Saturday, December 31, 2016

CHILDREN OF THE CORN Franchise Retrospective Part 3: Fields Of Terror & Isaac's Return

CHILDREN OF THE CORN V: FIELDS OF TERROR started out with a glimmer of hope when the opening credits listed a few names I was not only familiar with but that I was a fan of. Alexis Arquette, Fred Williamson, David Carradine are all performers I enjoy and I was thinking "okay, maybe we've got something here." On top of them Eva Mendes, Ahmet Zappa co-star and even Jason Voorhees himself, Kane Hodder, has a role. I'll tell you right now he was only in a single scene as a bartender and not as a machete wielding corn stalk monster. What a let down. The opening scene features a clunky 90s CGI murder featuring the main child that would be running the show of our misfit kernels. Sadly shortly after we lose Alexis Arquette and Ahmet Zappa who had great energy and would have been a nice contrast to the rest of our main cast of college students who are basically running around with dumbfounded, mouth agape, looks on their face for the majority of the film.

Oh you're interested in the plot? Well, six college friends (more like 4 friends after the first few minutes of the film take away the two most entertaining characters) go on a road trip and end up stranded in a small rural town that they not smells of burnt popcorn. After getting warned to leave by the sheriff (Fred Williamson) they hole up in an abandoned house for the night and later find that one of the girls missing brothers is in town living with Luke (David Carradine) who seems to be the leader of the strange kids. Luke lets her see her brother who informs her that he has no interest in leaving and is going to be marry a younger girl who is also pregnant with his child. The child leader Ezekiel chooses the brother who has reached 18 years of age as the annual sacrifice to He Who Walks Behind The Rows which means he would have to throw himself into the burning corn silo but the brother refuses and tells Luke his religion is a lie which leads to a battle between the college friends and the runaway brother and the pitchfork wielding psycho children. There's even a showdown between Luke and the sheriff which is my favorite scene in the film and is easily the best special effect moment of the film as well.

The plot is weak and the film isn't interesting enough to keep your attention throughout so that you really settle in to it. I found myself getting restless and bored and simply didn't care about a single thing going on. Fred Williamson and David Carradine are both wasted by given little to do. Our main group is filled with bland characters and uninspired performances and the one thing that these movies have given us each and every time until now is creepy kids but they even ruin that as these kids looked like any child you'd see getting dropped off at junior high and not a group of rural religious nut jobs. Ethan Wiley wrote the first two House films and even directed the second which is a wacky mishmash of ideas that works for a wonderfully fun 80s cocktail but his entry in to the CHILDREN OF THE CORN series is my least favorite through the first five entries.

I spoke too soon. It gets worse. You might think, and I would be right there with you that the return of John Franklin who played Isaac, the preacher leader of the children in the original film would be an upgrade to the series but no, CHILDREN OF THE CORN 666: ISAAC'S RETURN is yet another step down on this ladder of shit. I'm not sure how much lower this thing can go.

Natalie Ramsey stars as Hannah Martin, the first baby born from the cult in the original film, now she has decided to return to Gatlin to find her birth mother. After a strange encounter with a preacher that ends in Hannah crashing her car into a corn field she is taken to the local hospital by the sheriff. At the hospital she finds out Isaac was not killed but ended up in a coma. After she leaves the hospital Hannah begins to get stalked and terrorized during her stay at a local motel. The townspeople speak of a prophecy between her and Isaac but Hannah won't leave until she finds out about her mother.

Well we're scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Isaac is in a coma for years and only Hannah's return wakes him which is an okay plot device, especially five sequels deep but this movie is as painfully boring and disjointed as we can get. Dead birds, messages scrawled across the wall in nail polish, and mentally unstable patients at a hospital are the majority of the horror elements until the eye roll inducing ending where we finally meet He Who Walks Behind The Rows and find out he's some local douche bag in a leather jacket. He manhandles Isaac, killing him and Hannah escapes but is no pregnant with the baby of He Who Walks Behind The Rows.

It's so bad. So so so bad. If you're not bored to tears then you're surely getting infuriated at how stupid the whole thing is. It was bad enough that I was complaining to myself that there was barely any corn! And yet again the creepy kid factor is kept to a minimum. I was hoping Isaac's return would at least bring something of merit back to the series, not that I'm any sort of lover of the original but it's by far the best of the series but no, the plot device was a waste and I'm sure this film is only remembered for being the film that brings back John Franklin and Isaac to the series.

If I was beginning to regret the decision to go through this entire series before I am now in full regret mode. These movies are awful.

Film Scores

Saturday, December 24, 2016

THE ID (Hutson Ranch Media - Blu-ray Review)

Directed By: Thommy Hutson
Written By: Sean H. Stewart
Starring: Amanda Wyss, Patrick Peduto, Jamye Grant
Color/87 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: October 25, 2016

The Film
Amanda Wyss stars as Meredith, a middle aged woman living for little else than to care for her sick father. Their relationship isn't good as Meredith's father is abusive toward her every chance he gets. A phone call from an old high school friend gives Meredith a small light in her life but quickly pushes her to the brink of a broken mind.

THE ID is a small production, using a single location and only a handful of characters to tell its story. Amanda Wyss carries the film with a strong performance of a middle aged woman who has been stunted in her mental growth by an abusive father. Meredith still lives in her childhood home in a bedroom decorated with high school banners from over 20 years ago. Her only interaction with the outside world is with the girl who delivers food for her father daily but their interactions are brief and usually end abruptly with Meredith being cold and rude. She is not to blame for how she handles interactions with other people as her father, played disgustingly and perfectly by Patrick Peduto, is an absolute piece of shit to her going as far as spitting in her face and pissing his pants on purpose and laughing in his daughter's face while she has to change him.

Meredith's mind is already a mess as she has visions of killing her father and slips into these visions frequently. When her old high school boyfriend Ted looks her up for a reunion Meredith slips further into a damaged state, while something nice has happened to her and gives her something to look forward to, her Father berates her over it calling her a whore and saying she can't go which only makes things in Meredith's mind that much worse. When the reunion finally happens Ted and his wife find an obviously disturbed woman, living in a reality that doesn't exist and cut their trip short but that's only the start of Meredith's problems.

THE ID is small and tight. It's driven by characters and their performances. Wyss and Peduto are really good together, and they endure a lot. My gripes with the film are minor and deal with the writing particularly dealing with the Ted scene. Ted and Meredith hadn't seen each other since they graduation 28 years earlier, how close could they have been if they didn't have contact in nearly three decades? I understand that in her mental state Meredith could make it the big deal she did when hearing from Ted but what are the chances that after nearly 30 years a happily married man with children randomly looks up an old high school girlfriend out of the blue and then fails to mention his wife and surprises Meredith with her on arrival? That didn't make any sense to me and felt like a plot hole that could have been fixed. It doesn't take away from my overall enjoyment and appreciation from the film but it's not so big that much would have to change to fix it.

Thommy Hutson does a nice job directing this film, it's not overly stylish but he's competent in doing what needs to be done to let the film organically shine. This is a psychological thriller based around a bastardized relationship of a father and his daughter and their brief and tragic encounters with the outside world. Don't let THE ID fly under your radar as it is well worth your time.

The Audio & Video
Hutson Ranch Media releases THE ID on region free Blu-ray with a nice looking 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen Scope aspect ratio transfer. The film has a natural color palette which is pleasing to the eye along with strong finer details and skin tones. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix is free of any background noise or imperfections and has a stable mix.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary with Director Thommy Hutson
-"Needs, Wants & Desire: Behind The Scenes Of THE ID"
-Deleted and Alternate Scenes
-Additional Behind-The-Scenes Footage
-Audition Clips
-Photo Gallery

The Bottom Line
THE ID is a really solid modern psychological thriller that deserves to be seen.

THE ID is available HERE

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

KILLER RACK (Camp Motion Pictures - DVD Review)

Directed By: Gregory Lamberson
Written By: Paul McGinnis
Starring: Jessica Zwolak, Debbie Rochon, Paul McGinnis
Color/95 Minutes/Not Rated
Region 1
Release Date: December 13, 2016

The Film
Betty works a thankless cubicle job where she's overlooked by her boss for sexier women and has a shitty boyfriend waiting for her at home. Tired of how things are going she makes an appointment for breast implants and shortly after she realizes she's made a huge mistake as her new breasts have a murderous mind of their own.

Director Greg Lamberson is no stranger to ridiculous and gory movies as he first made a name for himself back in 1988 with the splatter melt film Slime City, which he followed up with a sequel in 2010. These gooey cult classics aren't far removed from KILLER RACK in terms of tone and content as KILLER RACK doesn't shy away from the bloodshed. Unfortunately it takes quite a while to get to anything worthwhile in KILLER RACK as 95% of the action occurs in the last 10 minutes. Before that we're subjected to painfully unfunny attempts at humor dealing directed at a woman with small breasts. Her life is miserable because of people around her with bigger breasts getting preferential treatment. It really isn't funny and it's handled with so little grace that it began to anger me. I'm far from the most PC person in the world but this script comes across like a couple of frat boys crushing beer cans on their head while yelling "sweet tits!".

When we finally get to a real story for the film to go from it's when Betty, who is played convincingly and likably by Jessica Zwolak, decides to get the implants and sees Dr. Kate Thulu who worships the Elder Gods and in some round about way that makes Betty's new boobs teeth baring monstrous devices of evil. Oh, did you miss the Cthulhu joke? Kate Thulu? You probably missed it because it's so smooth and clever. What's that? You didn't miss it? Oh, silly me. Of course you didn't because they smack you across the face with it. Debbie Rochon made her debut with Slime City and returns to Lamberson here where her over the top B-movie style that I can take or leave but to be fair it fits in fine here.

By the time they flesh out the monster boobs I had lost almost all interest in the movie but they were effectively gross and scary looking all the while looking utterly ridiculous popping through Betty's shirt. They reminded me of a mammary version of the alien monsters from The Deadly Spawn. There's also a tentacle monster moment with the boobs so that we can further try to force the Cthulhu lore in to this film despite there being absolutely no room for it to work organically.

KILLER RACK has some sporadic entertaining moments and when the movie is giving us the visual goods it's not all bad but when it relies more on its writing and humor it fails miserably. The premise of KILLER RACK has "short film" written all over it but unfortunately everyone involved decided on a 95 minute feature that just has little going for it.

The Audio & Video
Camp Motion Pictures releases KILLER RACK on DVD with an attractive 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer that features a natural but healthy color palette and good detail. The image is clean and clear. The 2.0 Stereo audio is crisp and well mixed overall. There's no damage or background noise.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary
-Deleted Scenes
-Behind The Scenes Featurette
-"Kill The Bitch" short film
-"The Camper" short film

The Bottom Line
KILLER RACK could have been a fun, ridiculous and bloody short film but as a feature film it has a bad script, shoehorned plot devices and too much filler for 10 minutes of fun to carry. I think your time is better spent elsewhere.

KILLER RACK is available HERE

Saturday, December 10, 2016

THE CURSE OF DOCTOR WOLFENSTEIN (Reel Gore Releasing Blu-ray Review)

Directed By: Marc Rohnstock
Written By: Marc Rohnstock
Starring: Isabelle Aring, Robin Czerny, Roland Freitag
Color/115 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: October 25, 2016

The Film
In pre-World War II Germany Dr. Victor Wolfenstein has become obsessed with discovering the secret to immortality. Upon finding a serum that can stop the affects of aging he has infected himself with Necrosis, a flesh eating disease. The evil doctor must replace his rotting parts with fresh parts and as the local village is under attack by the doctor they bad together and bury the madman alive. Now in present day the doctor has unearthed himself, still rotting and longing for fresh flesh and a group of teens on their way to a giant party get stranded in the village and quickly learn of the curse that Doctor Wolfenstein has put upon the area.

THE CURSE OF DOCTOR WOLFENSTEIN carries on the tradition of not only its writer/director Marc Rohnstock who is no stranger to splatter films, but a longer, deeper tradition of German splatter films dating back to Olaf Ittenbach (The Burning Moon) and Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik). American audiences had a chance to learn Rohnstock's name several years ago when his film Necronos (aka Necronos: Tower Of Doom) was released on DVD by Troma. The bloodshed was the real deal. The gore was incredible. And five years later Rohnstock is back with a dirty, grimy film that  will make you want to take a shower. If you're expecting buckets of blood you should bring barrels because the hordes of nameless victims that Doctor Wolfenstein dispatches in gruesome, grotesque and downright gross ways all have the gore flying.

Make no mistake, you're here for the gore. If you've followed this site for any amount of time you'll know I have very mixed emotions on gore for the sake of gore as simply being gory doesn't make a horror film great. There is that special time where it can make it damn entertaining though and that is the case of THE CURSE OF DOCTOR WOLFENSTEIN. That isn't to say the film is perfect as a good twenty or even thirty minutes could be trimmed without losing anything of substance and it would make the film a tighter product.

But, what the fuck, that would also cut out a half dozen kills or more. And remember, these aren't your cut away, clean up with a single paper towel kills. These are victim after victim stripped down to their most vulnerable position, sliced, diced, chopped and popped. In the best way THE CURSE OF THE DOCTOR WOLFENSTEIN is disgusting. I can talk about the acting, which is fine, or I can talk about the writing, which features a standard slasher set up and all of the tropes and the editing or lack thereof has been mentioned but sometimes what can be described as the lowest common denominator can be more than enough for a good time.

THE CURSE OF DOCTOR WOLFENSTEIN does a great job carrying on the German splatter film legacy and you can even spot the king of German splatter Olaf Ittenbach in a cameo as a victim which I count as a seal of approval from him. THE CURSE OF DOCTOR WOLFENSTEIN isn't perfect but it's fucking nasty and sometimes that is just what the doctor ordered.

The Audio & Video
The third release from Reel Gore Releasing is another stunner in terms of A/V presentation. The Blu-ray quality of DOCTOR WOLFENSTEIN is top notch with exceptionally sharp picture and high detail levels. Colors are strong especially the crimson reds from the arterial sprays. Flesh tones are natural with no signs of waxiness from excessive DNR. There are two audio options, both in the film's native German with optional English subtitles. There is a DTS-HD 2.0 and DTS-HD 5.1 mix respectively. The 2.0 mix is crisp, perfectly clear and stable with no level fluctuations. The audio is free of distortions, hiccups or wobbles.

The Extras
-Behind The Scenes Featurette
-"Trapped And Stabbed" - A short film by Marc Rohnstock
-Blooper Reels
-Still Gallery

The Bottom Line
THE CURSE OF DOCTOR WOLFENSTEIN might be THE release for gore hounds in 2016.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Reel Gore Releasing #4 - The Orphan Killer (Press Release)


REEL GORE RELEASING presents the official release of Matt Farnsworth’s slasher movie THE ORPHAN KILLER on Blu-ray/DVD December 13, 2016

Los Angeles, CA (December 2016) For immediate release. Synopsis: The Orphan Killer is a tour de force murder flick that defies classification. It goes far beyond current trends in gore and breaks open a new suffering genre of horror. Marcus Miller is a serial murderer hell-bent on teaching his estranged sister Audrey what it means to have family loyalty. His lessons are taught in massive doses of vulgar and unimaginable pain. Throughout her brutal torture we learn that Marcus is not the only Miller with Killer in the bloodline as Audrey proves to be a formidable adversary. Starring: Diane Foster, David Bachhaus, Karen Young, James McCaffrey, Matt Farnsworth.

Price:                              $34.95 
Street Date:                              December 13, 2016
Production Year:                     2011
Country:                                  USA
Film run time:                 Approx. 83 minutes
Language:                                English language with optional Spanish/French/Italian/Japanese subtitles
Aspect Ratio:                           2.35:1 Widescreen Anamorphic 
Audio:                                      DTS-HD MA 5.1 Surround/Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
Label/Distributor:                    Reel Gore Releasing/CAV
Catalog Number:                     RGR004
UPC:                                        881190600498
Rating:                                     Not Rated

Collectible Blu-ray/DVD O-Card and Sleeve
Behind The Murder - Exclusive Video Diary 
Music Clip 
Collectible O-Card

First pressing of 1000 copies include Collector’s Card RGR004


Directed By: John Lechago
Written By: John Lechago
Starring: Trent Haaga, Victoria De Mare, Al Burke
Color/86 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: December 1, 2016

The Film
Killjoy the demon clown has escaped hell and his time spent hosting a wickedly weird talk show is interrupted when Beelzebub comes after Killjoy to trap his spirit and bring it back to hell. Killjoy and his crew must fight off Beelzebub and his psychos in an intergalactic battle of bad CGI and body paint.

KILLJOY'S PSYCHO CIRCUS is the fifth entry into the franchise which I admittedly  have very little knowledge of. I know that this film follows the fourth entry Killjoy Goes To Hell (yes, I figured that out on my own), and I've seen very brief footage from the earlier films but I had never sat down to watch a Killjoy film before now. KILLYJOY'S PSYCHO CIRCUS focused much more on Killjoy's relationship with his sidekick Batty Boop who is a fellow clown rocking a body paint suit and arguably the most annoying voice I've ever heard in film. A deliberate speech impediment and whiny, squeaky voice made every line from Batty unbearable, and she has plenty of lines. It was a welcomed surprise to be able to learn about the characters jumping in to a series so far along, I don't feel like I missed much or that I can at least survive without knowing it.

Trent Haaga plays the titular demon clown and he's the high point of the film. He's genuinely funny with great comedic timing and brings great emotion to the character through all of the makeup and latex work. Writer/director John Lechago is no stranger to the franchise having directed the last three films in the franchise and his script is surprisingly good. KILLJOY'S PSYCHO CIRCUS is a well written movie, especially by modern Full Moon standards. The acting isn't half bad from the supporting cast either. Victoria De Mare is quite good as Batty, despite her annoying voice, she plays the smitten sidekick role very well.

Where the film stumbles is that it's rather uneventful. This is a case where too much character development and story is just too much. I was left wanting more demon carnival shenanigans and only later on in the film do we really get any sort of action with a quick shoot out scene that easily dispatches of most of Beelzebub's psychos and a final battle that is cheesy as hell and features a Mortal Kombat soundtrack. Both of the big action sequences are definitely fun but there's just not enough of them and the film's reliance on sex jokes and toilet humor ultimately lets it down.

The Audio & Video
It's a shame that KILLJOY'S PSYCHO CIRCUS isn't being released on Blu-ray because it is a very colorful production and has interesting sets that would look fantastic in HD. That said, the DVD from Full Moon does look quite good. The colors shine through vividly and the detail level is strong. The 16x9 anamorphic widescreen transfer is sharp and clean. The 2.0 English audio mix sounds good as well with steady levels and a complimentary mix between dialogue and soundtrack. The audio is clear and crisp with no distortions.

The Extras
Bare bones.

The Bottom Line
Returning Killjoy fans will likely find a lot to enjoy here but newcomers may want to watch some trailers or the first film in the series before diving into KILLJOY'S PSYCHO CIRCUS to see if this is their cup of tea. Recommended for returning fans of the series.


Wednesday, December 7, 2016


Directed By: Mark Pirro
Written By: Mark Pirro, Alan Gries
Starring: John McCafferty, Robyn Blythe, Beano
Color/81 Minutes/Not Rated
Region FREE
Release Date: October 25, 2016

The Film
Chuck Toedan is the host of the popular but wildly controversial TV gameshow Live Or Die where death row inmates compete for a chance to beat their sentence or at least win some prizes for their family on the way out. Toedan's own life is put in jeopardy when he kills a local mob boss and a hit man comes to the studio for Toedan. A battle for survival ensues as Toedan tries to outsmart and outmaneuver the mafia hit man while being put in the same situations he's used to seeing his contestants in!

Mark Pirro directed DEATHROW GAMESHOW only having had experience making Super 8 shorts and his debut feature A Polish Vampire In Burbank which was also shot on Super 8. Pirro was given the chance to make his first 35mm feature and didn't squander it despite being overwhelmed and realizing his tight knit crew from his days with 8mm were going to need some help with a more experienced crew. The thing Pirro didn't need too much help with was writing a hilariously dark comedy that is full of colorful characters and fun sight gags.

John McCafferty is absolutely fantastic as Chuck Toedan and perfectly embodies a corny gameshow host. His chemistry with Robyn Blythe is natural and their character progression is handled nicely. Blythe is quite likable and is a genuinely nice person who gets caught up in a bad situation, and during her dinner with the hit man a rather disgusting and off putting situation as well. Beano does a great job playing a caricature of a typical mafia hitman, playing up his Italian heritage to a comical level. The best scenes of the film are of course the gameshow scenes and seeing the inmates meet their ends in all of the hilaroiusly staged events. Or is it of their family's reaction to their demise and the surprising upswing in their mood when they find out they've won some wonderful prizes? It's both. The cheese smothered script works so wonderfully that all of the over acting and hokey parodies of all aspects of game shows bring nothing but laughs.

DEATHROW GAMESHOW has grown on me to be among the most underrated comedic gems of the late 80s and it's low budget nature and campy vibe only add to its charm.

The Audio & Video
Vinegar Syndrome releases an impressive looking Blu-ray that easily outshines previous DVD releases that frankly didn't look bad themselves. It's the immediately noticeable improvement that speaks volumes for the quality of this transfer, taking a film that looked fine on home video and making it look truly outstanding. The 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer retains the film's original aspect ratio and has been restored from a brand new 2K scan from the original 35mm negatives and features a natural and healthy grain structure. Colors have never looked better for this film than they do here, with an increased richness and vivid quality. Black levels are deep and inky and the picture is quite sharp and clean. The English DTS-HD Master Audio Mono is especially crisp and clear with steady levels and no distortions or background noise. The film certainly hasn't sounded this good before. English SDH subtitles are available.

The Extras
-Audio Commentary with director Mark Pirro, and stars John McCafferty and Robyn Blythe
-"Revisiting DEATHROW GAMESHOW" - A well done documentary clocking in at over a half hour long.
-2015 Director's Cut of DEATHROW GAMESHOW
-Multiple Director's Introductions
-"Buns" - a 1978 short film from Mark Pirro
-"The Spy Who Did It Better" - 1979 short film from Mark Pirro
-Original theatrical trailer
-TV Spots
-Image Gallery
-Reversible Artwork

The Bottom Line
Two cuts of the film, short films from the director and a host of other entertaining and high quality extras are just the icing on top of the cake for this hilarious black comedy that looks and sounds like you've just won the grand prize on an exploitation gameshow.


Monday, December 5, 2016

The Possession Experiment (2016)

Directed By: Scott B. Hansen
Written By: Mary Dixon, Scott B. Hansen
Starring: Chris Minor, Clay Harper, Nicky Jasper
Release Date: December 6, 2016 (VOD, Digital HD, DVD)

THE POSSESSION EXPERIMENT opens with a bloody violent scene of an exorcism going wildly wrong and almost everyone involved winding up dead. It is an opening scene that immediately captures the audience's attention and sets up a promising film.

Then the rest of the movie happens. And you wonder what happened. The set up is decent enough, with a college student preparing a project for his Religion class as he sets out to prove or disprove demonic possession and exorcism using the police evidence and location of the opening scene exorcism. He partners up with a stoner for the project who adds nothing to the film but to talk about eating every time he's on screen and with a pretty med student who will document his vital signs and any changes in behavior. 

This decent set up is marred by completely inept editing, characters that show up out of nowhere in important scenes such as the medium who leaves as fast as she enters and we never see a character call her, talk to her, make any sort of business deal with her prior to her debut into the film. I feel the filmmakers couldn't decide what they wanted the signs and symptoms of demonic possession to be in this film as it changes from the stereotypical green puke and speaking in tongues type to fashioning a homemade Freddy Kruger glove out of X-Acto knives and going on a bit of a slasher spree. It left me with a giant question as to exactly what I was supposed to be watching. 

There's lots of cues and devices lifted from better exorcism and demonic horror films and lots of them have no real reason or explanation for being in this film. Like what is the big deal that the Ouija board was found in the wall in this movie? It's never explained. Any old Ouija board could have done the same thing. That's one of many questions I'm left with in this overly unsatisfying experience. 

If you see Bill Moseley's name attached to THE POSSESSION EXPERIMENT don't be fooled as he is gone by the end of the opening scene. THE POSSESSION EXPERIMENT ends up having a handful of really well done scenes surrounded by a plethora of bad filmmaking and overacting and it's really not worth your time.

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Directed By: Henrique Couto
Written By: Henrique Couto
Starring: Josh Miller, Bradley Diehl, Marylee Osborne
Release Date: December 10, 2016

Straight forward comedies with no real ties to horror or exploitation are not something I regularly cover here but when I saw the trailer for Henrique Couto's NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS it immediately struck a chord with me and I knew it would be something I could relate to. So while you won't be seeing the newest Zac Efron comedy being covered here I think a dark indie comedy like NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS fits in just fine.

Josh Miller stars as Neil, a self employed painter and graphic designer who has just been dumped by his long term girlfriend and ends up drunkenly drinking bleach while drinking away his feelings which lands him in the psych ward of the hospital and on court ordered therapy. Now Neil must sort out his feelings, his friends and most of all his life to find happiness and meaning in his life. Or maybe he'll just waste away eating a lot of Chinese take out.

NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS is a great watch for anybody floating in the purgatory of their 20s and early 30s, not quite sure what direction they should take in their lives when everything they've come to know has seemingly turned its back on them and fallen apart. It's a great coming of age story at a stage in life that we don't get many films that answer the numerous questions we still have at that age. Miller nails the lead role, infinitely likable and easy to relate with, he carries writer/director Henrique Couto's strong script. He's supported by a Bradley Diehl who plays Neil's best friend Dave. The type of friend that rags on you and shits on you and will endlessly make fun of you about everything but has your back every second of every day. He's the type of friend we all need and Diehl is hilarious in his crudeness. Along with Diehl is Marylee Osborne who becomes one of Neil's inner circle after his breakup and proves that new friends and meaningful relationships can pop up from the most unexpected places. Osborne does a great job proving to be a soft soul with a rough and tough exterior.

The film also shows that sometimes swallowing your pride and letting go of a grudge is the best thing that can happen to you and allow you to be free, grow and again, create a meaningful relationship. Henrique Couto's film isn't all hugs and kisses, there's plenty of darker moments and eye opening revelations like not all long term friendships are worth hanging on to and not everyone will fit into you life forever. It's a harsh realization but it's one we all find out eventually. When it comes down to it NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS shows that plenty of good things actually do happen but life is a rocky fucking road and getting to those good spots can really put us through our paces and sometimes it's okay to befriend your local Chinese restaurant owner to get free noodles to eat away the pain... but not everyday. Get real.

NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS is a fine example of an indie comedy that makes use of great characters and writing over cheaper sight gags or gimmicks. I'm of the mind that making a really good comedy, dark or otherwise, is one of the toughest types of films to make and Couto is up to the challenge with NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS.

NOTHING GOOD EVER HAPPENS will be available for purchase HERE and also for rent on Amazon