Archive for the 'modern horror' Category

May

Comments Off on Angry Nazi Zombies

Angry Nazi Zombies
2014 – Not Rated – Revolver
Starring Tina Barnes, Paul Kelleher, Cy Henty – Directed by Jim Eaves, Pat Higgins and Alan Ronald

Angry Nazi Zombies. There’s a title that puts a movie in your head, much like something such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre. However, you’d be lead slightly astray and if you’re like me, you thought maybe it was along the lines of Dead Snow or Shock Waves, but you’d be way off. It’s actually an anthology featuring three thirty minute segments all set in England during World War II. So, do each of the segments contain zombies? Ehh, kinda. The first segment does, the second is more of a ghost story and the last is a creature feature. Ok, so the title is slightly misleading that way, but marketable since zombies are what the kids consider to be hip and when you say Angry Nazi Zombies out loud, it’s sure to grab attention.

Nazis and zombies have always been like chocolate and peanut butter; they go well together and offers one a variety of horror themed elements to exploit. How well does Angry Nazi Zombies pull it off? Well, clearly that’s what we are going to talk about. Sheesh.

nza_2Unlike some of the previously mentioned anthologies, there is no narrative tale that binds these stories stories together. Instead, we dive head first into the segment “Medal of Horror,” which I have to admit is a clever name and sports a stylish title card ala brand label on a bottle of whiskey. A soldier named George who writes those, “sorry about your loss” letters watches a sexy burlesque dancer, played by real life burlesque dancer Jeanie Wishes (check her out on the Facebook). She falls in love with George and the two have a night of fiery, passionate love, but no love for us, since her bosom is always covered up by his hands. Lucky hands! But you know how it is; she starts getting all clingy and you have to fake your death and write a grief letter using your honed skills. As fate would have it, her pappy happens to be a General and knows about his dirty little lie and sends George on a suicide mission to rescue his daughter who has been kidnapped by Jezebel of the SS! Wow, what a string of coincidences. As a character, George is pretty unlikable, seeing as he’s a sniveling coward, bailing on those who need his help and whimpering along the way. In fact, I believe all of his battles, complete with the most unnecessary slo-mo, and his encounters with the undead (I think a whole two or three zombies), he manages to escape through dumb luck. He even defeats his villains through sheer, blind luck, but as fate as been following him and his coward ways, it ends on a “what goes around comes around” note and justifiably so. The short does jump in between serious and comedic tones, which can be jarring since it’s not well transitioned, but when it does either, it does them well.

Moving along, we’re thrown into the supernatural in “Harriet’s War.” A young, attractive paranormal investigator named Harriet (I hope you picked that up from the title) travels to the podunk village Chapelton to investigate a bizarre murder, where the victims are covered in carved swastikas. And you thought getting a rash was bad! Harriet is likable and has that dry, British charm we come to think of. Plus, she is mighty cute, have I mentioned that? The victim was a young man of a grieving housewife who also lost her husband in the war and his girlfriend disappeared during the murder. However during a town meeting, to which the priest of the village openly despises Harriet, she turns up covered in swastikas. Harriet teams up with the local constable in order to solve this crime, which will bring them back to where they started… Using all her gadgets that look like proto-Ghostbusters designs, she tracks down the supernatural element responsible for the killings. It’s quirky, it’s silly and I want to see it in syndication, dammit!

nza_3They certainly didn’t save the best for last. For the curtains, we have “Devils of the Blitz.” As Ruth and her mother take shelter from a bombing in their wicked step father’s home, we see cuts to Ruth’s brother Graham at war, who just lost his best friend in combat, hiding from a Nazi soldier. But you can’t hide forever, as Graham is found by the soldier and the two duke it out. But suddenly to his rescue, a weird demon puppet thing! What? I’m not kidding. This thing looks like it was bought last minute at a Halloween store. I know these are extremely low budget films, but… I had to pause the movie and busted out laughing. It makes the imp from Sorority Babes in the Slime Bowl-O-Rama look well made. Believe it or not, this little toy chews off Graham’s face and he wakes in a hospital dressed like Darkman, his whole face wrapped in bandages. He begins seeing visions of his dead friend who tells him to take the chainsaw that is for whatever reason there in that hospital (and time period) and go nuts! Meanwhile, Ruth now not only has to deal with that douche of a step dad, but a hand puppet imp as well!

Which leads us to following complaint. While the first two segments are very well acted and shot and have decent effects, this is where the third seems to suffer, although I will say it is acted very well. The story is quite boring and I found myself drifting in and out of attention, but maybe it was due to the fact that it looked like it was shot on Mini-DV, which I don’t have a problem with, but it was boring to look at and the conversations between the family was the same stuff you’ve heard before in a drama and the sound quality seems flat. All dialogue and sound effects sound at the same level and nothing sticks out about this segment. Until you see the rubber demon puppet. That guy is bananas.

nza_4You know, even if they stress the word “zombie” in the title, I’m glad there are barely any zombies in it. You can count the number of zombies in this film on one hand. Given that the film market is oversaturated with zombie films, Angry Nazi Zombies could have suffered heavily from the “zombie-itus” and became obscured in the diarreha sea of crappy direct to video zombie movies, so it was a good move to make it an anthology with different ideas of what zombies are, even if the quality of stories were a mixed bag. Anthologies have made a bit of a resurgence in the past few years after successes with films like The ABC’s of Death and V/H/S or even Trick ‘R’ Treat if we want to go a little earlier than that and it’s nice to see that they can still be done with strong stories.

The quality of the segments seems to deteriorate as the film goes on. While I felt the first film was the strongest and certainly the most beautifully shot, what with great angles and the bar scene is lit wonderfully. I felt the characters were well developed, as unlikable as George was and at first it chugs along (but not unbearably so), but when it picks up, it throws you into all kinds of well directed action. The second segment sort of plays out like a CW supernatural show and given how this segment ends, I wanted to tune in to the next episode. I feel it is the best acted of the three and has some humor in it and I caught myself chuckling more than a few times and it’s, for lack of a better word, fun. The third segment, however, feels like a missed opportunity. They set up this character with a tragic origin that leaves him disfigured and seeing the ghost of his dead best friend warning him of end times, so he grabs a chainsaw and goes on a demon killing rampage, but instead we get the story of his family bickering at thome. Why did we not get that other movie? It would have been so entertaining and probably the fan favorite of the three, but no.

Angry Nazi Zombies
Overall, you may want to goosestep over to your video store (or Amazon) and pick up a copy. especially if you are fan of low budget, indie cinema, like myself. Although the DVD is bare (no extras, no commentaries, nada), it helps support and it’s not a bad film. The theme of the anthology, Britain during WWII, was a brilliant touch and the fact that it isn’t flooded with your typical zombies, makes this a fresh film, both in the zombie genre and anthologies. Now if you’ll excuse me, I hear a puppet demon in my basement.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Angry? Sure. Nazis? Most definitely. Nazis? Eh, sorta.
  • Jeanie out of the bottle!
  • Zombie vs. zombie martial arts.
  • Harriet the Ghostbuster, this Fall on CW.
  • Rubber puppet demon monster!
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Very sparingly, mostly showing injuries, but if the final segment did something write, it was give us chewed up faces.

5

blood

BREASTS

George’s hand cover’s up Jeanies pair, but we do get some elegant side boob.

5

beast

BEASTS

Nazis are always terrifying… until a rubber puppet gets thrown into the mix. No, I won’t let that go.

5.3 OVERALL
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Apr

posted by admin | April 30, 2014 | B-movie Reviews, B-movies, Guest Review, modern horror, Sci-Fi

Comments Off on Terminal Invasion: A guest review by Deadman

Terminal

To really get the grasp of how far we’ve come, as far as movies and special effects are concerned, we have to look back at where we began. And while I think it’s a shame that big budget movies, with less than palpable story lines, are getting top-notch effects teams and directors the horror movie genre has gotten the short end of the stick. And nothing shows both the beginning of new age special effects and the effects of a tiny budget like the movie Terminal Invasion. Oh, yes, folks. This little gem that most of us forgot. Probably on purpose.

Now. To begin this review I must give a disclaimer for all those FanBoys out there: The Chin is in this movie. Correct! Bruce Campbell, himself, is in this thing. Now before I get beaten to death with special edition DVD copies of Evil Dead 2, let me say this: this movie is horrible! Not even the Almighty Bruce, himself, could save this thing! So let’s dive right in.

TerminalThe first thing to note about this piece of….film is that it was made in 2002. Why do I say that is the first noteworthy thing about it? Simple. This movie came out when The Matrix was still fresh, as well as other HUGE names like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and so on and so on. A tiny movie about aliens in a Bumville, USA closed airport wasn’t even a blip on the radar. So there’s the premise, folks: aliens invade a closed airport in Random City, USA and all hell breaks loose.

But before we get into the mayhem that is sometimes so cliche it hurts, we have to start with every typical ‘who-dun-it’ premise: a mysterious stranger. No, really, they never give the backstory for Bruce Campbell’s character. Ever. A snowstorm knocks Jack (Such an original name for The Chin) and his two police escorts down an apparently traversable mountain. They jump into the terminal that’s been shut down. Let the body count begin!

First up on the chopping block: a priest! Boom! Wait, a minute, folks, he wasn’t a victim! Oh, no! He was an alien in disguise coming after Jack. That’s right. They’re after The Chin, himself. Granted, who wouldn’t be? But still. Oh, and in case you’re wondering the reason why, you never find out. Continuing. So let’s meet the cast, folks. There’s stereotype 1, 2, and so on and so on. There is nigh an original character in this whole movie.

Once the whole ‘who’s who’ thing is sorted out and they’re all convinced they’re dealing with aliens there’s a whole bout of morality and a game of ‘moron with a gun shoots someone human’ yay! Can’t have a body snatchers type movie without one of THOSE scenes. Moving on. For some odd reason they believe that they can find out who’s human and who’s not with a luggage x-ray machine. Another death, folks, complete with horrible one-liner.

TerminalBut oh no! The x-ray machine is now broken, shot up trying to take out the alien. And there isn’t another one. What kind of airport is this?!? ONE machine? Come on! Anyways. We get some more action scenes with bad writing and obvious stunt doubles, galore. While most of this movie is forgettable, there is one aspect that is highly memorable: the CGI. While it’s more than clear that there was better than “I did this project for art class” quality out there at the time, the production company went with “I think my nephew has a computer” budget. There’s more than enough laughable scenes made worse by the effects. Even what could have been a REALLY good practical effects scenes are ruined with attempts to be clever with the camera.

While the plot in this thing is already frighteningly loose it seems to just unravel at the end. Where the alien attempt to explain why they’re there in the first place seems to take a back seat to another horrible action scene. And of course, the whole thing wraps up with Jack spouting some silly, out of place line.

To wrap up. Horrible writing, bad direction, CGI that is bad enough to make you sign up for a designer course, and all of it painfully predictable makes for a terrible movie. Even The Chin, himself, couldn’t save this B-Side floater. However, it IS worth a watch, just to get your laughs in and possible make a drinking game out of it. Thanks for reading, folks!

roadside attractions

  • The Chin
  • Inappropriate Priest Convo In A Bathroom
  • Bra, No Bra, Bra, No Bra
  • The Chin
  • Airports Only Have One Plane
  • Avalanche Gun (With explanation)
  • The Chin
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

0

blood

BREASTS

It’s made for TV!

5

beast

BEASTS

5 OVERALL
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Apr

Comments Off on Camp Dread

Camp Dread
2014 – Unrated – Image Entertainment
Starring Danielle Harris, Eric Roberts, Felissa Rose – Directed by B. Harrison Smith

Not to be confused with the 2004 horror comedy Club Dread, Camp Dread is a movie that will give you a different impression of what it’s about based on the box art. The tagline suggest that I pitch my tent, which is irrelevant to the film, since they all stay in cabins. Kinda stretching that one for a tagline, but whatever. Films do it all the time, but sure enough, there is a photo of a tent right on the front there. I know it sounds like I’m nitpicking and perhaps I am, but another thing that will come to bother me is the image of Danielle Harris, front and center, as well as her name in eye sight. Hell, there’s even a photo of her on the back, so she occupies a good chunk of the overall box art (even the spine). Don’t get me wrong either, I’m not complaining because she is in the movie, but I won’t spoil it now. As we talk about the movie, you’ll see why it bothers me.

So where do we start? Well, there’s a diner scene with Julian (played by Eric Roberts, turning in the only convincing acting), who plays the director of a fictional slasher movie series called Summer Camp and is now producing a reality TV show based on his horror series and Danielle Harris, is the Sheriff of the small town… and that’s it. I was excited to see her in the role of a sheriff, since it seemed to be something different for her, but this is where the disappointment starts, seeing as after this scene, you won’t see her again for a very long time.

cd_2So a reality TV show themed horror movie, sure you’ve seen this before, but there’s a spin. Seeing as these are all troubled “kids” (clearly in their thirties, but this is even pointed out by Eric Roberts that they aren’t kids, but in their early twenties…), mixed up with drugs, violence or what have you, they have two choices; be a contestant on the show and possibly win a million bucks or face time in jail or rehab. To be honest, what would you go with? On a side note, it is pretty cool that this was filmed at an actual camp in the Poconos. Within moments of exceeding frat boy levels of obnoxious, you come to the realization that these are the characters you are supposed to be identifying with and there’s the underlining problem. NONE of them are identifiable. From the insipid prankster, loudmouth idiot who whenever he spoke, I was screaming “SHUT UP!” at my television to the girl whose dialogue pretty much consist of hate filled, vile homo bashing. Now, I know this can be used to set up a loathsome character, but it becomes so redundant to the point where it’s ineffective and comes off as ignorant. To be fair, there are two other kids that are given some back story and would have been likable if the film had given them a little more development. The only other character that is given a sliver of sympathy is a girl who murdered her brother after he was raping her, but by the end of the film, they manage to strip that away from her.

cd_3It takes serious talent to set up a character with that kind of back story and still make them unlikable by your film’s finale. Wait, is talent the right word?

Julian invites his old producer, John, out to be a part of the show and to bury the hatchet. You see, Julian was notorious for disregarding his actor’s safety and John blew the whistle on him, which in consequence got him black listed from ever directing again. Of course John flies first class to tell Julian off and doesn’t partake in this project. Also joining Julian is Summer Camp actress turned counselor (yeah… quite a coincidence), Rachel, played by Felissa Rose. I was happy to see her come back, but disappointed with how little she is used in the movie and by that I don’t mean she isn’t in it enough, I mean they don’t use her character for much. Come to think of it, they don’t do that with any of the characters in the movie. Like I said, some of them are given a back story or a skill that could be intricate to the plot, but it’s never utilized, because the film makers would rather raise the body count. Hoo-f***ing-ray.

That’s all it is from here… just watching characters die, one by one. The film even drops the ball in this department, often shying away from gore, never really showing much or paying off with its kills. Although some of the kills are creative, such as a prosthetic leg being used to bash someone’s head in and killing another character with a decapitated head. So there is that, but even then it hardly feels worth it. While people are getting picked off, you see Julian has an ulterior motive, a secret plan, but it doesn’t come as a surprise, since you see it coming from the beginning of the film. The killer is exactly who you think it is, certain characters turn on each other the way you thought they would and Eric Roberts is more sleazy than he leads on to be, just as you expected. Speaking of not coming as a surprise, we have a predictable twist ending to get to…

cd_4And just when you were thinking, “Hey, wasn’t Danielle Harris in this movie?” She pops up at the end to unconvincingly tie up the predictable, tired and cliched ending you were really hoping the film wasn’t going for, although it was evident it would, as the movie falls apart in the final act. Well, thanks anyway, Ms. Harris. Your check is in the mail.

For the majority of its run time, Camp Dread walks that fine line of a good bad movie or just bad… and during the final act, it leaps way past that line. This is a film that plays it safe, never taking any risks by sticking to the same predictable cliches you’ve seen done to death and are bored to tears with. It’s almost frustrating at moments when you realize the alternate route they could go in terms of the story and you so badly want it to, but it never does. It tries to push itself at times, trying to be “in your face,” with homophobic bashing and shocking you with potential rape, but it all comes off as annoyingly mean spirited. There is a huge difference between shockingly offensive, controversial and seeming ignorant. This is something the movie can’t seem to figure out, most likely due to the one dimensional, meat headed, bigoted characters, that all seem to be those stereotyped Jersey Shore jock types (because that’s exactly who the majority of any audience wants to spend a 90 minute movie with…). You can’t just have several characters spew out dense, childish homo-bashing lines and expect it to flesh out a character, especially when all of your characters are despicable to begin with. And that’s where one of the major flaws of the movie is; there are too many characters and all but a few are sympathetic, not that they do anything with them anyway. Which brings up another issue… there are WAY too many characters. Camp Dread opts for more characters to increase a body count, rather than a few well developed, solid characters to focus on. It’s a story with too many unlikable, selfish characters with absolutely no character or anything to round them out as a human being. They are just slasher fodder. I can’t tell you how sick and tired I am, or a good population of the horror community for that matter, of horror films that set up horrible, unlikable characters for the sake of getting killed off in the name of a body count. This is a movie will fall into the void of forgettable dime-a-dozen slashers.

Camp Dread
It’s frustrating because although this plot is so generic and uninspiring, there are moments where if the filmmakers had taken a risk, it could have been something unexpected and possibly good. It often teases something scandalous, like a lesbian sex scene, but never goes that route. It’s a film that really wants to shock you with sex, violence and imagery, but it comes off as annoying instead. Like those vegetarians that have to constantly remind you they are a vegetarian and scoff and get upset when there aren’t more vegetarian options at places to eat. It really pains me to experience what I felt while watching this film, because it sounded interesting, but alas, just a diarrhea wolf in sheep clothing. Overall, there isn’t much to be offered here in terms of story, gore, nudity… nothing to really give fans anything they want, unless you are looking for a shameless body count. Perhaps you should go to space camp instead.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Eric Roberts, professional sleaze.
  • Hello, Danielle Harris…
  • Angela returns to camp.
  • He has a ‘leg up.’
  • Hanging meat.
  • Head catapulting!
  • …goodbye, Danielle Harris.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

Arrow through the eye and a decapitation, but mostly tame.

4

blood

BREASTS

A peak here and there.

3

beast

BEASTS

When it comes down to it, just about everyone is a monster and it is stale.

4.3 OVERALL
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Mar

posted by admin | March 28, 2014 | Action, Bad movie, Horror movies, modern horror, Reviews by the Goon

Comments Off on Day of the Dead (2008)

Day of the Dead
2008 – R – Millennium Films
Starring Mena Suvari, Nick Cannon, Ving Rhames – Directed by Steve Miner

It’s easy to have a biased opinion on remakes these days because of the sheer volume of them. People will pass judgement without even seeing a trailer just because it’s a remake. Although we complain, we are first in line to go see them. Sure, over the past few years, remakes are more commonplace than ever, however filmmakers seem to be taking the source material more seriously while adding their own view or style to it, giving it a fresh and unique spin, so they are telling the same story without making it a carbon copy. Unfortunately that seems to be few and far between. A good majority of the time, we either get unnecessary updates that are aforementioned carbon copies or we get an insulting misrepresentation of source material, so painful it stings. And possibly the most painful of them all is Day of the Dead.

Talk about missing not only the mark, but the concept, the social satire, the amazing practical effects, the story telling, the larger than life characters, competent film making and story telling. Sure it’s common for a film maker to want to take a different approach when doing a remake (in fact, it’s something I encourage and want them to do), but there is a fine line between creativity and total stupidity. What do I mean? Do you remember how the other Dead film’s open? With interesting characters in the middle of a situation they are unaware of that they must immediately adapt to. How does this film open? With a group of four teens dancing in a missile silo playing grab arse. If there is one way to make your characters be as unrelatable as possible, it’s to have them do something that nobody can relate to. I think this concept is lost when older people are trying to write about what they think teens do now.

dotd_2Anyhow, our two main teens, Trevor and Nina, decide they’ve seen enough prepubescent groping from their friends Kyle and… nameless girl and want to head home to make whoopee in a more comfortable setting. Along the way, Kyle seems to be showing signs of a cold, you know… obvious foreshadowing, so throw out any hope for suspense. It turns out there is an outbreak of this virus all over town and the military is now blocking any way in or out. Rhodes (played by Ving Rhames, sleepwalking through this performance) heads up the roadblock and couldn’t seem more uninterested if he were trying. One thing you may notice about these soldiers is that they aren’t exactly armed, leading you to believe it’s the Reserves. This brings me to one of my biggest gripes about the film, Rhodes is seriously underwhelming and stripped of what made him a threatening menace in the original. Ving Rhames moans out every line of dialogue like he’s falling asleep and never once gives any indication that he is a force to be reckoned with, because in this film, he isn’t.

Among his squad is Sarah, who the camera is pointed at most of the time (since it’s insulting to call her our heroine), rookie Bud (who I’m sure you all remember as the intelligent zombie BUB with a military background from Romero’s original) and the increasingly annoying, false representation of a generation, one liner, cliche spewing Salazar played by Nick Cannon. Never in my life have I wanted to physically assault a character after every cocky line of dialogue spewed from their stupid face as I have Salazar. Since Sarah’s mother is sick with coincidental plot device syndrome, she and Bud take a drive to her house and along the way, they have a one on one. She tells him her gun isn’t loaded and that it’s complicated (another plot point that is never truly explained) and he tells her that he is a vegetarian (which will come back to provide the “jumping the shark” holy grail of all plot points), only to run into her brother Trevor and Nina where the mellow drama begins. Trevor holds a grudge against his sister for wanting to do something with her life and leaving and to my recollection, this is never resolved or fully explained, making it entirely pointless. Then again, I could say that about everything in this movie.

Learning that Kyle was showing the same symptoms, they all head over to his house and find his parents mutilated and report it to Rhodes while en route to get their mother to the hospital where we meet the other insult to source material, Dr. Logan, who is now suave and sleazy, rather than a burnt out scientist on the verge of losing his mind, because you know, that might have been interesting. When at the hospital, Sarah leaves her brother to look after their mother, while Rhodes then sends a team to check on Kyle’s house, but come to find out, there are three bodies instead of the reported two. Yes, in this movies, the zombies are intelligent and set traps, but that is the least of the stupidest abilities the zombies have in this movie…

dotd_3This is when things go to hell, both for the characters and for you, the viewer. All of the infected people go from catatonic to undead with super human powers! Not only are they incredibly fast and agile, they can also leap great distances and crawl on the walls and ceiling! Hmm, maybe it was a radioactive spider that bit all of them. Now, there is nothing wrong with wanting to do something different, as I stated earlier. Making changes that a pose a threat can make for the characters to develop and adjust to the situation in an interesting way and possibly provide you with something you haven’t seen before, but IT HAS TO MAKE SENSE! Other than a quick one sentence explanation that is never followed up on, it is never mentioned how this virus can give the undead abilities that are outside of normal human capabilities. If you want us to believe the creatures can do this, again, IT HAS TO MAKE SENSE in your film’s reality. If the movie hasn’t completely lost you earlier, it definitely will now.

During the undead attack, Rhodes is immediately devoured, which could be a good thing that this piss poor version of the character is done with, or it will anger you that perhaps one of the greatest antagonists in a zombie flick was portrayed against everything that made him great. Either way, he does come back undead, giving an mildly interesting chase scene with no legs, only to be comically killed off by Salazar, adding insult to injury.

A good majority of the movie is the soldiers WITHOUT WEAPONS trying to escape from the hospital and is it boring. During the escape, Bud is bit on the hand. Salazar wants to waste him, but Sarah pleads and says he can be of use until he turns, at which point, she will take care of it. After stealing Rhode’s Humvee and stopping at a gun store that somehow has fully automatic weapons, Bud turns into a zombie, but to their surprise, he’s obedient like a soldier, which I suppose is fine. But in the most idiotic of explanations as to why he isn’t trying to eat them, as Sarah says, is because he’s a vegetarian. So let me get this straight… in this backwards world, if you were a vegetarian, when turned into a zombie, you won’t crave human flesh? In this health aware world where vegetarians are pretty dominant, these zombies are supposed to be a threat? I’m sorry… I need a minute to wash my brain off all the stupid.

Trevor and Nina managed to escape to a radio station where a few other survivors are holed up and wouldn’t you know it, a few of them are hiding the fact that they are infected. The film does try to pass off some suspense here where you briefly wonder who’s infected, but then you realize it doesn’t matter since the three brief characters that have nothing to do with the plot are killed, leaving Trevor and Nina to be rescued by Sarah.

dotd_4By the way, it’s at this point I realized they’ve been calling Sarah “Corporal Cross” when it’s referenced that their family’s last name is Bowman, so… did the writer just forget this or is he as brain dead as the zombies? Speaking of, in true nature to this film, it’s never explained.

After an accident from a run in with zombie Kyle, they come across an underground bunker that just so happens to be where the scientists were developing the virus for…? There is a scene with Mad TV‘s Pat Kilbane, but he barely brushes the topic. It’s never fully explained, so who cares! We don’t need to explain anything when we have zombies! And that’s how the film treats you; as if you are stupid and they can shove zombies into something and you’ll watch it, which I guess this means we did, so joke’s on us. Touche. Anyway, while they putz around and failing to provide any exposition, zombies attack and kill Logan, which I’m sure we’re all heart broken over since he was so likable, as is Salazar (FINALLY). I really haven’t talked much about his character, other than how intolerable and irritating his “hip-teen-lingo-catch-phrase-of-the-day” dialogue is, but trust me… the less said, the better. It’s like being talked down to by an older person who is trying to relate to your generation.

So Sarah, Nina and Trevor escape and the film throws in an ineffective jump scare. Nobody cares. It’s over.

Like all uninspiring remakes, these characters can only be identified by their stereotyped character trait. The tone of the film comes off as a cheap teen slasher flick, maybe due to the fact that Steve Miner directed, whose previous works included Friday the 13th Parts 2 and 3 and Halloween: H20. And For a movie called Day of the Dead, a lot of it takes place at night, but I guess that’s just me nitpicking.

Day of the Dead feels more like a humdrum teen slasher of the post Scream era then it does your insipid cut-and-paste zombie flick. How many times are we going to see the same story about some virus spreading the infection? Why do these filmmakers feel like they need to explain everything? If you have a strong enough story and characters that we care about, details like that are left a mystery and it adds to the doomed feeling of the situation the characters are in and that’s part of what made George Romero’s movies work! If you’re going to remake one of his movies and claim you are being faithful, while putting a fresh “spin” on it, the least you could do is just that. There’s another thing that gets thrown out in the remake world too much; “putting a fresh spin on it.” When you hear that, it usually means they gave the characters cell phones and Facebook jokes in their dialogue. Updating a film is fine. That’s been done since the dawn of films, but you need to make your characters relevant to the time period and give us examples of why they work in the situation that’s going on, instead of vomiting out the same annoying, slang spewing rejects from cliched stereotypes.

Day of the Dead
Not only is this a god awful remake, but a god awful film overall with absolutely nothing good about it. I found it to be unenjoyable, even with a group of friends looking for a cheesy movie to have fun with. Everything about this film is not only a misrepresentation of its source material, but to the genre as well to the point where it feels insulting. Even the editing seems to be sped up or have frames chopped out so the zombies seem like they are more supernatural, which comes off as laughably bad (but not frustrating like Automaton Transfusion). And of course being a late 2000’s horror film, practically all of the effects are unnecessary CGI and boy, does it look terrible. I’ve seen better effects in Asylum movies. I don’t know what else to say. This movie is so awful, they couldn’t even get it released theatrically! I can only tell you that this is one of the few times I would urge someone to stay away from a film. Treat it like a zombie outbreak; get out of there and stay away from this stinker as far as possible!

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • Drinking game… just drink because you are watching this train wreck.
  • I didn’t know it was possible to make Ving Rhames look like Steve Urkel.
  • Nick Cannon’s one liners.
  • No brains, I’m a vegan.
  • Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Zombie!
  • Dr. Douche.
  • If you haven’t beat yourself senseless while watching this movie, you are a brave soul.
totals

5

blood

BLOOD

Regardless of the horrendous CG gore, it’s still pretty tame by today’s standards.

0

blood

BREASTS

As if this film would give you even one second of something to look at.

3

beast

BEASTS

You think super ability zombies would be scary, but no. Under played and laughably stupid.

2.6 OVERALL
dripper

Watch the entire movie… if you you don’t want any brain cells!

trailers

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Feb

Comments Off on You’re Next

You're Next
2013 – R – Lionsgate

Home is where the heart is. Home is where you feel the most comfortable, safe and vulnerable. It’s even where you hang your hat, or at least according to that sign I saw one time, so the idea of an unwelcome intruder making himself at home while trying to viciously murder you is the perfect recipe for a horror film. Films like Alone in the Dark or The Strangers have clearly illustrated to us that home is not always the safest place and now, You’re Next fits right in at home (pun clearly intended) in this category. Even hiding under the sheets won’t save you.

As a disturbing couple unfortunately learns (and by that, I mean an old male teacher and his young female student) the hard way. After earning what I’m assuming is her “passing grade,” he hops in the shower and the young lady listens to music in shame. Unfortunately, her time listening to “Looking for the Magic” by the Dwight Twilley Band is “cut” short! Hey, it’s not that bad of a song! Upon exiting the shower, he sees “You’re Next” written large and bold in her blood (as well as cleverly serving as the movie’s title card) on the sliding glass doors and then meets his doom by a man in a lamb mask. Ba-ba black sheep, ba-ba bye!

yn_2The family next door gathers for their wealthy parents anniversary, unaware of the grisly murder that took place next door, bringing brothers Crispian (AJ Bowen), his noogie giving older brother Drake (V/H/S‘ Joe Swanberg), their seemingly wormy younger brother Felix and their naive younger sister Aimee. She also happens to be the only one in the family without some poetic hip hop artist’s name. By the way, Dad just so happened to have recently retired from a major defense contract company and has accumulated quite the wealth. Accompanying the siblings are their significant others, making for plenty of victims at this buffet! Speaking of a buffet, after some scenes of sibling rivalry between various… um, siblings, they all put their differences aside for the moment and gather around the table for dinner. But little do they know, they are about to have some unexpected guests…

During some bickering between Drake and Crispian, Aimee’s boyfriend, Tariq (played by House of the Devil and The Innkeepers director, Ti West, as what seems like a character of the “indie” filmmaker), glances out the window and gives a look like he saw something outside. As he gets up and moves to the window to peer outside, the bickering between the two brothers heats up when suddenly an arrow crashes through the window and pierces Tariq’s head. This slowly grabs everyone attentions as it takes Tariq a few moments to die just as a hailstorm of arrows come flying into the house through the window, one hitting Drake in the back. Crispian’s girlfriend, Erin, instantly goes into survival mode, shouting for everyone to get down and take cover using chairs to block them as they run past the windows. How did she know how to do that… or to think so quickly on her feet? In an escape attempt, Aimee wants to prove her worth to the family (because, you know this is clearly the best time for that) and tells them that she can run to get help. Her brothers don’t argue it, but are polite enough to let her dash out the front door in slow motion, which actually builds up the tension quite nicely as to what will happen next… it’ll definitely knock the wind out of you. Wink.

yn_3Mom (played by the ever youthful looking Re- Animator actress Barbara Crampton… surprised it took me this long in the review to mention she’s in this movie) isn’t feeling so well, you know, giving that she just witnessed some sporadic murders. The boys take her upstairs to her bedroom where it is safe, since the intruder is outdoors. But this is where we learn that intruder is intruders (however, you should have known this from all of the promotional materials and TV spots) as one of them in a fox mask creeps out from under the bed wielding a machete like he’s Jason Voorhees.

Realizing they aren’t safe inside or outside of the house, panic ensues! Erin tries to keep everyone calm just as one of the assailants in a tiger mask crashes the party, literally, through the window in slow motion (club music cue?). See? This is why you don’t feed stray animals! They’ll come into the house! Attacking Erin, she falls to the floor. He raises his ax, but she kicks him in the jewels, rendering him vulnerable as she smashes in his head in with a meat tenderizer! Erin clearly has some survival skills and starts barking orders, booby trapping the house like she’s John Rambo. Trust me, I mean that as a compliment. Erin could easily be one of horror film’s smartest and deadliest “final girl.” You do not want to experience her mood swings.

As they are securing the home and trying to stay alive, we discover someone among them has ulterior motives and not is all what it seems. I know “twist” can be a taboo word nowadays, given the stank that M. Night Shyamalan has seemingly permanently attached to it, but it’s pulled off rather intelligently here. Who can you trust? Who do you believe? Erin can only count on herself as she tries to fight the animal masked thugs one by one and discovers an awful truth behind the invasion.

yn_4I really don’t want to give anymore of the plot away and I fear I may have said too much already. It’s something you simply must experience. You’re Next is kinda like Home Alone for grown ups, only these booby traps are practical and given Erin’s back story, it makes it more plausible. The kills are downright brutal and practical, making them painfully cringe worthy. Blood pores from every wound with it’s creative and devastating kills that will be sure to get a positive and varied reaction out of you.

You’re Next is a beast, personified by the animal masks that the films stalkers wear. It’s self aware, but rather than make a mockery of itself, it plays on your expectations, misleading you along the way and then gives you something you weren’t expecting. For what it is, it’s an ambitious little film that succeeds in conveying survival horror. The killers themselves are given motive for the crimes, as one dimensional as it may seem, but trust me, it isn’t. It gives them a reason to be there and to be doing what they are doing, rather than leaving them to be faceless killers. Also, these are, hands down, some of the coolest masks that you’ll see killers wear in a movie. These are so cool, that the price of cheap novelty animal masks have sky rocketed (believe me, I checked).

Director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett took a risk and tried to give something old a new spin. Normally, this could have come off as goofy and tired, but it’s the characters that make it work. The brothers act like real brothers, arguing over nonsense and holding ridiculous grudges and the parents are seemingly actual loving parents who want nothing more than the best and safety for their children. The actors, some of which are filmmakers themselves or Adam Wingard regulars, do a phenomenal job at bringing these characters to life that you actually feel for them and the terrible event they are going though. It’s a prime example of everything that comes together and works. The twist can throw you off at first, but the film carries it so well that the home invasion/slasher turned survival horror blends seamlessly that you wouldn’t want it any other way.

You're Next
I can’t say enough positive things about this movie. Simply put, I love You’re Next. It sat on the shelf for two years (yup, it was made before V/H/S) and it was well worth the wait. So, cuddle up with a loved one, lock the windows, bolt the doors and watch You’re Next. But, be sure to check under the bed before you go to sleep.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • If you play a song on repeat, you’ll get a machete to your face.
  • Sibling Rivalry.
  • Bullseye!
  • The animals have come out to play.
  • Good night, mommy.
  • Garrote 30 Meter Dash.
  • Pounding some meat!
  • Kevin McCallister 101.
totals

8

blood

BLOOD

As the victims are slain by the animal masked killers, tables turn as they fall victims to Erin’s booby traps.

6

blood

BREASTS

A little coed naughtiness at the beginning, but is instantly stifled by Felix’s girlfriend’s odd request… unless you’re into that kind of thing.

10

beast

BEASTS

Behind those stylish animal masks lie some killers with a motive… and Erin is no pushover herself.

8 OVERALL
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Watch the trailer for “You’re Next!”

trailers

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About the Highway

Lost Highway is your satirical detour down the twisted back roads of b-movies and cult films reviews. learn more >>