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51 reviews in total 
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The movie should have been culled., 17 May 2015

I must say I didn't like this film. Allow me to summarise the ludicrous plot for you.

Some kids find a lost girl at a roadside diner and decide to drive her home. Once there the parents of the lost child come home and invite the kids to stay. Everyone gets drunk and high. The Mom of the little girl cuts her leg with an axe then the parents of the year drive off to the hospital leaving their child in the care of a bunch of drunk young strangers. Then a load of stuff happens that is very tiresome, nonsensical and boring.

The acting is good by the two main leads it's just that the story is never really engaging. Also it's one of those movies where the plot is fairly vague with reasons for what's happening and I didn't really care enough about it afterwards to try and reason anything out. There was a pretty weak twist in the end that added nothing to the enjoyment factor. The effects aren't great either a bit of blood some poor CG overall a bit lazy.

Certainly not one I'd recommend.

Exeter (2015)
3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
A Fun possession movie., 17 May 2015

I first heard about this when it was called Backmask, then it was called Exeter now it has the title of The Asylum along with another hundred horror movies why they went for this lame title I don't know.

When I read Marcus Nispell the director of the Chainsaw remake and the Friday 13th remake was directing an original story I was really interested as I enjoyed both of those. This film has been knocking around for a few years so I've been looking forward to seeing this for some time and was worried it wouldn't live up to my expectations, but fortunately for me for the most part it does.

The story concerns a bunch of kids who have a drug fuelled party at an old loony bin that they're renovating. The next day when all the other kids have left and just our main group of friends remain they begin fooling around playing records backwards and trying to levitate each other. Well our main guys little brother ends up possessed and things take a turn for the worst.

The humour and horror in this one are really well balanced. With the right amount of chuckles, scares and gore all making this a great watch. The do it yourself Excorcism videos they find on the Internet and some of the dialogue are really funny. It crams in just about every possession movie cliché you've come to expect but does it in such a knowing way that it doesn't come across too cheesy.

The overall look of the movie is also great with a real professional sheen to the whole production. The gore effects are also great with both funny and gruesome moments rolled into one. One particular scene with the fat guy was really great.

Don't get me wrong it does have its problems. I guessed the ending from the beginning and a few of the characters are very one dimensional but it is very entertaining. As long as you view this in the right frame of mind it is a good watch. Just don't expect anything highbrow this Is pure entertainment horror.

I think I'm done with low budget zombie movies., 17 May 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wyrmwood is a movie I'd heard good things about and was really looking forward to seeing it. It starts pretty well giving you the set up for each of the lead characters back stories but then shambles along much like every other zombie film you've ever seen. It has a few humorous parts to it that may raise a smile and the A team like sections where the group build things in a garage were quite fun but the plot overall is just a bit boring.

The most original ideas in it involves the female lead who for some reason has a mad scientist injecting zombie blood into her brain which gives her control over the zombies. Also the zombies produce a gas that can be used as fuel. Personally these ideas didn't really do it for me which is maybe why I didn't enjoy the story.

The effects are okay the zombie make up is fairly good, although the overuse of CGI blood squirts when zombies are shot is a bit off putting.

It has one of those endings that could lead into a sequel, personally I won't be interested in a second visit.

Avenged (2013)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Bloody, brutal and lots of fun., 11 May 2014

Savaged is the story of a deaf mute girl on her way to a new life living with her fiancé. she stumbles across some unsavoury desert dwellers up to no good and is brutalised and eventually murdered by them. A local Shaman witch doctor tries to resurrect her but something goes wrong and the girl comes back changed and ready for vengeance.

Michael S. Ojeda has come up with a great new twist on the rape revenge genre. Somewhere between "I spit on your grave" and "The crow" Savaged is full of so many cool and original moments that this indie horror easily puts most Hollywood efforts to shame. The casting in Savaged is great. Amanda Adrienne manages to look both Fragile and strong in equal measure as the Vengeful Zoe making it easy for the viewer to sympathise with her as well as get behind her as she dispatches the bad guys in ever more inventive ways.

Some of the set pieces in Savaged are truly great. One scene which can only be described as a bar fight with "guts" was truly inspired. Another scene where our heroine battles on the back of a moving truck was also impressive. Some of the more gruesome scenes also had me wincing with how just plain gross they are. All of this leads up to a great Showdown and a strong if tragic ending.

Given that the movie is a low budget Indie the special FX are very impressive. The make up for Zoe as her body gradually degenerates are fantastic. Granted there are some fairly poor CG effects in here but in general they are of a pretty high standard with nothing so bad as to ruin any enjoyment to be had. Although my one true gripe has to be the use of CG blood squirts, I wish people would stop using these as they just look poor.

What this movie has is a real sense of fun and how it manages to maintain this at the same time as being very brutal is a great achievement. Savaged has that 80's movie feel where even though some of the things that happen are a little silly it doesn't matter because it's pure entertainment. I can't wait to see what Mr Ojeda does next.

Ritual (2013)
Watching this will not become a Ritual., 11 May 2014

Ritual takes the often used trapped in a motel room thriller and adds in a satanic cult element but doesn't do anything original with the idea.

The intro had my hopes up with it's stylish opening and eerie credits with the gradually appearing skull mask setting the mood very well. yet as the movie carried on my interest gradually waned as each scene was a real effort to sit through. An almost totally unlikeable female lead and virtually no chemistry between the two main actors made for every exchange between them a real laborious viewing experience.

The cults masks were fairly effective but you never really got to see what they were up to. The strange use of a high pitched whine as scenes got more "intense" was a rather annoying sonic choice that for me didn't pay off. The usual horror movie foolish choices appear but you should be used to that sort of thing if you watch this sort of movie. Obvious comparisons to vacancy are likely but the two movies are almost poles apart in terms of delivery. Vacancy is almost relentless once it gets going were as Ritual is a more sedate slow burn.

The biggest problem with Ritual for me was it wasn't any fun. It was just a little too miserable and slow. Ritual is not really a bad movie but having seen it it's probably one I wish I'd waited to watch on the horror channel.

2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:
One long chase scene., 25 March 2014

Four kids out for some fun upset the wrong gang of cannibal greasers and are chased around a city at night while being picked off one by one. The script for Butcher boys was written by the writer of the original Texas chainsaw massacre with most of the ideas from that movie being regurgitated here only slightly tweaked. Several scenes are reused which dampens the impact as you've seen it before. It also borrows from other films most notably Judgement night.

In its favour Butcher boys does have a pleasingly nihilistic tone as once the film gets going nothing is explained. Who are these rockabilly cannibals? Why are the cops scared of them? Just what is that weird restaurant/gentlemans club they're running all about? But the tentative approach to the violence portrayed is at odds with the gonzo storytelling. Apart from two or three slightly graphic scenes the blood and gore is fairly minimal. This could be due to budget constraints. If I so I would have maybe saved the money spent on the constant nighttime aerial shots and spent that money on more prosthetic effects. A little more violence would have pushed this film up another notch on the crazy level making it that little bit more memorable. The nihilism does eventually reach it's apex in the finale when all hell breaks lose. Unfortunately this scene also turns a few things already set up in the film on its head. Making you question even further the lack of coherence.

I did find watching Butcher boys a fairly frustrating experience. I could definitely feel the opportunity for a good if not great movie in there somewhere. Visually it's very competent, it's well filmed and has a certain visual style all credit to the directors achieving this on a minimal budget. The sound and score are also strong. On the whole the performances are good with the odd exception. The problem lies mainly with the script, it borrows too much from other films, some of it could be classed as a knowing wink or nod to the writers previous work. Although had it been written by anyone else I think we'd be calling it plagiarism.

In the end I was left neither loving or hating the film hence the score. Maybe on a second viewing I'd like it more, but at the moment the only taste left in my mouth is vanilla.

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
A vacant, empty bore., 26 September 2013

May contain spoilers.

A couple drive about arguing, eating, getting naked in the desert and occasionally having some animalistic sex. There is no real plot. There is no depth to the characters. The woman is a completely vapid idiot. The guy is a shaggy haired Burk. The only positive for the almost two hours running time are some nice scenic shots. The movie contains every cliché of art house cinema. Long periods of silence, close ups of characters faces as they begin to cry, characters talking in different languages to each other, a three legged animal, it's like a student film maker saying "look, at me I'm being arty".

Then in the final fifteen minutes the film turns "Dark". A totally unprovoked and vicious sexual attack takes place. The aftermath of which is probably more shocking than the event. These few scenes are made more shocking by how mundane the rest of the movie is. Which I feel is a cheat. I wasn't shocked because I cared about the characters it was just the visual of this scene. Remove this from the movie and there's literally nothing you would remember about it.

Described as an experimental horror film, I don't know what the experiment was. Maybe it's whether you can get away with an hour and half of nothing as long as you stick something nasty on the end. I think the experiment was a waste of time.

Wither (2012)
4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Oh, how my excitement withered., 18 August 2013

Yeah I also read all the buzz about this movie being the new Evil dead or whatever they were saying. I suppose it is like evil dead plot wise, group of kids go to a cabin (or abandoned house in this case)are all one by one possessed or infected by evil. Then gorily kill each other off.

Unfortunately that kind of comparison is unfair to Wither as it gives you certain preconceptions. Unlike Evil dead this movie has no sense of fun. It is far too serious and given the quite silly plot this doesn't work in its favour. The only laughs I had were at the main guys hair becoming quite crazy during one of the fights the brother characters generally cheesy appearance and the subtitle coming up for a quite obvious shouted expletive, twice. Also none of the characters seem to have a problem killing each other. These people are supposed to be long time friends but they quite happily shoot and stab each other in the blink of an eye.

It is fairly gory but if gore is what you're looking for it doesn't even do that in an original way. None of the kills are inventive. I had seen nearly every kill bar one (the one with the stool) done before. The effects are in the majority done with practical effects with a bit of CG help. There are a couple of CGI blood squirts which I loathe because the blood just vanishes. Overall the gore effects are good but not as extreme as some reviews claim. The possession make up for the actors is pretty good. More effort does seem to have been made with the brother character than anyone else though.

The Gore effects aren't the only time CG rears it's ugly head, there is added heavy rain in certain scenes that doesn't appear to be making the actors very wet (oops). Also some over the top clouds of dust and debris.

The ending is also a massive anticlimax you wait the whole movie to see the thing that caused all this mayhem. when you do finally see it it's a bit of a non event.

I was really looking forward to Wither I enjoyed the directors other movie Blood runs cold but this one lacked something for me.

Laserblast (1978)
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:
I wish I had seen this as a kid., 18 August 2013

Out in the desert reptilian aliens kill a humanoid alien leaving his Laser gun and necklace in a pile of ash. Later that day Billy Duncan finds the gun and necklace and discovers that combined they hold immense destructive power. He sees this as a great opportunity to get revenge on everyone who has done him wrong. Eventually the power of the weapon begins to take control of Billy as he begins to mutate and revenge takes a back seat to wanton destruction.

It would be easy to write Laserblast off as rubbish. It's not particularly well made the acting isn't brilliant the special effects aren't great (excluding the stop motion aliens) but it is a whole lot of fun. Some of the jokes in the script fall a little flat but the performances themselves are a constant source of entertainment. The props with there schlocky appearance are great. I know if I had seen this as a little kid I probably would have found Billy quite creepy in some of the scenes when he mutates. In the end when the weapon takes over Billy and he becomes more Morlock than man the movie turns into explosion porn, and we are treated to some truly odd choices of things to blow up. Yeah the script is weak and nothing is ever explained but thats what your imagination is for. I have my own ideas of what the aliens were up to, and why Billy went that way. In this day and age of everything being explained out for us in exposition heavy dialogue this is a rare treat.

I must give special mention to the movies musical score. The music in Laserblast really adds a level of class to proceedings which in all fairness probably doesn't deserve to be there. That main theme over the credits really is great sci-fi music.

I enjoyed Laserblast and they really don't make them like this anymore, I'm not even sure they'd want to, which makes me very sad.

Could have been so much better., 18 August 2013

Shot documentary style following the aftermath of some mysterious events between the lead singer of a goth rock band and a pop star. The Devils music is a series of on camera interviews with people involved with the band and the music biz mixed in with footage filmed by people in the group showing some of the weirdness.

The plot is actually an OK idea, the lead singer of a rock band befriends one of her groupies who used to be a fan of a pop-star who they believe has some dark secrets. on the positive side the members of the band and the tour manager are all very good and you believe in the interviews that they are real people. There are two or three actually pretty creepy moments in the movie that work well sadly thats it for positives.

The two leads, the rock-star and the pop-star are terrible. Its real weak below TV standards acting and where the focus is on these two a lot of the time it really drags the movie down. But the most fundamental flaw with this movie is the music. Given that we are to believe that these are both successful acts in the music industry the songs are dreadful. The pop-star is supposed to have a major following but the songs are barely even radio jingle worthy. The same can be said of the rock songs and when the band are playing on stage there's people there holding instruments that aren't even on the track. You'd think if you were going to make a movie based around music you'd at least get some quality songwriting secured to make the whole thing believable.

It's a real shame that an original idea was wasted on what turns out as a pretty useless film.

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