The Gate was an increadably fun, over the top horror classic of the 80's. Due to its positive reception a sequel was immediately green lit and in 1990 we were treated to The Gate II: The Trespassers.
Five years after the first film, Glen has moved, but his friend Terry is still living in his same house with his same crummy family. missing his friend, his mom, and unable to handle his drunken father he decides to go to Glen's old house and try to re open the gate.
When he arrives there are three other kids there who have just broken in. One of the girls, Liz, thinks summoning a demon sounds cool so they decide to help Terry with his plan. He performance the ritual and does in fact summon a little minion demon. One of the guys gets scared, shoots it and runs off with everyone but Terrance. The demon isn't dead so Terry takes it back to his house to keep in a little cage.
Turns out the little thing can grant wishes, and actually improves Terrys life. His Dan suddenly no longer drinks and already has a new job. Liz discovers this an when her Freinds find out they steal the demon for their own use, but things get bad when it gets lose and attacks them, turning them into demons as well.
While not as charming as part one, this is one of the better horror sequels out there. A fun cast, with a fun story, the picture moves along at a fast enjoyable pace. Running a lean 90min its got the gore and story to appeal to the horror crowd and tons of memories and nostalgia to appeal to new viewers as well.
Scream Factory has done an amazing job on this transfer even presenting the film in the fully uncut for at 93min long. Colors and sound are amazing as always. And its got the usual assortment of special features the company has become known for.
A fun classic that truly holds up to the test of time. Thus, along with a beautiful transfer make it another must own for your collection
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars
There have been a rash of serial killer films lately. A few are good, most are bad, then you have that rare case where you get some in the middle. Just enough to make them good, but enough wrong to make them just ok. That’s where Hangman, a new release starring Al Pacino, and Karl Urban comes in.
Urban play’s Will Ruiney, the lead detective, and in this films case lead actor, on the trail of a serial killer who is using the game Hangman as his inspiration for the murders, so yes we do see lots of hanging necks. Ruiney is a troubled cop as well, as his wife was murdered, and her case is still unsolved. During a crime scene investigation of one of the Hangman murders Ruiney finds two numbers carved into the victims desk. Those numbers are his, and retired detective Ray Archer, played by Al Pacino's badge numbers. Now to make matters worse, The Hangman is committing a murder every 24hrs. As the murders are based on Hangman the game, the letter clues left are seeming to string the homicides together. To make things even worse our two detectives have to deal with Christi Davies (Brittany Snow) a reporter who is shadowing the detectives in the hopes of getting exclusive rights on the story.
The killer my be a brilliant sociopath, but Ray Archer was one of the best detectives ever, and now that he has come out of retirement to solve the case, the real game of cat and mouse begins. Sounds good, well…..
Smart Serial Killer vs smart seasoned cop has been done, and the fact that the film Seven was so amazing it makes anything with that formula hard to follow. Sadly this film could have followed it, and perhaps blown it away if Pacino was more into it. No I don’t mean screen time, I mean into his role. Sadly he merely sleepwalks through his part spouting off lines in stereotypical fashion . Unfortunately this has become a trend in recent times with great older actors looking to simply get a big payday.
The other issue I had was the solving of the clues. I mean there was no way possible a super computer, or even Batman could have deciphered some of this stuff. It takes far fetched to a new level.
As serial killer, cat and mouse games films go this is average. I won't recommend buying it but a rental or cable viewing will be ok.
Overall 2 out of 5 Stars
Did you know it was possible to disable a missile with a paper clip? It is if your MacGyver. No not the guy Patty and Selma from The Simpsons once kidnapped but the new MacGyver, Angus "Mac" MacGyver
In this new reetooling of the classic series MacGyver is a young EOD Technician who works for a government organization called The Phoenix Foundation. There a deep cover agency that goes after people the government stays quiet about. We learn in the beginning that Mac used to have a partner named Nikki who was long thought dead. Well as tv shows are episodic no a days it turns out she is alive, and of course now a bad guy.
Luckily Mac not only has a Swiss army knife (he doesn't like guns) he has help in The firm of his team. Jack Dalton, a special forces soldier and Riley Davis, a talented hacker, and Mac's beat friend Will who sometimes helps the team when it comes to disguises.
Just like the original MacGyver Mac is a charming man (younger in this version) who solves problems and gets out of messes with commin items like, pens, candles, foil, and silly things like that as he hates to carry a gun.
Now for the real question, how does it hold up to the original? It holds up fine. There I said it, it's not a bad show. I read so many negatives about this before it came out it was insane. And I have to say it's not justified. Is the original a classic sure. Is it any good? No, it's goofy as all hell just like this one.
If you liked the original give this a chance, you won't hate it. The first season is now available on DVD check it out, you may like it
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars
I think I may have just witnessed the most insane Bat-S**t crazy thing I ever ever seen in my life, and that's saying something. What am I talking about you ask? Well it's a new title under the Full Moon lable called Mad Foxes. A very sought-after film from Spain that features Nazi bikers, karate gangs, exploding penises, and lots of nudity.
It's the story of a pretty sleazy guy named Hal, who we first encountered picking up a young girl in a nightclub in the hopes of having sex with her. Managing to pick her up, he leaves with her in his Stingray convertible only to pull up next to a Nazi Biker Gang who chase him down and rape the young lady he's with. They throw him a beating for good measure as well.
This doesn't sit well with good old Hal so he calls up his buddies at the local Karate School they can go to the Bikers hideout and get revenge. What follows is a brawl that has to be seen to be believed. I mean where else do you see a Kickboxer castrate a Nazi Biker and then shove said penis into bikers mouth.
With this out of the way Hal decides to split for the country, namely his parent house along with a young female hitchhiker he picked up for the ride. Problem is Nazi Bikers hold a grudge and come after him and his family forcing him to get revenge.
Filled to the top with sex, nudity, s&m scenes, blood, gore, exploding penises, and Kung Fu this is the bar when it comes to exploitation films. I don't think it's humanly possible to come up with something this balls to the wall weird ever. This is the standard that all exploitation films need to follow.
As I said the film was really hard to come by for the longest time but the good folks over at Full Moon have just released it uncut on DVD. Should you buy it? Did you read the review? Of course you need to buy it.
Overall 4 out of 5 Stars
Buy it here
The Hellraiser series as a whole is truthfully a jumbled mess of a franchise. While parts one and two are pretty much universally loved, and three has it's moments the rest however are pretty bad. In fact the majority of them were simply horror films that Pinhead was inserted into so the studio could retain the rights.
Luckily director and writer Gary Tunicliffe is a fan or the Series and general lore of the characters. Having someone involved like that was the first must have. The second was replacing Doug Bradley as Pinhead. I. Happy to say, that although not on par with the first two films Hellraiser Judgement has succeeded where the other sequels have failed.
Hellraiser Judgement follows the story of three detectives on the trail of The Preceptor a serial killer who killing people based off of the Ten Commandments. Not not do the police want him but so do the Cenobites. See they have set up shop at an old decrepit house on the outskirts of town.
There purpose is to lure way word souls to their house of horror, where a new Cenobite named The Auditor is waiting. He questions said victims about there sins before they are dragged away and dismembered by naked female Cenobite and a few old returning favorites. As we are in the information age The Auditor thinks that the Lament Configuration is a relic of the past and that the internet is what should now be used to bring in various sinners, something Pinhead is not so sure of. Of course all of this puts our detectives, and killer on a course for the house and the Cenobites.
So bottom line is it good? Yes, yes it is. Paul Taylor does a fantastic job taking on the role of Pinhead. He has a dark and gothic manor about him that has been lacking since the original two films. He actually even is affected mentally by new challenges in this film, that set up for what could be an amazing sequel.
The film does also bring back the gore and torture elements that have been missing as well. The opening scene is one of the bloodiest I have witnessed in recent years. As the budget was moderately low practical effects we're heavily relied on which is a Godsend to old-school fans like myself.
Hellraiser Judgement is a definitely right up there with the first three and it's a great way to help Jump-start a series that sadly never should have gone to the way side. Definitely worth picking up.
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars
Ok, before I get into the review I need to make one statement. Contrary to legend, and basically internet chatter, The Strangers is not a true story. It was however inspired by a couple of real life events. The first of course being the Manson Family Murders, and a rash of home invasions that happened in director Bryan Bertino’s neighbor back when he was a kid. Adding to the fact that this is a home invasion movie, and saying its based on true events does wonders to add realism and fright to the general tone.
The Stanger’s stars Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as James and Kristen. Having traveled for a wedding they are staying at James summer home, which is pretty far out in the country. There not on the best of terms as Kristen has just turned down James’s marriage proposal. To make matters worse someone knock on there door around 4:00am asking if “Tamara” is home. You cant really make out her face as she is holding it down and right in front of the light. They tell here wrong house and she just says “See you later” James leaves to get a pack of smokes, leaving Kristen alone for a short while. During this time Kristen realizes the chimney is smoking and her alarm is going off. She decides to hide in the bedroom for a second and comes out to find the alarm is now in her chair. She hears a noise, opens her curtains and sees someone in a sack head mask starring at her.
As she’s hiding James returns home, and while Kristen is explaining what happens his car is vandalized he looks out to see the girl who knocked don the door originally now starring from across the street. Unable to leave the film turns into a claustrophobic game of basically pure stalking as opposed to the traditional cat and mouse conflicts were are used to seeing. The film is much more a thriller than the typical slasher. Low on blood, but high on jump scares and driven by pure suspense the film became not only a commercial success but a cult hit as well. Made on a shoestring budget of 9 million the film went on the make more than 80 million The film is paced frantically yet methodically which is not something you see in most horror films. The film does not waste time in terms of set up. We meet the couple, go to the house, and bam the stalking begins.
The acting and chemistry from Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman is fantastic, as they are basically the only 2 characters who have speaking parts. They have to carry the entire film based on their emotions, and they portray them to perfection.. Director Bryan Bertino knows how to get everything possible out of them while still keeping all the elements and surrounds believable. Never once does the film get hokey to where it seems far fetched. This really and truly looks and feels real, and will evoke genuine moments of terror in you while watching.
The fine folks over at Scream Factory are bringing this to a special edition 2 disc Blu-ray set. The transfer, as always looks phenomenal and this one comes loaded with special features
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars
"Warner Brothers has provided me with a copy of this DVD for review. Thoughts and opinions are my own"
Animal Kingdom preimered on TNT and became an instant hit. Based on the Australian film of the same name it's the story of Joshua Cody. After his mom dies of a drug overdose he goes to live with his grandmother Janine, who goes buy the nickname Smurf. He moves into her beautiful home and meets his uncle's, Craig, Deran, Pope, and the adopted Barry.
Joshua, or J as he's known soon finds out the lavish lifestyle is supported by crime. The family has their hands in robbery's, heists, and the occasion drug deal, all lead by their mom. Through the first season we watched as Joshua became part of his new family as season 2 picks up things become a bit harder.
The 2nd season focuses heavily on Janine, aka Smurf. When a job in the first episode goes bad she takes the blame and her son's refuse to let her help, or for that matter have anything to do with future robberies. This comes to hurt them as they are in the midst of planning a huge job, knocking over a church.
To further complicate things Smurf is visited by a man named Javi, who she worked for when she was younger. He's the leader of another, much more dangerous gang. Who the family soon realizes is bad news and need to help there mom eliminate him.
Throw in the usual trust , and betrayal issues and you have a suspenseful high octane second season to enjoy. And I must say, this is a show that's perfect for binge watching.
A fantastic cast that all have perfect chemisty with one another this is a great show for fans missing SOA and Breaking Bad. Highly entertaining from top to bottom.
All 13 episodes from season 2 are here along with special features
Its a really good good show that has already been picked up for it's third season. Definitely a must watch
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars
It’s time again for another Ozploitation film review. I must say these are really starting to become a new favorite genre of mine. Basically for the uninitiated, and Ozploitation is an exploitation film (like we had here in the 70’s) only these are made in Australia. Umbrella Entertainment, based out of Australia has been releasing these, and a ton of American titles on amazing Blu-ray transfers. This film, Fair Game, which is not to be confused with the Fair Game film starring Cindy Crawford, is one of the most famous films of that genre. Its also a film Quinten Tarantino constantly gushes over.
Its about a young woman named Jessica (Cassandra Delaney) who works at an animal sanctuary that’s out in the middle of nowhere. In the beginning she discovers an injured kangaroo and takes it in to save it. She heads to town and becomes the target of the hunters who injured the animal. They sort of do the basic stalking tactics in films of this era. Taking pics of her, tailgating her, catcalls, then sadly leaving a skinned kangaroo in her car. She goes to confront the evil hunters but they just laugh in her face. However when they wake up in the morning and discover all their guns have been welded together they decide she is Fair Game.
The hunters drive a Mad Max inspired truck, that I must say looks amazing. They grab Jessica and tie her to the hood of it. Of course they have to cut off lots of her cloths, then keep driving around the outback with her still tied to the hood of the car. They do this until she passes out. Its at the point that she wakes up later that evening that she swears bloody revenge. And it is very entertaining to say the least to watch her finally give these hunters what they have coming. I will warn you, there are a few animal scenes, that are fake, but still disturbing if you’re an animal lover like myself. With that said its still a fantastic film.
The acting is great, and I cant strees enough how amazing the design for the hunters car is. I would go so far to say that the car may be the real start of the film. It’s a fantastic woman’s revenge film. With top notch acting, and the beautiful, yet, treacherous outback as the back drop. With a stunning video and audio transfer, the good folk at Umbrella have loaded it with special features as well.
AUDIO COMMENTARY WITH DIRECTOR MARIO ANDREACCHIO + WRITER ROB GEORGE
-EXTENDED INTERVIEW WITH CASSANDRA DELANEY FROM NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD
-ON LOCATION WITH FAIR GAME
-BEHIND THE SCENES - 1985 TV REPORT FROM NWS9, ACTION NEWS
-BEHIND THE SCENES - 1985 TV REPORT FROM ADS-7, STATE AFFAIR
-BEHIND THE SCENES with DEAN BENNETT
-MARIO ANDREACCHIO SHORT FILMS
VANDALISM (1981) 14mins
BREAK-IN (1983) 13mins
TAKEN BY STORM (1984) 25mins
ABDUCTION…WHO’S NEXT? (1984) 15mins
UNDER PRESSURE (1986) 15mins
Great film top to bottom and sure to please any exploitation fan out there. If you have never watched Ozploitation this is definitely one to start with. Go ahead and pick it up, you will enjoy
Overall 3 out of 5 Stars
Werewolf movies, are usually not very good, which is sad as Werewolf’s are actually one of my favorite movie monsters. Now Ironically I am not a big Stephen King fan, but back in 1985 his novella, the Cycle of the Werewolf was translated in the film Silver Bullet, which is one of the best werewolf movies ever made. Well the film was profitable it received mixed box office reviews, but has since built up a large cult following
The film follows Marty Coslaw (played by the late Corey Haim) a young paraplegic who lives with his semi dysfunctional family in Tarker Mills Maine. The town has recently experienced a series of brutal murders. At first thought to be accidents or suicides, the town realizes it’s the work of a killer when Marty’s friend is killer while flying a kite. We know its done by a werewolf, as we see the monster on screen briefly. Towns people, both angry and scared begin stocking up on guns and plan to form a vigilante group to hunt the killer down. The local priest, Reverend Lester Lowe.
He doesn’t do a good job convinced the town as a group heads out at night to try and catch whoever is killing residents of their town. It doesn’t go well as a group of them is brutally murdered. As this is going on we meet Marty’s Uncle, Red (played perfectly by Gary Busey) He gives Marty a motorized Wheelchair he built called The Silver Bullet. He gives him a sack of fireworks as well. When Marty sneaks out one night to shoot them off he is attacked by the werewolf, but manages to fire a rocket in its eye and escape. When he and his sister notice the Rev Lowe is now wearing an eye patch they deduce that he is in fact the werewolf in question.
While made in the 80’s the film holds up remarkably well. Seeing a young Gary Busey play an alcoholic savior of two kids fighting a werewolf is a thing of beauty. Haim, as always delivers a great performance and shows why he was one of the best child actors of his time.
The gore, which is all practical is still very well done, and there is enough to keep the blood thirsty fan happy. As for the story, its actually not only fun but suspenseful. When Marty and his sister discover that the Reverend is the werewolf they begin writing him letters telling him to leave town or kill himself, causing him to begin stalking them in broad daylight. I found the film as enjoyable as an adult as I did when I was a kid.
Umbrella Entertainment has done an amazing job on this Blu-ray transfer. The film looks and sounds amazing. Its even loaded with special features
Audio Commentary with Director Daniel Attias
--The Wolf Within – An Interview with Actor Everett McGill
--Full Moon Fever – Interviews with Special Effects Artists Michael McCracken, Jr. and Matthew Mungle
--Dino's Angel Takes on Lycanthropy: Martha De Laurentis Remembers SILVER BULLET (25 minutes)
--Isolated Score Selections and Audio Interview with Composer Jay Chattaway
--Theatrical trailer (HD)
One of the best werewolf films made, and proof that the best films were made in the 80’s this is a must own
Overall 3.5 out of 5 Stars!
Ok before I get to this review I feel I should disclose something. I do not think George Romero is that great. There I said it, Sure I appreciate what Night of the Living Dead did for movies years back, and I understand all his work has done for the horror community, but I’m just not a huge fan. I liked 4 of his films, and none of them are in my top 20 list. One of those films he made is Day of The Dead, which is actually my favorite of all his Dead films. Well seeing as how Night, and Dawn have spawned remakes it was only fitting That Day would get one as well.
Day of the Dead Bloodline focus on Zoe, a former med student who was taking care of a patient named Max. Max was a special case as is blood was filled with all kinds of different antibodies. Max is also a bit unstable as he tries to rape Zoe in the morgue on night. Luckily for her the zombie apocalypse is starting and one of the cadavers springs to life and attacks Max allowing Zoe to escape.
We cut forward several years and find Zoe living in a small community in a military bunker surrounded by fenced in walls. Zoe helps to take care of the people there as well as the soldiers. Sometimes she even makes supervised runs into town to get supplies needed for care. She makes these runs with a group of the soldiers that occupy the bunker. One of them is her boyfriend Baca, who is the brother of the leader of the group, Miguel, a typical hard ass soldier who thinks only of killing zombies. On one fateful trip into town they are spotted by Max, who is now a zombie that can actually function at an almost human level. He recognizes Zoe and hides under the soldiers truck to gain access to the bunker.
Once there he is captured by the soldiers, but saved by Zoe who is convinced his blood, because of all the antibodies could help cure and stop the zombie outbreak. After all he’s a pretty full functioning zombie (Note this is their version of the Bub character from the original) so it stands to reason that his strange blood could in fact by the cure to turning zombies back to humans. Zoe, desperate to begin her reseach even lets Max lick her face so she can get a DNA sample. Of course this does not bode well with her current boyfriend, who becomes convinced that her and Max are former lovers, nor does it please Miguel and the rest of the soldiers as they want Max terminated.
First off, no this is not as good as the original, however it’s a version for another time. Zombies have changed over the years thanks in part to films like 28 days later and World War Z. The Walking Dead has added and changed elements to the lore a bit as well, so current filmmakers are going to begin borrowing from those works as opposed to the old classics. It might not sit well with us (yes I include myself) but its nothing us old school fans can change. With that said Day of the Dead Bloodlines is a mindless 90min zombie film, which is not a bad thing. Lots or gore adding to a claustrophobic surrounding make for a good film. I would have preferred to see more old school practical effect, of which there were some, instead of the usual CGI.
Lionsgate has done a gret job presenting the film in an immaculate Blu-ray transfer, and have included a small featurette. Just don’t compare it to the original and turn your brain off. You should do just fine.
Overall 2.5 out of 5 Stars