Thursday, October 30, 2014

Specter (2012)

Now that I have secured some stuff to create a makeshift Ebola protection suit, it is definitely time to kick back and relax for the evening. I am actually working two different costumes tomorrow, first with some Ebola moments followed by some Nightmare of Elm Street/Freddy Kruger time. Now, to the blog; next up the 2013 indie flick Specter.

Plot/ The town of Midground is threatened by a tsunami caused by a massive earthquake in the North Pacific Ocean. After other unexplainable events transpire, Chase Lombardi and friends are forced to discover whether they are experiencing a natural phenomenon or something else all together.

Specter is an intriguing flick that definitely takes on multiple genres inside its condensed storyline. While it is an interesting mix of found-footage drama, Sci-Fi and thriller, it possibly bit off more than it could handle. Unfortunately, the found-footage aspects of the film may of led to some of the unrefined and uneven moments inside (although, that format does lead to a few of the highlights of the film). Yes, there are some positives with the interesting story and decent nature effects, but those cannot overcome the unevenness built from some of the camera decisions and visualizations. In the end, this is definitely more of a supernatural themed thriller than straight horror flick and will not be for everyone. Sure, it has some good moments, but for the most part, it does not match its overall potential.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Devil Incarnate (2013)

After taking the past days figuring out the software for my college math class, it was definitely time to kick back and be caught up with some of the movies from the past two days. Fortunately, I had a Halloween parade to attend tonight and it allowed me to relax some (although the born again preacher calling all of us sinners and telling us that the candy from the parade was the flesh of Satan did get old after the first 45 minutes). Next up for review is the 2013 independent flick The Devil Incarnate (AKA  Copiii: The 1st Entry).

Plot/ The future looks bright for newlyweds Trevor and Holly, but their dreams are about to devolve into a nightmare of unspeakable terror. On a random visit to a tarot reader, they encounter a mysterious old woman who tells them that Holly is pregnant. But soon, their joy is overshadowed by a mounting sense of dread that something sinister lurks within Holly’s womb

From its early moments, it was clear that The Devil Incarnate would be a movie that had no middle ground. One would either hate it or enjoy it. Personally, I found it an interesting watch that quenched my thirst for something with a dark and heavy tenor. This hybrid found footage flick had just enough storyline, solid performances, and one of the better soundtracks I have heard in some time. Unfortunately, the ending left a lot to be desired and with a minimal (75 or so minute) runtime, more time was needed to pull everything together in a more cohesive manner. Yes, I like vague endings, but this was a little too vague. In the end, this was better than I expected, but did not reach its total potential. With Halloween only days away, this one could help fill a small void in your viewing schedule.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Dread (2009)

I decided to watch Krampus, but could not get into it at all and actually fell asleep after about 20 minutes. Stay away! To make up for that once I woke up, I decided to watch something a touch different and ventured into the After Dark Horrorfest for the 2009 entry Dread.

Plot/ Three college students set out to document what other people dread most.

I am a huge Clive Barker fan and have no idea how I missed this adaptation of his short story. On top of that, it was part of the After Dark Horrorfest, crazy. This movie was definitely one of the better films I have seen from that series, with an original storyline, solid technical attributes, and a clear vision into darkness. The performances are decent; the pacing works, and it truly out does its budget.  Yes, there are some uneven parts, but those do nothing to truly drag this one down. In the end, this is one of the better psychological horror flicks I have seen in some time, and a flick that should be seen. If you have not watched it, give it a shot!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Life After Beth (2014)

After watching The Purge: Anarchy last night, I decided I wanted to spend the afternoon today with something a little more lighthearted. Luckily, I had something here already that would fit the bill. Next up is that flick, the 2014 horror/comedy Life After Beth.

Plot/ A young man's recently deceased girlfriend mysteriously returns from the dead, but he slowly realizes she is not the way he remembered her.

There are sometimes when I enjoy a little dark humor, and this indie flick fit the bill. While not sidesplitting funny, there were enough subtle comedic moments to keep me watching. The performances are solid, the idea interesting, and the cast works. Sure, the script may be a little thin, there are some minor plot holes and it is more of a teen angst/dark comedy than a horror comedy, but it did work. In the end, this did have some entertaining moments and a little blood, guts, and gore, but it is not for everyone. If you enjoy some dark humor mixed with blood, give it a look.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

For those readers of my blog, you know how much I hate the globalist depopulation agenda being led by the United Nations under the name of their Agenda 21 project. Ironically, I learned that today (October 24) was United Nations Day (how special). So, in honor of this illustrious pawn of the New World Order, I decided it was time to check out the Agenda 21 themed 2014 action/thriller The Purge: Anarchy.

Plot/ Five strangers are trying to survive Purge Night, when their lives intersect, and they are left stranded in The Purge to try to survive the chaos and violence that occurs.

I had put this movie off for some time, as the first installment from 2013 did nothing for me. In fact, it was one of the more disappointing flicks of that year. Fortunately, in this case, the sequel was definitely much better than the original source material, and was definitely more entertaining. While there were many improvements, the biggest came with the atmosphere (something that was non-existent in the original), as more of an action/thriller than horror movie, this concept fits with the overall storyline. The performances are solid, the imagery is better, and it best of all, it will help you forget the misery that was the first one in the series. Sure, there are some questionable decisions made by the characters, there is a lot of cliché, and for the most part there was a lack of chemistry between the casts, but no movie is perfect. In the end, this movie may not be great, but it is much better than its predecessor, and it is entertaining. Give it a shot; you will likely enjoy it.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Donovan's Echo (2011)

After a trying afternoon dealing with the VA, I decided that I needed to unwind earlier than usual. With the kids awake, I decided to find something tamer than usual. After some debate with the voices in my head, I decided on the 2011 independent entry: Donovan’s Echo.

Plot/ A series of uncanny déjà vu events force a man to re-examine his tragic past, memory, instinct, and future.

I had never heard of this one when it popped up on the screen on my Netflix account and decided to role the dice. I am glad that I did. This rather unknown (and therefore underrated) supernatural themed movie was a lot better than I ever imagined. The atmosphere was heavy, the storyline layered, the performances solid, and the characters worked well together. Yes, it was a touch predictable as there were just enough hints written in to aid in discovery, and there were a few production/cinematography issues, but that did little to bring this one down. In the end, this was an entertaining mystery that dove into an intriguing topic. Check it out; it was definitely a surprise.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Slaughterhouse Massacre (2005)

Last night was a strange night for flicks in the house. I started the evening with the entertaining indie picture The Shrine. While it had a solid story and some interesting moments, the same cannot be said for my second selection, the 2005 low budget flick, The Slaughterhouse Massacre.

Plot/ Marty Sickle was accused of murdering a young girl inside the slaughterhouse where he lived. Soon after, four college kids brutally hung Marty in revenge.

I love low budget cinema, but I realize it can be a mixed bag. That is exactly what this flick is. OK, not really, it is actually pretty laughable on many fronts, riddles with a clichéd storyline, subpar special effects, an uneven script, and performances that in no way are memorable. In fact, the only entertaining and somewhat memorable attribute of this film is the amount of gratuitous nudity that definitely takes the overall feel back to a cheap 1980s direct to VHS slasher. In the end, this low budget slasher is nothing special and is rather uninspiring. Unless you have no other choices available, stay away!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Shrine (2010)

After taking a night off to play some Diablo III, I decided to get back into the swing of the season with something different. After some internal debate, I decided to watch The Shrine from 2010, a flick I should have watched a long time ago.

Plot/ A group of young journalists investigate a cult said to practice human sacrifice, but their ambitious ways may lead them to becoming the cult's next victims.

I have had this movie on my viewing list for some time, and finally sat down to watch it tonight. I am glad that I did. While there were some cliché moments, for the most part it had an intriguing storyline that actually feature a couple of unexpected twists. On top of that, there were some solid performances, the characters worked, the right amount of blood, and a darker atmosphere than I expected (playing without subtitles worked well). Unfortunately, the lack of subtitles in some areas will drive some people away, and they should not feel that way as it adds some realism to the flick, and yes, the characters do make some dumb decisions (this is a horror movie), but those are just minor issues. In the end, this one was a lot better than I expected and was an interesting indie flick that kept me entertained. Sure, it is not perfect, but what movie is. If you have not seen it, give it a shot; just be warned, it is not all in English.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Radio Free Albemuth (2014)

While I have never been a huge fan of Science Fiction writings, I could be changing my approach. This next movie comes from the mind of author Philip K. Dick (Blade Runner) and offers a glimpse of the reality we are living in today (even if the sheep want to ignore it). Next up for review is the 2014 film Radio Free Albemuth.

Plot/ Berkeley record store clerk Nick Brady begins to experience strange visions from an entity he calls VALIS that cause him to uproot his family and move to Los Angeles where he becomes a successful music company executive. With the help of best friend, science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick himself and a mysterious woman named Silvia, Nick finds himself drawn into a dangerous political-mystical conspiracy of cosmic proportions. 

Let me start by saying that I have never read this book and cannot tell you how close the adaptation is to what was written. Although, in this case, I may decide to pick it up and read it, as the idea and storyline definitely felt real and reminded me of some of the weirdness we are experiencing in society today. This was an entertaining journey to watch with an intriguing and layered storyline, solid performances, outstanding characterizations, great visuals and a big budget feel. Sure, as a character and story driven movie, it does lack a tremendous amount of action, but that does nothing to bring the film down. In the end, this mixture of political and theological intrigue, conspiracy theories, and historical philosophical and subliminal messages plays out in an educational and entertaining manner, and is a must see for everyone. Check it out!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Delivery: The Beast Within (2013)

After some old school mysteries including some silent films, I decided to find something different for my Saturday night. While I do have a Sci-Fi flick on right now, I started the night with the 2013 found footage/reality show based Delivery: The Beast Within.

Plot/Delivery tells the story of Kyle and Rachel Massy, a young couple who agree to document their first pregnancy for a family oriented reality show. The production spirals out-of-control after the cameras capture a series of unexplained events, leading Rachel to believe that a malevolent spirit has possessed their unborn child.

When I saw this one at Family Video, I expected another found footage flick. While this one does have some of those elements, this one came with a realism that is often contrived in other flicks from the genre. In fact, this one has a lot to like with a believable script (minus the midwife/home birth), solid acting, outstanding pacing, and the right amount of atmosphere to keep you interested. Sure, there is some tension, but there are minimal (if any) scares, and it fits better as an unnerving thriller vice horror movie. In the end, this is a believable and entertaining flick that has an intriguing storyline. If you are looking for blood, guts, and demons, this one is not for you. However, if you want a creepy and believable thriller, give it a shot.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Red House (1947)

I love October; it gives me even more of an excuse to watch different styles of movies in preparation for Halloween. Every once in a while, I decide to venture way back in time for some classic noir cinema, which is the case with my next review: The Red House from 1947.

Plot/ An old man and his sister are concealing a terrible secret from their adopted teen daughter, concerning a hidden abandon farmhouse, located deep in the woods.

I watched this film for the first time tonight and was surprise by some of the material. This surprise was not because of what the material was, it was because when the movie came out (1947). Honestly, some of this may have been considered taboo during that era. This one has some solid acting, a perfect soundtrack, and a layered storyline that kept me entertained throughout. Sure, it was not perfect, but it was one of the more atmospheric movies from that era. In the end, this piece of noir cinema is entertaining and rather twisted considering its age; if you have not seen it and love movies from that period, give it a shot. This is definitely an underrated gem!

Walking Before Dawn on eBook

Pick-up a copy of Walking Before Dawn on ebook. It is available from Amazon for kindle or you can pick-up a copy from me for $1.99 in pdf format or signed copies available for $12.00 (shipping included). Just email me for all of the details and grab yours today!

A Haunting at Preston Castle (2012)

Last night, I took a break from movies to do some writing. Yes, that piece, which I posted yesterday, is zombie themed and I know that zombies are saturating the world, but this short story is part of something much larger and layered. Tonight, I decided to venture into some paranormal areas with my movie selection, the 2012 indie entry A Haunting at Preston Castle (AKA Preston Castle). 

Plot/ When three friends set out for an innocent, late night adventure, they encounter more than ever imagined. Inspired by true events at northern California’s infamous haunted house, Preston Castle, the question is whether these three will survive the night.

This flick is another loosely based true story based in an actual haunted location: Preston Castle (in California). While there is really nothing new in this film, it did surprise me as the pacing actually built throughout and there were some decent cinematic elements. Unfortunately, there is nothing new in this one, as the acting is uneven, the scripting is weak, and there is truly nothing memorable inside. In the end, this cliché filled movie does nothing more than help pass some time during writing. Sure, if you are a fan of movies based on true haunted locations, you may enjoy it, but trust me; there is nothing in this that you have not seen before.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Zombie Themed Flash Fiction - The Boulevard At Last -

The boulevard at last, we have finally made it through the city; our salvation lies ahead. I think we are safe for the moment. At least, we are as safe as we can be in this plagued nightmare. We should stop and rest; there are no signs of those beasts anywhere and we will need all of our energy to make it out of the city. If my calculations are correct, we have about two miles until we hit the bridge and nine miles to our sanctuary.

We do not have long though. Our pheromones make us tempting entrées out here in the open. I still cannot believe how the immunization has mutated; it never should have caused this type of reaction. I swear we are living in some type of butterfly effect. Damn, I wish I had brought a gun. Yes, these vile beasts can be can be killed at close range with a targeted blow to the head, but I would still prefer to distance myself from them. Are you about ready to move again?

            Great, just in time. Look, over by the Console Energy Center, here they come. Damn, their senses are even better than I imagined. Amazing! It is incredible how the outbreak has spread so quickly through the population; there has to be 5000 or so packed into that small area (way too many for me to stand here and count, that’s for sure). Time to move on; we must hurry.

Quickly, down this alley. I remember this from when I was a freshman at Duquesne. Yes, this should aid our escape. God… Wrong turn! Damn it, those creatures are everywhere. How could they have surrounded us so quickly? It is almost as if they knew we were coming this way, like they knew our escape route. What to do, what to do? I guess… Paul?

Paul… Stop… There are far too many for you to handle. We must take refuge. Look, that building would be perfect; the foundation is built on the shoreline. Maybe there is a boat in that shed down there we could find something to aid in our escape. Paul… Get back here! Mark, John, head inside… Paul…

Stop it Paul! Please! Please stop, I have enough blood on my hands from this experiment. I could not live with myself if I lost another. No! Over Here! No, leave him alone! It, It is me you want. Hey, over here! Damn you… Stop… Oh god, what have I done? Paul, not you, you bastards want me! I did this; I created you. I built the lab and designed the vaccination. Take me! Here I am; yes, leave him alone. I deserve to die. Please lord, have them take me and not Paul, he is innocent.

            That is the way, leave him… If only I had some type of weapon. Paul, run! Meet Mark and John in that building, I will be right behind you. Run, run as fast as you can; they are listening, coming for me. Yes, Paul, that door! You are almost there, 20-yards and you will be safe! Ten more steps Paul, that is all, just ten more. Thank god…

            No! Stop! No! Where did that abomination come from? You bastard! Get your mouth off him. Oh God, Paul, no. God, he is tearing into his neck, ripping at his flesh. Oh God, no, not Paul!