I honestly never go in to any movie prepared to hate it. I approach every single movie with even the lowest of expectations and always hope to be surprised and thoroughly entertained. With “Hi-Death” though, this is a movie I had a difficult time finding any redeeming traits for. I love anthology horror, I love throwbacks to classic VHS and SOV days of horror and science fiction, but “Hi-Death” is a confusing mess of an indie horror film that will test the patience of any hardcore horror fan.
Touted as “The Expendables” for horror fans, “Death House” is a huge missed opportunity that revels in its painfully derivative and clumsy premise. Ripping off “Alone in the Dark,” “Cabin in the Woods,” and yes, even “Jurassic Park,” Harrison Smith manages to do absolutely nothing with the plethora of horror stars that show up for the film. Most of the people that are promoted in the opening credits only show up for thirty seconds at a time with glorified cameos, while folks like Kane Hodder take a back seat to the bland, forgettable protagonists we’re supposed to be rooting for. By the time the movie ended I couldn’t even tell you what their names were.
I know “Kolobos” mainly from late night cable where I was able to watch the final half of it back in 2000 was kind of blown away by it. Granted, this was before I’d seen a ton of movies and I was still young, but I remember loving it. Over the years it’s garnered a pretty loyal fan base and cult following, all of whom love it, warts and all. I mainly know it for being one of the last hurrahs of the video store age where low budget horror fare was reduced to straight to video on shelves, and not Saturday premieres on the Syfy channel.
For horror fans looking for another value pack of horror movies, Mill Creek Entertainment is repackaging some of their more notable titles in to a Triple Feature on Blu-Ray. For folks looking to increase their horror movie collection and save money, this is the perfect launch pad with some up to date formats. This Trio of films come on Blu-Ray and DVD, for folks that still collect and or use the latter format.
I kind of see what Aaron K. Carter is going for with “An Hour to Kill.” What his film tries to be is a basic meshing of the gangster politics of “Pulp Fiction” with the horror tales of “Creepshow.” I don’t begrudge him for trying something completely different and unique, it’s just sad that “An Hour to Kill” never comes together as a coherent or even entertaining horror comedy anthology. Even taken as a silly horror comedy, it’s tough to find any real redeeming aspects here, as Carter seems to work hard in keeping his film together as it falls apart from minute one.
Take the unabashed violence of the eighties action films where all that stood between peace and war was one guy with a gun, throw in a slasher film, and you have what is one of my absolute childhood favorites. “Cobra” brings me back to a time where I’d watch Marion Cobretti bring down a thug with the cold hard steel of his Colt .45 and still have time to go home and unwind with some left over pizza. Thankfully “Cobra” still pretty much holds up today as a mixing of two very popular genres from the decade, and it works for the most part.
Jamie Blanks’ “Valentine” is one of the many latter day slasher films that would completely steal from the premise of “Slaughter High” and retrofit it to a new generation, as well as blatantly ape the gimmick of “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” “Valentine” is one of the more ambitious slashers that not only steals from “Slaughter High” but also jumps on the valentine holiday as its primary gimmick for the stalking and slashing. “My Bloody Valentine” always has my loyalty, while “Valentine” is just a sub-par absolutely vanilla slasher thriller with the classic whodunit plot motivation that also became a common element of latter day slashers post-“Scream.”
It’s fascinating to watch “10 to Midnight” today and explore how dated it’s become and how much the themes and overtones it presents have been somewhat flipped on its head. J. Lee Thompson attempts to appeal to the folks that love their Dirty Harry’s and Lee Marvins by basically trying to turn Charles Bronson in to something of an aged vigilante that we can root for. But he basically comes off as an anti-hero, and “10 to Midnight” ends up becoming a war between a psychopath and a corrupt cop, both of whom never actually come out looking pristine once the film draws to a close.