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)”

“Midland Street Wicked” Reel Review

CinemaSlice.com’s Indy Film Spotlight rolls on with the 3rd installment of the monthly cinematic series.

Next up is “Midland Street Wicked”, a horror film by Even Keel Productions and a movie that was also shot right in my neck of the woods, Bay City, MI. When people are found dead on Midland St. the local community starts to become concerned for their safety. In the area, a group of women get together to have some drinks and we find that one of them may have a connection to a mysterious pair of sunglasses that were lost years earlier.

A connection between the murders on Midland St., the strange sunglasses, and the female friends all lead up to a horrifying conclusion.

This was very entertaining and terrifying short film that showcased awesome gory special effects for a low budget movie. The pacing is good with a suspenseful intro that sets up the events nicely, which leads to a fun middle section that introduces us to the main characters in lighthearted way. This makes the back half of the story very effective when we start to see the horror and carnage that unfolds throughout the last 10 minutes of the film.

“Midland Street Wicked” is part of a series that centers around the pair of sunglasses that are described in the film. It can, however, be watched as a standalone experience although I could see the sunglasses being a bit confusing to first time viewers.

Continue reading ““Midland Street Wicked” Reel Review”

Under the Radar

On Halloween, 2017, CinemaSlice‘s Michael Welborn released a short film clip paying homage to the 1940 film The Devil Bat (starring Bela Lugosi) – also called The Devil Bat. I asked an old college friend (an avid film fan, and a classmate in Andrew Jefchak‘s Literature and Motion Pictures class at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan) for his input on the film before I wrote this.

Talking with Welborn, he mentioned that his intention was to cover what he felt was the main scene(s) in the original film – explaining the short length (a little over three minutes) of this project. He also had some ideas he’d like to try for an expanded homage – though to my knowledge those are still in the concept stage.

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Bump in the Night – Short Film Fest 2017

Happy Halloween! Devils Night brought the return of Bay City’s Bump in the Night Short Film Fest and with it six scary tales shown at Bemo’s Bar for those brave enough to attend. Here are my thoughts on each of the films.

Killer Shades Saga

The first three shorts shown was a trilogy of sorts. They are connected by a mysterious woman that arrives at various times throughout the three films with a pair a sunglasses that seem to have strange powers.

The Ronnie Blu Obsession

First up in the trilogy was The Ronnie Blu Obsession. This was about the story of a guy whose love for an actress named Veronica Blu leads him down a dark path when he is visited by strange woman. The man receives a pair of sunglasses when he confesses to her that he would do anything for Veronica Blu’s love, even sell his soul.
Out of all of the Killer Shades Saga shorts, this film utilizes the idea of the mysterious sunglasses the best. It added the creepy supernatural element that carried the plot to the end and it kept me interested to see what would happen.

It was the least scary of the trilogy, however, so I’m giving it 3 out of 6 reels.

Midland Street Wicked

People are being found dead on Midland St. and when a group of women get together to have some drinks we find that one of them may have a connection to the sunglasses that were lost years earlier. A connection that shows that the sunglasses evil power has grown.
I thought this short was great. Good build up to the end and some great special effects for a locally made movie.

I give this 5 out of 6 reels.

Zoe

A conversation between a mother and her daughter about starting a new chapter in their live goes awry when the dreaded sunglasses once again make an appearance.
It’s really short at only about 5 minutes but I’m a sucker for creepy, evil looking children.

4 out of 6 reels.

8 Years Ago In February

Continue reading “Bump in the Night – Short Film Fest 2017”

One For the Show, Two For the Money

This will be a review of the CinemaSlice Short Film Double Feature, covering two short film releases by Michael Welborn: Sleep / Humans

The first entry is “SLEEP

A horror film with a mix of humor and sadism. I feel this film is a lot longer than it needs to be. The opening itself running a slightly-past-tolerable 2 minutes, plus. I’m not sure if the background images really do much for setting up the story itself (rather, justifying the amount of time spent on them). It’s possible there’s some key element among them, but after a couple of viewings it still eludes me – other than establishing a medical-theme. The one nice thing though is the opening soundtrack (by AVZTN), which has a special creepiness to it – the classic haunting sounds do produce a chilling effect, causing uneasiness in the viewer (or at least to me).

The first shot is a close-up of an anesthesiologist (played by Michael Welborn), explaining to a patient who he is and what his duties are suppose to be. We then see the patient (Mr. Covington, played by Brandon Guiles). We quickly learn this is suppose to be an appendectomy. However the bedside manner of the physician is disturbing Covington a bit.

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Top 5 Torture films

In honor of Halloween, I’ve decided to write a list of my top 5 torture films!

As I researched my memory for ‘torture porn’ films I’ve enjoyed, I began to think of some of the more extreme examples– ABC’s of Death, Cannibal Holocaust, A Saberian Film, etc. — And frankly, I’ve realized I have limits! (Woah!) I prefer my torture films to be gorey, but fun!– both disturbing and surreal.

I decided not to include hyper bloody horror films such as Dead Alive, House of 1000 Corpses, Return of the Living Dead, etc– but rather those films that make you[me] uncomfortable, and at the same time, begging for more.

5. Hostel (2005)

Eli Roth broke into the genre with Hostel.
Three backpackers head to a Slovak city that promises to meet their hedonistic expectations, with no idea of the hell that awaits them.
Various rich sadists are involved in a sinister secret society called, Elite Hunting. Here they are free to select from a room of torture tools, and get their jollies torturing blind-sdied tourists!

4. Saw (2004)

The original Saw film was a huge inspiration for me as a filmmaker. The majority of the film took place in 1 room! With only 2 actors!  Continue reading “Top 5 Torture films”

5. The Devil’s Candy (Movie Review)

The Devil’s Candy (86%Netflix Match)

Netflix Description: A struggling painter moves his family into a house with a horrific past and soon finds himself being artistically inspired by demonic forces.

Review:

As soon as I saw IFC Midnight scroll across the screen I immediately knew I was in for a ride. IFC either has really bad movies, really good hidden gems or movies that make you question your moral standings just for watching them lol. Thankfully The Devil’s Candy is one of those gems you never thought you would uncover, but you do. This film shows us the reality of true evil which is man.

Lets start off with the acting on this one. Not a single poor performance across the board. I love it when I can watch a movie and feel like i’m getting to peer into this other dimension into peoples lives. That is exactly what a film should be. When you can tell someone is acting it ruins the whole thing, it breaks your concentration. This movie pulled me in from start to finish and left me on the edge of my seat.

Pruitt Taylor Vince plays such a damn good killer/mental patient that it makes you fear you never see his character in real life. I assumed this movie was going to be some typical black contact wearing, people flying across the room jump fest and it wasn’t. He can get that look in his eyes where he looks like he his off in his own world and it sells his character even more. That disconnect he can do is amazing.

I didn’t realize it at first but at the end I saw Ethan Embry as almost like this Christ like figure. Not sure if they meant him to seem that way or not but it came off to me like he was. He was rocking that medium long hair with the short beard defeating the evil that was Vince. I would really love to talk the writers on this one and pick their brain. The same look goes for most metal dudes though so maybe it’s just me reaching for more than it’s worth. Continue reading “5. The Devil’s Candy (Movie Review)”

4. XX (Movie Review)

XX (90% Netflix Match)

Netflix Description: This four-part anthology of short horror films features stories that include some traditional themes but all are shown from a female point of view.

Review: Right away we see that this movie has broken off from our Netflix suggested trend of ghost/demon movies. Why doesn’t this one fit with the Netflix algorithm we have been seeing (refer back to first article of this series to get filled in)? Well good reader I can tell you exactly why.

This is a Magnet Releasing movie. No matter how many bad movies I dive into, no matter how many times I share my account password and friends ruin my suggested list, Magnet will always be there. That is because not a single Magnet movie I have watched on Netflix has received anything less than a 4 star rating from me or a thumbs down if we are talking the new rating system. They will always be the highest rated suggestion on Netflix for me. Simply put without going total fan boy right now, THEY ONLY RELEASE GOOD MOVIES! Oh yes there will be a whole article series just for their films coming up, don’t you worry. Until then lets start breaking this movie down.

This movie is split up into 4 short films which are all shown from a female point of view and are all directed by women. I would say there is actually 5 films in this because of the intro and its continuation as a transition piece between films. Not sure if that is actual considered “XX” or if it had a name at all, but it was one of the coolest stop motion animations I have seen in a long time. As far as the short films go they span the full spectrum of horror, Lets look at the first!

Continue reading “4. XX (Movie Review)”