Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hollywoodland (2006)

While I was resting my back, which I injured the other day, I decided to find something a touch different to keep me company. What I wanted was a nice mystery, or true crime entry, to possibly help my creative mind focus. After some searching, I stumbled upon the 2006 entry, Hollywoodland.

Plot/ Struggling private investigator Louis Simo is hired to investigate the death of George Reeves, televisions Superman.

Hollywoodland was an awesome interpretation of historic event that remains a mystery today. While true crime movies often suffer from characterization flaws, this one is different. Between the solid script, standout performances, and heavy atmosphere, this movie delivers where many in the genre fail. While not my favorite actor, Ben Affleck does a tremendous job bringing the Reeves to life. Yes, some of the flashbacks add some unneeded confusion and the pacing may be a touch slow in parts, but that does little to stop this one. In the end, this was an entertaining movie that dove deep into one of the biggest unsolved Hollywood mysteries. If you have not seen it and enjoy crime/mystery dramas, give it a shot.

Friday, April 18, 2014

You Can Help Support the Road Trip of the Dead

Many people believe that the birthplace of the zombie genre is centered in the Pittsburgh area. That comes for a great reason. Director George A. Romero has centered many of his masterpieces in and around the Steel City. Horror fans from across the globe hit the city and the surrounding area to find these horror hotspots. Of course, much as that landscape has disappeared over the years and they discover a much different backdrop.

Today, a couple of independent filmmakers (with help from Pittsburgh original, Iron City beer) are setting out to create a movie focused on these horror fans. Unfortunately, what they find is not what they expected and their documentary runs awry.

With any low-budget entry, the filmmakers need support to give their vision life.  At this point, they have secured commitments for horror icon Tom Savini, and Night of the Living Dead alum Gary Streiner (Living Dead Festival) to make appearances in the film, which is a reality-based slasher instead of the somewhat predictable zombie entry.

To help with this endeavor, creators William Sanders and Kevin Kriess launched an Indiegogo campaign to help fund the film and could use all the help they can get to boost their subsidy efforts. Road Trip of the Dead looks like an awesome project and one that should make any SW Pennsylvania horror fan excited to help out; for more information on this movie, check out their facebook page or their Indiegogo site.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

We Are What We Are (2013)

I often enjoy finding time to sneak in a unknown horror flick. That is exactly what happened last night after Repo, when the rest of the house went to bed. After some debate, I decided on the 2013 low budget entry, We Are What We Are.

Plot/ The Parkers, a reclusive family who follow ancient customs, find their secret existence threatened as a torrential downpour moves into their area, forcing daughters Iris and Rose to assume responsibilities beyond those of a typical family.

As usual, I went into this one knowing very little and what I found; I absolutely loved. Relying more on atmosphere, story, and soundtrack this film rises way above many of the other low budget movies that have been released in some time. This film was well made, with outstanding cinematography, solid acting, and detail-oriented script. While the pacing is spot on, there is are some uneven moments sprinkled in that will potentially turn off some viewers who are obsessed by quick-twitch scares. In the end, this was an entertaining movie with a dark tension being permeated throughout. It is not for everyone, but if you enjoy dark atmospheric films, you should enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

After watching some gore and violence from one of the Saw films, it was time to find something different tonight. Having some alone time with the girls in acting, it was nice to not have to worry about what I put on. What did I decide on? I picked out the 2008 musical Repo! The Genetic Opera.

Plot/ In the year 2056 - the not so distant future - an epidemic of organ failures devastates the planet. Out of the tragedy, a savior emerges: GeneCo, a biotech company that offers organ transplants, for a price. Those who miss their payments are scheduled for repossession and hunted by villainous Repo Men.

Repo The Genetic Opera is my second favorite horror musical next to Rocky Horror, but it is an extremely close second. This one is definitely not for everyone, with the dark almost Sci-Fi backdrop mixed with graphic gore and an amazingly diverse soundtrack; it will surely turn some away. Fortunately, the creativity, solid performances, and interesting storyline only added to this unique and ambitious project. Yes, some of the singing was off (Bill Moseley comes to mind) and some of the characters lacked depth, but that matter’s naught. In the end, this is one of the most entertaining and visually captivating films I have seen. Is it Rocky Horror? No, but in many ways it is a far superior film and one that should live on in the same manner. If you have not caught it, check it out!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Saw III (2006)

After picking up a couple of Saw posters at Steel City Con, I was in the mood to revisit Jigsaw. This series, while a touch controversial in some circles, demonstrated that there was still originality inside the horror genre. In fact, this series is still what drives me to write, as I know that something original can be made. My next review is possibly the best of the series, Saw III.

Plot/ Jigsaw kidnaps a doctor to keep him alive while he watches his new apprentice put an unlucky citizen through a brutal test.

I will admit, I am a sucker for this franchise. Honestly, Twisted Pictures and the Saw series rejuvenated my love of horror, especially this one, Saw III, which may be my favorite of all the films. This movie had everything that a horror film should have, a non-linear storyline, solid overall acting, blood, guts, and gore. Truly, this had everything that a horror fan should be searching for in a horror flick. Yes, there were some confusion within the story and some of it did seem predictable, but those are easily overlooked. In the end, this is one of the more entertaining films in the series, and was a perfect rebound from Saw II, which was a touch slow in comparison to the original. If you have not seen it, check it out! This one is definitely worth watching.