Gross Movie Reviews #418
Les Spookie aka Spookies (DVD) – So I had to do my own investigation on this latest copy of the horror film “Spookies”. This French version of the film set the internet ablaze for a few days sending fans in a frenzy talking about this so-called ‘2K transfer’ and ‘ultra-rare’ French version of the film we all know and love! Well folks I was right for calling “bullshit” on this. Not trying to be mean and not exactly happy with how I went about getting a copy of the film but I didn’t want to be down 20 bucks unless I am getting something totally legit and good. But bottom line it is the same version of the film whether you have the US VHS or UK DVD release. The biggest difference which I will give it credit for is its widescreen. Now saying that I have had a few film people aka directors and such explain that you could just take out the bars? Either way I believe this makes the movie a little more cleaned up without the real restoration process. So kudos to the dude in Quebec who figured this out, but sorry man the only extra on the DVD is a two minute reel of behind the scenes pictures from google images is bullshit. Going back to the widescreen of the film… This makes the film bigger. Thus showing more of what was shot so of course we get to see the tombstones a little better and some of the visual and make-up effects better. Cool beans! But it is the same print folks. I compared my bootleg copy, VHS copies, and UK version that pop up on YouTube to this French version: The scratches and slight lighting are all in the same spots. So its bullshit! French-Canadian dude I understand what you tried to do but you are no Synapse Films or a Shout Factory that may have the resources to do the proper restoration of this film. Now saying that Spookies fans if my sources are correct and I believe my podcast partner Kyle Poling and I trust them there is something in the works for a proper special edition release of this title. Don’t want to jinx it so my lips are sealed. Let’s just say Kyle, Parker Bowman, and I will have some possible involvement just because we are some retarded fans of the film Spookies. So I give this version of Spookies “BULLSHIT”! But thank you for trying anyway. And someone please explain 2K to me instead 4K is that some kind of only half trying to restore the film?
Scary Clown (YouTube) – A short Halloween film from multi-talented filmmaker Henrique Couto who tells a story of a girl on Halloween waiting for her man to come home. She enjoys the trick or treaters but falls asleep on the couch only to wake with her husband calling her but she believe he is already home? It just so happen to be a clown sitting right next to her. 3 stars for the quick scare!
Cult of Chucky (DVD/On Demand) – So the adult version of Andy Barclay is still fucked up in the head and trying dating life. After the date goes sour Andy goes back home to open a safe where he has Chucky’s head and begins abusing it as he has done hundred times before. It’s therapeutic for his fucked up life. The film then moves to Nica, the wheel-chaired bound woman who was blamed for killing her family over jealously over her niece. She is in the nuthouse for the past four years being convinced that the “Good Guy Doll” Chucky wasn’t the killer? Nica has made progress so her good doctor has moved her to a medium security nuthouse. Andy has kept watch of this situation since he was sent a Chucky doll and shot it at the end of the last installment in the franchise. And then this where we are reintroduced to the Jennifer Tilly/Tiffany character as she comes to visit Nica saying her niece died and leaves her a “Good Guy Doll” that just happens to be called Chucky. And shit gets real freaky when another doll named Chucky is introduced by the good doctor as we find out he isn’t such a good doctor… Soon multiple Chucky dolls are running around the nuthouse murdering everyone and let you in on why they haven’t killed Nica just yet? And this was all because of some weirdo cheapo voodoo website! Chucky for the new millennium has made its transition well and might be the best out of the 80s slasher icons as they truly have found some good ways to make sequels for the killer doll. And pay attention to the end as I thank yinz for keeping everyone and everything relevant from the series in these latest sequels as I give it 3 stars.
The Monster Project (DVD) – A couple YouTube dudes decide to go monster hunting or better yet casting real monsters for their show “The Monster Project”. They rent out an old creepy house on the night of a lunar eclipse to interview three people (a demon, a vampire, and a Skinwalker) they tracked down through Craigslist. Devin Adams truly wants this show to work as he casts his ex-girlfriend as the director and regulates his best friend as the camera guy. Devin isn’t worried too much whether or not they are truly monsters because he believes viewers will just eat it up anyway? But once the inner bullshit drama between friends is over with and the interviews get started that is when the film gets chaotic and fun. The monsters begin to mess with the crew and soon the crew is on the run throughout this locked old house being chased by real monsters. If that isn’t enough we get a strange Goat man shows up in different scenes as the crew is fighting for their lives against these monsters. The movie isn’t perfect by any means but it is a solid horror film mainly directed to horror fans under the age 30. It has this paranormal/found footage feel to it but never commits which I believe is good in some ways and has a really good twist ending. I give this film about monsters 3 stars.
Demon Mind (DVD) – An independent Russian horror flick! I was excited to check this gory mess out. From the minds of Philip Brockhurst and Alex Wesley comes a story about a demon that infects man. It starts with a sculptor and a skull that begins talking to him and trying to make him do things. Years pass and we are introduce to a character named Victor who goes to his local priest because he has evil inside of him and wants an exorcism? The priest wants money and Victor agrees because he wants the evil out of him as it has made him murder several times. But as Victor explains he massacres only people who have done him wrong like that makes it sort of right? But Victor started changing when he buys some old weapons off of a sketchy sword dealer aka Todd Mother Fucking Sheets! Once receiving these demon axes the demon grows inside of him and stabs his wife in the eyes, cuts off a dude’s face, and a murderous disgustingly gory rampage of a family. But with this story the priest cannot help as he has his own sins that need forgiven and Victor is completely fucked! It’s a wild and weird gore affair that has this fun early 90s shot on digital video feel to it as I give the independent feature 3 out of 4 stars.
Popcorn (Blu-ray) – Finally someone has brought an early 90s classic to the format the correct way. Synapse Films goes above and beyond with this Blu-ray and the “Steelbook” edition to give horror fans a horror movie they have been dying to have updated. The film itself is about film students who are going to put on an all-night horror movie monster fest to help fund their film department. They rent an old theater that is gonna be torn down in a few weeks and get all the old school props and gadgets from the heyday of theaters to use for the triple feature. But when cleaning up and getting the props out they find an old film “The Possessor” that was never finished. The story goes that the Charles Manson wannabe didn’t film the ending because he wanted it to be live as he sacrifices someone? Well a fire broke out killed the crazy dude and his followers and the film was believed to be lost… Until now? The students watch it and a student Maggie faints understanding that her dreams or film project she is working on is this movie “The Possessor” and the dude Lanyard Gates. So the movie fest begins and things seem to be going well until Maggie believes she sees Lanyard and tries to track him down. Meanwhile the students are being sliced and diced during the monster fest. Will Maggie find Lanyard or will he find her? It’s one of those movies within a movie said by some or the movie horror fans forgot about when “Scream” came out? Who knows but it is a great horror film that is cherished among the horror fan community and it’s nice to see “Popcorn” get a very pristine restoration job! The Blu-ray also has a 57-minute documentary of “Popcorn” about its problem with the ratings board, changing lead actresses at the last minute, changing directors, and money problems. Plus one fact I never knew about the film was it was shot in Jamaica. I just never noticed even when it was first released to theaters it had this weird feel to it like it wasn’t shot in California or on a stage somewhere but didn’t think twice to look it up? Just one those things for me at least it makes a lot of sense now watching the film and the background as it goes on all cleaned up. Most of the great cast is in the documentary so a well worth watch along with the cool commentary. A great cast, a good amount of blood, a great story, and a great tagline makes this horror film a great movie to have in your collection and now even better one with the amazing job Synapse Films has done with it… 4 out of 4 stars for this 90s horror classic! For more details go to http://www.synapse-films.com .
Circus of the Dead (DVD/Theater) – This isn’t just another typical killer clown movie? This flick falls in my category of depressing, no hope, and just plain fucked up shit that will make you literally pass over the film for a couple years just so you can pass its shock value. A group of clowns who seem cool on the surface but are pretty screwed up things on the inside once we the audience gets to know them. These ordinary circus clowns like to pick out people from the crowd make them part of the show in more ways than one? They pick out this guy who just happens to be struggling with his marriage and his kids. Make him write down his address for some weird prize and the family thinks nothing of it until the lead clown “Papa Corn” played by Bill Oberst Jr. pays a visit. The wife happens to be banging a dude on the side so after pleasuring himself outside of the home Papa Corn and friends break into the home and kill the boy toy, torture the wife, and kidnap the kids. Now the father comes home to his dead wife and the clowns kidnap him to make him part of their show unwillingly of course. They torture him, make him watch Papa Corn facefuck his wife’s head, kill someone, and leave his fingerprints everywhere. These are some screwed up clowns. Once the clowns are done with him they leave him in his car with his two dead children in the back seat. The movie is a little long but also a little unnerving, screwed up, and brutal! Surprised I haven’t heard more about this film as there is a small but rabid crowd that will worship this horror flick as I give it 2 ½ out of 4 stars.
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Hi. I’ve compared the UK and new French (I believe it’s actually Canadian) Spookies DVD, and they do not seem to be the same transfer to me. You wrote “it is the same print folks,” but I assume you meant master? The new DVD claims to be taken from the interpositive, not a print. Even if they had scanned the same print, that doesn’t preclude a restoration at all.
Anyway, I noticed scratches in different places on the two versions. The new widescreen transfer also doesn’t make the film bigger; it mattes the film vertically while revealing no new information on the sides. Of course, having the film in its original aspect ratio is a critical improvement, but the previous, open matte transfers actually reveal more. But I notice you mentioned you were “not exactly happy with how I went about getting a copy of the film,” so I wonder if the version you watched was not actually what’s on the new DVD?
I hope you’re right about an upcoming special edition. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this new scan was created by/ for which ever label is working on that. This is a film that cries out for special features, and the filmmakers have been publicly open about be willing to work on one.
And I’m not sure about the 2k = half a restoration comment… Most high-end cult labels are still making 2k scans, including Scream Factory’s upcoming Land of the Dead and Dawn Of the Dead titles, Syanpse’s Popcorn and Creeping Terror, Vinegar Syndrome’s Psycho Cop 2 and My Chauffeur, etc etc etc.
Hi back, and thank you for taking the time reading the review. First, yes it is Canadian. Second, since I have written the review I have spoken to several filmmakers and shown clips and they have seen screenshots saying the same thing “taken from the interpositive”. They went as far explaining the difference between 2K and 4K films. Also pointing out some of the examples of films you wrote also. Believe me I been learning more about film than I ever thought I would have trying to look into how this happened without Spookies fans knowing about it? The comment about 2K was a joke. Joking about what they tried to do with this version of the film. Most of my reviews are written with trying to be funny or not taken too serious. When it comes down to it I believe my source that the movie will get its special treatment. But this version of the film seem to be pooped out there when many if not all involved are not sure who exactly owns the rights? If I am gonna pay $20 I want special features, commentaries, etc., just like you. I believe not just you , myself but many others are surprised this just appeared on the market. Again thank you for reading the review. Just trying to give fans the heads up save your money for the real special version…