6.30.2010

HellBent (2004)

DIRECTED BY
Paul Etheredge-Ouzts

STARRING
Dylan Fergus - Eddie
Bryan Kirkwood - Jake
Hank Harris - Joey
Andrew Levitas - Chaz
Matt Phillips - Tobey

Genre - Horror/Slasher/Gay

Running Time - 83 Minutes

Score - 2.5 Howls Outta 4


I've seen a lot of slasher films, probably more than a normal human being should see. I've seen unstoppable killers. I've seen stupid characters who deserve to be mutilated. I've seen tough and interesting final girls. I've seen cool death sequences. And I've seen sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. But not once have I ever seen a slasher based around homosexual characters who participate and suffer in the same manner as their hereto counterparts.

That is, until I watched 2004's HELLBENT. Known as the first gay slasher film, I was expecting a David DeCoteau flick like BROTHERHOOD V: ALUMNI, where it's only point is to show male bodies half-naked to arouse gay and female viewers in place of something worth watching, like a decent story or something. I was pretty shocked that HELLBENT not only had these half-naked male bodies intact, but there was also a decent story, actual tension, okay acting, and pretty cool gore effects. Well stamp a rainbow on my ass - HELLBENT actually gets it right! Well...mostly anyway.

PLOT
The night before Halloween, some horny gay couple gets viciously killed by a devil-masked psychopath in West Hollywood. Since homosexuals being murdered seems to be a common occurrence in this town, the residents decide that it's okay to continue the Halloween festivities with as much booze and drugs as possible, even if there is a killer on the loose. Four friends [responsible Eddie (Dylan Fergus), bisexually slutty Chaz (Andrew Levitas), model Tobey (Matt Phillips), and Eddie's shy brother Joey (Hank Harris)] decide to dress up and celebrate All Hallow's Eve. Unfortunately, the killer has them all set as his next targets, stalking them until they all get killed one-by-one.

REVIEW
HELLBENT is a generic slasher through and through, but with a gay twist. That might turn A LOT of people off [yes, there are dudes kissing and getting naked - so you homophobes best watch something else], but if they manage to watch it with an open mind, it does right by the slasher formula. The story is thin, yes, but it doesn't insult the homosexual life of these characters and actually manages to become quite tense and fun to watch at times. It was produced by people who were behind the original HALLOWEEN and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, so you know it wouldn't be all that bad.

The story, like I mentioned, is pretty thin. What you read in the plot is basically it for HELLBENT. It has attractive leads. It has a mysterious killer. It has grisly deaths. It's typical slasher fare. Then again, most slashers don't have really deep screenplays because the story is never truly the focus - the kills and the T & A are. However, writer/director Paul Etheredge-Ouzts manages to create a believable portrait of homosexual characters who just happen to be involved in the world of a formulatic slasher.

Usually in horror films, homosexuals are characterized as feminine, helpless, and caricatures of actual human beings that are meant to be laughed at and made fun of. But HELLBENT doesn't do that at all, treating its characters as people first, with their sexual orientation just being what it is in the backstory. Etheredge-Ouzts takes his time building up the main characters, letting the viewer get to know these guys for a while before they end up dead. We get issues such as bisexuality, cross-dressing, and homophobia, but they never take over the film or become the center. The focus is really on these characters' friendship with each other and the feeling of loss when they start dying. These just help create a deeper movie than HELLBENT probably should have been, making it more interesting than most modern slashers. They're not stereotypical. They're not annoying. They're not over-the-top. These characters are just like characters in any above average slasher film. The only difference is that they happen to enjoy kissing and sleeping with men.

The character of the killer, however, isn't fleshed out at all - and that's probably a good thing. It keeps him mysterious as to why he's targeting gay men. Does he hate gay people? Is he homosexual himself? We never really know his intentions. It actually reminded me of Michael Myers from HALLOWEEN, where we never knew why he murdered his older sister and targeted babysitters in his hometown fifteen years later [until the sequels, that is]. The mystery makes the character creepier. We're never really sure of his motives, making the killer more dangerous and intriguing.

The death scenes in HELLBENT are just okay, due to the low budget. All we really see is the killer decapitating victims with a hand scythe. Nothing really gory. Nothing we haven't seen before. It gets the job done I guess. The CGI was also evident, especially during the scenes where one of the main characters was missing his glass eye [which the killer actually licked out of his socket]. It wasn't distracting or anything, just noticeable.

The direction by Etheredge-Ouzts was pretty good. The pacing was quite nice, as the 83 minutes breezed by. The editing and lighting was a little off at times, but it won't ruin the enjoyment of HELLBENT unless you're a picky snob! And there was some showings of style, especially in the one scene where the killer murders a character inside the club. It's done under a strobelight effect, making the scene not only visually interesting, but it added tension that was needed for it to be effective. The man is no hack and while it's not the greatest direction I have ever seen, it does the job and maintains your attention. For a low budget feature [his debut, by the way], Etheredge-Ouzts handled himself well here.

The acting was also okay. Dylan Fergus, Hank Harris, Andrew Levitas, and Matt Phillips all did a great job anchoring the film and making their characters pretty likeable. Levitas and Phillips, especially, were standouts, as they seemed to have a bit more charisma and interesting portrayals. And Bryan Kirkwood as bad boy Jake was also very good in the role, adding a bit of edge to the movie. All the actors in the film was straight and it was refreshing to see them take the gay roles seriously instead of hamming it up stereotypically. They all did a good job.

THINGS I'VE LEARNED WHILE REALIZING THAT TAKING "X" NEVER MARKS THE SPOT WHILE CLUBBING

- Some dude holding balloons was looking for his boyfriend, George. This relationship probably won't work out. Bi-Curious George only has a thing for men with yellow hats.

- A guy receiving a blowjob from his date got decapitated. Reminder: getting head = good; losing your head = bad.

- Mommy issues create serial killers. Daddy issues create strippers, porn stars, and Lindsay Lohan. LOVE YOUR FAMILY!!!

- Don't ever moon a crazed killer. It'll be full in 29 or 30 minutes...when a scythe is shoved right up it!

- "Who would want to suck a green dick?" Um, Betty Ross would like to answer that...

THE FINAL HOWL
HELLBENT doesn't break new ground or change the rules, but it's a decent watch if you have 83 minutes to spare. The acting is competent, the direction is pretty good, and the characters are likeable and watchable. If a gay-themed horror film isn't your thing, then by all means skip HELLBENT. But if you're open-minded and willing to watch a slasher that does the usual things with a bit of a twist, then HELLBENT is worth the time.







6.25.2010

The B-Movie Bungalow Presents: Pick-Up (1975) [Video Review]

DIRECTED BY
Bernard Hirschenson

STARRING
Jill Senter - Carol
Alan Long - Chuck
Gini Eastwood - Maureen
Tom Quinn - Executive
Don Penny - Politician
John Winter - The Priest

Genre - Horror/Sexploitation/Fantasy/B-Movie

Running Time - 80 Minutes





I'm doing a review for each film in the Drive-In Cult Classics DVD Collection, with PICK-UP being the first one. It's less horror and more trippy, sexploitation schlock that isn't for everyone. Watch my review to hear my complete thoughts for the first official entry into the B-Movie Bungalow.

6.24.2010

Slasher (2007) [Fatally-Yours.com X-Clusive]


Here's a review I wrote for Fatally Yours for a German slasher film called...um...SLASHER. It's basically The GERMAN Chainsaw Massacre, but without any of the good parts. Oh well. Check it out.


SLASHER Review

6.20.2010

Video Review: Demons [Demoni] (1985)


Here's a review for Lamberto Bava's 1985's DEMONS [DEMONI], a cheesy horror flick that skips on a logical story for awesome gore, special effects, and a killer soundtrack. If you want to know more about this monstrous fun movie, check out my video review. Enjoy!



6.19.2010

If You Had One Genre Wish, What Would It Be?

Brandon Sites, of Big Daddy Horror Reviews, is doing something pretty cool during the summer months - asking horror bloggers what their horror genre wish is. Of course, I had to contribute and speak my mind about the state of horror. So please click on the link below to check out what I had to say:

Fred [The Wolf]'s Genre Related Wish


While you're at it, follow Big Daddy Horror Reviews!!

6.17.2010

Psycho (1960)

DIRECTED BY
Alfred Hitchcock

STARRING
Anthony Perkins - Norman Bates
Janet Leigh - Marion Crane
Vera Miles - Lila Crane
John Gavin - Sam Loomis
Martin Balsam - Det. Milton Arbogast


Genre - Horror/Suspense/Slasher

Running Time - 109 Minutes

Score - 4 Howls Outta 4


There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it. - Alfred Hitchcock

Fifty years ago, a movie was released that terrified audiences from taking long showers and changed the face of what horror films were supposed to be forever. It's been studied in film classes. It has inspired the slasher sub-genre. It's been parodied. And it's definitely been homaged. Alfred Hitchcock's PSYCHO is a movie that has been loved, admired, and respected for its contributions to horror and general cinema. Even with good sequels and an unfortunate remake, PSYCHO has stood the test of time and has become a pop culture phenomenon. It's both a popcorn movie and a work of art - how many other films can honestly say that?

PLOT
Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is at a crossroads. She wants to marry her lover, Sam Loomis (John Gavin), who is dealing with huge debts due to ailmony payments and his late father. Desperate for money, Marion decides to steal and run away with $40,000 - a cash transaction that her boss asks her to deposit in the bank. While driving to see Sam, her guilt and fear continues to grow.

When a rainstorm hits during her drive, Marion stops at the Bates Motel, which has twelve cabins for twelve vacancies. The motel is run by a nervous, yet talkative Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), who lives in a big house by the motel with his sick mother, who berates Norman any chance she gets.

Feeling sorry for Norman, Marion decides to befriend him. The two share their stories, almost becoming kindred spirits in a way, both looking for a way out, yet not wanting to leave at the same time. After the talk, Marion decides it's best if she returns home with the money in the morning. Before going to bed, Marion decides to take a shower. Unfortunately, Mrs. Bates is ready for a shower herself...

REVIEW
What can I say that hasn't been said about PSYCHO? It's considered Alfred Hitchcock's last great film, even though THE BIRDS, which was released in 1963, is a good film. The audience was absolutely frightened by the film at the time. People fainted. People became ill. The twist ending had people talking. The film made a lasting impression on audiences in 1960. The fact that many of us still talk about PSYCHO proves that the impression hasn't stopped lasting fifty years later.

The screenplay for PSYCHO was written by Joseph Stefano, based on a novel by Robert Bloch, who would go on and write the excellent Joan Crawford vehicle, 1964's STRAIT-JACKET. The novel was based on infamous serial killer Ed Gein, who was also the basis for Leatherface in THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. The novel and the adaptation changed horror forever, as it moved away from the fantasy Universal Monsters into a more realistic genre.

PSYCHO has a fantastic script, due to its structure and its pacing. The first 50 minutes of the film is one big tease and a false seduction that guts the viewer when the first twist of the film occurs. The focus is on Janet Leigh's Marion Crane character, as she escapes with stolen money in search for a new life with the man she loves. Just the way the scene comes together is brilliant. We learn about Marion's character through her actions and her feelings about the world around her. She's always paranoid about something or someone, whether it's that pesky cop who wakes her up in the middle of the road and follows her to a car lot, and to her boss who she encounters on the way out of town. We're put in Marion's position as we start to connect with her character, feeling apprehensive and a bit nervous along with her. We want her to escape with this money. We want her to run away with Sam. And then after she has that talk with Norman Bates, we want her to repent and bring the money back. And just when you think things will be okay, Marion is killed off in probably the most famous horror scene of all time [which I will go to shortly]. While modern audiences aren't as gullible by this act [SCREAM pretty much took that suspense away by killing off major stars before the opening credits], I can't imagine what people thought of this back in 1960. They must have been shocked, appalled, and scared out of their minds. If the main character and lead actress isn't safe, then who in the hell is? Fifty minutes of caring for a flawed, yet human character - snatched away from us for a scare. It's really messed up, yet so brilliant and so respected. Why? Because now the audience has no idea what will happen in the last half of the film, creating a roller coaster ride that no one expected to be on.

I think the script is also great because all the characters are flawed in their own way. There's no hero here. Is Norman Bates a villain? Who's to say since he believed he was doing the right thing over covering up the murders and protecting his "family". Everyone is a victim in this film. They terrorize each other and themselves. There's no true protagonist or antogonist here. Pretty ballsy stuff.

And I can't not discuss some of the themes created in the horror genre by PSYCHO. This film definitely dips its feet in the sexual pool of psychoanalysis. Just like in the later giallo and slasher films, that took many of its themes and motifs from PSYCHO itself, sex is the enemy. The first real image of the film is Marion Crane in a hotel room after having sex with Sam, wearing a black bra that must have been considered scandalous back in 1960. And was there only one bed? People must have had a heart attack. It's an erotic image for sure. Then we get Norman peeking through a hole to watch Marion undress. The remake took this moment an unnecessary step further, but the point is still clear: her sexuality is a sin and it has to be taken care of. And that's when murder comes into play. She's too provocative for stirring the urges that Norman keeps supressed due to his mother, and his mother has to clean up the mess. Sexual freedom has to be restricted, which is what we see in probably 85 percent of horror films since the release of PSYCHO. And let's not forget the mother-son relationship, which is creepy in itself.

The real star of PSYCHO is Alfred Hitchcock himself. His direction is impeccable here. The film is black and white, which is ironic since all the characters are in shades of grey internal-wise. The locations are almost gothic and pretty bland to look at. Yet the cinematography is stunning and the editing is crisp. And just the way the film flows shows the work Hitchcock put into this film, by creating storyboards of each scene to make sure they were all shot to perfection. The film could have been really sleazy, but he created a work of art here. Watching it again, I noticed how many clues, symbols, and moments of foreshadowing there were. It all makes the shock ending that much better and logical. It was like watching the movie again for the first time.

And obviously, the most famous scene [and most talked about in horror classes] is the shower scene that ends the first half of the film and starts the second. It's one of the most brilliantly edited and directed [both visually and in sound design] moments of cinema. This scene took six days to shoot and was shot in 77 different camera angles. For a three minute scene, there are 50 cuts. We get close ups, medium shots, overhead shots, narrow angles, wide angles - it's all here. And these cuts make the scene longer than what it probably is in real time. It's a very controlled and violent scene, even though we don't see the knife penetrating skin or any gore at all. The music by Bernard Hermann [who does masterful work here with adding tone and atmosphere with his score], Janet Leigh's screaming, and the knife sound effects [made by cutting a melon] add to the intensity of the scene. There's an actual book that analyzes this one three-minute scene, proving without a doubt that this is the exact moment that horror was changed. Hell, Brian de Palma has been using Hitchcock's aestethic for years. And John Carpenter was definitely inspired by Hitchcock when he made HALLOWEEN, which is probably the greatest homage to this movie. Just fantastic direction by one of cinema masters. An Oscar nomination well-deserved.

The acting in PSYCHO is top-notch. Anthony Perkins truly made a star-making turn as Norman Bates, creating a creepy, yet sympathetic character all at once. And the fact that Perkins used certain characteristics, such as the candy corn thing and the nervous ticks, to give Norman depth shows how much he understood the character. Unfortunately, he was so good in the role that he was typecast for the rest of his career until his passing in 1992. Janet Leigh is also memorable as Marion. While down to earth, she's so passionate in her desperation and driven in her sensuality. Hitchcock loved his blondes, and Leigh was one of the classiest actresses in his many films. And her shower scene has lived on for generations, especially through her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis. The other actors, such as Vera Miles [who would return in the 1983 surprisingly excellent sequel, PSYCHO II], John Gavin, and Martin Balsam are all devices to the plot. But they all give solid performances and the film wouldn't be memorable without them.

THINGS I'VE LEARNED WHILE GOING A LITTLE MAD SOMETIMES

- Sam Loomis is all for respectability. It requires patience, temperance, and a lot of sweating out - otherwise, it isn't work. Not only did PSYCHO influence horror, but the porn industry as well. Hitchcock was indeed a genius!

- Marion Crane is willing to lick the stamps of Sam's alimony checks just to be with him. Anne Heche, who played Marion in the 1998 remake, also licked some things just to be famous. I don't think it involved any stamps though.

- Marion, sleeping in her car along the highway, was woken by a police officer during the morning hours, annoying her. Some people just don't like bacon for breakfast.

- Don't ever act paranoid around a nosy cap. Like being Naomi Campbell's assistant, it's a bad idea and will only be painful and bloody at the end.

- Norman Bates likes to stuff birds. Tiger Woods and Jesse James like to stuff birds too, but of the two-legged variety.

- "A boy's best friend is his mother." Oedipus knew that well. WAY too well.

- Norman enjoys watching Marion undress through his peephole. Norman Bates, huh? I think we all know what his middle name is...

- Don't trespass into someone's home. It's a bad step. Literally.

- Never keep skeletons in a cellar. It'll just give away all of your secrets. Closets still exist for a reason.

- Norman has two split-personalities: himself and his mother. So when he plays with himself, is he officially a motherfucker?

THE FINAL HOWL
Would I recommend PSYCHO? Duh! It's a classic for a reason and just a wonderful film. And if you do plan on buying this film, the two-disc edition that recently was released is the way to go. From a great documentary, to a newsreel about the insane and brilliant marketing for this movie, PSYCHO is more than worthwhile. It's a fantastic horror movie by a master of suspense and horror. Hell, it's a fantastic movie period.



6.16.2010

Robo Vampire (1987)


Here's another video review, this time for a very weird 1987 Asian ROBOCOP ripoff called ROBO VAMPIRE, directed by Godfrey Ho. I hope y'all enjoy!


The WTF? Worst Films Extravaganza Presents: The Brotherhood V: Alumni (2009)

**This was originally written for Fangoria.com months ago, but they never posted it for whatever reason. Anyway, I'm finally posting it. So enjoy!**


DIRECTED BY
David DeCoteau

STARRING
Brett Novek - Randall
Maria Aceves - Betty
Preston Davis - Schwartz
Lindsey Landers - Amy
Arthur Napiontek
Nathan Parsons - Holden


Genre - Horror/Slasher/Gay

Running Time - 86 Minutes

Score - 0.5 Howls Outta 4


The tagline for THE BROTHERHOOD V: ALUMNI states the following: "The Guilty Will Pay For Their Sins". If that's the case, I guess I've been really guilty because THE BROTHERHOOD V: ALUMNI is a terrible film. If this film was a prison sentence, I'd probably be on death row.

The film begins at Sunnydale High’s (where’s Buffy & Co. when you need them?) Senior Prom, where school outcast Leslie (Oskar Rodriguez) is set up for a cruel prank but ends up getting killed by someone dressed in black instead. The seniors behind the prank (Brett Novek, Maria Aceves, Preston Davis, Lindsey Landers, Arthur Napiontek, and Nathan Parsons) find Leslie’s body and promise each other to never discuss that night again. A year later, the pranksters are invited to a Sunnydale High reunion by a mystery person who claims to hold a tape that shows who murdered Leslie. Desperate to find the tape, the pranksters end up getting a taste of their own medicine, as they soon get killed off one by one.

THE BROTHERHOOD V: ALUMNI attempts to take elements from previous horror films, such as 1980’s PROM NIGHT, 1986’s SLAUGHTER HIGH, and 1997’s I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER to create a modern slasher film. Unfortunately, this film doesn’t have the entertainment value of these movies. The story is bare bones, with nothing remotely interesting to keep you watching from beginning to end. The characters aren’t developed enough to even be stereotypes. When the first minute and a half has to tell you who these characters are, that should be a hint that there’s going to be issues later on. We’re given red herrings as to who the killer(s) is/are leading to a twist ending that ends up being unsatisfying. The dialogue is dull and generic. I don’t mind if the story isn’t original, but it does need to move somewhere. THE BROTHERHOOD V: ALUMNI is stagnant in its storytelling.

Director David DeCoteau (who’s directed every other entry in the BROTHERHOOD franchise) is hit and miss. For a horror film, there is no tension or suspense. Rather than focus on that, DeCoteau is more interested in the human form, especially the male body. In fact, we get two identical shower scenes (or more correctly, men rubbing water up and down on their sculpted chests) that don’t move the story forward at all. We also get a make out scene between Novek and Napiontek, as well as a bisexual threesome between Novek, Aceves, and Parsons. The BROTHERHOOD franchise is known for its homoerotic nature, showcasing the young male actors in varied states of undress for long periods of time. While that’s not my cup of tea, I can appreciate the franchise has a niche that gives it an identity. But these scenes are just filler and I feel they won’t arouse the audience that this film is really intended for. Also, DeCoteau has these chase sequences that last way too long. Fifteen minutes for one murder that involves eight minutes of just random walking, four minutes of some guy showering, and then the rest for the kill is just too much. The pacing could have been better. And for a slasher film, there’s no gore. The kills are implied off-screen. But the film does look nice and the editing was good.

The acting is also pretty bad, as the cast is made up of models. Nathan Parsons was the best actor here, as he was able to showcase personality and delivered his lines convincingly. The others were poor to decent, although the actors weren’t given much material to work with anyway.

The DVD comes with a trailer for the film and a 49-minute behind the scenes look of the film. Actually, it’s just footage of DeCoteau directing the actors in multiple takes of the same scene. There’s no insight or information about why the film was shot the way it was, nor do we hear from the cast and crew about their experiences working on the film. Bad movie. Bad extras. THE BROTHERHOOD V: ALUMNI has barely any redeeming value.

6.13.2010

Mutant Vampire Zombies From The 'Hood (2008)

DIRECTED BY
Thunder Levin

STARRING
C. Thomas Howell - David
Tyshawn Bryant - G-Dog
Rachel Montez Collins - Latiffa
Gregory Allan Williams - Dr. Reginald Monte
Johanna Watts - Lisa
Robert Wu - Dragon
KeiKabou Holland - Larson
Maxie J. Santillan Jr. - Old Man

Genre - Horror/Comedy/Zombies

Running Time - 90 Minutes

Score - 3 Howls Outta 4


I spent quite some time in the 'hood, being from Brooklyn, New York. I've seen gang violence. I've seen drug dealing. I've seen some bad stuff go down. But never...and I do mean NEVER...have I've witnessed mutant vampire zombies in my 'hood.

Unless you count stoners. Then yes, I have seen MUTANT VAMPIRE ZOMBIES FROM THE 'HOOD. Anyway, read the review before I pop a cap in yo' ass, homey!

PLOT
In South Central, Los Angeles, a cop named David (C. Thomas Howell) and his partner hide out at the rafters of a warehouse where two rival gangs are meeting. The leader of the black gang, G-Dog (Tyshawn Bryant), wants to exchange drugs with the Asian gang leader, Dragon (Robert Wu), for his girl Latiffa (Rachel Montez Collins). The police bust goes bad, as David and his partner are outnumbered. While a shoot out occurs between the three groups, a huge solar flare hits Earth. Everyone in the warehouse is knocked unconscious because of it.

They all wake up hours later, only to find that the world has drastically changed. The solar flare seems to have mutated anyone in contact with it [meaning whoever was outdoors during the event] with its radiation, turning them into flesh-eating, blood-hungry zombies. The three rival gangs unite to take out this new species as they head to the safety of an astrophysicist (Gregory Allan Williams) and his really hot daughter (Johanna Watts), who seem to have the key to stopping these creatures and staying alive.

REVIEW
Now you may all be thinking: "With a title like MUTANT VAMPIRE ZOMBIES FROM THE 'HOOD, this film must really suck!", right? Fortunately, MVZFTH is actually a pretty good flick! It's funny. It's well-acted. And for a very low budget feature, it looks pretty damn cool! Who knew?

The screenplay for WVZFTH is surprisingly smart and well-written in general. Obviously, the film isn't original in its storytelling. If you've seen NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD or other popular zombie movies, you know how things supposed to go.

A: Some strange substance [gas, virus, solar flare] turns people into flesh-craving creatures.

B: A group of survivors who don't see eye-to-eye encounter these creatures, wondering what caused them and doing anything in their power to live.

C: They all group up in a safe place, disagreeing with how to do things to maintain their survival.

D: The creatures break into this safe place, putting the survivors' alliances to the test.

MVZFTH runs the same way, pretty much. It takes elements of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, mixed with NIGHT OF THE COMET, with an added sprinkle of 28 DAYS LATER to complete the stew. And it actually works for the most part. Not only are these films referenced, but so are NOSFERATU, ALIENS, and SNAKES ON A PLANE to various degrees of success. In fact, the Larson character [G-Dog's right hand man] is the Bill Paxton role from ALIENS, who's always terrified by the situation and rants about horror movies to express his points. These self-references shouldn't work as well as they do, but I found myself laughing at most of them. Color me surprised.

The dialogue is also pretty well written. The comedy is actually funny and there's hardly any exposition. When characters say something, the words actually move the story forward. There are also moments where stereotypes are thrown at certain characters, playing around with them to a great and comedic effect. The screenplay was really well-paced and I never felt all that bored once the zombies showed up within 20 minutes of the movie. I will say that the characters aren't all that developed and it would have been nice to know more about them so, as an audience, we could care about them and their fates. A little more depth would have been nice but it doesn't really hurt the film all that much at the end.

The special effects of MVZFTH are more than decent. The SFX and makeup were done by American Makeup and Effects, who have worked on all three PIRATE OF THE CARIBBEAN films and JARHEAD. The zombies look pretty good and the gore is pretty nice as well. We get a lot of gun shots and necks being bitten by zombies. Not too shabby at all. For a low budget movie, it was nice to see that the money was spent on the right things.

The direction by Thunder Levin was also nicely handled. The movie was well-paced with its tight editing. The cinematography was pretty nice. The fight sequences were nicely choreographed and pretty exciting. They weren't perfect but I enjoyed them. I really can't say anything negative about the visuals in this movie. The film looked really good and also sounded really good. Thunder Levin is no hack, that's for sure. Definitely thumbs up from me.

The acting was also decent for the most part. C. Thomas Howell does more than well here as the lead. I've always liked the guy since the 1980s and it's too bad he doesn't have a better career. He's a talented actor and I enjoyed him here. His moments where he would try and act black reminded me of SOUL MAN, which made me nostalgic. Tyshawn Bryant was more than capable as G-Dog. He was the stereotypical black gang member, but he put more depth into a thinly written character than what was needed. Good job. Robert Wu was also good as Dragon. He had certain emotional moments that he handled well. KeiKabou Holland was a highlight as Larson. His rants about NOSFERATU were very funny and he made the film more entertaining overall. Gregory Allan Williams, or Baywatch fame, brought class to his role. Johanna Watts as Lisa was extremely hot AND could act! That only made her sexier in my book. And Maxie J. Santillan Jr., as the old man who acted as the sage for the group, was entertaining as well. Just a really capable cast. Not one weak link here.

THINGS I'VE LEARNED WHILE BANGING A HOT DOCTOR IN FRONT OF THE UNDEAD

- David's partner criticized him for talking and acting "black". Obviously, he was one of the many people who was smart enough NOT to see SOUL MAN back in the 80s.

- David claims that his job as a cop is to know every criminal on the streets by their names. Yeah, if there are no donut shops or plungers around! However, if you like forceful entries in the rectum region, then please ignore this one.

- G-Dog said the zombies can do everything but "skull fuck" people "with their atomic dicks." I totally agree. Only Lois Lane has knowledge of this experience and it should stay that way.

- Lisa is a great marksman. Any chick who can master a gun goes on top of my list...and my lap.

- None of the survivors want to have sex with zombies, afraid their appendages might be mutiliated because of hunger. Although lesbians probably welcome their carpets being munched...

- Larson got his penis bit off by a zombie. I guess someone needed a penis transplant...

- Lisa has a thing for David and vice-versa. Hot chicks dig THE OUTSIDERS, even if their 15 minutes of fame have already run out and then some.

THE FINAL HOWL
While not a perfect film [the ending was way rushed, some plot holes, and a very slow and unoriginal beginning], MUTANT VAMPIRE ZOMBIES FROM THE 'HOOD is still a surprisingly fun time. If you are interested in seeing this film and want to see how a low budget zombie film should look like, check out their website at Seminal Films. Apparently there is another installment called NINJA PIRATE WEREWOLVES IN 'SPACE - a film I'm actually looking forward to. How can you not with a title like that? But in the meantime, take a look at MVZFTH. It may leave you starving for more.


6.12.2010

Trailer: Bikini Bloodbath 3 (2010)

Tom Seymour, director of BIKINI BLOODBATH and BIKINI BLOODBATH CARWASH, asked nicely if I would promote the trailer to his third BB film, BIKINI BLOODBATH 3. It comes out October 2010 and can be bought/rented on Amazon, MVD, or Netflix. So let's support indie horror, even if the results are pretty ridiculous [and Mr. Seymour would agree with that statement]. Enjoy!

BIKINI BLOODBATH 3 (RED BAND TRAILER) from Bloodbath on Vimeo.

6.07.2010

The WTF? Worst Films Extravaganza Presents: Train (2008)


Another video review so soon? It's more fun than just writing about a film. Here's another WTF? review for TRAIN, the former proposed remake of 1980's TERROR TRAIN. While not as bad as STAN HELSING, I won't be stepping onto this TRAIN again anytime soon. Enjoy!

6.04.2010

The WTF? Worst Films Extravaganza Presents: Stan Helsing (2009)


This is a video review for the 2009 spoof horror/comedy, STAN HELSING. Yes, the parody movie is officially on life support with this one.

I hope to do more of these video thingies. Enjoy and feedback is always nice.


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