[The Lair of the Unwanted] The Tournament of the Unwanted 4: THE BEST AROUND!

It's the end of January and that only means one thing!! Time to get ready for Valentine's Day!! 

Oh...ok so two things. It's time for The Tournament of the Unwanted! Jason and Nolahn welcome Bubbawheat, Dylan Fields and myself as we battle it out to see who'll reign supreme and become the Champion of 2015!

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13 Sins (2014)

Daniel Stamm

Mark Webber - Elliot Brindle
Devon Graye - Michael Brindle
Tom Bower - Father Brindle
Rutina Wesley - Shelby
Ron Perlman - Detective Chilcoat
George Coe - Game Voice
Pruitt Taylor Vince - Vogler

Genre - Horror/Thriller

Running Time - 92 Minutes

Elliot Brindle (Mark Webber) has had a rough day. Instead of getting the promotion he was expecting from his boss (Richard Burgi), he’s fired from his job. Without a job, Elliot can’t support himself, let alone his pregnant fiancee Shelby (Rutina Wesley) who is trying to plan their wedding. He also can’t afford to support his mentally handicapped brother Michael (Devon Graye), which will lead him to unwillingly be institutionalized. Adding to the crap pile is the eviction of Elliot’s father (Tom Bower) from his retirement home, which is a huge problem since he’s a racist and Shelby is African-American. 

Hitting rock bottom, Elliott receives a mysterious call (George Coe) that seems to know him and about his current situation. The caller tells him that all his problems will go away if he completes 13 tasks, all with increasing monetary value. The first few start off as playful and mildly mean to some, but as it continues, the tasks become more dangerous and a bit too extreme. A desperate Elliot plays the game, which makes him a target of Detective Chilcoat (Ron Perlman), leading to a conclusion that becomes way too personal and questions his morality.


  • I knew nothing of 13 SINS before realizing it was expiring from Netflix Instant and watching it. It’s a Blumhouse Productions’ Americanized remake of a Thai film from 2006, 13: GAME OF DEATH and directed by Daniel Stamm, who directed 2010’s THE LAST EXORCISM. I wasn’t expecting much out of this movie, but I came out of it pleasantly surprised. So surprised in fact, that I want to check out the original Thai film. I’ve heard it’s a bit different, even though it hits most of the same notes. Usually a bad remake or reimagining turns me off from watching the source film, but this one did the exact opposite. If that’s not a plus in my book, I don’t know what is.

  • I thought the premise, which is a mix of “The Most Dangerous Game” and SAW, was actually compelling and fun. Watching desperate people do really odd things for a certain goal, especially money or fame, tends to make an entertaining experience when mostly done right. Most of the games within the 13 tasks are pretty grounded in reality, each escalating in danger and questions ethics as they go along. I don’t want to give away what the tasks are, as it’s more fun to find out if/when you watch. But it’s a lot to fun to watch Elliot do the things he feels he has to do to support his family as the tasks get more malicious.

  • I also liked that the tasks actually mattered in terms of moving the narrative along towards the twist ending. Sometimes you get a premise that’s just there to shock people without it really mattering to the actual story other than it being superficial. And while the premise is pretty implausible if you think about it, at least it leads to a conclusion that made sense in context of the premise. It adds a certain gravitas to the game Elliot is playing, connecting certain threads brought up prior to the ending and bringing them home altogether. I thought it was kind of neat that this game was not only effecting those in the present, but it also haunted some for many years. I thought the script was pretty clever in terms of that, giving us more answers while creating some questions that could be answered in a later film if anyone had wanted to, without leaving you hanging.

  • The acting was very good in 13 SINS. Mark Webber was a strong lead, bringing a level of sympathy to Elliot while thinking he was a fool for thinking playing this game was a good idea. I enjoyed how he played the role, starting as playful and hopeful - but ending as a desperate and scared man. Ron Perlman isn’t in the film as much as one would like, but he’s always good in anything. This film is no exception. Pruitt Taylor Vince brings the creepy and mysterious, continuing his strong work as a character actor. Retina Wesley [Tara from True Blood] is good as Elliot’s confused fiancee. Devon Graye and Tom Bower were also very good as Elliot’s mentally challenged brother and angry father respectively. This was a really good cast that elevated the script.

  • The gore effects were pretty good here. 13 SINS isn’t a gory film or anything, but I thought the handle of blood and violence was well done.


  • One of the games involves Elliot having to steal an ostrich from a homeless man. There’s implausible, and then there’s WHAT THE HELL?? An ostrich? A homeless man? A homeless man with an ostrich? Is this a millennial thing? What does that even have to do with anything? It’s worse when we never even see how Elliot accomplishes this task. I guess it was supposed to be funny, but I just found it weird. It threw me off honestly.

  • The direction by THE LAST EXORCISM director, Daniel Stamm, isn’t terrible or anything. But it’s not exactly fantastic either. It’s just there, never really bringing any tension or energy to the story. It’s a good looking film and it moves well, but there’s nothing really memorable about it. At times, Stamm seems confused as to whether he’s directing a horror film or a psychological thriller. Stamm is also ambitious at times, which is a good trait to have - but not if the budget or story doesn’t really allow it. The visual presentation is neither good or bad. But I thought a bit more energy and tension could have gone a long way to making 13 SINS stand out more.

  • Seriously, where did that homeless guy get an ostrich and no one not notice?? What the fuck, really? I can’t even…

13 SINS surprised me with how good it was. Never having seen the original Thai film that inspired this American remake, I came in with low expectations and came out enjoying the film for the most part. Solid acting, a clever premise, and a well told narrative with a twist ending that works make 13 SINS a psychological thriller worth looking for. Some of the plot points made no sense, or couldn’t even possibly happen regardless of the out-there premise. And the direction was uninspiring at times, but not totally terrible. So yeah, 13 SINS isn’t perfect, but it won’t make you go to cinema confession either to wash it all away.

3 Howls Outta 4


Midnight Confessions Ep. 84: "Doin' that Thing we do"

This episode, the MC crew are taking a deep look at John Carpenter's THE THING (1982). Plus we also discuss the 1951 original and the 2011 prequel. Grab a bottle of J&B and enjoy!


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The Midnight Confessions Movie Show #15: "The Devil Master (1977)"

Join Rev. Phantom, Moronic Mark and myself as we talk over THE DEVIL MASTER (aka THE DEMON LOVER). This movie has it all: Blood, boobs, sacrifices, a karate dojo, a Sasquatch/demon hybrid, lots of mundane talking, Leatherface with a perm, donuts, a rubber band, a curvy man in a dress, loud talking, LOUD NOISES, Paul from Cheers, Frank Zappa’s dimwitted clone, people with incredibly annoying voices and much, much more!

What IMDb says it's about: A group of teenagers hanging around a cemetery get involved with a satanic priest who calls up a demon from hell. (Ok...sure.)

Hey, did you know we have a podcast? Because of course we do. Be sure to check out the Midnight Confessions Podcast...

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Midnight Confessions Ep. 83: "Come play with us...forever...and ever..."

We're back from our winter hiatus and this episode we're dedicating a whole show to Stanley Kubrick's THE SHINING. We talk about the book by Stephen King, the mini-series and the recent doc' ROOM 237. So grab an axe and your favorite dog costume and enjoy!


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When Wrestlers Act & The WTF? Worst Films Extravaganza Presents - The Condemned 2: Desert Prey (2015)

Roel Reiné

Randy Orton - Will Tanner
Eric Roberts - Frank Tanner
Wes Studi - Cryus
Steven Michael Quezada - Raul
Bill Stinchcomb - Harrigan
Alex Knight - Cooper
Dylan Kenin - Travis
Michael Sheets - Lange

Genre - Action/Thriller

Running Time - 90 Minutes

Will Tanner (Randy Orton) is the leader of bounty hunters tracking down a fugitive that Will accidentally kills while bringing in. Will receives a two-year probation/suspension sentence after being charged with involuntary manslaughter, making Will rethink his bounty hunter life for a better, and less violent, professional future. Now wanting to live a life without violence, Will is an ordinary tow truck driver. However, his former teammates start popping up one by one, all attempting to murder him. Apparently, the entire team has a bounty on their heads, set up by Raul (Steven Michael Quezada) - former right hand man of the criminal Will had previously murdered. Creating an underground gambling den, Raul has been broadcasting this “game” of Will’s survival for profit, condemning him for the sins of the past.

I have three words for THE CONDEMNED 2: DESERT PREY


Even though it’s considered to be WWE Studios’ biggest financial flop, I felt 2007’s Steve Austin led vehicle, THE CONDEMNED, was one of the company’s better cinematic efforts. No one asked for a sequel, even in name only. But here it is - THE CONDEMNED 2: DEADLY PREY - a direct-to-video sequel starring Randy Orton that has nothing to do with the first film besides its premise. No charismatic actors. No entertaining action. Nothing but boredom, just like the current WWE product these days.

I’m not going to make this review all that long, only because there’s nothing really to say about this movie. Other than it sucks and you’d be wasting your precious time and money with this “sequel”. The “Most Dangerous Game” has been done to death and done way better than this film attempts to. TURKEY SHOOT did it better. BATTLE ROYALE did it better. THE RUNNING MAN did it better. Even THE HUNGER GAMES did it better. THE CONDEMNED 2 is just generic, predictable, and boring all at once. The premise may be there, but there’s no meat or imagination to it whatsoever. 

It doesn’t help that all the characters are just bland and one-dimensional. Our hero, Will Tanner, isn’t given much to do but evade attacks and fight back. Even when he’s sentenced for murdering someone during bounty hunting and losing his job due to probation, Will barely reacts to it. No guilt. No remorse. Not even a hint of satisfaction or feeling of justice. It was like an everyday occurrence. And that was within the first 10 minutes of the film. The fact that he just goes on with his life without really reacting or showing how this incident changed him made me care for the character less. It doesn’t get better for him, or anyone else in this movie, after that. Even the villain, Raul, is just bland. He’s a D-level James Bond villain, and that’s being generous. Alan B. McElroy, who wrote HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS, a few of the WRONG TURN films, and THE MARINE simply wrote this for a quick paycheck. I hope he bought something good with that money and our waste of time.

Roel Reiné is a decent enough action film director, but it barely works here. Sure, some of the action scenes and visuals of explosions are cool before they wear out their welcome. But other than that, it’s a pretty pedestrian and blah looking movie that’s unmemorable for the most part. Even the fight choreography felt like it went through the motions. Figuring that most of the film takes place within the desert, Reiné could have done more with the locale. But it’s your typical low-budget direct-to-DVD feature. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that. It’s only wrong when you don’t try to hide it and make the film feel bigger than it actually is. Reiné doesn’t bother.

Not much to say about the acting either. Randy Orton is a good wrestler, but he’s not much of an actor. He has a quiet charisma and presence about him that works inside of the squared circle, but not in a leading role for 90 minutes. He recites his lines in the same monotone way he recites wrestling promos, which subtracts rather than adds to the performance. Steven Michael Quezada tried to ham it up as Raul, the villain. But he felt like he belonged in a different film - a comedy to be more specific. Sorry, but seeing Orton actually have a fist fight with Agent Gomez and struggle was just laughable to me. The only one having fun was Eric Roberts as Orton’s dad. I guess there were a lot of zeroes on that paycheck.

While the first film was actually a decent film, THE CONDEMNED 2 is a waste of everyone’s time - even if you’re a fan of Randy Orton and/or Eric Roberts [probably the best part of the film]. Everything is just bland - the narrative, the direction, the terrible acting, and even some of the action doesn’t pump the viewer up. If you want to be bored for 90 minutes, you’ll be condemned for watching this piece of crap. 90 minutes of an RKO meme loop would provide more entertainment than this. Nothing to see here. 

0.5 Howls Outta 4

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