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Into the Dark: The Body (2018)
The Body is the perfect treat for the Halloween season!
Into the Dark: The Body is a horror film produced by Blumhouse Pictures and the Hulu streaming service. It was released on October 5th, 2018, and serves as the first entry to this project known as Into The Dark. This first episode is directed by Paul Davis and stars Tom Bateman, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Aurora Perrineau, David Hull and Ray Santiago.
A hitman, who had just killed someone, needs to transport the body of his victim on Halloween night. Left without a working vehicle due to Halloween antics, he is abandoned. However, three friends on their way to a lit "A-F" party, mistake the hitman and dead body for a costume and prop. They invite him to have just one drink, before helping him get on with his night.
I thought this was a good first outing for the Into the Dark series. The Body has some really bloody effects that are sure to please the gorehounds. It looked like everything was practical, but there might have been some minimal computer assistance. Either way, the killings were gory and merciless. If you like blood. This will be right up your alley.
The acting wasn't the best, but it wasn't horrible. Ray Santiago was funny. It was cool seeing him outside of Ash vs. The Evil Dead. I liked Rebecca Rittenhouse as Maggie. But, Tom Bateman was a cold and calculating killer. His presence as Wilkes the Hitman is terrifying. Director Paul Davis did a great job of delivering scenes of sickening suspense and gore spliced with drama and dark humorous comedy.
The Word Processor of the Gods (1984) - Michael Gornick
The Word Processor of the Gods is a television episode of the horror anthology series, Tales from the Darkside. It had aired on November 25th, 1984, and is the ninth episode of the first season. Michael Gornick, the cinematographer for Creepshow and Dawn of the Dead, is at the helm for this episode. It's based on a short story by Stephen King, and stars Bruce Davison, Karen Shallo, Patrick Piccininni, and William Cain. It's not the usual guts and gore horror movie that you might be used too. Instead it focuses on creepy situational suspense to deliver the scares.
Richard Hagstrom is a struggling writer that is having issues with his family. However, things turn around when his late nephew leaves him a Word Processor that he had custom-built. A Word Processor with a special trait. Anything that Richard writes about happens in real life. Doesn't like his wife. Blink her out of existence! Don't like your kid? Blink him out of existence. Want some Spanish doubloons? Blink them into reality!
This was a fantastic episode that leaves me wanting more. It's not a good enough story for a full movie, but it could have been one of the features during the failed Creepshow 3. I love how simple this episode can be, yet how entertaining and intriguing the source material is. If you haven't seen Tales from the Darkside yet, then this would be a great introduction. Fun and good for Stephen King fans.
The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971)
A Vincent Price movie from the Seventies... need I say more?
The Abominable Dr. Phibes is a horror dark-comedy from 1971, directed by Robert Fuest and starring Vincent Price in the lead role, alongside Joseph Cotten, Peter Jeffrey, and Virginia North. It's a beautiful film that leans heavily on the art-direction and set design. Very vibrant and colorful for such a dark and gloomy tale. American International Pictures had seen to the distribution of the film, which did well at the box office. It's no surprise since this is one of the greatest horror movies of all time.
The setting is London in 1925. Vincent Price plays Dr. Anton Phibes, a famous musician that was believed to have been killed in a terrible accident back in 1921. He was rushing home after hearing about his wife's demise during surgery. Phibes had survived the accident in secret but suffered damage to his throat and face. Anger and rage take control as the not-so-good Doctor exacts his revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife. Motivated by the Old Testament, Dr. Phibes takes great pride in the killing of these surgeons using methods from the Ten Plagues of Egypt.
This film serves as one of the most creative and intriguing entries into horror during the nineteen-seventies. It may be deemed too corny by today's standards. But it has a certain quality that couldn't be duplicated. It's almost as if the movie is so weird it's off-putting. Vincent Price delivers a tremendous performance that has some great detail. The scenes of him using an electrolarynx were great. He commands a scene every time he is on the screen.
Bats on strings, bright neon colored blood, bizarre pseudo-psychedelic musical scenes that have disjointed shots and cuts. Everything screams camp, but for some reason, it all comes together neatly in a creepy little package. I have watched this movie quite a few times and enjoyed it with each viewing. The creative deaths are always entertaining. Quite a treat for fans of these kitschy horror flicks. I know it made a fan of me.
Lethal Weapon (1987)
The quintessential buddy cop action flick!
Lethal Weapon is the eighties action film that kicked off the whole buddy-cop trope in Hollywood. It's directed by Richard Donner (Superman II) and penned by Shane Black (Predator). Our cast of stars features Danny Glover and Mel Gibson in the lead roles with Gary Busey as a henchman to the main villain, The General played by Mitchell Ryan. I decided to pair the film with a nice Indica like King Louis XIII from Marley Natural. It's a relaxing strain that provides a good deal of happiness. A good combination to dive right into a badass picture like this. The earthy tastes and piny aromas pair well with a good beer too. If that's your kind of thing.
The film follows the pairing of two LAPD detectives. Martin Riggs is a detective that is psychologically broken and emotionally damaged following the death of his wife. Roger Murtaugh is a veteran cop that works hard to support his family. They get paired together as partners working various crimes and bonding. Roger is constantly tested by Riggs' inherently psychotic behavior. He almost gives up. However, after things go south and the duo bands together to put an end to a very dangerous group of drug smugglers called Shadow Company.
The film features cheesy action film acting and witty dialogue, mostly between Gibson and just about everyone he comes in contact with. His Martin Riggs character is iconic. He stands as one of the best cops in movie history. Danny Glover is the perfect straight man but it's kind of unfortunate that he was so tight cast. Busey is badass in this movie. He looks awesome and does a great job of projecting himself as menacing. Tom Atkins is good too, his role is minimal, but he gives it everything. That is up until his death, which is rather goofy looking.
Lethal Weapon also has an amazing soundtrack provided by Michael Kamen and Eric Clapton. Yes, that Eric Clapton. The howling saxophone and blazing guitar set upon a sprawling Los Angeles cityscape provide an amazing atmosphere for the story. The soundtrack provides a great technique for building suspense that gets paid off with intense action scenes.
This movie is a hell of a ride. It builds an amazing world that gets explored at break-neck speed. In some cases it's far too fast-paced to be bad. All of the faults with the film are steamrolled by the constant action. The fight scenes are brutal and unrelenting. The final showdown is a thing of pure eighties glory. I love it. It's a classic that should be enjoyed by everyone at least once! There's a reason that It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia loves it so much.
The King Louis XIII paired really well with Lethal Weapon. It tasted so good, I ended up having an extra snapper or two. The cannabis had me feeling really relaxed and sunken into my couch. The uplifting effects had me alert and ready for the suspense of the action scenes, which were numerous. The effects were long lasting and are still prevalent when writing this review. Although it feels great, the taste and smell are the leading factors with this particular batch from Marley Natural. Check it out if you can!
A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010)
Maybe if I close my eyes hard enough this movie will have been just a bad dream!
This is a pretty movie. Its apparent from the start, that this remake of the 1984 classic, has a pretty good sized budget to work with. In fact the budget for this incarnation was $35 Million according to Wikipedia. The budget for the Wes Craven original, $1.8 Million. You don't always get a better movie if your budget is huge, look at Avatar. You just get a really pretty movie that looks polished and has flawless special effects. Again, see Avatar. That movie was nothing but flash. The story is unoriginal and weak... and don't try coming at me with this whole "Shut up man! Avatar proved itself!" shut up! The larger budget in this case makes the movie look too polished to be takes seriously. Why the hell are we caring about watching clones of the Twilight teens being chased by Freddy Kruger? Were not. This movie didn't need a budget of $35 Million. It feels wasted. Some of the appeal of the original came from watching the director be a director and figure scenes out. This movie didn't do that. It felt trite and forced.
Freddy Kruger is less of a movie villain in the horror industry and more of an icon. Everyone I knew growing up all had Freddy Kruger nightmares when they were a kid. Perhaps this new version of Freddy will serve to scare the poop out of kids these days. I would hope so. Maybe when they remake this movie again in twenty years they will bitch about it then as well. Who knows.
The Terror Within (1989)
It's Not That Great
The acting is poor and the story is just as inspired. It's crazy to sit back sometimes and just see how much they ripped off other movies. And not just good movies either. B-Movies. Schlock films. It has it's moments, sure. It's definitely a midnight creature feature. However, it sacrifices good old fashioned exploitation for just lazy film-making. Can you blame it? Everyone has to get paid somehow and these movies were being pressed out a lot.
A few moments into this picture and you can start to see the low-budget sleaze oozing through the cracks. The jokes and innuendos are all reminiscent of a Corman Picture. The corner-cutting in editing and sub- par audio are all present too. Not to say that it isn't entertaining. Movies like this usually are. This just isn't a movie that's fit for everyone. You have to be in the mood.
Not the Arnold/Zombie movie I expected!
First off, I am a huge fan of Arnold. My favorite being Total Recall. It's what drew me into this movie in the first place. Upon watching it I was pleasantly surprised that this was nothing like other Schwarzenegger movies. Explosions, catch phrases, and endless supplies of ammunition are sacrificed for fantastically dramatic acting and astute themes. In short. This movie isn't Total Recall.
Maggie has been bitten by a zombie and infected with the virus. Her transformation is slow coming but undeniable. Her father, Wade, decides to keep an eye on her and vows to do what needs to be done. He takes her out into the country, back to their home. He and his wife try to enjoy what little time they have left with her. However, the time is ticking. Maggie tries to come to grips with the reality of her situation while we watch her literally deteriorate.
Arnold Schwarzenegger really shows off his acting chops in this one. Arnold Schwarzenegger really shows off his acting chops in this one. This movie doesn't move as slowly as you would expect. In fact, it has a pretty steady tone and is so full of suspense that it doesn't really give you a second to lose interest. Abigail Breslin and Arnold Schwarzenegger do a phenomenal job. If you really want to watch Arnold act then check this out. This movie delivers the gore pretty well too. You get a lot of really nasty looking zombie stuff mixed with some heavy emotional scenes. It's a trip. Not to mention how wonderfully shot this movie is. Seriously, it's pretty.
Surprisingly this movie mixes Gore and Emotion. It's a rare combination. I completely advocate for this movie. It's the best zombie movie of 2015, so far. And it's definitely not the type of movie you picture when you hear about a Schwarzenegger zombie film. However, it does a really good job. This movie focuses on the emotional side of the zombie outbreak. The zombies featured are not quick-moving ninja zombies. These are the slow shuffling type. It's not incredibly scary so don't add this to any play-lists for Halloween. Instead, throw this movie on during a stormy night with your significant other. It's perfect for that.
Humanoids from the Deep (1980)
Not a quality picture, but a fun picture.
This is your standard old drive-in Creature Feature that has tons of gore and boobs. It's great if your in for a cheap thrill. This film goes right up along side any Roger Corman produced picture from the eighties. It's rumored that he was approached to direct this movie but he decided to produce it. Humanoids from the Deep, also known as Monster, is a strange but forgettable piece of exploitation that failed to make it's notch in history. Don't let that detour you though. This is a really fun little film that doesn't fail to be entertaining.
A small sea town in California is terrorized by some mutated creatures from the deep. They look like some sort of mutated fish, merman- thing. They seem to have one goal in mind and that is raping and impregnating the females of the town. Also the town is being taken for a ride by a shifty businessman and his new corporate cannery. Could this evil cannery corporation be responsible for the Extreme Creatures of the Black Lagoon?
This movie is all that you would expect from a Corman production. Apparently, the Director Barbara Peeters was unaware of the amount of skin that would be shown. But critics have touted it as necessary. I have to disagree. The film could have been just as good without the copious amounts of breasts, but then what would set it aside? It has its place in the eighties as a Grindhouse picture and serves that reputation well. The acting is far below par. Even from veterans like Doug McClure and Vic Marrow. Except, you don't watch movies like this for the acting do you?
A decent amount of gore. Tons of graphic content. This movie is not a kid's picture. The plot may seem a bit immature but believe me, it isn't for children. Think of it as an adult Creature from the Black Lagoon. I recommend it to those that are curious. If you have seen most eighties horror movies, there is a good chance that you haven't seen this.
Check it out and share what you think!
The Ghost Breakers (1940)
Better than expected. A fun horror movie.
Horror movies during this period didn't really have a lot of depth. They all followed a similar plot and had very similar characters. The most obviously used is the Old Dark House storyline. The Ghost Breakers appeared be another, factory run horror movie. Reusing the same old tropes. Only, this proved better. Bob Hope is in top form. Paulette Goddard is a looker. You get Ghosts, Zombies, Voodoo, and yes... an Old Dark House. But it's done so well! It's based on a play Paul Dickey.
It's a fun movie that I recommend to the hardcore horror fans. It's a chore to get casual horror fans enjoy a movie as dated as this one. However, if you can appreciate the fast talking and quick wit of Bob Hope then I think you will like this one. Watch this with your grandparents. They might like it.
The Willies (1990)
Hell of a Kid's Movie
First off this movie would never have the ability to qualify for a PG-13 rating now-a-days. It is frightening. It's like a Nickelodeon horror movie. It has some really adult size horror, but can't shake that safe feeling that children's programming provides. This is an Anthology horror film that features a couple of different tales. These are always fun as they tend to provide some much needed variety.
The film is about a group of kids, camping out and telling scary stories around the fire. They make reference to The Goonies and apparently Sean Astin is playing the same character that he was in that movie. Or at least that is what the rumor mill was saying. The kid's give us a lot of quick, short stories to kick it off. Surprisingly this is all part of a cold open that seems to take forever.
They finally delve into some really bizarre tales. The first is about a scrawny, kid that has a problem with getting bullied at school. He discovers some strange, gargoyle-like monster hiding in the Boys Room. He also discovers that this monster has ripped the head off of his favorite janitor. He tries to find help, but one by one the Monster kills every intruder. It's actually kind of neat.
The second feature is about this ass-hat of a kid named Gordy Belcher, that is obsessed with flies. Especially if they are dead flies. He puts the flies in a tiny diorama that he has in his basement. The flies are all set-up in these everyday life poses. It's kind of lame. He pisses everyone in town off with his ghoulish behavior, and kicks up a rivalry with a mad scientist of sorts
This movie isn't hurting for star power. Sean Austin, Jeremy Miller, James Karen, Kathleen Freeman, Michael Bower, Bill Erwin, Dana Ashbrook, Kirk Cameron, and even Doug Benson have a part in it. The writing and acting are all television quality but that doesn't take away from anything. The weirdest thing is the cold open. It's strange. And the individual scenes seem to go on for way too long and the plot just gets muddy.
The nostalgic factor really played a part with me here. I think I may have seen this when I was a child. It seems so familiar. I didn't expect much and I felt okay with what I had gotten. Others seem to really hate this movie, but I don't understand the hate. It's not the best so don't go into this expecting anything. Just watch it for what it is. A really weird early 90's kids horror movie.
Une nuit terrible (1896)
Classic short and the beginning of horror!
Georges Méliès does it again in the same fashion as Le Manoir du Diable. Albeit shorter than his prior voyage into horror film. This is at least a different story. Instead of this being a period piece, it appears to be a modern one.
The film shows George Melies, himself, having One Terrible Night with a creepy, crawly, spider. The film is one of dozens of shorts released during the era that focused more on drawing crowds biased on technology rather than the plot of a film. It is still going to be a few years before Horror is fully shaped and functioning.
If you are curious to see what film looked like in the 1800's then check out below where I have included the short.
Georges Méliès stars as himself in this one man performance. The Film is called One Terrible Night
Galaxy of Terror (1981)
Girls, Gore, and Ghosts with help from horror icon Roger Corman!
I had never heard about this until I came across it on Netflix. I saw that Sid Haig was in it and couldn't wait to check it out and see what it had to offer. However, it didn't offer very much.
Galaxy of Terror is fun movie to watch ironically. Its an odd mix of Alien and Event Horizon. The film takes place on a strange planet where your worst fear can come to life! Each member of the crew aboard the Quest is in fight for their life!
Fear is the driving force behind this eighties b-movie. Every member of the crew that dies has one thing in common. The deaths are all based on the person's fear. This makes for some pretty neat kills, albeit weird and strange. But that is what I love about these movies. Even though this movie was trash, it had some really creative death scenes and with Roger Corman behind it, there was some really decent sleaze. Case in point is the maggot rape scene. Just let that sink in for a bit. The movie is chock full of cheesy effects and schlock. Girls, Guts, and Ghosts are what you should be expecting when your going into this. Just try not to judge them so harshly.
This movie has great timing and a pretty decent cast. Robert Englund, Edward Albert, Erin Moran, Taaffe O'Connell, Zalman King, Grace Zabriskie, and of course Sid Haig. The problem is with the story and practicality. I know as well as anyone that you have to kind of throw those two things out the window. However, it's really hard in this case. This movie has way too many holes. It feels like it left a ton of stuff out. Characters were badly introduced or explained and because of that they never really rounded out. The story starts to lag towards the end. However, luckily it only has an 88 minute run time.