Halloween(2018) Reel Review

Happy Halloween, Slicers.

Mark Kelly here and I’m back with a Reel Review of Halloween(2018). Having enjoyed the Halloween franchise over the past 40 years I was beyond excited hearing about this new installment. Taking place directly after the events of Halloween(1978) this movie opts to forgo the lore built over the years. Although I have enjoyed the previous films it was nice to see some new life breathed into the franchise. So, without further ado, onto the Reel Review of Halloween(2018).

It’s been 40 years since the murder of 4 people occurred in Haddonfield, IL on Halloween. That night the serial killer Micheal Myers was apprehended and has been held in Smith’s Grove Sanitarium ever since. Even though Micheal is in captivity this has provided little comfort for Laurie Strode. That night two of her best friends were murdered. Over the years she has become increasingly paranoid and has developed Agoraphobia. Although this has affected her family and friends it has also made her prepared for if Micheal ever escapes again. Continue reading “Halloween(2018) Reel Review”

A Slice of Fright – Mini Reel Reviews (pt 2)

I’m back to review more short films from A Slice of Fright Film Festival!

*6 YEARS

directed by: Kamil Wojcik

Year by year, we see events play out in a mans life. As we go through each event things get progressively more disturbing and terrifying. 

An abstract telling of a series of horrifying and gory scenes, at first I thought this animated short would turn me off. After multiple viewings, however, I find myself constantly amazed at how many interpretations I have about the plot of this film. I’m more fascinated by this short with each and every viewing.

6 out of 6 reels.

*MEAT SACK

directed by: Wages of Cine

A detective and her partner come across a horrific crime scene. After the investigation she must track down the killer that committed the unspeakable act. 

This short is oozing with style. The extremely grainy film footage combined with the excellent practical gore effects makes this film have strange sense of realism. It feels as though you’re watching footage found directly at a real crime scene. Unfortunately, this film also suffers from a case of style over substance. It’s as if this film is missing a second act, something that could explain how we get from the murder to the apprehension.

3 out of 6 reels.

*PLAY WITH ME

directed by: Ash Hamilton 

A girl (Katie Schooley) finds that she and 3 other “strangers” are in a very dangerous situation. A skull-masked murderer is after them and their options for survival are quickly running out. 

I’m a big fan of movies that nail their surprise endings. Without giving anything away this film begins with a brutal “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” type feel, but ends in a completely different fashion. The two components complement each other without ruining the overall cohesiveness of the short. In my opinion things get a bit overly silly at times, especially near the end of the film. It was also very interesting to find out that this film also doubles as a clever advertisement.

5 out of 6 reels.

*AM I SCARY NOW

directed by: Jon David Leslie

After losing a Halloween pumpkin carving contest a boy decides to go out trick or treating. His pumpkin may have lost the contest but it may be more scarier than we previously thought. 

I loved this animated short. In starts off with a “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” feel, making it seem like you’re watching a children’s Halloween special. By the end I was surprised, to my delight, at the gruesome twist that it takes.

6 out of 6 reels.

*COMPENSATION

directed by: Chu-Yi Chen

A man (Ying-Hong Li) is shackled in a dark and dirty room. He has committed a crime, a crime with which a creative punishment is in store for him. 

In a sense this is a revenge film, and a good one at that. With most revenge films we see killing as the chosen course of action. In this film we see that idea being turned on its head. Although a bit more details about the plot could have been useful for clarification, it’s an excellent film nonetheless.

5 out of 6 reels.

*THE LAST CRY

directed by: Cynthia Bergen

After receiving reports of mysterious sounds coming from a abandoned warehouse a paranormal investigator looks into the situation. What she encounters within will haunt her dreams forever. 

At first I thought, “Oh no, not another one of these paranormal investigation films again.”. When this type of movie is done well, however, it can feature some of the creepiest imagery in all of the horror genre. This film is an example of getting it right. It’s the only short that gave me a nightmare in which the creepy old man standing next to the crib made an appearance. Super scary stuff.

6 out of 6 reels.

*ANGEL WATCHING OVER ME

directed by: Even Keel Productions

Kendra(Kendra Lodewyk) is being tucked into bed for the night by her mom(Kelly Fortier). Her grandmother has recently passed away and she confides to her mother that she can hear grandma calling to her every night. Every night at exactly midnight. 

Every element of this film was done fairly well. For me it borders on being a bit forgettable, but definitely deserves a watch for the likable characters and creepy villain at the end.

3 out of 6 reels.

*DETROIT EXPLOITATION ANIMATION BLOCK

directed by: Matthew MCR Ellison II

Disturbing animation and experimental music is abound in this collection of animated shorts. 

This feature is comprised mostly of short bursts of chaotic scenes with deformed creatures being ripped apart and jarring distorted sounds. While I wouldn’t say that these would be for everyone, I also see the creativity and imagination that is put into the final product.

3 out 6 reels.

*LA ROI DE LA MORT

directed by: Jeremy Borden

Madame (Diana Moore) is excited to find that her ancient artifact has arrived. The artifact is soon revealed despite warnings of danger from the attending archaeologist (Jose Bastidas). 

A very enjoyable watch. It executed the classic silent film elements perfectly and had an old school monster movie feel. The costumes felt period accurate which was also a very nice touch. I story was fairly basic but was performed well enough that it complemented the overall esthetic. 

4 out of 6 reels.

*I’M HERE

directed by: James Pinson

A husband (Azhar Ali) has stayed over at work to catch up on some “extracurricular activities”. When he starts receiving texts he begins to realize that maybe this tryst wasn’t such a good idea after all.

The atmosphere of a darkened office coupled with the growing realization that this man is up to no good creates a setting that is perfect for tense thrilling moments. As the time of his rendezvous draws near you can actually feel the heightened apprehension that leads to the realization that he may have made a grave mistake.

5 out of 6 reels.

*CUT

directed by: Jeremy Allen

In a scene reminiscent of “Saw” we see a woman (Valerie Gilbert) and a man (Ian Beckroege) wake up in an abandoned hallway. Bloodied and beaten they both struggle to figure out what has happened. They soon find out that they are in a situation that is more dangerous then they could have ever imagined. 

I enjoy films that are able to borrow an idea and breathe new life into it. The “group of people trapped in a room” idea has been done before but never quite like this. I’d also be remiss not to mention the acting of Tommie Grabiec. He was phenomenal in “Par-A-Site” but arguably even better in this.

6 out of 6 reels.

A Slice of Fright – Mini Reel Reviews (Pt 1)

Sup, Slicers?

Mark Kelly here– I wasn’t able to attend the festival in person, so I’ve decided to write mini REEL REVIEWS of each film featured at A SLICE OF FRIGHT FILM FESTIVAL.

On Saturday the 13th, at The State Theatre in Bay City, MI, CinemaSlice hosted the first ever, A Slice of Fright Film Festival. Dedicated to the mad and macabre side of storytelling, A Slice of Fright Film Festival consisted of films ranging from the truly disturbing to the darkly hilarious. So strap in because we are coming at you with mini Reel Reviews of all the selections that were shown at the Fest.

ACNE

directed by: Arturo Uspango

A woman (Ashley Daniello) stands in front of her bathroom mirror fretting over her complexion. We soon find out the disturbing places she will go in order to fix her acne problem.

Continue reading “A Slice of Fright – Mini Reel Reviews (Pt 1)”

Hell’s Half Mile 2018 – Day 2 & 3

What’s up, Slicers!

Mark Kelly here and I’m back with more Reel Reviews from the 13th annual Hells Half Mile in Bay City, MI.

The films we are looking at today were screened during the 2 and 3 days of the festival. They are selections that I felt ranged from challenging and thought provoking– to extremely fun and thrilling. We’ll start off first with “First Reformed”.

Continue reading “Hell’s Half Mile 2018 – Day 2 & 3”

Schlock du Jour: Lunch Meat (1987)

directed by Kirk Alex
runtime: 88 mins

A review for Lunch Meat is a review for us all. I’m sure my insights here will echo those of everysoul fortunate enough to have ridden the unshakable homegrown fiend of a ride that is Lunch Meat. Watching it seems to synchronize the viewer into some larger, undefined headcheese consciousness. And with a movie named after cold cuts, would you expect anything less than the completely strange?

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The movie begins with a false sense of security. Entitled yuppie teens call eachother scab and fungus as they drive towards a cabin they’ll never reach. It all feels familiar. Someone likes someone and that person likes someone else. Someone forgot the lunch meat, and someone forgot the gas, so the jeep gets pushed to the nearest watering hole. The jeep finds a drink and the teens find a bite to eat. It’s evident that those aren’t any ordinary burgers and they grimace and chew. Grimace and chew. Continue reading “Schlock du Jour: Lunch Meat (1987)”

“Coco” – Reel Review

We see a woman, who leads a simple life, going through her daily activities. We see that she lives by herself in a small apartment and also works at her job as a waitress at a local restaurant.

In “Coco”, a horror film written and directed by Neil Boultby, the viewer is lulled into a false sense of security as we see this woman (Natalia Kaverznikova) go through her day to day, only to find out everything isn’t as it seems. A dark past is slowly unveiled and we find out that an evil presence is following this woman, a presence that intends to destroy everything and everyone she comes into contact with.

Continue reading ““Coco” – Reel Review”

A SLICE OF FRIGHT FILM FEST – Submissions end 9/21 at MIDNIGHT!

That’s right, Slicers! Friday Sept 21st is the FINAL DAY to submit your short horror script or film to the inaugural CinemaSlice film festival, A SLICE OF FRIGHT FILM FESTIVAL!

We would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to all of the talented filmmakers who submitted their art for consideration! We were literally overwhelmed with the amount of submissions we received for this event– and we CAN’T WAIT to announce our official selections next week.

A great short horror film begins with a great script. Add a creepy concept, some blood & guts, and a terrifying twist– and you have A SLICE OF FRIGHT!

A SLICE OF FRIGHT is CinemaSlice’s horror anthology series (think Tales from the Crypt or Black Mirror, but in short film format). A SLICE OF FRIGHT FILM FESTIVAL is an attempt to showcase talented filmmakers doing exactly what we’re doing– all around the world. The idea is to support independent cinema by curating content that make us cringe with joy.

We’re working with Slicers in OH, MI, TN, PA, and TX to select the 13 best film submissions to highlight on the big screen– And the most outstanding films and scripts will be awarded with laurels and custom trophies! In addition to these awards, we’re also offering the coveted Slicer Awards, and Audience Choice awards for those in attendance.

If you submitted a film, give your name at the door for a free admission ticket to the event!
In closing– If you can make it to Bay City, MI for the festival, DO IT. Bring your current out-of-state Driver’s License to get in for free!

SLICE THE PLANET

Expected NonSense – “Gerald’s Game”

Hey gang, Pete here again to give you my thoughts on the Netflix original Gerald’s Game.

Anyone who knows me is quite aware of my fondness for Stephen King and his works. He his hands down my favorite author. Love him or hate him, one cannot deny his impact on the horror genre both in the literary world and on the silver screen as being substantial. His stories about just any subject on Earth are descriptive, engaging and usually more than relevant.

So it stands to reason that Hollywood would want to capitalize on King’s success.  Many of his works have be translated to the big screen. From The Shining to Carrie to the many television miniseries including Salem’s Lot and the adaptation of my favorite novel of all time, The Stand, there are volumes of King’s works filmed for the unconstant reader. Continue reading “Expected NonSense – “Gerald’s Game””

Expected NonSense – Hereditary

Howdy gang. Once again, Pete Floyd here delivering the straight poop on yet another film that is generating buzz: Hereditary

In a sea of blockbuster sequels, comic book movies and reboots, this unconventional horror film is a throwback to the scary movies of yesteryear. I’m reminded of films like The Shining that work not with cheap scares or over the top effects to terrify you, but instead rely on psychological terror to get the heart beating.

The cinematography is top notch.

Continue reading “Expected NonSense – Hereditary”

Schlock du Jour: The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)

directed by Jim Wynorski
runtime: 88 glorious mins
MVD Rewind Collection spine #5

DISCLAIMER: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS NERDY AND INAPPROPRIATE SHIT.

From director Jim Wynorski, Heather Locklear’s Boobs AKA The Return of Swamp Thing
I saw Avengers: Infinity War against my better judgement. I knew I was done with the modern superhero yarn and I got absolutely nothing out of it. It was big, it was busy, it was SAME-Y. In other words, it was being stuck in traffic on the way to work on Monday morning. The good vs evil dynamic that seems to drive everything isn’t of much interest to me, and when it comes to superhero films, that angle is obviously amplified. For that reason, you won’t find me reviewing superhero films very often…
Enter The Return of Swamp Thing. Based on characters from the DC comic where Swamp Thing is basically Captain Planet without the kids and rings. there are also things like the Rotworld story-line, wherein Swamp Thing—as an avatar of “The Green”, and Animal Man—as an avatar of “The Red”, are tasked by The Parliament of Trees and The Parliament of Limbs, respectively, to team up to defeat Dr. Anton Arcane and “The Rot”. It’s trippy and nightmarish, Lovecraftian even, as it features animals and humans being turned inside out. It is good. Most importantly it feels more like a horror story than a superhero one.

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But Goddamn, do I ever digress…
Point being, I view Swamp Thing in a different light, as in my experience he’s portrayed as less of a hero and more of a pile of vegetable matter that just happens to be an elemental entity of balance. That entire point is moot however, since we are talking about Wynorski’s The Return of Swamp Thing.

Continue reading “Schlock du Jour: The Return of Swamp Thing (1989)”