Monday, August 22, 2016

Flesh for the Inferno (2015)

Now that I am settling into a solid schedule with the girls being home, I enjoy the fact that I can get back into some horror cinema on a more regular basis. Next up for review is another no-budget entry in 2015s Flesh for the Inferno.

Plot/ A youth group plans to spruce up a dilapidated old Catholic school, but uncover a grisly tomb from a dark history that the school walls have housed in this horror thriller.

There is something about true no-budget horror cinema that always excites me. That was definitely the case with this one, as I found a very intriguing movie that both had potential for a larger budget, and some quality moments within the low budget atmosphere that graces the screen. While everything is not perfect, this movie had a throwback feel to the classic lower budget films I watched in my youth, and the nunsploitation elements were perfect. The movie features some solid pacing, an interesting soundscape, and some awesome practical effects. Yes, the performances were uneven and there were some head scratching moments, but those elements did not destroy the viewing experience. In the end, this low budget entry will not be for everyone and will likely fall into the love/hate category. Personally, I loved it, but I could definitely see that how some might not. If you love no-budget cinema, give it a shot; just do not take it overly serious.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Hoarder (2015)

After taking a couple days to retrieve the daughters’ from Virginia Beach, it was time to finish the last movie from my most recent trip to Family Video. To close out that grouping, I figured it was time to do the 2015 entry, The Hoarder (AKA Bunker).

Plot/ A young woman enters an underground storage facility, where she soon finds herself trapped and stalked by a killer.

I had passed this one up a few times when at Family Video, and now, I know why. While it is not terrible, it was riddled with clichéd moments that make it rather unoriginal. Yes, it does have an outstanding setting that opens the door to tremendous possibilities; everything is left muddled with the played-out storyline and unlikable characters. The scripting is off, the storyline predictable, the performances uneven, and the gore/effects non-existent; all facets that take away from what potential the movie had. In the end, I have seen worse movies, but that is not to say that this one is good. Tolerable yes, as there were at least a couple of tension filled moments, but other than that, not much!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Green Room (2015)

After sitting through my share of low budget anthologies recently, I figured it was time to change some things up. Last night, following a trip to Family Video, I decided to give 2015s Green Room a chance.

Plot/ A band straying into a secluded part of the Pacific Northwest stumbles onto a horrific act of violence. Because they are the only witnesses, they become the targets of a terrifying gang of skinheads who want to make sure all the evidence is eliminated.

After a couple of uneven entries, this one changed all of my frustrations. An intense thriller, this one definitely falls closer to horror than the thriller genre. The acting is solid throughout, the scripting does a masterful job at creating atmosphere and tension while keeping the movie realistic, and the tone/pace of the film and violence is perfect. While I enjoyed the entire package, some viewers may not like all of the violence and the realism created in this world. To me, that is the only potential downfall of the film. In the end, if you enjoy violent and tension filled movies, this one is definitely for you; check it out!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hotel Hell (2014)

Last night my plans to attend a softball game were rained out by the bipolar weather we are suffering through. Because of that, I was able to catch another no-budget anthology. Unfortunately, this one did not match the others from the week. What was it? 2014s Hotel Hell (AKA The Damned Thing).

Plot/ Three tales of horror are told from the narration of paranormal investigator Eddie Osborne to his newly hired videographer, as they document an abandoned hotel with supernatural occurrences.

If you are a reader of my blog, you know that I love the horror anthology and often give the benefit of the doubt to low budget indie flicks. Unfortunately, it is hard to even do that with this movie. Yes, some of the elements worked within the meager budget, but the storyline was so disconnected that I could not immerse myself into any part of it. This film suffered from clichéd dialog, uneven performances, awkward pacing, and too many subtle inconsistencies to make it entertaining. In the end, Hotel Hell should have kept its original title The Damned Thing, while that would have not improved any aspect of the film, it would have at least given the viewer more of an idea of what they were in for.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Birds (12 Peers Theater)

When you hear the title The Birds, the classic film by famed director Alfred Hitchcock has to come to mind. Based on the short story by Daphne du Maurier the classic tale has been modernized by an adaptation by Conor McPherson. While this modern entry does differ from the source, it is still an interesting and unsettling preview into the spiraling mental state within an apocalyptic state.

When I heard that local stage production company 12 Peers Theater was performing their interpretation of this classic tale, I was sold. I had to see it. While I knew the minimalist cast would create a story much different than the Hitchcock classic, the overall tension and atmosphere of seclusion and isolation from the turmoil outside would have to exist; and it did.

While nothing remotely similar to the Hitchcock classic on first glance, there is a darkness that exists in the modern Hell. Directed for the stage by Vince Ventura, the three-person cast of Gayle Pazerski (Diane), Nick Mitchell (Nat) and Sara Ashley Fisher (Julia) have tremendous chemistry in this dialog driven trip into the dark world of the end times (#birdpocalypse).

Backed by a tremendous soundscape and an impressive combination of setting and lighting, the play holds your attention throughout, and pulls you into the tumultuous relationships within a sanctuary full of fear, love, and jealousy. In the end, this 12 Peers Theater production is well worth the trip into Pittsburgh to see; and with only four shows remaining (Thursday, August 18 through Sunday, August 21), time is running out. If interested, the production can be seen at the Studio Theatre at the University of Pittsburgh Cathedral of Learning (in the basement) and more information can be found at their website ( If like me, you are a fan of The Birds, this is a must see.