Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Review: Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse (2015)

Stars: David Koachner, Tye Sheridan

Budget: $15 Million

Directed By: Christopher Landon

Why is it these lower budget comedy horrors do so much right? Sometimes close or far from perfect, despite that seem to do something that bigger budget films often miss. That and the fact comedy works so well in the zombie genre too.

I stumbled across this on Netflix last night and thought i'd give it go, i'm glad I did. Recognizing the ginger kid (Joey Morgan) from other things and of course David Koachner.
The effects are great for a middling budget film and the story-line/zombie outbreak are both great and explained to the point that are more than satisfactory for a film of this calibre.

There's great acting and brilliant chemistry between the lead characters too. Also yes for an age 15 rated film some nice boobies and rude jokes too, but i'll get to them a little later on. The nudity is of course done as tongue in cheek cliche with both horny teens and having nudity in a horror film as a staple. So lets get on with the spoilery bits and explain a bit about the film!

We start the movie with our explanation of the zombie virus with an amusing musical number by some sort of janitor at a biological research centre. It's not long before he cocks up accidentally killing some infected comatose guy, of course this guy has the zombie virus in him. He's killed by the hulking great man and comes back as a flesh eater himself, he then kills the doctor who was on late too. We then join scout leader Rogers, his three scouts, Ben, Carter and Augie trying to recruit some new people for the scout group. They show a rather drab VHS 80's type recruitment tape which even fails to impress the single nerdy kid that has shown up!

We swiftly learn that even Ben and Carter are having second thoughts about still being a scout too, though they still agree to join Augie on a trip to receive his newest badge. Deciding that they will break the news after he gets done with his badge Ben and Carter leave in a car.
While talking about things they are going to do instead of being scouts and the future, not looking where he's going they hit a deer with the car.
Not long after Carters Sister and some of her friends stop by them in their jeep. Ben has secretly had a long time crush on her, the boys in the jeep think it's cool that they hit a deer and invite them to a senior party. Once the others leave Ben realises the deer has disappeared but they all dismiss it.

Now convinced to blow off even Augies badge ceremony Ben and Carter try to get some beer for the party. Their first choice a weird crazy homeless man doesn't go to well as he tries buying an assortment of weird items. When an older girl they've both heard about that works at a nearby strip club walks out of the shop and her bag strap breaks Ben manages to fix it for her.
They chat and get along well so she goes in takes the money from the guy and buys them their beer for the party.
Meanwhile we see scout leader Rogers making his way towards the camp to be there for when the boys show up. He is however attacks by the now zombiefied deer the boys hit earlier, amazingly he manages to dispatch it with his favorite Dolly Parton knife.
Unfortunately he is then taken out by one of the other zombie people from the original lab outbreak.

Ben and Carter decide on ditching the badge ceremony when Augie is asleep and going to the party they've been invited too. Ben feels guilty as they've had a good day with Augie beforehand, though they did find it odd that master Rogers never turned up.
As they sneak off leaving Augie asleep in the tent they are shocked when the lad suddenly appears before them a distance into the forest. Ben tries to apologize to him but they have an arguement and leave him on bad terms. Both of the boys drive into town to change for the party, they however get sidetracked by the disappearance of the bouncer from the from of the strip club.
Inside they are treated to an erotic dance by a dancer who turns out to be a zombie when they see her neck all torn apart. The bouncer also bursts in attacking, they are saved by a shotgun wielding Denise, they girl from earlier who Ben helped.

They make it back into town an find out everyone who hasn't been turned has been evacuated by the army. Except the senior party and them as they were/are both miles away in secluded places. The three of them are then chased into the back of a police precinct where they have to lock themselves in a cell to escape being eaten.
While this has been happening Augie has gone to look for Master Rogers at his house, entering it we see it's like a shrine to Dolly Parton. This could have been expanded upon and feel like it was meant to be a bigger joke than it was. Augie is attacked by the zombified Rogers but he manages to stop him and set him on fire too before escaping.
Still in the cell the other three are surprised when music start playing outside and all the zombies leave to investigate the new sound. After a failed attempt to retrieve some keys to open the cell Augie comes in and sets them free anyway. The foursome now get a car and escape to the freeway, though very soon they out of fuel.

They are saved by an army guy in a Humvee Corporal Reeves, They decide to go and see if the party people have been a fake address, no surprise there!
Unfortunately the Corporal appears to have been bitten some time prior to meeting them and turns attacking Denise in the vehicle. The boys try to help her in a bumbling way until she breaks free herself and destroys Reeves head with the door of the Humvee.
Hearing about the town in going to be bombed on the radio Carter tells them that his sisters diary may well have the real address for the party. Heroically they all decide to go back to help the people who dissed them. While at Carters house Denise teaches Ben how to be relaxed around women and how to kiss. The others however are attacked by a zombie granny downstairs who thankfully due to no teeth only gums one of their bottoms.
While escaping via a trampoline outside the window Ben finally spots the diary and only just manages to escape because of it (to extremely funny consequences). Getting back in a car they knock over master Rogers doing even more damage to him. Some more zombie hilarity happens in the form of dancing to Brittany Spears with a bunch of them, then Denise finds a dirt bike which she thinks is a better idea to split up so she can go try and deter the army from bombing them.

The three of them alone now go to a hardware store and using their accumulated scout knowledge use it to make zombie killing weapons. They head to the party just as zombie attack too, going on a z-killing spree they save as many people as they can. Ben even saving Carters sister.
I'll leave it there as there is still a nice tense scene towards the end of here that I don't want to spoil, also the film is a decent one that I don't want to spoil either. SGTTZA garners a decent 3 out of 5 with a high recommendation to watch.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Review: Cult of Chucky (2017)

Stars: Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif

Budget: unknown

Directed By: Don Mancini

Great! A return to a franchise, no reboot, no re-imagining a PROPER sequel. This is what i want to see from all my favourite horror franchises.
I've recently learned jeepers creepers 3 is out too so that'll be next too!

So yes this continues from the end of the last in the series, curse of Chucky. Nica is in a mental asylum, made to believe she was responsible for the murder of everyone from curse.
We even see Andy Barclay! Back from his cameo at the end of curse too.

Andy is on a date he seems to not have luck with the ladies as many people know or have looked up who he is online. With his bloody past and collection of guns he scares off potential girlfriends.
The woman he's on a date with has of course looked him up on google, Andy tries to explains but just seems to dig himself a deeper hole, this ends up with her leaving the restaurant. Leaving himself Andy drives up to his wooden house (seemingly in the middle of nowhere) Entering the house we see him ponder over the massive armory of guns he has locked away. Then going over to a hidden safe he opens it revealing the original Chucky's head nailed to a plank of wood.
It's got nails etc hammer into it and a large chunk missing where Andy shot him in the after credits scene of the last movie, taunting the head and lighting up a joint he sits back with Chucky asking for a hit of the weed. After actually letting him take a hit Chucky tries to bit his fingers, missing him, Andy gets angry and starts torturing him with a blow torch.

The screams etc morph into us seeing Nica on a table receiving shock treatment. She does however get transferred to a medium security asylum by Dr Foley who looks after her. The orderly who initially helps her seems to be stand offishly nice despite not liking what she's been committed for, he leaves her some juicy fruit gum.
She goes on a trip of the asylum and in the day room she is greeted by another patient who thinks she's ghost, Nica is then saved by Micheal who seems normal to begin with. Swapping a stick of gum for a cigarette the two of them are quickly having sex a little later in a stairwell!

A little later they are in a group therapy session where Nica, Micheal, Dr Foley, Angela (the ghost lady). We are also joined by Claire and Madeleine, Claire dislikes Nica for what she's done despite being an arsonist herself and Madeleine has lost a child.
Nica does feel extremely bad about what she's done though, which she expresses a lot to anyone, despite her not actually doing it as well. Dr Foley introduces a a good guy doll to the group which he thinks will help them deal. Micheal also sticks up for Nica when Claire starts on her about her crimes, Madeleine seems to adopt the doll as a surrogate baby.

Tiffany also ends up visiting Nica too, it's funny she brings up that she looks like Jennifer Tilly, she ends up telling her that her niece is dead. Just before she leaves another good guy doll with a distraught Nica too. In the night Chucky comes to life and steals a scalpel to kill Nica with, however heavily depressed from the news of her niece Nica has broken a wheelchair spoke and tried to cut her wrists with it.
Chucky see's this and just she passes out Nica also see's him as a blurry image, she wakes up in the morning and her wrist has been stitched up. Angela however has been made to look like she has committed suicide, after messages wrote in both her's and Angela's blood.
Nica finds out that Tiffany's last name is Valentine, which she works out was Charles Lee Rays girlfriend. This makes her believe that Chucky is back even more, realising the doll is him she thinks that Madeleine mat be in trouble while she is possession of the doll.

When Nica helps Micheal follow Madeleine outside to make sure she is safe Nica see's outside that Madeleine pushes Micheal into a dug grave after throws her Chucky doll in there. They save Micheal from the hole but it looks like he's been possessed by Chucky while he was in there, he even tells them to refer to him as Charles.
Claire tries to get of the other doll but suddenly starts to believe Nica after the doll bites her on the arm, Dr Foley and the orderlies end up sedating her when she goes mad over the doll. Awake but unable to move Claire watches in terror as Chucky comes in taunting her and uses a pressurized air can to smash a skylight above her. The shards of glass rain down upon her, a particularly large piece severs her head from her body too.
In a regression session we see that Dr Foley has been inappropriately touching Nica while she's been under, sickened and impressed with him Chucky knocks him out with a glass and tries to make Nica kill him.

Madeleine smoothers her good guy doll, we find out she had killed her baby because it was crying so much. They end up burying the doll to help come to terms with what she's done. Andy ends up learning about the killings online too and devises a plan to get into the asylum himself to try and help rescue Nica.

Now i'm going to end here despite theres a good portion of the film left, as a sequel to a franchise i love it. Theres some flaws of course, the pacing seems a little off at times and the whole new possession thing, which i won't spoil any further, you'll see.
The practical effects are great though like back to the old times of filming, some of the CGI can be a little odd looking (on the faces) aside from that I loved it. It's strides better than seed and just as good as a follow up to curse. The film doesn't mess with continuity either it follows every strand (well almost) from all the other films nicely, Oh and watch out for that after credits secret!!!

So THN awards Cult of Chucky 4 out of 5 stars.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Review: Child's Play (1988)

Stars: Brad Dourif, Chris Sarandon

Budget: $9 Million

Directed By: Tom Holland

Oh child's play you know I looooove horror franchises, especially if they star some kind of weird homicidal killer. Be that a drowned retarded boy, a Shatner masked mentally disturbed brother or a guy who kills you in your sleep.
I am just a massive sucker for a series I can just stick on and watch start to finish for a good few hours of my life.

Running from the police Charles Lee Ray a serial killer escapes to a department store. When he is shot by detective Norris his partner escapes leaving him to bleed out. Before he dies however Charles manages to transfer his soul into a good guy doll.
As the spell completes a bolt of lightening levels the shop. Norris then discovers the corpse of Charles believing the killer has just bled out from his wound.

The next day we meet Andy Barclays mum who seems like a very hard worker just to keep her and her son with a home and fed. Andy has wanted a Good Guy doll, Karen manages to find one from a homeless guy for Andy.
The next night While Andy is being babysat once he goes to bed the sitter is attacked by the doll, proclaiming he's called Chucky now. After she is hit in the face by a hammer then falls from the window to her death. Detective Norris comes on the case and seems to think Andy may have had something to do with her death. His mother Karen balks at this idea and puts Andy to bed.

The next day Chucky forces Andy to take a train downtown so he can sort out one of his old friends, very same guy that left him to die in the store. Chucky sabotages his his cooker which causes it to explode and kill his ex-partner. Despite her misgivings as it's her son, Karen is powerless when the police section Andy in a mental hospital.
Karen very soon realises that the doll never had it's batteries put in from the get go, quickly she believes Andy's story. She goes to check out Chucky who comes to life in her hands and begins to fight her, biting kicking and kicking her.

Though he just escapes from Karen, going to the police she tries to make detective Norris believe the story, even showing him the bite mark. He doesn't believe her until he's attacked and nearly killed a number of times in his car by Chucky himself.
Chucky goes to his old voodoo friend who taught him the tricks of the trade, since he was able to bleed in doll form he's worried. Rightly so too as he's told being inside the doll for to long it will become more and more human until his soul becomes totally trapped inside it.
It is revealed he must transfer his soul to the first person he told his secret too or he will never be human again. Chucky kills his teacher when he refuses to help him, Karen and Norris show up just in time for the man to tell them he can be killed by his heart which is now totally human.

Chucky shows up at the mental hospital to try and get to Andy, the kid manages to trick the doll long enough to escape. He's unfortunately caught by Dr Ardmore he tries to sedate Andy unsuccessfully, he's then killed by Chucky with the electroshock gear.
Andy somehow makes it home only to be knocked out by Chucky with a baseball bat suddenly. He begins to cast the spell to transfer his soul and nearly completes it too before Karen and Norris get back to stop him. They manage to set fire to Chucky and think he's dead once he ends up an almost charred lump of plastic. Karen manages to shoot off Chucky's head, leg and arm, the rest of the police up to help then. Chucky's body is no where to be found proving he's still not dead, only for the burnt crazily mutilated doll to attack again.

As always i'll leave it there as THN doesn't spoil endings so we'll leave it there, this film was and still is a masterpiece of suspense. you hardly see the doll for a good portion of the film and just see from his perspective, this was a brilliant way to make the film more eerie back then. The films did lose that flair in the sequels which quickly devolved into more comedy horror as time went by, those reviews are for another day though. THN proudly awards Child's Play a maximum score of 5 out of 5!

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Review: Stephen King's IT (2017)

Stars: Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard

Budget: $35 million

Directed By: Andy Muschietti

So we finally get the redo of the 90s
adaptation of one of Stephen King's
greatest books IT. People were very
weary of this due to a number of reasons.
A few being the initial look of Pennywise,
rose tinted glasses over the original and just
plain old it's a horror movie being made
in this day and age so is it going to be any

Right off the bat I will say this is going to include
spoilers for the movie so if you want to stop
reading here I'll just say this in short:
It's a great film with awesome coming of age
aspects, amazing kid acting seriously some of
the best I've seen, brilliant setting, they pull off
the 80s perfectly. The 135 minute running time
goes so fast it does leave you wanting more,
additionally they wait time we have till the
sequel considering it's not even cast as of now
is bad as I want more!

Now the bad stuff, the actual horror is VERY
hit and miss as in it works 50% of the time
well, the other 50% it's a little to goofy and
yes silly CGI. Goofy? I hear you cry? But he's
a clown surely it's meant to be silly?
Yes I get that and Pennywise is awesome in this sorry Tim Curry for blasphemy but you were best aspect of the 90s version you know that! But when as mentioned you get some silly CGI rotting guy, what happens to Georgie or headless boy wobbling at you it just seems so I don't know removed from the rest of the story. Now don't get me wrong this doesn't mean it's not needed I just think that could have been done practically for the guy and looked better, also a little less comically for the boy, Georgie is to spoilery to add here. With a modest budget it had some more practical effects would  I have been nicer. I'm sure this isn't spoiling anything as it's not in context but when you do see it I'm sure you'll agree.

Now on with the spoilers I'm going to be breaking down the film here so don't read on any further unless you want to know more about the film!

The film starts with the typical opening of Bill making his little brother Georgie a paper boat to take advantage of the heavy rain outside. He sends his little brother to get sealing wax from the basement (their mother is playing so really tune in the pain too) Georgie is clearly scared and does does get freaked out but conquers his fears with a torch.
Completing the boat for his brother Bill watches as Georgie gleefully run's from the house to use his new toy. Unfortunately after a bump on the head Georgie is unable to keep up with the boat and it flows into a street drain. He is then greeted by a very dribbling freaky looking Pennywise, was so amusing to hear so many people gasp and squeal at this I just though it was funny because being afraid of clowns is just absurd to me at least. I did love his design and can see why people would be scared though.
Pennywise gains Georgie's trust through talking about fun things (an old woman comes out to see the rain and sees the kid kneeling at the drain eluding to the fact the townsfolk know that there's something going on with the town) luring him closer to the drain with the boat he then proceeds to bite Georgie's arm off.
Now this was shocking as it's a kid and you see him trying to crawl away in pain missing an arm, here's one thing though was it needed? I think just in my opinion something more subtle as just him vanishing would have worked just as well here, not that didn't like it it was visually gruesome and nasty but was it to just bump up the rating?
Anyway Georgie is dragged into the drain by the clowns extending arm, the woman watching on from the shadows of her porch step forward a bit just to see the kids blood mixed in with the rain in the street.

Cut to a few months later with Bill in school talking about checking out an area he thinks his brother might be, he doesn't believe Georgie could be dead despite everyone else thinking so, brilliant child naïvety. His first three friends are also shown here too. Richie, Eddie and Stanley who are leaving the school for spring break. We are then introduced to the school bullies the main one being Henry Bowers, who says he let bill have a free ride because of his brother but now he's going to make their spring hell.
We also see Beverly being bullied by other girls for being a slut, a young girl heavily hinted at to being abused by her father.
She runs into the 'new kid' Ben who despite being chubby and cumbersome seems to win over her heart. We also learn he's being bullied by Henry too. Lastly we see Mike who is home schooled as his grandad hates the town trying to dispatch a sheep with a boltgun, when he can't his grandad reprimands him, we learn Mike's parents died in a fire later on, he strangely enough is also bullied by Henry whenever he comes into town delivering meat to the butchers.

So one by one through either bullying by Henry or something scary happening to them they all meet up and become friends over the holidays.
Beverly helps them steal supplies to tend to a bullied, wounded Ben when they can't afford it. It's just great to see them all bonding and funny to see how googly eyed they get over Beverly as young teens.

Each kid is authentically different in attitude at style even in home life. Bills parents hate it that he won't drop it that his brother isn't dead, Richie is the funny one though we don't really see his home life and he seems the least effected and normal of the group apart from his nerdy appearance. Stanley is a young Jewish kid picked on for that also looked down upon by his father for not being able to learn his Hebrew properly.
Eddie is a mother's boy to a forced extent by his overweight mother who keeps him dosed up on many placebo's in an effort to keep him scared and dependent on her.
Ben is a new kid in town with no friends initially bullied for being overweight and new, it's very nasty what Henry does to him. Beverly and Mike I have already explained.

Anyway the kids bond making friends and experience life with each other, Ben has done research on the town as the new kid so he knows about disappearances over the years. Most of them are skeptical or at the least unable to believe that there's some kind of entity haunting Derry. Then each one of them have a run in with Pennywise making each of them believe to some degree, though some choose to not believe.
The biggest shove to believe is when they are all together and the clown attacks them all from out of a set of slides. They confront the clown a number times which tests some of their friendships even to breaking point, ultimately they find that together and being not afraid is their main strength against the evil clown demon. When Beverly is taken by Pennywise the kids regroup and go to save to her despite earlier confrontations.

I'll end it there so I don't completely spoil the film, at least it's ending, which as you know we rarely do here on THN unless the films a real stinker. In final words I really enjoyed IT and to see that a R rated (though only 15 rated in UK) has done so well is another good sign, especially seeing that it gives a green light to the sequel too which I personally would have loved to seen cast by now (Amy Adams would make a perfect older Beverly she look JUST like her) Spoiled only by for me at least by some iffy horror at times also jump scares never work on me but they were brilliantly timed and I always watch the reaction of the audience to which was funny and genuine.
If I could give IT a 4.5 stars out of five I would i'm really really split I didn't like the CGI, headless easter egg boy being all wobbly and wiggly and the whole Georgie thing. Bugger it Stephen Kings IT Chapter 1 Gets a full 5 out of 5 Stars from THN!

Friday, 1 September 2017

Review: With Friends Like These (1991)

Stars: Micheal Burns, Rachel Bruneau

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Multiple, Thomas Parkinson

Wow what can i say, I was trawling through the cheapo section of my local CEX, a place where you can go sell DVD's games etc.
I came across a DVD box set called horror 2 it featured 4 horror films. This, some weird pseudo documentary about bogmen (boggy creek 2), another zombie type one (Mutant) and the fourth i can't remember. It was like 99p for all four of them on two double sided discs.

Anyway this and the zombie type film were the only two decent films in the four set, I also mean decent in the furthest term i can like finding a nugget of corn in a turd.
Anyway this film is an anthology of friendships that go wrong, kind of told you so stories. You've all had that friend in your life who is more trouble than their worth but you keep trusting or giving one last chance too. So this film is three precautionary tales eluding to that topic.

Not sure the order they go in but here goes a breakdown of each one of the separate stories on offer in this anthology:

The Classic:
A young man buys a classic car but the car is possessed and leads him to do things he normally wouldn't do, starting to care more and more about the car than anyone else. He leaves his girlfriend/wife and relies on the advice the car gives him, to disastrous consequences.

Fridge guy:
Not it's actual name but it's been a long time since I've seen this anyway we have a massively dirty and lazy slob living a trashy apartment. He somehow has managed to bag himself a girlfriend too, she rightly complains about the smell and dirt when she's there.
This takes a turn for the odd when he inspects the smell coming from his fridge to find some food that's been festering in there for 6 months has evolved into a living lifeform. A moldman of sorts, using his DNA and totally sentient but only exists from the waist up. Initially they form a close friendship only to fall out and end up having a battle at the end.

To Good To Be True:
Ok possibly the worst one on here but still good in the story just poor in execution. A woman busy with every day life goes on a dating agency and gets paired with an amazing guy, she starts getting paranoid that he's to good. It culminates in the woman thinking he's a robot or something like that after she thinks she see's him power down, yeah..

Okay like many people have mentioned this about the film, I have to say it too. In the UK this film has an 18 rating which is our highest rating. This film is however is like watching tales from the crypt keeper (the cartoon) or goosebumps level of horror and gore.
Well this film is by no means good, but if you like anthology films and find this cheap, even if it's like the quadruple pack i got because Mutant was a decent b-movie flick too for 99p like I did then give it a go if you really want too THN awards With Friends Like These 2 out of 5 stars.

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Review: Leprechaun 4 In Space (1997)

Stars: Warwick Davis, Jessica Collins

Budget: $1.6m

Directed by: Brian Trenchard-Smith

It's that thing a lot of horror films eventually do at some point in their franchise, they head into OUTER-SPACE. A lot of them have done it, either before or after this, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser have all ended up within the futuristic setting of space.

Since almost none of these movie are sequels or even follow on from each other, maybe in da hood and back to tha hood can be ever so slightly but up to and including this offering they are just different stories including leprechauns who look mysteriously alike!

The Leprechaun in this offering is already healthily out and about being a little menace to the surrounding populace of a quadrant of space. He's arranged for himself to marry a princess he's kidnapped called Zarna, though they are both plotting to off one another once the deed is done. The Princess is just a greedy woman who is after the wee man's money, where as the leprechaun is after power or some such. However some marines come to his planet as he's been a menace to surrounding mining operations. They do appear to kill him and injure the princess in the process, except through his magic the leprechaun manages to infect one of the marines through his genitals.

Yes you heard that right, the wee man magically turns himself into some kind of STD in order to come back to life. The leader of the rag tag marines is some crazy scientist who has little in the way of a body left anymore. When he realises the princess has some regenerative properties who goes about using her DNA to help him make a new body.
The marine infected with the leprechaun's STD however is about to have a bad day when the magical guy emerges from his penis when he's about to do the fandango. One by one the marines are now hunted and killed in amusing ways just like any other leprechaun film.

This one has some great stuff in it though when the small guy discovers that the scientist is playing Zarina's DNA he mixes in some scorpion and spider DNA into the mix and uses on Mittenhand transforming him into a hideous arachnid cross human. Now calling himself Mittenspider, the main hero marine sticks goes to try and stop the ships self destruct sequence that has been set off. He is however caught and webbed up by the Mittenspider.
Fighting the leprechaun they accidentally turn him massive using a growth ray, yes the irony of a 20 something foot tall magical wee man isn't lost on THN. Now theres a still a sizable chunk left of the film but to tell you more would spoil to much I believe.
This is indeed worth watching too, especially if you like parodies of sci-fi things and are a true franchise lover like me you'll want to see all of the leprechaun films, well up to this one at the least because from here 'in da hood' is a massive step down. So THN awards leprechaun in space with a decent 3 out of 5 stars and a recommend to watch if you like the series.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Review: Body Bags (1993)

Cast: Mark Hamill, Stacey Keach, Twiggy

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: John Carpenter & Tobe Hooper

I love anthology stories, always have, always will (though they are few and far between these days)
This offering from horror veterans Carpenters and Hooper is a great addition to anyone's anthology collection.

Featuring all the usual things from both directors including musical scores etc from Carpenter, as well as nods to their other works, which i'll get too.
This particular film has three stories on each different in their own respects.
The Gas Station is a run of the mill scary murderer story.
Hair is an alien based horror story with elements of vanity biting you, quite literally.
The last is Eye, body horror story about a transplant gone wrong.
Each of these segments is introduced by what we think is the coroner (played by Carpenter too) until the end film.

I haven't been able to find info on the budget and the film also has some cameo's from other people too such as Tobe Hooper himself and Tom Arnold. So lets get on with each segment, also as a side note i may well spoil the the stories endings or may not, depends how the review of each segment goes, this doesn't mean they are bad it's just they are small and it's still worth the watch despite the spoilers!

The Gas Station:
A College student, Anne has gotten a job on a remote gas station in the middle of the night just as a crazy maniac has escaped from a mental asylum. Love the fact Haddonfield is referenced in this (afterall it is JC's segment) it's a nice little touch.
So she is dropped off by a friend and shown the ropes by the person who was on before her, Bill tells her about the keys for office and rules for the pumps etc then leaves her. We are treated to a few colourful customers and one Anne likes the look of who accidentally leaves his credit card behind.
After few jumpy moments Anne tries to contact Bill as the short keeps you guessing as to who the killer is, until this point.
It is one of the people we have already met but Anne also gets some help froma another returning face too!
A standard homage to a standard slasher film this short gets a 3 out of 5 stars from THN

This is a vanity based horror with alien aspects to it too, because this relies on cgi effects which were new in 93' it doesn't hold up to well to today's scrutiny in that respect. So we join a man, one Richard Coberts who is extremely self conscious about losing his hair. His girlfriend claims she doesn't care but still tells him to go see a hair dresser friend of hers.
When he's not satisfied with what he does, Richard then buys loads of other products to try and cover up his bald spots. This ends up in him and his girlfriend breaking up. Spotting an ad on TV about a hair restoration clinic he goes to check it out.
They bring him in are kind and courteous to him and do a procedure to give him a full head of long hair. It works and the next day he reveals long dark brown locks of hair. His girlfriend who didn't care gets incredibly turned on by it too. Unfortunately he realises it keeps growing, a lot!
I even starts sprouting in the back of his throat and all over his face, going back to the clinic it is revealed the hair is tiny alien organisms eating his brain, these aliens use the fact that humans are vain in order to do this and gain sustenance.
THN thinks this one is silly and awards it only 2 stars out of 5

Mark Hamill plays a baseball player (Brent Matthews) who has never quite made it really big who may well be in with a chance of hitting the big time in his next game. Unfortunately on the ride home in a storm a deer in the middle of the road forces his car off the road.
He is later found by some police and when he is turned around it is seen that shards of glass have destroyed his eye. When he come around in hospital he doesn't realise this until he told and it just happens to be his pitching eye too. Another doctor offers a new revolutionary transplant surgery to replace his eye with a healthy donor.
Of course he jumps at the offer and they proceed with the surgery right away as they have the donor available almost right away. Unfortunately Brent starts getting splitting head aches as a side effect, his wife tells him they're expecting too.
The side effects get worse as Brent starts to see images of murdered girls and himself being abused as a baby. His whole attitude starts to change too and he gets abusive towards his wife.
He finds out from the doctor the eye belonged to a murderer fascinated with killing young blondes then raping their corpses, When he later nearly kills his wife through being possessed by the eye he finally manages to stick some garden shears through the offending appendage.
This segment is good but i also feel it's very unfair also this poor man who has done nothing wrong to anyone who has tried hard all his life just has shit poured on him constantly only to then end up killing his possessed self leaving a pregnant wife behind.
For this THN awards Eye 2 out 5 stars.

So overall a very strong start and some amusing filler from the segments between each story with the gas station being a strong 3  Hair being a decent 2 and my reasons for Eye scoring so low Body Bags is going to get an overall score of a decent 3 stars out of 5

Friday, 18 August 2017

Games News: Friday the 13th

With a smart new update to their website Friday the 13th the game creators illfonic and gun media have done what at least a large portion of their fan base has asked.
Given us news and things to actually look forwards too, rather than keeping us in the dark about up coming things we've all been wondering about.

The site teases that yes they are working on new maps and not just the ones that are smaller versions of the existing ones. Which I myself have been guilty of saying what's the point in them?
But now with more information on my plate I'm seeing the smaller maps are actually different enough with new placings for items and vehicles, as well as the the parts to fix them.

But yes they also go on to say that there is A, 1, SINGLE, ONE, Jason in the works note my emphasis on one there as I'm sure with 4, Roy and both normal and Uber Jason left from their films rosters to choose from this won't be all we'll be seeing hopefully.
There's emotes, a HUD/UI update too, tweaks to existing Jason's and new music too!

Finally we see two more things coming 2 new councillors and 2 new clothing packs, one of which we Tiffany sporting a beach babe bikini get up. Hot or what?
The latter being a beach themed affair for all the councillors for $3.99 I'll gladly throw money at that to support more content in the future.
Considering it'll probably be about £3 UK side well hopefully unless the pound drops even lower by then.

All in all THN is happy with the way the creators are treating us lately, and yes I'm sure their working on those packanak and rocks in the water glitches too....

Head over to : http://f13game.com/# to check it out yourself!

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Review: Society (1989)

Cast: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez

Budget: $2 Million

Directed By: Brian Yuzna

Society a satirical comedy horror looking on how the upper classes basically leech off the poor. Which is what the actual films logo is.
Directed by one of my favourite comedy horror directors/producers good old Brian Yuzna. Despite having a large part in making Re-Animator this was his first actual directorial debut.

Thanks to his pull on both the Animator films he was able to snag this and a modest budget. Every dollar was used well in the making too, all the practical effects are brilliant too.

So we join Billy as Bill Whitney a well off kid in a well off family, he has it all going for him in every area of his life too. Girlfriend, school both academic and others. Except he doesn't feel like he fits in anywhere especially with his family. He regularly tells his shrink about this every time he goes to see him which the doctor tries to quell those fears. They do indeed seem to just be young boy angst, that is until his sisters ex boyfriend Blanchard gives him a tape with some weird shit about his family having a strange orgy.

He goes to his shrink with the evidence but when the doctor plays the tape back it has inexplicably changed since the last time he listened to it. When he goes to get another copy from Blanchard he discovers that he's been involved in a crash and has died. Though no else seems to particularly care about it other than Bill's other friend.
When Bill is invited to a persons party (Ferguson) he was not particularly friends with in school he is surprised, at the party though he properly talks to Devin's character Clarissa who he's admired a few times from afar. Ferguson meanwhile bullies Bill and admits to him that they did indeed have a strange with his sister. Angry and confused Clarissa takes him to her house and they have sex.

Unable to get it out of his mind though he goes to confront his family and finds them in a compromising situation in lingerie in his parents bedroom, freaked out he leaves them too it and runs.
When Bill and Milo, his other friend, go to Blanchard funeral then touch him they discover that his corpse doesn't appear to be real. Then his rival as student president tells him fearfully to meet him in the woods so he can tell him about something he's learnt.
/bill meets him in the forest but when he goes to his car to talk to him he discovers the young man dead with his throat cut. The next day in school however when Bill tries to explain to the collective people at the presidential run that Petrie is dead he is shown up when Petrie walks on the stage and says he's just had car trouble.

Totally freaked out at all the weird goings on Bill tries one last attempt at confronting his family only to be drugged by his doctor. Milo however trails them to the hospital and when Bill manages to escape Milo warns him that it was a bit to easy for him to escape like that.
He doesn't listen and stupidly goes back to his folks house where he's chased and trapped by the other and forced to watch as the 'society' weirdly eat in a strange absorption kind of way the real Blanchard. Escaping again thanks to Clarissa he finds his sister and folks all mixed in with each other having some kind of weird alien orgy. He makes his way back downstairs and is challenged to fight by the bully Ferguson, THN won't spoil anymore as Society is well worth watching if your a big fan of 80's comedy horror especially the weird kind of body horror Yuzna specializes in. For this THN awards with this class act of a film 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Review: Tremors (1990)

Stars: Kevin Bacon, Micheal Gross, Fred Ward

Budget: $11 Million

Directed By: Ron Underwood

Can I just say I loved Kevin Bacon in movies, I miss him being the main star in movies too.
To me the guy just oozed charisma and confidence in any role he was in especially in the 80's-90's.

Those were certainly his best years, in those years a certain film came out on the ends of the 80's comedy horror streak. That film was Tremors and it spawned a whole series of films and even a TV series, none as successful as the first film though.
The difference was Tremors horror was at times genuinely scary, again as is becoming a thing here on THN this film did scare me as a kid. Unlike other films of that kind though I managed to sit through and watch all of this thanks to the comedic elements.
The sequel's never truly felt as scary I felt they went in a more comedic way than horror that the first film did so well, more on those should I get to reviewing them.
This film also had amazing practical effects for its time, the grabboids looking as realistic and moving just as well as you could expect a real life creature like this to.

So let's get into the meat of the movie, a town called perfection in Nevada is home to two handymen Earl and Val (Bacon&Ward) it's an ex mining town and is close to being desolate. Earl and Val decide to pack up and leave for a neighboring community when they spot a guy dead up in an electrical tower.
Being a small town they know the guy as Edgar Deems, who has apparently died of dehydration afraid in the tower still holding his Winchester rifle.

So we then see an unknown thing killing a bunch of sheep and their owner, which low and behold Val and Earl stumble across again. Thinking some murderer is to blame for it all they rush to warn the others in town. unknown to them they have pulled some part of the creature away with them attached to their trucks axle.

They grab some horses from perfection to go and try to warn the people who live on the outskirts of town. They unfortunately find two people's truck buried near their camper trailer but them nowhere to be seen.
Then the two are suddenly attacked by the subterranean terrors and after an intense chase they end up in a thick concrete water duct thing. As the creatures are blind and only sense vibration it crashed into the duct killing itself leaving it's mangled head exposed on the other side.

Rhonda a seismologist in the area explains she's picked up vibrations from similar sized creatures, at least another 2 or 3 out there. They become trapped on some boulders they use as protection but the creatures don't let up all night and exhausted in the morning they don't know what to do.
That is until Rhonda uses a pole to start vualting from one rock to another until they reach her truck.

Not long after reaching town the remaining grabboids attack forcing everyone up onto the rooves of their buildings. This doesn't keep them safe long as the grabboids start learning to take out the foundations of the buildings making them collapse to the ground.
Meanwhile Burt Gummer played by Micheal Gross and his wife manage to kill another of the creatures. While in their survival/weapons shelter one slams into their reinforced walls.

Back in town however people keep dying until Val comes up with the idea to chain a large trailer thing to the back of a JCB to ferry people away. They try to make their way to a mountain range where the solid rock will help them, unfortunately the creatures get clever and make a sinkhole which disables the JCB.
Burt kills another one with some home made pipe bombs and they make it to the safety of some boulders again. The last grabboid however doesn't fall for SW the bomb and spits it back at them. This forces them down from the safety of the rocks and they have to run again until Val makes it chase him with the last pipe bomb.

I won't spoil the ending as usual as this is a start to a great series atleast the sequel, well maybe we'll, see when I get around to review them lol!
So THN awards Tremors with a 4 out 5 stars

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Coming Soon: Camp Cold Brook

Looking like decent b-movie chiller I recently received information on the film from its source, keep an eye out and if I get chance to review it I will as it sounds like it could be good'un.

Chad Michael Murray (House of Wax, TV's One Tree Hill) and Danielle Harris (Halloween, Hatchet III) will headline director Andy Palmer's Camp Cold Brook.

Script hails from up and comer Alex Carl, writer-director of Reeves Road. 

Produced by Warner Davis of Petri Entertainment, Gremlins alum Joe Dante and Mark Alan of Renfield Productions, and Jason Van Eman and Ross Marroso of Weathervane Productions, pic tells of a reality TV crew that get more than they bargained for when they decide to film the next episode in the legendary Camp Cold Brook.

Reality TV producer and host, JACK WILSON (Chad Michael Murray), finds himself in a tough spot. His finances have crumbled and his show, “Haunt Squad”, is about to be cancelled. In a last ditch effort to spark ratings to land a final season, he and his producers Angela (Danielle Harris) and Emma as well as their trusted cameraman Kevin choose the legend of Camp Cold Brook to save their show. The camp was host to a horrific incident, where the young campers were drowned in a nearby creek 20 years ago.  Their arrival begins like any other episode. Cameras are placed, lights spark to life, but this is not going to be a regular episode of chasing errant noises and measuring for EVP. The terror here was real and the 30 are about to rise.

Courtney Gains (The Burbs, Children of the Corn), Michael Eric Reid (TV's Victorious),Candice De Visser (The Funhouse Massacre), Mary Kathryn Bryant (Hellraiser : Judgement), Loren Lodesma (A.S.K), and Jason Van Eman (1 Mile to You) help make up the ensemble.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Review: Hellraiser 6 Hellseeker (2002)

Stars: Ashley Lawrence, Doug Bradley

Budget: $3 million

Directed By: Rick Bota

It's the sixth film in the franchise and it's a high point (of the lowest point) before a steep, sorry very steep plunge into the sheer abysmal. Again it features all the Hellraiser tropes, Lemarchands box, surreal moments and hallucinations. It also saw the return of Clive Barker in a minimal capacity too.

This one one though is a lot better than the previous one though and see's the return of some familiar faces even though like the last film no one in this one is someone you can really route for. Even the surprise return of Kirsty is let down by, even though it's totally justified, the fact everyone is just protecting their own ass.
Well that's enough with the explanations, I know I've made out here a major weakness in the film but it still is a peak for the series as the next three, like I said take it to the bottom especially with the last one!

A car accident sending their car plunging off a bridge Kirsty Cotton, the protagonist from the first and second films seemingly dies. Only her husband survives the fall, though the police cannot find Kirsty's body when they go looking.
A month later all the usual hellraiser things start to happen, When Trevor wakes up in hospital he starts having nightmares and seeing things. His memory of the accident is also in pieces. We are initially thought to believe that Trevor and Kirsty were happy but as the film progresses we learn this is not the case.

The unreality and phantasms slowly bleed into Pinhead revealing himself and showing Trevor and us, that he was an asshole to Kirsty. Cheating on her and actually trying to make her open the box and get rid of her. this is where i'm up in arms with the whole finding it hard to get behind a protagonist in this film. Yes she was wronged but she's also in cahoots with pinhead too as we'll learn now.

She offers up five other people in return for her own soul, self defense in the most part yes. Especially vs Trevor and his friend, who are after her fortune although the other three are his mistresses arguably not all to blame for the most part.
I'm giving away a major plot point here but to be honest you should be only watching this if your a big fan of the other films. You see Trevor is actually dead in limbo piecing together how he died as part of his punishment, I wont spoil the full ending as it's got a bit more to it than just that and worth watching if your fan, like I said.

THN enjoyed this as part of the franchise but if it was a stand alone maybe not as much so i'm giving it a strong 2 out of 5 stars and a recommendation to watch if you like the series.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Review: Lights Out (2016)

Stars: Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman

Directed by: David F. Sandberg

Budget: $4.9million

I've not been a massive of the recent slew of mainstream horror films. You know things like paranormal activity and the millions of sequels.
Yes they've done well but they're just so run of the mill and the same things, like jump scares and creepy over used situations.

Lights Out is a recent horror film too from 2016, yes it's taken a while for me to review it but I've been put off afraid it's going to be so standard.
I finally tried it out and was reasonably happy by what I saw though. The effects are nicely practical for the most part and very good at conveying the point they needed to.
That point is an innate fear of the darkness and what lurks in there.
Unfortunately the main story kind of spoils it ultimately by making it not just about the dark but spirits attached to people too and mental illness.

problem is this film seems to try to stick to much in, as all the separate parts are good coupled with some decent acting even from the child actor (which can be rare). So i'll get on with the movie description and leave the choice in your hands ultimately.

So we join a man in work, he seems rather busy and it's late. When his co-worker/secretary tells him she's leaving for the night. She turns off the lights in one of the work rooms and briefly see's a shadowy outline there. Scared she turns the lights back on quickly, then off, then on each time the thing keeps appearing and disappearing.
She gets freaked out and goes to see the boss, he dismisses it but she warns him to look out and be careful. When he eventually decides to move, out in the storeroom he is attacked by the shadowy thing in between each over hanging light. Making back to his way back to his office turns on the lights to fend off the creature. The electric blinks off and the man is killed by the dark creature.

We learn the man was the step father of Martin a young child who is also terrified of the beast which pops up in the night scaring him from sleeping. When he starts to fall asleep in classes and they can't reach his mother they get hold of his sister.
His sister is a twenty something whose father left at a young age and has bonding problems with her current boyfriend. She goes to pick Martin up and when he starts to tell her about the the thing and about their mother talking to someone in the night times Rebecca seems to recognize something about the stories and takes him to see their mother.

We learn she suffers from severe depression and that Rebecca left when she was young, her mental state seems to be worsening though but not so far that child services are getting involved. Rebecca gets Martin to stay with her. That night the creature comes and scrapes a message into her floor that she doesn't see until the morning.

We learn the entity is a woman named Diana who had a weird skin condition and when their mother was was in a mental asylum was her only friend. Though it seems she was forced into the friendship by Diana, Diana is treated by the doctors with some extreme light therapy. This seems to kill her, though it doesn't she just loses her body and imprints herself onto Rebecca's mind.
Rebecca's boyfriend who loves her a lot despite her attachment problems believes her totally and helps so much throughout the film too. Near the end they all try to sort out the situation by helping the mother get rid of Diana but things go wrong.

Like it said it's a decent film and better than some of the other mainstream rubbish that's about these days, like usual i don't spoil the ending and it's a decent enough film to not spoil. THN awards lights out with a 3 stars out 5 and watch if there's nothing else to do.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Details: Cult of Chucky

Cult of Chucky
Release Date: 20th Oct 2017

No remake, no rehash, this is a straight up sequel seeing people from all the last movies return in a great come back of the series. This is what we as fans want more of the same especially in horror franchises we have grown with up and love very much.
Andy Barclay returns as the woman from the last film is incarcerated in a mental institution after being blamed for the deaths of everyone. Andy finds out and tries to help free her as the warden and a bunch of other seem in on a plot that involves Chucky himself.
We even see a return of Tiffany, in human form somehow. I'm so interested to see how this plays out and will Andy survive again?
It seems we are in for a violent and macabre twisted fun filled return to the franchise just from the trailer alone, it's posted above please feel free check it out for yourselves!

Review: Here Alone (2016)

Stars: Lucy Walters, Gina Piersanti

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Rod Blackhurst

The tired old zombie apocalypse setting needs to do something special these days to grab the attention of people.
(unless your a die hard zombie fan like me who'll give anything zombie based a go)

This movie thankfully does break the usual mold, still holding a few tropes and also making a few silly mistakes here and there.

Since the death of my son I also find it hard to watch films where babies end up in any kind of peril too. This, the hallows and a few others i find hard to watch due to this reason.
But thankfully this movie had a lot going for it that kept me powering through the scenes involving the baby.

The setting is more infected rather than zombie they are maddened and fast much the likes of 28 days later, yet they do crave food especially in human shaped form.

Lucy Walters stars as Ann a woman who has survived this viral outbreak thanks to her husbands fast thinking and skills in the wild. We join Ann in the woods where her husband Jason was brought up, she is alone and isolated. We realise Ann smears herself in dung etc to mask her scent from the crazy people when she needs to get food. We see her in this state as the film starts she then quickly gets naked and cleans herself off in the nearby lake.
We watch as she slowly eats her supplies then checks her traps to find nothing caught in them running low we see her do her dung trick and head off to a nearby house looking for supplies.

Finding some food she unfortunately makes some noise and attracts a few of the crazies. In so doing she drops a few of the tins on the ground after putting her pack down for a while.
On her way back she spots a young girl and a man stumbling around on the road she seems to decide whether to help them or not. Once the man stumbles once last time and falls to the ground as he passes out Ann decides to help them.
The young woman is Olivia and the man is her step father, Chris. In-between peeks at how her husband taught her to survive in the wild and then losing him We see her strike up a friendship with Olivia and Chris regain his strength.

Trust is hard though to begin with especially for the jaded Ann, Chris (in a bout of good acting and writing) starts to win over Ann though coaxing more and more information about her past. There is some real humanity on offer here, where they start to relax and laugh with each other.
This is where two of the things that make me go a bit off the film happen one is of course the flashbacks to just her and her child left surviving, of which the baby gets some blood smeared on her because Ann carelessly picks her up while splattered with crazy blood.
This of course leads to the baby getting infected and Ann having to crush loads of aspirin tablets (and blood) into some milk to send the baby off.

The second thing is a sub plot that Olivia is actually in love with her step father and when Ann and him start to fall for each other she gets jealous over it. I know they needed something, something other than an inevitable camp invasion from the viral's but this was just a little off putting especially as Olivia initially seems to come across as quite intelligent and wanting to learn from Ann.

So the film continues on in this fashion until Ann and Chris eventually have sex much to Olivia's chagrin as she had also the same night prepared herself to have sex with Chris too. She rebels after seeing them stealing food and eating loads while they spend the night together.
She is attacked in the forest too and just about saved by Chris and Ann, low on food they decide to go foraging again. Chris distracts the viral's while Olivia and Ann check out the same house as earlier. Again Olivia in a uncharacteristic and stupid jealous bout knocks Ann out and ties her to a cupboard and screams to attract viral's.

Ann being plucky escapes the bonds and the infected and gets back to her camp seeing both Chris and Olivia being attacked by the infected. With one bullets left she keeps aiming between Chris and Olivia unable to decide who to save (I know who I would).
But you know here at THN we won't spoil endings of good or even half decent films unless they're so abysmal it's not worth watching them. This despite it's flaws to me both in the story and person reasons is well worth a watch, THN awards Here Alone 4 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

Review: Chopping Mall (1986)

Stars: Barbara Crampton, Kelli Maroney

Budget: £800k

Directed By: Jim Winorsky

This film seemed like a nostalgic pleasure of mine distributed by none otherthan Roger Corman the king of schlock horror films.
Starring two of the cutest ever scream queen's ever, Babs
Crampton and Kelli Maroney.

Both known for their active roles in the weird and wonderful. Bab's best known for Reanimator, Kelli possibly for night of the comet.
Both great films in their own respects, poor Babs though seems to cop it in any film she's in. Reanimator, this a bunch of other horror films too.

Now I hadn't seen Chopping Mall for quite a while. One of the things that caught me off guard was the running time,
I could have sworn nigh on 15 years ago the film I watched seemed longer than it is.

May be I'm right though as this 77 minute film may well have a 95 minute run time version too. Maybe that's the one I actually watched all those years back?
Anyway the film doesn't suffer in this respect from a short run time.

This film has all the classic tropes of horror movies even the typical drinking, sex and partying. Though all this is capped by evil robots, made evil by lightening!
If you needed a robot security system or army weapon robot to turn either good or bad back in the 80's or 90's all you needed was their systems scrambled by a blast or two of lightening. So the movie starts with a security firm showing off a demonstration of their new advanced robots, laser eyes, sleep darts, taser shots and sharp claws.
A nice cameo by Mary Woronov who was/is also a veteran to horror films as her and her work partner take turns cutting jibes at the robots expense. The Mall has employed the services of three of these robots. We are then shown our heroines of the movie Bab's as Suzie and Kelli as Alison Parks both working in a greasy little cafe in the Mall.

We are then shown the guys who work in a bed shop, Ferdy (played by Tony O'Dell) is rather nervous as the rest of the guys want to throw a party in the shop once the Mall is closed. Gerrit Graham from C.H.U.D. II is also in here as one of the technicians of the security bots.
His partner is in the security room relaxing before the robots go online when a random thunderstorm throws down three bolts of lightening that fry the central computer that controls the robots. They then kill the one technician and hide his body, Gerrit's then taken out next. The robots then go on patrol around the mall.

After partying and sex one of the teens is killed after he goes to get cigarettes for his girlfriend, not only that a cleaner played by Murray Futterman actor Dick Miller is electrocuted by one too. The girl goes looking for her boyfriend and is chased almost back to the others. The rest of the teens see her screaming outside and her head is blown up by a laser blast. The rest of them then go about arming themselves and trying to take out the bullet proof killer security robots.
They slowly get taken out one by one occasionally destroying one of the mad robots every couple of teens killed. It is yes, very standard and straightforward as many horror films, this time though there's just a certain chemistry that makes this feel good to. By far no gem but definitely worth a watch and deserving of a place in many peoples cult classics.

THN awards Chopping Mall a good 3 out of 5 stars and watch on a rainy day!

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Review: XX (2017)

Stars: Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Numerous

Nice another anthology film I thought as I clicked on Netflix what a strange name though, then I read the description four shorts from women's point of view. I did also have some trepidation that it was magnet distributed but they do on occasion back some decent films.

Now these four movies are not without flaws, some of them downright puzzled me not in a how did that happen, more so the choices made and things not explained.
not that, that is a bad thing though,

Of the four stories the first story The Box and the third Don't Fall are by far the strongest of the four stories
told on this collection. Sun dance festival January 22nd 2017 was it's original debut then magnet released to video on demand services.

So these are all reasonably strong written pieces, some however have more than a few glaring flaws which I will go over when it's each segments time.

The first short The Box sees a mother on the subway with two excitable children after a long day out with them. It's close to Christmas so when her young son spots a man with a red present upon his lap he's quick to inquire what's in the box. After some badgering and his mum telling him off the man happily shows him what's inside, only the boy see's and he goes very somber afterwards.

That night at dinner the boy doesn't feel hungry the parents are fine but a little concerned he might be getting ill. That is until 3 or 4 days later the father starts getting very worried, yet the boy says he's fine.
They take him to a doctor who believes it to be a traumatizing effect that has made him this way. When the mother spots the son telling the daughter something in a whisper she gets concerned. Sure enough the girl stops eating to, it quickly passes to the dad too.

In a bizarre dream sequence we see them eating parts of the mother then, but it's not real. They even have a nice Xmas but everyone apart from the mother is dreadfully thin. I wont spoil the rest as this is probably the strongest story on here. But I tell you I'd love to know what's in that box and it's that, that keeps this so suspenseful just what was it that stopped them eating?

The second story the birthday party is possibly the weakest and oddest of the bunch. A woman setting up for a girls birthday party is beset by odd neighbors or family members as she does this.
Not only that she stumbles in on what I can guess is her husband dead, seemingly from an overdose. Although the woman see's this as more of an inconvenience than something sad. She then spends the rest of the short trying to either hide or divert people away from his corpse.
That's basically it for the short till the end so I won't spoil anymore other than the short does have a longer title than first seen!

The third short Don't Fall doesn't really have anything to do with it's name but is probably the second best story on this quadrilogy. Four friends/family members have found themselves, thanks to a tip off from some gas station worker in a remote yet beautiful part of the wilderness.
Having traveled there in their RV. So right at the beginning the one girl (Gretchen) is playfully mock pushed by her friend on top of a height. She gets scared and backs off to a little covered rock area, in that area the four of them discover an old wall painting. The painting is depicting 3 people being stalked by a giant demon/creature.
While outside later on Gretchen is attacked by a weird demon and transforms into a creature herself,she then proceeds to stalk the other three. There's not much more to it so THN won't spoil any more for you,

The Fourth is for me probably the worst of the bunch. Her Only Living Son see's a mother dealing with a seemingly rebellious teen son, nothing quite out of the ordinary there. That is until you see people acting strange around her and her son. We also get some get flashback story filler helping explain what is going on with her son. Of course all is not what it seems as there is definitely more to her son than meets the eyes.

This film is certainly a bold step forwards for every female involved and i would love to give it extra points based on just that. But as a movie which i have to judge it on this is a definite 50/50 hit and miss with it's 4 stories, even saying that the third one with it's pointless setting was hard to judge, so this film at least for me gets 2 stars out of 5 from THN, possibly only worth watching if you like me love multi story films like this.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Review: Lifeforce (1985)

Stars: Steve Railsback, Peter Firth

Budget: $25 Million

Directed By: Tobe Hooper

Wow this i beginning to become a series of 'films that shit me up when i was younger'
True maybe i shouldn't have watching shit like this when i was 7 or 8 years old, but well that's the thing about a kid with TV and cable in your room with channels like sci-fi and bravo.

So anyway a Vampire flick at heart but with a massive twist, in fact looking back on it and having recently re-watched it, i had the intense feeling of a live action manga film, Vampire Hunter D-esque in nature.
So yes the twist their vampires from 'spaaaaaace' that feed on your, get it, LIFE FORCE. like a kind of electrical energy sucked out of you.
Directed by Critters guy Tobe Hooper this film feels like a British film directed by an american guy, i can't explain why but it really does come across that strongly, mainly because that's whats it is but i feel it's something you'd get even if you didn't know. This is not a bad thing by the way, its a really bold and refreshing take and broke the mold of things like hammer horror films which would have been the thing of the time, you know thoroughly British what, what cup of tea etc, no this had some good action seriousness without getting wrapped up in British tropes.

The film stars an all star cast of Brits from the time too, Firth, Patrick Stewart, Frank Finlay and the beautiful French actress Mathilda May. Based on an actual novel from the 70's inventively called Space Vampires the film did not do well especially for its at the time huge budget of $25 million. It only made $11.6 million in the box office.

So the film starts with a joint American and British team in space to observe a rare comet, the ship the Churchill is an experimental ship that can produce it's own gravity. Whilst checking on the comet the ship finds another ancient craft in the stream of the comet. Within that craft most of it's bat like inhabitants are desiccated husks, that is until they come across three preserved bodies in some kind of hibernation pods. After a bit more digging by the crew ground control loses contact with the Churchill.

When they eventually find out it's coming back to earth they find the ship in bad condition everywhere burned and almost everyone dead. The girl from the pods is found and secured in a room for observation as are the two males in a different room.
The girl wakes up and drains the life force of he guard this is seen by another member of the staff on the security monitors. He tries to save him but the guard is dead by the time he gets there a husk of a man. She seduces the other and is again seen on the monitors by the head doctor, he however gets to the other guy but she hasn't drained him.

An investigator is brought in to see whats going on, the one guy is sent home complaining he's a bit drained. The girl however has escaped overpowering the security guards with ease. The two vampire males awake but are, after lots of bullets and grenades taken out. They go to do an autopsy on the totally drained guy but he wakes up and proceeds to drain the force of the lead operator. They quarantine both the newly regenerated guard in a very bemused state. This is definitely where most of the budget went the practical effects on this film are amazing and the way the drained people cry out and attract normal people to them to feed is what freaked me out so much as a kid. The way they almost wail in pain at their victims making you feel sorry for them.

So they quickly find out that without new energy the weird drained zombie husk vampire things quickly die and is a spectacular explosion of dust too.

It's then found out that Colonel Tom Carlsen is found crash landed in an escape pod. The film diverges into two here following Tom as he hallucinates about the girl as they seem to have some kind of weird connection now. Then there's the detective Col Colin Caine trying to stop this outbreak happening, they do help each other from time to time though.
Carlsen through regression tells of their master plan to absorb as much energy as possible so the ship can as it's passing by absorb it all. Throughout the film now more and more people start getting drained who drain more people as they try to work out a way to stop the vampires.
Leaden Metal is able to, as in traditional vampires kill them if pierced through their heart, the male ones who miraculously piece themselves back together are killed in this fashion. I like the main vampires have a lot of the usual vampiric like powers too, like entrancing, regeneration etc.

Now as always on THN i won't spoil the ending especially as this film has aged quite well and well worth a watch, it's currently on Netflix too. A really good and interesting take on the vampire genre with a lot of twists and turns thrown in. A very good and strong acting effort by all the cast new and experienced alike.
THN awards this freaky  film a very strong 3 out of 5 stars as with an almost 2 hour run time it might be a bit of slog for some people to watch through, otherwise a great film!

Monday, 19 June 2017

THN Top Fives: Head Kills

In horror film one of the nastiest ways to go is have something destroy your noggin, in any way shape or form a blow or otherwise to the most useful appendage on your body usually equals instant death to whoever was unlucky to take that hit.
THN  have what we think are five of the most horrendous ways people, or fodder have died in horror movies after taking a head wound...

5. Machete Wheelchair:
Right so this is from Friday the 13th part 2 Mark a wheelchair bound teen is happily taking in the night air when a machete is thunked into his face diagonally. Not only that the poor teen then goes rattling down some steps in the rain bouncing about like a rag doll.

4. Eyeball puncture!:
Zombie Flesh Eaters the infamous 1979 zombie film has on of the still best eyeball puncturing practical effect death i've ever seen or pretty much still have to see. A woman is grabbed by a rotting appendage and dragged eyeball first onto a giant splinter protruding from the hole she was grabbed from. at least she wasn't eaten alive, that's better right, right?

3. Indy Face Melt:
Not a horror film but still a frightful way to die, even in a pretty much family friendly film too. So the Nazi's have found the ark of the covenant believing it will grant them uber powers the greedily open the golden chest.
Unfortunately evil spirits are released which proceed to melt the face and heads of anyone stupid enough to look inside the box. Was clearly a gruesome scene and one of the most memorable scenes of the series.

2. Frosty Face Death:
That lovely scene from Jason X, the poor student doing an autopsy on big tall and killy doesn't notice when our frosty friend starts to thaw and reanimate upon the operating table.
While she's busy looking at stuff through a microscope she is grabbed and has her face thrust into below freezing liquid nitrogen. within seconds her face is a frosty mess. Then to add frosting on the cake, he smashes her face on the counter into tiny little crystalised pieces!

1. Brains Sucked Through a Straw:
Ok this is my top head death, it comes from none other than starship troopers and was one of the first true scenes that proper grossed me out. Being that i watched in the cinema when it was originally released as just a 15 age rated film.
You all probably know the scene i'm talking about the brain bug sucking out Zanders brain with it's straw like appendage, why this was so bad to me is your alive while your brain is literally being slurped out, can you imagine that? just slowly losing yourself as you brain is sucked out. Makes me shudder eeww.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Review: Leprechaun 3 (1995)

Stars: Warwick Davis, John Gatins

Budget: 1.2 Million

Directed By: Brian Trenchard-Smith

Aah the Leprechaun Series. This is one of my pet loves, well at least until the 'in the hood' sequels. Even the inevitable next sequel of 'in space' is better than those, that's a different film for a different time though.

Warwick returns as the titular wee guy with a different origin once again. I often wonder if it's the same leprechaun or different ones who just all lookalikes and a mad little killers!

A small budget and a not to great story line mars this addition to the series though especially since it's filmed in and around Las Vegas. In fact one of the alternate titles to this film was Leprechaun in Las Vegas.

So this time we see a porn shop come into the possession of a strange little statue. It is seeming made of gold and depicts the wee man with a golden medallion around his neck. The pawn shop owner is told that the medallion is lucky and magic, the owner greedily takes the medallion off which free's the leprechaun from his imprisonment in the statue. He then murders the shop owner. Again the Leprechaun has his gold and when the hero of the film, a down on his luck student, Scott who comes into the pawn shop to sell his Rolex watch. He picks up one of the gold coins then flees at the sight of the dead shop owner.

What Scott doesn't know is the coin can grant wishes, he ends up wishing for his luck to turn which it does. In turn he grabs the attention of both the leprechaun and the casino owners, as he keeps winning so much money. The casino also has a two bit magic act in the form of Fazio and Loretta, Loretta is an older woman worried about her looks. They steal the coin and when the leprechaun stumbles across these two looking for it and Scott.
Scott fights with the leprechaun and gets bitten in the process, some of the leprechauns blood also gets into the bite before Scott throws him from the hotel window. The leprechaun slowly starts kill people who made wishes with the coin twisting what they wished for. Once they are outside the power of the coins influence he is able to make the wish turn on them and kill them.

The casino owner is killed by a weird robot version of a girl he wanted to have sex with and Loretta who wished for the body of a younger woman loves it when her body plumps up. Then despairs as they keep plumping up like balloons until the inevitable and they explode.
All this time Scott is infected by the leprechaun blood which is in turn, turning him into a human sized leprechaun. This does however give him powers like the little guy but also his greed over gold too. This makes for some fun interactions between Scott and the leprechaun between gold and magic powers, his girlfriend Tammy is also caught up in all this but just seems to want the best for Scott including taking him to hospital where they refuse to see him due to his green cross insurance.

In a final show down between the two (after Fazio's last wish to be the best magician is reversed to kill him) the leprechaun actually tries to entice Scott into joining him with the lure of half of his gold. Does he take it or does he ignore it that you'll have to find out for yourself as we don't spoil the ending of decent films here in THN. Leprechaun 3 scores a 3 out of 5 stars.

THN Moving to YouTube

Yes we are transitioning to YouTube (hopefully) why do i say hopefully?
Well THN is pretty much run by just one person, me the guy you know as the horror master, I have someone who does the Facebook side of things but that's about it. So I say hopefully because i'm not rich, this is going to involve some help so i've set up a go fund me, here:

What does this entail?
I will be able to buy a new GOOD laptop to mix audio and visual files and a decent camera to produce that video content. This doesn't mean by any mean the blog will closing down no no no, i'll be doing both video and written reviews for both, then hopefully i can move on to getting in people to help make MORE content, even be able to make it to film premiers etc.

So any people who can offer a small amount of money to aid me in getting this equip would be in a great thank you video, named and thanked by me.
Thank you for all of the support you have shown me in the many years i've been doing this.

The Horror Master

Friday, 2 June 2017

Review: Hellraiser 5 Inferno (2000)

Stars: Doug Bradley, Craig Sheffer

Budget: $2 million

Directed By: Scott Derrickson

Okay so this is a series that after the 4th movie steadily went down hill. Despite that there's some decent acting and the always great turn of Doug Bradley as the demonic Pinhead.
It's also the first one where the you don't really route for any of the characters, you want pinhead to teach them a lesson.

It features all the things a Hellraiser film should though, the Lemarchand's box, surreal scenes and is it real or not?

This one starts off with clearly corrupt detective Joseph Thorne. We know he's corrupt as we frequently see him taking drugs and cheating.
It's also hot and getting hotter in Denver and murder is on the books. Joseph is called to the scene of a suspected ritualistic murder where he discovers the Lemarchand puzzle box.

Joseph naturally in a Hellraiser film is also very keen on puzzles and fiddles with the box until he solves it. Not long after solving the damned box Thorne begins to suffer from delusions and hallucinations, one such is being seduced by two horribly mutilated women. After being chased by a no eyed beast from hell Joseph tries to dig further into whats going on.
He finds evidence linking a suspect known only as The Engineer, to the original murder, he is also linked to the disappearance/kidnapping of a young child. When Thorne starts to get close to capturing him however The Engineer starts picking off some of his friends and acquaintances, most horrifically the killer leave behind one of the kids fingers at every murder.

Thorne tries to get psychiatric help for his hallucinations in an effort to try get his mind sorted out. Unfortunately this backfires when his doctor reveals himself to be none other than Pinhead, he explains about hell and the cenobites. Not only that but since Thorne first started using box he has in fact been trapped in hell himself where he has been being punished for his sins in life.
Not only that 'The Engineer' has been a construct of Thorne's mind embodying his cruelty where as the child has been his innocence. Thus in his mind the evil side has been winning out over his better judgement. Unbelieving of his situation Thorne tries to escape his own personal hell.

That is where THN stops and doesn't spoil the ending. Despite it's many flaws and no one to really route for it does have an intriguing plot and will keep you wondering whats going on. Although that's not exactly great when it can get just plain puzzling for no sake.
So THN awards Hellraiser 5 Inferno, a pretty strong 2 out of 5 stars with a recommend to watch if you've liked the other films up until this one.