The Dead Don’t Die (YouTube) – A George Hamilton TV movie from 1975 that is set in 1934 Illinois. Hamilton plays Don Drake who has a brother that was accused and tried for murder at The Illinois State Penitentiary and is heading to the electric chair. Don’s brother swears up and down before his execution that he was wronged so Don begins to investigate his brother’s innocence? But Don finds himself in over his head quickly as he falls into a strange world of evil, voodoo, and zombies as his brother becomes one himself. It’s an odd mix of film noir and supernatural TV movie that I am unsure if people would have picked up on at the time of its release? This oldie fits the weird card if you are looking for something in streaming land that you haven’t heard of before as I give it 2 stars.
Dracula: Live from Transylvania (DVD-R/YouTube) – Speaking of George Hamilton here is a documentary with some comedy thrown in, hosted by George Hamilton himself and throws a jab or two at himself for starring in “Love at First Bite”. Hamilton plays it for laughs as he directs you through the history of the famous bloodsucker himself, “Dracula”. He interviews experts about the legend, talk about the history of vampires past and present, and even speak once or twice about the countless films about it. It is 1989 TV event that I do not remember ever hearing about but now glad I have had a chance to witness this hilarity as I give it 3 stars.
Wild Blade (YouTube) – A super odd dramatic college film project (I believe) from New York 1991, that stars Stephen Geoffreys as a mute and boyfriend to an up and coming comedian who was trying to divorce his wife before his untimely death. The movie reflects on everything that happens after his death as it seems to go nowhere except everyone is banging everyone as I give it 1 star.
Doomsday Stories (DVD) – A new project from a ‘jack of all trades’ filmmaker Phil Herman that puts together a host of stories that connect in the sense they all are about a man-made virus that has almost wiped out all of mankind. Many years later a man wandering the wastelands or the nice beach they filmed on finds a notebook documenting these stories of individuals or groups of people trying to fight back, survive, or even change the past? I enjoy the concept, looks professional, but any independent film pushing the 2 hour limit is always going to find itself some critics for the mere reason it better be perfect? The movie has its flaws for sure but it is entertaining from my perspective of it feeling like an updated “Hitchhiker” TV series that was from HBO during the mid-80s. If Phil would have reeled his character a little bit for the wraparound of the stories the only thing he would have been missing is a dusty leather jacket and him thumbing for a ride… I like seeing different stuff like this from Indy people as I give it 2 out of 4 stars.
Night of the Axe (DVD/YouTube) – First feature length film from Shawn Wright that features music from Matt (Hexercise) Cannon and it is a slasher so right away you have my attention good or bad. Our story begins with a very large mute man in an insane asylum where he decides to get up and begin a murder spree! But the small town doesn’t have the resources to track him down as had escaped weeks ago but also the young people of the town don’t care until now. Bulk of the film takes place in a home where the locals are having a small high school reunion party where they can get drunk, high, and bump uglies. I gotta give kudos to Mr. Wright for understanding “when to end the film”, giving Indy fans what they want, and keeping the first feature length formula simple. I found the pacing of the whole story a little choppy but still delivered on the blood and guts factor and most likely will have independent movie fans wondering “what’s next” for the second feature as I give this delight 3 out of 4 stars.
Macabre Medicine (YouTube) – Will Devokess wants all to know full heads up that this was a school project from several years ago and had a shitload of issues from budget restraints to distribution rights, etc., so be kind if you get the chance to see it like I have. But anyway a passion project that became a reality where the first ten minutes is fake trailers that lead into a 90 minute feature with a man Heywood West who enjoys experimenting with the human body by butchering them. A fellow medical student in Jeff does his best to become friends and hang with West but to Jeff’s dismay he witnesses West’s enjoyment let’s say? Now Jeff must decide to stay friends with a killer or listen to his college buddies and turn him in? Here is the thing the film goes a different route as most scenes are played up for laughs and features some gore. I liked the concept but feel like Mr. Devokess never executed exactly what he was trying to give the audience as I give the movie 2 out of 4 stars.
Blood Scarab (DVD) – A weirdo horror film sort of… where Vlad Dracula and Elizabeth Bathory are a thing and Renfield still serves Dracula. After Dracula fails to make it home before daylight this allows Bathory to walk around mostly naked, feed on her girlfriend at will, and make sure we all see her girlfriend topless for most of the film. Meanwhile a mummy disappears from a museum that Brinke Stevens works at and Renfield is challenged to track down this mummy for a ritual to become a daywalker. While Renfield performs his duties we get a bad soft-core version of Bathory and her girlfriend but once she has performed the ritual Renfield disagrees with her and tries to bring Bathory down. The movie is supposed to be played for laughs but I think you are so beaten over the head to watch boobs for 90 percent of the movie the jokes get lost in the process. This is the type of horror movie you give friends who claim “they don’t watch porn?” Or better yet they should have just made the porn version because most likely it would have been funnier as I give it 1 star for at least having the legendary actress Brinke Stevens in it.
Death Blow (Blu-ray) – Chris Leto’s latest Indy feature has a man David owning a rental property that was supposed to be profitable but it’s been a real slow time for rentals. Thus David is starting to panic as he goes deeper into debt just trying to keep up with the property. One afternoon David heads to the property after someone’s (Mr. Beck) one night stay to clean up only to find Mr. Beck hasn’t left yet but died of an overdose. This is where the real story begins as David quickly decides to clean up, get rid of the body, and make it like he left after finding a bag with a large sum of money. David believing he has gotten away with it starts to spiral into doubt of his actions and just trying to keep it hidden of what he has done but the real problem is Mr. Beck was bringing the money to a friend who isn’t happy now. This movie doesn’t go for laughs, gore, just a straight up gut punch thriller of what happens to David now? Felt like I have seen this before but Leto and crew still did a wonderful job of trying to interject new dark twists to this concept as I give the film 3 out of 4 stars.
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