Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Review: Fear Eats the Seoul (2011)


First thank Nick Calder for providing me with a screener.
When South Korea is ravaged by a massive demon epidemic that nearly wipes out its entire population, four foreigners are forced to stick together to survive the fallout. After they encounter a Korean survivor who informs them that a nuclear purge of the country is imminent, they realize that escape is the only option. But nothing comes free, and to make it out alive they must overcome their differences and work together to confront not only the flesh-hungry demons waiting for them around every corner, but also the personal demons hiding within themselves. Fear Eats the Seoul is written and directed by Nick Calder. The acting is pretty good. Handheld camerawork which looks good but there is a lot of shaky cam and rapid editing during the action-sequences which does create a good atmosphere but is kinda frustrating, this is of course a matter of taste, but it makes it hard to seee/focus on what´s happening on screen. I love the soundtrack and the sound design. The pacing is slow, the focus is on the characters not on the action. The film is divided into four sections, with title cards, and there are several flashbacks to earlier times, before the disaster. The story is a bit difficult to follow and there are some plot holes but I won´t go into details. There is carnage and violence but there ain´t much gore, we don´t get to see much partly due to the shaky cam during scenes with humans vs flesh-hungry demons. This is, I think, an intentional move by the filmmakers. Possibly to reach a bigger market by avoiding to graphic violence or simply because the budget didn´t allow  I like the make-up fx design for the demons, we never get a really clear look of them which probably works in theirs favor, they are pretty creepy and feels much more like a threat than compared to zombies. There is no T & A in this.
This review is based upon a online screener provided by Nick Calder.
Rating: 4½ out of 7. I enjoyed this, Fear Eats the Seoul is a bleak, slow moving flick with emphasis on characters instead of action. I would not recommend this for gorehounds but it´s definitely worth checking out.

/JL



DVD review: The Vanguard (2008)


The year is 2015. The last known oil fields have been lost to global war. Overpopulation and famine have plunged our planet into chaos. But deep in the wilderness, one desperate survivor now finds himself hunted by corporate kill squads, sought by the Resistance, and pursued by hordes of rage-crazed zombies. In a world ruled by murder, madness and cannibalistic carnage, will humanity’s last hope be measured in bloodshed? The Vanguard is written and directed Matthew Hope. The acting is decent for the most part but Ray Bullock Jr is very good as Max Carter who speaks to his dead father in voice-over narration. The movie is nicely shot and edited, the scenes in the forest looks great. There are some good action scenes, nicely shot and staged. The soundtrack is quite effective. The pacing is perhaps a bit slow in some parts, the flick actually bordering to becoming boring. I like that the main character Max sports a pair hatchets and a homemade javelin instead of the ever present firearms, it´s always much cooler when they have to get close up and dirty in my opinion. The plot is decent even if a bit pretentious. It´s also confusing and just plain incoherent in some parts. There are a couple of gory scenes, it´s a mix of practical make-up and some bad computer rendered fx. I didn´t find the "zombies" aka Biosyns especially scary or menacing, the design has it flaws as they mostly look like they have contact-lenses and some bodypaint.  No T & A in this.
This review is based on the swedish region 2 DVD release from Cinematic Vision.
 Rating: 1½ out of 7. It´s watchable, I`ve seen worse, seen better.

/JL


Tuesday, 30 October 2012

DVD review: 7 Down (Video 2011)


A group of teens head to a haunted hay rack ride only to encounter car trouble along the way. Stranded in the countryside they are stalked and slashed one-by-one until all 7 are down. 7 Down is written by Morgan Schmid, Shadlee Schmid and Tyler Schmid and directed by Shadlee Schmid and Tyler Schmid. The acting is bad, some of the cast seem to try to compensate for their lack in acting skills by yelling and shouting at each other which is just annoying. The camerawork and editing is amateurish. On a positive note, the instrumental soundtrack is good. The pacing is bad, it takes 36 long minutes before things get going and keep in mind that 7 Down originally had a running time of 47 minutes. There are a few badly staged kills but there aren´t no gore, either it is too dark to see what happening or it happens off screen. Now I don´t mind if a flick is a slow burner, takes its time to get going but then there must be some kind of pay off and we don´t get any in 7 Down as there no nudity and no gore. As mentioned this movie was originally 47 minutes but since RHR Home Video picked it up for distribution they added approx 15 minutes of padding out footage that makes no sense. There is no gore in this, some fake looking make-up fx in some aftermath shots, there is no T & A in this.
This movie can be bought from the RHR Home Video Website here .
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) DVD release from RHR Home Video.
Rating: 0 out of 7. OMG, did I really pay with my hard earned money for this crap?? :/ Overlong, a trip through boredom. I actually started thinking of skipping a chapter or two as nothing happened for 36 minutes, nothing, but it´s a very bare bones DVD (actually it´s a DVD-R) and there are no chapters. 7 Down is about as enjoyable as piercing your eyes with needles. Can´t recommend this to anyone, not even to my worst enemy cause it would be to cruel and unfair to do so.

/JL

Monday, 29 October 2012

DVD review: Night of the Tentacles (2012)


First I must thank my buddy Dave Parker for getting me a copy of this movie at Cinema Wasteland.
A young artist sells his soul to Satan for the new heart he so desperately needs. The only catch is that the heart is a tentacled monstrosity with a hunger for human flesh! Will Dave (Brandon Salkil) get the girl of his dreams? Will he run out of neighbors to feed his infernal heart? Will Delilah ever finish urinating? Night of the Tentacles is produced, edited, written and directed by Dustin Wayde Mills. The acting is very good, especially from Brandon Salkil using lots of facial expressions and quite a bit of over acting and manages to give portrayal of a both funny, likeable and tragic character. There is a lot of tongue-in-cheek humour in this and some scenes are laugh out loud funny! The scenes when Dave gets visits by the demon Belial (Eugene Flynn) are really funny. The camerawork, lighting and editing is very good. The soundtrack is very nice and is composed/performed by Dustin Wayde Mills. There is gore, a mix of practical and computer rendered fx. The creature design, when finally revealed, isn´t that great but inventive and pretty cool and keep in mind that this movie was made on a tight budget. There is T & A in this and several sexual situations, it opens with a masturbation scene.
Night of the Tentacles will get a wide release on DVD in the U.S. on 22 January 2013.
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Dustin Mills Productions.
Rating: 7 out of 7. I enjoyed this a lot! It´s a entertaining and hillariously funny flick! I look forward to see Dustin Wayde Mills next two project, Bath Salts Zombies and Kill That Bitch! Night of the Tentacles is highly recommended!!

/JL

Sunday, 28 October 2012

DVD review: Fairview Falls (Video 2011)


First I´d like to thank Glen Baisley for sending me a copy of his movie to me.
It looks to be another boring summer in the backwater town of Fairview Falls for the graduating class of 2005 - that is until one of it's graduates dies.  Fairview Falls™ takes place 7 years after the events in Fear of the Dark and 5 years before Sins of the Father.  Various social cliques come together out of boredom looking for the latest thrill.  They hear about a series of "ritual" style animal mutilations that have been turning up on the outskirts of town.  A few set out to see if they can uncover the mystery behind them.  What they don't realize is that someone has been watching their every move and what transpires will forever change their lives. Fairview Falls is written and directed by Glen Baisley. The acting is a a little bit uneven, some of it is strong while some is pretty weak. The vast array of characters are good and interesting. And all characters have more than one layer, they are far away from the usual slasher fodder, which is a joy to watch. The dialogue is good, there are some really fun parts. It is nicely shot and edited. I´ll have to admit that I at first was a bit hesitant to the soundtrack but then I came to the conclusion that it´s really good. On the topic of pacing I should mention that the movie is something of a slow burner as it takes some time before we get into what looks like familiar horror territory. There is gore, pretty good looking and effective practical make-up fx. There is some nudity from three different attractive actresses and a couple of sexual situations but nothing too explicit.
The DVD will be released in two versions -  a standard edition and a limited collector’s “Insanity Edition” on October 30th. It´s also available on VOD (US viewers only).
This review in based on the official Fairview Falls 'Insanity Edition' DVD which is only available here .
Rating: 6½ out of 7. Fairview Falls is a very entertaining independent feature flick. I´ll be totally honest, it wasn´t at all what I expected, I thought it would be a pretty straight forward slasher flick but it is so much more. After watching this I must get Glen's previous movies (Fear of the Dark, The Tenement and Sins of the Father) ASAP. They take place in the same town and and share some characters. Fairview Falls gets my recommendations.

/JL



Saturday, 27 October 2012

Review: Killing Brooke (2012)


First I´d like to thank the makers of Killing Brooke for providing me with a screener.
Free-spirited party girl Brooke Porter (Alex Fandel) and her wife Chloe (Dina Baker) are celebrating their recent wedding, when they meet Vance (Colin Allen), a handsome, lady-killing drifter at a bar. But a drunken night of debauchery will lead them all down the road to terror. Pursued by a vicious, psychopathic madman, Brooke is propelled into a struggle for survival, one that will push her to the limits physically and emotionally. Killing Brooke is written and directed by David Zagorski. The acting is pretty good, especially from Alex Fandel and Ray Hryb. Nicely shot and edited, sure the limitations of the budget shows in some scenes but it doesn´t have a negative effect. The soundtrack is pretty good. The pacing is excellent, it has a running time of 73 minutes. I like that Killing Brooke throws in a few twists and just when you´ve think you figured out what kind of movie it´s gonna be it takes a turn and things get even worse for our poor main character. We get some sleaze, depravity, degradation, plenty of sadism and scenes of torture. Alex Fandel is seen screaming at the top of her lungs in several scenes and I actually had to turn down the volume in fear of what the neighbours might think... It´s violent, it´s gory and it´s all practical make-up fx. There is no T & A in this even though there is several sex-scenes including a threesome. I do have to admit that I wouldn´t have minded if there had been a little bit of nudity as Alex Fandel is a real hottie (we do get to see her in her underwear but that happens during some scenes that are.. can´t tell you due to spoilers).
You can buy Killing Brooke from the official website here .
This review is based upon a passwordprotected online source provided by the filmmakers.
Rating: 6½ out of 7. I enjoyed this a lot, it is David Zagorski´s debut as a director and it sure is a nice one, he has a new flick in post-production now and I can´t wait to see it. It is also the debut for Alex Fandel, according to IMDB, she´s not only very attractive but also a good actress and I´d love to see more of her in the future.

/JL

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Review: The Shadow of Death (2012)


First I´d like to thank Gav Chuckie Steel for providing me with a screener.
Set in an English woodland countryside, Debra (Corinna Jane) and her best friends Jamie (Jane West) and Nancy (Sophia Disgrace) pick up Dan (Daniel Carter-Hope), Nancey's ex, to go out to the woods to score some weed. Unknown to them a killer who resembles death is cleansing the countryside. With a wannabe policeman and an assortment of the public out for some fresh air, the woods are no place to go down today. The Shadow of Death is written and directed by Gav Chuckie Steel. The acting is pretty good, much better than I´d expected. It´s a slasher but there is plenty of intentional comedy, there are some laugh out loud moments and I absolutely love the wannabe cop character Craven (Dan Bone). He was great! One thing that I like about The Shadow of Death is that it doesn´t forget that it is a slasher. It´s nicely shot and edited. The soundtrack is very good. The pacing is really good even if it slows down somewhat around the 45 minute mark but it soon picks up the pace again. It´s gory, a arm being chopped of and a eyeball being gouged out are among the high lights. It´s all practical fx and it looks good for a microbudget feature flick. There is no T & A in this
This based upon online screener provided by the filmmakers.
Rating: 6 out of 7. I enjoyed this, it´s very funny, gory and a ultimately very satisfying experience. I hope The Shadow of Death will get distribution soon as I will definitely be buying it on DVD

/JL




DVD review: Slaughter Tales (2012)


5 short stories told by a stolen vhs tape. A man has a bad run in with an unknown liquid living in his cabinet, 2 friends are stalked by a metal masked killer with an itchy cleaver finger, an escaped metal patient proves he is the ultimate mama's boy by way of brutal murders, a filmmaker finds himself trapped in a satanist slug infested death house, and a bored kid get's possessed by a demon that carries out brutal acts of vengeance. Slaughter Tales is written and directed by the fourteen year old Johnny Dickie who is something of a jack of all trades in this, he plays several characters, handles the make-up department, animation, editing and has made some of the soundtrack. You have to admire what Johnny Dickie have managed to do with a budget that is even smaller than the so called microbudget features. Two years in the making, a budget of $65, using friends and family as crew and cast-members. The acting is very amateurish with plenty of intentional and unintentional humor. It´s shot on video, with a mix of static and point of view footage. The soundtrack is pretty decent. The pacing is pretty good with several surreal and graphic scenes. The gore, the make-up fx, are all practical and do look very low budget as can be expected. No T & A in this but I think you all already knew that.
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Briarwood Entertainment, it´s a nice looking big box DVD/VHS combo.
Rating: 2½ out of 7. I actually find it very hard to rate Slaughter Tales fairly as it hard not to admire the dedication and enthusiasm shown by the young Johnny Dickie. It has lots of flaws but many of these flaws are more or less intentional and are quite funny and keep in mind that it´s made on a ridiculous low budget. And if he can pull something like this off on a $65 budget what will happen if you give him some proper money. Now that would be very interesting to see. Slaughter Tales is a fun and entertaining ride but if you ain´t a fan of the horror genre and shot on video flicks you probably should stay very far away from this. It will be very interesting to see more from Johnny Dickie.


/JL



Monday, 22 October 2012

Review: In the Market (2009)


First I´d like to thank Marco at EuroObscure for providing me with a screener.
Summer of 2005. Inspired by true events. David, Sarah and Nicole leaves on a trip with only one purpose, the concert of their favorite rock band. Unfortunately not everything goes as planned. Things get complicated when the three decide to stop at a gas station for fuel and get caught up in a robbery. They´re ripped off of all their possessions. Forced to find a place to call the police, they arrive to a market where, tired and hungry, they decide to hide for the night, not knowing that the market butcher slaughters not just pork and beef.. In the Market is written by N. Santi Amantini, Marco Martini, Eleonora Stagi and Lorenzo Lombardi who also is the director. The acting is pretty good for the most part but Ottaviano Blitch is very good as Adam "the Butcher". In the Market  professionally shot and edited and there are some nice visuals here, both showing vast landscapes and the tight confines of a air duct. They try to make look like the USA but it doesn´t really work to well but what the heck I´m not the one to nitpick about such things. There is many references to other movies, in dialogue, and it actually was a bit too much of it in my opinion. The pacing is pretty good. I do love the horror story that the three share while they are inside the market, but I´ve both seen and heard it before but it is nevertheless a very good and creepy story. The setting of In the Market is very good, not totally original as many of you might know but it is used to good effect by the filmmakers. There is gore, some top notch looking make-up fx work courtesy of Sergio Stivaletti but why isn´t there more gore in this? It´s not that there isn´t opportunities for showcasing the gory stuff. There is no T & A in this...
This review is based upon a passwordprotected onlinescreener privided by EuroObscura. The screener was in italian with english subtitles.
Rating: 5½ out of 7. I enjoyed this but I must say that I´m kinda disappointed that it doesn´t showcase more of Sergio Stivaletti´s gruesome gore-fx..

/JL


Sunday, 21 October 2012

Review: Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman in 3-D (2008)


First I´d like to thank Colin Clarke for contacting me and asking if I´d be interested in reviewing his short films. When a series of killings plagues a small woodsy community, a trio of orphaned pickpockets discover that a Wolfman is the culprit. Teaming up with the Frankenstein monster (Tom Zack), they seek to discover who the beast is in human form - before it kills again! Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman is written by Marc Packard and Colin Clarke who also is the director and the animator. The voice acting is pretty good, the animation is a very uneven, in some parts it looks good and in some parts not so good. There are a couple of good visuals, for instance the Frankenstein castle but the best scenes in my opinion are the flashbacks. In some parts it disregards the Frankenstein mythologi and the title is a bit missleading as it is Frankensteins monster that helps the orphans and not the good doctor.  Some brief animated gore, no T & A in this.
Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman is available in both 2D and 3D. You can watch it here in 2D.
This review is based upon a online source uploaded by Colin Clarke.
Rating: 3½ out of 7. Frankenstein vs. the Wolfman was the debut of Colin Clarke and although it does have some nice moments, I especially liked the flashback where the origin of the Wolfman is explained, it has a some flaws. Keep in mind that Colin has improved his craftmanship, I recommend that you check out his short film called Raven´s Hollow (2011).

/JL

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Review: Raven's Hollow (Video 2011)


First I´d like to thank Colin Clarke for reaching out and contacting me.
Billy (Gavin Phillips), his sister Lisa (Stephanie Pax) , and her boyfriend Mike (Travis Worthey), spend a night at a drive-in theater after trick-or-treating on Halloween. When Billy threatens to walk home through an old cornfield, Mike tells him a legend of Old Farmer Blood, who is said to have seeded his field with the blood of murder victims. When Billy disbelieves, Mike leads the trio into a nightmare of unrelenting terror. Raven's Hollow is written by Marc Packard and Colin Clarke who also is the director and one of the animators. It´s a short film made primarily using computer rendered animation which for the most part looks good (I´m not one who automatically dismisses cgi animation). The voice acting is pretty good and I love the soundtrack! There are some really nice, atmospheric, moments in Raven's Hollow and Colin knows how to use the enviroment to good effect, the old cornfield and so on. There´s some gore, no T & A in this even though the character Lisa wears a very skimpy outfit.
This review is based upon a online source uploaded by Colin Clarke. For more information on Raven´s Hollow and to watch it please visit the official website
here .
Rating: 6 out of 7. It´s a good looking, sweet and effective 11 minutes long short film. Colin Clarke is shows great talent and it is quite amazing that this was made entirely on home computers utilizing off-the-shelf software. I look forward to see more of Colin Clarke´s work in the future.

/JL

Review: Contact (2009)


First I´d like to thank Jeremiah Kipp for reaching out and contacting me and asking if I´d be interested in reviewing some of his short films. A middle aged couple lay their table for dinner and seem on edge as they expect their guest, we join a young couple looking to buy drugs, they are given a bottle and instructed to take its contents together. Contact is written and directed by Jeremiah Kipp. The acting is very good especially from Zoe Daelman Chlanda and Robb Leigh Davis as the young couple that buys a unknown hallucinogenic substance and gets a nightmarish trip. Wonderfully shot and edited in beautiful black & white. The soundtrack is good. There is a minimal amount of dialogue.´There is some surrealistic imagery/gore that looks really good (practical make-up fx and the black and white only enhances it´s quality) and gratuitous nudity. Some of the visuals are reminicent of David Cronenberg´s work.
This review is based upon a online source uploaded by Jeremiah Kipp.
Rating: 6½ out of 7. It´s another wonderful short film from Jeremiah Kipp with good acting and powerful visuals. Recommended viewing!

/JL

Friday, 19 October 2012

DVD review: Psycho Street (2011)


First I´d like to thank the makers of Psycho Street for sending me a DVD screener.
Welcome to the small town of Kronanburg. On the surface this quaint, little town appears to be the perfect place to settle down, relax and raise a family. but the core of this seemingly "perfect" town is dark and vile.. and the residents of this town live in a world of deranged insanity. In Kronanburg, terror lies behind every door and death is only a heart-beat away. Join Kronanburg´s happy home-maker, Leyla Barker (Tiffany Shepis) as she leads you through three tales of murder and madness that can only come from the dark nightmares of life in this town... but beware, Leyla might just have a dark secret of her own! The wrap around story is called "COME ON DOWN" Start with "HYPOCHONDRIAC". When LA physican, Dr Oliver Combs (Marv Blauvelt) trades in the stress of his big city medical practice for the "simple" life of practicing medicine in the small Kronanburg medical clinic, he may have gotten more than he bargained for.. because the patients who frequent this clinic have problems far more bizarre than anything he encountered in LA, and he finds that he may have made the biggest mistake of his career.. and his life. Next in "ANTI-BODIES", Susanna Sullivan (Brigid MaCaulay) is a cruel and immoral woman who keeps her teenĂ¡ge daughter (Kayle Williams) locked away in a bedroom of her farmhouse, "Selling" her sexually to the men of Kronanburg. Expecting a night of unhibited sexual pleasure, instead these men find themeselves plunged into an unspeakable nightmare of pain and death. Finally, in "LEWIS", when Amanda Reece (Deneen Melody) returns to Kronanburg with her young daughter, searching for clues to her past, she is startled that the residents of this town are very familiar with her... and seem to have sinister plans that involve her and her daughter. Psycho Street is written by Marv Blauvelt, Anthony G. Sumner and Trevor Wright. It is directed by Patrick Desmond (segment "Come on Down Part 1"), Arthur Cullipher (segment "Come onDown") , Pete Jacelone (segment "Hypocondriac") and Anthony Sumner (segment "Lewis"). The director of the segment "Anti-Bodies" is unknown at the moment when I´m writing this review.  The acting is uneven througout Psycho Street, some of it as in "HYPOCHONDRIAC" is very tounge in cheek, in some parts it good, it´s quite unsettling to see Kayle Williams tied down and left at the mens mercy (but they don´t know what´s coming) in "ANTI-BODIES". The best acting appears in "LEWIS",  who gave a tounge in cheek protrayal earlier plays it straight here and it works. Deneen Melody is also very good as Amanda Reece. The camerawork and editing is pretty good for most of Psycho Street but somehow it gets better in the final segment.
While "HYPOCHONDRIAC" is pure comedy and "COME ON DOWN" has some humorous moments, "ANTI-BODIES" is much darker and nastier with nudity, scenes of forced sex and incest. Very twisted stuff but it suffers somewhat due to the limitations of its budget. The final segment "LEWIS" features the best plot, occult sect, a lot of sex and nudity, gore (good looking make-up fx) nasty nuns and priests. Psycho Street is gory, its practical make-up fx and the quality varies through the different segment. The best fx can be found in "LEWIS". There is also some creature make-up fx, some look good while one looks really bad. There is gratitous nudity in "ANTI-BODIES" and "LEWIS", plenty of T & A and several sex scenes, a couple of rape scenes and even incest.
Psycho Street is available by VOD and will get a DVD release from R-Squared by October 2012.
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) DVD release from Muscle Wolf Productions.
Rating: 6½ out of 7. I enjoyed this but Psycho Street is uneven as is often the case with multiple part anthologies. I didn´t care too much for "HYPOCHONDRIAC" even if it has some really fun moments, "COME ON DOWN" was pretty good and works well as a wrap around segment, I liked "ANTI-BODIES" which is really sleazy but "LEWIS" is by far the best segment, partly due to the fact that they more or less skip the comedic and bizarre parts of the earlier segments but it is also better made (I suspect that it had a bigger budget than the other segments), features better acting and so on and I love, truly love the concept of this 70´s style occult thriller and I would love if someone sat down and tried to make a feature film from it.

/JL



Review: Crestfallen (2011)


First I´d like to thank Jeremiah Kipp for contacting me and providing me with a screener.
When Lo (Deneen Melody) has her life come crashing down on top of her, she makes the impulsive decision to end her own life. Now with her health hanging in the balance, she questions her decision. With every drop of blood rippling in to a new memory, will the bad ones take her life, or will the good ones overpower them? Crestfallen is written by Russ Penning and directed by Jeremiah Kipp. The acting is good, this is very much a Deneen Melody flick and she is very good and gives a impressive and very emotional performance using her eyes, facial expressions and body. It´s beautifully shot and edited. It is a dialogue free short film and I love the Harry Manfredini composed soundtrack. There is no gore in this, there is both T & A and a sex scene which appears in a flashback.
This review is based upon online screener provided by Jeremiah Kipp.
Rating: 6 out of 7. Crestfallen is a well made and powerful 6 minutes long short film. Deneen Melody is impressive especially considering that she´s the main focus of the dialogue free film, and I will make an effort to check out more of the flicks she has acted in. I look forward to see more from the very talented Jeremiah Kipp.

/JL

Review: Baby-Sitting (2012)


A young woman (Morgane Housset) accepts a babysitting offer from a couple she doesn’t know. Puzzled by the children’s odd behavior, she invites some friends to keep her company. Little do they know that it will be the worst night of their lives… Baby-Sitting is written and directed by Lucas Masson. The acting is good, especially from Vasco Bailly-Gentaud as the little boy and Prune Richard as the little girl. It´s nicely shot and edited. The soundtrack is good. Baby-Sitting delivers horror with some dark humor and it works very well for it. It is gory and the make-up fx looks really good (won´t go into any details due to spoilers). There is no T & A in this.
Baby-Sitting is currently being screened on the Festival circuit.
Rating: 7 out of 7. I enjoyed this a lot, it´s well made, the concept is good and we get some really good looking practical gore fx. I do recommend that you make an effort to go see it if it is being shown at a Film festival near you. Highly recommended!!

/JL

Thursday, 18 October 2012

New giveaway: Klagger signed by the director


To celebrate that Independent Flicks was started one year ago I´m having a few giveaways this month. This time the prize is a signed copy of Klagger signed by the director Casey Crow. I got two copies from Casey Crow so there will be two winners this time, sadly both were floaters when they arrived but they look ok (I can´t see any noticeable scratches). They are Region 0 releases.

First come first served but remember that the giveaway starts when the blog passes the 50 000 mark. Send email to independentflicks@hotmail.com

/JL

Sunday, 14 October 2012

DVD review: Ninja the Protector (1986)


An international ring of counterfeiters is spreading their phony currency throughout the world's money markets. A special police investigation unit is formed to track down the gang responsible for the counterfeiting scheme. Unfortunately, the gang is also a highly-trained group of ninjas that will require the skills of agent Gordon Anderson (Richard Harrsion), a top ninja in his own right, to combat these criminals who will stop at nothing to keep their plans alive. Ninja the Protector is written by AAV Creative Unit and Godfrey Ho who also is the director. This is another exampe of his special trademark, shoot some new footage with caucasian actors (often including Richard Harrison) and splice in these scenes into a old unreleased Asian movie (this time a actiondrama about two brothers Warren and David) and through  inventive editing and dubbing we get a totally new flick. The acting is bad and the painfully bad dubbing doesn´t help. The camerawork and editing is pretty decent. In my opinion the asian footage is pretty boring in Ninja the Protector, it features some fightscenes, nudity, sex and makes up the bulk of the flick but when I watch a movie with Ninja in the title I wanna see Ninjas. The new footage using caucasian actors and chinese stuntmen as ninjas, don´t believe for a minute that it´s Richard Harrison making all those fancy moves in the ninja versus ninja action. On the topic of ninjas; how come that every ninja in these flicks is wearing eyeliner and btw you have to admire their skills at teleportation.The final battle with a ninja versus ninja action on racing motorbikes could have been pretty cool but now it just looks mediocre, the final fightscene ends somewhat abruptly and sets up the flick for its wtf moment which is a very abrupt ending. The fightchoreography and swordplay is okay thanks to the Hong Kong stuntmen. There no gore in this. There is T & A, rape and several very boring softcore sexscenes in this, they occur in the old asian footage.
This review is based upon the Austrian region 2 DVD release from 84 Entertainment. It´s uncut and have both german and english audio.
Rating: 0½ out of 7. Ninja the Protector is confusing, the asian footage is quite boring and there's not enough ninja action but even so it has a certain strange and unique charm that appeals to some of us (including me). I suggest that everyone but dedicated Godfrey Ho fans should avoid this.

/JL






Saturday, 13 October 2012

Review: Everyone Must Die (2012)


First I´d like to thank the filmmakers for providing me with a screener.
When it comes to your town, no one can run, no one can hide, EVERYONE MUST DIE! A pattern of similar killings occurs, leaving small towns aghast with grief and suspicion. When the massacre left Kyle's sister in the coroner's office, he vowed to solve the mystery behind the gruesome pattern of slaughter and find out where this seemingly death-proof killer will strike next. Join us as this tale of gore spreads from town to town, person to person, and blade to blade, leaving nobody safe, because, after all... EVERYONE MUST DIE! Everyone Must Die is written by Derek Rothermund and Steve Rudzinski. The acting is very tongue in cheek, all the characters have certain characteristics that are somewhat exaggerated. For instance we have Sam also known as MC Pink (Seth Joseph) who is a pretty annoying and hilariously funny character at the same time. We have the sportjock, there is a very funny scene when he tries to hook up with a chick, and so on. The camerawork and editing is pretty decent. There is a lot of intentional comedy but it never forget that it is a slasher as the bodycount is pretty good and the pacing is high (running time 70 minutes). There plenty of bloodsplattering but only brief gore, a comination of practical and computer rendered fx which looks okay. In the T & A department I can report topless nudity.
Everyone Must Die can bought from the official website here .
This review is based upon online screener provided by the filmmakers.
Rating: 5½ out of 7. I enjoyed this, Steve Rudzinski shows a lot of improvement in his craftmanship (I´ve reviewed a earlier flick of his). Everyone Must Die has all the traditional slasher-elements and is both fun and entertaining.

/JL

Thursday, 11 October 2012

DVD review: Stash (2007)


Bud's (Kevin Taylor) a good ole' boy brought up on Bluegrass and Moonshine. While supplying the surrounding counties with its Marijuana supply, Bud has a hefty growing operation. However, this is not Bud's only secret. He has a much darker one. One that lies trapped under his cabin in the rural hills of Eastern Kentucky. What will happen when two people stand in the way of everything Bud has worked for? How much blood will have to spill? Stash is written and directed by Jacob Ennis. Poor acting from most of the cast, Kevin Taylor´s character is actually more annoying than frightening and that´s not a good thing. And that he keeps screaming "Shazaam" every time he gets an orgasm just cracks me up. Debbie Rochon plays the mother of the first abducted girl and is a stunner as always The camerawork and editing is decent. The soundtrack is pretty decent. There is no gore in this. There is some T & A including full frontal nudity but I guess that Karen Boles, the lead character, had no-nudity written in the contract as she gets to keep her underwear on while all other of Buds victims are nude..
This review is based upon the region 1 DVD release from Bloody Earth Films.
Rating: 0½ out of 7. Stash had some great potential to be a really gritty and sleazy exploitation flick but it ended up being boring and lame. I can´t recommend this,  my copy will get a place in my shelf amongst the DVD´s I'll never want to watch again.

/JL

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

DVD review The Ninja Squad (1986)


A supreme ninja master and his disciple confront Ivan the Red, a power hungry ninja. When the police fail to help, the young disciple must reveal his amazing fighting ability to save his sister and avenge his mother's murder. The Ninja Squad is written by AAV Creative Unit and Stephen Soul, it´s directed by Godfrey Ho and Robert Young. The acting is horrible, the camerawork and editing is pretty decent. It´s the product of standard Godfrey Ho filmmaking technique, take a old unreleased Asian movie, shoot some new footage with a caucasian cast and splice the new material into the original movie and whoopsie you got a new flick. We get several WTF moments, usually featuring Richard Harrison who plays The Pink Ninja aka Ninja Master Gordon and the scenes of him training with his sword is so hilarious that I laughed out loud. Richard Harrison, btw, have later stated that Godfrey Ho killed his career with his output of really cheezy and shitty ninja flicks. The new footage makes out perhaps 15 minutes of The Ninja Squad, it consist mostly of training montage and ninja versus ninja action as Ivan The Red (Dan Wheeler, who runs around in a bright red and gold suit) seeks out different ninjas, kill them and collect their headbands. Yes this is a flick were the ninjas wear colorful clothes and headbands with the text Ninja. The old Asian footage is from a vigilante flick which provides several shoot outs and fightscenes (through re-dubbing and editing, the main character in that footage now apparantely is Ninja Master Gordon´s student but he doesn´t display any martial arts prowness at all as he instead prefers to shoot the bad guys with automatic weapons). The action (old Asian footage) is pretty routine stuff and pretty badly staged, the fight choreography in the new footage is decent and very much "Hong Kong". The changes between old and new footage is obvious and very hard to miss. There is no gore (they evidently couldn´t even afford any fake-blood) or T & A in this.
This review is based on the region 1 DVD release from Crash Cinema Media.
Rating: 0½ out of 7. I kinda enjoyed it, it´s entertaining in a trashy sort of way. Fans of trashy cinema has to see this.

/JL




Review: Blood Soaked (2012)


First I´d like to thank the makers of Blood Soaked for providing me with a DVD-screener.
A freshman on her first day is seduced by an older co-ed and shares a sweaty and sleepless night in the New Mexico desert. After a run-in with road kill the morning after, the newly formed lesbian couple's maiden voyage is violently interrupted by a pair of Hitler youth sisters with a taste for G.T.A. and hate crime.  Skull-shattering horror ensues as untested Nazi science unveils a deadly secret and the sister's terrifying plans for a Fourth Reich are revealed. The couple's wits and survival skills are the only things keeping them alive as the nails approach their coffins with blinding speed… Blood Soaked is written and directed by Peter Grendle. The acting is good, especially from the two main characters who are both interesting and entertaining. It´s nicely shot and edited, the movie have scenes both in color and black and white and some scenes are in my opinion a bit to dark. The set design is good. The pacing is good, the running time is 70 minutes. There are a few twists, I won´t go into them due to spoilers, but there might be one twist to many in my opinion. There is gore, practical make-up fx and a lot of the gory stuff happens when the movie is black and white and that actually works to its advantage and it looks pretty good. There is some brief topless nudity
This review is based upon a DVD -screener provided by the filmmakers.
Rating: 6 out of 7. I enjoyed Blood Soaked, it´s well made, entertaining and unexpectedly sinister in its tone.

/JL

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

DVD review: Taeter City (2012)


In Taeter City everything is managed by the iron fist of dictatorship members: The Authority. They use a special radio wave system called Zeed that lets them distinguish criminals from typical law abiding citizens. These special radio waves alter the demented brain of criminals, forcing them to commit suicide in horrible ways. A special police corps called The Bikers retrieves their corpses and delivers them to massive slaughterhouses. These supply the mega fast food chains with the human flesh products they need to feed the masses, non-stop. Here there are no criminals, no crimes, no riots, no crisis… until now. The Zeed system is no longer functioning the way it is supposed to: The criminals are no longer killing themselves; the radio waves are making them stronger! Follow the crazy mission of three Biker officers (Razor, Shock, and Wank) charged with managing this chaotic situation. Taeter City is written and directed by Giulio De Santi. The acting is decent, the concept is very cool but this flick isn´t so much about acting and plot, it´s mostly about visuals and the camerawork and editing is good.  I like the futuristic setting, clothes, guns and so on and keep in mind that it´s made on small budget. The style of visuals is influenced by japanese Manga/Anime and gory 1980s flicks. The soundtrack is good. The pacing is high and there is hardly a dull moment as the action and gore comes fast and furious. It´s extremely violent and very gory!! The carnage on display is beyond belief and it all happens on screen. They blend practical make-up and computer rendered fx and for the most part it looks pretty awesome. No T & A in this.
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) DVD release from Necrostorm. it has english audion and english subtitles.
Rating: 7 out of 7. I loved it and I enjoyed this immensely! It´s a ultraviolent goregasm in a sci fi setting! The concept is very cool. Recommended to gorehounds and fans of the more extreme/violent Anime.
Taeter City can be bought from the Necrostorm website here .

/JL

DVD review: The Nail Gun Massacre (1985)


In a small Texas town, the peaceful atmosphere is shattered when a beautiful young woman is the victim of a savage sexual assault by a gang of construction workers. Shortly after this horrific event, a masked killer begins a blood-drenched killing spree with the help of a pneumatic nail gun. Victims are nailed to trees! Lovers caught in the heat of passion are nailed to each other! Is anyone safe from this gleeful psychopath’s murderous mission? As the increasingly mutilated bodies begin to pile up, a local sheriff and the town doctor begin an investigation to solve the deadly crimes before the Nail Gun Killer finishes his gruesome masterpiece of industrial strength horror! Will they be able to stop this wisecracking madman in time, or will they be the last unlucky souls to get nailed? The Nail Gun Massacre is written and directed by Terry Lofton and co-directed by Bill Leslie. The acting is just atrociously bad. Some thoroughly bad dialogue, the "witty" one-liners from the killer are pathetic and really annoying. The lack of continuity is stunning,  the killer appears to change shape and size each time he/she shows and the sheriffs badge manages to switch sides on his chest a couple of times. Another thing that annoys me is the killer (he/she) she in a strange, electronically modified voice that sounds utterly ridiculous. The camerawork and editing is decent  The audio is bad, it´s hard to hear what characters are saying. The soundtrack is freaking awful and seems to have a life of its own as it in several scenes just feels misplaced and plain wrong for the proceedings. There is weak gore, the make-up fx is hilariously bad, we get a very fake looking cut off hand and numerous of nails imbedded in flesh but it´s VERY evident that when we see those that they are made of rubber. The kills are lame and poorly staged and we see people either move or breathe after they been killed. There is gratuitous T & A in this, the absolute high point comes early in the flick courtesy of Staci Gordon provides gratuitous topless nudity as she is only wearing panties. The cameraman actually zooms in on her tits as she watches her reflection in a mirror. Yup, he zooms in on them and they fill the screen. There are several very unerotic sexscenes and the gang rape scene is quite possibly the lamest rape scene ever seen in flick like this.
This review is based upon the region all (Region 0) DVD release from Synapse Films.
Rating: 0½ out of 7. The Nail Gun Massacre fails as a horror movie, it fails as a comedy (Terry Lofton apparently intentionly decided to include some comedic elements as he realized that his flick didn´t work as a horror flick but I simply can't see anything funny or humorous as it is played straight and has a serious tone). It´s ineptly directed, poorly scripted and atrocious  acting. It isn´t even as bad that it becomes good instead it´s just tedius experience to sit through. On the positive side it delivers some sleaze, a ton of T & A (but the only the really good T & A is provided by Staci Gordon and that scene, although quite long, comes early in the flick) and a pretty cool looking killer but he/she would have been much cooler if shape and size would have been the same throughout the movie. I can´t really recommend this to anyone...

/JL


New giveaway: Mats Helge Olsson set


To celebrate that Independent Flicks was started one year ago I´m having a few giveaways this month. This time the prize is a set of three Mats Helge Olsson directed flicks, you get Animal Protector, Fatal Secret and The Mad Bunch. They are swedish region 2 releases, no extra material, english audio and swedish subtitles. They are in mint condition and still in plastic wrappers.

First come first served but remember that the giveaway starts when the blog passes the 48 000 mark.

/JL

DVD review The Zombie Chronicles (Video 2001)


Tara Woodlet (Emmy Smith) is a tiery young reporter searching for clues to write a story on the infamous ghost legends of an old desert town. In her search, she picks up a bizarre hitchhiker, Ebenezer Jackson (Joe Haggerty). He leads the sceptical Tara on a vicious journey where the living dead prevail, and humans are the unwelcome intruders... The Zombie Chronicles is written by Garrett Clancy and is directed by Brad Sykes. The acting is pretty bad but Joe Haggerty is horrible, utterly horrible.. Camerawork and editing is okay. Jeff Leroy, one of the heroes of Independent Flicks, is the cameraman. This feature made on a shoestring budget anthology horror in the tradition of Tales from The Crypt. The first story; Returning from the Vietnam War, Sgt. Ben Draper, (Garrett Clancy) and his wife Marsha, (Beverly Lynne) car breaks down. Ben Draper heads off to find some gas, he returns to find his wife strapped to a tree rigged with explosives, and he is soon tormented into performing several arduous tasks from a mysterious watcher that soon turns out to be from his past. The second story; On their way to a campground, Jason, (Mike Coen) Buzz, (John Kyle Grady) and Melinda, (Janet Tracey Keijser) decide to stop in a secluded spot in the woods. To pass the time they tell ghost stories, including one of a famous outlaw said to be buried in the woods and they soon find themselves trying to escape from zombies. There is some gore, pretty decent practical make-up fx designed by Joe Castro, high lights include someone who has had their skin of their face removed, eyeballs being plucked out and a decapitation. The make-up fx design for the zombies is very uneven, some are pretty good and some look cheap but they are at least not painted blue. There is no nudity in this, there is a prolonged and very unerotic sexscene.
There is a  3D version of The Zombie Chronicles available.
This review is based upon the region 2 DVD release from Screen Entertainment.
Rating 0½ out of 7. The Zombie Chronicles has numerous flaws, bad acting, no sense of pacing, the intended twists are lame and quite obvious and both stories are just plain boring. It´s bad, really bad but The Zombie Chronicles has one good thing going for it, Joe Castro´s special effects, which are cheap but very enthusiastic. The Zombie Chronicles might be something to check out for die hard fans of the zombiegenre if you can get this cheap. If you´re a curious gorehound I should mention that they show evey death in the movie in the opening credits



/JL


Sunday, 7 October 2012

DVD review: Kickboxer from Hell (1992)


While in Hong Kong preparing for the big tournament, American kickboxing champion Sean becomes involved with undercover British Nun Sophia and her battle against Satan and his evil crew of kickboxers. In the action packed climatic battle, Sean destroys Satan and his evil henchman, the dreaded Scorpion. Kickboxer from Hell is directed by Godfrey Ho. The acting is obscenely bad and the dubbing to english is laughable. Beware that this is a typical Godfrey Ho filmmaking, shot some new footage with a caucasian cast and edit then edit it into an older Asian flick and suddenly you got a new flick. In Kickboxer from Hell there is perhaps 15 minutes worth of new footage and around 75 minutes from what looks like a 1970s horror movie produced somewhere in Asia. The shifts between new and old are very obvious. Needless to say it´s a pretty confusing and incoherent flick. Don´t know what to say about the camerawork and editing, I guess that it´s okay. The soundtrack is something special, I had a nice WTF moment when suddenly I hear the Halloween theme, yes they used it in this flick. The 1970s horror footage is dreadfully boring and features a haunted house. The fight choreography is actually, and unexpectedly, pretty decent but it´s best to put a limit to your expectations. No gore in this or perhaps there were but the picture is so dark when some scenes take place at night so it´s hard to tell. The make-up fx, if you can call it that, looks like shit. No T & A in this as far as I could see but some scenes were very dark.
This review is based upon a region all (Region 0) DVD release from Eden Entertainment, don´t know if it´s a legit release or not but I bought it at Amazon.com
Rating: 0½ out of 7. OMFG! Kickboxer from Hell is a confusing and incoherent mess to say the least..  I won´t hesitate to name this as one of the worst flicks I´ve ever seen. Yes, it is really that bad..

/JL



DVD review: Lock 'n' Load (1990)


Please note that this review is based upon a italian language only DVD release, it seems to be the only legit DVD release of this film, and my knowledge of italian is nil. I don´t understand a word... Paul McMillan (Jack Vogel), a Vietnam vet has nightmares about murder and zombies, and then discovers that he and other vets have been programmed to commit crimes and then kill themselves afterwards so they can't be traced. He investigates to try to find out who is responsible. Lock 'n' Load is written by John Cianetti and David A. Prior who also is the director. The acting is decent, this features more plot than the average David A. Prior flick, and it´s a pretty cool concept but there isn´t enough action to maintain my interest and the action is badly staged. The camerawork and editing is pretty good. No gore to speak of, some squibs, some zombies (which look pretty decent) that appear in the main characters nightmares. There is no T & A in this.
This review is based upon the region 2 DVD release from USA Home Entertainment, it´s uncut and italian language only.
Rating: 1 out of 7. It´s pretty boring but it has a better plot and acting (but that´s pretty hard to judge  as the flick is italian language only but it seems okay) than most of the David A. Prior flicks I´ve seen so far. Sadly they forgot the action, sure there is some actionsequences but they are too few and too far between and as usual with these flicks they are badly staged...

/JL

Saturday, 6 October 2012

New giveaway: Andreas Bethmann´s K3 - Prison of Hell (uncut) Cover A



To celebrate that Independent Flicks was started one year ago I´m having a few giveaways this month. This time the prize is a copy of Andreas Bethmann´s K3: Prison of Hell (uncut). It´s in mint condition (opened but never played).  
2.35:1 Widescreen
Running time: ca.106 min.+106 min.+121 min. (uncut)
German audio with english subtitles.

2 disc -Set
DVD 1
Exportversion (106 min) - The german cinema version- Bonusversion (Alternative Hardcore-Version, 106 min.)
DVD 2
Deleted Scenes (31 min.) - Original Trailer - Making of "Prison of Hell" (88 min.)

X-Rated 231, Cover A
This info is taken from dvduncut.com

First come first served but remember that the giveaway starts when the blog passes the 47 000 mark. Don´t miss this great giveaway featuring perhaps nastiest flick from the german sleaze-master Andreas Bethmann. Gratuitous female nudity, explicit sex, degradation, sadism, torture and gore. The gore fx is created by Olaf Ittenbach and is very good in this. K3: Prison of Hell is one of those flicks that has a well deserved  reputation for being extreme.

/JL

Friday, 5 October 2012

DVD review: Rapid Fire (1989)


Please note that this review is based upon a italian language only DVD release, it seems to be the only legit DVD release of this film, and my knowledge of italian is nil. I don´t understand a word...
Mike Thompson (Ron Waldron) is a former U.S. government agent whom is called on by his no-nonsense ex-employer Hanson (Joe Spinell) to stop a terrorist named Mustapha who breaks out of a maximum security military prison aboard a battleship with the help from his aide Eddy Williams (Michael Wayne) a former agent-turned-mercenary using a new prototype weapon that is capable of firing six different types of ammunition that the U.S. government wants back at any cost. Mike is forced to rely on his former partner-in-crime Pappy, and a CIA agent named Corle, to help him try to track down Eddy hoping to lead him to Mustapha before they can plan their next terrorist strike. Rapid Fire is written by William Zipp and David A. Prior who also is the director. The acing is pretty bad, the camerawork and editing is pretty good but the action, which is the main reason that I wanted to see this, is uninspired, badly staged and just plain boring. The pacing of Rapid Fire is actually pretty good for the most part but there are recurring prolonged flashbacks and dreamsequences which is kinda annoying as it very obvious that they are there just to increase the running time. That futuristic 1980s gun would make Stallone and Schwarzenegger green of envy or perhaps not...
There are some decent squibs in this but that´s all. There is no T & A in this.
This review is based upon the region 2 DVD release from USA Home Entertainment, it´s uncut and italian language only.
Rating: 1 out of 7. Rapid Fire is a pretty bad and fails to entertain, the actionsequences (with one or two exceptions) are quite awful and boring.

/JL

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Review: Swamphead (2011)


First I´d like to thank the filmmakers for providing me with a screener.
An ancient relic is found at the bottom of a local lake which resurrects the severed head of Robert Gross, aka Swamphead. A group of hapless teens come across the relic and their weekend camping trip becomes a nightmare of blood, feces, and more head than a night in Tijuana. Can they destroy the zombie head or will they die trying? Swamphead is written and directed by Dustin Drover and Justin Propp. The acting is kinda hard to comment on, I think a lot of the bad acting is intentional bad acting much as in the way as they have grown ups playing teenagers. One of the actors looks like he´s as old as the actress playing his mom. The camerawork and editing is okay, some scenes (especially during night are almost too dark) and some of the scenes suppsedly taking place at night shifts between daylight and darkness. There is a lot of intentional humor and there is plenty of bad taste comedy that sure to offend some viewers, it often has something to do with feces. There is gore, one of the best fx comes early in the movie and it´s a aftermath scene but it would have been better if we couldn´t see that the victim is noticebly breathing and that his posture shifts throughout the scene (one moment he´s staring up, then his head is tilted to the side, then he´s staring up again and this happens several times). The Swamphead is what it is, a low budget design but it´s nevertheless amusing if you´re in the right mood while watching it. There is no T & A in this.
This review is based upon a passwordprotected screener provided by the filmmakers.
Rating: 3½ out of 7. I kinda of enjoyed this, I interpet it as it´s all intentional comedy (that all the flaws are more or less intentional). It´s a Tromaesque flick and several of the jokes and characters made me think of South Park. This is almost like a live action version of a South Park episode and I´m a big fan of Trey Parker and Matt Stone´s South Park. I wouldn´t recommend this to everyone but if you are a fan of Troma, South Park and shot on video 1980s horror flicks then this is somehing for you to check out.

/JL