Sunday, 30 October 2011

DVD review: The Hood Has Eyez (Video 2007)

Good little catholic schoolgirl Kimmy (Cyd Schulte) and her friends have cut class to attend a party somewhere in "The Hood". Making a wrong turn down an alley way, they accidentally hit a pedestrian that is covered in blood and wearing nothing but her bra and panties. Fleeing on foot out of fear, they're captured and assaulted by a psychotic group of thugs led by a sadistic street thug by the name Psycho (Antonio Royuela). Driven insane by the horrific degradation, sexual molestation and mutilation of herself and her friends, Kimmy seeks revenge on the gangsters in the most excessively brutal and outrageously gruesome ways imaginable, leaving a trail of blood and entrails.
This micro-budget rape/revenge nastiness is written, directed, photographed and edited by Terrence Williams have taken inspiration from "Last House on the Left" and "The Hills Have Eyes" and put the characters in a more urbanized setting. Even if it is set in the inner city, The Hood Has Eyez certainly feels like a backwoods horror movie.
All the school girls look much older than they are intended to be ( they are all in their 30s). As expected the acting quality varies but Antonio Royuela is quite good as the very nasty and vile Psycho. Some sequences are really unpleasant to sit through, a couple of scenes are over the top. Make no misstake about it this is a bleak viewing experience from start to finish and there are only losers in this flick...
In total contrast to the nasty tone that predominate the film there is a hilarous scene where Kimmy ties a bra around her forehead (in Rambo fashion) before going on a killing spree but the film is soon back on track as Kimmy gets off on the killing and becomes progressively more and more sadistic..
The gore effects are few and amateurish but quite nasty with a backyard abortion and gential torture on display. 

Most people will probably not tolerate this micro-budget flick but if you are a fan of independent flicks which Í am you should check it out.
Rating: 4 out of 7. I was NOT disappointed, this is a sleazy, sinister, sadistic and offensive little film. We get vile characters, inhuman nature and repulsive set-pieces. For the most part it is pretty entertaining if you have a open mind and have a soft spot for independent flicks. I´m looking forward to Terrence Williams next effort.


Friday, 28 October 2011

DVD review: Bleading Lady (2010)

Bleading Lady (previously known as "Star Vehicle") is the latest flick from Ryan Nicholson to get a dvd release. Short tempered Donald Cardini  (Dan Ellis) works as the set driver for the crew of a low-budget horror film shoot. Donald is a huge fan of the leading lady, scream queen actress Riversa Red (Sindy Faraguna). Donald is used to be abused by spoiled stars and arrogant directors and is a ticking time-bomb. Donald´s behaviour isolates him most of the crew, except for Riversa whom he worships. Riversa tells him she is being pursued by a stalker and Donald takes it upon himself to protect her. He´s deadly serious on protecting his queen, tormented by his own paranoid fantasies and with his violent temper things soon turn fatal.
First if you are expecting the usual non-stop gorefeast you are most likely will be disappointed, some of the violence happens off screen but don´t worry. Bleading Lady is extremely gory in places and there is a  awesome beheading which is incredibly gruesome and gory.
Dan Ellis is excellent but otherwise the acting ranges from acceptable to pretty bad but it´s acceptable in a low budget feature like this. We only get to learn to know the main characters Donald and Riversa, the others are superficial characters, some pf them are irritating and unlikable and only serve one purpose which is to be killed...
The film has a pretty slow pacing, which some viewers might find quite boring but I find nothing wrong it. 
In Germany and certain other countries, the film is still titled "Star Vehicle". 

Rating: 5½ out of 7. Bleading Lady does deliver but it´s not as over-the-top gory or nasty as you might expect, instead he has a cohesive plot which I like. I'm will be checking out Nicholson's previous films in the near future.


Thursday, 27 October 2011

DVD review: Murder-Set-Pieces (2004)

Here's a film that divides the horror fans. The "Photographer" (Sven Garrett), is a serial rapist/killer who finds his victims mainly at Las Vegas strip/pole joints. He is driven in his misogyny by a Nazi fixation and torturous childhood memories of his mother. A young girl Jade (Jade Risser), whose sister Charlotte (Valerie Baber) is dating "The Photographer", suspects that something is not right with him
Lots of full-frontal nudity from silicone enhanced porn stars that plays several of the hookers and strippers that find themselves in the clutches of "The Photographer". There is frequent displays of unapologetic misogyny and one of the taboos it breaks is the unwritten rule not to combine violence and sex as it shows the killer having sex with his victims. And this is something many serial killers do: Have sex with their victims (sometimes after they are dead). I should perhaps point out that the rape scenes are absolutely brutal and rival the notorious scene from Gaspar Noé´s Irreversible
Another surprise and taboo-busting aspect in this film appears when the killer impulses grows stronger and soon he begins killing young girls, one of these murders of young girl (approx. 10-12 years old) is graphic and has provoked controversy, then there is the baby scene where you clearly can see that the baby isn't comfortable with the scene as the terror in her face is evident.
Murder-Set-Pieces is shot on 35mm film and looks better than the majority of low budget/independent horror films out there.
The acting is not as bad as I expected it to be, especially young actress Jade Risser is very good in her role and shows real talent. Sven Garrett plays his part adequately but is one-dimensional, I like that the murderer is non charismatic,  he has no funny lines, is dead on serious, and kills brutally and without any sign of remorse. The acting ranges from wooden to stilted, new characters are presented but are simply killed off a shortly thereafter. Palumbo seems not care about creating characters an audience can identify or even sympathize with.  
It´s a very brutal flick but gore hounds might want to know that there is more blood than gore. The special fx mostly consist of women caked in thick layers of nearly black blood but there are a few scenes of on screen gore which is a bit unexpected as Toe Tag Pictures is handling the effects. The death scenes is mostly carried out with as much of a sexual overtone as possible which I´m pretty sure that most women viewers would find it to be extremely shocking, disgusting, repugnant and offensive.
 If you´re interested in getting hold of this film you should know that The Lion's Gate Films "R" rated version of Murder-Set-Pieces which was released on January 9th, 2007, is cut to ribbons and heavily edited by 23 minutes so if that version seems confusing and disjointed it is hardly surprising. Murder-Set-Pieces was rejected for a UK DVD release by the BBFC in February 2008 and it´s banned in Norway.

The region 0 Director's Cut DVD released by Fright Flix is available via US Amazon.

Rating 6½ out 7. Nick Palumbo has one goal and that goal is to shock and sicken with vivid rape, torture and murder. This is a brutal, uncompromising film, definitely for people with strong stomachs. Is Murder-Set-Pieces the "most shocking film ever made"? No. Is Murder-Set-Pieces an above average horror sub-genre of the "serial killer film"? No doubt about it.

DVD review: The Slaughter (2006)

When six college students take a job cleaning up an abandoned house their plans to work hard by day and play hard by night are interrupted when they awake an ancient evil demon.
It starts off like a typical horror movie but becomes more and more comedy with witty ironic comments which in my opinion is a big mistake. The shift makes me wonder if different writers did the first 20 minutes or so.

The similiarites with Evil Dead and Night of the Demons are many, there is an incantation book bound in flesh and it involves demons attacking a house full of teenagers, they chop up one of the "baddies" with an ax and the body parts were jittering about on the floor. Is it a "homage" or "ripoff" of Evil Dead, it´s your call.The acting isn't that great but female cast is very pleasant on the eyes. Adriana Esquivel...oh my my my! But the awful attempts at humor almost kills this movie for me.
The special fx are decent for the budget but the visual effects are incredibly lame, in one sequence you can actually see through characters that are blue screened in.
Rating: 1½ out of 7.  The  film offers copious amounts of gore and female nudity but the choice to make the film humorous is a downer.  It is not the worst horror movie I've ever seen, hey I like blood and violence and monsters but I hate comic or campy horror, which this supposedly is but was not packaged as such. 
So this is not for you who want to pitch-black and serious horror.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

DVD review: No Reason (2010)

First of all I have to admit that I´m a fan of the Olaf Ittenbach controversial no holds barred gore feasts and have several of his flicks on dvd so  perhaps I´m a little biased in writing this review..
The plot in No Reason: Jennifer (Irene Holzfurtner) is suddenly torn from her comfortable and non-assuming (inconspicuous) life. While planning to move, the young mother and her husband will experience anything but an ordinary day! It all begins with a strange visit from her soon to be ex-neighbour, the postman who mentions an urgent need.
Later, when coming home from grocery shopping, Jennifer discovers an elderly neighbour, who is her son Niko s babysitter has disappeared. She also receives a terrifying and disturbing letter. The fateful delivery contains a macabre death poem by yet another occupant of her building, plus some compromising sex photos of her husband and the missing babysitter!
To get over the initial shock of this disturbing news, she decides to take a bath, and promptly falls asleep in the bathtub. When she awakes, she finds herself on the floor of her apartment covered in blood and body parts! Centre to this surreal and horrific scene is a mysterious masked man who promises to lead Jennifer on the right path toward the sacred white light. She has to go through different (color-) levels to reach the white light and thereby achieve salvation
I get the impression that Ittenbach probably used most of the budget on the special fx and they are certainly very well done as one might expected. In No Reason most of the violence happens on screen, it´s a gorefeast as we get one gruesome set piece after another. The man with Cthulhu mask and SM clothing is reminiscent of Jigsaw from the Saw movies and promises redemption through torture and pain, it´s a hit or miss but I find his appearance unsettling and menacing.
On the downside,  the film is a bit confusing, the acting is mostly weak but even die-hard fans of Ittenbach will admit that storytelling is not his forte.

Beware that the german dvd/blu-ray is heavily edited, german censors have cut 20 minutes out of the flick, I highly recommend that you get the region 1 edition which is uncut and has english subtitles. There is a new german language only edition (DVD + Blu-Ray) due to be released on the 15th of november which is uncut.
Rating: 6½ out of 7. No Reason is dark, very violent and gory. Olaf Ittenbach has once again delivered a film that is sure to find it´s supporters while others will look after the stop button.


Sunday, 23 October 2011

DVD review: The Orphan Killer (2011)

Siblings Marcus and Audrey Miller  witness the murder of their parents and go to live in an orphanage run by the Catholic Church. Soon they understand that something is just not right with Marcus, the nuns remove him from the rest of their little flock and keep him in exile under lock and key. It’s isn’t long before his precious younger sister, Audrey, is adopted and Marcus is left to rot in the orphanage.
Years later Marcus (David Backus) is back and he´s going after his sister Audrey (Diane Foster) to show her what is meant by true family loyalty. And in his quest he will hack and chop anyone who gets in his way.
The Orphan Killer is well done considering that it is a low budget movie, the acting is pretty bad but the two leads did fine. Several characters appear just to get killed, mostly without knowing their names or anything about them..
The soundtrack consisting of heavy metal music is not that great, in my opinion a creepy atmospheric score would do much better. The special fx, very important in the genre, are decent.

My copy, bought directly from the official group on Facebook, has good image quality and you get the film's soundtrack on an extra disc.

Rating: 5 out of 7. All in all it's a decent little slasher, sadly the film is never really scary or suspenseful but take it for what it is and enjoy the ride.


DVD review: Sella Turcica (2010)

Sgt. Bradley Adam Roback (Damien A. Maruscak) returns partially paralyzed from the Iraq war. There is nothing physically wrong with him causing his paralysis, but he remains wheelchair bound. As time goes by so begins his symptoms get worse. His head is hurting like hell every time he hears a high pitched tone, he becomes more and more gray in the skin, he can not eat and he is bleeding black liquid from all orifices. But to his family's fear, it's just the beginning of his ailment as his behaviour becomes more and more erratic.
The vast majority of this movie is about drama and setup, the film has a slow pace, something that some viewers may find frustrating but I like it as it provides an opportunity to get to know the characters. Thanks to the slow pace we come to really care about everyone in this film. In the last act things reach a bloody climax featuring lots of gore and gruesome special fx. The acting mostly ranges from good to decent but Damien A. Maruscak is excellent as the mysteriously diseased, broken and disabled Brad.
Rating: 7 out of 7. I really liked this flick a lot. I think that if you just want to see blood n' guts you probably will be disappointed and I can imagine that some may consider that the film is a bit slow but I liked the pace, building up to the total destruction at the end. All in all good effort from the actors and the effects are fantastic! Director Fred Vogel is definitively a director to watch.


Saturday, 22 October 2011

Upcoming DVD review: The Hood Has Eyez (Video 2007)

Hopefully I´ll get my hands on The Hood Has Eyez in a couple of days, have been wanting to see it ever since I saw a review of it in the magazine Is it Uncut? published by Midnight Media. The flick is a no budget mix of Wes Craven's first two movies – Last House on the Left and The Hills Have Eyes. The plot: A couple of catholic schoolgirls cut class to attend a party somewhere in "The Hood", but on the way they get themselves lost and fall into the clutches of a sadistic street thug and his two cronies. An extended period of rape, murder, and general unpleasantness follows, and after being left for dead at the end of her ordeal Kimmy has just one thing on her mind. And it involves a tasty dish that is best served cold… Have checked out some reviews and I want to see this film so badly now....

If anyone is looking for this film on DVD it can be found on


DVD review: Blood Pigs (Video 2010)

Brian Paulin´s latest flick and again Brian takes on multiple roles. He writes, directs, plays a small role in the film, handles cinematography, is film editor and designs/handles special effects makeup. 
At this point in the zombie genre, we’ve been there and done this but Blood Pigs is a new take on the genre, in this film 99 percent of the worlds has been destroyed by a bio-chemical war. Technology is obsolete and the soil has been polluted leaving people with barely any food. The survivors try to continue on by hunting and consuming the living dead which has dire results as the dead flesh begins to mutate with the bio-chemical still in the atmosphere. People's digestive systems begin to evolve and force their way out of victims mouths to search for food on their own. Mutations spiral out of control into a grotesque finale.
 The movie takes the zombie genre, raises the stakes and escalates in an interesting way. The acting ranges from good to barely passable, but let's be honest; the effects are what counts here, and this movie delivers. The zombie makeup, the dry shambling, falling apart type, is great. Paulin successfully creates a feeling of hopelessness for the remaining humans and builds up a creepy atmosphere introducing the blood pigs for the first time. The blood pig creatures are very ambitiously created and gruesome.
Fans of Morbid Vision Films earlier flicks (Bone Sickness and Fetus) will enjoy seeing this stuff. There is plenty of over the top gore, as you can expect from a Brian Paulin film, as bodies are torn, pulled, eaten, beheaded and chewed up.

Blood Pigs was voted "the goriest movie of 2010" in Rue Morgue magazine's readers poll.

Rating: 6 out of 7. Blood Pigs is a fresh and original take on the zombie genre so give it a chance. Gore-hounds will be pleased by the copious amount of blood and gore that is on display.


Friday, 21 October 2011

DVD review: Fetus (Video 2008)

Kevin (Brian Paulin) and his wife Sara (Nette Detroy) are about to start their new family as prepare for the arrival of their first born child. Unfortunately something goes wrong and Kevin looses everything. Unable to cope with his loss he becomes obsessed with trying to make contact with his dead wife by any means possible. He decides to try necromancy and buys a witchcraft book to raise the dead. Things turn very dark and twisted when the he uses increasingly bizarre and gruesome rituals that demands human sacrifices while his visions and nightmares get worse which leads to ever increasing amounts of disturbing imagery and repulsive sadism. Brian Paulin writes, directs, is co composer of the soundtrack, handles cinematography, is film editor and designs/handles special effects makeup. The soundtrack is very good and helps to create an unpleasant and creepy atmosphere. The gore is over-the-top, it´s excessive, nasty, explicit and brutal. The acting is not very good but it´s not terrible either and keep in mind that this flicks main objective is to showcase gore and special fx and in that it is succesful. 
Rating: 6 out of 7. Fetus is a film that provokes the audience with provocative images. If you have a weak stomach or scare easily then I would have to say stay away from this movie. Recommended for the gore fans!


Thursday, 20 October 2011

DVD review: Cannibal Anthropophagous 2000 (1999)

My DVD have the title Cannibal Anthropophagous 2000 (labeled US - edition with english subtitles) but this german flick directed by Andreas Schnass has two alternative titles; Anthropophagous 2000, Cannibal 2000 (US video title) and Man Eater 2000 (German title). The film is a tribute to Joe D'Amato and a remake of Antropophagus (1980) which is some what of a cult classic. The plot is very basic: A group of friends stumble onto the killing grounds of a cannibalistic loner who then mercilessly stalks down the party, one-by-one. When only a small group remains, they decide to take a stand against the murderer and fight for their lives. This is a typical Andreas Schnaas film with lots of gore and splatter but unlike the original his version lacks the creepy mood, actually he fails to create any sense of atmosphere but this is more gory than the original.  It actually has some insanely violent scenes but the gore/special fx is cheap looking. The acting is absolutely horrible and the sexscenes are laughable, this is the type of flick where the characters have sex without removing their underwear. All this said, the film is an improvement and shows that Schnass is getting better as a director  compared to the dreadfully bad Zombie 90.
Rating: 2 out of 7. If you are a fan of low budget splatter you might want to check it out but if not avoid it.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

DVD review: Carver (Video 2008)

Franklin Guerrero Junior´s  Carver is a film with a LOT of gore and a LOT of blood with a simple plot where brothers Pete (Matt Carmody) and Brian (Neil Kubath) meet up with other friends Zack, (Jonathan Rockett) and Rachel (Kristyn Green) to go on a camping trip together. They then run into Kate (Ursula Taherian) also out camping, who is concerned for her missing friend. The group agrees to do a favor for a local man by the name Bobby Shaw (Erik Fones), in exchange for their kindness, he allows them a free party night in his tavern. The group finds a seemingly abandoned house, there they find a few reels of 8 mm film and a projector. They watch the films, which feature disturbing images of people being killed, at first they think the films are fake but they will soon realize that they are home made snuff films... After that things take a turn for the worse..
The story is a bit rehashed and somewhat predictable but it´s well made with good pace and decent direction. The special fx are very good considering the budget. The acting is perhaps uneven at times but is above average and better than expected. And on the plus side the actors looks like real people and not like models which is always nice. 
Comparisons with the Hollywood produced Hostel movies are inevitable and in my opinion the level of brutality in Carver blows Hostel & Hostel II away. In this flick the deaths are extremely graphic and brutal. 

Beware that there is a edited version with cuts sustained to receive an R rating, if you are interested in this flick you must find the Unrated *grisly edition* edition.

Rating: 5 out of 7. Just like most horror movies, this flick is unrealistic in many ways but it´s well done, disturbing and entertaining.  All in all I like this movie, it´s above average and it gets bonus points for the above-average gruesomeness on display. And let´s be frank the main reason to watch this movie is for the gore and there is plenty of it. So if you're not a fan of excessive gore, you probably won't appreciate this film. I'll keeping an eye on Franklin Guerrero Jr.. He's got potential.


Tuesday, 18 October 2011

DVD review: The Cellar Door (2007)

Herman (James Dumont) stalks Rudy (Michelle Tomlinson) and her mate Christa along a day and a night and finally he chooses Rudy to be his next victim. He breaks in their house and kidnaps Rudy, bringing her to the basement of his house where he holds her captive in a wooden cage. 
Sadly the film is pretty predictable with irritating camera work but the cinematography is good.

For a horror/suspense flick it´s a bit odd that The Cellar Door creates no tension OR any scary moments
The acting is acceptable, its not bad but Michelle Tomlinson, in my opinion, overacted in places and underacted in others. She´s just not good at portraying emotions and I get the impression that it´s been more important for Rudy to "look good" than appear realistic. Even though she's crying, sweating and starving in a cage for days, her make-up for instance stays in place.

James Dumont (who also serves as co-producer on the movie) is pretty good as Herman but he is a clichéd caricature of an abductor who on the surface is a seemingly normal and timid guy but under the surface is a deranged and violent man.
Rating: 2 out of 7. All in all, The Cellar Door did not live up to my expectations. This type of flick has been done before, and better (see Scrapbook which is superior in every way).

Monday, 17 October 2011

Just to let you know what´s coming, these are some of the films that are going to be reviewed on this blog.

Cradle of Fear (Video 2001) - Alex Chandon
The Redsin Tower (2006)  - Fred Vogel
Sella Turcica (2010) - Fred Vogel
Bone Sickness (Video 2004) - Brian Paulin
Murder-Set-Pieces (2004) - Nick Palumbo
Live Feed (2006) - Ryan Nicholson
Beyond the Limits (2003) - Olaf Ittenbach
Violent Shit (1989) - Andreas Schnaas


DVD review: Scrapbook (Video 2000)

Scrapbook is a horror film about a young woman by the name Clara (Emily Haack) who is kidnapped, held captive, and repeatedly beaten and raped for several days by a serial killer/rapist Leonard (Tommy Biondo). The title refers to the scrapbook that her captor uses as a record of the ordeals of his victims, in this he keeps polaroids, scraps of clothing, and other small trophies. Leonard forces his victims to personally write in the scrapbook about their individual ordeals.
The performances by both Emily Haack and Tommy Biondo are good, neither of them look like "perfect moviestars" but are credible human characters and the scenes between them are intense.  In fact Leonard is depicted as a sad, lonely, broken man not the cliche Hollywood image of a charismatic/cunning serial killer a la Hannibal Lecter..

You might be interested to know that there is hardly any gore but the rape scenes are semi-graphic (with the exception of one scene which is very graphic) , disturbing and absolutely gut-wrenching. If you believe the film is attempting to glorify or glamourise rape or torture in any way you are way off... It´s dark and very brutal on the senses.
Scrapbook was named Best Independent Movie of 2001 by Rue Morgue Magazine. Emily Haack is very good as Carla
In the United Kingdom, a total of 15 minutes and 24 seconds were cut from the film to gain a "18" rating from BBFC.

Rating: Scrapbook gets 7 out of 7! It´s a film that is vicious, uncomfortable and uncompromising. An alternative to Hollywood´s tendency to glamorize serial killers.  It´s one of the most disturbing movies I've ever seen, I actually found myself  squirming in my seat when watching it, it is that hard to watch. A true gut punch. Not for the squeamish!