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4/10
Stockholm Syndrome; the Triple-X edition
20 May 2019
Natural born beautiful and cherubic Serena stars as Lorelei, the daughter of a wealthy businessman who gets abducted on the parking lot of a shopping mall by a duo of thugs. On the way back to their hideout, the poor girl is already raped and sodomized in the ramshackle van. The first hardcore footage is already in the customary rough and misogynic style of late 70s adult-exploitation cinema, with lines like "No please, not in there!". Back at their hideout, there's a third female accomplice and they take polaroid pictures of Lorelei in humiliating positions to send to her father and demand $1.000.000 ransom for her release. Lorelei gradually uses her charms, and her physical trumps, to seduce her kidnappers and create distortion between the three of them. "The Abduction of Lorelei" obviously isn't a pleasant viewing experience, and I honestly don't even know why I'm reviewing it. One could state that the plot attempts to work around the theme of "Stockholm Syndrome", where a hostage develops a sort of psychological (or, in this case, physical) alliance with his/her captors as a survival strategy, but it's really just about the sex. The film has become so obscure over the years that the only available copies suffer from a downright dreadful picture and sound quality. From an exploitation/cult cinema point of view, "The Abduction of Lorelei" doesn't nearly play in the same league as titles such as "Forced Entry", "Femmes De Sade", "Water Power", "Unwilling Lovers" or "Hardgore".
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8/10
Cruel and nasty stuff for an early 30s film!
17 May 2019
I'm extremely fond of ancient horror movies from the late twenties and early thirties, but admittedly they are usually rather soft and tame both in terms of tone and execution. A. Edward Sutherland's "Murders in the Zoo", however, is not! The concept of the film, and particularly Lionel Atwill's hunter/millionaire character are astonishingly crude and relentless for a 1933 production. Probably so crude, even, that the producers eventually backed off anyways and - unfortunately - decided to compensate the cruelty of the essential plot with far too much light-headed comical relief in the shape of contemporary popular jester Charlie Ruggles. Who knows, without Ruggles, "Murders in the Zoo" might have become as controversial and universally banished as "Freaks" was for several long decades, so I can certainly respect the producers' choice.

The opening sequence is as fiendish and twisted as they come. After he allegedly just 'wanted to kiss her', Eric Gorman (Atwill) blandly disposes of an admirer of his wife by stitching up his lips and leaving him behind in a dark jungle full of wild animals. Back in the US, the petrified wife still has plans to run off with another lover, but the diabolical Gorman uses the zoo to which he supplies exotic animals as a macabre disposal ground. In between, the hysterical Ruggles goofs around as the zoo's marketeer/PR-spokesperson who's afraid of animals. "Murders in the Zoo" benefices from several things, most notably the unpredictable script (you genuinely can't tell who will or won't survive), the classy cinematography of Oscar winner Ernest Haller and the bone-chilling performance of Lionel Atwill. This legendary underrated actor was an evil genius as Dr. Moriarty in "Hound of the Baskervillers" and a vicious psychopath in "Mystery of the Wax Museum", but he was never more terrifying as here in this 30s horror gem.
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Seconds Apart (2011)
7/10
Alexandra Daddario's baby-brothers are creepy as hell!
16 May 2019
I didn't for the least bit expect it myself, but "Seconds Apart" left a big and positive impression on me! This is the type of horror film where you beforehand expect to see 2 or 3 noteworthy sequences, and maybe a bit of gore, but then it gets instantly and forevermore erased from your memory. Instead, however, debuting director Antonio Negret comes with a clever film that has a genuinely unsettling basic plot to begin with, and then lots of morbid atmosphere, freakish characters, shockingly grim imagery, insane twists and explicit gore to boot! A few historical titles, most notably Cronenberg's "Dead Ringers", already demonstrated that much horror/thriller potential lies in the bizarre and inexplicably psychic bond between twin brothers or sisters, and Negret clearly understood this very well. The Entin brothers are superbly cast as Jonah and Seth Trimble, social outcasts at school that solely rely on each other and on their disturbingly picturesque parents. The twins are on a mission - frequently referred to by themselves as 'the project' - to finally experience some kind of emotion. Any type of emotion will do, and therefore they use their strongly overdeveloped telepathic powers to make people at school commit suicide. After each death they stoically ask each other if they felt something, which is really uncanny! The traumatized police Detective Lampkin links the unusually high number of suicides to the apathic behavior of the twins, but their mutual bond also weakens because Jonah is attracted to the new girl in town. "Seconds Apart" begins very powerful, with a nasty game of Russian Roulette, and every subsequent murder/suicide scene is cruel as well. The flashbacks/nightmares Det. Lampkin suffers from are occasionally redundant, but they are also full of horrific imagery, and literally ALL sequences involving the twins' parents are freaky. The Entin brothers give away great performances. They may look like boyish versions of actress Alexandra Daddario (without the perfect boobs, obviously) but it's particularly their cherubic faces in combination with their emotionless attitudes that make them so menacing. Antonio Negret somewhat loses control over the plot and narrative structure when approaching the end of the film, and thus the final act is quite disappointing, but "Seconds Apart" definitely ranks among the top-best efforts of the After Dark cycle.

PS: I find it quite remarkable that I haven't read in any other reviews that these Entin twins strongly resemble Alexandra Daddario. Surely, I can't be the only person who thinks they look alike?
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Dumbo (2019)
4/10
Oh Brother Burton, Where Art Thou?
15 May 2019
Yours truly is largely unopinionated regarding the currently popular cinematic trend to transfer animated classics into live-action feature films. My first and spontaneous reaction would be that it's further proof to demonstrate that Hollywood is running out of inspiration while they do attempt to drain more profit out of old successes, but I don't want to judge the actual films without having seen them. It probably won't happen, since I'm not interested in "Jungle Book" or "Beauty and the Beast" and I don't intend to see "Aladdin" or "The Lion King", neither. I did have two very solid reasons to go and stand in line for "Dumbo" with my entire family. #1: I have been a giant Tim Burton fan my entire life. #2: my 4-year-old daughter recently discovered the original animated Disney classic (can you believe that one got released in 1941 already?) and this genuinely magical masterpiece sparked my interest to watch the new version and to share this experience with her. At the same time, however, I tried keeping my expectations low. Tim Burton's last great film, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street", is already 12 years old, and even that one wasn't nearly as unique and authentic as "Sleepy Hollow", "Edward Scissorhands", "Ed Wood", etc... Also, Burton used to be a beautiful freak and his films embodied darkness, morbidity and fantasy landscapes. The fact I'm allowed to see his newest film in the company of a 4-year-old isn't very promising.

Alas, it quickly becomes abundantly clear that "the old Tim Burton" will never return. Admittedly "Dumbo" doesn't provide the subject matter to turn into dark fantasy tales and the film certainly does contain a few noteworthy and positive moments, but the problem lies deeper. It's a soulless film, utterly devoid of passion and the power of imagination. The entire thing is one giant and digitalized merry-go-round attraction and Burton's traditional personal touches are nowhere to be found. The potentially fascinating supportive characters (including ALL the circus artists) are wasted, the references towards the brilliant '41 original (the pink elephants sequence, the music and the little circus mouse) are seemingly thrown in because it was mandatory, and the primary moralizing messages (the ugly duckling variant and trust in oneself) have been replaced by imposed compulsory messages, like "Free all animals!" or criticism against large corporations that take over small but creative companies. Speaking of which, how hypocrite is the plot of Vandervere's mastodon theme park swallowing the traditional Medici circus and abruptly killing its creative employees? This is basically what Disney is doing with Star Wars, Marvel and even Tim Burton's persona. Are they predicting their entire imperium will eventually burn to the ground, maybe? "Dumbo" doesn't just solely exist of CGI-effects, it also appears to be directed by a computer or a CGI-machine instead of by a creative human being. And, judging by his numb and impassive performance here, Colin Farrell clearly thought so as well.

But hey, I can't finish my review without acknowledging that my darling daughter joyously cheered and shouted each time when the cute little elephant flew around the circus tent, and admittedly that sight also sent modest shivers down my spine.
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Fire (1977 TV Movie)
7/10
At least the little bunny-rabbit survived!
15 May 2019
After "Flood!" comes "Fire!", or vice versa! In 1976 and 19744, producer Irwin Allen and director Earl Bellamy shot two disaster movies back-to-back in the beautifully green state of Oregon. Ever since their releases these two titles seem to be inseparable. Most people watch them as a double-feature and, in my country, they were even release together on one single VHS-tape. There must be some sort of supernatural force involved because, after seeing "Flood!" last week, I also immediately felt the urge to see "Fire!" as soon as possible! Moreover, it's another great opportunity to subject another title to my specifically developed rating scale for typically 70s disaster movies!

Condition #1: without producer Irwin Allen, there wasn't a budget for special effects and thus no movie. "Fire!" is a TV-production, so obviously it's less spectacular than its distant fiery cousin "The Towering Inferno", but the flames, set-pieces and cinematography look very realistic (and superior to "Flood!") quite good, so I'll give it a full point. Condition #2: all disaster movies star one major star (Charlton Heston and Paul Newman were prime choices) and a long list of "secondary" stars (like Ernest Borgnine, Leslie Nielsen...). I am going to be very generous here and award the full point again. For reasons linked to the TV-movie status, there isn't a major star, but Ernest Borgnine rises to the top as a genuine hero, and the list of secondary stars is nevertheless long and impressive: Vera Miles, Patty Duke, Donna Mills, Alex Cord, Erik Estrada, Neville Brand, ... Condition #3: The characters are usually split into two camps with completely opposite ideals and/or initiatives. This condition, on the other hand, isn't applicable here. The little town of Silverton is exposed to a humongous forest fire, ignited by a convict as part of a more elaborate escape plan, and there isn't a chance for anyone to deny the fire's existence or to minimalize the impact. "Fire!" is one of the rare 70s disaster movies where all the characters work together to battle the inferno. Condition #4: Regardless what type of disaster we're dealing with, variants of the exact same perilous situations are always applicable. Pass, for sure! We have little girls gone missing during the local school's field trip, wind and weather conditions that continue complicating the working conditions and doctors that can't provide medical care because their car nearly crashes into a bear! Condition #5: always remember that, when the situation appears to be at its worst, it can and will still get even worse! For this condition, "Fire!" scores a lot better than its companion "Flood!". The rescue helicopter crashes down, the mountaintop lodge that initially serves as safe harbor nevertheless still threatens to go down in flames, dumb kids lock themselves into their rooms and certain people become forced to heroically sacrifice themselves in order to safe the others. There's one hopeful little moment, however, when a cute and furry little bunny miraculously gets rescued by fire chief Gene Evans.

If we sum it up, "Fire!" scores 4 out of 5 on rating scale for 70s disaster movies! Make no mistake, though, as this is only an indicator to state that the film qualifies as fantastic entertainment with all the joyous clichés and stereotypes represented! Skeptical film fanatics are likely to disdain the film for all the exact same reasons!
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6/10
The Good detective, the Bad killer and the Ugly Sheriff
8 May 2019
Now here's something you don't encounter every day... "A Knife for the Ladies" is a genre hybrid between western and horror. No wait, let me specify that even more, it's a western mixed with strong and typical giallo trademarks! Of course, you can't really be sure if this was intentional. Was director Larry G. Sprangler even aware that overseas, in contemporary Italy, the giallo existed or was it just a lucky but coincidental choice to provide this film's killer with black leather gloves and make him/her hunt down lurid women with a sharp knife? It also doesn't matter that much, as the combo works quite effectively! "A Knife for the Ladies" is a heavily flawed film, mostly suffering from a pacing that is far too slow and a very poor use of western decors and set-pieces, but the plot is still an engaging whodunit and the murders are reasonably grisly. The town of Mescal is plagued by vicious murders and, so far, the bodies of three women have been discovered with their throats slit. The town council decides to hire private detective Burns to find the culprit, since Sheriff Jarrod is too incompetent to solve anything except for wrongly parked horses. Burns runs into a few suspects, including a morbid undertaker and the nasty saloon-owner who secretly aspires to become sheriff, but meanwhile the murders continue. "A Knife for the Ladies" is a recommendable effort, especially if you're into obscure and experimental 70s horror, but you'll have to accept the snail-pace, the lack of directorial style and the poorly created western setting. On the bright side, crazy-eyed Jack Elam is always a pleasure to watch and the denouement is vile and twisted in good old-fashioned Giallo tradition (albeit somewhat predictable if you look at the poster images)
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The Undead (1957)
8/10
Bravo, Mr. Corman! "The Undead" is a triumph of ingenuity
6 May 2019
It's easy to disdain "The Undead" because of its utterly poor production values, muddled script and complete lack of coherence. You could do that, ... or you could also acknowledge that it's one of the most imaginative and original horror-hodgepodges of all time! This is probably the best film to demonstrate how director/producer Roger Corman was a master in finding workarounds to cover for the budgetary restraints. "The Unknown" is a sheer horror feast full of twisted characters (including a singing grave digger and Satan himself), macabre padding footage (three ghostly women in black appearing out of nowhere to perform an eerie cemetery dance), genuinely creepy stuff (hiding underneath a corpse in a coffin), inexplicable bizarre gimmicks (like the sinister sneering imp shape-shifting into owls, cats and spiders) and strategically angled footage luscious Allison Hayes' luscious mammary glands!

The synopsis is grotesque and cheesy, but at the same time vastly intriguing. An unorthodox scientist lures a beautiful prostitute to his cabinet for different services than what she usually offers. Via hypnosis, he sends her to back to medieval times, to one of her previous lives as an innocent but condemned witch awaiting her execution. She escapes from the prison dungeon and then desperately attempts to prove she isn't a witch and avoid a bloody death via the executioner's axe. During her journey she meets many strange people, friendly ones and foes, and she also learns that her adventure threatens to alter the course of history forever. I have literally seen thousands of horror movies, but I'm genuinely astounded by the ingenuity of this one! The script is chock-full of neat, often only semi-processed ideas, and several of the themes were quite progressive for their time, like experimental hypnosis and reincarnation (inspired by the Bridey Murphy story). Roger Corman finds an apt balance between morbidity and comedy, and many of the performances are memorable. Pamela Duncan and Allison are beautiful and talented, Richard Devon is an archetypic Satan and Mel Welles is so terrific as Smolkin, the grave digger, that he honestly deserved his own spin-off series! I was impressed by "The Undead" throughout its entire running time, but I still I was hesitating between a rating 6 or 7 because there are nevertheless a lot of defaults. Upon witnessing the final and truly genius (yes, genius!!) end-twist, however, I knew for certain: this movie deserves at least an 8/10. Trust me, it's really good!
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Flood (1976 TV Movie)
6/10
Rates 2.75 (out of five) on the "cliched 70s disaster movie" scale!
6 May 2019
Among many other contemporary trends, hypes and sub-genres of the glorious 70s decade, yours truly is a diehard fan of typical disaster movies of that era! I love them so much! I've seen so many that I even developed a specific rating principle to check, via five simple little traits, if a certain disaster movie qualifies as good enough cheesy & clichéd entertainment!

Condition #1: without producer Irwin Allen, there wasn't a budget for special effects and thus no movie. Well, Allen was the producer of "Flood", but it's a made-for-TV film and hence the budget was significantly smaller than in, say, "The Towering Inferno" or "The Poseidon Adventure". Still, for a TV-film, it's looking quite good, so I'll give it 0,5 points. Condition #2: all disaster movies star one major star (Charlton Heston and Paul Newman were prime choices) and a long list of "secondary" stars (like Ernest Borgnine, Leslie Nielsen...). Another 0,5 points scored here. For reasons linked to the TV-movie status, there isn't a major star, but the list of secondary stars is nevertheless long and impressive: Robert Culp, Barbara Hershey, Richard Basehart, Cameron Mitchell, Roddy McDowall, Francine York, Teresa Wright, ... Condition #3: The characters are usually split into two camps with completely opposite ideals and/or initiatives. Oh, definitely the case here! The little Oregon fishing town of Brownsville is recovering after weeks of heavy rainfall and storm winds. Local entrepreneurs Steve and Paul are persuaded that the ecologically built dam will burst and drown the entire town, whereas the stubborn mayor irresponsibly keeps proclaiming that the dam will hold. Who do you think is right? Full point! Condition #4: Regardless what type of disaster we're dealing with, variants of the exact same perilous situations are always applicable. Yes, but limited. We have 9-months-pregnant women trapped in their homes, missing children and elderly women sacrificing themselves to rescue others, but that's about it. 0.75 points! Condition #5: always remember that, when the situation appears to be at its worst, it can and will still get even worse! I'm not handing out a point here. There aren't any sharks or piranhas coming along with the flood, the central hospital doesn't collapse, or the helicopter doesn't crash. So, theoretically speaking, Brownsville could be worse off.

All this adds up to a proper 2.75 rating, meaning "Flood!" is a recommendable and engaging disaster movie IF you are already familiar with the genre and if you are relatively tolerant. In case you seek pure blockbuster-fun, better stick to the mastodons of the era, like "Towering Inferno", "Earthquake" or the "Airport"-series.

PS: I'm still waiting for news on Roddy McDowall's character! Did he make it?
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Gag (2006 Video)
1/10
Gag the hell out of here!
2 May 2019
I seriously don't intend to waste further time or too many words on the review for "Gag", because it's - simply put - a terribly bad and amateurish horror effort! We get it, Mr. Director, you watched "Saw" and you assumed you could do better? Since the birth and the tremendous success of the so-called "torture porn" sub-genre, many aspiring yet sadly untalented directors come up with their own idea for a sick and revolting torture tale. Most of these attempts are bad, but this "Gag" is beyond abysmal and doesn't feature one single positive aspect or redeeming quality. No wait, there is something good about this film, and that's its length! It lasted less than 80 minutes and I was grateful for that. Otherwise we're talking dire settings, lousy editing and lighting, excruciatingly painful acting performances and gratuitously cruel but unimaginative torturing methods & death sequences. "Gag" is so lame that it reuses the same dire plot-twist (if you can even call it that) twice, namely that a victim is mistaken for the culprit. Yawn! Do not watch, unless you are into self-torture.
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6/10
Don't listen to opinions and don't read any reviews! Except this one, of course :-)
1 May 2019
I like to think of myself as an open-minded horror fanatic. Like most people, I'm not very fond of remakes of classic genre landmarks, but at least I try to give them a fair and unbiased change. Admittedly I didn't do this for the "A Nightmare on Elm Street" remake. For practically 10 years, I deliberately ignored this film because literally every opinion I heard and every review that I read were extremely negative. Well, once again it's proven that you should always form your own opinion instead of blindly relying on those of others. The 2010 remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" obviously isn't a masterwork, but it's a respectable effort that tries to remain loyal and bring tribute to the 1984 original, yet simultaneously has its own personality.

Why does everybody hate this film so much? Simple, because a lot of people consider the Wes Craven original as sacred and inimitable, so the opinions were largely established already before they even saw the film. Remaking the classic "A Nightmare on Elm Street" is supposedly blasphemy, but let's be honest, most of the sequels and notably Craven's own and dreadful "New Nightmare" were far worse than this film!

The initial idea apparently was to make a prequel to the 1984 original. Makes sense, because the plot deep-dives a lot more into the persona of Freddy Krueger and his past as a (possible?) child molester at a kindergarten school. Naturally, and understandably, the producers couldn't resist recycling the still brilliant premise of a killer stalking his victims in their dreams, so it became a remake. You don't have to take my word on it, but "A Nightmare on Elm Street" has a lot of positive things going for it. For starters, it's an R-rated horror film and it is quite full of nasty murders and gritty set-pieces. Many horror remakes are softened in order to obtain a PG-13 rating and reach wider audiences, but this isn't the case here. The character of Freddy Krueger, as depicted by Jackie Earle Haley, is also a worthy successor to Robert Englund's iconic role. Perhaps Freddy's voice isn't as menacing as it used to be, but he's certainly intimidating and scary, and his facial makeover make-up is very good. I even daresay Freddy's burning wounds and facial scars are more realistic now. There's also a decent amount of suspense and the characters' deaths are often unpredictable and surprising, making this a for more enjoyable horror remake than I ever assumed it would be. Therefore, don't take the opinions of others for granted and discover for yourself whether this is a worthless horror remake or not!
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Rollerball (1975)
8/10
You haven't lived until you've seen "Rollerball"
29 April 2019
During a recent conversation with a cult-film buddy of mine, "Rollerball" got mentioned and I had to admit to him that I hadn't seen it. At first, my pal just stared at me in disbelief and repeated at least five times: "You haven't seen Rollerball yet?!?". When he recovered from the shock he also stated quite clearly that one hasn't lived until he or she sees "Rollerball". Reason enough for me to move it upwards on my personal watch-list.

I had to watch this film anyway, because I have a tremendous fondness for dystopian Sci-Fi fables from the 70s and 80s, and particularly for those that seem absurd on the surface but become more disturbing when you analyze them more profoundly! The idea of a hyper-violent sport that is controlled by corporate mastodons that have taken over the world-leadership, and in which the athletes can suffer extreme injuries or even face death, may seem absurd, ... but isn't this what Julius Caesar & C° already practiced in the ancient Rome with their Gladiators in the arenas? "Rollerball" is the type of thought-provoking but low-profile science-fiction that genuinely sends cold shivers down your spine because of its realism and plausibility. Humanity isn't enslaved by aliens or intelligent robots, we aren't driving around in flamboyant dune buggies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and we aren't going to work on plantations on Mars. Instead, the futuristic bleakness is there because all-powerful, yet largely unseen corporate leaders, imposed restrictions upon society and they decide on what is supposedly good for us. In this environment, in 2018, the sole form of entertainment is a sport named Rollerball, but the company goes even as far as regulating the lives of the players. The absolute best player in the world, Jonathan E., learns that must retire at the height of his career. When he objects, even in the most polite and civilized methods, he rapidly learns that the companies don't tolerate free willpower.

The positive aspects, for starters, include that the action sequences in "Rollerball" are fantastic and exhilarating. Although I'm surely not familiar with all the specifics of this crazy sport, the battles between these Rollerballers are brute, bloody and relentless in a comic-book type of style. Norman Jewison also does a terrific job in maintaining the suspense and uncomfortable atmosphere throughout the entire film. The invisible corporate menace is omnipresent, and the companies' bleak ideologies are occasionally demonstrated via the brilliantly stoic performance of John Houseman. There are definitely flaws and missed opportunities as well, though. For example, it's a shame that the story solely focuses on James Caan's character and a few of his team mates, whereas it remains totally unclear how the dystopian society affects the regular, non-athletic masses. Also, and I do realize this isn't Jewison or the crew's fault, it's difficult to accept that the makers assumed that technology and equipment in 2018 would still look the same as they did in the 70s. The computers, telephones, motorcycles, household stuff and even the roller blades are ordinary pieces of 70s scenery, and thus they look extremely dated today. Still, "Rollerball" is great cinema that righteously earned a spot in my personal list of favorite dystopian Sci-Fi, alongside classics such as "Soylent Green", "Logan's Run", "Fahrenheit 451", "Z.P.G", ...
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5/10
Welcome to Earth, stoic-looking green man! Now, give us all your secrets!
29 April 2019
1951 was a milestone year for Sci-Fi cinema, as it saw the birth of the "Alien Invasion" movie and immediately also two landmark-titles that still stand solid today as indestructible genre classics: "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "The Thing from Another World". When it comes to being the absolute first alien-invasion movie, however, both these masterpieces were beaten by the modest and extremely low-budgeted "The Man from Planet X", since that one got released in the spring of '51! It's a charming and enjoyable B-movie with a cool and memorable looking alien. The American reporter John Lawrence is invited by his scientist friend Prof. John Elliott, to a remote and minuscule little island off the Scottish coast named Burry. Elliott discovered a new planet, inventively called it "X" and set up an observatory in Burry because the passing of the planet will be best seen from this island. John Lawrence is far more interested in Professor Elliot's daughter Enid, but when they romantically walk around in the Moors, they witness the landing of a peculiar spaceship and an odd-looking green visitor. Cult director Edgar G. Ulmer is notorious for accomplishing good things with minimal budgets, but he certainly did surpass himself here. "The Man from Planet X" is made on a shoestring budget, and Ulmer does whatever he can to hide it, like shrouding all the crude set-pieces and cardboard locations in thick mist or ripping off his own cast members with overdue salaries that were even less than minimum wages. But, even more remarkable than his ability to creatively camouflage budget restrictions are Ulmer's skills to nevertheless insert flashes of sheer genius and ambiguity. For example, did the stern-looking alien land on earth with malignant intentions to begin with, or did he only turn hostile after his first encounters with the typically greedy and destructive nature of earthly creatures, as demonstrated by the vicious Dr. Mears?
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6/10
Scum of Belgium, unite!
26 April 2019
The least you can say about Luk Wyns' one-man project "Crimi Clowns" is that it's a bizarrely structured and qualitatively volatile TV & film franchise! The first season of the TV-series is downright fantastic! The insanely grotesque plot, the loathsome lead characters and the massive amounts of explicit violence and gratuitous sex were truly unique and never-before-seen in Belgium! The second season is, strangely enough, totally uninspired and dull. But since it never aired in The Netherlands, Wyns summarized it into a film version that only featured the highlights, and that was very enjoyable. Season three on late night Belgian TV was awesome once again, with totally deranged plot twists and utterly insane black humor, but now the second feature film (summarizing parts of season two's finale and approximately half of season three) is mediocre and heavily censored. Either Luk Wyns should work more consistently, or I should stop watching every single type of medium that comes out.

Here are some of the main story lines that feature in "Scum". The entire Tersago family, including Ronny's ex-wife and grandmother, are arrested after a sudden bust into their villa by the police. They have to let all of them go shortly after, except for son Wesley against whom there is substantial evidence that he committed murder. The role of Johnny De Mol is significantly smaller in this film as well as in the whole of season three. I know he has a loyal share of fans, but personally I think it's good because Wesley was the most annoying and misfit character of the franchise. During his short stay in prison, Ronny wrote a scenario for a Halloween-Easter themed musical that will likely boost up their financials and celebrity status again. During the big premiere, however, a feared Russian mafia boss show up to extract a vengeance that was still unsettled. Meanwhile, the entire family continues to stuff industrial amounts of cocaine up their noses, cheerfully visit prostitutes and betray one another.

Business as usual in the criminal clown industry...
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3/10
It's the end of the world as we know it, but we don't care
25 April 2019
Perhaps I should state first that I'm an incurable sucker for the trashy Italian exploitation & rip-off cinema of the 1980s. I have seen all those "Mad Max" and "Escape from New York" imitations, and I can list several examples of titles that I enjoyed even massively more than the originals they are inspired by, like "Atlantis Interceptors", "2019: After the Fall of New York", "Fists of Steel", "Fighting Centurions 2072", "Endgame", etc. Most of these films are generally considered as worthless and irredeemable junk, but yours truly adores them! So, when I say that a certain title in this genre, say "The Final Executioner" is dull and forgettable, you can rest assured that practically nobody will enjoy it.

"The Final Executioner" combines the contemporary overused post-apocalyptic concept with the (also numerously recycled) idea of hunting human beings for sheer entertainment value. In the apocalyptic wasteland that remained after an all-destructive nuclear explosion, direly illustrated through the same old stock-footage, there are basically just two types of people left alive. The uninfected elite and the infected trash. The elite permit themselves to rape, humiliate, hunt down and kill the infected survivors simply for fun and games. One man fights back, however, and when the elite viciously gang-rape and murder his girl right in front of him, he enlists the help of a former cop for his ultimate plan of revenge. I realize this sound cheesy and cliched enough to be entertaining, but for some incomprehensible reason Romolo Guerrieri ("Young, Violent & Dangerous", "The Sweet Body of Deborah") managed to make it very boring! There are too many long parts of sheer dullness, the lead villains aren't nearly freaky or maniacal enough and the supportive role of Woody Strode is sad and pathetic. The violence and bloodshed are tame and brief, whereas the rape sequence is too long and utterly provocative. There aren't any cool post-apocalyptic set-pieces, vehicles or gimmicks and hero William Mang tries too damn hard to look like Kurt Russell.
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Werewolf (2018)
7/10
The Lord of the Nazi Guard Dogs
25 April 2019
Perhaps this wasn't the ideal film to go and see with my wife on our date night. And yet, "Werewolf" is a truly captivating, original, courageous and hauntingly realistic hybrid of genres. Polish writer/director Adrian Panek touches upon several extremely sensitive topics, and yet his film never becomes overly melodramatic, preachy or moralizing. On the contrary, I even had the impression that Panek primarily wanted to make a horror/thriller movie, but that it gradually turned into horror mixed with psychological war-drama and coming-of-age fable. "Werewolf" is unique but finds inspiration in classic William Golden novel "Lord of the Flies" and uses ideas that I've seen in more obscure films like "The Seasoning House" (2012), "White Dog" (1982) and "The Pack" (1977). The film opens with grisly and devastating images set in the Nazi concentration camp of Gross-Rosen in 1945, where sadist German soldiers are still rapidly executing as many prisoners as possible before they are liberated. A group of orphaned children, heavily traumatized and practically famished, flee into the thick woods and find shelter in an abandoned mansion. They still aren't safe, though, since there isn't any food or water and vengeful Russian and German soldiers are still prowling the area. When things seemingly can't get any worse, the children become trapped inside the mansion by a pack of hungry and bewildered dogs; - the former guard dogs of the concentration camp that were set free. "Werewolf" is a slow-paced but incredibly intense and atmospheric film with several stupendous performances from the young and inexperienced cast and a marvelous use of set pieces and filming locations. The sequences with the dogs are truly suspenseful and very well-choreographed.

Just to illustrate: we watched "Werewolf" at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival, where the crowd is always loud, cheerful and where it's customary to sing during the film or shout funny remarks at the screen. This film managed, however, to shut up the crowd throughout practically the entire running time. Any film that accomplishes this at the BIFFF must have a powerful impact, I guarantee you.
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Abrakadabra (2018)
4/10
Maybe, just maybe, we should let the Giallo rest in peace?
24 April 2019
Now, I know that it's tremendously popular nowadays to make new horror movies look like as if they were made 30-40 years ago. For certain genres this also works perfectly well, like the 80s slasher or the 70s grindhouse flick, but certain other cinematic styles and sub-genres were so periodically and culturally specific that they simply don't fit in this current post-Millennial era. The Giallo is, at least in my humble opinion, such a sub-genre, and even though I genuinely admire the Onetti brothers' goodwill and enthusiasm to pay tribute to these unique films, their "Abrakadabra" just didn't evoke any feelings of nostalgia or excitement. Exceptions aside, the true Gialli came from Italy and were released between 1969 and 1975. They are wonderfully deranged movies with twisted plots, absurd twists, graphic violence, gratuitous sex and experimental stylistic aspects. The Onettis most certainly did their homework in terms of look & feel, as "Abrakadabra" features chaotic color patterns, inept sound effects & editing and massively theatrical death sequences. For some reason, however, they also assumed that an incoherent plot with giant holes and logical errors are also a mandatory trademark. That's not the case, or at least I never felt so! The setting is excellent: a washed up, alcoholic and gambling-addicted magician, still traumatized because he witnessed the death of his father on stage following a magic trick gone wrong, suddenly becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation when the corpse of a woman is discovered amidst his magic show equipment. The cadavers continue to pile up, and everything points in the direction of our sleazy magician, but he is determined to prove that someone else wants to frame him. It's definitely a strong giallo-concept, with several praiseworthy technical aspects and two or three delightfully sadistic slayings (the guillotine!). But, believe me, I've seen more than 120 authentic gialli, yet I've rarely ever encountered one with a script so randomly structured and uneven. There are dozens of great but sadly obscure gialli out there to discover, psychedelic ones as well as straightforward ones. Please, seek them out!
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6/10
The 80s called. The line was constantly busy, though.
24 April 2019
Don't know if you noticed it too, but homages and references towards vintage 80s slasher movies in nowadays horror movies aren't just simple gimmicks anymore. They have evolved into a complete sub-genre of their own! Around the time of Wes Craven's "Scream" and the subsequent 10-15 years, it was a tremendous hype to refer to the delightful cliches and titles of the eighties, but these days and with films like "The Final Girls", "Summer of 84" and notably the hugely successful TV-series "Stranger Things", entire films are made to look as if they were coming straight from the heyday-decade of horror. I certainly cannot blame these writers and directors! Devoted genre fanatics like myself are attracted to the eighties like flies are attracted to ..., well, you know. Everything was so much better and simpler 30 years ago. Plots were dumb but effective, like summer camp counselors being chased through the woods by a machete-wielding maniac, girls were prettier and lewd, gore was unhinged and manually manufactured and advanced technologies - like mobile phones or social media - didn't exist. Of course every aspiring horror director nowadays wants to make films as entertaining and nostalgic as the ones he/she grew up with!

"You Might be the Killer" is a fun and occasionally quite clever piece of throwback-horror full of the above mentioned 80s characteristics, but it nevertheless takes place in a present-day setting. The over-enthusiast head-counselor Sam invited all his fellow counselors to spend the weekend and prepare for the upcoming summer camp at the remote location. On the first evening, around the campfire, he narrates the local urban legend of a poor lumberjack who made an eerie mask and went on to kill his family and the entire village. His grave and the mask are supposedly buried somewhere on the camp grounds, so it's not too difficult to guess what happens next. The innovative aspect of "You Might be the Killer" is the narrative structure. When confronted with the first dead bodies piling up around him, Sam telephones his best friend and bona-fide horror nerd Chuck and, through retelling the bloody events that took place, they establish that Sam is probably the killer himself. Some ideas and gimmicks in the script are dire and overly cliched, like the body count indicator which has been done numerous times before, but others are quite inventive. With the non-stop phone conversation between Sam and Chuck, co-writer/director Brett Simmons at least (deliberately?) ignores one dreadful cliche already: there's always a phone-signal and the battery doesn't die. The gore is excellent, the killer's mask and preferred weapon are vintage slasher material and most of these unknown (to me, at least) actresses like Brittany S. Hall, Jenna Harve, Sarah Catherine Bellamy and Carol Jean Wells are drop dead gorgeous (pun intended)
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6/10
Life is Zom-Beautiful!
17 April 2019
I have deliberately been avoiding zombie-comedies over the past few years, because there has been a massive over-offer of those since, say, 15 years and because - let's face it - the vast majority of them of utter rubbish. Initially, I also hadn't planned to see "Little Monsters", but I had to occasion to attend the premiere at the Brussels International Film Festival, and it's always a lot more fun to watch such a type of film alongside a big & enthusiast crowd at a festival. Perhaps I just was in very tolerant mood, but Abe Forsythe's "Little Monsters" is very entertaining and has a surprisingly large number of positive aspects going for it!

The plot is fair but standard: a stereotypical loser in his late twenties, the kind that still hopes he will eventually make it as a rock star, joins his nephew's class on a field trip to the petting zoo to impress the boy's stunningly hot teacher Miss Caroline. During the day, zombies escape from a nearby military research facility and stumble their way to the zoo. Evidently, the selfish rock-musician will have to turn into a genuine hero to safeguard all children from the flesh-hungry living dead!

What I really appreciated about "Little Monsters" is that the comedy is primarily generated through the characters and via situational humor, instead of via cheap slapstick and over-the-top gore like in most "zomedies". The funniest parts of the film are even in the first half hour, when there isn't a zombie in sight yet and the story still centers on Uncle Dave taking care of his 5-year-old nephew and trying to win his girlfriend back. Another very imaginative aspect is that Miss Caroline (multi-talented beauty Lupita Nyong'o) spontaneously decides not to tell children that they are trapped in the middle of a zombie outbreak. Instead, she explains it's a sort of game and part of the excursion, which makes "Little Monsters" sort of the "La Vita È Bella/Life is Beautiful" of zombie movies.

Of course, "Little Monsters" does remain a derivative zombie flick and thus cannot escape the use of several dreadful cliches and idiotic twists. Sure, in a country as enormous as Australia, the military zone where they experiment with zombie viruses has to be located at less than 500 meters of a children's animal park! The zombie outbreak is the most random and unexplained one in history, by the way, but I don't mind that too much. You are also warmly invited to just accept that ravenous zombies are not capable to tear down a simple wooden gift shop, crawl through a gate with massive holes or apprehend the slowest driving tractor in the world. But the biggest and most irritating cliche that Forsythe included, and the only one that actually bothered me, was the character of Teddy McGiggle. We get it now: when in mortal danger, the masks of sympathetic celebrities fall off and they turn out to be loathsome, cowardly and egocentric bastards. Don't worry, though, as they always get what they deserve.
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The Pool (III) (2018)
6/10
Murphy's Law; - level 1.000
15 April 2019
We all know the so-called "Murphy's Law", stating that if something CAN go wrong, it WILL go wrong. We also all know this is one of the rare theories in life that is actually truthful, but the good Thai people with unpronounceable names who made "The Pool" perhaps pushed the theory of "Murphy's Law" a bit too far over the edge. The series of misfortunes, unlucky coincidences, malaises and stupidities that overcome lead characters Day and Koi in this film are too numerous and exaggerated to believe, but admittedly they also do ensure a very intense, fast-paced and action-packed thriller. Because of a bit of bad luck and a lot of dumbness, set decorator Day gets trapped inside of a massive but isolated 6-meter deep exterior pool while the water is slowly clearing away. Due to even more dumbness, his fiancée Koi gets trapped in there too, with a serious head injury to boot! If you can accept that people built 6-meter-deep pools without bothering to install ladders, I'm sure you can also suspend your disbelief for the non-stop series of unfortunate events that follow. The fun is complete when a savage crocodile, at large due to the heavy rainfall and floods of recent weeks, accidentally falls into the pool as well. Yes, "The Pool" often is laughably far-fetched, but it's also very suspenseful, compelling and exciting. The crocodile is a fabulous work of craftmanship; - realistic and genuinely menacing. For an action/thriller with such a rudimentary premise, limited cast and minimal set-pieces, it's entertaining & recommendable.
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The Furies (2019)
6/10
Ignore the plot, enjoy the gore and the killers' masks!
13 April 2019
I attended the world-premiere of "The Furies" at the Brussels' Fantastic Film Festival, and writer/director Tony D'Aquino was present to introduce his movie and sing for the outrageous audience (it's tradition in Brussels for directors to sing a song). Admittedly, I always tend to be more lenient and forgiving in my reviews when I hear the makers enthusiastically talk about their films. When you hear him promote his own film, it's clear that D'Aquino is primarily a die-hard horror fanatic, like myself and everyone else in the audience, who grew up with the notorious slasher of the 80s. He combined all his love & knowledge of vintage slasher cinema and made "The Furies"; - a homage to nostalgic horror with an absurd plot and loads of over-the-top gruesome gore. Somewhere in rural Australia, unknown assailants kidnap wayward young girls and release them again the middle of a forest. The girls are trapped in a sick type of VR-game and find themselves pursued by a variety of maniacal killers in horrifying masks. You'd think that the logical thing for the girls to do is stick together and team up against the killers, but the rules of this cat-and-mouse game are slightly different. Hate to say this, but the script is quite nonsensical and every next plot twist is even more ridiculous than the one before. And yet, I honestly can't dislike "The Furies" because the gore and the killers' outfits are simply fantastic! I'm not sure, since I didn't attend the Q&A session with D'Aquino, but I'm strongly suspecting the outfits are inspired by legendary mass murderers like Jason Voorhees, Leatherface, etc... "The Furies" certainly isn't a masterpiece, and probably won't ever become a cult gem, but at midnight at a festival, I love the sight of nasty axe-murders, exploding heads and scooped-out eyeballs!
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7/10
Les Freaks, C'est Chique!
13 April 2019
Approximately 15 years or so ago, I held a bare-boned DVD version of this film in my hands, for sale at a gas station of all places! To this day I still regret that I didn't blindly buy it back then. I didn't because it was only in French, without any subtitles or English soundtrack. The atmospheric cover and grisly little images on the back of the box always haunted me and, ever since then "La Nuit de la Mort" has been waiting on my must-see list. It's a damn difficult title to track down, I ensure you, but I finally managed, and it was more than worth it. And the good news is that I also properly speak and understand French by now! "La Nuit de la Mort » is truly a hidden gem of French horror cinema! Writer/director Raphaël Delpard astounds us with a film that seemingly has everything that horror fanatics so desperately desire: an original plot, insane characters, genuine atmospheric tension and a fair portion of old-fashioned & revolting gore! Moreover, the lead actress Isabelle Goguey is honestly one of the most naturally beautiful, sympathetic and spontaneous women I've ever seen! I couldn't keep my eyes of her; - what a woman! It's downright unfathomable that this red-headed angel isn't more known! She only starred in a handful of unknown movies and worked as an assistant director for a dozen that are even less than unknown! This dream-woman stars as Martine, a young woman who accepts a job as a nurse and all-round household help in a secluded old folks' home named Deadlock House. The landlady and the caretaker are quite eccentric, and also the residents are bizarrely energetic for their ages, but Martine is an open-minded girl and she's up for a challenge after 8 months of unemployment. The other nurse, Nicole, mysteriously vanishes shortly after Martine's arrival and she gradually grows more suspicious of what happens in this exclusive mansion after dark.

Delpard biggest scripting errors are that he reveals the macabre "secret" of Deadlock House too quickly, after 20 minutes already, and that he subsequently doesn't foresee any more victims, other than poor Nicole, to be led to the slaughter. For the remaining hour, "La Nuit de la Mort" solely thrives on sinister atmosphere and the genuine concern that something dreadful will happen to the mesmerizing Martine. It's not always enough, and certain parts of the film are boring and overdue (like Martine discovering Nicole's suitcase when she already knows that her disappearance was unusual). The extended finale features a few strong and unexpected plot twists and the gory make-up effects are really shocking for a low-budgeted 80s French flick. And, personally, I was happy enough to gaze at the ravishing Isabelle Goguey even during the duller moments. There's even a brief but wonderful topless scene. Did I mention already that this woman is a stunning natural beauty?
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Magnum Cop (1978)
6/10
Maurizio, the Stand-Up Moustache Comedian
9 April 2019
The Italians are genuine masters in deconstruction their own successful cult/exploitation cinema streams! As soon as the popularity or ticket sales were slightly diminishing, the writers and directors began throwing in aspects of other genres and bucket-loads of dumb humor; - slapstick even. It happened to the legendary Spaghetti Westerns at the end of the sixties, and it happened to the Poliziotesschi flicks a decade later. It's almost saddening to see how, in a span of barely 5-6 years, the films that were initially brutal, relentless and non-stop violent are slowly becoming light-headed parodies. "Poliziotto Senza Paura" still offers a reasonably well-balanced mix between action, thrills and chuckles, but the sub-genre would rapidly deteriorate further, notably with the "Delitto" franchise starring Tomas Milian. For most contemporary Italian actors and directors, the slow disappearance of the Poliziotesschi wasn't a big tragedy, as they sought out new and different horizons. For Maurizio Merli, however, the Poliziotesschi movies were literally all he had, so he kept playing his familiar roles, even if it meant acting like a clown or depicting supportive characters (like in "Convert Action").

In good old Italian tradition, "Poliziotto Senza Paura" has a lot of alternate titles. I watched it as "Fearless Fuzz", but it's also known as "Magnum Cop", "Fearless", "Fatal Charm", "The Private Detective" and "A Matter of Honour". Despite several bad omens, like the comedy elements and recycled poster images, it is still an entertaining film that benefices from a solid plot and the presence of Joan Collins! To my knowledge, it's Diva Collins' only appearance in an Italian exploitation movie ever, but she does a terrific job and still looks astonishing as the 44-year-old stripper. Walter "Wally" Spada is a former cop now working as a financially struggling private detective. Austrian colleague Gaston Moschin subcontracts Wally to trace the runaway daughter of his wealthy businessman client, but the child is brutally kidnapped in front of him. Wally then travels to Austria himself, and via the related case of a murdered schoolgirl, he slowly uncovers a filthy network of teenage prostitution led by the owners of a sleazy nightclub. The first 10 minutes, as well as the final 15, are extremely compelling and chock-full of hard-boiled Poliziotesschi action. A few of the death sequences are unexpected and quite shocking and there are some clever plot twists. Unfortunately, the entire middle-section is too talkative and dull, and the non-stop, supposedly humorous gasconading between Merli and Moschin becomes irritating quite fast. Nevertheless, the more than decent score by the reliable Stelvio Cipriani and the above-average directing competences of Stelvio Massi contribute to making "Poliziotto Senza Paura" a recommendable viewing experience for fans of Italian 70s cult.
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El monje loco (1984)
4/10
The eggshell-eyed Monk and his mad laughter
5 April 2019
After years of being a horror fanatic and having reviewed literally thousands of titles in this genre, you'd think I would know by now that completely unknown movies are completely unknown for a good reason? If a film is over thirty years old, yet it doesn't even have ten votes on IMDb and not a single user-comment or external review, it usually means that it is not worth discovering.

"The Mad Monk" is an amateurish, mid-80s Mexican film that is righteously obscure. It's shot on video, and director Julio Aldama practically did everything himself, including taking up the lead role and forcing his entire family to star as well. It's barely 75 minutes long and then still 30-40% of the running time is pure padding footage, like endless church organ playing and dull images of the Mexican countryside. The story is a sort of anthology, with two stories that are melodramatic rather than horrific. They are narrated by an insane monk, who's supposedly Satan himself and has an exaggeratedly over-the-top diabolical style of laughter. On the cover picture, it looks as if the monk has a creepy glass eye, but in the film, he is simply wearing an eye-patch in the shape of half an eggshell. The first tale revolves on a young soon-to-be priest, Father Martin, who meets again with a girl that he knew during his childhood. He madly falls in love with her and openly questions his calling, but when the girl chooses for another man, Father Martin goes berserk. The second tale introduces a financially struggling older couple. The husband receives a talisman that grants him three wishes, but he quickly learns that every wish has a nightmarish countereffect. "The Mad Monk" is a lousy effort, but still it must be mentioned that, essentially, the stories aren't bad. They just don't fit in a horror context.
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Halloween (I) (2018)
5/10
Michael Myers, the senior citizen serial killer
4 April 2019
Yours truly has a day-job in marketing, and I can tell you straightforward that the horror film-industry is nothing but just that: pure marketing trickery! Here we have a director with a good reputation (David Gordon Green; "Joe", "Pineapple Express"), and the respectable lead heroine Jamie Lee Curtis, coming forward with a pretentious promotional campaign stating that their new film is a direct sequel to the almighty 1978 original. So, basically, they are saying this film is superior, while the numerous sequels and reboots of the past 40 years are utterly useless (and that includes the sequels Curtis starred in herself). It might be clever and appealing marketing, but mostly I find it disrespectful to the memory of Donald Pleasance and everyone else who was ever involved in the production of a "Halloween" sequel.

Moreover, Gordon Green and Lee Curtis can say whatever they want; - in the end the new "Halloween" is also just a very prototypical and everyday horror sequel with dumb characters and extremely sadist annihilation. Fine by me, because I'm a slasher-fanatic, but then don't pretend you're better than the rest. And, for the record, I enjoyed every single and supposedly horrendous sequel in the "Halloween" series and even appreciated the widely exiled Rob Zombie remake.

The most interesting aspect of the film is that lead characters Laurie Strode and Michael Myers are 40 years older, meaning that cute babysitter Laurie is now a grandmother herself and Michael is, at 61, a sort of senior-citizen-serial-killer. That means he should apply for a discount card to travel by bus, rather than always having to kill the driver! Laurie led a miserable life, though, largely driven by fear and paranoia. She's trying to improve her relationships with estranged daughter Karen and granddaughter Allyson, but her isolated life-style and obsession with Michael returning to finish the feud complicate her attempts. When Old Mickey escapes, from a prison transport naturally, it turns out that he still has a fetish for hacking up babysitters. The intensity of the murders and the bloodshed in "Halloween" is terrific. They are sick and vile, and David Gordon Green often manages to adequately build up tension and atmosphere prior to the slaughters. The script, however, is very mundane and contains too many cliches and bad twists. Michael Myers is always nearby, and he easily finds his targeted victims, as if he has a build-in GPS system. The 2 podcasters are useless and irritating characters. Besides, since when is making stupid podcasts a good enough reason to be permitted to have access to the most dangerous serial killer of the country? Even more irritating and useless is the character of Myers' doctor Sartain, supposedly Dr. Sam Loomis' successor, for whom the script has an utterly ridiculous and implausible plot twist in store. The film's main message is that absolutely nothing has changed in forty years. Michael Myers is pure evil, like Donald Pleasance has been repeating since his very first murder at age 6.
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Trhauma (1980)
2/10
His "Trhauma" is that he fehell out of a Trhee!
1 April 2019
Like all my fellow reviewers, I clearly also couldn't resist making a remark about the spelling error in the title. It's just so unfathomable! It's a one-word title and making a film is supposedly a full-time occupation; how is it humanly possible to mess this up? Excellent job done by everyone even remotely involved in this production! In the other user-comments, I read that "Trhauma" is a belated giallo, because it's Italian, and a slasher inspired by Carpenter's "Halloween" because it got released shortly after. This is, however, merely just wishful thinking. In the end, it's nothing but a very lousy and zero-budgeted amateur horror film, made by and starring a bunch of nobodies.

The prologue introduces two 9-ish year old boys playing around in a forestry region. The smallest one is an irritating brat who commands the taller (and mentally underdeveloped) one to climb into a tree. He falls. After the opening credits, we are in the middle of a friends' weekend taking place in the country mansion of a continuously bickering couple. There aren't any proper character introductions or explanation on who these people are, though. In the film's absolute funniest scene, a really fat bloke just steps out of his car, throws off his clothes whilst crossing the garden and jumps into the pool. After that, everyone simply gets butchered by a savage maniac who turns out to be the dim-witted kid from the prologue (you can recognize him by his one missing eye).

Simply put, "Trhauma" is unimaginably bad! There isn't the slightly sign of tension-building, character development or coherence in the script. Due to the nonexistent budget, the murder sequences either occur off-screen or look very pitiable. If I would have to give an explanation on why this movie is still somewhat seen as a cult gem, it's probably because of two minor aspects: 1) there's a repulsive and 100% gratuitous necrophilia sequence and (2) the maniac killer still is the marionette of the same bully kid who rewards the murders with Lego boxes! The acting, directing, editing and cinematography are horrendous, but do stick around just in case in you are interested in witnessing the most moronic ending in horror history.
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