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Thursday, June 29, 2017

A Kind of Murder (2016)



I knew after watching The Autopsy of Jane Doe that it was going to be difficult to follow it with something in the horror genre. With that in mind, I went for something different, the 2016 crime/drama A Kind of Murder (AKA The Blunderer).


Plot/ In 1960s New York, Walter Stackhouse is a successful architect married to the beautiful Clara who leads a seemingly perfect life. But his fascination with an unsolved murder leads him into a spiral of chaos as he is forced to play cat-and-mouse with a clever killer and an overambitious detective, while at the same time lusting after another woman.


This was an impulse rental, as I was in the mood for something a touch different than my usual selections. While there was a lot to like with some great cinematography, a nostalgic feel, and some decent tension early on, there overall feel of the movie was very disjointed and the ending felt extremely rushed. The storyline was definitely interesting and the movie was setting up to be a solid whodunit/thriller, but unfortunately, between some of the uneven performances and the predictable ending, it was never able to reach the potential that it laid the groundwork for. In the end, this one was quite disappointing as it fell short of what could have been. Is it a terrible movie? No, but it is also a movie that will leave you disappointed when it is over.


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)



After clearing my mind with a mindless Godzilla flick, it was time to get back to some real horror. After a long night of softball (practice and watching a game), my selection for last night was the 2016 entry The Autopsy of Jane Doe.


Plot/ A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harboring dark secrets.


This is a movie I have been looking forward to watching. While I did not know much about the storyline or what to expect, from the few promo clips and artwork I had seen, I thought it could be something that I would enjoy. I was right, as this was one of the best horror films I have seen in some time and it backs up my thoughts that this has been a tremendous year for the genre. There was a lot to like with some creepy and dark atmospheric elements, some outstanding make-up effects with some graphic scenes, solid performances, and a nice mixture of horror and suspense within a thought-out storyline that was quite engaging. Yes, there are a few clichéd jump scares thrown it and the ending could have been a touch better, but those are but minor flaws inside this tremendous film. In the end, if you are a true horror fan, you should definitely enjoy this one. True, some of the autopsy scenes may not be for everyone, but it is well worth watching.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)



After watching Twin Peaks yesterday, I needed something that could help my mind come back to reality, so I decided on this one. Knowing that Godzilla movies are always fun and mindless, what could go wrong with the 2001 entry Godzilla, Mothra, and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack?


Plot/ Three ancient guardian beasts awaken to protect Japan against Godzilla.


I had seen this on Shudder for some time, but honestly, the length of the titles scared me away. I know that may sound stupid, but it’s true. Now that I have watched it, I can see that I made a huge mistake in waiting. This was one of the darkest and most entertaining Godzilla films I have watched and it made me want to see more. While there are some early CGI issues and such, for the most part, the effects work rather well, creating one of the best monster flicks I have seen. Incredibly, although modernized, the film was able to maintain some of the charms that made the classic Godzilla films so much fun. Less schlock and an entertaining story featuring a dreadful Godzilla out to destroy humanity, this had a lot to like with some solid cinematography, quality dubbing, and a soundtrack that did a perfect job at setting the stage for the action. Yes, some of the creatures did seem off from their original characterizations with the size a ferocity and some of the story felt cliché and predictable, but those were easily overlooked. In the end, if you are a fan of the classic Godzilla flicks and like me, you grew up with them on the Saturday afternoon creature features give this one a shot. This was an entertaining and fun flick that worked perfectly in helping me pass some time in the afternoon.


Monday, June 26, 2017

7 Witches (2017)



Last night, not only did I miss one of the best episodes of Twin Peaks to grace the screen, I was away from the computer and could not keep my posting streak. I did get to see an awesome concert with The Regrettes in a very intimate setting at Mr. Smalls Funhouse so that at least made the evening entertaining. To catch up today, I decided to finish with the 2017 independent entry 7 Witches.


Plot/ As their big day approaches Cate and Cody should be celebrating, they've got their family with them, they've rented an island for the big day, but unbeknownst to them, their wedding falls on the day when a 100-year-old curse comes to fruition. Instead of celebrating, they find themselves fighting for their lives as a coven of witches risen for revenge.


I knew nothing about this one when I picked it up at Family Video, and because of that, I was thoroughly satisfied with what I found. While there were some clichéd moments toward the end of the film and the idea may not have been overly original, it was an entertaining film that came across as a mix of art house cinema and a larger budgeted suspense flick. The characters were interesting, the cinematography was atmospheric and solid, and the pacing was fitting for the short run time. Yes, there are the clichés and the short run time will definitely turn some people away, but those elements are minor flaws in this intriguing flick. In the end, this one has just enough of a horror vibe to be somewhat satisfying. Yes, it is not the most original film out there, but it is better than many entries in the low budget arena. Give it a shot.


Sunday, June 25, 2017

Shakma (1990)



Although I planned to watch 7 Witches last night, the remote for the DVD player again seemed to disappear. So, instead, I decided to dive into Shudder for the 1990 creature feature Shakma.


Plot/ An experimental drug that is supposed to reduce aggression has the opposite effect on a baboon that is being experimented on by a group of medical students and their professor. While they are playing a fantasy role-playing game in their research facility, the baboon escapes and begins hunting them down.


Coming off the slasher craze of the 1980s, this creature feature takes on that genre in an amazing way. Yes, it is mindless and full of some awesome baboon induced blood and guts, but it is in no way anything more than a midnight low-budget schlockfest (although, the Dungeons and Dragons LARP is a nice twist). Even with the mild level of gore and a storyline that is rather predictable and cliché (other than the baboon madman), this movie is fun to watch and on par with some of the classic straight-to-video flicks of the era. Yes, the performances are uneven (Roddy McDowell is perfect though), the storyline is unbelievable, and overall the age of the film shines through in the technology, but that in no way makes this movie any less entertaining. In fact, after these decades, the movie is still just as cheesy and laughable as it was the first time I saw it. In the end, if you are searching for some campy fun, full of schlock and cheesiness than give this one a shot. Plus, it is on Shudder, so there is really nothing to lose if you have that service.


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Life (2017)



After surviving the crazy storm that hit town last night and spending some time at the mall with the Re-Create fundraising event for the Phoenix Art Center, it was time to relax. Now that I am back awake, it is time to catch up on the next flick from last night, 2017s sci-fi entry Life.


Plot/ A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.


This is a hard movie for me to review, not because of the subject matter or anything like that, it is because I swear I watched the same film previously only this time there were some minor differences. I know that might sound a bit crazy since it was just released in March 2017, but I felt like I knew every point spot on, except for the ending, which was similar in visuals, but different with where the characters (and creature) end up. Who knows, maybe I saw it in some parallel dimension. I did like a lot about the movie, with some of the great cinematography, awesome special effects, and an interesting storyline that was actually rather believable considering the subject matter. Even the atmosphere was dark and claustrophobic enough to make me want to see more. Yes, the characters were a touch flat, the tension level was lacking, and the performances were uneven with what was taking place inside the story. In the end, I did like this one, although it did feel predictable and at times, somewhat forced. It may not be for everyone, but it can be a fun flick to watch if you aren’t looking for the next Alien film.


Friday, June 23, 2017

The Undying Monster (1942)



While my plans for this first weekend of vacation are still a bit up in the air, I decided that I would watch some classic horror in case that I don’t make it to Monster Bash. My selection was the 1942 werewolf flick The Undying Monster.


Plot/ A legendary monster threatens surviving members of an aristocratic English family when they venture out on chilly, foggy nights.


Honestly, there is nothing better than the B-movies of the early sci-fi and horror that came out during the cinema’s infancy and this is a great example of that. This 1942 werewolf entry has all the elements that made those films popular. With its dark and heavy atmosphere, some solid performances, and a storyline that does a great job mixing mystery into the werewolf genre. Yes, some of the dialog is a bit off, the characterizations are uneven, and there are some of the typical flaws that plague movies from that era, but those are easily overlooked. In the end, this is one of the better B-class werewolf films and a movie that those that enjoy classic horror/mystery should enjoy. Check it out!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Peelers (2017) Official Trailer and Press Release



One great thing that comes with having a blog like The Ringmaster’s Realm is the opportunities that come along to help promote independent horror and catch some interesting flicks before they are released. That will be the case with Peelers. While this is not a review (which will be coming shortly), it is a great synopsis and trailer for a movie that looks both fun and gory.

Check out the trailer and press release – and more importantly, stay tuned for the review.


MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE & GRUESOME RELEASE


June 15, 2017 – Independent Horror Feature Film PEELERS to have US DVD/BLU-RAY RELEASE on July 4, 2017, & CANADIAN VOD on July 11, 2017.

The makers of the Independent Cult Horror feature film SKEW (2011) bring you their bloody action/horror follow-up flick PEELERS.

PEELERS - What starts out as the last hurrah on the closing night of an infamous small-town strip club, quickly turns into a night of bloodshed when a crew of coal miners shows up and with them, a deadly contaminant. Former baseball player and current club owner, Blue Jean Douglas has decided to hand over her bar to a new owner and leave town for good. But Blue Jean’s plans are thwarted when she discovers the magnitude of the epidemic that has been unleashed. With victims piling up, Blue Jean must step up to the plate to protect her family, her friends, and her bar before it's too late and she loses everything she holds dear.

PEELERS destroys the cliché stripper horror sub-genre by giving us a story packed with exciting twists, baseball, strippers of unusual talents, and a strong female lead. PEELERS has quickly become 2016’s horror festival hit, premiering in 67 festivals worldwide while carving up 54 nominations and 31 wins. What’s being described as “Rodriguez meets Tarantino” and “… a pretty damn fun trip” (Dread Central) that “might as well have a tagline of ‘make horror great again’” (Blood Guts UK Horror) has Director / Producer Sevé Schelenz stoked to give genre fans the indie horror cult hit of 2017.

PEELERS US DVD/BLU-RAY – July 4, 2017 (from Uncork’d Entertainment)
PEELERS CANADIAN VOD – July 11, 2017 (from levelFILM)

Get ready to own all the never-before-seen spine-tingling EXTRAS on the US DVD & Blu-ray including Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, Behind the Scenes, Special Effects, Digital Comic, Script To Scene, Director and Actor Commentaries and much more!

Still not bloody enough for you? Here’s more:

Website: www.peelersthefilm.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peelersthefilm

Twitter: https://twitter.com/peelersthefilm

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Axe Murders of Villisca (2016)



One thing that is a challenge during this time of the year is balancing the blog with my daughters travel softball schedule. This weekend was no exception, as we spent most of Saturday and Sunday in some brutal heat. Couple that with my Sunday evenings being dedicated to Twin Peaks and I have to skip some posts. That all changes on Mondays when I can get baVick to movies and the blog, like tonight when I ventured into the 2016 horror flick The Axe Murders of Villisca.


Plot/ Three outcast teenagers break into the Villisca Axe Murder house in search of answers but discover something far beyond their worst fears.


I had no idea what to expect from this one, but always being intrigued by the story of the Villisca Axe Murders, I decided to give this one a shot. Yes, there were some clichéd moments as the teens explore the house; yet, there is enough story development to make those moments easy to overlook. While the movie is not perfect, the storyline is interesting; the pacing works, and the atmosphere is much better than I would have initially imagined. Sure, the ending could have been better and there were some predictable moments, but that is somewhat typical in lower budgeted films. In the end, this one may not be for everyone and honestly; it did not reach its full potential. While it is not a bad movie, it could have been better.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Displacement (2016)



Earlier, I was having a conversation today about the Mandela Effect and time travel. While I am not going to go into detail about the theory that I postulated involving these elements and the potential Antichrist, I do believe that I may be onto something and will have to start doing some more research. Ironically, while I was at Family Video, I stumbled upon a new time travel/ temporal disturbance film, 2016s Displacement.


Plot/ A young physics student must find a way to reverse a deadly quantum time anomaly and solve the murder of her boyfriend while battling short-term memory loss and time slips caused by the event.


I had no idea what I was in for with this one when I picked it up at Family Video but was a nice one to gamble on. While it starts off in a confusing manner, once things begin to fall into place the storyline definitely draws you in. Overall, the scripting is outstanding, the technical aspects especially the cinematography and editing work, and the performances are solid. Yes, some of the actual quantum physics theory may be a stretch, the confusion from the time slips may not be for everyone, and there may not be enough true science fiction for the diehard fan, but those aspects do not really bring this one down. In the end, this one may not be for everyone, but it is an interesting film that does create some thought provoking moments. If you are like me and fascinated by the idea of time travel, give this one a shot.


Thursday, June 15, 2017

Moth (2016)



Having just watched the documentary The Mothman of Point Pleasant as well as following the Owl Man sightings in Chicago, I have been motivated to spend some time in the field doing some research. Unfortunately, with this being the middle of travel softball season, this has not worked out the way I had hoped. To help ease some of the disappointment, I decided to kick back and watch the 2016 flick Moth.


Plot/ A teacher and her student travel to the European countryside to investigate 22 recent Mothman sighting reports, but what begins as an attempt to stop a catastrophe becomes a nightmarish fight for survival.


This found footage film does suffer through some of the typical problems that seem to always pop up in this realm; yet, it does add some elements that are not typically seen in the genre. More of a slow burn drama than straight found footage horror flick, this one comes away with a more realistic feel because of the dated look it has. Plus, there is an interesting twist added in that actually works within the storyline. Yes, the performances are uneven (especially with the lead actress); the dialog is laughable at best, and as usual, there are clichéd moments littered throughout. For me, this did not ruin the film, as the subject interests me and the low budget nature does allow for some flaws to be overlooked. In the end, this movie is far from perfect, but it is also far from the worst film in the found footage arena. Is it for everyone, no way, but it is somewhat entertaining and a decent way to pass some mindless time recovering from a long day.


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Cure for Wellness (2016)



There are times where I enjoy thought-provoking thrillers more than any other genres. Unfortunately, finding entertaining films that do not follow a clichéd and predictable template is becoming more and more challenging. Fortunately, that was not the case with the 2016 entry A Cure for Wellness.


Plot/ An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company's CEO from an idyllic but mysterious wellness center at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa's treatments are not what they seem.


This is a movie that I wanted to see when it was in the theaters, but unfortunately, I was not able to align my schedule and had to wait. Fortunately, I was able to get it tonight and found it exactly what I somewhat expected. Visually, this film is amazing and offers some of the best technical execution I have seen in some time. The performances are solid, the soundtrack works in creating an unsettling mood, and the storyline is interesting (even though there are some predictable elements). Sure, not everyone will enjoy the ending, the movie develops at a slow pace, and there are a bunch of unanswered questions, but those do little to bring down the positives. In the end, this one will not be for everyone. However, if you enjoy creepy surrealistic psychological thrillers, this one is for you. Give it a shot!


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Red Planet Mars (1952)



After watching Slugs last night, I decided that I wanted to watch some type of classic sci-fi tale. After some searching, I settled on the 1952 entry Red Planet Mars.


Plot/ An American scientist is able to contact and communicate with Mars with shattering political, economic, and spiritual repercussions.


This one is an entertaining and interesting film that is definitely more of an intellectual drama than a pure sci-fi flick. Released during the early part of the Cold War, the sentiments of the day with the communist hysteria is evident throughout. Hell, this could have been one of the flicks that educated McCain and Feinstein on the Russian threat. The acting is solid, the cinematography excellent, and the storyline does have some twists that make it a fun watch. Yes, there are some strong religious overtones, there are no real action sequences or effects, and the flow is a touch choppy, but those are not deal breakers. In the end, this was a fun watch and a movie that does embrace the thoughts and attitudes of that era. Not for everyone, but a movie that should be seen.


Monday, June 12, 2017

Slugs (1988)



After spending the weekend camping at a softball tournament, it was nice to finally kick back and watch something mindless tonight. After some thought, I decided on the 1988 schlockfest Slugs.


Plot/ People are dying mysteriously and gruesomely, and nobody has a clue what the cause is. Only health worker Mike Brady has a possible solution, but the authorities laugh at his theory of killer slugs.


There is always a place in my movie library for mindless pieces of schlock that do not take themselves seriously, and that is exactly what type of movie we have here. Is a good movie? Technically no, but it is an easy watch and a great example of 1980s creature feature gold. On a positive, I have always loved the clichéd storyline, the excessive low budget gore, and the killer slugs. Unfortunately, the close-minded horror fan that is searching for a Oscar-worthy piece of cinema will probably not agree with me and point out the flat characters, the uneven performances, and the choppy editing. Yes, there are flaws, but this is the type of film that paved its way into the so bad its good garage. In the end, if you are looking for a fun, entertaining, and mindless example of 1980s schlock, give this one a chance. Especially, if like me, you have Shudder and could watch it on a push of a button. Check it out.