Overlord (2018)

The mix of war movies and horror movies have always been a natural combination, since they’re both manage to examine the dark sides of combat and humanity. It’s just a shame that there haven’t been many movies of the sub-genre that have been worth watching. Thankfully, while “Overlord” isn’t a complete masterpiece, it manages to come out in the end as a sleek and very clever amalgam of horror, fantasy, and war oriented action. It might also sweeten the pot that Avery’s horror war hybrid feels like a spiritual prequel to “Re-Animator.” Director Julius Avery approaches the idea of a horror movie set during World War II with great right balance of both genres, allowing “Overlord” to be a character piece first and then delve right in to the horrendous grue and human ugliness.

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Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)

The first “Goosebumps” movie was a big surprise for me. While I was against it being a fluid narrative and not an anthology or adaptation of one of the books, it ended up being a great, heartfelt, and genuinely fun horror comedy. And Jack Black as RL Stine was such a nice little addition that helped what was essentially a love letter to RL Stine’s imagination. It pains me to say that, like a lot of others, I just did not like “Goosebumps 2.” It’s not only the fact that it tosses out a lot of what made the original film so much fun, but it also completely recycles the premise from the first film with a monster apocalypse… except, you know, on Halloween.

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The Hollow (2015)

Sheldon Wilson’s “The Hollow” or as I refer to it “Phantoms 2: Samhain Edition,” is one of the more incomplete feeling horror films I’ve seen in a long time. Although the movie isn’t the completely worst Halloween oriented horror entry I’ve ever seen, it definitely feels like it could have stood for twenty minutes of exposition. Even when it stops the movie in its tracks to drop exposition, it still feels like the screenwriters are working on an under cooked film that never finds its footing. So much of “The Hollow” is downright unpleasant and dull, and manages to squander a potentially really cool movie monster.

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Destroy All Monsters (1968)

By 1968, the sons o’ fun at Toho were running out of ideas on what to do with their monster movie franchise. In “Destroy All Monsters,” the studio assembled nearly all of their beloved Tokyo-stomping monsters and recycled earlier movie plots regarding extra-terrestrials using the monsters to conquer the Earth. The result was a noisy, raucous mess that will appall the serious cinephile and delight the inner 10-year-old cocooned within the most seriously cynical of adults.
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Montreal Dead End (2018) [Fantasia Fest 2018]

Montreal is sort of infamous for its roadwork and potholes… One day, a pothole grows to frightening size and oozes a sort of gas. Soon after, people in various neighborhoods around town are starting to feel this gas’ effects, turning into violent people and zombies, switching bodies, meeting monsters and other oddities.

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Another WolfCop (2017) [Blu-Ray]

I’ve had a lot of time to think about Lowell Dean’s follow up to 2014’s “WolfCop,” and while I did love the original movie for its balls and unique premise, I can’t say I loved “Another…” Is it a poor follow up to the original? Absolutely not, but with the bigger budget and massive acclaim, it feels more like Dean forced a lot of the cult aspects, and has a tough time progressing the narrative of his hero Lou Garou. That said, “Another WolfCop” is still a fun cult movie romp that gets a nice blu-ray treatment for fans.

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The Return of Swamp Thing (1989): 2 Disc Special Edition [Blu-Ray/DVD]

Jim Wynorski’s “The Return of Swamp Thing” is one of my bonafide childhood favorites, and a favorite of the rental places. “The Return of Swamp Thing” was my introduction to the character when I was a child and it’s a definite favorite that’s become more about sentimental value than quality. I admit that viewing “The Return of Swamp Thing” through nostalgic glasses helps improve the campy direction Jim Wynorski takes for this second outing.

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Five Other Great Shared Universes You Can Enjoy

It’s finally all coming together on Friday where all the superheroes from the Marvel Cinematic Universe clash to bring down one of the galaxy’s biggest threats. Since its introduction in 2008, Marvel and Disney have made building universe look easy, but many modern studios have proven it’s an impossible task to pull off competently. Before Marvel and DC there were many established Extended and Shared, and if you’re looking for a break from Marvel, these are five you might love.

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