Friday, June 22, 2018

Ranbhool (2010) 1h 50m


Some people say that you can learn something from every experience you have.  I think that after watching this film the only thing I learned was to not trust dudes that wear tie dye and play guitar.  This isn't really new information for me.  I talk shit on hippies all the time.  So maybe this film didn't teach me anything, but rather just reaffirmed my dislike of hippies.

Ranbhool is an Indian film in which a man believes his music is essentially the music of god.  He is such a religious zealot over this thought that he has killed people that have prevented his music from getting out or say that they don't hear the message of god in it.  A teenage girl goes to her father's home with her younger sister and a friend and make contact with this crazy guy via the internet (as ya' do).  Using an Omegle style chat they view a video stream of him playing his music, but they miss him murdering his fiancĂ©.  Everyone tracks everyone else down and it ends with hostages, a standoff, and someone's grandmother getting called in to stop all this shit!

This was not a film for me.  Pushing close to two hours is actually short for most of the Indian films I've watched but this one just kept drawing out scenes for too long.  We get a lot of our killer playing his music but it is literally just the same song over and over again with him jamming on some changes.  It's not even a good song!  I mean, maybe I'm missing the voice of god or whatever in it, but it was just sounded like shitty Phish, and I already hate Phish so imagine that!  I will say there is one moment I liked and it's right after he kills his fiancĂ© and then he plays a guitar solo over her corpse.  That was one of the most metal things I've been privy to in a film.  Too bad it was a hippie solo!

I give Ranbhool 1 dirty hippy out of 5:

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Scream 3 (2000) 1h 56m


Up front, I love the original Scream trilogy.  The fourth installment was okay but it came a bit too late for me me to associate it with the first three.  I, however, completely forgot about everything in this movie except for who the killer was.  I spent half of the movie texting my husband things like "Parker Posey is in this?!  Jay and Silent Bob are in this?!  What the hell is this film?!"

Scream 3 centers around the filming of the movie's meta cinema, Stab 3.  After Cotton Weary (now a talk show host) and his girlfriend are murdered, the deaths begin to follow the script for the latest Stab installment.  Gail Weathers is instantly there, Dewey happens to be there as a consultant, and Sidney is in hiding and using a false name after the second film.  Eventually the murderer ferrets Sidney out of hiding and she joins the rest of the group to find the killer and try to end things once and for all.

Scream was one of the first major films to really play with meta concepts when it comes to horror.  Through Randy, it established the parameters for what to do and not do.  With Randy having been killed in the previous film, we still get his video store wisdom with the help of a VHS that he left.  I feel like them keeping this consistent, even with poor Randy's death, was a good touch on Wes Craven's part.  The acting from everyone in Scream 3 remains solid which was great to see.  A lot of the time, as a series goes on, the actors begin to phone it in. *cough*WesleySnipesBlade*cough*

There are some over the top moments in this film that are eye rolling but it's all part of the fun of watching a horror movie that establishes up front that it knows it's a horror movie.  I will say that the bow they use to wrap everything up does skate that line of "Oh, fuck you!" once you get how this ties back to the first movie.  Sidney sums it up best though while we're getting the killer's "poor me" speech by saying "I heard this shit before!  Why don't you take some fucking responsibility!"  Honestly, all these murders could have been avoided if just one person would've gone for therapy for their mommy issues.  Actually, I take that back, all of this could've been avoided if Hollywood wasn't a skeezy place.

I give Scream 3 3 Stab 3 DVD covers out of 5:

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Deep Blue Sea (1999) 1h 45m


Something that I love with horror is that when it comes to science we have this "bigger, better, stronger  faster" approach to everything.  There's no isolation of a single piece like how real life scientists cloned an ear on the back of a mouse.  No!  It's all or nothing!  If it were a horror film then they would've been trying to clone their dead child on the back of a rat and we would've ended up with something looking like a TMNT villian (I'm talking original cartoon, not this Michael Bay/Nickelodeon stuff).  Don't get me wrong.  I think that there are some crazy labs somewhere out there that are making a real life Bebop and Rocksteady under an ice cap or something, but horror really pushes science above and beyond.  Like with today's film!

I don't know how I haven't watched Deep Blue Sea until now, but strap the fuck in because here we go!  In the middle of the ocean is a marine biology lab where their attempting to grow a specific section of shark brains in order to harvest the tissue and possibly cure Alzheimer's.  It's a valid pursuit, except that they violated certain standards and in the process created super smart murder sharks!  Throw in Samuel L. Jackson and LL Cool J and you get a movie full of murder sharks and those guys!  Don't get me wrong, Mr. Jackson adds a lot, but LL Cool J is just random.

It was nice to see what all the hype was about finally.  My only major issue with this film is that it's very dated.  Granted, it's almost 20 years since this came out, but films from the 1990's just have this weird aura around them.  You know they're from the 90's based on characters, music, filming, or content.  It's like an entire decade had a slime dumped on it that dried and everything just has this odd film to it.

Otherwise, Deep Blue Sea still delivered.  The CGI looks good for the time with a few questionable moments, Sam Jackson is Sam Jackson up until he gets eaten by a shark, and I don't really remember any of the white people in this movie.  They're all kind of forgettable.

I give Deep Blue Sea 3 bottles of Cool Water out of 5:

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Descent: Part 2 (2009) 1h 34m


When I covered the original Descent film in the last cut, I had one of those gut feelings that I was going to get stuck with its sequel sooner rather than later.  That's how Netflix works.  It tries to predict what you will want to watch based on what you have already viewed.  Unfortunately this is kind of a shit model because I end up watching a lot of crap for this website.  Keep in mind that I still roll dice to select these films so I can only assume that Netflix either is or is in cahoots with some sort of demonic entity hellbent on making me watch trash.  Like a less goofy Dr. Forrester.

The Descent Part 2 picks up pretty much where The Descent left off.  Sarah has escaped and is taken to a hospital where small town/big dick Sheriff drags her back out to go into the caves to find the rest of the missing girls.  The team is ST/BD Sheriff, a deputy, a small crew of specialized rescuers, and our girl.  Sarah, dealing with hardcore PTSD, has amnesia at the start until she suddenly remembers and goes into Rambo mode in order to escape.  Otherwise, this is kind of the same film as the first.  A cave-in happens, the creatures fuck shit up (as they do), and we eventually have a sole survivor... kind of.

The sheer existence of this film is unnecessary.  Ignoring the four year gap between films, The Descent Part 2 doesn't add anything to the overall lore of the caves or the creatures.  The only two additions we do get are that one of the creatures has a more feminine appearance with long black hair and what appear to be beast shapes without nipples, and the other addition is that we have a scene where we see one of them take a shit into a pool of water two of the women are in.

I have to talk about this "female" creature though because this is the stupid shit that keeps me up at night trying to work it out in my head.  First: adding breast shapes make the creatures more mammalian.  Given that they have a human/bat hybrid kind of look to them, I can understand that.  My issue is that without nipples then the creature wouldn't be able to nurse as that's a trait found in mammals.  So why have breast tissue at all?  Second:  Every single one of these creatures are bald, except for her.  Assuming she is an adult, why does she not have hair down to the floor?  Finally:  Are we to assume that if there are a "male" and "female" gender that these things fuck?!  How do they fuck?  There's nothing visible that we could even consider genitals!  Do they have a cloaca?  If they do, then this goes back to point number one of the beast tissue!  Why am I so worried about this one creature seen for 10 seconds in a shitty film?!

And this really is a shitty film.  Deaths are predictable and at time comical at how horror-by-numbers they are.  The dialog is absurd, we are never given any backstory about anyone despite the mentioning of specific past events, and the very ending of this film might as well be a zoom in on a middle finger aimed directly at the viewer because we're never going to get an explanation for it.  We're also given this awkward fan service with the return of Juno, having survived in these caves for however long with only a climbing pick and sass!  How long has she survived?  Dunno.  No clue.  Time doesn't exist underground!  Only weird monsters that cause me to toss and turn while I'm trying to figure out how they smush!

I give The Descent Part 2 0 caves out of out of 5:

Monday, June 18, 2018

The Conjuring (2013) 1h 52m


I find the Warren's to be fascinating people, and I mean this in the most neutral and scientific sense.  While they were a power couple of paranormal and demonology, there always remains a thread of skepticism with their cases that someone is trying to pull.  Others in their field have denounced them or claimed they were exaggerating cases.  Prior to this, most people know them from the Amityville Horror case or seeing Lorraine on Paranormal State, and in a way maybe the pop culture association has done more harm than good.  With that said, I was excited when this film was going to come out because I was hoping it was going to pull back some of the veil on their work.  Instead it spawned a spin-off and sequel which I feel is more damning than Baal on holiday.

We start The Conjuring by getting a brief telling of Annabelle, a spirit that inhabits a creepy porcelain doll (in real life it's just a Raggedy Ann doll).  This is more to give us a lead-in to the Warrens as they're approached after speaking at a college and asked to come to a possibly haunted house.  The rest of the film is a mix of the family living in the home, the team investigating, and some personal life of the Warrens.

This film should really just be called "Jump Scares: The Movie."  Existing as much more of a paranormal drama, it's mostly figures popping out and loud noises ensconced in a supermarket paperback.  The only scare I liked was the sheet being blown off the clothesline and taking the form of a person before flying up to a window and then away.  I don't think it's coming back either.  We'll miss you sheet, we barely knew you.

I do want to rant about one thing here:  At the beginning we're given some text about the Annabelle doll and how the story was locked away until now.  Okay, first, that fucking doll is the most well known thing in their collection.  You can go to any paranormal website and there's probably a page on it.  They claim it caused a motorcycle accident with someone that made fun of it.  Before this film, if you Googled the Warrens you would see that fucking doll!  They do fucking tours of their haunted object museum!!!  Kiss my ass "locked away until now."

Okay, rant over, but so is my love for this film.  It wasn't what I hoped for when it first came out.  There are too many artistic liberties taken via Hollywood and at the same time I found myself bored.  If you're trying to make something scarier and instead I'm looking up haunted objects on Ebay then you failed!  I would be interested in a movie on this supposed Djinn trapped in a ring that will make you a sexual beast!  That can be The Conjuring 3: The Ring!  Only $49.99, with free shipping!

I give The Conjuring 1 picture of the real Annabelle out of 5:

Friday, June 15, 2018

Teeth (2007) 1h 34m


One of my go-to jokes when people ask me why I'm gay (as if there were some quick-time event that I hit the "dicks" button for) is because "vaginas have teeth."  While I know this isn't true, I think that the idea of something like human teeth (especially baby teeth) inside of the vulva causes most people to cringe.  So when we're given a film like Teeth, does it have the bite to it that we're looking for?  I'm sorry, that was terrible.

Okay, here's what you need to know about Teeth.  A teenage girl that grew up near a Photoshopped set of nuclear cooling towers is one of the faces for the local abstinence and purity ring group.  The state that they live in puts giant gold stickers over the female sex organs in their school books so our virginal girl doesn't know that she has the dreaded Vaginal Dentata!  It's a real mythological thing so look it up if you're bored. Eventually she begins to give in to temptation only to find herself about to be sexually assaulted when her extra chompers tear off her attacker's dick.  The rest of this film is her learning to actually use them for her greater good!  Seriously.

Here are my takeaways from this movie: 1) All men are indeed scum, 2) virginity is still not a real thing and is only a social construct in which parents lie to their children that "love" is the only thing that makes sex pleasurable, 3) I forgot that purity rings are meant to be a placeholder for a wedding ring which made me unreasonable annoyed.

Teeth started out as the b-movie it knew it was but by the third act wanted to take a more serious role and that ends up killing it for me.  I don't feel like the heel-turn was needed with the guy that she has pleasurable sex with.  I don't think the stuff with the mother was necessary, even as a vehicle of you sinned and this is your punishment.  And I don't think we needed a huge set-up to make her step brother an even bigger piece of shit.  Speaking of which, once again we get terrible tattoos that look as though they were drawn in by a marker just before the call of "action!"  Stop that shit!  Look at someone with tattoos!  If you need reference I'll send you pictures of my arms (or more if you want to pay... but I'm not cheap!).

I don't know.  I wasn't expecting much and I was let down.  It's sad too because I was onboard when I hit play.  I love terrible b-movies!  It was here, the plot was here!  It started out like it!  Then you tried and it ruined everything!  Let this be a lesson!  Don't try anything!  Just do it!

I give Teeth 1 dental dummy out of 5:

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Cabin Fever (2016) 1h 39m


I didn't realize until the end of this film that I was watching a remake of the original movie.  They literally took the script from the Eli Roth original and did a re-shoot.  Was this really necessary?  I know I'm jumping into the shit talk on this way to early but for real?  It's not like you were rebooting the property or anything.  It's only made worse because I'm not really a fan of the original Cabin Fever to begin with.

If you're unfamiliar with the plot, a group of college kids rent a cabin in the country.  Early on we know that there is some sort of viral or bacterial outbreak based on an exploding dog named Pancakes.  After one of these college jag bags finds a gun at the cabin and accidentally shoots an infected man in the woods.  The man finds his way to their cabin where he vomits blood everywhere before being set on fire and runs off to dive into the local reservoir.  The disease begins to develop in our cabin kids and they all end up dead, one way or the other.

Neither this, nor the original are really scary as far as horror movies go.  They really get classified as body-horror for the squick feelings you get from seeing huge wet open sores or someone shaving their legs and literally shaving off strips of flesh.  The latter of which I don't remember seeing in this re-make.  I covered the prequel movie Cabin Fever 3: Patient Zero a while ago but it doesn't add much to the lore.  It just makes me wonder what Sean Astin needed the money for.

Here is my head cannon for why this film even exists: Travis Z tells Eli Roth he wants to direct a movie but doesn't have the background to do anything big.  Eli Roth figures that Cabin Fever was his big breakout so he gives Travis Z the script, says he'll produce it, and assumes that lightning will strike twice.  Instead it hit a small child off to the side and both Eli and Travis are labeled as witches and burned at the stake.  The End.

I give the 2016 remake of Cabin Fever 1 Eli Roth PETA ad out of 5:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Vault (2017) 1h 31m


I feel like film production companies still have this odd assumption that casting people based on name or affiliation alone will make a movie good (or at least draw).  We know this isn't true based on some of the big flops that have existed *cough*TomCruiseMummy*cough* but yet we still get these middle of the road, or worse, films that have some heavy casting done.  I would rather these companies save their money and give us a better film rather than wasting that dough of what is essentially turd polish.

The Vault focuses on a bank robbery gone dumb and the eventual release of ghosts in the bank?  I think.  Or the bank was just haunted and opening the second vault made it more haunted?  All I know is that people have quit this bank due to the weird things that happen around the downstairs where the old vault exists.  In the 80's a bank robbery went wrong and it lead to the death of pretty much everyone involved except the unaccounted for leader.  They all haunt that downstairs now but may be locked in that vault.  Either way, this odd group of white trash (including the woman that plays Pennsyltucky from Orange is the New Black) stir up some shit and end up dead thanks to these bland specters.

That's the whole film pretty much.  We do find out that the person that points them to the vault and attempts to save everyone is the ghost of the bank manager from that original robbery, but you could kind of tell that by his porn stashe and outdated suit.  I was bored the whole way through The Vault.  It has what could be labeled the worst use of the song Crimson and Clover, jailhouse tats that look like they were Sharpied on just prior to filming, and a Wilhelm scream.  A fucking Wilhelm scream in a 2017 film!  How hard is it to have someone record their own death scream? 

I can't with this film.  I really can't.  Hopefully that vault actually exists so they can take all the copies of this film and lock it inside.  Then if anyone opens it they're haunted by this film for the rest of their life.

I give The Vault  0 thieves out of 5:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

6 Souls (2010) 1h 52m


My first note for this film is just "Pittsburgh represent!"  In truth, Pittsburgh is nothing more than a setting for this film but it was nice to see some old favorites like Ritter's Diner.  There is a moment though where the one shot looks like it was done in East Liberty but then the next shot of what's supposed to be the same scene looks like it's the West End.  This means nothing to you reading this unless you're from the 412, but at least it's not someone trying to pass off Toronto as Pittsburgh.

Oh man, let's talk about the plot of 6 Souls.  Cara is a forensic psychologist that gets called in by her father to take a look at an interesting case of a man with multiple personalities.  What's interesting about this case is that the personalities have no overlap, so much so that one of the initial two we're introduced to has colorblindness where the other doesn't.  A third personality comes out (a singer in a death metal band) and this leads to Cara finding that all of these personalities were real people at some point.  Eventually this film goes off the rails when it begins to involve some made-up Appalachian folk-magick, the story of a priest without strong faith, and what might as well be some "believe in god or the boogyman will get you" spooky twist.

Of all the directions this film could have taken, I wish it would've chosen any of the others than the trail it took us down.  It wasn't bad so much as it was just asking too much of the viewer to stay engrossed when it seemed like the story was falling apart more than it was coming together.  The ending was too transparent to have any sense of shock or sympathy from me.  The entire first two acts are slow and while they're presenting us with information it's info that we're not sure what to do with.  We know it'll get glued together but by the time it does we already knew where it went so there was no reveal.  When the hypest thing in this film for me was Ritter's Diner then you know this film fucked up somewhere.

As a side rant, what fucking audio software does the one guy in this film have where he can take a photo, isolate a section of it, and turn it into a three dimensional soundwave?!  Most people are running Pro-Tools so don't lie to me like this jagoff in an old Southside warehouse has anything but that running in his "studio."  Funk dat!

I give 6 souls 1.5 Mortal Kombat Soulnados out of 5:

Monday, June 11, 2018

9th Cut Starts! The Lost Boys (1987) 1h 37m


When I was in college I took a course on vampire lore.  One of the first things the professor asked us was "why are people interested in vampires?"  After the typical collegiate round of answers she finally just yelled "it's because they're sexy!"  I think that this film really makes that ring true.  Sure, there were the Hammer films of the 70's which were just shy of (or just were) porn coming before this.  But this, this is 80's leather jacket sex on legs... and a possibly queer Corey Haim with his sexy Rob Lowe poster on the wall, camp style clothing, and a beaver hidden in his closet.

The Lost Boys takes place in Santa Carla, California where Michael, Sam, and their mother move in with her father.  Michael instantly falls for a girl that hangs out with David (Kiefer Sutherland) and his gang of assholes which includes Bill (Alex Winters) from the Bill and Ted franchise.  Sam ends up befriending the Frog brothers at the local comic store and they give him a comic about vampires that they say may save his life.  Michael gets turned into a dhampyr by David's crew, Sam freaks out, the Frog bothers want to kill all bloodsuckers.  So we get this rag-tag group of dorks trying to find and kill the head vampire all to one of the best soundtracks to ever exist.

This movie is a classic.  You can't hear that dark synth and child chorus singing "thou shall not want" without getting hyped immediately.  When the final fight happens we get some great vamp kills, including the infamous "death by stereo."  The casting and acting are all spot on.  Kiefer is pretty much the only one in the vamp gang that has real lines and his presentation plants him firmly in the realm of "this dude is a badass."  My big question mark for this film is that as one of the Frog brothers, I have no clue what Corey Feldman's voice is supposed to be.  I don't think he even knows what it was.  It's like he was possessed by a 70 year-old chain smoking grandma. "Read this comic and pick me up a carton of Reds!"

There were two modern sequels made to this film.  I'm not sure why.  I haven't seen them so I can't say.  I doubt I will ever willingly sit down to watch one of them by my own volition.  This movie didn't need a sequel.  All of the loose ends are tied up so to me it's like looking at something like the Mona Lisa and deciding it would look good to copy it but just make her have a big cartoon dick behind her.  Big ol' floppy purple wang flappin' in the breeze.

I give The Lost Boys 5 unnecessary Zombie Peter Pans out of 5:

Monday, May 28, 2018

30 Days of Plight - Mixed Tape One

Looking for some sweet horror themed music to listen to?  Having a party?  Want to turn something into a party?  Then have I got the thing for you?  I made a playlist on Spotify where you can hear some of my favorite ghoulish music.  Just click here to check out 30 Days of Plight - Mixed Tape One.  Don't have Spotify?  No problem.  Here is the track list so you can put it together on your own!

1) Local H - Wolf Like Me (TV on the Radio cover)
2) Anthrax - Fight 'Em 'Til You Can't
3) The Creepshow - Sleep Tight
4) Harley Poe - That Time of the Month
5) Tiger Army - Incorporeal
6) Misfits - Death Comes Ripping
7) AFI - Sacrifice Theory
8) Gwar - Jack the World
9) Ramones - Pinhead
10) Tullycraft - Dig Up the Graves
11) The White Stripes - Little Ghost
12) Oingo Boingo - No One Lives Forever
13) Marilyn Manson - I Put a Spell on You
14) Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - The Curse of Millhaven
15) I Fight Dragons - cRaZie$
16) Alkaline Trio - Hell Yes

17) Twisted Sister - Burn in Hell
18) Trophy Scars - Gutted
19) The Cure - Lullaby
20) Fantomas - The Omen (Ave Satan)
21) Poison the Well - Crystal Lake

Monday, May 14, 2018

Interview with Brad Twigg of WrestleMassacre (Fuzzy Monkey Studios)




As soon as I saw the title and art for this film I tracked down Mr. Twigg.  How could I resist the call of a film such as WrestleMassacre?!  Running his own film company (Fuzzy Monkey Studios), Brad does what most of us can only dream of:  he makes movies he wants, and does it his own way.  From the man that brought you such classics as 2015's MILFs vs. Zombies, and with an IMDB showing everything from lighting and production design, to directing and acting, I got the chance to have Brad join me at the announcers' table to answer my questions and cut a promo for WrestleMassacre!


 
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview, Brad.  We're here today to talk about your upcoming film WrestleMassacre, so why don't you give our readers an idea of what this film is about.  Also, are you a wrestling fan yourself?
 
You're very welcome. WrestleMassacre follows Randy, an awkward groundskeeper who is obsessed with professional wrestling. Longing for a sense of belonging with grandiose dreams of becoming a wrestling superstar, Randy is only met with abject humiliation and alienation. A brutal shaming at a local wrestling school pushes Randy over the edge and lights the spark for his blood lust. Donned in wrestling gear and armed with homicidal rage, Randy sets out on a blood soaked rampage to punish those who wronged him. The only hope of putting an end to his reign of carnage lies with Becky, an understanding client who is one of the only few to ever show him kindness. I've been a wrestling fan since I was a kid and still enjoy watching it.

 
I'm a huge wrestling fan so I have to ask:  How did you get ECW legend, Mr. Blood Sweat and Beers himself, The Sandman (Jim Fullington) to be in this film?


One of the actors in the film is also a pro wrestler and happens to be friends with Jim. He asked him if he'd be interested in playing a role in the film and he was all for it. I think people will really enjoy his character and his trademark kendo stick makes an appearance. 

 
 
While checking out your IMDB in relation to WrestleMassacre I saw that not only did you write this film's story, but you're also producing, directing, and editing it.  With how busy your 2018 already looks on there, where do you find time get all of this done?
 

It's tough but I like to stay busy. Movies are my life so I always find time for them.





Your film company (Fuzzy Monkey Films) is based out of Martinsburg, WV.  Out of curiosity (and because I'm originally from the Western PA area)  do you find a lot of like-minded horror and independent film people there or do you end up getting a lot of awkward looks from neighbors as "that horror movie guy?"


Unfortunately there aren't a lot of actors or filmmakers in the area. Most of the people I work with come from surrounding states where there are much larger filmmaking communities.



Once WrestleMassacre is complete are you planning on hitting any film festivals with it?  I'm sure the New Orleans Horror Film Festival down here would love it.  Also, when and where will it be available to the public for people that need to have this for their collection (my copy will go between my blu-ray of Wrestlers Vs. Zombies and CM Punk DVD)?
 
I do plan to submit WrestleMassacre to film festivals. I don't have any specific ones in mind but hope to enter it into as many as possible. The limited edition DVD will be available from the Fuzzy Monkey Films website in August. 

 


Finally, is there anything else you'd like to mention?  Other projects, conventions you might be at, cut a promo talking smack on another company in your run for the title?



I'll be at Scares That Care Weekend in Williamsburg, VA August 3-5 as well as Monster Mania Con in Hunt Valley, MD September 28-30. We recently launched the Indiegogo campaign for my next film Shriekshow. It's going to be a crazy flick with tons of atmosphere and some really creepy characters. Thanks for the interview.




WrestleMassacre will be coming out this August 2018.  Thanks again to Brad for doing this interview and feel free to click on the links to Shriekshow and Fuzzy Monkey Studios for info on his other past and future projects.  Also, if you need more convincing, here is the trailer for WrestleMassacre!


Monday, May 7, 2018

8th Cut : Final Cut : 270 Films Reviewed


Alright!  Two years down and 270 films watched and reviewed on this website!  Speaking of which, I'm looking into some way to index them on here, but slowly.  This is now my down time where I get to catch up on reading, video games, and watching things other than random horror movies.

With that in mind, I am going to do things a little bit different with this break.  I'm going to try to do at least one post a week, just to keep some fresh content on here during that time.  I'm set to do an interview with Brad Twigg (producer/director) of Wrestle Massacre.  That film is due to come out in the next few months and I couldn't pass up the chance to reach out to someone that's doing a wrestling horror film.  I'm going to also reach out to some other smaller films and try to get some interviews or screeners.

Speaking of that:  If you are making a film and would like me to give it the 30 Days of Plight treatment with a review, you can e-mail me at 30daysofplight@gmail.com

For all other things, feel free to check our Twitter (30daysofplight) where I try to keep active on it.

Otherwise, thank you for being with us for these two years.  We'll be back to our normal reviews/mon-fri posting schedule on Monday, June 11th.  Until then, check for those once-a-week posts, and as always...

I'll be right back...

Friday, May 4, 2018

The Transfiguration (2016) 1h 37m


I don't think anyone can say that they never emulated (even a tiny bit) a character they saw in a movie or on TV.  To this day it still takes effort to not act like Razor Ramon if I'm using a toothpick, and he was just emulating Scarface!  Also, as kids, I'm sure we all ran around with plastic vampire fangs cutting our gums, drool running from our mouths, as we mumbled about sucking blood.  There is a line that most of us don't cross though.  We don't begin to believe we are who or what we are copying.  So when someone blurs that line between reality and fantasy, we get something like today's film.

The Transfiguration focuses on Milo, a teenage boy living in project housing with his older brother.  He's an outcast, friendless, and referred to by others as "freak."  His primary solace is found in his collection of dubbed vampire flicks and online nature videos.  Eventually he befriends a girl named Sophie and she gets close.  So close that she finds out that his obsession with vampirism goes beyond watching it on the screen.

I wasn't sure where this film was going while I was watching it.  It took elements that I normally find frustrating while watching a movie and turned them into art.  There are long periods of just ambient noise of the world around Milo, and rather than push me away from the film it pulled me into his isolation.  I kept waiting for the real supernatural element to drop and when it didn't come I felt as though I lost my footing.  Stumbling to understand Milo's actions more and more.

 There's also a great scene which reminds me of Taxi Driver, when Robert De Niro takes Jodie Foster on a date and it's to the porno theater because he doesn't have the social experience to know better.  In this, Milo hangs out with Sophie and he puts on one of those PETA-esq videos of how a cow is killed and processed.  He has this flat affect while watching it whereas she is revolted and leaves him wondering what he did wrong.

This isn't a film for just anyone, and I wouldn't recommend it for a movie night with friends, but I will say if you have some free time and can actively watch this film, then do it.

I give The Transfiguration 4 Barnabas Collins portraits out of 5:

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Cube (1997) 1h 30m


I've never been super strong with math (aside from geometry).  I can handle the basic day-to-day type stuff but aside from that it was never my thing.  So odds are I couldn't survive the Cube on my own.  Although, I would totally poop in it.  You're stuck there, trying to figure things out, and only one person has to pee the whole time?  If death is coming then I'm going out with nothing to lose.  Literally.

Cube gives us a bunch of people that wake up inside of large rooms with a door on each wall.  Most of the rooms connecting have some sort of death trap but over time everyone starts to find out there's a skill each one has in order to survive and hopefully find a way out.  Shit turns Lord of the Flies kind of quick.

The best parts of this film are probably when someone triggers a trap.  I love a good body slice and that's one of the first things we get.  There's also a great moment where they establish one of the people to be their hope on getting out and then ten seconds later his face gets melted by acid.  Unfortunately, these were the only moments I enjoyed.

All of these characters could have survived or they all could have died and I wouldn't have cared.  Actually, that's partially true as I think the only person that should survive out of this gaggle of assholes does survive.  The structure is stupid and there's not logical sense for its existence.  Seriously, who fucking paid for this shit?! Also, I'm confused on this room moving thing if it's as massive as they say.  Wouldn't its size mean that certain rooms would never be reached or utilized?  Did my tax dollars pay for this shit?  Because I want that money back!

I give Cube 1 Rubik's cube out of 5:

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Boys in the Trees (2016) 1h 52m


Initially I wasn't sure if this movie was set in the 90's or if Australia is somehow two decades behind us when it comes to music.  It was probably one of my least valid thoughts about Australia ever, not that I'm thinking about Australia a lot.  It's not like I sit by the phone waiting for Australia to return my calls.  We only went on one date after all...

Boys in the Trees is set in 1997, just so we're all on the same page.  Of course the soundtrack of Marilyn Manson, The Presidents of the United States of America, and Rammstein should tip you off that we're in that decade... or that you're riding in my car.  Being that this isn't in my car, you're in Australia where a bunch of skater kids are dicks to another boy (Jonah).  We find out that our main character (Corey) was once friends with the outcast but Corey ran away when Jonah needed him.  Later that evening Jonah wipes out a quarter pipe and hits his head.  He convinces Corey to walk him home but their journey takes them further down memory lane than initially thought.  The whole time things seem off with Jonah.  It isn't until we reach the end of the journey do we find out why.

This isn't a horror movie.  It's a hard drama that just happens to have a small supernatural reveal.  However, this film does a really good job of making you feel as though something is going to jump out at you.  Stories of ghosts, shadows of wolves, and ominous visuals trick your mind into expecting the spook that never comes.  The fact it's Halloween night only adds to this false tension, especially when we encounter the gang of skater miscreants.

I'm not going to spoil it, but there's a really good moment at the end where the "leader" of the skaters does something out of character and the other skaters all remove their Halloween masks.  It's very much a "under this monstrous exterior they're still just lost boys" moment, but it creates such a sense of change in that world.  Or maybe it's a sense of self-realization among that group.  Either way, it makes the overall ending that much stronger.  At least to me.  You might totally hate that kind of thing, but then the real monster was you all along!

I give Boys in the Trees 3.5 boy in tree Hummels out of 5:

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Collection (2012) 1h 22m


I have never seen The Collection prior to this viewing, but before I even started watching it I had it confused with about five other films that came out around this same time.  All of them slightly interchangeable in content and plot but pretty much the same.  It also doesn't help that the villain here wears a modified version of the mask from Nightbreed, which, while I'm on the subject, what the hell are those masks made of?!  They look like hard plastic but then are some sort of weird fabric.  What is your secret?!

The Collection focuses on a nameless serial killer that has the news all atwitter.  While unconfirmed, it's believed that they kidnap at least one person from a scene.  One of the Collector's captives (Arkin) escapes at a night club slaying but he's replaced by the sole living woman.  This woman is apparently from a loaded family because some sort of mini-mercenary team lead by Lee Tergesen (Beecher from Oz, or Chett from the Weird Science TV show) grab the escapee and make him help find the Collector's hideout.  Then they force him inside despite his refusal.  Then it's some of the dumbest traps you've ever seen for about an hour.

This movie came out in 2012.  That's eight years after Saw, seven years after Hostel, and 17 years after Seven, and yet it still felt like it was ripping all of these movies off.  The traps were so absurd and overthought that they don't make any sense.  Tripwires are fine but three giant spikes coming down from the ceiling in a very specific spot seem a bit excessive.  This film also starts strangely similar to Blade.  Both have an underground nightclub where the audience knows everything is going bad.  The only difference is that while Blade had the "bloodbath," The Collection had a thresher from the front of a threshing machine just mow down an entire crowd of people.

While I'm complaining about things, I don't get the giant cubes of weird skeleton and body part things he made.  If they're just suspended in water then that would mean that the flesh would still decay in there, but if it's something like formaldehyde, well that shit would definitely not put a fire out.  It would make your face explode.  Explain this to me!  Honestly, explain to me anything this killer does because I don't get it.  He's eccentric just for eccentric sake and it stinks like a steak fart.

I did like how Arkin helped them find the hide out and his overall problem solving in this film.  Lee Tergesen is also a shining light in this darkness, but he has to die for the good of all mankind.  He's too pure for this world.

I give The Collection 1 Decker from Nightbreed out of 5:

Monday, April 30, 2018

The Babysitter (2017) 1h 25m


I've heard mixed things about this Netflix original.  It's a McG production and, despite sounding like a forgotten 90's McDonald's mascot, you probably recognize that name if you've ever watched the credits to an episode of Supernatural... or Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle.  I'm not going to judge you, the Charlie's Angels remakes were actually trashy good.  Just avoid the PS2 game as it's stick your dick in salted glass shards bad.  Now the question is, is The Babysitter that bad?

I just had to look at the IMDB because I forgot everyone's name in this.  Cole is one of those super geek kids that is supposed to be 12 but looks like he is about to graduate high school.  He has an awkward knowledge of sex (despite being able to look up and read the entirety of the plot to Mad Men in a night), thinks Pluto should be a planet again, and still has a babysitter.  Enter Bee: the super cool/hot older girl that Cole has a crush on because puberty crushes on your babysitter isn't weird at all.  Of course that gets complicated by the fact that Cole finds out that Bee is running a demonic cult ritual in his living room while he sleeps.  Complete with murder, stereotypes, and the Korean-American girl from the Pitch Perfect films.
Do you like my script?

I wanted to give this movie a fair shot, despite what I had heard.  I made it about twenty minutes into it before I was pretty much done.  It's one of those movies where I picture the person that wrote the script and I assume it's the Steve Buscemi meme of "how's do you do, fellow kids?"

From there it had the goofiness of Murder Party but none of the heart.  The cheerleader is obsessed with her gun shot tit, the jock attempts to get Cole to stand up to his bully while simultaneously trying to kill him, and I don't even remember what happens to the black guy in the movie because that's how unmemorable they made him.  Also, why the hell is the ground so foggy?!  That's probably something bad and you should move!  It'll make your balls shrink or something.

The only thing The Babysitter has going for it is its use of licensed music.  When we first meet Bee it's cued in by Peaches "Boys Wanna Be Her" which has that dirty 70's two-note guitar riff which probably has the power to give erections in some cultures.  We also get the ending scene backed by Queen's "We Are the Champions," but it doesn't fit as well.  Shaun of the Dead already used "Don't Stop Me Now" perfectly, so I think this should've been swapped out with some "Stone Cold Crazy" or maybe the guitar solo into the end of "Death on Two Legs."  I would much rather write about Queen songs than this movie, in case you couldn't tell. 

I give The Babysitter a 2 copies of Adventures in Babysitting out of 5 because it has merit, just not that much:

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Interview: Douglas A. Ewen (writer/director) of Harmonized Combustion

If it weren't for the Troma film Terror Firmer then I probably wouldn't have ever made this website.  I know that's a weird pull, but stick with me here.  In college, it was the first Troma film I had access to, but more so than that it was the first time I was able to really recognize independent film.  Previously my associations with independent film were neutral.  It didn't feel accessible for just anyone to make a film, until I saw the absurdity that was Troma.

So what does this have to do with Douglas A. Ewen?  He is an independent writer and director making his own film dream come true.  His first project, Harmonized Combustion, is in the process of wrapping up and running an IndieGoGo to film its final scene.  What is Harmonized Combustion?  Glad you asked:

"In this devilish romance tale of revenge, glamorous 80’s dark synth and bandmate battles. Rae, our cursed beauty, finds herself hopelessly in love with the one person who she can never truly be with, Parker. The frontman to a rising local band and the love of all who hears him play. Parker hosts one last show in the memory of his fallen bandmate, Charlie. As the crowd begins to pile in to hear the melody of memory they're none the wiser that this is the one concert that will literally blow their minds."



Thanks for joining us on 30 Days of Plight, Douglas. How about we start with you telling our readers about your background with horror? I know in your IndieGoGo video you spoke of being a fan of Cronenberg.

My background with horror… I would have to give my older brother credit for that one. He is ten years my elder and he was watching horror movies, mostly slashers, before I was born. I was born in ’85. One sunny afternoon, he had some friends over and, as many younger siblings, I always wanted to be around them. They were watching Friday the 13th, the original, and as I sat there in pure terror and watched this gore fest my older brother looked over at me and asked “You’re not afraid are you?” As the brave young lad I was I responded sharply, while chewing my fingernails, “Not at all” Later that week I was going to the beach with the neighbor’s family and it was on my mind a lot. Swimming, boating, fishing, and just relaxation. So, as I sat on the couch in between what seemed to be the biggest man I have ever sat beside, at that time, I was thinking about fishing and right as that popped into my head little Jason Voorhees plunged out of the water. After that, I was hooked. I started watching everything I could, my parents were liberal when it came to me and cinema. They knew I was not dumb enough to do the stuff I saw and I knew they wouldn’t see me doing the stuff they told me not to do. We had a good understanding of that. As I grew up and fell in love with Cronenberg, I understand a lot of people do not consider it ‘horror’ all the time but, there are only so many times a bump in the night or a scream on screen can shock you until you realize, ‘I saw that coming’ My chum in public school introduced me to Twin Peaks and everything Lynch, in high school my friend got me into the world of Craven. Nightmares never frightened me. I always thought it was better to feel the adrenaline of intensity rather than the mellow minded comfort of a fantasy.

I have watched and have been watching everything I can get my hands on from Lucio Fulci’s Zombie to Jeremy Gillespie and Steven Kostanski’s The Void. It is one genre I do not give up on even when I see it be done the same way over and over again.

So right now you're wrapping up on your short film Harmonized Combustion. You have a crowdfunding campaign that's going to pay for your final scene (which we'll get to in a minute), but tell us what Harmonized Combustion is about. What about it is going to knock the world on its ass?

Can one still knock the worlds on its ass? The streets seem to be more horrifying than films as of late. I prefer to take them out of their heads, make them uncomfortable; when they walk away from the film they have to pat themselves down, as if they forgot something and soon realizing the film took a piece of them. A piece they will not get back, whether it is fear, thought, laughter, or a piece of themselves they didn’t need anymore. Fulfillment can be as creditable as shock.

I always viewed film as an escape from reality. A way for us to reach other worlds and life, culture, and dreams that do not exist in our present life. After we return to our world we will have the power to create change within ourselves and in our lives. Gaining knowledge from unexplored territory can put your present view of yourself and the environment around you into perspective.

You've been working with The Far Removed and Jupiter Marvelous. With music being such a focal point with your film, how have they been adding to Harmonized Combustion? Have they written any original material for the film?
The Far Removed has been working in the business for decades, in different bands and on other side projects. The music they supplied were original songs that they produced and wrote, not specifically for the film, but, music people have not heard. They then worked further with me to cut, edit, and mix the music and feel of the film to add a bit of originality that was personal to Harmonized Combustion. Jupiter Marvelous is scoring the film as well as mixing. All his recordings are originals for the film and he has been working close with myself and The Far Removed. Also, Shadow Cell Theory has allowed me to use music and mixes for particular scenes I needed a more ‘industrial metal’ sound for. A lot of great talent has been guiding me along the way and showing me the ropes. They are responsible for creating a weapon from a piece of beauty. There are not too many people/musicians who can do that. Not hurt you emotionally but, actually make a song and a beat that you fear to hear because of the outcome.

Getting back to your final scene, or the "Score of Gore" as you call it, you have something major planned,correct?

It’s major in the way that I wrote it and am going to reveal its intensity to the audience. I did not sit back at my computer and say “Well, how can I get money to do something over the top?” It was written in. It was a thought that is going to be a reality, not only to show something extraordinary on screen, it was already extraordinary.

My philosophy is, if you don’t have something to say then I do not suggest you write it. If you write something to show what could be, or in the sense of ‘look at me mom no hands!’ then it is not worth the time or the ink. It was planned the moment I wrote it. A single thought turned into a magnificent evil. It will be the impact of the scene not the action, the violence, or the SFX you see.

I enjoy Cronenberg, Lynch, Kubrick, and though I do not know them or have heard their secrets. I don’t recall reading on something ‘major planned’ If the scene calls for it, and it happens to be large in capacity, then it shall be major. The more I put into it and into my cast and crew the more they can prefect the scene. That is what is major to me. Making sure everyone has the tools they need to accomplish the madness I scribble on paper, then make the script pretty in Final Draft or does Final Draft make it pretty?

So your IndieGoGo right now is to do this final scene and reimburse your FX designer, Hannah Grace Rooney [Laurie Holden's (Andrea) make-up artist for The Walking Dead], for what she donated to your film? Speaking of Hannah, how did she become a part of this project?

Hannah came to me after seeing advertisement I had acquaintances, friends and family post down south, Toronto, for me. We talked, I explained it to her and she seemed ‘iffy’. Freelance volunteer work after you have worked in the industry for as long as she has is not the most intriguing offer to give someone. Then she read the script, we met, and she was on board. She has worked on a lot of features, she happens to be back in her home city continuing her education, in the same college as I, so she needed to keep her hands busy creating.

The IndieGoGo campaign is not just to replenish Hannah, though she would love that! It is more for production design, we have to re shape an entire basement bar/music stage into our vision. A team of over 30+ people, including actors/actresses who need to eat and be accommodated, as well, film festival entry fees. Plus, we are bringing the whole gang with us when we go. We worked hard and we will play hard afterwards. It is nice to get down to Toronto and enjoy the blood thirsty scenes of their festivals.

Harmonized Combustion is going to hit the festival circuit in November, where can our readers catch it while it's on tour, and do you have anything set up yet for people to request the presence of your film?

The Blood in the Snow Film Festival is where we will be debuting Harmonized Combustion. Until then, the only way to get a copy of the film is through perks on Indiegogo. Also, I love criticism. I would be more than willing to let people watch it and review it, critique me, and make my drive stronger.

Finally, once the film is out, we get a chance to review it, right?



Of course! 30 Days of Plight deserves to let their readers know what they’re getting themselves into and as soon as we wrap up in early June, I will be sending it your way!



If you're interested in helping with Harmonized Combustion, the IndieGoGo campaign will be running until May 14th.  For only $10 Canadian (that's $7.79 US!) you can get your name in the credits as well as have access to Harmonized Combustion before it hits the festival circuit!  There are other options, also with some really great perks including Associate and Executive Producer credits!  Impress your friends or random people that think they're cooler than you with a possible IMDB credit!  Make business cards with that!  Seem super cool!

We want to thank Douglas again for doing this interview and wish him luck with the last of Harmonized Combustion!