Archive for the 'New Releases' Category

Sep

posted by admin | September 19, 2013 | Action, Drama, New Releases, Reviews by the Goon, screeners

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Hammer of the Gods

2013 – R – Magnet
Have you ever been watching an epic medieval battle, metal swords clashing against each other as barbaric men snarl at each other with their faces caked in blood and wondered what it would sound like if it were accompanied by dub step music? And then if they took that same fight scene and slowed it down and sped it up at odd intervals like some dance club music video? How about a paper thin plot that is only held together with carnage? Then Hammer of the Gods is for you!

I should be more fair. There is a little more content to Hammer of the Gods than that, but not too much more. The films opens up in Viking Britain, 871 AD, although after that first battle, you’ll be wondering if it’s some sort of timeless world, like Middle Earth. During a violent battle with some farmers (who I wished rode tractors instead of horses), we are introduced to our ‘heroes’ with title cards, very similar to the last TMNT movie. Unnecessary, but um… cool? I need to mention that for Vikings, these guys have nicely trimmed or flowing hair with perfectly shaved stubble. Who knew Vikings cared so much about current fashion trends in GQ? After the slaughter, our protagonist Steinar receives word that his father is dying. Steinar returns to their base… camp… (?) where his brother Harald believes he will become King, but their father’s parenting style is similar to that of a sociopathic sadist. So he sends Steinar out to find a King, his other brother Hakar who was banished years ago for reasons we will get into later.

hotg2Accompanying him along his journey is his best friend Hagan, the spiritual Jokul and the lovable oaf, Grim. They are quickly followed by Steinar’s wimpy half brother Vali who now tags along for the rest of the journey. Good, all the adventure stereotypes are here and now the quest can begin… but, not before a pointless battle! Within what seems like moments, they come across a group of men stoning a woman tied to a post. They quickly overcome their adversaries faster than Lindsay Lohan gets sent to rehab, freeing the woman only to have Grim kill her a moment later and they move on. You think a scene like this would say something about their individuality or perhaps the contrast of the time period and the struggles they go through in order to keep their humanity, but nope. Who needs that when you can yell and swing a sword over house music?

Moving further along, the group realizes they need they aid of a brute warrior, Ivar, who will help them find Hakar. Ivar use to fight alongside Hakar, but was dismissed after his ‘interest’ in boys. But Ivar will only help them if Steinar can defeat him in the manliest game on Earth known simply as arm wrestling! I guess the filmmakers saw Over the Top and thought, “Oh, we need to do that, but with swords!” There is a catch to the game, however: If Steinar cannot defeat Ivar within three tries, he will be sodomized. Oh and after each try, he has to take a drink from a mushroom spiked drink. Quickly, let’s recap our ‘heroes’: A war hungry prince, a wienie half brother, an insane king, a pedophile and a group of friends defined by one vague characteristic. Yup, that’s who you’re rooting for in this movie. Leaves you feeling clean. Needless to say, Steinar defeats Ivar and he joins their group, bringing along his slave girl (I dunno, it’s really unclear what her role is). But upon returning to their horses they left earlier with Vali, they find a horse head hanging from the tree and Vali totally unscathed. Could he be in cahoots with the enemy?

Enough thinking or developing plot, we need a battle! They are surrounded and ambushed while trolloping through the forest, claiming their first casualty, Grim. Oh, but he had two other dimensions we didn’t explore. We will also remember him for being stupid, hot headed and ranting about his venereal diseases and wisely saying, “RAAHHHHH!” or “GRRR!” The group begins to suspect foul play from Vali, accusing him to be a traitor. Before they can come to any conclusions, their bickering is interrupted by, you guessed it, more fighting! Some hacking and slashing later, the group flees only to be cornered and over powered. They are taken captive and told they need to covert and accept god. So wait, now this film is religious and not superstitious? Who knows, but all we know is Vali willingly surrendered himself and was ready to convert to avoid any sort of conflict, which the group doesn’t take to kindly to. With the help of Astrid, Steiner escapes and frees his friends, losing Ivar in the process. After locking their captures in a church tower, Hagen confronts Steiner with an ultimatum: Vali is a traitor and if Steiner doesn’t execute him, he will. Seems fair and long overdue. This leads to a duel between the two friends, now rivals, until an unpleasant outcome is reached. Here’s a hint: The person you want to die, doesn’t.

hotg3The rest of the crew ventures forward, only to disappear leaving Steinar by his lonesome. He wonders into a cave and is knocked out by the locals who like to paint unknown shapes and squiggles on themselves. It is here where we finally meet his other brother, who has gone mad. But this reunion of brothers calls for a feast! Speaking of, where are his friends..? Well, we do see Vali who has converted again. Maybe later, John Travolta and Tom Cruise will get him to convert to Scientology. No matter, this all boiling down to the main event. Questions will be answered. Will we find out what happened to Steinar’s mother (yes and BLECK!)? Will Steinar be victorious? Will they be painted on like kindergarten finger paintings? What was in the stew? All these in the exciting conclusion!

Throughout the film, there are several ideas or subplots that go absolutely nowhere other than to tether the scenes of grisly gore and death together, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It feels as if maybe it would’ve worked better as a mini series rather than rush through and focus on the battles, as entertaining as they are. The acting is actually pretty top notch, though, and all the characters were believable, as unrelatable as they were. Also, the music seemed extremely out of place, with guitar stings and dub step stabbing at your ear like a broad sword. I almost want to mute my TV… with the plague.

Having said all of that, I still would recommend the film and why not? It’s a bloody good time. If you’re not looking for something deep, like Lord of the Rings, but you still want some good old fashioned Viking sword slaying, then Hammer of the Gods is a prime choice. Mount your steed and curse your opponent’s god! Or just pick up your DVD or Blu-ray copy from Magnet, like a normal person. This isn’t the medieval times!

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.
Hammer of the Gods

roadside attractions

  • Esquire Vikings.
  • Snarling!
  • Viking Dub Step.
  • Over the Top on Mead.
  • Four way sibling rivalry.
  • One bar of soap for every time you feel misogynistic or sadistic… or just sick.
  • Pit of Death!
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

Throat slashing, face smashing, head chopping, ear chewing good time.

4

blood

BREASTS

Blue painted beauties.

7

beast

BEASTS

Plenty of well groomed Vikings, but those cannibals… don’t eat the stew!

6 OVERALL
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Sep

posted by Die-Anne Takillya | September 16, 2013 | B-movies, New Releases, Review by Die-Anne Takillya

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I found a little treasure in the infamous $5 bin:  Devil’s Playground, a treat from our neighbors across the pond!

Newgen, a pharmaceutical company, has developed a drug meant to be a performance enhancer that you shoot into your veins instead of pour down your gullet. Everything goes smoothly for two months, but then the folks from the trial start vomiting like Linda Blair and having multiple organ failure; somehow the drug has given them a virus. This causes the company head to flip out, and round up all the guinea pigs. They find all except one, Angela Mills, who apparently is exhibiting none of the symptoms. They send their mercenary, Cole to find her, but alas, she has vacated her apartment and left no forwarding address.

Back at the lab, things are going to hell in a hand-basket. Wilhelm screams abound as trialists thrash around on their hospital beds, and we see the original test subject popping veins all over like a bodybuilder. He’s getting worse, because they stopped giving him the viral suppressant that was keeping him from turning into a zombie. Boy howdy, does he turn! He jumps off that table and starts chomping on scientists, leaping around the room like a cirque du soleil acrobat in boxer briefs. Cole dispatches him with extreme prejudice, but not before getting bitten.  He comes to, and the doctor gives him three doses of the viral suppressant juice, which gives him about 18 hours to find Angela and bring her back. In the meantime, we enter the only part of this movie I would have scissored out; we meet Joe, an ex-cop who was jailed for shooting a 14 year old who was high on crack during an altercation. Heís just made bail, and is trying to get back to Angela via family friend Steve. During all this, Angela is making plans to get out of the city and to her brother, Matt, who has a chopper to escape the outbreak.

London has gone berserk; the zombie folk running and doing parkour jumps all over the place. Every chase scene looked like an extreme sports video; runners, jumpers, flippers, leapers Hoo, boy! But do I love a fast moving zombie sometimes! Blood is always flying, teeth always snapping, it’s awesome.  Our little group of survivors is chased  all the way to Steve’s garage, and they’re met by an American banker and his British partner who have run from the subway where they got zombushed.

Cole finds them and saves them from a group of zeds that followed. Now starts the us against them portion of the story; the bank couple are scared that they’ll get left behind for a zombie midnight snack, so they start wheedling their way into the psyche of Kate, and convince her to lock Angela in the office while they all try to escape. Luckily, Joe is finally good for something and helps her climb out of the window while Cole dispatches the undead scum.

Joe has serious issue with Cole wanting to take Angela to the hospital; she is pregnant, and you don’t need Maury Povich to tell you that it’s his! So, heís basically treating her like a mean dog with a chew toy, and telling her where she’s gonna go and what sheís gonna do. The movie goes on like this for a while; they get chased, Cole rescues them, then they pull weapons on him and tell him Angela’s not going anywhere with them, then Angela says she is, then they get attacked again. It may be repetitive, but it is entertaining.

We then get to meet Matt and his partner Jim; theyíre police who used to work with Joe. They’re making their way to the chopper on an inflatable boat. I’m serious. Jim has been bitten, and has made Matt swear to put him down if he turns. When they arrive, the chopper has been destroyed; looks like the zombies got there first. Luckily, the radio is still working, and Matt receives instructions to meet a ship 10 miles down the Thames because the only safe travel is water; for some reason the ghouls are afraid of it. By this time, Jim has turned, and chases Matt into the ruins.

Back at the ranch, the bankers have locked Steve and Kate out of the fishing shack they ran to, and Steve gets bitten. Cole almost kills them when they confess, and Steve offs himself so he doesnít turn into a monster. Angela makes them all pile into the van, Cole convinces her that she is the only one who can stop this, even though Joe is being a real jerk about the whole thing; I mean,  the rest of the human race getting killed off, or your baby-mama giving away a few pints of blood? Which would you choose?

All hell breaks loose as they get to the choppahh Sorry, started channeling Ahnold the barbarian there. Ahem… where were we? Oh yeah! The bankers get left behind because the man got hisself bit and turned into a zombie, and the lady banker tried to kill Angela. Joe gets bitten in the fracas, decides to stay behind with Cole, and Angela ends up in the boat with Matt, on her way to safety and to save the human race.

All-in-all, it is a rollicking ride of a zombie movie. By rollicking, I mean it rides like that tilt-a-whirl that’s held together by duct tape and carny spit: You just kind of hang on for dear life and look forward to the end! It is an hour and a half long rip-off homage to 28 Days Later, Night of the Living Dead, and Dawn of the Dead.

Roadside totals:
Blood: GALLONS. Lots of good guts and gore flowing across your screen.
Breasts: No jahoobies were released during the filming of this movie.
Beasts: Too many to count, including the ones that weren’t zombies!
Gratuitous Inflatable raft, jealous dude, heads explode, acrobatic zombies, terrible accents.

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Sep

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Retard-O-Tron III

Remember how awesome it was to make mix tapes for cruising around in your friends car during the summer? Each song would reflect your freedom, wild nature and reflecting back on the other good nights. Or the girl that you wished you could tell her how you felt, so you put together that perfect mix of songs about staying up late thinking about her, casual conversations and falling in love? Retard-O-Tron III is that mixtape for gorehounds, cheesy b-movie fanatics, cult fans, porn lovers, hardcore and punk aficionados alike.

So as you may have gathered, or if you have seen the other two films, Retard-O-Tron III is a clip show with a sleazy and vulgar twist. It goes far beyond just presenting clips from films. It splices them together, both video and audio of some of the raunchiest, nastiest, goriest and downright disturbing videos. As soon as you pop this thing in your DVD player, before you even play the feature, the graphic on the Main Menu alone should be a warning… or a welcoming invitation to the mad and macabre crowd.

The film opens up appropriately enough with several Japanese girls sitting in a circle, peeing into the air, like a pee fountain… no, not LIKE a pee fountain, it IS a pee fountain. This is all synchronized to the elegant and tantalizing music Beethoven, showcasing a prime example of mixed media art. If there was a ever to set a tone for a film, this would be it. Shortly after, we are introduced to a cooking show, Cooking with Merrill The Great Gourmet. Merrill is… a bit slow and seems to have somewhat of a temper. This is cut back and forth to throughout the film, but next we are shown what is probably the funniest mash-up I have ever seen and pretty damn gross simultaneously. Imagine if you had tuned into Britains Got Talent, there sit Simon and whoever the other two judges are, scowling and waiting for the next shtick. A beautiful woman enters the stage and presents her “talent”… blowing air out of her bunghole. What she does with it next though, let me just say that it displays the elasticity of the human rectum and does not look like it feels pleasing in the least bit.

There are also tidbits of opera singers, dubbed with belches and farts at one end of the spectrum and at the other it has porn clips with opera singing dubbed over it. A majority of the duration are karaoke videos that look like they would have been on a public access channel, various movies, like Terror Vision and Bloodsport, all fused with a variety of music from Kris Kross to Le Tigre and my favorite, scenes from Reb Brown movies Strike Commando and Space Mutiny (Reb makes anything awesome). This is the formula that follows, but you’ll still find yourself shocked and then laughing maniacally. You’ll feel sick, both mentally and physically, but it’s the price you pay.

The mixtape ends on a high note, various snip-its of Japan doing what Japan does to entertain and proving to the world why they are Japan and nobody else is or would want to be. If I had to describe the vibe to Retard-O-Tron, it would be like asking yourself after every scene, “What the f*#@ did I just watch?” It’s as if you tuned into a bizarro episode of Tim and Eric. As depraved as this may be, it’s hysterical. I felt nostalgic for my high school days when my friend and I would watch repugnant and farcical videos on sites like The Stile Project and Ebaum’s World. This is all edited by a man named Roelewapper, who is most likely a mad genius and we are all part of his experiment. So check out Retard-O-Tron III and visit the official site. Just bring a bucket.

Check out this review and plenty others at Goon Reviews.

roadside attractions

  • You’ll never see Britain’s Got Talent the same way again.
  • Reb MF’ing Brown.
  • Grumpy gourmet.
  • Japan.
  • You know what, the whole damn thing is a Roadside Attraction.
totals

6

blood

BLOOD

There is some in the various clips.

9

blood

BREASTS

Here, there, everywhere.

10

beast

BEASTS

Everything you witness, especially Merrill, is a monster.

8.3 OVERALL
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Aug

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Profile of a Killer

We’re all guilty of going great lengths to get attention and who came blame us? With all this social media, it’s hard to get anyone’s attention, unless your most inopportune moment happens to be captured and put on YouTube. But unless you want to become the latest meme, how far would you go? I remember I once pretended to run away from home, thinking my mom would come looking for me. Probably should have ran further than my backyard.

Take young David here, for example. It’s Christmas time and he’s becoming Minnesota’s next serial killer, leaving a trail of decomposing skeletons across Route 61, earning himself the nickname “61 Killer.” It’s a good thing he didn’t leave the bodies along Route 69! And all of the things Minnesota is known for, besides Kirby Puckett and the invention of Scotch Tape, it has to be bizarre serial killers. Anyway, with local police baffled, they call for the help of retired FBI Profiler, Saul Aitken, who kinda looks like Robert DeNiro in some scenes. Saul meets up with Special Agent Cade, who seems like a more confident or veteran Clarice Starling. She comes off as cold and emotionless, but still pretty cute. Together, they go over the details of the case, examining the bodies, one of which is missing an arm, attempting to connect all the clues together, but this may be harder than it seems, since both profiles they have come up with so far are opposing ideas.

Later at his hotel that night, Saul gets a special delivery… the missing arm from one of the bodies! Shouldn’t have ordered the mystery meat. Saul rushes to his door to chase after the delivery man, but in a surprising turn against cliches, the killer is still at the door and kidnaps Saul at gunpoint. I almost thought we were going to have a moment similar to Seven there for a moment.

poak_2Saul wakens in a bathtub, cuffed by the ankles and hands like a prisoner, but not shackled down to anything (don’t worry, this isn’t another Saw style movie). He gets up and moves around the sullied, broken down home and finds young David cooking them breakfast. After a tour of his humble abode, David tells Saul that he’s been ‘fishing’ for a profiler, to tell him exactly who he is, how he thinks, why he kills. So he wants to be… profiled. And this is the great length he will go to get his attention, but the police and FBI aren’t giving in to it.

The remainder of the movie is what the internet is calling a ‘cat and mouse’ game. But whenever I hear that, I think of Tom and Jerry chasing each other dressed as Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. Don’t ask. But for a lack of a better description, we’ll go along with calling it that. Reminding me of Hard Candy, the favorable odds seem to shift back and forth between Saul and David periodically and rather quickly. Just when you think Saul is breaking through David’s psyche, making progress, David will throw him a figurative curve ball that makes Saul not only question the methods and the fragile mind of David, but maybe some of his own life decisions.

David turns all of this into a game. Saul must ask the right questions, make an accurate profile of David if he is to prevent him from killing again. No matter what David does, the authorities won’t give him any media attention (if only we would do the same with Lady Gaga), so he decides to focus his attention on the police, targeting Special Agent Cade. Now things are becoming personal for Saul and the police are closing in on their whereabouts as the game comes to conclusion.

poak_3Profile of a Killer isn’t about showcasing visceral, over the top and gory deaths, but instead is a cerebral film, pitting two minds of opposing sides of criminology against each other. I found myself at the edge of my uncomfortable futon guessing in anticipation as to what might happen next. Most of the time, I was wrong. Films like this tend to fall into their own cliches, making them predictable and stale, but this movie doesn’t go in the other direction; it goes in a different direction altogether. It’s a familiar feeling that seems to be turned on its side. You’ll be surprised.

At times, it can feel like the movie is dragging on (run time is about two hours), however it’s for a good reason: They are taking their time and developing character and I have to say this is the film’s strongest point. You feel sympathetic and confused for David (after all, we are all lost in this world over saturated with social media), you can feel the frustration and sadness of Saul. Even the minor characters, you feel like you know them because we actually spend the right time with them and the progression the character goes through.

You can check out Profile of a Killer on Demand now and if the delivery man happens to bring you a package while watching it, make sure it’s something you’re expecting.

roadside attractions

  • Meatless skeletons.
  • Special Agent Cade: Dana Scully or Clarice Starling?
  • Saul, Robert DeNiro stunt double.
  • I cut off the Sheriff’s face, but I did not cut off the face of the deputy.
  • Spam Christmas dinner.
totals

7

blood

BLOOD

A little bit, but lots of gruesome skeletons.

4

blood

BREASTS

They always seem to be under several layers of coats. Cade keeps them wrapped up pretty tight… except for that one scene…

8

beast

BEASTS

The minds of Saul and David are quite beastly. And Cade kicks some arse.

6.3 OVERALL
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Jul

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ABCs of Death

Not too long ago, I won a copy of The ABC’s of Death on Bluray from Magnet as part of a V/H/S/2 fan art contest and I finally got around to watching it. It had quite a bit of buzz surrounding it and the concept is quite interesting. Basically, each letter is a short film from a different director. Despite mixed reviews, I was still excited nonetheless (after all, isn’t the idea to see what I think about the film?). Rather than do a typical review, I thought I would try something a little different. Maybe something of a pun, if you will. So much like the film, I’m going to go through the alphabet, A-Z (in case you couldn’t figure that out) and give a word or two review on that particular letter, using the same letter. Afterwards, I’ll go back though and give more of an insight on the film experience. Alright, let’s start this mother!

A is for Alright, pretty rad!
B is for Boring.
C is for Condensed crap.
D is for Damn, downright dirty!
E is for Ehh…
F is for Frickin’ stupid.
G is for God, what a waste.
H is for Hella cool hound dog.
I is for Insomnia cure.
J is for Japan.
K is for Klassic Krap.
L is for Ludacris!
M is for Moronic.
N is for No thank you.
O is for Oh… kay…
P is for Pretty Lame.
Q is for Quack-tastic!
R is for Righteous and rowdy!
S is for Sadistically supercharged!
T is for Terrifying toilet trouble!
U is for Unseen killer.
V is for Visually mediocre.
W is for Whacky!
X is for X-tremely stupid.
Y is for Yeah, don’t lick little boy’s arse sweat.
Z is for Zoinks! Giant Nazi dong!

The ABC’s of Death goes beyond an anthology. The filmmakers are given even a shorter amount of time to tell their story and for the most part, lots of them are done pretty well. For some of them, like L and S, you can’t help but think how those segments would be if they were full length features, combining stylistic shots with unique stories. The ideas they had, even for a short, are incredible. At times, some of them felt a little too ambitious and it only felt like they were using blood and gore to grab your attention. Like C, it was if they didn’t trust their own storytelling ability and it shows. Other times, give O for example, was a very beautiful story to look at, but it didn’t feel like there was much of a story being told. Instead it’s just slow motion shots of very artistic images. It would be like if you gave a photographer a video camera. Of course, there were some really hilarious ones, H, T and Z especially. I don’t know if those segments would have worked as full length features, but they were entertaining and made me laugh.

ABCs of DeathFor all of its flaws (hey, it’s not going to be perfect), The ABC’s of Death feels like an interesting experimental piece and I’d have to say the experiment was a success! You get a mixture of action, horror, drama, science fiction, claymation, animation and comedy all rolled in to one. Unlike most anthologies, there is no underlining narrative to link all the stories together, so there is no connection between stories. Each one has its own beginning and end.

Although it has a handful of uninteresting (and some even downright lazy with their ideas or execution), overall it was very entertaining, sickening and even shocking at moments. You could say it’s a mixed bag, which it is, but the good outweighs the bad. Giving the restrictions each film maker had, most of them did a bang up job and with the recent announcement of a sequel; I say B is for Bring it on!

roadside attractions

  • Educational and gory!
  • Dog gone!
  • Japan.
  • Masterba-tory-overdose.
  • Toilet troubles.
  • Heroine fueled race with the Devil!
  • Vampire-cam.
  • Robots blowing up babies.
  • Nazis!
totals

9

blood

BLOOD

The root of every segment.

7

blood

BREASTS

The more poor segments tend to throw this more to keep your attention.

8

beast

BEASTS

Monsters, Devils, Furries, claymation toilets that eat people, spiders, serial killers, boogeymen, hookers and Nazis… there is something here for everyone!

8 OVERALL
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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 >>