[BLU-RAY REVIEW] ‘BRAINSCAN’ IMPROVES WITH AGE AND REPEAT VIEWINGS

[BLU-RAY REVIEW] ‘BRAINSCAN’ IMPROVES WITH AGE AND REPEAT VIEWINGS


August 28, 2018    Matt Wedge

  Every independent producer of horror films in the ’80s wanted a villain like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger around which to build a franchise. Some—like Leatherface or The Tall Man—were brought back from iconic films that were never meant to be continued. Others—like Cropsy, The Miner/Harry Warden,…

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[BLU-RAY REVIEW] ‘THE CHANGELING’ (1980) FINALLY GETS THE PRESENTATION IT DESERVES

[BLU-RAY REVIEW] ‘THE CHANGELING’ (1980) FINALLY GETS THE PRESENTATION IT DESERVES


August 27, 2018    Paul Freitag-Fey

  Released during a bit of a resurgence in haunted house films (1979’s THE AMITYVILLE HORROR, 1980’s THE SHINING, 1982’s POLTERGEIST), the reputation of 1980’s THE CHANGELING  tends to get overshadowed in the wake of its bigger-budget, showier peers. Unlike its more well-known brethren, Peter Medak’s Canadian-lensed spooker hasn’t had…

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In ARIZONA, Danny McBride Effectivley Subverts His Comedic Persona

In ARIZONA, Danny McBride Effectivley Subverts His Comedic Persona


August 26, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

    There’s something dangerous and unsettling about the comedic persona of Danny McBride. Ever since breaking through with his star-making indie THE FOOT FIST WAY, McBride has become part of the roving Judd Apatow, the weed-and-improv soaked crew of modern bro-doofus miscreants ad-libbing their way through a series of…

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[TOBE HOOPER WEEK] PUTTING A DEPOSIT ON ‘THE APARTMENT COMPLEX’ (1999)

[TOBE HOOPER WEEK] PUTTING A DEPOSIT ON ‘THE APARTMENT COMPLEX’ (1999)


August 21, 2018    Paul Freitag-Fey

  Tobe Hooper may be best known as a theatrical film director, but he made a fairly large impact with his boob tube-bound horrors as well, most notably as the director of the original 1979 mini-series adaptation of SALEM’S LOT. Hooper’s homebound horrors, however, don’t stop there, and enthusiastic horror…

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‘THE UNBORN’ IS DELIVERED ON BLU-RAY FROM SCREAM FACTORY

‘THE UNBORN’ IS DELIVERED ON BLU-RAY FROM SCREAM FACTORY


August 14, 2018    Matt Wedge

  THE UNBORN feels like Brooke Adams lost a bet with her agent and had to take on the weirdest, yet most derivative script they had on their desk at the time, but was given the stipulation that she had to put her heart and soul in her performance. That,…

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‘ALONG CAME THE DEVIL’ POSSESSES AMBITION NOT USUALLY SEEN IN THIS SUBGENRE

‘ALONG CAME THE DEVIL’ POSSESSES AMBITION NOT USUALLY SEEN IN THIS SUBGENRE


August 10, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

  Devil possession films are a dime a dozen. Ever since the halcyon days of THE EXORCIST, we have been inundated with endless tales of people (not always, but generally, young teen girls) having their corporeal essences overtaken by slathering demonic beasties resulting in bumps in the night, salaciously giggled…

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FOR BETTER AND WORSE, ‘WHAT STILL REMAINS’ TRIES TO BE A DIFFERENT KIND OF POST-APOCALYPTIC FILM

FOR BETTER AND WORSE, ‘WHAT STILL REMAINS’ TRIES TO BE A DIFFERENT KIND OF POST-APOCALYPTIC FILM


August 10, 2018    Mike Vaughn

  I have to say, I love a good post-apocalyptic film. However, it’s a dicey genre to pull off as it’s been done nearly to death over the decades. Films such as the MAD MAX series have set the bar high, yet most others seem to fail.     WHAT…

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NOW ON BLU-RAY, ‘LOWLIFE’ IS ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR

NOW ON BLU-RAY, ‘LOWLIFE’ IS ONE OF THE BEST FILMS OF THE YEAR


August 7, 2018    Matt Wedge

  When I first reviewed LOWLIFE back when I saw it at Cinepocalypse 2017, I really did not say much other than how much I enjoyed it. That very short, non-descript review was born of both the time crunch that comes with trying to keep up with reviews in the…

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‘PYEWACKET’ IS A CREEPY TREAT

‘PYEWACKET’ IS A CREEPY TREAT


August 5, 2018    Matt Wedge

  After watching a movie like PYEWACKET I cannot wait to check out the trailer to see how it was sold. In this case, a relatively straight-forward look at the way two people handle grief differently with only occasional flourishes of supernatural horror has a trailer selling an angry Goth…

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[FANTASIA 2018] ‘THE NIGHTSHIFTER’ IS SOLID EC COMICS-INSPIRED HORROR

[FANTASIA 2018] ‘THE NIGHTSHIFTER’ IS SOLID EC COMICS-INSPIRED HORROR


August 4, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

  Stenio (Daniel de Oliveira) is a good man. He’s a loving father, a dutiful husband, and a considerate co-worker. He works the night shift at the local morgue preparing various bodies for their final stages before burial. He also has a power. He can speak to the dead. Every…

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[FANTASIA 2018] ‘PLAYING HARD’ BRINGS HONOR TO VIDEO GAME DOCUMENTARIES

[FANTASIA 2018] ‘PLAYING HARD’ BRINGS HONOR TO VIDEO GAME DOCUMENTARIES


August 2, 2018    Paul Freitag-Fey

  Despite the fact that I have a tendency to keep writing about ‘em, I don’t really consider myself a video game person. The newest console I own is a Playstation 3, and that has mostly been used for playing Portal 2 and Grand Theft Auto 5. When it comes…

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‘THE FOREST OF THE LOST SOULS’ QUICKLY LOSES ITS WAY

‘THE FOREST OF THE LOST SOULS’ QUICKLY LOSES ITS WAY


August 1, 2018    Matt Wedge

  It is rare occurrence for me to have such a violent negative reaction to a film as I had toward THE FOREST OF THE LOST SOULS. That is the problem with movies that have real potential: so many of them fail to live up to it. As a viewer,…

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[FANTASIA 2018] ‘CAM’ AND ‘THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE’ OFFER CHILLING LOOKS AT ONLINE CELEBRITY

[FANTASIA 2018] ‘CAM’ AND ‘THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF DESIRE’ OFFER CHILLING LOOKS AT ONLINE CELEBRITY


July 30, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

  Over the past two decades, the Internet and the navel-gazing social connection it provides has become a dominant, if not THE dominant, force in our everyday lives, dictating what we see, how we act, and who we interact with. Once a tool for the quick sharing of information across…

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[FANTASIA 2018] ‘ONE CUT OF THE DEAD’ PUTS A FRESH COAT OF BLOOD ON A WELL-WORN GENRE AND GIMMICK

[FANTASIA 2018] ‘ONE CUT OF THE DEAD’ PUTS A FRESH COAT OF BLOOD ON A WELL-WORN GENRE AND GIMMICK


July 29, 2018    Paul Freitag-Fey

  How the heck do you make an original, clever zombie movie in 2018, when the genre has been so beaten into the ground that even zombie-related metaphors for the genre’s rise from the dead have been beaten into the ground? Japanese director Shin’ichirô Ueda has somehow found a way with ONE…

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[FANTASIA 2018] ‘HURT’ TRIES TOO HARD TO BE A DIFFERENT KIND OF SLASHER FILM

[FANTASIA 2018] ‘HURT’ TRIES TOO HARD TO BE A DIFFERENT KIND OF SLASHER FILM


July 26, 2018    Nathan Smith

  Have you ever watched a film that just meanders? This isn’t me talking about some slow burn where the climax merits the buildup of tension. I mean the kind of film where you sit watching the movie build and build towards the climax, and you find yourself worrying if…

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‘SOFT MATTER’ IS A FUN, ABSURDIST TAKE ON THE MAD SCIENTIST GENRE

‘SOFT MATTER’ IS A FUN, ABSURDIST TAKE ON THE MAD SCIENTIST GENRE


July 24, 2018    Matt Wedge

  SOFT MATTER is proof that a film can go as absurd, silly, and off the rails as it likes as long as it has a committed cast. That is not to say that writer/director Jim Hickcox is a slouch with no handle on tone, but there are moments in…

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[FANTASIA 2018] ‘PLEDGE’ TAKES FRATERNITY HAZING TO A VIOLENT NEW LEVEL

[FANTASIA 2018] ‘PLEDGE’ TAKES FRATERNITY HAZING TO A VIOLENT NEW LEVEL


July 24, 2018    Nathan Smith

  Though I never went to college, I abhor everything about fraternity culture. I’m not talking about your filmic frat culture witnessed in NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL HOUSE or REVENGE OF THE NERDS. No, I’m talking about the real-life shit that resembles something less than real-life and reeks of the debauchery…

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[FANTASIA 2018] ‘LIFECHANGER’ WILL NOT CHANGE YOUR LIFE

[FANTASIA 2018] ‘LIFECHANGER’ WILL NOT CHANGE YOUR LIFE


July 23, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

Narration can be a tricky device to use in a film. Done well, it can heighten the mood of a film, explicating small bits of character and story and giving us a fuller view of the interior world of the people on screen.

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[FANTASIA 2018] ‘KNUCKLEBALL’ is a twisted Canadian HOME ALONE that hits a home run

[FANTASIA 2018] ‘KNUCKLEBALL’ is a twisted Canadian HOME ALONE that hits a home run


July 21, 2018    Paul Freitag-Fey

  KNUCKLEBALL, a Canadian thriller from Michael Peterson premiering at Fantasia this week, is the story of Henry, a 12-year-old boy played by Channel Zero’s Luca Villacis. Taken to the remote farm of his grandfather Jacob (Canadian genre film icon Michael Ironside) to be watched while his parents attend a…

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[FANTASIA 2018] ‘COLD SKIN’ IS A BEAUTIFUL SURFACE WITH NOTHING UNDERNEATH

[FANTASIA 2018] ‘COLD SKIN’ IS A BEAUTIFUL SURFACE WITH NOTHING UNDERNEATH


July 21, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

  There’s a lot to admire in Xavier Gens’s COLD SKIN; there’s much less to actually like. It’s a gorgeously made genre morality tale that nonetheless feels stiffly, inertly told, all glittering seashell on the surface, but little more than chum once you look closely. Gens has put all his…

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THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN BIGFOOT Is A Low-Key Surprise

THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN BIGFOOT Is A Low-Key Surprise


July 21, 2018    Mike Vanderbilt

“This is not the comic book story you want it to be” Sam Elliott’s Calvin Barr exclaims during THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN BIGFOOT. That kind of sums up the film, a surprisingly quiet movie despite the gleefully obnoxious title. It’s not a film promising to make good…

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[FANTASIA 2018] BUFFALO BOYS Is An Exciting Twist On Classic Western Tropes

[FANTASIA 2018] BUFFALO BOYS Is An Exciting Twist On Classic Western Tropes


July 15, 2018    Mike Vanderbilt

BUFFALO BOYS is everything I want out of the movies: it’s thrilling, it’s funny, it’s exciting, romantic, and intense. This Indonesian riff on Western tropes seamlessly combines martial arts cinema with the works of John Ford, Sergio Leone, and Clint Eastwood yet is wholly original in its execution. This thing…

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[FANTASIA 2018] SUMMER OF ‘84 Needs To Go Back To School

[FANTASIA 2018] SUMMER OF ‘84 Needs To Go Back To School


July 14, 2018    Mike Vanderbilt

STRANGER THINGS, SUPER DARK TIMES, STEPHEN KING’S IT: the new wave of ‘80sploitation has certainly fostered some gems. These films rarely focus on capturing the youthful feelings of teenagers, but rather attempt to capture the feel of the movies that filmgoers of a certain age grew up on. SUMMER OF ’84 settles…

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[FANTASIA 2018] BOILED ANGELS: THE TRIAL OF MIKE DIANA Expertly Explores Censorship & The Concept Of Free Speech

[FANTASIA 2018] BOILED ANGELS: THE TRIAL OF MIKE DIANA Expertly Explores Censorship & The Concept Of Free Speech


July 14, 2018    Paul Freitag-Fey

  In 1994, independent comic book creator Mike Diana became the first person in the United States convicted of obscenity, forbidden to even practice drawing in his own home. While his case was followed and heavily noted by both comic book fans and first amendment advocates at the time, the…

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