tisdag 30 juni 2020

A 25 Years Anniversary Review Of Waterworld

Future inspired apocalyptic films, we have seen quite many over the years. While some of them may not bring anything unique to the table, there are some films that dare to take chances and go in a different direction. One of those films that comes to my mind, is of course Mad Max 2 - The Road Warrior. Directed by George Miller, this film continue the story of Mad Max ( played really well by Mel Gibson ) who had his child and wife killed, now drives along the highways, trying to survive. The Road Warrior is not only a fantastic looking apocalyptic film, it also have some really great characters as well. Especially two characters that i have to mention, and let´s begin with Wez, the brutal leather-clad biker, who have no remorse for anyone, and kill anyone who gets in his way. This performance from actor Vernon Wells is absolutely amazing, and this is without a doubt his best acting performance in any film that he have done. The other character that comes to my mind, is of course the evil leader The Humungus, played by Swedish actor Kjell Nilsson. The Humungus feels like the last person you want to meet at a gas station. This guy is not only massive, but he also have a very cool look. This film will be 40 years next year, and even until this day, The Road Warrior is still one of the best films in this genre. Another film that also brings up the apocalypse in a cool way, is the 1989 film Cyborg with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Directed by Albert Pyun, this film manage to combine apocalyptic martial arts and some fun action scenes as well. Cyborg is the choice for your home cinema, if you just want to see an entertaining 80´s action film, with martial arts and some cool characters included. Let´s go back to the summer of 1995, and i am sure a lot of you are thinking about the action comedy Bad Boys. But there was actually one film back then that did have a big hype in media, and in news papers. And that is the post-apocalyptic action film Waterworld. This was supposed to be the biggest box office hit that summer, and the film was seen as a box office failure in America. Luckily the film did better overseas, and did really well on VHS as well. Kevin Costner fighting in a futuristic world where there is basically no more land left, and everyone tries to survive in the ocean. I have not seen this film in many years, and since this film is turning 25 years old this summer, i thought it would be nice to see the film again, to see if it still holds up today. Is Waterworld still a fun action film, or has this film aged too much within these years ?

In the year of 2050, as a result of the sea levels rising over 25,000 feet every continent on Earth is now underwater. The remain of the human civilization live on ramshackle floating communities known as atols, having long forgotten about living on land. People believe that there is a mythological " Dryland " somewhere in the endless ocean. The Mariner ( Kevin Costner ), a lone drifter, arrives on his trimaran, to trade dirt, a rare commodity, for other supplies. The attol´s residents see that the Mariner is a mutant with gills and and webbed feet. They decide to drown him in the recycling pit. Just then, the attol is attacked by the Smokers, a gang of pirates seeking a girl named Enola ( Tina Majorino ) who according to the Smokers leader Deacon ( Dennis Hopper ), has a map of Dryland tattooed on her back. Enola´s guardian Helen ( Jeanne Tripplehorn ) frees the Mariner, to ask him to help her and Enola. They escape on the open sea, but the Smokers will not give up until they have captured Enola.

If you were a teenager like me back in 1995, then i guarantee you will feel some nostalgic feelings watching Waterworld again. This feels like a true summer blockbuster film, that has a bit of everything for apocalyptic film fans. You have the massive battles on the ocean, between pirates and our hero Mariner, and you have some great looking action scenes as well. You can sense that this film has to be inspired by the classic Mad Max film The Road Warrior, but takes place on the ocean instead. Kevin Costner gives a performance that actually works well with his character. He may seem ignorant at times, and i suppose he is, since he is only thinking about trading for his own benefit. And considering how the world have turned in the future, it is not hard to understand why he is behaving this way. As the film goes on, you realise that he may not be a completely selfish bastard after all, but that he does have a good heart as well. Legendary actor Dennis Hopper is one of the highlights in this film as the character Deacon. He is one of those evil characters who have no remorse, and knows exactly what he wants, no matter if innocent lives will be lost. Dennis Hopper clearly had fun making this film, because you get a sense that he enoyed playing this evil character. I have to mention actress Jeanne Tripplehorn ( that i guarantee Tom Cruise fans remember from the film The Firm ) as the character Helen. She is definetely the one who give Mariner hope, as he struggle to keep himself alive and protect the few ones that he cares about. Jeanne manage to give a performance that feels natural, with a futuristic portrait of a woman in her situation. I know that this film was not the big box office hit that a lot of people expected, but that does not change the quality of this film. Waterworld is a film made for fans of the Mad Max franchise, and for fans of Kevin Costner as well. Director Kevin Reynolds ( who also directed the Kevin Costner film Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves ) have found a way to blend futuristic action with a very different location than most films in this genre. And he clearly wanted to make a film that felt majestic, and you can sense that in the beautiful ocean scenes. I would not say this is one of the best films from Kevin Costner, but a nostalgic fun 90´s film that still will entertain all ages in many generations. 25 years may have passed, but Waterworld is still a film that have entertainment value. A great choice for this summer, if you want to experience nostalgic films.

Rating: DDD

Collision Earth

When ever i hear the name Eric Roberts, i can´t help feeling a nostalgic emotion in my heart. Especially when i think of the 80´s and the films he did back then. My first experience with Eric Roberts was the 1985 cult classic ( actually made by Cannon Films ) Runaway Train, directed by Andrey Konchalovskiy. This film is without the best film that Cannon Films ever made, even if i enjoy a lot of their B movies, this is their best work from a serious attempt in making films. Both Eric Robert and legendary actor John Voight give really good performances, together with legendary actress Rebecca De Mornay. The story is simply about two convicts, Oscar " Manny " Manheim ( John Voight ) and Buck McGeehy ( Eric Roberts ) who escape Alaska´s Stonehaven Maximum Security Prison, and jump on board a train that does not have any breaks, or a driver. This will put them both in a very dangerous situation. Even if Runaway Train was a box office flop, this film did get a lot of respect, and both John Voight and Eric Roberts were both nominated for Academy Award for their respective roles. And even today when you discuss films made by Cannon Films, i guarantee that fans of the company will agree that Runaway Train is one of their best films. Moving on to 1989, when Eric Roberts released his martial arts film Best Of The Best. I would say that this film feels like a mixture of Karate Kid and Bloodsport, without copying these films. One of the interesting details about Best Of The Best, is that legendary actor James Earl Jones in in this film, and he really gives this film some star quality with his performance. Best Of The Best tells the story of martial arts fighter Alexander Grady ( Eric Roberts ) who is chosen to compete with a team of other martial arts fighters, for the American team. The will compete in an international martial arts tournament against Team Korea. If you enjoy martial arts films, you should check out Best Of The Best. Eric Roberts have continued to make films, and he does a lot of independent films ( especially B Movies ). I decided to check out the film Collision Earth, made by the company The Asylum. With no high expectations of this film, is this one of the best films in many years with Eric Roberts, or is this a disaster as Gene Simmons solo album Asshole from 2004 ?

A meteor shower hits Earth. Scientists Gwen ( Kate Watson ), Kurt ( Danny O´Reilly ) and Mara ( Becca Buckalew ) must investigate, where they learn a bigger threat is coming. There are generals that are prepared to nuke the remain meteors, something that will only cause more damage. To prevent the next bigger meteor shower to hit Earth, this team need to find a way to stop this disaster, without causing damage to humanity.

If you want to see a a film that takes itself too serious, and just want to watch a film that is so bad that you may even cry of frustration, then do i have good news for you. Collison Earth is that film that you need to watch on a summer night, to remind yourself that there is still hope for this world, or not. I know that The Asylum have a history of making bad films, but they actually have released some good B movies as well. In the case of Collision Earth, you can´t take this film seriously at all. The plot seems to be written in 15 minutes, on a swimming pool day after a couple of margarita drinks. And if you were hoping for great acting, let´s just say that you might as well drop any hope on that subject. This is the kind of film that have acting, just about as good as President Trump trying to sound correct. The characters are trying to be serious, but with the awful CGI effects, it becomes very clear that this is hard to take seriously. Female actors Kate Watson ( who i am actually looking forward to see in the new horror film Bridge Of The Doomed ) and Becca Buckalew ( who you might recongnize from TV series Medinah ) both look great, and even if they are not acting as good as i was hoping for, they at least have some kind of acting level compared to some of the male actors. Eric Roberts does his character Colonel Singh is the highight of this film, even if he is not really doing a great impact. My biggest problem with Collison Earth is that it does not work very well as a disaster film. You are supposed to feel like all of humanity is in danger, but you can´t do that will all the bad CGI meteors. If they really wanted to give us the impression that the world is in danger, why not at least try and make the CGI effects a bit more effective, even if they may not have a big budget ? Director Matthew Boda have made a directorial full feature debut film that does not make any impact, but feels very dull and uninspired. I hope he can make another film that may surprise me, but Collision Earth will easily be forgotten. If you want to see a good The Asylum film, i suggest you check out 3-Headed Shark Attack, that´s just a fun popcorn moment. Collision Earth will most likely dust on DVD shelves for a very long time.

Rating: D

onsdag 17 juni 2020

The Dustwalker

One of the memories i have from my childhood, was the first time i got to see the 1978 sci fi horror film Invasion Of The Body Snatchers. I remember that my father had recorded this film from TV, on our VHS player, somewhere around 1987. What made this film unique, was that this film showed how an alien lifeform duplicate humans. The transformations look really effective ( considering this film was made in the late 70´s ) and the screaming duplicated humans is very creepy. This film is based on the novel The Body Snatchers by author Jack Finney. I have not read this novel, but i have to say that this film adaptation manage to bring something different to the sci fi horror genre. Another important detail is the great cast that this film have, with legendary actors such as Donald Sutherland, Jeff Goldblum, Brooke Adams, and Leonard Nimoy. I actually picked this film up on Blu Ray last year, from the Arrow Video catalogue. Here you have some really interesting special features, where especially In the year of 1993, Hollywood decided that it was time to do a more modern adaptation of  the novel The Body Snatchers, and released the film Body Snatchers. To be honest, this film is not horrible. But if you compare to the 1978 film, this modern remake can not capture the same creepy feeling that Invasion Of The Body Snatchers did. Since then we had a numbers of sci fi horror films that have tried to copy the same concept, and in 1998 director Robert Rodriguez actually managed to do it in a positive way with his film The Faculty. This is a clever teenage sci fi horror film, that use pretty much the same concept of Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, with some elements from The Thing as well. Worth checking out if you love the films of director Robert Rodriguez, and if you are a fan of the films i mentioned earlier. When you think of Australia, what comes to your mind first ? Alligators, beer, lots of sun and kangaroos ? I believe we all have our own view on Australia, because there is so many beautiful things to see and experience there. What if a unique bug infected humans to become strange, what would you do ? I got a chance to sit down and see The Dustwalker, an Australian sci fi horror film that have an interesting plot. Is this the best sci fi horror film in quite some time, or is this a typical strait to DVD release you will not remember ?

Jo Sharp ( Jolene Anderson ) is the law in an isolated Autralian town. When a mysterious object crashes in the desert, that came from space, it seems to have a unkown bug. Local geoloist Angela ( Cassandra Magrath ) investigate the crash site, but have no clue what this could be. When locals suddenly become infected by this bug, Jo realise that the whole town is in danger.

It is such a shame that The Dustwalker fails with some very important details, because i do like the concept of this film and the location. First of all we have the CGI problems. When the infected humans show their angry face, it looks pretty silly. I can accept bad CGI in some cases, when you know you should not expect anything else. But in the case of this film, it could have been better, and would probably make these infected humans feel more creepy. As they attack in this film, it looks more like ordinary humans with uninspired CGI effects. If you wanted these infected people to be scary, you need to make them look more effective. There is some kind of monster as well, that shows up later in this film, but not even that monster feels well made. Another problem that i feel about The Dustwalker, is that this is not a sci fi horror film that will please fans of films such as Invasion Of The Body Snatchers or the cult classic The Thing. Those films may be around 40 years older, but still to this day is much better made, and have a lot more to offer from the sci fi horror catalogue than The Dustwalker. Let´s at least get into something positive, and that is actress Jolene Anderson is actually good as the character Joanne Sharp. She actually bring something positive to the plot, with her fearless character. Jolene clearly went into her role with passion, and if only this movie could have had her passion, i think we would have had something special to enjoy. The Australian landscape is actually a great location for a film like this, so it was a good choice to let this story be told in a small desert town. I do believe that director Sandra Sciberras have some interesting ideas behind this film, but for some reason she choose to skip some very important details that would have helped The Dustwalker become a more interesting sci fi horror film. If you are a fan of this genre, i suggest you watch John Carpenter´s The Thing instead, and i guarantee you will be more pleased.

Rating: DD

söndag 14 juni 2020

A Summer With Lou Diamond Phillips: Bats

If you grew up like me in the 80´s, you remember some of the great 80´s Hollywood stars. They were everywhere, on posters, on VHS covers and on TV as well. This was a magical time for us who especially went a lot to the cinema during the 80´s. I was too young to see some films, especially in the horror genre, but thanks to certain people, i managed to get in there anyway. One of the true 80´s stars that made a huge impact, is of course actor Lou Diamond Phillips. I remember seeing him for the first time in La Bamba, where he played Chicano rock´n´roll star Ritchie Valens. You could tell that Lou Diamond Phillips was the perfect choice for the lead actor. He had the looks, and the right acting ability to bring out a strong portrait of Ritchie Valens. Lou Diamond Phillips got his big break in La Bamba, and he was about to take Hollywood by storm. Especially with the western film Young Guns, released in 1988. With an incredible list of great actors such as Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Terry O´ Quinn, Terence Stamp, Jack Palance and many more, it was one of the best western films of the 80´s. I have to say that Lou Diamond Phillips as the character Jose Chavez, was one of the true highlights of Young Guns. It would only take 2 years and we got a sequel for Young Guns in 1990. If you enjoyed the first film, then i am pretty sure you would enjoy Young Guns 2 as well. Lou Diamond Phillips continued making an impact in Hollywood, and released a lot of films during the early 90´s. So when i was thinking last month about doing something special for this summer, i thought to myself:- Why not pick out 3 films i have not seen with Lou Diamond Phillips, and write 3 reviews and call this segment A Summer With Lou Diamond Phillips. Since he have done a lot of films over the years, i started started looking into his filmography and what films to pick. I finally decided to begin with the 1999 horror film known as Bats. I have heard about this film in the past, but actually never seen it. Is this a film that will become a cult film in the future, or should you skip watching Bats?

After people start to die in the small Texas town of Gallup, the prime suspects are bats. The CDC calls in chiropetrologists Dr. Sheila Casper ( Dina Meyer ), and her assistant, Jimmy Sands ( Leon Robinson ), to investigate the situation. They find out that Dr. Alexander McCabe ( Bob Gunton ) have been involved in a project, where the bats were genitically modified by him to become more intelligent than ordinary bats. Dr. Sheila understand that this bat species could kill a lot of people, if they were to attack in large groups. With the help of Sherriff Emmet Kinsey ( Lou Diamond Phillips ), they need to find a way to stop these bats, before they will wipe out the whole town.

If you are not used to see Lou Diamond Phillips in a horror film, then i have some good news for you. He has no problem delivering a character that works well with the plot of this film. You might think that a horror film with bats may sound pretty cheesy, but the fact is that this film manage to take on the classic concept of animal horror, and lift it up to a different level. These big bats are actually effective in a horror film, and once they attack you can feel the fear in the victims. Bats feels almost like a film inspired by the film Nightwing, a horror film about bats, released in 1979. I could be wrong of course, but there are some similarities between these two films. Nightwing takes place in New Mexico and the film Bats takes place in Texas. Both are different locations, but you can tell that the environment feels similar with the desert landscapes, including that both films have bats attacking. The characters in this film do work, for the most part, But the character that works best is Lou Diamind Phillips character Sherriff Emmet. Lou have a natural way to develope his character, to match with the film. Another actor i think manage to handle his portrait in a positive way, is actor Leon Robinson. He plays the character Jimmy Sands, and he is actually the one who brings a good sense of humour into this film. I would also like to say that Leon have a charming personality, that fits in with this team. Since this film is made as monster attack film, i would say that this film manage to bring something for fans of this genre. The giant bats are of course the highlight, and they look pretty nasty as well. Director Louis Morneau ( who directed the classic B movie Soldier Boyz, with Michael Dudikoff ) have found a way to make a monster movie, by using a classic concept and shape it in a different, but effective way. Bats is a perfect popcorn choice for your summer evening, if you enjoy horror, and Lou Diamond Phillips of course.

Rating: DDD

lördag 13 juni 2020


We have so much to learn from war veterans. What they have gone through, is something we could never understand, unless you have been in a real war. I have seen some documentaries where war veterans tell their horrific stories, of what they experienced in war, and how they struggle to live a normal life. There are a lot of really good films that have told different stories about American soldiers, who have been in different wars through out history. One of the films that i will always remember, is the 1989 film Born On The Fourth Of July, directed by legendary director Oliver Stone. This film is based on the story of Vietnam war veteran Ron Kovic, and Tom Cruise did a really strong portrait of Ron in this film. One of the biggest reasons why Born On The Fourth Of July is such a great drama film, is that you really get a sense of how Ron never gave up. He wanted to show people that soldiers like him have been treated badly, and he did not give up, he kept on struggling to let people know how hard it is to be a war veteran, living with the memories and experiencing the horror of a war. A must see if you enjoy strong drama films, with powerful acting and based on a true story. Speaking of 1989, this was also the year when legendary actor Rutger Hauer released his action comedy Blind Fury, where he played a blind Vietnam veteran Nick Parker, who has a sword inside his blind stick, that he use to take down bad guys, while he travels to America to rescue the son of a fellow soldier. I love the idea of a blind Soldier, who fights with his sword. It is a brilliant concept, that works well with this film. A true classic in the films of Rutger Hauer, and one of the best films from director Phillip Noyce´s catalogue. What if you had Vietnam war veterans, fighting against a drug cartel, in an ordinary American neighborhood ? This is the basic story of the film VFW, that i have heard a lot of positive Reviews about. I had a feeling this could be something unique, so i picked up a Blu Ray from the UK. Is this the best film of the summer of 2020, or is VFW a film that does not leave any impact at all ?

Fred Parras ( Stephen Lang ) is a Vietnam war veteran, who runs a bar for war veterans like himself. Here, he gather with his old war friends such as Walter Reed ( William Sadler ), Abe Hawkins ( Fred Williamson ), Lou Clayton ( Martin Kove ) and many more, to have a good time together, in the company of alcohol of course. Across the street there is a drug cartel, who is run by their leader Roadie ( Graham Skipper ). When the girl Lizard ( Graham Skipper ) escape from the drug cartel with their drugs, she heads over to the war veteran bar. They soon realise that this drug cartel will do anything to get their drugs, but these war veterans have survived a war, and they will not give up that easily.

If you enjoyed the Rutger Hauer B movie action film Hobo With A Shotgun, then i got some good news for you. VFW is like a throwback of Cannon Films, with influences of Hobo With A Shotgun and From Dusk Till Dawn, with some really brutal practical effects. But that´s not all that makes this film a unique experience. The casting of this film is incredible, especially if you grew up watching a lot of 70´s and 80´s films. There are some really legendary actors here such as Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson, George Wendt, Martin Kove, David Patrick Kelly among others. This is a cast that you do not see very often together, and that makes this film a very unique experience. But that´s not all. You see, this whole cast have managed to make their characters feel like they are real friend, something you don´t see very often either in a film. The chemistry between these actors are so good, that i am very pleasantly surprised. The acting in this film is actually good, and it would take forever to go through all these characters, so i will just say that i feel that they all did a good job with their characters. One thing i have to mention, is how happy i am to see legendary actor Fred Williamson´s character Abe, as he reminded me of his character Frost in the 90´s cult film From Dusk Till Dawn. He may be a bit older, but he can still crack some skulls and make flesh wounds without any problems. Some other important details about this film, is the special make up effects by Josh and Sierra Russel. They have done an excellent job on this film, and give us some really wonderful treats. There is a lot of blood, body parts being ripped apart, and much more. So if you are a fan of films with practical effects, then this is the film for you. The original music score by Steve Moore is brillant, that sounds like coming straight from the 80´s. Director Joe Begos ( who have directed a number of films, such as Almost Human and The Mind´s Eye ) have made a film that i can easily say is one of the best action horror films in a long time. He knows how to capture the style of 80´s and 90´s in a very effective way, and he clearly worked hard to make this film a tribute to the classics that i grew up with. VFW is without a doubt one of the best films to watch this summer, and to see war veterans kicking ass is one hell of a good time. What are you waiting for ? Get VFW on DVD or Blu Ray now, and i guarantee that your summer will be fantastic.

Rating: DDDD

söndag 7 juni 2020

Kindred Spirits

Directors who take on stories from a female perspective is very interesting to me. We have seen a large number of films over the years, that take on different stories from a woman´s perspective. I could probably mention a list of director´s in here that have managed to do some really good films in the past, but i decided to pick out one specific director. And that is director Lucky McKee, who have directed several horror films with female lead actors, in almost every film he have directed. My first film i saw from his catalogue, is the 2002 horror film known as May. This is a horror film i remember for a couple of reasons. First of all, lead actress Angela Bettis, who did a really good performance as the disturbed character May Dove Cana. You feel sorry for her, considering that she was always seen as different from everyone else. Angela give the character May a very unique personality, and you can tell she really captured that feeling through her performance. This is a horror film that shows you what can happen, when you don´t know where to draw the line between what is ok, and what is considered to be disturbing. May is a must see, if you enjoy horror films that are a bit different from the independent film catalogue. You should be able to find this film for a good price on DVD, in case you can´t find it on rental. The second film i especially remember from director Lucky McKee, is his best film in my opinion, known as The Woman. This is a really disturbing film, of family father Chris Clerk ( played by actor Sean Bridgers ) who capture a woman, who he is believed to be the last member of a cannibalistic tribe, and keep her trapped on his property. The Woman is a very fascinating, and different kind of horror film, and i guarantee you will enjoy this one if you love disturbing human behavior. The Woman was released on Arrow Video in a new wonderful special edition on Blu Ray, a must buy for everyone. I have heard about director Lucky McKee´s latest film Kindred Spirits since late last year, but i finally got a chance to see the film on VOD. Is this another highlight from this wonderful director, or has he run out of luck this time ?

Chloe ( Thora Birch ) is a successfull single mother, living with her young daughter Nicole ( Sasha Frolova ). One day, they get an unexpected visit from Aunt Sadie ( Caitlin Stasey ), who have not been in their home for many years. Nicole is especially happy to spend time with her Aunt, since they get a long very well. As the days go by, the behavior of Aunt Sadie is changing, and she seems to like a completely different person. No one expected this family to fall apart.....

Considering the past of director Lucky McKee, this is his most dramatic film so far. And if you think about how effective his horror films have turned out to be in the past, this is definetely a film that show us a completely new direction for McGee. Is that a bad thing ? I would say no, because if you can go into this film with an open mind, there are some positive things to say about Kindred Spirits. First of all, i was reminded of the 1992 psychological thriller Single White Female. Not that these film have a lot in common, but when you see the behavior of character Sadie, played by actress Caitlin Stasey ( who some of you might recognize from the 2010 film Tomorrow, When The War Began ) you realise that there is something wrong with her, just as the character Hedra Carlson in Single White Female. Caitlin delivers one of the strongest acting performances in this film. The other detail i enjoy about this film, is that we get to follow the lives of three different women, and the challenges they face living in the same home, as they deal with their personal issues. You can sense that everything is falling apart as Sadie takes more control in this family, as if she has planned to cause damage. As the film goes on, you get a sense that Aunt Sadie has a really disturbing personality, who wishes she was young again, and she wants to control everyone around her. Not only that, she even hurt hurself to make it look like she has been attacked. What a lovely family member right? Actress Thora Birch ( who i especially remember from Ghost World ) looks fantastic, and she also deliver a solid performance as the character Chloe. Kindred Spirits does not reach the same quality level as May or The Woman, but i still feel that there is an interesting story here. And with solid performances from the cast, director Lucky McKee manage to show us how a family can fall apart in a simple, but realistic portrait with this tragic story. It is too bad Kindred Spirits in not avaible on DVD or Blu Ray, and just on VOD. For fans of director Lucky McKee, it would have been fun to own a copy of this film, to add to their collection. Still worth checking out, if you enjoy psychological thrillers. Exuse me for a moment, i better make sure i locked my door, just in case my Aunt will surprise me with a visit...…

Rating: DDD

torsdag 4 juni 2020

Exit O

There is something special about making a weekend holiday, with your partner. Just to get away from all the stress, check into a hotel to relax and enjoy your holiday. I will never forget my first holiday weekend with my wife in Prague, Czech Republic. We stayed at a hostel, where everyone showered together ( being naked together in Prague was no problem ), and we had a neighbor who smoke pot all day infront of his computer, who never seemed to leave his room. At a local pub we were offered to have sex with their two female waitresses , so basically just an ordinary weekend in Prague. We also saw a Nun driving like a maniac up in the hills, and i am pretty sure she did not know what speed limit means. We have had several other weekends in Europe since then, and i have to say they were not as strange as Prague was. When ever i think about films that takes places in hotels, or motels, i could easily think of Alfred Hitchcock´s classic film Psycho. But to be honest, when i think of films that takes place in a hotel, i usually think of the 1989 horror film Puppet Master. For those of you who don´t know the Puppet Master franchise, these films tells the story of pupeteer André Toulon, who created very unique living puppets. Each puppet have their own unique way of killing victims. The first film takes place in Bodega Bay Inn, where a group of physics meet to investigate the hiding place of André Toulon, 50 years after André shot himself in the head. And this is where the physics team begin to experience strange events, with puppets killing anyone in their way. Puppet Master is a true 80´s classic with some fun moments, even if i like Puppet Master 2 more, for a number of reasons. I recently came across a film called Exit O on DVD from Breaking Glass Pictures, that seemed to be inspired by Alfred Hitchcock films. Is this independent thriller film better than i expected, or should we have left Exit O buried out in the garden ?

The couple Billy Curtis ( Gabe Fazio ) and Lisa ( Augie Duke ) travel to spend a weekend together in a very old hotel, to repair their relationship. But everything is
about to change when Billy finds a VHS tape under the bed, as he watches the tape and see a very brutal murder, that took place in this room. He contacts Detective Mueller ( Federico Castelluccio ) to tell him about the VHS tape. But the tape have suddenly vanished, and Billy begin to believe that someone in this hotel knows more than it seems.

To be honest, i had no high expectations on Exit O. The movie poster actually looks pretty good, but you know how it is sometimes, a movie poster does not guarantee a good film. In the case of Exit O, i have to admit that the poster does fit with the movie, while remaining some secret details . The thing that makes Exit O a different kind of film experience than most independent thriller films, is that this film is more focused on the characters, than setting up the usual story. In some ways i would rather call this film a psychological trip of secrets, than an ordinary thriller release. The characters in this film are actually more developed than the ordinary DVD release, so i am quite surprised by this. One of the acting performances that i feel especially stands out from the rest of the cast, is legendary actor Peter Greene ( who many remember from 90´s classics such as Pulp Fiction and The Mask ) as the character The Writer. As soon as we get to see him introduce himself, we know that this is a unique and fascinating character. Another character i enjoy is actress Augie Duke ( that most of you will recognize from the sci fi horror film Spring ) who plays Lisa. There is something charming about seeing Augie do her character so natural. I have to mention actor Gabe Fazio ( who you probably have seen in The Place Beyond The Pines ) as Billy, a character he handles without any problems. Exit O is a pleasent surprise for me, because i am not used to see some good acting in a film on a budget like this film has. And that is for a me a good sign, that if you have actors who go into their character with passion, it does not matter what the budget of the film is. This is in some ways a slow film, so if you have patience and can accept the atmosphere, then i have a feeling you might see what Exit O has to offer to the audience. I have seen a few films from Breaking Glass Pictures over the years, and Exit O is one of their better films for sure. There are some details that could have been improved, but overall i am impressed. Director E.B. Hughes have directed several films, but this is the first film i have seen that he have directed. I have to say that i like his vision with this story, that he relies more on the characters, than using the same thriller clichés that we are used to see. Pick up Exit O on DVD and show your support to the cast and director of this film. They deserve support after giving us this interesting story.

Rating: DDD

Alien Outbreak

Every summer in Sweden, we do what we usually do. We love to become the nordic version of Alabama rednecks, who have moonshine, dance around the grass fields, just like our viking ancestors did ( at least we like to think so ). Especially during Swedish midsummer, when the moonshine helps us become better at everything. We become better at running, and we also look better naked. Don´t ask me why, this is just the way it is, Swedish midsummer style. But there is one more important detail that Swedish people need every summer, and that is alien invasion films. Swedes love to see the people of Earth battle against aliens, and this has been a summer tradition for us since we first saw the sci fi horror film Critters in 1986. If you have not seen Critters, then you should check it out. This is a fun alien horror comedy film with flesh eating creatures known as Critters, who lands on Earth in the countryside and start attacking small town citizens. This film has fun characters, cheesy dialogue and pretty fun practical effects as well. One important detail about Critters, is that this film is the directorial debut film for director Stephen Herek, who went on making films such as Holy Man with Eddie Murphy ( a film that makes fun of TV shopping, and have a few funny scenes ). The sequel Critters 2: The Main Course may be the best film in this franchise, that have some really crazy scenes. Let´s not get into Critters 3 or 4, for a good reason. If you have been to England, you know they have a lot of beautiful locations to visit. I have only been to a few locations so far, but i especially think that the cozy small towns are charming.So what if a small British community was invaded by aliens, could they handle this on their own ? This is the basic plot of the film Alien Outbreak, that i picked up on DVD from America ( it is coming out in July on DVD in the UK ). Is this the perfect alien invasion film for this summer, or should you pick up Critters on DVD or Blu Ray instead ?

Sgt Zoe Norris ( Katherine Drake ) and Constable Patrick ( Ritchie Crane ) works in a small rural community. When some people suddenly kill themselves for some unkown reason, Sgt Zoe is shocked to see that this may be because an alien invasion that their community is about to experience. With no help from the outside world, Sgt Zoe and Patrick are forced to try and fight back against these unknown visitors, with the help of their small community.

Going into Alien Outbreak without knowing very little about the cast or the director of this film, i have to say that i am a little bit surprised. This film was made on a very limited budget, but the design of the aliens is actually pretty impressive, considering the budget. The aliens looks like some kind of robot, combined with a insect looking design, as if they were inspired by old sci fi films from the 50´s or 60´s. I actually appreciate this design, since it does not loke like a traditional alien that we are used to see. But that´s not all. We also have other aliens here as well, especially the big tall ones, looking like being inspired from the Silent Hill games. They are actually quite effective, who may not do much, but the design feels interesting. One of the things that Alien Outbreak manage to do as well, is bring us a good lead female character. The character Sgt Zoe Norris, played by actress Kathrine Drake, is a great match for a story like this, a woman who takes her job seriously, but has a good heart as well. Katherine manage to balance this performance, that she give her character a realistic portrait. I also enjoy the performance of actor Michael Terry, who plays the old man Dale. I actually think that Michael brings one of the better acting performances in this film, from the male cast. When it comes to acting from the rest of the cast, it feels very divided. Some of the characters you won´t really feel interested in, since they are only in the film in a few scenes. As a sci fi film, Alien Outbreak is surprisingly good for such a low budget, and this film actually manage to make an alien invasion work with the location of the British countryside. Director Neil Rowe ( who directed the 2015 sci film Robot World, that i have not seen ) have made a good decision to make an alien film that reminds us of sci fi films of the 60´s, and he clearly have been inspired by films from the past. If you are a fan of films in this genre, then i suggest you pick up Alien Outbreak on DVD this summer, and have a fun time with family. After all, nothing works better at a family barbecue, than enjoying an alien invasion together.

Rating: DDD