Monday, July 27, 2009

Horror Movie Review: The Brood

The Brood

Starring: Oliver Reed, Samantha Eggar, Art Hindle, and Cindy Hinds

Directed by: David Cronenberg

Written by: David Cronenberg

Production Companies: Canadian Film Development Corporation (CFDC), Elgin International Films Ltd., Mutual Productions Ltd., and Victor Solnicki Productions

Release Date: May 25, 1979

Awards: Prize of the International Critics' Jury - Special Mention at the 1981 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival

Killer children have been in movies since, I think, the 1956 release The Bad Seed. I've always been more disturbed by these killer children, Damien in The Omen, the children in Village of the Damned (even the remake with Christopher Reeve), and Holland from The Other, have all made me shutter. The only Macauley Culkin performance I've liked was his role as Henry Evans in The Good Son. Evil children are just more disturbing. It contradicts what you expect when you see them. "Aww, look at the cute little chi-AHH-AH-AHHH!" So I eagerly awaited The Brood.

Nola Carveth is under the psychiatric care of Dr. Raglan. His use of psychoplasmics is carefully kept hidden from outsiders. It seems to involve physically manifesting our negative feelings so as to better confront them.

But when Nola's husband Frank finds their daughter Candice covered in cuts and bruises after a weekend visit with mom at Raglan's compound, Frank refuses to let his daughter visit mom again.

But Frank gets even more frantic when Nola's mother gets killed and Raglan refuses to let him or Nola's father talk to her to let her know. But while Raglan and Frank get geared up for a legal battle, Nola's father gets killed. Then Candice's teacher while babysitting her.

It's no secret that the killers are hooded children, but where did they come from and what are their reasons for these murders? Nola surely knows.

Cronenberg doesn't capitalize on jumps and scares here, but still presents us with a disturbing, thrilling story. Samantha Eggar shows us how creepy she can be in the final scene. The other performances were passable. The Brood is a good film that really comes through in the final scene, a hallmark of many 70's horrors. But it's definately worth a watch.

Related Trailers


Oliver Reed, who played Dr. Raglan, also starred in 1981's Venom. A plot to abduct a young boy for ransom is foiled when the two kidnappers and their hostages are up trapped by the police in a posh London row house... along with a deadly black mamba snake running loose within and killing them off one by one.

The Astronaut's Wife

Samantha Eggar was still appearing in horror in 1999 appearing in The Astronaut's Wife. A space shuttle in orbit to repair a damaged satellite is forced to return to Earth after NASA loses contact with astronauts Spencer Armacost and Alex Streck for two minutes. Both were outside the spacecraft when the incident occurred. While Armacost seems to be unaffected, Streck has a much harder time recovering from whatever happened to them. Over time, Armacost's wife Jillian begins to note subtle changes in him. Egged on by a former NASA employee, she beings to believe that her husband is something else. She also learns that she is pregnant.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Art Hindle, who played Frank, also appeared in the 1978 remake Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

The Dead Zone

Cindy Hinds, who played little Candice, also appeared in The Dead Zone with Christopher Walken. Johnny Smith is a young schoolteacher with his whole life ahead of him. Unfortunately, after leaving his fiancee's home one night, he is involved in a wreck with an 18-wheel tractor-trailer and is in a coma for 5 years. When he wakes up, he discovers he has an ability to see into other people's lives, past, present and future, by coming into physical contact. But the visions he has are often frightening, and even apocalyptic.

Other Killer Child Movies

The Bad Seed

An ideal housewife begins to suspect her loving adolescent daughter may be a heartless killer.

Village of the Damned

In the English village of Midwich, the blond-haired, glowing-eyed children of uncertain paternity prove to have frightening powers.

The Other

Down in the farmcountry of the US two twins are born. One of them turns out to be good, while the other becomes rather evil.

The Omen

An American ambassador learns to his horror that his son is actually the literal Antichrist.

The Good Son

A young boy stays with his aunt and uncle, and befriends his cousin who's the same age. But his cousin begins showing increasing signs of psychotic behavior.

Village of the Damned

A small town's women give birth to unfriendly alien children posing as humans.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Horror Movie Review Preview: The Brood

Coming Soon...The Brood. A man's wife is under the care of an eccentric and unconventional psychologist who uses innovative and theatrical techniques to breach the psychological blocks in his patients. When their daughter comes back from a visit with her mother and is covered with bruises and welts, the father attempts to bar his wife from seeing the daughter but faces resistance from the secretive psychologist. Meanwhile, the wife's mother and father are attacked by strangely deformed children, and the man begins to suspect a connection with the psychologist's methods.

The Ultimate Experience Of Inner Terror

They're Waiting... For You!

Starring Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar, The Brood won Prize of the International Critics' Jury - Special Mention at the 1981 Sitges - Catalonian International Film Festival. It carries a 6.8 out of 10 star rating on IMDB and a 3.2 out of 5 star rating on Netflix. It was released May 25, 1979.

Join us soon to visit...The Brood.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Horror Movie Review: Alien Raiders

Alien Raiders

Starring: Carlos Bernard, Matthew St. Patrick, Rockmond Dunbar, Courtney Ford, Jeffrey Licon, and Samantha Streets

Directed by: Ben Rock

Written by: Julia Fair and David Simkins

Production Companies: Flame Ventures and Raw Feed

Release Date: September 21, 2008

Aliens invade's been done many times. So has alien invaders quietly taking over by replacing humans, and aliens using humans as host. Toss in a fairly dull title like Alien Raiders, and to tell you the truth, I wasn't expecting much. But then like many of our cinematic alien invaders, it's foolish to take appearances for granted.

Benny and Whitney are working the closing shift at Hastings Supermarket. The announcement that the store is closing has been made, the few straggling customers are trying to finish, when we hear, almost unnoticably, a slight sound...people being shot with silencered guns.

The quiet entrance of the armed men characterizes the subtlties of this film.

One of the man, Spooky, grabs people by the head and then says either "no" or "s/he's one". If he says you are one, you get killed on the spot. As events proceed, Spooky gets killed and the local police show up moving the captors and hostages to the back. Without Spooky, they invaders have to cut off pinkies to find the one for whom they are looking...the king.

The use of the pinky removal helps convey the desperation the armed men feel. It's not a simple blood test, or psych's the removal of a pinky to see if it will regrow.

Naturally we have an alien in the supermarket for our heroes to fight, but we never get a clear look at the mutated human. He's kept in shadows and seen from the back, enough to let us know that he's changed, but keeping the whole truth from us, thus letting or imaginations run with how the alien/human hybrid appears.

The acting was good on all accounts, and the events understandable. You are never left thinking, "Now, why would s/he do that?" The mistakes made by the characters are understandable.

One interesting cinamatography choice was intersplicing camcorder footage with the events. One character, Logan, played by Tom Kiesche, carried a camcorder to record the events. Apparently, Tom decided it'd be cool to use a working recorder rather than a prop, and director Ben Rock decided to use some of those shots. Wonderful choice by both men.

It's an unassuming movie in many respects, but a fabulous watch. It doesn't explain everything and makes you think, but then that's better than fancy effects anyday.

Related Videos

The Killing Jar

Carlos Bernard, who played Aaron Ritter, also starred in The Killing Jar. Michael Sanford and his wife move to his old town so he can take over the family business. However, gruesome murders of children start to happen. Meanwhile, Michael starts to become slowly insane, after he may have witnessed one of the murders and reports it to the police. Is he the murderer, or is it something of his past?

Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror

Jeffrey Licon, who plays Benny, also appeared in Snoop Dogg's Hood of Horror. A hip hop horror anthology of three tales of terror told by the Hound of Hell (Snoop Dogg) that revolve around the residents of an inner-city neighborhood whose actions determine where they will go in the afterlife.


Julia Fair also co-wrote Believers. Two doctors responding to an emergency call find themselves kidnapped by a religious sect whose great obsession is to stop the end of the world by committing suicide and killing people.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Watch Dismal NOW!

DISMAL is available on Time Warner Cable and Charter movies on demand or pay-per-view in most regions throughout the United States now through October 15th, 2009.

Other regions and smaller cable systems are being added, so keep checking those movie listings if it's not already in your area.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Horror Movie Review Preview: Alien Raiders

Coming Soon...Alien Raiders. It's the end of yet another night at Hastings Supermarket, an idyllic family grocery store in Buck Lake, Arizona. But the normal monotony of rounding up shopping carts and settling out the cash drawers is broken at 11:07pm, just before closing, when a group of masked and armed-to-the-teeth militants invade the store, immediately killing several of the employees and shoppers and holding the rest hostage. Though the hostage-takers at first appear to be robbers or terrorists, they reveal themselves to be a cadre of rogue scientists that has discovered and tracked an alien infestation to THIS STORE on THIS NIGHT, and they are determined to find out which of the survivors are extraterrestrials and end the invasion at any cost.

Starring Carlos Bernard, Mathew St. Patrick, Courtney Ford, and Rockmond Dunbar, Alien Raiders won the Best Science Fiction Feature at the 2008 Shockerfest and COurtney Ford won the Best Sci-Fi Actress at the same awards. Alien Raiders also won Best Thriller Feature at the 2008 Shriekfest. Directed by Ben Rock, it carries a 5.8 star out of 10 rating on IMDB and 2.9 stars out of 5 on Netflix.

Join us soon to see if Alien Raiders are strong invade our living rooms...