Recently, Scream Factory put out a filled to the gills Blu-Ray of “The Hills Run Red” which felt like a “finally” on this film as it’s one that seems under-seen and under-appreciated. This slasher is one that came and seemingly went with the general public, but that slasher fans and many horror fans have been loving its release. It’s a brutal, meta slasher film that is a fun watch for fans of the genre and is a bit much for casual horror fans, which is exactly why it’s so great. The film itself is greatly entertaining and the kills are violent and bloody. It’s what a slasher fan wants and it’s what a horror fan in general wants. The story itself is strong enough to support the film without the blood, but there is more than that to this film. There is a lot here to unpack and it’s definitely a must see.
Despite the title which weirdly made me think this was an homage to “Plan 9,” Lance Polland’s science fiction thriller is quite an impressive survival film. Director Polland obviously has great affection for and knowledge of classic science fiction television, thus he creates an interesting character study that feels like a more sophisticated take on the original “Star Trek.” In many cases, so much of the scenes feel like something directly ripped out of “Star Trek” (and I mean that as a compliment).
Most of my knowledge and experience with “Horrors of Spider Island” (aka “Body in the Web,” aka “A Corpse Hung in the Web” aka “It’s Hot in Paradise”) begins and ends with “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” It was lampooned in easily one of the funniest episodes of the series, and as it was nothing but goofy thinly veiled porn then, it’s goofy thinly veiled porn today. It’s somehow become something of a cult classic today, which is shocking considering the movie has almost nothing to offer. Even in its original uncensored form, the narrative is non-existent, and the movie is teeming with uncomfortable rapey overtones and very obvious lesbian overtones.
A teenage girl goes to her family’s lake house with her father so he can tell her some important news. In the meantime, a group of violence convicts escapes and heads to the same lake house. The clash between the family and the convicts pushes Becky to take things in her own inexperienced hands.
I’m stunned that in a world where we have no shortage of entertainment about zombies, and the zombie apocalypse, that there has never really been a movie surrounding indigenous people. Zombie movies are almost always about fighting for land, dominance, and or resources, so it seems only natural that we’d have at least twenty by now featuring indigenous main characters. “Blood Quantum” is the first of its kind centering on indigenous characters, all of whom are facing a world where they’ve inherited the Earth, and have to figure out where they stand in it.
It pains me because I rarely ever go in to a film, let alone an indie film, wanting to dislike it; especially zombie movies. I’m a sucker for apocalyptic zombie movies, and the very good ones can affect me for days. I’m also a fan of sidestepping typical character molds with a focus on the relationships in the LGBTQ corner. “By Day’s End,” though, is not a good movie. “By Day’s End” tries to have its cake and eat it too by forcing a relationship drama within the mold of a pretty cookie cutter zombie movie, when all is said and done.
“The Reliant” is that movie you watch when you thought that 1984’s “Red Dawn” wasn’t jingoistic enough and well–just didn’t preach enough about the love for guns and God, dagnabit. What we get is post-apocalyptic clap trap where a group of wholesome, blonde, upper class, white kids and their guns survive an economic collapse as they are relentlessly hunted by evil, gun toting atheists. “The Reliant” is based on a book that is perfect fodder for Kevin Sorbo and his increasing library of movies that preach about Christianity, and the danger of not being Christian.
John Frankenheimer’s survival horror film came in the midst of horror films that often preached something about conservation or the risks of pollution which would inevitably spawn some kind of monster in nature. Films like “Piranha” and “Orca” were all common place, and “Prophecy” is one of the many of its ilk. While it’s not exactly a great movie, “Prophecy” is a good enough man vs nature horror film about pollution and the fall out from corporate greed and irresponsibility.