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Psycho III (1986)
27 out of 34 people found the following review useful:
Highly impressive sequel effort, 4 November 2006

"Psycho III" is a lot better than what one might think.


After deciding to leave the Church after an accident, Maureen Coyle, (Diana Scarwid) winds up at the motel run by Norman Bates, (Anthony Perkins) and his assistant Duke, (Jeff Fahey) and decides to stay for a while. Still battling the demons that caused her to leave the convent, she stirs the emotions in Norman and he constantly feels the urge to kill. Soon, a rash of disappearances plague the visitors of the motel, alerting Sheriff Hunt, (Hugh Gillin) and sleazy reporter Tracy Venable, (Roberta Maxwell) to the issue. Investigating the disappearances, they find a shocking secret about what's the true nature behind the motel.

The Good News: Another entry in the long running series initiated by the classic original, this one isn't all that bad. The fact that it's far more generously shot gives it a far better technical appearance. In one dazzling scene, there's a re-staging of the shower murder mixed with a vision of the Virgin Mary, wherein he enters a shower room just as someone attempts to commit suicide, where the sudden sight of the character in drag holding a knife becomes a vision of the Virgin Mary holding a crucifix. There's also a classic moment where the sheriff opens the ice machine and pulls out a cube to suck on in the blistering heat, whilst Norman Bates watches on in horror as the ice cubes are covered in blood. A really intense moment as well comes from a daring escape from a drowning car and comes across a really unexpected entity. The fact that the slashing came into the film more here is a nice bonus, and we get some really nice deaths. One is beaten with a guitar until it splinters, another gets sliced up with a knife that's framed to imitate the shower scene from the first one, another is decapitated, and there's also a brutal impaling with a knife. There's a few more kills here, making this one fit in pretty well with the more kill-happy crowd. This one wasn't all that bad.

The Bad News: There's really only a couple small comments against this one. For as much of an opportunity as there was to kill, very rarely does it show through. It's not as big of a body count as there really could've had, and it probably could've done a little better had it off a couple more here and there. The other major beef is that the film tries way to hard to mix in several different themes and ideas that some of them get shuffled around and get a little confusing. The religious angle for the events was a big one. It serves it's purpose, but it is melded into the other storyline and it becomes a mess. However, other than those, this wasn't all that bad of a film.

The Final Verdict: The real secret to enjoying these sequels is that they shouldn't be compared to the original. View them separately and objectively and they're actually decent films. If that sounds like a fine viewing agenda, then give this one a shot, otherwise there's no need to view it if you've already determined it won't stack up to the original.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Nudity, Graphic Language, a sex scene and drug use

14 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Disappointing, dull and almost unwatchable, 27 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Forest of the Damned" is a thoroughly disappointing and dull effort.


Going on a trip, friends Molly, (Nicole Petty) Judd, (Daniel Maclagan) Ally, (Sophie Holland) Emilio, (Richard Cambridge) and Andrew, (David Hood) manage to get lost along the way, and upon stopping for directions, are warned away from entering the woods nearby. As that's their destination, they dismiss the warnings and proceed onward. When an accident strands them in the forest, they split up to go find out, only to realize that the warnings were accurate and are being haunted by a trio of wood nymphs who live in the woods feeding on those who in the woods. Determined not to fall victim to the deadly creatures, they try to find a way of getting out of the woods alive.

The Good News: There wasn't a whole lot really right with this one. One of it's few pluses is that the setting is effectively done, making good use of atmosphere here to make for a thrilling location. With the giant trees and the rather suffocating effect they have, it's quite nice to be able to really great setting here that really allows for a lot of fantastic atmospheric shots to occur. The opening shots of them driving into the forest as well as the treks to find help offer a lot of great atmospheric moments as well, making it a really enjoyable and certainly allows an interesting set of events. There's also the way it makes the night-time scenes even better with the creepy surroundings being hidden by the time they take place, allowing for even more fun to be had from these segments. They also allow the film's few action scenes, such as the attacks on the campground and the stalking in the woods after the breakout meaning a lot to the film and how it overall works. Other action scenes, such as the attack in the farmhouse, where they are tied up and forced to let the creatures come to them while trapped allows for some really tense moments. The kills lead to some gore, not all that much but still some and that's a nice accomplishment, letting some of the decapitations and dismemberments to come across as really graphic. The last plus here is the film's nudity, which does deliver here nicely in spades even if not all of it is appealing. These here are the film's pluses.

The Bad News: There was a couple of pretty big problems to this one. One of the biggest flaws to this is the fact that there's absolutely no action at all during the majority of the film. This is an incredibly slow-going film that really offers up hardly anything at all during it's running time that constitutes anything remotely resembling action, as it's barely-there pace, dreary action moments and complete inability to actually move forward with anything at all. The film tends to revolve around either the victims being knocked out and subjected to torture from those involved with the proceedings. It's a relatively dull affair that really doesn't offer much of any action scenes that move the film forward, instead offering up so many different scenes that are quite boring and just lack anything that move this one along and it suffers heavily for this one. It's so dreary at times that it barely makes any sort of impact and just trundles along, hoping the nudity will keep it alive. A prime example is the scenes set inside the house, which have absolutely no point being there. The scenes serve no purpose to put them there, the scenes are confusing as to why they're there and they offer up no answers at all to anything since the holder puts them in league with the creatures and holds them without any reason. That's a rather big flaw on it's own, since it offers up a series of confusing scenes after another with absolutely no answer at all to anything. The first attack during the pre-credits sequence, the reasoning behind the capture, the back-story to the creatures, the twist ending, are just part of the problems here, offering nothing as to what's going on. Not even a conjecture is offered, none of the issues are presented and it's all just quite aggravating having to wait around hoping something will come along that ultimately doesn't. The last flaw to this one is perhaps the least-important but the most detrimental overall, the setting of the music and noises in here. When watching a movie, it shouldn't be an exercise of setting the volume high to be able to hear what's being said then immediately racing to turn it down when the music hits due to it just suddenly blaring out of the speakers. The entire movie is mixed in such a way that a remote has to be kept on hand during the entire film, which detracts significantly from the experience. These here are the film's flaws.

The Final Verdict: Not all that great, with too many detrimental flaws to this one that it can't really use whatever good parts it has. This one's really only there for those who find these kinds of films interesting, though those who prefer a little more quality out of their films should heed caution with this one.

Rated R: Nudity, Graphic Violence and Language

13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Good entry, definitely worth a look for fans of the series, 13 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

`Carnosaur III: Primal Species' is an above-average quality sequel in this series of the films.


A team of terrorists hijacks a top-secret military convoy, thinking they have captured weapons-grade plutonium. Instead, the convoy was carrying dinosaurs, and the dinosaurs attack and kill the squad of terrorists. A military recovery team learns the convoy is stopped in a warehouse on the local waterfront, and immediately goes out to retrieve it. The dinosaurs attack the squad, leaving only three soldiers. Back at their headquaters, their captain (Scott Valentine) refuses to go back unless they kill the dinos, but the scientist in charge of the operation (Janet Gunn) orders them to merely capture the dinos. Heading back out to the warehouse, the team gets additional help with a Marine Task Force. Together, they still can't control the dinosaurs. They finally find a way to get them under control: luring them out to a ship, sailing them out to see and blowing the ship up.

The Good News: While this film won't win any awards for its FX, the dinos are still pretty realistic. It's still pretty better than the first one, but the second one is the most realistic of the movies. This film isn't as gory as some would believe, but only a few scenes are actually gory. There is the traditional limb ripped off and even some bloodsplatter, but this is the driest of the three films. The locale of the movie is a nice change, making the switch to a warehouse instead of in an open area like the first one. It was also very good in designing suspense. There was a lot of scenes were you were waiting for a dinosaur to pop out of somewhere and take a bite out of someone, and more often than not, that did happen. I have to give a film some recommendation when it delivers on suspense that it sets up.

The Bad News: For some reason, this had some scenes that could've been taken out of the movie, despite the fact that it's barely over 1 hr. and 20 mins. The scenes showing the Soldiers and the Marines getting to know each other could've been trimmed, and several other small scenes could've been cut out. Also, there are a lot of shots of very obvious puppet dinosaurs shown. The T-Rex at the end is a very good example. It looked real in only a few seconds in the whole film. In fact, the dinos are only in a few minutes of the movie. They were missing for most of the movie. I counted only about a half-hour worth of screen time for the dinos. This should've been dragged out far longer for a film about dinosaurs, and it being so short in the first place, would've only made the film that much better. The recasting of Rick Dean, who was Monk in part two as Polcheck in this one, was a nice touch but confusing, as he seems to play the same role in both movies: a wise-cracking soldier who doesn't seem too interested in the rules of the situation.

The Final Verdict: If you don't mind watching about a half-hours' worth of dinosaurs in an 1hr. and 20 min movie, this isn't that bad of a movie. It may leave you confused why it's so long with so many scenes that could've been cut out, but it is still a worthwhile edition to the series.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Adult Language.

Mammoth (2006) (TV)
22 out of 33 people found the following review useful:
Not that bad Sci-Fi Channel film, 22 April 2006

"Mammoth" is a pretty decent Sci-Fi Creature feature.


Dr. Frank Abernathy, (Vincent Ventresca) is beyond thrilled that his museum acquires a frozen Wooly Mammoth, especially when he pulls a strange blue object out of it. A few days later, a meteor shower strikes the town, including the museum, and the Mammoth mysteriously vanishes. It turns up a few days later at a rave, fully reanimated, threatening his daughter, Jack, (Summer Glau) and her boyfriend, Squirelly, (Cole Williams) as well as the others. Agent Powers, (Leila Arcieri) of a special task force, informs them that the meteor was actually a UFO that has reanimated the mammoth. They team up together to put it's rampage to a stop.

The Good News: This wasn't all that bad of a film. There's a pretty high body count in here, so there's some nice, gory deaths involved. Several are trampled, one gets the tusks swung onto them, and another is gored in the stomach. There is more involved, so the film has a pretty sizable gore factor. More potent, though, is it's strong humorous tones. There's a lot more humor on display in here than you may think. Frank is a pretty clumsy scientist, always holding onto doors longer than necessary, constantly forgets where he has left keys and other items, and gets flustered very quickly. The two sheriff's deputies have a couple great lines and scenes among them, with their clumsy bungling and goofy banter at the most inappropriate times. The whole exchange in the morgue is definitely worthy of a few laughs, and is the overall best scene in the film. Inappropriate sound effects, though, gives away the fact that this was all pretty much intentional, and it scores more than it misses. It does have the typical fast-pace to it, so something is always happening in here that will keep your attention.

The Bad News: As usual with the Sci-Fi Channel's works, the title creature is so obviously CGI that it loses the impact it could've had. Naturally, due to the size of it, this had to be done like that, but it still becomes immensely distracting seeing the CGI mammoth. It just looks way too fake to be scary at all, and can be spotted pretty easily. There was a couple moments of extreme lapses in logic. The creature is said to be a nearly twenty ton animal, yet is able to sneak up on people quite easily. The thunderous footsteps are also heard way too close to people and places that a creature of it's size normally wouldn't do.

The Final Verdict: A couple lapses in logic and a pretty fake title creature hold this one back, but all Sci-Fi features have that as well. It is a little more humorous than others, so if you love these films and have a present funny bone, give this one a chance. There's been worse ones they've put out before.

Rated UR/R: Violence and some Language

24 out of 37 people found the following review useful:
Weak entry, could've been better, 18 February 2007

"Cube 2: Hypercube" is a weak and confusing entry after such a great original.


Waking up alone, Kate Filmore, (Kari Matchett) Simon Grady, (Geraint Wynn Davies) Sasha, (Grace Lynn Kung) Max Reisler, (Matthew Ferguson) Jerry Whitehall, (Neil Crone) Tom McGuire, (Bruce Gray) and Mrs. Paley, (Barbara Gordon) each find themselves trapped in a large structure together. Trying to determine a way out of the structure, they find it is a series rooms with weird numbers scratched all over the walls. Discovering that they are in a hypercube, which has four dimensions across it and can fold back in on itself, which forces them to believe that an alternate reality is inside, as well as their self. Forced to take action, they try to solve the riddle of the cube and escape before they're killed off.

The Good News: There isn't a whole lot here to really like. The hyper-dimensionality allows for a lot of fascinating ideas to play around with. Gravity operates at a different angle in some rooms, time operates at a different pace in other rooms so that at time, they see other people alternately sped up or slowed down, and of course, doors open up into alternate realities and points in time, which allows them to constantly meet different versions of themselves. In one simply fascinating scene, one of the characters opens a door and sees them-self staring back. Reaching out to grasp the hand, another character appears from behind, kills the parallel version before being wiped out by a wall of crystalline shapes. It's a compulsively fascinating moment that works quite effectively for it's creativity. Another scene shows on of them stabbing a character in the eye, only to then turn around and encounter them on the other side of the room a moment later, having aged several years and seeking revenge. Outside of these great ideas, the film is pretty hollow.

The Bad News: There's a lot here that doesn't work. As a whole, this is a mess of a movie. It differs so much from the original that it's almost in a different series, with only the main premise and the cube structure remaining. Gone are the numerous, and quite cool, traps from the original, replaced here with a trap that will spring only if too much time is spent in a room rather than being the structure of the room itself, and in their place is a much too talky, confused, and poorly written movie. Not once does it fall together so that a simply answer can be arrived at that will explain everything, and instead, it just chooses to get more and more incoherent ending up being way too complicated for its own good. Even the traps that do spring up aren't that great, being simply a multiplying square that morphs into a spinning shape, not at all that creative or impressive. The laser-wall isn't that bad, but otherwise, the traps in here are barely worth mentioning, not being that great at all and nowhere near the inventiveness or cruelty of the originals. The extreme amount of down-time in here is also a problem, since it takes nearly forever for the film to get going. After introducing themselves, it takes nearly forty minutes before the first trap is sprung, and that's far too long to be standing around arguing with each other. That's the main gist of the middle of the film, long sequences of everyone arguing about what each clue supposedly means or where each person came from. This is a downer and makes the middle seem like it takes forever, and coupled with the weak, confusing story and lack of inventive traps, really brings this down.

The Final Verdict: With a couple of decent scenes and ideas thrown in, this is a really hard movie to recommend to anyone. Fans of the original might like it, but it only has to be the most forgiving fans to do so. If you want to really watch it, watch it before seeing the original or not back-to-back, the differences will be quite startling.

Rated R: Graphic Language, Graphic Violence and Brief Nudity

9 out of 9 people found the following review useful:
Surprisingly decent, gory zombie film, 15 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Dead Men Walking" is a pretty normal entry in the zombie genre.


After being caught trying to wipe out a zombie invasion, a new prisoner is transferred to Harwood Maximum Security Prison, and the strange cause of his arrest prompts Samantha Beckett, (Bay Bruner) to look into him. The staff soon become concerned that he's vomiting blood on the inmates, and Samantha eventually reveals that he was infected with a strange virus that turns the infected into a bloodthirsty zombie. As it spreads through the prison, infecting more inmates and staff members, they are forced to defend themselves from the blood-thirsty zombies that have taken over the prison.

The Good News: This one actually turned out to be a pretty decent zombie film. The most impressive thing in the movie is the huge amount of blood on display. The gore sequences were pretty outstanding and there was tons of blood flying everywhere, some really chunky bites, blood splatter all over the prison walls, guts are yanked from afar, necks gashed wide open, and a whole slew of abdominal eviscerations that were of great quality and very impressive. The gore flowed pretty steadily throughout the film and was a very gory delight. The setting is a nice, new one for zombie films, and actually gets some mileage out of the fact that it's an enclosed surrounding with no way to get out. It's a great touch that helps out tremendously. Once the film gets going, it's pretty much non-stop, making for some great action scenes towards the end, and the last half-hour in particular is just full-throttle action. The opening also helps in the action factor, starting it off on the right notion. It wasn't all that bad.

The Bad News: There is a couple complaints for the film. The biggest problem is the gunfire. I know this is a low budget film, but please put a flash on the gun when it fires. It was slightly ridiculous to see guards hold their guns at the zombies, with gunfire sounds in the scene, but with nothing coming out of the gun. Even the fact that they never even sound as loud as a real gun should be in the situation is a distraction. There's no loud booming sound, rather a weak-sounding cap that really gives the fake guns away. The zombie attack scenes are also staged much too chaotically and edited with such quick jump cuts and blurring effects that it feels more like a low-budget video game. It's very hyper stylized and serves as a distraction rather than a help. And as a personal gripe, fast-running zombies will never be scary.

The Final Verdict: It's decent enough in it's own way, but the few gripes against it will never be enough to offset what gory highlights can be gathered. If you're a zombie fan or love this type of film, give it a go. Otherwise, exercise extreme cation.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Brief Nudity and children in danger

11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Bland, boring and features very little good moments, 23 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"In A Dark Place" is a somewhat slow and boring horror drama with a few good moments.


Fired from a teaching job, Anna Veigh, (Leelee Sobieski) is offered a babysitting gig and eventually takes the position. Brought by assistant Mrs. Grose, (Tara Fitzgerald) to the house, she meets her charges Miles, (Christian Olson) and Flora, (Gabrielle Adam) and is soon tending to their problems as a full-time nanny. When she starts to suspect that something is amiss with them, she decides to learn about the history of the position, and realizes that there's a violent history involving the ghosts of previous residents of the house haunting the grounds and targeting the children. Taking matters into her own hands, she tries to prevent the same thing which happened to them from repeating itself with the children.

The Good News: This one didn't have a whole lot to really get excited about. One of the most memorable aspects of the film is it's lesbian relationship, even though there isn't much of that going on. The one sequence where one of them writes in agony in a flowery shirt is nice, and the one sequence where they give in to the temptation and it goes for a mild sex scene is the real highlight, offering up a lot of good points to really serve it well. Some of the haunting scenes are actually good, mainly the ones coming at the end. The fact that they all occur in the frosty winter-land is a little chilling, giving it a nice atmosphere due to the stripped, dead trees reaching out to their victims. It's quite impressive and eerie altogether. The other plus is that they're used in conjunction with the ghostly hauntings, all of in the distance and making them seem even creepier. The last good point is the really nice chase at the end. The stalking in the house is pure gold, lasting much longer than normal and going out to really get a lot going for it. Then it moves out into the wintery forest, which is always great and it's combined into a spectacular conclusion. These here are all that really work for the film.

The Bad News: This was an all-together huge missed opportunity for something decent. One of the biggest problems is that the supernatural hauntings are nowhere near center-stage in this, making the drama the real focus of the action. There's very little, if anything at all, in the beginning which is all that great, or even entertaining, centering around the efforts to understand the children. That's not a wholly entertaining avenue to explore in this, especially once it starts dominating and nothing at all really happens, and when they do happen, it's usually a quick-cut sequence that isn't followed up on, rendering it of no importance other than a cheap-jump gag or is written off as hallucinations, which is really a shame since the hide-and-seek game played is rather cheapened of a great, genuine thrill by it's lame revelation. Other scenes are also hurt by this, and it really hurts the film altogether. Another missed opportunity comes from the weakened lesbian angle. Not enough nudity is really shown outside of one sequence, and with a coupler bathing scenes, a make-out fondling and a couple dressing scenes all offering up nothing, all coming off as teasing rather than anything else and coming up as plain irritating. The main missed opportunity with the ghostly haunting also manages to slow the film's momentum down, really making the beginning quite boring, especially with the fact that it's more or less an unnamed remake of a classic in the genre, only with a few minor changes. It's quite easy to pick up on the references, to the manner of job acquisition to the antics between the two to the school problems and much, much more, really taking a large piece with it. The last flaw is the film's rather misused house. This could've been a really creepy, old-style house with modern twists that really could've been a creepy and unsettling place, but is shot all the wrong way and really does the film a huge disservice. These here are the film's flaws.

The Final Verdict: With a couple of good parts and some really big flaws, this one is a really big disappointment when it could've been worthwhile. Really only give this a chance if you're a huge fan of the style or those who like the creative side, while those who want some action in their films should heed caution.

Rated R: Graphic Language, Violence, Nudity and a mild sex scene

11 out of 13 people found the following review useful:
Sequel that's better than the original, 11 August 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

`Carnosaur II,' while borrowing very liberally from another movie, is a great movie in and of itself.


At a top-secret mining facility, strange accidents happen and workers begin disappearing. A special task force is organized to into the mine and tries to get it operational, but when they arrive, the site is completely deserted and the whole place is littered with human remains. They do find a young boy, (Ryan Thomas Johnson) whose father worked in the mine and is now in shock. The government agent in charge, (John Savage) is apprehensive about letting the soldiers know the true reason for the base, and successfully blocks many attempts to find out. Upset over his team's attempts to find out anything, their captain (Don Stroud) goes into the forbidden bowels of the mine to see what is going on and is savagely mauled by an unseen animal, who drags him down to even lower levels. They escape and try to fly away, but a raptor takes control of the helicopter and crashes it, leaving the team and the boy stranded. They decide to send a message that they need rescuing by crashing the security systems, but that only releases the dinosaurs held below into the facility. With only a few members left, they see a rescue chopper, and leave to escape, but a giant T-Rex crashes the party, until it is finally sealed inside the mine when it is destroyed in a nuclear explosion.

The Good News: To me, this is simply `Aliens' with dinosaurs instead of aliens. That isn't a bad thing, because 1) I have this fact written in the good news instead of bad news, and 2) `Aliens' is a classic movie, and to me, this is at least a good movie. Those who have seen `Aliens' will see so many identical plot devices and scenes between the two movies. For one, `Aliens' has a mining company on a distant planet lose contact with their home base and has a team of Marines sent in to check out what went wrong. `Carnosaur II' has a mine break contact with their home base and a Special Ops team is sent in to investigate. Once there, the Marines find the place deserted. The Special Ops team finds the place deserted and the bodies torn to pieces. The Marines find a little girl, hiding from the monsters in the facility. The Special Ops team finds a young boy hiding from the dinosaurs. After descending into the depths of the facility, the Marines find a nest of aliens, which kills two Marines. The Special Ops team goes into the lower levels of the mine and finds a nest of dinosaurs, killing two of them. The Marines race outside waiting to be rescued, only to have an alien in the space craft that attacks the female pilot, causing it to crash. The Special Ops team races outside of the mine, looking to be rescued, with a dinosaur inside the helicopter that attacks the female pilot, causing it to crash. The Marines set traps for the aliens inside the tunnels that pick off many different aliens. The Special Ops team sets traps inside the tunnels of the mine that kills several dinosaurs. After everyone but the survivors have died, they come face-to-face with the Alien Queen, who kills one more person in the most hideous way in the entire movie. After everyone has died, the survivors come face-to-face with the T-Rex, who kills one more person. The hero manages to kill the Alien Queen by trapping it inside a container with a highly mechanical piece of equipment. The hero manages to trap the T-Rex inside the mine with a highly advanced piece of mechanical equipment. There are even more similarities between the two movies, but I want to keep some things a surprise, even though I have given away almost everything about the movie. The major improvement over the first two was that this one has a lot better characters in it that do a better job with acting. The actors do a better job in this one. Also done better in this one is the gore. There is a lot more gore in this one as well as it being done far more realistically. The limbs being ripped off looked far better, as they were sinewy and had more blood from them.

The Bad News: Ok, so the dinos still look terrible, and I could go on for days about how fake the T-Rex is at the end, but then again, do I really have to.

The Final Verdict: If the only bad thing is how fake the dinos looked, this is a good film. The similarities could be taken either way, but I thought it worked. It is a better movie than the first one and, if you like the first one, you'll like this one just as much.

Rated R: Graphic Language, Graphic Violence

12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
There's worse ones out there, 6 April 2006

"Strangeland" isn't that bad if it features fears of yours.


Genevieve Gage, (Linda Cardellini) is just the latest in a series of disappearances plaguing a small town. Her father Mike (Kevin Gage) just happens to be the detective on the case, and his partner Steve Christian, (Brett Harrelson) convinces him to check out a club that specializes in piercing and scarification, which is also the secret hideout for Captain Howdy, (Dee Snider) also known as Carleton Hendricks, who is the suspected cause of the disappearances. With the help of his cousin Angela Stravelli, (Amy Smart) Captain Howdy is caught and brought to justice. After a couple years in an insane asylum, he gets released back into the community, and a local militia group led by Jackson Roth, (Robert Englund) kidnap him and leave him for dead. When new evidence confirms that he may not be dead, Detective Gage tries harder than before to stop him.

The Good News: As it gets more and more commonplace for people to chat online and in instant messaging, the fact that this one was the first out of the gate to show the potential evils and dangers of the situation is a nice and original approach. Even though it deviates from it towards the end, the original set-up is pretty great. The ending is also pretty great and pretty exciting, with a great bit of action in there as well. Most of the focus on this film is the discomfort one gets when exposed to extreme forms of scaring and skin piercing, and it is a subject most get uncomfortable viewing. This is mostly played out in the psychical form of Captain Howdy, who does look pretty creepy. His look, though, drives the film, so I won't spoil it, but it is a really disturbing and shocking look that will definitely get you a little crept out the first time his full appearance is shown.

The Bad News: This film basically relies on the belief that extreme piercing, full-body tattoos and scaring are scary images for the average person. If none of them are scary or frightening, then most of the film's power will be lost. Besides that, there really isn't a whole else in the film. It's not a traditional horror film in the slasher sense, so for some it can be quite boring, as there's no real jumps, suspense or anything similar.

The Final Verdict: If any of the acts or ideas featured in this one are fears of yours, this could be a pretty scary film. If not, this can be a pretty dull experience. Otherwise, it's pretty middle of he road and pretty forgettable. Use your own judgment to determine if you will like this one or not.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Nudity, some Language, a brief sex scene, scenes of torture and extreme images of body modification

12 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
Way better monster movie than it's reputation, 30 July 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

`Rawhead Rex' is one of the more unusual monster movies to come around.


A photographer, Howard (David Dukes) comes to Ireland to do a book on sacred church sites. He stumbles across a site where three workers are raising a giant stone. Unbeknown to Howard, the stone is the resting spot for a creature called Rawhead Rex. As Howard checks around the town with various members of the church for permission to photograph the church, Rex kills one of the men who raised the stone. As Howard's wife (Kelly Piper) displays her dislike of the town, he goes to visit the man since the local priest, (Niall Tobian) gave him permission to do so. He stumbles across the murder and alerts the police. They believe that the murder is caused by someone in the town wanting revenge on the man, and start their investigation. Another couple nearby, arguing, walks off into the woods and leave their son. He finds Rex's first kill in the woods, as do the couple, and they race out of the woods, leaving only the woman and the son to reach safety. As the murders continue, the police chief (Naill O'Brian) realizes that a monster is behind it. Howard begins to suspect that the local verger for the church, Declan O'Brian, (Ronan Wilmont) is behind the monster's appearance, and he searches for the truth before Rex finds him.

The Good News: `Rawhead Rex' is a better movie than people give it credit for being. The locale switch to Ireland is a great twist and is very creative. It allows Ireland's landscape to be fully exposed to the outside world, and it's sweeping landscapes, dense forest, and luscious mountains are put on full display. The locale also gives Rex tons of hiding places to pop out of, allowing for some nice scares. Almost all of his appearances are great scares, having him pop out or showing up unexpectedly. Some were better than others were, but all in all the shock of his first appearances allow for some nice scares. The monster's roar was also very creepy. It was very deep, very loud, and very chilling. It sent a chill down your back when you heard it. It was effective for Rex in that a monster of that power and ugliness had a roar to match it. The killings in the film were also very gory. Rex had a violent end for all of his victims, and made the film a bit better to stand, with the gore in it. The gore was very realistically done, with as much burned or damaged skin as cut and bleeding. The blood flow wasn't as great as would be expected, but it was more of the aftereffect that provided more bloodletting. However, the best part of the film is easily the creativity used in telling the story and setting up the plot. No real reason is given for Rex to appear, but was certainly clever in allowing the characters to get into the plot and get it going. Harry's character is given an interesting job and a reason to be in the location when the events go down. His job of locating ancient sacred places where churches are now built is a great new, creative job to have in a horror movie. The ending is also very creative and was one of the more unusual endings in horror movies.

The Bad News: For being the central character, Rex was one really weird monster. It was an unusual movie, but Rex needed to be designed better. He looked imposing only in very few scenes and his power was displayed only in one scene, towards the end. As the central character, he needed to be a better monster. The main problem was his face. It resembled too much that of a gorilla on steroids, with the exposed lower jaw, fanged teeth, and human-ish face. His eyes were creepy, and could be left alone, but the rest could've been altered. The move to Ireland was creative, but that means that the viewers have to sit through the Irish accents for most of the movie. Only harry and his family are not Irish, so the rest of the cast has the almost indistinguishable accent that will probably hinder some viewers from enjoying it, as they should.

The Final Verdict: `Rawhead Rex' is an unusual film, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. It will grow on you after repeated viewings, but most may not make it to repeated viewings. That is a shame, since it is a creative movie that will surprise the casual horror viewer as well as those who want to see a new twist in horror films.

Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language.

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