April 23, 2019

Revisiting a Murder: The Crow: Wicked Prayer

By the time The Crow: Wicked Prayer arrived in 2005, the franchise was already on life support. The movie had a brief one-week theatrical premiere before being unceremoniously dumped to the video market. To be fair, the movie really isn’t that good, it looks bad even next to the prior outing, the also direct to video The Crow: Salvation. With that said, as I revisit the film now, I still see it as a bad movie, but there are things that I have come to like about it. It is like there are good elements in spite of its efforts to be a bad movie. Overall, the feel is not unlike that of the latter Hellraiser sequels, made as a reason to hang on to the license.

April 19, 2019

Revisiting a Murder: The Crow: City of Angels

If you know me, you know that my favorite movie is The Crow. I am not saying it is the best movie, but it is the movie I can return to time and time again and walk away satisfied. It is a movie that just strikes all the right chords for this fan. It was one of the first movies that I saw more than once in the theater. I can go on and on about The Crow, but this piece isn’t about that movie. It is about the first of the trio of sequels that were produced, and the only one to that made it to theaters. The Crow: City of Angels was released in 1996, a late August release where it won its opening weekend, but faded pretty quickly. It ended its run with a box office gross just shy of $18 million.

April 14, 2019

Movie Review: Hellboy (2019)

So, Hellboy, a movie that caused a stir among the masses when it was announced, or rather, that subset of the masses that care about such things as genre and comic book movies, and even then, a further subset of the masses that cares about remakes and reboots. It is a stir that has lasted right up to and through the movies release this weekend. Fortunately, I am not a part of that subset. I am a part of the movie loving public that likes to see movies prove their worth on their own terms, and not have to fight off non-existent foes before their time. With that said, I quite enjoyed this new interpretation of the source, it felt true in spirit but does not find itself beholden to what came before, meaning it has a distinctly different flavor than Guillermo del Toro’s vision. This is a good one.

April 10, 2019

Movie Review: Pet Sematary (2019)

When it was announced that a remake of Pet Sematary was in the works, it was met with a mixture of interest and derision. For my tastes, I like the 1989 version, but cannot say I have any particular love for it, so I clearly fell on the interested side. On the other side of the coin, I know someone who loves the original, and while interested, was certainly approaching it with a good deal more skepticism than I. Now that it is here, it is open season for everyone to compare the two, as well as its value as another Stephen King adaptation. I cannot comment on the last bit as I have not read the book, which is amazing considering how much I love King and how much of his older output I’ve read.

April 9, 2019

Movie Review: Hotel Mumbai

The first time I heard of Hotel Mumbai was a few weeks ago from a friend who had seen it. He mused about how involving and well saged it was, while simultaneously wondering who would want to recreate such events. I must admit, it is a thought I have often had when it comes to a movie that seeks to depict, often in great detail, such horrible events. It come to mind when I decided to see this film. I sat there and thought, in succession, why would anyone want to recreate these events, then who would want to watch such a thing, and then about how I was there watching such a thing. I have to admit, the movie was quite an experience.

October 16, 2018

Movie Review: Venom (2018)

It has been a long time since I have really followed Venom in the comics. That really goes for pretty much all comic books, these days I get my superheroes on the big screen rather than the printed page. With that said, there is likely a good portion of you out there that have now discounted anything that I have to say about a Venom movie. So be it. Even without an extensive knowledge, I still have some thoughts of this as a movie, with, perhaps, a bit of what I do know tossed in. Now, would it surprise you to know that I actually liked the movie? Granted, it could be because my expectations were on the low side, or it may be that I don’t expect greatness from every movie.

October 13, 2018

A Haunting Experience at The Terrordome

I love this time of year. The changing of the leaves, the chill in the are, the appearance of Halloween decorations in stores, not to mention the increased focus on horror movies. In addition to all of that, there is the annual return of haunted attractions. Granted, I do not take advantage of them all that often, but I do enjoy them. This year I had the opportunity to go to an attraction I never knew was there, despite existing for something like 20 years, and it is walking distance from where I work! How I had never heard of it before, I will never know. The attraction is called The Terrordome, and while there is no dome involved, there certainly is plenty of terror to go around!

September 24, 2018

Movie Music: Halloween - "The Shape Returns"

Any new take on a classic is usually met with a cacophony of derision. It’s true, most of them do fail to live up to expectations. I also find that many just can’t in no matter what, before they get made people clamor for something new, when that happens they wail for something familiar, or vice versa. In any case, I am trying not to get overly excited for this new Halloween, but I do like what I have seen so far. Now, I can add what I hear to the list, as this first unveiled track for the new film is pretty great.

September 23, 2018

Event Recap: The 5th Exhumed Guilty Pleasures Marathon (Alamo Drafthouse, Yonkers, NY, 9/22/18)

There are a few cinematic events that are well worth looking forward to. This goes beyond your anticipated new releases. This goes beyond what shows on the screen (although that does matter), it is about the people who run the event and the people that attend the event. For me, Hudson Horror Show will forever sit at the top of the list, but another that is among the best is Exhumed Films Guilty Pleasures Marathon. This is the Exhumed show that sees the Philadelphia collective travel away from their home city and travel to Yonkers to screen some well received titles from their other events at the Alamo Drafthouse. The guys behind Exhumed are a great bunch of people and their collection of 35mm prints has proven to be a great resource to other shows, such as Hudson Horror, not to mention being an inspiration. Also, the friends that go to the event are my extended family and bring another level of life and energy to the day.

September 20, 2018

Movie Review: Peppermint

When people ask me what I thought of Peppermint, my answer is always the same. I tell them that the movie is nothing but a collection of missed opportunities. On some levels I liked it, but on other, more, levels, I just did not. I was relatively excited to see it, too. There are things to like about it, but when you watch it you will notice things, things they should have done, beats they should have taken, moments of genuine character they should have let happen. After awhile it just becomes annoying. However, anecdotal evidence proves that the people around me enjoyed it considerably more than I did.

September 19, 2018

Movie Review: Dr. Butcher, M.D. (aka Zombie Holocaust)

What is it about Italian genre film making of the 70’s and 80’s that makes it so attractive? There is just something about those movies that I find irresistible. Yes, they run the gamut in terms of quality from all-time classics to utterly atrocious, but they have a distinct look and feel to them. They also seemed to have cornered the market on ripping off other movies, from blatant remakes to unofficial sequels, whose connection to their predecessors is tenuous at best. Then there are the times where they rip themselves off. There are the likes of Zombi 2 (made as a sequel to Dawn of the Dead), Alien 2: On Earth (somehow this is supposed to be connected to Alien), and Star Crash (a clear attempt to cash in on Star Wars), then you have Dr. Butcher, MD, aka Zombie Holocaust.

September 18, 2018

Movie Review: Revenge (2018)

Rape/Revenge movies have a long and grimy tradition in the cinema world. These movies don’t glorify the prior act, while putting the latter on a pedestal. This is the way it should be, rape is in no way shape or form a defensible act; however, in the form of a rape/revenge movie it can become quite exhilarating to watch the woman overcome and have her revenge on her attackers, thus destroying the male gaze. The films in this genre can be as grimy as they come, like House on the Edge of the Park and I Spit on Your Grave, they can be unsettlingly artistic like Ms. 45 and Irreversible, they can even be popular mainstream films like Death Wish and Kill Bill, Vol. 1. Of late, there have not been all that many that I have been aware of. Now, I have Revenge to fill that hole.

August 11, 2018

Critical Capsule: Slender Man (2018)

Using Moviepass of late has turned into a sad game of Whack-A-Mole. I had intended to see The BlackkKlansman, but since those showtimes disappeared from the app, I turned towards the next available film. I was sent down the rabbit hole of Slender Man. I guess it should be said that I never cared about Slender Man, never looked into the modern viral phenomenon that gave birth to the guy, I also feel like the golden time for a movie is long since passed. In any case, I went to the movie and swear I found a cure for insomnia.

Slender Man crawls at a snail’s pace, relies on jump scares, and aside from a couple of neat camera tricks feels like a crappy version of The Ring mixed with a touch of Sinister. I never felt interested in the creature or the characters, the characters never really felt genuine. I think I would have been better served reading on the spawning of modern legend. The movie has nothing to say and gives the characters very little to do other than go through the motions of a mainstream, teen-targeted horror film. I would love to see more theatrical horror films let go and not be afraid af getting truly bizarre and scary. I think that might be asking too much. Slender Man is a hard pass.

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August 6, 2018

Movie Review: The Tortured (2010)

While looking for movies featuring Bill Moseley, I stumbled across The Tortured on Netflix. I read the description and must admit to being intrigued, if not exactly wowed. I decided to give it a shot, being less than 90 minutes, it wasn’t exactly going to be a complete time suck. So hit play an settled in. The first thing to great me was the familiar Twisted Pictures logo, that I have ingrained in my mind as the start of a Saw movie (like Village Roadshow with The Matrix and the Fox fanfare with Star Wars). In any case, this movie doesn’t really need this much of a preamble, if you couldn’t guess from the title, this is your standard torture porn feature.