Going to camp with the devil…and everyone’s pitching a tent

7 deadly roommates cover

As with its indie horror movie selection, Amazon Prime is a great platform for getting homebrewed serial material out there that would be overlooked by the more snooty streaming services. 7 Deadly Roommates is the latest to add to the list of campy gems I’ve discovered thanks to Prime.

The 8-episode series (most episodes running about 15 – 20 minutes long) finds seven sinful contestants involuntarily sharing a suite on a reality show hosted by none other than Satan himself.

7 deadly roommates cast

Each roommate quickly begins to demonstrate their deadly sin of choice – Gluttony, Lust, Envy, Greed, Vanity, Wrath, Sloth – as Satan relishes the debauchery in the house.

7 deadly roommates house

7 deadly roommates cast drink

And he’s even guilty of giving into his own power of temptation, provoking further naughtiness.

7 deadly roommates satanandqueen

This is pure quirky, campy fun, loaded with sexual and gross out humor, and the cast is absolutely perfect. This is how an indie production should be put together; the low budget isn’t a deterrent to creativity and talent.

7 deadly roommates cast confusion

The show is the creation of Kai Morgan, who plays ravenously bisexual “Lust,” and Mili Rakic, who could charm the pants off Lucifer in his role as Satan. Aside from being clever as hell (literally), these two little fuckers really bring out the daddy in me. I find them both ridiculously adorable, and the fact that they represent sex and Satan makes them even more delectable.

Kai’s lust oozes hilariously from his every orifice, tickling my funny bone and also tickling the latent top tendencies I keep bottled up inside.

7 deadly roommates gotback

And Mili’s huge dimples, beautiful big mouth, and pretty boy lips are the perfect size to accommodate my fat ass.

7 deadly roommatessatan

I just need to avoid getting poked by those horns. Actually, quite the contrary…

7 deadly roommates satanhorns

No one is outshone here, with the entire cast delivering standout performances, including the bitchy gay boy Envy, food-loving Gluttony, trans-tastic Vanity, Sloth the stoner, “good” Christian girl Wrath, and straight but not narrow Greed.

7 deadly roommates gluttonstoner

In fact, what makes the show’s gayness so refreshing is that there’s no homophobia present at all. Satan himself is so colorful he wouldn’t allow it!

7 deadly roommates queens

Sure, Greed rejects Lust’s advances (mostly), but it’s never with anger, hatred, or anti-gay slurs. He fully embraces that Lust is a slut, as we all should. After all, every one of us lusts, and lust is just another way of saying slut.

7 deadly roommates kiss

7 deadly roommates drinking

7 deadly roommates guys in bed

The entire sinful group of roommates is nonjudgmental, which is what makes these 7 Deadly Roommates (and Satan) so damn lovable.

7 deadly roommates sleepover

Will there be a season two? I don’t know, but there is a devilish twist that makes it a distinct possibility. In the meantime, the show officially scores a spot on my homo hell-evision page.

7 deadly rooommates heel in head

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Treading familiar ground with this triple feature

A witch, a predator in the walls, and an unstoppable killing machine. You’ve been there and done all that…but is it worth doing again? A quick rundown of Don’t Knock Twice, Havenhurst, and Legacy of Thorn.

DON’T KNOCK TWICE (2016)

dont knock twice cover

The plot of Don’t Knock Twice seems to have been “borrowed” and split into two different films – NeverKnock and House of the Witch – to fill the SyFy channel’s October 2017 Halloween schedule. It also feels oddly familiar if you’ve already seen the full-length movie version of Lights Out. And it has been turned into a video game for the PS4.

A teen with a troubled existence knocks twice on the door of a supposed witch she believes is responsible for the disappearance of one of her friends.

In doing so, she brings the witch along with her when she returns home to her mom. Mom and daughter spend the rest of the film running around their house trying to avoid the dark, because it appears the witch only comes and gets you when you turn the lights out.

dont knock twice silhouetteHello? Who’s there? Lights Out, is that you?

What more can I say? It’s modern tween horror: simple premise, creepy witch, lots of jump scares and spooky shadows. At one point the witch pops out and literally yells “RAAAH!”

dont knock twice behind her

Okay, she might be saying “RUN!,” but it reminded me of when I was ten and me and my brothers would jump out at each other from around corners in our house—and of me now at 48 doing the same thing to my hubby. RAAAH!

HAVENHURST (2016)

havenhurst cover

Havenhurst might as well be titled Toolbox Murders 3. And I mean that in the most flattering way, because it’s just as much fun as the Toolbox Murders remake was, even if it does leave you with endless unanswered questions by the end.

The intro scene totally gets you in the mood for a classic “killer hiding in the walls” scenario.

havenhurst danielle harris_

Danielle Harris makes a brief appearance in this fast and furious segment, which ironically gave me flashbacks to the first kill in Rob Zombie’s Halloween.

havenhurst harris monster

Next, Julie Benz, Darla of Angel and Buffy fame, moves into her friend Danielle’s vacated apartment (Danielle’s character name is Danielle). We learn the entire apartment building is a “safe haven” for recovering addicts. Julie is determined to find out what happened to her evicted friend while struggling not to hit the bottle.

havenhurst julie benz

Pretty soon, her neighbors are being chased, brutally thrown around, and murdered in their apartments by a killer that looks like a leather daddy in the shadows, which makes sense considering it’s horror hottie Douglas Tait.

havenhurst monster behind her

With secret passages, trap doors, and fleeting glimpses of the killer, it’s all familiar territory, but what makes Havenhurst work is that it’s done right. It’s creepy and atmospheric, with just the right amount of gore, a menacing baddie, and a wild final chase and fight sequence. Julie Benz as the main girl is the icing on the cake. I totally added this one to my DVD collection.

LEGACY OF THORN (2016)

legacy of thorn cover

Whenever I get a chance, I check out one of MJ Dixon’s horror flicks, especially since the killers in each of his movies comes full circle in his film Slasher House. “Thorn” is one of my favorite killers in that film, so I was looking forward to this one.

legacy of thorn killer stance

I’d say it’s visually his tightest feature film so far, as it’s much more polished than the others. The killer is great, the action, kills, scares, and suspense are great.

legacy of thorn hall

The troubling part for me is that the timeline leaps back and forth repeatedly between the present and four years ago…”leap” being the operative word considering February 29th plays a crucial part in the film. Just don’t ask me why or what it means.

legacy of thorn lead male

Basically, a bunch of high school kids was stalked and hacked up 4 years ago. Now, the main girl and her friends are trying to lure the killer so they can off him. Either my sense of the timeline was totally off or no one died the first time, because the characters from the two time periods look the same to me–just in different tints.

This had me convinced the whole “now” is solely in the main girl’s head. Everything that happens in the past is essentially mirrored in the now, almost like the main girl is sort of “reliving” what she already went through but hoping for a different ending this time.

legacy of thorn stalk

The repetitive back and forth time jumps go on continuously through the whole movie, and we feel like everyone has pieces of information that are supposed to make the plot logical, they just never share it with us.

The other uber frustrating thing about the film is that every time, without a doubt, the characters just stand there arguing or whimpering as the killer approaches them instead of running. Forget frustrating. it’s infuriating.

legacy of thorn cheerleaders

The standout scene is the one that pretty much breaks the mold; the killer enters a gym and goes to town on all the cheerleaders. It’s the scene in the trailer that had me psyched about this one.

legacy of thorn mouth

The conclusion is as confusing as everything that happens before it…not to mention, the film almost seems to be paying homage to – or flat out stealing the plot from – Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers. Engineered or evil organization-manufactured killers seem to be a thing these days. The film sort of reminded me of the Playing with Dolls franchise in that respect.

The tag is intriguing if you’ve been following Dixon’s movies, and it definitely makes you want to see his future films in hopes that this will all make sense at some point.

 

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

An alien life form, infected crazies, and a demon walk onto a Prime watchlist

You’ve probably heard this one before, so I’ll make the coverage of three from my latest streaming excursion quick.

MAN VS. (2015)

man vs cover

The question with Man vs. is…how much one-man found footage can you put up with while waiting for the money shots closer to the end?

What kept me glued to the screen is the fact that star Chris Diamantopoulos is kind of beautiful.

man vs pit

It’s kind of ridiculous.

man vs. backpack open

It’s kind of impossible not to enjoy the fuck out of watching him talk to the camera for 80 minutes. It was like he was speaking right to me. Sigh.

Anyway, he plays a reality TV guy whose show has a simple premise – he’s dropped off in the middle of the wilderness and must survive for 5 days.

He spends a lot of time giving us lessons on survival. He sleeps. He catches animals. He prepares a rabbit for eating in a nasty, gratuitous butchering scene.

And occasionally, he gets signs that something is weird and he may not be alone in the jungle.

man vs dead fish

Really, it’s a lot of nothing to sit through, and the worst part is, he never gets naked. But he does get soaking wet and strips off his shirt briefly.

man vs shirtless

This moment of him getting wet is pretty wild and finally ups the tension. And I’m not just talking sexual tension. Shit gets crazy and he faces off against a hostile life form.

man vs cave

It’s CGI monster, but it’s definitely high-end CGI, so it looks pretty cool. There’s a sort of Predator feel to it. And our leading man does kick some monster ass as he loses his shit.

 24 HOURS TO DIE ( 2016)

24 hours to die cover

Take the popular theme of a group of strangers waking up in a room and learning they have to pretty much kill each other until only one remains standing, add a splash of Night of the Demons, and you have 24 Hours to Die.

24 hours to die stra#41B648

From the beginning, it’s made clear to the audience that there’s some sort of evil organization—perhaps the military or the government—putting the people through this hell. They are initially dragged into the room by guys in hazmats, and they regularly receive instructional calls from a robotic voice on a cell phone they find in the room.

24 hours to die phone

One by one, they begin to suffer from some sort of infection that very briefly turns them into white-eyed demons/crazies.

24 hours to die she demon

It’s almost comical when one character changes and simply chases the group in circles since they’re confined to one space.

24 hours to die man demon

There are a couple of cool transformation/attack scenes, but they can never be dwelled upon. Since there’s no way to escape these demonic freaks in the confined circumstances, each crazy has to be offed very quickly in order for the story to move ahead. Therefore, no chase scenes or surprise scares.

To propel the story forward, 24 Hours to Die is heavy on the dialogue, so even at 85 minutes long, it drags and leaves us with more drama than horror. However, there are plenty of hot guys!

24 hours to die guys

THE DEMON (2016)

demon 2016 cover

This one is basically an Asian indie version of Evil Dead that takes place on New Year’s Eve.

demon 2016 neck

A guy brings his friends to spend the holiday in his uncle’s house—a house the uncle abandoned after his wife died.

demon 2016 cast
They decorate a Christmas tree, ring in the New Year, and bicker over whether “Last Christmas” was a Wham! song or a George Michael solo track.

demon 2016 tree

Meanwhile, one guy goes off to surprise them dressed as Santa, sparking the demonic possession! Shit. Demons got something against fat guys with big white beards…

demon 2016 santa

While there’s some possession amongst the friends, it’s predominantly a female demon already in the house that does most of the terrorizing, including crawling on the ceiling and spider-walking down stairs.

demon 2016 demon ceiling

She’s super gnarly and terrifying at first, but eventually she pops up in front of the camera so much that even the actress behind all the makeup seems to lose interest in trying to be convincingly scary.

demon 206 demon behind

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bonejangles jangled my funny bone

bonejangles cover

Half of my decision-making when tossing Prime horror movies into my watchlist is based on the poster art. So when Bonejangles caught my eye, I figured that with such a menacing image and a hokey play on words for a title, it simply had to be a really crappy, low-budget indie slasher. I immediately added it to my watchlist.

bonejangles behind kill

What I got was so much better than the piece of shit I was hoping for. The film just immerses itself in horror fun: a charming comic duo, cheesy and campy humor, loads of references to other horror movies, over-the-top characters that unapologetically poke fun at their stereotypes, gore, nudity, Reggie Bannister in a small role…and that’s just for starters.

bonejangles reggie

Bonejangles starts off with a classic 80s vibe. A night watchman hears a news report about an escaped killer on the radio…as he goes to check out a strange noise. When the ominous Bonejangles shows up and the brutality begins, I assumed I was in for a surprise slasher treat.

bonejangles killer

Next thing I know, we’re dealing with a burnout hipster cop and all-American virgin cop who are absolutely terrified because they have to go search the building for the killer. I did not see the comedy coming.

bonejangles duo

Joining the two as they are handed the responsibility of transporting the psycho killer to a facility in another town are a tough talking female cop and a very pretty, very queenie gay cop—who spends a lot of time in his undies. He also lands this flick on the die, gay guy, die! page.

bonejangles gay

When they reach the town, this foursome is pretty much split up for the remainder of the film…because shit gets CRAZY!

bonejangles chase

This is no ordinary slasher comedy. It’s midnight movie monster madness!

bonejangles witch

A psycho killer hunting down campers…backwoods hillbillies…a witch…a curse…a succubus…a shotgun wedding (literally, the hot groom has a shotgun)…zombies…WTF?

bonejangles zombies

bonejangles chainsaw head

Plus, there plenty of cute, shirtless guys.

bonejangles tent man

bonejangles chainsaw man

It’s the kind of madness my scattered brain needs. So I totally ordered the DVD after it was over.

bonejangles cast

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

When werewolf fur needs a trimming

Watching a marathon of indie werewolf films over Halloween weekend, I realized pretty quickly that this might be one of the most challenging subgenres to take on with a limited budget. Just the fact that the directors of all of these films went for it impresses me.

Looking past financial restraints, the one thing I’d say could make these films tighter would be if—guess what I’m about to say—they were all shorter. In fact, I think what would have worked best is if most of these were actually short films in one single horror anthology! Let’s break them down.

WOLF HOUSE (2016)

wolf house cover

This one was high on my list of werewolf films to see because it is co-directed by one of its stars, Ken Cosentino. Ken directed the zombie flick Dead Inside, which features what I think is one of the all-time best gay protagonists in a horror film so far.

So not surprisingly, Wolf House actually did work for me as a full-length…especially since it’s only 70 minutes long (yet I’d still shave off 15 minutes).

wolf house paw

Appealing because it’s not your average werewolf movie, this is also a found footage film that, true to form, is visually frenetic. However, it reaches such a great level of WTFery by the end that I kind of adore the horror insanity of it all.

A group of friends heads to a cabin in the woods, but first, one of the opening scenes offers a mesmerizing clip of the camera just sitting aimed at one guy’s crotch while he’s talking. Found footage, indeed…

wolf house legs

This is not your usual group of 21st century horror assholes. They’re a charming, likable bunch. And this dude’s hairstyle is perfection…

wolf house cool hair

wolf house cool hair 2

The real fun begins when they find some dead animals around the place.

wolf house deadanimal

Before long they think they’re dealing with a Bigfoot situation.

wolf house basement sack

HOLY SHIT when the first dude gets taken by the monster. Fucking AWESOME. That’s when things just get wild.

wolf house attack

Hell, I don’t even know if we’re dealing with a werewolf, a pack of them, or something even more hellish, but by the end of the film, the place is crawling with freaks!

wolfhouse creature at table

As with most found footage films, things get dizzying, but for a change there’s actually some horrific shit all up in the camera.

SHEEP SKIN (2013)

sheep skin cover

A good cast, cute guys, male nudity and a gritty setting aren’t enough to keep this movie going for 80 minutes.

sheep skin masks

A small punk band kidnaps a white-collar dude and takes him to a warehouse because they believe he is a werewolf.

sheep skin cast

They try a combination of looking for signs that he’s indeed a werewolf (the strip search is a highlight) and trying to get him to confess to being one through physical assaults.

sheep skin hottie

The interesting premise just isn’t sustainable to carry a majority of the film. A few wrenches are thrown in their plan along the way, but not enough to keep the momentum going.

sheep skin main guy

It isn’t until the very end that a werewolf finally chases the group around the warehouse. It’s a cool monster (reminded me of Big Bad Wolf), but this moment in the film should have been at least 2/3rds of the running time. Instead, all the excitement is crammed into about 10 minutes.

PREDATORY MOON (2017)

predatory moon cover

Very clearly an indie film in terms of production, Predatory Moon is nonetheless kind of fascinating in its bizarreness. It reminds me of Stephen King’s Cycle Of The Werewolf in a way because it’s about killings in a small town that have the locals living in terror—while one animal expert is sure it’s the work of a werewolf.

predatory moon face slash

In this case, the expert focuses his attention on the town mess, who was on a hunting trip with his nephew when the boy was killed. To keep the werewolf from continuing its attacks, he tries to get close to the mess, which leads to a totally homophobic reaction.

predatory moon alky

The catch is, everyone seems to be going a little batty around town. Another major player in the insanity is a local policeman/crime scene photographer. This dude is my hero because he gives the werewolf genre what it needs: hairy man balls. He lets his nut sack – and everything that goes with it – just swing in the breeze several times throughout the film.

predatory moon nude 1

Make sure to stick around after the end credits roll for the great pendulum between the legs moment. It’s a tag scene that also adds a whole lot more twist to the already cool twist.

The film has some unnecessary filler in the form of lots of nature footage, which is one reason it could have worked better if it weren’t a 90-minute feature. Since it plays out mostly like a mystery, we don’t get any major werewolf action until the end. And with that comes more male nudity. Wahoo!

predatory moon main guy

predatory moon shower

Shortcomings of the werewolf costume are masked in darkness, so it does give this one a bit of a 1970s vibe, and it definitely threw in some curveballs along with the hairy balls, so I’m a fan of what the director/writer was going for here.

predatory moon wolf

BUBBA THE REDNECK WEREWOLF (2014)

bubba the redneck werewolf cove

I’ll make this one real fast. The title of this one, which is based on a comic book, should tell you all you need to know. A redneck in a small town accidentally makes a deal with the devil and becomes a werewolf as a result.

bubba the redneck werewolf bed

Bubba is pretty much Michael J. Fox’s Teen Wolf if he didn’t graduate high school—and fucked a farm animal on occasion. Bubba’s goal in the film is to vanquish the devil and save the town from evil.

bubba the red neck werewolf arm rip

Feeling more like a webseries that goes on longer than it needs to, the movie is cute in its own way and has some good old toilet humor, but the real highlight for me was the guy who plays the devil. He dazzles on screen and gets the funniest lines.

bubba the redneck werewolf with devil

SILVERHIDE (2015)

silverhide cover

Silverhide takes on an epic military conspiracy plot within the confines of an indie feature. As a result, it relies heavily on dialogue between minimal characters in a single location to tell its story. This is why it shouldn’t run 79 minutes long.

A small band of conspiracy theorists sets up camp on a military base and is soon being killed off one-by-one by a raging beast. The kills are always the same – some claws and a snout seen from over the person’s shoulder before it is ripped open.

silverhide attack

There are really no werewolf special effects to speak of here. We never see more than just the wolf’s head—a very inanimate head because it’s simply a model. But personally, I think the dark lighting that gives this a VHS tape feel does an OK job of covering up an inability to really deliver the goods.

silverhide face

The film also has an ominous atmosphere of isolation and some creepy scenes (the first kill tent scene is the best), but ultimately it turns into a film about two people trapped in a bunker talking while the creature that is outside tries to get in. Definitely would have worked better as a short.

DENSE FEAR: BLOODLINE (2012)

dense fear bloodline cover

Directed by and starring Tony Gardner, this is a self-admitted no budget film…but damn does it give you everything Silverhide doesn’t. There’s no telling what Tony could deliver if he did have money. It’s also a “sequel” to his first attempt at making a werewolf film – the original only ran 50 minutes long and focused on him dealing with his curse and attacking campers in the woods.

dense fear mess

The first half of this film (about 40 minutes) is predominantly focused on the law enforcement and military steps taken to find the werewolf after a brutal murder—to which I naturally say at least 20 minutes of it should have been cut.

dense fear face grab

Because once the military guys are out in the woods at night hunting down the creature, it is werewolf heaven!

dense fear closeup

Full practical effects, a good score, plenty of blood and body parts, a grainy atmosphere, shadowy lighting and mist, and a costumed creature right out of the 80s. and it’s delivered with an impressive sense of horror direction that builds tension, delivers some scares, and doesn’t skimp on the violent werewolf attacks.

Topping it all off…Tony Gardner is the sexiest fucking werewolf since David Naughton.

dense fear bloodline

dense fear tony

BEAST: A MONSTER AMONG MEN (2013)

beast monster among men cover

Beast: A Monster Among Men manages to feel like a found footage film even though it isn’t.

beast monster among men body

It’s a plus that it’s a 72-minute film, but even at that length, it’s mostly an entire film about a group of friends walking around the woods looking for their missing friends while suspecting that one of them is a killer.

beast monster among men cast

The focus is on how the lead guy hates a brooding dude in a hoodie who is along for the trip.

beasty among us hoodie

Eventually, it all comes down to what exactly the issue is between the two of them.

beast monster among men fight

The ending has a very found footage final segment feel…you’re left with the cheap thrill and the usual “that’s the end?” aftershock.

beast monster among men bodies

Frustrating to sit through over an hour of film to get to the point, but it’s still more payoff than The Blair Witch Project.

beast monster among men chase 

Finally, it’s important to mention that although beefy cutie Blake Farris keeps the clothes on in this film, he shows off the T&A in the director’s horror short “Manscaping.”

beast monster among men manscape Ts

beast monster among men manscape butt

 

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hidden in the Woods…twice

For incomprehensible reasons (money?), the director of the 2012 Spanish language film Hidden in the Woods remade it two years later in English, starring Michael Biehn. This is the ultimate case of an English language remake totally watering down the original source material. So much so that the original could actually be sub-categorized as a horror film while the remake totally isn’t. Here’s why.

HIDDEN IN THE WOODS (2012)

hidden in the woods orig cover

I can’t say that combining a drug lord flick with backwoods horror will ever truly work for me, but this fricking movie definitely kept me watching just to find out how the hell it was going to turn into a horror movie. All the fucked up shit that happens along the way also helped keep my attention…while also making me hope this definitely was going to turn horror, because I had to sit through some horrible treatment of women before the payoff.

This sleazy psycho dude lives in the middle of nowhere with his family. He physically and sexually abuses the hell out of his two daughters and keeps his deformed male child locked up.

hidden in the woods orig brother

When cops show up on his doorstep and his abuses are about to be exposed, he whips out a chainsaw and shit gets goooory.

hidden in the woods orig chainsaw

He’s tossed in jail and the kids are on the run from his drug lord brother’s cronies. One sister, in an effort to make money to keep them alive, gifts us with a spit not swallow montage. Seriously, there’s a cock sucking whore montage in this film, and after every blow, the cum has gotta go, so she spits it out.

When the uncle’s baddies find the kids, the real horror starts…and makes it kind of annoying to see that these quite capable runaways didn’t just overpower their abusive dad years before.

hidden in the woods orig final attack

I won’t spoil the twist that has the kids in a fight for their lives in the woods, but I will say it’s definitely where the horror comes in…although not in a way you’d expect. But eventually, the movie reverts back to a drug lord flick for an absurd gun fighting bloodbath that would make Tarantino jealous.

HIDDEN IN THE WOODS (2014)

hidden in the woods remake cover

So much for unapologetic brutality. This remake is essentially the same movie—minus the fucked up details that served as a feeding tube for horror fans.

 

Biehn takes on the father role with great grit…the film just doesn’t grit down with him. Nothing here feels as intense or disturbing. The little boy isn’t even deformed, which vastly negates the gruesome backwoods angle later in the film.

hidden in the woods remake boy

The scene with the cops showing up is ridiculously re-enacted; one cop is holding her gun pointed right at Biehn as he approaches her in broad daylight with his revving chainsaw. Then the camera does a 360 around her and…she doesn’t know where he is any longer and he sneaks up behind her.

hidden in the woods remake chainsaw

NO. Seriously, NO. Nothing disoriented her, she wasn’t tricked by his fancy hiding games with a growling weapon in his hands, and she sure as hell didn’t experience the dizzying camera POV we did. There’s NO WAY she lost sight of him or afforded him the opportunity to sneak up on her. Shameful filmmaking…unless this was some sort of comment on how police will just never shoot a fucking white guy, in which case, awesome.

hidden in the woods remake cop small

A scene in which the girls hitch a ride with a pervy dude is reimagined—with a predatory bull dyke behind the wheel. And while the hard-working sister does score money by giving head, we get none of the eloquent spit jobs! I guess she swallows in this one. Hope she raised her prices.

And when the drug dealing uncle’s cronies catch up with them, pretty much all the brutal torture is totally absent, as is the gore when the kids fight back. Personally, it would break my heart to strip my movie of all its nastiness for an American remake. Although, I guess my heart would heal for a paycheck, because this definitely can’t be a case of a director being like, “If you’re going to remake my movie, I’m going to make sure you do it right.” Because he didn’t.

hidden in the woods remake ride

The absolute worst rewrite here is…one of the sister’s gets a love interest! Fucking America and its obsession with pandering to hetero storybook aspirations.

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The last Horrrah of October 2017

Okay, it’s time for a bunch of modern horror quickies, from creatures to clowns, to ghosts and girls.

CIRCUS KANE (2017)

circus kane cover

It’s killer clowns, reality show horror, and haunted attraction horror all wrapped into one film. And it’s fast-paced and atmospheric enough to entertain.

circus kane cast

Plot? Simple. Internet celebrities score a chance to be on the reality show of a has-been horror personality making a comeback. The one to make it all the way through the haunted attraction scores a load of money.

Doesn’t take long for the group to realize that contestants are actually being killed, and orchestrating most of the horrors is a freaky clown. The clown handles some of the killings slasher style, but the place is also loaded with booby traps the group must avoid.

circus kane clown

Gore is good, guys are cute, atmosphere is nice and horroresque. Hell, just watch it to fill some down time with horror.

BE AFRAID (2017)

be afraid cover

Our boy Leo of Charmed stars, so you immediately feel at home with this horror flick. Brian Krause moves into a new home with his wife, young son, and teen son and they are soon being terrorized by ghosts or supernatural entities of some sort.

be afraid krause and teen son

The young son keeps seeing a “man” in his room, Krause has dreams of a big demon hand attacking him, and several locals start chipping away at the family, trying to warn them of some sort of danger. The kid is obsessed with an old train tunnel in the woods, shown to him by a ghost girl.

be afraid ghost

It’s all standard haunted house crap, but then the teenage son goes to a party in the woods and everyone starts getting slaughtered by a monstrous presence! That was an unexpected change of pace.

be afraid tub

The plot definitely become overinflated from there, but at least there’s a cool creature and some gore. My guess is this one will show up on SyFy at some point.

THE DIABOLICAL (2015)

 diabolical cover

The Diabolical is another easy one to digest since it stars horror fave Ali Larter .She’s a single mom with a young son and younger daughter. The young son complains of a man in his closet, and pretty soon the closet case is terrorizing them, showing in spurts before disappearing in a burst of light each time.

diabolical ali larter

While the creature man is fricking creepy as hell, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the fact that because he was bald and wearing a white shirt, he also kind of looked a lot like Mr. Clean. But there are some seriously nerve-racking scenes of him chasing the family that makes this fairly average haunted house/supernatural entity flick scarier than the usual.

diabolical washing machine

There’s also an undeniable theme about the absence of a male figure in the home that reminded me of The Babadook a bit, yet it’s better because there’s no screaming brat. The only thing that ruined the movie for me was a cheesy “spiritual” sequence near the ending.

PATCHWORK (2015)

 patchwork cover

This is a goofy fun horror comedy, in which several young women find themselves living as one being after their various body parts are sewn together by some psycho to create one perfect woman. The premise alone makes this stand out in the horror heap.

patchwork 3 girls

The girl(s) decides they must uncover the truth of who did this to them. Along the way, they have fun killing off various scumbags they had run-ins with the night they were all murdered.

patchwork axe

Pretty much in the tradition of teen horror spoofs like Idle Hands, Boltneck, and My Boyfriend’s Back, this one doesn’t have a lot of meat to it, but just takes you for a silly horror ride. The soundtrack rocks, with loads of modern new wave tracks from the likes of StaG., Corsica Arts Club, Shy Youth, and more. And this dude is hilarious…too bad he doesn’t last.

patchwork victim

EXTRATERRESTRIAL (2014)

extraterrestrial cover

OMG, it’s Emily Perkins of Ginger Snaps in an alien movie.

Well, that didn’t last. But still, this flick from the director of Grave Encounters is sort of a tongue-in-cheek, teenage version of alien abduction films like Altered or Night Feeders.

extraterrestrial cast

Gil Bellows of Ally McBeal fame is a cop in a small town where there have been various cattle mutilations. So it’s no surprise to the viewer when a group of friends comes to a cabin for a weekend getaway and sees a major UFO crash into the woods nearby…and footprints leading away from the craft. Uh-oh…

extraterrestrial ufo

Luckily, horror icon Michael Ironside is their crazy neighbor, and he knows a thing or two about aliens. Because these fuckers are relentless. It is alien insanity as the kids are chased and mutilated for over an hour of the film. But shit gets really trippy near the end, and there’s an anal probing of the hot guy in the film that puts some gay fisting porn to shame…

extraterrestrial probe1

extraterrestrial probe2

extraterrestrial probe3

THE SANDMAN (2017)

sandman cover

Hilary Duff may be the bigger star, but Haylie Duff has become the horror queen, so she gets my vote as the ultimate Duffster (although “Beat of My Heart” is still a kick ass Hilary song).

sandman haylie

Here, Haylie plays a woman who takes in her young niece after her brother’s death. Right from the start, some sort of supernatural force begins messing with shit in Haylie’s house. Her niece is convinced she has the ability to make “The Sandman” come to life from one of her favorite books.

How right she is.

sandman monster

There’s some good creepy atmosphere and a spooky Sandman for a while, complete with some kills.

sandman tobin bell

Then shit gets all Firestarter, with Tobin Bell playing the big bad head of the organization that wants to harness her powers. Amanda Wyss, Freddy Kreuger’s very first victim from way back when, has a cameo as a therapist. She’s the best part of the second half of the film, which takes a ridiculous turn after the initial setup.

STICKMAN (2017)

stickman cover

One of 2 Sheldon Wilson films that premiered on SyFy for October 2017, this is the one to skip. Go right for NeverKnock, considering the premise is essentially the same; a bunch of teens are chased around town by a creature. NeverKnock takes place on Halloween and has a cooler monster, so that would be my pick.

In this one, a young woman locked away in a mental institution for killing her parents when she was a child is transferred to an all-girl facility. She reads a poem with her new friends an unleashes the creature that killed her parents.

stickman finger bite

But she never expected Stickman to step outside her dreams. Yeah, there are some ElmStreet elements to the film, but as the girls spend the whole film running away from the creature while trying to figure out how to kill it, only one moment entertained me – Stickman attacks them while they’re in a car.

stickman gore

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy, Sound Check - The Songs Stuck in My Head, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I dare you to live evil by knocking on Halloween…

There wasn’t a whole lot of Halloween horror to really impress this year, but I’m still plugging away at what I come across, so it’s time for three more that I’ve added to my page of holiday horror.

LIVE-EVIL (2015)

 live evil cover

Sometimes I watch a movie and seriously do not know what to take away from it. This is one of those cases. I so wanted this to be the fun party movie it is hyped as. Instead, it flatlined in every aspect for me.

live evil gtrick or treaters

It’s Halloween—we only know because the cop in the first scene mentions it and enters a empty house out of which kids in costumes run. Don’t expect much more Halloween atmosphere than that…although there is plenty of horror atmosphere. Sadly, all of it is wasted, which is shocking considering how much promise there is.

live evil cast

The cop finds a creepy lady in the house, seemingly disoriented (but we know better). She takes the woman to the precinct, causing a sort of supernatural mist to unleash into the air. All of a sudden, everyone in the precinct begins going loony on each other, getting the good old demon eyes.

live evil skeleton

Those affected also have trippy, disturbing horror visions relating to their own lives, which are the springboards that make them want to act out violently.

live evil gas mask hallucination

The movie turns into a whirlwind of gunfights on the street for the most part (the baddies are packing heat, too), with demon/zombie fighting banter between characters.

live evil gun zombies

It’s just never all that clever or different enough (as good as) similar films. The biggest novelty is that the film begins in black and white and eventually switches to color. Although, I think that may have happened in a movie once before, like back in 1939 or so.

live evil cast 2

Tony Todd is the horror icon making a pointless cameo this time around…well, the point being, so that people like me will mention that Tony Todd is in it.

live evil tony todd

TRUTH OR DARE (2017)

truth or dare 2017 movie

Director Nick Simon, who brought us The Girl in the Photographs and 2 Lava 2 Lantula! directs what (by default) becomes my favorite movie of his – at least far as directing goes. He wrote The Pyramid, which I love.

truth or dare 2017 cast

Getting its debut on SyFy for October 2017, Truth Or Dare is pretty much as cliché as its title, but mostly in a good way. A group of friends rents a haunted house for Halloween and decides to play the classic game. Before long, ugly secrets are being revealed, and the friends are brutally maiming each other…because they start to realize that some supernatural power is forcing them to play the game or suffer the fate of their truth or dare anyway. Plus, they’re locked in the house and can’t get out.

I know, it’s so ridiculously a mash-up of Saw, Final Destination, etc., etc., but it entertains…for a while. Kids eat human flesh, bust knees, get electrocuted, get burned on a stove, etc., etc.

truth or dare 2017 tooth pull

It begins to go downhill when the kids actually get out of the house early. They spend the rest of the film being terrorized by the game all over town and performing increasingly gruesome acts on each other until it feels like the dare for every one of them should just say, “DIE.”

By the end, it becomes eye-rolling as two final survivors take turns hacking each other to bits…in order for one of them to win the game and stay alive. WHAT? Ugh.

Heather Langenkamp has a cameo in the film, so fans of hers should appreciate the nod to a death in the original A Nightmare On Elm Street that happens just before she appears on screen.

truth or dare 2017 hang

NEVERKNOCK (2017)

neverknock cover

Director Sheldon Wilson seems to have a cozy relationship with SyFy in October, having made several holiday films for them already, including The Hollow and The Night Before Halloween.

neverknock trick or treater

The intro kicks ass, with two teens and a boy playing pranks on each other in a scary old house on Halloween…then discovering what a big mistake that was.

neverknock body room

Next, we meet our main group of friends – a bunch of girls and a gay dude. They go to the same house to play a game of “Neverknock.” It’s the old “do it three times and bad shit happens” rule.

neverknock hay girl

The bad shit is that the little sister of the new girl in town disappears. Oh, and they also unleash this awesome black creature that spends the rest of the film pursuing them through town on Halloween night. And only they can see it. Double awesome.

neverknock fair sign

Child horror star Jodelle Ferland of Silent Hill is one of the main girls, an added bonus to this good old creature feature/popcorn film.

neverknock main girls

Posted in Johnny You ARE Queer - Gay Thoughts, Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ZOMBLOG: the zombies are coming in streams

My “to see” streaming list is, as usual, getting a backlog of zombie films on it, so I chipped away at four of them recently and here’s how things turned out. While they’re all from the 20-teens, by coincidence, I watched them chronologically from newest to oldest of the bunch and it worked in my favor. 

GRANNY OF THE DEAD (2017)

granny of the dead cover_

When you title a movie Granny of the Dead, no one is going to expect anything less than an insanely over-the-top zombedy. They just aren’t. I think Granny of the Dead is posturing itself as such, but it falls flat. It also falls flat in every other way – horror, drama, action. But it shouldn’t, because technically, everything about this film is well done.

granny of the dead binocs

Unfortunately, it’s as if the movie misses a beat early on and just never finds the right tempo. It becomes this monotone zombie flick that goes through all the motions yet never gets energized.

granny of the dead granny

And with the granny angle being the key aspect of originality to an otherwise completely generic zombie outbreak story, it adds nothing to the mix beyond granny being a hindrance every now and then. She could be any zombie that accidentally became trapped in the main character’s house.

granny of the dead main kid

The intro scene is the most intriguing moment. A bunch of kids hangs out in a church, and suddenly a giant skeletal hand creeps into the cathedral.

granny of the dead church

An old lady appears, croaks something ominous, and then drops to the floor and begins to transform as the kids run out.

I don’t know what it means, and we never find out. It’s right on to the usual zombie outbreak after that, starting with the main kid discovering his grandmother is a zombie.

granny of the dead friend

There are only two scenes that will stick with me from this film. Actually, three counting the big hand in the church. The second is the main guy’s cute, shirtless friend getting his dick bit off by a male zombie (and it’s a huge dick).

granny of the dead hotdog

The third is one of the few funny moments the film needed more of – the main guy kicks a disembodied zombie hand, and the POV suddenly shifts to that of a zombie ambling over as the hand smacks it in the head.

HERE ALONE (2016)

here alone cover small

It’s all about perspective, so reassessing Granny of the Dead as a totally rockin’ zombie flick is as easy as following it up with Here Alone. Tragically, it’s one of those zombie films that’s less about the crazy ways a filmmaker can find to turn people into zombies or what new inventive ways zombies can tear people apart, and more about the trials and tribulations of the characters before and after the outbreak.

here alone couple smaller

Here Alone is well written. The characters are clearly developed. It’s emotional. There are intense flashbacks. The foreboding atmosphere is great. And once or twice, there’s a hint of a zombie.

here alone zombie small

This woman is on her own, having lost her baby and husband. She meets up with this man and his teen daughter. Even in a zombie apocalypse, the teen is a bitchy brat. She’s cold to the woman. She becomes jealous of the woman.

here alone kid small

This is a whole lot of character development to get to the big shocking final scene, which at last delivers a thrilling, well-crafted zombie attack. It’s a tightly made film, I just think it’s a story that could have been told in a 30-minute short.

ZOMBEX (2013)

zombex cover

Not to be confused with Zombrex, the medication that slows down the zombification process in the Dead Rising video games, Zombex is a movie that slows down time!

Things begin well enough. A radio reporter rants about the dangers of a particular medication as a woman sits down to breakfast with her husband…then becomes breakfast right after her husband’s eyes glow green! Guess his medication kicked in.

zombex green eyes

Turns out Malcolm McDowell is a doctor who tried to make a cure for PTSD. It had the opposite effect. At least on the people who turn into raving mad zombies in the movie. For those watching, we become so chill we’re almost comatose.

zombex head

Nothing happens as various characters come together (lesbians, the radio guy, a sexy singer dude) while trying to escape the zombie infestation and…hang out just drinking and talking!

zombex store

There’s some fast, choppy zombie action now and then, but not enough to warrant sitting through the film.

zombex zombies

101 ZOMBIES (aka Broken Springs) (2010)

101 zombies cover

Movies like 101 Zombies are why I keep watching zombie movies, are why I keep watching indie movies, and are why I keep watching indie zombies movies, no matter how many bad ones I have to get through before I get to ones like this.

101 zombies stepdad

Director/writer Neeley Lawson doesn’t let, well…anything stop him from making a solid little independent zombie film. I didn’t watch this film and think, “Look at this hack thinking he’s a filmmaker.” That’s because limited resources didn’t stop this guy from:

– writing a straightforward, succinct script that sticks to zombie basics with just enough surprises to satisfy zombie aficionados.

– balancing it all perfectly: likable characters; scares; gore; suspense; humor; quirkiness; action; storyline.

– all around dedication from everyone involved in crafting the best movie possible, including performances, the visual look, pacing, special effects, zombie makeup, camerawork, editing, etc.

101 zombies cast

The premise is about a small town in which this cute teenager lives in a pink trailer with his mom and his asshole stepdad. After a fight with his stepdad, he’s busy having no fun at all at a party with his friends when the townsfolk are suddenly infected with a zombie virus…the result of tainted moonshine!

101 zombies girls

Now our main guy and his buddies must fight off zombies as they try to get across town to rescue their family and friends from the infected.

101 zombies bingo

From the beginning of the outbreak, at what I call “zombingo,” to the high school party breaking out into a rapid-fire daisy chain zombie infection, 101 Zombies is a charmingly clever flick with plenty of humorous moments that don’t take away from the fact that these are some fricking gnarly looking zombies!

101 zombies horde

But we are also never given a chance to forget that this one is all about horror being fun, the biggest reminder coming in the form of a wild car chase scene near the end of the film.

101 zombies car chase

I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more films by Neeley Lawson.

Posted in Movie Times & Television Schedules - Staying Entertained, Scared Silly - Horror Comedy, The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An overcooked bunny horror double feature

What’s scarier? A guy in a mask or bunnies from URanus? Let’s get into it.

BUNNYMAN VENGEANCE (2017)

bunnyman vengeance cover

Bunnyman is back! This is supposed to be the final film in the trilogy, but we know how these things go.

Carl Lindbergh remains consistent in making the Bunnyman legend more and more confusing. Numerous flashbacks give us glimpses into his traumatic childhood, and while the description on imdb as of this writing claims that Bunnyman has returned home to his family, he’s living with a bunch of black guys.

bunnyman vengeance family

In the previous movies, his posse was a bunch of white trash, so I’m immediately faced with the conundrum of being perplexed by a Bunnyman movie.

bunnyman vengeance masks

Anyway, his current family of brothers runs a haunted attraction people come to check out… but they don’t check out. Shit, that didn’t work. I was trying to play off an old Roach Motel commercial, where the roaches check in but—eh, forget it.

bunnyman vengeance display

The big question I have (after the racial conflict) is, if there’s this haunted attraction in the middle of nowhere, and people go visit it and are then killed, how exactly does word get out to attract more people if there’s no one left alive to post pix and videos on social media of how cool it is?

bunnyman vengeance throat stab

And if people were going to the place, they would most definitely post about it before arriving, so once they disappeared, wouldn’t authorities eventually catch on to where all the missing persons were heading?

bunnyman vengeance speared

It doesn’t even matter. If you’ve watched and are a fan of the other two films, you’ve grown accustomed to how convoluted they are. This one takes the cake, confounding us even further. The series seems to hit rock bottom when Bunnyman has an hallucinatory dream sequence set to thumping electronic dance music and loaded with sex and violence.

bunnyman vengeance dream

While there are some torture scenes and good, brutal kills (a scene involving a spider is particularly delicious), there’s no core group of friends to connect with.

bunnyman vengeance tarantula

When you wade through all the madness going on, the film ends up being about Bunnyman and the family of black guys…who eventually turn on each other in a junkyard gun battle!

bunnyman vengeance shootout

Considering we’re talking about the backwoods horror subgenre here, I’d say more appropriate than the usual “jump the shark” phrase, you could say the Bunnyman franchise made a wrong turn… 

And screw you with your judging, because yes, I will be adding this to my collection to complete the trilogy.

CUTE LITTLE BUGGERS

cute little buggers cover

Director Tony Jopia has been on my radar since I watched his werewolf flick Crying Wolf, which half satisfied me. The same can be said for Cute Little Buggers, which runs a (w)hopping 110 minutes. No! Just…NO!

cute little buggers aliens

I’ll tell you immediately what should have been cut out in case the pic above doesn’t speak a thousand words. The story revolves around 2 aliens plotting to spread their seed on earth. We are subjected to repeated interludes of the 2 aliens in their spaceship, monitoring the action taking place in the movie. No! Just…NO!

cute little buggers bunnies

Otherwise, this is a fairly fun creature feature with some of the worst CGI critter effects this side of a SyFy flick. But considering these are alien rabbits with faces that open up like the split-faced zombies from the Resident Evil movies, and considering they’re ripping apart a bunch of backwoods hicks, it’s all in good fun, so it works.

cute little buggers open faces

The only real problem is, it takes FOREVER to get to the main massacre at some sort of hoedown, jamboree, bake sale, square dance, or wife/sister/cousin swap – whatever it is rednecks do to kill time in between church and dying. Once the fun at last hits the fan, these alien bunnies crawl out of seeded females, crawl out of man asses, and grab bitches by the tits with their tentacles.

cute little buggers bunny ass

There’s even a cameo by scream queen Caroline Munro.

cute little buggers caroline munro

Finally, the locals stop burning crosses on lawns long enough to lynch some alien bunnies.

cute little buggers bunny POV

Funniest scene involves one guy realizing his piss makes the bunnies burst into flames…and another guy attempting to catch the stream to bottle it.

cute little buggers piss

But really…110 minutes? No. Just…no. But, yeah…just…yeah. I’ll totally keep watching Tony Jopia movies.

 

Posted in The Evil of the Thriller - Everything Horror | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment