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.