Gross Movie Reviews #493
Smoke and Mirrors: The Story of Tom Savini (Shudder) – Being a huge Savini fan since I was a kid this was huge. I remembered the really cool “Scream Greats” doc from Fango in the 80s so see his life story in full talked about it was a wonderful treat. With this documentary you get everything from his inspiration to the untimely death of his brother to why he did not go to L.A. with famous names we know. For me it also connected some stories I have always heard from filmmaker friends and artists and have read about in the past. Like him or dislike him I have always respected him because he was doing something that was completely amazing and without him I do not believe we have some of the cool talented make-up and effects people now. Horror fans if you didn’t like Savini before you will after this as you get finally get the full understanding and first complete look behind the curtain of Savini’s life. This gets 4 stars all the way as Savini will always be someone I have looked up too then and now.
Ready or Not (DVD) – Grace is a bride about to be married into a super-rich family who for over a century has sold board games and such. As family tradition after the marriage the family gets together at midnight to initiate the new family member with a game that is picked by the luck of the draw. Problem arises when Grace pulls the ‘Hide-n-Seek’ card that has her being hunted down by the family throughout the huge mansion to be caught before dawn. Weird and sometimes funny shit but well worth the watch. I may not be as big of a fan as most of this past year’s flick but there is denying Samara Weaving is a freaking awesome actress as I give the film 3 stars.
Zombieland: Double Tap (On Demand) – Best way to describe this film is if you see the first film you have seen this sequel. That isn’t a bad it is still hilarious zombie killings and rules going on but ten years later. Believe me I will take a sequel like this than most zombie shit that is being force fed to horror fans as I give it 3 stars.
From Hell to the Wild West (On Demand) – Found another flick with bootleg Chuck Bronson. This time around a researcher finds a diary from a woman that may have solved the mystery behind Jack the Ripper? She reads the diary that tells a story about the old west at the time Jack the Ripper had disappeared from authorities. A masked psycho is putting out ads for whores to come to a small remote town for them to be killed. Bootleg Chuck figures this out but some bounty hunters believe it’s him. With the help of a U.S. Marshal he hopes to clear his name and bring this unholy killer to justice. The film isn’t a bad concept but making bootleg Chuck Bronson only a supporting character instead of the star I believe hurts the film. That and the film just seeming to drag a little in the middle so I came out a little disappointed in the end as I give this western/horror 1 ½ stars.
Satanic Panic (DVD) – First let me just say without Hayley Griffith as Sam the main character I do not know if this movie is much fun as it is? Sam is a young pizza delivery girl trying to make some money. So an order comes in from a rich part of town that is out of the pizza place’s area Sam takes it. Running out of gas and no tip Sam takes it upon herself to find a way into the mansion to explain why she should get a tip. Without knowing at first she has stumbled upon Satanists who are having a meeting and then set up for a ritual when they figure out Sam is a virgin! Funny shit ensues, lots of gore, and a crazy ass Satanist orgy at the end of the film and you got ‘Satanic Panic’ as I give it 3 stars.
Crime Zone (DVD) – An absolute gem starring David Carradine and Sherilyn Fenn in a post-apocalyptic world where ‘the state’ controls everything. Fenn and her new boyfriend are made an offer they cannot refuse in order to escape the hell they are in and that is to become the futuristic Bonnie and Clyde. But a double crossing Carradine believes it is all about business and crime stirs up business with a very depressing ending for the two lovers. A fun Corman low budget gem that reminds you how fucking cool Ms. Fenn is. Not only is she gorgeous but talented and did every little project that came her way during the mid to late 80s and I am thankful for that as this gem gets 3 stars.
Conversation with the Devil (YouTube) – A new short film from filmmaker Sam Hodge that deals with a man who is about to commit the ultimate sin but stopped when a stranger walks by to strike up a conversation. An interesting and cool little story that has been told in many forms but Mr. Hodge showing he is learning more and more with each independent project he does as I give it 3 out of 4 stars.
Cannibal Hillbillies (DVD) – Broaden Torture Productions is back with their latest project that has a small group of friends testing a theory of an urban legend. The urban legend is a family of cannibals living out in the woods where one of their fathers’ had a campsite. They pay with their lives finding this out of course but the biggest problem is watching this 50 minute feature that is filled up with about 10 to 15 minutes of filler. You know empty woods, credits, even the group babbling in the mini-van which seems like forever. I like the people behind this Indy production company but this film just misses on all cylinders badly as I give it 0 out of 4 stars.
Strange Events (DVD) – I wouldn’t call it an anthology as much as a series of short films that are about the unknown and paranormal with dates and cities stamped on them. There is no wrap around which makes it unique and fun. We also get some cool backstabbing murders and I did enjoy bootleg Beavis and Butthead stumbling upon the exorcism that they thought was an internet sex date. Worth the watch as I give it 3 stars and if you like it there is a sequel also.
Do Not Disturb (DVD) – A 2010 serial killer film that was also known as “New Terminal Hotel”. Supposedly it is known for having one of the last performances from Corey Haim? But anyway the film centers around a character named Don Malek played by Stephen Geoffreys who was the hot Hollywood screenwriter who now is living in a shitty hotel working on his latest project. Problem arises when his agent Ava played by Tiffany Shepis shows up and sees the studio boss lying in the tub as Malek explains away it is ‘performance art’. Meanwhile all Ava wants is a script from her hot talent that is going cold quickly. Ava returns the next day to find no script but the studio head stumbling out of the bathroom of the hotel room after being dissected by Malek. Now any normal person would run and call the cops but Ava being the best agent possible decides to try and help Malek as she slowly takes the jump down the disturbing rabbit hole with Malek as he transforms into a serial killer. Ava must protect her investment but the biggest flaw of the film might be its ending as it felt very dissatisfying. It’s a fun slow burn with not a great payoff but is better than it should be with great performances from Stephen Geoffreys and Tiffany Shepis as I give it 2 stars.
Big Bad Bugs (DVD) – SyFy Channel in its heyday couldn’t come up with something this terrible as a scientist figures out how to use a wormhole to make giant man-eating insects to conquer the world. The topper is when the villain changes into a huge snake! Wasn’t this supposed to be about bugs? The title says it all remember people… as I give this zero stars.
Cyborg X (DVD) – There was no JCVD in sight but a hilarious role for Danny Trejo shooting CGI machines and cyborgs as he collects another paycheck waiting for the next “Machete” movie. Instead of even trying to explain this picture just imagine a bootleg of a bootleg “Terminator: Salvation” without all the convoluted John Connor storyline. I give it 1 star and consider yourself warned.
Megaconda (DVD) – A giant CGI monster movie that has eluded me for the past year or two as I went searching for this turkey. Some jagoff comes into small town Colorado fucking up some beloved community park to build condos or something. Instead the workers disturb a sleeping prehistoric snake that is pissed and hungry. Now it is up to a drunk, an emotionless sheriff, his son and girlfriend, and wait for it… Michelle Bauer who just happens to show up while camping in a cave doing artwork and supplying liquor to minors! You had me watching at terrible giant CGI snake and very random appearance of the absolutely cool Michelle Bauer. Instead of being stupid and horrible like “Big Bad Bugs” Fred Olen Ray’s son knows what to do with nothing and make it entertaining as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Retrograde (DVD) – Freakin’ Dolph Lundgren is a time traveler who travels 200 years in the past to stop a plague happening from fallen meteors that start the apocalypse. His good looks and fighting skills in movies make it hard to pass up. But felt like the film missed out an opportunity since it also starred Gary Daniels. For that I only give this 2004 Dolph flick 1 ½ stars.
The Minion (DVD) – Dolph is a part of the ‘Knights Templar’ who is sent to New York City to retrieve a key that has been unearthed by subway construction. An archaeologist is called in and she is going bonkers on what this can mean for her career. But evil is around and wants to use the key to unlock a secret door that has Satan trapped in a pit. If it is opened evil will reign and lay waste to Earth. A fun ‘End of Days’ made on the cheap with Dolph punching humans in the back of the necks with a glove with spikes to kill off the possessed. If you are a fan of religious ‘End of Days’ shit this will be right up your alley as I give it 2 stars.
Any comments please send to email@example.com or www.facebook.com/grossmoviereviews . Remember folks always support your local independent movie theater, independent video store, and independent filmmakers! It will keep horror alive………
Don’t forget you can also hear Kyle Poling, John Shatzer, and me talking about horror flicks on the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast at: www.bloodbathspodcast.blogspot.com .
Plus you can always go to the greatest T-shirt place online or if you are in Texas visit the store of “Fast Custom Shirts” where T-shirt Joe is the only place you should purchase your horror T-shirts: Go to www.fastcustomshirts.com and support!