Thir13en Ghosts (2001): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

I’ve always loved the William Castle ghost film and the remake of “Thirteen Ghosts” by Steve Beck. Back in 2001 when it was being panned, I appreciated its ambition, amazing special effects, and great narrative. Now, many years later, horror fans have finally caught up to what a great, radical re-imagining of William Castle’s ghost film is. It’s a hard rock, balls to the wall ride that compensates for the lack of ghost glasses with excellent special effects, and some fun gore and grue.

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Suffering Through the “Zombie Bloodbath” Trilogy

The “Zombie Bloodbath” trilogy is the sheer apex of garbage zombie movie fodder. It topples even “Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection.” The trilogy is something you’ll be forgetting minutes after, as only an hour after viewing these I can’t truly recollect the plots. There’s really no sense of arc, continuity, or overall cohesive storytelling here, as the zombies take center stage in films where characters are a sheer after thought. In the first Zombie Bloodbath from 1993, at a remote radioactive plant, its workers suffer the outbreaks of a chemical spill which turns them into—what else? Zombies.

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The Haunting of #24 (Lie Still) (2005)

Director and Writer Sean Hogan’s “The Haunting of #24” is a film with a lot of potential that is never quite realized in to much of a film with any kind of substance or surprise. Director Hogan sets up so many plot devices, characters, and suspense that can be flourished into a horrifying ghost film. Alas, “The Haunting of #24” is just mediocre as all get out, and squanders most opportunities to rise to the occasion and spook us. It’s not a horrible movie, it’s just so utterly boring to sit through from beginning to end.

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Playroom (2006)

“Playroom” is yet another horror movie with an identity crisis, and the apparent struggle for a solid identity is concocted by director Stephen Stahl who wants a coming of age movie, and a horror movie wrapped in one bizarre package. Paired with homophobic overtones, “Playroom” (also known as “Consequences”) is the story of a group of friends in the eighties (Stahl never lets us forget it’s the eighties) who bond and love one another, and eventually disconnect as life takes its toll.

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Dawn of the Living Dead (Evil Grave: Curse of the Maya) (2004)

“Dawn of the Living Dead” is such a blatant attempt to garner the Romero fan’s attention, especially with the tagline “In the tradition of “Night of the Living Dead…” If we’re splitting hairs here, pretty much all of these zombie movies that copy Romero are in the tradition of “Night of the Living Dead.” David Heavener’s “Dawn of the Living Dead” (or “Evil Grave: Curse of the Maya”) induced my optimism and I pleaded that perhaps this movie would be a so bad its good little independent foreign horror comedy. Instead it’s just a film that revels in tedium, padding, and glacial pacing.

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