fredag 20 november 2020

Christmas Unwrapped

Ah yes, Christmas time. The one time of the year i can do my favourite hobby, and that is make Christmas candy naked. So why naked while making Christmas candy?  It is very simple, i follow the traditions of Denmark. You see, in Denmark they say that unless you are naked making Christmas candy ( only adults of course ), you never know what extra ingredients you might find. So, when i found out that this is an old Danish tradition i knew i love Denmark instantly. Well, there are other good things about Denmark as well of course, they have nudists there, good beer, sure i can think of more things, just give me a few minutes.

Christmas in general is that time of the year when we can gather family, tell everyone how much we hate each other and have fist fights, just like the good old days of Scandinavian celebrations. I have no problem with Christmas, as long as i don´t need to walk a long time in the snow. Just give me some alcohol and i love Christmas ( don´t tell my cousins anything else, or they might be pissed off ). Christmas songs, food, decorations, and of course Christmas movies, it is all part of the most wonderful time of the year. Speaking of Christmas films, i am sure that a lot of you have some favourites to choose between. I know a couple of ones that i enjoy, and especially one film from 2012 known as Silent Night from director Stevem C. Miller. This is a loose remake of the 1984 cult classic Silent Night, Deadly Night. One of the reasons why i enjoy Silent Night is because this is such a brutal horror film. How often do you see Santa Clause go around killing people with different weapons, including a flame thrower ? This film also have a wonderful cast included with legendary actor Malcolm McDowell, actress Jamie King, and of course Donal Logue ( who most of you remember from the 90´s classic Blade ). So if you want to get into the right Christmas spirit, pick up Silent Night on DVD. Since i realised that Christmas is only a couple of weeks away, i decided to do something different. Last year i reviewed a Hallmark Channel film called The Mistletoe Secret, just to do a completely different kind of film review. So, this year i decided to check what TV channel Lifetime had to offer in the new Christmas movie selection. So i just picked out one film called Christmas Unwrapped, without even seeing a trailer. Is this the film that will make this Christmas feel better, or is this a film that will make us all depressed ?

Charity Jones ( Amber Stevens West ) is a hard working reporter, who is assigned to write a story on the mysterious millionaire Erik Gallagher ( Marco Grazzini ), who gives away millions of dollars in personalized gifts every holiday season. No one really knows the background story of Erik, and Charity is determined to reveal his secrets.

Let´s be honest and say that if you hate Hallmark Channel and Lifetime movies ( for some reason ), i doubt you are going to change your mind by watching Christmas Unwrapped. You will recognize the formula of a TV movie like this, it is very friendly, and you won´t find any bad language either. And i get it, this is supposed to be seen by the whole family, so in that way it is a positive detail. Some of you might have read my review of The Mistletoe Secret from Hallmark Channel last year, and you might remember that i especially pointed out that actress Kellie Pickler did not give a good acting performance. I have some good news folks regarding the film Christmas Unwrapped, and that is that lead actress Amber Stevens West ( who i especially remember from the film 22 Jump Street ) gives a better performance in this film. I would say that she is the biggest reason why you want to see this film, because there is something charming about her personality of her character Charity Jones. I would describe Charity as a realistic woman, who works really hard to achieve her goal. Actor Marco Grazzini will definetely make women smile in this film, his character Erik Gallagher is that kind of guy who is wedding material for a lot of women. Just show your girlfriends a picture of him, and i guarantee they will be dreaming of him for months ( i meant years ). Chistmas Unwrapped have a bigger cozy feeling that The Mistletoe Secret, in the sense that the characters here feels more realistic. It is nice to see legendary actor Anthony Sherwood ( those of you that watched TV series Airwolf in the 80´s will recognize him ) here as Charity´s father. If you love this kind of Christmas films, then i am sure that Christmas Unwrapped will fit right into your taste. My biggest issue with this film is that i would have liked to see this film more fun, because it does not give us a lot of entertainment. It is a friendly Christmas film, and i enjoy actress Amber´s performance. Other than that, nothing really makes Christmas Unwrapped stand out from the typical Christmas movie. Director Bosede Williams have at least done a Lifetime movie that have some qualities to be thankful for, i only wish she would have taken more chances, considering the great cast.

Rating: DD

onsdag 18 november 2020

Arthur & Merlin: Knights Of Camelot

I remember when i was a young boy, i used to go a lot to the local library in my hometown in the 80´s. This was at a time when you had no internet, and you read actual books. It was often when i decided to read stories based on historical legends that i became more curious to read. One book that i did read was about the story of King Arthur, the British leader who battled against the Saxon invaders. Once you started to read about this legend, it was almost like being in the battlefields with King Arthur, battling side by side with this king, letting the sword drill into the bodies of the Saxon army. The book i read at the time ( can´t remember the title ) was almost telling the story of King Arthur as a folklore story, so i don´t know what facts are supposed to be true or not, but it was a good book. Moving on into the 90´s, and it was in 1998 i became fascinated again by the story of King Arthur, through a television miniseries called Merlin from director Steve Barron. Even if this television series was mainly focused on the character Merlin, you also had King Arthur ( played by actor Paul Curran ) who were a very important part of this TV miniseries. Merlin have a wonderful cast of legendary actors such as Sam Neil, Rutger Hauer, Isabella Rosselini, James Earl Jones, Helena Bonam Carter, Martin Short, Miranda Richardson and many more. With a cast like this to the story of King Arthur and Merlin, this was a delightful miniseries to experience. I actually have the DVD somewhere in my collection, and it is worth checking out ( should be easy to find for a good price on Amazon ). In 2004, it was time for Hollywood to bring King Arthur to the big screen with actor Cliwe Owen as the legendary king. Actually a pretty good film, and if you enjoy violence on the battlefield, then you have found the right film to see. Director Antione Fuqia managed to bring the story of King Arthur forward in a more brutal way than before, and i appreciate that. As i was going through DVD releases in the UK, i found that one film have been released this summer that i have missed completely. A film called Arthur & Merling: Knights Of Camelot, and of course i had to see what this film had to offer. Is this one of the better movie adaptations of the classic story of King Arthur, or is this just a film trying to cash in and fool the audience?

Arthur ( Richard Short ) have led battles across the land, leaving his illegitimate son Modred ( Joel Phillimore ) ruiling Camelot. But his son have corrupted the throne of Camelot. Athur finds out what Modred is doing, and he is forced to return to Camelot with the wizard Merlin ( Richard Brake ) and the Knights of the round table to reclaim his throne.

If you are looking for epic battles between King Arthur and his army on the battlefield, then this film might disappoint you. This is more of an attempt to tell the story of King Arthur in a dramatic way. If some of the actors would have given a better performance, this might have worked more effective. Unfortunately, this film suffer with some bad acting performances ( not from everyone, but too many ). So this leaves us with what is left with this film, a story of King Arthur who is clearly in pain, both emotionally and physically. One thing i believe would have helped this film become more fun, is more sword fights. We do get to see a few short scenes, but between these scenes there are a lot of dialogue scenes. But i have to say, of the characters that this film bring us, King Arthur ( played by actor Richard Short, who you might recognize from TV series Mary Kills People ), he is one of the few who give an acting performance with his character. And that is too bad, because if we only had more battle scenes with King Arthur and his men, instead of all the dialogue scenes ( that feels drawn out just to fill in the empty spots of the plot ), we might have had a stronger story of King Arthur. Legendary actor Richard Brake ( who you all have seen in some of Rob Zombie´s horror films ) plays Merlin here, but unfortunately he is not in this film much at all. And to be honest, he does not really give a strong acting perforance either. Arthur & Merling: Knight Of Camelot does have some nice cinematography from Andrew Rodger, perhaps the best part of this film. And some of the locations of this film do capture the look of the landscape of King Arthur´s home. But other than that, there are too many flaws with this film. Director Giles Alderson ( who directed the horror film The Dare ) have tried to make a more dramatic film about King Arthur, and that was a mistake, when this film needed epic battles instead to please the audience. If you love King Arthur films, i suggest you watch the 2004 film instead of this one. There is one scene though that reminded me of Jean-Claude Van Damme 90´s classic Lionheart, when King Arthur fist fight against a big musle man, i never thought i would see King Arthur doing a Van Damme classic, but this is actually a fun scene. Maybe that is the King Arhur we need to see next time, a raw bastard who will fight anyone.

Rating: DD

söndag 15 november 2020

In Early 2021, I Will Be Doing Two Reviews Of Friday The 13th Fan Films.... Never Hike Alone, And.... Never Hike In The Snow

 Greetings movie lovers!

This is your favourite Swedish movie critic Daniel speaking, and yes, i know you are all excited to see me here. I love you all my readers as well, and for this reason i have decided to do something for next year, especially for fans of the Friday The 13th franchise.

As you may know, those who are big fans of Friday The 13th, there have been several fan films made over the years, where especially one of them did get positive reviews and respect from fans of this genre. And that is a Friday The 13th fan film known as Never Hike Alone, released in 2017. I actually have not seen this film myself, but ever since i heard about this project i was curious to check it out. But it was actually this year i discovered this film, through an Indiegogo campaign for Never Hike In The Snow, wich is a prequel to Never Hike Alone. So to make it more fun for all you fans of Friday The 13th, i will be doing reviews for both of these films, in early 2021. I can not say exactly when, depending on when i get the chance to see them. But you know that these reviews will be made, sometime during early 2021. How exciting is that? Yes i agree, it is more exciting than former pop band East 17 member Brian Harvey´s conspiracy videos on Youtube.

Stay tuned for more information, and i have more reviews coming your way before the year ends, and....this year i will also do a Top 3 Worst Movies Of 2020, isn´t that wonderful folks? Yes i believe so, this should be appreciated by all readers for sure. So if you are a fan of Friday The 13th films, now you know you have something to look forward to in 2021.

Take care everyone, and remember, support independent films and B movies, so we can get more films made in the future, the most important lesson for today.

Cheers from Daniel 

lördag 14 november 2020

A Request Review From Joe Williamson: Abstruse

When you have written reviews as many years as i have ( probably for 20 years, and almost 10 years on this blog ), you get to see a lot of different types of films. And that is exactly what i love about writing reviews, every film is different from each other in some ways. Some of them may be in a similar genre, or have an actor that i have reviewed several films from, but i try to mix it up to make it more fun. Not just for me, but for my readers as well. One thing i especially love to do is watch films that are made on a limited budget, known as independent films. And over the years i have seen a lot of different films, made by independent directors. When Hollywood is focusing a lot on doing remakes, sequels and prequels with big budget, this is where independent films usually have a lot to offer. They can make films with a lot more ideas than the big budget films usually do, with a completely different freedom to mix up genres, and take chances. Even if i have reviewed quite a lot of independent films, there are films that i never reviewed that i was planning to do. One of those films that i was planning to review, but never did, is the 2018 independent film Living Space, also known as Nazi Undead from director Steven Spiel. This was one of those independent horror films that looked interesting, and i knew i had to check it out. Living Space ( Nazi Undead ) tells the story of college sweethearts Brad ( played by actor Leigh Scully ) and Ashley ( played by actress Georgia Chara ) are travelling across Germany to visit especially one historical location. But their vacation is about to take a different turn. Nazi Undead is actually a nice surprise, and i especially enjoy the dead nazi general played by Andy McPhee. You can find the film here if you are interested to check it out:

Speaking of independent films, i was asked a while ago from film producer Joe Williams if i could review a film called Abstruse. Of course i said yes, since i am always curious about seeing independent films in all genres ( there is no connection between Nazi Undead and Abstruse, except that they are both independent films. So i finally got a chance to see if Abstruse would be any good. Is this a masterpiece that everyone should see, or is Abstruse as forgettable as Anna Books underwear sales online for fans ?

Justin Stevens ( Kris Reilly ) and his friend Daniel ( Dennis Marin ) are excited about having a good time with some girls, when Justin flip out during a sexual game, and he ends up killing a woman. Amanda London ( Kaiti Wallen ) become a witness to this horrific crime, and tries to tell the truth to Detective Caldwell ( Harkey Wallen ) and Detective Morris ( Jerry Hayes ). When they find drugs in her blood samples, they are not sure if she is telling the truth, especially after 2 cops searched Justin´s appartment for evidence. How will Amanda clear her name, knowing that she is telling the truth?

One thing that strikes me right away about the film poster of Abstruse is that it looks like a straight action film. But this is actually not an action film, i would probably call it more of a crime drama. And i have no problem with that, because if this would have been an action film, it would have needed a lot of action scenes, since this film is almost 2 hours. Abstruse delivers a plot that we have seen before, but that´s ok. What matters is that we get a story that is interesting, and in some parts of the plot we do have potential. But the biggest problem of Abstruse are two things. First of all the length of this film is too long, for such a simple plot. Crime thrillers can be good for 2 hours, but you need something to make the film feel intensive, or at least make sure that something exciting happens. The film do pick up a bit better after around 90 minutes, but that´s a long time to wait for something to happen. My second problem with Abstruse is that some of the female characters are not very good ( except for actress Kaiti Wallen ), so this film basically holds up better through the male actors. Now to some positive, and that is especially two actors. Actor Kris Reilly as the serial killer Justin Stevens is actually a highlight in this film, and even if i have never seen him act before, i get a sense that he might be up to something good, if he works on his acting. He does leave an impact in this film, and that is of coure a good sign. The best acting performance comes from legendary actor Dennis Haskins ( you all remember Mr. Richard Belding in 90´s TV series Saved By The Bell? ) as Senator Stevens. Dennis is the one who is clearly taken his role seriously, and makes sure to show it through his performance. I have to mention legendary actor Tom Sizemore who is here as well, and he does ok. Waving a Swedish flag of course for actor Harley Wallen as Detective Caldwell, i got to say that he should be the detective we need in Sweden to get things in order. Abstruse is not a bad film, because there are parts of the film i do enjoy. But with a length of almost 2 hours for such a simple story becomes too long, that could have easily been 1 hour and 40 minutes instead. Director Harley Wallen have made good films in the past, such as Eternal Code, and i am curious to check out his upcoming projects. Abstruse shows that director Harley Wallen have potential to make a good crime thriller, but in this film it is not enough to make it solid thriller. A good attempt though, i will admit that.

Rating: DD

fredag 13 november 2020

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery Of Prodigious Bride To American Regime For Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation Of Kazakhztan ( Borat Gift Of Sexy Monkey To Vice Premier Mikhael Pence For Make Benefit Recently Diminished Nation of Kazahkstan )

Comedy is not what it used to be. There used to be a time when you could joke about anything, that includes homosexuals, transexuals, different personalities in society, different religions, different nationalities. And why is that? I think there are many reasons why it is harder to joke in society today. I remember the good old days, when me and my friend Robert could sit at the strip club and joke with strippers, and they had a great time with us. We respected the girls, and did not touch them, but we did joke a lot, and they were all in on this. Today, you can´t joke on the same level, and that is because of a movement we have in Sweden called " Swedish Extreme Feminist Savages ". If you ever meet these women, you should follow the following rules:

* If you are a man, hide in any building, and don´t go out until they have gone, or you might not have your " Schleizerneinen " anymore.
* Do not say you love Magnum P.I. with Tom Selleck, this is the thing that Swedish Extreme Feminist Savages hate most of all, because of hairy chest and mustache.
* If you see any of these women burn DVD´s of Road House with Patrick Swayze, you know this is their way of saying:- Men should not exist.

But there was a time of hope that i still remember, that changed everything to the better. And that was the year of 2006, when one film gave all men hope for a better world. And we can all thank the comedy film called Borat: Cultural Learnings Of America For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Kazakhstan, with comedian actor Sacha Baron Cohen in the lead role as Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev. Borat is still one of the funniest comedy´s in the last 14 years. This film made fun of everyone, Americans, Jewish people, Homosexuals, Christians, Feminists, basically everyone. And this is why i loved this film, because we needed a comedy film that was not afraid to offend everyone, and Sacha Baron Cohen is brilliant as Borat. The first film showed us his journey to America, where he planned to learn the Culture of America, and he finds his Dream wife Pamela Andersson who he nust kidnap. There are so many funny scenes in this film, but the wrestling scene between Borat and his friend Azamat while they are naked, will be a future classic. If you by any chance have not seen the first Borat film, you have to see it. No one expected to see a sequel to Borat be released this year, but they actually made a film in secret. So of course i was really happy to see the greatest Journalist from Kazakhstan return, and travel back to America one more time. This film had it´s premiere on Amazon Prime, so of course i just had to get it to watch this film. Is this sequel almost as good as the first film, or is the charm of Borat gone forever with this sequel ?

14 years ago, the movie Borat humiliated the population of Kazhakstan, causing Borat Sagdiyev ( Sacha Baron Cohen ) to be imprisoned for life. 14 years later, the country´s Premier, Nursultan Nazarbayev ( Dani Popescu ) releases him, with a mission to deliver Kazakh Minister of Culture Johnny The Monkey ( Kazakhstan´s most famous porn star ) to Donald Trump in an attempt to redeem the nation. Borat goes to America, but since he took a dump right in front of the Trump International Tower outside, he can not deliver the gift to Trump personally. So he must bring Johnny The Monkey  to Vice President. But there is a major problem, when the delivery of Johnny arrives to America, he is dead, and inside the box is his daughter Tutar Sagdiyev ( Maria Bakalova ). If Borat do not succeed with his mission, he will be killed in Kazakhstan, so he must find another way to make everything alright.

I knew it would be tricky making a sequel to such a classic film as Borat, but i have to say this is a solid sequel. Is it as funny as the first film? Unfortunately no, but there are still a lot of funny scenes who will piss off a lot of people, and that is exactly what we want in a film like this. Borat go on with his wonderful personality, and he does not care if he offends anyone, just as it should be. One thing that makes this film unique, was that it was filmed during the pandemic, so this gives Borat a completely different experience in America. Some of the funniest scenes is when Borat goes home to Trump supporters, or when he tries to give Vice President Mike Pence his own daughter as a gift. There are a lot more scene i could mention, but im gonna leave those surprises until you seen the film yourself. One thing that i actually think turned out to be a good idea for this sequel, is the relationship between Borat and his daughter Tutar ( really well played by Bulgarian actress Maria Bakalova ). This is no ordinary father / daughter relationship, and how can it be when we know that Borat is the father? There are some really funny scenes between these characters, and i guarantee you will laugh, especially in the scenes when Tutar tries to learn to behave like an American lady, and of course that can´t end well. Sacha Baron Cohen does a really good job portraying Borat again, and we know that no one can do this character the way that he does. How does this sequel manage to bring in some polictical messages in this time around ? I would say that there are some scenes where we get a glimpse of political satire, especially towards Donald Trump. Since there are not many comedies out there today that can make me laugh, Borat 2 does exactly what i wanted this film to do, give me a really good time. It´s not a classic as the first film, but this could be the funniest comedy of 2020. Director Jason Woliner manage to bring out some of the things we would expect to see in a new Borat film, and still bring in some fresh ideas as well. If you are an extreme feminist you will hate this movie, and that makes me love this film even more, high five……

Rating: DDDD

torsdag 12 november 2020


For the rest of the years that i will be alive on this Earth, i may never get an answer if we have alien life forms in space. This may take a very long time, but at some point in the future, we may have the technology to find answers, that we can not find today. Do i believe that there are other life forms out there? I would probably say yes, since we have no idea what could be living in all the planets that we have not discovered yet. Some of you might have read about the planet called K2-18b, where articles last autumn mentioned that they have discovered water on this planet. Fascinating of course, and who knows what else they might discover as they continue to look into this planet. When ever i think of space and films, i always return to one of the best sci fi horror films ever made, and that is of course the 1986 film known as Aliens from director John Carpenter. I know a lot of Alien fans love the first film more than this sequel, but i personally prefer the sequel to the original film for a number of reasons. Aliens does not only include fantastic special effects, but this film is very well made, and is in my opinion the best film from director James Cameron. His camera technique in this film is brilliant, and he manage to capture the claustrophobic atmosphere really well. I have to say that this film also manage to combine action and horror in a much more effective way than we have seen before. The cast in this film does a wonderful job as well, where especially legendary actress Sigourney Weaver is fantastic as Ripley. If you for some reason have not seen Aliens, then you should pick this film up right away on DVD or Blu Ray, but see the extended cut, it is the best version of Aliens. Earlier this year, around spring time, i got to see a trailer for a new sci fi horror film from Russia called Sputnik. This film looked really good, and seemed to be a throwback to sci fi horror films of the 80´s and 90´s. Not knowing bascially anything about the cast or director, i have been very excited about watching Sputnik. Is this the best sci fi horror film for many years, or does Sputnik fail to please me ?

In 1983, two cosmonauts are on a mission in space. Suddenly, something goes terribly wrong and they crash land on Earth. One of the cosmonauts, Konstantin Veshnyakov ( Pyotr Fyodorov ) is the only survivor, as a Kazakh horseman discover the crashed space shuttle. Konstantin is taken to a military base, where Colonel Semiradov ( Fedor Bondarchuk ) need psychologist Tatyana Klimova ( Oksana Akinshina ) to travel to the base and interrogate Konstantin. What she does not know, is that Konstantin did not land on Earth alone, something else came along with him.

If you have been worried that we will have to wait forever to see a great sci fi film, then do i have some good news for you. Sputnik combines 80´s nostalgia with old school alien ingredients, but focus more on telling the story from a military facility. And this is where the 80´s references fits in so well, with all the old gadgets, costumes, guns, and the offices as well. I also think the colors of this film feels a bit like the 80´s in Russia, since it was a rough period for the country at that time. The characters that we are introduced to through out the film, does a good job portraying their characters, and especially actress Oksana Akinshina ( who i especially remember from my favourite Lukas Moodyson film Lilja 4-ever ). Her character Tatyana in the film Sputnik is confident, intelligent and looks fantastic. A psychologist who clearly takes her job very serious, and is also very professional. Actor Pyotr Fyodorov, who plays the surviving cosmonaut Konstantin, makes sure that we are given a solid performance. There are other actors who do a good job as well, but we have to talk about the biggest problem of Sputnik. And that is there are so many dialogue scenes. I can understand that there needs to be dialogue scenes between Tatyana who tries to get information from cosmonaut Konstantin, but when you let these scenes go on far too long, you sort of loose some of the interest in the investigation. The strength of Sputnik is without a doubt understanding the Alien, who takes Konstantin´s body as a vessel, and comes out certain moments. And this is where we get to see the behavior of the Alien, and how Tatyana tries to connect with the Alien. The design of this creature looks really good, so they did a good job with the CGI effects. There are some brutal scenes later on in this film, and i think it is good that they decided to go in this direction, because this will definetely please fans of sci fi horror. Director Egor Abramenko have made a film that does not only respect the sci fi genre, but also give us a film that takes itself very serious. Egor uses his camera technique to give Sputnik some depth, and he also manage to capture the essence of the 80´s as well. Sputnik may not be as brilliant as i was hoping for, but this is still one of the better Alien films, at least this year. If you love sci fi, then you need to see Sputnik. If there is one film that will convert Fifty Shades Of Grey fans to become normal again, it is Sputnik that is the shining light that they have all been looking for.

Rating: DDD

onsdag 11 november 2020

Blood Vessel

When ever you hear about nazis, you instantly think about World War II. Nazi Germany killed so many people, for what? Nazis would guaranteed try and tell you one good reason for what they did, but we all know they are all garbage. They still exist in this world, unfortunately. All you need to do is look at some of the European political parties, such as NPD ( National Democratic Party Of Germany ), and you will find connections to nazis for many generations of members in this political party, and they still keep going with their racism mentality. Of course they will never stop, since they believe they know what Germany needs to do to become a great nation again ( this is a warning sign for sure, right? ) Nazis in films can be found in many different kinds of films, and in many different genres. But when it comes to horror films with nazis, we do have some highlights to choose between. I decided to pick out one specific film that may not show World War II, but is connected with the history, when dead nazis return to life in the 2008 horror film Outpost. I still remember when Outpost was released on DVD 12 years ago, and i picked this film up right away. The story of Outpost is about a group of soldiers, who go on a mission in Eastern Europe to scoop out an old military bunker. And this is where things go terribly wrong. Outpost combines a more modern military film, with World War II horror influences in a surprisingly good way. I have to mention that director Steve Barker did a great job with the location of the bunker. It feels like he took the time to make the bunker look realistic, and it also feels like a bunker that could have looked like this in World War II. I also enjoy the scenes where Steve film the dead nazis standing in the woods, as they are looking for their prey. Outpost is definetely worth a look on DVD if you love war films combines with horror ingredients. Since i have seen quite many titles over the years with nazis in horror films, i saw the poster this summer of a new horror film called Blood Vessel. It looked really interesting, and i loved the idea of vampires with nazi influences, how can anyone say no to that? Is this the best horror film of 2020, or is Blood Vessel unfortunately not as good as i was hoping it would be?

 At the end of World War II, a group of soldiers who are drifting out in the sea, come across an abandoned ship. It turns out to be a ship that is owned by nazis. But everyone is found dead on board, except for a small girl. What happened on board this ship?

I have heard some positive things about Blood Vessel from other critics, but i am really impressed how this film team managed to pull this off in such a good way. It is not very often you see a really good nazi horror movie ( Overlord may be one of the best in this genre ), and especially not when vampires are included. But this film does not only manage to show us old school vampires that looks really good, but the combination of having them on a nazi ship is a really good idea. And for that i got to say that i seriously doubt there is any other vampire film this year that can deliver such an entertaining film as Blood Vessel. The ship itself looks great, and especially the details on board the ship such as nazi equipment, vampire weapons, nazi gold and much more, that lands really well with the plot. One of the things i an really thankful for, is that the cast of Blood Vessel do a really good job with their characters. And one thing i have to mention, is that each character are very different from each other, and that is something you appreciate seeing when they are stuck on a ship like this. They all have knowledge on different things, and that may be their biggest help in this horrible situation. Let´s get into the characters for a bit. Alexander Cooke ( who some of you might recognize from Australian TV mini series Sunshine ) plays the character Alexander Teplov, a man you can clearly see have had a rough Life, wich Alexander manage to bring out through his performance. Mark Diaco plays the character Jimmy Bigelow, a man who fall easily for temptations, and Mark gives us an image of this personality that a lot of us can relate to. Actress Alyssa Sutherland ( that you all know from TV series Vikings ) is exactly what this film needed, a woman with both intelligence and a big heart. The make up effects on the vampires are the best i have seen in many years, so this is a really big surprise for me. They have clearly worked hard to make sure the vampires would leave a big impact. Director Justin Dix have not only made the best vampire film of this year, but he manage to combine this story with World War II and vampires in a much more effective way than we have seen in many similar films. Blood Vessel may be a low budget film, but looks a lot better than a lot of big budget horror films, have a lot better acting, and most of all really professional make up effects. A must buy if you love vampire films, Blood Vessel is one of the big winners this year in the horror genre.

Rating: DDDD

fredag 6 november 2020

The Tax Collector

You can end up dead, or you change your life. This is the reality for real criminals, who live a very hard reality in a world filled with hate, violence and power. Some of them can´t get out because of personal issues, while some of them get tired of living a life filled in fear, not knowing if they can survive. We all know that criminals will always be around, no matter if we are talking about drug dealers or gangsters. As long as they can make a lot of money, they will never stop. The only way out is usually in a body bag, unless you end up in prison. When it comes to films that take on the lives of criminals, i have one personal favourite film that i have seen a lot of times. And that is the 1993 film known as Blood In Blood Out from director Taylor Hackford. This film tells the story of young men who are part of the Chicano ( Mexican Americans ) community, as members of the criminal gang Vatos Locos. Blood In Blood Out is one of the best criminal drama films of the 90´s, with really good acting performances, and especially strong characters. I also feel that the story telling in this film is also very well constructed. And even if this film is long, you won´t feel it because this is such a powerful story of the lives of Chicano criminals. If you have not seen this film, you have to pick it up on DVD. In my opinion, this is one of the better films about criminal gangs that give a realistic portrait of how rough it is in these neighborhoods. I also have to mention that this is one of the best acting performances that actor Damian Chapa have ever done in his career. Even if he have done a lot of films, i think this is without a doubt his best work so far. Speaking about the mexican community, there are a lot of great films that brings up the issues of criminals of Mexican relatives. You have the classic film Traffic from the year of 2000, and of course the powerful film Sicario from 2015. So about a week ago i stumbled upon a film called The Tax Collector, that brings up the subject of  criminal tax collectors, who will make sure they get paid or someone could end up dead. The one thing i especially noticed is that this film is directed by David Ayes, who have a history of making great films. Without even seeing the trailer for this film, is this one of the better films i have seen this autumn, or is The Tax Collector a film that we have seen so many times before, with a better result than this?

In Los Angeles, David Cuevas ( Bobby Soto ) lives what seems to be a normal life with his wife Alexis ( Cinthya Carmona ) and their two children. But what David does for a living, is quite different from the ordinary work. He works as a tax collector with his partner, and friend Creeper ( Shia LaBeouf ), who both work for their boss The Wizard ( Jimmy Smits ). They travel across Los Angeles to make sure that everyone that owns money, pay on time, or things could end up bad. But not everyone appreciate what David and Creeper is doing, and they are about to find out that they are in trouble.

If you were hoping for a classic such as Training Day ( that i will be doing a 20 years anniversary review of next year ), then you might be disappointed. But if you do appreciate films that bring up criminals and issues that are related to their lifestyle, then The Tax Collector do have some important issues to bring up. Especially on the two main characters, who are tax collectors. We have seen similar films before, so i can´t say that this film is original in any way. But it is the two main characters who make this film interesting. They are two very different personalities, that look at their job in different ways. But they are forced to do everything they can to make their job work, as good as it is possible. Actors Bobby Soto and Shia LaBeouf as taxo collectors David and Creeper, manage to pull off their acting performances in a positive way. Especially Shia LaBeouf who i have never seen do a character like this before, and i find that interesting. The scenes that they have together are actually the strongest parts of the film, since they have found a way to make their chemistry work on screen. It takes a while before the violence kicks in, since the film focus more on telling the story of the two main characters, but when it finally arrives i can not complain. There are some brutal scenes, and that is actually a good thing for a film like this, considering we are dealing with very dangerous gangs across the city. I have to mention actor Jose Conejo Martin who plays the gang leader Conejo, this is his second film and i have a feeling that he will deliver us something special in the future, if he keeps up delivering interesting characters. Director David Ayes ( who directed films such as Suicide Squad and Bright ) have made a film that manage to capture the brutality of a criminal life, but also how important it is to hold on to the things that may bring you hope. The Tax Collector is one of those films that may not win any awards, but do have some important things to say about making the right choices in life. And it is good for young people to see what problems that usually follow if you make some bad decisions. Have nothing good to watch this weekend? Why not pick The Tax Collector and give it a chance, you might actually enjoy it.

Rating: DDD

The Candy Witch

Everyone loves some kind of candy. No matter if it is chocolate, gummy bears, marshmallows, we all have our favourites. I personally love chocolate of all kinds, especially with nuts. It is a perfect snack while watching a film or TV series. And to be honest, in Sweden we buy more candy than our Scandinavian neighbors. Why do we do that? First of all i believe it is because swedes loves candy, that we have what you call " a sweet tooth ". The second reason why Swedish people love candy, is because when we think about the good times in Swedish history, when everyone celebrated with their favourite candy to the album release of legendary Swedish solo artist Richard Herrey, when he released his solo album Jag E Kung ( translation I Am King ) in the year of 2006. I still remember the day this album was released. The CD stores in Stockholm had fans going nuts to get their hands on Richard Herrey´s new solo album. It was almost like being at a concert with hip hop artist Coolio, everyone wanted a piece of him. And for some strange reason, candy sales did really good during this time, so i am pretty sure we can see a connection here to the album release. So, when ever swedes see candy at the store, they look back at the year of 2006 and remember the good days, when Richard Herrey made one of the greatest album in Swedish history. Speaking of candy, most of us think about candy in films such as Willy Wonka´s Chocolate Factory with legendary actor Gene Wilder, but there are other films as well that has a Connection to candy. Some of you might have seen the wonderful film Candy Corn, from director Josh Hasty. A fun Halloween horror film, where you find a connection to the candy known as candy corn with some nasty kills. This film also have legendary actor Courtney Gains, that most horror fans remember from Children Of The Corn. Since i also love candy, i found an interesting DVD title from Uncork´d Entertainment called The Candy Witch. Could this become a new candy favourite in Sweden on movie nights, or is The Candy Witch a big mess from start to finish ?

Paranormal investigators Reece ( Jon Callaway ) and Kat ( Abi Kasson Thompson ) ar contacted to go out to an old house in the countryside to investigate a new case. At a family home, there is a ghost known as The Candy Witch walking around their property. Reece is determined to find out why she is haunting this family…...

One advantage with The Candy Witch is that this film takes place in a lovely old house in England, so you get that British cozy feeling. I personally enjoy horror films that use British locations, because it makes it feel more natural, as if this could be in any smaller town. I also think the idea behind a candy witch is actually a good idea for a horror film. It reminds me of the German fairy tale of Hansel And Gretel, where a cannibalistic witch tries to make the children fat by candy, so she can eat them. The Candy Witch is of course not the same witch as in the book, but you can sense a similarity to the candy theme, and she is a witch of course, so they might have been inspired by the classic fairy tale when they made this film. Speaking of the witch, there are some scenes where she sneaks up in the dark, that actually work. My main problem with the witch is the make up effects. If you want to make a witch scary, you need to make sure that you get her make up effective. And that is one of the things that i feel should have been done better in this film, because without effective make up effects, you don´t get that scary feeling that you are hoping for. One of the things i do enjoy about this film, is that the witch actually attack her victims with a candy cane ( and a cookie cutter as well ). And this might be the best part of this film, that we have a different kind of murder tool than in most horror films. There are some brutal kills as well, that i actually appreciate. The acting is very divided in this film. Some of the actors do ok, while some don´t really make a big impact. One of the better performances comes from actress Kate Milner Evans as the character Trish, and a shout out to actress Kate Lush who plays The Candy Witch, she does alright as the witch. Director Rebecca Matthews have some good ideas with The Candy Witch, and there are parts of this film that i do enjoy. But the make up effects on the witch did not work very well, unfortunately. If we do get a sequel, i hope this could be improved, since i would actually like to see actress Kate Lush return as the witch. If you have nothing else to watch, give The Candy Witch a chance, but don´t expect anything unique with this film. Anyone wants some candy? Oh good, do i have some treats for you……

Rating: DD