Friday, 21 October 2016

Review: The Gate (1987)

Stars: Stephen Dorff, Louis

Directed by: Tibor Takacs

Budget: $2.5 million

Yes another one of them 80s comedy horrors, accept this ones a bit more serious than the rest.
So we see a very spritely Stephen Dorff apparently awake in the night. He takes a little walk through the house.
This amused me as when he passes the kitchen table a bottle of HP brown sauce is on there, a popular British brand of sauce we enjoy mostly on our breakfasts. Anyway hearing some kind of crying he ventures out to his treehouse in the garden. Inside he finds a doll crying then the tree gets hit by lightning and falls over with him inside.

Bam he wakes up again to the sounds of saws and work men, as the tree really has fallen down. When the roots removed a small geode falls free. We meet Terry later a friend who we learn lost his mum. He thinks digging will find them a bigger one they can sell for 100 bucks.
The inadvertently free up some gas which clears to reveal a large geode and bigger hole.

We then meet glen's older sister Alex, she's a typical teen girl not interested in her brother only herself. They borh persuade their parents to leave them alone in the house for 3 days while they're away. It backfires on glen as he gets grounded while they're away.
Alex immediately throws a party like any teen would. Terry and Glenn manage to crack open the new geode which leaves words written on a sketch pad.
Reciting the words glen and Terry unknowingly open the gate under the tree but only a crack.

Then the shit really hits the fan (foreshadowing) glen gets levitated, Terry gets a visit from his dead mum. Unfortunately his mum turns out to be the families aged dog dead in his arms. We then see Terry go home the next day, he seems to be having life hard with a dad that's rarely there. He reads on of his metal albums and realises that they were into demon worship/summoning and learns that the gate needed a sacrifice to open.

Alex entrusts her almost boyfriend to take the dog to an animal shelter. When the place is shut he returns and burries the dog in the gate hole.
Terry warns glen that the sacrifice should not be put in the hole otherwise the gate will open. They use some woods from the album sleeve and think they've sealed it.
Later Terry mentions that if the gate was opened it would need 2 human sacrifices to release it's evil into the world. Also then it would take an act of great love to kill/seal the demons back up.

Again demon shit goes down and they try to use the sleeve to seal the gate, it burns up. They then try passages from the Bible and when Terry after escaping from falling in the hole throws the Bible into there, they think they've sealed it. The twins who were staying over with Alex hid during all this and when the boys come over Alex just tells them all to leave.
The demons return in the shape of a dead worker Terry said was sealed in the walls, just as a joke to scare glen earlier. It drags both glen and Alex into the walls thus getting its sacrifices.

Vaguely glen does later stop it all with something that has a lot of love in it. I wont spoil anymore and leave it to you to see how it all ends.
Ok then sooooo the gate like some 80s comedy horror it's very hit and miss, the acting ranges from decent to diabolical at times. Also it truly feels like it was wrote by a kid as plot points seem to come as and when needed.
This doesn't necessarily make it a bad film though it's just it's pacing feels like it needed this padding wrote in over the weekend lol.

Overall the little demons are amusing and it really tries to hit notes that miss in the 80s comedy horror genre. But not by far so I'll give the gate a reasonable 3 out 5.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

My Top 5 Scenes of Gore

So I've compiled here a few scenes in movies that even made me wince and go not good!

5. Dina Meyers character in saw ribs ripped open, I like Dina too so this was extra painful to watch especially when you realized there was no escape

4. Cabin Fever my god this film put the fear of flesh eating viruses into me for a good while! The worst part though, the girl literally shaves her skin and flesh off her legs in the bath.

3. The fly 2, oh god I could not almost watch this scene, I loooove dogs and when that poor dog gets flayed and still lives from the teleporter it destroyed me as a kid, now I can see it for the silly effects it is still only partly detracts from the gross factor.

2. Starship troopers the brain bug brain sucking scene had me closing my eyes the first two times I watched it, it's not so much the grossness of it, though it is pretty graphic and was a 15 in the cinema then 18 on home video, go figure? It just imagine that happening to you just everything you are sucked out like that and pop consciousness gone...

1. Cannibal holocaust my god how they made this movie so realistic I'll never know watch it now it still seems so real! Of the many many horrific scenes it has to be the penis removal scene that make me go weak in the stomach region, I literally had to look up when I young lad if this was real or not, silly me.

So what's your grossest scenes ever? Let me know!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Review: Ghoulies 2 (1988)

Cast: Damon Martin, Royal Dano

Directed By: Albert Band

Budget: Unknown

Okay this is a rare occurrence though not many people may agree with me. I actually think ghoulies 2 is BETTER than the first film. Not by much, just a small hairs breadth of a better story line and acting.

The ghoulies have an upgrade model wise too. This movie, though i can't see how, supposedly takes place not long after the last one. The ghoulies are in a truck stop somehow, then when they see a truck called Satan's den pull in they stow away on board.

Dano plays uncle Ned he's part of a fair ground, his Satan's Den is a horror house of sorts, his Nephew also works with him. Phil Fondacaro plays by far one of jewels of the film as Sir Nigel Penneyweight, a down and out small person actor who plays a the part of mini demon in the Den. Unfortunately the Den hasn't been making it's money and the owner threatens a bunch of attractions with closure. The Den being most imminent to close. Uncle Ned uses a spell book and tries to summon up some demons to help them make money. The ghoulies show themselves to Ned who thinks he's summoned them, Ned also has something of a drinking problem so when he gets his Nephew and Nigel to show them they just think he's out of it on booze when they don't see them.

Two kids happen upon the Den and are persuaded to give it a go. A group of hooligans also enter just intent on making out inside somewhere. The ghoulies terrorize the kids and kill one of the hooligans lesser friends who comes in later. The kids who thoroughly enjoy the terrorizing go and spread word about the carnival. This brings flocks of people to see what the fuss is all about.
The carnival owner is puzzled over how this is happening but seems pleased in a grudging way. The other hooligans are terrorized by the ghoulies too, they escape threatening to sue for the wounds caused.

The police show up later thanks the hooligans complaints and Uncle Ned wakes up and stumbles around the Den. He realizes the ghoulies are evil and tries to dismiss them with magic. They end up killing him making lights come on in the Den despite the Nephew telling the police it was empty. They then find Ned dead and the owner takes over the attraction under Ned's nephews nose.
Some other hi-jinks happen then they all find out the demons, when they try to kill the Ghoulies they angry and go about the carnival causing big trouble. Nigel and the Nephew Larry try to use magic to dismiss the ghoulies. That's as far as i go here as any more would spoil the end of the film and this one is defo worth the watch.

THN likes this one more than the first movie only by a gnats whisker but it's certainly to me better, so we are still giving the film a 3 out of 5 score but with a better recommendation to watch.


Review: Ghoulies (1984)

Stars: Peter Liapis, Lisa Pelican

Directed By: Luca Bercovici

Budget: $1 million

Continuing on my 80's comedy horror spree i've turned my attention towards 1984's ghoulies a film that tries really tries.
This film to me is a really hit and miss gem of the 80's comedy horror scene. It some times tries to hard to be funny by using occasional tired tropes of the time.

We have not one but two stoners, one jock, one weirdo and your typical beatnik angular women. This does one thing a lot of other horror films does not though,
it has little to no nudity! whether this was a choice to try and make it more family friendly i'm unsure. I can't find anything that alludes to this being the case though.

So we join Malcolm Graves ready to sacrifice a little baby to his gods. This is to give him ultimate power, we see the ghoulies watching on as he prepares his knife.
Suddenly a woman from the congregation shouts out to stop and gives the baby a necklace to protect it from evil. This makes Malcolm unable to touch or harm the baby, while he's distracted killing the woman an old man from the congregation run off with the baby.

Cut to 25 years later we join Jonathan Graves and his girlfriend Rebecca who are looking around the house which has been left to him by Malcolm, yes he was the babies father. It's funny we are supposed to believe these two are only mid twenties they and later on their friends are clearly thirty or older. Slowly but surely Jon starts to turn to the dark magic his father was practicing. When Rebecca says they should throw a house warming party Jon agrees.

Later on when they bored trying to find something to do Jon suggests they try and summon a demon. He sets up a circle of protection then goes about summoning. Of course in true horror movie tropes nothing happens off the bat. Then as soon as they all leave the basement a little ghoulie demon pops up. Later on Jon discovers the demon and goes about summoning more.

Among some of the demons he summons are two little people demons called Grizzel and Greedigut. They teach him how to power his magic up even more. Unfortunately it's all been planned by Malcolm, he uses the demons to manipulate Jon into summoning him back from the grave. All while this happening Rebecca is concerned over Jon becoming more distant and the dark arts he's getting mixed up in, she ends up leaving him but he makes the demons cast a spell that makes her go into a mindless compliant state.
Jon does one last big spell, this is the one that brings Malcolm back to life. The ghoulies then proceed kill or knockout all of Jon and Rebeccas friends as Malcolm in a needs them to do his last spell. Jon realizes the ghoulies have been working against him and tries to fight back against Malcolm he uses his magic versus him. Grizzle and Greedigut seem to have a turn of heart when they try to help Jon by warning him. Oh and the old guy from the beginning shows up again too.

Suffice to say not much else happens but despite that the film is good enough for me not warrant an ending spoiler. I'm not against this film in way it's just not as good as some of the other star 80's comedy horrors i'm used to like Re-animator or RotLD. it's still a decent watch even for just the sheer cheese factor of this film and trust me it's on full Edam factor here.

THN gives Ghoulies a rather decent 3 out of 5 stars and a watch at least once recommendation.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Review: Bride of the Re-animator (1990)

Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott

Directed By: Brian Yuzna

Budget: $2 million

It took quite a while for this sequel to happen and in that time Barbara Crampton (under advisory) said no to a cameo then it changed directorial hands to Brian Yuzna. Not a bad change Yuzna is not inept when it comes to comedy horror.

So even though West and Dan have clearly aged 5 years since the last film this is set 8 months after the last one and they are both in the Peruvian jungles using their medical expertise to heal the wounded.
West and Dan are still testing out refined serums but this unfortunately comes to an end for them when they are stopped by enemy soldiers.

They some how make it back home and set up back in Dan's old house. West once again making a lab in the basement. They also somehow get their positions back at Miskatonic hospital too.
They manage to sneak out body parts from the morgue now and then and also from a cemetery conveniently next door. You see West has figured out that the serum can re-animate any dead tissue not just whole beings.

When he discovers Dan's old fiancee's heart he deems he should build her a whole new body for Dan. Another doctor Wilbur Graves also discovers from the leftovers of the massacre Dr Hill's head and a small vial of the reagent. He uses on the head and brings good old Dr Hill back to life.
A police officer who bears a grudge against both West and Cain starts to snoop around, following their actions. He's sure they had something to do with the massacre as they escaped unharmed and also His wife was one of the re-animated dead.

Snooping enough he comes across West's experiments and they start fighting. West has a special chemical now though that when inhaled caused cardiac arrest almost immediately and uses it on the cop. West of course reanimates the cop who is suitably bewildered and violently escapes into the cemetery next door.

With a fresh new reanimated corpse Hill uses his mind control to bring the police officer to him. Hill hates West now due to all the trouble he caused him previously. In perhaps the oddest thing in the movie or possibly anything I've seen he makes the cop sew giant bat-wings onto his head. Yes bat-wings, so he can flap about okay!
He then uses his powers to control all of the reanimated that actually survived the night of the massacre.

Meanwhile Dan has been caring for a terminally ill patient called Gloria, when she eventually succumbs to her malady West uses her head as the last piece of whats needed to make the new girl for Dan. Once he has finished Dan watches on as West pumps the serum directly into the heart. While they are waiting a package is delivered, which just so happens to be Hill's flappy head. Also all the reanimates start attacking too.

Back down the basement the bride awakes but Dan's heart has been claimed by another and he realizes he doesn't want this anymore. The woman is Francesca who he met in Peru, a photographer, a fight breaks out between the two women. When Dan openly rejects the bride she reaches inside her chest and rips out Megan's heart offering it to Dan. She proceeds to fall apart. West quotes almost inhumanly tissue rejection!

Dan, Francesca and West break through the basement wall into a crypt next door to escape Hill and horde of reanimates. Although creepily here we see West has been experimenting like a mad man and all of his previous creations also rise up. The crypt has been compromised though and starts to cave in as the try to escape.

That's where i stop for spoiling the end of the movie, on good films at least is not my thing. Theres not much left after this though but it's a good ending to a decent sequel. Unfortunately the sequels didn't end there. a third was made quite some years on. We'll see how that fairs in a future review, as for Bride gets a well deserved 4 out 5 stars from THN.

Review: Re-animator (1985)

Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Barbara Crampton, Bruce Abbott

Directed By: Stuart Gordon

Budget: $900,000

Aah Re-animator one of my all time favorite movies, it's in my top fifteen at least. Something that always swaps and changes regularly lol.

This film stars one of favorite actors and my all time favorite scream queen too. The actor being Jeffery Combs and the queen, well she is the most beautiful Barbara Crampton one of the best looking 80's horror girls out there by far.

The film was made on a modest for the time 900,000 dollars and features some spectacular special effects for this budget, both practical and animatronic wise.

We start out with Doctor Herbert West (Combs) working in Switzerland. He is caught bringing his old teacher back to life with horrific consequences. Accussed of the doctors death Herbert flees saying the dosage was to high.

We then move on to Miskatonic medical school where we meet Dan (Abbott) a brilliant medical student and also dating the Deans daughter Megan (Crampton). When West is introduced he immediately debunks one of the senior medical staffs ideas (Dr Hill) about brain death. Alienating him and quickly making him an enemy. Dan seems intrigued by West though.

Later that night while Dan and Megan are canoodling under the pretense of studying West shows up at Dan's door inquiring about the spare room. Megan immediately takes a dislike to the weird little man, Dan excepts his offers though despite this. West sets up a makeshift lab in the basement of Dan's place.

It's not long before Dan's cat ends up dead and West see's it as an excuse to test his newest serum out, he's caught by Dan who he blackmails to help out with both the Dean knowing about their sexual activity and Dan's natural curiosity in preventing death. They are caught by Megan who runs away in horror.

They try to show their work to the Dean who quickly debunks their work as preposterous garbage. They are both to be barred from the school and their scholarships. To try to prove their work Dan and West sneak into the morgue and reanimate a rather large fellow into a frenzied state. Then through a number of mishaps he ends up killing Dean Halsey.
Herbert as bananas as he is see's this as the perfect opportunity to work with the freshest corpse yet and proceeds to inject the Dean with his serum. He too comes back to life and turns psychotic too, Megan chances upon the scene horrified at her father. He shows some feeling when he see's her and recoils almost ashamed at what he's become.

Dr Hill takes care of the Dean for Megan but later experiments on him lobotomizing him. He realizes while doing this that the Dean has indeed been Re-animated. He rushes to West intent on blackmailing him in return for all his research on the serum. West manages to distract Hill with a test of the serum, he then decapitate the doctor with a shovel.
Stupidly to me now West re-animates both Hills head and body, with the body showing no signs of life he begins to question Hill's head. The body then rises knocking West out, he then steals the serum and research and returns to his office.

To most the reagent would have appeared to give Hill the power of mind control but i do believe there was a cut scene where Hill is shown to have some psychic ability or practicing it as he can control Dean Halsey with his mind. Hill throughout the film is shown to have a lurid sexual interest in Megan so he send the Dean out to kidnap her. At the sight of her lobotomized father she faints.

Hill straps her to an operating table strips her and abuses her unconscious body. Dan wakes West and they both head towards the school morgue, West distracts Hill while Dan frees Megan from the straps. It's then revealed Hill has created an army of several lobotomized re-animates as they attack at his will. Megan manages to get through to her father who protects her from them while West gives Hill's body a massive overdose of the serum. This causes a massive internal mutation making Hill's guts spew forth and literally try to kill everyone.

I think i've already spoiled far to much of this fantastic 80's film that everyone should watch at some point in their lives. If you love comedy horror like return of the living dead, child's play or even nightmare on elm street this film should be right up your street. It's followed by two more sequels both of which slowly go down hill as sequels do but this one is a proper gem.
THN gives Re-animator full 5 out of 5 stars with a heavy recommendation to watch

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Review: Return of the Living Dead: Rave to the Grave (2005)

Stars: Cory Hardrict, Peter Coyote

Directed By: Ellory Elkayem

Budget: Unknown probably close to the last one

Okay it's taken me a while to gather my thoughts on this one. I keep coming to the same conclusion unfortunately, it's bad, it's badder than bad. It's not even one of them so bad it's good/okay films.

No this tries to be funny, I mean it really tries. Where Necropolis was more serious like part 3, RttG tries to be funny like parts 1+2 it fails miserably. With idiotic characters and stupid effects for their drug taking etc.

filmed back to back with necropolis this one takes off a year after the last. Charles after escaping the last film is killed trying to sell one of the canisters of trioxin. His nephew Cody hears about this and goes to his house where he finds the other two remaining trioxin canisters.

Hi-jinks start once he gives one to his friend a chemistry student to find out what the stuff inside is. He finds out it has some kind of meth amphetamine in it. Together with one of the others they secretly make the trioxin into a drug like ecstasy called Z because it sends into a zombie like state.

Of course this backfires as due to the size of dosage you take you will sooner or later change into a zombie hungering for BRAINSSSSS. oh god shoot me now this is so, so bad. Anyway two agents who survived the earlier encounter with Cody's uncle are after the last two barrels as well.
Like the last film and unlike the first three these zombies can be killed quite easily with a shot to the head, though i swear some even die just to normal gunshots.

Oh i forgot to mention the zombie rats too, also a cameo from tar man. who actually does seem invincible, why? Who the fuck knows four and five just make their rules up as they go along.

So a big Rave is organised and Cody's friend has mass produced a large quantity of the Z drug for all people there to use. Taking large amounts many of the occupants OD on the drug and turn into zombies. Turning the party/rave into a blood bath, The agents plus Cody and friends ( i call them and friends because I couldn't be bother to memorize their names, nor did i want to) show up to try save some other people and kill some of the zombies in the rave before its bombed the shit out of.

That is basically it. Please i implore you, do not sully the original trilogy by watching these films pretend they don't exist, or at the very least they are a different film series taking the piss out of an already satirical series. I can't stress enough that these are truly bad films, this one even more so than Necropolis this film is getting the very rare, rarest of the rare 0 stars out of 5 from THN.