Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bereavement (2010)


You have to hand it to director Stevan Mena. Planning a trilogy for his first feature film, Malevolence, was a pretty ballsy move considering that it could have easily tanked; even for a low budget horror film. Instead, it was met with praise and a couple of accolades, which didn't hurt the chances of a sequel being made. Roughly seven years later we have Bereavement, the second story (though it's technically the prequel) in Mena's trilogy of terror. With a larger budget and some experience under his belt, Mena crafts an engaging horror effort that only suffers due to the fact that fans of Malevolence will already know how this prequel finishes.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Malevolence (2004)

Blood Money

It took me a long time to get around to watching Stevan Mena's directorial debut, Malevolence. I had originally seen it on the shelf when I worked at Best Buy back in 2004, but I let negative IMDb reviews dissuade me from going any further than the back of the DVD case. After recently seeing an intriguing trailer for the film Bereavement, I was shocked to learn that it was a followup to Malevolence, not to mention the second part of a planned trilogy. Upon finally watching this $200,000 slasher, I was a bit upset that I had once blown it off due to the reviews of teenagers and message board trolls. While it borrows much of its essence from previous horror classics, Malevolence is still a highly entertaining directorial debut, and I'm ashamed that it took me almost seven years to get around to this review.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dawn of the Dead (1978)

When there's no more room for reviews...the trailers will walk the site.

Shit-ton of brand new super ultra awesome good fun happy time reviews coming this week, starting Monday! Many brand new movies on the list!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Vault of Horror (1973)

Amicus is the shit. Anthologies are the shit. Amicus anthologies are the shit. Vault of Horror is kind of the shit (it's not as good as their others, to be honest; especially following Tales from the Crypt). Regardless, old trailers are...you guessed it...the shit.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blacula (1972)

"I vant to drink your....grape soda..."

What is it about turning into a vampire that gives people cheek pubes? Hmm.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wreckage (2010)

A Real Junker

If you're like me, you're severely addicted to Breaking Bad as much as a meth addict is addicted to...well...meth. If you are a fan of the show, you know that Aaron Paul, who plays co-star Jesse Pinkman, is the shit. In the span of four seasons, Paul has delivered a wide range of emotion as his character continually strives to crawl out from rock bottom. After seeing him pull his weight in the surprisingly entertaining Last House on the Left remake, I was definitely interested in seeing him tackle another horror role. Unfortunately, Wreckage isn't what I had in mind.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Fright Night (2011)

Won't You Bleed My Neighbor?

When I first heard talk of a Fright Night remake, I was reasonably uneasy on the idea considering that the original film is a cult classic, not to mention a prime example of fun 80's horror. When I learned that Colin Farrell was on board to play the seductive vampire-next-door, my interest definitely peaked. This wasn't a role I would have expected him to take, so I was eager to see what he would bring to a comedy-horror film whose original has a strong following. Fright Night may not be the best remake on the market, but it's a damn well entertaining one thanks to a fun, witty script and all-around great casting.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Witchouse (1999)

Oh, Full Moon Entertainment...You never cease to provide lulzy movies with bad effects and even worse acting. But that's also why I love you. <3

Get out your graters because it's time for some cheese!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Megan Is Missing (2011)

Web of Deceit

There has been a recent surge in films that revolve around online hookups gone wrong. I had previously reviewed Trust which was an extremely realistic and uncomfortable drama that followed a young girl who is sexually violated by an adult man posing online as a teenager. Around the same time, I had heard talk of Michael Goi's Megan Is Missing, a movie that seemed to follow the same basic premise, but I neglected to check it out since I found Trust was about as unnerving as I could imagine a film about cyber predators to be. Thanks to my friends at The Horror Club and their surprisingly shocked review of the film's final act, I decided this was one I needed to see. While I still find Trust to be a more realistic approach to a real life problem that hurts both the victims and their families, Megan Is Missing provides a very stomach-churning look into the lives of modern teenagers and leaves the viewer with an ending that will likely stay in their head for days.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Panic at Rock Island (2011)

Australia Goes Viral

I don't know why I was under the impression that this was a horror movie. Oh, right. It was labeled as one on IMDb. While the title Panic at Rock Island may sound like an episode of Scooby Doo or an epic surf rock anthem from the 60s, it's really nothing but a tawdry Aussie melodrama that revolves around a viral outbreak at a rock festival. With some tremendous overacting and plenty of stupid characters that don't seem to have the first idea how to prevent the spread of infection, this film may have your eyes bleeding long before those of the infected kids on Rock Island.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ilsa: She Wolf of the SS (1975)

Like Nazis? Like full frontal nudity and sexy torture sequences? Well...you may have a problem, but it's nothing that a few cc's of Ilsa can't fix.

Let her beat you into submission until we return with new updates tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Howling (1981)

Take My Life, Please is taking a very brief hiatus for a few days while I get used to a new sleeping schedule that my new job requires. It's been throwing off my normal routine and making it more difficult to watch movies and get the reviews up before I have to go to sleep. However, this won't be long as I'm almost fully adjusted to this new schedule. So in the meantime, enjoy this trailer for one of the best werewolf films around and feel free to bark at the moon until we return.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Frogs (1972)

This trailer is definitely...COLD-BLOOOODED!

Murder-Set-Pieces (2004)

Sour Kraut

Editor's Note: This review was originally written in 2006. While I will probably never watch this movie again, I still haven't gotten that part with the baby out of my head after all this time. So. Shitty movie. But still effective. Whatevz.

Anyone that knows me (particularly exes and my friends in Child Services) knows that I dig violence. If I’m watching a straight-up slasher film, I’ll pray to the Lord himself (Satan, obv.) for some good old fashioned nitty-gritty. I like my severed heads, skewered tongues, disembowelings, and all of the things that horny teenagers have coming to them. But when a film tries to take itself seriously and uses extreme violence to "make a point," chances are that it’s all for shock value and there’s really no message behind the red goop. Such is this case with Nick Palumbo’s gorenography film Murder-Set-Pieces, a serial killer movie where the sweat and tears are as fake as the the blood.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Warlock (1989)

Hey, you name another movie where a flying warlock gets sniped with a weather vane in one of the most hilarious moments of ownage ever. Didn't think you could!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Scream of the Banshee (2011)

This Banshee's Best On Mute

Today we have ourselves another After Dark Original. Unfortunately, this film isn't all that original. Within moments of the opening credits, the phrase "SyFy presents" is surely enough to send a nervous chill down the spine of any viewer. This is also the only moment in Scream of the Banshee that will send a chill down the spine of any viewer, as this made-for-TV horror film fails to pack any punch or originality. Not even an appearance by horror veteran Lance Henriksen could save this banshee's scream from being no more than a faint whisper.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Drew Rosas (Blood Junkie)

What I love about independent filmmaking is the passion of those film's creators. This website is almost entirely dedicated to low-budget movies because those are the true feats of the film industry. I've left writing gigs at more than one website because I didn't care for their catering (read: dick sucking) to mainstream films and their studios or the fact that they consider anything about Transformers actual news. I would easily (and stupidly) turn down an interview with Michael Bay because I don't give a shit about explosions or how "difficult" it was to shoot his next billion dollar film, no matter how many visitors or monetary gain it would garner for this site. I enjoy real people making real films, and I couldn't be more pleased to bring to you an interview with Blood Junkie writer and director, Drew Rosas.

Filmed on a shoestring budget of roughly seven grand, Rosas has made an intensely enjoyable film because of his love for the genre as well as his love for filmmaking. Watching Blood Junkie is a true delight because everything from the witty writing and exceptional casting to the stellar soundtrack and true 80s feel were all created with care and love, and its limited budget was definitely put to better use than most of the Hollywood films we see today. So without further ado, continue on to read what Rosas had to say about the 80s, fake pubic hair, how to pretend-kill a frog, and the trials and tribulations of making your first feature film.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Humanoids From The Deep (1980)

Take Creature from the Black Lagoon, throw in some rape, a ton of naked beach bunnies, and some pretty tasty gore and you've got yourself Roger Corman's cult classic, Humanoids from the Deep.

You're welcome for the thumbnail/video image I chose, by the way.

The Butcher (2006)

Totally Past Its Expiration Date

Editor's Note: This review was written in 2006...or 2007...I don't fucking know anymore. So pardon the Beowulf reference. This shit's old.

The Butcher is essentially a better movie than Bloodlines, and that’s about it. Again, it involves people in the middle of nowhere who are captured by ugly mutated psychopaths bent on chopping them up for god knows why. Attention directors: we got over Wrong Turn about a week after it came out. Try something different!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Piranha (1978)

This one goes out to all of you summer lovers spending your days with feet dangling in the water. What's that? You just felt a nip at your toes? Well, I would've warned you about this aquatic outbreak in advance, but I sort of get off on your misery. My bad, dog.

Hey, if you're not gonna keep that toe...

Skinwalkers (2006)

My, What Bad Scripting You Have!

Editor's Note: This review was originally published in 2007. Just sayin'.

Even as a child, I was never a huge fan of werewolf movies. The idea of a hairy monster lumbering around in torn clothes never really appealed to me. If I wanted to see that, I could’ve easily just followed my dad around the house. But classic lycanthropy-related films like American Werewolf in London, The Howling, Gingersnaps, and especially Dog Soldiers hold a sacred place in my heart. They proved to me that you can take a werewolf and do something great with it. After hearing about Skinwalkers, I was hoping to have another to add to that list. Unfortunately, this movie is all bark and no bite.

Bloodlines (2007)

Bad Genes

Editor's Note: This review was originally published in 2007 when I apparently cursed twice as much as I do now. Believe it or not, I actually toned down a few of the "Fucks" in this edit. Oh well, fuck it. This movie blew.
I don’t know what the hell THINKFilm was thinking. After releasing a ton of highly enjoyable independent films, they get a wild hair up their ass and decide to distribute the direct-to-video nightmare that is Bloodlines. THINKFilm doesn’t have much of a track record when it comes to horror movies and I hate to think that they blew their chance with this one. I’m just going to go ahead and assume that they were either dared or blackmailed into distributing this virulent bloodfart of a film.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Jack Frost 2: Revenge of the Mutant Killer Snowman

I figure, one good turn deserves another!

The Hamiltons (2006)

The Family That Slays Together Stays Together

Editor's Note: This film review was originally (and poorly) written in 2006. 

The After Dark Horrorfest film The Hamiltons blows its load in the first five minutes of the movie by introducing and killing Brittany Daniel (Club Dread), the biggest star that the film had to offer. What follows is a film that could’ve had it all, but chose slow pacing, bad acting and little violence to get to culminate into what is actually a somewhat endearing plot twist. Then again, what do you expect from directors credited as "The Butcher Brothers"? That would be like trying to take a film by Bill Zebub seriously.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)

Scent Of A Woman

Editor's Note: This review was originally published in 2007.
When I first read about Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, I wasn’t very impressed. It sounded like a tame serial killer flick about a young man with a nose for murder. I skimmed over the review (which I rarely do) and continued on my merry way. However, I got a copy and decided to give it a chance. When the closing credits began to roll, I remained in my seat, attempting to put a finger on any of the hundreds of emotions that were running through my body. I felt moved, saddened, enlightened, awed, and more importantly, angry at myself for dismissing this film before I even gave it a chance.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Jack Frost: Attack Of The Mutant Killer Snowman

Do I really need to say anything else?

Well...I will mention that this was the first feature film appearance by Shannon Elizabeth of American Pie fame (look for her in the trailer during the bathtub scenes). Nothing like getting fucked by a carrot to get your feet wet, eh?

The Hitcher (2007)

This Hitchhiker Has A Thumb Downward

While watching The Hitcher, a remake of the infamous 1986 horror classic of the same name, you just might find yourself saying villain John Ryder’s nefarious catchphrase: "I Want To Die." This is mainly because the film is an exact replica of the original but with additions that drag it into copious amounts of shit. Let a friend take shotgun this time. You’ll be fine sleeping this one off in the backseat.

Penny Dreadful (2006)

 Worth Every Penny

Editor's Note: This review was originally published in 2006

We all have our irrational fears. Some of us are afraid of the dark. Some of us are afraid of spiders. I myself am afraid of being raped by a gourmet chef (this goes back to 1994, when I was raped by a gourmet chef). Penny Deerborn is afraid of being trapped in a car. After a brutal accident that claimed the life of her parents, Penny (played effectively by Rachel Miner, Californication) has a hard time staying in any vehicle without losing her shit. Under the care of her psychologist, renowned author Orianna Volker (film veteran Mimi Rogers, Ginger Snaps), Penny is taken on a road trip to help overcome her fears. But after they pick up an eerie hitchhiker (I guess Orianna was too busy tackling coulrophobia to watch The Hitcher), their little retreat hits the emergency brake and Penny finds herself trapped in her biggest fear: Orianna’s BMW.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Freddy Krueger Invades Mortal Kombat!

Yep. You heard me correctly. Our favorite sleepy-time stalker will be haunting the dreams of Sub-Zero, Scorpion, and your other favorite kombatants in the final Mortal Kombat DLC being released this August. Unfortunately it's not Robert Englund's Freddy model, but Jackie Earle Haley's rendition that's going to be featured as the final playable character available as downloadable content for Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles. Oh well, I'm not that picky. Just having a horror icon in a video game is well enough to get me excited. Can you imagine if there were a Pinhead character? Man, with all those hooks and chains, his Fatality list would be fucking infinite.

So be on the the lookout August 9th for the new DLC pack featuring Mr. Krueger.

In the meantime...1...2...Freddy's Coming For You...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Anthropophagus (1980)

When I first heard of this film, I had no idea how to pronounce it. It's the equivalent of struggling to sound out names in a Greek phone book. I've thankfully learned since then, but I just wanted to throw this out there in case any of you readers find yourselves tongue tied by this bizarre little film.

So sit back and enjoy the trailer for Anthropophagus, which is apparently a film about people walking around with candles and a half-naked injured man prancing around with a cleaver.

Also feel free to groove the nasty arpeggiated tones that play throughout the entire trailer. It's like Les Claypool jamming on a bass with Alzheimer's.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Task (2010)

Reality Check

Just like their 8 Films To Die For series, After Dark's Originals are very hit-or-miss with genre fans. With engaging titles like Seconds Apart and mediocre entries like Fertile Ground, it's hard to tell what you're getting into when sitting down to enjoy one of their many frequent releases. The Task comes close--SO close--to being one of the best films in the history of After Dark, but unfortunately allows a flimsy ending and lack of gore to prevent it from reaching five-star status.

Evil Dead & Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn (1981/1987)

With Bruce Campbell recently tweeting that both he and Sam Raimi are currently working on new entry in the Evil Dead series, it only felt appropriate to post the original trailers for the first two films.

All right, screwheads. Come get some!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Uncle Sam (1997)

Dead White & Blue

The name William Lustig is forever stored in the minds of horror fans worldwide. Originally directing pornography under the pseudonym "Billy Bagg", Lustig is renown for his 1980 serial killer classic Maniac as well as the unrelated Maniac Cop trilogy. What's bizarre is that aside from the aforementioned films and a few other random features, Lustig really hasn't directed a lot of movies, as his larger body of work consists mostly as the role of "producer" on video documentaries. His last feature film was 1997's ridiculously cheesy holiday horror, Uncle Sam, which most of you will remember seeing on video store shelves as it boasted the same lenticular 3D/hologram cover art as the equally cheesy Jack Frost films. You know what I'm talking about. As you slowly passed the box, the cover image would shift from a normal picture of Uncle Sam to one of him as a decaying zombie. Yeah, that one! Uncle Sam is one of those low-budget horror films of the 90s that was ultimately cheesy and terrible, but still scored points because it was shot on 35mm (back in a pre-digital age when it was cheaper to print) and had a professional look to it. But just like the 3D box art, once you get past the pretty view you'll see the nasty side of this schlocky horror film (and probably the reason Lustig hasn't returned to the director's chair in well over a decade).

Friday, July 15, 2011

Deadtime Stories Vol. 1 (2010)

Something To Put You To Sleep

"Be careful what you wish for." When it comes to horror, I can never seem to fully grasp the old axiom as I continually ask for something and get loads of shit in return. I've been requesting more anthologies for the past few years, as I grew up on the classics like Creepshow, Tales From the Darkside: The Movie, and generally everything Amicus released. Somehow, very few modern films can seem to get it right. Deadtime Stories Volume 1 is no exception. Assumingly through personal ties with the film's writer and co-director Jeff Monahan, the movie manages to have horror legend George Romero as both executive producer and host of these three tawdry tales that are so excruciatingly bad, I threw up in disgust and ended up paying more attention to my vomit than the film itself, as regurgitated cereal and sushi remnants were far more entertaining and better produced than this soul-sucking horror effort.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Anniversary At Shallow Creek (2010)

A Killer With Range

You don't see many horror movie villains using guns as their primary weapon. I mean, Michael Myers once used a shotgun, but only to impale the sheriff's slutty daughter to the wall. There's something about guns that takes away from the fun of the kill, as most horror film deaths occur in close quarters by the killer's hands (or whatever item is being clutched by those hands). But then there's the sniper rifle; a true exception. While certainly a cowardly weapon choice, the sniper rifle still manages to evoke fear because it terrorizes its victims with the notion that their demise can come from anywhere and they wouldn't even know it. It also makes escapes very difficult, as the long ranged rifle can pick off its prey safely and easily from a shadowy distance. It also has that fucking creepy laser sighting that lets you know you're a split second from being a few pounds lighter. The Anniversary At Shallow Creek seems to be your average slasher flick at first glance, but with the introduction of its crack shot killer and a pretty solid third act, it ultimately rises above the standard b-movie fare.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Drew Bolduc & Dan Nelson (The Taint)

Once in a while, a film comes along that stirs the soul and changes our lives, sweeping up Academy Awards and late night phone calls from George Clooney in the process. The Taint is not that film. It is, however, one of the best independent horror films of this year, and probably of all time. Made on a budget that cost slightly higher than my used 2002 Mitsubishi Galant, The Taint manages to combine beautiful cinematography, exceptional editing, and some extremely spectacular violence on an awfully low budget.

As soon as I finished my first viewing of The Taint, I knew that I wanted the film's creators and directors Drew Bolduc and Dan Nelson (both of whom also provided the film's soundtrack, special effects, cinematography, and more) to be the first interview for this website, as their humor, style, and success in DIY filmmaking are exactly what encapsulates Take My Life, Please in the first place. I created this site as a "humorously serious" haven for independent and underground genre films and both their creators and fans, and I could think of nobody more suited to start off my interview section than these fine, delightfully twisted gentlemen. Continue on for the interview!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bad Dreams (1988)

Suicide Club

In my twenty-eight years on this planet, I've seen (literally) thousands of horror movies. Once in a while, I find myself amazed (or even shocked) that there are a number of classics that slipped through my viewfinder. I remember wandering the horror aisle at Video Center as a youngster and seeing the cover art for Bad Dreams many times. It's one of those covers that's forever imbedded in the "Why The Hell Do You Still Remember This?" part of my brain, along with Hide and Go Shriek, Bad Taste, and Graveyard Shift. Somehow, I never got around to renting it as I was probably too engrossed in piles of Best of the Best and No Retreat, No Surrender sequels, along with anything Bolo Yeung or Billy Blanks was in at the time. Thanks to Netflix Instant, I was finally able to check out this late-80s horror title, and I'm glad that I did. While Bad Dreams will unlikely cause you any trouble getting to sleep at night, its intriguing story, surprising amount of gore, and attractive lead actress will make it worth your while. I mean...sex and violence...isn't that what dreams are made of?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Puppet Master III: Toulon's Revenge (1991)

This special edition of Trailer Trash is dedicated to our website's newest (and already) most loyal fan, Creeper75.

Full Moon's Puppet Master series made playing with dolls cool. Anyone who grew up with these films immediately wanted a Blade, Jester, or Tunneler for their own collection, but...maybe not a Leech Woman. She was a bit nasty.

So why am I putting up the trailer for part 3 first? Well, because it's my favorite in the series. I mean...you really can't get any better than puppets vs. Nazis, can you? This is also when we see the puppets in a good light for once, and to be honest, it's just heartwarming. Especially when they gruesomely punish the film's Nazi villain in the end.

This begs the question...what was everyone's favorite puppet in the series?

Blood Junkie (2010)

Now That's What I Call 80s!

While I only finished the 1980s at the age of seven, I still have very fond memories of the era. Getting my first Nintendo console, my sweet neon attire, playing River Raid on Atari during daycare, and listening to Bob Seger in my mom's silver Buick, to name a few. This was also the same time that I fell in love with horror. With Sunday afternoon Creature Features and shows like USA Up All Night, it was hard to avoid the allure of satanic cults, mummies, and Jason Voorhees that seemed to be dominating my television at all hours of the day (and night). Gone are those times, but they live on in my heart. They also apparently live on in the heart of director Drew Rosas, whose first full-length feature Blood Junkie is a true ode to the flashy fashioned, mustache and mulleted, synth-pop zaniness that was the 1980s. It's pretty fucking radical, to say the least.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Exit 33 (2011)

Just Hold Out For A Chevron

Loyal readers of Take My Life, Please are already aware that a large portion of the reviews on this website are low-budget horror films. What you may not know is that for every b-movie I watch, there's five that I don't. With horror films being released quicker than a zombie infection, it's difficult deciphering which films will make it and which ones I just don't have the time for. Ultimately, the deciding factor is based on whether or not the film has a catch. Exit 33 made the list because it stars horror legend Kane Hodder, adored by genre fans for his portrayal of Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th VII through Jason X, as well as playing Victor Crowley in the Hatchet series. What I failed to remember, however, is that Hodder's main talent is stunt coordination, not acting.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Orphan Killer (2011)

Edit: The film's director did not seem to appreciate my review for the film very much, but was determined to prove that the technical issues I mentioned were a fluke. After seeing another copy of the film, I can assure you that I was wrong and that the audio is quite crisp and clean. I still find the overhead shots to be distorted and stretched in another aspect ratio, but overall, the film's technical quality is highly improved from my original description of it. I still stand by my other qualms with the film, but with the improved A/V quality, The Orphan Killer gets 2/5 Stars. So, please disregard anything in this review about the audio, with the exception of the soundtrack. It's pretty terrible.

Sibling Rivalry

There's been a lot of hype surrounding a little independent horror film known as The Orphan Killer. The film has promoted itself through viral marketing, using fake blogs that are written through the perspective of the film's titular slasher, as well as the extremely supportive quotes from dozens of fans who say that this film is "...better than the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre". I am here to tell you: don't believe the hype. The quotes and reviews on IMDb are obviously fakes (most likely from the filmmakers themselves) and while the blog is clever, it doesn't save The Orphan Killer from severe technical issues and a lack of originality, though the film's rabid fanbase seem to think otherwise.

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

Say what you will about Rob Zombie's recent work, but House of 1000 Corpses is one of my favorite horror films. Starring Chris Hardwick (host of MTV's 90s dating show Singled Out) and a then unknown Rainn Wilson (The Office), this film was one of the most exciting experiences I've ever had in a theater. I went with a close friend, his girlfriend, my girlfriend at the time, and her two friends. After the film was over, my friend's girlfriend finally opened her eyes for the first time since the movie started, my girlfriend went to the bathroom because she thought she was going to vomit, and the last two actually went to fucking church! And that was just a small group of us. I can only imagine how many more people were disturbed by this film; and very rightly so. It's a fucking classic.

Bunnyman (2010)

Raving Rabbit With A Tortoise Pace

When I first heard that there was an independent horror film about a man in a large rabbit costume killing off people with a chainsaw; I was stoked to say the least. Even the trailer looked promising, glowing with a 70s horror vibe that almost bordered on surrealism. Unfortunately, Bunnyman takes far too long to get to the goods and by the time it does, you probably won't care.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Quarantine 2: Terminal (2011)

Remakes On A Plane

Though Quarantine 2: Terminal is the furthest thing from a remake of [Rec] 2, this review title was the best I could come up with at the moment, edging out both "Terminal Illness" and "This Is Your Captain Dying...", so my apologies in advance. As much as I enjoyed Quarantine, I was happy to see this sequel come straight-to-DVD, as I feared Hollywood couldn't keep the series continuously entertaining and true to its source material. While this low-budget sequel ditches most of what made its predecessors so prominent in the horror genre, it still manages to play out like a late night guilty pleasure; and to be honest, I'd much prefer that than to see Hollywood sodomize another great horror film shot-for-shot.

Quarantine (2008)


Apart from studio execs and first-time directors, nobody really wants a remake. They're unneeded and it's nearly impossible to ever succeed in bettering the original film. They only exist because a severe lack of creativity has plagued Hollywood writers for (at least) the past decade and instead of coming up with unique and fresh ideas, we have someone saying "Hey, this movie did super awesome in its native country. Now tone it down a bit and make it a little more stupid for the American audiences." Then again, many Americans despise reading subtitles, so I suppose some people may want remakes, but my point is that we don't really need them. Alas, we have them, and only a year after the outstanding and terrifying [Rec] hit screens, the US was already working on their version, Quarantine (I suppose they figured American audiences wouldn't understand shorthand for "record"). Surprisingly...it's not terrible.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Exorcismus (La posesión de Emma Evans) (2010)

The Power Of Christ Repels You

Exorcism films are "in" right now. Why? I don't know. They mostly follow the same plot, as if The Exorcist had provided a "how-to" guide in holding crosses, levitation, demonic voices, and so forth.  Last year's The Last Exorcism was a surprisingly entertaining departure from the norm and gave audiences a different side of the priest/demon relationship. Manuel Carballo's Exorcismus, a.k.a La posesión de Emma Evans a.k.a The Possession of Emma Evans is also successful in creating a slightly different storyline than the usual exorcism fare. But just because the film works doesn't mean it's free of the general side effects, which include: levitation, skin irritation (mostly to crucifixes), demonic visions, change in vocal tone, death to loved ones, lack of memory, and vomiting. You'd think they'd have a pill for this by now.

[Rec] 2 (2009)

Pushing Your Button Once More

When one of your favorite movies announces a sequel, there's usually two thoughts that consume your mind. Like a cartoon angel and devil on your shoulders, one part of you is overcome with joy and excitement while the other side slowly takes over and says, "Do you really expect it to be better than the first?" Sequels have always been employed by studios to bank in on the success of a great film, and very rarely do they truly live up to the legacy of their original predecessor. Early horror was a bit different because no matter how poor the sequels were, we were still just excited to see our favorite villains like Freddy or Jason return to deliver some crafty kills and sate our appetites for their temporary return; or maybe it was just our morbid curiosity to see them infiltrate their terror into outer space, New York City, or "the hood". But when you have a brilliant and terrifying film like [Rec], the fans won't be willing to settle for simple party tricks and gore. A sequel will have to match the enthusiasm and atmosphere of the original film, while adding a new plot line that keeps the story fresh and intriguing for the audience. Thankfully, [Rec] 2 manages to stay true to its source material while simultaneously diving into some insanely different territory, providing a sequel that is less rehash but more of an inventive, if not truly bizarre, followup.

Friday, July 1, 2011

[Rec] (2007)

The Blood Red Button

Spanish filmmaker Jaume Balagueró is one of the best directors currently working in the horror genre. If you've seen any of his feature films like The Nameless, Darkness, or Fragile, then you know that he's a master of crafting brooding tales, smothered in hopelessness, despair, and child endangerment. Working together with Paco Plaza, the duo crafted [Rec], a first-person P.O.V. horror film that spawned an immediate American remake, as well as serving as a major influence for nearly every "found-footage" film you've seen in the past four years. I first saw [Rec] back in 2007, and aside from The Descent, it's one of the few films in the past ten years that literally had me holding my breath with nervousness and stuck with me long after it was over. I've now seen the movie probably a dozen times, and it still never fails to get the best of me.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Demonic Toys (1992)

Well, these are certainly more fun than the Karate Kid toys I used to play with.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Trust (2010)


The first movie I reviewed on this site was James Gunn's oddball-superhero dark comedy, Super. While it wasn't a horror film, it still had enough genre connections and dark themes to stir up something inside of me that most horror films can't accomplish these days. Such is the case with Trust, which has no ties whatsoever to the genre but turned my stomach enough to elicit a genuine reaction of shock, which I believe merits the film a spot on this website.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I Spit On Your Grave (1978)

With the exception of college fraternities, professional athletes, and Jeepers Creepers director Victor Salva; we all know that rape is a horrible, horrible thing. I Spit On Your Grave is probably the most notorious film in the rape/revenge sub-genre (can you believe we actually have a sub-genre that specific?) and even spawned a fairly solid remake last year. So enjoy the trailer, and try to keep it in your pants in the meantime. Believe me, you don't wanna be caught defenseless in a bathtub by this chick.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Best Deleted Scene Ever

A long-running joke in the horror community, 2002's Halloween: Resurrection was the final courtesy flush in the infamous series, filled with a miserable young cast including American Pie alumni (that little shit from Rookie of the Year), not to mention the horrid addition of Tyra Banks and Busta Rhymes, whose uninspired one-liners were responsible for nearly 70% of the suicides which took place that year (source needed).

A long-running joke amongst myself and some like-minded friends, the DVD's bonus features for Resurrection contain an amazing deleted scene that offers no explanation as to what the fuck just happened and has been responsible for hysterical crying, knee-slaps, and uproarious vomiting to those who've seen it. As I'm sure fans were already too embittered to even check out the film's equally uninspired extras, allow me to allow you to join the club and experience what is quite possibly The Best Deleted Scene Ever. Enough foreplay. Click continue to see this outstanding moment in horror history.

The Perfect Host (2010)

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?

I've only hosted a handful of dinner parties in my lifetime, most of them resulting in someone trying to use white wine to get red wine out of the carpet. Needless to say, I'm hardly the fanciest person on the planet. On the other hand, my weekly outdoor grillings have become a bit of a mainstay this year, and just this past Saturday, one guest thanked me for being "such a great host". While I'll wear that compliment like a badge of honor, it's still far from being "the perfect host". That title is awarded to David Hyde Pierce's Warwick Wilson, a man who truly knows how to throw a (wait for the pun) killer party.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Children Of The Corn (1984)

If you ever needed a reason not to eat your vegetables, this is as good of one as any.

Eaters: Rise Of The Dead (2010)

 Feed Your Need

Don't judge a film by it's cover; its poor, cartoonish, bargain-bin video game-looking cover. There are no hordes of shirtless zombies running about in this film, nor is there a single helicopter on the attack (thankfully this is just the UK's DVD cover art). Also, don't let the fact that Uwe Boll's name being promptly displayed above the film's title dissuade you, as I'm sure it will bring back some PTSD symptoms from those of you who made it out of House of the Dead alive. Just as Quentin Tarantino slapped his name over Hostel, Boll is only serving as Eaters: Rise of the Dead's producer. Say what you will about the guy, but after contacting "millions" of genre directors to invest in the film, Boll was the only one who said yes to the filmmakers. I think that deserves a slow-clap. You start.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Slices Of Life (2010)

The Seemingly Neverending Story

After being treated to the delightfully distasteful anthology Little Deaths, I was hoping I'd be in for another treat with Slices of Life, a film that weaves three gruesome tales about work life, home life, and sex life from the mind of one girl and her sketchbooks. Unfortunately, I had to force myself to sit through the entire film, just so I could come here and review it for you guys and warn you to stay away from this one. While it may have looked good on paper (it probably didn't), Slices of Life ultimately fails due to poor acting, terribly extended usage of CGI, and just all-around predictability, to name a few. But for those of you with an insatiable appetite for torturing me, continue on and I'll do my best to stay awake while describing the film with as much conviction as the story allows.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Higanjima (2009)

Blood Brothers

It's no secret that I love the Japanese, especially when it comes to film. Because of this, I have knack for letting them get away with things that I would probably discredit other films for doing. Higanjima (also known as Higanjima: Escape from Vampire Island) is no exception. In world plagued by god-awful, teen-friendly vampire films (I'm looking at you, Twilight), South Korean director Tae-gyun Kim brings us a tale of teenagers vs. bloodsuckers that easily surpasses the mainstream dreck we've become accustomed to in the US. Is the film perfect? No; but with enough violence and genre-blending to keep you entertained throughout the lengthy two-hour story, Higanjima should be a welcomed addition to any fangbanger's collection.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tormented (2009)

Wooly Bully

Mainstream American cinema; take notes. This is how you craft a high school based horror/comedy. Keep it fun, keep it real, and keep it violent as all fuck. Nobody wants to see these shitty PG-13 horror films, because with the exception of a few, most of them suck and have the worst target audience in existence. If you want to attract both longtime horror fans and kids in their late teens, watch the UK's Tormented and bask in its unique and gory formula that attracts even cynical film-buff assholes like myself. If you can make me actually enjoy a film about people eleven years my junior, your work is already halfway done. Throw in some guts and sex appeal and you've got me hook, line, and sinker.

Dylan Dog: Dead Of Night (2010)

A Doggone Shame

I've never read the comic book series Dylan Dog, in which this film is based upon, and now I'm not sure that I want to. While I'm sure the comic book is just fine, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night is way too much of a love-it-or-hate-it type of film which has me curious as to whether the comic just didn't translate well to film, or if the series was in fact as badly written as this movie?

Um...Best Poster Ever?

As most of you know by now, I'm not a huge fan of remakes or reboots. However, Sony's done a great job with the marketing for the American remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (not technically a remake as both are based off of the original novel), which is directed by the fan-favorite David Fincher. Last month, we had the whole "teaser trailer leak" that Sony removed near-immediately, although I'm sure they're the ones who leaked it in the first place. Then there's this poster, which definitely pushes the borders of American marketing. With the exception of the alternate poster for Hostel 2 (see it after the jump), it's pretty rare that we see such explicit posters in the US for big budgeted films. Geez, I'm not even drooling solely over Rooney Mara, here. I mean, I'm not gay (to my knowledge), but I would probably let Daniel Craig blow me, especially with that gritty, weathered look he's boasting in this poster.

The film hits theaters December 21st, 2011, so let's hope that it lives up to the marketing hype.

(Hostel 2 poster after the jump)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Killer Klowns From Outer Space 2: Best News Ever?

Back in the late 90s, I emailed Stephen Chiodo regarding rumors circulating about a sequel to the 1988 cult classic, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, one of my favorite horror films of all time. Stephen told me they were just about to head to a board meeting that day to pitch the idea to the film execs. Unfortunately, I never heard anything back on whether the meeting was a success or not and assumed all was lost. Well, last year, Grant Cramer (who starred as Mike Tobacco in the original film) did an interview with a website where he stated that he and the Chiodo brothers had finished a script to a sequel and were working on getting it made. Cramer said that he was returning to the film's sequel, but would likely be the only original cast member to make a comeback. He also stated that the film wouldn't be a horrid CGI-laden sequel, but would instead rely on the same amazing make-up effects utilized in the original film. Well, I began digging through the internet recently and discovered an official Facebook page for The Return Of The Killer Klows From Outer Space in 3D. While details are still scarce, the facebook page, started in 2010 and is still being continuously updated, informs us that the film is in the late stages of production, which provides fans with more hope than we've had in a long time.

So check out the original interview with Cramer here and hit up the official Facebook page here, and stay tuned with Take My Life, Please as I hope to unearth more information soon and perhaps snag an interview with the Chiodo Brothers in the process.

Hopefully, the circus will be coming back to town before we know it!

The Passing (2010)

Inherited Evil

I'd like to preface this review by stating that I have no idea when this film was made. The dates that I use next to the film titles are usually from the film's initial release, usually on festival circuits. As of today's date (June 20th, 2011), The Passing doesn't even have an IMDb entry, which makes it even more difficult to find accurate release dates. The movie appears on none of the actor's IMDb pages as well. Even more perplexing is that two of the film's stars have since passed away, including Paul Gleason, forever known for his roles in films like Die Hard and The Breakfast Club as well as Lilyan Chauvin (Pumpkinhead II, Silent Night, Deadly Night). The actors died in 2006 and 2008, respectively, and the DVD was only released recently in 2011. Reviews found on the film's sparsely informative website were from 2008, but I ultimately decided to go with 2010 because it's the date used in the end of the film's credits. This is a random intro paragraph to the film, but I felt the need to share my frustrations and curiosity with you all in case someone has an answer for this. Anyways, where were we?

Red White & Blue (2010)

Don't Mess With Texas

If you read my recent review for Little Deaths, you'll remember that my favorite story in the movie was "Bitch" by Simon Rumley. Eager to see more of his work, I was elated upon discovering that Rumley had previously released the full-length feature Red White & Blue just before his participation in Little Deaths. Far surpassing "Bitch" in viciousness, Red White & Blue is a true kick in the gut; a brutal curbstomp of realism, desperation, and death that centers around three characters tragically bound by horrible circumstances, ultimately resulting each person's own form of revenge that leaves the audience with a terrifying film containing no true protagonist. Why is that so terrifying? Well, how many films have you sat through that leave you hopeless and with nobody to root for? This isn't your average drama/thriller. Red White & Blue is a slice of life piece that takes you through the minds of three random nobodies, forcefully dragging you along through every dread-instilling moment until these characters literally have their lives...well...sliced.

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Victim (Phii khon pen) (2006)

This review was originally published in 2006

After Korea put its signature stamp on the horror genre, Thailand was the next of our Eastern friends to follow suit with their exemplary ghost story Shutter. Since then, there have been a handful of decent Thai films but just as many bad, mostly focusing on the same oft-used Asian theme of vengeful spirits. One of their latest offerings, The Victim, is a strange mix of the two. It’s funny however, because this film managed to fool me. For the first half, something felt very off about the film. It seemed riddled with clichés and average J-Horror fare and I was ready to say it was another poor Thai effort. Surprisingly, a plot twist that I never saw coming made up for the first half of the film and was followed by an interesting storyline with a few decent scares.

Linnea Quigley's Horror Workout (1990)

This review was originally published in 2006
Exercising The Demons

I must start off this review with an explicit and straightforward warning for you men who dare to watch this video: your cock will explode. Women…if you dare to watch this video…your cock will explode. 

No matter what gender or sexual orientation you choose, it’s impossible to deny scream queen Linnea Quigley’s sexual prowess. In every movie she’s in, we see her trotting around in skimpy outfits, dancing completely nude in graveyards, having sex, or shoving lipstick tubes into her breasts. Bottom line: she’s a hottie.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Dirt Devil Meets The Exorcist

I figure one good turn deserves another! If you enjoyed Rob Zombie's Woolite commercial (posted below this one), then you will surely love this Excorcist-inspired commercial for Dirt Devil. Unlike the vacuum, this commercial is far from sucking. Enjoy!

Rob Zombie's Woolite Commercial

Yes. You read the title correctly. Rob Zombie has directed a silly horror-esque commercial for Woolite, and it's pretty damn good to say the least. But don't take my word for it. Check it out for yourself!

Read the full article in the NY Times with some comments from Zombie here! In the meantime, keep those clothes clean! Hmm...wonder if Woolite will get out those blood stains...

Little Deaths (2011)

Blood Between The Sheets

If there's one thing in life that I'll never turn down (apart from booze, drugs, and sex), it's a good anthology, with the exception of Creepshow 3, which I've refused to watch thus far based on principle alone. Many of my favorite films come from the classic Amicus anthologies like Tales From the Crypt, From Beyond The Grave, and Asylum. What makes an anthology so much fun is the fact that you get (usually) three movies in one. Take a story that doesn't work out so well as a full length feature, cut it down by forty minutes and you have yourself a perfect entry, ready for the ADD-minded audiences who may have hated it had it been released on its own. The UK's Little Deaths is probably one of the most fucked up anthologies (if not films) that I've had the pleasure of viewing. Combining elements of sex and death, our three directors weave a collection of stories so bizarre and unsettling, it could've probably been titled as part three in the Three Extremes series (I know how you production companies are with titling sequels...I bet it would be called Three 3xtremes, which actually works just fine without the Three in the title). Somewhere in the distance, I can hear the faint echo of a movie exec scribbling this down on paper five minutes before an important meeting.

The Haunting of #24 (2005)

Rent's Due

Editor's Note: This review was originally written and published around 2006 and is being reposted in connection with the release of Little Deaths, a new anthology that features the work of this film's director, Sean Hogan.

British horror has really surprised me this year. Severance grabbed me by the balls and after a dozen or so really great UK horror flicks, they haven’t let go. Sean Hogan’s The Haunting of #24 also refuses to give my cockney a break, continually making my sex life very difficult. Well, you know. That and my conjoined twin.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

YellowBrickRoad (2010)

Road To Nowhere

When a horror website as well-known as Bloody-Disgusting forms a production company to release "the best independent horror movies from around the globe", that sets up a lot of expectations. When the "#1 horror website in the world" puts their stamp on something, you're going to expect to experience some thrills, chills, scares, and violence like no other film on the market. Unfortunately, Bloody-Disgusting has chosen a dud with YellowBrickRoad, a film that starts off hot but ultimately leaves you bored and well... bloody disgusted that you just sat through the entire thing.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Bleeding House (2011)

Might I Trouble You For A Few Pints Of Blood?

First time writer/director Philip Gelatt's The Bleeding House is an interesting little indie horror film, putting a twisted spin on the home invasion scenario via some vicious religious fanaticism and judgement a la 2001's Frailty. Oh, crazed bible thumping fanatics, why are you so much scarier than Jason and Freddy? Oh right. Because you actually exist.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Torso (1973)

Make Room For Giallo!

Whether you like the film or not, Sergio Martino's 1973 giallo, Torso, is a landmark film in the horror genre. A year before Black Christmas was released, this erotic Italian horror film (aren't they all erotic, though?) utilized the first-person, masked killer motif which some claim to have been the inspiration for Halloween as well. While I may not fully agree with these assumptions, it's hard to ignore Torso's impact on the genre, with enough suspense, gore, and T&A to have definitely turned the heads of many then-future directors.