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.