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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hell Night (1981)



Last night, I decided to check out what was on Netflix.  After suffering though some very bad choices at the video store, my choices just had to be better. Plus, having spent a few hours at the lake, I needed to just kick back and relax, instead of venturing out to the store. While I found a bunch of cool stuff, one flick stood out. That film, 1981’s Hell Night, was one of my favorites growing up, and one I had not watched in some time.


Plot/ Four college pledges are forced to spend the night in a deserted old mansion where they get killed off one by one by the monstrous surviving members of a family massacre years earlier for trespassing on their living grounds.



Amazingly, I had forgotten that the great Linda Blair starred in this one (she was so hott). So, when I sat down last night to watch it, I was even more excited. Honestly, it has been 25-or-so year since I had watched this one, and I could not wait to take a trip down memory lane. This great little film did a great job a marrying different elements of the horror genre, and creating a slasher with a bit more atmosphere than usual. Sure, there is some cliché, but it really works within the storyline. Overall, the acting was solid, the make-up effects (particularly the deformed psycho) were good (and creepy), and the look created something bloody and stylish (especially for a slasher). In the end, this atmospheric flick was one of the best entries from the start of the 1980s horror boom, and one that should be seen, Check it out!


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ripper: Letter From Hell (2001)



The mystery of Jack the Ripper has fascinated me since I was a kid and stumbled on a paperback at the thrift store about the legendary serial killer. From that point on, I have read, watched and wrote about this famed monster. To me, the mystery surrounding his identity may be one of the greatest known to man, and one that usually makes for intriguing entertainment. With old Jack in mind, tonight’s movie was Ripper: Letter from Hell from 2001.  


Plot/ A massacre survivor studies serial killers under a famous expert, but her classmates soon start dying at the hands of a Jack the Ripper copycat.


I figured entering into this direct to DVD entry, that the look had a MTV feel and that it was probably searching for more that audience than for me. Still, this was a decent entry and one that overall was a bit surprising. There was a lot to like, the cinematography, editing and pacing were tremendous, some of the murders (while not gorish) were very stylish and almost a flashback to the great horror of my youth, and the storyline is full of twists, turns and somewhat cerebral. Unfortunately, the scripting featured some poor dialogue and lacked character development; there was really no gore and the acting only so-so. In the end, this flick made for an entertaining evening and one that was worth watching. Could it have been better? Yes, but it had just enough atmosphere, action and story to make it interesting.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Slumber Party Massacre (1982)



Fishing sucked tonight (for the third time in a row). Honestly, all that was caught was one small Bluegill. Oh well, you cannot win them all, right. However, when I was at the lake, I gave some thought about what I wanted to watch tonight. Originally, I was leaning toward something about Jack the Ripper, or maybe even Satan, but I could not place a title readily in my head. Instead, I decided to stick with the 1980s after finding some satisfaction with my last selection, Humanoids from the Deep. This time, I decided to hit the slasher genre with the 1982 classic, Slumber Party Massacre.


Plot/ An eighteen-year-old high school girl is left at home by her parents and she decides to have a slumber party. Little do they know that a murderer with a propensity for power tools has escaped and is at large, and eventually makes his way to the party.


This is a true slasher classic. Released in 1982, it was one of the handfuls of films that started the slasher franchise idea. Like the others, this one features everything that made the 1980s slasher flicks king. There is the body count, the blood splatter, a few tense moments and of course the gratuitous nudity (even though it was written and directed by women- Amy Holden Jones and Rita Mae Brown). Honestly, one can watch the first five minutes and realize the era that this one was made it, and just how far moviemakers have fallen down the conservative spiral. There are some down areas where the low budget shows through and it does lack the over-the-top gore (there is at least some) that was commonplace in that time, but it is what it is, a all-out horror flick that never tries to hide that idea. In the end, this is one of the better slasher flicks out there and an entertaining piece of nostalgic horror. If you love horror, or slashers check this one out, it is definitely worth while.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Humanoids from the Deep (1980)



Fishing today sucked! There was not even one little nibble on any of the bait choices that I sent into the lake. Between that and the crappy movie choices lately, I decided to venture into Netflix and see what I could find. My selection the 1980 Roger Corman classic Humanoids from the Deep (AKA Monsters).


Plot/ Scientific experiments backfire and produce horrific mutations: half-man, half-fish which terrorize a small fishing village by killing the men and raping the women.


I remember this one still, and when I found it, I was all in. This one is a fun romp full of B movie schlock and fishy creature feature fun. Yes, the storyline is serious but totally unbelievable, the effects range from solid to cheesy with rubber suited monsters and the vast amount of boobs take it up a notch. Honestly, what else would you expect from a 1980s Roger Corman classic? It has it all, solid acting, decent cinematography, blood splatter, creatures and boobs, plenty of boobs everywhere. If you have not seen this, you do not know what you are missing, check it out!


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Blubberella (2011)



I love interesting ideas and stories, in fact, many times I have strange visions and such running through my mind at any point of the day, especially on my hour long drives to and from work. Take today, we had an open house at the college and I had to go in for a few hours, and in my mind all I could think of was flying fish coming out of the lake… Really, it was that weird. Tonight’s movie is from 2011, Blubberella. Half woman, half vampire fighting Nazi’s… Hmmm, interesting idea.


Plot/ The German army, headed by the Commandant, shadow puppet master, a mad, showtunes-singing Doctor, and the newly-addicted-to-blood Lieutenant, threatens to eradicate the Resistance. However, coming to the rescue is Blubberella. Half vampire, half woman, and all trouble, Blubberella loves nothing better than killing Nazis and a substantial turkey on rye. She has moved through the centuries destroying nasties and their like while perfecting the ultimate cotton candy recipe.


I have watched some bad movies lately, and honestly think I am losing some touch at picking movies for myself. That being said, I should have expected utter trash when reading the box on this one. Honestly, with a title like Blubberella, is there any chance of it being a successful film? Yes, Lindsay Hollister (Blubberella) is amazingly funny, and the idea was at least original, but the positives end there. The script is horrid (even for a spoof action comedy), most of the acting uneven, and the comedy was so over-the-top it was not funny. There were some vampires, sexual overtones, some action and some blood, but none of that was enough to save this one. In the end, there is no way I could recommend this one to anybody, it is a waste of time in every sense of the word.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Muckman (2009)



I am so excited that information is starting to come out about Blobfest 2012, there is no better event in the US. I mean, what could be better than remembering one of the best loc budget movies ever. In thinking about that, I decided to watch something right up that alley, in 2009s no-budget Creature Feature Muckman…


Plot/ Mickey O'Hara is a TV producer whose career was virtually destroyed when his attempt to discover the legendary backwoods demon, Muckman, was exposed as a pathetic fraud on live TV. Using his in with sexy trash TV personality Asia Buchanan as leverage, he persuades small time cable mogul Otto Van Sant to give him one last chance to redeem himself. The creature appears big as life, chaos ensues, there is blood and dismemberment, but all is not as it seems.


First off, if you did not get no-budget B-movie from the title, I guess you deserve what you got when watching this one. If you love these flicks as I do, this one is definitely for you. Yes, it has a few flaws as is typical with some uneven story development, pacing and honestly there was not enough of the Muckman, but honestly, this one was such a breath of fresh air inside a stagnant genre, I may have overlooked a bit. The script is funny, with a couple laugh aloud moments, the characters are fun, and the locations and effects (especially the real Muckman costuming) were definitely better than expected out of a reported $50 thousand budget. Director and co-writer Brett Piper is truly a genius in the no-budget indie arena and I cannot wait for his next entry. In the end, if you like this type of B-Move homage to the cheesy Creature Features of days gone by, then you should find this one as entertaining as I did. If you do not like those, please, stay away from it, instead of pretentiously slamming it in a review. Yes, it is not Oscar worthy, but it is a humorous trip into the woods with enough cheese and schlock to keep fans fulfilled.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Details on 2012 Blobfest Shorty Awards Released



I had been waiting for a while now for information on this year’s Blobfest and more importantly, the Shorty Award short film contest that goes along with it. Last year, my daughter Jillian won the Fans Favorite Award for her short film, Blob Zombie. Since that day, she has been storyboarding her next endeavor. Today those details were finally released. Here are the details for the awards from the Blobfest Facebook page.

"Greetings ! It's the good Dr. Frank N. Stone here to provide the official information for our annual short film contest - THE SHORTY'S - its just one of the ways we pay tribute to the late director of The Blob -
Irvin "Shorty" Yeaworth Jr.

- Theme "THE END" OR IS IT ? '' bwahahaha...
- Films must be no longer than 5 minutes.
Entries will be judged in 3 age categories:

12 – Under
12 – 18
18 - Over

All entries must be family friendly
To enter your film, post it on YouTube and email the link to:
franknstone@comcast.net –be sure to include your email address
Deadline is June 29, 2012

Winners will be notified by email. Note: a DVD copy of winning film must be delivered to the Colonial Theatre no later than July 9, 2012. The winning films will be shown on the Big Screen as part of the Friday Night Run-Out Show!!!  Any questions send to franknstone@comcast.net

Now get to work all you creature creators !
Beast luck !
Dr. Frank n Stone- DEADLINE IS JUNE 29th 2012, questions can be set to franknstone@comcast.net

Now get to work all you creature creators !
Beast luck !
Dr. Frank n Stone"

Now, get your camera’s out and make a movie!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf (2010)



Yesterday, I was excited to watch a Three Investigator movie with the daughters. Having grown up on that series on mystery books, I thought it was about time they got their just due (the Hardy Boys did). While entertaining, I was a bit disappointed at the changes made from the books, yes, some modernization was needed, but not quite to that extreme. I will say that I will give it another chance when I can find the second installment. Now, back to the blog, the review for tonight is from the flick Medium Raw: Night of the Wolf (2010).


Plot/ Capturing the sadistic serial killer "The Wolf" was just the beginning for rookie cop Johnny Morgan. As he escorts the monster to his new home in the dark underground halls of Parker's Asylum, bedlam ensues and Johnny along with a handful of civilians become players in a night of survival against the world's most terrifying inmates.

After watching this one, I was a bit let down. From a glance at the opening scene, I thought I had grabbed a winner. Unfortunately, that did not last. It is what it is, a slasher / thriller with a weird back-story, nothing more, and nothing less. On a positive note, the editing and some of the costuming was good, with some strangeness mixed in. However, that could not save the flick at all. The acting was uneven and the script left a lot to be desired. Although I should note, I watched this on the heels of the Amityville Haunting (possibly the worst flick ever) and it may have skewed my interpretation. While not perfect, there are a lot worse movies out there. However, only watch it if you are desperate.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Amityville Haunting (2011)



Ghost stories are always fun, especially at the end of a long day. Earlier, I spent a few hours out at the lake doing some fishing. Unfortunately, very little was biting (twp small trout and a bluegill), hopefully, things start picking up. Now, let me get back to the blog with my next review, The Amityville Haunting from 2011.


Plot/ Tyler Benson, a teenage boy, uses his camcorder to record the experiences of himself, his two sisters and parents at the house, and some of the story is told through CCTV camera footage, after cameras are installed in the house. Various unexplained events occur, culminating in the deaths of all of the members of the Benson family.


I know found footage videos have become all the rage, but it needs to stop. This installment of the genre has to be one of the worst I have seen, following (ripping off) every cliché out there with movies in the subgenre. The acting is uneven, scripting bad and pacing just bad. Really, it is as if a mixed up combo of Paranormal Activity meets Grave Encounters meet the Amityville Horror popped up. Even for a movie from The Asylum, this one is horrid. There are no redeeming qualities, and I wish I could get the time I wasted watching it back. Stay away and honestly, someone please stop the madness of these found footage flicks enough is enough.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Dream House (2011)



After a few days away, and a kick-ass night watching Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (@BigDamnBand on twitter), I decided to jump back into the blog. Before I get to the review, let me just say that Rev. Peyton’s Big Damn Band is an amazing talent, with an energy, message and stage show that will blow you away. The concert at 1-2-3 Pleasant Street was one of the best I have seen. Now, let me get back to the blog with my next review, Dream House from 2011.


Plot/ Soon after moving into their seemingly idyllic new home, a family learns of a brutal crime committed against former residents of the dwelling.


When this came out, this was one of those flicks that looked promising, but left a uneasy feeling in the mind after viewing the trailer. Coming in at PG-13, there was really no way to live up to expectations. Now that I have watched it on DVD, I am glad that I waited; as there is really nothing in this that would have made it worth the admission. Yes, the acting is decent (although with that cast there was potential for much more) and some of it has a decent feel, but the positives end there. Honestly, the pacing is WAY off and it is too slow, the plot jumps between stories and the scares are minimal.  In the end, I cannot recommend this to anyone. It had all the potential to be a solid ghost story, unfortunately, somewhere it lost focus and spiraled out of control.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Hugo (2011)



One of the movements in life that I absolutely love, but have not been able to truly find my place in is Steampunk. Everything about it fascinates me, as I feel like much of the world would be better if we embraced that culture and improved upon it. Life could be simpler, better and more open. Ironically, when I first saw the preview for Hugo, that same feel popped into my mind, and now, I finally sat down to watch it to see.


Plot/ Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.


This was an interesting flick; I am just not sure who the intended audience was. We picked it up for the daughters, but they drifted off within the first hour, me, I was captivated by the scenery and the idea. Honestly, it may be one of the most visually stunning movies I have seen in some time, and the story, while a bit choppy, inspired me. Yes, some of the pacing seemed a bit slow, and some of it may have been a bit confusing, but that did not deter this film at all. With an amazing atmosphere, solid back-story, heartfelt message and truly amazing look, this movie was like a dream opening the doors to an imagination that had been closed a long time ago. In the end, this ode to the early days of film may be a tad slow, but it is a piece of cinematic genius that must be seen.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Campfire Stories (2001)



One of the last movies of the weekend is another anthology. When I was younger, anthologies would be great rentals and often offered something interesting. Unfortunately, somewhere, they became easy ways to get movies on the screen. This one, from 2001, is Campfire Stories.


Plot/ Two teens on their way to a backwoods party come across a beautiful young woman having car trouble. Their search for help only gets them lost, deep in the woods, where they meet Forest Ranger Bill with a penchant for scary stories.


This was my second anthology of the weekend, and unfortunately, it was nowhere near as good as the first. In fact, there was not much here that I will remember after I pen this review. The acting was uneven, the storyline is a bit disjointed and it lacked atmosphere throughout. Not to mention that it had some of the cheesiest effects I have seen in some time. Yes, I know it is 10-years old, but, come on. In the end, this was one I could have done without, it truly offers little for the viewer to enjoy.

Grindstone Road (2008)



I am all about a supernatural ghost story. Ever since I was young, growing up in a haunted house, I have loved everything and anything paranormal related.  Honestly, I love researching the paranormal, investigating the paranormal and living in the paranormal. I also like watching flicks with actress Fairuza Balk, there is just something about her look that intrigues me. Therefore, when I saw Grindstone Road at Family Video, I had to rent it.  


Plot/ A few months ago Hannah Sloan was in a horrible car accident, leaving her son Daniel in an extended coma. Soon after moving in to their new home Hannah begins witnessing strange and mysterious occurrences, is Hannah losing her mind, or are there supernatural forces at work?


Supernatural ghost stories are usually interesting. Ever since I was young, and experienced the strange feelings that can pop up in a somewhat haunted area, I really try to absorb the cinematic view and compare it to my reality. Some are good, some have too much hand-can action, and some just fall flat. This one is in that category. Honestly, there is nothing here to make it memorable, it is just the typical, clichéd and dull supernatural ghost story. More thriller than horror, there is no nudity, gore or true scares. In fact, it just plods along and ends up being too predictable to create a lasting atmosphere. In the end, this is just another low-budget ghost story that fails to create anything new, stay away.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

Little Deaths (2011)



I love movies that lie outside the mainstream. Actually, most things that I do, listen to, or watch all fall into this realm. For me, exploring alternatives keep things exciting, and in some ways keeps my creative mind open. This next flick, the anthology Little Deaths is definitely a exploration of an alternative world.


Plot/ This anthology is composed of three disturbingly sensual and terrifying short narratives, unified by the twin themes of sex and death.


When searching for horror movies to watch, many, while there is a touch of realism, are too unbelievable. For me, when a movie is made that is disturbing because of the realism, that is even better. That is what I liked about this one. Yes, it is not the goriest or violent flick; it is the alternative realisms that make it connect to ones mind. The acting, cinematography and characterizations all work inside the confines of the three stories. Sure, the stories are not connected by anything other than a sprinkling of sexual overtones, but that still works. In the end, this is an erotic entry into the world of horror and one that is worth watching. It does have some bondage and fetish overtones, so if that is not your thing, you may want to go a different route.