Movie Review: The Abandoned (2016)

Director: Eytan Rockaway, Writers: Ido Fluk (story), Ido Fluk, Stars: Jason Patric, Louisa Krause, Mark Margolis

The AbandonedDescription from the official film site: Take a terrifying plunge into the warped mind of a disturbed young woman. Desperate to get her life back on track, the unstable Streak takes a job as a security guard, working the graveyard shift at a once upscale, now abandoned apartment complex. But on her first night on duty, she discovers a horrifying presence lurking deep within the bowels of the decaying building. With her nerves already on edge, Streak must confront demons both real and imagined as she struggles to keep a grip on her sanity.

abandonedframe1I enjoyed The Abandoned. It was entertaining. Krause and Patric carry the film, and they are drawn especially well.  The location is beyond fantastic and the atmosphere is rich. But it isn’t scary. Not even a little. It feels like a mild Hammer made for TV chiller with a M. Night Shyamalan-style twist ending tacked on that, while not expected, wasn’t very surprising. I think had the film been a bit more ambiguous, it would have played better.

Again, I liked the film. It is worth a view. It’s on Netflix streaming. And while I can’t say I am crazy about The Abandoned, I do encourage you to see it for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Movie Review: The Conjuring 2

conjuringpostersmall

In 2013 James Wan scared the hell out of millions of people and turned the horror genre on its head by delivering The Conjuring, a superb, terrifying film chronicling a purportedly real life case of haunting and possession investigated by the husband and wife team of Ed and Lorraine Warren.

Now we have The Conjuring 2, which picks up several months after the Warrens concluded their involvement in the Perron case (the basis for the original film).  As the new film opens, Ed and Lorraine (again portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga, who still share an electric chemistry which provides the film with its emotional core) are investigating the Amityville haunting, the case that catapulted them into the spotlight. During this sequence (which, unlike the original film, actually earns this sequel its R rating), Lorraine has an encounter with something evil, leaving her afraid for the safety of her husband.

While this is going on, we’re introduced to Peggy Hodgson and her four children, who live in a run down council house in Enfield, North London.  A series of terrifying paranormal occurrences (centered around daughter Janet) besieges the family, increasing in frequency and ferocity. These events are witnessed by multiple people and when even the police realize they are unable to provide any substantial help, Peggy turns to the church. News travels across the ocean to America, where the Catholic church again turns to the Warrens for assistance.

conj2frame2Despite Lorraine’s objections, Ed and Lorraine make the trip to London and investigate the events, which would go on to achieve global fame as the Enfield Poltergeist case – one of the most documented paranormal incidents in history.

The cast is superb, with Frances O’ Connor as Peggy Hodges and Madison Wolfe as young Janet being the two newcomers ably holding their own with Wilson and Farmiga. Simon McBurney is also on hand in an effective turn as psychical investigator Maurice Gross, who was one of the first to believe the Hodgsons claims.

Writers Cary and Chad Hayes (along with David Leslie Johnson) deliver a screenplay equal parts smart, scary and involving, taking time to develop these characters as human beings, establishing a connection between them and the audience before unleashing all manner of horrors on both families.

And there is indeed horror. James Wan returns behind the camera to deliver a knockout sequel, a film every bit as terrifying as its predecessor. If some of the scares in The Conjuring 2 seem familiar at times, the execution is anything but. Wan understands better than anyone working today how to use darkness, sound and our instinctive fear of the unknown to weave sequences that will have audiences jumping out of their skin or gripping their armrest with white knuckles.  Moreover, there are entirely original moments of legitimate genius throughout, evoking the best moments of Carpenter and Craven, such as a skin crawling, hair raising conversation Ed is forced to have with the ghastly specter harassing the family with his back turned.

However, that isn’t where the film succeeds. All of those attributes would be meaningless if we didn’t care about the characters. On that score, The Conjuring 2 isn’t just a terrific sequel and a great horror film, it’s one of the best genre entries I have ever seen.

conj1frameAs was the case in the original, these characters are fleshed out. They have substance and flaws, fears and hopes and are not mere horror movie cliches.  The scorn and derision Ed and Lorraine were frequently subjected to at the hands of skeptics isn’t glossed over here (Ed loses his temper on live television at one point), neither is the fact that certain reports emerged from the Enfield case indicating young Janet Hodgson was in fact faking at least some of the phenomena.  These are real people and, as such, their fate matters. I’ve seen a lot of films that put everything into scaring the audience only to have the human quality suffer, but few as diligent about demonstrating the behind the scenes drama inherent in an experience like this as the Conjuring films. Some of the best moments in the sequel are the quieter ones, such as a truly moving and gentle scene where Ed entertains the Hodgson family by strumming a guitar and crooning a respectable rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” It’s a warm, generous moment, representative of this film’s soul.

conj2frame3Going into this movie, I was aware that many liberties had been taken with the case records and that, for the most part, this is a fictionalized Hollywood representation of the real story. That doesn’t matter. This could be made up whole cloth (and there are certainly a number of people who think that’s exactly what this story is) and it doesn’t make a difference. Whether its complete fiction or based on a true story as the titles claim, The Conjuring 2 is a surprisingly effective human drama wrapped inside of an absolutely frightening horror thriller.  The Hodgsons are sympathetic and the Warrens continue to be a likable couple you’ll end up cheering for.

Like the first film, this is one the few movies determined to convey the ideal that love, courage and faith are still the most powerful tools we possess for combating evil in any form. At a time when the news is filled with hideous stories capable of draining people of hope, that’s a message we need to hear. It just so happens it’s been delivered in the form of one of the best horror sequels I’ve ever seen.

***** out of ***** stars. This is the rare sequel that’s every bit as good as the original.

Movie Review: All I Need (2014)

all-i-need-poster

All I Need Director: Dylan K. Narang Writers: Dylan K. Narang, Dylan K. Narang Stars: Rachel Melvin, Caitlin Stasey, Jonathan Erickson Eisley. Foggy Bottom Pictures

Start with a closeup of a young woman in distress, tied up in a strange room wearing only her underwear, coming back to consciousness. Every corner of the room is a veritable slasher’s buffet, both beds, the closet, the shelves, everything, is covered in dead or unconscious women in their underwear. Heavy footsteps announce the arrival of the psycho-du-jour, who drags one of the other girls out of the room to her inevitable doom. The soon-to-be-final-girl must lie on the floor, hands and feet bound, mouth gagged, as she listens to the other girl being tortured and killed in the next room.Cut to the streets outside to follow the story of a vagrant drifter, new to Los Angeles, as his life finishes swirling down the drain. He receives an offer from a mysterious unseen man to begin doing odd jobs around town to make money. Bounce between both stories. A man growing desperate for cash, a woman desperate to save her own life. Tension is the strongest point of ALL I NEED. The story is wanting.

Cut to the streets outside to follow the story of a vagrant drifter, new to Los Angeles, as his life finishes swirling down the drain. He receives an offer from a mysterious unseen man to begin doing odd jobs around town to make money. Bounce between both stories. A man growing desperate for cash, a woman desperate to save her own life.

Tension is the strongest point of ALL I NEED. The story is wanting.
It’s not hard to see where everything is headed, so I hesitate to call this a spoiler alert, but y’know…there’s your warning. The moment the drifter takes his first job, I knew that ALL I NEED would be the story of how he became a psychotic killer. The movie doesn’t go out of the way to disguise this twist. The third act takes a strange turn when the killer actually gets his mask-and-pitchfork job offer from the deranged billionaire boss behind the mysterious unseen man. Said billionaire’s request is made during a rambling, semi-coherent speech, a pitch that isn’t nearly convincing enough to make a man kidnap, torture, and kill young women.

What director Dylan Narang does, he does well. This movie makes effective use of limited viewpoint, music, and sound to ramp up tension quickly from scene-to-scene. The performances from the major characters are all very solid. Unfortunately, they aren’t given much story to work with. The only reason I know the final girl’s name is Chloe is through the magic of IMDB. I know she can survive while wearing only underwear, and…that’s about it. She is otherwise a nameless victim, the trembling mouse in a nature film about a hungry python. We never learn who she is, who she was, how she came to be in the murder room. It’s hard to feel deep sympathy and fear for her beyond hoping she escapes from the killer. She feels less like a true scream queen and more like the main character in a threadbare survival horror game.

Instead, we learn more about Andrew, the drifter. Giving a slasher some backstory and motivation is a great idea. We might be able to humanize and empathize with him, or at least understand what’s feeding his fire, but the movie doesn’t dig too deeply into those details. The leap of faith we have to take to believe he becomes the monster in the locked room is too farfetched. His backstory isn’t established enough to show that he’s desperate enough to kill innocent people, nor focused enough to make us believe him capable of doing the heinous things he does.

Both killer and victim spend a bulk of the second act making supremely dunderheaded choices: Why didn’t he just keep pitchforking when he had her cornered? Why didn’t she kick the door when his fingers were poking through? I was too busy thinking Why? Why? Why? (and not in that fun, bas-movie way) instead of Look out behind you!

There are frustrating moments when Chloe needlessly delays her own escape due to deer-in-the-headlights syndrome, or walks by five things she could use as weapons to defend herself. If Chloe had a backstory, we might understand or forgive her some of these choices. At the end, the movie becomes less about a struggle for survival and more about a most inconvenient day for killer and victim.

Horror films should be getting smarter and more intricate. We don’t need to see jiggly damsels in distress anymore. We love seeing cunning, tough, determined women slay the dragons of their deepest fears. Chloe definitely has the toughness, but aside from seeing copious amounts of her blood onscreen, we never get to see what’s inside that makes her tick. It’s a shame. With a solid story, this could have been a modern horror classic. That said, everyone involved in this movie did the best with what they had, and they will most likely move on to some really great projects in the future. ALL I NEED left me needing more.

Article: Reopening the X-Files- A Top Ten List

x-filesWith Fox’s exciting announcement, the 27.3 million fans of the pop-culture phenomenon quivered. David Duchovny will don his G-man suit as Fox “Spooky” Mulder and Gillian Anderson will re-dye her hair to Dana Scully’s signature red to reprise their award-winning roles.

“X-files” episodes ranged from “monster of the week” stand-alones to an intricate, mysterious mythology involving the supernatural, government conspiracies and cover-ups, and alien abductions. The series’ superb writing and the chemistry of the lead actors overcame many concerns about plot inconsistencies. The filming was as dark as the subject matter.

The series, which premiered on 10 September, 1993, amassed 202 episodes and a film by the time the season finale aired in May, 2002. The series possessed such clout that they aired “spoof” episodes, lending a comedic relief from what frequently presented disturbing and thought-provoking television.  (“X-files: I Want To Believe” hit the big screen in 2008.)

To prepare for the anticipated autumn release of the six new episodes of “The FBI’s Most Unwanted,” let’s revisit ten of their best episodes.

10. “Pilot” – It introduced us to the main characters and set the tone and dynamics. (10 September, 1993)

9. “Tooms” and “Squeeze” featured Tooms, an unusual, liver-eating bad guy. He was popular enough to appear in two episodes.

8. “Revelation” – This episode features religion, a young saint, and Scully as a protector. (15 December, 1995)

Humbug7. “Humbug” – In this comedic episode, Mulder and Scully investigate murder surrounded by side-show performers. “Humbug” was nominated for an Edgar Award and a Cinema Audio Society Award. (20th episode – second season)

6. “Paper Hearts” – This haunting episode featured a serial killer who, after murdering children, cut a heart-shaped piece of their pajamas as a trophy. (15 December, 1996)

5. “Beyond the Sea” – Scully’s skepticism comes under assault when her father dies and a psychic on death row imparts communications from beyond. (7 January, 1994)

4. “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” focuses on the recurring, enigmatic character sometimes called “CancerMan.” The Lone Gun Men add their entertaining presences as well.  (17 November, 1996)

3. “Anasazi” – This is part of a three-episode storyline, including “The Blessing Way” and “Paper Clip” which furthers the alien mythology and government cover-up conspiracies in a significant way. (19 May, 1995)

2. “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” – Clyde foresees death. Most interesting is his revelation that Agent Scully will not die (which is also mentioned in the sixth season’s episode “Tithonus”) (13 October, 1995)

1. “The Unnatural” – Racism and segregation permeates this episode. (July, 1999)

unnaturalsThe series and actors won awards and nominations, including 40 Emmy nods. Mark Snow provided a signature opening song, eerie instrumental sound effects, and subsequent soundtracks for some of the episodes.

Spin offs include a comic book series and a short-lived show, “The Lone Gunmen.”

Though Fox is not releasing the date the new episodes will air, here’s hoping creator Chris Carter’s “13 year commercial break” breathes new life into an interesting supernatural series.

Article: Drive-In Radio Spots

If you are old enough to remember the drive-in, then you are probably old enough to remember horror movie ads. And though most may recall watching trailers on television, I vividly remember listening to ads on the car radio. I have been collecting these audio spots for a few years now, and I thought I would share my favorites here. They are posted for pure nostalgia only and I claim no ownership of them. Enjoy these great MP3s!

Asylum of the Insane
Asylum of the Insane
Basket Case
Basket Case

 

Dawn of the Dead
Dawn of the Dead
Equinox
Equinox
Halloween Poster
Halloween Poster
Blood-Spattered Bride
Blood-Spattered Bride
Lady Frankenstein
Lady Frankenstein
magic poster
Magic
Phantasm
Phantasm
Suspiria
Suspiria

Movie Review: These Final Hours (2013)

These Final Hours. Director/writer: Zak Hilditch. Starring Sarah Snook, Jessica De Gouw, Nathan Phillips. Production company 8th In Line.

These Final Hours posterThese Final Hours is an Australian post apocalyptic end of the world film that was released in 2013 and after acclaim at Cannes, the film is finally being given an official USA theatrical release on March 6, 2015. An asteroid capable of destroying all life on the planet has crashed in the North Atlantic and created a blast wave that will cover the entire planet and incinerate all life as know it in the process.

In Perth, the citizens have been notified that they have 12 hours of life left to live. James, a troubled twenty-something man, just wants to numb the pain by taking as much drugs and booze as he can and spending his final hours with his girlfriend. However as society begins to fall apart around him he saves a young girl named Rose from being raped. With no one else to take her to her family, James keeps her in tow and together they realize how they want to spend their moments.

 

Directed by Zak Hilditch and filmed on location in Perth, These Final Hours covers familiar ground covered in other end of the world thrillers, but unlike some movies which tend to focus too much on a few characters without giving any sense of the greater picture at hand, Hilditch manages to pull off both with clever editing, a good use of radio voice over and an excellent cast of Australian actors. The film has a very natural feel to it, too. Characters lament about how painful being incinerated alive will be, which while morbid it is still something I have never heard any characters address in a film like this. Besides the fear of death, the possibility of it being a painful one is never once mentioned in most end of the world movies, but I think it is something we all have in our minds.

 

“Even if it were for just a second, would we feel anything?” Like getting a shot at the doctor’s office where despite having received vaccinations and having blood drawn from us many times, once in a while we feel that pinch from the injection and it hurts. The film also does not try and candy coat the bleakness of the situation and yet it doesn’t dwell on it. The characters we meet are well developed even if they only get a few minutes of screen-time. Like most films in this sub-genre, the story is about redemption, but unlike many others it does not feel preachy and despite the bleak situation. There is a certain human comfort reached by the viewer as though one were watching another’s journey in the face of death and because the characters are very human and are largely neither good or bad, the film accepts the human condition as the individual presents his or herself and allows the viewer to do the same and have empathy for them.

I liked this movie a lot more than I expected. Would I want to watch it over and over again, no.

However I would not mind sharing the experience of seeing a screening of These Final Hours with one who has not seen it yet. Then be thankful and hope nothing like that ever comes to pass.

Once again These Final Hours will open in the USA on March 6, 2015. Additional information can be found at www.wellgousa.com.

Check out the trailer:

Movie Review: George A. Romero’s Martin (1976)

Chavez For Charity logo

Chavez For Charity BraceletsWe are Halloween Forevermore.  We love horror and things that make you sit up in bed at night and exclaim, “Holy Crap!  What was that?”  But like Frankenstein, who will scare the crap out of you if you encounter him under moon’s light, but who also melts at the sight of a sweet little girl with pretty flowers, we love the creepy and crawly with a heart.  We may like to don spooky, dark and gothic fashions, but we still want the world to be a bright and beautiful place.  Chavez for Charity has designed bracelets that combine the perfect “mwah ha ha ha” factor with compassion and generosity, donating 25% of proceeds to multiple charities.   In other words, Chavez For Charity is scary philanthropic.

They have a variety of bracelets fashioned with skulls.    These are made of weighty, quality materials strung together with a thin elastic cord, which stretches to fit any sized wrist.  These bracelets create a nice sound when they rattle against each other.  It’s the kind of sound that indicates quality – like when you know a set of crystal glassware is top-tier by the sound of its “clink.”  Worn in combination with other colors and styles, the bracelets make a trendy and spooky statement.  Each color supports a different charity.  Chavez for Charity also designs bracelets of other themes, sans the spine-chilling skull flavor, for the more traditional bauble-wearer.  They also make lovely necklaces of varying colors and designs.

From the Chavez for Charity website:

“When we launched our Chavez for Charity Collection in early 2013, our goal was to create a line of colorful bracelets that people would love to wear and at the same time allow us to contribute, in a significant way, to charitable causes that we care about…  What we’ve come to realize is that every color tells a story and that through our collection, we are able to facilitate conversations that unite, inspire, and motivate people to fight for what is right and to stand up to what is wrong.  mariechavez was established over a decade ago by designer Julie Marie Chavez.  Julie’s on-trend and distinct designs have earned raves from fashion-forward shoppers and celebrities alike. Julia Roberts, Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Rosario Dawson and Kate Bosworth are just a few of the celebrities who have adorned mariechavez…  From playful stackable bracelets of graywood, jade and bronze, to a layered statement necklace of riverstone and agate, Julie’s talent for tastefully balancing colors and textures makes her unique collection consistently sought after.”

 

Red Riverstone Skull Bracelet

Chavez For Charity Red Skull Bracelet
Chavez For Charity Red Skull Bracelet – BenefittingVDAY Charity

 

Red riverstone bracelet with skull detail. Measures approximately 7.5″ in length. With the purchase of this bracelet, 25% of gross profit goes to V-Day.

 

 

 

Black Skull Bracelet

Chavez For Charity Black Skulls Bracelet - Benefitting Little Kids Rock Charity
Chavez For Charity Black Skulls Bracelet – Benefitting Little Kids Rock Charity

 

Black skull bracelet with silver “CFC” tube.  Measures approximately 7.5″ in length. With the purchase of this bracelet, 25% of gross profit goes to Little Kids Rock.

 

White Skull Set of Five

Chavez For Charity White Skulls - Benefitting Matthew Shepard Foundation
Chavez For Charity White Skulls – Benefitting Matthew Shepard Foundation

 

Assorted white skull bracelet set of five. Measures approximately 7.5″ in length. With the purchase of this bracelet set, 25% of gross profit goes to the Matthew Shepard Foundation.

Each bracelet comes with a pouch and a hang-tag detailing the charity’s mission.

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: HalloweenForevermore.com received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that we would mention it on this website.  Regardless, we only recommend products or services that we use personally and believe will be of interest to our readers.  We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

The Top 5 Required Horror Christmas Viewing List

November 1st is always the worst day of the year for horror fans. Fall is quickly hardening into winter, and the creepy goodness of Halloween becomes just a memory as the more feel good holidays turn those grand creepy store displays into ones of green and red jolliness.

I am not saying that horror fans don’t enjoy Christmas, because I know a good portion do. But for many horror fans, it is easy to see the macabre blueprint for terror in December 25th. Saint Nick himself can go from benevolent toy bringer to horrifying entity of evil with just a change of light.

So, if you are like me, you enjoy a little dark undercurrent to the cheery festivities. I have compiled a list of the top five dark Christmas films for the horror fan to enjoy and counter that syrupy goodness of December 25th.

And I am going to start with an Honorable Mention that is not a movie, but an episode of a television series:

Honorable Mention: The Aquabats! Super Show! Holiday Special 

The Aquabats vs Krampus
The Aquabats vs Krampus

The Aquabats is a BRILLIANT kid’s show on the HUB network that centers around a rock band/superhero team and if you were a fan of the cool, off the wall freakiness of the late 60’s/early 70’s kid’s TV, you have to check this show out. I enjoy it as much as my six year-old, and he loves it. This episode makes the grade because of the smack down battle between Santa and his evil counterpart, Krampus!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
How the Grinch Stole Christmas

 

 

5. How The Grinch Stole Christmas

 

No, not the Jim Carrey film. I am going back to the original 1966 animated special. Voiced by horror legend, Boris Karloff, the Grinch is a black-hearted monster out to destroy what he feels is the central fabric of Christmas. Of course, realizing that the holiday goes much deeper that the rampant consumerism associated with it, the Grinch’s tiny heart grows and he finally understands the true meaning of Christmas. For many children who grew up with this holiday classic, this is the first holiday special with a sinister air.

Gremlins
Gremlins

4. Gremlins

 Joe Dante and Steven Spielberg’s outrageous creature feature that was the first film to earn the PG-13 rating for its cartoon-ish violence. Filmed in 1984, Gremlins is a black comedy set near Christmas that concerns a young man receiving a strange pet from his never around father. Gizmo, the adorable Gremlin, is given to Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan) with a specific set of rules. Of course, all are broken and in no time several evil reproductions of Gizmo run amok.

 

Black Christmas
Black Christmas

3. Black Christmas

 

Bob Clark’s extremely effective and moody 1974 chiller hits number three on my list. A sorority house is targeted by a psychopath who makes threatening phone calls and then begins murdering the sorority sisters. This film features an early performance by Margot Kidder and genre favorite John Saxon stars as well. Black Christmas is considered one of the earliest works to feature two horror film conventions: one, the slasher, and two, the killer calling from inside the house.

 

Silent Night, Deadly Night
Silent Night, Deadly Night

2. Silent Night, Deadly Night

 

If you notice, this is the only psycho Santa film featured on this list, and that is because I consider it to be the most memorable of Christmas/Santa slasher films. I am not saying it is a masterpiece, but for holiday horror fans, it is as necessary as mistletoe.  Charles E. Sellier Jr.’s cheap B-movie tells the story of Billy, a troubled teenager who witnessed the brutal murder of his parents at the hands of a psycho in a Santa suit (played by one of my favorite character actors, Charles Dierkop). Billy of course eventually dons the red and white suit and begins creating his own naughty list. Linnea Quigley appears in a very memorable death scene involving antlers.

 

The Nightmare Before Christmas
The Nightmare Before Christmas

1. The Nightmare Before Christmas

 

Okay, it is not a horror film, but nothing speaks to the horror fan around Christmas time like this classic Tim Burton animated film. It is a love letter to those of us who die a little inside every time we hear a Christmas song before Thanksgiving. You can take me to task over declaring Jack Skellington’s attempt to reshape Christmas for the lovers of the macabre as my number one pick, but I will insist that nothing warms my black heart as much as this classic.

Horror veterans Lynn Lowry and Debbie Rochon star in North Woods

North Woods poster
North Woods poster

Horror veterans Lynn Lowry (Shivers, The Crazies) and Debbie Rochon (Tromeo and Juliet, American Nightmare) star in North Woods, a motion picture of unrelenting terror. Inspired by the likes of Phantasm, The Evil Dead and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, North Woods aims to bring the grindhouse horror ethos to a modern setting.

A teaser trailer for the film has been released and can be viewed on YouTube: http://youtu.be/Hs7ZvuhjqQU
The opening sequence, in which Rochon showcases her scream queen talents, is also available: http://youtu.be/U4ILX0ooAlg

North Woods is in its final 48 hours of crowdfunding on Indiegogo to raise money in order to complete production. To encourage last-minute donations, prices have been slashed. Backers can get autographs from Lowry and Rochon, a DVD, a poster and more in one package for as low as $15. Other perks up for grabs include screen-used props, producer credits and even percentages of the film’s profits.

The film is directed by Chris Moore, who co-wrote the script with Jason Kasper and stars alongside Lowry and Rochon. The cast also includes fresh faces Sarah McCraw, Andrew Roach, Amanda Grussaute, Brittany Mahaffey and J.K. Michaels.

“North Woods is the kind of horror film that people have been looking for,” explains co-writer/editor Jason Kasper. “But it’s also everything that they’re not expecting. It genuinely feels like a ’70s and ’80s horror film in the way that it’s executed, giving you a nostalgic familiarity. However, it takes the tropes and cliches of the genre and completely turns them on their heads.”

Official Synopsis:

Debbie Rochon
Debbie Rochon

From within the woods, a blood splattered young man, John Prescott, runs out in front of a car, terrified and muttering gibberish. Enter Dr. Pamela Alley, an esteemed psychiatrist, and Detective Morris, her contact and partner from the local police force, who have just been assigned the boy’s case. As the teen begins telling his diabolical tale of a local weekend vacation gone horribly wrong, it becomes clear that nothing is ever what it seems when a very troubled substitute teacher, with a webbed past of nightmares, emerges as the center of the proceedings. What keys does she hold to the nearly phantasmic events surrounding the area for the last several years?

Presented by Macabre Pictures and Flowtac Entertainment, North Woods will be released in 2015. For more information, North Woods can be found on FacebookTwitter and Indiegogo.

Check out the North Woods official teaser trailer:

Movie Review: MUTANTIS (2014)

Mutantis poster
Mutantis poster

MUTANTIS

Director: Kelly Fitzgerald. Writer: Mark Leake. Stars: Darren Bolk, Gary Brown, Mark Colegrove. 

Synopsis: When an unscrupulous scientist drags his stepchildren out into the forest to use them as bait in the hopes of luring out a big foot, not even the team of hillbillies he hired can contain the horror they find: the horror of Mutantis! Only the adventurer Dr. William Fury may be able to stop the beast, but hope dwindles fast once Dr. Fury realizes that the monster is not only intent on murder but procreation as well. Could this be the end of the world as we know it? For the answer watch, Mutantis!

Okay, I have to start off this review by stating that Mutantis is a bad movie. But I am aware that the producers were aiming for that. Having made a few stinking homages myself, I know the whiff of this cheese and there are few as qualified as I to pass judgement. I will say that the makers of Mutantis definitely nailed the look of a grind-house cheapie that, with a few cuts, could play easily on an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. The dubbing is often very hilarious as well.

When a filmmaker sets out to make a bad film, they often forget that the films they are trying to emulate weren’t considered bad by the people who were making them. Still, the genuine affection the makers of Mutantis have for the films they are aping shows. If you are a bad horror movie connoisseur, then yes, Mutatnis will have a space on your shelf next to Laserblast and Mantos.

Mutantis still two

I also have to warn that the explicit sex advertised consists mostly of the gory erotic rampage of the title creature and there are several shots of an F/X created monster penis which, ahem, erupts quite often. I wish I could show you the trailer, but it is too explicit for me to post here. Bottom line: the bad movie masochist or Troma-esque gore fan will have to have this. The average horror movie fan will probably want to skip it.