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Witchtrap (AKA – The Presence / The Haunted): before leasing out his family home, a warlock’s son calls in some parapsychologists to rid the house of evil spirits. For a low-budget late 80s B-movie the video and audio transfer are better than some of the bigger studio pictures from this period. The audio track – which was botched on the movie set – is particularly clear as every line and effect had to be re-recorded in post. The film itself is of a fantastically cheesy vintage; it went from inception to ready-to-shoot in under a week, so the plot is mechanical, (seven people enter a house – fewer leave) and the dialogue is massively overripe, but in a fun, corny way… and it’s not helped by the ‘detached’ ADR performances. Characters are all fairly stock, and are championed by a John McLean-style wisecracking hardboiled detective, who is – in all honesty – way too cool for this type of movie, but his constant jabbering helps the film remain on your good side. For the first few deaths it feels like the movie is wimping out of showing maximum gore, but the final act throws in a lot of blood and over-the-top kills, including an unusually long and graphic shooting and a monster melting sequence. It’s also surprisingly well directed; with slow and ominous camerawork (paired with an equally doom-laden soundtrack), plenty jumpscares, and some technical/dolly shots that you don’t usually get in this type of film. The new Blu Ray release is the first uncut/unrated version; it also boasts a heap of extras including an honest & interesting interview with the director. Nothing about Witchtrap is exceptional or original, but it’s better made, more entertaining, and as nostalgic as any other film in this genre. (Linnea Quigley also gets her waps out!)

Score: 5/10
B-movie Score: 7/10

Deathgasm CORPSE PAINT Jason Lei Howden, Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, Stephen Ure, Tim Foley, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell, Jodie Rimmer

Deathgasm: after playing a very old piece of music, newly-formed metal band accidentally unleash evil spirits on their hometown. If you even remotely like any kind of Rock or Metal music this film is an absolute must-see as it’s 90 mins of lovingly poking fun at ‘metalheads’, metal bands, and most of the sub-genres. There’s jokes about everything from glam/hair metal and dubstep, through to Rick Astley and the ridiculousness of ‘extreme’ metal band names (Deathgasm spitball through other potential band names like ‘Murder Boner’, ‘Maggot Sperm’, and ‘Cannibal Unicorn’). There are so many throwaway jokes that you lose track, and when the film’s not poking fun at music it’s throwing some seriously good ‘old school’ over-the-top gore onto the screen – with a body-splitting, blood-drenched aesthetic that lands somewhere between Evil Dead and Braindead. Direction-wise, the blend of horror and comedy is absolutely perfect, and there’s a lot of horror (and wider cinema) nods through ‘classic’ camera shots and visual references. The only two negatives I can mention are that scenes like demons being beaten to death in slow motion with dildos and anal beads may not be for everyone, and I’m not sure if the gore alone would be enough to win over non-metal fans (there’s not a lot of new ‘horror’ ground covered). Deathgasm is a crimson-covered gem of a film that is a blast to watch, entertains for the full 90 minutes. Brutal!

Score: 8/10
B-Movie Score: 9/10

Deathgasm BAND Jason Lei Howden, Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, Stephen Ure, Tim Foley, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell, Jodie Rimmer

Deathgasm AXE BABE Jason Lei Howden, Milo Cawthorne, James Blake, Kimberley Crossman, Stephen Ure, Tim Foley, Sam Berkley, Daniel Cresswell, Jodie Rimmer

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Dear God NO! [Grindhouse Cut]: a murderous outlaw biker gang kill their rivals and hide out in the woods, where they meet a crazy scientist and big foot… I think.  Yup, here’s another ‘nasty nostalgia’ film with faux grain effect, pops and scratches, heavy saturation, projector sounds, mono/muffled soundtrack, tracking issues, etc, etc. It’s only 81 minutes long, but is crammed with filler: you get 5 minutes straight of up-close ‘mondo’ style topless dancing, a psychedelic heroin dream trip, and a Nazi Dr Frankenstein babe trip – all for no reason other than padding out the runtime (and increasing the shock factor). Made on a shoestring, the film’s packed with bad dialogue, bad acting, bad characters, actor changes, and ‘plot threads’ that make literally no sense. It’s like the director asked a 15 year old boy what he thought was cool – boobs, swearing, drinking, and bad attitudes man – and just rolled with that. We first meet the biker gang the morning after they trash a bus full of nuns and rape/murder them all, and it only goes downhill from there; bottoming out with a snuff scene that goes too far with a double rape and fetus removing/killing. I’ve seen much worse than this and not been as disgusted as this just nasty for nasty’s sake; and I couldn’t believe that there are directors out there that make Rob Zombie look like a proficient filmmaker. I’ve sat through some truly terrible movies in my day, and this is down there with the worst of ‘em. The only good thing about the entire project is it’s old school poster, and the only way I can imagine convincing anyone that this has worked is if you pitch it as a poor-taste no-budget physical effects show reel – or a masterclass in using controversy and a good poster as a get-rich-quick idea. A very very niche and ultra-nasty bikesploitation film.

Score: 0.5/10

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Dead Snow 2: Red vs Dead: picking up immediately from the end of Dead Snow, Nazi Zombie Herzog and his army turn to their original objective; wiping out the tiny village of Talvik. This film doesn’t skip a beat and – if anything – feels even better than the original in almost every way; it’s better shot, better put together, better written, bigger budget, and somehow manages to remain original and even funnier – tanking passed the six laugh test, and giving me a sore face and ear-to-ear grin by the end credits sequence. The ‘Idle Hands’ arm-swap angle makes for some great fun, a whole new side story, and some top-drawer comedy performances. It was also exciting to see the addition of Martin Starr as the Zombie Squad leader, a great piece of character casting. In fact, the only thing that I didn’t like about this was the portrayal of a gay character that could have come from a 1960s stage play – however, that aside, there’s little else to complain about. Dead Snow 2 is an absolute delight to watch; a funny and schlocky horror comedy that does both aspects well, and athe movie that now holds my title of ‘Best Zombie Comedy’ (It’s better than Sean of the Dead.)

Score: 8/10
B-Movie Score: 9.5/10

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When a tank missile hits a baby in a pram… obviously.

SHARKNADO 3 OH HELL NO Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassie Scerbo, Bo Derek, Ryan Newman, Jack Griffo, David Hasselhoff, Frankie Muniz, Mark McGrath, George R. R. Martin, Mark Cuban, Chris Jericho,

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No [mild spoilers] – while receiving a medal for saving L.A. and NYC, Fin Shepard gets caught up in a third shark attack that stretches up and down the entire US East Coast. The production values are very high for a B-movie, but it the film retains the series’ ‘poorly-planned, sporadically-shot, and sloppily-put-together’ aesthetic – with thousands of short shots blended together to form a semi coherent narrative. There’s even more crowbarred cameos and extras (partial list below) whose continual introduction and lingering shots absolutely hammer the story’s flow and movie’s pacing. It’s even more bizarre because the majority of these are so niche that they won’t register with most viewers (other than hardened reality TV fans). On the plus side the action is way bigger and more ambitious, and the story enters utterly ridiculous territory: the main guy gets hurled off a full speed rollercoaster and survives; they go in to space with laser chainsaws… after a shark fight in space (!!) Tara Reid re-enters the earth’s atmosphere inside a shark (!!!); gives birth (!!!!), and pushes a baby through a gash cutout by her chainsaw hand (!!!WTFM8?!?!?!). It’s ridiculous. It’s utterly preposterous. It’s beyond stupid… and that’s what makes it so fun. As these events unfold – each upping the last – you get a genuine kick at how over-the-top it gets. Ian Ziering plays this pitch perfectly, with a knowing, tongue in cheek action hero shtick, and Cassie Scerbo (who was sorely missing in ‘nado 2) is a welcome return as a sexy, kickass sidekick. The less said about everyone else, the better. The Sharknado franchise is a very peculiar beast: it’s like your weird uncle and out-of-touch granny accidentally created a teen sensation but are determined to kneecap it by insisting on their shit friends getting cameos; milking every cent’s worth of product placement (Universal Studios / NASCAR / NASA / Subay / Today Show); and writing the script/story themselves to save money: maybe it’s part of the plan? Maybe that’s the charm? Who knows!? Sharknado 3 is probably “Peak Sharknado”, as I’m not sure that it’s possible to strike a better balance between shameless, unbelievably ridiculous, and rip-roaring fun that this movie pulls off. The third installment continues the trend of being bigger, better, dumber, funnier, and more enjoyable than its predecessor.” Heck, it’s even swimming in to normal movie scores territory.

Score: 5/10
B-movie: 8/10

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LIST OF CAMEOS – doesn’t even include half the z-listers, competition winners, family members, etc!

Ne-Yo (Auto Tune legend), Jared Fogel (Child porn connoisseur), Kim Richards (Real Housewives), Anthony Weiner (Dicks out sexter), Ann Coulter (Right Wing Troll), Chris Jericho (Fozzy frontman), Steve Guttenberg (Lavalantula & 2 Lava 2 Lantula Star), Jerry Springer (WTF), Lou Ferrigno (Original Hulk), Mark Cuban (Shark Tank), Frankie Muniz (Malcolm in the Middle), George R. R. Martin (GoT Author), Holly Madison (Playboy Playmate), Penn and Teller (Magicians), Hoda Kotb (TV Anchor), Kathie Lee Gifford (Regis’ tag team Partner), Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray Singer), Michele Bachmann (formerly respected Republican), Jackie Collins (Novelist), Jedward (Irish Twin Twats), Rick Fox (eSports owner), Chris Kirkpatrick (NSYNC), Robert Klein (Comedian)

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Shark Deaths:
– Sharkpunch
– Golden Chainsaw
– Broadsword
– Dyson Hoover
– President’s Shotgun
– President’s Grenade
– Floorsliding double M-16s
– George Washington Statue Bust
– American Flag (Iwo Jima homage)
– Caravan Carbomb
– Samurai Sword
– Laser beam
– Construction site Lamp
– Double Chainsaw
– Universal Globe
– Laser Chainsaw
– Re-entering earth burn

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SHARKNADO REVIEW
SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE REVIEW

Satans Blade Killer Scott Castillo Jr., Tom Bongiorno, Stephanie Leigh Steel, Thomas Cue, Elisa R. Malinovitz, Janeen Lowe, Ramona Andrada, Diane Taylor,

Satan’s Blade: the evil spirit of an ancient and violent mountain-man terrorises tourists at a secluded ski lodge. At 80 minutes, you expect a punchy slasher, and with the first ten minutes only consisting of women getting undressed then shot in the tits, it’s half way there… however it all goes south very quickly. Released in 1984, this has more of a 50s/60s feel due to very basic camerawork, acting, editing, and a very poor sound mix – people talking inside a car, but no car noises; missing screams; shouting through walls but sounding crystal clear; silent shower curtains etc. Also, for a slasher, the deaths are fairly disappointing, with dabbed on blood and lots of cutting/editing; but very little gore. The acting isn’t much better, with ‘studenty’ performances, and stunted delivery of very stale dialogue. You know a film’s amazingly bad when the IMDB page is full of its actors/writers tearing it to pieces and apologising for it! Regular viewers will be disappointed by Satan’s Blade; but as a formerly rare, no budget b-movie, the Blu Ray release is a treat for hardened collectors and VHS nostalgists looking to upgrade their copy, and learn about the film through the plethora of new extras and features.

Score: 2/10

Satans Blade Scott Castillo Jr., Tom Bongiorno, Stephanie Leigh Steel, Thomas Cue, Elisa R. Malinovitz, Janeen Lowe, Ramona Andrada, Diane Taylor,

Satans Blade Death Scott Castillo Jr., Tom Bongiorno, Stephanie Leigh Steel, Thomas Cue, Elisa R. Malinovitz, Janeen Lowe, Ramona Andrada, Diane Taylor,

Standard death acting in this picture

 

DEAD SNOW NAZI ZOMBIES Død snø, Tommy Wirkola, Vegar Hoel, Stig Frode, Charlotte Frogner, Lasse Valdal, Evy Kasseth Røsten, Jeppe Laursen, Jenny Skavlan, Ane Dahl Torp, Bjørn Sundquist, Standartenführer Oberst Herzog, Tommy Wirkola

                                     Ein! Zwei! Die!

Dead Snow: while staying at a remote cabin in the woods a group of friends are attacked by hordes of Nazi zombies! You immediately warm to this film as it put all the horror movie tropes front and center: horny “teenagers” in the remote wilderness with no phone signal, then they realise that it’s is how horror films start (ay oh!!). There’s also a film geek thrown in for reference-o-rama – we get everything from a braindead t-shirt to Arnie impressions. Once the setup – complete with creepy old local warning them – is out of the way we’re treated to a barrage of old school jumps, dark horror comedy, and loads sensational barnstorming, limb-pulling, head-rolling, splatter-tastic blood and guts – that puts the film somewhere between Raimi and Troma. Everyone involved looks like they’re having fun, and the ‘zombie cast’ are also fantastic – even tougher when they’re not strictly zombies: faster, smarter etc. The last hour romps through so much entertaining gore and dark jokes that when one of the last scenes gets a bit serious it feels like a hefty dramatic gut punch. If you’ve read this far, you probably don’t mind the idea of watching a Nazi Zombie film; and I can’t imagine many being better than this. Dead Snow is an absolutely solid (Nazi) gold, gory-AF horror-comedy.

Score: 7.5/10
B-Movie Score: 9/10