Ghostbusters 2 (1989)

“Ghostbusters” was a superb one and done premise that worked because it had such regular men who were called in to confront some spectacular circumstances, and in the end have to figure out how to live in a reality where they’ve essentially proven the existence of the supernatural. It’s surprising that the follow up is so sub-par and often monotonous as it almost has nothing to do with the original concept. It kind of goes through the motions and doesn’t exactly know how to continue building on these originally complex and flawed individuals. They don’t evolve much at all from when we last saw them, and writer Harold Ramis and Dan Akroyd seem to be painted in to a corner by devolving them and building them back up all over again.

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Hellboy Animated: Blood & Iron (2007)

“Blood & Iron” is a stellar sequel to the entertaining and raucous “Sword of Storms,” and it’s a yet another faithful adaptation that emphasizes the lore and world of the BPRD. The animated follow ups to the movie, set somewhere between the movies, have been worthy of the time spent with excellent animation, and a compelling narrative, overall. The idea bout the audience watching outcasts defend our Earth and realm is continuously fascinating, and the cast bring their A game.

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Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms (2006)

For folks that appreciated the subversive artistic style that launched Mike Mignola into stardom, “Sword of Storms” practices a lot of the grit and indie flavor, along with much of what made Del Toro’s films so stellar. There’s even voice work from the original films’ stars including Ron Perlman, Selma Blair, John Hurt, and Doug Jones, all of whom are about as fun as ever. Directors Phil Weinstein and Tad Stones’ animated movie is set between the live action installments, channeling creator Mike Mignola with dark and often grim animation, with the back drop of an exciting narrative that never trails from its original source material.

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Mayhem (2017)

Joe Lynch is a filmmaker not prone to delivering just everyday horror and genre outings, and “Mayhem” is proof of that. This is a man who should be delivering his off beat storytelling and directorial style to big budget features like James Gunn, but that is by no means a slight on the director. “Mayhem” is a demented dark satire and horror film filled with gore, dark humor, and a biting commentary on the doldrums of the work place and world of corporate back stabbing. Director Joe Lynch takes “Wolf of Wall Street” and “Warning Sign” and drops it in to a blender creating one of the most ruthless balls to the wall meshing of genres I’ve seen in a while. While Lynch is very liberal with the use of gore and splatter, there’s a damn good reasoning for all of what goes down.

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You Should Watch “Freakish”

I’m not a subscriber to Hulu but my mom is, and she’s often on the hunt for horror series’, as someone whose own love for horror dwarfs my own. For the last year, she’s been insisting that I check out a show called “Freakish,” a show that she describes as a “great zombie show” and one I’d particularly love, since I tend to have a real weak spot for shows about zombies and the apocalypse. Hell, I am a regular viewer of “Fear the Walking Dead,” “The Walking Dead,” and even love “Dead Set,” so “Freakish” is kind of up my alley.

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The Sand (2015)

I kind of appreciate what “The Sand” is going for. It tries to be a summer time survival movie that evokes “The Raft” from “Creepshow II” with a bit of “The Blob” for good measure. The problem is that it spends so much time on unlikable characters and ridiculous plot points that it feels like a sub-par prequel to a good movie. The film literally ends on a scene that made me think “That is the movie I want to see!” Set on the night after a graduation, a group of friends go out on to the beach for a night of drinking, and teenage antics. Little do they know that a small gooey ball they’ve discovered is some kind of substance that is alive, and has embedded itself in the sand.

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The Call of Charlie (2016) [Horrible Imaginings Film Festival 2017]

Charlie is a friend, so Mark and his wife help him out by setting him up with Maureen. As the evening goes along, with uninvited guests Virginia and Jay joining the 4 of them, things take an odd turn.

Written by Guy Benoit, John Simpson, and director Nick Spooner, The Call of Charlie is a horror comedy that works, and works great. It’s funny and uses a creature to the best possible result in terms of comedy and awkwardness. The film has witty dialog and flows really well throughout. The writing is on point and the directing supports it perfectly. The way this is short is build shows a good grasp of comedic timing and how to build a strong story with odd aspects and keep it simple to make it work the best possible.

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Tetsuo: The Iron Man (1989)

A man slowly turns into a metal/man hybrid after killing The Metal Fetishist. His life changes at an alarming rate and so does he.

This piece of Japanese weirdness was written and directed by Shin’ya Tsukamoto almost 30 years ago and it still maintains its shock and awe. The film has a fairly simply story at its basis but is constructed and directed in such a way that it’s dizzying and purposefully messes with its viewer’s angle on it. The film is somewhat hard to follow but that’s part of how it works in the end. It is messed up and messes the viewer up. It’s one of those oddities that don’t feel like it was made just for the shock or just to disturb, but it still achieves both with flying colors. The way Shin’ya Tsukamoto tells this story is masterful yet filled with lunacy.

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