Reviews written by registered user
ZombieRanger

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14 reviews in total 
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19 out of 40 people found the following review useful:
Echo Pond was... well... watery., 30 March 2010

I had the honor, I suppose, of seeing this as a convention last year. After a meet and greet with some of the cast and crew, the theater went dark and this movie flickered up on the screen. Roughly 7 minutes in, I turned to my friend and told him every plot twist we were going to see, the order the characters would die in, and how the movie would end. I was about 94% dead-on, and the row behind me started laughing out loud every time one of my predictions came true. The film looked alright and had a decent score, but the characters were not well written and the plot was so by-the-numbers it killed any chance for suspense to build. What we do get is some long slooow character development of several unlikable people and when the horror does kick in, it makes little sense and doesn't seem to fit the tone that led up to it. I hate to say it, because the cast/crew were very supportive and proud of their work, but I've essentially seen this movie before, and seen it done better. The only recommendations I can give are for James Duval and Robert Patrick, both of whom give inspired performances with pretty bare roles.

Felony (1994)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Baffling... but in a good way., 12 March 2010

Alright I'll start this off by saying the box cover is a lie, and a confusing lie at that. Leo Rossi is featured prominently there, but has about 12 minutes of screen time and is not the focus of this movie. Despite appearing nowhere on the front cover, this movie stars Jeffrey "Re-Animator" Combs as a reporter(?) who captured footage of a drug deal/political agenda killing(?) and is being chased by drug dealers/cops/crooked and/or non-crooked government agents(?) You'll notice there's a bit of uncertainty in this statement, and that's because despite having watched this movie in its' entirety I'm not quite sure what happened. This movie is either the greatest action movie spoof of all time, or the most clichéd attempt at a serious action film of all time, all I know for sure is that I loved it. This movie has a downright stellar cast, Ashley Laurence(Hellraiser series), Lance Henrickson(everything ever made), David Warner(everything else), Charles Napier(that guy that's played a general in everything for the past 30 years), and the man himself, Joe Don Baker. The strangest thing about this movie is its' focal point. For the first 30 minutes or so it's nearly impossible to figure out who our star is. The movie jumps from character to character almost desperately searching for someone to follow. It almost feels like this was supposed to be a vehicle for an 80's action star, but the filmmakers couldn't secure one so they just shot the movie based on the secondary characters from the script. It really does play out like the intended gun-toting catchphrase spouting protagonist just forgot to show up. The movie gives us shootouts, car chases, explosions and double crosses, and you'll be hard pressed to figure out what's going on even when they explain it. This may not be your cup of tea, but I was absolutely astounded.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Crap, 12 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Very obvious and overall worthless little flick that tries to equate the plight of the undead with social issues like AIDS racism and homosexuality, which ultimately leads to a downright confusing message. The problem is certain metaphors get lost in translation. At one point we're supposed to be horribly disgusted when the villainess causes a commotion upon being served food by a zombie. Now I understand it's supposed to be symbolic of intolerance towards different groups of people, but if your waiter was a walking decaying husk, you'd lose your appetite too. The movie completely loses it's focus towards the end when cults and militias start popping up and going to battle(which means a half dozen people with fake knives and plastic guns have an after effects shootout and toss blood bags at one another.) Cap it off with a really unsatisfying conclusion and you'll know why this thing should be skipped.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Awful, awful ,awful, awful... awful!, 12 March 2010

I found this DVD entitled "Invasion" for 5 bucks in a discount bin rotting beneath copies of public domain cartoons and questionably licensed workout videos. Thinking that I might have found a neglected gem, and since I sort of recognized that one guy from "Dead Man on Campus", I bought it and brought it home for a viewing. I can't fully go into why this was so terrible, only that the 'humor' contained in it was so abysmal and anti-funny, that I have to question whether the writer was in fact an alien and that's how comedy worked on their planet. Imagine a confused half-conscious David Lynch directing a comedy written by a first year film student who made it halfway through their modern feminism course before switching to social economics, who then tells every actor to perform their roles like Ren & Stimpy side characters. This movie set off a resentment towards Canada within me that I never knew I had, or perhaps didn't have before watching this garbage. I'm now an emptier, more bitter human being than I was before watching this. I'm going to set fire to this DVD, bury the ashes and salt the earth. That should sum things up!

Infection (2005)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Interesting little Creep Flick, 2 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I found this as a used rental, and only had a vague knowledge of the plot. I was actually quite surprised at the overall quality of the movie. It helps a lot if you know in advance that the movie is something of a gimmick, shot entirely on a dash-mounted cruiser cam. If you're alright with that aspect of it, it's probably going to live up to your expectations. Most of my complaints are the end result of this style. There are long stretches of the movie where nothing happens, which would make sense, as this is supposed to be shot in real time. There are also a lot of repetitive moments; Girl tries to escape park, cars/infected block road, girl screams, frantic driving away. Some of the acting is questionable, such as the doctor we meet only as a voice, his accent felt pretty fake. I initially disliked the heroine and the deputy over the radio, though they did win me over by the end of the movie. There are also a few underwhelming cg effects, which occasionally give away the budget restrictions, but they keep them brief and they're mainly used to better convey what's happening when someone is infected. Most of the story is told through voice-overs and sound effects, and at parts it feels like a radio drama, which made the movie effectively creepy in parts. The film is almost entirely lit by headlights(probably augmented by spotlights), and if you've never been stranded in the middle of nowhere with only some shaky headlights, you'll know how spooky that can get at night. It's not a perfect movie, but it kept me engaged, and considering how this movie was shot and the movie spent on it, I was genuinely impressed, and I wondered how much better this would have fared if they had released it under a less generic title.

Splinter (2008/I)
1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
I'm creeped out. (That's a good thing!), 5 January 2010

Sadly I had passed this one up for a while, mostly due to the crappy cover art. At first glance, it looked like some DTV stalker movie thriller. I'm sort of ashamed of myself because this may have been the best serious horror film I've seen in a few years. It isn't a 100% original, you'll find a few elements from The THING, a hint of Cabin Fever, and some Tetsuo for any Japanese buffs out there, but don't let that deter you, the occasional similarities are there but they are extremely well used. I was on edge during parts of this movie and that's not an easy feat for anyone as film jaded as me. The movie starts out a little slow, but once it picks up, it stays frantic all the way through. The actors did take a while to grow on me, but by the end I was rooting for them and I suppose that speaks volumes for both them and the writer. As for the effects, I was genuinely impressed, aside from occasional CGI shots of the 'splinters' growing out of some different surfaces, most of the creature effects appeared to be practical. I think having the actors work with actual creature effects aided this movie tremendously. The only real criticism I have was the need to give our fugitive a heart-of-gold back-story. I felt just having him aiding our heroes would have been enough of a character arch. But that's a small complaint and I would definitely recommend this movie to any horror fan, with a warning it's not for the squeamish.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
With all Due Respect to the Filmmakers, I was lied to..., 9 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I picked this gem out of a lineup of other movies, and upon reading the back was lead to believe this was a horror anthology revolving around a couple living in a mausoleum. Whew... not the case. This is almost a straightforward documentary about a couple who happen to own a museum about death. I say almost because there are some dance sequences spliced into the doc footage revolving around some zombie-like narrator and his ghouls(which appear to be some local dance troop covered with pancake) that have zilch to do with the rest of the movie. The interview with the couple is sadly not very interesting, it's the experience of being stuck in a room with two aging west coast artists while they ramble on about their house and hobbies. This movie is the equivalent of a bad cross-country flight. I actually feel sorry for the filmmakers, I don't believe they were trying to sell this as a horror movie, but that's the way the distributors marketed it, so dopes like myself will pick this up expecting something they certainly won't get. I'm biased in my review of this movie, I'm not a documentary fan, but had I known what I was going to watch I may have been kinder in my final score of it. I just want anyone planning to watch this to know what they are getting into.

Severance (2006)
2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Its a horror comedy...without the comedy., 1 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Successful horror comedies have a nearly impossible duty to balance what's funny with what's horrifying. Most fail, but generally in respect to one element or the other. As a horror film Severence does alright, the problem is that it only set out to be half a horror film. SO it's half horror and half dead silence while you're waiting for the faltering jokes to wrap up. Most of the humor is intended to be dark, but for the most part it's just sight gags involving body parts and political humor that's so overt that you groan. So the regional manager is a dimwit war profiteer named George. Subtle...very subtle. The characters come across as unlikable. Whether that's intentional or not I can't say. I keep running across reviews comparing this to Shaun of the Dead, and I just don't see it. They're both British, true. But Shaun was very smart and at the same time very fun. This was bleak and surprisingly dull. It took forever to get to the action and by that point the humor bits were running dry. An odd bit of knowledge I've gathered from this is that bear traps just aren't funny. They're such gruesome instruments that squeezing them for laughs just doesn't work. I wouldn't have guessed that. But seeing is believing.

Contagion (1987) (V)
1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Wow..It's um... Not a medical thriller., 1 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I found a VHS tape of this gem with no case, no description of any kind. But with a name like Contagion I was hoping for a mutant virus or zombie plague. What I got was something else entirely. A very disturbing and confusing tale of darkness and madness and mayhem. A British spin about an ordinary guy entangled in a cycle of insanity that seems to be caused by a secluded location that infects people with pure evil. Oh and there might be ghosts or something. Maybe.

You may not need to re-watch the entire film to understand it, but I guarantee you'll be reviewing at least a few scenes to piece it all together.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Hated less than part 2, but still Hated., 1 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have already given my feelings about GS:unleashed, and how the charm of the first film was crippled by establishing that once bitten you're dead, there is no cure. So a prequel about their predecessors(past lives?) wasn't very interesting to me. I waited about four years before checking this one out and despite decent acting and great sets/costumes, it was still a bleak and unsatisfying story. I did like the addition of the leeches into the mythos, but that still didn't change things. Brendan Fletcher was the only real standout in this movie. Hopefully there won't be any further sequels, prequels, remakes, etc.


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