Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Amityville Haunting (2011)

   Douglas (Jason Williams),Virginia Benson (Amy Van Horne), and their three children move into the infamous Amityville house thirty-two years after the Lutz family left (Hello,they left for a reason!). One month later the police find recordings of what the Benson's experienced during their short stay in the house.
   The Benson family, with the exception of youngest child Melanie (Gracie Largent), knows the history of the Amityville house (which no longer even looks like the original house...stupid) but Douglas insists that it's all they can afford.Before they even move into the house their realtor drops dead outside while they're in the house discussing whether or not to buy it (Really?You're still going to buy it?). Teenaged, aspiring movie maker, son Tyler (Devin Clark) has decided he's going to make a documentary about their experiences in their new house and is constantly annoying and invading the privacy of the entire family. A couple of days later the Benson family moves in (Against my better judgement!I yelled at them not to do it!). While moving in one of the movers falls down the stairs with fatal results (Okay, now it's really time to go people!). Virginia, who was against buying the house in the first place, has a problem with the fact that they have lived in the house for one day and have already racked up two dead bodies.Doug, totally unfazed by what has happened, calms her down and convinces her to try and tough it out and give their new house a chance (Oh hell no!I believe that's grounds for divorce girl!). Things get progressively worse from that day on...Melanie's new imaginary friend is John Defeo (Actual 9 year old murder victim in Amityville house in 1974),their back door opens every night at 3:15 am (suspected time of Defeo family massacre), and other random creepy happenings.Douglas installs an alarm because he believes oldest daughter Lori (Nadine Crocker) has been sneaking out and leaving the door open (Who installs an alarm on a haunted house?Isn't that just asking for your neighbors to hate you?It's like dragging them down with you every time the alarm goes off.). Doug, the only skeptic in the house, finally loses it after a couple of more bodies are added to the list of mishaps since their move in.As you can guess the Benson family never makes it out of the house alive (What a shocker,right?!).
   The Amityville Haunting wasn't a very good movie in my opinion.I believe it could have been a little better if they hadn't chosen to do it in the style of Paranormal Activity and if it wasn't the 100th Amityville movie (NO MORE AMITYVILLE MOVIES!!). I loved the original Amityville Horror, it was one of only three movies that ever scared me as a kid (The Exorcist and Salem's Lot were the other two.). I can vividly remember being in the car with my family on the way to the theater in 1979 to see The Amityville Horror.I didn't get to see it until years later when it was on cable because we never made it to the theater that night.We got half way there before having to turn around because it started storming and blowing our car all over the road.Being such a big fan of  the original Amityville movie I was quite disappointed by this one.The acting was just okay,the writing left something to be desired,I was bored, and I was annoyed with the Paranormal Activity style recording that's been done to death.I don't know about everyone else but for me most movies done in this type of style make it more unrealistic for me even though it's intended to have the opposite effect I suppose.Netflix gave The Amityville Haunting 2 out of 5 stars but I think it deserves 1.5 stars.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Retardead (2008)

   Butte County,California's Sheriff's Department is hard at work trying to capture a serial masturbator who's been terrorizing the townspeople.Their problems get worse when the town's, thought to be dead, mad scientist Dr. Stern returns posing as special education teacher Dr. Feldman.
   Deputies Rick (Rick Popko) and Dan (Dan West) have their hands full trying to catch "the weenie wagger" but are close to discovering his identity because of a DNA sample he left on a window while peeping (never mind that he can be easily recognized through the white panty hose he wears on his head). Meanwhile, missing mad scientist Dr. Stern has just resurfaced with his new identity, Dr. Feldman, and has gotten a job at the town's special education school. Dr. Stern/Feldman (Dan Burr) has developed an intelligence serum and plans to experiment on the students.Stern/Feldman's serum does make the students smarter, but eventually turns them into some of the most ridiculous zombies I've ever seen.Stern/Feldman locks the zombie students in the basement of the school and the janitor Herbert, soon to be known as the weenie wagger, discovers them and recognizes Stern.Deputies Rick and Dan have just gotten the DNA results implicating Herbert (Billy Borrelli) and show up to arrest him just as he's running out of the school terrified by what he just witnessed.The deputies give him a Rodney King style beating and take him into the station.
   Stern/Feldman's students escape and start using Butte County as their own personal buffet and spread the virus that has mutated from his serum.Of course the military is soon sent in and the town is quarantined.Sheriff Duncan (Paul Weiner),Stern,Rick,Dan,Herbert,and F.B.I. agent Susan (Beth West) plan to lure all of the zombies to the county morgue to make it easier to destroy them all at once.The group draws matches to determine who will be the bait that lures the zombies and Rick loses when he draws the longest match.Dan gets the second longest match and has to assist Rick.Stern/Feldman's idea for attracting the zombies is to make a "meat suit"  so he he removes the organs from a dead body and Rick and Dan stand there holding buckets full of organs and throwing up the entire time.Rick donned in the meat suit and Dan, wearing a finger necklace he made to make Rick feel better about being the one who has to wear the meat suit,head out to exact their plan.The brilliant plan works and the zombies follow them to the morgue where the survivors unload all of their ammunition on the horde, killing them all, only to hear a news broadcast seconds later reporting that it was only a forty-eight hour virus.
   Retardead was filled with intentional bad acting and over the top gore.There were quite a few laughs and I found it entertaining.Although I'm sure it was probably intended, the zombies were terrible.Blue skin was pretty much the extent of their makeup effects.Overall I liked Retardead, it wasn't the best movie I've ever seen, but it definitely wasn't the worst (hhm...hhm...Johnny Sunshine). At least it was good for a few laughs.I think my favorite part was when they were killing the zombies at the morgue and Herbert, who was armed with a chainsaw, got killed when it came unplugged right in time with everyone else running out of ammunition (Really?He had plenty of time to plug it back into the extension cord !Wait, are chainsaws usually even electric?). Anyway,Netflix rated Retardead 2 out of 5 stars and I'll agree with that.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Dying Breed (2008)

   A group of four travels to Tasmania, Australia to prove the existence of,the thought to be extinct, Tasmanian Tiger.Nina (Mirrah Foulkes) is determined to finish the work her sister started years ago before her mysterious death in the Tasmanian wilderness.Nina and boyfriend Matt (Leigh Whannell) along with couple Jack and Rebecca find themselves surrounded by descendents of local legend "The Pieman" an escaped convict executed for cannibalism in the 1820's.
   The action kicks in a couple of nights into their trip when Rebecca (Melanie Vallejo), separated from the rest of the group, becomes an hors d'oeuvre for one of the local freaks. Jack (Nathan Phillips) finds his girlfriend's half eaten body hanging at a shack in the woods and is spared a similar death to Rebecca when he steps in a bear trap and then falls headfirst into another one (I'm not sure which is a worse way to go!). Nina finds out that the creepy little girl who bit Matt a couple of days earlier on a ferry ride is her niece (As you can guess, she wasn't a willing participant.There aren't exactly any cannibal hotties in the vicinity.). The locals plan to keep Nina for breeding purposes (Eeeeewwww,you should see the selection around there!)  and Matt is to become another item on the menu.
   Dying Breed was very well written and acted.Though I've seen similar stories before it was still very entertaining.My morbid cannibalism fix was fully satisfied.Is it just me, or are cannibals even more disturbing than zombies?At least zombies are dead, but cannibals make a conscience choice to devour people.Dying Breed's flesh eaters weren't your usual run of the mill, butcher a body and cook it type either,they were the viscious, tear into you, and eat you alive variety and I loved it!There were several nicely done gory scenes and a couple of scenes that managed to keep me slightly on edge.Netflix rated Dying Breed 3 out of 5 stars but I'll give it 3.5.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Die-ner (2010)

   Serial killer Ken (Joshua Grote) hitchhikes and ends up at an empty diner during the graveyard shift.Ken proceeds to kill diner employees Rose (maria Olsen) and Fred (Jorge Montalvo), the only two people in the diner, and hides their bodies in the walk-in freezer.Ken poses as an employee when couple Rob (Parker Quinn) and Kathy (Liesel Kopp) stop in for a bite to eat.Ken is about to make Rob and Kathy his next victims when Sheriff Duke (Larry Purtell) shows up and wonders where Rose and Fred are just as they're coming out of the freezer in their newly acquired undead state.
   Rob,Kathy,and the now bitten Sheriff Duke are held hostage by admitted killer Ken while he tries to figure out what to do about the zombie situation.The couple manages to knock Ken out twice and almost escape.While Ken is knocked out, both times, he has some strange, completely unnecessary dream of being a child walking around his house.During these long drawn out dream sequences I kept expecting the child version of Ken to find a dead body,kill someone, or at least torture a small animal but nothing happened (Isn't this supposed to be a horror movie?I'm confused!). I just didn't get it.I felt it was also unnecessary for me to know the boring life stories of Rose and Sheriff Duke (More killing and gore and less damn talking please!). Dialogue is an important part of any kind of movie but it has to be done well and be relevant to what's going on in the movie and it was neither.I could care less about Rose's cheating husband (dirty bastard) or Duke's loving wife unless they're getting their faces chewed off ,which would have been nice.
   Wow,this was the most boring zombie movie I've ever seen.How does that happen? Boring and zombie are not usually synonymous but Die-ner managed to make it happen.Not only was this movie boring in general but the zombies themselves were boring and not at all intimidating.I get the feeling that Die-ner was supposed to be a horror/comedy but they failed miserably at both if you ask me.Thankfully Die-ner was only an hour and sixteen minutes long because I doubt I could have made it through much more.Why Netflix rated this movie 2 out of 5 stars is beyond me but I'll knock that rating down to 1 star.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Grave Encounters (2011)

   Grave Encounters is the story of Lance Preston (Sean Rogerson) and his crew of ghost hunters who plan to spend eight hours locked in an allegedly haunted, vacant psychiatric hospital.They film what is their sixth and final episode of the ghost hunting reality show Grave Encounters.
   The crew arrives at Collingswood Psychiatric Hospital and Lance begins by interviewing town historian Morgan Turner (Shawn Macdonald). Morgan reveals that from 1895 to 1960 when Collingswood was closed, it was basically a dumping ground for the mentally ill with disgraceful living conditions and no real determination to help the patients get well.Kenny (Bob Rathie) is the long time caretaker of the abandoned building and has had his share of paranormal phenomenon while taking care of the grounds (Okay it's time for a new job Kenny!). Lance also interviews a contractor and a local teenager that have had paranormal experiences in Collingswood.The resident gardener Javier (Luis Javier) is told by Lance to lie on camera and say that he's also experienced something when in fact he's never seen anything.
   Shortly before the 10:00 p.m. scheduled lock-down, Lance brings in fake medium Houston Gray (Mackenzie Gray) who puts on a good show for the cameras then laughs with Lance and asks him if it was too much when they stop filming.The crew sets up cameras in the hospital's supposed hot spots and roams around the building trying to make contact for the first couple of hours with no results.Cameraman T.C. (Merwin Mondesir) sets his camera down to answer his cell phone and misses the first real evidence that the hospital is really haunted. T.C. ventures into a room where the door slams and scares the crap out of him ( Not literally, thank goodness!). After he realizes none of the crew could have been the culprit responsible for slamming the door he calls them in and tells them what happened.The crew is skeptical until T.C. shows them the footage of it happening, but once convinced they try to initiate contact asking the entity to slam the door again.They get their door slam and much more ( I would have been out of there after the door slammed.I slept with my mother for a week once when I was eighteen because of a scary Ouija Board experience.I'm not crazy, okay maybe a little but that's beside the point,there were witnesses!).
   Grave Encounters was a really good movie in my opinion.Once the action really got going I was hooked and on edge for the rest of the movie.Great acting,excellent special effects ( I may have slightly peed my pants during a couple of scenes.). As far as I'm concerned Grave Encounters is a must see, it was like Paranormal Activity on steroids.Besides the frightening ghosts there was another spooky element that I won't go into, that added a really nice touch to Grave Encounters.You will have to watch it to find out what that is,Netflix gave Grave Encounters 3.5 out of 5 stars but I think it deserves a 4.5.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

11/11/11 (2011)

   Jack (John Briddell), Melissa (Erin Coker), and Nathan Vale move to a small town with no knowledge that their new neighborhood is filled with Satanists looking forward to their arrival.Ten year old Nathan (Hayden Byerly) is turning eleven on 11/11/11 in just a few days and is expected to bring Hell on earth with him.
   The whole town goes to great lengths to make sure that Nathan's satanic transformation goes as planned.Pregnant Melissa's new doctor puts her on bed rest ensuring that she'll need a nurse to take care of her, and a nanny to take care of Nathan.Melissa's nurse keeps her sedated and loopy most of the time so that Denise (Aurelia Scheppers), the evil nanny, can encourage Nathan's dark side (His dark side doesn't consist of much, every ten year old boy burns insects and throws rocks at neighbors.Not impressed!). Annie (Madonna Magee), who is know as the town's crazy lady, spends the entire movie marking off the days until Nathan's birthday on her calender and trying to lure him to her house to kill him.Annie, like everyone else in town , knows who or what Nathan is, but is on the side of good (How is Annie considered the crazy one in a town full of Satanists?).
   11/11/11 wasn't that great of a movie.They went a bit overboard with the eleven theme in my opinion.Every time they showed a clock there was an eleven and it was quite often.Their address added up to eleven, (Okay,now I'm annoyed,no joke,I just checked the time and it's 2:11), every newspaper,book, or magazine had an eleven somewhere and they made damn sure you saw it.Okay I get it!!                                 There wasn't much gore to speak of which was disappointing (Satanic stories should be good and bloody!). I have no complaints about the acting,everyone did well as far as that's concerned.There were just a few things about this movie that made no sense and could have been left out.For instance, there were deep claw marks on one of the walls of the house when the Vale's moved in and there was never any explanation as to why, yet they tried to make it seem significant.11/11/11 was basically a rip off of The Omen, but nowhere near as good (I'm guilty of naming my, now 17 year old, son Damien by the way.) Nathan was nowhere near menacing enough.I think it could have been a somewhat better movie if they had bothered to make Nathan creepier.Netflix gave 11/11/11 1.7 out of 5 stars and I have to agree.By the way... there are two 11/11/11 movies both released in 2011, the other is 11-11-11.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Yellow Brick Road (2010)

   Teddy (Michael Laurino) and Melissa Barnes (Anessa Ramsey) lead a team of explorers into New Hampshire wilderness to gather information for a book Teddy is writing.Seventy years ago all of the inhabitants of Friar,New Hampshire left behind everything and walked the mysterious trail never to been seen alive again.
   Teddy and his team arrive in Friar to find that no one is willing to talk to them about the trail or the incident seventy years ago.Teddy's coordinates lead them to a movie theater in town where he meets Liv (Laura Heisler). Liv agrees to show the team where the trail is if she's allowed to tag along with them and get away from her mundane existence in Friar for a while.The farther along the team gets on their hike,the stranger things become for them.They begin having more and more problems with their GPS and other instruments,not to mention each other.The team slowly starts to turn on one another as they're being driven insane by some weird old fashioned music coming from nowhere (oooo...so scary,not!).
   Although there was good acting and a couple of notable gory scenes,I was not a big fan of this movie.I kept waiting for something scary to happen and it never came.The most interesting part of the movie was when brother and sister Erin and Daryl Luger get into a fight that ends in Daryl (Clark Freeman) ripping Erin's (Cassidy Freeman) leg off (Oh how cute, they're really brother and sister...barf!). Besides that tasty little tidbit of gore, I was bored to tears.Yellow Brick Road could have at least finished with a good ending to make up for almost making me nod off during the rest of the movie, but that didn't happen.The ending was as stupid and boring as the beginning and middle.I can't figure out why this movie was even classified as a horror movie ( a dead body dressed as a scarecrow does not a horror movie make,I've seen scarier images in public bathrooms).
   I really felt Yellow Brick Road was a waste of my time.Netflix gave it 2.5 out of 5 stars but I'll give it a demotion to 2 for making me hang in there with the hope of something interesting happening eventually and not delivering and a further demotion to 1.8 for making me sleepy.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Johnny Sunshine:Maximum Violence (2008)

   Johnny Sunshine is irrefutably the worst movie I've ever seen.I'm literally at a loss for words when it comes to this movie.It usually doesn't take me very long to write my reviews, but I've been sitting here for what seems like forever trying to figure out where to begin with this disaster.
   Johnny Sunshine is a female pornographic snuff film star who is Max Maximum Productions' top selling star in a future filled with zombies ( Johnny Sunshine was made in 2008 and set in 2012 yet one of the characters is using a 10 lb flip phone reminiscent of  the gargantuan 1980's car phones.). Max (Eric Halsell) decides Johnny is no longer an asset to him and plans, behind her back, to have her killed in one of her own pornographic snuff films.
   This movie was filled with badly choreographed fight scenes and unconvincing zombies (How do you screw up acting like a zombie?I master it every morning just getting out of bed!). There were some gory scenes but I was unimpressed by them, maybe because the movie was just so idiotic that I had a hard time getting into it,I just wanted it to be over. I feel like they were more interested in making a porno than a horror film. It was just a very disturbing movie, not because of the constant references to necrophilia, but because I can't believe someone wasted their money making this total piece of crap.If I thought they had made a single cent of profit for making it I might consider suing them for mental anguish.I usually try really hard to find at least one good thing to say about a movie no matter how bad, but I've got nothing.Netflix rated Johnny Sunshine 1.7 out of 5 stars.It deserves a negative 5 and all evidence of this movie should be wiped off of the face of the planet before another person has to suffer through it.I may need counseling.I didn't include a trailer with this review because I couldn't find a censored version and I don't know if there are any kids checking out my site.The trailer is awful anyway!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Bloodlock (2008)

   Married couple Barry and Christine move into a new house after Christine (Ashley Gallo) suffers a nervous breakdown caused by the death of her mother.Christine's skank,husband stealing, half-sister Lisa (Karen Fox) (Huh?No, I'm not bitter!), is living with them and sleeping with Barry (Dominic Koulianos). Christine discovers a strange locked metal door with a cross in the basement of their new house and becomes obsessed with opening it.Elderly neighbors Foster (Dirk Hermance) and Edwina (Debra Gordon) are also obsessed with opening the door in Christine's basement.The elderly couple has plans of becoming immortal, they know the world's very first vampire was imprisoned in the basement by the former owner of the house.
   Christine, determined to open the mysterious door, goes into town to find a locksmith.She meets locksmith Luke who tells her that some things are just better left alone and she shouldn't try to open the door.She returns home to find Foster and Edwina in her basement drilling the lock to the metal door.They manage to to open the door and Christine escapes as the vampire is busy killing the oh so deserving Barry and Lisa (okay, maybe I'm a little bitter!). Luke is pulling up to her house just as she's running out and takes her back to his place.It came as a total surprise to me that Christine and Luke end up sleeping together... excuse me, it was more like making love  (Can you feel me rolling my eyes?Really?This is supposed to be a horror movie people!No mushy love scenes!!). Meanwhile the vampire is out turning people and very ungorily killing (I know that's not a real word, but this wasn't a real movie either). Sometime between Christine and Luke's stupid love scene and the next morning when they go looking for the vampire, I noticed Christine managed to find the time to put red streaks in her hair (Vampire attack survival list: garlic,crosses,holy water,stakes...red highlights in hair?).
   Christine,Luke, and Foster find the vampire's nest filled with people he's just recently turned.Luke is pinned down by a female vampire and a closeup reveals that the blue and red veins covering her face and hands are so ridiculously and obviously drawn on by a freaking ballpoint pen (thumbs up to the makeup crew!). When Luke is killed Christine becomes extremely distraught over the loss of her longtime boyfriend (2 days). Christine manages to get the vampire back to the basement when he's weakened by her garlic tainted blood after biting her.
   Wow, Bloodlock was terrible!Hands down some of the worst acting I've ever seen.I guess the plot would have been good if the movie had been executed properly with good acting and special effects, but that didn't happen.It actually had a little surprise at the end that I didn't expect, but it didn't change my opinion of the movie.Netflix gave Bloodlock 1.6 out of 5 stars and I guess that's fairly accurate, maybe a tad generous.Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to buy a few copies of Bloodlock to keep handy as presents for people who piss me off between now and Christmas.