For our next guest announcement, Glenn Berggoetz is the filmmaker behind twelve feature films, including the horror/thriller “Paralyzed with Fear” that stars Kane Hodder from the “Friday the 13th” films and “The Ghosts of Johnson Woods” that stars Joe Bob Briggs from “Monstervision.” Glenn makes most of his films on micro-budgets, which led to his being asked to write the book “The Independent Filmmaker’s Guide: Make Your Feature Film for $2,000,” which is available from the Hal Leonard Company. Glenn has also contributed numerous short horror films to the British “60 Seconds to Die” horror film anthologies. Next on his filmmaking agenda is the experimental horror film “Experiments in Evil” that he plans to shoot in the spring of 2019. With great excitement we introduce you to the talented Glenn Berggoetz! Check out http://www.grossfest.com.
Best movies of 2016!
I lied, I was going to post this the day after Christmas but fuck it! I will either be too drunk or too hungover… So these are the films I watched this year and feel are the best of 2016. I know a couple will piss off someone off and a couple people will be pissed a couple films were left off. Its a fucking list, get over it!If you wanna hear me discuss my picks you can hear me with T-shirt Joe Garcia and Kyle Poling talking about our picks for 2016 on an upcoming episode of Bloodbaths and Boomsticks. http://bloodbathspodcast.blogspot.com/
1) The Barn (Drive-in Theater) – Sam and Josh are just two normal high school seniors enjoying their last Devil’s Night and Halloween. Sam gets in trouble with his dad after Josh and he scare the shit out of Linnea Quigley’s character. Now Sam has to collect food for their church on Halloween and then face being grounded. But it’s Halloween and Sam refuses it to be shitty. So after seeing on TV about a band playing at a nearby town Sam and Josh come up with an idea to find a ride with friends to the concert and collect stuff in the small nearby town. When they arrive at the creepy small throwback community they find a barn. Is it ‘The Barn’ from a story that originated 30 years ago they have heard as kids that was haunted? They test the theory and just happen to awake three bad ass demons that want nothing more than blood and murder on Halloween night! Once ‘The Barn’ doors open and the demons arise, no one is safe as the creatures just begin to slash through the locals. We even get a “Yinzer” Crazy Ralph character that helps give the backstory of the demons. Now it’s up to Sam and Josh to find a way to send the demons back to hell! ‘The Barn’ is a perfect mix of 80s horror classics with a new and exciting touch to it. We get scary (amazing looking) demons, gore, Linnea Quigley and Ari Lehman, and the right amount of 80s corny horror cheese that made those horror movies so much fun! This film is a perfect Halloween-time movie that belongs on all horror fans’ watch list every Halloween… Literally watching the film I was saying to myself: I will watch this film every Halloween! It reminded me of such films: Neon Maniacs, Killer Party, Night of the Demons, Trick or Treat, horror classics that never get old. Kids, I give ‘The Barn’ 4 out of 4 stars and hands down one of the best horror films I have seen since I was a kid renting horror movies for Halloween. Check out www.nevermoreproductionfilms.com for more info.
2) CarousHELL (YouTube/DVD) – One of my favorite independent filmmakers, the talented Steve Rudzinski has released another project and it does not disappoint at all. The hilarious horror film is about a carousel horse/unicorn named Duke who is at a small amusement park and part of the Carousel ride. Duke is disgruntled and tired of the amusement park life. Duke is the only talking carousel horse/unicorn with no one to talk too. But what has Duke the most disgruntled is chubby kids putting their unwashed hands all over him. So after Laurie and her younger brother Lunchbox visit the park and Lunchbox rides Duke, Duke has had enough and leaves the ride. His goal is to track down the fat kid and murder him. Meanwhile, Laurie and her younger brother go to a party as Duke begins his murder spree and only Cowboy Cool can help now. But by the time Cowboy Cool reaches the party the damage has been done as Duke has murdered his way to the kid named Lunchbox. And if this amazingly absurd horror movie couldn’t get any better or weirder depending on your point of view the carousel horse/unicorn has crazy animal sex with an incredibly hot tattooed woman who loves unicorns. Thank you Steve for helping me cross off something I thought I would never see in a horror movie. Don’t know if that is good or bad? ‘CarousHELL’ is absurd, absolutely unrealistic, completely ridiculous, and I LOVE IT!!! Steve made the impossible possible movie fans! And let’s not forget the great gore effects (not one but two great face smash effects). This film is easily one of the best features I have watched this year and will be on my “Best of 2016” list. I give this Rudzinski creation 4 out of 4 stars and you can find more or purchase it at: www.CarousHELL.com or www.silverspotlightfilms.com .
3) Final Girls (DVD) – The only bad thing I can say about this film was I wish I seen this sooner as this will be one of my favorite horror films I have watched in 2016. Anyway a college girl, Max, is trying to get over her mother’s death still three years later. Her best friend’s brother works at a theater that is celebrating the cult horror slashers ‘Camp Bloodbath 1 and 2’. Max’s mother was famous for starring in the original and Max is asked to come be a part of the festival. She does an accident happens which starts the theater into a full on raging fire. Max and her friends cut through the movie screen to escape and find themselves in 1986 ‘Camp Bloodbath’ movie world. The non-stop slashing, blood, laughs are non-stop as Max and friends try to figure out how to fend off the movie’s killer Billy long enough to get back to the real world! This horror film is 4 stars all the way. It’s a slasher fan’s wet dream of a horror movie!
4) Freaks of Nature (DVD) – It amazes me the crap that makes the theater and then the random unbelievable awesome horror films that just show up on cable, On Demand, etc. This flick is the latter as aliens attack the small town of Dillford. The town has its issues as humans, vampires, and zombies are finding it very hard to coexist these days and the alien invasion gives them a reason to fight each other. Meanwhile, during the alien invasion and the war between Dillford residents, three teenagers (a human, a vampire, and a zombie) all must get over their everyday hang-ups of being teenagers. If they do not the world is surely going to die. The film has a great dialogue, great effects, but it all doesn’t work without these three: Mackenzie Davis, Nicholas Braun, and Josh Fadem. Without them this movie is nothing but because of them the film has that allure of a ‘Weird Science’ or ‘The Monster Squad’ or ‘Popcorn’ where movie fans will want to watch it over and over again. An amazing masterpiece in my eyes as I give it 4 stars and surely it will be on my “Best of 2016 list”.
5) The Conjuring 2 (Theater) – After the events of the first film the Warrens find themselves investigating the famous home in Amityville in 1976. During a séance Lorraine finds herself defending herself against an evil she has never experienced before but not a part of the famous Amityville house. Once home she makes Ed promise her they take a break because she has seen his death. But this evil spirit takes residence in a single mom of four’s house in London 1977. The Warrens are called in by the church just to observe for three days. When they arrive one child is completely terrorized and the other three kids and mom scared for their lives with no one to turn too. After video proof that it was faked or supposedly fake, the Warrens rush back to the home to help the family from this beyond evil spirit that refuses to go away. Amazing flick again horror fans. I am not much into paranormal movies but the two ‘Conjuring’ flicks I have absolutely loved and glad they exist. I give the sequel 4 stars and forgive them for even thinking ‘Annabelle’ was a good idea. Wait a minute… there may be a sequel to ‘Annabelle’? Don’t fuck with the formula based on true stories Hollywood! Just sayin…
6) Auntie Lee’s Meat Pies (VHS/DVD-R) – Let me just say this any horror film that begins with Suicidal Tendencies “I Saw Your Mommy and Your Mommy is Dead” gets 4 stars no matter what comes next. But that just isn’t enough for this fun gem of unknown goodness! Karen Black stars as Auntie Lee, Pat Morita as the local small town sheriff, Michael Berryman as the weird dude (Larry) who takes care of the nieces’ cars after deliveries, and the very beautiful Teri Weigel. Teri may have done a lot of porn but always found a way into a stray horror film which I always enjoy finding. Teri is one of the best. But after jamming out to Suicidal Tendencies we are introduced to some lunatic who tries to carjack a young lady and becomes a victim himself for Auntie Lee. Auntie Lee for years has sold her famous meat pies to the local town folk of Penance. And these days now her nieces are all grown up they go out and lure men in for the taking. Usually if there is car trouble or car cleaning needing to be done it’s up to Larry until he is caught one day with a trunk full of bones! Pat Morita decides then with the bootleg David Bowie as a private investigator try to bring down Auntie Lee. But the real question is will the sheriff bring her in or will he become the next meat pie? Everyone is awesome in this light-hearted “Motel Hell” horror film. This movie deserves to be seen all horror movie fans as I give this fun meaty morsel 4 stars.
7) The Survivors (The Hack Collection Volume One) (Blu-ray) – Well the talented independent filmmaker Steve Rudzinski finally granted my wish of doing a sequel to “Slasher Hunter” and did not disappoint at all. According to Steve, “it’s not just a sequel; it is a sequel to everything he has done.” If you have been following Mr. Rudzinski’s films they all have been leading to something or leave you wanting a little more and it all comes to this… Steve puts everything together in this latest project where ‘The Slashers’ are in complete disarray as Frank is in hell and they lack real leadership. Meanwhile, the group just known as “The Killers” is stronger than ever and keeps two steps ahead of the “Survivor Initiative” until now. “The Slasher Hunters” have some new allies (helps if you have seen some of Steve’s past films to understand some of the characters and why they are there) that includes one my favorite’s ‘Wolfster’. Wolfster is a character Steve came up with early in his filmmaking career I easily could have seen as a movie franchise with a new entry every 12 to 16 months? It all comes down to one final fight between The Slasher Initiative and The Killers leader Norm unless Frank finds a way out of hell? We also find out what was Frank’s worst mistake thanks to hell. This project is beyond hilarious, entertaining, and everything I have expected from such a talented filmmaker. Steve has a way of writing very likable characters good and evil that in my opinion makes him successful for the long haul. Steve this is one of the best independent projects I have seen in 2016 and hope to see a lot more as I give the film 4 out of 4 stars. The copy of “The Survivors” I have is part of “The Hack Collection Volume One” Blu-ray two-disc set that has bloopers, trailers, almost all of Steve’s movies and a lot more. Find out more about the film or purchase it at: www.silverspotlightfilms.moonfruit.com and https://www.facebook.com/SilverSpotlightFilms/?fref=ts&ref=br_tf .
8) The Monster (DVD) – A slow burn creature flick that really focuses on the relationship between a troubled mother and her young daughter whose relationship is all but over. The mother hungover had promised to drive her young daughter to her father’s house but begrudgingly starts the long drive. Along the way they hit a wolf and the car stalls and gets a flat tire. The two are forced to speak to each other and call for a tow truck and paramedics. During this flashbacks explain a little more of the trouble between the two but when the tow truck arrives, the dead wolf disappears. Next thing we know Jesse the tow truck driver disappears and his arm flops on top of the car sending the two screaming for their lives in the car knowing they are not alone. The thing that is stalking them is a bad ass looking mutated gorilla/wolf/awesome practical scary ass creature that tears shit up. I really enjoyed the creature but the focus of the film the mother and daughter relationship. Plus, I believe it’s time for the “creature feature” to make a comeback and this flick will most likely make it on my ‘best of 2016 list’ as I give it 4 stars.
9) Let Us Prey (DVD) – An Irish film about a new constable starting her job for a station in a small town. While walking the beat she witnesses a drunken kid run down a man. She takes the kid in but cannot find the man. Later the mysterious man is found by other officers and brought in to get a statement but refuses to speak but just stare. The mysterious no name man is put into a cell while they call a doctor and that is when things begin to get weird because anyone that is near the mysterious man knows their deep secrets. But what all inside the station don’t know he is there to collect souls before the stroke of midnight and everyone’s past comes back to haunt them in one way or another. The film starts slow but builds into a chaotic, bloody climax worth checking out. In the end, the movie starting off slow makes a lot of sense after watching it as this is one of those lesser known recent horror movies worth seeking out as I give it 4 stars.
10 – tie) The Ghosts of Johnson Woods (DVD) – A project from Glenn Berggoetz I have been following ever since Glenn announced Joe Bob Briggs was casted for it. Of course the talented Mr. Berggoetz writes, directs, and produces this project and goes off the beaten path of his usual projects that are injected with comedy, horror, and sometimes the absurd. Glen goes the direction of dramatic thriller of a boy meets girl, girl convinces boy to make a movie just involving themselves to get famous. Lenny and Heather rip ‘Blair Witch Project’ and discuss what and how they can do it on Lenny’s iPhone. Cheap, easy, make quick cash… A friendship is born in a weird way between Lenny and Heather as both want a movie but for different reasons. After settling on the “Johnson Woods” legend as their backdrop, Lenny and Heather pick a good spot in the woods and begin filming. As a viewer you get to see the relationship grow between the two even though we are never introduced to Heather’s parent or parents and the only other main character is Lenny’s dad (Joe Bob Briggs) and a hooker. As the relationship and film blossoms a creep factor sets in, especially in the last ten minutes of the film. No nudity, not much blood, interesting oddity of boy meets girl storyline, but the creepiness of the ending makes this strange tale an amazing independent thriller that will make movie fans cringe with fear! Glenn you made a cringe worthy film as I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars. For more info on the film or Glenn check out: www.facebook.com/glenn.berggoetz and www.facebook.com/ghostsofjohnsonwoods .
10 – tie) Dreaming Purple Neon (DVD) – Holy Fucking Shit! It’s another balls to walls horror film from Todd mother fucking Sheets! Todd Sheets has almost outlasted everyone in the independent horror scene. While Jon McBride and the Polonia Brothers were getting some mad press in the late 80s and early 90s with their shot-on-VHS classics the highly talented Todd Sheets was perfecting his craft until he blindsided the horror community with his project ‘Zombie Bloodbath’! Since then Todd Sheets has become a household name in the horror community for making some of the craziest ass over the top Indy horror films you could ever witness. And saying that with this latest project from Mr. Sheets he may have topped everything he has done? The film begins with some shady business/gangsters planning something and talking about the purple neon. Next thing we know they shoot a man in the office ask the receptionist to clean it up and she gets scared. So she goes to her best friend at a dentist office with these drugs and two guns. Now understand there fine folks this entire movie (95%) supposedly takes place in and down in the basement of a dentist office… On top of that we have a creepy old dude named Mr. Archer hanging out in the basement with naked people (hot women and non-hard penis hanging around like Christmas decorations) talking about a vessel. Which happens to be some teenager upstairs in the dentist chair that doesn’t know the business/gangster dudes have shown up and shut down the dentist office? Confessing but awesome a ritual takes place, a couple people die horrifically, some torture, a female demon is born, the main gangster dude gets castrated, more blood and guts, more naked people, and if the female demon Abby (I will call her) lives the apocalypse happens! And the purple neon drugs will make sense eventually. But wait there is more… Spoiler alert: no fucking lie, bootleg Gene Simmons shows up and kills a zombie while satanic Jesus is enjoying the falling black rain. Yep, my brain hurts just trying to recall the most unpredictable ending I ever watched and oh yeah I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars. If there was something that stop me from giving it a perfect and it’s the 111 minute running time but hey I feel like an ass just for nit picking… So horror fans go do yourself a favor and go get this flick from www.zombiebloodbath.com or check out more about it at www.facebook.com/DreamingPurpleNeon .
Notable films that should not be ignored…
Bloodsucking Bastards (DVD) – A very hilarious vampire flick about a couple office slackers and their best friend who is trying to break into management. They work for a firm/company that sells the boner pills, abs-flex, etc. They phone sales people who call and try to suck you into deals for shit you don’t need. Well higher-ups have decided it’s time for a shake-up and bring in someone new who has a different way of getting the most out of his sales team. He turns them into vampires that apparently make a ton of sales and don’t complain about work conditions. When it’s almost too late the slackers and best friend realize vampires have taken over their company and they must look up on Wikipedia on how to kill them? Underrated gory awesomeness best describes this 3 ½ star horror film.
Wer (DVD) – The film begins with a family hiking it out in the middle of rural France only to capture their vicious animal attack that killed the husband and kid and scarred the wife, Claire Porter. Immediately, local authorities bring in a very large hairy man that doesn’t talk much and lived with his mother nearby the attack. This gets the attention of an American Human Rights Lawyer, Kathrine, who has a practice there and wants to represent the very large hairy man, Talan. The local authorities disregard that only an animal could do the damage it did and this man Talan has a rare disease that affects his joints, bones, etc. So it seems like a slam dunk for the lawyer to get Talan off from this brutal murder. But tests keep coming up inconclusive; the police know more than they are saying and Kathrine and friends dig deeper into Talan and his family and find a history like no other. That’s when the movie gets even more interesting when Talan escapes and begins a city wide murder spree! A werewolf flick with a whole different spin on the werewolf legend in this American/French production that was shot in Romania. On top of that I loved the creature and blood effects in this entertaining and refreshing spin on the werewolf genre. I give the film 3 ½ stars.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (DVD) – A zombie film that not only snuck under most people’s radars but was an actual good zombie flick is about zombies in 1700s England! Sometime between 1700 and 1800 London goes all ‘Escape From New York’ and builds a wall around the city after a zombie outbreak happens. London builds an army to fight this menace and keep it in check. As it closes in on 1800 the problem is all but gone but still exists as people like to hide they may have been bitten. Great concept so far, then we have Brother Noopsie aka Charles Dance training his daughters to be not fine women but how to defend themselves against the zombie apocalypse. After attending a dance a few zombies show up only to be a sign of something bigger is coming? End of days… This was an absolute treat to get lost in as I give it 3 ½ stars.
Bigfoot vs. Zombies (DVD) – Come on people the title says it all right? And you gotta love Mark Polonia is working non-stop in bringing us great films such as this lovely gem. Also if I have seen correctly there was an Anthony Polonia working on effects with Brett Piper for the film? But anyway something hokey is going on down at the Wyoming County Body Farm. The bodies are supposed to be for forensic school for cadets but a certain scientist has been performing experiments. Not only is he checking out how the corpses decompose he is seeing if he can make them decompose faster to make more money? This soon goes in full effect when a barrel is dumped on the property and the dead begin to rise. Meanwhile our old friend Bigfoot is watching from afar and finds himself in the gated military complex (it has two guards at the most). Now zombies are attacking the complex and the scientists and Bigfoot is pissed and begins smashing zombie skulls to help people escape into the woods. In the end Bigfoot is a zombie stomping bad ass in this wonderful entertaining entry into the Bigfoot genre. Thank you again Mr. Polonia for your work as I give your film 3 ½ out of 4 stars.
You Only Die Once (YouTube) – A 29 minute horror/comedy, that is delightful, well-crafted, and an absolutely a bloody good time by filmmaker Amanda B. Goodman. Linda apparently has bad taste in men but that doesn’t stop her and her two best friends from fighting the supernatural. Even if it means being attacked by rabid ferrets! The trio has been through it all but they are having rough times when Linda’s latest ex-boyfriend has become a vampire. To make things worse he has two vamp bitches and wants to break up the trio by adding to his nest. Lots of movie and creature of the night references make this gem go by quickly but the trio overcome their differences and defeats the new vamp or did they? Goodman finds a nice blend of gore and comedy that will have horror fans asking for seconds once they watch ‘You Only Die Once’. I give the film 3 ½ out of 4 stars. Find out more at: www.facebook.com/YouOnlyDieOnce2016/ and AmandaBGoodman.com .
President Wolfman (DVD) – The title alone is what reeled me into wanting to watch this gem of a horror flick. But when I opened it and started to read the sleeve and began watching the film to my amazement the project was entirely stock footage of public domain titles and major parts are from the 1973 film ‘The Werewolf of Washington’. This 1973 film stars Dean Stockwell who was the go between for Sam and Ziggy from the ‘Quantum Leap’ show. But anyway the film is edited footage with new voiceovers, music, etc. Amazing work from Mike Davis and crew to craft a horror movie about president John Wolfman who tries to spend more time with his son Bobby and is attacked by a diseased coyote on a camping trip! From there mysterious murders are happening in the nation’s capital and that is the least of their problems as the Chinese continue their takeover of America. At one point President Wolfman has surgery that turns him into a hippie but reverses to a werewolf again. John Wolfman is also being pushed by Congress to sell out to the Chinese as they all will own a skyscraper in New York City. A fun horror film and a truly amazing accomplishment in editing by all involved. There were several parts of the film that I could not stop laughing at as I give this fun creation 3 ½ out of 4 stars. You can find this and many other fine films at www.wildeyereleasing.com .
Upsidedown Cross (DVD) – This well-thought out depressing feature is about a young lady named Nadine who is brilliantly played by Erin Russ. Nadine has a modeling career going if that is what you want to call it as her so-called boyfriend Victor shoots her up with drugs so she can have pictures taken of her by dirty old dudes who don’t have cell phones (wait I don’t have a cell phone?). Anyway a gentleman talks her into touching him, sort of? And that’s when Victor and others are being arrested. Nowhere to go Nadine goes back home where mom seems to have lost touch with reality and relies on TV preachers for her medicine to get through the day. Nadine truly wants to kick the drug habit but Nadine and her mom are complete opposites and with great direction Nadine comes off as a dirty cunt rag when arguing with her mom about money, drugs, life. Delaih, Nadine’s mom takes it one step further by calling one of the crazy preacher numbers and they are visited by an older man who claims to be a traveling preacher who travels around the country to stop the devil’s work. The preacher played sadistically by David Yow believes they need to rid Nadine of her demons as she is possessed and this is what makes her a sex and drug addict. Some uncomfortable scenes happen between Nadine and the preacher that leaves Nadine looking more abused than ever but mom only wants to know “Has the demons left you”. The film is a little uncomfortable, depressing, and one of the more interesting films I have watched in recent memory. Erin Russ played the Nadine character perfectly; you hated her and truly feel bad for her in the span of 90 minutes. Loved the fake infomercials they just added to the intensity of the film. Usually I am the guy who watches sequels, zombies, and monster films all day but this film hit a weird nerve in me that made me glad I watched this very dark film. I give the movie 3 out of 4 stars. You can purchase and find out more about the film at www.alternativecinema.com .
Reviled: Ep. 2 (Vimeo) – Filmmaker Jim Stramel continues his zombie saga that revolves around zombie pit fighting in the south. The events happen after the zombie apocalypse has come and gone and were a blimp on the social radar screen. Frank and his zombie daughter travel in their dirty van killing or crippling zombies in the illegal sport for money. But the real story is how Frank is still attached to his undead daughter and refuses to let go. This episode continues to introduce some new characters and expand the universe of this unique idea. Its dirty, has a lot of grime, a little gory, and absolutely beautiful zombie universe. My favorite part of this episode might be the kids selling bug spray for 25 cents as it is a little thing that makes it known to me that Jim Stramel takes this project seriously and make me wanting more! I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars. Wanna check it out or maybe throw a few dollars Stramel and company’s way to help fund future episodes go to: www.reviledzombieseries.com .
Best Documentaries of the year!
Just Desserts: The Making of Creepshow (Blu-ray) – A Michael Felsher project that took a life of its own as it went from a special feature to a full-length documentary that can only be explained as an orgasmic explosion of amazingness about the legendary film ‘Creepshow’. The documentary covers everything of how it began to Tom Savini thinking it was Halloween for five months straight while being on set to make all sorts of creatures for the anthology. The film is almost timeless and has one of my favorite stories of horror in the segment called ‘The Crate’. The documentary has some great interviews with George Romero, Savini, Ed Harris and so on but also great stories about Stephen King and him being a kid at heart. The Blu-ray also has ‘Scream Greats’ Tom Savini video which was watched by many horror fans who grew up in the 80s but now has a commentary as well with Savini looking back at the video. This Blu-ray is a true nerd out of a disc as it has everything you could ever imagine about ‘Creepshow’ and for that I say thank you to Mr. Felsher as I give the Blu-ray 4 out of 4 stars but also it will be one of the best horror discs of 2016! Place your order now at www.synapse-films.com .
B-Documentary (DVD) – Nick Charles for his first film chose to do a documentary about “how to make a film”. In doing that Mr. Charles traveled to meet and interview celebrities Lloyd Kaufman, H.G. Lewis, Bill Johnson, Lisa Gaye, D.J. Calvitto, Patrick Madcox, and Nurse Hatchet. With this Nick Charles gets these fine people to tell stories of “how they got started”, “keys to success”, “how to make a movie”, along with several other subjects that includes “digital vs film”. The movie isn’t so much a documentary as much as a perfect instructional guide for movie fans and filmmakers alike to hear what’s it like to make a movie or act in one. They all have sound advice and varying opinions which makes this film not just a must see but a must own for any horror movie or independent movie fan out there. Nick Charles did an amazing job first time out in the filmmaking world and now has my attention in what he does next. I personally wish him good luck. I give this wonderful project 4 out of 4 stars and more about it and where to purchase it can be found at www.officialdungeonfilms.com .
Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary (DVD/Vimeo) – These days it seems a lot of documentaries are being made about horror films and such. Some deserve it? ‘Pet Sematary’ deserved it for sure for its impact on the horror genre. Honestly horror movie fans it was one of the better book to film adaptions of King’s. The Stephen King story that was brought to life by director Mary Lambert had a long journey and interesting one. The film came at the end of the “Slasher Era” and no studio wanted it to be made mainly because of the kid death in the story/script/movie. But with a strike looming at the time Mary Lambert and others took advantage of this and the rest was film history. The documentary takes a very in-depth look how it got from book to film but also how it’s one of King’s darkest books that scared him when he first wrote it. The filmmakers tracked down everyone that had anything to do with the film and they share stories of how the production got to Maine instead of California but what it meant to the small town Maine residents especially being a Stephen King movie. Plus the interview with all the cast members involved sharing their stories of on and off set makes this one the best and interesting horror documentaries of recent times. I believe it was crucial having Mako Hughes talk about his experience and what he actually remembers of the project to make this the perfect documentary for ‘Pet Sematary’ fans. The film did win “Best Documentary” at the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival in 2014 which I know why and give it 4 out of 4 stars. For more info on the project and its upcoming release check out: Official Store: http://shop.terrorfilms.net/ , Official Trailer Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnP7swXKQXo, Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/UnearthedandUntold, Terror Films Website: www.terrorfilms.net .
Lords of Light! The Story of Thundarr the Barbarian (YouTube) – A fun 20 minute short film and look back at one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons of all time. Interviews with creators Ruby and Spears, opens up some light on how they came up with the concept for the cartoon but how it did not last either? If you are old like me and remember Saturday morning cartoons this is worth the trip down memory lane and they claim “Star Wars” may have help them come up with the cartoon. I give it 4 stars.
Adjust Your Tracking (DVD) – So you wanna be a VHS collector? First watch this documentary that takes you through early days of VHS, how Blockbuster Video killed the business, and how collecting changed after someone was selling a VHS copy of ‘Tales From the Quad Dead Zone’ on EBay. The documentary does a wonderful job of tracking down some of the most popular collectors and getting their stories of how and why this format? It is a film that sheds light on why this is no different than collecting baseball cards or albums and why its loved by so many. Plus the film does a wonderful job of pointing out some people who are trying to keep the format alive. Interesting and overall production are exactly what you want in a documentary about collecting VHS tapes as I give it 4 stars.
Gross Movie Reviews #387
Parker (DVD) – In this 2013 Jason Statham film, Statham plays a man named Parker who just happens to be a thief. In gets in with a group of guys to rob the Ohio State Fair but the four other guys want a bigger heist (diamonds and jewels) after it is over. Parker wants out so they kill him or so they thought as they leave him on the side of the road. A nice old couple finds Parker left for dead and take him to the hospital. From there Parker finds out as much info about the next heist as he can so he can plot his revenge and get his cut of the state fair heist. Remember its principal folks… But Nick Nolte gets involved, and then Jennifer Lopez as a failing real estate agent gets involved and the mob is involved. A really fun heist movie that has a lot of Statham kicks to the face action. The film is a bit like the Mel Gibson flick ‘Payback’? But anyhow Statham fans make sure you check this film out if you haven’t already as I give it 3 stars.
Cavegirl (DVD) – I remember this sex comedy (if that is what you want to call it?) from the “USA Up All Night” days with Rhonda Shear. Daniel Roebuck is a nerd named Rex who goes on a class field trip to an old mine. Rex finds himself in prehistoric world of sorts when he finds a weird stone in the cave and touches it. After Rex realizes he just went through a time warp and is chased by a giant bear a Cavegirl finds him so he tries to communicate and live among her tribe. Mid-80s film trying to cash in on the end of the sex comedy craze that is on the lower tier but still a fun trip down memory lane of knowing this type film exists. Thank you Rhonda Shear as I give the flick 1 ½ stars.
Fist of Fury (DVD) – Bruce Lee comes back to his master’s home only to find him being buried and his former school being pushed around. So Bruce Lee does what he does best and beats the holy shit out of everyone from the other school. I give it 2 stars.
Dragon Blade (DVD) – This Jackie Chan film caught me off guard as it stars John Cusack and Adrien Brody and based on true events of a Chinese man who got in the middle of warring Romans. Chan’s character is a man of honor and peace with the help of his fellow soldiers they try to keep peace in the land and keep everybody friendly. Then Brody’s Roman character comes along and wants everyone dead! This wasn’t the usual ‘Rumble in the Bronx’ and ‘Police Story’ stuff I am usually seeing Jackie Chan in. Plus, John Cusack as a Roman general, weird but interesting stuff I say as I give it 2 stars.
Rotgut (DVD) – A couple of hobos in a back alley find a bottle of tequila in the dumpster to keep them drunk today… Problem is the stuff as just been recalled for unknown reasons. After drinking it and trying to eat 2 for 99 cent hot dogs both begin to get sick especially after the one drank the worm. Meanwhile, one of our main characters Leon comes in to his shitty bartending job at the local bar that is on the verge of closing and must buy some booze as their supply is low. So the vendor he deals with lets Leon have some of the recalled booze so it can be the “special of the day” at the bar. A few regulars show up to their daily dose along with a random combat veteran back from the war not know their day will come to an end when the crazy ranting hobos show up. The infected booze begins changing all who drink it and eventually making your guts explode or sloppy ass worms burst out of your skull. If that wasn’t enough the ATF is trying to track down all the recalled tequila. The film has its moments of gooey goriness but never commits to being as fun and crazy as a ‘Slime City’ as I give 2 out of 4 stars to the recalled booze flick. More info or to purchase the DVD go to: www.campmotionpictures.com or www.alternativecinema.com .
The Ghosts of Johnson Woods (DVD) – A project from Glenn Berggoetz I have been following ever since Glenn announced Joe Bob Briggs was casted for it. Of course the talented Mr. Berggoetz writes, directs, and produces this project and goes off the beaten path of his usual projects that are injected with comedy, horror, and sometimes the absurd. Glen goes the direction of dramatic thriller of a boy meets girl, girl convinces boy to make a movie just involving themselves to get famous. Lenny and Heather rip ‘Blair Witch Project’ and discuss what and how they can do it on Lenny’s iPhone. Cheap, easy, make quick cash… A friendship is born in a weird way between Lenny and Heather as both want a movie but for different reasons. After settling on the “Johnson Woods” legend as their backdrop, Lenny and Heather pick a good spot in the woods and begin filming. As a viewer you get to see the relationship grow between the two even though we are never introduced to Heather’s parent or parents and the only other main character is Lenny’s dad (Joe Bob Briggs) and a hooker. As the relationship and film blossoms a creep factor sets in, especially in the last ten minutes of the film. No nudity, not much blood, interesting oddity of boy meets girl storyline, but the creepiness of the ending makes this strange tale an amazing independent thriller that will make movie fans cringe with fear! Glenn you made a cringe worthy film as I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars. For more info on the film or Glenn check out: www.facebook.com/glenn.berggoetz and www.facebook.com/ghostsofjohnsonwoods .
A Werewolf in the Amazon Collection (DVD) – This collection is a three-disc set from Camp Motion Pictures that has four movies from Brazilian director Ivan Cardoso and a disc filled with short films worthy of hardcore cinema fans pursuing through. The collection not only brings some of the filmmaker’s films to America on DVD but gives you access to stuff some fans have not seen yet? The first film in the collection is 1982’s ‘The Secret of the Mummy’. The best way I can describe is if an old school mummy film was a sex comedy dream… The second film in the collection is 1986’s ‘The Seven Vampires’ where a bizarre man-eating plant from Africa supposedly kills a scientist and turns his wife into a vampire? Maybe… While trying to move on from the death of her husband she has bloodless bodies stacking up around her. Third flick is 1990’s ‘The Scarlet Scorpion’ which is about a popular radio soap opera that everyone listens to on a nightly basis. The show becomes even more popular when someone begins to copy the murders from the show. And then the final flick starring Paul Naschy is 2005’s ‘A Werewolf in the Amazon’. Naschy is Dr. Moreau who has moved his experiments and work to the deep jungles of the Amazon. But is found by a group of friends who are there to see the sights and trip their asses off. Moreau is feverishly looking for his own cure but may have found it in one of the women of the group. If you are a hardcore cinema nerd or a cult film collector this collection is right up on your alley as I give it 2 ½ out of 4 stars as it can be found at www.campmotionpictures.com or www.alternativecinema.com .
Pray For Death (DVD) – Sho Kosugi moves his family to America on the persistence of his wife to start his own business. But things go south when some jewels go missing that was hidden under the floor of the business. Some crooked cops and the mob is involved and tries to hurt or kill Kosugi’s family believing they may have found the jewels and keeping them? Kosugi won’t stand for this so brings out his old ninja uniform and starts throwing Chinese stars and back flipping everywhere. And if there is one thing that sums up this crazy mid-80s ninja flick it is: Ninja vs. chainsaw! Done!!! I am in every time folks. I give it 2 ½ stars.
Pillow Talk (YouTube) – A new filmmaker (Mitch Dolan of Bummer City Youth Productions) or someone just trying to experiment film wise has made a shot film which involves time travel, Donald Trump’s diary, a lot of talk about cock sucking, and yes, aliens! Weird… art… complete crap? Not totally sure but it did make me laugh a few times as I give it 2 out of 4 stars. Go check it out at: www.instagram.com/mitch.dolan or www.vimeo.com/182429792 .
The Barn (Drive-in Theater) – Sam and Josh are just two normal high school seniors enjoying their last Devil’s Night and Halloween. Sam gets in trouble with his dad after Josh and he scare the shit out of Linnea Quigley’s character. Now Sam has to collect food for their church on Halloween and then face being grounded. But it’s Halloween and Sam refuses it to be shitty. So after seeing on TV about a band playing at a nearby town Sam and Josh come up with an idea to find a ride with friends to the concert and collect stuff in the small nearby town. When they arrive at the creepy small throwback community they find a barn. Is it ‘The Barn’ from a story that originated 30 years ago they have heard as kids that was haunted? They test the theory and just happen to awake three bad ass demons that want nothing more than blood and murder on Halloween night! Once ‘The Barn’ doors open and the demons arise, no one is safe as the creatures just begin to slash through the locals. We even get a “Yinzer” Crazy Ralph character that helps give the backstory of the demons. Now it’s up to Sam and Josh to find a way to send the demons back to hell! ‘The Barn’ is a perfect mix of 80s horror classics with a new and exciting touch to it. We get scary (amazing looking) demons, gore, Linnea Quigley and Ari Lehman, and the right amount of 80s corny horror cheese that made those horror movies so much fun! This film is a perfect Halloween-time movie that belongs on all horror fans’ watch list every Halloween… Literally watching the film I was saying to myself: I will watch this film every Halloween! It reminded me of such films: Neon Maniacs, Killer Party, Night of the Demons, Trick or Treat, horror classics that never get old. Kids, I give ‘The Barn’ 4 out of 4 stars and hands down one of the best horror films I have seen since I was a kid renting horror movies for Halloween. Check out www.nevermoreproductionfilms.com for more info.
Any comments or questions please send to firstname.lastname@example.org 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………
You can always visit and see some past reviews, independent film news, or me ranting at: www.grossmoviereviews.com !!!
Don’t forget you can also hear Kyle Poling and me talking about horror flicks on a weekly basis 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 for details.
This week Kyle and Tim have an interview with Glenn Berggoetz. Director of Midget Zombie Takeover, To Die Is Hard, and The Worst Movie Ever. We are also talking about Jeffrey Combs’ signature role Herbert West in Re-Animator. And a movie that features on of the last time anyone ever saw skinny Val Kilmer in The Salton Sea. We also talk about Kyle’s trip to see The Blues Brothers in 35mm. Tim sees They Call Her One Eye. And Kyle sees Deadbeat at Dawn for the first time also. And we get attacked by ads. So sit back and enjoy our ramblings.
Gross Movie Reviews #312
By Tim Gross
Razortooth (DVD) – A small southern town that apparently has a mutant eel problem that has the local sheriff and animal control/exterminator confused on how an eel got so big to begin eating people. Meanwhile authorities are looking for two convicts that have escaped and some young campers maybe in danger. The only things missing: Debra Gibson, Tiffany, King Cobra, Pat Morita, Boa, a SyFy channel premiere, but that did not stop me from enjoying the mutant eel glory this film is as I give it 2 ½ stars.
Escape From Tomorrow (DVD) – A family is on their last day of vacation at Disneyworld. They want to enjoy all the rides, food, etc. And that is about the only normal part of the film as the rest almost made my head implode in trying to figure out what I was actually watching. The film goes over the deep end as the father keeps checking out these underage French girls which made the film so creepy, then at some point he has Epcot Center for a head and a scientist freaking out because he is trying to escape. Fuck… I believe I just gave myself a headache trying to explain this film again. Honestly I can’t give it a rating because I am still unsure of what it was I actually watched.
Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time (VHS) – Nine years after the first film Dar aka Marc Singer is back as the Beastmaster the man who speaks to animals and a lot of us grew up seeing the movie hundreds of times on TBS. This time around Dar must do battle with his evil brother Arklon aka Wings Hauser aka Leatherface, described by Kari Wuhrer’s character in the film. But a witch played by Sarah Douglas shows Arklon there is a parallel universe (1991 L.A.) where he can get a thing called the neutron bomb and could rule the universe. Meanwhile with the help of the young lady played by Kari Wuhrer, Dar learns about cars, music, and clothes. The film is a fun flick to revisit if it’s been awhile since you’ve seen it even if it’s just for laughs. I give the film 2 stars. Pay attention to the film as you also see Robert Z’Dar and Michael Berryman. And there isn’t any story of the tiger dying from being dyed black.
Men of War (DVD) – A film that is of sorts a generic pre-cursor to ‘The Expendables” that stars Dolph Lundgren as a former military vet looking for a job. He gets one where he and a team of ex-military types must wipe out some people off an island for a business venture. Once he gets there he has a change of heart and wants to help the island natives in defending their island. A pretty cool direct to video action film that doesn’t have any real slow parts and you get to see Dolph kick some ass in Thailand. I give it 3 stars.
Prisoners of the Lost Universe (VHS/YouTube) – A real low budget fantasy film about a scientist (Dr. Hartman) that has come up with a machine that opens a portal to another world. During an earthquake characters Dan and Kerry get sucked into the portal and find themselves where a man played by John Saxon controls all humans by making them slaves if they do not join his army to rule everyone. Richard Hatch plays the lead in this very awful but in a good way fantasy film where Dan and Kerry must defeat John Saxon in order to free everyone and find their portal back to 1983 earthquake ridden California! I give it 2 ½ stars.
Mandroid (DVD) – An executive produced Charles Band film about two scientists in present day (1993) Eastern Europe who have developed a virtual reality driven droid that is indestructible but also controlled by a person with a virtual reality device from long distances and does tasks such as moving radioactive materials. When the scientists have a falling out after the US government is about to pick up “Mandroid” there is a fight between one scientist Drago and Benjamin Knight the controller of Mandroid in the lab and Benjamin falls into an experiment that changes his life. He eventually begins to turn invisible. Meanwhile Drago is scarred during the struggle and is determine he will have his creation and make it a military weapon. After Drago is believed to be defeated the film is to be continued… in “Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight”. I give the movie 2 stars.
Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight (DVD) – The executive produced sequel from Charles Band was released in the same year as Mandroid where the adventure continues. Benjamin Knight is feeling better but invisible at times and comes back to the lab to find friends Dr. Zonna Zimmer and former government agent in a relationship and trying to find a cure to Mr. Knight’s invisibility. But soon they all discover that Drago is still alive and wants Zimmer’s formula as he is running out of test subjects for a cure for himself. Ben Knight uses his invisibility along with Mandroid to defeat Drago for good this time. Not totally sold on why it had to be split into two films but that was what Charles Band and Full Moon did on several projects in the early 90s. Most likely to boost profits more than anything. It’s a fun throwback to the Universal original on a small budget in Romania and for that I give the movie 2 stars.
The Bay (DVD) – A film that is more of a documentary and tells a story through a series of clips, film footage, and cell phone images an event that happened on July 4, 2009 in Maryland where over 700 residents died from a deadly parasite that mutated from steroids that was in chicken shit dumped into the ocean. The parasites look like giant potato bugs or pill bugs that actually feed on the inside of a fish’s tongue and stomach. The story is narrated by a reporter Donna Thompson who witnessed the event first hand. She is now coming forward with the story as many witnesses have disappeared or have been paid off to not to talk. My only problem with the movie was I thought the CDC would have moved in sooner instead the film betrays the CDC as the biggest bad guy throughout the film which I find somewhat hard to believe but I do like conspiracies, so I have to give the 2 ½ stars.
To Die is Hard (DVD) – From the brilliant mind of “Midget Zombie Takeover”, independent filmmaker Glenn Berggoetz gives us an independent comedy/action spoof that mostly covers “Die Hard”. An English professor named Joe has a perfect life where his perfect wife and perfect kid adore him as he goes off to his State College on a Friday morning when most staff and students are off for the day. But during this perfect day some bad dudes aka terrorists break into the State College office because they need a key to a room that holds their treasure which just so happens to be office supplies. But the terrorists have picks the wrong state college to break into as Joe McCann is just a pissed off English professor that will not take this lying down. So Joe goes into awesome ultimate male action star mode to bring down the terrorists where he ends it with ‘heart punching’ the leader Anton to death! Everything from scenes of Joe telling stories of his softball team, a co-worker trying to figure out tea bagging, Joe’s wife and daughter talking about him being a Greek goddess with a straight face, or the detective eating cheese puffs outside doing nothing made me have tears stream out of my eyes cause I was laughing so hard. Spoofs especially independent ones can be hard to pull off but in this case Glenn and company did a wonderful job with this great flick. And who cannot like characters getting slapped in almost every scene “Airplane-style” for no apparent reason as I give it 3 ½ out of 4 stars and can be found at www.drivingeyes.com .
The Worst Movie Ever! (DVD) – Once again Glenn Berggoetz stars, directs, produces, writes a film about being the worst movie ever. So aliens are about to attack earth with an alien robot that two scientists already know about the attack but do not want to panic anyone by telling the world. Meanwhile, there are two kids playing adult daytime soap opera roles as I had to watch some scenes twice as I kept laughing too hard listening to their dialogue. If that wasn’t enough we also have two adults playing teenager roles complaining about their mom and what to do about the dance Friday night, along with lots of singing, slapping, overacting, pillow stabbing, aluminum foil, boom mic keep falling into scenes, random scenes of Santa Claus, awkward condom talk, and Jesus Christ… All this going on while Botar the CG’d alien robot tries to kill all humans. All the characters eventually cross paths and have to brainstorm together in order to stop Botar. It really does sound like a god awful flick but actually is really entertaining and funny as you wonder how some characters even keep a straight face during filming. I got give Glenn props for not purposely making another “Troll 2” and for that I give the film 3 out of 4 stars as the film can be found at www.drivingeyes.com .
Race With The Devil (DVD) – Peter Fonda and Warren Oates go on vacation with their wives only to be ruined when drinking one night and they just happen to witness a possible sacrifice in the woods by a bunch of witches. But them reporting it to the police isn’t the end of it as they try to drive further away from the incident they are tracked down to the end of the film to be punished for what they saw. A very creepy 70s film that has witches, sacrifices, and R.G. Armstrong, that makes you think twice about hitting the open road and visiting some of the small towns in America. I give the flick 3 stars.
The Rest is Very Boring (DVD) – Independent filmmaker Jorge Delarosa and The Slow Mutants crew are always doing something different go with a new film project that tells a story of a good friend of theirs named Frank Bochard. Now, I do not know this person and most likely you don’t either but what makes the film interesting is we all know a person or have a friend that is Frank Bochard who is talented, lives on the fringe of life, a person you wanna know, and goes by the beat of their own drum. And this film documents the life of Frank Bochard up until his untimely end. His friends, family, and teachers tell stories and bring you into what Frank was like. Just like Frank Bochard, Jorge Delarosa and The Slow Mutants crew give you another very interesting and very emotionally moving project that keeps expanding what you can do independently these days and they should be proud as I give it 4 out of 4 stars. You can always find out more about it at www.slowmutants.com .
Remote Control (VHS) – Its 1987 and Jeff Lieberman is involved you know you are in for a treat as a young Kevin Dillon plays a video store clerk who finds himself attracted to a beautiful young lady who comes into the store with a guy friend who just happens to be looking for the newest hot movie called, “Remote Control”. This video isn’t just an ordinary movie as a couple minutes in the viewer becomes part of the film and is either killed or kills another person. When Dillon and his friend who also works the video store figure this out they try to stop the film from being reproduced on VHS for other video stores and find out it is all being controlled by aliens who want to rule the earth. Apparently Home Video can kill all of mankind! The film is cheesy good late 80s fun that I give 2 ½ stars too.
Any comments or questions please send to: GrossMovieReview@verizon.net, GrossMovieReview@aol.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………
You can always visit and see some past reviews at: www.grossmoviereviews.com !!!
Also you now can purchase the co-directed film project from Daniel Boyd and I called, “Jagoff Massacre” at www.jagoffmassacre.com or pick up a copy at our table at Horror Realm from us March 7-9th, 2014. Go to www.horrorrealmcon.com for more details on the convention.
Don’t forget you can also hear Kyle Poling and me talking about horror flicks on a weekly basis on the Bloodbaths and Boomsticks podcast at http://bloodbathsandboomsticks.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 that you can purchase a Gross Movie Reviews t-shirt but also Cannibal Campout, Woodchipper Massacre, and Spookies T-shirts also!!!! Go towww.fastcustomshirts.com for details.