Sunday, 4 December 2016

Review: Gremlins (1984)

Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates

Budget: 11 Million

Directed By: Joe Dante

This has to be one of the most influential films from my childhood. I remember it was billed as a kids film but most definitely at its heart its a horror film.
The Gremlins though amusing are quite terrifying and do some very deadly things to the people of Kingston falls as you'll see in the review. Most would term this type of film a black comedy. Howie Mandel does the voice for the small creature called Gizmo, a Mogwai.

Randal Peltzer a travelling salesman, selling his own homemade inventions realizes he's late getting his son a Christmas present.
He's led by a small Chinese boy to his grandfathers curio store. He doesn't see anything initially and then when trying to sell the owner an item his attention is drawn to a small animal in a cage.
Unfortunately Mr Wing disagrees with Randal's offers for the creature. His grandson tells Randal To meet him out the back with the money. He does and gets the animal from Wing's Grandson, though there are three rules you must follow being the owner of a Mogwai. Rule one Don't get them wet, rule two don't feed them after midnight and rule 3 keep out of bright light, full on sunlight will kill him.

Billy Peltzer is Randals son and we see him being late for work and his dog following him there too. We then see Mrs Deagle strutting her way towards the bank. She's the main human protagonist of the film and something against Billy and his dog.
His dog has destroyed her expensive replica snowman and in the middle of her tirade Barney leaps from under the desk giving the woman a near heart attack. After all that trouble Billy heads home and is given the present by his dad, who has named him Gizmo. Billy's younger friend Pete comes around later (Cory Feldman) and accidentally spill water onto Gizmo. This spawns five more little Mogwai from Gizmo's back they seem a lot more hyper and rambunctious than Gizmo though, especially one with a white hair mohawk they call stripe.

Billy gives one of the creatures to his old high school science teacher, who quite cruelly experiments on the poor little chap. Both this mogwai and the rest at Billy's manage to eat after midnight the latter biting through the clock cord tricking Billy. They seal up in large green cocoons and Billy goes to see the science teacher who explains it's like a pupa stage.
The cocoons hatch while Billy is on his way back home, Hanson the teacher is murdered by his one and Billy's mum is terrorized until Billy gets back home. The all attack and kill the gremlins in a number of gross ways, all except Stripe who manages to escape out the window.

Stripe is chased to a nearby swimming pool who he jumps into the water and spawns hundreds of new gremlins. Billy runs escaping to the bank, we are then treated to Phoebe Cates character Kate who works at the local bar. The gremlins have taken over drinking, smoking and wreaking havoc while Kate tries to serve them drinks.
Meanwhile we see Mrs Deagle catapulted out of her top floor window sat upon her stair lift which was tampered with by the gremlins. Kate manages to escape the gremlins using a cameras flash bulbs to scare away the creatures.
She meets up with Billy and they both realise the town has gone quiet, singing draws them towards the cinema. Inside the whole gremlin force sits there watching snow white and the seven dwarfs.

They rig up for the gas to blow up the cinema and it does killing all the gremlins inside, unfortunately Stripe has once again evaded death as he was ransacking a sweet store. Once again he is chased by Billy and co into an apartment store. He uses an array of power tools and deadly implements to try and kill Billy until he finds another source of water.

So my Nation i'll leave it there because if you haven't seen gremlins, firstly where have been living under a rock? Secondly go, go watch it now, right now! It's really not worth me spoiling the end to this classic film it NEEDS to be watched. So please go ahead and i will just say this film has the correct mix of comedy and horror and hits all the right notes.
THN awards Gremlins the best 5 out of 5 stars with a go out and watch it now!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Festive films I'll be watching/reviewing this month

Small green demons spawn from a furry pet called a mogwai bought as a Xmas gift!

Black Christmas
A sorority house is plagued by scary phone calls only for the sisters to be murdered one by one!

Silent night, deadly night
When a young boys parents are murdered on Xmas years later he returns as a crazy killer Santa!

Jack Frost
A crazy killer dies and gets mixed with some chemicals and snow turning him into a merciless cold killer, oh dear....

Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington wondering around bored of his usual Halloween job finds the magical land of Christmas town and wants to make Xmas his own!

So this is my to do list for December what do you guys think of my choices and what will you doing to spooky up your festive season?

Friday, 18 November 2016

Review: Channel/film 4 Fright Bites

A series of 4-6 minute horror shorts on UK channel/film 4 known for breaking ground in areas other channels wont, even bbc3.

Episode 1: Short Cut

When a Wanker, what us in the UK like to call this type of boyfriend/guy, is giving his current girlfriend a lift home he does everything wrong from drink driving to receiving dirty texts from other girls. He gets his comeuppance when he chooses to ignore his satnav and take a short cut.

Episode 2: Tickle Monster

Your usual teen idiot is sat with his girlfriend writing out song lyrics when we hear a buzzing noise. He blames the girl for tickling him, saying man don't like to be tickled, yes he's one of them gangster rap hard man wannabes. Until he's told there's a tickle monster as a joke, only is there really?

Episode 3: Squeal

When some scummy chav girls pick on a traveler girl on her way back from purchasing a pigs head you know things aren't going to turn out well. On her way home the lead girl is knocked unconscious and with the aid of some surgery and the pigs head is made into a new attraction!

Episode 4: Night Cap

When a young boy suddenly awakes in the night feeling somethings up he goes to wake his mother, who it seems has had one to many vodkas. The TV in the room suddenly turns on and the boy goes and turns it off. Then the phone rings asking to speak to him, his names Danny and he refuses. Running to his mothers bedroom the disembodied voice taunts and threatens even more, until...

Episode 5: Wake

We join a man in a room with sobbing people just heard not seen, a hand touches his shoulder and a woman's voice says sorry. We then see him hobbling up to a dead woman in a casket who he proceeds to kiss. She then awakes and bites his tongue out and replaces herself with his now mute person. which doesn't end well.

Episode 6: Old Gal

In this short we see an old woman in the street, we then view a woman on the phone to a friend who spies the woman across the street. She moans to the person on the phone that the crazy woman out again. She then gets shocked when the next time she looks the woman is at her window, she hangs up only to find she has disappeared. Then washing up in the kitchen she spies the old woman in the garden, only when she looks she doesn't see her (we do though). Entering back into the kitchen bad things ensue.

Overall Thoughts:
I liked the majority of these shorts they were nothing to over the top relying on short sharp shocks not intellectual fair, which is good as they don't have long to build their story with the short run time. My least favourite was Night Cap as theirs very little substance and it just doesn't hit the mark for me. The rest were reasonable, as a man though Short Cut really stood out to me even if the guy was an ass hole lol. Overall though THN gives the whole series 3 out of 5 Stars.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Leprechaun 2: One Wedding and Lots of Funerals (1994)

Stars: Warwick Davis

Budget: $2mill

Directed By: Rodman Flender

This sequel to the last Leprechaun film is sequel only in theme and name. Warwick Davis does return as the funny jolly little green man but none of the other characters do.
This one starts off a number of years in the past is suppose by the time it was released it was a 1000 years. so it was 994ad, our little green man is celebrating his thousandth birthday.

On his birthday he can pick any woman he wants to be his bride. There's some silly rule that if someone says 'bless you' after the girl/woman has sneezed 3 times then he can't marry them.
weird i know but the father of the girl getting married says the words denying the wee man his bride. Just before he kills him the Leprechaun vows to marry his descendant in 1000 years time.

1000 years in the future Cody a boy with far to much on his plate has an argument with his girlfriend because he always has to blow off dates with her because he feels some bond with his alcoholic uncle and helping him with his business. His girlfriend Bridget just so happens to be the descendant of the O'days ( the people whose family was cursed) and it's ST Patrick's day in LA.
Unlike his last films counterpart this leprechaun loves any gold and when he see's it he steals it in any way he can. A gold tooth from a homeless man and some street entertainers ring. He follows Bridget to her house where he tricks some other boy into kiss a mower blade, ouch!
Cody comes along next with some apologetic flowers for Bridget. She appreciates the offer but sneezes three times. Before Cody has a chance to say bless you the Leprechaun attacks. He manages to stop Cody saying it and vanishes with Bridget in tow, he does how ever lose one of his gold coins in all the frack-ass.

The police arrive after everything has gone down find Ian dead and a note from Cody, also that Bridget has vanished. They immediately think the worst and put out a warrant for his arrest.
Meanwhile Cody tries to explain everything to Morty (his uncle) who thinks the boy's gone mad until the Leprechaun attacks them and they just about escape.
They next encounter him in a bar where Morty attempts to win the leprechaun in a drinking competition. Unknown to the wee man they substitute Morty's drinks for something else non alcoholic, the trick almost works with the leprechaun getting so drunk he can't use his magic properly.

He escapes and goes to a coffee shop were he proceeds to drink lots of coffee to sober himself up, when the barista asks for payment his killed in a comedy way. In this iteration also, the leprechaun like most fey creatures is hurt by wrought iron. Cody and Morty steal a large iron safe and actually manage to capture him inside it. Unfortunately Morty gets greedy and uses the trapped leprechaun to grant him three wishes. This of course ends up with the wishes being twisted, the death of Morty and the freedom of the leprechaun.

After some more hi-jinks the leprechaun corners Cody but his magic does not work against him, realizing it's the coin keeping him safe Cody escapes into the lair of the leprechaun. He is attacked by O'day and just about manages to beat him. He comes across Bridget just as the wee guy comes upon them both too. Bridget managed to loosen the gold collar and throwing it at the the leprechaun they both escape. Unfortunately they get separated and when Cody thinks he comes across her again it's really the leprechaun tricking him into leaving the gold coin.

He however was up on the trick which, tricks the leprechaun allowing Cody to fight back. I'll leave it here so i don't spoil the very end of the film there's really not a lot left after that point but it's not worth spoiling as the films pretty decent.
THN found Leprechaun 2, one them strange almost reboot of the series sequels where it's a sequel in essence only as stated earlier, this being the non returning support cast different rules and of course the Leprechaun dying in the first film. I like to think it's a different leprechaun it's just they are all Warwick Davis lol.
THN awards this film 3 out of 5 stars with a recommendation to watch.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Review: Critters (1986)

Stars: Don Keith Opper, Billy Zane

Budget: $2 million

Directed By: Stephen Herek

Often compared to gremlins, if you ask me i don't know why other than little creatures. Critters are far more deadly yes they are slapstick both but Critters are aliens too, (yes i know canonically gremlins are too).

This is one of my favorite little creature features though and ranks up there with some of the best comedy horrors of the 80's too.

So somewhere deep in space the last two Critter creatures are destined to be transported elsewhere. The little creatures manage to overpower the guards and steal their ship then fly off.
Two Bounty hunters are hired to chase them and hunt them down. Critters like to eat and when they eat they reproduce like mad.

They crash land on earth and two people mistake their craft for a meteorite. Brad and Jay go and check out the crash site. They disturb the critters while they are eating a cow and the little guys run off. The Critters themselves are an odd little thing its head is mostly mouth with two little piercing red eyes, a little fat body with stumpy legs and arms. They are covered head to toe in fur and sharp little quills.
So the later jump a police officer and devour him, Seeing the farm as a large food source they decide to besiege it. When Jay goes to check on why the electricity has been cut he is attacked and stung by one of the Critters quills. These are designed to incapacitate larger targets for the little guys making them easier to deal with and eat.

April is the barn with her boyfriend trying to get it on when the Critters show up and kill him.
Brad actually gets to kill one of the Critters by making it eat a cherry bomb, quite amusing there. The bounty hunters in this are not to great they are in fact a little inept think along the lines of the other hunters in suburban commando lol. The Critters are returning to their ship a little later when the actual bounty hunters finally show up.
The Critters who we learn a little later on now are called Crites, have also taken April with them. Unknown to them Brad and Charlie have gotten April off the ship. The Critters destroy the family farm house just being dicks. Brad managed to throw a Molotov cocktail onto the ship which ignites the fuel supply and ends up blowing their ship out of the sky.

I won't give away much more even though there's not much more left but there's some major spoilers in the last few minutes of this film that are worth keeping sch-tum on, at least until i review part 2!

THN really enjoys the Critters films, much more than we should i suspect but everyone has a gushing film right? So Critters 1 gets a respectable 4/5 stars from THN.

THN Top 5: Freddy Krueger Kills

Freddy Krueger has to be my second favourite slasher baddy. The demon empowered kiddy killer who can kill you in your sleep. After a pact is sealed by him with some demons the springwood slasher is able to stalk teen dreams after being killed by some pissed off parents, some are grousome, some are funny and others just nasty. Most though are creative.
Here's 5 of my top Freddy Krueger kills:

5. Dream warriors, king of the goblins: now dream warriors has some of the most creative kills out of the whole series of films but the one that sticks out the most to me. As an ex d&d player is when Will Stanton who has just had his legs ground by a demon wheelchair (outside of dreaming he can't walk) then turns into the wizard master spouting the lines "In the name of prince Lowrek, prince of elves demon be gone!"
Seems like it's working till Will runs up to Freddy who grabs him, saying "I don't believe in fairy tales!" Before stabbing him through the midriff.

4. Nightmare on Elm Street: From the first film has to be Tina she has quite a gruesome death anyway, slashed and clawed will she's sleeping next to her boyfriend. She is then dragged up the wall and all across the ceiling leaving streaks of blood everywhere she goes.
Not only that Tina returns in a see through body bag later and splits into foul insects after Nancy has followed it for some time.

3. Dream Master: The fourth film of the series we see a girl able to take on other peoples powers once Freddy has killed them. One such kill in brain box and asthma suffer Sheila Kopecky. Once she is drawn into the dream Freddy french kisses her literally sucking all the air from her.
In the real world it just looks like shes having a serious asthma attack. What makes it more brutal is the way her skin turns pale and her eyes turn milky white, in the dream world.

2. One of the all time sickest deaths is in Dream Child: Dan the Boyfriend of Alice is riding on a motorbike, only for the bike to star seeping into his hands and all through his body. Turning him into some kind of hellish cyborg bike rider for a few seconds before blasting him high speed into a tree.
It's quick a horrific transformation and the look of terror on Dan's face says it all.

1. Finally the last kill and the most blood filled and gruesome is one that is not seen but contains the most blood of any slasher kill ever, more than the body can hold by the looks of it too!
Nightmare on Elm Street: Nancy's boyfriend played by a very young and fresh faced Johnny Depp is pulled into his bed as he accidentally falls asleep watching TV. Screaming a blood curdling scream reams of blood are then shot from where he dragged into.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Review: Nightmare on Elm Street, All Parts Mini Reviews

Nightmare on Elm Street:
Year: 1984
Stars: Heather Lagenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund

Directed by Wes Craven one of horrors greats in reinventing the horror franchise not once but at least twice. The first being the nightmare on elm street series.
Freddy Krueger a child murdering serial killer is let off the hook by an easy judge and some missing evidence. The parents of the murdered children take their own revenge by burning the psycho in his house.
Only for him to return a few years as a dream stalking supernatural killer instead. Capable of killing you inside your dreams/nightmares if you happen to die there you die in real life.

When kids start dying and they realise their dreams are stalked by the same stripy jumper, razor fingered and dirty hat wearing killer they uncover the truth about what their parents did why they suffer and ultimately how to beat him once again.

Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 2: Freddy's Revenge
Year: 1985
Stars: Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Englund

This outing was not directed by Wes Craven and i think it shows big time. Going in a different direction from the first. A new family have into Heather's old house their son Jesse starts to have nightmares and we quickly learn Krueger is trying to take his body over and use him to get to the kids of Elm Street.
Lisa a girl Jesse has feeling for and she likes him too. Of course him being the nerdy odd weed no one believes him.  He doesn't truly believe it himself either until people start to turn up dead.

Ultimately Lisa helps Jesse have the strength to beat Freddy in the end.

Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 3: Dream Warriors
Year: 1987
Stars: Heather Lagenkamp, Robert Englund, Patricia Arquette

Seems Nightmare films have a thing for staring fresh faced actors, this one has Miss Arquette in the lead role as Kristen. Also a directing return to the series from Wes Craven.
Kristen now lives in the house and when she starts to have nightmares and ultimately Krueger tries to kill her (cutting her wrists), It looks like a suicide attempt.

She is sent to a psychiatric hospital where all the kids have been dreaming of Freddy. Nancy the girl from the first film, now a dream expert also gets a job at the hospital.

She immediately believes the kids especially after Kristen using her 'dream power' pulls her into a dream. Each kid has his or her own dream power. Despite some kids dying and the inclusion of Kruegers mother giving us some background, Nancy ultimately uses the kids powers and Kruegers bones to, so she thinks, finally manage to kill Freddy off for good.

Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 4: Dream Master
Year: 1988
Stars: Lisa Wilcox, Robert Englund

Kristen now out of the hospital along with the rest of the survivors of part 3 starts to have nightmares about Freddy house. Though the other kids just want to be left out of it, they think dwelling on it so much will actually bring Krueger back.

Kristen makes a new friend in school the slightly Nerdy trouble at home, Alice. Freddy does awaken and kills the remaining hospital kids off apart from Kristen. He needs her to give her power to someone else as then other kids have forgotten about him.
Alice ends up inheriting Kristen's power when she dies making her unwittingly draw people into her dreams so Freddy can kill them.
Each death strengthens Freddy but also her with whatever the other kid was specialised in. Empowered theres a cool showdown between Alice and Freddy at the movies end.

Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 5: Dream Child
Year: 1989
Stars: Lisa Wilcox, Robert Englund

With a return of Alice in this movie we see her home life has gotten even worse with an alcoholic father. Alice and Dan are now dating. We see more of the Amanda Krueger side of things in this film too. Having a nightmare she confides in Dan who tells her she's in control of her dreams.
Soon after her graduation Dan dies in an accident and she learns that she is pregnant with his child. As most her new friends start to drop dead from dream related deaths we learn through ultrasound that Freddy is feeding Alice's unborn child with the souls he is harvesting.
It backfires on Freddy in the end though as the love of Alice and the help of Amanda makes her baby turn the powers back on Krueger, once again beating him.

Freddy's Dead, The Final Nightmare
Year: 1991
Stars: Robert Englund, Breckin Meyer

'John Doe' the last surviving teen of Elm street manages to somehow get past the town limits of Springwood. Freddy is unable to get to John who subsequently gets bopped on the head and forgets who he is and where he's from.
He is taken to shelter for troubled kids where he makes friends with the teens who all have troubled pasts.

Trying to cure his amnesia one of the councilors takes John back to Springwood but low and behold the other teens have stowed away on the van. Yummy fresh kids for Freddy to feast on. We learn Krueger also had a daughter in this one.
Low and behold the councilor Maggie happens to his daughter. We also learn Krueger had a bad childhood and then he made a deal with some demons to be continuously brought back to life.

Once again he able to be killed by being brought into the real world, which his daughter does, blowing him to smithereens.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare
Year: 1994
Stars: Robert Englund, Hether Lagenkamp

This one marks a return of Wes Craven again and a weird sidestep for the series. All the actors are playing 'themselves' in the film, yes it's set in the real world.

Wes is working on a script for a new nightmare film, Heather's husband is working on the effects for the film too. Her son is a troubled one especially after he watches the original film and tapes knives to his fingers.

Heather also starts to have weird dreams and hearing voices through the phone. Englund starts painting horrific pictures of a more eviler Freddy, this time he's real except more evil.
Freddy has broken his way into our world but as a true evil demon form. some things paralel the original, deaths etc and this is what is needed to help fight the demon. Along with her son Heather manages to fight back the demon into hell.