Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BLACK ROSE (2017)



USA/2017
Directed By: Alexander Nevsky
Written By: Brent Huff, George Saunders
Starring: Alexander Nevsky, Kristanna Loken, Adrian Paul
In Theaters April 28, 2017
VOD and DVD Release Date: May 2, 2017

A serial killer is terrorizing the Russian community of Los Angeles, killing young women and leaving a black rose in their mouth. A Russian police Major is enlisted on loan from Moscow by the LAPD to connect with the locals and solve the murders with his young female partner.


BLACK ROSE was filmed in 2014 and you could say there's a reason that it is just now seeing distribution. It's not that BLACK ROSE is a bad movie but it is painfully familiar. You've seen this movie before under a myriad of titles done better and done worse. Director Alexander Nevsky also stars as the Russian policeman Vladimir Kazatov and after his introductory scene which shows him single handedly stopping a violent bank robbery and hostage situation in Moscow by ramming a truck through the wall and firing off a handful of perfectly placed rounds after his good looks and charm didn't sway the armed robbers into giving themselves up you could call BLACK ROSE a bit of a vanity piece for Nevsky. Nevsky is fine in his role as the no nonsense, hardass Russian stereotype who offers a bit of comic relief when he doesn't understand his partner, competently played by Kristanna Loken, and her typical English phrases. These moments where two cultures clashed for comedic relief were easily the most head-bashingly bad moments in the film. I wanted to yell "Look at these two! He doesn't understand her and she thinks his food is gross! Oh my God it's so fucking funny!".


Now, it really isn't Nevsky or Loken that are the problem with the movie, they both play their characters just fine. They have a good chemistry on screen and cringe worthy moments in the writing aside they are an asset to the movie. The writing and overall angle the film takes are its biggest weaknesses. Focusing more on the serial killer would have added an air of darkness and coldness that BLACK ROSE desperately needed. The most interesting thing about serial killer movies is the serial killer and we simply don't spend enough time with him or get in his head at all. The twist is lazy and thrown together and is used in place of better writing with the serial killer character. BLACK ROSE has good performances and that is easily the best part of it, sadly they're within the confines of a movie that doesn't push the boundaries of the hundreds of similarly mediocre straight to video movies it will inevitably be lumped in with.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

PSYCHO COP RETURNS - Vinegar Syndrome Blu-ray Review


USA/1992
Directed By: Adam Rifkin
Written By: Dan Povenmire
Starring: Robert R. Shafer, Barbara Niven, Miles Dougal
Color/85 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Blu-ray/DVD
Limited Slipcover Edition: 1,666 Pieces

The Film
When the original Psycho Cop movie was released in 1989 the slasher film was on life support and Psycho Cop's underwhelming reception did little to help it but in 1992 the genre had one last gasp of air with Psycho Cop's lone sequel, PSYCHO COP RETURNS where Robert R. Shafer reprises his role as Officer Vickers the killer ex-cop who stalks a group of a office workers who have planned an after hours party in their office complex complete with all the booze your liver can't handle and strippers. Why a bunch of grown men need to party in their place of employment instead of at one of their homes or a hotel room or anywhere that would be more comfortable is beyond me but it makes for an interesting slasher film setting.

It doesn't take long for Officer Vickers to make his presence felt at the party, with a gruesome pencil to the eye murder almost as soon as the booze starts flowing. It immediately lets us know that writer Dan Povenmire has written a screenplay that isn't fucking around and that director Adam Rifkin under his Rif Coogan moniker, is going to let loose and show us the goods in this picture. PSYCHO COP RETURNS is a gleefully violent and gory film letting Robert R. Shafer really sink his teeth into the Officer Vickers role and run with it. Shafer comes up with some great one liners and memorable quotes and his charisma sets him apart from the traditional mute stalk and slash villain. Shafer is perfectly campy which fits the tone of the film to a T. The filmmakers understood the movie they were making and in the special features even admitted they weren't expecting it to be nearly as good as it turned out to be but the outcome was a success when you have a cast that is putting their all in to it, a solid script that flows well and a director who understands that he needs to create a fun film. In 1992 there was really no room for dreadfully serious and dead pan slasher movies, but this one proves that the formula could still work if you create something fun and light.


PSYCHO COP RETURNS is precisely that. We may be dealing with grown adults in their late 30s and 40s but this is every bit the exact same movie as the teen summer camp slasher film just replacing the jerky frat boy for a jerky middle aged man and the sexy co-ed who gets hacked up after having sex with someone for a slightly older but no less sexy stripper, including former Penthouse Magazine Pet Of The Month Julie Strain. The tropes and formula are exactly the same but we've traded in our tents for cubicles and dark wooded trails for elevator shafts and it works. Adam Rifkin even gets a bit of social commentary in at the end with a reverse take on the Rodney King beating which is a great scene for the final act of the film.

Perfect it is not but PSYCHO COP RETURNS is a damn entertaining slasher film that makes me upset they didn't role with more sequels for Officer Vickers to appear in. Robert Shafer did sign a contract for five pictures after all...



The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome delivers PSYCHO COP RETURNS on Blu-ray with a rock solid anamorphic widescreen 1.85:1 transfer. Clarity is great with a light and natural grain structure and no DNR or digital noise. Colors are a bit subdued with the intentional look of the film taking place in a dimly lit office building at night so they look as they should. Black levels are deep and show no signs of macroblocking or compression issues. Detail levels are high, even in finer details which makes the gory scenes especially nasty. The English audio is presented with a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Stereo mix that sounds crystal clear and has a nice crisp quality. Levels are mixed perfectly so there's no problems with dialogue or music becoming overpowering. English SDH subtitles are included.


The Extras
-Audio Commentary with Director Adam Rifkin
-"Habeas Corpus" - A 43 minute documentary featuring interviews from the majority of the main cast and crew. This was extremely well done and worth the price of the disc by itself.
-"The Victims Of Vickers" - A 9 minutes featurette with special effects artist Mike Tristano. It's always entertaining to hear how some of the more gruesome moments of these movies are done and this interview is no different.


The Bottom Line
It doesn't matter that the first Psycho Cop film hasn't been released on DVD or Blu-ray because PSYCHO COP RETURNS is a fucking blast. Vinegar Syndrome gives this unsung hero of early 90s horror a home in HD and I'm calling a must own for slasher fans.

PSYCHO COP RETURNS is available HERE

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

COMET TV - APRIL MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 GIVEAWAY

COMET TV IS CELEBRATING MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 THIS MONTH WITH SOME CLASSIC EPISODES AND A GIVEAWAY FILLED WITH AWESOME MST3K THEMED PRIZES! CHECK OUT THE LINEUP AND ENTRY RULES BELOW!

NEW Classic MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000!
13 classic MST3K episodes airing Sundays, starting at 8/7C.
-------------------------------------
On Earth Day, COMET is airing a movie marathon that’s perfectly suited for a planet in peril. But this time, it’s not Earth that’s in trouble — it’s us. Saturday April 22 at 12/11c, we’re bringing you four films where the Earth strikes back. 
PLANET IN PERIL EARTH DAY MARATHON 
SATURDAY APRIL 22 STARTING AT NOON/11AM C
Frogs (1972) 
Saturday April 22 at NOON/11AM C
Die, Monster, Die (1965) 
Saturday April 22 at 2/1C
Empire of the Ants (1977) 
Saturday April 22 at 4/3C
Contamination .7 (1993) 
Saturday April 22 at 6/5C
-------------------------------------
Stargate SG-1 is back on COMET!Your favorite gate-hopping action series returns with back-to-back episodes Monday through Thursday at 8/7C, with encores of both episodes airing at 10/9C. That’s two chances, four times a week, to catch Jack O’Neill and his squad on their adventures across the galaxy. Indeed.
STARGATE SG-1 
MONDAY – THURSDAY 8/7C
-------------------------------------
The Crow (1994) 
Friday April 14 at 6/5C 
Sunday April 23 at 4/3C
The Crow II: City of Angels (1996) 
Friday April 14 at 8/7C 
Saturday April 15 at 8/7C 
Sunday April 23 at 6/5C
Gattaca (1997) 
Friday April 21 at 8/7C 
Saturday April 22 at 8/7C 
Wednesday April 26 at 6/5C 
Sunday April 30 at 4/3C
Cherry 2000 (1988) 
Friday April 28 at 8/7C 
Saturday April 29 at 8/7C

TO ENTER:
US RESIDENTS ONLY (NO PO BOXES)
SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR FULL NAME AND ADDRESS TO: CELLULOIDTERROR@YAHOO.COM
PLEASE TITLE YOUR EMAIL "COMET TV MST3K GIVEAWAY"

Sunday, April 16, 2017

CHUPACABRA TERRITORY - Maltauro Entertainment Blu-ray Review


US/2016
Directed By: Matthew McWilliams
Written By: Matthew McWilliams
Starring: Sarah Nicklin, Michael Reed, Alex Hayek
Color/94 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: April 11, 2017

The Film
Urban legends and mythological creatures such as Bigfoot, The Abominable Snowman, Mothman, and Chupacabra are something I've always had fun thinking about, especially Chupacabra. From the first time I heard about the beast in the mid to late 90s on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries I was hooked. I was young, loved horror and this weird beast that had a spiny back, glowing red eyes and drained the blood of livestock through two tiny puncture wounds totally piqued my curiosity. The Goat Sucker quickly became my favorite mythological beast and for several years there was no shortage of stories and sightings around Puerto Rico and the American south kept the beast in the forefront of my imagination.

Heading in to the 21st century it is no surprise that movies involving the creature began to get produced but sadly these films generally lacked any sort of quality and were the worst type of straight to video junk filled with bad acting, weak production values and crappy effects. Worst of all they didn't remind of anything I knew about the creature I had grown to love. Every so often another Chupacabra movie gets made and turns out to be much of the same so I was approached CHUPACABRA TERRITORY with a healthy amount of hesitation knowing that Chupacabra films have generally been shit and it is a found footage film which is incredibly easy to fall in to all sorts of cliches and genre trappings.

CHUPACABRA TERRITORY pleasantly surprised me. Yeah it is a found footage horror film and it definitely feels like it. It has many of the found footage tropes and many horror cliches throughout. There's the typical scene of a girl laying on the ground getting dragged away from the camera (multiple times), there's the scene of something nasty or violent happening in the background of a shot that none of the characters notice, the turn around and BANG! jump scare type moments. They're all present and accounted for. But there's also some really solid performances lead by Sarah Nicklin as Amber, who could be considered the leader of this group hiking in to an off limits area of forest on a hunt for the mythological creature. She's immensely likable and has an infectious energy about her that makes it easy to believe her friends would follow her in to just about any weird situation she'd get them in to. She's the lover and believer of the myth and is willing to go to any length to summon it including getting down and dirty fucking in a tent to get her energy up and performing supernatural rituals.

The film does bring in details in to the mythos of the creature that I have never heard of that I assume were simply to spice up the story and I'm okay with that as I don't think it hurt the story but a more straight forward approach to the creature would have been my preferred avenue. Still, Matthew McWilliams penned a solid script about a creature that has had an absolutely terrible history in the movies and directed a pretty decent Chupacabra horror movie. My biggest gripe is that CHUPACABRA TERRITORY is more supernatural found footage horror film that could have replaced the Chupacabra with almost anything else and been the same movie. That doesn't mean I don't think it's a decent movie and worth checking out for any found footage or Chupacabra fan.

The Audio & Video
Maltauro Entertainment delivers CHUPACABRA TERRITORY on Blu-ray with an attractive anamorphic widescreen transfer. The picture quality is quite good with natural colors and flesh tones and deep, inky black levels that don't show any signs of blocking. The image is clean and crisp throughout. The 2.0 stereo audio track is mixed well and sounds good. It's not a very dynamic mix but for a found footage film it works perfectly. There's no damage or distortions that shouldn't be there. Closed Caption options are available.

The Extras
Bonus features on the disc include an interview segment with cast members that is just over ten minutes long and a separate interview segment with the director, editor and producer that clocks in at just over 6 minutes. A trailer and photo gallery round out the extras.

The Bottom Line
Though the competition isn't stiff it doesn't change the fact that CHUPACABRA TERRITORY is the best Chupacabra movie to date and is a solid found footage horror film.

CHUPACABRA TERRITORY is available HERE

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

THE BYE BYE MAN (Universal) - Blu-ray Review


USA/2017
Directed By: Stacy Title
Written By: Jonathan Penner
Starring: Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas
Color/100 Minutes/Not Rated
Region A
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Blu-ray/DVD/Digital HD

The Film
THE BYE BYE MAN was released theatrically on January 13, 2017 to largely negative reviews. Despite the reviews it was still a box office success pulling in over 24 million dollars domestically against a budget of just over 7 million dollars. Undoubtedly a strong push with social media campaigns got the film into the mind's of movie goers prior to the release and the PG-13 rating certainly didn't hurt. I was able to attend an advance screening of the film and found that THE BYE BYE MAN was one of the most inept and cliche horror films I had seen in a long long time. I could go over each and every thing I disliked about it but I already did that HERE.


Now the film is released with an unrated cut easily make it a more violent and graphic film but would it make it a better film? The answer to that is simply, no. No it does not. While the unrated version of the film adds three minutes to the runtime and is certainly more graphic with its violence which can be seen immediately from the opening scene it is still the same movie. No amount of CGI blood can take away from the predictability, piss poor acting, shoddy writing and overall feeling that this movie somehow escaped its bargain bin destiny and got major studio backing.


The Audio & Video
Unsurprisingly Universal's Blu-ray of THE BYE BYE MAN looks stellar. The 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer has strong detail which makes spotting threads on clothing and imperfections in wood and vinyl surfaces easy for example. Colors are vivid but natural while black levels are deep and inky. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround mix is fantastic as well with a wonderful mix job between levels and a crisp, crystal clear presentation. The mix is powerful and bassy when needed and overall a very strong sounding mix. English SDH and Spanish subtitles are included. From a technical standpoint THE BYE BYE MAN Blu-ray is superb.


The Extras
The Blu-ray features both the unrated and theatrical cuts of the film along with a DVD of the theatrical cut but there are no supplemental special features, not even a trailer.


The Bottom Line
If you found yourself to be a fan of THE BYE BYE MAN then the Blu-ray won't disappoint but the unrated version of the film isn't going to change any negative opinions on the film. Rent it if you're super curious because you'll only be wasting a dollar. Save your dollar if you're only mildly curious.

THE BYE BYE MAN is available HERE

Chiller Films To Release CAMERA OBSCURA

CHILLER FILMS RELEASES ‘CAMERA OBSCURA’

In Theaters June 9 and on VOD and Digital HD June 13


NEW YORK, NY – April 11, 2017 – Chiller Films is pleased to announce the release of the anticipated horror thriller CAMERA OBSCURA, in theaters on June 9 and on VOD and Digital HD on June 13.  The film is written by Aaron B. Koontz and Cameron Burns and marks the theatrical directing debut of Koontz. The cast includes Christopher Denham (“Billions,” “Argo”), Nadja Bobyleva (“Bridge of Spies”), Catherine Curtin (“Stranger Things,” “Orange is the New Black”), Chase Williamson (SIREN, “Beyond the Gates”) and Noah Segan (“The Mind’s Eye,” “Tales of Halloween”).

In CAMERA OBSCURA, a veteran war photographer with PTSD sees imminent deaths in his developed photos, questioning his already fragile sanity and putting the lives of those he loves in danger.

CAMERA OBSCURA is produced by Aaron B. Koontz, Andrew van den Houten (“All Cheerleaders Die,” “The Woman,”) and Amir Zbeda (“Area 51,” “Paranormal Activity”) and is executive produced by Justin Smith (SIREN, “The Boy”).

For more information on the film, please visit https://www.facebook.com/cameraobscuramovie/.


About Chiller


Chiller is an entertainment brand delivering round-the-clock scares with its commitment to producing diverse and high-quality horror content.  Chiller's eclectic slate of entertainment includes a broad offering of original movies, series and specials, genre films, documentary and reality shows, along with suspenseful series (The X-Files, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits). With its Chiller Films initiative, Chiller also produces feature films for select theaters and On-Demand.  Chiller network is currently available in 40 million homes. To learn more, visit: www.chillertv.com. Chiller. Scary Good.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

(CLOSED) M. Night Shyamalan's SPLIT Giveaway

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has been kind enough to allow us to host a contest for a brand new Blu-ray copy of the latest film from M. Night Shyamalan, SPLIT, available in stores April 18th! See the rules below for entry details!


How To Enter
CLOSED

That's it, it's that easy! A winner will be selected and notified on April 18th, the film's release date!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

CHICAGO ROT (2017)


USA/2015
Directed By: Dorian Weinzimmer
Written By: Brant McCrea, Dorian Weinzimmer
Starring: Brant McCrea, Shira Barber
On Demand Release Date: April 4, 2017

Ambition is something all filmmakers should strive for. Making the most out of whatever budget and talent you have isn't always the easiest thing however, especially for independent filmmakers. If there's one word to sum up CHICAGO ROT it is "ambition."

The film centers around a man nicknamed "The Ghoul" and he's fresh out of prison after a decade of incarceration and now he's hunting Chicago's seedy, violent and supernatural underbelly searching for the man for stole his soul. What ensues is a sleazy, ultra violent, neon and rock-n-roll infused horror/sci-fi/crime mashup that really needs to be seen to fully understand, although I'm not sure I fully understand it after viewing it.

From what I was able to find out about CHICAGO ROT with some internet research is that the film took several years to complete, which means the filmmakers were damn persistent on top of ambitious. It does lead to some moments where the film feels piecemealed together but the direction from Dorian Weinzimmer is so damn good that it really doesn't detract too much from the film's flow. Weinzimmer's direction looks and feels like that of someone that is far beyond their debut feature film. It's stylish and makes the world we're in feel massive and legitimate, never feeling cheap or that they're hiding the shortcomings of various sets like I've seen in plenty of bigger pictures from more experienced mainstream filmmakers with exponentially larger budgets.

The cast is quite good as well and with the number of colorful characters with very distinct personalities it's impressive to see that there isn't much in the way of overdoing it or a performance that feels out of touch with the rest of the film. Brant McCrea stars as Les aka "The Ghoul" and gives a strong performance as the center of the film that the rest of the cast revolves around. McCrea also co-wrote the film with Weinzimmer and if I had to pick something about the film that didn't work as much for it it's the story which is convoluted and as much I enjoy everything that is going on within the film on a visual level I think it may be too much for the story to contain and keep a steady flow. CHICAGO ROT has different levels of story going on and at times it goes back to the piecemeal feeling that I mentioned earlier that it feels like various parts were tacked on in stages. This may not be the case but that's the feeling it gives me and is my biggest gripe with the film.

Gripes are to be had and while I don't absolutely love CHICAGO ROT I quite enjoyed watching it and respect the absolute shit out of it. The costumes, locations, effects and overall quality of filmmaking cannot be overlooked or understated. There is some legitimate Hollywood level work in CHICAGO ROT and it's the ambition that drives this film and the successful realization of that ambition that really sets CHICAGO ROT apart from most indie films.

Too much work, damn good work, went into CHICAGO ROT for it to fade away into the indie film abyss. Go watch it.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Phoenix Forgotten (2017) Trailer

PHOENIX FORGOTTEN is the new sci-fi thriller from producer Ridley Scott and it hits theaters on April 21st! Check out the trailer below!

Cult Epics Press Release: 100 Girls By Bunny Yeager Blu-ray

 100 GIRLS BY BUNNY YEAGER Premieres on BLU-RAY April 11, 2017


Los Angeles, CA (April, 2017.) Cult Epics presents a homage to 50s Pin up photography. Bunny Yeager, ‘the worlds prettiest photographer’, started out as a beauty contest winner and professional photographer’s model in the 50’s. She established herself as one of America’s top ten glamour photographers throughout the 50’s and 60’s for Playboy and other magazines. This pictorial shows 100 of her most glamorous models, featuring her most famous one Bettie Page, and includes photographs and original footage of Bunny with the girls behind the scenes. Narrated by Bunny Yeager, who past away in 2014. 
Blu-ray features a 2K HD transfer and new bonus features including two featurettes of Bunny’s never-before-seen photos of Bettie Page, as shown and presented at the Catalina Island Museum in 2016. 
100 GIRLS BY BUNNY YEAGER Blu-ray
Price:                              $29.95
Street Date:                              April 11, 2017
Production Year:                     1950/1997/2016
Video run time:                 Approx. 70 Min
Language:                                English language 
Aspect Ratio:                           1.33:1
Audio:                                      Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Label:                                       Cult Epics
Distributor:                              CAV 
Blu-ray Cat.no.                        CE-150
BD UPC:                                 881190015094
Rating:                                     Not Rated


SPECIAL FEATURES
New 2K HD Transfer (from original 16mm film)
Over 200 Pin Up photos
Clips from Bunny Yeager’s Nude Camera and Nude Las Vegas and unseen footage
Bettie Page Uncovered: The Unknown Photographs of Bunny Yeager
 (Introduction by Helmut Schuster) 2016, HD

Bunny Yeager/Bettie Page HD Virtual photo exhibit (2016, HD)

Monday, April 3, 2017

( CLOSED)GIVEAWAY: THE BYE BYE MAN BLU-RAY

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has been kind enough to allow us to host a contest for a brand new Blu-ray copy of the Unrated Edition of THE BYE BYE MAN, available in stores April 11th! See the rules below for entry details!


How To Enter
CLOSED.

That's it, it's that easy! A winner will be selected and notified on April 11th, the film's release date!


Saturday, April 1, 2017

MONDO WEIRDO/VAMPIROS SEXOS (Cult Epics) - Blu-ray Review


Austria/1988, 1990
Directed By: Carl Andersen
Written By: Carl Andersen
Starring: Soledad Marceignac, Frank Khunne, Jasmin Bevilaqua
Black & White/134 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Blu-ray/DVD/CD
Limited Edition: 2,000

The Films
This collection of Carl Andersen's three earliest films including two features and a short are nothing short of a midnight movie lovers dream. These films are erotic, experimental, sometimes darkly comedic and wholly Avant Garde ventures into horror and various aspects of human discovery. From tainted olive oil vampires to a teen experiencing the pains of womanhood in the most bizzarely gothic psychadelic mind fuck involving Elizabeth Bathory you're likely to see anytime soon, Andersen's work are light on traditional narrative and storytelling and heavy on visual impact steering us through the adventure.


Hardcore sex and graphic violence are commonplace in the grainy and gritty photography that ranges from beautiful (see the three way split screen in MONDO WEIRDO) to inventive with  the play with exposure and washing out the majority of the picture in several scenes in VAMPIROS SEXOS. The films on display here are a visceral experience that leave you replaying scenes in your mind over and over. The soundtrack on both MONDO WEIRDO AND VAMPIROS SEXOS is from a Model D'oo, a band with a post punk, gothic industrial sort of vibe that I was not previously familiar with but their sound is the perfect backdrop to these pictures as it matches the punk attitude and aesthetic that isn't easily defined but I think a rougher version of early David Lynch is a good place to start.

The Audio & Video
Cult Epics gives these Carl Andersen a home they can be appreciated on for the foreseeable future. MONDO WEIRDO has been newly transferred to HD from the original 16mm film for the first time. It definitely shows good detail and sharpness despite the gritty photography but where you can really see the HD treatment is in the depth of the black and white levels. They saturate the screen in ways a standard DVD cannot. The German audio sounds good with sporadic English subtitles used when they're intended and other times without. The sound quality is surprisingly crisp despite expected imperfections for an underground film such as this.


VAMPIROS SEXOS is presented on DVD and looks as I expected it would after viewing MW on Blu-ray in that it is noticeably grainier and rougher looking overall, in part from some damage the elements have incurred over the years but I was pleased to see that there is still good detail present, especially in close ups and a decent sharpness to the photography overall.


The Extras
The main special features include the 1990 short film WHAT'S SO DIRTY ABOUT IT? and a making-of featurette with interview clips for both MONDO WEIRDO and VAMPIROS SEXOS. An introduction to MW by Erwin Leder, the star of Angst is also included and is a heartfelt introduction and farewell to his late friend. This limited edition also includes a CD soundtrack with 4 unreleased bonus tracks from Model D'oo.


The Bottom Line
These types of films are something you either appreciate or you don't, I find there is usually very little middle ground. If you're the type of movie viewer that can sink their teeth into offbeat and far from typical fare then these Carl Andersen films will be right up your alley and they're a perfect fit for the Cult Epics catalog.

MONDO WEIRDO/VAMPIROS SEXOS is available HERE

Thursday, March 30, 2017

THE CREEPS (Full Moon) - Blu-ray Review


USA/1997
Directed By: Charles Band
Written By: Neal Marshall Stevens
Starring: Rhonda Griffin, Justin Lauer, Bill Moynihan
Color/74 Minutes/PG-13
Region FREE
Release Date: February 21, 2017

The Film
A nervous but altogether mad scientist has been stealing original manuscripts of some of the world's most notorious horror fiction including Bram Stoker's Dracula and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in order to bring these legendary characters to life to gain power. He successfully summons Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and The Mummy, the only problem is that he made an error in the process and each of the monsters is a mini three feet tall. Now he needs a virgin to gain full control over the monsters and bring them to their full size and power.

THE CREEPS is an oddball black comedy horror film from director Charles Band. The film is very subdued in its violence with even the worst scene that involves a woman strapped naked to a table and subjected to an experiment that lands her in another dimension being notably light and almost breezy, never feeling mean or exploitative at all. The tone of the film holds it back from being a more successful and entertaining picture than if it went for a more horrific angle. I never felt that the monsters, who have a nicely designed classic look led by Phil Fondacaro as Dracula, were a true threat and the film does little to ever change that with the monsters pulling off more hijinx than scares.

Laughs are held in higher regard in THE CREEPS with Bill Moynihan starring as the stuttering, nervous and inept mad scientist being written solely for comedy or at least that is how it seems. Rhonda Griffin and Justin Lauer star as the main protagonists, a librarian trying to track down her stolen books and the private detective she hired from the back of a video store and they have a good chemistry on screen. The acting is all very hammy though but it fits the campy nature of the picture. When the dust settles I really wish THE CREEPS would have had some darker and more intense moments to really break up the monotony and one note tone of the film. It's not bad but it isn't among Full Moon's best output.

The Audio & Video
Full Moon has restored their film from the original 35mm camera negative for its high definition debut and it's never looked better. The overall image has a decent sharpness that leads to good detail levels. The film as a whole is a bit on the darker side in terms of lighting and there are some softer shots but overall the film looks nice and is a noticeable upgrade. The audio is crisp and without distortion or damage. Stereo 2.0 and 5.1 surround audio options are available.

The Extras
Special features include the original Videozone behind the scenes featurette from 1997 and a selection of trailers.

The Bottom Line
This new Blu-ray release is a nice visual upgrade over previously available editions but this isn't among the classic Full Moon titles.

THE CREEPS is available HERE

Saturday, March 25, 2017

PEELERS (2017)


USA/2017
Directed By: Seve Schelenz
Written By: Lisa DeVita, Seve Schelenz
Starring: Wren Walker, Caz Odin Darko, Madison J. Loos
VOD Release Date: March 28, 2017

The final night of business at the Tittyballs strip club isn't the cakewalk owner Blue Jeans (don't call her BJ!) was probably hoping for as she prepares to sell to a skeezy businessman with questionable intentions. The night is full of drunks, a new girl dancing for the first time because a regular is about to pop with a baby, jealous boyfriends and a group of workers from the local coal mine that come in covered in a weird black oil substance that turns anyone that comes into contact with it in to a bloodthirsty maniac. Is it closing time yet?


Seve Schelenz returns for his second feature film after making Skew back in 2010 (previously reviewed HERE) with an overly gory splatterfest that isn't out of line from body melt films like Street Trash and Slime City though it is played straighter than either of those films and doesn't go for the day-glo look instead opting for a thick, black splatter that is vomited and spewed by the gallon. PEELERS will have no trouble attracting an audience with all of the blood and guts flying around in addition to the black sludge. The film is wildly bloody and nobody is off limits. CGI is mixed in with large amounts of practical effects and while it is immediately and definitely a noticeable shift from the practical stuff it isn't off putting.


PEELERS will stand apart from similar films that are released each month because it takes far greater care in its writing and characters than the majority of independent horror films even think about. We get real relationships built within the confines of the walls of this strip club and it all begins and ends with Wren Walker's performance as Blue Jeans. She's a tough but loving owner and a total bad ass chick. Walker is damn good and really carries the film while the support from her security guard Remy played by Caz Odin Darko is more of a straight forward performance that doesn't need any nuance but he plays it exactly how he should. He's a sympathetic character that most guys can relate to in one way or another. It's not just good performances but actual character development that make it such a good script.


PEELERS is a really solid horror film, I can't say it's perfect because it isn't but it is damn entertaining and even though it's not the most original premise and reminds me of countless movies that came before it, it is one of the better strip club horror movies I've seen to date and I had a great time with it. It's rare these days that a movie as splatterific as PEELERS has such a quality production. This one is definitely worth a look.

Friday, March 24, 2017

ATOMICA (2017)



USA/2017
Directed By: Dagen Merrill
Written By: Kevin Burke, Federico Fernandez-Armesto, Adam Gyngell
Starring: Sarah Habel, Dominic Monaghan, Tom Sizemore
In Theaters March 17, 2017
On VOD and Digital HD March 21, 2017

ATOMICA is an isolation thriller set in the not too distant future on a desolate nuclear power plant run by the world's power supplier Auxillisun. Abby (Sarah Habel) is a tech for the company and has been flown in to fix the communication issues present where she meets Robinson Scott (Dominic Monaghan) one of the two people working there. The other, Dr. Zek (Tom Sizemore), has strangely been missing for several days. The events leading up to Abby's arrival and everything she sees and experiences there don't add up but things only get weirder and more deadly when Dr. Zek turns up.

For a film that is being distributed by SyFy Films it has decent production values. Wisely the film is kept mostly to the confines of the power plant's interiors. The sparsely decorated, with only the sporadic computer screen or switchboard, sets add to the feeling of isolation and loneliness which can play tricks on the mind, a theme that the film comes back to again and again despite never really playing into the way things pan out. Even the exteriors which are obviously CGI and green screen aren't bad when there's nothing going on in front of the backgrounds but as soon as action starts happening in the CGI heavy areas it begins to look cheap.

The film doesn't reinvent the wheel but it doesn't really do this style of thriller all that well either. There's too many cases of false identity going on and a few massive plot holes along with subplots that don't go anywhere and are nothing but weak attempts at getting the audience to really gravitate and latch on to a certain character. That said, the cast is actually quite good and do the best with the script they have to work with. If ATOMICA was a wide release, major production I'd be harsher on it but it really isn't too bad when viewed among the ranks of the Syfy channel productions and distributed films. I wouldn't recommend you rush out to see it but if it pops up on a lazy Sunday afternoon you might get more enjoyment out of it than the same 15 year old reruns of COPS.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. (Kino Lorber) Blu-ray Review


UK/1966
Directed By: Don Chaffey
Written By: Brian Clemens
Starring: Raquel Welch, John Richardson, Percy Herbert
Color/100 Minutes/
Region A
Release Date: February 14, 2017
2x Blu-ray

The Film
A look at the tough and rugged life early humans had to live all while being hunted by massive man eating lizards, dinosaurs and bugs. ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. isn't historically accurate by any means but it is far more entertaining than a day spent in class.

It was ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. that broke out Raquel Welch as an international star and sex symbol. The film's main selling point is 100 minutes of the stunning Welch trouncing around in a fur bikini getting into all sorts of trouble. The film is mostly family friendly, with only a few moments that could be considered excessively violent, even for 1966. And even those moments fall short of some of the violence we saw from earlier Hammer productions but still nine minutes were trimmed from the US cut of the film. However Welch still brought a strong sex appeal and as we all know, sex sells and we all bought in.

Welch's sexiness wasn't all the film has to offer, not by a long stretch. The most obvious draw to the film, especially at the time of release was the special effects and creatures created by Ray Harryhausen which include classic scenes with a Pteranodon and Welch along with a epic fight scenes between the tribesman and an Allosaurus that gets a bit bloody. Alongside those classic scenes are giant Iguanas, Tarantulas, various other dinosaurs, ape men and more. Harryhausen's use of stop motion animation here is as good as it ever would be giving full life to each and every creature he designed. The sculpts have an exceptional lifelike quality and make for an exciting and believable cast of creatures and enemies. Director Don Chaffey was plenty experienced by the time he made ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. and was no stranger to fantasy adventure epics having previously directed Jason And The Argonauts, another Harryhausen special effects epic. He would go on to make a couple more films in the genre with 1967's The Viking Queen and 1970's Creatures The World Forgot, both Hammer productions. He proved more than capable of steering the production toward a glorious and successful finish with great set pieces and action scenes.

ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. may be light on plot, existing largely to show off a scantily clad Raquel Welch and yet another highlight reel of glorious Ray Harryhausen creatures, but it does manage to fulfill the promise that the opening narration tells us of the world being unfriendly and inhospitable and though there's no dialogue besides some grunting and a couple of names there's definitely and undeniable character development and meaningful relationships forged and broken during the course of the film. Brian Clemens' screenplay is breezy, quickly paced and filled with deadly encounter after deadly encounter but he proves you don't need page after page of talky characters spewing endless dialogue to have a film that can draw you in to it's characters and the story. At least not when there is Raquel Welch and Harryhausen monsters.

The Audio & Video
Kino Lorber has given a brand new 4K restoration to the film and it looks absolutely stunning. I don't think the prehistoric ages have ever looked this good! Colors are vivid and eye catching with bright blues and fleshy, natural skin tones. Detail is incredible from the fur and leather outfits to being able to separate individual grains of sand. The film has a healthy grain structure maintaining its original film look and feel and I couldn't be happier. The DTSHD audio is an audible winner as well. Crisp and pleasing to the ear, the sound features a perfect mix in levels, no distortions or damage of any kind and no background noise. I think it is safe to say ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. hasn't looked or sounded this good since its original theatrical run.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary With Film Historian Tim Lucas of Video Watchdog Magazine
-91 Minute US Cut
-"In The Valley Of The Dinosaurs" - Interview with Raquel Welch
-Interview with Ray Harryhausen
-Interview with actress Martine Beswick
-Animated poster and image gallery
-Trailers

The Bottom Line
ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. is pure adventure fun and it has never looked better! This is one you can (and will want to) watch over and over! You can count this Hammer fanboy as very satisfied.

ONE MILLION YEARS B.C. is available HERE

Friday, March 17, 2017

WITCHTRAP (Vinegar Syndrome) - Blu-ray Review


USA/1989
Directed By: Kevin S. Tenney
Written By: Kevin S. Tenney
Starring: James Quinn, Kathleen Bailey, Linnea Quigley
Color/91 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Blu-ray/DVD

The Film
Fresh of the heels of his 1988 cult classic Night Of The Demons, Kevin Tenney was approached by producers who had funding ready to go and wanted a movie to invest in immediately. Within a week Tenney had the screenplay for WITCHTRAP ready to go and that is the screenplay about a group of paranormal experts and a couple cops who attempt to remove the benevolent spirits from Lauder House which has a history of unexplained violent deaths.

It's quite obvious off the bat that WITCHTRAP had a rushed script because the dialogue isn't very good at all but sometimes we get some really cheesy gold out of it, mainly from James Quinn who stars as Detective Vicente. There's few things to match the greatness of dialogue exchanges such as:
-"I resent that."
-"I resent your mother for taking drugs while she was pregnant."

and

-"Listen, I didn't miss anything."
-"Yeah, except the last stage of evolution."

That's gold, folks. And Adding to the campiness of the dialogue is the fact that the entire movie had to have its sound and dialogue added in post thanks to a total fuck up by the sound engineer on set.


It wouldn't be fair to WITCHTRAP to solely lump it in with other so-bad-it's-good movies, which it could certainly be classified as but it has an undeniable gothic moodiness to it and a surprisingly mean spirit (no pun intended) to it. Look no further than the groundskeeper's death scene to see what I mean - down right cold blooded. Along with the mood is a very cool way of showing the malevolent spirit only through camera lenses for the early part of the film which adds a spooky element that only the audience is privy too leaving the characters in the dark and knowing he could be lurking anywhere at any moment.

WITCHTRAP doesn't forget its 80s roots and provides quite a few gory moments from a memorable shower scene not just for the violent death but for some quality nudity as well along with a head explosion that rivals Scanners. The gore and violence is shown in amounts never before seen here as the film was subjected to several cuts by the MPAA upon its original release and Kevin Tenney has given us the true version never before available.


WITCHTRAP is definitely campy and cheesy and very much a film of the 1980s, more specifically a rushed film of the 1980s but there's also really solid production values that make the film feel completely legitimate and more expensive than it was. It has a silly sense of humor along with a great mood and some serious creepy and violent moments.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome presents WITCHTRAP with a new 2K scan and restoration from the the 35mm Interpositive and frankly it looks fantastic. There's a thin but natural looking grain structure over the film maintaining an organic film look and feel. Colors are reproduced beautifully from the plentiful deep blood reds to the moody and overcast grays. Black levels are deep while skin tones are lively and healthy looking with no signs of DNR. The DTS-HDMA 2.0 audio mix comes through crisp and clear with perfectly mixed levels. There's no hiss or distortions and no background noise. The mix is simplistic but is of a very high quality and perfectly works for the film in it's original form.


The Extras
This Blu-ray is absolutely stacked with special features including:

-Audio Commentary track with Director Kevin Tenney, Producer Dan Duncan, Cinematographer Tom Jewett, and Actor Hal Havins.
-Video Interview with Writer/Director Kevin Tenney
-Video Interview with Actress Linnea Quigley
-Video Interview with Cinematographer Tom Jewett
-Video Interview with Special Effects Supervisor Tassilo Baur
-Audio Interview with Makeup Artist Judy Yonemoto
-Audio Interview with Composer Dennis Michael Tenney
-Original Video Release Trailer
-"Book Of Joe" - Short film by Kevin Tenney with alternate ending
-Still Gallery
-Reversible Cover Art


The Bottom Line
You may have seen WITCHTRAP before but you haven't seen it like this. Between presenting the film uncut for the first time anywhere, the gorgeous transfer and the overflowing bounty of special features it is easy for me to say that Vinegar Syndrome's Blu-ray of WITCHTRAP is the definitive release of the film. Highly recommended!

WITCHTRAP is available HERE

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

EASTER SUNDAY (Camp Motion Pictures) DVD Review


USA/2014
Directed By: Jeremy Todd Morehead
Written By: Jeremy Todd Morehead
Starring: Jeremy Todd Morehead, Jason Delgado, Robert Z'Dar
Color/95 Minuets/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: March 14, 2017

The Film
I don't get the trend of making intentionally bad and/or stupid horror films. Plenty of B-movies of days past were entertainingly bad but very few were made to be shitty on purpose. The filmmakers set out to make a movie the best they could and for any number of reasons it turned out to be shit. Most of the time those movies were nothing more than shit but sometimes something struck a chord with audiences and a movie was beloved for all the wrong reasons. Now it has become a trend to make throwback style horror and exploitation pictures and make them stupid and shitty on purpose and it needs to stop. EASTER SUNDAY falls into this category.

Let it be known that I have no problems with intentional campiness in a movie, not everything needs to be high art, but there is big difference between campy and purposely stupid. EASTER SUNDAY is a slasher movie that tries to replicate the genre's golden years of the 1980s with it's plot, score and overall aesthetic and it could have been a successful and memorable slasher film for this era if it had taken itself just the least bit serious. Instead,  the writing and casting seem like they were too concerned with writing the next dumb line of dialogue that isn't funny or trying out another stupid voice to overdub a character with. Had this movie put a bit of effort into getting any sort of actual performance from their cast and written even a mildly competent script EASTER SUNDAY would be a fun little body count film as it does have a simple yet effectively designed killer. Unfortunately he has an obnoxious voice that sounds like it came from a wise guy cartoon character designed to get on your last nerve. Every line delivered by the killer sounds like it's meant to be a punchline to a joke that was never set up and doesn't make any sense.


I wanted to like EASTER SUNDAY and there are things about it that I did enjoy such as the fun it has with it's special effects and gore even if they're on the cheap side like spaghetti guts, it made me smile. Robert Z'Dar is a welcomed addition as the cop and there's a couple of genuinely funny lines dealing with his character. The heart of an entertaining and solid slasher are all there but I think EASTER SUNDAY took a wrong turn early on in deciding what they wanted the movie to be and there's no recovering from making a movie intentionally bad.

The Audio & Video
Camp Motion Pictures' DVD of EASTER SUNDAY features a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that has an artificial filter over the picture to make it look like an aged and slightly worn print from the 80s. This gives the film a greenish blue tint with faux speckling and grain throughout. The picture quality is still good overall with fine amounts of detail and colors poking through. The audio sounds fine and is right in line with the picture quality. The score by Dave Ferguson, which is probably my favorite part of the entire movie, sounds crisp and shines through. Levels are steady and mixed well.


The Extras
A mini behind the scenes documentary is included along with a trailer.


The Bottom Line
I'm not a fan of the style and vibe this movie went for but if you're more forgiving with intentionally bad movies then you may enjoy it more than I did.

EASTER SUNDAY is available HERE

Sunday, March 12, 2017

SLASHER.COM (DVD Review) - Cinedigm


DVDUSA/2017
Directed By: Chip Gubera
Written By: Chelsea Andes, Chip Gubera
Starring: Ben Kaplan, Jewel Shepard, R.A. Mihailoff
Color/90 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: March 7, 2017

The Film
Jack and Kristy have just met for the first time after talking through an online dating site. Their first date is a weekend trip to a relaxing cabin in the woods. Soon after arriving they meet the murderous family residing in the same woods as their cabin and must fight for their lives.

On the surface SLASHER.COM has a simple and familiar plot with a set up that could be countless other horror films Under the surface it attempts to throw twist after twist at the viewer but each is so obvious that if you're not batting a thousand on figuring out twists long before they happen you're simply not paying attention. The production itself is competent with a cast that is passable when they're not overacting and okay special effects.


There came a moment in the second act where the movie became so painfully serious in everything it was doing and saying that I felt like my mother had just slapped me upside the head with a frying pan while warning me about the dangers of online dating. Who in their right mind would go away for a weekend with someone they had just met anyways? At least the film attempts to explain away that giant lapse in normal people logic by having each of the characters have their own motives for getting into a situation like that but it still hurts the reality in which a slasher film about online dating needs to maintain. There's also a scene that perfectly represents what my friend Derrick Carey has coined "Chair Horror". You know, a dimly lit scene with someone tied to a chair enduring some sort of torture for a a scene that lasts entirely too long and is meant to disturb the audience. Yeah we get some of that thrown in for good measure and filmmakers need to find better ways to shock the audience because these $5 sets (a chair, some rope and an empty room) are just so overdone and underwhelming that I've had more than enough of them.

There is a bright spot to SLASHER.COM and that's the two main antagonists played by Jewel Shepard and R.A. Milhailoff. Jewel is famous for her role in Return Of The Living Dead and for that I appreciate seeing her around and she gave what I'd consider to be the best performance of the movie. Mihailoff portrayed Leatherface in the third installment of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise and he's a genuinely imposing figure and someone you can believe could create some mayhem in the backwoods. Otherwise this film is far too heavy handed in everything it does, it has a weak message and is too concerned with how many twists it can throw at us to ever deliver anything of value.

The Audio & Video
Cineidgm releases SLASHER.COM on DVD with an anamorphic widescreen transfer that looks decent for the most part. Colors and lighting are often natural and the overall picture quality is clean and clear. There are moments however where it appears equipment of far less quality was used and it looks as if you're watching the movie through a mesh screen. The 2.0 stereo English audio mix sounds fine with no background noise or damage. The levels are steady with the dialogue and soundtrack being complimentary to each other.


The Extras
This is a bare bones affair.


The Bottom Line
Skip it.

SLASHER.COM is available HERE

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

MONDO WEIRDO/VAMPIROS SEXOS Press Relesae

 MONDO WEIRDO / VAMPIROS SEXOS Premieres on BLU-RAY/DVD March 14, 2017


Los Angeles, CA (March 6, 2017.) Cult Epics presents Carl Andersen’s films, the European answer to the Cinema of Transgression of Richard Kern and Nick Zedd, except more extreme, eccentric, surreal and erotic. 

“The Hard-core version of Eraserhead” –Jan Doense (Weekend of Terror)
MONDO WEIRDO: A TRIP TO PARANOIA PARADISE aka JUNGFRAU IM ABGRUND wallows in smut, sleaze, gore, splatter, and dark comedy and is set in an underground world where both vampires and punk rockers engage in hardcore sex to the highly addictive and hypnotic electro music of Model D’oo. Dedicated to Jean Luc-Godard and Jess Franco featuring his daughter Jessica Franco-Manera. Shot on 16mm stock, presented in a new High-definition transfer on Blu-ray. 

“Vampire Porno”
VAMPIROS SEXOS aka I WAS A TEENAGE ZABBADOING… is Carl Andersen’s debut film and is one of the weirdest movies ever, and it will certainly shock your mind. VAMPIROS SEXOS is the ultimate European underground punk rock sex vampire film. Stylish and trashy at the same time in the best sort of way, the film also features an endlessly entrancing no-wave score by Model D’oo. Cult Epics presents the rare only existing Uncut SD version on DVD together with:  WHAT’S SO DIRTY ABOUT IT? Bonus short film. Cut-up trance noise nihilistic short film, reminiscent of the work of Throbbing Gristle and Kenneth Anger. SD 

3 Disc Limited (numbered) Edition of 2000 copies includes Exclusive CD soundtrack by Model D’oo.


MONDO WEIRDO/VAMPIROS SEXOS Blu-ray/DVD/CD Combo
Price:                              $39.95
Street Date:                              March, 2016
Production Year:                     1988/1990/1990
Film run time:                 Approx. 68/57/9
Language:                                English & German language with English subtitles
Aspect Ratio:                           1.33:1
Audio:                                      Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Label:                                       Cult Epics
Distributor:                              CAV 
Blu-ray/DVD/CD Cat.no.       CE-149
BD UPC:                                 881190014998
Rating:                                     Not Rated


SPECIAL FEATURES
New High-definition Transfer (from original 16mm print)
Introduction by Erwin Leder (star of Angst)
The Making of Mondo Weirdo (2016)
               The Making of I was a Teenage Zabbadoing aka Vampiros Sexos (2016)

               Bonus film: What’s So Dirty About It? (1990)