedy, and just plain rotten.   Carolyn Craig was the last standout in my opinion, because she proved herself to be one of the first "scream queens" in horror cinema. In her role of Nora Manning, she gives cries of fear that are so piercing, that they could stab through iron. 

While the movie isn't scary at all, there are a lot of ways that things stayed suspenseful. The first factor that really helped this was the plot twists. Even on my second viewing of the film, I was surprised by what happened. This is truly amazing, and it is one of the least predictable films I've ever seen.  The next thing that really helped the creepiness was the effects. One of the scenes that does this in particular was the skeleton scenes, because even though they are extremely fake, it's still chilling at the same time. 

The ending scenes of the movie really pleased me a lot. Rather than just the revelation of the mystery, even crazier twists happen. I was actually quite shocked, and it was completely awesome. To make things even better, the last thing before the exit is Vincent Price's evil laugh. This was cool, because it showed that Frederick got the best of everybody, and he had a successful night. 

Overall, I enjoyed this movie a lot. It doesn't beat "The Last Man On Earth" for me in terms of Vincent Price films, but it is still a heck of a lot of fun. It was a very innovative, and at times creepy movie, and it was definitely one of his best performances. Any fans of cinema should see this, because it was a landmark movie in our culture. 



Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Last Man On Earth Review



9/10

Vincent Price has been proclaimed as one of the heroes in the horror genre. He was known for his dark yet witty personality, and he made some of the most famous movies of all time.  This 1964 film was actually known by many as his best work, and it has been remade twice("The Omega Man" and "I Am Legend"). 

The movie begins with showing the world as a ghost town. Buildings are destroyed, and there are no people in sight. Then we meet the last man on earth; Dr Robert Morgan.  Morgan wakes out of his bed, gets his weapons, and begins to hunt vampires.  I absolutely love this beginning, because it sets the viewer up for a lot of tensity. It also introduces the narration by Price.  This was a genius idea in my opinion, because if Robert actually talked to the viewer in the movie, he'd look really stupid, because it would make him be talking to himself.  The narration gives the vibe that the words are really his thoughts, and this was extremely effective. 

The first thing that I found really great about this film was the flashback sequences with Robert's wife and daughter. The reason I like this a lot is that we see how important they were to his life. Even though the world had been going down hill, he still had the people he loved, and could still function because of this. When they became ill and passed, he had nothing left in the world, and life didn't even matter anymore. I think this was a great move for the character development of Morgan's character, because it helps explain his hard and near insane personality. 

Personally, I don't think there could've been anyone better than Vincent Price for the role of Robert Morgan.  The character really needed a tough man that could shift emotions very well, whether he was dark, happy, sad, or powerful. Every one of these qualities were possessed by this amazing actor.  I feel that one of the scenes that shows this best was when he watched the home movies of his family. At first he watched with a straight face, but then he began to laugh crazily, and finally he broke down and cried like a baby.  While other actors could perform this scene, there really wasn't anyone that could pull it off so genuinely. 

One of the things that surprised me with this film was how true "I Am Legend" stayed to it. While they were very different films in nature, there were certain plot points that were in both movies.  One of the biggest giveaways in this is the relationship that Morgan has with his dog. This canine is just about the only thing that Robert has left in the world, and he loves it dearly.  Then the heartbreak comes for him when he has to kill the puppy because it is too infected with the bacteria that causes creature to become vampires.  What truly blew my mind was when Robert repeatedly said "Everything's gonna be alright."  The significance in this is apparent if the viewer has also seen "I Am Legend," because the theme song of the movie is "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley, which utters those same exact words. I found this to be truly amazing, because it showed the intricate brilliance of the more recent movie. 

The loneliness of Robert is soon ceased when a young girl named Ruth comes along.  Ruth has been infected by this bacteria, but she has a vaccine that takes away the symptoms. The actress in the role Franca Bettoia was absolutely stellar in the movie, because she had such a great way of showcasing the emotions needed for the role.  She could've been considered melodramatic for her performance, but in this character, this was absolutely necessary because of all of the strife she had gone through. 

Something that puzzled me about this film was the fact that the infected humans were classified as "vampires." While this wasn't terrible, it doesn't make much logical sense. First off, there are never any fangs shown at all.  The second thing is that none of these creatures are seen to have a blood lust, but a love for human flesh. The last thing that bugged me about this was that they walk very slow, and there appearance was somewhat decayed. All of these factors really lead me to believe that "zombie" is a much more appropriate title for these sad life forms.  So while this doesn't take away from my enjoyment of the film, I found it quite confusing, and I wish the filmmakers had been more careful with this.  

Honestly the ending of this film may be one of the best(if not the best) in any genre. It has the action, the emotion, and the most powerful monologue I have ever heard.  I was so mindblown by this last ten minutes, and it gave me a feeling of awe that has never shown up unless I was watching the end of the original "Planet of the Apes."  To be frank, any flaws that had dragged down the rest of the film were made up by this, because it set the whole tone of why this movie was made. 

While this may not be the gruesome horror flick a lot of people look for, this movie has a lot more to it than most.  There is a power behind it that makes the viewer become engrossed, and it is one of the most subtly brilliant movies ever made.  I highly recommend it to any fans of horror, scifi, or classic cinema in general, because it is a piece of art that cannot be missed.   





Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Great Blog To Check Out

Hi everybody, 

You should check out http://horrorgen.blogspot.com. It is a new blog run by my good friend Jackson, and it has reviews to horror movies. He is a very quick reviewer, and gets right to the point. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Another Kind Review


1/10

Are you afraid of being in the woods?  The characters in this 2013 indie film weren't, and that was something that would change very soon.  "Another Kind" tells the story of a hiking trip gone bad, because of the unpreparedness of the travelers. This movie was dumb, boring, and a complete "Blair Witch Project" wannabe, and it's not worth anyone's free time.  

The movie starts off with a man running away in the woods from something unknown.  It is very dark outside, and there is a lot of terror being set off. Then suddenly, the screen blacks out, and the movie takes us back four days earlier. While this idea isn't exactly original, I think it worked for sure, and made me wonder what was happening. 

As the movie continues, we meet the other teenagers in the group. They're preparing for a hiking trip, and they are not nearly as prepared as they should be.  They find a spot in the woods to stay in, and they pitch their tents. As their trip proceeds, their fears and paranoia start to come out, and a long experience begins. 

So here's the deal with this movie..... It had so much potential to be awesome, but it passed every possible opportunity.  This film could've been a frightening encounter about the hell of being in the snow and freezing to death.  There was times where it almost went in that direction, but then it just decided to bore me with stupid melodramatic dialogue from the film's main couple Nate and Laura.  There was absolutely no terror, no grit, and nothing to even care about at all. Basically it's 76 minutes of wasted time.  Then they tried to do a plot twist at the end to redeem the boring qualities of everything else, but it was completely stupid and unrealistic. 

Please do not watch this movie. It was literally one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. This was an unoriginal, boring, and absurd movie that deserves no merits at all.  Life is way to short to waste this hour that you will never get back.  


Prom Night II: Hello Mary Lou Review


8/10

The 1980 film "Prom Night" had been a big success in the box office, and it set a tone for the slasher genre.  It soared Jamie Lee Curtis even farther into stardom, and was personally one if my favorites starring her.  This 1987 sequel took the series into a different direction, the paranormal...  It honestly has next to nothing with the original, yet it has still become a hit.  

The movie starts by introducing us to a character named Mary Lou Maloney.  The year is 1957, and this teenage girl confesses her grave sins to a priest.  As the penance is about to begin, she says she loved every minute of the wrongdoings, and leaves.  The film then goes to Mary's prom, where she is hails prom queen.  Her angry and jealous boyfriend Billy is angered by the fact that she is going to be heading home with another man that she likes more. Out of revenge, he decides to throw a stink bomb down on the stage by Mary.  An accident occurs, and the bomb sets fire of the poor girl. I found this beginning quite interesting, and while I think that the nature of Malone's death was a little absurd, it was still a good foreshadowing for the future plot of the movie. 

A jump forward to present time takes place, and we meet Vicki Carpenter.  Vicki is a high school student, and she has just been asked to prom by her boyfriend. We also see that the principal of this high school is Billy. I like this a lot, because it gives the allowance of seeing him be haunted by the death of Mary.  

One of the problems with the film is that after the intro, there is about twenty minutes of absolute trash. The scenes are melodramatic, and they completely turned me off for some time. I thought that this movie was going to be terrible overall because of this, and I really wish that they would've been a little more careful. 

Things start to get weird as small occurrences happen around the school. Items fly around, and Vicki gets the feeling that something is wrong.  This is proven when her good friend Jess is hung by something that can't be seen.  While everyone called the death a suicide, Vicki knows this isn't true. She doesn't know exactly what is happening, but begins to get a feeling that Mary Lou has something to do with it. 

A point I'd like to emphasize is that no matter how enjoyable this movie is, it should have never been called "Prom Night 2." Originally, it was called "The Haunting of Hamilton High," but Alliance Films chose to rename it so they could feed off the success of the original.  This scam was a really dumb idea, because this movie has ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with the 1980 film.  I think that in naming the film as they did, it mislead people, which led to disappointment. While I still like the movie, I was quite ticked off about this.

One of the things that I really liked about this movie was the supernatural/ paranormal scenes.  Everything was done very practically, and they were a lot of fun.  One of my personal favorite parts was when Vicki got pulled into the chalkboard.  It really showcased good special effects, and while it wasn't scary, it was still intense.  I also love the way that Mary Lou really took over Vicki.  A girl that was once innocent became a promiscuous and evil girl, and she became vulgar and disgusting. I think this was a clever plot twist, because it made the movie extremely bizarre and memorable. 

Another thing that I noticed in the movie is that it made many references to horror movies like "Carrie" and "The Exorcist." I found this cool, because it gave a nostalgic feeling while I watched the movie, and it showed that the filmmakers had a real love for the genre. Some examples I saw this in were the emphasis of the locker room(Carrie), the use of telekinetic powers to harm people(Carrie), the increase in meanness(the Exorcist), the increase of erotic needs(Exorcist), the head spin(Exorcist),  etc.  

I thought that the cast in the movie was fair enough. Wendy Lyon was an obvious favorite in the role of Vicki, because she really showed a lot of depth in her skills. She started off as a modest and shy girl, but turned into a complete train wreck because of her possession, and every moment was completely convincing.  Michael Ironside was pretty cool as Billy, because he showed a lot of emotional distress as a result of Mary Lou.  Richard Monette gave one heck of a performance as Father Cooper.  The moment that I really saw his greatness was right after he heard possessed Vicki tell her sins. You could sense his anguish because of the deathly look on his face, and he didn't have to say anything at all.  The rest of the supporting cast was mediocre to good, because they did nothing super impressing, but they kept the film alive with their likable nature, or sometimes jerky personalities.

The scenes at prom were actually a little bit of an improvement from the first movie, because they are much less dated. There is a more hip feel to the dance, and the music is still somewhat relatable. I also feel that the style of the dance is more like now, because it was like a party rather than just dancing the whole time. 

The ending of the movie was absolutely phenomenal. I almost saw it as a little reference to "A Nightmare On Elm Street," because it was thought that everything was fine, but then something completely spontaneous happens and leaves you completely puzzled. This was the perfect ending, and I think it was even better than the closing to the original movie. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this film a lot. While it was flawed at parts, it was an adrenaline driving piece of chaos that really served the decade well.  I almost feel that while "Prom Night" was superior in its filmmaking, this one was equally(if not more) enjoyable. I highly recommend this movie to all fans of horror, because it is a obscure treat that is not to be missed. 




Sunday, February 15, 2015

Salvage Review


9/10

As you have all figured out by now, I really like the old horror movies.  When I get into newer ones, a lot of the time, they are independent films.  The reason for this is that they often have a much more authentic feel, and don't worry about following the stupid mainstream formulas of Hollywood.  This 2006 flick is an example of this category, and it was actually featured at the Sundance Film Festival of that year.  

The movie starts off very well with a menacing introduction. We meet a teenage girl named Claire, and she is waiting for her boyfriend to pick her up from work.  Soon after, the boy Jimmy's truck comes by, but he isn't driving it.  A man named Duke proceeds to tell her that he is Jimmy's friend.  Duke takes her home, and then breaks into the house and kills her.  I was very engrossed by this scene, because it was very quick and unexpected, and the killing was quite brutal. 

It is later seen that this whole occurrence was only a dream, and Claire wakes up at work.  She then leaves, and Jimmy is there to pick her up.  She proceeds to tell him about the dream, and he basically makes a joke out of it. Regardless of this, Claire is still scared as can be, and she keeps on having visions of the psycho.  I really find this interesting, because instead of just flashbacks, they show what happens after the killing, and how Duke is on the run. I have never seen anything like this before, and it is one of the coolest plot ideas ever. 

As the movie goes on, more details of this man are given, and we actually see more encounters between him and Claire. In her mind and ours, this can't be real, yet it really does look like it. I love how the movie plays games with the mind like this, because the many twists in plot keep you going, and it makes it impossible to tell reality from imagination. 

Another thing that really moves this film along is the cast.  While no one gives an Oscar worthy performance, the characters are very realistic, and they make me feel the emotions they're experiencing. Lauren Lewis really shines in the lead role of Claire, because she has such a great way of expressing the terror that she is going through, and she really convinces us of how crazy she is going.  She is also a very likable girl, and makes us have a lot of sympathy for her. Chris Ferry is absolutely terrifying in the role of Duke, because he has such a great way of masking his insanity with a very nice guy personality.  Then when he begins to be violent, you see such an evil and brutal quality in his persona that it's crazy.  Cody Darbe was pleasant enough in the role of Jimmy, and while he doesn't give a whole lot of depth to his acting, I don't see that as bad, because he really didn't need it. 

The violence portrayed in this movie is sick, gory, and very sadistic.  Even though there isn't that many scenes of attacks, the ones that do happen are so memorable that a larger number would've been unnecessary.  The actual murder that took place in Claire's dream was extremely morbid, and it was one of the most painful scenes I have ever had to watch. It was so slow, and the blood curdling nature of it made it all the worse. I also really loved the fact that the gore was not cgi, because it made things feel so much more realistic for me. 

The ending had me very shocked, because the plot twist had grown even more, and just when you think you have the movie figured out, it slaps you in the face with something else before the credits roll. I absolutely loved this, because it kept the surprise alive the whole time.

I really really enjoyed this movie. It was so innovative, and it had me on the edge of my seat the entire time.  I would be nervy enough to call it the "Inception" of the horror genre, because it had me questioning the reality of what was happening every second.  I recommend this movie to any fans of modern horror, because it was certainly one of the best that I have watched in a very long time. 

The Impact I Had From Rewatching Some Movies Today....


I decided today that I had done enough new reviews yesterday, and that today would be a great day to rewatch some movies and write about the experience.  For my two picks, I did "The Hills Have Eyes," which was a film I originally disliked, and "My Bloody Valentine," which I had enjoyed from the first time.  Accomplishing this, I learned that it's extremely important to watch movies multiple times, because there are so many things that get noticed, and it helped me appreciate the films even more. 

The Hills Have Eyes: The first time I watched this movie, I saw it as dry, lifeless, and a lacking entry to my favorite genre.  I never understand why I hated the film, because so many people really expressed a love for it, and I was like an outlier.  While there were still many flaws that I noticed this time, the movie really struck an unexpected chord in my opinion.  I got a certain adrenaline rush unlike my first viewing, and I became very aware of how brutal and awesome the movie really was.  I also got a whole different appreciation for the mutants, because instead of finding them to be stupid in a bad way, I found their buffoonish qualities as a way to make them even creepier.  The main thing that I noticed in this sitting was that this movie is a complete rip off of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."  While this isn't a bad thing, it really does set a high standard for the quality it needed to be. While it didn't reach this level in any sort, it was still a great movie, and I actually changed its grade from 4.5 to 7. 

My Bloody Valentine: There wasn't much of a hesitation about watching this movie today, because I had really liked it the first time.  I'm so glad I revisited it to be honest, because it is such a fun and brutal movie. One of the things I loved ever since my first viewing was the balance between really light hearted scenes and absolutely disturbing parts. It really showed maturity in the filmmaking, because every scene is enjoyable, whether there is a killing or not.  During this second watching, I really began to notice the true extent of how brutal the movie is. There is so much gore in the extended cut, and I feel that it broke even more boundaries than "Friday the 13th" at its time. The other thing that was really cool was the sounds that are made during the murders.  It really adds to the shock effect, because it makes things much more realistic.  Unlike "The Hills Have Eyes," I am not going to change the grade at all, but I am so happy I watched this movie again, because it was a refreshing piece in the slasher genre that was possibly even more enjoyable the second time. 

Overall, I had a great time watching these movies over. It is a great experience, because I got to find a lot of hidden virtues in both films that I did notice the first time.  I also know that I changed my opinion on "The Hills Have Eyes" a lot, and I am not ashamed of this at all.  I am actually extremely happy that I like the movie now, because it is a great one to talk to people about.  If you haven't watched these films, then I highly recommend them both, because they're great additions to the greatest genre ever, and I think that you will enjoy them a lot. 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Cool Podcast To Check Out



Hello all horror fans,

I just wanted to offer a new podcast I've been listening to.  It is called Real Paranormal Activity- The Podcast.  It is run by a man named Aaron Hunter, and he tells many stories that he has encountered about the paranormal. I find this show extremely interesting, because the stories are chillingly real, and they're giving me a much more open mind. Below I will put the link to the Youtube Channel, where you can listen to past episodes. 

Hope you enjoy, 
Ryan Gavalier. 

https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCZ9fqrwsXEgYTvK289funBA

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Ghost Review



8/10

Barbara Steele is literally the queen of Italian horror, and this 1963 classic is another prime example of that point. Directed by Riccardo Freda, the film tells the story of greed, murder, and a revenge that one would have nightmares about. This movie is shocking, gruesome, and a great gem that is overlooked by many. 

As the film begins, we meet Margaret and John Hitchcock.  John is a doctor, and he is bound to his wheelchair. Margaret is having an affair with John's doctor Charles Livingstone, and she wants to get rid of John. Charles is very hesitant, but Margaret convinces him to let her go through with it. Charles then gives John a lethal injection, and he dies.  I really found this scene to be painfully sad, because John really did love Margaret, and he was completely helpless. 

As the film continues, the two lovers try to make the death of John seem as natural as possible, and we then see the will being read.  Charles and Margaret then look for the fortune of John's, but they cannot find it.  Regardless of this, the two of them believe that they're off the hook, but they were very wrong....  Even though these scenes are extremely slow, I could tell that things were really going to get good, because small occurrences started to happen occasionally.  

The actual paranormal scenes are very crazy in my opinion, and even though they're quite simple, I still found a lot of terror in them. The way that John's body comes back and haunts them was just done so well, because he had such a sluggish quality to the way he moved, and his face was cold as ice. I really feel that rather than the hauntings being physical, that the paranoia coming from the guilt of murdering him created these thoughts and images, which made them go crazy. Along with my experience of watching "An American Haunting"(which I already reviewed), I became very enlightened on what the reality of ghosts really is. 

Outside of the parts revolving around paranormal activity, there was some other scenes that contributed to the freakiness of the movie. What really gets to a viewer is the way the cinematography gets close ups of things so they become frightening. One of the greatest examples of this is the scene where Margaret is in the basement, and she sees a bunch of skulls.  The greatest virtue of what the filmmakers did was that after the shots of the skulls, the viewers get to see the reaction of only Steele's eyes, which gives a very raw depiction of fear. 

Another thing that I loved about this film was the cast. To start things off, it stars Barbara Steele, whom is slowly becoming one of my favorite actresses in the horror genre. She gives such a great performance in the sense that she can be very dark, and can give a very convincing portrayal of paranoia.  Peter Baldwin was also great as Charles Livingstone, because he was very stern, and often angry because of the darknesses in his life. "The Ghost" John Hitchcock was portrayed by Elio Jotta, and he was extremely fit for this role. His voice has such a haunting tone to it, and he went from a helpless old man to a powerful source of evil very proficiently. 

The climax of this movie was absolutely INSANE!  I couldn't believe how far things got, and the murder of a main character completely blew my mind.  The way it was done was so perfect too. Instead of just normal gore, the blood actually splattered on the screen, and there was a lot of it. I think it might have been one of the coolest kills in horror history because of its innovative technique, and the brutal emotions that were portrayed. 

The ending of the movie was very masterful and shocking. In these last few minutes, we see what really happened to Dr Hitchcock, and we see the insanity of Margaret hit a peak.  I love how sudden the ending is, because it doesn't add stupid fluff to ruin it.  It brought so many questions to my head, and I think that flow of imagination is the greatest result of a horror movie. 

PLEASE CHECK THIS MOVIE OUT FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. It is such an underrated and amazing movie, and it truly shocked me at many points. While some parts are mildly slow moving, they only do this for the build up, and I promise you that you won't be let down. 

Count Dracula and His Vampire Brides Review


8/10

Hammer Productions was iconic for their Dracula movies starring legend Christopher Lee. This 1973 classic(which was also known as The Satanic Rites of Dracula) was the last movie of the series, and it is definitely one of the most iconic.  It is a very hip and brutal film of its time, and it was quite original. 

The movie starts off showing a cult giving a baptism of chicken blood to a woman. This is a very creepy scene, because you can tell the hell that the girl is going through, and it is very realistic.  We also see a man get shot, and he lives. At the beginning, there is no way of knowing why this happened, but something mysterious is definitely going on. This scene is quite bloody, and it was pretty neat. 

The first thing I noticed about this movie was that it really fell into the formula of a 70's action flick. There was the funky music in the intro, and some of the film reminded me of James Bond.  The problem with this is that it shows a lack of direction in genre. There are the shootouts and chase scenes of action, and the gruesome scenes of horror. While it doesn't ruin the movie for me, it definitely takes away from the scare factor. 

Being the movie is about Dracula, there isn't a whole bunch of surprise of when he is going to kill someone. Whenever the viewer sees him try to kiss a girl, you know she's going to be bloodless.  Regardless of this, the scenes are very well done, and they still have a small amount of freakiness to them.  Christopher Lee is also amazing in the role, because he is extremely dark and larger than life.

The true surprise comes from the fact that many other women turn into vampires, and you never know when they're going to kill. I found the first scene of attacks to be extremely intense and horrifying, and it was one of the best in the genre. 

Another positive of the film was the cast.  Peter Cushing was very cool as Van Helsing, because he was a very dark and tough character, which works perfectly for Cushing.  William Franklyn was cool as Peter, because he was a likable guy, and he showed his weakness for the woman he loved. Freddie a Jones was amazing as always in the role of Julian, because he gave his typical crazy performance, and excelled at it. Michael Coles gave a very stern and tough performance as Inspector Murray, and even though he isn't as big of a name as the others, he was still very talented.  Barbara Yu Ling was piercing as Chin Yang, and she was totally believable as a cult leader. 

The fact that the movie is a satanic flick really gives it an eerie feel. These scenes were done very well, because there was a red lighting in the filming that made it very evil. The music in the background is also very demonic, and the lack of soul in the people makes a realistic effect.  This definitely has one of the best depictions of a cult that I have ever seen. 

The last 10-15 minutes of the movie are absolutely epic. Right when Lee started to get crazy, and his eyes turned red, I knew something crazy was going to happen.  Then all hell broke loose, fire started to burn, things got destroyed, and there was a terror that filled the whole room.  Then in the next moments, there was the final showdown between Van Helsing and Count Dracula. I really find this ending to be one of the most shocking ever, and it made up for any little blemish that filled the rest of the movie. 

Overall, while this movie wasn't perfect, it was still one heck of a movie. It was brutal, shocking, and a lot of fun.  It is also the perfect example of why Christopher Lee is the all time actor in the role of Count Dracula.  I highly recommend it to any fans of the genre, because it is definitely one of the coolest of the 70's.

Nightmare Castle Review



8.5/10

"Nightmare Castle"(aka "The Faceless Monster) is a 1965 Italian gothic film that was directed by Mario Caiano.  It starred horror legend Barbara Steele, and it is one of her most remembered movies. It was extremely shocking for its time, and I found it to be one of the coolest B-Movies ever.

The film starts off showing the unhappy marriage between a scientist named Dr. Steven Arrowsmith and his wife Muriel.  Muriel walks into Stephen's lab as he is working, and he becomes angry with her. The scene then skips forward a little bit, and we see the affair of Muriel and her lover. The two of them seem extremely happy, but then Steven takes them both, and a chain of brutal horrors begin.  I really feel that this beginning was fast moving, and that the supposed build up was almost immediately.  Regardless, these scenes of torture were quite shocking for their time, and there is a surprising amount of bloodshed. 

After the hearts of Muriel and her secret lover are removed from their bodies, Steven marries Jenny, this institutionalized sister of Muriel.  He does this because Muriel's will was only giving to her, and he wanted some of the money.  Jenny tries to be happy in the house of Steven, but she begins to go crazy again because of terrifying nightmares she has.  While this plot line isn't really an original, it truly gives a lot of mystery that really makes the viewer wonder about what is going to happen. 

One of the great positives of the film is the cast. Barbara Steele was truly the real deal in Italian horror films, because she had so much depth in her performances. This is shown to a great extent in this movie, because she plays both Muriel and Jenny. The thing that I really love about this is that she never failed to confuse me as to which character she was acting as.  Paul Muller was also quite amazing, because he was extremely dark, and he gave off the vibe that something was up the entire time.  Laurence Clift was very likable as Dr. Dereck Joyce, because he had the best interest of helping Jenny, and would do anything to help her figure out what is wrong. 

I love this paranormal elements of this story a lot. The taking over of bodies makes one heck of a shock, and I feel that for 1965, it was a pretty innovative plot twist.  All of the actors conveyed these possessions very well, because you almost forget that they aren't themselves, and it's very freaky. After the possessions, the actual bodies even come back, and it is quite amazing how haunting the once peaceful Steele suddenly became.  In fact, the last fifteen minutes of the film created one of the craziest endings ever, because all hell broke loose, and a plethora of outrageous and gory occurrences take place.  This is the absolute perfect climax to a horror movie, and I am utterly impressed in every way. 

I definitely recommend this film to any fan of the classics, because it has the perfect amount of shock value to make you go wild.  While some parts were arguably slow, they really help the build up for complete hell, and they're easy to look past.  There was also great performances by everyone, especially Steele, and it was just one heck of a fun movie. 






Happy Friday the 13th!!!!


I'd like to wish you all a happy Friday the 13th! This is one of three this year.  Today I will most likely watch a few of my favorites in the series. In order of best to worst I see the original series as,

1. Part 4
2. Part 2
3. Part 5
4. Part 9
5. Part 1
6. Freddy Vs Jason
7. Part 8
8. Part 7
9. Part 3
10. Part 6
11. Part 10

What is your order?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Alien Review



9/10

In 1979, Ridley Scott took over the scifi-horror genre forever with his masterpiece "Alien." It has been hailed for decades as one of the darkest movies ever by fans and critics alike, and it has been recognized as one of the best movies of all time.  

The introduction is one of the slowest ever, because it starts with just showing a bunch of astronauts go through their daily routine on the shuttle.  Even though this could've been potentially boring, these scenes are made up for by beautiful cinematography, and hilarious banter by the cast.  This goes on for about 40 minutes, and while I think it could've been condensed a bit, I won't complain because it only adds to the build up. 

After a while, a few of the astronauts go out into an asteroid mine, and they search around with a camera.  On this journey, they find a bunch of eggs that seem to be aliens.  One of the crew members Kane gets too close, and a "Facehugger" shoots right on to him.  This puts him in a coma, and it is found out that the alien is keeping him alive.  While this is still slow, there is a certain increase in the intensity of the film, and I really like it a lot. 

The film then really builds up after they take the alien off of Kane's face, because as he eats food, a shocking event takes place that will never leave my mind. This scene is one of the best parts of any movie, because it is so unexpected, and it has a realism to it that makes it as haunting as it could possibly be. I remember the first time I saw it, because my jaw dropped in terror.  I was about 10 at the time, and I had never seen anything like it, so it has been something special to me since. 

After this scene, the movie goes into full throttle, and the last half of the movie is one of the greatest climaxes ever. Everything becomes claustrophobic and isolated.  There are flashing lights all over the place, smoke shooting across the screen, and many people being attacked and kills.  This film is the perfect example of a great build up, because at first one doesn't expect much, but then it kicks them in the butt so hard that you freak out.  This formula had been used before and after this movie, but I really feel that this is the second most significant(behind "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre"). 

I really feel that the cast keeps the film strong throughout. Every actor had a distinct personality, and they were all likable for some reason.  My personal favorite is definitely Sigourney Weaver as "Ripley."  While being a beautiful girl like many in the genre, she really set herself apart as one of the strongest women protagonists. She was so capable, and this was shown in the outcome.  This was a complete revolution in our world, and I love it. Tom Skerritt was also very likable as "Dallas," because he didn't like conflict with the others, and he was a hero of a sort. His death scenes is one of the saddest, because he knew he was doomed right away. Harry Dean Stanton and Yaphet Kotto were the comic relief of the film, with their heavy sarcasm, and great dialogue. Ian Holm was the darkest actor in the role of Ash, and he gives one of the best performances in film history.  The one actress I didn't like was Veronica Cartwright, because she was very whiny, which caused me to lack any sympathy at all for her. 

Another amazing part of the movie is the sets.  Whether they are on the ship, or out in the mine, every single detail is very precise, and it is so pleasing to the eyes.  This is one of the best examples of why effects and settings were so much better before CGI, because so much care was put into the making, which created a much more impressive outcome. 

While this film has a lot of relevance to the science fiction genre, I really see it as one of the forerunners of the slasher genre.  The first reason for this is that the killer uses sharp objects on its body to kill the astronauts. The goriness and quick shot attacks really give more of a horrific feeling than most alien movies. Also, there was a certain sadistic pleasure that came off as a vibe in the attacks. This is a big giveaway of the slasher influence, because the genre is infamous for the gratified portrayal of violence. The third reason for this is that it fits the "final girl" formula with Sigourney Weaver. This is my main reason for believing it's part of the genre, because the purest of the characters was the one to live. I really love this hybrid of genres, because it doesn't make the simple formula of most slasher films, and it doesn't leave the cheesy feel of scifi.

The aliens that were created are pretty amazing looking too.  The main monster is now notorious for its big head, and black coloring. It's teeth are sharp as a shark, and it has a walk of confidence. My favorite creatures are the "Facehuggers."  There was so much detail put into the parts of its anatomy, and it is the most realistic of all the life forms. It sort of has the stature of a fuse between a jellyfish and porta bella mushroom. I can never be more gracious that the aliens were puppets and costumes, because it feels so much more authentic than special effects. 

As I said before, the last half of the movie is extremely intense, but the ending of as a safe pick in my opinion. It isn't terrible in any standards, but I wish something more sudden happened. All the happy ending did was make us ready for a sequel.  While this worked out well in the long run, I imagine people would've been pretty ticked off during the initial release. 

Overall, this movie is a masterpiece. It used techniques in cinema that have never been topped, and it's just a fun movie. I highly recommend watching it; even if you already have before. I've noticed that I find new things every time I watch it, and it's extremely cool.  Please give this film a chance, because it is an essential part of the 20th century. 


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Some Friday The 13th Disputes I Would Like To Offer My Opinion To.....



As you all know, "Friday the 13th" is one of my favorite horror series ever.  There are many arguments that have come about revolving around the quality of certain films in the franchise, and I would like to say some words about them. 

1. The opinion I've heard- Parts 5 and 9 have little to no scenes with Jason, so they automatically suck.
     My opinion- I don't see the lack of the character as anything of a problem to the films. What many people forget when they say this kind of stuff is that Jason isn't even the villain of the original, yet they'll praise this film like its the greatest thing ever.  While I love part one a lot, I don't see how it is any better than part 5.  I think that the fact that Jason wasn't in these three movies makes a neatness to the series, because it saves us from being bored by the same plot every time.  I also thought that this made a lot of mystery and surprise for the plot, which made me more engaged.  Part 5 was exceptionally significant, because most of the movie I thought Jason was the killer, but then it was found out that he was a copycat killer.  Part 9 was very fresh too, because instead of even having a human villain, the worms were the bad guys, and they caused the people to go after each other.  Even with this, there is still a good twenty minutes with Jason.  So while I respect the argument that people have, I think they really need to open their eyes to the fact that the idea of a different killer wasn't limited to these movies, and it really wasn't as bad as they make it seem. 

2.  The opinion I've heard- "Jason Takes Manhattan" and "Jason Goes To Hell" are the worst films of the series.
     My opinion- While neither of these movies are the greatest installments I have seen, they are both very consistent additions, and they're extremely fun. There are great scenes of gore, likable casts, and great scenes with Jason.  In "Jason Takes," I find the boat setting and the scenes in Manhattan to be very fun, because it's not just another camp movie.  In "Jason Goes to Hell," the cinematography and horror scenes were so well done, and they made it one of the most outrageous part of the series.  In my eyes, the worst movies of the series were "Jason Lives," and "Jason X."  While both had one or two cool scenes, they were both dry, low quality pieces of crap that I had trouble even watching.  "Jason Lives" was way too comedic for its own good, and it made the movie too corny.  "Jason X" had the worst acting or the entire series, and the filming looked terrible.  Neither movies had the spark that made the others fun, and I feel ashamed for even watching them. 

Overall, I did this because I thought that good discussion could come about from it.  These constant arguments have really bugged me, because I never agree, so I thought it would be nice to give an in depth reasoning for my thought process.  Please speak your opinions, because it will add to the fun. 


Saturday, February 7, 2015

Dementia 13 Review



9.5/10

In 1963, Francis Ford Coppola made his debut as a major director with the movie "Dementia 13."  This obscure film was one of the first of its kind, being a forerunner of the slasher genre.  I absolutely love this movie, because of its great horror scenes, awesome direction, and creativity. 

The film starts out with a husband and wife on a boat.  The man John is talking to Louise about how if he dies, then she is out of the family, and will not get anything out of it.  Quite coincidentally, John dies of a heart attack right after this.  Not knowing what to do, Louise throws him right off the boat and pretends that John has went back to New York.  This whole beginning scene is really awesome, because it has such an authentic feel to it.  Elvis Presley plays in the background(in the form of a creaky radio that is on the boat), and there is a lot of realistic portrayals of tensity in it.  The coolest thing is that when Louise throws John into the water, the radio goes with him, and it suddenly starts to malfunction. Such a subtle thing was genius, because it gives a chilling feel to the scene. 

Louise then gets in touch with the family of John, still keeping the fake story going.  Louise is afraid though, because the Halloran family is quite insane as she says.  The first person she gets in touch with is Billy, and he seems to be very normal actually.  He too is scared of the "Castle Halloran," which is where his mother and brother live.  The two of them still go there though, and we then meet Lady Halloran, Richard Halloran, and Richard's girlfriend Kane.  Right off the bat, you can tell there is something very suspicious about the first two, because they have a very dark personality to them. 

The cast in this movie was very well chosen, and the character development is perfect.  The late great Luana Landers was stellar in the role of Louise.  She was one of the most beautiful girls in the business, and she had so much talent too. I love how her character is almost an "anti-hero" of a sort.  Even though we are supposed to be rooting for her, she is quite a rotten person herself.  She lies to the family because her greed, and she shows a lot of darkness in her character.  William Campbell was a very safe pick for Richard Halloran, because all he needs to do is speak to give an aura of terror.  He was also a veteran of the B-movies, so this film was right now his alley.  Bart Patton was cool in the role of Billy Halloran, because he seemed like a genuinely nice guy, but you can tell that he is delusion and insane. While this isn't true to Patton's real life, he does a great job of making it seem like it was genuinely him.  Mary Mitchell was very likable in the role of Kane, because she is sweet, and quite innocent.  She is also absolutely beautiful, and this is used in a way to show Richard's shallow personality. I also really liked Patrick Magee in the role of Dr. Justin Caleb, because he was very stern, and a complete jerk most of the time. 

Being released in 1963, the violence shown was completely shocking. There was some really brutal ax murdering, and while they weren't as graphic as now adays, they had a bite to them like nothing else. The first attack may be one of the coolest scenes ever.  The aggressiveness that comes from every chop really makes things crazy.  I really feel that this was one of the first slasher films, because of the way the kills take place.  You have a mysterious man using axes to butcher helpless people.  Another thing that works in defense for this argument is that most of the attacks happen because of immoral behavior exhibited by the "victim."  I also really like how we don't know who the killer is for most of the film.  It gives so much more terror to the film, and makes it a great mystery.  Outside of just the murders, I really love the way that creepy things pop up throughout the movie.  A great example was the little monkey doll that was swinging the ax. It was almost like a foreshadowing for the future of the movie, and it was super cool. This really shows how much care Coppola put into making the film, because he knew that every little thing counted.

Another part of the film that I really liked was the score. It was an extremely haunting soundtrack, and I feel that it followed a theme throughout the movie.  I noticed that the music from "Halloween" had some similarities, and that there must've been some influence. 

The ending was extremely shocking during my first viewing of the movie, because it is a huge trick, and the killer turns out to be someone that I didn't completely expect. The choices were narrow for who it could be, and the person ran through my mind a couple times, but it was so skillful that they made one of the other characters do something suspicious right before the true criminal was revealed.  

I really recommend this film to anyone interested in the cinema, because it is a true masterpiece. There is great characters, direction from Coppola, horror sequences, and a fantastic ending.  The movie was nothin like the other competitors of its time, and it set a whole different bar for the future of the horror genre.  So take a chance with this movie, because it is possibly the greatest B-Movie of all time, and a very worthy pick in the horror category. 

Carnival of Souls Review


9/10

I honestly feel like when people make a movie, they think that it won't be anything special.  The cool thing is when even decades later, the film is still recognized by people as a masterpiece. One of the great examples of this is the 1962 thriller "Carnival of Souls." The film was never meant to be anything more than a B-movie, but even today, critics still hail it as a landmark in the genre.

The movie starts out with a terrible car crash.  Of all the people In the vehicle, only one comes out of the water in a reasonable time. This person is a girl named Mary, and she is shown to be deeply saddened and shocked by the events that had taken place. In the next few minutes, time skips forward a bit, and we see Mary trying to live her life normally.  She seems pretty good, and she goes for a drive. Things get freaky for her though, because she starts to see ghosts all over the place.  A battle now begins for Mary, and it is to beat the fear of these freaks surrounding her.

One of the things that I really love about this film is how subtle the horror is. There isn't attacks and gore, but there is true grit and terror.  The movie was made on such a small budget and I really appreciate this, because the film rocks!  The emotional toll that the ghosts are creating for Mary is extremely suspenseful, and makes such a feeling of isolation.  Actress Candace Hillgoss really helps this work even more, because she does so well at portraying the paranoia that she acquired. I also love the look of the ghosts, because they're simple and human like, but still creepy at the same time.  The makeup almost looks like the makeup that would soon be used in "Night of the Living Dead." A scene that showed all of these factors perfectly was when Mary is playing organ in the church, and she has visions of the carnival full of ghosts.  It is one of the most electrifying scenes parts of the movie, and I really loved it. 

I really like the organ soundtrack throughout the film, because it gives a haunting and intense feel.  Even when Mary is at the church, if the music comes on; I get a feeling that something weird will happen.  It also brings a weird trippiness to the movie, and I like that a lot. I really appreciate the instrument choice, because it wasn't common, yet it worked so perfectly.  The rest of the instruments are great too, because they bring such darkness, and the songs are extremely original. 

The supporting cast is quite good at keeping a balance for Hillgoss' performance.  Sidney Berger plays the slimy neighbor of Mary named John Linden. He is great because he is partly comic relief, partly annoying, and occasionally a nice guy.  Frances Feist gave a very safe performance as a sweet old lady named Mrs Thomas. She didn't reach any acting achievements in the performance, but she was extremely enjoyable. Herk Harvey was absolutely horrific in the role of "The Man." He had such a perfect walk for the part, and the faces he could make were terrifying. He was an amazing pick for the ghost in my book. 

The ending of this movie was one of the most shocking and brilliant things I have ever seen. There was such a craziness in the carnival part, and as the ghosts chase Mary, there is a feeling of claustrophobia that made me sick. Then directly after, my mind was blown even more when there was a complete plot twist. So many films owe to this ending, because it set a huge standard for the genre. 

Overall, this movie was genius.  It took a budget lower than most films, and made a complete masterpiece.  I have trouble even calling this just a "movie," because it is really a gorgeous piece of art. I highly recommend it to any fans of horror, because it definitely deserves a spot in a list of the greatest horror flicks ever made. 


  

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Bloody Pit of Horror Review




6.5/10

The 1960's were quite the time for B-Movies in the horror genre. They were cheesy, fun, and often hysterical. "Bloody Pit of Horror" is no exception to this, because it is about as corny as you can get. Along with this though, you do get a really morbid film that I enjoyed in a sense.

The film starts out in the 17th century, with the execution of a man in red. It is heard that he had been a sadistic person, and he was killed in a spiked tomb. His body is meant to stay in this tomb, and before he died, he said that he would one day get revenge. The scene is cool, but the costumes are near laughable.  The criminal's cloak makes him look like a character in that old arcade game "Rolling Thunder." 

The movie then skips to the 1960's, and a group of people are looking for somewhere to take model photographs. They find a castle that they believe to be empty.  As they walk around, they find out that the building is in fact inhabited. At first, the owner tries to immediately kick out the posse, but he then changes his mind and let's them stay the night. They begin to work on their modeling in he lairs of this castle, and seem to be having the time of their lives.  What they don't know is what lies in the walls of this building, and the fact that crazy things are about to happen to them.

This film is a typical Italian B-Movie of the time for many reasons. There is terrible voice overdubs for the characters, a lack of plot, a trippy soundtrack, beautiful women in bikinis, and a lot of laughs.  It is in no way a well made film, but instead of being crappy, it's more of a "so bad it's good" movie.  It's so funny to see these people actually taking themselves seriously, regardless of the fact that they're in one of the most absurd movies ever made. 

Much to my surprise(not really), the man in red came back.  Even though the film jumped three  hundred years, "The Crimson Executioner" is supposedly still alive, and looking better than ever.  I nearly cried laughing when I saw him, because he looks even more hilarious shirtless. It's almost like a cross between Aquaman and a professional wrestler.  He can't possibly be scary because of this, but he's still an enjoyable villain. 

Regardless of the cheesy surface of the film, it still stands to be one of the most sadistic films of its era. There is burning in ovens, lava poured on bodies, etc.  The torture was way ahead of its time, and it is one of the few parts of the movie that makes it stand out from others. There is also some decent gore for a 60's film, and while it is tame now, it must've been shocking during its original release. 

The last quarter of the film is quite a climax, as the main character Rick is trying to save everyone from the killer.  There is some big fighting, and it is kind of exciting. The actual ending was quite predictable though, with a happy realization that two of the people got to live. 

Overall, I enjoyed this film for its awesome cheesiness.  This isn't going to be something for everyone, because not a lot of people actually enjoy these low quality movies. I felt that the movie was really sick and twisted, yet hilarious at the same time. If you like B-movies, then check this out, but if not, definitely skip it because it will disappoint you greatly.