★ out of ★★★★★ It looks like a horror film. It acts like a horror film. It’s directed by cinema great and heir to the Hitchcock throne. Its promotional materials portend horror is just around the corner. But don’t be fooled, this super-star-packed 1970s telekinetic hype machine is nothing but a boring and unnecessarily long after-school special.
Tag Archive for ‘horror film’
Mike’s Review: Army of the Dead (2021)
★★ out of ★★★★★ Gone are the days of Bub from Day of the Dead. Gone are the days of the zombie nurse, the fat guy, and the Hare Krishna from Dawn of the Dead. Gone are the half-dogs and headless zombies from Return of the Living Dead. Most importantly, gone is a fun but serious dissection of societal woes and man’s modern day pitfalls. IInstead we’re now being fed a pile of ghastly super-hero zombies, that shriek like space aliens, set inside a hyper-realized video game construct. It’s a sad state of affairs to be sure. One might even say that the zombie genre has jumped the shark, or in this case the albino zombie tiger.
Trailer Alert! Forever Purge
In light of all the insurrectionist lunacy that we faced in early 2021, it’s an incredible stroke of kismet that the horror gods would be throwing us the Forever Purge in the very same year. But they are.
Mike’s Review: Offseason (2021) (SXSW Festival)
★★.5 out of ★★★★★ Pulling the perfect Lovecraftian film is a feat like no other. It’s been tried again and again. You might even say film makers repeated attempts to crawl inside Mr. Lovecraft’s tortured brain is rife with peril, failure, and madness. Or more to the point, it’s a cursed mission. Many have attempted to bring Lovecraft to the silver screen and most have failed. In the case, of 2021’s Offseason, it’s not so much a failure, but a dull attempt.
Happy Easter Horror Hounds!
This Easter 🐰🐰🐰 you haven’t a hop in hell! Because…here comes Peter Cottonhell! If those aren’t two of the most hackneyed and shoe-horned taglines we don’t know what are. Because Beaster Day is real, it’s coming for you, and we’ve digested more crappy films that anyone should!
Mike’s Review: Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021) (SXSW Festival)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Right around the corner from Horror Street, just next to Parallax View Way, and right near Marathon Man Drive, is a fascinating analog look at the lengths obsessives will go to in feeding their obsessions.
Butcher, Baker, Nightmare Maker (1982)
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★
To describe this film, one must invoke the voice of Bill Hader’s Saturday Night Live character, Stefon. The audience cheers as Stefon slides in from stage right. Hands rise to face. Breathe deep. And release.
Mike’s Review: Grizzly II (2021)
★★ out of ★★★★★ It’s everything you’ve ever wanted! It contains film footage likely derived from 10 different film shoots over the course of nearly 40 years. It’s got Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (Louise Fletcher). It’s got Indiana Jones pal Salah (John Rhys-Davies). It’s got the super crooked hillbilly cop from Rambo, Galt (Jack Starrett). It’s sort of got a couple scenes with a grizzly bear. But just don’t be fooled, there’s not a whole heck of a lot of Charlie Sheen, Laura Dern, and George Clooney.
Mike’s Review: Deadwax (2018)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ It should come as no surprise that record collectors are an awfully weird and obsessive bunch. They perseverate over every possible pressing, color, variation, and vinyl release of individual artists. Their search is endless and somewhat pointless. They fixate on whether to open a sealed copy of a rare record. Most importantly, record collectors won’t stop until their search is complete. Dead or alive.
Trailer Alert! Death Rider in the House of Vampires (2021)
Oh sure, who doesn’t love to revel in the lunacy that is Evil Elvis AKA Glenn Danzig AKA the linchpin to the greatest horror punk band of all time, the Misfits. His comics, his music, and his enigmatic approach to life are so fascinating, and easily parodied and barbed, but it’s his film outings that are quite simply …indescribable.
Mike’s Review: Goal of the Dead (2014)
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ One medium with possibly more sub-genres than horror is futbol, AKA, football, AKA soccer. There’s so many villains, tales, rivalries, and subtext to the beautiful game. Much like horror its a bottomless barrel of impossible possibilities. The other medium with more sub-genres than futbol and horror? Zombies.
Mike’s Review: Images (1972)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ When true film auteurs wander outside of their staid and classical lines and in to the horror genre there’s always the potential for some serious magic. Kubrick with the Shining, Freidkin with the Exorcist, Spielberg with Jaws, and even Danny Boyle with 28 Days Later. All these major film think-o-logists had a crack at horror and walked away proud at what they had accomplished, or so ashamed at the terror they had brought to the cineplex, they never came back to the genre. One of the greatest film auteurs of all time, Robert Altman, wandered in to horror with aplomb, but sadly his seminal effort has been forgotten in the sands of time.
Mike’s Review: Victim of Love (Another Hole in the Head Festival)
★★1/2 out of ★★★★★ A super stylish and exceptionally well-scored film that’s partially in Danish and partially in English and…wait for it…features a character who’s half Danish and half American.
Mike’s Review: Alive (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Just when you thought the zombie genre had plumb run out of ideas along comes a pretty interesting and pretty inventive take on on a concept that’s…uh…dying.
Mike’s Review: Scare Me (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ How’d you like a little Chekhov with your Texas Chainsaw? A little Edward Albee with your Conjuring? Or even a dash of Ibsen with your Insidious? Sound too good to be true? Well it’s not.
Mike’s Nightstream Review: The Queen of Black Magic (2020)
★★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ In the latest installment of “If you’re not watching Indonesian horror movies, you’re blowing it,” brings us 2020’s The Queen of Black Magic. It’s true. Indonesia is the new incubator for the creepiest crawlies that the horror genre has to offer. Every country has had their day in the sun. The UK plastered us with Hammer and Amicus throughout the 1960s. The US reimagined the genre with slashers and super killers throughout the 1970s and 80s. And Japan brought a whole new slate of water and hair-borne frights in the late 1990s and in to the early 2000s. Now it’s Indonesia time to shine.
Mike’s Nightstream Review: Leap of Faith William Friedkin on the Exorcist (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ There exists that great space in documentaries that take place decades after the event occurred. It’s this beautiful melange of revisionist history, lucid thoughts, purposeful sleepwalking, and repressed memories. All answers are correct and infallible when the documentary is filtered through the iconic lens of a single and thoughtful directorial darling. THE William Friedkin is the ultimate bridge between Hollywood’s glorious beginnings and the revolutionary young guns of the 1970s. It should come as no surprise the Friedkin has some rather insightful things to say about one of the greatest films of the 1970s, possibly the greatest horror film of all time, and in some camps, THE greatest film ever put down on celluloid — the Exorcist.
Mike’s Review: Spiral (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Horror movies really are the ultimate glimpse in to the soul of man. Society’s reflection upon itself. Our most base thoughts, visions, hopes, dreams, and fears all laid bare for the universe to see. The historic period of time is largely irrelevant to the equation, because the result is always the same — man’s continued inhumanity to man.
Mike’s Review: The Pool (2019)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ So close. Not quite. Just about there. One more try. Close but no cigar. You’re right in the ballpark. Just. One. More. Inch. This is the prevailing and effectively repeated trope in the 2019 (U.S. release) Thai film, the Pool.
Movie News: The Vigil Trailer
Blumhouse is back on the scene with a brand new joint that’s guaranteed to give you a mean case of the shivers. Don’t look now, but the Vigil is coming your way on July 31, 2020.
Movie News: Possessor Trailer
Ultraviolent sci-fi? Sign us up! Just when you thought 2020 couldn’t get any weirder, darker, and more complex — along comes Possessor. Directed by Brandon Cronenberg (offspring of THAT David Cronenberg), Possessor allegedly involves some high-falutin corporate espionage, some brain control devices, and a whole lotta’ assassinating.
Mike’s Review: The Beach House (2019)
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★ If you’re not completely freaked out by the current pandemic, the strange and uneven response to the greatest crisis the world’s faced in the modern era, then have we got a film for you! This is not a fun filled family fete at the beach, oh no, The Beach House is a dark and twisted look at our current state of affairs filtered through the very real possibility that the worst is yet to come.
Horror Short: Desert Quarantine (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ “Timely, topical, and terrific.” Well that’s what the Scariest Things Podcast would say if Variety came calling for a pull quote. Joe Burke’s (Four Dogs) brand spanking new horror short Desert Quarantine is a perfect reflection of a perfect reflection of society’s current spate of worry, hate, fear, and confusion.
Mike’s PHFF Review: Uncle Peckerhead (2020)
★★★★ out of ★★★★★ Pulling off a feature length film takes some serious gumption. Pulling off a film that balances impeccable comedic timing, a fully realized soundtrack, empathetic characters, complicated friendships, and a heaping dose of spatter gore — well, that’s a whole different story. Directed by horror short filmmaker Matthew John Lawrence, Uncle Peckerhead hits every single note and simultaneously manages to bang out a gory film that would make Herschell Gordon Lewis blush.
Mike’s Review: Z (2019)
★★★ out of ★★★★★ With an increasing number of horror films eschewing the well-trodden path of gore, gags, and scream queens, there’s always the risk of re-calibrating too far to the other end of the scare spectrum. Over the last 20 years there’s been a trend towards melancholy and family trauma — Shudder calls it parental terror, we’re calling it melancholy horror. Sometimes the quiet and somber affairs work and sometimes they’re just weighty, boring, and devoid of scares. The Shudder original Z certainly ran that risk, but effectively shook itself off the melancholy mantle.
Mike’s Review: Lake Mungo (2008)
★★★★★ out of ★★★★★ There exists this exquisite location somewhere right between a documentary, a dramatization, found footage, a fictionalized accounting of events, and a full on horror show. This venn diagram of a locale is a rather tough place to pinpoint and few films ever wandered there. That was of course until 2008 when Lake Mungo was released.
Mike’s Review: Lights Out (2016)
★★ out of ★★★★★ The tweens are taking over! Hollyweird has handed over the castle keys to a gaggle of focused-grouped 13-year olds. Scary films are now purposely trying to not be scary. All is lost.
Movie News: Extra Ordinary Hits the Streets on March 6
Our universal fav’ film from 2019 gets its official release on March 6! Prepare to laugh, cry, and get 👻 spooked.
Mike’s Review: Dr. Sleep (2019)
★★★.5 out of ★★★★★
Nearly 1,000 pages of creepy thoughts, actions, and psychic happenings were laid out between the Shining and its murderous offspring, Dr. Sleep. It seemed impossible that 1) the Shining would be made in to a film, 2) that Stephen King would be so dissatisfied in one of the true horror greats, 3) that it would deserve a remake, 4) the story would evolve in to a 500 page psychedelic mishmash, and 5) that mishmash would be made in to its own celluloid opus. Seem fantastical? Well it is.
Mike’s Review: Bliss (2019)
🤟🤟out of 🤟🤟🤟🤟🤟
Are you a fan of a) Metal, b) vaguely satanic possessions, c) explicit drug usage, d) nudity, e) lots of blood (read: LOTS), and f) the word FUCK? I mean, sure who isn’t in favor of all these things right? Each has lots to offer. They’re interesting. Taken in small doses they can be a very powerful antidote to a lagging cinematic undertaking. When taken in over-dose-like proportions the gore and bad words take on an underwhelming status.