LARS VON TRIER BUILDS A PUNISHING SELF-EXAMINATION IN ‘THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT’

LARS VON TRIER BUILDS A PUNISHING SELF-EXAMINATION IN ‘THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT’


December 14, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

Lars Von Trier is an asshole. The director would probably admit as much himself. He’s made a career out of being a contrarian and provocateur, of making movies that are aggressive in their nihilism and despair, of revelling in his appellation as cinema’s leading enfant terrible. He’s been obliquely accused…

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‘SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE’ IS THE ULTIMATE COMIC BOOK MOVIE

‘SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE’ IS THE ULTIMATE COMIC BOOK MOVIE


December 14, 2018    Jason Coffman

Spider-Man has had a real roller coaster ride in the movies since Sam Raimi’s 2002 blockbuster finally introduced the character to the big screen. Within 15 years of that film’s release, Raimi directed two sequels before Sony rebooted the series with Marc Webb at the helm, and then Marvel managed…

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SCREAM FACTORY CRUSHES IT WITH TOBE HOOPER’S ADAPTATION OF ‘THE MANGLER’

SCREAM FACTORY CRUSHES IT WITH TOBE HOOPER’S ADAPTATION OF ‘THE MANGLER’


December 12, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

If you were to ask horror fans what they thought was the worst Stephen King adaptation, and what they thought was the worst Tobe Hooper film, there would inevitably be a Venn diagram that posits THE MANGLER square in the middle. Hooper’s second King adaptation–nearly twenty years on from his perfunctorily…

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SCREAM FACTORY CELEBRATES GARBAGE DAY WITH THE NEW ‘SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2’ BLU-RAY

SCREAM FACTORY CELEBRATES GARBAGE DAY WITH THE NEW ‘SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2’ BLU-RAY


December 11, 2018    Matt Wedge

The first and only time before last week that I had watched SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2, I said some pretty brutal things in a review on my blog. In fact, I didn’t so much write a review as I did an extended skit where I tried to imagine…

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SCREAM FACTORY BRINGS ‘TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION’ TO BLU-RAY

SCREAM FACTORY BRINGS ‘TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION’ TO BLU-RAY


December 11, 2018    Matt Wedge

In one of the bonus featurettes on this new Scream Factory Blu-ray of the film, the production designer mentions that writer/director Kim Henkel intended TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION to be a return to the tone, feel, and look of the 1974 original. If that is truly the intent,…

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THE ‘CRITTERS’ BLU-RAY COLLECTION FROM SCREAM FACTORY IS A FEAST OF ALIEN HAIRBALL GOODNESS

THE ‘CRITTERS’ BLU-RAY COLLECTION FROM SCREAM FACTORY IS A FEAST OF ALIEN HAIRBALL GOODNESS


November 27, 2018    Matt Wedge

The first CRITTERS hit at arguably the height of PG-13 horror aimed at adolescents who were too old for kids films but not quite ready for bloodier adult horror that was ushered in by GREMLINS. Not surprisingly, CRITTERS borrowed (ahem) quite a bit from Joe Dante’s subversive horror-comedy to give…

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AGFA AND SOMETHING WEIRD GIVE ED WOOD’S ‘TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE’ A STELLAR BLU-RAY PRESENTATION

AGFA AND SOMETHING WEIRD GIVE ED WOOD’S ‘TAKE IT OUT IN TRADE’ A STELLAR BLU-RAY PRESENTATION


November 13, 2018    Matt Wedge

Can we just agree, right up front, Edward D. Wood Jr. was not even close to the worst filmmaker of all time? Did he operate on miniscule budgets? Yes, he did. Did he overreach his means in an attempt to make movies with huge ideas? Absolutely. Was he idiosyncratic as…

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SCREAM FACTORY GIVES ‘CREEPSHOW’ THE STELLAR BLU-RAY TREATMENT

SCREAM FACTORY GIVES ‘CREEPSHOW’ THE STELLAR BLU-RAY TREATMENT


October 23, 2018    Matt Wedge

It seems ridiculous to write any sort of plot explanation or introduction to CREEPSHOW. If you are a reader of this site, you already know it as one of the all-time great horror anthology films and the best of the collaborations between Stephen King and the late, great George A….

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‘NINJA ZOMBIE’ LIVES UP TO ITS BRILLIANT, TWISTED PREMISE

‘NINJA ZOMBIE’ LIVES UP TO ITS BRILLIANT, TWISTED PREMISE


October 8, 2018    Matt Wedge

It is a rarity when a film at the budget level of NINJA ZOMBIE actually lives up to its inspired title. I have watched so many micro-budget indies with great titles and groovy DVD art/posters that were plodding, dull, and talky that I immediately assume a movie with as tremendous…

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‘VENOM’ GIVES THE VIOLENT ANTIHERO THE BLAND ORIGIN STORY TREATMENT

‘VENOM’ GIVES THE VIOLENT ANTIHERO THE BLAND ORIGIN STORY TREATMENT


October 4, 2018    Rob Dean

Not every adaptation into film needs to be 100% faithful to the source material. There have been tons of successful works that have changed, combined, or left out major narrative elements of stories and characters that audiences love—but the films work just as well. The two main questions one should…

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‘DESTROYER’ IS A FAMILIAR CRIME DRAMA WITH A TERRIFIC LEAD PERFORMANCE

‘DESTROYER’ IS A FAMILIAR CRIME DRAMA WITH A TERRIFIC LEAD PERFORMANCE


October 2, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

Nicole Kidman looks unrecognizable in DESTROYER, her famously refined features dirtied and sallow with a lifetime of weariness. Her porcelain skin is now grayish and liver-spotted, her eyes heavy with tiredness, the mop of hair on her head limp and streaked with white. You can hardly believe you are seeing…

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THERE ARE GOOD TIMES TO BE HAD WITH ‘BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE’

THERE ARE GOOD TIMES TO BE HAD WITH ‘BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE’


October 2, 2018    Jason Coffman

Drew Goddard’s debut feature THE CABIN IN THE WOODS was a highly memorable way to start a directorial career. This wasn’t just a meta-horror in the SCREAM tradition, it was a call to arms for horror fans and filmmakers to demand something more out the genre than the same exhausted…

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‘SAVAGE’ IS A CLUMSY COMING OF AGE TALE DISGUISED AS AN ANEMIC THRILLER

‘SAVAGE’ IS A CLUMSY COMING OF AGE TALE DISGUISED AS AN ANEMIC THRILLER


October 1, 2018    Matt Wedge

SAVAGE had its world premiere at Fantastic Fest on Saturday, September 22, 2018.   I appreciate a well-made coming of age film. When everything clicks, the harsh truths of a young person growing up and dealing with a world where they now understand that adults are not always right and…

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‘WEREWOLF’ IS A SIEGE FILM THAT LETS ITS HUMANITY SHINE THROUGH

‘WEREWOLF’ IS A SIEGE FILM THAT LETS ITS HUMANITY SHINE THROUGH


September 30, 2018    Matt Wedge

WEREWOLF recently had its North American premiere at Fantastic Fest 2018.   There are two ways a genre film can make me nervous before watching it. One is to be based upon an actual tragedy. It is hard for me to watch a movie based on true events that result…

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UNDER THE SILVER LAKE Is A Hollow Hipster Noir Mystery

UNDER THE SILVER LAKE Is A Hollow Hipster Noir Mystery


September 27, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

There’s a certain breed of film fan that gets roundly mocked on social media for their rather basic tastes: the Dudely Film Bro. We all know the (stereo)type. The man with the SCARFACE and BOONDOCK SAINTS posters on his wall. The one who worships at the altar of Tyler Durden,…

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CHAINED FOR LIFE Is Playful And Joyfully Spirited

CHAINED FOR LIFE Is Playful And Joyfully Spirited


September 27, 2018    Sharon Gissy

CHAINED FOR LIFE is prefaced by a lengthy quote from Pauline Kael about the necessity of beauty in actors, because it makes the viewing experience more pleasurable for the audience. Make no mistake about it: this is a message movie. It is, as predicted by the quote, a movie about beauty,…

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The Genre Bending Animated Musical LAIKA Is A Joy To Watch

The Genre Bending Animated Musical LAIKA Is A Joy To Watch


September 27, 2018    Sharon Gissy

Wes Anderson’s ISLE OF DOGS may be given a run for its money by LAIKA, an utterly charming, whimsical, and funny animated musical about the famous space dog that died in the launching of Sputnik 2. In this alternate reality created by Czech director Aurel Klimt, Laika does not die but…

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AS A MIDNIGHT MOVIE, ‘GIRLS WITH BALLS’ FAILS TO ENTERTAIN

AS A MIDNIGHT MOVIE, ‘GIRLS WITH BALLS’ FAILS TO ENTERTAIN


September 26, 2018    Matt Wedge

I saw GIRLS WITH BALLS in one of the midnight slots at this year’s Fantastic Fest, and I have to admit, in many ways, it is very much a traditional midnight movie with as much gore, stupid jokes, and obnoxious behavior as should be expected. That said, many of the…

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STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART Displays A Welcome Regional Weirdness

STRIKE, DEAR MISTRESS, AND CURE HIS HEART Displays A Welcome Regional Weirdness


September 26, 2018    Jason Coffman

Fantastic Fest is a celebration of genre and cult cinema from all over the world, bringing both new and classic films to the big screen for eager crowds. Sometimes, though, the fest brings something completely unexpected even by its own high standards of outré programming. This year, the festival hosted…

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THE PERFECTION Orchestrates An Aria Of Twisted, Perverse Surprises

THE PERFECTION Orchestrates An Aria Of Twisted, Perverse Surprises


September 26, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

There’s no way to coherently to review a film like THE PERFECTION without giving what makes it tick away. It’s that kind of movie, the kind of film where the twists and turns come so unexpectedly, with such hair-trigger precision, and go to places that one would never even expect…

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[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME STRETCHES HIS ACTING MUSCLES IN ‘THE BOUNCER’

[FANTASTIC FEST 2018] JEAN-CLAUDE VAN DAMME STRETCHES HIS ACTING MUSCLES IN ‘THE BOUNCER’


September 25, 2018    Matt Wedge

  As he has aged, I find Jean-Claude Van Damme to be an enigma as a screen presence. He no longer is capable of the kind of stunt work and choreographed martial arts action scenes with which he made his name. Forced to rely more on his surprisingly decent acting…

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Gaspar Noé’s CLIMAX Is A Real Disco Inferno

Gaspar Noé’s CLIMAX Is A Real Disco Inferno


September 25, 2018    Jason Coffman

Gaspar Noé is a director whose name inspires strong reactions among those familiar with his work. It’s rare to find a cinephile who is ambivalent about Noé, who has spent his entire career as a director as an unrepentant provocateur. “Confrontational” is a good descriptor, and that extends to the marketing…

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Loneliness Goes Psychotic In The Perversely Funny PIERCING

Loneliness Goes Psychotic In The Perversely Funny PIERCING


September 25, 2018    Johnny Donaldson

Can we eat first? In PIERCING those words take on a mean far and away from their seemingly innocent origins. They become something of a code, a mantra for the damaged souls at the center of Nicholas Pesce’s film. A Pop Art BDSM fever dream that can only be called…

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OVERLORD Is A Gloriously Gory Action Packed Thrill Ride

OVERLORD Is A Gloriously Gory Action Packed Thrill Ride


September 24, 2018    Jason Coffman

HELLBOY may be the most well-known 2000s franchise that uses the Third Reich’s preoccupation with the occult as a touchstone, but that footnote in weird history has proven to be a rich mine for genre artists of all sorts. The basic concept of someone stumbling upon supernatural evil in a…

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