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Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013)
I'm related to a chainsaw killer?
Just mentioning Leatherface draws interest in a movie. Draw 'em in, but how long can you keep them in the seats? Not the best, but not exactly the worst either. A pretty young Heather Miller (Alexandria Daddario) doesn't have any idea what to do with her life; but she would like to go west. Things will change when she gets notice that she has inherited an estate in Texas from a deceased Grandmother she has never known. With friends, Heather heads to Texas to sign the papers for a lavish, isolated Victorian mansion. Mighty impressive until she stumbles upon what is stored away in the mansion's cellars. And then there is the redneck relative wielding a chainsaw. Some pretty gruesome images and grisly situations that seem required.
Also in the cast: Dan Teager, Tania Raymonde, Thom Berry, Paul Rae, Gunnar Hansen, Marilyn Burns, John Dugan and Scott Eastwood (yes, Clint's son).
What do you expect from a dysfuncional family
Jeff Burr directs this third installment of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. Unlike having your choice of "special" cuts of meat...beware of becoming the main entree on the next menu. A road trip affords changing a flat tire that leads to full throttle fright when a maniac comes charging with a revved up chainsaw. He's wearing a homemade mask made of human skin doing his mom and dad proud. Not only is this Texas family dysfunctional, but extremely disturbed and disgusting. Frightened young lovers have no time for romance; it is trying to survive acts of ruthless torture and being the freshest cut of prime meat.
This slash-'em and chop -'em- up starts with so much promise of fright, tension and psychotic gore. When Leatherface's family checks in, the action turns a bit silly, menacing and creepy. Some real disturbing images and not the worst of the franchise. Viggo Mortensen leads a cast that includes; Kate Hodge, Tom Everett, Ken Foree, William Butler, Miriam Byrd-Nethery and R.A. Mihalloff.
The end has come, but Earth still has real problems
This Italian-American sci-fi/action film is better than you may have thought. Yes, a very low budget MAD MAX rip off; but there is a likability that takes hold. Mutants pose a problem in a post-holocaust world. The Interzone is the last fertile region left on Earth, and a supernatural gifted monk, Panasonic (Kim Wehara) , is sent to search for help against an invading gang of wasteland raiders led by a mutant female bodybuilder named Mantis (Teagan Clive). A snake bitten Panasonic is rescued by a rouge road warrior called Swan (Bruce Abbott). Fighters are collected and a battle for mankind is eminent.
Insidious: The Last Key (2018)
A demonic entity is revisited
This the fourth installment of the horror franchise; not exactly the scariest, but that may be because it seems too many frightening images have been borrowed from earlier episodes. Parapsychologist Elise Rainer (Lin Shaye) continues to explore the roots of her earliest haunting, as she returns to her childhood hometown of Five Keys, New Mexico and the house she grew up in. Elise has been summoned there by the present owner, Ted Garza (Kirk Acevedo), to battle a demonic entity that recycles its torment and anguish.
Some real good sets and more than a fair share of suspense. A believable cast that also includes: Angus Sampson, Caitlin Gerard, Spenser Locke, Bruce Davidson, Aleque Reid and the screenplays writer, Leigh Whannell.
Red Planet Mars (1952)
Messages from Mars cause panic
Harry Horner directs this different for the times Sci-Fi flick about Mars. No rocket ships, no cheesy space flights...and no Martians. Peter Graves stars as an American scientist, Chris Cronyn, who teams with his reluctant wife Linda (Andrea King) , experimenting with an invention supplied by a German scientist. Radio signals are sent into space for a lengthy time until messages believed to be originating from Mars are received. The couple is pushed into the spotlight as messages traveling back and forth are translated that makes the Red Planet appear to be a perfect world; communications will shove Earth into turmoil with fraudulent economic, political and even spiritual culture-shock. This is a "thinking" movie instead of the usual special effects chiller.
Filling out the cast: Walter Sande, Morris Ankrum, Herbert Berghof, Marvin Miller and Willis Bouchey.
Santa Jaws (2018)
Christmas horror...a fun watch
Well, SyFy did it! This is a holiday themed movie that is worthy of watching quite a few times. How often do you get to see a shark wearing a Santa hat on its fin? Cody (Reid Miller) and his best friend Steve (Hawn Tran) are a couple of teenage comic book freaks that have created a new comic, Santa Jaws, just in time for the holidays. Cody isn't really in the spirit of Christmas with all the family hoopla and would rather be alone. He gets his wish by getting grounded. Cody makes a few additions to his new comic with a pen given to him for Christmas by his grandfather. The mystical pen brings Santa Jaws to life and the shark goes into a killing frenzy. The shark is not necessarily a merciless killer, but is attracted to Christmas and anything associated with the holiday...like music and decorations!
SANTA JAWS is directed by Misty Talley, who also directed OZARK SHARKS and MISSISSIPPI RIVER SHARKS. I personally give this movie more merit than those SHARKNADO films. Obviously not a lot spent on sets, special effects or script; but the acting is pretty decent, although at times a bit silly. Also featured in the cast: Courtney Lauren Cummings, Jim Klock, Carrie Lazar, Ritchie Montgomery, Haviland Stillwell, and Scott Allen Perry.
A story of real life courage
After delivering parts of the first nuclear bomb to be used in combat, the USS Indianapolis, without escort, was torpedoed and sunk by an Imperial Japanese Navy submarine. Most of the deaths in this tragic event was not actually from the heavy cruiser going down, but from shark attacks. Of 1,195 crewmen aboard, about 300 went down with the ship. Thus the remainder , including the captain of the Indianapolis, Captain McVay (Nicolas Cage), would face exposure, almost no food or water, dehydration and shark attacks while floating in not enough lifeboats.
This makes for a very interesting and dramatic movie; factual as can be...probably not. Is this a waste of time, definitely not.!
Mario Van Peebles directs. The massive cast also features: Tom Sizemore, Thomas Jane, Adam Scott Miller, Matt Lanter, Brian Presley, Emily Tennant, Max Ryan, Cody Walker, Yutaka Takeuchi and Currie Graham.
X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
Best of the franchise
A real delight for dyed-in-the-wool comics fans. The massive cast lends to confusing newbie X-Men fans; but there are enough flashbacks to get you in the thick of things. The X-Men decide to send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) into the past with the simple assignment to change history by preventing an event that could lead to a grim future for mutants and humanity. Jennifer Lawrence as Raven/Mystique, to me, stole the show. For anyone, who lives for super hero and action movies, this is a "don't miss".
Bryan Singer directs this action packed adventure. Special effects are superior. A star filled cast also features: James McAvoy, Ian McKellen, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Ellen Page, Nicholas Hoult, Peter Dinklage and Patrick Stewart.
Fantastic Four (2015)
Marvel heroes use teleportation
Above average Marvel Comic Book characters in a nicely filmed fantasy feature. A quartet of young scientific outsiders teleport themselves to an alternate universe, changing their physical forms in stunning and shocking ways. Their appearance and lives change forever along with incredible new powers. They must learn to control their new abilities as they join together as super heroes to save the world from a former friend turned dark enemy.
Fantasy action and special effects with Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic, Michael B. Jordan as The Human Torch, Kate Mara as The Invisible Woman and Jamie Bell as The Thing. Also in the cast: Reg E. Cathey, Dan Castellaneta, Tim Blake Nelson and Toby Kebbell as Dr. Doom.
The Creature Walks Among Us (1956)
Once again the hunt is on for the Gill Man
After being captured and undergoing medical experimentation, the Gill Man is accidentally set on fire. Once again the subdued and angry creature is examined by a deranged scientist (Jeff Morrow) that discovers lung tissue that prompts him to turn the creature to more human-like than a fish. The Gill Man is definitely an oddity and put on display only to become mad enough to escape and begin a trek of destruction and revenge. The misunderstood creature just wants to return to the water.
The special effects are evocative of mid 50's horror/sci-fi. The story line predictable, but sustainable. The cast also features: Leigh Snowden, Rex Reason, James Rawley, Gregg Palmer, Lillian Molieri and Maurice Manson. Don Megowan is the Gill Man.
Audrey Rose (1977)
The scare ability is there
Reincarnation is the name of the game. Some chills and moments you don't want to be alone. The Templetons, Jancie (Marsha Mason) and Bill (John Beck), are a young couple that are happy with their position in life and thrilled with their 11-year-old daughter, Ivy (Susan Swift). A peaceful easy feeling becomes overshadowed with jealousy and doubt when nightmares become the rule when Ivy begins to suffer horrific memories of things that have never even happened. Things get eerily strange when a British stranger (Anthony Hopkins) enters their lives trying to convince them that Ivy is actually the reincarnation of his own daughter, Audrey Rose, who happened to die exactly eleven years earlier.
At times the story gets a little slow and there is a bit of over-acting; not enough to spoil the movie. No doubt about creepy atmosphere. Rounding out the cast: Norman Lloyd, Philip Sterling, Ivy Jones and Robert Walden.
A Star Is Born (2018)
Terrific reboot and instant classic
A much hyped and long awaited movie that should be an instant classic in its own right! Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga are magic together and bring a brilliant reboot of the classic A STAR IS BORN to the screen. The acting is outstanding and Lady Gaga proves she can act...very convincingly. Who knew that Cooper could sing, let alone write and direct? The character development is super and the soundtrack makes you think of an Oscar quality movie. Worthy of being the only film you see this year. Not just good; but damn good!
Killers from Space (1954)
Creepy visitors attack Earth
Low budget science fiction from RKO Radio Pictures. Dr. Douglas Martin (Peter Graves) is a nuclear scientist that collects data after atomic tests at Soledad Flats. Big eyed men from beyond Earth brings Martin back to life after his aircraft crash lands near their hidden caves. Believed to be dead, the scientist strangely walks back to the air base hospital. He spins a yarn about being used to help the aliens with their plans to conquer and dominate the world.
This 71 minute black-and-white film is produced and directed by W. Lee Wilder. Also in the cast: Steve Pendleton, Frank Gerstle, Barbara Bestar, John Frederick and James Seay.
6-Headed Shark Attack (2018)
Honestly, a six-headed predator at Baja
Big surprise here; a low-budget shark movie that is actually worth watching. The CGI is somewhat decent and fun to watch; especially the monster shark replacing a chopped off head...several times. Unhappy couples gather on a beach in Baja to attend a marriage boot camp. On the beach, they originally attempted to work on saving their marriages; but soon fighting to save their relationships takes a backseat to saving their lives when the beach is attacked by a freak six-headed shark.
It is fun watching this creature feature; because there is some minor character development and even a pecking order of people you want to survive. This movie does prove that being bad can actually be good. I would invite friends over for snacks and drinks to watch again. Thadi Sebe and Meghan Oberholzer keep the movie flowing. The cast is rounded out with: Brandon Auret, Jonathan Pienaar, Nikita Faber, Cord Newman and Jessica Cloete.
The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961)
A fifty-four minute silent project with overdubbed character voices. A loosely assembled collection of scenes that are randomly overexposed and underexposed. All sound is added in post-production. Coleman Francis is credited as writer and director and pulls duty as narrator.
Yucca Flats is a southern Nevada nuclear test site implied to be the setting for this film about a Russian scientist, Joseph Javorsky (Tor Johnson), who has escaped Russia with a brief case full of stolen secrets from a Russian moon landing. The almost 400 pound scientist is chased into the Nevada desert by KGB agents, who seem worthless as sharpshooters. Without alert an atomic bomb is detonated and the blast transforms Javorksy into a hulking beast that likes to choke people to death.
Creepy, taut and gripping. An emotional and comprehension rescue may be in order if you let yourself get deep in this traumatic thriller. A dysfunctional family descends into a downward spiral soon after the passing of the family matriarch. A strong, unexplained presence seems to linger. Reclusive in life, she haunts her clan in death with more than just occasional, vague unease. Annie (Toni Colette) is tormented by sleep walking and deep distress from emotional guilt instilled by her demanding mother. It is as if she and her cold distant psychiatrist husband, withdrawn teenage son and disturbed younger daughter have been cursed . Can one old woman have so much power from the grave? The bleak, nightmarish finale may be tough to diagnose. Your nerves are due a scare.
The cast also features: Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro, Ann Dowd and Gabriel Byrne.
Queen of Blood (1966)
Impressive B Sci-Fi
Remember seeing this at the theater, most of it. With the chance to see the complete film, found myself pretty impressed. Quite a bit to offer for a B feature. A real young Dennis Hopper and some neat, but cheap, special effects. Earth has finally received contact from outer space; in 1990 radio waves from aliens inform us to expect visitors, but the spacecraft crashes on Mars. Many nations send rescue craft to search for survivors. A U.S. crew finds a lonely green skinned female survivor, with a strange fixation...deadly fixation.
This film is directed and co-written by Curtis Harrington and along with Hopper, starts John Saxon, Basil Rathbone and Judi Meredith. The Green Woman is seductively played by Florence Marly.
How can it be? Must be a copycat killer
How often has a very popular series of movies left and made it back with any success? Let's trot out, what the eight installment of SAW? Bodies are being scattered around with no immediate hint of origin. Investigators not wanting to look foolish actually think clues may point straight to John Kramer, the man once called Jigsaw. The problem is that he has been deceased for more than a decade.
Fans get what they want; grotesque mutilation of bodies without a doubt in horrible ways. Not the absolute best, nor the worst either. But it is sad to have to spend time at the end of a movie to explain the motivation. Appearing briefly is Tobin Bell as Jigsaw/John Kramer and rounding out the cast: Matt Passmore, Hannah Emily Anderson, Josiah Black, Laura Vandervoort, Callum Keith Rennie, Brittany Allen and Mandela Van Peebles.
Die Präsenz (2014)
It wants to hurt them
Found footage horror, and why should German filmmakers not join in the genre. After all, haven't they provided some of the earliest horror classics of all time?! Two friends drag along one's girlfriend, to an abandoned castle to document poltergeist phenomenon and haunted superstition. Markus (Matthias Dietrich) wants to spend a week to record any proof of the paranormal activity...if there is any. Rebecca (Liv Lisa Fries) is not happy with the situation at all. A little bit of fun, becomes deadly serious when something demonic begins hounding them into terror. Markus is elated. Rebecca is frightened, while Lukas (Henning Nohren), who found the location, believes Markus is arranging all the chaos just for the sake of writing a book.
The Strangers: Prey at Night (2018)
Terror that is not so random
A family of four are on a road trip to visit and Aunt and Uncle, who live in a mobile home park. When Mike and Cindy arrive with teenagers Luke and Kinsley, they find the secluded mobile home park mysteriously quiet and deserted. The relatives are away for a visit, when three masked psychopaths start pushing the family to their limits. It becomes a struggle of life and death. Actually gets a bit scary with images of savage deaths. Slaughter is not very pretty.
What originally attracted me to this movie was noticing Bailee Madison in the previews. Also in the cast: Martin Henderson, Christina Hendricks, Lewis Pullman, Emma Bellomy, Damian Maffel and Lea Enslin.
Popcorn movie at beast...I mean best
Dwayne Johnson stars as Davis Okoye, a primatologist, that raises a silverback gorilla, only to see it become infected, when a rogue experiment goes wrong. The albino gorilla named George along with a wolf and an American crocodile turn into gigantic raging creatures on the prowl and ready to destroy the city of Chicago. In order to save George and a large section of humanity, Okoye must team up with a genetic engineer to discover an antidote.
This doesn't require thinking; just the ability to pack away a lot of popcorn and soda. Super F/X and plenty of action. Even some physical humor to keep you amused. Rounding out the cast: Naomie Harris, Malin Akerman, Joe Manganiello, Jake Lacy, Jack Quaid, Jeffery Dean Morgan and Marley Shelton.
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002)
Resort security, please report in
Taking it for what it is really worth; almost equal to a small popcorn and large watered-down Orange drink. Dull, boring and nothing rewarding. Acting is over-the-top and F/X cheesy. A menacing shark off the coast of Mexico interrupts the work on an underwater cable. Researchers find a large tooth that is determined to be not just belonging to a shark, but the tooth of a prehistoric megalodon. The menacing creature is running up a body count of cable workers and sailors; a mega resort calls on a security guard (John Barrowman) to risk life and limb to stop the carnage. But the gigantic megalodon happens to be a mother and wants her babies to be well nourished. You have to wonder about the R rating.
Rounding out the cast: Jenny McShane, Bashar Rahal, Ryan Cutrona, Ivo Torchev, Malina Georgiev and Krasimir Simenovy.
Friend Request (2016)
Social media can host evil
This thriller can become pretty scary, when you wait for it. Laura (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is a college coed that out of sympathy accepts a friend request from a lonely, friendless female student on social media. Marina (Liesl Ahlers), if that is even her real name, has zero friends on Facebook and is desperate for a friend. Marina is a more than a bit strange and hiding in a dark world on the computer, and obviously starts stalking Laura. When Laura decides to unfriend the weird young woman, Laura's friend list starts shrinking due to strange circumstances. FRIEND REQUEST is not a perfect movie; but it does have some predictable jumps scattered about and the feeling of hopelessness is unnerving.
The movie has enough of what it takes to sustain your attention. Also featured in the cast: William Moseley, Susan Danford, Connor Paola, Shahawnee Hall, Brooke Markham, Dorothy Ann Gould and Sean Marquette. This movie does earn it's R rating.
Why is saying goodbye so hard to do
It's about time and could have come sooner. This is the sixth and final installment of this comedy/disaster series. Fin (Ian Ziering) will make use of a time machine to assemble some of the family and his shark fighting friends in order to stop the first sharknado that started the string of global disasters. He will have to battle dinosaurs, military soldiers, cowboys and Nazis and such before fighting to save humanity from the continuation of the freakish phenomenon.
This craziness also stars: Tara Reid, Cassandra Scerbo, and just a few of the many, many cameos from the likes of: Vivica A. Fox, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Marina Sirtis, Leslie Jordan, Ben Stein, Christopher Knight, Tori Spelling, Dee Snider, Berni Kopell, Eileen Davidson, Bo Derek, Darrell Hammond, La Toya Jackson, Gary Busey and Mark McGrath.
They Came from Beyond Space (1967)
Recruiting for a dying world
Not a flock of birds, but a V-formation of meteors strike a field in England, and a mysterious alien force takes possession of a group of scientists and infects bystanders with a deadly virus. Dr. Curtis Temple (Robert Hutton) is not influenced like his fellow scientists due to a metal plate in his head. Temple finds out that an alien race from the moon is seeking to replenish a dying society. In spy mode, the American scientist searches for the purpose of turning his British friends into robots.
The cast is supplemented by Jennifer Jayne, Bernard Kay, John Harvey, Zia Mohyeddin, Diana King and Michael Gough plays the Master of the Moon.