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Rousing and truly enjoyable effort
After moving to a quiet small-town, a metal-loving teen and his new bandmates inadvertently release a series of Satanic demons after taking a passage from a book on devil-worshipping to use in their lyrics and must use their arcane knowledge of the black arts from the music to stop them.
This was nothing short of an absolute blast. Among the many numerous enjoyable qualities with this one is the just utter love and respect given to the metal genre throughout here. Not only does it get a lot of the behavioral qualities and characteristics about the fans down completely, but it manages to get the genres' different quirks and eccentricities pretty consistent as well with the use of arcane lore and different symbolism involved with the genre that gets mentioned not only in the dialog but so many other areas of the film. Since that ties into how the demons are released with the song and their plan to finally reverse the whole process which all comes from the music itself, there's a plenty of heavy metal fun to be had within here. As well, there's also the really enjoyable comedy to be found which is nearly gut-busting not only in their interactions with each other but also the general situation that's being unleashed here. From brief little interludes that feature plenty of laughs to their snarky comments to each other and the truly enjoyable moment where the corpse-paint-bedecked kid and the bright cheerleader-style normal girl are sitting on a park bench in the middle of the day eating ice-cream together discussing the genre creates an utterly memorable image as well as being genuinely hilarious. Still, the fact that as a true horror film this one provides plenty to like here with the fun and enjoyable tale here with the demon infestation slowly taking over the town and providing this with plenty of ferocious action throughout here with the townspeople slowly coming into the realization of what's happening. The brief spurts showing the crazed demons in the town makes for some stellar moments here, and with high-energy sequences here from the battle with the possessed parents using their secret sex-toys to the dismemberments of the townspeople out in the street while fleeing to safety all giving this one great make-up work on the demons, tons of ingenuity with their homemade weapons and a smattering of bloody gore there are plenty of reasons to love this one. The one downfall is that the relationships within the band don't seem realistic, but it's a minor inconsequential quibble.
Rated Unrated/R: Extreme Graphic Language, Extreme Graphic Violence, Nudity and minor drug use.
Birdemic: Shock and Terror (2010)
Among the worst movies ever made
Returning to his small-town home, a man finds his attempted romance with a local model interrupted by a series of attacks carried out by swarms of killer birds attacking anything that moves and must not only get themselves but the other survivors of their town to safety.
Frankly, this one really is that bad. About the only thing enjoyable with this one is the fact that there's a lot of bird encounters in the last half which really generates a modicum of excitement compared to the bland beginning. From the attack at the motel to the gunfight with the creatures trying to get away and the later sequences on the beach-side picnic area which has a bit of action thrown in to raise this one up slightly. With these providing the film with some decent gore effects for the aftermath of their attacks, these here are the film's positives as it does have many factors that bring it down. The main issue here is the absolutely atrocious bargain-basement level CGI that passes as acceptable in the film. The attacks are laughable in how inept they appear due to the work in here, as the birds not only look completely inorganic and nowhere close to interacting within their environment that just makes for a frustrating watch. These creatures perform the most rudimentary actions possible and seems to think that passes for horrific attacks here as they seemingly hover around the location placed on-screen in a random manner which really turns these into being silly rather than scary as this occurs for every single one of these action scenes. Likewise, the other big issue with this one is the atrocious pacing on display here which really does hamper this one considerably. There are way too many scenes of this one being dragged out with extra moments that do nothing for the film as a whole. It's not that important to witness every step of his journey into work from taking the freeway to the side-streets and walking to his desk or his date with her at the restaurant that goes on forever which really struggles to make this one become interesting at the very beginning. As well, there's also plenty of useless scenes inserted simply to add more time to the film as the boardroom meeting showing everyone individually applauding or trying to place all the useless environmental messages that are shoehorned into the film with the subtlety of a sledgehammer, and together these elements really hold back the action to the last half of the film and rarely gives this any kind of enjoyment whatsoever. The other big flaw is the lack of reasoning or rationale for anything that happens, from the start of the bird attacks to why items in their possession continually appear or reappear or why the film follows the same general storyline that makes it predictable. These here really do lower this one so significantly that it's just as awful as its reputation suggests.
Rated R: Violence and Language.
Disappointing if still watchable giallo
While traveling to Greece on a train, the murder of a passenger in their compartment forces the group into the police's investigation of the incident, and when they zero in on a photographer he and his girlfriend race to clear his name and unmask the real killer continuing his spree.
This was a serviceable enough giallo effort. What this one manages to do rather nicely is utilize an intriguing old-school feel for the main investigation which is carried out here. The opening onboard the train with the lights going out to allow the killer to strike in the darkness gives this a completely old-school feel, and with the majority of the film playing out with the investigating inspector going around trying to piece together the clues to the crime gives this a stellar murder-mystery setup that plays like traditional gialli did earlier in the genre's history. That provides the film ample opportunity for some stellar stalking scenes that get played out here, from the killer striking in an abandoned building while expecting someone else attempting to blackmail them, a stylish sequence of a victim encountering the killer in a darkened apartment where an open window creates a drafty environment replete with billowing curtains or a shocking follow-up where a victim is picked off in a bathroom that plays much like so many other scenes here. With the final taking place in the drawing-room style mysteries of gathering everybody together and exposing the killer through trickery, it has even more old-school flair that has some enjoyment here. As well, the only other piece of enjoyment to be had is the frequent nudity which is nicely supplied throughout here. Still, even with these fine points, there are some issues with the film. The main point holding it back is the rather dull and languid pace that really doesn't do this one much favor by being duller than reasonably necessary. This isn't an interesting group of characters who we're following around waiting for the next strike to occur and it just leaves this one feeling draining as this one goes around with either him in drag trying to clear his name or the airheaded girlfriend getting distracted with everything around her as they put a plan into motion to clear his name. That they're never believable as a couple with the way he seems exasperated with any of her comments regarding how they're supposed to go about matters doesn't do this section much help, and when it goes beyond them to the other passengers this one just feels endless with characters either getting a divorce or going through bland scenes in a nightclub. That relegates the killer to a few places and not being an important aspect makes it hard to remember the type of genre-piece this really is and really disappoints this one especially once it delves into the final half where very little of interest happens until the reveal. The comedy could also be problematic for some who aren't that interested in the affair since it's way too hit-or-miss to be effective, and overall lower this one significantly.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Full Nudity, Language and sex scenes.
Troublesome if somewhat engaging gialli
After witnessing a violent murder, a photographer tries to convince her boyfriend of the incident but gets nowhere until the killer starts killing off a series of regular interlopers in the case and forces the two to try to figure out the killer's identity before he targets them.
This was a decent enough if flawed genre effort. What really tends to push this one along is the actual murder mystery that plays out which is a rather intriguing and engaging storyline. Initially appearing to be centered around the incidental tourist, the gradual reveal of the killers' vendetta against the ballerina company through the use of the mannequins being supplied by the boyfriend that ties everything together and brings them their involvement into the rampage. The build-up to this isn't that bad, from the discovery of the bodies and the revelation of the handicap that spurs the interest in the two and provides this with some decent red herrings. That also leads this one into some enjoyable stalking moments that have a lot to like, from the opening sequence involving the murderer striking which is seen through a telescope lens that runs out of time before the face can be seen, the stalking of a witness through a darkened hallway where the killer again strikes out of nowhere and the tense chase on city streets to get away from a location containing clues to their identity as they race to find a phone from which to call and report on their findings. The finale in the house where the killer appears is exceptionally fun as well with the blackout and misidentification of the killer and the resultant chase through the grounds out to the backyard which has a shockingly tense confrontation in the greenhouse to finally resolve matters. Alongside the nicely frequent nudity present here from the capable performers, these here are enough to hold it up over the problems present. The main issue at hand here is the fact that this one never really manages to offer any kind of enjoyable twist on the formulaic story presented. Once again this presents a film in which someone commits a murder seen only by the main character who has nobody else believe their story which is a rather flimsy pretext to start it off but it just dives into numerous cliches after that point. Rather than just dismiss the outrageous story as the ramblings of a deranged woman, erring on the side of caution with someone reporting such an incident would've generated a far more interesting story here due to plainly going around the familiar plotline that comes along. The other big problem is that this leaves the film rather bland during the investigation here without too many bodies to knock off which is what leaves the film to feel dragged-out in points that don't really need it. These here are what really hold this one down.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Nudity, Language and several sex scenes.
Victor Crowley (2017)
Enjoyable if slightly flawed effort
Having survived the original massacre, a former paramedic finds himself in a group of people who crashlands in the same swamp with the deformed killer he escaped previously as they resurrect him for another rampage in his home swamp and must rely on his experiences to get away alive.
This is yet another enjoyable entry in the franchise. Among the best aspects of this one is the way this one goes into dealing with the backstory to the previous entries. Not only does this one take great consideration in playing up the connection to the past involving the decade-long journey by the one character but also giving this a lot to like with the setup of the legend in the years since the original incident. Taking on the current form of publicity and exposure that would be found in a modern environment regarding those types of flash-in-the-pan celebrities that dominate the society. That gives this one plenty to like heading into the motivation for the upcoming massacre with the film really scoring nicely with the usual slashing antics which keeps this one hurtling headlong into the fun slashing antics that occur. The series of attacks here are just as much fun as they were in the past, from the opening assault in the swamp to the battle to get out of the rattled plane against the trap he sets up for the group as well as the different one-on-one battles out in the swamp where the creative encounters are just as much fun as they've always been. Managing to mix together the use of bombastic, over-the-top action that never once comes close to being realistic or plausible in any sense and some genuinely creepy or chilling as when he pops up out of the darkness at the shack or the surprise appearance at the plane which really goes well together towards creating some great action-packed attacks in the final half. Combined with the usually stellar special effects work on the graphic and gruesome kills, these here are what work as the film does have a few minor flaws. The main issue here is the rather long amount of time it takes to get to the main setup in the swamp as it takes too many storylines to get fleshed out to get to that point. This one too many that don't make too much of an impact which is quite surprising as it features way too many that hold up the pacing, and it gets worse as there's no reason to keep them inside the broken plane as long as they are which also holds up the pace. Likewise, the only small issue here is the rushed feeling this gives in comparison to the other entries which didn't need as rushed and breakneck a pace that this one flies through in the finale which just seems to end without really setting itself up for anything. These here are the minor qualities that hold it back.
Rated Unrated/R: Extreme Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Blood Moon River (2017)
Decent enough if slightly flawed effort
Heading out into the wilderness, a group of friends hoping to document their search for a legendary local creature for a reality show find their trip interrupted by a clan of backwoods hunters who kidnap and hold them hostage forcing the group to band together to get away from the deranged locals.
This one ended up being quite the enjoyable effort. Among it's better qualities is the rather fine atmosphere this creates out in the woods for their show. The found-footage aspect gives this a great setup to engage in plenty of moody and atmospheric takes on the location with the way it handles the isolation and darkness wich works rather nicely in providing plenty to like within here. There's some creepy ideas within the concept of the darkened woods and the sounds of inhuman growling appearing off in what seems like a few feet away, and as the night carries on there's plenty of chilling scenes as the group slowly realizes what's going on in the woods which gives way to a much darker reveal in the final half when it gets to the cause of what's going on. Those scenes in the shack contain quite a nice sense of terror with the whole group being held captive and tormented by the family with their antics being abbreviated yet still somewhat terrifying to get through which is all done through the found-footage aspect. As well, this one has some great stuff to enjoy with the scenes of the group being stalked in the woods, giving this somenice action with the way the creature begins hunting them down within the darkness of the woods and the chaos it causes as a result. As this one has some nice nudity thrown in as well, there's some rather enjoyable elements at play here as there were a few minor problems with it. The main issue at hand here is the story makes no sense at all as to how the footage was compiled since there's no survivors of the whole experience and the footage ends up with the villains seeing as they're the last ones standing. That leaves this with a huge gaping hole as to what was available in order to compile the finished film, and with the filmed footage coming from multiple sources, that does have plenty of issues here in that actual setup of the found-footage aspect. The other big issue with the film is the fact that the main animal attacks here are obscured by that format with the shaking camera-work completely obscuring the action by keeping it out-of-focus in all the chaos featured throughout everyone going into every state possible trying to figure out what's going on. There's nothing possible about how to tell what's going on that comes about here and it tends to ruin the creepiness of being attacked by a strange creature as you can't see the action at all which does lower this one since the entire sequence is carried out in this manner and it's the big centerpiece sequence in the film on top of that. These here are the film's minor drawbacks.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Language, Full Nudity, Violence and a sex scene.
Highly enjoyable and fun zombie comedy
Arriving at an Austrian ski-resort, a film-crew looking to film a documentary on their friend finds that the owners' attempt to liven up their lackluster season has inadvertently unleashed a zombie apocalypse in the area and must use their extreme sports skills to get away.
This here is one of the finer zombie comedies around. One of the finer aspects of this one is the unbridled sense of fun this one has with the overall presentation here. Starting with the ludicrous concept that exposes the point of this one at the beginning, this one takes its concept and runs with it as it sells this goofy sense of humor that has the group attempting a sales-pitch to a client visibly foaming at the mouth from an accident, the skier coming up to a preteen admirer in the nude or the endless one-liners that spring up about them being stuck in this situation. The meta-ness of the situation gives this some more to like as well, from the ability to recognize their plight and the different matter of tactics they employ to get away feature a nice amount of cleverness in dealing with the zombies. Since the zombie outbreak is handled early on here with the change occuring during the middle of the dance party as the infected weaves through the crowd slowly turning the others into the infected which starts this off with plenty of fun as they deal with the seriousness of the zombie outbreak in humorous manners, From the attack in the bathroom where they lead the creatures into the stall next door to their attempt to escape a horde using a nearby sign and the ambushes out in the woods where they not only find the rabid woodland creatures but also the few zombies out in the wilderness where it showcases the one true manner of stalling their advances. That clever tactic is put to fine use in the final half where it details their exploits against the creatures inside the tavern where it all comes through with a series of spectacular humorous battles with the creatures that effectively ties in their snowboarding skills to help finish off the creatures which piles on numerous practical gore effects for the zombies to get dismembered and torn up in creative fashion that brings about plenty to like in the splatter sequences. These all combined give this enough to hold it up over it's one minor flaw as there's no way even
Rated Unrated/R: Extreme Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and Brief Nudity.
Zombie Night (2003)
Entertaining low-budget zombie opus
Out on a family road trip, a crisis in the world involving an outbreak of dead people returning to life as the result of radiation from the nuclear devastation plaguing the rest of the world traps a small group inside a bunker and forces a desperate attempt to get away before falling victim to the zombies.
This here wasn't that bad of a film. One of the better aspects to this one is that it has quite a solid pace here since there's a huge amount of action in here. That comes mainly from the different waves of attacks in here leading to lots of confrontations that are fun, from the first missions just to get into the shelter and the ensuing food-run that ends in disaster due to the large swarms that appear out of the darkness. The attacks much later on, with the zombies swarming over the compound and taking on a rather calculated plan of attack as they manage to force them into defensive positions while they are making an offensive march against them, are really great as well as the main sequence out in the attempt to leave their compound to get to the second shelter where the creatures pick off the most survivors and the final chase to get out of the bunker that leads into a series of woodland-based attacks are all energetic and creepy, due to the night-time setting and trying to see everything through flashlight power. Even the battle in the second shelter is quite fun with the horde coming in and taking out the different members of the group that breaks through the barricade and manages to get to the scattered group which has plenty of fun action. The opening, with the worldwide reports of damage and destruction, give this a great feel, and with the huge, global feel to it, it has a much bigger and creepier feel. The other big plus here is that there's such a huge amount of blood and gore in here that features both the violence against the zombies and humans which is really nice. These here are the film's good points as it did have a few problems with it. The fact that it's so low-budget does hurt it since there's really no way to get around certain factors like it's cheap and quite terrible-looking gore and shots that tend to be subject to the condition that they were shot in, fading in and out at opportune moments and much more in here that gives away the fact that it's really cheaply done. All of these here pop up throughout the film on a continual basis, especially the gore since it's pretty bloody, and these here can make for some troublesome viewing by those who aren't that into its style of film. Its other main flaw is the unneeded side character that constantly throws the group into danger for no reason and holds up the pacing from the zombie attacks which is the main point. Also a little damaging is the constant clichés that normally pop up in a zombie film, mainly the one where no one can get along and the stupidest decision actually turns out to be the one that saved everyone, but those are so universally-used it's not that damaging as the other flaws.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Nudity and a mild sex scene.
The Dead Pit (1989)
Entertaining 80s zombie/gore opus
Found wandering the streets, a woman is admitted to a mental health facility where she refutes her case of amnesia and begins to have crazy nightmares about a former doctor who practiced medical experiments to reanimate the dead and must race to stop him unleash a horde of undead into our world.
This here is one of the very best 80s cheesefests ever made. One of the main reasons for that is the rather great story to this, as there's much more to this one than what's expected. The fact that it throws in much more than normal, from the nightmarish dreams to the therapy sessions and her connection to the doctor's past through the flash visions that pop up, this one does manage to stay interesting for the seemingly disparate story elements are nicely woven together into a rich story that has a lot of twists and turns to keep it going. When it hits the second half, there's as much goodness from the action as the first half, which includes the zombie massacre on the staff and patients that offers up some great moments, and there's also the big scenes in the basement of the facility where all the zombies are kept and operated on. There's also the greatness of the finale where the film goes for a larger scale than expected and really makes this fun as there's some solid chasing around the abandoned buildings as well as the complete destruction of a water tower and the resulting flood it unleashes manages to employ some nice action into the proceedings to make it come to an end. The other really big part of this is that there's so much bloodshed in the film. This is incredibly bloody, packed with loads of gore and messy features as there's literally no end to the ripped off limbs, a lobotomy pick through the eyes, scores of decapitations, brain surgeries and really great gunshots to the head. Even the dead are bloody, full of wounds, all slimy and blood-streaked, many of them bald in spotted and mildewed hospital gowns as they shuffle and stutter their way to wreak havoc. There are many great scenes of them coming for the main characters lit from behind in an awesome setting which just makes them that much more impressive-looking. Alongside the mental hospital setting, which is completely creepy, offers up some unnerving atmosphere and just gives the whole thing a really uneasy feeling, these here are what make the film worthwhile as it doesn't have a whole lot of flaws to it. The main one is that the plot is rather hard to get into. There's a lot of things going on in here, from the amnesia victim to the past relationship that's remained hidden and the rather clichéd manner in which it all manages to occur at the end, and while all of these make the film feel smart, trying to piece together the way it all unfolds is just plain exhausting. Worse is the whole cliché spook of the main character that can only see the main villain's ridiculous vanishing act ploy, as there's not a lot of them, but what they lack in number they make up for in groaning ability. Otherwise, there isn't much wrong with this one.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and Brief Nudity.
The Mad (2007)
A lot of fun and really entertaining zombie comedy
Driving through the countryside, a doctor traveling with his family decides to stop off in a small town during a big town celebration where they notice they're the only survivors of a weird plague that has turned all of the locals into raving zombies and must try to get out of town alive.
This is one of the greatest zombie comedies of the genre. One of the greatest attributes here is the fact that this one manages to both mix the serious zombie action with the humorous comedy which makes for plenty of enjoyment. The film gets some rather great jabs with comedy in here, including plenty of silly gags and physical pratfalls that always works well based on their complete unfamiliarity with the situation. The hilarious wordplay between everyone is also worthy of a few laughs, especially the argument on the doorstep as well as the ensuing one in the barn as they try to figure out what's going on and a later one with the characters standing around discussing whether or not they're dealing with zombies or just really sick people. Just as good is the segment where the zombies strike at the diner, which unleashes a torrent of gags including a dance sequence disguised as a fight to a jukebox playing an appropriate song for such a scene. The seriousness is made up with the graphic zombie attacks, which here are actually threatening to the others where the laughs are played more in trying to get away from them, not the zombies themselves, so they remain a fearsome threat. There's some rather nice gore to this in the multitude of attacks in the form of some rather big action scenes where they attack in the diner, which leads to some really big parts later which are just as good. The film also has a frenetic pace, able to incorporate a lot of good stuff into it from the zombies to the gags to a couple of really fun moments that make it even more of a blast to watch. This here was a thoroughly entertaining film since this here doesn't have a whole lot really wrong, and the few flaws aren't that bad at all. The main one is that the zombies here aren't that well done, looking really cheaply and without a whole lot to really make them memorable. The design is to slap on contact lenses and a few blood marks over the face and it's considered a zombie when all it does is really make the film look cheaper and is very hard to take seriously because of it. The other one is the fact that the storyline about the tainted farm's meat is a little too convoluted. First, it's mentioned that they're cows were sick, which became a big scandal, then used an experimental treatment to make them better, which no one knew about to make them healthy then gave it back to all of the locals. It's a little tough to understand and doesn't really make much sense. These here are what really strike the film down.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and mild drug use.
Shaun of the Dead (2004)
One of the finest in the genre
Waking up one seemingly normal morning, an aimless slacker and his best friend find their London suburb overrun by flesh-eating zombies raised through unknown means forcing him and his friends to gather together and get them to safety away from the deadly creatures.
This turned out to be one of the most enjoyable zombie efforts ever. Among the numerous positives here is the absolutely hilarious and gut-busting comedy that comes from several really funny sources, giving this some rather varied sources of comedy. While there are some hysterical physical gags when they stumble over things, trip-and-fall or just get bashed with objects all over the body, there's a great deal of wordplay throughout that leaves this incredibly humorous especially with the way that a lot of these events are added alongside the absolutely clever manner this one undergoes towards lampooning and spoofing the genre. The early repetition of the two days where they replicate the same story only with the zombies approaching on the second day inconspicuously, the ability of the new-reporter to give them the abilities needed to save themselves with their reports and the utterly creative and hilarious method of imitating the zombies to cross a massive swarm preventing them from getting to safety which all tends to turn traditional zombie fare into rather respective jokes and gags. That is another enjoyable facet here where this one takes the whole manner of treating them so seriously that there's a great threat from the zombies where they're absolutely considered a deadly serious threat that isn't made out to be a singular joke, which makes this so fun by allowing these two factors to co-exist together quite easily. Along with these, the film also has a lot of fun here with the rather exciting and action-packed encounters with the zombies which are spread throughout here as there are some utterly fun situations ere, from their encounter in the garden debating what kind of vinyl records to use as ammunition, the rescue of his parents as well as retrieving his girlfriend from the zombie hordes, the absolutely crazy attacks as they attempt to get into the bar and the film's finale where they are under siege in the bar from the numerous zombie hordes breaking through the barricades into an overall extended, action-packed flurry of bloodshed, dynamic encounters and even a nice touch of pathos to make for some exemplary moments here. Together with the fantastic zombie makeup and great gore, these here are enough to give this one some really enjoyable elements here against the one lone flaw here. That comes from the rather lame way this one keeps pounding home his family strife, letting it run for far too long turning it into overkill. Otherwise, there's not much really wrong here.
Rated R: Extreme Graphic Violence and Extreme Graphic Language.
The Rezort (2015)
Watchable for what it is
Intending a strange vacation, a group of people on a private island where people can hunt the last remaining zombies suddenly find themselves stuck in the location when an accident frees the zombies and forces them to battle through the island full of creatures to get away alive.
Overall, this one was quite a decent enough offering. Among the bright spots featured here is the fact that there's such a unique and rather creative storyline at the heart of the movie. The concept of isolating an entire island as a hunting ground after a zombie apocalypse and setting up a form of hunting preserve for the bored rich makes for a completely believable scenario that would more than likely happen in the real world. That setup provides this with the proper course of action for the remaining part of the film where it degenerates into the incredibly enjoyable aspect of keeping the tourists in danger with all sorts of action. The moments with the guests enjoying the fruits of their labors by shooting out the different zombies in the different sections of the island are quite fun and show-off a rather fun setting for their park, while the way it springs to life with the initial outbreak gives this one a lot more to enjoy. From the way it showcases the zombies taking over the command center to the first attacks on the groups in the middle of the park which has some great moments. That it centers around their plight to get off the before the fail-safe method is put into effect provides this one with plenty of nice zombie confrontations throughout as the finale in the abandoned town teeming with creatures packs in several fine firefights within the flesh-ripping as there's a lot to enjoy in this part of the film. Combined with the various gore-gags and acceptable zombie makeup on the creatures, these here manage to hold this one up over it's few minor missteps. The main problem on display here is the film's rather lax way it goes about presenting the central idea of the resort, which is a novel and believable concept but just screams potential to fail and this is indeed what happens here. There's very little about the type of security measures mentioned about preventing this other than the fail-safe which doesn't seem to provide much about the events leading up to that and doesn't leave this one with the most reliable and secure setup. The other problem here is the rather useless manner of melodramatic storylines inserted into the final act which drag the pacing down at the wrong moment, from the family trauma that plagues the one victim to the various backstories about the characters' history for being on the island and for what the whole purpose behind it all means which doesn't really allow this one the type of proper tone during these moments. These here are what really hold this one down.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Granny of the Dead (2017)
Completely disappointing and dull zombie effort
Hanging out in their small-town, a group of friends wakes up one morning to find the elderly residents in the area have become infected with a zombie virus that turns them into savage killers and must rally their group together to stave off the killer hordes before it overruns the town.
This was an overall disappointing effort. One of the few bright spots to be featured here is the fact that there's a nearly nonstop pace with this one essentially being all action from the start. The zombie threat is basically unleashed from the very beginning and doesn't let-up at all, giving this one a series of action scenes to keep itself fun in that regard as the need for battling the series of zombie attacks from the beginning is rather fun. There's numerous fun encounters out along the town as well as inside the house which showcase some rather fun moments trying to get the upper hand against the zombies as they continuously try to sneak into the house or chase them down in the streets around town, while the scenes of them out attacking other citizens that they see through the binoculars makes for a nice enhancement to these types of sequences. That these lead into rather fun gore effects with all the impalements and wounds being shown inflicted by the zombies makes these scenes all the more enjoyable due to the creative kills featured due to the nonstop battles. As well, the other big element is the rather nice-looking zombie makeup which alternates between the ravenous demon or bloodied distorted features. While these hold it up, there are a few problems with this one. Among it's biggest problems is that the tone shifts so rapidly throughout here it's at times impossible to know what type of film it wants to be. The setup here, with the wisecracking lead and the bizarre behavior he exhibits point to this one attempting to be a comedy of sorts which is completely against the serious tone exhibited by the attacks. None of the sequences are really that funny and it's such a disappointing affair that this can't capitalize on its setup as this one seems ripe for comedy as ideas like him trying to call his friends on the phone while they're trying to fend on an attacking being or seeing the police officers responding to the distress calls really could've been funny. Instead, they come off as completely dull and mishandled by the lackluster direction of the film much like the serious scenes which are also quite problematic. From shaking camera-work to out-of-focus moments and ludicrous action scenes of the zombies attempting to shuffle towards their victims, these here are laughably bad and really do a disservice to the film without a whole lot of enjoyable moments. This is also due to the central premise which is stretched out to absurd lengths in order to pad it's running time as there's a lot of unneeded moments added to enhance this one that includes extremely shoddy scenes of observing the situation from binoculars or just using lame slow-motion photography to make things go longer when it really shouldn't since the main storyline here is so flimsy. It also has the undesired secondary effect of making the action completely unremarkable and unworthwhile for the most part, rendering a lot of the encounters into a dull, dreary experience the robs this of a lot of the intended horror elements it could've had. The last big flaw here is no real reason for the apocalypse that's mentioned here from a supernatural to a virus and nothing really makes sense due to neither one really being explained. These here are what hold this one back.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and violence-against-animals.
Unnecessarily maligned zombie movie)
After hearing of his father's death, a group of friends leaves for Africa to the location of a long lost secret Nazi gold convoy, yet when a horde of zombies arise from the sand and launch an assault on the group it ends up forcing them to defend themselves against the voracious creatures.
This isn't as bad as many make it out to be. One of the better elements of the film is the rather nice amount of action scenes here, even if they're not all zombie battles. The fire-fight sequence back in the war is a fun action sequence that is far better than what's been said as it's main strength is the fact that it lasts as long as it does. This one wisely features a close-quarters battle rather than just being a singular round of gunfire and then it's over, going back and forth and featuring some really nice moments. Naturally, though, the zombies are the main part of the film's action and come off rather nicely. The fact that they have several creepy moments throughout is rather enjoyable, with the opening attack being the most creepy with off-screen noises and the general sense of the unknown really hammering it home. Their resurrection at the end through the slowly-shifting sand dunes with the hands slowly crawling out is incredibly atmospheric and goes a long way to giving them a menacing appearance. The assault on the campsite that follows is full-on action and burning bodies, and as the zombies score as well the overall scene is a general highlight. The other really nice part here is that the zombies do look suitably creepy, featuring suitably rotting faces and sand-encrusted features complete with charred Nazi uniforms. Several of them have a really rotted out eye-hole with one eye missing, and there's another which has the skin rotted away and giving the impression that its eyes are bugging out. It's a memorable look, especially with the sandy features not being a bad thing since some of them are pretty decent looking in their execution. There is surprisingly very little wrong about this one. The main issue is that the zombies don't have a whole lot of screen-time in here which is a big disappointment seeing as that limits the fact that there's no real gore on display other than some really bloody wounds on bodies that would really be more enjoyable if it was shown how they were made. The fact that Franco is also toned down a lot in the exploitation angle with the violence and sleaze is also noticeable as this really could've had more of both, and only features a fraction of what is usually in his films. The slow pace is the last major problem, and really hampers the film a lot more than it should. It takes a long time to get rolling, and the zombies being in it so little and without the usual Franco exploits this meanders around for a while until it gets going. This is filled with lots of scenes of people talking and other such activities, featuring flashbacks to the father's life back in the day or just ambling around the desert that this one never really seems to drive forward with any sense of urgency all that much. That hurts the film the most.
Rated R: Violence, Language, Nudity and a mild sex scene.
One of the best gore flicks ever made
Trying to live out his life, a young man is plagued by flashbacks of himself fighting the fallen God Premutos throughout history and gradually believes that he is the son of the being which brings about an apocalypse as the slain followers rise from the dead to attack the countryside.
This is easily one of the goriest films ever made. One of the better features here is that there is really no way to describe the gore and bloodshed present in the film. Chainsaw evisceration's, being split in half, decapitations, slit throats, axes sliced into almost every body part and gunshots are used to inflict damage, and this is just the beginning of this one. There is much more to this, and with both sides getting torn up as there are so many deaths and mutilations on display it just becomes a showcase for the special effects. The good part is that most of them are quite impressive in their on-screen realization, which makes them appear as if it's happening in real life and therefore more relatable. The zombies here are just delicious-looking, full of European goodness with facial wounds and scars, body modification and damage done to them that is quite striking and memorable. This is the movie's greatest feat, as since it's all kept light-hearted so an incredibly gory movie is fun to watch. Beyond the gore, there is a lot to like about this one which includes the action scenes. The flashbacks spread liberally throughout the film definitely get better and more intense as it goes along. The attack on the farmhouse is a great one, with plenty of action, gore and some great moments spread in it, and the WWII one sticks out as well. Of course, the final half hour of the film features some of the most impressive gore effects ever as a continuous series of action scenes happen during that time that it's nearly suffocating. It is wall-to-wall to a degree rarely seen in such a film, and the fact that it's so long a sequence makes it all the better. While not laugh-out-loud funny, there are some pretty funny sequences here that do get a couple chuckles. A soccer sequence is the most likely, due to an outcome that could be seen coming from a mile away, but yet still appeals to men everywhere who love the lowest-common-denominator gags and the dinner party sequence gets some good laughs. Despite the gore in here, this is still flawed. One of the main things is the pretty nonsensical plot. It's almost impossible to tell what's going on in the film, especially at the very beginning and the fact that it keeps going back and forth through times makes it all the more difficult. There really isn't any motive for Premutos' return, and no attempt is even made, which would've been a nice inclusion into the narrative. His threat is revealed numerous times, but nothing is said about why this particular time and place is the time for him to return. Even still, once the zombie resurrection has started they both disappear from the film with no explanation as to why. This is the greatest danger to the film and the only part holding it down.
Rated UR/NC-17: Extreme Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, Nudity, a sex scene and themes of incest and S&M.
Solid and enjoyable zombie outing
After the terrorists' supposed assassination, a sqad of soldiers fighting the zombies in the middle of the War save a lone woman searching for her brother intending to put an end to the fighting and must join forces to not only save everyone but stop the zombies from getting free.
This one emerged as quite a decent offering overall. One of the better aspects featured here is the rather nice action that continually pops up throughout here which is to be expected considering the setting. Taking place in the middle of the Afghanistan War, this one emerges as pretty much guaranteed to provide all sorts of shorter and longer confrontations with the soldiers as it alternates from scenes like the group shooting stragglers along the route their traveling on or finding two or three in an ambush to several full-on extended gun-battles that are exceptionally fun. The opening assault in the underground lair to initially capture the main terrorist, the first encounter with the full group out in the desert where they take out the swarm on the dunes of the desert and the series of battles in the bombed-clearing or the outskirts of the deserted town work as enjoyable longer confrontations that provide this one with the kind of action that's worthwhile throughout here to lead into the fantastic finale which has tons to like about it. The series of zombie battles that break out from the released swarm taking out the soldiers guarding them to the different gunfights that occur underground with the swarms coming after them which gives this a lot to really like as these here make this one such a wild, continuous ride. Complete with some solid zombie make-up and lots of gore, this one has enough to really hold it up over it's few minor flaws. The main issue with the film is the complete lack of reasoning why the lone vigilante is in the area knowing that it's overrun with zombies. There's little reason for him to be here other than to provide a secondary side-plot that doesn't need to be there with the main part of the film already taken up with a main storyline that could've worked. It's also quite low-budget and shows it with the constant irritating CGI bloodshed for nearly every wound and blood-splatter unleashed. These here hold this one back slightly.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
The Burning Dead (2015)
Flawed enough but still somewhat enjoyable
Working at a nearby facility, a group of scientists studying a recently reactivated volcano find themselves trapped behind with a family displaced during the process by a horde of zombies unleashed by the eruption and must rely on a heroic ranger to stop the creatures and get them out alive.
This here was quite the decent zombie effort. One of the nicer features here is the rather strong and somewhat impressive storyline where it manages a lot to like with how to mix together the different elements. Bringing in the Native American folklore angle about the respect for nature and how that allowed the volcano to swallow up the original zombies to bring them back as cannibalistic creatures manages to provide an intriguing manner of conception about the zombies. That also figures into the rather fun if slightly underwhelming manner of finally defeating the creatures since that allows for a great subversion of expectations regarding gunshots to the head while letting the final method remain somewhat connected to the main storyline. Still, the most fun here is the enjoyable amount of action present, from the opening in the original western setting, the first encounters with the creatures out in the woods which are assumed to be merely lost hikers to the great scenes of the swarm appearing at the cabin which has some decent scenes with the zombies breaking the barricade or the battle to get to the transportation which provides this one with some nice action. The nice action confrontations up in the water tower has this one feature a fun finale to end this on a high note, and along with the decent gore and zombie make-up give this one enough to hold it up over the few minor flaws here. The biggest problem with the film is the fact that the story, for all the clever and unique ideas it has regarding the zombies, makes no sense at all and leaves out several glaring questions to be answered. There's nothing given here about how the lava preserves the bodies instead of destroying them or how they're transported inside the volcano to be able to be recalled later which leaves this with some big questions to answer. Likewise, the need for including such a weak finale as it does here is somewhat questionable as there's a real lack of any impactful action to be taken from what happens here as this leaves the whole film as somewhat unnecessary based on how they finally resolve matters here which is completely disappointing. The last big problem here is the rather low-budget nature of what's going on which really becomes distracting with the atrocious CGI used for the volcano's eruption, the gore from the creatures or the actual visual enhancements which manage to look so obvious that it's distracting. Otherwise, this one was just decent enough.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Graphic Language and Brief Nudity.
Engaging if slightly flawed effort overall
Following a devastating virus being released, members of an Army rescue team descend into a zombie-riddled Los Angeles looking for a previously missing team only to find the overwhelming number of zombies impeding their mission and try to get out alive.
This is certainly an interesting and enjoyable zombie effort. Among the better qualities here is the fact that this one actually tries something interesting with the tiredness of a zombie genre film. Done through a found-footage format that introduces the concept of each team member containing a security camera placed on their helmets and then viewing the footage from there gives this a nice solid backbone to work with, and there's also the question as to how exactly the footage was gathered to be found in the first place. This answers that questions as well as why they're still taping during the outbreak which is a common flaw in so many films, and that means this one doesn't have to set that up in order to focus on the thrilling action. That's where this one really scores highly, from the fantastic scenes in the tunnel as they make their way into the city to the frenzied traps set for them inside the city where they get ambushed by the zombies and are forced to battle their way out. The scenes in the school offer plenty of fun as the darkened, deserted hallways and abandoned nature of it all makes for quite a chilling setting for the rather fun, frenzied encounters that's greatly enhanced by the immediacy of the found-footage format. The scenes in the hospital where they get overrun by the creatures and are forced out onto the streets is another big scene, and the enjoyable finale gives this a lot to like. The other big positive here is the standout finale in the house as the creatures overrun them trapped inside and the frantic barricades and brawls to hold them off with the concept really making it work in thrilling fashion. Alongside the nice gore and zombie make-up, these here hold it up over it's few minor flaws. The main issue holding this one back is the rather lame and needless storyline featured here regarding the duplicitous nature of the team. This one could've gone on rather finely without the need for the ruse to even come into play, leaving this one to really become confusing during this time for no reason. Likewise, the other big issue here is the fact that there are way too many distractions and deviations to be found when they're coming upon the closing stretch, from the needless battle with the street gangs to the different groups out harvesting bodies that hold them back by slowing the mission down with needless interludes. These here are what end up holding this one down.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Solid if problematic Nazi Zombie effort
Trying to find shelter for a comrade, a group of soldiers fighting in the middle of the war stumble upon a concentration camp officer hoping to spur the Nazis forward by turning the inhabitants into the living dead and must find a way to stop his nefarious plans.
This one ended up being quite the enjoyable Nazi Zombie effort. One of the more impressive elements featured here is the incredibly strong atmosphere created showing their journey through the wilderness. The opening of this one carries them through the woods trying to reach the camp that has a gloomy ambiance that works nicely with the fact that this one mostly takes place inside the concentration camp which is a decided advantage. As that sense of oppression and gloom afforded by the setting leads into the action, that makes for a more realistic slant on the material at large since the zombies are given quite a more naturalistic slant here with the experimentations used to create them offers the film plenty to like. The encounters between the soldiers and the zombies are especially fun, from the first ambush in the ruins where they come shambling out of the walls in a surprise to the others when they emerge, the blazing gun-battle out in the middle of the compound where they encounter wave after wave of the creatures coming for them and the final burst where it shows the remaining soldiers and zombies battle it out in the outdoors surrounding the main camp which gives this a nice bit of thrills to go along with its graphic zombie makeup. These here do hold it up over it's few minor flaws, which extends mainly from the rather bland pacing here. There's not a whole lot of action that occurs throughout here as instead of getting plenty of encounters with the creatures, it tends to focus way too much on their exploits getting to the facility and trying to stay hidden that it manages to focus away from the zombie attacks for too long in such a brief effort. There's no reason for a movie like this at this length to feel dull so that it sticks out in any way here really gives itself away. As well, the ending is way too anticlimactic as instead of being a big showdown between the two forces, it devolves into a speech about the whole purpose for it all so it definitely ends on a whimper more than expected. With all the philosophical blather that it goes into about his history and mother figures being there, this one just doesn't really offer that great of an ending. Combined with the CGI blood-spray that occurs for many of the wounds, these here hold this one down.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Better than it should be
Heading out into the wilderness, a group of trainees on a camping trip find themselves stalked by a reanimated sabretooth tiger created by a genetics company loose in the area and must not only save themselves but the company's trackers out to retrieve the creature before it's publicly known.
This one here quite the fun and enjoyable creature feature. One of the more enjoyable aspects of this one comes from the rather fun and engaging storyline at the heart of this one. The simplistic nature of this one, getting the creature freed rather early on as a result of the genetic experiment and then letting the creature go off stalking the group through the woods which really gives this a lot to like. These stalking scenes are quite fun, from the accident that frees it and the attack on the driver, the stellar ambush on the couple out in the remote shack which is a rather fun encounter that leads nicely into the search of the remains left behind and the scenes of the cat walking through the woods as it tries to catch up to the group in the woods. That leads nicely into the action scenes here with the cat confronting the group out in the woods from the ambush in the wooded clearing to the attack at the mine where the creature traps them inside where the hunter is forced to help free them from the creature's wrath, while finally setting up for the last big confrontation at the cliff overlooking the rest of the forest which really ends this nicely. Alongside the rather fine-looking cat effects when we're given a full-size model, these here manage to hold this one up over it's few minor flaws. The main issue here is the rather off-kilter and somewhat stagnant pacing that comes at the forefront of the film. The first half is mired in way too many cliches here from the group of campers filling out every kind of stereotype possible here from the spirited leader, the reluctant inner-city troublemaker and the inexperienced newcomer not used to the outdoors, among others. This introduction to the expected characters gives this gives this one quite a lengthy introduction here showing them out-and-about in the woods alongside the endless scenes of the hunting troop making their preparations to go out hunting really manages to make the first half go by rather slowly. The other major issue with the film is the CGI utilized for the creature as it's far more obvious that there's something with the creature's creation compared to the practical effects. Those made the creature look halfway decent, yet when it's a full-bodied creature the CGI looks all the more obvious due to that comparison featured already which just makes the movie look that much cheaper compared to the other scenes. These here are what keep this one down.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Language, Brief Nudity, and off-screen noises from sex.
Strong if slightly flawed supernatural effort
Arriving in Thailand to become teachers, a group of friends trying to experience the culture finds themselves caught up in the supernatural antics of a dead little girl coming back to seek revenge on the original culprits who killed her and set out to stop her rampage from continuing.
This one was a decent enough supernatural effort. One of it's more enjoyable aspects is the rather enjoyable atmosphere conjured up by the whole experience of being in a foreign land. The concept of them being in Thailand being out of their element and trying to figure out what's going on once they wake up from their date night is where this one really starts taking off with some great ideas and concepts. Most of this comes from an incredibly chilling backstory involving the use of necromancy and black magic to detail the steps involved in the creation of the main spirit at the heart of the story and the various rules that go into playing out the different forms of protection or just creating the ghost itself that provides quite an impressive backstory to this one. Tying in the rather creepy and chilling flashback that explains the actions and motivations of the family into undergoing the ritual and how the refusal plays into the manner of haunting against them that turns into some rather freaky moments in the house as they're individually haunted by the ghost in the house all in startling sequences. The final half really puts this into overdrive as well with another big plus in the strikingly brutal and twisted torture games being played throughout here which offers up some shocking sequences. This starts out nicely early on with the dream scene where all three dole out bloody tortures on their dates by literally ripping them to pieces in slow, methodical fashion as the graphic and bloody visuals showing them being showered with blood throughout the process makes for a striking setpiece. The final half, where it really lets loose with them being tortured by the idea of one of them being possessed by the released ghost girl features even more over-the-top bloodshed and gore which does bring this one up quite a bit. This one does have a few minor issues, which comes from the needlessly convoluted and contrived storyline that doesn't make any sense here. This one is way too complex about what's going on with the girl and the witch doctor with the family living there and how it all ties together in the end as it definitely bogs itself down in needing to explore too many angles in order to make sense. As well, the fact that this happens during the parts where the girls become the most unsympathetic makes it somewhat hard to really care as for what's happening which doesn't need to happen at that point. Combined with some minor scenes of dodgy CGI, these here are what hold this down.
Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence and Language.
Dead & Buried (1981)
Flawed, troublesome effort with some bright spots
Arriving in a small coastal community, the series of strange murders being committed drags the county sheriff into a strange battle with the denizens of the community taking out visiting tourists but soon after his job is complicated by an unexpected complication from the resulting corpses.
This here was quite the decent if overall flawed effort. One of the few things it gets right is the atmosphere of the small, sleepy coastal town where this all takes place. The sense of everyone here being in on the whole ploy, taking steps to ensure that their secret remains hidden and generally acting without any sense of remorse or fear of punishment makes for a stellar time here, adding a genuinely haunting vibe to the majority of the film acting as a mystery over the cause of the disappearances. That this one still goes in for the rather fun idea of keeping the towns' actions a secret that needs to be revealed throughout here in the course of his investigation with all the bodies piling up around him and the clues to their actions slowly coming to light the more this goes on results in a somewhat chilling storyline here. Once it all becomes apparent what's going on here, the creepy, low-key finale gives this a solid touch which is helped along by the fine action that features the town out on their duties killing off the various interlopers that pass through the area, including the stellar opening turnaround that starts this off on a fine note or the chase through the abandoned house where the townspeople chase the lost family for some creepy, chilling moments. As well as the stellar twist ending that pops up, these here manage to hold this up over the few rather sizable flaws featured throughout here. The biggest issue facing this one is the utterly bland and boring pace that doesn't provide this with too many memorable experiences. The fact that the investigation features him running around into dead-ends or basically not doing anything around the town which renders this one completely dull and action-less for the majority of the time. Hardly anything happens here which really renders this one somewhat of a struggle to get through with only a few brief spurts of activity which is quite hard to understand the rationale behind as there's a few rather fun ideas tossed into the fray with a lot of blandness. The other big issue here is the lack of explanation of what's supposed to be going on with the mad doctor, as there's nothing given here about what he's trying to accomplish with replicating and turning the town into his minions. There's a perfect opportunity to do something for his reasoning with the starting point given yet done nothing else with it, and it just means nothing to have it go by. These big issues are all that really hold it back.
Rated R: Graphic Violence, Language and Brief Nudity.
Dead & Breakfast (2004)
One of the best in the genre
Trying to find a place to settle for the night, a group of friends stop off at a small-town motel where they come under suspicion for the murder of some of the locals, but when it becomes apparent that they aren't the source they head back to the motel and wait out a series of zombie attacks.
This is one of the most fun movies in the genre. One of the most obvious parts of this has to be the over-the-top and quite extreme gore that flies liberally throughout here. There is practically every type of death used in here, from a knife in the throat, an impaling, spikes and hammers in the head, a chainsaw in the neck, vicious beatings and stabbings as well as a whole slew of decapitations and blown-off heads and faces from gunshots. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gore in here and is delivered with the grand old-school style splatter tradition being full-on practical effects. This is one of the biggest reasons why it's so good, as this due to the pacing of this here which is so fast that it barely stops and keeps moving along from one scene to the next at a breakneck form, allowing for some really good action scenes. The initial attacks in the town where the locals are savagely killed in strong slasher-style setups, the brawl in the bar against the turned citizens and the whole ending setup from their creation of weaponry and self-defense to the shoot-out in the house against the varying hordes attempting to break in all make this a fun watch. Everything in this film spells out fun, as well as the injection of some well-timed and completely hilarious moments. From spouting off one-liners during the climax to the physical gags, such as the insane moment where one character discovers a dead body and begins slipping and sliding on the blood on the floor to get away, this is quite funny and is really laugh-out-loud during the entire film. There is very little in here that's not to like about it, and that mostly stems from the country singer interludes. Not that they're bad, for they're quite hilarious, but they just feel really out of place in the film. They stop the film cold to include them and are preceded by a comic book-style drawing of the previous scene. It's funny but out of place, and is the main problem with this. This one also has a problem with the overlong setup of the group in the town, ranging far too long with their being forcibly stranded and doing all sorts of hanging out around the town before getting to the actual zombie assault which is fine but does seem to make the second half's action seem all the more frenetic due to that. It's a fun ride beyond these minor issues though.
Rated R: Extreme Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
The Graves (2009)
Solid and truly fun effort
Attempting to bond together, two sisters about to go on with their lives find their roadside rest stop the home of a band of homicidal cult worshippers forced to kill outsiders to make sacrifices in order to carry on their way of life, and must stop a series of killers to get out alive.
This here wasn't all that bad of an effort. One of the finer points of this one is the rather splendid and frantic pacing that doesn't let up once it gets going. This one starts up from the beginning with plenty of fine action scenes featuring the masked hunter out in the wildlands of the abandoned town as the first couple is attacked out in the wilderness, the initial attack on the vacationing couple before turning to the main couple filled with running, chasing, stalking and much more good times to be had of the girls through the desert-based outskirts which features some fine brawling and bloodshed thrown in. These individual battles are quite fun and take advantage of plenty of locations and tactics that are quite fun and exhilarating as the chases get to so many different parts with many different outcomes in the town where it deals nicely with the sisterly bond coming together strongly that helps this one nicely as it seemed like it's pretty much all action all the way through. That gives the finale where they're captured and tormented by the group with the need for them to come together for each other in the desert community as the possessed members of the community spring to action to stop them and giving this a fine final half with plenty of stellar action taking place in the community. As this one goes for the fun of the demon possession angle in determining why they're hunting the group down, this adds an extra supernatural dimension to the action as there's some decent enough work getting to the burning bodies and the concept of the special area instigating the concept of their possession. As well as the fine gore and kills featured throughout here, these here really make this one hold up over its few minor problems. Probably the biggest issue is that this one should've been three different films since it feels incredibly jumbled and scatter-shot, as it has the feel of several different movies wrapped into one. Going from the sisterly bonding to the creepy resort town to the crazed slasher town is a fine stretch, but when it goes to the demonic cult, it goes for way too many different tangents which don't really need it. There's little about it that makes sense, but that's not as big a fault as the one about the reasoning for the group to follow the cult as it has nothing said about why they're following its orders. Still, these minor problems aside, this one wasn't half bad.
Rated R: Graphic Violence and Graphic Language.
Cries in the Night (1980)
Slow, boring entry
Arriving at her grandmother's to help out, a teen trying to help her turn the funeral home she lives in into a bed-and-breakfast becomes concerned about a series of guest disappearances, and once she starts to investigate the claims finds a terrifying secret that haunts the funeral home.
There are some really nice things in here. One of the better aspects of this one is the central mystery built up about who the killer is which does manage to get some good moments. The fact that there are at least four different possible killers is a great idea, making each red herring a real target is a great idea that comes across wonderfully while each one does manage to maintain throughout here by giving each some credibility to be the individual in question. The only other features here that are worthwhile are the several big stalking scenes which are quite well handled, especially the sequence where a truck comes up and attacks a couple in a car pushing them closer to a cliff edge. A nice chase through the basement at night where the combination of whispering voices and desire not to get caught makes the scene play out with all the suspense possible, while the best part is the conclusion which features several big scenes in the basement as well as the fantastic brawl with the real killer which is completely Hitchcockian in tone and action. It feels like a nice little rip-off of several big films with the tight, enclosed fighting take place in the dark location which is a really over-the-top way to end it on a high note. These here hold it up as there's a couple of problems here that really aren't that easy to get over. The biggest issue is the very slow pacing apparent throughout here, and it really holds up the film. There's a long period of time where nothing really happens other than setting up a red herring, and that just makes the film play out longer than it really should. The setup shouldn't take as long as it does to play out, as there's an hour before the film really gets going in delivering any kind of horror consistently. That whole first hour is really long and slow-going filled with her judgemental behavior against the guests, filling in the backstory of his disappearance or just the general exploits of the other citizens around the community, making it a really hard sit-through. This leads into the issue about the lack of kills in general which is another big handicap, as the prime audience interested in it will be mostly bored throughout without much of a body count to feature here. That also hurts in the gore factor, as only one death out of the couple actually killed off was slightly gory, and even then it wasn't anything all that remarkable yet compared to the blandness of the other kills here stands out slightly for that reason alone which is a shame considering that isn't even that good anyway. There really could've been a lot more to this one as it's an incredibly dull effort.
Rated R: Violence and Graphic Language.