Gross Movie Reviews #590

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Troll (On Demand) – A Norwegian flick of adventure and myth were a paleontologist named Nora is brought into a secret meeting by the government after a mysterious explosion in the mountains where there has been mining. Nora grew up on stories of trolls, monsters, and such that use to roam these famous old mountains but never expected to actually think they are real until she sees the footage of the explosion. Nora’s father was right and the government wants answers on how they can protect the people and rid the country of such problem. But the fairy tale is very real and Nora must convince all before Norwegian government tries to kill something that is unkillable and that is a giant ‘Troll’. This isn’t some SyFy Channel Asylum shit, this film has something backstory, gives the Troll some folklore, fun shit I say as I give this film 3 stars.

Zombie Cop (DVD) – A 1991 independent feature that does its best imitation of “Dead Heat” where voodoo priest “Death” curses a detective during a shootout. Both rise from the grave not too long after and the chase is on as a rotting, bandaged up detective and his partner try to track down “Death” again and bring him down for good! Hilarious plot, fun characters (including a young James L. Edwards), and some bad ass stunts for an early 90s Indy flick as I give 2 ½ stars.

Maximum Impact (DVD) – This flick was a part of a double feature DVD with “Zombie Cop” and equally fun. An average guy Jerry, who happens to be a good insurance salesman and has an okay life until, he heads into the big city for his company’s insurance conference. Once there Jerry meets up with an old friend Phil and they encounter a seedy looking fellow George who wants to introduce Jerry to a kinky underworld party that happens during this conference. George is lets say part of the “entertainment division” who ‘helps’ new members at the conference. Jerry not into at all but his friend Phil is gets a one of a kind experience??? Jerry just worried about his friend comes in late to the action only to find his friend being a part of a snuff film and a young lady/hooker who is an unwilling participate! Jerry swoops in when the girl is left alone and convinces her to come with him but the “entertainment division” isn’t too keen on this happening and head to Jerry’s little town to ruin everything. But Jerry doesn’t plan on going down quickly as he goes all “Commando” on people! This is a gritty, depressing Indy action film that has fun with what little they have but find a way to pull it off as I give it 2 ½ stars.

Pearl (DVD) – I enjoyed “X” but didn’t love it like a lot of horror fans and that is fine. Now this is a prequel to that film where we are introduced to Pearl as a thriving, beautiful, talented young woman who wants more than working on a farm, taking care of her father, and dealing with her P.O.S. mother. As she gets not so good reaction at an audition the movie devolves into madness for Pearl. I found the film a little over dramatic, dull, and most importantly unneeded. (Cue the hate because I disagree with a lot of horror fans) The movie isn’t bad at all, it is watchable but for me I felt this may have been the “most unneeded film of the year”. Examples: did we need an origin story/prequel for TCM? Did we need Rob Zombie to explain Michael Myers in the reboot? I am gonna guess most of you are going to say “yes”…? Or let me try to explain it this way: why do every Hollywood filmmaker believe we need a trilogy or “Avengers: Endgame” type of film every time out. We don’t need an origin story every time out and we don’t need nine hours of a film every time out. How about just an 80 minute fucked up horror film that isn’t catering to “The Walking Dead” crowd every time out (trying to grab the mainstream audience every time out is like hitting the lottery) and move on as I give this film 2 stars and just feel it was “unneeded”.

Christmas Bloody Christmas (Shudder) – Oh “VFW” dude (Joe Begos) is back! And this time horror fans get a horror holiday treat where Tori and her employee/longtime friend Robbie have had one hell of a day at the record store on Christmas Eve. Now it’s time to party and hang with their two friends down the street at the toy store to party a little but that is where the happy holiday celebration ends… The realistic robotic Santa Claus that greets you at the store doorway is being recalled for malfunctioning. See these robotic Santa’s were used as military weapons for the government and they are going back to their original missions which why the recall. When it comes to life it is complete chaos for Tori and the sleepy little town as it becomes a combo of “Terminator” and “Class of 1999” meets Santa Claus! It starts a little slow but I get it as Begos and crew like actually telling a story where you care about the characters but it eventually becomes a gory holiday mess of a film! I might not be as good as “VFW” for me at least but I still give this holiday horror 3 ½ stars.

The Warby Range Massacre (DVD/YouTube) –  An Australian short film (24 minutes) where three friends get a little lost on their way to Melbourne but are greeted by a random old dude. Old dude explains there is a cabin down the road for them to stay the night and then get on the road in the morning. The three take him up on his offer but get to the place and feel a shed that is about to fall down isn’t a cabin? So the three head out in the woods with tents but they have just stumbled into the territory of a family who likes to reenact their favorite film of all time “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”. Fun take on a fan made film from the other side of the globe as I give it 3 stars.

Bearry (DVD) – Young Chloe is having trouble with dating after a horrible divorce from her douchebag husband but she does have a great best friend who brings her a giant teddy bear for her to enjoy when alone. This gift ends up being a mistake as Chloe has tried giving it a go in the dating world believes there might not be a man out there for her? After Chloe says the magical words “I love you” to the bear, potential dates are being murdered with two detectives looking at Chloe as the main suspect. Once Chloe learns the truth she now has to convince others what is really happening before she ends up arrested for murder. A hilarious horror film with a great cast (Sarah French, Felissa Rose, Vernon Wells, and Sheri Davis) that has a couple clumsy scenes but it is a horror movie about a killer giant teddy bear and its wonderful as I give it 3 stars.

Revenge of Bigfoot (DVD/YouTube) – Rory Calhoun is a farmer that is greeted by an Indian named Okinagan who is just looking for work. They quickly get along and become friends but the local townsfolk are racist bastards and want rid of him! But then a Bigfoot comes roaming around fucking shit up and guess what people are not all about being racist when a hairy creature is fucking up their farms! A fun Bigfoot film if you are a fan of the 70s Bigfoot madness as I give it 2 stars.     

Skinamarink (Shudder/Festivals) – I believe as the film states it takes place in 1995 where a couple of kids cannot sleep one night and some odd supernatural shit begins to happen. Dad disappears, there are questions about mom, and there are weird voices in the background fucking with the two kids that are alone. Okay, this was a little artsy fartsy for me and falls under the category of “not my cup of tea” but I can easily understand why some younger horror fans will absolutely amazed by this piece of filmmaking. Without spoiling too much…? This wasn’t a film for me but totally get what they were trying to do and I believe they have accomplished it? It’s a rare thing to do something different in low budget filmmaking but they have accomplished their goal! But in my opinion the trailer is much better than the film and maybe would have been more effective as a short film (20-25 minutes) but also believe this could be a horror film people will talk about the next year or two or compare other projects too? I may not be a fan but respect what I watched even though I can only give it 2 stars.

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Gross Movie Reviews #497

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Gross Movie Reviews #497

 

Party Night (DVD) – In a small town where a few girls have gone missing in recent months does not stop a group of six teenagers from ditching their prom. Instead the longtime friends head out to a remote house to party one last time before they all part ways for college. There is some fun to be had at Mount Pleasant Lake and after some high school drama the killing begins. Little known fact in low budget horror films: girls missing, creepy lakefront property, teenagers drinking, and hormones do mean yinz will die. I wasn’t super impressed with the movie but I got to give Troy Escamilla for actually using actors that look the part and using teenage drama to tell the story. Was I mad I watched it, hell no it put me on notice to keep an eye out for future projects from Troy as I give it 2 stars.

 

Timesweep (YouTube) – Dunbar Film Studios is days from being demolished and the studio has been empty for a decade or two. A group of people along with a local news anchor and cameraman arrive at the building to take one last look at film history. As the group enters the building they are transported through time fighting various things and monsters. Not that you would know they were transported through time you get this through some weird side story that is explained about 50 minutes in. When you hear the explanation you totally get why no one cares about this film? But the real story is what the filmmakers used their budget on because this film had a good sum of money and it looks like none of the money showed up on screen. I give this cheap bootleg of ‘My Science Project’ a ½ star just for the mere curiosity of watching it.

A M3owy St. Patrick’s Day (DVD) – I love Steve Rudzinski as he keeps making movies that I would describe to a normal non-movie watching human and they would think I made something up! The third installment in the series picks up in 1993 where Wally’s father arrests a Leprechaun which causes a curse to be placed on Wally in present day. The curse causes Wally and his famous cat Whiskers to switch bodies. This of course means Whiskers gets to eat anything and everything and Wally is left screaming in a cat’s body! Wally’s partner Ellen, now the only functional one of the group must find the prosecutor and the judge from the 1993 case to lift the curse from all three. As usual Steve’s independent film about cats is absolutely hilarious and is a great G-rated introduction into independent film for folks who don’t watch much of it. I give Steve’s cat flick 3 ½ out of 4 stars. Go check it all out at www.silverspotlightfilms.com .

A Meowy Christmas Vacation (DVD) – Steve Rudzinski’s fourth installment picks up from the surprise ending ‘A M3owy St. Patrick’s Day’ where Wally hasn’t been home for months and for good reason. With Wally gone and Ellen still looking for the missing detective Whiskers the cat is paying the bills with funds from its “Instacat” social media posts as apparently millions are following. Meanwhile Wally greeted by an old friend in Rick (Ben Dietels) must adjust to the desolate future of 2050, lizard aliens, and everyone having an eye patch! As Whiskers continues to keep all of Wally’s pets… I mean friends calm until he is back from his long vacation. Wally teams up with the one-eyed warriors to take down Zagel the evil emperor to help prevent this horrible future and get Wally back to 2020. And there is wrestling… Oh and there is Santa Claus. Nope, I am not making this amazing funny shit up. Steve was great again, Ben Dietels was wonderful, and I can’t stop laughing when I think of this movie as I give Steve, his cat, and their friends 3 ½ out of 4 stars. Go check it all out at www.silverspotlightfilms.com .

 

World of Death Volume One (Blu-ray) – A wonderful collection of independent short films from all over the world that even has ‘The Muck’ from Tony Wash. Plus this collection also includes one of the best short films out there that I still laugh at in ‘Invaders’ that involves poor judgment by two would be criminals. The surprise short film from this collection though might be ‘Permanent Press’ about a demon in a Laundromat that has possessed a dryer! Not a bad one in the bunch and there is like 30 in this collection so enjoy as I give the anthology 3 ½ stars. Check out www.wodfilm.com if you dare.

 

Frames of Fear (DVD) – Another independent anthology that involves six films introduced by a character named Festering Frank played by acting vet George Stover. All the films had this nostalgic 90s independent DV feel to me and that is a good thing. But the two short films that stood out for me had to be the one where the guys go digging up rare VHS tapes and one zombie comes for them. And of course ‘Wrestlemassacre’ short was just fucking hilarious if you are a 80s wrestling fan. All solid efforts here as I give anthology 2 ½ stars.

 

Brutality (DVD) – An anthology sequel to ‘Frames of Fear’ as it was also titled ‘Frames of Fear 2’. But anyway Festering Frank is back from the dead again to introduce four new tales from Nathan Hine, Brad Twigg, John Ward, Jim Roberts, and Mike O’Mahony with a wraparound story involving Festering Frank. The two stories ‘The Last Days of Livermore’ and ‘What’s Wrong with Mom?’ were ones I have seen in the past but the other two short films are also pretty solid as we get a killer Santa in a storage unit building. And we get some fucked up baby death going down that may have a hidden message to it… or not. Anyway I give this independent anthology sequel 3 stars.

 

VFW (On Demand) – For the love of John Carpenter thank you Joe Begos for making this idea exist! A new drug called “Hype” has hit the streets and screwing up people quicker than ever before. The drug is making zombies or “Hypers” out of people and tearing cities down. Boz is a drug lord who is about to have a huge deal go down and kills the wrong strung out girl as her sister Lizard takes it personally and steals his stash. Nowhere to run Lizard busts into an old VFW where some old vets are just having their daily drink, watch old videos of women exercising, and telling war stories. A couple of drugged out punks follow her in and that was a big mistake as they attack one of the vets. The old vets take care of the trash pretty quickly in a brutal way. This is where the chaos or war begins as the vets must defend the post and themselves from the onslaught of strung out punks because Boz wants his stash no matter what. This film is absolutely FUCKING AWESOME! The casting of Stephen Lang, Fred Williamson, William Sadler, George Wendt, Martin Kove, and David Patrick Kelly as the war vets is perfect. This is my new ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ as I give possibly 2020s best film of the year 4 stars all the way. I will be watching this flick at least once a year.

 

Guns Akimbo (On Demand) – Daniel Radcliffe continues his pick of odd film roles (but we cinema fans love it) where he plays a nerdy character “Miles” who provoked people online who run a game on the dark web called “Skism”. After meeting the man who created it in Miles’ apartment he is knocked out and awakes with guns bolted to his hands. Miles has 24 hours to kill the “Skism” game champion “Nix” played by Samara Weaving. The movie is bonkers in a good off the rails ‘Hardcore Henry’ way as I give it 3 ½ stars.

 

Lunatic! (DVD) – A short film that runs a little over 38 minutes about two dudes doing a weekend of camping with just the basics. The survival trip includes no cell phones and Scott and Dave are being stalked by an unknown masked maniac. Dave thinks it is a male bonding trip but soon finds out Scott brought him there because Scott has heard about the disappearances in the wooded area and his sister was the latest to disappear. I liked what Erik Vada did with a simple story and how the two characters developed over time. I would have liked it to be a little shorter or get a little more into why this killer exists but hey cannot be too picky as I give it 2 ½ out of 4 stars.

 

Low Road (Vimeo) – A Michael McCallum short film that involves a man who is very precise on how to take his revenge for the death of his woman. I give 3 out of 4 stars and don’t forget to check out www.rebelpictures.net .

 

Breaking Wheel (Vimeo) – Another short film from the talented Michael McCallum that involves woman named Nancy who spends months distraught and in disbelief after the disappearance of her boyfriend. Trying to understand the why, what, and how she visits his last destination. As usual great casting, great story, and the shots look perfect as I give this short 3 ½ out of 4 stars and don’t forget to check out www.rebelpictures.net .

 

Any comments please send to grossmoviereview@verizon.net 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!

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