Let Us In! (DVD) – Filmmaker Anthony E. Moran out of Michigan has put together this interesting 61 minute film that is not only his second feature but a movie that deals with “The beginning of the end”. From the start of the opening credits that give off “Prince of Darkness” vibes the Indy film goes for the throat of not pissing around for laughs where two strangers cross paths with a motorcycle club “Satan’s Keys” who are looking for revenge at a stash house. Instead both parties find something a lot more pressing, disgusting, and deadly as a radio broadcasts a hint of possible lethal agent being released in the residential area and people should “Shelter in place.” Without giving too much away this film is gory, a great story to tell, excellent use of locations, and knew exactly when to end it! Mr. Moran and crew look like they might have a finger on the pulse of what Indy fans are craving and for that I give this entertaining goofest 3 out of 4 stars.
Tough (YouTube/DVD) – Here is an intriguing 20 minute short film out of Australia from the Von Claude Brothers (Bernie and Butch) who give you a man who wants to be something he is not. Now, he cannot deal with the pain of it. This can be seen a few ways: a) a drug fueled night in the life of a young man, b) going for some kind of art film, or c) complete and utter chaos of being disgusting for disgusting sake or some kind of shock value? This isn’t my cup of tea but know fans of August Underground, American Guinea Pig series, and even Faces of Death would most likely eat this up as I give it 2 out of 4 stars.
Emperor of the North (DVD) – This flick is for all of our dads… If you are a person over 35 most likely your dad had seen and liked this flick. From the same guy that did “The Dirty Dozen” comes this depression era flick about a hobo trying to catch a train and not die. Set in 1933, hoboes riding trains living their best life possible. But you don’t ride ‘Engine 19’ as you are taking your own life into your hands until one hobo known as “A-No.1” takes on this train that is run by Shack who will kill just so no hobo can ride his train and live to tell about it. Amazing cast: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Keith Carradine, Sid Haig, and a host of others star in this film about two legendary people in 1933 that know at some point they are going to face off. This is one of those completely off the beaten path movies away from horror but a great story that just sucks you in as I give it 3 stars.
The Swabian Sawmill Massacre (Blu-ray) – Yes kids check another one of the “massacre” list as I got a hold of this two parter no budget German film. Apparently after a dude has his morning coffee, playing with shitty looking dead bodies and pushing shit into his arm with a syringe our mystery killer decides to head to the local sawmill and start a murder spree. After his first kill like Jason Voorhees he finds the mask that will define him, “A large Condom”! But it isn’t a German film until someone shows their dick and someone gets pissed on? After killing everyone our killer overdoses setting up the second part while on the autopsy table he returns to the living to restart his killing spree. But first he must sew his condom mask up, put it on, and make sure he has even a bigger body count. Both movies come in together around sixty minutes and SOV fans might enjoy these as the German films from Madman Maru have this early 90s Polonia feel as I give this title 2 ½ out of 4 stars.
Assault on Precinct 13 (Blu-ray) – Once again I was upgrading my physical media and picked up this ‘Steelbook edition’ just so I could have a wonderful copy of Carpenter’s masterpiece of a ‘siege’ flick. There isn’t much to say about this great project other than you will see it as a modern day western or one of the greatest siege flicks ever put together. The extras were a little slim on this edition but I still couldn’t help myself as has an old interview with Carpenter at a theater in the early 2000s, his commentary which could be new but have listened too on the laserdisc version?, but there is a couple new interviews with cast members that if you are a fan like myself will give you butterflies talking about the film four decades later! Anyhow, the Blu-ray is one of those worth picking up if you see it on sale and need an upgraded edition like I did. Besides the picture and the music isn’t going to get any better at this point as they have done everything to make it look crisp, clean, and sound perfect as I give it 4 stars.
Gay for Pray: The Erotic Adventures of Jesus Christ (Blu-ray) – Another project from Nathan Rumler and Rock Bottom Video as they have just released the Blu-ray version of this earlier film that includes the uncut version with the cut version together for the first time. I highly recommend getting this Blu-ray as the uncut is 20 minutes longer and was only released for a very short time a few years ago so this is a great investment if you are a fan of Rock Bottom Video. Nathan not only proves he knows what he is doing but crafts an amazing independent film (we will get back to that in a minute) that stars a wonderful array of independent acting talent that brings to life one of the funniest things I have ever watched. Our story begins with Jesus supposedly being thrown out of heaven without his powers because he is “GAY”! He happens to visit a home of Adam, Steve, and Eve dressed as a wizard who wants to grant wishes if you suck his dick. Yep, you read that correctly and this is how the film opens! After trying the wizard gig Jesus comes clean to the three as one hates him, one believes in him, and the other just wants to have sex with Jesus even if it means dressing as a man? But anyway since the three got nothing better to do they try to help Jesus get his powers back when he isn’t explaining how he made the bible more family friendly. They try everything to help: social media, making water to wine, encountering protests, even trying to walk on water to prove he is Jesus and he deserves his powers back. But the entire ordeal is not completed until the last ten minutes happen: Jesus, chainsaw, protesters, gore, while The Rainbow Connection song (done by another band) happens. This ending should be one of the more celebrated Indy endings to a movie ever! If you are easily offended please watch this wonderfully entertaining film… Why? Because Nathan’s film is more relevant now than when he produced it five years ago. The dialogue is well crafted; the characters and those who played them were perfect. This movie is going to make some uncomfortable but I dare you to pay attention to the script, again the dialogue as it might be one of the best written scripts ever in my opinion as Nathan predicted what humanity is going to be like? I totally believe he caught exactly how humanity has become one big asshole in the past couple years with this movie. I know there are some detractors of “Fangboner” and “Amityville Vibrator” but I dare you to watch and not like “Gay for Pray” and laugh. Because if you don’t like it or get it just do me the favor of quit watching movies and shut up! Nathan and crew deserve not just our respect but our support as Nathan Rumler and crew are constantly trying to find ways to entertain through independent cinema and thank them as I give this film 4 out of 4 stars.
10/31 Part III (Blu-ray) – Rocky Gray and a collection of other filmmakers are back to add to their anthology series that has become popular among independent horror fans. This anthology is a monster marathon hosted by Malvolia and has fake trailers with four tales of Halloween horror from Michael Ballif, Brad Twigg, Jacob Perrett, and Zane Hershberger. Now full disclosure yinz all know I seen Zane’s “Hack-in-the-box” last year and thought it was one of the best things I seen in 2022. So the other three had a lot to live up to and they did not disappoint. I am a huge fan of 10/31 series but always felt something was missing from the first two entries to make them complete if that makes sense? Well I can honestly say for me they got it right with this entry as all four stories fit together, fun to watch, and feels like this anthology is the best of the series and most likely will be one of my favorite films of 2023 as I give this entry 4 out of 4 stars. (P.S. the mummy entry made me have wonderful memories of the “Tales from the Darkside: The Movie” and thank you).
Infinity Pool (DVD) – So Brandon Croenberg likes his father is now making movies that are truly bizarre and most likely made before their time? And this is no different as author James Foster and his girlfriend are on vacation at an island where the richest of the rich go to a perfect fenced-in resort (the town nearby is crime riddled, poor, and they hate foreign people). James and Em become friends with this intriguing couple that has Mia Goth a part of it. And besides just meeting people and wanting to do something with them James becomes attracted to Mia’s character immediately. Once talked into leaving the resort to enjoy themselves that is where the film gets super weird and not sure I can even do this film justice explaining what you watch next? After the author runs a local down with a car authorities come the next day looking for them and we go down a rabbit hole of basically a process of cloning but you are able to watch yourself getting killed in a horrible way. If that wasn’t enough or confusing James is now a part of this group of people or zombies because of his life-altering experience and they up their violent tendencies. Eventually James has had enough and when it ends it will leave you hanging in thought of what did you actual watch. The film is crazy, bizarre, and by the end of it I found Mia Goth’s character super annoying. Not sure if this is my cup of tea kind of film as I may have to revisit this in five years to truly understand it but for now I give it 2 stars?
The Munsters (DVD/Remake/Prequel) – So let’s get this out of the way first: I was an “Addams Family” person but never a huge “Munsters” fan but also know there has been several failed reboots of the “Munsters” over the years. So saying that and following Rob Zombie’s career this film only made sense at this time for him. This version isn’t so much a retelling of what we already know but a prequel to the TV show and how Lily and Herman met and moved to America. The film dives into Grandpa not liking Herman and trying everything to stop the monster from taking his little vamp girl from him. The movie is more for the fans of the show as Zombie made sure to hit on all the highlights of stories Lily and Herman tell about their early romance. I believe Rob Zombie did a great job bringing this to life but I think the only problem is the movie will cater to a certain audience as others won’t get it and this film will be forgotten soon as I give the film 2 ½ stars.
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