Gross Movie Reviews #394
Star Trek: Beyond (DVD) – So this is the third flick in the J.J. Abrams reboot of the series. The first two were amazing and fun. This entry was good but I believe made for a different audience than the first two films. With the now established young cast Spock and Kirk on two different paths but things change when they go out to a planet to investigate for the Federation and get massacred. Once on the planet they find many races of beings have been lured to the planet to be slaves to an evil force that plans on destroying the Federation and its peace keeping ways. Like I said the cast is great but this entry seems to be more for the fans of the original series than the fans of the recent films and the entries that were made in the 80s. Still hope for another entry but be prepared for a possible letdown as I give it 3 stars.
To All a Goodnight (DVD) – A long lost slasher film that isn’t talked about much when horror fans bring up slashers. It also surprises me that the famously creepy but talented David Hess directed this effort. It’s Christmas vacation and a few college kids have some partying to do but little they know a tragedy happened and now they are about to be victims. Victims to Santa Claus! To be honest just like ‘Body Count’ the slasher film doesn’t make a whole lick sense except for someone has decided to dress like Santa Claus to dispatch of some college kids. But if you seen that David Hess film you will wanna check this out also. I personally say it was a “lost film” for a couple reasons: a) when you think Christmas horror films? No one brings this up. (Christmas Evil, Don’t Open Till Christmas, Black Christmas, Silent Night Deadly Night, the usual) b) the film was just released on DVD/Blu-ray in the past year or so, before that I don’t remember seeing a VHS copy anywhere at any point in time. c) When at conventions you very rarely would come across a copy at an out-of-print table, maybe no demand? But if you are a weirdo like me you’ll wanna watch possibly the film that started the trend quietly “killer Santa Claus”. I give the flick that stars the beautiful Jennifer Runyon 2 stars.
10 Cloverfield Lane (DVD) – Sequel, unrelated film, and events happening at same time as the original found footage film that is for you to decide? This story follows a young woman who is running away from her life and gets into an accident and ends up in John Goodman’s basement. Or I should say underground bunker where it is explained the air is unbreathable above. Goodman’s character explains a possible war has broken out and he was prepared and he just happens to save the woman’s life? Goodman is just a brilliant creepy “Doomsday Prepper” as you the viewer are unsure the whole film if he is good or bad. They introduce Goodman’s neighbor also just to add tension of whether Goodman is telling the truth? But no matter what all three characters know something weird or wrong is going on up top… The movie builds up a lot of suspense and pays off big time as this isn’t your regular sequel if it truly is that? I give this little surprise of a flick 3 ½ stars.
Godzilla vs. Biollante (DVD) – This film basically marked a new era in ‘Godzilla’ films as this entry of the unkillable giant lizard found its way to the US in 1988. This opponent for Godzilla was a genetic engineered plant from Godzilla cells that was a plot of revenge from a scientist that lost his daughter several years ago. Sorry folks I love Godzilla films but for me this is one of the weaker of the new era. He fights a fucking plant! The only thing more boring is Mothra! I didn’t like it when it was first released all those years ago and I still don’t care for it now as I give it 1 ½ stars.
Sabotage (DVD) – Another comeback film for Arnold as he was reestablishing his action stardom a couple years back. This time Arnold plays a leader of a special team of individuals who go get bad guys that cannot be caught or taken down. But the layer to this plot is Arnold’s character is blamed by the government for stealing 10 million bucks. Eventually all the members of the team blame each other and the F.B.I. is just trying to piece together who did actually taken the money? A good action flick that for me felt like a misstep or miscasting of Arnold as he seems like second choice for this film. Go watch a better Arnold flick in ‘The Last Stand’ as I give this one 2 stars.
Safe (DVD) – Jason Statham is a beaten cage fighter that has gotten himself into trouble with the Russian mob. When he is about to step off in front of a train he sees a little girl being chased down by some bad looking dudes. He saves her but begins to understand this girl is very valuable to a lot of people besides the Russian mob. Think ‘Mercury Rising’ with a lot more action and fun than seriousness of the Bruce Wills thriller. Also we have some great casting here kids: Chris Sarandon as the crooked mayor, Robert Burke as the crooked police chief, and James Hong as a bad ass Asian mob boss that makes the little girl remember numbers for his business. Cannot go wrong with that as I give it 3 ½ stars.
Rain (YouTube) – This isn’t a horror film by any means but it is an interesting slow burn 40 minute drama from filmmaker Todd Ernest Braley. Yeah, this isn’t in my wheelhouse like straight horror films but it is independent and it looks amazing. Kierra Hall is Ashley who has a fear of rain when she seen her parents die at a younger age. It affects her so much that when it rains she physically cannot leave her home and has a mental breakdown. The film chronicles the torture of Ashley when a several day storm blows in causes Ashley a psychotic break and eventual death. Dramatic, brilliant, a beautiful slow burn, and Kierra Hall was absolutely perfect this role in ‘Rain’. It may not be in my wheelhouse but Mr. Braley’s film was impressive as I give it 3 ½ out 4 stars. Check out: www.facebook.com/Rain-A-Short-Film-by-Todd-E-Braley-1743711622545087 for more info.
Misfit (YouTube) – A teenager named Cybil (I believe?) is bullied constantly by a foursome of mean girls. This foursome tortures Cybil day in and day out. Home life isn’t much better for the young woman as her mother is constantly rides her and one point in the film wishes Cybil to never be born. Well one day after school the evil foursome runs down the troubled teenager onto a porch. As they are about to light her on fire and film it on their cell phones a disfigured gentleman rushes out and chases off the mean girls. After a conversation with Cybil, he goes inside to have a conversation with an unknown figure. Cybil is intrigued and intrudes inside to confront both of them. After more fighting at home Cybil visits the two people again only to learn they have plans for her? Plans for Cybil to seek the revenge against all who ever wronged her. The film runs a little long but will find an audience among fans who love independent revenge flicks. The film is well shot by Mr. Braley but the most impressive part is the teenagers filming everything that goes on: bullying (teenagers can be cruel), teacher yelling, etc. to post it on social media. I enjoyed this realism in the film as I give it 2 ½ out of 4 stars. For more info on the filmmaker go check out: www.facebook.com/toddernestbraley or check out www.facebook.com/infinitymediaproductions .
Incarnate (On Demand) – Dr. Ember is a scientist of sorts that has the ability to enter people’s possessed mind and help them escape. Think ‘Dreamscape’ without the wires and involves demons that just want to suck on weak souls of humans. Dr. Ember has been on the search of a demon named “Maggie” ever since this demon crippled him and killed his family in a car accident. But a young boy has become possessed and it’s not your run of the mill demon as Dr. Ember must not fear death in order to save the boy. A non-eventful demon possession film that is a half-step better than most of the PG-13 paranormal crap we are being force fed these days. For that I give it 2 ½ stars.
Rare Exports (DVD) – An oddity Christmas tale from Finland… I think? The film was released a few years ago and its audience is still growing as it is a tale of the original Santa Claus being buried in a mountain and now is being dug up. The original Santa wasn’t what we are taught, he is a pissed off creature that snatches young kids from their beds by his elves and fed to him! While Santa is being thawed out like the alien in ‘The Thing’ his elves is snatching all the children in the surrounding village to be fed upon when he awakes. But a young kid and his father capture one of the elves in a bear pit and the adventure goes from there as they must find a way to stop Santa from awaking on Christmas. The film is bizarre, hilarious, and the ending is absolutely perfect for what it was going for as I give the film 3 stars.
Hardcore Henry (Blu-ray) – Sharlito Copley deserves an Oscar for this flick! The action flick will give you a fucking headache but is absolutely chaotic and awesome! Copley who plays like two dozen characters in the film is an experiment for a supernatural weirdo villain who plans on making an army. And the story is about one of the experiments/cyborg/whatever it is/Jimmy breaks out of an airplane and is contacted by Jimmy. He goes through a series of crazy shootouts, fights, etc., that can only happen in a video game. This may be the closest a movie has come to being a video game. The film reminded me a lot of the “Wolfenstein” game. The film is intense, funny, and one-of-a-kind experience that cannot be explained that can only be watched to understand! Don’t do drugs, don’t drink, or will be sick be the end of this wild 4 star movie.
Beyond the Gates (On Demand) – Two brothers meet up at an old video store to begin boxing up everything. Their father disappeared several months ago and the brothers see each other for the first time in a long time to decide what to do with all the stuff. They remember working and running around the store and try to keep their minds on what they are doing until the brothers found a game in their father’s office called, “Beyond the Gates”. An old scary VCR board game that was popular in the late 80s and early 90s. The brothers take it home to play after playing the tape and noticing the gorgeous host of the game (Barbara Crampton). Once the game begins, strange things begin to happen. The brothers try to quit and it won’t allow them and they even track down where it was bought at and told they must finish the game. Finish the game you live, if not their souls along with their father’s is damned forever in the game. The film has a couple fun gore scenes and is mainly for us old folks to have a fun memory of these horror related games. I give the flick 3 stars.
Bad Asses on the Bayou (DVD) – Danny Trejo and Danny Glover are the old guys kicking ass still as they travel to outside Baton Rouge for their friend Carmen’s wedding. Once there she is kidnapped and they add a third to the team in John Amos so they can kick some bad guy ass. Nothing eventful but will always watch a film with Danny Trejo at least once these days as I give it 2 stars.
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 www.fistofjesus.com as I give it 4 out of 4 gory stars.
House of Forbidden Secrets (Vimeo/DVD) – Another horror flick from independent mastermind Todd Sheets that takes place at an office/retail building where Jacob has just become the new night security guard. All is asked of Jacob is don’t fall asleep on the job. But a strange crack in the basement wall and a séance that Jacob takes a part in sets off strange shit happening throughout the place. Supernatural beings begin to spread and corner all involved with the séance one by one including anybody that stayed late in the building. In order to survive the night Jacob and the psychic must figure out the building’s past in order save themselves in the present. Great intro, fun soundtrack, surprising cameos, great gore FX makes this a treat for Eye-talian horror film fans. The movie reminds me of ‘The Beyond’ and ‘Gates of Hell’ and just like those Fulci movies not everything will make sense but you will enjoy it for what it is. Mr. Sheets and company make sure you will take notice of what they can do with a great shooting location and their love for making an old school Eye-talian influenced horror film. I give the movie 3 out of 4 stars. Of course more about the film, Todd Sheets, or his crew check out: www.zombiebloodbath.com .
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