torsdag 28 juni 2018


Lately i have been watching a lot of B movies. Not because i need to, it just happened. And the good thing about that is you realize that the budget is not always an issue. This is something i have noticed many times, especially in well made independent film. Usually when Hollywood is desperate and run out of ideas, There are so many good independent films out there to choose between, that i could probably mention a whole list of titles. But let´s just pick a few out, starting of with the funny drama comedy Safety Not Guaranteed. One of my personal favourite independent films of 2012, the story of three magazine employees who travel to meet a mysterious guy, who claims to need a partner in his time travelling quest. A very funny, and dramatic film that you need to see. Main actor Aubrey Plaza does one of her best performances as the character Darius. Also a great performance from actor Mark Duplass as the odd time traveler Kenneth. if you have not seen Safety Not Guaranteed yet, you have to buy it on DVD or Blu Ray. It is one of those films that deserves to be in your collection of quality films. Another great title that comes to my mind, within the independent genre is of course Frank, released in 2014. One of my favourite films of that year, Frank is the story about a musical genius Frank ( played brilliant by actor Michael Fassbender ), who wears a big head and tries to make great songs with his odd band. Frank is a really funny, and odd story, about a group of people who worship main singer Frank. Great soundtrack as well, and some really good performances from many actors, especially from Michael Shannnon and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Frank is a must see film, because it is much better than most cinema releases, and proves why independent films are needed. Since it has been a while since i watched a pretty fresh independent film, i decided to check what has been released. And i noticed that there are a lot of titles out there that i have not seen, so i might review some more later on this summer / autumn. I came across a title called Entanglement, that seemed interesting. One of the first things i noticed was that the main actor is Thomas Middleditch, mostly known from the TV series Silicon Valley. But i also really enjoyed him in the independent film The Kings Of Summer ( another great independent film you should see ). After reading the plot of the film, i found myself curious about Entanglement. Is it possible that Entanglement is another great independent film release, or is this one that you might as well forget about ?

Ben Layton ( Thomas Middleditch ) is depressed and have just tried to kill himself. He survives, and his best friend Tabby ( Diana Bang ) is really worried about him. While eating at his mother Betty Layten ( Marilyn Norry ), with his father Norm Layten ( Eric Keenleyside ) visiting after serious health issues, Ben finds out that he was supposed to have an adopted sister. Ben was always the only child in the family, so he is curious to find out who this girl is, and what she is like. With the help of Tabby, he manage to track her down, a girl he actually have met before named Hanna ( Jess Weixler ). It becomes clear that there is a special connection between Ben and Hanna, as they spend more time together. But when Ben finds out there is something not right about Hanna, he is about to see a different side of her, that he never expected to be real.

While watching Entanglement, i realize something. I realize why it is so nice to watch an independent film, that does not need a lot of budget to be good. A film like this still manage to deliver quality, while many Hollywood films fails, even how big the budget is. The biggest reason why i enjoy this film, is because that this is a charming story. It starts out very sad, where the main character tries to kill himself, tired of his life. This story progress along the way, to become funny, and even dramatic in some scenes. But the charming tone of the story shines through, and i find myself enjoying this journey with the main characters. The acting in this film is actually pretty good, especially from the main actors Thomas Middleditch and Jess Weixler. Their screen chemistry can´t be missed, and they clearly had fun making this film. In some ways there are some magical scenes between them, and you can feel that along the way. I also enjoy the performance of actor Diana Bang, as Ben´s best friend Tabby. You can tell that she loves Ben, even though Ben might not realize that. Nice to see actor Eric Keenleyside ( who have been in many great films such as Final Destination 2,  Dear Mr. Gacy and Godzilla ) here as Ben´s father Norm. I have to mention actor Marilyn Norry ( also done some great films such as The Exorcism Of Emily Rose and The Possession ) as Ben´s mother Betty. Great casting choice for his parents. Knowing that this is a story about a man, who falls in love with a girl who was supposed to be his adopted sister, does sound strange. I won´t reveal the real truth, but there is an interesting twist in the end that changes everything you thought was happening, and i am glad that the story changes. It could have ended very predictable and left us with just a simple ending, but instead we get a surprise. One of the things that is very important in this film, is how the main character Ben is dealing with his depression. And if you know someone who is depressed, or have been depressed, you will probably recognize the personality of Ben. He see things, no one else sees, like his other part of himself in the bathroom mirror, telling him different things. This is the kind of drama comedy that may not be for a larger audience, but that´s ok. Entanglement is a film that will make an impact on you, and make you realize how important it is to try and find happiness, no matter how long it takes. If you want to see something different this summer, then i suggest you watch Entanglement on VOD, and give this film a chance. This charming, and sad story, does have some important issues to share with us. A film like this don´t come around very often, that is why you should take the time to experience a quality film.

Rating: DDD

fredag 22 juni 2018

Deadpool 2

I have been a comic book nerd ever since my childhood, and i loved to see comic book characters made to TV series and movies. When i was really young, i used to watch a lot of episodes of the 70´s show The Incredible Hulk, with Lou Ferrigno and Bill Bixby. What made the TV series work, was the acting, and the drama stories were actually effective between the action sequences. I bought the whole DVD collection of the 70´s TV series, so i can watch every episode again, and experience nostalgic moments. The Hulk will always be one of my favourite comic book characters, and i actually am one of those who enjoyed Ang Lee´s movie adaptation of The Hulk in 2003. I personally think it is not that bad, for being based on a comic book character, and director Ang Lee managed to handle the source material pretty good. Actor Eric Bana playing Bruce Banner, did a good performance. If you have not seen The Hulk from 2003, i think you should give this film a chance. In 2008, we got another Hulk movie simply called The Incredible Hulk, where actor Bruce Banner took over the role as Bruce Banner. I think this film is good as well, considering a different actor portrayed this legendary character. Now there are so many great film adaptations, based on comic book characters, that you can enjoy a lot of great films from Marvel, such as X-Men or The Avengers. If you ever heard about the comic book character Deadpool, you know that this is a very different superhero. I never really read the comic books, so i just played the XBox 360 game instead. A fun game, and a bit nuts as well. When i heard that we would be getting a movie adaptation of Deadpool, i did not know what to expect. Especially since actor Ryan Reynolds was chosen to play Deadpool, remembering his performance from Green Lantern. I am happy to say though that the 2016 film Deadpool was much better than i expected. Ryan Reynolds did a really good job with this comic book character. Director Tim Miller proved that you can make a really good movie, based on a comic book character and make it very entertaining. Deadpool turned out to be a massive success worldwide, and is one of the biggest DVD and Blu Ray releases in a long time, selling lots and lots of copies. I was not surprised at all that Deadpool would return in a sequel, and i was actually happy that we would get to see actor Ryan Reynolds back again as Deadpool. As the trailer was released, i had a feeling this could be good. I went to the cinema recently to experience this sequel correctly, on the big screen. Is the next chapter of Deadpool a hell of a good time, or is this a really bad sequel that no one asked for ?

For two years, Wade Wilson / Deadpool ( Ryan Reynolds ) have been a successful mercenary, he fails to kills one of his targets on his anniversary of his girlfriend Vanessa ( Morena Baccarin ). That night as Wade and Vanessa are talking about starting a family together, the target tracks down and kills Vanessa. Wade manage to kill the target, but blame himself for Vanessa´s death. Six weeks later Wade try to commit suicide, but fails. His body parts are still alive, and picked up by Colossus. While recovering at the X-Mansion, Wilson agree to join the X-Force. Wade, Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead are called in to help authorities with the unstable young mutant Russel Collins / Firefist ( Julian Dennison ). Collins was abused as a child from one of the orphanage staff, and kill the man. Colossus stops Collins from killing anyone else, while Wilson and Collins are arrested. They are taken to the mutant prison known as Ice Box, where they have an unexpected visit from Cable ( Josh Brolin ), a cybernetic soldier from the future. Cable is set out to get Collins, but the X-Force is ready to make sure that Cable will not get Collins. But an unexpected turn changes everything, when Collins frees fellow inmate Juggernaut. These 2 dangerous mutants could cause chaos. if they continue to spread fear. Cable decide to join X-Force, as Deadpool and his team needs to stop Collins and Juggernaut.

Everytime you get a sequel, you never know if it will work or fail. I am happy to say that Deadpool 2 is a worthy sequel, because this film also manage to capture the essence of Deapool´s character. You get a lot of comedy, and a lot of violence as well of course. And in the world of Deadpool, these are 2 very important ingredients to make a film like this feel solid. The lead role as Deadpool, is of course done by actor Ryan Reynolds, and he nails this character once more, showing that no one could have done Deadpool better than him. But that´s not all, some of the other characters works really well also. Especially Cable, played by legendary actor Josh Brolin. He is a really good choice for this character, and the design of Cable also looks really good. Actor Brianna Hildebrand make sure to leave a strong impact, in this sequel playing Negasonic Teenage Warhead. Actor Zazzie Beetz as mercenary character Domino, is one of those characters you enjoy in this sequel, because she clearly have everything that the X-Force Team needs. One of the things this sequel does right, is not to use too much of the same elements from the first film. There are many more characters in this film, than in the second film, and that makes the story different as well. I especially enjoy the audition for the X-Force, when Deadpool tries to find the perfect super heroes, matching his team with the best possible candidates. Of course that turns out to fail, but this is a really funny part of the film. The comedy sequences are even more funnier in this sequel, than in the first film. Ryan Reynolds knows exactly when to throw in comedy highlights, in awkward moments. Even if this sequel have changed certain details than in the first film, you can still recognize the style and personality of Deadpool, just the way we want him to be. The action scenes are well made, and you also get a lot of brutality ( what would a Deadpool movie be without this ? Exactly ). If you love movies, you will probably get the satire scenes as well, especially in the end credits. Director David Leitch ( who directed one of the best action films in 2014, known as John Wick ) clearly knows what the audience demanded from a sequel, and we get it all in this film. If you love the first film, i seriously doubt you will be disappointed with Deadpool 2. This is actually one of the best sequels i have seen in years, to a really good comic book adaptation film. You should see the first film first, to understand the characters correctly. There is no doubt, Deadpool 2 is this summer´s funniest movie, and a great action comic book film as well. A perfect Sunday tea time with family in the cinema, for those cozy moments we all love.

Rating: DDDD

torsdag 21 juni 2018

What You Need This Summer Is The Lullaby

Greetings movie lovers !

It's your favourite Swedish movie reviewer Daniel, back to make the world a more lovely place. Since it is summer ( hopefully we get 10 days of sun in Sweden ), this is the time when horror fans gather to enjoy themselves. Of course there are some really good horror films to choose between.

But i would like to recommend one horror film that is a great choice for horror fans, a film called The Lullaby. This film is about a young mother, who have problems taking care of her baby, while struggling with her mental problems. This film is well made, and works effective without using CGI. I have a review posted of this film earlier this spring on this web link.

Most of all, you need to see The Lullaby for the performance from actor Reine Swart. This is one performance you will not forget, i guarantee that. So this summer, make sure you watch The Lullaby, and i guarantee you will enjoy this film. 

One final movie review for this month is coming up next week, but in July i will return with more fresh movie reviews. Thank you all my readers worldwide, and have a wonderful summer. 

Cheers from Daniel

Primal Rage

There are a lot of stories worldwide about creatures, that have walked on this Earth for a very long time. And in different cultures, they believe that these creatures exists, or have existed. For example, if you would talk about the Yeti, you would hear a lot of stories from the folklore in Nepal. The Yeti is also know as the Abominable Snowman, and there are people in Nepal who says they have seen the ape-like entity. A lot of people have tried to find evidence, if the Yeti really existed at all. So far there is no real evidence that the Yeti have existed, and the evidence that scientists have checked have not given any proof that can confirm that the Yeti actually existed a long time ago. So this is basically just a creature, that is known from old stories. The same thing about the Loch Ness monster, also a world famous creatures that many people have tried to locate. And i think we can confirm, that this is also a folk lore, just like the Yeti is. But there are still people out there, who dedicate their lives to look for evidence, no matter if they are seen as crazy. One more example of a creature that people actually believe exist, is the creature known as Sasquatch, or Bigfoot. Known from stories in North American folklore, Sasquatch is known for being an ape-like being that is said to leave big foot prints. Perhaps the most famous footage of Sasquatch, has to be the 1967 video known as Patterson-Gimlin film. This short film is supposed to show evidence of Sasquatch walking around in Northern California. After many different analysis from experts, scientists were divided. Some were absolutely sure this was just a hoax, while some says that they can´t proof if this is a hoax or not. I have seen the video many times, and for me personally i feel that this is more likely a hoax for different reasons. First of all, i don´t believe that Sasquatch existed at all, and second of all i don´t think the ape creature in the video look realistic. I will let you decide yourselves if you watch the video. For a very long time in Hollywood, many movie directors have used the idea behind Sasquatch and made films, based on this creature. Several B horror movies was made, and one of them is called The Capture Of Bigfoot, released in 1979. I actually have not seen this film, but have been curious to see it for quite some time. Especially because of the great cast of Otis Young, Jeana Keough and George Buck Flower. There is also a 2014 film i have been recommended called Exists, that is supposed to be a good found footage horror film. After watching the great movie reviews on Geek Legion Of Doom, i came across their review of Primal Rage. This seemed to be like a Sasquatch themed horror film, and this made me curious to check it out. Do we finally have a great gory horror film to enjoy, or is Primal Rage another dull Sasquatch rip off to so many similar bad movies ?

Ashley Carr ( Casey Gagliardi ) and Maxwell Carr ( Andrew Joseph Montgomery ) are a newly reunited young couple, heading towards the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, they hit a man with the car, who seems to be attacked by something, before they hit him with the car. Maxwell accidently hurt himself, and Ashley is forced to help him in the floods of the mountain. With no food, and no supplies, they are forced to seek for anyone to give them a helping hand. They come across BD ( Marshal Hilton ) and his hunting friends, who are all interested in Maxwell´s pretty woman. But the whole crew have something else to focus on, as an ape looking beast begin to attack. No one knows who this creature is, but it becomes clear that no one will survive unless they find a way to strike back.

Primal Rage starts off pretty predictable. We get to find out who the main characters are, but in all honesty this is something you don´t really feel interested in. Usually when you introduce the main characters, it is important to do so in a effective way. Something that does not happen here, unfortunately. It becomes more clear that the strength of this film, is the creature itself. For a film that looks like a Sasquatch themed horror film, it needs to include some classic ingredients. And i came to think about 2 films that seems to have some influences in this film, the first Wrong Turn film and Predator. Not that these films have anything to do with the plot of Primal Rage, but the battle scenes between humans and the beast is clearly influenced by classic horror films. While the acting is not on the greatest level, Primal Rage manage to make a bigger impact in other ways. And this is clearly shown the way that this film is made, as an old school tribute to monster films. To be honest, the design of this ape-like creature, is exactly what this film needed, a well designed beast that kills. We see plenty of low budget horror films, where they use CGI effects instead of making real practical make up, and in Primal Rage this helps the film look more interesting. When we come to the acting performances, there are only a few that i feel stands out from the crowd. Casey Gagliardi as Ashely, is one of the characters that actually grow to become better, as the film goes on. At first she does not leave a bigger impact, until later on when she becomes a tough survivor. There is one ridiculous shotgun scene with her, but apart from this she is one of the better characters. I also like the character known as BD, played by Marshal Hilton, a cocky man who wants to show who is the boss. He fits with the location of the film, taking place in the forest. One thing we have to talk about, that is perhaps the best part of the film, are the practical effects scenes. When the creature attacks humans, where we get plenty of gore and blood. And these scenes looks great, and gives the Sasquatch concept of Primal Rage look more fun. Is there anything negative to talk about ? Maybe the dramatic scenes is something we did not need, these scenes don´t really give anything interesting to say. Director Patrick Magee have worked on many films as a special make up artists, in titles like Shallow Ground, Zombie Strippers and Hunter Prey. Primal Rage is his directorial full feature film, and he have managed to make a good effort into the monster film genre. He clearly wanted to make an old school tribute, to the classics we all grew up to and succeed. Primal Rage may not win any Oscars next years, but if you love gory, bloody monster films, this is one to watch on VOD.

Rating: DDD

torsdag 14 juni 2018

Corbin Nash

If you hear the name Corey Feldman, what is your first reaction ? Most people would probably think of his classic movies The Goonies, Stand By Me or The Lost Boys. And if you do, there is nothing strange about that. Because both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman had some great films released during the 80´s, there is no question about that. I will always see The Lost Boys as their best film, and the sequels were not worthy the original film. As the 90´s kicked in, both Corey Haim and Corey Feldman made movies together, and of course made movies on their own as well. I have not seen them all, perhaps because some of them were hard to get here in Sweden back in the VHS era, until some of them were released on DVD. But i do remember Corey Feldman´s performance in the Tales From The Crypt movie Bordello Of Blood. It was nice to see him as a transformed vampire. Corey Feldman have made many movies, but he have also made music for many years. And i was actually one of them who ordered his latest album Angelic 2 The Core, featuring music guests such as Fred Durst, Snoop Dogg, Nina Hagen, Kurupt, and many more. This album had so many different music styles, i guarantee you will find something to enjoy, no matter what you usually listen to. Angelic 2 The Core was the most daring album of the year 2016, because it was so different and filled with passion for music. If you have not heard the album, check it out on Spotify or on iTunes. At this time after the album came out, i actually had conversations with Corey Feldman. And he loved my idea of a Corey Feldman Viking Line Cruise Ship Concert, in Stockholm. Unfortunately we could not make this happen, because a lot of things happened around 2017 for Corey personally. But maybe, in the future, when the timing is right, this would be something worth looking into again, if Viking Line are still interested ( they did show interest in this cruise ship idea in 2016, so that´s a good sign ). After a lot of personal issues over last year, i was hearing a lot of positive words over his upcoming film called Corbin Nash. The most interesting detail for me, was that Corey Feldman would play a transexual vampire, something i don´t think i have ever seen in any vampire movie ever. There might be some film that have tried this before, but nothing i know anything about. Anyway, when i heard Corbin Nash would get a limited theatrical release in America, and be released on VOD, i knew i had to check out this film. Not only because i have enjoyed a lot of Corey Feldman´s classic films, but also because i have seen a lot of vampire movies. Do we finally get an original vampire film to enjoy, or is Corbin Nash another lame horror release that we could all avoid ?

Corbin Nash ( Dean S. Jagger ) is a police detective who is living a rough lifestyle. He is still looking for the murderer of his parents, something that has haunted him for a very long time. Vampires Vince ( Richard Wagner ) and the transexual vampire Queenie ( Corey Feldman ) both want Corbin dead, just like his parents. Queenie have no mercy for any victim that comes in her way, and every step closer to Corbin will give her a chance to grow stronger. Corbin have no intention to let anyone stop him, this is just the beginning of the path towards revenge.

The first thing that strikes me about Corbin Nash, is that this is a very dark vampire film. And this is something i really appreciate, since this genre works best if you include darkness and sadness. And the film Corbin Nash is different, if you compare to other vampire B movies. The story is different from most vampire films, and don´t follow the usual pattern as most vampire films do, and this is a positive detail. You have a set of characters here, that all have a different purpose. Corbin is the revengeful cop, played by main actor Dean S. Jagger ( who you probably remember from Game Of Thrones ). His performance is alright, even though i would have wanted him to be even more angry. Legendary actors Rutger Hauer, Malcolm McDowell and Rutger Hauer are also in this film, in a few selected scenes. Always nice to see legendary actors working together in a horror movie. But the most interesting, and best performance in Corbin Nash, is without a doubt Corey Feldmans character Queenie. A transexual vampire, who feeds on new victims and have sex with strangers. What a great combination, right ? It becomes very clear that Corbin Nash works best, in the scenes where Queenie shows up. This is why this film would have needed a few more scenes with Queenie, since she is the strongest character of this film. The plot is one thing we have to talk about. It is not difficult to understand the plot, but it feels like the plot is too simple. I would have liked to be more surprised throughout the film, with an unexpected turn. The fighting scenes are not bad, but they make no sense honestly. It would perhaps be more effective just to let Corbin Nash hunt down vampires instead. The ending does bring some fun horror action scenes into the mix, and we finally get to see Corbin Nash do what he does best, clean up the streets from vampires. Director Ben Jagger ( who directed the drama film The Paddy Lincoln Gang ) have made a horror film, that does not look like anything i have seen this year. I feel a bit confused right now, how i feel about this film. I like that there is a different approach on the vampire genre, and that some of the characters such as Queenie works so well in this film. If the plot would have been constructed differently, and we could have had Corbin Nash feel more dangerous, i think this could have been even more interesting. Especially a big thank you Corey Feldman for your performance, can we perhaps get a movie with Queenie in the lead role ? That would be interesting to see, especially her background story.  With that said, if you love vampire movies, i suggest you see Corbin Nash to experience a vampire movie that is actually more original than most movies in this genre. How about that ? About time we get something different in this horror genre.

Rating: DDD

måndag 11 juni 2018

A Summer Treat For Horror Fans

Hi everyone !

It is me Daniel here, the amazing movie review guy from Sweden - The Land Of The Holy Dolph Lundgren. Summer have arrived, and of course i want to do something special for you. So, i have decided to do a double movie review for the movies known as All Hallow´s Eve and the new film called Terrified. The reason why i will review All Hallow´s Eve first, is because Terrified is based on a character from All Hallow´s Eve, and it would make more sense to review that film first so you know what i am talking about in the reviews. Both films are directed by Damien Leone, a man who seems to love old school horror films. 

I can´t say exactly when these 2 movie reviews will be posted, since i have some other movies to post before these ones. But they will hopefully be posted in July, if i get the other reviews finished first. So, if you want to read some horror movie reviews this summer, you should look forward to my reviews of All Hallow´s Eve and the latest one called Terrified. Until my next movie reviews gets posted soon, have fun in the summer heat and make sure you have Ron De Jeremy Rum next to the swimming pool. Thank you all my readers for reading my reviews, i really appreciate your support.

Cheers from Daniel

lördag 9 juni 2018


I love directors who pay tribute to the old school action films of the 70´s. And especially those directors who pay tribute to the Grindhouse cinema as well. There are a number of directors who have given us some wonderful tributes to the video violence of the 70´s, but perhaps the most beloved director of my generation is of course Quentin Tarantino. I remember everything so clearly, it was 1992 and he released his directorial debut film Reservoir Dogs. The cinema posters looked much cooler than any movie at that time, and newspapers talked about this film around Sweden. This film was exactly everything you could wish for, very brutal, very vulgar, and most of all the best characters you could think about. I did not see this film in cinema at the time, but did buy the VHS copy. I don´t know how many times i watched Reservoir Dogs, but i loved it every single time. What made Reservoir Dogs so cool, was the way director Tarantino developed the story, surrounding a bunch of criminals who are gathered to perform a diamond heist. The acting from Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, Tim Roth, and so many others gave very strong performances to their characters. And for a diamond heist film, Reservoir Dogs is most likely one of the most intelligent films in this genre, ever made. The dialogue is brilliant, and there are so many classic scenes to love about this film. If you don´t own Reservoir Dogs on DVD or Blu Ray, you have to buy a copy. This is a film you should have in your book shelf, next to your Jamie Oliver cook book collection ( every Tarantino fan have these books, trust me ). Tarantino continued giving us wonderful films such as Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill Vol.1, Kill Bill Vol.2, and of course Death Proof. There are other really good films from Tarantino as well, but once thing is clear. His passion for the movies from the 70´s will always be important to me. I always love to see different movie makers who try and bring back the 70´s style. Another good example when you do this right, is from director Ti West´s movie The House Of The Devil. A horror film that pays tribute to the 70´s in a very stylish way, and also manage to capture that classic concept of Satan worship followers. Director Ti West clearly did his homework right, and he shows respect for this horror genre in a delightful way. If you pick up the UK DVD release, you get some really nice commentary tracks to this film, with interesting details surrounding production and locations. It must have been Autumn of 2017, that i was starting to read online about a new film coming called Lowlife. As the reviews of this film turned out to be positive, i knew this could be something special. Unfortunately, Lowlife did not get a cinema premiere on Sweden, so i had to wait until the film came out on VOD. With a style that reminds me of Quentin Tarantino, and a crazy bunch of characters, is Lowlife the perfect summer movie of 2018, or is this a film that no one should give a chance ?

Teddy " Bear " Haynes ( Mark Burnham ) is a local mass murder crime boss, who make business out of illegal immigrants, using their organs for sale. He also makes some of the women become prostitutes. A man named El Monstruo ( Ricardo Adam Zarate ) is a failed luchador, who works for Teddy. He is about to become a father, with pregnant Kaylee ( Santana Dempsey ). El Monstruo hopes his son will follow in the same shoes as El Monstruo´s legendary father, something that El Monstruo failed to do. Teddy keeps doing his illegal business and try to fool motel manager Crystal ( Nicki Micheaux ) to pay for an organ donation, that Crystal needs to save one persons life. But everything falls apart, and El Monstruo turns against Teddy, and have Crystal including others, to join him on the hunt for Teddy. He must pay for all of his sins, and all the victims he have suffered.

Imagine if you mix Reservoir Dogs, with No Country For Old Men and make it into a Mexican version of Tarantino, with immigration issues, and you have Lowlife. Of course these movies are very different from each other, but you can recognize some elements from different movies. Lowlife is a different take on criminals, immigration, society issues and how shitty life can be, using Mexican wrestling figures as heroes. What i especially enjoy about Lowlife, is that the film is told in different chapters, so if you are observant, you will understand what the story is trying to tell us, The influences from Quentin Tarantino shines clear here as well, where different characters get their chance to bring out guns, and make sure their message is told in a very brutal way. One of the main characters known as El Monstruo, played by actor Ricardo Adam Zarate is one of the most interesting characters in Lowlife. He is clearly trying to live up to the legacy of his father, who was a famous Mexican hero. Actor Nicki Micheaux gives a strong performance as the motel manager Crystal, as she is dealing with personal issues. I have to say that the character of Teddy " Bear " Haynes, played by actor Mark Burnham, is one of the coolest characters in this film. He is an asshole and a murderer, who only care about money, but you can´t help to enjoy his character anyway. To use the issue of organ harvesting into the story makes the film more interesting. We know that there is a lot of money to be made, if you can sell illegal organs. And this is something Lowlife manage to bring to the table, how bad it can be if you make business with the wrong people.  Director Ryan Prows have directed a number of short films in the past ( none i have seen myself ). And since Lowlife is his first directorial full feature film, i think he have done a great job. Not only have he managed to find great characters, but he clearly knows how to make a story fun, and tell it in an old school nostalgic way. If his intention was to show the audience a different experience, i have to say Lowlife is exactly what we need this summer. A cool, stylish action film, with some other important ingredients that this film needed to make the audience interested. There are probably some small details that i could think of, that could have been improved. Overall, i think Lowlife is a great choice this summer, especially on Blu Ray, if you want to experience a Mexican Tarantino styled film. I feel like going to Mexico now for some Tequila and Mexican wrestling, after watching this film. That must be a good sign, right ?

Rating: DDD 

fredag 8 juni 2018

Death Wish

There are some actors that will always be respected, for making a very powerful impact in cinema history. I could easily talk about legendary actors like Dustin Hoffman, Paul Newman, Gene Hackman, and the list would go on forever. But let us talk about legendary actor Charles Bronson. One of the Hollywood legends who have given us a lot of classic westerns, and many great action. From the Western classics such as Once Upon A Time In The West, The Magnificant Seven or one of my personal favourites called Red Sun, Bronson always had a special way to be a part of classic Western cinema. In the 70´s, Bronson started taking a different turn with choosing characters, and this especially was proved when he took on the cult film Death Wish in 1974. Directed by Michael Winner, the story surrounds Paul Kersey, an architect who have his wife murdered and his daughter raped and brutally beaten.  His wife dies, while his daughter survives but is mentally broken. Since the police don´t take action and find the criminals, Paul decide to revenge his wifes death, and for the abuse of his daughter. Death Wish is a revenge film that still today deliver classic cinema value. Charles Bronson in the lead role is a perfect choice, for a revenge movie. I hope we one day can have a Blu Ray release, celebrating the importance of Death Wish. Because let´s be honest, we would probably want to do the same as Charles Bronson did, if our family was attacked. A lot of sequels were released to Death Wish, but not all of them were very good. I would probably say that Death Wish 2 still managed to give the franchise something positive, while you could tell by the third film they were running out of ideas. Since legendary actor Charles Bronson passed away in 2003, we never really heard anything more about the Death Wish franchise. Maybe it is because Death Wish could not work without Charles Bronson, because no one could replace the original Paul Kersey. But last year i read an article online, that they were going to do a remake. That director Eli Roth decided to go on with a remake idea of the Charles Bronson cult classic film. I did not feel very excited about this. Not that every remake have turned out to be bad, but most remakes are usually not as good as the original film. And in the case of Death Wish i was concerned that this would be a really bad idea, since it would be almost impossible to make a film, as good as the 1974 film. As the trailer finally landed, i was still curious to see if if Bruce Willis could make this film any good, since he have had a hard time delivering good films over the years lately. As the film landed on VOD, i took my chance to see if i would be surprised. Is a new remake of Death Wish exactly what we needed, or is this the remake that never should have seen the light of day ?

Dr. Paul Kersey ( Bruce Willis ) works as a trauma surgeon at the Chicago hospital. One night while he is at work, his wife Lucy Rose Kersey ( Elisabeth Shue ) and his daughter Jordan Kersey ( Camila Morrone ) are brutally attacked by criminals. Lucy is killed, while Jordan is still alive but needs intensive care. Paul tries to get answers from the police, but realise that this will take a long time to find any suspects. So he decides to take justice into his own hands, and find the persons who destroyed his family.

When you watch a remake like Death Wish, you realize soon why Hollywood needs to use some original movie ideas instead. Not that this remake is a total disaster, it just can´t give anything special if you compare with the original film. This could have been a fun remake, if it was made with an intelligent plot. The cast is after all filled with talented actors, so this could have been a delightful treat. Unfortunately this remake is made in a very typical action cliche way, so you basically know what will happen. The best part of the movie is to see lead actor Bruce Willis, kick ass and taking out bad guys as Dr. Paul Kersey. There are a few action scenes where he gets to show why he is a great action star. But since this is the only positive thing about this movie, let us talk about the bad parts. The acting is not very good, and you don´t really care about any of the characters. The dramatic scenes feel very boring, it is almost as they were placed there to fill up the empty spots of the film. Since this film is almost like the original film´s plot, where a wife and daughter is brutally attacked, you are supposed to care about what happened to them. But this is not brought up very seriously in this remake, and is only shown in a few scenes as the film goes on instead talking about justice. If this remake would have focused on the revenge theme differently, with an unexpected twist, i would have been more interested. Bruce Willis does not really impress me with his character, but he still knows how to put on a show when violence kicks in. Legendary actor Elisabeth Shue is also here, as the wife if Paul Kersey. She is not in many scenes, but gives her character Lucy Rose a realistic portrait ( except the crying scene ). Actor Vincent D´Onofrio is one of the highlights of this film, as Paul´s brother Frank Kersey. He have money issues, but he is a man who cares about his family. Director Eli Roth have done a lot of different movies over the years, but not in the action genre. His vision of this Death Wish remake does have a few good points, but when he drops all the best parts and just make a very ordinary action film, he gets lost on the path. With not many good characters, or a plot to care about, Death Wish have a hard time finding it´s place for the audience. If you love Bruce Willis, you might have some fun with this remake. If you love the original film, i know you will be disappointed with this remake. There is a reason to why this remake of Death Wish did not do well in box office, Charles Bronson´s cult classic will always be respected among movie fans. I suggest you watch the original film instead.

Rating: DD

söndag 3 juni 2018

The Strangers: Prey At Night

Horror movies today are in a big crisis. There are very few horror films that actually stands out from the crowd, and many films are either remakes, sequels, or prequels. So why is this happening ? Because Hollywood have run out of ideas, basically. On the other hand, there are some films that actually turn out to be good, thanks to talented directors and actors. One of the horror films i have been positive about, is the horror film The Lullaby from director Darrel Roodt. I have written a review about this film earlier this spring, and i especially praised the performance of actor Reine Swart ( remember this name ), since she really did a great job playing an unstable young mother. In the world of horror films, you either get a few highlights or a lot of uninteresting stories. And usually we wait for something unique to come, that will make horror films interesting again. So let´s look back a little bit on horror films that actually worked. How many of you have seen the horror film It Follows, released in 2015 ? This was one of the highlights of horror films that year, and i still think this film is very effective even today. The idea is very simple about the plot of this film. If you are followed, you must make sure to get away, and try and find another person to become followed instead of you, and you might survive. Does this sound bad ? It probably does, but i have to say that It Follows is such a great horror film, because this film manage to make such a simple plot and turn it into a really creepy atmosphere. Director David Robert Mitchell managed to make a horror film, that felt original in some ways, and still combine classic horror elements in an elegant way. If you have not seen It Follows and love horror films, you have to get the DVD or Blu Ray. Another good example is The Orphanage, a Spanish horror film directed by J.A. Bayona. Released in 2007, this horror film became quickly one of the best horror film of that year ( in my personal opinion ). What made The Orphanage so scary, was the way director J.A. Bayone builded up a horrific atmosphere of an old Orphanage that carried so much sadness and anger. The cast also did a really good job portraying strong characters, that made this film stand out of most horror films that year. Home invasion thrillers, or horror films in this genre, have been popular for many years. And one of those horror films i remember is a film that came out back in 2008 called The Strangers. A film that actually did well at the box office, and was also appreciated by most movie critics.  I did not expect to see a sequel, but here it is, 10 years later. Is this sequel to The Strangers actually a worthy sequel, or is this a film another cash grab release, just to make money but without anything positive to offer ?

Mike ( Martin Henderson ), Cindy ( Christina Hendricks ), their son Luke ( Lewis Pullman ) and their rebellious daughter Kinsey ( Bailee Madison ) are all spending some time together, in their aunt and uncle´s trailer park. A mysterious girl knocks on their door, looking for someone, but disappear. Kinsey is in no mood for family time, so she takes off, while her brother is forced to go after her. Eventually, Luke find Kinsey and talk to her, They locate the trailer that their aunt and uncle live in, but find out they have been brutally murdered. It turns out, that in this trailer park, there are 3 masked murderers, ready to find their next victim.

I have not seen the first The Strangers in almost 10 years, so i decided to watch it again since i was going to see the sequel. The first film is a horror film that may not have been original, but as a home invasion horror film i think the concept worked. The Strangers managed to make a creepy atmosphere, using simple details and a great main character played by actor Liv Tyler. I also think that director Bryan Bertino had a really good vision how to make a home invasion horror film effective, instead of making it blend and forgettable. And now we have a sequel to the first film, and is it really bad ? Actually, no. This sequel could have been a disaster, or even beyond awful. But thankfully, The Strangers : Prey At Night is one of those sequels that actually is good. I would not say that this sequel is better than the original film, but considering this is a sequel i am pleasantly surprised. I think what makes this sequel work, is because that the film is very simple. They don´t try and make too many twists, instead this film feels pretty close to the first film´s concept, without copying everything. In the first film, the home invasion took place in a house. This sequel changes location, into a trailer park instead. There are more characters this time around as well. For the most part, the acting is ok. I will say that in this film, i especially like the character known as Kinsey, played by actor Bailee Madison. A young woman who is thrown into a very serious situation. I also enjoy the character Mike, played by actor Martin Henderson. He feels like a natural character, who wants to make sure his daughter Kinsey and son Luke is alright. If i have to mention a problem with this sequel, i would probably say that i would have liked a very unexpected twist. Director Johannes Roberts is perhaps mostly known for directing the shark horror film 47 Meters Down, and another horror good horror film called The Other Side Of The Door. He must have enjoyed the first Strangers movie, since he seems to respect the source material. And i have to say, director Johannes Roberts uses camera angles well enough to capture unsettling moments. The colors looks great as well, especially in the pool scene. If you just want to see a classic concept of home invasion horror, this is a film for you. There is several scenes where you do sense a hostile environment, and the psycho´s different looks helps the creepy atmosphere feel intense. The Strangers: Prey At Night may not change horror films in history, but as a sequel it works better than i expected. One thing is clear, if someone rings my door bell, i will be ready with my battle axe. 

Rating: DDD

Dead Shack

If you live in a city, just like me, you can meet a lot of stressed people. You might even meet some insane ones as well, especially Jehovah Witnesses of course. I don´t know how they get so many members, is it because a free chocolate bar is included in their welcome package ? Must be the reason, it actually makes sense. Overall, i love living in the city. You can choose between many different types of restaurants, different shops, or going to see the latest movies in cinema. Unfortunately, we don´t have many strip bars here. I think that may be because in Sweden we have something called The Gudrun Schyman Cult Sect, a very dangerous organisation, that want all nudity to go away. I know, it is bad. Well, im glad Denmark and Germany are more open minded on this page, so well done both countries. Sometimes, when people want to relax and get away from the stressful big city, many people love to go to the countryside. Just to go to a cabin in nature, hug trees, swim naked in a lake, the basic things we all love to do. But in movies we have seen a lot of times, that cabins may not always be the best idea. And one of the most classic horror films that proved this is of course director Sam Raimi´s cult classic Evil Dead. A very small horror film, with a very limited budget, but made with a lot of passion for gory horror. This was the film where we really got our minds hooked up on legendary actor Bruce Campbell. I still think that Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn, is my favourite Evil Dead film. If you have not seen Evil Dead 2, you have made one of the biggest sins of all time. This is a film everyone must see. Army Of Darkness ( also known as Evil Dead 3 ) is a hell of a good time, also a must see. Speaking of horror films in cabins, how many remember director Eli Roth´s film Cabin Fever ( not the remake ) ? This film released in 2002, was actually not that bad. The plot reminded us of Evil Dead in some ways, using some other elements from old school slasher films. Director Eli Roth continued delivering a good time, especially with his classic film Hostel. Since i watch B horror movies every month, i always try and pick out the ones who looks interesting. And this is where i came across a film called Dead Shack. The trailer looked like a fun tribute to VHS video violence in the 80´s. What else do you need than zombie killers and different weapons to make Sunday evening pleasant ? Is this the best horror comedy in many years, or is Dead Shack not worth spending your precious time with ?

Roger ( Donavon Stinson ) is taking his latest girlfriend Lisa ( Valerie Tian ) and his daughter Summer ( Lizzie Boyz ), including her younger brother one of their friends ) to the countryside in a cabin. Summer don´t like her father´s girlfriend Lisa, but she tries to stay out of trouble. As Summer and her brother find a strange cabin with many cars, they discover that a Neighbor ( Lauren Holly ) is keeping flesh eating zombies, who feeds on new victims. Neighbor discover her new guests, and she hopes to have their bodies become food for her darlings. Summer is not going to let that happen, and she strikes back with her brother and his friend, hoping to survive.

Dead Shack is not the most original film you will watch this year. But that´s ok, since this is a film made for B movie lovers. This is the kind of film you want to watch if you love classic films such as Evil Dead, Braindead, Inbred, and many others. Dead Shack is a fun mixture of splatter comedy, that makes fun of stupid people, and also make fun of the horror genre. To be able to do this, you have to have the right characters and a concept that works. This film manage to balance these ingredients pretty good. The best part of the film is the gory scenes. A lot of flesh wounds, and lots of blood. To have flesh eating zombies is of course nothing new, but this film knows what kind of audience who appreciate this genre. The acting is of course not top class, but that´s ok in a film like this. You can still enjoy some of the characters anyway. The plot is so simple, you don´t have to think too much about it. And that is ok, because Dead Shack is more focused delivering a gore feast than a solid story, and i appreciate that. My favourite character in this film is Summer, played by young actor Lizzie Boys. She is tough, but also use her intelligence to handle the situation, when her stupid brother don´t know what to do. I also like the creepy neighbor, played by legendary actor Lauren Holly ( remember her from the 90´s classic Dumb & Dumber ? ). There are a few other characters that also make this film a good time. Director Peter Ricq have worked on different movie projects, and was the co-director of the documentary film Come Together. However, Dead Shack is his first real directorial full feature film in the horror genre. And i must say, he knows what he is doing. He may rip of some classic ingredients from horror classics, but he does it with style and still show respect to the B movie audience. His strength in this film, is that he have made sure to use a lot of practical effects, instead of CGI. And this is a very important detail, when you take on the zombie concept. There are a couple of details that could have been better about this film, but that don´t take away the entertainment level on this film. Dead Shack is a good time, for us who grew up during the 80´s and watch a lot of splatter films. If you want a fun movie to watch this summer, that will bring up the memories of classic B movies you loved as a teenager, make sure to get Dead Shack on DVD ( when it will be released worldwide ), and i guarantee your summer night will be a bloody feast.

Rating: DDD