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.

Friday, 9 September 2016

Preview: Other Halves (2016)

Stars: Lauren Lakis, Mercedes Manning

Directed By: Matthew T. Price

Budget: -

Okay so as this is a b-movie/ indie production I went into this film with my be fair/forgiving frame of mind. By 20 minutes in I realised I never needed to do that, but that's good and bad in this case.
You see Other Halves is by no means on par with a mainstream film but it come damn close to it more often than not.

The quality of the filming is great compared to many indie/b-movies. none of that fuzzy or shadowing bits you can get.
The acting is a mixed bunch mostly above average peaking on good in groups. It does sometimes have the 1/2 second delay response from someone if it's only a group of two people.
You expect that from this kind of movie and i know this isn't always an actors fault it can be the cutting too. You can tell the difference though when it's a blank emotion response or a upbeat one with just a delayed reaction. Please don't take these as bad points because you like me should know this is Indie/B-movie normal.

Right one more point before the main review, this is specifically for women lovers everywhere, men or women. This film has women, ooh yes eye candy and the two main stars too!
Both appear full frontal nude which is definitely a plus mark from this man, ooh yes! lol.

Onto the film, this has to be one of the best and least used ideas i've seen in a little while, no jump scare-a-thons, no possessed children/dolls/item, it is an App. Yeah one of those little programs you can happily d/l onto your android, Mac or other operating systems.
It's a dating app that matches you with your perfect partner based on everything you do in your time like interests shopping habits, even naughty habits. The film starts with a spot ad for the app staring Lauren Lakis as her character Devon. This is very unique and speaks to our pop culture in the way it's presented.

We then cut to Jaz/Jasmine Waking up (totally naked) blood splattered next to a dead guy, she's obviously not new to this as she casually cleans up the mess and leaves, leaving the corpse on the floor.

We then join Shawn and Beth in the office doing some last minute touch ups to the app. It's quite obvious from body language that Shawn likes Beth but she seems oblivious to his motives. Devon and Jana show up adding to the work as does Jasmine.
It's very clear she's a bossy boss but people here seem to be okay with that as their friendly with each other. Devon and Jaz go for a very naughty shower, nothing other than some full frontal nudity but well it's certainly pleasing on the eyes. They, well Devon at least thinks their being spied on, they are from our point of view at least.

We soon get to Mike Beth's boyfriend and he is amazingly good looking and perfect in every way. Much to Shawn's chagrin, he brings everyone a cake personally tailored to their tastes too. We are also introduced to Elle someone who used to work with the team and according to Jana a brilliant but underused mind. We also learn that Devon has turned to her in the past to help dispose of dead bodies and clean up.

It seems a new string of code at the front of the App is bringing out peoples 'Other Halves' see that play on the movies name, hey?
Well seems most other peoples other halves are either sexually charge or homicidal maniacs. One by one the other folks in the office get exposed to the string of code. Starting with Mike the office staff start dropping like flies.
Like i said the App does infect some in different ways Shawn and Beth knock boots but Shawn has murdered Mike. Once he realizes he is very sorry for his actions though, then gets brutally sliced up by Elle who has also seen the code.

I wont spoil anymore of the plot or the ending, though there's not much left to it from this point. Except I a massive fan of Devon's freak out near the end, It seemed to be a bit misplaced and jerky for my liking. Still i loved this film over all and the ending is twisted for sure lol.
THN gives this film a recommend to watch and a strong 3 out of 5 stars

This film is on VOD services from the 4th of Oct, great watch for a Halloween line up

Monday, 5 September 2016

Review: Return of the Living Dead: Necropolis (2005)

Stars: Peter Coyote, Cory Hardrict

Directed By: Ellory Elkayem

Budget: $6 million

Oh god, Oh Jesus, what is it this rubbish?
Well lets go shall we, well someone decided to make this crap that has very little to do or in common with the past 3 films.

The zombies still crave brains that's a weird given they seem to stuck to in this travesty. Aside from that they have nothing to do with the previous RotLD type zombies at all. They can be killed for a start and quite easy too.

So onto the plot it's super stupid and super simple and makes no sense at all. The previous RotLD only had a third of this ones budget, yes it was almost ten years ago but they made a great movie (compared to this one). Here we go i'll do my best to tell you about this film.

So We see Charles Garrison (Peter Coyote) who has traveled to Chernobyl in Russia. He is a scientist and has procured the last known few barrels of Trioxin 5, yes the zombie gas filled barrels. One of the lackeys gets infected by some goop leaking from one and turns all zombie on the others. Charles kills him with a simple shot to the head (uurgh) and gets away with the barrels.

So he experiments with the gas in his company hybra tech, in which his nephews some how get involved in stupid and convoluted ways. With their friends too, some get turned into strange zombie machine hybrids. SWAT teams show up and pretty much save the day literally that's the plot of this film in a nutshell right there. Yes there's the whole love interests and nephews having a confrontation with their uncle over their magically disappearing friends and family.

That's it this movie is so bland and shallow there's hardly anymore reason to explain anything else. Seriously watch this if you want to continue the series with very very lose connections to the previous 3 films. The uncle manages to get away with some of the Trioxin at the end which inevitably means sequel, yes we got ANOTHER one to go and guess what it's quite quite worse than this shit.

THN is proud to tell you to keep the hell away from this travesty that pretty much spoils the franchise from this point on, and gives it a low low 2 stars out of 5

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Review: Return of the Living Dead 3 (1993)

Stars: Mindy Clark, Sarah Douglas

Directed By: Brian Yuzna

Budget: $2million

Ok we are plowing ahead with the RotLD series here. This offering is part 3 also directed by Brian Yuzna a full 5 years after the last.
And it's a doozy, this film made me fall in love with Mindy Clark and realize the lengths you would go to for someone you love.

Curt is a young guy in love, who wouldn't be with the beautiful Miss Clark right?
Unfortunately he also the son of a high ranking army official, his dad does not approve of his relationship with Julie he see's her as a bad influence and just overall risk to his son.

Thinking it cool Julie makes Curt steal his dads pass key and they go to the secret army base where he works. These are obviously just some metal containers joined together in a warehouse. with such a little budget I think these effects are well done.
So they crawl through the air ducts and see Sarah Douglas's character.
That's right her from superman 2, (Ursa) she is doing experiments with the Trioxin gas. This time they are not accidentally losing one or have already lost them. They get discovered and escape the facility only for Curt to has a bike accident flinging Julie into a post and killing her.

Heartbroken Curt takes her corpse to the facility once again and uses the Trioxin to bring her back to life, It works bringing a confused Julie back to life. The gas works a little differently in this one bringing most bodily functions back too ( such as heartbeat etc). It would seem time dead now effects how 'brain dead' the corpse returns as.
They escape again but Sarah's character Col Sinclair see's that Col Reynold's son broke in and brought Julie back to life. Sinclair is also looking into ways to control the undead as weapons, you know typical army stuff.

Julie over the course of the film starts to degenerate and infect others people as she does to. While hiding later on Julie and Curt make friends with a friendly homeless guy in the sewers called Riverman. Julie goes banana's and starts pushing glass and other sharp objects through and into her skin/flesh. Riverman along with a gang also after Curt and Julie get infected too around here.

The army finally catches up to Julie and Curt and capture her, him and the infected Riverman. They turn Riverman into some weird exo-skeleton controlled thing and just before they start experimenting on Julie Curt makes a last ditch attempt to rescue the love of his life.

Thats where i'll leave this because as maybe the 3rd best movie, though because i love the power of love aspect in this film (usually that shit makes me laugh) it's almost joint 2nd or outright 2nd favorite, the only reason it doesn't is this one departs the comedy aspect of the last two and that i appreciated in these films.

So THN gives this film a strong 4 out of 5 stars, next up we have the abysmal 4+5 of the series!