Friday, December 23, 2011

I Sell The Dead (2008)

Genre: Zombie, Comedic

Source: Netflix Instant View

Grade: A

     Zombie comedy's are very much hit and miss for me. If you combine just the right amount of zombie comedy with zombie horror you can get absoulute masterpieces like Return Of The Living Dead, which to me is the best zombie comedy film ever made or ever will be made. For the most part Shaun Of The Dead worked, but if you watch crap like Zombieland and Dead Heat you can see how an uneven mixture of the genres will ruin the movie. Now as for I Sell The Dead i`ll happily say its one of the good ones that combines just the right amount of horror with dark comedy.

     The story is about a grave robber on the eve of his execution telling his life story to priest were he shares how he and his partner Willie went from simple body snatching into selling the living dead. Its interesting I noticed they never refer to the zombies as zombies they are either referred to as the Living Dead or Ghouls. The story is full of great "colorful" characters like the two main characters Arthur and Willie, the incredibly vile Dr.Vernon Quint, the sadistic house of Murphy, and Ronnie the chubby bartender. I`d have to say all the actors who portrayed these characters were excellent. Angus Scrimm aka The Tall Man from the Phantasm movies plays the Dr.Vernon Quint character, which he does masterfully as usual. Ron Perlman plays Father Duffy, which he does so with a very amusing Irish accent. Then Dominic Monaghan surprised me by actually doing a above average performance as the character Arthur.

          One thing I especially liked about this movie was its style. It had this great EC Comic Book style, sorta in the fashion of George Romero's Creepshow. Its a style of filmmaking I really like and would love to see more of. I also am impressed at how much director Glenn McQuaid did with his budge. I can tell it didn't have a big budget but it style looks great and never once looks campy or anything. It has this genuine Gothic horror feel with a simply dark, tense atmosphere.

          Altogether I Sell The Dead is a great little horror movie, that is criminally underrated. Its style and direction are fantastic. As well as boasting a cast of some of my favorite actors like Ron Perlman and Angus Scrimm . If your a fan of zombie movies I Sell The Dead is a great recent zombie movie that I highly recommend.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Book Review: Devil Bat Diary: The Journal Of Johnny Layton By Peter H. Brothers

         Ever once in awhile I read a books synopsis and am immediately enthralled by it. Devil Bat Dairy is a prime example of this. Its story is based off one my personal favorite Bela Lugosi movies The Devil Bat from 1940.Only what this book does is it takes the sole perspective of the character Johnny Layton who was the newspaper reporter  in the movie and claims the movie The Devil Bat is a watered down version of true horrific events and this book is the long suppressed account of what really happened.
         The book brings in a nice variety of characters, who are easily recognizable if your familiar with the film.There was of course Johnny Layton and his "partner" One-Shot McGuire, Dr.Carruthers, and Chief.Wilkins. On top of the solid and interesting story, there were some rather amusing subplots thrown in such as Chief Wilkins being absolutely in love with Johnny Layton, the whole tension between Layton and his  partner One-Shot McGuire who between the two of them hate each other to the most extreme extents.
        I also really liked how Brothers handled Bela Lugosi`s character Dr.Carruthers. The way he wrote his dialogue and described his presence on the pages was very much Bela Lugosi. The only thing I wish was expanded upon was his characters back story. There was a macabre hint as to what happened to his wife, and there was a part were Layton finds a autographed copy of the book "Mein Kampf". Which that alone opens so many possibilities to his past.

        Overall Peter H.Brothers novel Devil Bat Diary: The Journal Of Johnny Layton is a excellent novel were I found at many points to be unbelievably hard to put down. The story is very original and just simply a terrific idea for a book. Which upon finishing  I strongly feel it is a essential read for ever Bela Lugosi fan as well as fans of the entire classic horror genre.

Friday, December 9, 2011

The Sentinel (1977)

Genre: Supernatural

Source: Netflix Instant Que

Grade: B

     Other than it being an obvious attempt by Universal to cash off the success of Warner Bros extremely successful supernatural/possession horror film The Exorcist. This movie is rather good and original. With an incredible cast boosting both veteran actors such as John Carradine, Eli Wallach, and Burgess Merideth. As well as actors who were new faces at the time but are now huge names such as Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Walken, and Chris Sarandon (who is forever know to me as Prince Humperdink,his character from The Princess Bride in case you didn't catch that).

        The story for The Sentinel was in my opinion an interesting story that was delivered well on screen but I feel it had the potential of being better. For instance the basic story is about a fashion model who moves into a apartment owned by the church  that also happens to be the gateway to hell, and also happens to be in need of a new sentinel to guard the gateway so demons cant escape, luckily shes the perfect candidate. The rest you'll just have to watch for yourself.
          For the most part I felt the story was pretty well done on screen, some great eerie scenes in the apartment and a very cool ending if you ask me. Now the only problems I had with the movie was there was just to much focus on the main girls drama between her and her boyfriend and not enough on the horror aspect. I also felt there were a couple things in the movie that were not nearly expanded on enough. Also they didn't give enough screen time for John Carradines character despite him being the sentinel.

         Anyways the biggest thing I think this movies got going to its name is its superb cast. Wow, lets see first off you have the awesome as always John Carradine, Next you've got Burgess Meredith in a really well suited role for him, and even Eli Wallach is in it playing a bold detective whose partner  is a very young Christopher Walken who hardly says a word.Then Jeff Goldblum gets a couple of good scenes. Heck even Tom Beranger and Richard Dreyfuss show up for some very small roles, though Dreyfuss is so small if you blink you'll miss it. A young mustached Chris Sarandon plays the main characters boyfriend and he does a pretty well job at it to, though its nothing compared to his performances in The Princess Bride and Fright Night.

       Altogether though The Sentinel is a decent supernatural horror film. Now i`m not crazy about remakes but if there was any movie that had potential of being remade and possibly turning out really good I think this one would be one of them. I mean think about it all you'd have to do is touch up the script focus more on the horror then drama, add more suspense, and cast Christopher Lee in John Carradines role and you might as well bring back a bunch of the original cast for cameos or even main roles. I honestly believe it could turn out really good.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Birthday Boris Karloff

        Today i`d like to commemorate the 124th birthday of one of the greatest Horror Icons ever, Boris Karloff. His depiction of Frankenstein in the 1931 master piece is forever immortalized, on top of being the best monster he went on to portray other iconic horror characters such as the Mummy, Fu Manchu, and whole array of mad scientist characters. Other than the many awesome horror movies he was in he also starred in quite a few non horror movies, including a outstanding World War 1 thriller called The Lost Patrol which was directed by John Ford, he did a couple movies with Abbott and Costello, and played a oriental detective named Mr.Wong in a series of mystery movies.
         His voice was used in the Chuck Jones classic cartoon How The Grinch Stole Christmas were he voiced the Grinch and narrated the cartoon. To this day it remains one of my favorite cartoons. Towards the end of his career he starred in some superb films such as Targets a hard hitting and freakishly realistic thriller, and Curse Of The Crimson Alter a supernatural horror film that co stared Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, and Barbara Steele. I am aware that some people really don`t like that movie and feel its a waste of a good cast, I personal tend to disagree I think its a interesting, Lovecraft inspired movie. Boris Karloff literally continued to star in movies until his death in 1969, still movies of his continued to be released posthumously until 1971. He was one of the greatest actors of all time and I can say without a doubt in my mind he never once put on a bad or uninterested performance.

Here is Boris Karloff on the far left seated next to Arthur Treache and Buster Keaton.
In an episode of Looney Tunes 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Horror Express (1972)

Genre: Alien

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: A+

Horror Express is one of those movies that the more times I watch it the more I enjoy it and develop a deeper appreciate for it. Its an all around terrifying movie that has held up to today`s standards very well. Its a well written and directed movie that shares many themes similar to that of the short story "Who Goes There?" by John W.Campbell. Yes the same short story John Carpenters "The Thing" is based off.

          Horror Express`s story is like I said  a "Who Goes There?" inspired story, but laden with British Gothic overtones. Essentially what this movies about is a anthropologist played by Christopher Lee who has found what he believes to be the missing link frozen in the Siberian wasteland, so he gets it and boards a Trans-Siberian train and heads back to London to display his finding. Unfortunately though thanks to Peter Cushing`s character the thing escapes on board the train were it begins to wreck havoc and kill passengers in this really weird and disturbing way. Now i`m not going to go into detail over how this Alien kills the people because that's something you just really have to see for yourself, basically the Alien kills its victims similar to how the alien in The Thing kills its victims were it doesn't have a true form and instead kills someone or something and takes control of  its body. A cool factor added into this is it takes place on mostly on a a train, on a Trans-Siberian trip, in the middle of a snowstorm. Oh yeah couldn't get more screwed than that.

          As for the for the very well assembled cast you have another classic Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing team up. Starting with Christopher Lee to me he was the star of this movie, he has the most dynamic character and performance. To me he stood out the most. Peter Cushing on the other hand even though a notch lower then Lee never the less puts on a great performance. Especially considering the fact that this was his first movie since the death of his beloved wife Helen. He almost didn't even do it because he felt it was to soon after her death, but thanks to some friendly persuasion on the part of his good friend Christopher Lee he agreed to star in it. If your a fan of The Dirty Dozen or Cape Fear your probably going to be thrilled to see Telly Savalas in this movie as a oppressive down right mean Russian captain who`s put in charge of killing the creature on board the train. His screen time is relatively short compared to Cushing and Lee but he nonetheless uses to make a very impacting and amusing performance.

         To me 1974`s Horror Express is a absolute classic horror movie. Its phenomenally directed, acted,written, and not to mention a eerie and very original soundtrack that fitted perfect with the movie. I wonder if its available on CD? Anyways i`m aware that this movie has recently gotten a Blu Ray release with a kick ass Hi-Def transfer and tons of extras. Which is something i`d love to get my hands on, because currently the copy I own is cheap DVD that came with my Legends Of Horror 50 pack, so the sound especially is not top notch and the picture quality was a bit scratchy. Oh well, anyways Horror Express is a down right awesome horror movie I feel I can just about recommend to any Horror movie fan.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Halloween 2011

This year for Halloween I dressed up as Vincent Prices character Dr. Death from the 1974 Horror film Madhouse. I personally was really happy with the way my costume came out and overall had a awesome Halloween.

                                               Now to begin plans for next years costume!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Curse Of The Demon (1957)

Genre: Supernatural, Occult

Source: Channel TCM

Grade: A+

This is just one of those awesome movies that within the first five minutes I already know  its going to classic. Not only that but the direction was fantastic! The story was incredibly well written and filled with great lines and genuine suspense. Curse Of The Demon is a horror film that completely stands out from all the other horror films from that era.

         The plot is about an american scientist who comes to England to help formally debunk activities and claims of a certain powerful demonic cult. The story admittedly picks up and never gets boring or slow from start to finish its almost nonstop suspense  and genuine frights that made me jump from my seat a couple of times. Now whats so remarkable about this suspense and scares is they all almost completely accomplished through simple objects popping out of nowhere like for instance a branch or little kid in a crude Halloween mask, the use of shadows as well as the atmosphere also made large contributions to the suspense and horror. Interesting enough that demon you see in the poster only makes like two actual physical appearances in the entire movie, yet you don't really notice it and it seems like its there throughout the whole movie,now that's masterful filmmakeing if you ask me. Anyways when you see the demon its pretty freaking cool, the special effects were great and very memorable. The creature design its self is very cool and medieval looking. Not to mention this movie has a really chilling and freaky seance scene, that was extremely well acted.

             This movie was directed by Jacques Tourneur who had previously done directing some work for Val Lewton with such movies as I Walked With A Zombie and Cat People. His style used in thouse movies is clearly reflected into this movie. Heck there's even a "Leopard" attack in this movie which was obvious brush off from Cat People. The Screenplay was written by Charles Bennett who had written for Alfred Hitchcock a number of times with films such as The 39 Steps and The Man Who Knew Too Much; which happen to be two of my favorite Hitchcock films. Now when you combine two high class people like Tourneur and Bennett its no surprise to why this movie was so good and a guaranteed classic.
            After I got through watching this I started to think to myself has this ever been remade? There would be absolutely no reason to remake this, but still I was curious to see if id been done yet. Come to find out it hasn't been remade but Sam Raimi was really trying to remake it but couldn't secure the rights to it so instead he made a movie that borrowed very heavily from it that movie is called Drag Me To Hell. Now Drag Me To Hell is a very good modern horror film in my opinion but it does borrow many elements from Curse Of The Demon such as the passing of the demons curse through something as simple as a piece of paper or button, and how the demons curse would take effect after three days, to just to name a couple. Also I can see the influence this movie has had on Raimi`s earlier work such as The Evil Dead.

            Altogether I really did enjoy this movie a lot. it`s a very unique horror film and is without a doubt years ahead of its time. Its masterfully directed and has more then enough chills and suspense. As well as a outstanding cast. Overall its simply a perfect movie especially for Halloween time.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dracula's Daughter (1936)

Genre: Vampire

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: B-

   This movie has some pretty good things going on in it, and is very well directed. Unfortunately though I have to admit it isn't nearly as good as it could have been. Also for something supposed to take place directly after the events in Dracula this is a really inconstant sequel.

       This movie is supposed to take pick up right were Dracula ended in Carfax Abbey were Dracula's killed by Van Helsing, for the most part yes it does this like the dead body of Reinfield is at the bottom of the stairs and Van Helsing has just got done killing Dracula, well looks like the police show up and arrest Van Helsing for murder and put the body of Dracula in some station were Dracula's Daughter comes and steals it. First off two things it seems like ever character from Dracula is disregarded, for example when the police ask Van Helsing who can prove that Dracula was an undead vampire he says no one. Um wait what about Jonathan Harker and Mina Harker, or Dr.Seward or even that one caretaker from Sewards Asylum who saw Dracula and had to take care of Reinfield? Nope I guess they are disregarded now and Van Helsing is on his own, or in this case they change his name from Van Helsing to "Von" Helsing. There was absolutely no reason for that change and its never even mentioned why that was even necessary to do.
          Anyhow the rest of the movie consists of Dracula's daughter trying to get a doctor Van Helsing called upon to help him, to cure her of her vampireism all the while stalking and killing victims in the dark London fog. Not a horrible idea, but the ending were the main character chases her back to Transylvania to kill her and save his love interest is unfortunately very anti climatic and a rather abrupt ending. Now its not all bad, this movie has great production value its got some really good sets that looked awesome in B&W, then the actors weren't bad either Gloria Holden put on a very errie performance as Dracula's daughter and Edward Van Sloan was great as usual in the part of Van Helsing.

             I have actual heard that at one time Bela Lugosi was supposed to be in this and James Whale was set to direct this movie, except with a different screenplay. I guess stuff happened and obviously neither of those happened leaving the world to forever wonder how this movie could have been. Interesting enough I just learned that a lot of this movie is based off of Bram Stockers book or technically deleated section of his book Dracula called Dracula's Guest which after pointed out I clearly see the resemblance. Overall this movies not bad and is decent atmospheric horror film, its just not a very good sequel to Dracula and is sadly an just an overall average film.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Changeling (1980)

Genre: Haunted House

Source: TV (channel IFC)

Grade: A

         The first thing I thought when this movie was over was "why the heck don`t more people know about it"? I really can`t understand why this movie is as underrated and overlooked as it. This is an outstanding Haunted House movie with a plot that kept me interested and on the edge of seat. Some very suspenseful and scary scenes and not mention a outstanding cast. That has one of my favorite actors of all time playing the main character George C.Scott.

       Now for regards to the story this movie takes a slightly different approach to the Haunted House genre. By rather then being like say The Haunting or The Legend Of Hell House were everyone knows the house is haunted and why,and its all about surviving the night. The Changeling makes it so no one really seems to notice its haunted or even know why, so ends up obsessing the main character to finding out why its haunted and how to end it. When they reach the climax and you find out why the house is haunted its quite surprising and a little disturbing.
        Then like I said earlier the cast is magnificent! George C.Scott plays the main Character John  Russel, he portrays this character so good and makes him a very sympathetic character. Melvyn Douglas a veteran of the golden age of Hollywood has a more significantly then expected role in this movie. He`s a actor who I most remember for playing the hero in the 1932 horror movie The Vampire Bat, and now to see him much older and playing an antagonist was on its own a very interesting. This was also sadly to be one of his last movies to.
          Despite this movie being overlooked in my opinion its definitely not forgotten. I noticed a lot of scenes and ideas that have been "borrowed" in other movies such as the creepy seance scene was very similar to the one from this years Insidious and the frequent use of POV from the Ghost was something that's been used like wise in The Evil Dead. Stephan King has regarded this movie as being one of his favorite ghost movies and considers it to be more of a horror movie then The Haunting. Even Martin Scorsese has high regards for this movie, he even put it on his list of the 11 most scariest movies of all time.

         True this movies not the best movie in the world, but its definitely one of the best Haunted House movies i`ve seen in quite sometime. It offers some good concepts and ideas that make it stand out compared to other Haunted House and Ghost movies. The cast is great and George C. Scott is awesome, as usual. As well as a great appearance from Melvyn Douglas. So overall even if your not into all the ghost movies i`d still definitely reccomend this because its much more then just a ghost movie.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Morlocks (2011)

Genre: Monster, Time Travel

Source: Syfy Channel

Grade: C-

          You know I can`t believe this movies been out for three weeks and still not one poster! Usually Syfy channel is prompt with there poster as well as making some of the best poster designs i`ve ever seen (sad the movies aren't as awesome as there posters). Anyways in regards to reviewing this made for TV movie i`m a little unsure of which angle to go from. First of all its a kinda sorta sequel/prequel to the H.G Wells novel The Time Machine. Then on the other hand its so distant from its source material that it becomes its own thing which in this movies case is nothing more then a bad episode of Primeval. On top of that the movies a complete mess. Which is such a shame since this was a Syfy channel movie I was really looking forward to, because it had such potential as well as having one of my favorite actors Robert Picardo in it.

            I suppose I should start off by explaining how and when this movie ties in with the Time Machine. Well first off this movies supposed to explain how the Morlocks in the Time Machine came to be and how they ultimately destroyed humanity. Even though anyone with the slightest knowledge of the story of The Time Machine knows that the Morlocks were mutated humans who had lived underground for thousands of years and in order for them to survive they had to feed off the humans who lived on the surface called the Eloi. Who basically served as cattle for the Morlocks. This is completely disregarded in movie and is replaced with instead by a with the whole "secret government project plot" were the governments got there own time machine (which reminds me of something from Stargate SG-1 rather then a time machine) and then of course the government breaks the time machine, which allows Morlocks to randomly go through and wreck havoc on the base. In response the government tracks down the inventor of the time machine and enlists him to go to the future to fix it because for whatever reason you had to go to the future to fix it.
           You know at first I thought this movie was going to go with the whole "the future caused future by going back and screwing up the past" kinda deal like in Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes. Instead they go with the concept that the Morlocks were accidently created  by doctors looking for a cure for cancer or something I can`t remember, but that really isn't explained clearly until the very end. Through out the movie there were a few allusions to the novel but they were pretty scarce and some might have not even been intentional. For example the entire government project is called Project Eloi an obvious allusion to the Eloi of the novel. The main character is also a author of a book regarding time travel; possible a reference to to H.G Wells? Other then that their were no other noticeable connections to the book or either movie adaptation.
            As far as action goes this was so-so, I will admit there were a couple bloodier then expected scenes for a TV movie especially. When the Morlocks attack people they're fairly brutal and bloodier then expected. Unfortunately the filmmakers decided  to make their own version of how the Morlocks look. To me they just looked like the vampire monsters from Priest and a terrible CGI version at that. My favorite film version of the Morlocks has always been the ones from the 1960 version by George Pal, those Morlocks looked so awesome. 2011s Morlocks is just cheap and crappy CGI .

          Sadly this Syfy channel movie ends up being yet another one that had a great concept and could have been awesome but instead fails and ends up being a complete disappoint. The reason to blame for Morlocks could be the budget, the cheaply written screenplay, and the awful CGI. At least though Morlocks has a few redeeming factors like a good performance from Robert Picardo, some kinda cool morlock attacks, and it never got truly boring like Mongolian Death Worm did for instance. Overall not that great of a movie and I can`t really recommend this for anyone to go out of there way to watch.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Frankenstein my #1 Favorite Monster

This October all month I am going to be showcasing my favorite monster`s of all time. Today I decided to go with my favorite monster Frankenstein, to me Frankenstein has been a icon to me since before I can even remember; I have read the outstanding novel by Mary Shelly twice and have seen almost all the movie adaptations. Naturally my favorite is the 30s version with Boris Karloff and directed by James Whale. Which brings to mind a conversation I had earlier this month with a friend of mine; we were both came to the conclusion that without James Whale and his phenomenal movie adaptation, Frankenstein simply would`t be what he is today. Whales movie definitely strayed  from the novel quite drastically in many areas and is almost completely its own thing but yet its still the perfect Frankenstein movie. As well as Karloff being the perfect Frankenstein monster, even though the way he looks in the movie is quite different from how the novel describes him, he is still the immortal image of Frankenstein. Universal then made some squeals to this movie starting with Bride Of Frankenstein which some people have argued to being better then the first, for me i`m not to sure if I completely agree with that, but I do agree its a timeless classic and is a movie that has so much to offer. Son Of Frankenstein was the first Frankenstein movie that didn't have James Whale as director and was the last appearance of Boris Karloff as the monster. On the other hand this movie is just as awesome the first two, you have an all star cast of Bela Lugosi, Basil Rathbone, and Lionel Atwill all at there best; as well as the introduction of some of the best and most well known Frankenstein characters like Ygor and Krogh the crazy police chief with the fake arm. This movie was also the longest of the series at 1hr 40mins.
          Ghost Of Frankenstein on the other hand has a great cast and some good ideas but just can`t even come close enough for me to being as good as the first three movies. Lon Chaney jr was good a Frankenstein and Cedric Hardwicke is at one of his best performances here, yet this movie sadly falls short of my expectations for some reason. Now on the other hand House Of Frankenstein is simply amazing! I am welling say I like even better then Son Of Frankenstein, and ever time I watch this movie it gets better and better. Its ultimate monster mash, you have Dracula, Frankenstein, the Wolf Man, the mad scientist (played by Boris Karloff) and of course his evil hunchbacked assistant Daniel. The best word to describe this movie would be EPIC! Its got almost ever Horror star form that era minus Lugosi unfortunately, instead John Carradine plays Dracula. Which despite all the crap people give about him being Dracula I think he was great, of course he was not as good as Lugosi or as evil as Christopher Lee; but he has his place. Alright enough about Dracula for now, back to Frankenstein. He comes back one last time in the disappointing squeal House Of Dracula, were hes supposedly killed for good. Oh I haven't forgot Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man I saved it for last because its sort of a blend of both movies and is sort of more of a squeal to the Wolf Man then Frankenstein because it picks up right from the events of the Wolf Man. Anyways in this one Lugosi plays Frankenstein and pretty darn good if you ask me. Though originally he was supposed to speak but in the final cut the monster remains incapable of speech.

       The monster pretty much remained dormant after House Of Dracula, with the exception of a couple low budget takes such as I Was A Teenage Frankenstein and Frankenstein 1970. Well for me I love Frankenstein 1970, you have Boris Karloff himself in the role of Victor Frankenstein`s grandson who`s disfigured from being tortured by Nazi`s and absolutely insane and the films climax and ending was a respectful nod at the original Universal movies. I will say the monster doesn't look all that great but you could probably blame that on the budget.
          But once you get to 1957 you get Hammers absolutely amazing adaptation of the novel, Curse Of Frankenstein. This is nothing like the Universal movie at all, for instance it focus more on the scientist Victor Frankenstein rather then on the monster, Its also a lot more bloody then universals, and in the way the monster looked was much more in the style of the novel. I`ve heard it argued that its closer to the novel the Universal version, all I have to say is maybe thats true; but this strays pretty far from the novel to (not that i`m complaining). Peter Cushing is awesome as the Victor Frankenstein unlike Colin Clive, Cushing is super evil and won't let anyone stand in his way but you know what oddly he`s still a very sympathetic character. Then Christopher Lee is great as the monster he looks much more like how Mary Shelly would have imagined him.
         Curse was almost admittedly followed up by a very good sequel Revenge Of Frankenstein, which I have noticed ever time I watch it I appreciate it more. Its got such a good scenario and has unique atmosphere to it. Now I have to admit I haven't seen The Evil Of Frankenstein yet.Though from what i`ve heard it doesn't really fit in with the series and is sort of its own thing. I have on the other hand seen Frankenstein Created Women which I did not have much expectations for but after I finished watching it was completely blown away by it. Its just so good in the way it delivers itself, and Cushing gives his character a larger then life fell to him. Created  Women is probably Hammers closes thing to Bride Of Frankenstein but that`s of course debatable.
          The follow up to Created Women was Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. This follow-up is described by many including its director Terrance Fisher to be the best of the series. I personal don`t agree with that but hey this movies still great. Its probably one of the darker Frankenstein movies but since i`ve only seen it once I can`t really say to much on it, other then its pretty good of course and that I wasn't too big of a fan in the monster this time. Finally you have Hammers conclusion to there series Frankenstein And The Monster From Hell, unfortunately I still haven't seen this one but believe me I really want to! One thing I have heard about it though is the monster looks like a shaved gorilla. Also i`m pretty sure its the only one in the series that's actually rated R, which that alone makes me very curious to check it out.

         Altogether Frankenstein is my favorite monster, despite all the many adaptions and film  appearance`s he`s still a icon that will never get old for me. he`s been in some amazing movies and he`s had some not so amazing movies such as Kenneth Branagh`s 1994 Mary Shelly`s Frankenstein which boasts as being the most true to the book, that may be true but hell it still strays from the book quite a bit and has some really stupid additions and is an altogether weak and forgettable movie. Despite all that it never even taints the Frankenstein name and he remains the king of all Monsters.

Now as usual I just have to add a picture from a cartoon I grew up on .

Friday, September 30, 2011

Prince Of Darkness (1987)

Genre: Supernatural

Source: Netflix Instant Que

Grade: C

To bad I had such high hopes for this movie, its considered by some people to be among his best, i`ve even heard one person state that it was the last "real" John Carpenter movie(I viciously oppose that statement though because I thought 1988s They Live was a awesome movie and one of Carpenters all time best) . Then trailer looked awesome, and it even had Donald Pleasence as one of the main characters. I mean what could possible go wrong?! Well unfortunately a lot, first off I felt the whole movie was a bit sluggish in pace and yet didn't really cover some things that thoroughly. Then I didn't feel the atmosphere was as good as some of his other work. Though I do give it to Mr.Carpenter the soundtrack he composed for this movie was very good, it was eerie and just all around a perfect score.

         Now the films plot is very intriguing and smart; thus the main reason I was super excited to finally watch this movie. The story's about a research team who has to investigate a mysterious cylinder that`s kept in a church and if opened could mean the end of the world, cause like the son of Satan is being kept prisoner there. Sadly I just don't feel they lived up to the awesome plot, instead it felt either to rushed or to slow.Though I will say there were a couple redeeming factors in the movie, like some very gross kills, and all the creepy homeless people that pretty much siege the church, plus I will admit the ending was quite climatic. But overall despite 2 or 3 scary sequences this movie failed to be anywhere nearly as scary as some of Carpenters other work.

      I did like the assembled cast especially Donald Pleasence, whose role was the priest appointed by Vatican to guard the evil cylinder. His performance was quite memorable to say the least. Then Victor Wong (who`d previously been in Carpenters Big Trouble In Little China) was surprisingly great as the intellectual and skeptical Prof.Howard Birack. The only weird cast decision for me was Jameson Parker who i`m guessing was supposed to be like a young hip collage student but honestly to me he looked more like a one of those 40 year old`s who still hangs around the community collage. Not that i`m complaining about his performance he was great in that sense.
I think i`d have to say though the best thing in this movie overall was the soundtrack that John Carpenter composed himself for this movie. It sounded like something he`d compose but way more eerie then some of his other stuff. The soundtrack was just simply a perfect fit for the movie.

        Prince Of Darkness is not a bad movie, but to me its just not his best and far inferior to a lot of his other work. Other than an excellent soundtrack, a pretty cool plot, and a awesome performance from Donald Pleasence. I just can`t think of any other really pressing reasons to recommend this movie to anyone other then John Carpenter fans. Because this movies simply just average.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Yeti (2008)

Genre: Horror, Monster

Source: TV (Syfy Channel)

Grade: C+

       How is Yeti compared to Syfy channels other earlier Bigfoot/Yeti Horror movie Abominable, you might ask? Well the answers is Yeti is a far inferior movie in just about every way. Now on the other hand when you compare this to other Syfy channel movies, this one is really not to bad.
         The movies story isn't to bad either, its basically about this plane carrying a collage football team to Japan ends up crashing in the middle of the Himalayas, forcing the survivors to fight off both starvation and a very mean Yeti. Now honestly the thing that bothered me most about this movie was the Yeti was treated as more of a subplot and the main plot being the group of collage kids constantly arguing about everything. Seriously though the Yeti doesn't make a full on attack till around the last 20 minutes of the movie. The rest is mainly the stereotypical teen horror characters all just arguing about everything from what to eat, were to get food, how to find help, etc. Ah it seriously did get a bit tiresome, at least though the climatic ending was both thrilling as well as bloody, mixed in with a few plot surprises.

         The Yeti looked OK, it didn't look horrible but I just cant get myself to say it looked awesome. Though I really truly do appreciate the fact that the Yeti was done through make-up and not CGI, though there are a few noticeable scenes were the Yeti`s either jumping or running that were done in CGI but that's about it. Which brings me to the point of why did they give the yeti the ability to like jump a mile in one leap? It looked ridiculous and completely ruined the moment for me! But when the Yeti actually kills somebody its pretty bloody, though when the Yeti rips off this one guys arm and starts beating him with it was a little too over the top in my opinion.  In regards to the cast, for a low budget Syfy Channel original movie the acting was half bad. Only thing was they all acted like stereotypical horror movie teens, which also means that character development was pretty much nonexistent.

         Overall this Syfy channel original movie is one of the few which lands smack in the middle. Its not anywhere as bad some of the crap i`ve seen on Syfy Channel like Mongolian Death Worms and The Beast Of Bray Road, but on the other hand its not on par with some of the really good stuff Syfy Channels released like Abominable, Kaw, and Hammer Of The Gods. Now in comparison to other Bigfoot/Yeti movies i`d rank  this one as one of the better ones of them. Bottom line if your into these types of Horror movies by all means check it out, other wise you will probably not appreciate it very much.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Wasp Woman (1959)

Genre: Horror, Mad Scientist, Monster

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: B-

I went into watching this movie with very low expectations, I thought it was going to be another slow moving, cheap monster movie were the monster doesn't even show up till the last 5 mins of the movie. Thankfully though that wasn't the case with The Wasp Women. Instead this movie turned out to be a decent monster movie, and another worthy effort from Roger Corman.
     Of course this is not one of Corman`s top movie`s, but it is very far from being one of his worst. Its story is pretty straight forward, were a once beautiful owner of a cosmetics company is aging and becoming not as beautiful as she once was. So naturally she enlists the help of a washed up old scientist played by Michael Mark, who has found a way to persevere youth through a formula based upon queen bee secretions. Unfortunately though when he try's this on her she transforms into a human wasp that preys upon its victims at night (an unfortunate side effect).
         Though unlike what its poster leads you to believe, the monster isn't a wasp with a human its actual the opposite she has a human body but a wasp head and "hands", to make something like that in the poster would have required a lot of money that they did not have.  When she does kill people its pretty cool and they actually had more blood then I thought they were going to have. But that's not saying a lot cause I didn't think there was going to be any blood. Then there was cast, which was actually very well assembled with the beautiful Susan Cabot as the wasp woman, unfortunately this was to be her last role in a movie. From what I read she went through some abuse in this movie! Of course it was all unintended but still getting hit in the head with a glass bottle, almost suffocating  in her mask when someone put too much liquid smoke on it, and then she even got some skin on her face ripped off when they took the mask off too fast! Oh well despite all that she put in a very good performance. As for everyone else they were pretty good and played all there roles straight.

     Well overall The Wasp Woman is a good little late 50s "mad scientist creates a monster by accident" type movie. One interesting fact I found out after I watched this was one of my favorite directors Jack Hill did a uncredited directing job on this movie, he directed the films prologue were Michael Marks character gets fired from the scientific community and I guess that part was filmed after the movie was released to. Then I guess there's a remake of this that came out in 1995, i`d be curious to check it out except I have my doubts as to how much resemblance it bears to this movie and all the negative things i`ve read on the remake don`t help either. Regardless of all that, this movie is cool movie that I can definitely recommend to Roger Corman fans as well as classic horror movie fans and even if you don`t end up liking it its only 73 mins long so it`s not like you wasted a lot of your time.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hands of the Ripper (1971)

Genre: Horror, Serial Killer

Source: Netflix Instant View

Grade: B+

Ever since I first heard about the Jack the Ripper cases I have been completely fascinated by it and have made a point of watching ever movie and documentary about him. As well as reading ever book I can get my hands on about him. Anyway`s that being said Hands of the Ripper is not truly a straight up account of Jack The Ripper like I thought it was going to be, but rather he`s more of a subplot. This movie is actually much more about Jacks daughter who at a very young age witnessed her mother get brutally murdered by her father Jack The Ripper, now fifteen years later she`s an extremely emotionally disturbed girl whose seemingly possessed now by her father which causes her now to do these brutal murders while in a trance.
     As you can see they took a unique spin on Jack the Ripper and to my relief it turned out very good. One thing I noticed that really impressed me was how they took this one cliché and made like they were going to follow this cliché but then to my surprise they went in a totally opposite direction ending the movie in a way I wasn't expecting. I would tell you what happened but it would completely spoil a few things, so your just going to have to go see it your self.
          Another thing I truly loved was the very authentic looking set design. It thoroughly looks like grimy gloomy Victorian era London. Which in my personal opinion is one of the best settings for a horror movie. Also this is also due to the great direction of Peter Sasdy, whose by far one of my favourite directors from Hammer Studio. He definitely captured the right atmosphere and mood for this movie. One thing though about this movie though is since it was rated R but there wasn't as much nudity or violence as I thought there would be. Infact I don`t remember any nudity at all, but even though there's not a lot of violence but when there is violence its very graphic and gross, (example; a prostitute trys to cover her eyes with her hand but the killer put`s the needles straight into her eyes with gross sound effects and plenty of blood)

          Overall I very much enjoyed this little lesser known Hammer horror movie from the early 70s. It had a great cast who all played there roles very well, especially Eric Porter who played the psychiatrist. It was very well directed and the violence was very satisfying, especially since they didn't go to over the top with it. So i`d definitely recommend this to any fans of Hammer Horror who haven`t seen this movie already or to someone looking for a unique twist on Jack The Ripper. The only ones I can`t really recommend this to are people who hate sad endings, cause this movie has anything but a happy ending.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Abominable (2005)

Genre: Horror,Monster

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: A+

Without a doubt this the greatest Syfy channel original movie I have ever seen. As well as being one of the best Bigfoot/Yeti horror movie`s ever made. But what's just really great about this movie was is just how everything is so well done for a low-budget horror film, and you can just tell everone had a great time making this movie. Which in the end result really makes a difference quality wise.

    Beginning with the movie`s story, the best way to really describe it is its Hitchcocks Rear Window except with Bigfoot. The story also flows at a good pace and is never slow or boring. As for the characters there's quite a few unique and interesting characters that we get to follow. Such as our main character who`s a paraplegic mountain climber (hence one of the reasons why I compare this to Rear Window), then there's his dick headed male nurse who`s anything but comforting for our main character, and then it there's this odd store-owner who`s on oxygen yet at the same time he`s a chain smoker, his character is pretty much the bigfoot expert of the movie to. As well as providing much of the comic relief.
          Now the monster was awesome! They made this bigfoot incredibly ugly and nasty looking. But best of all the bigfoot is the traditional guy in the costume, not some awful CGI abomination! Which I tell you what makes all the difference in quality alone. Then the way the bigfoot goes about killing everyone was brutal and very bloody. I think my favourite kill was when this one guy gets his face bitten clean off, that was grotesque. There  are of course plenty of other great kills in this movie, which let me put it this way, proves that this movie was well deserving of its R rating.
         The films cast was also really good to. There were some pretty notable cult icons in this movie such as Dee Wallace who had role at the very beginning of the movie, Gance Henriksen who has a funny role as the town sheriff, and Jeffrey Combs  from Re-Animator even has a role. The actors who I wasn`t familiar with were also very good. There was just none of that uninterested and awful acting that's usually associated with Syfy channel original movie`s.

       In all this is just an outstanding horror movie that succeeds in providing both genuine scary`s and suspense as well having some hilarious humour occasionally thrown in there.The special features were great and very fun to watch, the making-of feature was very interesting and informative to watch, and of course the bloopers, deleted scenes, and story board gallery were all fun to watch. Then there was this superb short film in the features called Shadows, this was a surprisingly remarkable little movie that was very well made. Anyway`s yes I have to say i`d highly recommend this little horror film to any horror movie fan and it currently holds position as my all time favourite Syfy channel original horror movie, (KAW is a close second though).
Now before I end this review I feel obligated to thank my friend Matt for convincing me to buy this DVD at Big Lots for three dollars, by far the best three dollars i`ve spent in quite sometime.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mongolian Death Worm (2010)

Genre: Horror,Monster

Source: TV (Syfy Channel )

Grade: D+

Wow,were do I even begin with this. Well I suppose I start off by saying the movie`s poster is 1000x better then the movie itself. On top of that I was just sorely let down by the movie, I thought this Syfy channel original movie had potential at being on of the good ones like Abominable and Kaw, but no sadly this is a huge disappointment and an incredibly weak movie overall.
        Now for everyone who doesn't know this, the Mongolian Death Worm is a actual supposedly possibly real monster and there actual sightings of these. Its in a way the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot of Mongolia. Infact the first time I had actually heard of these was in an episode of Destination Truth were they went looking for these. Now with that being said this movie bears little resemblance to the traditional legends of these Death Worms. In this the Death Worms are like sacred guardians of Genghis Khans tomb and have been disturbed by a oil drilling company, leading the things to naturally go on a killing spree. OK so not a terrible plot, unfortunately they don`t take make advantage of it and instead seem to try and incorporate a bunch of pointless subplots that do nothing more than give this movie the appearance that they were trying to hard to do too much with there obviously small budget. Also all it led to were noticeable plot inconstancies. 
      One thing I noticed right away though was this movie`s supposed  to take place in Mongolia, and I already know for a fact the only place the Death Worm lives is in the Gobi Desert of Mongolia. Which in fact is one of the most desolate places in the whole world. BUT according to this movie it looks just like the lush country side of Texas, and I guess according to this movie all Mongolian`s speak perfect English, and I guess the police there wear cowboy boots, jeans, and cowboy hats? So obviously this movie did not feel like incorporating an authentic view Mongolia and its culture.
         The Death Worms themselves were passable at least. They looked kinda cool and didn't have that terrible CGI look that so many of these movie`s have. Though one thing I noted during this movie was the Worms roar? I mean could worms even roar if they wanted to? Oh, and a heads up they are not nearly as big as they look on the poster.
       As for the acting its pretty dreadfully bad. With the exception of maybe Sean Patrick Flanery who to me seemed like he putting his all in to this movie, but sadly that couldn't even save this movie. I did read though from the accounts of some people who played extras in this movie that Flanery was being sort of a baby during the production of this movie. He was supposedly like making really big deals out of little things such as them not having a certain ice cream flavour on set. But in his defence I read that this was filmed in 105 degree weather, so yeah i`d probably be cranky to. As for the rest of the cast they hardly even showed any effort so i`m not even going to go into that.
         To sum this movie up its pretty bad and such a disappointment. I actually really wanted to like this movie to, it had an actor who I actually liked in it, a cool looking monster, and a basic synopsis that sounded promising. Its a shame none of these were able to hold up and the movie ending up being really cheesy and flat out bad. Stuff like roaring worms, a Mongolia that  looks like Texas, bad subplots, and a strange lack of scenes that actually even have the Death Worms, are what makes this movie one that I find very hard to even recommend to anyone, unless of course your looking for a good laugh.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Tomb (1986)

Genre: Horror,Mummy

Source: Netflix Instant View

Grade: F

 I really enjoyed John Carradines lengthier then expected cameo appearance and I thought the music selected for the soundtrack was amusing. Well there you have it thouse are the only good things I can say about this piece of no budget crap of  a movie.

      Its not only just  a really lame and ridiculous movie, its a complete cheap cash off of Indiana Jones, any mummy movie ever made, and just about almost ever thing that that was popular from that era. Also the story really reminded me of the novel "The Jewel Of Seven Stars" by Bram Stocker. Well come to find out it was they just gave Mr.Stocker no credit. Which is probably best because they basically raped the story for all it was worth. Also this was just one of those movies that as soon as the intro started I knew this was gonna really suck, it starts off with a weird Indiana Jones style thing, gun fights included. Except unlike Indiana Jones this was dumb, I just want to know how 5 Arab thugs could fit into a two person plane? Which is another thing the first part of the movie`s supposed to be like in Egypt I think, only its super obvious it was filmed in like Joshua Tree California. Because i`m a little hazy on the abundance of Joshua Trees the Egyptian desert has but according to this movie they are all over the freaking place.

   Aside from all that the second part of the movie`s no better if not worse. All this leads up to one of the worst climax's I have ever seen. The climax was incredibly random and didn't even make very much sense. Of course by then i`d long sense given up on the movie. The "mummy" itself was not the traditional shrouded kind of mummy like in many of the Universal mummy movie`s. This mummy was a female mummy (who did not look at all Egyptian and spoke perfect English) who wore no shrouds and was more of a resemblance to Hammers mummy in Blood of the Mummys Tomb. One thing that bothered me about this mummy was she didn't even really have mummy characteristics instead it was more of a vampire thing she had going on. She had like vampire fangs and she drank blood of the living to maintain her youthful look.
    The actress who portrayed the mummy was awful to. Her performance was absolutely indescribable in terribleness.On a more positive note John Carradine had a much more lengthy cameo appearance then I was expecting. He plays an expert in Egyptology and who are main characters go to seeking information. In all he has about eight minutes total of screen time.

    To sum it all up this movies absolutely horrendous. Only things even remotely good were its short running time its only one hour and twenty four minutes long thankfully I didn't have to suffer too long at least. The music is like I said amused to say the least, not good but amusing and then of course the John Carradine cameo was nice. Besides all of that its nothing but rip-off`s of other movie`s, terrible acting, random idiotic happenings  and a very lame mummy. I truly could not be more disappointed in this movie.

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Evictors (1979)

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Based on a True Story

Source: Netflix Instant View

Grade: A

You know what, I really love it when I sit down to watch a movie thinking its either going to be really bad or mabe be just alright, but by the time i`m finished as with The Evictors I end up truly loving the movie. Far and away exceeding my expectations. Yes I truly enjoyed this movie it had genuine suspense sequences, some pretty scary scenes that made me jump, and an overall great job in direction by its notorious director Charles B. Pierce (dir of the legend of boggy creek).

  The films story is basically about a young couple in Louisiana who rent a house in a small town but are stalked and attacked by its former in inhabitants who have killed everyone who have lived in their house since they got evicted. A bit like the movie Cold Creek Manor, except better and more realistic. There are also about three twists at the end of the movie. One of them I actually predicted , but the other two I did not really see coming. Then like I said earlier there are a lot of at the edge of your seat suspense sequences. There were a lot of scenes that everything would appear normal but I would know in my mind something bad was going to happen, just when was the question. Yes, a lot of that kind of suspense. Also when the antagonist does appear its always in some freaky way that would make me jump in surprise.

      Another thing i`d like to compliment about the movie is the style of directing Charles B. Pierce used, It gave the movie the feel and suspense it needed. I also appreciated how he made all the flash back sequences in the colour sepia, giving it a good 1920s and 30s look/feel. The movie is supposed to take place in the 40s, which I feel he succeed in giving it a genuine 40s look, I say that mostly because sometimes i`ll watch these and it will look like say the 80s when its supposed to take place in the 40s or 30s.

     Anyhow to wrap this up i`m going to have to say this is a great horror movie that I can recommend to almost any horror fan. It`s got great suspense sequences and the pacing of the film is perfect, its never to slow or boring. The costumes and set design is detailed and well done which helps the movie achieve its atmosphere Finally Charles B.Pierce is simply at his best here, it makes me really want to watch his other movie he made The Town That Dreaded Sundown. So altogether its a great movie that completely surprised me, and is now one of my favourite 70s horror movie`s.