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Friday, October 3, 2014

Excision (2012) Review

Watch out for a new voice in horror. Excision is Richard Bates Jr.'s writer/directorial debut and it ain't just tits and gore! Yet it still manages to be good and manages pack in every discount cult movie legend under the sun. Watch out for cameos from Malcolm McDowell, Traci Lords, Ray Wise, John Waters and... Marlee Matlin? Sure, join the party, just don't expect to be paid scale. Lettuce in a bowl? You shouldn't have.
The film draws a believable portrait of a bright, but mentally disturbed teen by focusing on the troubled home life. Pauline is a friendless high school student whose little sister is dying from CF, for which there's no cure. Her parents' attentiveness to her little sister contributes to Pauline's emotional neglect and her stressful relationship with both parents.
Pauline's non-conformist attitude frustrates her mother and makes for the film's most uncomfortable scenes. Her and mom have several icy, defensive conversations with one another, and these scenes are made so real that they come off as the most disturbing and even painful part of the film, despite there being many bloody fantasies of Pauline's that we get to see played out.
The standout writing and acting deserve praise. The character of Pauline's mom is a great turn for Traci Lords. Insert Traci Lords joke anywhere. Her parents' failures to communicate become more of a problem as the story heads toward its shocking climax. Really, it is!
I give it two thumps up Traci Lords.

Friday, July 4, 2014


If you have a spare dollar, support this interesting flick starring Erin Brown (MISTY MUNDAE) about a cinephile who risks her sanity to be immersed inside a mind-altering home-video device. So basically it's an anthology, starring one of our favorite genre women ever.

Click on the link that is outlined in red at the top of the page. Anyone is free to re-post about this film too!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Underrated Horror Movies of the Aughts (Part 2)

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead (2006)
Filmmaking auteur Lloyd Kaufman's trashterpiece. It's like if the South Park guys made an ultra-gorey horror musical with a social message. It's an uproarious, anti-fast food exploitation movie that gets better as it goes along. The story deals with the employees of a chicken restaurant that's built on an Indian burial ground, where all hell breaks loose. The very game cast goes for it at every turn, courtesy of Lloyd Kaufman's balls and directorial experience. Did I mention it has Ron Jeremy in a comic role? Perhaps I shouldn't have. But I guarantee it'll make you laugh more than once and make you want to instantly download the soundtrack. The make-up effects are a surprising triumph as well. Every horror fan owes themselves a watch. An added bonus on the multi-disc DVD set is a documentary that chronicles its extremely troubled production. Oh, Troma. Here's to 35 more years of independent art.

Philosophy of a Knife (2008)
A polarizing film among those brave enough to sit through the whole four hour affair. It's a documentary/gore-film about the secret-at-the-time, but now infamous WWII torture institution called Unit 731. So, the Japanese Army ran a hidden complex during the war where they experimented with new methods of torture on innocent people. And not torture like poking people with sticks until they died, but instead, biological torture like infecting fleas with diseases, unleashing them on people and seeing what would happen. And the movie won't let you forget the compression-chamber torture... nope nope nope. And this shit was real, son. Some of the "doctors" who committed these atrocities ended up getting away with their murder too and probably lived to an old age, not without some major PTSD. Some wrote off this movie as exploitation, but no other film has taken such an unflinching look at one of history's greatest atrocities.

Inland Empire (2006)
This one defies explanation, which it should, despite the fact that its brilliance is hard to sell to people. Inland Empire is the truest expression of one of the greatest minds in film history: David Lynch. It's the scariest movie of all time in my opinion and the terror begins right off the bat. So as you'd imagine, it can be hard to sit through. As somebody who can appreciate being taken to the worst recesses of the human mind, you owe it to yourself to see it before you die. Take a deep breath and pop the disc in. I'm sorry.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Blue is the Warmest Color DVD Incoming

The winner of the 2013 Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival is finally coming to DVD and Blu-Ray February 25th. Premiering as part of the Criterion Collection, the love story between high school-age Adele and college-age Emma hilariously has 69 customer reviews on Amazon as of this review.
There aren't many extras on the disc, but rumor is that Criterion is shortly releasing a special edition. Either way, this is the transfer of the film you want to watch. It was approved by the genius director himself. In case you aren't privy, the film has caused biblical levels of controversy for just a lesbian sex scene.
Hell, I feel like every other movie I watch has a lesbian sex scene. Although many say that it's the most intense one ever committed to film. I wouldn't be able to hold my very legitimate "Esquire" credential if I didn't watch it.
For months everyone has been feeling the "Blue" love, apparently even Barack Obama down there. It's time to get on board, gentle followers.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Dario Argento's Dracula (2013) Review

Or, the film formerly known as "Dracula 3D." For better or worse, Argento is still at it in the 2010s. Available on Netflix as "Argento's Dracula," this adaptation of Dracula is fairly straightforward.
Director Dario Argento's daughter Asia plays the Lucia role in her father's version of Dracula. As most viewers would hope, she eventually strips before the camera. I can hear the Argento family theme now, "Still sleazy after all these years." She first got nude for her father when she was still underage in his movie "Trauma." Coincidentally, that was also her diagnosis in family therapy. Zing! The other eye-candy is beautiful Italian Miriam Giovanelli as Tania the vampire.
Other than those elements, the movie is... well... how do you say, not so good, as Dario Argento would say. For one thing, the production design and costumes look as cheap as a college Halloween party. The CGI budget is on-par with Kanye West's Bound 2. Dracula himself is also about as scary as a lovable little Italian man trying to direct in English.
Aw, isn't that adorable? He thought the coffin was the Port-A-Potty. Director needs a diaper change. Thank God for the 2nd 2nd AD.
Asia honestly does a good job with the material. The material just doesn't do anything new. The writing suffers from boring characters and much on-the-nose dialogue. The movie truly would've been unbearable if it weren't for Dario Argento's complete lack of shame. Having said that, it's a definite step up from his last couple of movies. It's a bit like a long, lesser episode of Masters of Horror.
So if you want a cheesy, trashy, Dario Argento movie starring Asia Argento and you've seen all the others that fit that description, you're in luck! There are worse ways to spend 110 minutes.
Rating: 2 out of 5.

Thursday, January 16, 2014


HBO's newest AAA show/exploitation masterpiece "True Detective" has officially premiered. Why should you care? 5 reasons.
5. Hot off expertly playing a monster in "Killer Joe" and winning a Best Actor Golden Globe, Mathew McConaughey inhabits another dark, unsettling role.
4. Woody Harrelson. The fearless man pretty much kills any good role he lands. He worked alongside McConaughey in the comedy EDtv, but both have come a long way since 1999. Haven't we all?
3. The brutality. The two detectives track a serial killer over 17 years, becoming corrupted themselves as the case consumes their lives.

2. The women. Michelle Monaghan and Alexandra Daddario play the lust interests of our main boys. Us horror hounds know scream queen Alexandra Daddario from such bursting-at-the-seams fare as 2013's "Texas Chainsaw" and 2010's "Bereavement." If you haven't seen them, catch up now on Netflix Instant, before the second episode airs. The skintilating verdict: Alexandra pops out the twins on Sunday's episode.

1. It's a seasonal anthology, much like American Horror Story, sure to attract more big-name actors with big-chested friends. Stay tuned for more info.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Video Game Spotlight #4

The Last of Us (Playstation 3)

Why am I writing about games so much? I haven't seen many movies this year that are worth blogging about, honestly. It was a better year for horror games than horror peliculas. That's foreign for "movies."
Even the ghost knows the movie he's in is a piece of sheet. Oh no wait, maybe that's just... Anyway, the newest product from PS3 game developer "Naughty Dog" is the year's biggest horror game and probably biggest game period. It's very adult, in both content and maturity, it's the most gorgeous console game yet, and it plays like butta. That's Jewish for "butter."
The story is long and extremely involving because of the relationship between middle-aged Joel and 14-year-old Ellie, and the stakes involved in the two of them walking across the country to their goal. You quickly learn it's gonna be a long, hard road through hell. Diseased zombie-humans have infected most of humanity.
Once again, the game is uber brutal. You'll constantly be worrying that one of the main characters will be permanently killed off in the story, which may or may not actually happen. The character animation and voice-acting are mesmerizing and constantly walk the line between game and reality. Now I sound like one of them fully-erect critics, don't I? But watching Ellie fiddle around in an empty room while I play Joel really is mesmerizing. When you're searching for ammo or collectibles, the Ellie character will explore whatever's in the room and occasionally engage in small-talk like a real person.
Above are the two actors that shaped who the characters ended up being. Many people thought the voice of Ellie was either Ellen Page or her twin sister Justin Bieber, but it was actress Ashley Johnson.
If you have reservations about the game just being pretty, it's a lot more than that. Running, gunning, hiding, climbing, swimming and collecting all feel amazing because of how fluid it controls. I've never enjoyed a movie-like experience that was quite this fluid. No Tomb Raiders allowed.
Play it to the end and it'll be one of your all-time favorites. Play it a second time and consider a gym membership.