Gross Movie Reviews #271
By Tim Gross
House of Dracula (DVD) – This 1945 classic has a doctor visited by Dracula himself played by the legendary John Carradine looking for a cure to his vampirism and see if it is true that he could cure him. But as the movie goes along you get the hint Dracula isn’t there to be exactly cured. Lon Chaney Jr. makes an appearance as the Wolfman who finds out about the good doctor and believes the doctor may be his last chance at a normal life. If that wasn’t enough the good doctor stumbles upon Frankenstein in a cave. Look close because Claude Rains who played the Invisible Man also stars in the film but does not play the character he is known for. A great Universal Monster film that stars the legends we all love as I give it 3 ½ stars.
Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (DVD) – A well-produced documentary that has not only big fans of his work but they are big filmmakers and writers such as Neil Gaiman, Guillermo Del Toro, Stuart Gordon, John Carpenter all talking about his work and what they have pulled from it for inspiration. Plus they go through Lovecraft’s entire life and hint at how he may have come up with some of his most famous known work because of his bizarre childhood. Plus the documentary talks about how Lovecraft wasn’t your typical writer and did not gain fame until after his death when his friends republished his work. During the feature they also show a lot of great artwork with some of it belonging to the great Tom Sullivan which if you have not met him yet make it your life purpose. I give the documentary 4 stars.
Rise of the Zombies (SyFy Channel/DVD) – Danny Trejo and some other famous people play characters who are hold up at Alcatraz Island trying to find a cure to the zombie plague but want to go inland to find a scientist that may have the answer. Bottom line this film needs to be watched for the mere reason of a zombie baby stomping scene that can be only described as “beautiful”! I give it 2 ½ stars.
The American Scream (Chiller TV/DVD) – A documentary that takes a look into three families in small town America who take Halloween and decorating very seriously. For the one family it’s a year around venture as they prepare for one night. It’s a prefect documentary that captures how popular and how much people enjoy the holiday in recent years as Christmas has all but takes over media and shopping wise now in early October. The film will make you laugh, have ideas for your house when decorating, and inspire you. I give the cool documentary 4 stars.
Quarantine 2: The Terminal (DVD) – This sequel to the American remake of the Spanish classic REC takes the film into a different direction than its Spanish sequel did. Surprisingly, the sequel hints to the ongoing at the apartment house that has been quarantined. And we have a new set of characters including a teacher who has a cage full of hamsters that one bits a fat man who is trying to put them into one of the overhead compartments. The film is a fun and bloody time that is a lot like the animated film Resident Evil: Degeneration that also takes place at an airport. The characters get off the plane quickly once the fat man changes only to find an empty airport terminal and they are locked in. Soon the characters are told they have been quarantined. A pretty good sequel I firmly believe could have been in theaters if the company would have just showed some trust and called “The Terminal”. I give it 2 ½ stars.
Road Games (DVD) – Nothing beats an Australian film starring Stacey Keach as a truck driver who suspects a man of being the serial killer that the radio keeps reporting about. Along the way he picks up a hitchhiker played by Jamie Lee Curtis who soon becomes a possible victim of the serial killer. For the love of god people it is Stacey fucking Keach! Awesome! I give the flick 3 stars.
Noirmageddon (DVD) – A very odd short film from writer/director Thomas Berdinski starring one of his regular actors Jeff Bromley who plays private investigator Mark Anvil who is trying to help a young lady Cloris out. Along the way Anvil has help from Mingo the Mexican wrestler/pie maker who wrestles a mob on the beach as Anvil runs away to solve the weird case. Honestly this short film cannot be explained only be witnessed as Mr. Berdinski and crew never stop at amazing me with their off the wall films that are very entertaining! It’s a murder/mystery/thriller party of a film… I give it 3 out of 4 stars and most likely more info about purchasing the film can be found at Thomas Berdinski’s Facebook page.
The Suicide King (DVD) – A short film written and directed by Ryan D. Blazic about a card player who is willing to risk it all for money he needs for his sick daughter but doesn’t understand the real stakes of the game until he is already all in. It’s a well shot short film but the story has been done several times in several variations most famously with Lance Henriksen in an episode from the first or second season of Tales from the Crypt where they cut off limbs if they lose at cards. But hey all filmmakers got to start somewhere and this is a good start. I give it 2 ½ out of 4 stars. Check out www.projectdarkfilms.com and www.facebook.com/projectdarkfilms to purchase the film or just to show your support.
Rat Scratch Fever (DVD) – A low budget film that uses a lot of miniatures like Godzilla flicks and real rats to show the destruction of the city. But this will happen when evil rats are brought back to earth by astronauts that were on an experimental mission. If you like cheesy effects, lots of gore effects, a shitload of explosions, a random Jeff Burr cameo as a military officer driving a tank trying to shoot man-eating rats, and live rats causing destruction in a miniature city… Then this is the film for you. People it’s a giant rat movie, I was buying this flick as soon as I seen the title. Nothing beats viewing a giant rat movie because they are always entertaining! I give it 2 ½ stars.
Heavy Metal (VHS) – Before there was Cartoon Network, Boomerang, MTV’s Liquid Television, and Saturday cartoons were we all we knew about there was very few cartoons or animated movies that changed everything like this adult-oriented film that burst onto the movie screens in the early 80s. There were Wizards and also Fire and Ice, but in my opinion this film not only changed the rules but inspired a generation that an animated film doesn’t have to look a certain way and doesn’t have to come out of Disney? The film inspired by the magazine of the same name blended short animated films with heavy metal music that just made it a fan favorite of many. It didn’t hurt to have actors such as Harold Ramis, John Candy, and Eugene Levy attached to it for voiceovers. My favorite segment of the film has to be the last story set in a post-apocalyptic world with green mutants taking over and one person to face them all. The film to me is still fresh, fun, and entertaining as I give it 4 stars.
Creature (DVD) – A William Malone film that was titled The Titan Land in some countries and had a ton of gore that was cut out of it is most likely the most direct and fun rip off of Ridley Scott’s film Alien. An American ship with a few scientists on board are commanded to inspect a planet where they lost contact with a ship only it to come back and does a suicide ride into the side of a large space facility. But they know they are not alone as they discover there is a German ship already on the mysterious planet. Soon the scientists find a creature that thirsts for human blood and wants to use their bodies to trap others. What makes the film fun is the very crazy ass mother fucker Klaus Kinski stars as the last survivor of the German expedition and he just wants a ride home. He soon explains to the US ship mates that the planet seems to be a higher being’s butterfly collection and a dangerous one has escaped! Even though the creature is unseen for most of the film you can notice where whole scenes have been lifted from Alien. But that doesn’t stop it from being an entertaining and gory film. Some fans overseas have claimed the film was shown uncut there when it was first released to theaters but most likely will never have an official special edition here in the US. I give the flick 3 ½ stars because outside of Xtro 2: The Second Encounter and The Terror Within there isn’t a better Alien rip off film. And yes I enjoyed the Italian splatter film Contamination.
Awake (Internet) – A short film about a man who feels his life is all but sleep and drinking booze. That no one understands his troubles let alone they all follow each other like drones or cattle waiting for that command for them to move. The man almost begging for his life or every second of horror to end gets his wish when he steps out to have a cigarette after an agonizing dinner with family but to him it was sweet relief. I give it 3 out of 4 stars and to me at least seem to be inspired by the film “They Live” and the recent election and the society we live in. Or it could just be me overthinking the whole entire film? Either way go support filmmaker Matt Matzen at www.neonreel.com .
Theater of the Deranged (DVD) – James Cullen Bressack and Psykik Junky Pictures produce this film that is anthology of sorts where it’s hosted by Andy the Arsonist who I believe tries too hard to impress and get over what he is supposed to be doing as a host of five short films. The five short films are Lust for Blood, Bad Dennis, Speak Easy, Doll Parts, and Cannibal Blood Girl are all uneventful except for the dancing white dude in the woods in Lust for Blood. The short films come off like a filmmaker’s first attempt at making a film or just not having their heart completely into their projects and proves that all independent films on no budget are watchable. I might be a little harsh but I believe the filmmakers behind these films should be just glad a person like James Cullen Bressack is willing to put them out there for independent film fans to find. I give the collection 1 out of 4 stars and can be found through www.psykikjunkypictures.com or support them through their Facebook page of the same name.
The Collective Volume 5: The Undead Have Taken Over (DVD) – This collection from Jason Hoover, Jabb Pictures, and the rest of the crew had me excited this time around as the subject that everyone was making a short film on was “zombies”. For me the easiest way to explain all these great zombie shorts was just to say a few words that best describe them. And most if not all the films didn’t take the easy route of telling a zombie story but did something fresh, different, and exciting. The first film Marauders from Jason Hoover can only be explained as insane chaos. The second short film Voice Over from Joshua Hull is funny and simple. The third from DP Bonnell, They Said They Were Here to Help pays homage to the great zombie films of the past. The fourth film from Andy Copp, Consumption of the Heart is a bizarre sexual undead love story that is just beautiful. The fifth was A (Gore) Aphobic from Cameron Scott is you must save yourself. The sixth film Zombie Soup from James Mannan is a zombie fan’s point of view. The seventh film from Anthena Prychodro called (SE) xx Z (ombie) gives silent films a whole other meaning. The eighth is Spooky Stuff- the Zombie Film from James Mannan and Robbin Panet who zombify Blair Witch Project! The ninth and tenth short films are The Dead Things Outside Your Door Pt. 1 and 2 from Eric Schneider is simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time during a zombie invasion. For me this “Collective” is the best by far and the filmmakers went above and beyond to give independent film fans something fresh, different, and fun for the zombie genre! This collection of these ten short films is proof that Jason Hoover and crew are here for the long haul and they are going to make an impact in the filmmaking world. I give The Collective Volume Five 4 out of 4 stars and can be found at www.jabbpictures.com or bother Mr. Hoover over at the Jabb Pictures Facebook page. To all involved you should be proud of this project…
Treasure Chest of Horrors (DVD) – Executive producer James Bressack gives us another anthology where a pirate is looking for his buried treasure and when he finds it shows that it is full of VHS tapes of short films. Plus the pirate is nowhere near as annoying as Andy the Arsonist in Theater of the Deranged from the same company. The pirate takes us through the four short films starting with Rotten Classmates where one classmate has decided it’s time to go all slasher killer on the asses of the people who pick on him. The second is Vampires Lust should be watched for the mere reason “Woodchipper Massacre” gets mentioned and a dude turns into a vampire after a plastic bat gnaws on his shoulder. The third is Resident Emo which I have reviewed a few years ago and is worthy of mentioning because of the scene where a kid’s stomach is ripped open and spaghetti falls out which almost made piss my pants laughing because I enjoy watching that. The fourth is Mama it’s a Mannequin with a mannequin causing death everywhere during a birthday party. This anthology is a step up from Theater of the Deranged as I give it 2 out of 4 stars and can be found at www.psykikjunkypictures.com or their Facebook page of the same name.
Puppet Master X: Axis Rising (DVD) – Charles Band is back producing and directing this sequel that picks up from the cool film Axis of Evil continuing the storyline of the Nazis being in Chinatown and trying to figure out the secret of resurrecting the dead for their vision of an undead army. Danny and his girlfriend in the meantime have been taken to a secret office where they are being congratulated for a job well done as American citizens for blowing up that arms warehouse and now have been given a guard named Sarge to help protect them. One problem Danny cannot sit still and allow Tunneler who was captured and being taken apart by the Austrian doctor who is under the control of the Nazis looking for the secret to resurrecting the dead. So Danny, his girlfriend, and the Sarge make a plan to sneak into Nazi hideout, find Tunneler, and put a stop for once and all to the Nazis on American soil! The story loses its luster halfway through and Charles Band could have possibly jammed this storyline into the last film. But that is just me being a huge Puppet Master fan finding little things to complain about the film. The latest entry is still a lot of fun and much better than several of the past sequels. But this film did raise several questions again as Charles Band hints and not so much hints what could happen in the next sequel as we all know there will be a new Puppet Master film. The two main questions for me at least after watching PM #10: a) does this mean Toulon didn’t first make Six Shooter puppet in Puppet Master Part 3? b) Now that this new Nazi storyline has an ending will we see the puppets back in present day Bodega Bay? Yep this Full Moon nerd wants to know but until then any Full Moon fan should be happy with Charles Band’s sequel as I give the film 3 stars.
My Pure Joy (DVD) – Filmmaker James Cullen Bressack directs this eerie and a little creepy fun independent serial killer in the making film. The film centers around teenager Adam played by actor Alexi Ryan who is finding it hard to except the girl he likes is with someone else and keeps having this urge like a voice or a force telling him he should take matters into his own hands by killing or wiping out the people he believes need to be killed. But he is enjoying the urge, the rush of killing people as he documents it all in his diary. His two friends have no idea Adam is so disturbed and hang with him to smoke pot and drink on a regular basis. But after the family Adam kills hits the local news and his friends and family try to talk to him about it he acts if he has no clue and relishes the moments of asking about the details that are put out there by the media. Adam continues with his killing spree with no one suspecting him until he is confronted by his recently down on his luck brother is back home. A very brutal serial killer film that even features a scene or two that I’m sure will make you cringe just a little. Alexi Ryan was brilliant as Adam the disturbed serial killer and Mr. Bressack does a wonderful job of setting the story up of what drives Adam’s killer rage. I give the film 3 out of 4 stars and can be found at www.psykikjunkypictures.com or at their Facebook page of the same name.
Treasure Chest of Horrors II (DVD) – James Cullen Bressack once again executive produces the anthology that this time around has the host Mona Screamalot and her family to introduce six short films. The first is Trendish about staying trendy can be deadly. And also has the quote from star Shawn Phillips “I want to fuck my DVDs”. The second is Baby Cakes where parents are unsure what to do with their adult sized baby. The third is Bloody Hell where a couple of people find out the hard way not to be hanging out in the woods alone digging a hole. The fourth is The Prom where two nerds think they are going to live their dream? The fifth installment is Caged Girl? Where a man captures Shawn Phillips dressed as a woman to have all to himself. And the last is A Pain in the Gums where a man cannot stand his mouth screaming at him (Tales from the Crypt) episode anyone. The independent anthology is nothing ground breaking but entertaining but in the long run could look like Shawn Phillips has way too much time on his hands? I give the anthology of short films 2 out of 4 stars and can be found at www.psykikjunkypistures.com or check it out at the Facebook page of the same name.
Any comments or questions please send to: GrossMovieReview@verizon.net, GrossMovieReview@aol.com or www.facebook.com/grossmoviereviews . Remember folks always support your local independent movie theater, independent video store, and independent filmmakers! It will keep horror alive………
You can purchase my newest book from Library of the Living Dead Press called, “The Big Ass Book of Gross Movie Reviews” at www.amazon.com .
Don’t forget you can also hear Kyle, Cory, and I talking about horror and action flicks on a weekly basis on the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast at http://bloodbathsandboomsticks.blogspot.com/
Also let’s not forget I’m a part of “The Greatest Show Unearthed”… For more details on this show go check out and support at: http://www.facebook.com/BarnabusBaileyGSU and http://www.barnabusbailey.com/
Plus you can always go to the greatest T-shirt place online or if you are in Texas visit the store of “Fast Custom Shirts” where T-shirt Joe has the only place that you can purchase a Gross Movie Reviews t-shirt but The Abomination shirt also!!!! www.fastcustomshirts.com