As usual a few people will be pissed, a few will be excited, and quite a bunch of yinz will be baffled still to this day what the hell I watch…
Gross Movie Reviews Top Ten Movie list of 2017
1) Don’t Kill It (On Demand) – Mike Mendez and Dolph Lundgren together for a supernatural horror film equals horror GOLD! Dolph Lundgren aka Mr. Woodley the Demon Hunter rolls into a small Mississippi town looking for a demon that have cause a triple homicide three times in one week. We learn the demon cannot be killed as if you kill the person it possesses you become possessed. So this mucks things up as Mr. Woodley must be able to capture the demon by committing suicide. Mr. Woodley comes from a family of demon hunters who have done this for years and he has been trying to figure out what he can do with this demon so no one can let it loose again. Woodley has trouble trying to explain to the small town folk that you just can’t going blasting it away which leads into an awesome bloodbath at “Town Hall” that will make horror fans drool! Congrats Mr. Mendez and Dolph your film will most likely make my best of 2017 movie list as I give this bad ass horror film 4 stars! It is like someone gave the TV show ‘Supernatural’ Grade A steroids and Dolph Lundgren.
2) Get Out (On Demand) – Well this flick lived up to its hype and don’t trust those rich white people! The film is written, directed, and produced by Jordan Peele who takes a simple concept and turns it into a great fucked up movie. And I love all the social awkwardness placed into the scenes. But the simple horror film is about Chris, a young black man going with his white girlfriend to her parents’ house to meet them. The parents a little off and try a little too hard to make Chris comfortable but are or seem to be normal rich white folks. But for Chris something always seems a little off or not right? One night Chris takes a walk outside to smoke and run into the girlfriend’s mom who hypnotizes Chris to stop smoking. It works but things still seem weird as Chris’s brother agrees also believing his brother is going to be a sex slave or some shit too these rich white people? From there the film gets a little weirder as Chris finds himself questioning all the white folk that come for the party and the things he sees… And if there is another thing you take away from the film: “Don’t trust rich skinny girls”, they are fucked up. A very simple but effective horror film that is clearly one of the best of 2017 as I give it 4 stars.
3a) Garden Party Massacre (DVD/Vimeo) – Filmmaker Gregory Blair gives us a film about a couple (Caleb and Addison) who are having a small gathering that the theme is ‘no cell phones’. The party is all about people interacting with each other. The socially awkward party begins when all the characters show up and begin eating until a psycho with a pick axe shows up and kills the annoying girl. Now Caleb and Addison and fellow guests must figure out how to escape the house and make a run for it as the psycho killer has them trapped. The killer wants blood, the guests are in a state of panic, and Mr. Blair throws a curve ball when the party guests learn it’s a prank gone wrong and much more happens. I would to say more but then I would just be giving away the movie. Blair and company make great use of the house and backyard but the story set up and the actors playing the characters are the gems of this movie. The actors should be proud of what they done because they were simply entertaining and made this typical horror movie into so much more! I was just happy to see a movie with a title like this made but for the horror flick to be this much fun was just icing or blood on top of the red velvet cake (watch the movie you’ll understand). Plain and simple the movie was fucking brilliant and may show up on my “Best of 2017 list” as I give it 4 out of 4 stars. Go to http://www.gardenpartymassacrefilm.com for more details.
3b) Pool Party Massacre (Blu-ray) – A low budget horror film made in the spirit of “Slumber Party Massacre”. And the 8-Bit intro was absolutely beautiful. From the start you can see filmmaker Drew Marvick is a fan of “Slumber Party Massacre” with all the nods. Especially when a few of the scenes at the beginning of the film where the killer stalks the young ladies getting ready for the pool party brings back memories of such a great film. But the meat of the film is a rich bitch wants to have a pool party with all her wannabe reality star girlfriends. Have some champagne, look hot, and hang by the pool. The cool idea of a pool party becomes “worst pool party ever” when a killer is stalking all the guests. The killer stalks them all one by one including killing a man with a drill while the guy is jerking off. This beautiful movie was a love letter to my 15 year old self with the gore, the unseen killer, the music, the nods to the early slasher films, the packaging from box art to tagline, and the commentary with mom is excellent! My only complaint of the film might be some of the dialogue scenes that got a little boring but then I do remember “It is a fucking movie called Pool Party Massacre”… I believe Drew and company did one hell of a job of making an entertaining and Slumber Party worthy horror flick that needs to be seen by all! Thank yinz and my god Rutger Hauer for making this film exist and for that I give it 4 out of 4 stars and can be found at http://www.poolpartymassacre.com .
4) Fist of Jesus (You Tube) – A Spanish short film about Jesus trying to help resurrect a woman’s son, only for him to become a zombie. Next thing you know we have Roman zombies, Cowboy zombies, all kinds of zombies. And Jesus must kick zombie ass and save his friend Judas. The film was influenced by Peter Jackson and a well worth of wasting 15 minutes of your time on You Tube. But while watching notice the production, the effects, all impressive in my opinion! Check out http://www.fistofjesus.com as I give it 4 out of 4 gory stars.
5)The Creep Behind the Camera (Blu-ray) – An amazing reenactment documentary about filmmaker Vic Savage aka A.J. Nelson aka Arthur White aka most likely had a few other names. Otherwise a film that documents the insanity behind the making of a bad movie of 1964’s “The Creeping Terror” before stuff like “Troll 2” and “Cursed” were even thought of. Vic gets the filmmaking bug and moves himself and his first wife out to Hollywood during the 50s to make “the biggest monster movie anyone has seen!” Never mind the bad movie as much as Vic Savage was a complete psycho, womanizer, drug addict, drunk, con man! True stories told by living cast members, his first wife, producer, etc. Vic Savage was such a complete maniac that his monster maker stole his own creation during filming because he wasn’t paid, change actresses, sets, hung out with Charles Manson (before we all knew who he was), god complex, threesomes, Vic was completely insane. So insane he disappears into the night leaving what was considered the finished product/film in the garage with no sound, slate, etc. This is stuff that could not be made up about a film that is one of the first two movies I can legitimately remember watching. This film started it all for me and to watch this and learn of this insanity just made me absolutely love this documentary! It is beautiful insanity that needs to be watch and rewatched to be believed! There is lots of cool extras on the Blu-ray: The Creeping Terror movie of course but my favorite extra “How to Build a Carpet Monster”. Once again, Synapse Films does not disappoint as I give this wonderful package 4 out of 4 stars and can be found at www.synapse-films.com .
6) The Guardians (DVD) – A Russian version of ‘The Avengers’ that features a man that turns into a bear, has a machine gun and a woman on his back killing evil persons while running through Moscow! Yep, I am sold and do not need to say anymore but I will. After the Russians entered the war in 1940 scientists were doing secret genetic research. After several failed experiments over the years a scientist goes rogue and starts to use people to further his experiments. When the military tries to intervene the scientist gets caught in a chemical explosion and becomes a part of his own experiment only to disappear until now. During a high tech military exercise this monster reappears and takes control of all machines killing all involved and disappears. So the Russian military forms a team of superheroes Nick Fury style: Ler – a man who can move rocks and things and uses them as weapons or a suit. Khan – a guy who has swords and can move like the wind. Kseniya – who is able to regulate her body temperature? And my favorite because he looks like a character from the Sega game “Altered Beast” Arsus (I believe that is how it’s spelled) – is a man who turns into a thing with a bear head and when he is really pissed off turns into a giant grizzly bear! They must take down the former scientist Kuratov now evil monster mastermind who also made them into what they are. Kuratov wants to take over Moscow then the world and make more troops like him. His goal in accomplishing this is using an old Reagan satellite in space left over from the “Star Wars program”. First time around The Guardians is defeated quickly but they reset things and prepare differently to become a team and defeat this evil Kuratov before it’s too late. The movie is a brilliant comic book-style popcorn flick that fits right in with the Marvel and DC universes! I absolutely loved this exciting flick as I give it 4 stars. Come one for the love of Rutger Hauer you have a bear with a machine gun you know this is gonna make my “Best movies of 2017 list”.
7) Logan (Theater) – Damn this movie was really good! We are thrusted into the year 2029 where there is no more mutants (not fully explained but pay attention there are hints), Logan is a drunk and old and old Professor X is a babbling swearing idoit in Mexico. Wolverine just wants to make enough money to buy a boat for Professor X and himself and end it all. Calls it their only safe place left. But one night Logan is approached by a woman who wants to pay him for safe passage to a location in North Dakota for unknown reasons. After a second encounter he is introduced to a little girl named Laura, a mutant. Not wanting anything to do with this Logan takes the money knowing full well people will come looking and wanting to kill him and Professor X. But Laura aka X-23 is what Professor X has been ranting about and believes she is the answer, the hope they look for? Reluctantly as Logan knows he is dying he drives Professor X and the mutant Laura north to get them to Canada. But as Logan learns more about her he begins to feel for her as he knows she will have to face what he has always tried to run from? The film is by far the most violent of any X-men related films or Marvel (exception of Blade). The film is gritty, real, and just a bad ass superhero film that I know I have wanted (because of X-23) but fans of Wolverine for quite a while. This stand-alone movie proves violent comic book movies can be made and make a shitload of cash for the Hollywood execs! I won’t say it is the best flick of 2017 but don’t be surprised it shows up on my list at the end of the year as I give 4 stars.
8) Trespassers (DVD) – This fantastic short film is from Zane Hershberger (for the love of Rutger Hauer you know I am fucking that name up) and is a segment of a horror anthology called “10/31”. A couple is out at the local movie theater trying to enjoy a good scary movie but have picked a dud. So still looking for something to put a little fear in their lives on the best night of the year, Halloween they go for a drive out to a farm. This farm isn’t any farm it has a horrible history of a scarecrow popping mysteriously on the land and eventually Old Man Martin murdered his family and committed suicide. But what is about this creepy scarecrow that makes the local story so interesting this couple wants to know? Pretty creepy and well thought out Halloween short film reminds me of a cool little known horror flick from the late-80s called “Scarecrows” and for that I give 4 out of 4 stars.
9) The Void (DVD) – An extremely vague but interesting horror film that has some of the best movie creatures since ‘The Thing’? A man is picked up along a dark road and brought into a closing hospital by a small town police officer. Things only get stranger when the man does not wanna quit babbling and the police officer is attacked by a person in a white sheet outside. Once the doctor and nurses stop the bleeding on the officer more of these people in white sheets show up. Meanwhile another nurse goes nuts, rips her face off and stabs a patient in his eye killing him and that’s when it gets even weirder??? Two guys show up bitching about a massacre, a huge disgusting creature steals the state trooper and begins feeding on him, and apparently the good doctor of the hospital is the next Pinhead!? Fun and gruesomely entertaining film! My only drawback with the film is you must pay attention to pick up on some of the happenings because I would have liked a little more explanation. But this film is easily the new horror generation’s ‘Hellraiser’? I give this amazing creature filled film 3 ½ stars and most likely be somewhere on my “Best of 2017 movie list”.
10a) Bonehill Road (Vimeo) – Todd Mother F’N Sheets reaches into the depths of his mind and pulls out this latest project of an old school werewolf film. The film centers on a mother and daughter who are escaping an abusive relationship. On the road to grandpa’s house they meet a creepy dude at a rest stop (which I believe happens to all of us at least once) and believe they just narrowly missed hitting a bear? Shortly after the narrow miss a tire blows out and they hit a tree. The women take a few to get their senses and try to figure out what they should do but that so-called bear comes back to haunt them or I should say werewolf. On the run the ladies find a house but their luck is worse than they think when creepy dude from rest stop is the owner and has his own serial killer thing going on. These women have already been battle tested and know what is outside is worse than inside. Once the madman is dispatched in a rather gruesome manner its back to figuring out how to fight off these werewolves who are trying to break their way into the home. I absolutely enjoyed this werewolf flick. I would compare to Todd’s film to another werewolf flick “Wolfen” or “Bad Moon”. Mr. Sheets went for a more story driven werewolf flick and when it pays off it more than pays off with a scene in the kitchen. While a woman recently bitten transforms another not one but two werewolves shot in 100% light wander into the kitchen and it is a beautiful thing. Most independent werewolf films have to hide their monster. Hell most mainstream flicks do the same but Todd Sheets made sure you got the money shot and more with this scene. Todd absolutely delivered on a giving horror fans an entertaining treat of a werewolf film. And yes horror fans the film is a little slow but again the film is more story driven than gore driven but you will get your blood, guts, and cannibalism! A couple other cool tidbits to the film are the end credits scene with fake Gene Simmons again and they have a “stunt werewolf” thanks to Mr. Steele. Todd Mother F’N Sheets did again and I think fans will be pleased with his old school werewolf flick as I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars.
10b) Knock Knock (On Demand) – No folks this isn’t that terrible Keanu Reeves movie we all lured into watching last year. This film is something much better! 2012 “Dorm of the Dead’s” Toby Canto makes his return back to the independent horror genre with this great gem. A story of misfits living in an apartment complex. An old boxer named “Stonefist” Sam is turning 60 today. Not the most pleasant person returns home to his weirdo neighbor Oliva hanging out in his apartment complaining about a vampire living across the hall. She can’t make her mind up if its Dracula or just a hot vampire living next door as she has been watching him worried he will kill her. As Sam tries to calm her down another weirdo neighbor Dragon busts in with his bag of goodies to kill the vampire and blurts out this great quote “Fucking Draculas Bro”! He also has stories of Dracula living next door including ripping his “Missing in Action” poster off of his front door. Once Gretchen stops by the scene is set as Oliva stole a package that was left for the vampire. As the four argue the vamp knocks on Sam’s door to nicely get the package but that goes horribly wrong when he was already invited to an apartment complex party. Sam doesn’t believe the neighbor is a vamp until the vamp tries to bring hell down on the four and Sam shows why he was nicknamed “Stonefist”. After they beaten the vamp down and tie him up they warn him to just be a good neighbor or leave? The credits role and we all find out the vamp has friends as a war takes place in the apartment. Smart production, hilarious script and characters, and the actors were down right fucking awesome and perfect for these parts! This flick had me laughing my balls off the whole time watching it. Toby I hope all of us horror fans get to see more projects from you as this is one of the best independent horror projects I have seen in 2017. I give this flick 3 ½ out of 4 stars. Check out Pop Art Pictures Facebook page for more details on the film.
The notable movies that still deserve a mention
Hectic Knife (DVD) – Let’s be honest folks most of us are Troma fans and we know Troma pretty much has become a distributor of independent films. Hey Troma has to survive just like any other small movie company. 99% of the time the newer Troma stuff that is released is to make them money and keep them afloat and really doesn’t have anything to do with the Troma legacy? Well folks, I am to say ‘Hectic Knife’ is a different but Troma-like film that has come out of nowhere. The film is about a new knife-swinging superhero named ‘Hectic Knife’. He kills rapists, gangsters, junkies, but like the rest of us normal people he has to pay bills, needs a roommate, struggles with all the killing, and no girlfriend. But when ‘Hectic Knife’ comes into contact with a professional baddie named ‘The Piggly Doctor’ he must risk his own life to defeat this new baddie. Hilarious over-the-top violence, bad jokes, bagels, a hippie, and the vibe the film gives off while watching it is like the stuff of second generation Troma films. Let me explain: first generation is “Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke ‘em High”, second generation is “Tromeo and Juliet and Sgt. Kabukiman”. It fits in with the 90s Troma stuff which is a good thing. The movie just has that Troma vibe that makes you wonder if Lloyd may have been on set. Troma should be more than happy adding this feature to this their library it’s one of the few flicks that understand what Troma is all about and for that I am thankful! I give this fun flick 3 ½ out of 4 stars and definitely one of the better films of 2017! Go get it now folks http://www.troma.com as there isn’t enough good things I can say about this independent flick.
Attack of the Killer Donuts (DVD) – To put it simply it is the new version of ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes’ and there isn’t anything wrong with that folks. Michelle and Johnny work at a donut shop called “Dandy Donuts”. Pretty much Michelle and Johnny are the only two employees who are willing to put up with the public and the shitty boss. Meanwhile Johnny’s Uncle Luther is a mad scientist who has developed a breakthrough serum that turns a mouse into a man-eating rat. Luther comes to Dandy Donuts looking for Johnny and accidentally gets some of the serum into the deep fryer… Presto, changeo! We got killer donuts! The little doughy bastards now have teeth and they are pissed humans have been eating them for years. So the donuts go on an eating spree whether it’s the lonely fat lady in lingerie or C. Thomas Howell as a police officer the donuts are eating through everyone. The only people that can stop these bastards is love sick friends Michelle and Johnny and Johnny’s best friend who is banging Johnny’s mom. So okay maybe it is ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes’ with ‘Gingerdead Man’ added into the mix but it’s one fucking hilarious horror movie that you will not want to miss in 2017! My only problem with the whole film is the ending that never ends as of course Michelle and Johnny end up together but the bedroom scene goes on way too long like its padding out running time or something? Outside of that I absolutely love this flick and the poster fucking rocks as I give this beautiful horror film 3 ½ stars. Still on the fence if this makes my “Best of 2017 list”?
Kill Show (YouTube) – A short film that features a young woman’s struggle with her perverted mind frame of being a clown. The film takes you into her mental breakdown and she gets off on hearing about her random killing spree that can only end in one way. She wants to be known/remembered, not forgotten. Todd Braley and crew do a wonderful job of making this an interesting and creepy short film that makes you want to know more about this young woman’s story. What adds to the feel of the flick is the way the film was shot as it felt like the crew might have been trying to give the viewer a unique disturbing view into her madness. Wonderful stuff from Mr. Braley and hope there is a lot more coming for film fans. I give the short film 3 ½ out of 4 stars and you can rent it at http://www.reelhouse.org/infinitymediaprods/kill-show .
The Foreigner (DVD) – Possibly one of the most underrated flicks of 2017 I did not see coming. Jackie Chan is driving his daughter to a shop to pick up her dress. He has a slight car accident out front when a bomb goes off inside the dress shop killing his daughter and several others. From here you are expecting Jackie Chan to go all Jackie Chan but he doesn’t. Jackie just wants answers! Meanwhile Pierce Bronson is Irish dude who is in with the British government mainly to try and keep the peace between the Irish extremists lets say and the Brits? For most of the movie you are not totally sure if Pierce’s asshole charcter is behind the bombing or just trying distance himself from it as he was one of these extremists 30 years ago. But Jackie wants answers and everyday sits in this lobby waiting. When he doesn’t get the answers he wants and no one has been found that did the bombings Jackie begins to stalk Pierce’s character. And again you are expecting the wild acting, stunts, and so on but his character being 60 years old gives up his restaurant and starts a one man crusade of just fucking people up! Think “Taken” but if possible done in a better way? It can be debated whether this is a better version of “Taken” just for the mere reason Jackie Chan goes away from what he is known for and becomes possibly a bigger bad ass than he ever was with this hardcore action/drama flick. Kudos to Jackie Chan because I did not see such a flick coming this late in his career as I give it 3 1/2 stars.
Worst movie of 2017: Jeepers Creepers 3