Saturday, November 17, 2007

P2 (2007)

Title: P2
Director: Franck Khalfoun
Writer: Franck Khalfoun, Alexandre Aja and Gregory Levasse
Starring: Wes Bentley, Rachel Nichols
Studio: Summit Entertainment

From the opening title sequence this movie pulled me in. P2 is a tale of a beautiful, successful, young, single woman named Angela who is working late on Christmas Eve and is rushing to get out to spend time with her family. She works in a big building in New York City and it is closing down for the next three days for the Christmas and New Year holidays. Once she gets to her car, which of course is on Parking Level 2 (P2), she finds that it doesn't start. Frustrated, she searches for the lone security guard on duty over the holiday weekend, and asks to be let back in the building so she can wait for a taxi. The security guard is pleasant, but the viewer does notice a little something strange about him. As it turns out he has actually been stalking Angela for a long period of time and is fanatically obsessed with her. Soon Angela finds herself stuck in the parking garage with this madman with no one to help and three days until the building re-opens for business.

P2 is a genuinely creepy movie. It's an all too real story, and that makes it much more scary than any bogeyman or mythical creature. Out of all the horror movies that have the pretty young girl pull out her cell phone to call for help only to find that it doesn't work, this is the single movie that it is actually believable for that to happen. Cell phones never work in parking garages, we all know that. The only problem I had with this movie is the ending. It is by no means a bad ending, but I would have written it differently. Don't let that stop you from seeing this film, I still highly recommend it and the ending is not a let down. All in all, P2 should satisfy the non-supernatural loving horror fans. There aren't a ton of gore scenes, but when there is it's impressive stuff. I suggest you do not watch any of the scenes floating around the Internet for this movie, it will only take away from your enjoyment if you know what is coming up. In fact, you shouldn't even have read this review.

Favorite Quote:

Angela: Merry Christmas, Tom.

RATING: 8/10

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Burning (1982)

Title: The Burning
Director: Tony Maylam
Writer: Tony Maylam, Harvey Weinstein
Starring: Brian Matthews, Leah Ayres, Brian Backer, Jason Alexander
Studio: Genius Entertainment

Alright boys and girls, I've found a real gem here. The Burning is the best horror film you've never heard of. It's quite surprising that this movie has flown under the radar for so long. It's a classic "Friday the Thirteenth" tale about kids being killed at a summer camp, but (dare I say it), The Burning is better than Friday the Thirteenth.

The story is about a camp counselor named Cropsy who is badly burned all over his body when some kids play a prank on him. Once he gets out of the hospital, horribly disfigured, he exacts some revenge. The killer in this film is just as fun to watch as Michael, Freddy, Jason, or Leatherface, but for some reason he doesn't have ten sequels to prove it.

This movie is interesting to me for a few reasons. It's an overlooked diamond of slasher films. It was shot in upstate New York, where I live. I am less than an hour away from the filming locations (exciting for me, not so much for you). Also, this is Jason Alexander's first feature film. Yes, that's right Jason Alexander of Seinfeld. And ladies, this movie offers up what we know you've all been waiting for... a young George Costanza's naked ass. All kidding aside The Burning is a fantastic horror experience. It contains all the horror essentials: gorgeous naked girls, a memorable killer, gore galore, and hilarious antics. This is a must own for any horror fan. I am willing to bet that none of your friends have ever seen, let alone heard of this fantastic movie.

Favorite Quote:

Dave: "Size never stopped Woody before, he's the Bantam Weight Jerk-Off Champion."

RATING: 9/10

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Feast (2005)

Title: Feast
Director: John Gulager
Writers: Marcus Dunstan, Patrick Melton
Starring: Navi Rawat, Krista Allen, Balthazar Getty, Judah Friedlander, Jenny Wade, Duane Whitaker, Josh Zuckerman, Eileen Ryan, Clu Gulager, Diane Goldner, Jason Mewes
Studio: Dimension Films

Feast tells the story of a group of people trapped in a bar and forced to fight a bunch of monsters. That's the long and short of it. There is no more, or no less to this movie.

First off let me just say this: Feast is stupid. Stupid funny, not stupid dumb. It's actually a comedy/horror that pokes fun at the whole genre, and it works. This film is hilarious. Any fan of horror will love this movie. It takes all the horror movie stereotypes and plays on them. When each character is introduced in the beginning of the film a little bio is displayed on the screen, and it even lists a "Life Expectancy." This movie at no point takes itself seriously, but the gore is there in spades and the monsters are pretty cool. This is just a fun movie to watch with friends on a rainy night. You will find yourself cracking up about every ten seconds, it never lets up with the humor. If you are looking for a break from the same old horror movie remakes and rehashes, then you will enjoy this movie.

Favorite Quote:

Beer Guy: "I think were gonna be okay, guys. Yeah, I think were gonna be alright. You know, this is just some leaky barrel, radiation, toxic dump waste, enviro-crap, freak-beast accident that crawled out of the sewer, man. That's all this is."

RATING: 8/10

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Creep (2004)

Title: Creep
Director: Christopher Smith
Writer: Christopher Smith
Starring: Franka Potente, Sean Harris, Vas Blackwood, Ken Campbell, Jeremy Sheffield, Paul Rattray, Kelly Scott, Craig Fackrell
Studio: Lions Gate

Creep is a pretty good movie, that could have been so much better. I loved the villain in this film. He's terrifying, and you get a generally creepy feeling every time he is on screen. The plot concerns a woman who finds herself trapped in a subway station after it has closed. For some reason she meets a co-worker who is also trapped (it's never explained why, I mean is it that common to be trapped in a subway?) and he tries to rape her in the empty subway train. Well, something drags him away before he has his way with her and the woman spends the rest of the film running away from this "creep" that lives in the subway. She gets some help for a homeless man who lives in the tunnels. It's curious why this man hasn't ever encountered the "creep" before if he's been living there for such a long time.

The story really lacks in details, and nothing is explained... ever. But Creep does excel in being frightening. All in all it's an OK film, but the story really should have been fleshed out more. I suggest a rental for this one. There's a good amount of gore, but nothing over the top, and nothing we haven't seen before. Not a horror classic, but a decent film none-the-less.

Favorite Quote:

Kate: "I don't know what to say. It's like a penis...just smaller."

RATING: 6/10

Friday, November 9, 2007

Flower of Flesh and Blood (1985)

Title: Flower of Flesh and Blood
Director: Hideshi Hino
Writer: Hideshi Hino
Starring: Kirara Yugao
Studio: Guinea Pig

This is one disturbing movie! Flower of Flesh and Blood is a Japanese horror flick that tells the story of a woman who is walking home alone at night and is kidnapped by one really sick motherfucker. This guy takes her back to his basement where he gives her a powerful drug that renders her in a state of semi-consciousness. The madman then proceeds to dismember her while she is still alive.

Flower of Flesh and Blood is only for those who pride themselves on never turning away from the screen during the frightening parts. This whole film (it's really only 42 minutes) is all one big frightening part. Like I said, it's not for everyone, but the gore hounds will absolutely love it. The special effects in this movie are beyond belief. In fact, when Charlie Sheen was given a copy of this movie, he went straight to the police after seeing it and reported that it was a real snuff film. This is not true however, but the director was asked to produce the actress who was killed in the film, which he of course did. He also showed how he achieved some of the amazing (read: sickening) effects in the movie, and I'm glad he did, because it made for some very interesting extras on the DVD.

The horror movies coming out of Japan have always been phenomenal. American film makers should take note, the slasher film has been done to death, take a tip from Japan and go with something original like Flower of Flesh and Blood or any other Asian horror film out there. This film is insane, I didn't move the whole time I watched it. I don't think I even blinked. This movie really sent chills down my spine, even if the killer's helmet looks like a Darth Vader mask (watch it and you'll see what I mean).

Favorite Quote:

Killer: "Now I am going to present my collection to you."

RATING: 8/10

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The Shadow Walkers (2006)

Title: The Shadow Walkers
Director: Marvin Steven Grove
Writer: Dave Hodel
Starring: Jason Coviello, Jennifer Summers, Clay Adams, Cortni Mullin, Rebecca Gibel, Joseph McCambridge, Tierza Scaccia, Trygve Lode
Studio: Mostly Films

With the tag line "Pray they only kill you" I had high hopes for this movie. Alas, it falls prey to the worst acting I've ever seen in my life. That's too bad, because the story had real promise. When I read the synopsis I felt excited to see this film.

The Shadow Walkers is a highly suspenseful story of a group of lab technicians and military personnel who awaken in a subterranean laboratory with no memory of who they are. They quickly discover that they are sealed in, with only one way to get out alive. Desperate to escape, they struggle through the darkness where they uncover a hive of genetically mutated creatures that stalk them from the shadows. Bred for combat, these monsters are endowed with razor sharp talons and rows of jagged teeth capable of ripping a man apart. While avoiding danger at every turn, they begin to regain their memories, discovering the origin of the deadly creatures and the part they played in their creation.

You see? Sounds interesting, doesn't it? While the story is intriguing, the only thing scary about this film is the acting. It is hardly even watchable, let alone enjoyable. Shadow Walkers doesn't even fall into the "so bad it's good" category (which I thoroughly enjoy). Stay away from this one at all costs. Only way I would watch this movie again is if I was being subjected to some kind of bizarre torture where I was forced to watch this piece of trash because my eyelids were held open by toothpicks.

Favorite Quote:

None. Only the silence as the film ended made me smile.

RATING: .5/10

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Hostel (2005) and Hostel: Part II (2007)

Title: Hostel and Hostel: Part II
Director: Eli Roth
Writer: Eli Roth
Starring: Part I: Starring: Jay Hernandez, Derek Richardson, Eythor Gudjonsson, Barbara Nedeljakova, Jana Kaderabkova, Jan Vlasák, Jennifer Lim, Lubomir Silhavecky, Paula Wild, Lubomir Bukovy, Petr Janis, Jana Havlickova, Vanessa Jungova, Part II: Jay Hernandez, Lauren German, Heather Matarazzo, Bijou Phillips, Vera Jordanova, Roger Bart, Richard Burgi, Milan Knazko, Stanislav Ianevski, Ruggero Deodato
Studio: Lionsgate

I decided to post a dual review tonight, because these movies are so similar. I actually enjoyed the second film slightly more than it's predecessor, for the sole reason that the torture scenes are much more unique. The stories are exactly the same in both movies, except the first film follows a group of American boys backpacking across Europe and the sequel follows a group of American girls studying abroad. Both groups in both movies get lured into an underground torture ring where the wealthy pay to torture and kill innocent people. Of course, Americans fetch the highest price, so there are some seriously sick fucks just salivating to get their hands on some fresh meat imported from the United States.

The story is unique, and genuinely terrifying. Eli Roth has said that the idea for this story came from rumors that this exact thing is actually happening in parts of Slovakia. I suggest seeing both movies back to back if at all possible. Both films offer up a great movie night, so have some friends over, get the snacks ready and these two movies will seriously creep you out. More than likely you will hear the phrase, "Oh my God!" squealed more than a few times by your guests. Guaranteed you will be talking about these movies long after the credits are done rolling.

Favorite Quote:

Part I:

The American Client: "I've been all over the world. You know, I've been everywhere and the bottom line is: Pussy is pussy. You know, every strip club, every whore house, every... It's all the same shit. You know, I just fucked a girl two days ago and I don't even remember the color of her tits. But this... This is something you never forget, right? RIGHT?"

Part II:

Drunk Italian: "I knew you were a tease you fucking cunt."

Beth: "What the fuck did you call me?"

Drunk Italian: "I called you stupid fucking American cunt!"

Beth: "Fuck you!"

Drunk Italian: "The train to fucking Prague is long you bitch! We'll come see you."

RATING: Part I: 8/10 Part II: 8/10

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Cigarette Burns (2005)

Title: Cigarette Burns
Director: John Carpenter
Writers: Drew McWeeny, Scott Swan, Mick Garris
Starring: Norman Reedus, Udo Kier, Gary Hetherington, Christopher Britton, Zara Taylor, Colin Foo, Gwynyth Walsh, Christopher Redman
Studio: IDT Entertainment

John Carpenter's Cigarette Burns is another hour long film that is part of the Master's of Horror series. Carpenter's entry is my favorite of all the Master's of Horror offerings. The story is quite unique and deals with a collector of rare films who hires a bankrupt theater owner to track down the most obscure movie ever made, titled "Le Fin Absolue du Monde" (translates to The Absolute End of the World). The movie was only shown once, and the audience that viewed it instantly went insane and attack each other.

Along his journey the main character, who is searching for the lost film, encounters all sorts of strange people who are connected in some way with the picture. Eventually he meets with the director's wife and obtains a copy of the movie. The film collector then watches it and... Well, you'll have to see for yourself!

The term "cigarette burns" is used to describe the black dots you see flash for a moment on the screen when viewing a film in theaters. This black dot tells the projectionist to switch over to the next film reel. Just a little trivia for you there, but back to the review... Cigarette Burns is genuinely scary, it's concept is somewhat similar to The Ring, but for my money, I enjoyed this film even more. The cursed movie itself is the most disturbing "movie within a movie" that I have ever seen. It depicts an actual "real" Angel having it's wings torn off, among other horrible things. If you want to get started in the Masters of Horror series I highly suggest you begin with this episode.

Favorite Quote:

Meyers: We trust filmmakers. We sit in the dark, daring them to affect us, secure in the knowledge that they won't go too far...

RATING: 10/10

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Incident On And Off A Mountain Road (2005)

Title: Incident On And Off A Mountain Road
Director: Don Coscarelli
Writers: Don Coscarelli, Stephen Romano, Joe R. Lansdale
Starring: Bree Turner, Angus Scrimm, John Desantis, Ethan Embry, Heather Fenney
Studio: IDT Entertainment

Incident On And Off A Mountain Road is one of the episodes of Showtime's amazing series Masters of Horror. Being made for t.v. as an adaption of a Joe R. Lansdale short story, it clocks in at just under an hour. So, a full length feature film it is not, but it is still worth a viewing. The Masters of Horror series has produced a few gems (more reviews to follow), this being one of them.

The story opens on a dark mountain road, where a lone woman, who is running from her survival fanatic husband, crashes into a car stopped in the road. Her back story is told in a series of flashbacks, while the main story unfolds. Eventually both stories converge to create a very satisfying ending. After the accident the woman awakes in her car only to find the car she has hit is empty and a blood trail leading into the woods. She follows it asking if someone needs help. This is followed by the best introduction to a movie villain that I have ever seen. The rest of the movie follows the woman as she try's to escape this mad man. She uses the survival techniques taught to her by her husband to try and outsmart the killer, who's nickname is Moonface, due to his pale skin.

This movie does a great job of moving the story along with no downtime. I'm actually glad this film is only an hour long, because if it was a more lengthy effort it probably wouldn't have been as fun to watch. Overall this is a great little time killer if you don't have a full two hours to spend, plus the ending is to die for.

Favorite Quote:

Ellen: Hell of a night, huh Moonface?

RATING: 8/10

Thursday, November 1, 2007

The Hamiltons (2006)

Title: The Hamiltons
Director: Butcher Brothers (Mitchell Altieri, Phil Flores)
Writer: Butcher Brothers (Mitchell Altieri, Phil Flores)
Starring: Cory Knauf, Samuel Child, Joseph McKelheer, Mackenzie Firgens
Studio: Lionsgate

At first glance the Hamilton's seem to be an ordinary American family dealing with the problems of everyday life. They have begun adjusting to the untimely death of their parents, and are beginning to move on. David Hamilton, the oldest, has taken it upon his shoulders to pick up the responsibility for the orphaned family. Twins, Wendell and Darlene are darker than the other two siblings and have become more conniving in the past few months. The youngest of the family is Francis, who recently found his parents old video camera and has started using it to work on a school project about his family. It's through Francis' eyes that we soon learn more about the Hamilton family and realize that something is not quite right.

The Hamiltons is the kind of movie that doesn't really offer scares, but it is disturbing. You get a weird feeling in your stomach when you watch it and you think to yourself, what are they doing!? That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. The story moves along at a good pace and it kept me interested straight through. The ending is fantastic and I never saw it coming. It's one of those endings that makes you want to go back and watch the movie again as soon as you are finished viewing it for the first time. It's hard to say anything more about this film without ruining a portion of the storyline. That might make for a boring review, but you will thank me once you watch the movie.

Favorite Quote:

Darlene: "Shut up, before I gut you myself!"

RATING: 7.5/10