Michael’s short film was just accepted into the Boston SciFilm Festival! So help this really cool person out and go check it out next week! Mr. McCallum isn’t your average independent film filmmaker as his work crosses several genres and I pretty much have enjoyed everything this talented young man has done. He is a Michigan native that has used the landscape of the state and cities as the backdrop for all of his wonderful projects. Below is links for the film festival and Michael McCallum’s website for yinz to investigate, support, and enjoy…
Gross Movie Reviews #513
Santo vs. Frankenstein’s Daughter (DVD) – In this Santo classic Dr. Frankenstein’s daughter has continued her father’s work for decades but she is obsessed with Santo. Her obsession with the masked wrestler is she believes his blood holds the key to stay young and immortal. She is over a hundred years old and her serum is no longer effective. Her goal is to send out her minions and monster after Santo, capture him, take all his blood, and rule the world! Simple… Fun movie as they reuse the plot of “Capturing Santo’s girlfriend to lure him to doom” as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Santo vs. Blue Demon in Atlantis (DVD) – So there is this old Nazi scientist after WWII escapes and sets up his secret lair in the supposed Atlantis where he threatens the world. Part of old dude’s plan is to take control of Blue Demon’s mind so he can defeat Santo and the Global Agency. But as usual Santo has other plans to spoil the evil old Nazi’s plan to rule the world. Most of the movie is Santo and Blue Demon playing cat and mouse but come on that is Santo’s tag team partner he isn’t going to kill him. This might be one of the cheesier plots of the Santo films but that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining as hell as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Graverobbers (DVD) – Another late 80s odd ball horror flick that has slipped through my fingers but have finally got to sit down and watch. Now first off this isn’t the Mexican horror film of the same title that came out in 1989. Second, this one was released in 1988 and quickly disappeared into obscurity but also was released in several countries under the title ‘Dead Mate’ which makes it very possible some of you may have watched it and forgot about it? Anyhow a handsome dude named Henry floats into a diner one night and sweeps a waitress Nora off her feet during the graveyard shift. She agrees to marry him on a whim not thinking any of this is real which made me question the whole film as it seems to be filmed in Nora’s dream state kinda of thing. They travel to Henry’s mansion up north in this small town where all the important people are there and they wed that night. When Nora wakes so sees it wasn’t a dream and Henry explains to her he is this rich mortician in the small town of Newbury… get it!? With no job except bumping uglies with the handsome mortician it doesn’t take long for Nora to sneak around the mansion and spy on Henry’s work. Of course we get a lot of talk about having sex with corpses after this and the possibility the whole town might be in on it. Nora keeps investigating not believing at first but soon uncovers her new husband isn’t just cheating on her with hot looking dead women he might be eating them and burying them in the local cemetery. This film doesn’t have gore, has a weird sex thing going on, and seems to look like Nora’s dream from the beginning but never fully explaining if it is or isn’t. It is weird enough I believe horror fans may want to track this down and add it to their collection for the mere reason it was entertaining in its own way as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Alien Outlaw (DVD) – This low budget mid-80s film has a gunfighter named Jesse who happens to be the most talented gunfighter on the planet who does fairs and festivals. What she doesn’t know as she is dealing with her bad management problem she is about to take on quick draw alien outlaws who have crash landed on the planet. These aliens that kind of look like bad storm troopers that shopped at the used navy seal costume store are laying waste to the local folks of this southern farm community. Now it is up to Jesse to jump on a horse and go take on these aliens and show them she is the fastest gun in the universe. There really isn’t a point to the plot but wouldn’t be surprised if MST3K or Riff Trax has found this film in the past as I give it 1 ½ stars.
Occurrence at Mills Creek (DVD) – Filmmaker Don Swanson has turned his short film project into a feature length film over the past year where a young woman Clara has recently lost her family and she might be slowly going insane. With her so-called father back in her life because the recent funerals he too is dying. Clara not totally understanding what exactly is happening begins to have visits from her dead mother and sister on a regular basis. Is there something more sinister going on with Clara or is she about to pass the edge of sanity and her brain just disconnect from reality? I would like to believe the film is a slow burn or a deep dive into one young woman’s life and family. And believe Clara’s life hasn’t gone anywhere near the way she was hoping for. The film isn’t exactly horror as much as playing that line of paranormal drama that I feel can be taken several ways by different viewers which for the long term is a good thing and something film nerds should enjoy. Ava Psoras was perfect for the Clara role; the Cinematography was wonderfully done by Don Swanson, and a perk for this independent project is I believe this film can be viewed very differently by several people. They have accomplished not making your usual cookie cutout independent project but something that will stand out from most and for that I give the film 3 out of 4 stars.
Final Caller (DVD) – Todd Sheets fresh off the killer ‘Bonehill Road’ and the over the top ‘Clownado’ is back with an ultra-low budget film that involves a shock jock and his show “On Through the Night” where he tells strange stories and takes calls. For Roland the shock jock tonight seems like any other night of doing his show where he is yelling into the mic putting down his fans and spewing conspiracies. But his soon to be ex-wife shows up with the divorce papers and a caller called “The Outsider” who is going to fulfill some kind of ancient ritual by brutally murdering young women. The caller claims it is up to Roland to stop him from being a serial killer but of course Roland takes this as some kind rubbish and hangs up. This begins a hellish downward spiral for the show and all involved as “The Outsider” keeps calling back to yell back at Roland and explain how he devours his victims as he kills them and will visit Roland to complete the ritual. Roland now finds himself in world of crazy shit as he is trying to escape his own radio show and not become part of the bloody body count of “The Outsider”. This is a straight forward gore and even more extreme gore Todd Sheets project that will have his fans screaming for a sequel as I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars.
Bequeathed (Vimeo) – This is a recent entry into the “48 hour film project” from Michigan filmmaker Michael McCallum whose entry is about a man named Michael North. North’s father has just died his father’s insurance broker has brought along a package for Michael. Mr. North explains he didn’t need to be a part of the funeral services or have anything to do with his father but the broker insisted in giving him this package. Michael opens it reluctantly and it’s a book. Seems simple and nice but opening it for a read might just kill Michael North. This film looks wonderfully shot and feels like an old school investment video of what a feature can be? I always find Mr. McCallum’s work to look professional and entertaining with heart behind all of his projects and this is no different as I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars. If yinz have a chance track down this Michigan filmmaker on Facebook and other social network platforms to follow his work as you not be disappointed. Available soon at http://www.REBELPICTURES.NET
The Plumber (DVD) – This dramatic slow burn Australian flick from 1979 has a guy claiming to be a plumber from the university checking out unit 15C where a professor and his wife live. Max the plumber is there to inspect and fix it as he will be doing with the all the units… supposedly. Jill the wife stuck in the unit with Max day after day feels uncomfortable around him but others feel Max is fine. But day after day Max just drops by and Jill believes Max is just messing with her or stalking her for fun. Not a whole lot happens and when the climax hits it was disappointing as I only give this feature 1 star.
Vampires and Other Stereotypes (DVD) – I wasn’t expecting a whole lot with this early 90s film but kudos to Kevin J. Lindenmuth for some awesome effort into his first flick out of the gate. We are introduced to two guys who are not cops but two dudes that are on the city streets fighting the supernatural. While investigating a lead with a businessman at a warehouse they get trapped when a young woman who was looking for a party with her friends gets cut and bleeds. Thus her blood opens the gates of hell which happens to be this warehouse (smart low budget move Kevin) that traps them all there. Now the two supernatural hunters and party goers must survive until daybreak as demons have them trapped and will stop at nothing to chomp down on their bodies and swallow their souls. These supernatural hunters go on to fight a giant rodent, zombie heads, demons, and other creatures as they try to navigate the labyrinth of doorways trying to save the young women. There is a little uneventful twist at the end but it doesn’t take away from Lindenmuth’s excellent low budget creature filled horror effort that needs to seeked out by the independent horror nerds as I give it 3 stars.
Dracula’s Widow (DVD) – This title and plot of the film screamed late 80s as Raymond Everett runs the “Hollywood House of Wax” museum that has gotten six crates delivered to him. They are going to be a part of his new Dracula attraction. Raymond believes in authentic items being placed with his wax creations. And these crates are full of various items that were shipped supposedly from Dracula’s castle in Romania. Problem he has received one extra crate but no bother as Raymond is just excited for this collection. This extra crate contains one “Mrs. Dracula or Vanessa” unaware she is a widow is hungry and sets off into the night to feed. She returns to the museum to turn Raymond into her slave so he can work and protect her during the daytime. Raymond drives around town at night so Vanessa can slaughter groups of men at will! Raymond’s psychic girlfriend doesn’t take kindly to Mrs. Dracula and teams up with this old grizzled detective who believes in vampires to stop her and save Raymond. There is a few laughs and enough gore gags that might keep you watching through the end as I give it 2 stars.
Uncle Peckerhead (DVD) – Yep, you read that title right and will make perfect sense within minutes as you view the film. Now the film does open up with the redundant “based on a true story” but quickly goes into the story of three misfits who are formed a punk band named “DUH”. Judy and band mates are about to embark on their first tour but their problem is their tour van just got repossessed. So after some searching they come across an old dude named “Peckerhead” with a van that just really wants to go along for the ride and because he explains all bands have a roadie. Judy reluctantly agrees because they need the van and they pack up and hit the road. Judy suspects something is weird and wrong with Peckerhead but cannot figure it out. But that becomes super clear after DUH’s first gig doesn’t go well and they are paid three dollars. Uncle Peckerhead goes in to take a grumpy and that is when Judy finds Peckerhead looking like a crazed flesh eating monster eating the asshole promoter. Confronted by the band they agree to get food and Peckerhead explains at midnight for 13 minutes he turns into a monster and he was just protecting his new friends. Again Judy reluctantly agrees and they continue to travel from city to city and Peckerhead just leaves a trail of bodies along the way because his monster inside him needs to feed. Everything goes well until Peckerhead saves them one night when they are being tied up by a band they are feuding with now Judy must make a decision to take the fall for the bodies the authorities are finding or be eaten by Uncle Peckerhead. This isn’t the perfect horror film but I laughed several times and enjoyed the gore as I give it 3 stars.
Creature with the Atom Brain (DVD) – This 1955 film has a Nazi scientist and a gangster who got deported come to America to try their experiment and exact revenge. They use freshly dead people to try their experiment on where they can control these dead folk or zombies (I don’t believe they use the phrase the whole film, I could be wrong) to kill off those they want dead. Biggest problem with the experiment is the dead bodies only last so long and supposedly bleed or secrete radiation. The cops get a scientist involved who figures out they can track the killers with Geiger counters to stop it at its source before more people die. The film has its moments but has a few dull spots in places but if you enjoy 50s sci-fi it is worth the watch or rewatch in some cases as I give it 2 stars.
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