Monday, December 22, 2008

Horror Movie Review: Dismal


Starring: Bill Oberst, Jr., Lydia Chandler, Tim Morris, and Jack Harrison

Directed by: Gary King

Written by: Bo Buckley

Production Company: Fearmakers Studios

Release Date: Yet to be Announced.

Let's face it...some college students go to great lengths to pass their classes, so when Dana is given the opportunity toYall come by for supper, sometime. It'll be de-licious. You got Dales word on that. go on a camping trip into the Great Dismal Swamp for a paper on the wildlife there to get extra credit, she seems to be getting off easily.

Pretty quickly, though, we start to wonder if staying home and doing body shots at a drunken coed revelrie with her overbearing boyfriend may have been a better choice for Dana. The students come across a dead aligator and begin worrying about poachers. But it's not poachers that come hunting them in the night.
Dana freaks when she finds out the food will exceed her carb count for the rest of the day.
Soon Dana and her fellow college students find themselves invited to the main course for Dale and his son Idiot.

Dismal is a thrilling gorefest about swamp cannibals and their grocery shopping habits. Bill Oberst, Jr. plays the head of the cannibal family Dale. He does a decent job in the role, but the real fear comes from Jack Harrison, Idiot. The mute Idiot intimidates victims and audience alike with his blackened teeth and overshadowing size.
Maitre De, Idiot, is ready to show you to your seat.
Tim Morris plays Curt, the teaching assistant that leads the coeds into the Great Dismal Swamp and really captures the screen by the end of the film. Give hime time. There's more to the awkward Curt than is readily apparent. Similarly, Dana's uneasy demeanor toughens by the end of the film, and well portrayed in Lydia Chandler's first film role.

Dale explains that he tried Vegantarianism, but Vegan's taste funny.Dismal has plenty of gore and action, plus a bit of gratuitous sex thrown in for good measure. Only once did I feel King went too far, and that was an unrealistic encounter with leghold traps. Otherwise, Dismal is a fun romp through a swamp with cannibals and definately worth a watch.

Fearmakers is working on the distribution of the film, so when I know it's available, I'll let you know. Until then, remember...the swamp is a dangerous where you step.

Um...When I said eat me, I was NOT being literal!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Horror Movie Review Preiview: Dismal

Coming Soon...Dismal. Dana is failing Biology. To pass she must attend an extra credit assignment with several classmates that will lead them into a remote region of the Great Dismal Swamp, a place teeming with life… and death. While the group keeps one eye out for hungry bear, deadly snakes and lurking gators, they are unaware of the real danger. For the top of the food chain lives in a dingy cabin not too far from their campsite, and he has an appetite for human flesh.


Eat or be Eaten.

Starring Bill Oberst, Jr., Lydia Chandler, Tim Morris, and Jack Harrison, Dismal is set for release

Join us soon to see what Dismal will be serving up...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Horror Movie Review: Zombie Strippers!

Zombie Strippers!

Starring: Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund, Roxy Saint, and Penny Drake

Directed by: Jay Lee

Written by: Jay Lee

Production Company: Production Headquarters

Release Date: February 23, 2008

Admit it...Some of see the title...Zombie Strippers! And you say, "I have got to see that!" You don't have to read this review. The review, it doesn't matter. You've got zombies...You've got strippers...You've got Zombie Strippers! and it's a done deal.

Yeah, me too...

For the rest of you, this review is for you.

In the near future, about 8 years or so, a virus gets released that creates zombies. It's a government created virus based on the X-chromosome making women partially resistent, but as one of the doctors on the project says, "...once you get a man in there, like everything else, it all goes to shit."

So a military unit is called in to contain an outbreak, but they are less than successful as an infected males runs and a strip club. After the infected zombies out and attacks one of the strippers, things get really crazy. The new zombie stripper is more popular than she was before and the remaining strippers have to decide, is the attention worth being a zombie, and the owner of the strip club has to figure out if the money is worth the clean-up required when the zombie strippers feed.

Clearly Zombie Strippers adds some comedy to this popular horror sub-genre.

What Zombie Strippers! serves up, other than ample gore and tits, is satire. The world we find these undead hotties is one in which George W. Bush has taken his fourth term in office and nudity has been banned. One character even says, "Iraq is making us enough money to make God cream in His fucking jeans!"

Jenna Jameson plays the lead zombie stripper Kat with Roxy Saint and Penny Drake her zombie acolytes. Their performances, while not examples of good acting, are still entertaining. Jameson will return to the horror-comedy genre making a cameo appearance in October 30, 2009 premiere of Horrorween about dot-com millionaires who build a haunted house to impress the neighbors. Penny Drake was already experienced in horror-comedy with her appearance in The Cook but will take a more serious turn in Necrosis about six friends trapped in a snow storm and either haunted by the ghosts of the Donner Party, or their own Cabin Fever. Robert Englund, though, steals the show as strip club owner Ian. Englund again shows us his great sense of humor and comedic timing with the slimy businessman. He will reprise his role as Mayor Buckman in the sequel to 2001 Maniacs, 2001 Maniacs: The Beverly Hellbillys. After the sheriff refuses to cover up any further for the maniacs causing all the missing persons in the area, they're forced to hit the road in what's dubbed the "Pleasant Valley Traveling Road Show," where the maniacs head across country in hopes of gathering more victims.

The satire is sharp and the humor entertaining, including a reference to "Weird Al" Yankovic's UHF and a spoof of, what seems to be, the marines in Aliens.

My only complaint is that, while I love the naked female form, I felt like, as in Orgy of the Dead too much time was spent on naked women dancing and not enough on the script.

Related Horror Movie Trailers

Animated Horrorween trailer

The Cook starring Penny Drake

2001 Maniacs starring Robert Englund

Friday, December 5, 2008

Horror Movie Review Preview: Zombie Strippers

Coming Soon...Zombie Strippers! In the not too distant future a secret government re-animation chemo-virus gets released into conservative Sartre, Nebraska and lands in an underground strip club. As the virus begins to spread, turning the strippers into "Super Zombie Strippers" the girls struggle with whether or not to conform to the new "fad" even if it means there's no turning back.

Zombie Strippers!

Live Dead Nudes
They'll dance for a fee, but devour you for free.
They'll Swallow Your Soul, Anything Else Will Cost You.

Starring Jenna Jameson, Robert Englund, Roxy Saint, and Penny Drake, Zombie Strippers! has a 4.4 stars out of 10 rating on IMDB and 2.6 stars out of 5 at Netflix.

Join us soon to see what Zombie Strippers has to show...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Horror Movie Review: Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries vol. 1

Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries vol. 1

Starring: Devon Bailey, Eilis Cahill, JoJo Hristova, and Michael Strelow

Directed by: Phil Messerer

Written by: Phil Messerer

Production Company: The Sugar Factory

Release Date: July 28, 2008

Awards: The Accolade Award of Excellence in a feature film, The Indie gathering award for Best Horror film, the Action On Film Award for Best Art Direction, the B-Movie Fest's awards for Best Music and Best Director, the Independent Features Film Festival award for Viewer's Choice Best Horror, the IndieFest USA award for Best Make-Up, and the Family Values Award at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival

Since 1916's N├Ąchte des Grauens (Night of Horror to us Americaners), nearly 600 movies have been made (or are in production) containing vampires. Let's face it, these days it's hard to find someone with a new twist to the bloodsucking undead. That doesn't mean that all new vampire movies are doomed to suck, pardon the pun, but they certainly have to struggle to keep from going down in flames when finally released to the bright glare of critics.

Into that frightful genre Phil Messerer brings us Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries vol. 1.

Meet the Baxters. Fraternal twins vegetarian Helen and goth Lara, homosexual Raymond, and religious Mom. Just your typical American family. Lara can't stand her popular sister, but when Helen mysteriously dies after her 16th birthday, Lara's world and that of her family's is turned upside down. Especially when Helen returns as a vampire.

What follows is the family's drive to care for Helen in her new vampiric state offering her "sacrifices" that won't be missed or traced to them. Raymond begins doing strange experiments with the dead bodies, Lara finds herself an integral component of the family as the resident expert, and Mom struggles with her religious beliefs and her love for her daughter. And we learn about a family secret.

Messerer takes the idea of vampirism from the realm of the supernatural into the realm of science as vampires are determined by their genetics. His story is also one that does a good job balancing humor with drama, a trick many have a hard time achieving. Of note is the rock musical score Messerer uses in this film.

Messerer's film is a fresh, funny, dark spin on the old vampire tale. Let's hope he has the chance to give us more of the Baxter story.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Horror Movie Review Preview: Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries part 1

Coming soon...Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries part 1. A dark comedy about a family taking care of their vampire daughter.

Starring Devon Bailey, Eilis Cahill, JoJo Hristova, and Michael Strelow, Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries part 1 has won The Accolade Award of Excellence in a feature film, The Indie gathering award for Best Horror film, the Action On Film Award for Best Art Direction, the B-Movie Fest's awards for Best Music and Best Director, the Independent Features Film Festival award for Viewer's Choice Best Horror, the IndieFest USA award for Best Make-Up, and the Family Values Award at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival.

Check out the trailer here:

Join us soon to take a bite out of...Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries Part 1.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Horror Movie Review: Dead Silence

Dead Silence

Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, and Bob Gunton

Directed by: James Wan

Written by: Leigh Whannell and James Wan

Production Companies: Universal Pictures, Twisted Pictures, and Evolution Entertainment

Release Date: March 16, 2007

Let's face it...Dolls are creepy. Miniature, humanesque figures of wood or plastic with unnatural face facades with empty eyeDummy Billy isn't the only cast member to give a wooden performace in Dead Silence.s gazing out dispassionately behind false smiles. Creepy. Then there's the ventriloquist dummy...a specialized doll designed to better simulate a living thing...and all the more creepy for it.

James Wan and Leigh Whannell take that idea, leaving behind their success with Saw I-III, and venture anew with Dead Silence.

Jamie and Lisa Ashen come from a small town where ventriloquist dummies are bad omens. So when one shows up outside of their door shortly before Lisa's mysterious murder, Jamie returns home for some answers, followed by Detective Lipton. Jamie pries from the locals the story of Mary Shaw, ventriloquist spinster murdered for her supposed connection with the disappearance of a young boy. Does Mary Shaw's ghost continue to torment the small town? What is the connection Mary Shaw and Billy asks the audience, Who's the dummy now. Clearly we are.between Mary Shaw and Lisa's death?

The premise behind Dead Silence is a bit hokey, but not without potential. Unfortunately, Wan and Whannell aren't able to exploit that potential.

It was clear they were trying to create a tense mood for the audience to be nervously awaiting the next jump and scare. However, all of the sttempts petered out and failed. The ambiance was there, the expectation of the scares was there...but in the end we could see Wan's and Whannell's lips moving and the result was a dull mystery.
Ryan Kwanten tries to find some emotion in Dead Silence.
Star Ryan Kwanten seemed unable to portray a sincere man trying to solve the mystery of his wife's death, and his apparent detachment from the role made it difficult for the audience to feel any passion for his quest.

Bob Gunton and Amber Valletta star as Edward and Ella Ashen, Jamie's wheelchair bound father and his new, trophy wife. Gunton commands the screen in his subdued role evoking more emotion than Kwanten is able to muster. Valletta seemed much like her character, a trophy actress in a limited role. It's hard to tell if she could have done a better job with a more substantial role. Perhaps she'll get more of an acting opportunity in the sci-fi thriller Game, set in a future-world where humans can control other humans in mass-scale, multi-player online gaming environments.

Donnie Wahlberg steals the show.Donnie Wahlberg plays the sarcastic Detective Lipton. Lipton is easily the most captivating character in the movie. Had Dead Silence focused more on Lipton, then even if it wasn't scarier, it would have at least been more entertaining. Wahlberg is the horror heavyweight of the cast having appeared in The Sixth Sense, Dreamcatcher, and Saw II-V.
All Mary Shaw wants is some tongue.
The ending to Dead Silence was the most interesting and helped keep the film from being a total waste. I hesitate to call it a twist ending, because it didn't really explain or clarify the events of the movie any better. It was more of a novelty ending, so, while interesting, it didn't exactly redeem the whole film.

If you want a scary ventriloquist doll movie, check out Magic. If you just want evil toys in general, Puppetmaster or Child's Play. but keep Dead Silence hushed.

LOL Dummy says, I cantz sleepziz. Gotz wood.
Related Movie Previews

Saw V starring Donnie Wahlberg. Currently in theaters.

Magic starring Anthony Hopkins from 1978.

Puppetmaster from 1989

Child's Play from 1988

Dying Breed starring Saw and Dead Silence writer Leigh Whannell. Currently playing in Australia.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Horror Movie Review Preview: Dead Silence

Coming soon...Dead Silence. A widower returns to his hometown to search for answers to his wife's murder, which may be linked to the ghost of a murdered ventriloquist.

Dead Silence

You Scream. You Die.

Starring Ryan Kwanten, Amber Valletta, Donnie Wahlberg, Michael Fairman, and Bob Gunton, Dead Silence carries a 6.0 star rating out of 10 at IMDB and 3.1 out of 5 stars on Netflix.

Join us next week to see if there's anything to say about...Dead Silence

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Horror Movie Review: The Mist

A tentacle monster says Give Me Five!The Mist

Starring: Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, Laurie Holden, Andre Braugher, Toby Jones, William Sadler, and Dan Miller

Directed by: Frank Darabont

Written by: Stephen King (story) and Frank Darabont (screenplay)

Production Companies: Darkwoods Productions and Dimension Films

Release Date: November 21, 2007

Awards: The Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress: Marcia Gay Harden

Let's face it. Taking a Stephen King story and translating it to the big screen is a difficult taskThomas Jane as David Drayton saying I think we need a bigger flyswatter... and one which, often times, fails to end well. They are always entertaining in some respect but for every The Shining and The Green Mile, there's a Graveyard Shift or Sleepwalkers. But when one comes out, I have to watch it and with as much trepidation as when I sit down with one of his books...but with an inverse reasoning. With his books, I open nervous about what he might pull out to scare me and with movies based on his work, it's fear that I won't be scared at all...

lolmonster asks can i has hooman nomzWhich brings us to The Mist. A novella I haven't read with monsters. I like the sound of it...but can director Frank Darabont translate a Stephen King story to the big screen? Ok, a King novel with monsters...He did a great job with the more down-to-earth Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile.

The story features a small town that has a military base nearby in the mountains. A large storm rolls through leading the town folk to get supplies and materials to repair damage. As friends, neighbors, and...not really friends, discuss how they weathered the storm. Then in rolls a thick mist. Running frantic into a grocery store is Dan Miller screaming, "Don't go out there! There's something in the mist!" Dirty Ollie saves the day.

Now trapped in the grocery store, the debates begin: What to do? What the mist means? What's in the mist? As store employee Ollie says, "As a species we're fundamentally insane. Put more than two of us in a room, we pick sides and start dreaming up ways to kill one another. Why do you think we invented politics and religion?"

Sorry, could someone tell me what expiation means? Srsly...While Brent Norman and his sceptics venture into the mist, Mrs. Carmody begins preaching the word of God and about the end of days, and David Drayton just wants to stay alive, the monsters are trying to get in. Giant insects, tentacles from something unknown, strange, featherless bird-like creatures, and giant spiders. But are those the most dangerous creatures in the mist? Or are fear-stricken, uncertain, panicked survivors the true monsters. David Drayton sums it up after Amanda claims, "My God, David, we're a civilized society," he responds, "Sure, as long as the machines are working and you can dial 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, you scare the shit out of them - no more rules."
We will, we will stone you....stone you...
The Mist was a gripping, tense film that focused more on the monsters in humanity than the extra-dimensional monsters that terrorized the characters that would make it one of the best King films...except for the end.

Darabont agreed to direct the film only if Dimension agreed to not change the scripted ending. My only real complant is the scripted ending. I'm not going to spoil it for you if you haven't seen it yet, but it's an ending I find not the least bit thought provoking or to be one that adds to the film. I find it to be an ending designed for shock value and in its shock, it takes away from the film. Stephen King says that he wishes he'd thought of the ending. I say that, since the rest of the film, while frustrating in its depiction of humanity, is an excellent horror film, I will stop the film early at an earlier point where I can determine the outcome of the movie, much like King's ambiguous ending, rather than Darabont's gimmicky ending.

Thomas Jane played the lead role of David Drayton. Jane has not proven himself a versatile actor, but cast as the stoic, intense Drayton, Jane does a good job. This isn't Jane's first film based on Stephen King's work, having starred in Dreamcatcher. Friends on a camping trip discover thClever comeback the town they're vacationing in is being plagued in an unusual fashion by parasitic aliens from outer space. He was recently seen in The Mutant Chronicles in which he plays 23rd century soldier Major Mitch Hunter who leads a fight against an army of underworld NecroMutants. Jane's next film will be the January 23, 2009 release, Killshot. Beautiful Carmen Colson and her ironworker husband Wayne are placed in the Federal Witness Protection program after witnessing an "incident". Thinking they are at last safe, they are targeted by an experienced hit man and a psychopathic young upstart killer. The ensuing struggle will test Carmen to the limit.

Marcia Gay Harden won an award for her portrayal of the maniacal zealot Mrs. Carmody, and she certainly deserves the award. Harden also starred in the 2007 supernatural mystery The Invisible. After an attack leaves him in limbo -- invisible to the living and also near death -- a teenager discovers the only person who might be able help him is his attacker. Harden can currently be seen in the limited release comedy The Maiden Heist centered on three museum security guards who devise a plan to steal back the artworks to which they have become attached after they are transferred to another museum, also starring Morgan Freeman, Christopher Walken, and William H. Macy.

Amanda Dumfries was played effectively by Laurie Holden. Holden also found herself cut off and plagued by strange creatures in Silent Hill. She plays Cybil Bennett, a police woman who helps Rose find her daughter in the haunted town.

Andre Braugher played the short lived role of Brent Norton. He played the slightly paranoid sceptic well, and had a strong screen presence while his character was present. Braugher can be seen in the limited release of Passengers about a grief counselor working with a group of plane-crash survivors who finds herself at the root of a mystery when her clients begin to disappear. Braugher also starred in the 2004 TV adaptation of 'Salem's Lot.

Superb actor William Sadler portrayed the wavering Jim in The Mist, his third Stephen King film, his other two being The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. He next appears in what seems to be a B-Movie, Nothing Sacred as the father of two twins who seek to kill him before he attains immortality. He will also appear in Silent But Deadly about Thomas Capper, an unconventional and mysterious serial killer who takes aim at a Hollywood film set, by unleashing his own brand of retribution on the cast and crew. He will also star in The Hills Run Red about a group trying to discover the mysteries behind an old film titles "The Hills Run Red" and run afowl of an axe murderer.

Ollie was excellently played by Toby Jones, awarded the Britsh Actor of the Year in 2006 by the London Critics Circle. Arguably the most likeable character in the film, hopefully we'll see more of Jones. Jones also plays Karl Rove in W. He will next play Thomas Huxley in Creation, a dramatic biography about Charles Darwin and his religious wife Emma.

Director-screewriter-producer Frank Darabont has been involved in many horror films including writing screenplays for Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors, the 1988 version of the The Blob, The Fly II, and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It has been announced that he is working on a screenplay adaptation of Fahrenheit 451. He's producing a Zack Snyder directed adaptation of Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man. He has no directing jobs set up at this time.

The next Stephen King adaptation to film will be Dolan's Cadillac about a young man attempting to avenge his wife's death after she is murdered by a Las Vegas mobster starring Christian Slater. Other King works in various stages of production include a new Creepshow, and adaptations of Cell, From a Buik 8, and Bag of Bones.