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Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead (2012)



Zombie films are always fun. Unfortunately, with the rise of popularity in that genre, there are many snoozers out there. With that in mind, it is always hit and miss when I pick one up. Next up is another independent zombie flick, 2012s The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead.


Plot/ A dark figure appears in the night, bringing with him a virus that turns people into monsters. Hoping to gather stories to take back with him to the other side, he meets his opposite, a light figure prepared to do battle with the dark man in order to save the human race.


Zombie films have become hit and miss over the past few years. Unfortunately, with the incredible rise of the zombie genre over the past few years, too many films have saturated the market in the past decade. This no-budget entry is actually better than I expected. While it is no masterpiece, there was a lot to like in this film. While each segment is a touch uneven, there is enough storyline to keep the viewer interested. A throwback to the Romero zombie lore, there is a touch of the social overtones thrown in as well. Yes, the acting is uneven, the effects the same, and some of the scripting is a touch off, but for an ultra low budget entry, it is much better than expected. In the end, this British zombie flick may not be for everyone as the slow pacing may turn some viewers off. If you are a fan of this style, give it shot; there are a lot worse out there.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Report 51 (2013)



With my quarter finally over and my vacation started, it is finally nice to be able to sit down and catch up on the last few movies that I watched last week. Next up on the chopping block is the 2013 found-footage flick Report 51.


Plot/ After a strange sighting, four friends decide to move in the near woodlands to investigate. Soon their weekend becomes a nightmare and a race for survival.


If you have read my blog previously, than you would know that I am a huge fan and supporter of no-budget cinema. I can usually look past the typical flaws and find some part of the movie that actually excites me a little. Unfortunately, this no-budget flick comes nowhere close to providing any type of entertainment. A found-footage entry, this one is riddled with flaws, featuring uneven scripting, bad acting, poor characterization, poor cinematography, and excessively much screaming. Honestly, between the semi incoherent scripting and poor lighting, all I remember is the screaming. In the end, there is really nothing here to interest anyone. Stay away!


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Wrath of the Crows (2013)



This has been a long week as the quarter came to an end at the institute and another class has graduated. This one was one of the better classes and was a constant source of entertainment. I will definitely miss them. Now, catching up on some more of the movies from the weekend, next up, 2013s Wrath of the Crows.


Plot/ In a dirty, squalid narrow jail, prisoners are forced to suffer injustices both from their guards and the ruling officer. Feared by all, however, is a man nobody there has ever seen -The Judge. When new prisoner Princess arrives, seemingly out of nowhere and dressed only in a crow's feathers coat, her radiating and sensual appearance begins to cause curiosity but also envy, suspicion, and a deep sexual agitation.


Wrath of the Crows is an interesting film and was nothing like I expected. Yes, I will admit that the cast, who backed up their name recognition with some solid performances, drew me in. There is a lot to like in this one besides the performances. The atmosphere is dark and moody; the visuals work really well, and there is solid mixture of suspense, tension, gore, and violence to make every horror fan smile. Yes, there were some incoherent moments that required you to pay attention, but that is bit a small flaw. In the end, this was one of the more entertaining and satisfying horror flicks I have seen in some time and one that I may actually watch again in a few days to ensure I digested all of it. Check it out!


Monday, June 23, 2014

The Monkey's Paw (2013)



After spending too much time on cheesy creature features, it was nice to find some other flicks that took me into different categories. One such film is my next review, the 2013 horror / thriller The Monkey’s Paw.


Plot/ Jake is given a monkey's paw that grants three wishes. After the first two wishes leave his friend Cobb undead, Cobb pushes Jake to make a final wish.


I am starting to become a huge fan of Chiller Films. This movie was definitely much better than what I expected to find. There was a lot to like in this one with solid acting, a decently original storyline, and cinematography that worked to create a heavy atmosphere. Sure, there were some cliché moments and some of it was predictable, but that did very little to bring the overall product down. In the end, this one may not win an Academy Award but it is an entertaining flick that does a great job at bringing a classic tale into the modern world. Give it a shot!


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Beast of the Bering Sea (2013)



Watching The Exorcist was fun. Unfortunately, that was about the only decent movie I picked for the weekend. For some reason, I was stuck on this creature feature kick and suffered through more than my share. Next up, The SyFy Channel original Breast of the Bering Sea from 2013.


Plot/ While dredging for gold beneath the Bering Sea, siblings are confronted by a horde of horrific sea vampires. When their father falls victim to the insatiable creatures, they join forces with a dedicated marine biologist and a loyal deckhand to kill or be killed by the beasts.


There is truly nothing unexpected in this movie; it is purely a SyFy Channel cheesefest and a perfect Saturday night schlocked creature feature. Incredibly, the acting and the cast are not that bad. Unfortunately, there is nothing else for this straightforward flick to bring to the table. The script is laughable, the creatures hilarious with a garbage bag look boosted by poor CGI, and there are more than a few head scratching moments. In the end, it is exactly what is looks like, a SyFy Channel creature feature. If you love laughable scripts and horrid CGI monster, this one is for you!


Saturday, June 21, 2014

Here Comes the Devil (2012)



As I sit here watching The Exorcist with the twins, I figured it was time to pull together my next review. While the next movie on my list will never rise to the status of the classic I am watching, it was a solid entry. That film is the 2012 import, Here Comes the Devil.


Plot/ A married couple lose their children while on a family trip near some caves in Tijuana. The kids eventually reappear without explanation, but it becomes clear that they are not who they used to be, that something terrifying has changed them.


This movie definitely took me back toward the exploitation flicks of my youth. While subtitled, I found it extremely entertaining and easy to follow with a straightforward storyline that really worked. There was a lot to like featuring a slow-building atmosphere, violence, nudity, blood, and sexual tension. The acting was solid, the storyline worked and there were some unsettling moments. Yes, there were some plot holes, weird camera angles, and uneven audio (when paying attention to the subtitles), but for a low budget entry, that was expected. In the end, this occult / satanic themed movie is definitely not for everyone with its graphic sex and violence. However, if you can handle subtitles and enjoy a slow-burn throwback toward 1970s exploitation, give it a shot.

Poseidon Rex (2013)



After a few days of softball, I decided to watch a couple flicks tonight. I wanted to start with something cheesy, as one can never watch enough low budget creature features. First, up for the weekend, Poseidon Rex from 2013.


Plot/ A small, secluded island off the coast of Belize suddenly finds itself terrorized by a deadly predator from the planet's distant past when deep sea divers accidentally awaken an ancient evil.


With a name like Poseidon Rex, I hope that you were not expecting much. While it is an interesting concept in the realm of low budget creature features, it is nowhere near original or makes any sense. With that being said, if you totally remove reality from the equation, there are some entertaining and laughable moments and some decent underwater scenes in the film. From there, the positives disappear and the cheesiness rises. The CGI is beyond laughable, the plot has a ton of holes, the scripting uneven, and most of it makes little to no sense. In the end, this movie embraces the schlock factor and never takes itself too serious. Is it a good movie? No, but it is better than some of the creature features that has come out during the past decade (but that is not saying much). If you love creature features, this is not a good movie, but you can do worse…


Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stonehenge Apocalypse (2010)



Over the weekend, I watched items that spanned many genres. While some were cheesy low budget entries, others came from bigger budgets and were more well known. Next up for review, the


Plot/ When a group of archaeologists open a lost pyramid in Maine they trigger terraforming mechanism and start a chain of events that may very well end the world as we know it.


I went into this expecting the typical SyFy Channel entry and that is about what I found. While it does suffer from many of the flaws or their typical entries, I found this one to at least boast a somewhat original storyline and idea. Yes, there were issues with low budget sets, uneven acting, poor dialog, and the unreal CGI that is more laughable then believable. While this movie is far from perfect, it was decently entertaining and fun to watch. Yes, it is a low budget cheese, but it is one of the more interesting SyFy Channel entries in the past few years.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Godzilla 2000 (1999)



With another Monday in the books and I am now venturing into the world of True Detective, it is time to dive back into the blog. I did catch many interesting flicks this weekend, and I will have plenty of reviews to pull together in the coming days. Next up, the often-overlooked Godzilla 2000.


Plot/ Godzilla returns in a brand-new movie that ignores all preceding movies except for the original with a brand new look and a powered up atomic ray. This time he battles a mysterious UFO that later transforms into a mysterious kaiju dubbed Orga. They meet up for the final showdown in the city of Shinjuku.


With the release of Godzilla earlier in 2014, it is fun to revisit the franchise. With so many different incarnations and films out there, there is definitely a movie for everyone. One of my favorites but often unnoticed is Godzilla 2000. While some of it feels played out and cliché, there is a new monster, an awesome battle and a UFO. Honestly, what more can you ask for. The new-look Godzilla works and the acting is solid. Yes, some of the dialog is muddled and laughable and there are a few CGI moments that do not work, but all in all it is a decent flick. In the end, this is one of the better Godzilla flicks, and it is one many could enjoy. If you have not seen it, check it out!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Devil's Due (2014)



Now that I have finished my homework for the week, it is time to write up another review for the blog. This has been a great weekend and I have a ton of movies to write up, but need to find some time to get there. Next up on the list is the 2014 found-footage flick Devil's Due.


Plot/ After a mysterious, lost night on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple finds themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy. While recording everything for posterity, the husband begins to notice odd behavior in his wife that they initially write off to nerves, but, as the months pass, it becomes evident that the dark changes to her body and mind have a much more sinister origin.


While I was excited about this movie from seeing their marketing campaign, I knew that there was likely nothing new with it. What I did not expect was to see a found footage reboot of the classic Rosemary’s Baby. Yes, there were a couple of decent performances, and some of the thoughts were interesting, but it is nowhere near enough to make this memorable. The flick lacks atmosphere, pacing, and excitement. On top of that, the characters are unbelievable, the story is riddled with cliché, and there are truly no scares at all. In the end, there is very little here to draw you in and it does nothing to hold your attention. Honestly, stay away…


Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mortuary (2005)



With yesterday being Friday the 13th, I wanted to spend the evening engrossed in some different elements of horror and Sci-Fi. One of the first flicks I decided to watch was Tobe Hooper’s Mortuary (2005).


Plot/ A family moves to a small town in California where they plan on starting a new life while running a long-abandoned funeral home. The locals fear the place, which is suspected to be on haunted ground.


I will admit that I did not expect much from this one, so I was not extremely disappointed that I did not get much from it. While it started off decent enough, somehow it transcended into a mess and ruined the potential. There were some solid props and the locations were believable, but that is where the positives end. The plot / storyline was riddled with holes and cliché moments, the scripting is poor, the performances uneven, and the CGI effects made me long for a low budget direct to video VHS flick. In the end, there was really nothing in this one to make it worth watching and there is no reason for you to suffer through. Stay Away!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Flu (2013)



While I did take off a few days from the blog to finish some homework assignments, I did watch a few interesting movies. One of the first ones that I watched this week was the South Korean entry Flu from 2013.


Plot/ People are helpless against the airborne disease and the number of infected increases quickly, spreading chaos. As the worst-case scenario precaution, the city of half a million people, just 19 kilometers from Seoul, is about to be sealed off. The government orders a complete shutdown.


Flu is the movie I expected to see when I watched Contagion. While Contagion fell flat, Flu succeeded in creating an awesome disaster movie. The storyline works and was realistic, the performances are solid, and the underlying message was tremendous. Yes, some of the dubbed dialog at the beginning of the movie was out of place and there were some unbelievable moments, but those flaws were expected as they usually come with the territory when dealing with the translation from the foreign market. In the end, this Korean entry was not only entertaining is was everything that you would want in an epic disaster flick. If you have not seen it, give it a shot!


Slender Man Awaits...


One of my students is fascinated by the Slender Man. As we are having a quiet day in lab, I decided to take this time on Friday the 13th to add something to this micro-fiction phenomenon, and in the process allow Mike to finally meet this tortured soul.


As Michael turned the corner, he knew something was not right. The cool June wind cut through his soul, the heavy atmosphere made every breath a challenge. He could feel this unnatural darkness drown his reality.  Something or someone was near; standing tall as a shadow stalking his every step. All of a sudden, winding his way down the overgrown path toward his house felt like a huge mistake.

“Brittany, is that you?” he said as he crept toward the lights that sat off in the distance. “I know it is Friday the 13th, but come on… This is not funny!”

There, in the moonlight, a faint outline rose through the mist. The sounds of silence echoed in his mind as he realized that what stood before him was not Brittany. In fact, it may not be human. He could see the web of tentacles glisten in what was left from the glow of the full moon. His heart raced; he knew what lay ahead.  Michaels’ dreams have been answered by the almighty, as faceless tormentor waits.

At last, he can become one with the Slender Man…

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mission to Mars (2000)



After spending some time with some low budget entries, it was time to venture into something a touch more serious. Having spent a lot of time recently diving into Ancient Aliens, it was only fitting that I would find something with a similar theme. After some thought, I decided to watch Mission to Mars from 2000.


Plot/ When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors.


Mission to Mars is definitely a film that has aged well. In fact, watching it again for the first time since it came out made me appreciate it more than I originally did. The performances are solid; the underlying narrative is amazing, the characters believable, and the overall feel of this movie is tremendous. Yes, there are some cliché moments that drag viewers toward Kubrick’s 2001, but this does in no way ruin the movie. On top of that, the ending may be one of the best in a Sci-Fi film and honestly hits upon a topic that make ancient alien theorists smile. In the end, this flick may be more drama than modern science fiction, but it is an entertaining journey that all should see. If you have not seen it, check it out!