Gross Movie Reviews #393
Juan of the Dead (DVD) – Wasn’t totally sure what it was until I sat down and finally watched this flick. I knew it was a zombie flick and knew I would see it pop up on streaming sites and such. But I never really knew anyone who watched it so of course I took that as I had too and wasn’t disappointed. The film is literally the Cuban equal of ‘Shaun of the Dead’. Juan and his buddy just like to go fishing and hang out on top of their apartment complex drinking. Until a bunch of weird things begin to happen: explosions, people attacking other, car wrecks, and let’s not forget Juan and his buddy shoot a zombie while fishing but nothing is really happening… After most of Cuba heads for Florida, Juan and his buddy get together with some friends and start a zombie exterminating company. Once that dries up and no natives left he decides to help his friends escape while he stays behind. A hilarious zombie film that doesn’t get lost in translation and needs to be a part of your zombie film collection as I give it 3 stars.
Nightfeeders (DVD) – A lower budgeted and lesser known film from the 90s that has hillbillies fighting alien creatures. When meteors drop to earth or farm country chaos ensues as the locals scatter in fright and being eaten quite often! The creature is cheesy, the acting is cheesy, if there was horror hosts still around (Elvira, Joe Bob, etc.) I am sure this would become a regular on their show once seen? I give this alien/hillbilly battle 2 stars.
Sector 7 (DVD) – If you have seen such films: ‘Ghost Rig’, ‘Deep Star Six’, ‘Deep Rising’ you’ll most likely enjoy this recent Korean sea creature film. Oil drillers are desperate to tap a part of the ocean for oil that has never been tapped or so they thought? A woman with a past that involves the area they are drilling is driven and hell bent on proving all involved. But scientists have let something loose, an experiment with a small creature that was found years ago at the same location. It may be small but is able to be the new fossil fuel that burns forever because of what it is? So of course they experiment on it and years later its bigger, pissed off, and hungry for humans. The movie is enjoyable except for its reliance on a totally computer generated creature that looks mediocre at best as I give the film 2 stars.
Adjust Your Tracking (DVD) – So you wanna be a VHS collector? First watch this documentary that takes you through early days of VHS, how Blockbuster Video killed the business, and how collecting changed after someone was selling a VHS copy of ‘Tales From the Quad Dead Zone’ on EBay. The documentary does a wonderful job of tracking down some of the most popular collectors and getting their stories of how and why this format? It is a film that sheds light on why this is no different than collecting baseball cards or albums and why its loved by so many. Plus the film does a wonderful job of pointing out some people who are trying to keep the format alive. Interesting and overall production are exactly what you want in a documentary about collecting VHS tapes as I give it 4 stars.
Cropsey (DVD) – A documentary that sheds light on an urban legend in Staten Island that was supposedly made up to scare kids that actually became very real for residents in New York. For years parents would tell stories of kids going missing near abandoned school/hospital of kids going missing but it became real in 1987 when a girl with Down syndrome went missing. It was summer of 1987 and the girl went missing with no suspects and town turning itself upside looking for her. Eventually a discovery of a hand in the dirt near by the abandon school/hospital (which has a horrible past of its own) open up a can of worms the residents of Staten Island were not ready for? All the stories they would tell actually became true as the investigation into the disappearance went on. With more and more information kids with low I.Q. were found missing and it all pointed to one man “Andre Rand”. To this day only one missing kid was found but several other disappearances have been linked to this man and residents of the area were never the same. Great stuff but my biggest issue with the film was it seem to keep going over the same things and not moving forward causing it to be a longer movie than it needed to be. But getting past that it is an amazing documentary of what happened in Staten Island resident’s backyards without them ever knowing the truth. I give it 3 stars.
Kolchak: The Night Stalker (DVD) – Finally Kolchak fans have been blessed with the whole TV series collection out on DVD. Only one season (20 episodes in 1974-75) worth but the series never seem to full release on VHS and would only have a few episodes pop out on random TV drama DVDs. Now fans like me get to see it from beginning to end in order. Kolchak is a reporter for a Chicago paper called “INS”. Kolchak seeks out the odd stories that sometimes don’t make a lick of sense for the paper but for him it is totally worth investigating. Like Kolchak says at the end of the episodes, “Who is gonna believe it?” The first few episodes have Kolchak trying to write stories after helping solve the mystery of a vampire or Jack the Ripper or the zombie but the paper won’t print it. This format changes at some point as Kolchak aka Darren McGavin ends up telling the story after it has been solved instead of trying to make his next deadline for INS. But no matter what even 40 years later the series is still amazing, interesting, and Darren McGavin is just down right awesome as Kolchak. Chris Carter has always thanked the series for its influence on his creation of ‘X-files’ as he should. Both are unique and well written and just like ‘Kolchak: The Night Stalker’, ‘X-files’ was almost canceled after one season because of it being misunderstood by network types. Horror fans there are a lot of great horror-themed shows out there now but it all started with Kolchak so do yourself and friends a favor and go check this one of a kind series out! I give it 4 stars folks.
Starcrash (DVD) – Two space smugglers are broken out of prison to find a secret planet (The Count’s planet). One of the smugglers just happens to be Caroline Munro who only wears a bikini and must find David Hasselhoff or Joe Spinnell will kill them all. Oh yeah Christopher Plummer makes an appearance in this late 70s ‘Star Wars’ rip-off that is so bad its good flick. I give it 2 ½ stars as there as way too much randomness in this film.
Dudes & Dragons (DVD) – A hilarious horrible computer-generated fantasy film about two brothers, an Orc, and a fool who go on a mission to save a princess from an evil wizard. The evil wizard which is a cousin of the princess only wants her to himself and sends out a dragon to do his evil bidding. The whole family bloodlines and marrying an elf storyline are lame but the interaction between the Orc and the brothers is hilarious enough to keep you interested through the end of the movie. I give it 1 ½ stars. SyFy Channel where were you? This had your fingerprints all over it…
The Hatching (DVD) – A giant croc is eating the population of a small village in the U.K. but is later found out to be a pet of man or local in this case that happens to be a serial killer! The film is really is mish mash of several horror films but well worth the watch for the main reason that a kid gets eaten by a croc two or so minutes in. The film can be choppy and not make total sense but good gore scenes and a kid being eaten quickly into the movie can make you oversee the little problems as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Shelved (DVD) – One Spotlight Productions and Michael E. Cullen have a new holiday fright for horror movie fans. A dad is driving home from work one night and gets a flat. He goes into the antique shop for help but instead finds a present for his daughter Alice. It’s a cute elf puppet that he feels his daughter needs for the season. After several warnings from the shop owner, dad still takes it home unbeknownst to him and the wife the cute elf puppet aka Private Gumdrop causes chaos in the household. This of course includes threatening to kill the kid if she talks and pooping in the Christmas treats. Mom disturbed by the acts takes Alice to see a doctor who at first does not believe but does some research and wants to warn Alice and her family that they are in danger. By the way, Private Gumdrop is just as good of a driver as he is slicing unsuspecting victim’s throats. Maybe Michael Myers taught Mr. Gumdrop how to drive, maybe Mr. Cullen was able to make a long lost Full Moon flick? Who knows, but I really enjoyed what Michael E. Cullen did with the idea. Taking the “Elf on the Shelf” to a whole other level of fun. I can always get behind an evil elf puppet for the holidays but the film does have a few imperfections such as lack of blood and pacing of the film as it has some dull moments. Overall, I have a feeling this holiday horror treat will find its way under some trees in the future as I give it 2 ½ out of 4 stars.
Metamorphis: The Alien Factor (DVD) – Scientists play with some mutant alien samples and magically they have some new species to experiment on. All is well until one of them is bitten and he begins to have his own metamorphism. He turns into a crazy off the wall practical effect creature that kills a security guard whose daughters come looking for him. Not given any answers they make their way into the research center to find their father but only find two man governments clean up/containment crew for the monster. The film almost seems like “Vidmark’s” video answer to Corman’s produced ‘The Terror Within’? Just like the “Vestron” label I always cherish finding “Vidmark” labeled films I haven’t seen as they are always filled cheesy horror goodness! I give the flick 2 ½ stars.
Any comments or questions please send to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 always visit and see some past reviews, independent film news, or me ranting at: www.grossmoviereviews.com !!!
Don’t forget you can also hear Kyle Poling and me talking about horror flicks on a weekly basis on the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast at: www.bloodbathspodcast.blogspot.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 is the only place you should purchase your horror T-shirts: Go to www.fastcustomshirts.com for details.
Also you can pick up my new book “Gross Movie Reviews: More Sequels, More Massacres, More Beer” at: http://www.lulu.com/shop/tim-gross/gross-movie-reviews-more-massacres-more-sequels-and-more-beer/paperback/product-22853681.html