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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Crucible Of Horror (1970)

Genre: Horror, Psychological

Source: Netflix Instant Que

Grade: A-

 This Small 1970 psychological horror film starring Michael Gough completely caught me off guard in its amazing story and production values. The only thing about this movie I can`t understand is why its still so overlooked and underrated! With  its great cast and awesome story which kept me intrigued and always interested; I cannot see any reason someone would not want to watch this movie.

     Story wise the films about a mother and daughter hatching a scheme to kill their family's domineering and sadistic patriarch (played by Michael Gough). The thing is they think that they kill him when they don`t actually, so in return he gives them extreme psychological torture. In a very Edgar Allan Poe style I must note. I do think the movie had the right atmosphere to, it was of great unease and tension, I could seriously feel it radiating off the screen. The artistic angle taken by the director was also very good, I believe the artistic liberty he went with payed off in the end. Giving the movie a feel in a way it probably wouldn't `t have gotten otherwise.

   Most of all though I must applaud Michael Gough performance in this. He was calm, yet at the same time madly sadistic and unreasonable. I can`t help but feel that this movie would`t be the way it was if it had not been for Michael Gough having the role he did. Now some interesting trivia I found out about this movie was the person who plays his son in this movie was his real life son Simon Gough and his daughter who he abuses so much is played by his real life daughter in law Sharon Gurney.

  So in conclusion I feel Crucible Of Horror or aka The Corpse (as it was originally titled in England) is a phenomenal psychological horror movie. With an outstanding performance from Michael Gough as well as the rest of the relatively small cast. I also must say this movie was well deserving of its R rating there were some pretty sadistic violent nude scenes in this movie that i`m not even going to get into, but those scenes definitely helped give this movie that edgy, uneasy, and tense atmosphere.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Snow Creature (1954)

Genre: Horror, Monster, Yeti

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: C-

I believe the biggest thing this movie has to its name is its the very first movie about a yeti, and that is about it. Other then that this movie is a silly, sometimes slow, and very low budget monster movie. That tried a little to hard to be like King Kong.

    The basic story is not to bad; a expedition in the Himalayas gets sidetracked after the guides wife is kidnapped by a yeti, so the crew catch`s it and brings it to Los Angeles were it of course escapes and wrecks havoc, sound familiar? It seems instead of trying to create it`s own thing this movie tries to cash off King Kong and failed epically in the attempt. Then the films ending was extremely anticlimactic! Which brings me to another thing that annoyed me about this movie, they used the same exact shot of the yeti appearing out of darkness at least ten times throughout the movie, which I suppose you could blame on its extremely low  budget.On top of that the yeti didn't look very cool. I mean just look at the poster what does that even remind you of !? The answer for me is NOT a yeti. But at least the yeti has a very minimal amount of screen time, In fact he`s hardly in it at all, when I think about it. But there are a couple yeti  "attacks" that were super lame and mostly obscured by darkness and shadows. As for the cast of actors in this film most were pretty dang average, and nothing special. Only Paul Langton who played the main character was the only person who put in a minimal amount of effort into his character

 Altogether I really don`t have much to talk about in regards to this movie, other then its the first movie based on a yeti. Though its far from the best movie based on yetis that title goes to the awesome 1957 Hammer horror movie The Abominable Snowman staring Peter Cushing. now that is an incredible movie that outshines this movie in ever way possible. Its just The Snow Creature is a ridiculous movie and try`s to hard to be like movie`s such as  King Kong and Them!, but what I did appreciate about this movie was despite it being stupid I was not bored sure there were a couple painfully slow parts like when they dedicate about 10 mins to an argument regarding if the yeti needs a passport to enter the U.S.A, i`m not kidding and the movie takes this completely seriously. But none the less it was entertaining and I give it credit for that. Unlike that other stupid monster movie I watched PHANTOM FROM 10,000 LEAGUES were it on the other hand was both really stupid and really boring.
   Unless your a fan of really bad cinema or your a Bigfoot/Yeti enthusiast who`s trying to watch ever movie based on Bigfoots and Yetis. I cannot truly recommend this movie to you.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dr.Jeckyll and Mr.Hyde (1920)

Genre: Horror, Mad Scientist

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: B

  To say the least this was a good, unique adaptation of the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. There were just a few things about it that I felt could have been better, but none the less didn`t ruin the movie for me at all.

  Now i`m pretty sure everyone knows the Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde story since they were like seven. So I really have no desire to explain the story, and I can`t really compare this book to the original book because its been about six or seven years since I read it last therefore most of its details have been lost to me. Anyway`s this is also not my favourite Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde movie that one still has to be the 1941 version with Spencer Tracy and directed by Victor Fleming.
    The cast was also very well put together. John Barrymore played both Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde superbly. His interpretation of the character unforgettable. It was hard to believe he was in one scene a upstart Victorian scientist and in another a hunched over, putrid looking monster. But what made me laugh a little was to see John Barrymore here in this very serious terrifying role and then to think that this was the same guy who played the kooky old scientist in the movie The Invisible Women.

    Then the make-up in this movie was incredible! They made Mr.Hyde look very creepy, though one thing I noted during the scene were Mr.Hyde confronts Dr. Jekyll`s girlfriend, this exact scene was used in Rob Zombies Dragula music video. Just thought that was kinda cool. There was this other scene were Mr.Hyde takes over Jekyll`s in the form of a giant hairy disgusting looking spider, and I have to say that was the most terrifying and disturbing scene in the whole movie!

     So all in all this was a fine silent horror movie, even though its not as good as other movie`s from the era such as Nosferatu and The Cabinet Of Doctor Caligari. But it still holds up pretty well despite being a little dated and having a very slow beginning, that thankfully picked up at the end. The Make-Up design was amazing and unforgettable, and to me it was probably the strongest thing in this movie. Also the organ soundtrack was fantastic!! It truly inspired me to get on the ball to pursing my goal to learn how to play the organ. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Carnival Of Souls (1962)

Genre: Horror, Psychological, Ghost

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: A

 I can not tell you how surprised I was at how good this movie actually was! I had had my expectations rather low, but none the less this excellent low-budget horror movie exceeded those expectations by quite a margin.
        Starting with the story, this movie has a great intelligent Ghost story that relies on atmosphere rather then special effects and gore. In a nut shell the movie`s about this girl who gets involved in a drag race with her friends which they end up having there car crash over the side of bridge and sink to the bottom of the deep murky river. Everyone is assumed dead until our main character suddenly emerges from the river alive. As soon as she recovers she leaves the town and goes to another to become and becomes its church organist, only to be stalked and hunted by a mysterious phantom figure and other ghostly apparitions, as well as being endlessly psychologically drawn to an old run down farm carnival at the edge of the town.

    As you might notice the movie`s story is a bit deeper and more psychologically aimed then your average low budget horror movie. Even though upon it`s initial release were it performed quite poorly it has since gained a huge cult following and has inspired countless other filmmakers such as George Romero who said that this movie severed as one of the main inspiration`s for his classic Night Of The Living Dead. Even recently the people behind the excellent horror movie Insidious stated Carnival Of Souls served as a inspiration for them. I also very much loved the ending! Its anything but happy but at the same time it fits the movie perfectly. 

  I also must complement the "Ghost" in this movie`s. They didn`t look like typical ghosts instead they more so reminded me of the zombies from Night Of The Living Dead. With ghostly white faces and dark eye-liner. A frightening and sinister design I must say. On top of that the sets were also superb especially for a low-budget  feature. They were authentic looking and detailed, which mainly is because everything was shot on location in Utah and Kansas. Which ended up to be a smart move by its director Herk Harvey.

   Altogether 1962`s Carnival Of Souls ends up being a superb work of low budget independent filmmaking that far exceeds the normal standards. The movie`s atmosphere is always eerie and creepy, the characters all seem to be well performed by the actors (which is saying a lot since they were pretty much all unknowns). Lastly one thing I purposely didn't cover was the 1998 straight to DVD remake of this movie that was actually produced by Wes Craven. I have not seen it, but I hear its awful and bears little resemblance to this movie. Which is especially sad because at first the star of this movie was trying to get a sequel to this movie to be made but the studio turned her down in favour of making a remake of it instead. To say the least Candace Hilligross was very bitter about it and refused to make a cameo in the remake. Oh well, just thought that was some interesting trivia. Anyways this original movie is outstanding and I would highly recommend it to the serious horror movie fan.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Atom Age Vampire (1960)

Genre: Horror, Mad Scientist, Monster

Source: My Own Collection

Grade: C-

I had heard two very differing opinions on this movie from two online reviews that I really respect and appreciate first one being Brian Collins from Horror Movie A Day who felt that he rather enjoyed this movie and it was a nice little Italian horror movie while on the other hand James Rolf from Cinemassacre flat out said this movie "F ing" sucked. After viewing it myself I feel my feelings on this movie lie some were in the middle though closer to James Rolf`s opinion.

   I had had some pretty high hopes for this movie to, mostly because I loved the poster, the synopsis sounded good, and then just the name was really cool. But alas the movie feel short of my expectations (which were like B- to B range). I am going to start with the positive things positive things I noted about this movie first off the title animation of the bat at the beginning was very cool and creative and got me interested in the movie from its start. Next I really enjoyed the make-up design and work in this. It looked really well done and authentic on both the monster and on the girls scars she gets from the wreck. So very good use of make-up. Finally the movie`s sets were pretty cool especially the mad scientist`s lab, they mad a perfect secret evil looking mad scientist Lab. Also everything else was well designed and looked very authentic.

    Now the bad ...., first of all there`s  no vampire at all like I was hoping for. Instead its really more of a Atom style Dr.Jeckyll and Mr.Hyde kind of deal were a scientist searching for the impossible goes to far and makes himself into a monster. Then I also felt the pace became a tad slow especially towards the end. Plus the edition I have is a cheapie-English dubbed version that gets really bad at some points, but you its still sort of funny.

   Altogether this movie isn`t that great. It`s pretty average with only a couple redeeming values such as it`s monster design and awesome poster. Plus the fact that it gets slow and hard to watch towards the end does not help much, which that plus other things make this movie a bit hard to recommend to people not already familiar with this type of movie.