onsdag 31 augusti 2022
måndag 29 augusti 2022
I still remember my earliest vampire memory from the 80´s. I was 10 years old in 1988, and one of our neighbor families known as The Ostwalds had a VHS copy of the 1986 horror film known as Vamp. It was on a beautiful VHS shelf in their living room, where i saw the VHS cover of Vamp, with a beautiful picture of actor / singer Grace Jones. I actually did not read about the plot, since i was told by The Ostwald´s that it is a vampire film, and that´s all i needed to know. My dad borrowed the film for a few days, and it was quite an unusual film experience. Vamp turned out to be a very odd vampire film from director Richard Wenk ( who have written a lot of scripts for big films such as The Expendables 2 and The Equalizer ). The story surrounds two college students known as Keith ( Chris Makepeace ) and AJ ( Robert Rusler ). They want to hire a stripper to buy their way into campus fraternity. They borrow a caddilac from a student called Duncan ( Gedde Watanabe ), who insists with coming with them to search for strip clubs. They locate especially one strip club, where they encounter the surreally artistic stripper, Katrina ( Grace Jones ). What seems to be just a visit to a strip club, will turn into a nightmare. Vamp is a cheesy fun vampire fun, that might be one of the strangest horror film that includes a strip club and odd characters. Definetely worth checking out if you enjoy vampire films, especially the Blu Ray release from Arrown Video. Let´s move forward to 1989 when i was 11 years old, and my school friend Tom ( who was a big Mötley Crue fan at that time, especially with the Dr. Feelgood album ) showed me the VHS cover of The Lost Boys. His parents have rented the film and he was so excited to check this film out. The cover looked so cool, and i did get to see the film. The Lost Boys turned out to be a blast, with so many great characters and had a fun approach on the teen movies of the 80´s. It even included one of the greatest saxophone solo´s ever made in a film. I have seen the film plenty of times since then, and i realized that this year the film turns 35 years old. So i thought it would be a perfect time to revisit the film for a 35 years anniversary review of The Lost Boys. Is this a timeless classic, or have The Lost Boys aged badly after all these years?
Michael Emerson ( Jason Patric ) and his younger brother, Sam Emerson ( Corey Haim ) move with their recently divorced Lucy Emerson ( Dianne West ) to the fictional small beach town Santa Carla, California to live with Michael and Sam´s grandfather. Michael begin to look around town, as he see a beautiful woman named Star ( Jamie Gertz ). He is not able to spend time to her, when the mysterious David Powers ( Kiefer Sutherland ), leader of a biker gang shows up. Michael is curious about David and his gang, as he begin to spend time with them. But these young men are not what they seem to be, as Michael finds out the real truth.
No matter how many years go by, The Lost Boys is one of those 80´s horror films that will forever entertain audiences worldwide. This film have so many good things going for it, especially with so many great characters. Let´s get into some of the things that makes The Lost Boys such a unique film. First of all the tone of the film is quite different from some of the other vampire films out there. You have a classic story of two brother´s growing up, trying to fit in a new environment, where they are forced to fight against evil that could break their family apart. And it is here where The Lost Boys is bit different from other vampire films with young people, since it clearly show how important it is for especially brother´s to stay united, no matter how difficult it may be. Then you also have the vampire gang that never stops to party, and this is a bit sad in some ways when you think about it. Even if you may never age, how fun will it be living young, while other people age and go through different phases of life and they never will? They will never experience what it feels like to change, not only as a person, but also feel different moments in life. No matter how many people they kill, they are just going around in a circle with no way out. I mentioned earlier that there are so many great characters in this film, so let´s talk about them for a while. Let us begin with Jason Patric ( worth checking out in the 2018 western film Big Kill, i suggest you pick up a DVD copy ) as the character Michael Emerson. You can tell that Michael is just like any young man, trying to find his place in life and be accepted. Jason really manage to capture all the emotions in his performance. Corey Haim as Sam Emerson is without a doubt one of my favourite acting performances from Haim. It feels like no one else could have played this character, the way that he does. Then you have The Frog Brothers, played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander, and this is another amazing combination of the right characters for this film. They both know how to portrait these vampire hunters in a way that not only feels right for this film, but they deliver some of the most entertaning dialogue scenes as well. The vampire gang lead by Keifer Sutherland is of course a big reason why i especially enjoyed this film, because he have a very unique screen presence that is hard to describe. Is this one of the most violent vampire films of the 80´s? No, but the thing that makes The Lost Boys one of the better films in this genre, is that this film focuses more on the fear of the unknown and does not need a lot of slaughtering to make you feel engaged in to the story. The characters is also a big part of why this is such a fun horror film as well. Director Joel Schumacher uses his camera technique in a very effective way, and deliver a different kind of vampire experience that works just as well as it did 35 years ago. The Lost Boys is not only a cult classic, but will continue to be one of the true 80´s horror classics for many generations ahead. A must have in your DVD or Blu Ray collection.
söndag 28 augusti 2022
onsdag 24 augusti 2022
When it comes to classic action films, there are several ones i can easily pick within a few minutes. You have the Die Hard franchise, Lethal Weapon of course, and then you also have all the classic Sylvester Stallone films such as Cobra, Tango & Cash, Demolition Man and many more. It all depends on what kind of action films you prefer. Let us stay within the time period of the early 90´s for a moment, and look back at an action film that you don´t hear much about these days. And the year we need to revisit is the year of 1993, when the action film Sniper was released. I still remember the poster of Sniper in cinemas across Sweden, where you saw legendary actor Tom Berenger on the poster in his military outfit. I did see the film in cinema but very late. I believe i may have seen it in the last week before it stopped running in cinema, so we were not many people in the seats. I still remember how much i enjoyed Sniper, for being an effective military action film. Most of all i especially enjoyed the main characters Thomas Beckett and Richard Miller, played by Tom Berenger and Billy Zane. Their screen chemistry worked out really well, and the action sequences looked good. The idea of these two snipers working together in the jungles of Panama, turned out to be a great idea for a simple, but effective military story. Director Luis Llosa ( who a year later directed the Sylvester Stallone film The Specialist, worth checking out ) proved that you can make a military film, without having lots of explosions and focus more on characters instead. Definetely worth picking up on DVD, it is a true 90´s classic. We have had plenty of sequels since Sniper was released, because the main character of Sniper known as Thomas Beckett, have become one of Tom Berenger´s most beloved characters in his career. Both Tom Berenger and Billy Zane have shown up in some of the sequels, so that is at least a positive sign for the franchise. I will admit i have not seen every single one of them, there are 9 of them and i have seen 6 totally. Are they all good? No, but some of them are ok, if you can accept the odd changes to the plot of certain films. So when i saw that a new sequel called Sniper: Rouge Mission was released this summer on VOD, DVD and Blu Ray, i decided to give the film a chance and check it out. Is this one of the better Sniper sequels so far, or should they end this franchise completely after this film?
When a crooked federal agent is involved in a human sex trafficking ring, Sniper and CIA rookie Brandon Beckett ( Chad Michael Collins ), teaming up with his former allies Homeland Security Agent Zero ( Ryan Robbins ) and assassin Lady Death ( Sayaka Akimoto ) to uncover the corrupt agent and take down the criminal organization.
You can tell that they have run out of ideas for the Sniper franchise with this 9th film. It feels like a sequel that is trying to sell off the classic original film from 1993, just by using the title of Sniper but does not feel connected to the original film at all. This feels more like a straight to DVD film that lacks of good characters and no effective action scenes. It is almost as if they decided just to make this film as simple as possible, hoping it would do well on the VOD market. And who knows, it might make fans of the franchise curious enough to pay to watch it. But i have to be honest and say, it´s not worth it. There are several issues with Sniper: Rogue Mission, so let´s go through some of the things that i feel need to be said. First of all the plot of this film. It is so boring and remember, this is supposed to be an action film. If you can´t make a good plot and make it work between the action scenes, perhaps you need to make some big changes. The characters are not very interesting at all, not even lead actor Chad Michael Collins. He was actually better in some of the previous sequels, but here it feels like he is not very interested in being in this film. It feels like he just wanders around waiting for his paycheck, and that is clearly not a good sign. The only acting performance that give any impression at all is from actress Sayaka Akimoto, playing the character Lady Death. At least her fighting skills give us some entertainment. How are the action scenes? We do get some shooting scenes, but none of them feel either powerful or fun to watch. I have to mention the strange music tunes playing through this film, and it sounds exactly like we are in a 90´s Martin Short comedy, and the music don´t really fit in. There are plenty of straight to DVD action films i can easily mention that works better than Sniper: Rouge Mission. So you would wonder why they make another sequel, unless they have a good plot for the film? Most likely just to cash in on the name of Sniper, i can´t really see any other reason. Director Oliver Thompson have only directed one film before, a drama comedy called Welcome To Happiness. I have not seen that film, but i can tell you that Oliver probably should have said no to making this Sniper sequel. He does not make this a good action film, or even try to make it exciting. It is just a boring, lifeless sequel that does not even try to respect the original film. Watch the original Sniper film instead and let´s end this franchise from here. Sniper: Rouge Mission proves why you should not make too many sequels, it fails on every possible level as an action film, and i guarantee that no one will remember this sequel. Good thing i already have a short memory, and Sniper: Rouge Mission will definetely not help to improve it.
söndag 21 augusti 2022
In the early autumn of 2000, i started educating myself in health care. It was time to do something else after working in construction work and meat industries, and i did begin working in health care in 1999. But i realized that i probably needed to educate myself to get more jobs, and so i did. At the beginning of this health care education we were only two men, and the rest of our class mates were women. So the other guy quit for some reason, and i stayed. So you can imagine me being the only guy in class with women only, it was the best class ever. We got along very well, and we did have fun in classes. Sometimes we took a break from studies and had luch downtown, or visited a café. But i remember one time specifically when we had a lunch break, as we were eating at school, we started to discuss films. Most of these women loved Richard Gere, or some of them loved Hugh Grant. So they asked me:- What would you recommend us to see Daniel? For me it was very easy to answer that question, so i answered:- If you want a film that has everything you could wish for, you should see Predator. Some of them looked at me and said:- Predator? So i explained that it was one of the most heart warming films i have ever seen, and that it had some of the best film characters ever. One of the girls called Angelica said:- I have to see this film. So i found out that she rented the film on DVD that upcoming weekend, and as we returned to school the next week she came up to me before class and said:- Im not sure what you meant about heart warming, but i did have fun with Predator. So there you go, i gave a good advice that not even Richard Gere and Hugh Grant fans could resist. Predator is one of the greatest action films of the 80´s from director John McTiernan. This is a film that has everything you could wish for, fantastic action scenes, funny dialogue, really good characters and a really good music score as well. One of the better films in Arnold Schwarzenegger´s career. Predator 2 with Danny Glover may have been a bit different, but had lots of great action scenes, really fun characters and some really cool city scenes. The franchise of Predator have continued since then, delivering sequels and even the spin off film called Alien VS Predator. Prey is a new prequal to the previous films of Predator that have been talked about on social media for quite some time. The film is finally out, and the question is, does this film have what it takes to be a worthy prequel to Predator, or should you definetely avoid Prey and watch the original film instead?
In 1719 in the Great Plains, Naru ( Amber Midthunter ), a young Comache woman trained as a healer, dreams of becoming a great hunter like her brother, Taabe ( Dakota Beavers ). While tracking deer with her dog, Sarii, she witnesses the light of an alien Predator´s spacecraft, wich she interprets as a Thunderbird. Naru and her family is about to find out, that in this massive forest, there is a new ruler.
I can honestly say i have been skeptical for a long time, since i heard that a film called Prey was coming out. The original film Predator is one of my personal favourite action films ever, so i hold that film very close. But the good news is that Prey is actually not a bad film. They actually tried to show respect to the franchise, while giving us a completely different perspective of how it all started. I do have some issues with this film, but let us begin with what made me enjoy Prey. First of all i think lead actress Amber Midthunder ( who you most likely will recognize from the TV series Roswell, New Mexico ) as the character Naru. The one thing that makes the character Naru so interesting, is that she clearly is a devoted Comache warrior. The scenes with her battling against a Predator are both well made, and surprisingly violent as well. Amber handle this character with grace, and some real toughness as well. I also feel that she captures the emotional moments as well with her facial expressions, in different situations. I have to mention another acting performance from actor Dakota Beavers, playing the character Taabe. Seeing him for the first time in his first big role and in a bigger budget film like this, he did a really good job on his character. You can actually feel that he worked hard to make this character work. The design of the Predator may be a bit different, but i actually enjoy the look. Nowhere near as good as the original Predator design, but still a pretty cool look. I love the fact that this film have some really violent scenes, and some of the most brutal kills in a Predator film in a very long time. This was a really good choice for this film, and exactly what this franchise needed. Now to my negative thoughts. CGI animals? I understand you may have to use some CGI effects in certain battle scenes, but the CGI animals in this film does not look that good. When i have heard people saying Prey is better than both Predator and Predator 2, i disagree. This film does not have the same level of quality action scenes as both of those films have, and it´s not just because they are both classics. Prey does not have as many great characters as both Predator and Predator 2 have, because you will most likely not remember many of them. With that said, i still had fun with Prey. Director Dan Trachtenberg ( who directed the great film 10 Cloverfield Lane ) proves that you can make a good prequal to a classic action film, and he does it by showing respect both to the original film, and to the Comache community as well. Prey is definetely worth checking out on HULU or Disney +, especially if you are a fan of the previous films.
fredag 19 augusti 2022
torsdag 18 augusti 2022
I always wanted to visit Argentina, and i actually thought about going over there when i visited Spain. I have been to Spain 3 times so far, and i remember especially one time when i saw a poster at a travel agency in Malaga back in 2002, and that poster had some wonderful pictures of Argentina. I remember talking to a British man who visited this travel agency and he actually have been to Argentina once, on a football trip. He did not see a Diego Maradona match ( wich he told me he would have loved to experience ), but he did see a match with the football team CA River Plate. It was a football trip that he went on with 2 of his closest friends, so they travelled to Buenos Aires. He did tell me one funny thing before he left the travel agency:- Beware of argentinian women, they will blow your mind away. It was a nice conversation, and i hope he went back to Argentina, since he clerly enjoyed his visit there. Even if it takes about 13 hours to fly there from Spain, it would be closer than flying from Sweden ( it takes over 17 hours to fly from Sweden to Argentina ), so the next time i am in Spain i might consider making a trip there. When it comes to films from Argentina, you don´t hear a lot about it here in Sweden. We do show films from Argentina in cinema, and release some titles on DVD and Blu Ray, but in general it is more releases from Spain. So, i like to check out some films from Argentina as well. One of the films i especially remember, is the horror film Aterrados ( Terrified ) from director Demián Rugna. I picked this film up on DVD from the UK, since we don´t have this film on DVD in Sweden. Terrified tells the story of an ordinary neighborhood in Buenos Aires, where strange events takes place that no one can explain. And it all starts at the home of local resident Walter ( Demián Salomón ), where strange noices can be heard quite often. Terrified is a very well made horror film that manage to tell a very effective story where paranormal events takes place. Director Demián Rugna manage to bring out some very effective horror scenes, especially when we see what is really going on in this neighborhood. Definetely worth checking out on DVD or Blu Ray. Since it has been a while since i watched an Argentinian horror film, i decided to pick up a film called On The 3rd Day on DVD from the beloved film distribution company Shout! Factory. Not knowing much about the film, is this one of the better foreign horror films i have seen in recent years, or is On The 3rd Day just as predictable as Aaron Carter´s playback tour?
Cecilia Amato ( Mariana Anghileri ) and her son Martin ( Octavio Belmonte ) have a car accident. On the third day after the crash, she wanders by herself on a lonely route. She can´t remember anything of what happened, and as she go look for her missing son, she hopes to find some answers.
On The 3rd Day is clearly inspired by legendary director Dario Argentino ( who wrote the screenplay, and directed one of my favourite classic 70´s horror films known as Suspiria, including many other great titles ), and director Lamberto Dava ( perhaps mostly known for Demons and Demons 2, but have done a lot of other great Italian horror films as well ). There are scenes in On The 3rd Day where you can actually sense that director Daniel de la Vega wanted to bring back the look, and the colorful style of these two wonderful directors. Of course this is not easy to do, considering that both Dario and Lamberto are known for making films in their own uniqe way. But i do appreciate the effort to do something similar, since we need horror films that does not rely on CGI effects, and go old school instead. So how is the plot for this film? I would say that it is quite simple, and i think doing a simple story is often more effective if you want to make a good horror film. If you make the plot too complicated, you might miss the point of the film. And in that sense, On The 3rd Day does not try to make the story too complicated, wich is a good thing. There are some twists and turns in the plot, but that´s ok, since it will make you think for yourself what you believe is actually going on. We have seen similar stories before about a missing boy, but the one thing that this film actually does, is throw in some details that helps the plot become a bit more mysterious. What about the characters? This was a mixed bag for me, because i liked some of them, while some of them i liked less. But let´s start with the positive, and that is lead actress Mariana Anghileri. This is actually the first time i see her acting, and she does a good job with her character. Playing a confused mother looking for her lost son, is not easy to pull off. Legendary actress Susana Beltran ( who i especially remember from the low budget Italian classic The Curious Dr. Humpp, also known as La Venganza Del Sexo ) can be seen in On The 3rd Day as well, as the character Ofelia. I wish she had more screen time, because it was so nice to see her in this film. Some of the other characters don´t feel that much interesting, so you only care about a few of them, especially the main character Cecilia. I especially think that this film works well, when it is trying to capture the atmosphere of what the real truth is. On The 3rd Day may not be original in any way, or deliver anything new to the table. But if you enjoy Italian horror from the past, this might be your cup of tea. Director Daniel de la Vega rely on classic ingredients, instead of ordinary American jump scares , and give us a quite enjoyable horror film that is clearly made for fans of Italian horror of the 70´s. Worth checking out on DVD, Blu Ray, or on Shudder, depending on what you prefer.
onsdag 17 augusti 2022
Time flies by faster than you think. It does not feel like 20 years have passed since the American Nu Metal band Korn released their unique album Untouchables in 2002, but here we are in 2022. The year of 2002 was not only special because of this Korn album release, but this was also the year when legendary director Danny Boyle ( director of one of the best 90´s movies, wich is of course Trainspotting ) released his film 28 Days Later. Now, there have been many zombie films released over the years, but 28 Days Later is actually a quite different experience than most films in this genre. 28 Days Later tells the story of bicycle courier Jim ( Cillan Murphy ) awakens from a coma in St. Thomas Hospital in London. He have no idea what happened in the outside world, but a highly contagious, aggressive virus called "Rage" have spread across Great Britain after an infected chimpanze is freed from a laboratory in Campbridge by a group of animal liberation activists. Jim wander around in London, with sign of no human life. Until he is attacked by the infected, but is saved by survivors Selena ( Naomie Harris ) and Frank ( Brendan Gleeson ). This is where Jim learns what the world looks like right now, and what you must do to survive. 28 Days Later is definetely worth being called an apocalyptic zombie classic by now, and it is one of my favourite films from director Danny Boyle. Not only is the acting really good, but the story is told in a very effective way. If you want to see a really good apocalyptic horror movie, 28 Days Later is definetely worth checking out. The sequel 28 Weeks Later is also worth a look, if you are curious to see the sequel as well. In the year of 2002, director Paul W.S. Anderson released his film adaptation of Resident Evil, based on the very popular video game. The film turned out to be a charming zombie action film, where wonderful actress Milla Jovovich played the character known as Alice. The film may not have all the details correctly from the game, but i still enjoy the film. The sequels that followed had a couple of entertaining releases. I will say this, Milla Jovovich was the biggest reason why i enjoyed the Resident Evil franchise. Last year we had a new film called Resident Evil: Welcome To Racoon City released, with a new cast and other characters from the game. It was.......ok? But there were some big issues with that film, and i never reviewed it. So here we are with a new TV series based on the Resident Evil franchise, released on Netflix. Is it better than we expected, or should Netflix have cancelled these 8 episodes, before they even went into production?
14-year-old fraternal twins Billie Wesker ( Siena Agudong ) and Jade Wesker ( Tamara Smart ), are the children of Dr. Albert Wesker ( Lance Reddick ), and they live in a nice clean neighborhood. Bille is worried that her father´s company Umbrella Corporation is doing animal experiments, she steals her father´s card to get into the main building to investigate what is going on there. As she opens up a cage that seems to hold an animal, she does not realize what chaos she might have caused, to the entire world.
I had a feeling that making a TV series of Resident Evil could be difficult, because we have already seen that making film adaptations of the games have proved to be quite difficult. You have to be able to make the characters feel connected to the games, and you have to find the right atmosphere that the games offers as well. In the case of this new TV series adaptation of Resident Evil, i have to be honest and say, i found myself finding some problems with this TV series adaptation. But let´s start with the details that i did enjoy. First of all, actress Ella Balinska ( who were a part of the new Chalie´s Angels reboot ) as the tough character Jade Wesker, is definetely one of the best parts of this TV series. Quite honestly, if she was not one of the lead characters, i have a feeling that this TV series would have been even worse. I especially enjoy her when she´s forced to do what ever she can to survive, even if she has to kill, and that is where Ella delivers the most entertaining scenes in Resident Evil. When some of the action scenes feels a bit simple, at least Ella tries to do what she can to make it work. I have a feeling that if they would have worked harder on certain details, we might have had even more fun with Ella. Compared to director Paul W.S. Anderson, this TV series show a completely different perspective before the outbreak. I think it was a good idea to try and tell the story in a different way, compared to the films of the past, especially how it all began. Now....we have to discuss some of the problems. First of all this TV series does not really feel like Resident Evil. Even if they throw in certain details that are supposed to be in the games, does not really give the impression that we are watching Resident Evil. The zombies are not very effective, especially if you compare to the video games. They don´t look very good from a practical make up effects perspective, and they don´t really feel scary. It feels like these zombies are the left overs of Uwe Boll´s zombie film House Of The Dead from 2003 ( worth picking up on DVD if you want a good laugh ), the zombies that did not make it to the actual film. They jump a lot in different time periods in Resident Evil, and that does not really help you feel interested in what is going on. Some of the other characters in this TV series don´t give you any bigger impression, and you don´t really know if you actually care. Resident Evil is a TV series that might be enjoyed by a young audience who did not grow up with the video games, or the Paul W.S. Andersson films, since they don´t know what else to compare to. But for us fans of the video games ( and i enjoy some of the Resident Evil films ), this TV series adaptation have too many problems to make it good. I would recomment you watch the Resident Evil: Welcome To Racoon City instead on DVD, Blu Ray or VOD. That film also have some problems, but at least that film actually tried to capture the atmosphere, and look of the Resident Evil franchise.
lördag 13 augusti 2022
Summer, the best time of the year. You can walk naked wherever you want ( at least here in Sweden ), do some fishing, light up that barbecue, listen to all your favourite Westlife albums ( that means all albums of course, they have never made a single bad album, trust me ). Summer is that time of year when you don´t have to worry about anything, since the sun is the answer to all problems. Unfortunately, we only have 10 sunny days in Sweden, but when we do get them, we lie there for at least 7 hours. Every summer i have a tradition, and that is to check out independent horror films in many different categories. No matter if we are talking about cannibal horror, demon horror, supernatural horror, i am open for all options. Even if i enjoy most releases for different reasons, i do come across some bad ones as well. And when you go into low budget films, you can´t have too high expectations, since you know that there is always a chance that you might be disappointed. Sometimes though you come across an independent horror film, that you had no expectations at all, and is pleasantly surprised. One of the films that comes to my mind, is the 2014 found footage horror film The Houses October Built from director Bobby Roe. I remember picking this film up on Blu Ray from Germany ( where the film is called Houses Of Terror, also called The Houses Of Halloween on DVD in the UK ), as i never watched any trailer for the film. Since i did not know much at all about the plot, i wanted to give this film a chance since the DVD cover looked cool. And it turned out to be a pretty descent found footage horror film. Definetely worth picking up on DVD if you enjoy films with a Halloween theme, or enjoy found footage horror films. There is a sequel that i have not seen yet, but i will probably check it out at some point. As i were going through different independent horror films that i have not seen, i came across a title called Extremity. Not knowing much about the plot, i decided to give this film a chance. Is this a film that turned out to be better than i expected, or is this just as bad as The New Kids On The Block member Danny Wood´s solo album Second Face from 2003 ( wich proves why boy bands have a problem doing solo albums ) ?
Allison Belle ( Dana Christina ) is obsessed with horror, and decides to subject herself to hours of grueling torment inside an extreme haunt in an atempt to confront her fears. What she does not know, is that this will not be as easy as she might have expected.
Ever since i first read about the plot about Extremeity, i did feel that this film could be interesting. Unfortunately, there are some big issues with this film that should have been fixed before the film was finished. I like the idea behind a building, where you sign a contract to allow yourself to be used, and abused, for the ultimate horror experience, no matter what this means could happen.. And here is where my biggest problem with this film becomes clear, when you don´t really feel that the experience is scary, or that the chosen people are in any danger. If they really wanted to make this the ultimate horror experience, thy should have crossed the limit, and done somethng really brutal or horrifying. There are a few scenes that are alright, where they actually find the right tone for the plot, but they never really explore ways to torture further more than just doing it very simple. I have a feeling that Extremity would have worked much more effective if they would have taken some chances, and surprised the audience instead of making too soft decisions. I wonder what the Japanase news reporter team is doing here, since they don´t really feel like they fit in with the plot. I do have a few positive things to say about Extremity though, and let us begin to talk about how good this film looks. Knowing that this film have a limited budget, i have to say that i am impressed with how professional this film looks. Especially in the most colorful scenes, and it feels like the budget is more bigger than what it actually is, and that does help the film stand out from the crowd of independent horror films. I enjoy lead actress Dana Christina as the character Allison Belle, and she actually tries to do something interesting with her character. Actor Nikki Rae Hallow´s character Erica seems to be an interesting character, i wish we knew more about. Extremity does have some good things going for it, especially when it comes to certain interesting characters. But the horror experience falls pretty flat, and i wish we would have gotten more. Director Anthony DiBlasi ( who directed the great independent horror film Last Shift from 2014 ) have some interesting ideas surrounding Extremeity, but he should have been more extreme with the horror elements. With a title such as Extremity, this film comes across as very soft. Worth checking out if you want to see something different in independent horror films, but still not a film i can highly recommend.
If you want to check out Extremity on Blu Ray, you can get it here from Epic Pictures, and you get special features as well:
fredag 12 augusti 2022
Every summer i love to walk along the countryside. I pick all the beautiful flowers i can find, and i also look for old houses. If i see a really old house, and especially an older couple, i just walk inside hoping i will be invited for coffee. I found out that you can´t really walk into a house like that, so i have been thrown out quite many times. I don´t know if i said the wrong thing or if i was not dressed properly, or it could be that they have simply run out of coffee. Either way, it is still a nice walk among the trees. Old houses may have old secrets hidden within their walls, such as tragedies that no one have known about, or perhaps you accidently go through something unexpected. I have seen a lot of horror films where old houses are connected, so just a while ago i randomly picked a horror film i have not seen so far called The Intruders, released in 2015. This film is directed by Adam Massey, and tells the story of Rose Halshford ( Miranda Cosgrove ), who moves into an old house with her father Jerry Halshford ( Donald Logue ). In this old house, it seems that Rose is experiencing some strange events in this house. As she begin to investigate the past of this old house, the real truth begins to unfold. The Intruders is more of a psychological thriller than a horror film, even though the film is labeled a horror film. There are a few horror elements, but overall i felt that this film was actually alright. Lead actress Miranda Cosgrove did a good job with her character, and the psychological tension in this film worked for the most part. Director Adam Massey deliver a film that reminds me of thrillers of the 90´s that actually feel effective, wich is something you don´t see everyday in this genre. Worth picking up on DVD. I decided to look around this summer for horror films i have not seen, and decided to pick the British found footage horror film Haunted, released in 2013. Not knowing much about the plot, i did notice that this is a paranormal horror film. Is this a film that turned out to be better than i expected, or is Haunted just as bad as Antonio Sabato Jr´s recent patriotic films that no one remembers?
A TV crew of Paranormal investigators travel together to find out if there really are any ghosts out there. Almost none of the team members really believe in ghosts, but maybe they are about to change their minds?
I have seen episodes of Paranormal TV shows like Ghost Hunters ( that you can find on Amazon and Discovery + ), just to see their investigations. I will be honest and say that i don´t really believe in everything a TV show like this tries to show, so going into a found footage film that tries to capture the feelings of encountering ghosts in a paranormal TV show, is kind of similar to Ghost Hunters. In the case of the film Haunted ( known as Ghosts on DVD in the UK ), this is specifically made for fans of found footage horror films, or fans of TV series like Ghost Hunters. So how is this film if you compare it to other found footage horror films? To be honest, not that different. And i suppose if you are a big fan of this genre, you might actually enjoy this film for what it is trying to do. But i have to be honest and say, this film does not really feel like a horror film. It may try and look like a paranormal TV show investigation and the idea itself is not bad, but the final result is that this film feels too predictable and quite frankly, not much happens in this film. Considering the low budget this film has, i understand you have to work with what is available. The cast is filled with British actors i have never heard of before, and i can at least say that they are not the biggest problem of this film. The biggest problem with Haunted, is that for trying to be a paranormal TV show, this may be one of the most boring ones you might encounter. The few scenes that are supposed to be scary, i guarantee you will not feel affected by the events these investigators go through. Directors Steven M. Smith, Zane Casablanca and Svenja Quazzani have directed different segments of this film, and if they only would have worked more effective on each segment, this film might have been interesting. I like the ideas behind the story of Haunted, unfortunately it does not really do much to scare the audience that it was made for. There are four sequels to this film, and who knows, they might be more effective than this first film. Haunted is not the worst haunting movie i have ever seen, but i definetely feel that this should have been a lot better, considering that this film did have an interesting plot.
If you want to check out Haunted on DVD, I suggest that you pick up the UK release called Ghosts, on the following link:
söndag 7 augusti 2022
Anyone who goes through a war, will never be the same again. Once you see people getting killed, no matter if you personally had to kill or watch military friends die in the battlefield of a war, you will be scarred for life. Those memories will always be with you, no matter where you go. I have personally never been in any war, so i can not imagine how difficult it must be, coming home from a war and trying to adjust in society. When it comes to the Vietnam war specifically, i have seen several documentaries about what happened during those years. To hear the stories of some of the soldiers that survived, is very emotional. You can see in their eyes, and facial expression, that they have gone through some really horrible memories. Speaking of the Vietnam war, there is especially one war film that i really love, that i feel may give the best portrait of how it was during the Vietnam war, and that is the 1979 film Apocalypse Now. Directed by legendary director Francis Ford Coppola, this film tells the story U.S. Army Captain Benjamin Willard ( Martin Sheen ), a burn-out veteran assassin, who is ordered to travel to an outpost in Cambodia, and murder U.S. Army Special Forces Colonel Walter E. Kurtz ( Marlon Brando ). While he travels there with a crew of soldiers on the Nung River, he is forced to experience even more horror of war, while he is already struggling with his inner demons. A lot of really powerful performances from legendary actors such as Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper, Robert Duvall and many more. Apocalypse Now is a very powerful war film, that really shows a lot of different perspective of how war affect us, and what war force us to do in a lot of horrible situations. One of the best films in legendary director Francis Ford Coppola´s amazing career, and i highly recommend the longer version called Apocalypse Now Redux. Speaking of the Vietnam war, in 1972 author David Morell released his novel First Blood, that tells the story of war veteran Rambo, who wanders into a town known as Madison, and get in trouble with local police chief, Wilfried Teasle. This novel became a film adaptation in 1982 from director Todd Kotcheff ( who directed the classic 70´s comedy Fun With Dick And Jane ). Legendary action actor Sylvester Stallone was chosen to be in the lead role as Vietnam war veteran John Rambo, and this film is still today considered to be one of the best action drama films of the 80´s. Since this film turns 40 years this year, i decided to revisit the film to see if my opinion have changed anything. Is the very first Rambo film just as good as i remembered, or have this film aged really bad?
John J. Rambo ( Sylvester Stallone ) is a Vietnam war veteran who is walking along the outskirts of a small town called Hope, Washington, in search of an old comrade Delmar Barry. He finds out that his friend died in cancer, that he got from the exposure of Agent Orange during the war. John continue his journey as he enters the town of Hope, he is intercepted by the local Sheriff Will Teasle ( Brian Dennehy ). Sheriff Will does not want strangers in his town, so offer Rambo a ride, to make sure that he is heading in the right direction. As soon as Rambo is dropped off, Rambo starts walking back to town. Sheriff Will arrest him for not following orders, and they have no idea that they are about to feel the rage, of a true war machine.
I know that a lot of people say that the 1976 film Rocky is one of their absolutely favourite films in Sylvester Stallone´s amazing career. But i personally feel that First Blood may be one of his best films ever, when it comes to telling a powerful story, and doing some real emotional acting as well. This film really show an honest portrait of a Vietnam war veteran trying to adjust in society, while he is still struggling with his own demons from war. To see a man being attacked just becuase he is an outsider, shows how prejudiced certain people can be. In the case of John Rambo, the last thing he needs is to be pushed away, with everything that he is struggling with emotionally from war. I do feel that First Blood manage to capture the feeling of a broken man, not knowing where he belongs, or if he ever will find a place where he feels accepted. One of the things that makes this film so good, apart of all the great action scenes and dramatic moments, are some of the characters. Sylvester Stallone manage to portait John J. Rambo in his very own unique way. You can tell that he really wanted to show the world, how war can affect your life with some really powerful acting ( especially towards the end, when he holds a very personal speech ). Legendary actor Brian Dennehy may do one of his best acting performances ever in this film, as the douchebag Sheriff William "Will" Teasle. He may come across as a family loving man at first towards the small town of Hope, but he is definetely the wrong man for his job. Brian manage to balance his performance with both strong dialogue, and very clear body language. One of the most powerful acting performances in First Blood, is definetely from legendary actor Richard Crenna as Colonel Samuel R "Sam" Trautman. You can tell that Colonel Trautman really care about John Rambo, knowing what he has gone through. And no one knows John better than Trautman either. The radio scene where Trautman talks to Rambo for the first time in many years, that´s where you see the only trust Rambo have left in this world. This film is violent in certain scenes, but for specific reasons. If you play too much with a soldier, you can hope he spares your life. First Blood is one of those films that manage to combine action and drama, and make it work so well. There is no question in my mind, the first Rambo film will always be the best in the franchise, and is one of the true classics of the 80´s that will never be forgotten, A must have on DVD or Blu Ray collection.
torsdag 4 augusti 2022
I love independent horror director´s, especially the ones who really appreciate old school horror classics and use elements from different time period´s in the horror genre. One of those director´s that comes to my mind, is without a doubt director Ti West. I have seen all of his films since he started making films, and i am still really impressed over his passion of making really solid horror films. His first film The Roost ( that we don´t really hear a lot about these days ) was a great first feature full film for Ti West. It was made on a limited budget, but it is a nice throwback to low budget horror films. If you appreciate low budget horror films, you should check it out. The film also have legendary actor Tom Noonan ( Robocop 2, Last Action Hero ) as the Horror Host, introdcing the audience for the story. But it was actually in 2009 when director Ti West really proved why he is so important for the independent horror film industry, when he released his film The House of The Devil. Now, i have probably seen this film at least 10 times since i first picked it up on Blu Ray, and i will tell you why this film is so good. First of all, this film is really well made, considering the budget. You get a sense that director Ti West really wanted to capture the time period of the early 80´s, and he does in a very effective way. This film also manage to feel like a very powerful throwback to satanic films of the 70´s, that especially takes place in one house. I have to mention lead actress Jocelin Donahue ( also worth checking out in the really good independent horror film I Trapped The Devil ) as the character Samantha Hughes. She is definetely a perfect match for this character, and deliver a very solid performance. I should mention that legendary actor Tom Noonan is also in this film, delivering dialogue in his own unique way. The House Of The Devil is a must see on physical media, and i highly recommend that you listen to the commentary track. Director Ti West continued releasing solid films such as The Innkeepers and The Sacrament. And here we are with his latest film, simply known as X. Since i am a big fan of Ti West, i was really excited to see if X would be just as good as The House Of The Devil. Is this the horror film you need to see this summer, or have director Ti West lost his passion for horror with X?
It is the year of 1979, a group of adult film actors and a small film team arrive to a farmhouse occupied by an elderly couple in the desolate Texas countryside. Adult film director Wayne ( Martin Henderson ) is prepared to make his next film, and he hopes this one will be appreciated by the home video audience. But as they start working on the film, they will soon find out that this was not the perfect location they thought it would be.
There is no doubt that director Ti West feel a big passion for films of the 70´s, and this becomes very clear with X. You get the bright colors of the 70´s, and you feel the time period is captured in a very effective way. Everything from the costume design, even to the hair style´s, it definetely feels like we are back in 1979. I think it was a really good idea to tell a story about the making of an adult film, since we know that this was a big industry for home video. I still remember seeing adult films in VHS stores back in the 80´s, so for a younger generation today, this is a great way to show them how different it was back in those days. It was ok to show nudity and sex in stores, after all, people enjoyed adult films. If you wanted to see sex on film, you just picked up a couple of VHS films, no matter what you enjoyed. And the film X really manage to capture the feeling that this is supposed to be the making of a sex film, for anyone who enjoys watching porn. But this is just a piece of X, in the end this is an old school slasher film. And i have to say, this film does a really good job delivering some really brutal slasher moments. If you love lots of blood and people being killed, you are in for a treat. How about the characters? There are several characters that i enjoy in X, and especially actress Brittany Snow ( mostly known for her character Chloe in the Pitch Perfect movies ) as the porn star character Bobby-Lynne. This is honestly the best acting performance i have seen Brittany Snow do in her movie career so far, so she is perfect for this role. She finds the perfect balance to portrait this character, with a good sense of humour. Martin Henederson ( who i especialy remember from the American remake of The Ring ) is really good as the adult film director Wayne. The thing that makes Wayne such a funny character, is his charming personality, always seeing the possibilities than problems. And of course we have actress Mia Goth ( who i will always remember for her performance in A Cure For Wellness, a must see ), giving us a very strong performance as porn actress Pearl / also known as Maxine. X is a horror film that knows exactly what audience it was made for, and that is fans of old school horror with influences from the 70´s grindhouse era. There is one ridiculous sex scene between the old couple living at the farm, that didn´t really add anything to this film. But other than that i am very pleased with X for what it is trying to do, tell a story about the adult film film industry in the late 70´s, and bring back a nostalgic feeling of the good days of horror films. Director Ti West knows exactly what he is doing, and brings back practical make up effects horror, just the way we like it. Definetely worth picking up on Blu Ray this summer, and i promise you will have a really good time.
onsdag 3 augusti 2022
Sometimes when you hear a certain name, you might remember that person for different reasons. It could be that the person have made a positive impression on you, or that you enjoy the personality. In the case of director Charlie Steeds, i can honestly say that i have become a big fan of him, for delivering so many wonderful independent horror films over the years. I am always excited to see that he is working on several films, so i am really looking forward to see what he has to offer, no matter what the genre is. I still remember the first time i saw his film Winterskin, released in 2018. Since i am no fan of snow, winter landscapes and winter movies in general, director Charlie Steeds helped me overcome my winter fear with this wonderful film. This film tells the story of Billy Cavanagh ( David Lenik ) who is shot out in the wilderness, and taken to the cabin of old lady Agnes ( Rowena Bentley ). At first you may think that this cabin is completely safe, but Billy is about to find out, Agnes is not the only one around this cabin. Winterskin reminded me a little bit of the 1990 film Misery with actors James Caan and Kathy Bates, in the sense that Billy is being taken care of Agnes, just like Annie helped novelist Paul in Misery. Of course these films are very different from each other, but i liked that director Charlie Steeds told a different kind of winter story, with horror elements that seemed inspired by similar ideas as Misery. I also enjoyed the twist in the plot towards the late part of Winterskin, that reveals what is really going on in this cabin. If you did not think there are any good winter horror films out there, i recommend that you pick up Winterskin on DVD. Director Charlie Steeds have released several other great films such as The Barge People and of course A Werewold In England ( wich i really enjoyed ), and i always try and check out every film he works on. I finally got a chance to sit down and watch a DVD copy of his latest film The Haunting Of The Tower Of London, excited to see what this film could offer. Is this one of the best films in his career so far, or is this film not as good as i was hoing it would be?
When the remains of two murdered Princes are discovered at the Tower of London, a troubled Priest named Isaac ( Reece Connolly ) must put his beliefs aside to befriend a mysterious prisoner, who have supernatural powers. Together they must solve the mystery of who murdered the Princes.
There is no doubt that you can´t feel that this is a Charlie Steeds film. The Haunting Of The Tower Of London have all the right elements that you could wish for, when it comes to capturing the feeling of the mind set of director Charlie Steeds. He knows how to make old school independent horror films, and i have to say that this film actually manage to bring back some nostalgic feelings from Hammer Films ( the classic British film horror company ). The story of this film is pretty simple, and i actually appreciate that. You don´t need to make a haunted horror film complicated to make it work, and this is something director Charlie Steeds is aware of. One of the things that i especially appreciate with The Haunting Of The Tower Of London are some of the characters in this film, and let us begin with the most powerful one. And that is of course actor Tim Cartwright as Richard III. Tim have been in several of Charlie Steeds films, and everytime he shows up on screen you can feel his magical screen presence. And you really feel that in this film, as he is perfect as Richard III, both for his way to portrait this character, but also delivering dialogue that matches so well, I actually have a feeling that if director Charlie Steeds would ever consider making a viking film, i know that Tim Cartwright would be the perfect choice for viking king. Wonderful actress Emma Spurgin Hussey gives a solid performance as the character Mistress Blythe, a woman who is clearly not shy, and knows how to express herself. The scenes between Emma Spurgin Hussey and Tim Cartwright are especially entertaining, because you can feel that they have a great chemistry on the big screen. Reece Connoly ( who i especially enjoyed in A Werewolf In England ) as the priest Isaac, shows that Reece knows exactly how to portrait this character. I have to mention one especially funny character known as Solomon The Torturer, played by actor James Swanton ( who played The Jack, the demonic clown in The Jack In The Box: The Awakening ). The scenes where we get to see him in action, both preparing the torture chamber but also the torture scene with a prisoner, is really funny. So how does the haunting elements work in this film? Considering that this film is an independent horror film, i have to say for the most part it works well. Of course you can tell that they tried to do their best with the budget they had, and i appreciate that. The costume design is fine with the time period, and the castle gives a nice historical approach to the story. Director Charlie Steeds deliver once more another solid horror film, that will especially be appreciated by fans of his previous films. Definetely worth picking up on DVD to support both the film maker, but also his film crew, as we hope for more wonderful films in the style of The Haunting Of The Tower Of London.
tisdag 2 augusti 2022
Physcial media stores are the best place to be, where you can pick up movies in many different categories. There are a few physical DVD / VHS / Blu Ray stores still trying to survive across Sweden, but they are not as many as i would like them to be. Stores like this have been with me since my childhood, and i will always support these kinds of stores ( i would not be surprised if you find me dead in one of them, a perfect location to spend your last living hours ). I try to visit some different ones when it´s possible in different cities, to check out what they have on their shelves. Let´s go back for a moment to the year of 2001, when i was visiting the Swedish capital city Stockholm ( where we hope to have a statue of Dolph Lundgren, the greatest swede ever ). I was there with a friend of mine ( who also collected a lot of films ), and we both decided to check out VHS stores and DVD stores. We visited 4 of them, and for each store we spent hours in there. I remember buying at least 15 DVD´s and 7 VHS films. And my friend picked up at least 12 DVD´s, so we definetely had a good weekend there. In one of these stores i especially remember one VHS cover that looked really interesting, and that was a VHS release of a low budget film called The Shivers. This film looked like a lot of fun with bloody practical effects, and i noticed that the film was directed by Todd Sheets. This was actually my first time seeing one of his VHS releases in a physical media store. I did not pick it up unfortunately, but i do remember the movie store owner said:- This is one funny B movie, you should check it out man. I still to this day remember that VHS cover of The Shivers, and i hope that whoever owns it now, still enjoy the film. Over the years i have seen several films from director Todd Sheets, and reviewed some of them as well, such as Sleepless Nights, Hi-Death ( where he directed a segment called The Muse ) and Clownado. I think it is very clear that director Todd Sheets is a big fan of practical make up effects, and practical effects in general. Recently he released his latest film called Final Caller. When i heard that title it felt like it could be sequel we always wanted of the 2000 film Hanging Up with actors Diane Keaton, Lisa Kudrow and Meg Ryan. I decided to check out the film, to find out if there is a connection between these films. Is the latest Todd Sheets film The Caller one of his best releases so far, or does it not reach the same quality level as Clownado did?
Radio host Rolan Bennett ( Douglas Epps ), who runs the radio show On Through The Night, is taking phone calls from listeners, to discuss any subject that is on their mind. He gets a phone call from a man who calles himself The Outsider ( Jack McCord ), who seems to be torturing women and want to be respected live on radio. At first Rolan does not care about The Outsider, but as he keeps getting more victims, something needs to be done. If Rolan and his team can use their radio platform to stop him, they at least have to give it a try.
If you were hoping that this was the official sequel to Hanging Up, i can tell you that this is not a sequel in any way, or a remake of Hangin Up. However, you can feel elements of the Diane Keaton film Hanging Up in here. We do have some wonderful phone calls in Final Caller, just like they had in Hanging Up, so clearly director Todd Sheets knew that this would be appreciated. The characters may be a bit different in Final Caller as well, but the one thing where i feel the Hanging Up connection in Final Caller. And that is the scene where actors Douglas Epps and Jane Plumberg discuss a divorce live on radio, and i don´t think we could have been any closer to the 2000 film Hanging Up than that. So how is this film from previous Todd Sheets releases? This is quite a different film in many ways, because there is a bigger psychological perspective in this film, since we are dealing with a very disturbed serial killer. Speaking of the serial killer, this is one of the highlights of this film. Actor Jack Mackord ( who played Sheriff Morgan in Clownado ) plays the serial killer The Outsider. If you want to see a really crazy acting performance, i guarantee you will find it here from Jack McCord. I especially love the torture scenes, where he makes sure that each victim get their bodies ripped up. There is one scene that really works well, and that is the scene where The Outsider start taking his clothes off, dances around to opera and attack his victim Security Guard ( played by wonderful actress Dilynn Fawn Harvey ). Since i mentioned Dilynn, i have to tell you how amazing she is. In the scenes that she has, you would not find anyone doing her character as good as she does. It is like director Todd Sheets knew that she was perfect for this role. I would have liked to see more of her, since i have a feeling she would have brought something special for the plot, with her character. The funniest character is without a doubt radio host Roland Bennett, played by actor Douglas Epps ( who played the character Nic Stone in Clownado ). I have to say, he is the best radio host i have ever heard in my entire life. The way he communicate with each caller is so wonderful, and no one takes his job more seriously than he does. I especially love when he gives a lady advice, regarding a Bigfoot subject. That is when you know you have a radio host, who really care about his listeners. Final Caller is a film filled with brutal kills, funny characters, and funny dialogue as well. I have to say that they did a great job on the practical make up effects, i love to see big flesh wounds. Director Todd Sheets delivers another quality film, and clearly shows why he still knows what the audience want, a nice cozy film with classic ingredients. If you had some wonderful lovely dreams lately that Final Caller would be the worthy sequel to the Dianie Keaton film Hanging Up, you at least get some nice influences that reminds us of that film, and deliver some tasteful treats as well. Finall Caller is definetey worth checking out on VOD or DVD. Who knows, maybe one day director Todd Sheets will let me be in a cameo role in one of his future films?