Vinegar Syndrome, one of the finest cult home video labels around, is set to jump into the world of streaming with the launch of Exploitation.tv on August 20th, 2015. The launch will begin on the web and Roku with iOS and Android apps to follow later this year. The doors will open with over 250 feature films, including all of Vinegar Syndrome’s current home video catalogue and 80 titles never before released.
Personally, I’m stoked about this. As I’ve stated many times before, I’m definitely a fan of physical media over streaming, but with that said there is a place for streaming. This is a great opportunity for Vinegar Syndrome to expand their brand, which will result in more amazing releases to DVD and Blu-ray and that’s never bad news!
For more information check out Facebook.com/ExploitationTV.
Proving the foray into streaming won’t negatively impact their physical media brand, Vinegar Syndrome also announced a handful of upcoming releases for August, a few of which I think will greatly appeal to Bloody Disgusting readers.
Coming August 18th to DVD is the fantastically titled Sometimes Aunt Martha Does Dreadful Things. I’ve never heard of this movie, but the title pretty much sells me on it. The synopsis Vinegar Syndrome provides only grows my excitement more.
While on the run from the law, two criminals decide to hide out in a small Florida town. The ringleader, Paul, concocts a plan to pretend to be his child-like accomplice Stanley’s estranged Aunt Martha. Taking over a large old house, Paul and Stanley attempt to lay low, but trouble soon arises when a local girl takes a liking to Stanley and invites him out with her friends. Paul, becoming increasingly paranoid, decides that the only way they can maintain their cover is by murdering everyone who has even the slightest suspicion of what’s really going on, but Stanley isn’t so sure he wants to keep on hiding…
This bizarre, Florida shot regional film made by one-time director Thomas Casey is less a horror movie than a hybrid of crime thriller and vaguely homoerotic relationship drama, with some bloody death scenes and moments of T&A thrown in for good measure. Nearly impossible to see for years, Vinegar Syndrome and AGFA bring this totally unique piece of low-rent trash to DVD, in its proper aspect ratio for the very first time. Also featuring a new commentary track with cult filmmaker David DeCoteau (rapidheart.com) and film historian Nathaniel Thompson (mondo-digital.com).
Also joining the DVD ranks on August 18th is Flesh and Bullets, another movie that is new to me. The description basically describes it as a sex-infused Strangers on a Train with Robert Z’Dar so I’m not sure how this could possible disappoint.
In director Carlos Tobalina’s sex-filled re-imagining of Alfred Hitchcock’s STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, a duo of unhappily married men, both of whom have bloody pasts, meet in Las Vegas and hatch a scheme to murder each other’s ex wives. However, in the process of preparing for their deadly plot, they begin to become romantically attached to each of their targets. Will they be able to pull off the perfect murders or will love get in the way?
One of the few non-X rated films Tobalina directed, FLESH AND BULLETS is a sleazy mash up of grindhouse trash and melodrama, featuring X rated stars Mai Lin, Sharon Kelly, and Bill Margold. Also B-movie greats, Cornel Wilde, Yvonne De Carlo, and even Robert Z’Dar in one of his first roles!
The wonderful folks over at Illusions UNLTD have announced two new region B mediabook releases for August 27, 2015. First up is Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning, the fourth film in the Universal Solider series (if you don’t count the two made-for-TV movies). Like the previous three films Jean-Claude Van Damme stars with the incredible Dolph Lundgren making his third series appearance overall and joining them is newcomer to the series Scott Adkins. This isn’t the first Blu-ray release for Day of Reckoning but this looks to be the ultimate release having more care put into it. The special features seem pretty loaded and you get two different cover options. If you ask me every Van Damme movie deserves this same treatment.
John (Adkins) awakens from a coma to discover his wife and daughter were slaughtered in a brutal home invasion. Haunted by images of the attack, he vows to kill the man responsible, Luc Deveraux (Van Damme).
Packaging : Mediabook (Blu-ray/DVD)
Picture : 2.35: 1 ( 1080p ) 2.35: 1 ( anamorphic )
Sound: German DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS – HD MA 5.1
German DD 5.1
English DD 5.1
Special Features: 24 – page booklet, trailer, cast and crew interviews, picture gallery
Also getting a mediabook release from Illusions on August 27 will be the Thai horror anthology Phobia 2 (read Mr. D’s rave review). This anthology has been on my radar for a while but I’ve yet to get to it, so the timing here is perfect. Fortunately for those of us in the United States (and other English speaking countries), Illusions has added English subtitles.
Phobia 2 is composed of five short movie segments directed by five of the best directors of Thai horror films. A teenager who committed a crime goes to a sacred place for meditation and hiding that brings him fright and guilt about what he did (segment Novice). A young man gets haunted in an hospital by an old man in coma who’s not too far from him (segment Ward). Two men along with two hitchhikers in a truck got into a big trouble after opening the back (segment Backpackers). A secondhand car dealer realizes what the previous car owners/passengers had terribly been into (segment Salvage). An ill hardworking actress whose role is a ghost is reported dead after she was brought to the hospital (segment In the End).
Packaging : Mediabook (Blu-ray/DVD)
Picture : 1.78: 1 ( 1080p ) 1.78: 1 ( anamorphic )
Sound: German DTS-HD MA 5.1
Thai DTS – HD MA 5.1
German DD 5.1
Thai DD 5.1
Subtitles: English, German
Special Features: 23 – page booklet, Making Of, Trailer, Slideshow
Writer/director Travis Bain’s Throwback is not a very good movie. I felt it was best to just come out and say it to get that part out of the way early. The acting, the dialogue, the pacing, the special effects and pretty much everything in the film are a real struggle. With that being said, Throwback does have a bit of charm and offers up a few fun moments.
Two friends, Jack (Shawn Brack) and Kent (Anthony Ring), head deep into the remote outback of Australia in hopes of finding some treasure. Over the years a number of different people have made this very trek with the same treasure in mind only to never return. Things go remarkably well for Jack and Kent at first as they actually find the treasure. Of course this leads to greed taking over and Kent turning on Jack in an attempt to keep all the treasure for himself. A struggle ensues and ends with Kent taking the money and thinking he’s drowned Jack. He hasn’t and Jack comes back after him.
As Jack, Kent and a park ranger they encounter along the way named Rhiannon (Melanie Serafin) battle it out over the treasure, they come across a rather large beast. This large creature is about 7 or 8 feet tall and completely covered in hair. He basically looks like bigfoot, which is what he is, but he’s the Australian version known as a yowie.
This is where I give Throwback a little credit. The yowie is clearly played by an actor is a gorilla-like suit. It looks incredibly fake, particularly the hands. Whenever we get a good shot of the hands we can tell that they’re rubber. Same goes for the face of the yowie, but we don’t see much of that. I’m actually ok with this. In a low budget monster movie I’d much rather see a guy in a suit than poorly done CGI. This is where Throwback gets it’s old-school charm. This kind of feels like a movie that would have come out of the Roger Corman camp.
Unfortunately that’s the lone highlight. The yowie is actually in the movie quite a bit but doesn’t do much. Most of his time on screen is spent trying to reach people who are just a bit too far away from him. This is kind of a bummer. If I’m going to watch a bigfoot movie, or this case a yowie movie, I want to see the yowie rip people to shreds. Turn it straight up to 11 and have some fun with it. We don’t get any of that.
If we can’t get massive amounts of yowie destruction, then at least provide some interesting characters that can keep us entertained while the yowie is off screen. Jack, Kent and Rhiannon are all kind of boring and bland. And they make really, really dumb decisions. Kent especially has a bad moment. At one point he gets handcuffed to a tree root by what looks to be some shoddy handcuffs. Surrounding Kent are some pretty nice size rocks which would probably be great for breaking the handcuffs. Instead of even attempting that, Kent takes a rock and smashes his handcuffed hand. I don’t know the logistics behind this, but apparently he’s able to smash it enough to get it out of the cuffs. Come on Kent, think. At least try to break the handcuffs before turning your hand into hamburger.
You’re probably wondering how Kent got handcuffed, right? Well, Vernon Wells did it. Yep, Vernon Wells plays in Throwback as well. What purpose his character serves other than just getting Wells into the movie I don’t know. Wells plays Detective McNabb who is hiding out in the rain forests of the outback. He goes all out wearing a suit made of leaves. Recently people have come up missing in this area of the outback so I guess this is how the detective plans to get to the bottom of it. When Detective McNabb runs into Kent, he assumes Kent has something to do with the missing persons. Naturally he decides to handcuff Kent and then wander off, never to be seen again. This is a shame because I think more of this weird detective would have been fun. He should get his own movie.
Watching Throwback felt like I was watching an old VHS. Partly because of the quality of the material, but also because the quality of the film in general. The entire movie didn’t look this way, but good chunks of it looked like watching an old VHS. Either that or like it was shot on film. I’m not sure how it was shot or if it was intended to look this way, but it actually helps. Go ahead and throw that in the plus column.
Overall, there’s not a lot of positives with Throwback. I think the filmmakers had their heart in the right place and made a very sincere, admirable attempt, but in the end they fell a little flat. I’d go ahead and throw this one back.
Throwback is available now on DVD in North America from MVD Entertainment Group as well as in Australia from Monster Pictures.
Fans of Rob Zombie, take heed! The Halloween horror event known as the Great American Nightmare is coming back for its third year! Returning to the Chicago area, specifically Villa Park, for a second year in a row, the event will take place on select dates between September 25th and November 1st with Zombie himself performing on October 2nd and 4th.
Zombie excitedly proclaims:
I am thrilled to be bringing The Great American Nightmare back to the Chicago area for its second year. After last year’s overwhelming response we’ve decided to return with a completely new Nightmare. It’s more vile and disgusting than ever. Have fun.
On top of the rides “Captain Spaulding’s Clown School In 3D” and “The Devil’s Rejects”, which debuted in Scottsdale, AZ last year, there will be an all-new ride based upon Zombie’s upcoming film 31.
Producer Steve Kopelman states:
Given the tremendous support we received last year in Chicago, we are extremely excited to make it the first location that we are coming back to. Last year was just a taste of what’s in store. This year will be Bigger, Badder and Bloodier! We can’t wait to show Chicagoland our all new event.
Tickets go on sale this Friday at 9am CST.
Specific running dates:
September: 25, 26
October: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 24, 25, 29, 30, 31
Captain Spaulding’s Clown School In 3D: This irreverent school of pure terror is a hallucinogenic trip through the mind of Captain Spaulding (House Of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects). Startle after startle will thoroughly frighten even the bravest patrons, who won’t know if they should be laughing, screaming or crying.
The Devil’s Rejects: The murderous, backwoods Firefly family takes to the road to escape a vengeful police force that isn’t afraid of being as ruthless as its target. Guests will become part of the state troopers’ search and destroy mission against the Firefly family, who are wanted for over 75 homicides and disappearances.
31: On October 30, 1975, five carnival workers are kidnapped and held hostage until the following night (Halloween), and are put in a compound named “Murder World.” They’re told that they are there to take part in a game named “31,” where the goal is to survive the next 12 hours.
This is made difficult by the fact that they are not alone in “Murder World” — a violent gang of evil clowns are there and stalking their every move.
Direct from the official press release:
The fully immersive haunted house experience at Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare will include the ALL NEW Bloody Boulevard with major carnival rides, freak shows, musical entertainment, roaming characters, themed food and beverages, games and vendors each night. Note: Carnival rides will not be open on concert nights.
The best way to watch STX Entertainment’s new film The Gift is to go in knowing as little about the film as possible. The trailers are marketing the film as a psychological revenge thriller, and while that is sort of true, what you will get is something more along the lines of a European psychological drama. This will undoubtedly divide audiences, who will enter expecting a Lifetime-y soap opera (which is what I thought the film looked like).
After moving to his hometown to start a new chapter of their lives, Simon (Jason Bateman) and Robyn (Rebecca Hall), they cross paths with Gordo (Joel Edgerton), an acquaintance from Simon’s school days. Once Gordo begins making unwarranted house calls and leaving random gifts at their doorstep, Simon and Rebecca ask Gordo to leave them alone. This sets off a chain of events that lead Rebecca to dig into Simon and Gordo’s history with each other. That is all you need to know about the film. Now go see it.
Written and directed by Edgerton himself, The Gift is a huge surprise from the first-time director. He clearly knows how to work a camera, as many shots of the film are haunting and desolate. It can be tricky to pull off the trifecta of directing, writing, and starring in a film, but Edgerton pulls it off with aplomb.
Bateman is the complete opposite of Michael Bluth here. A common complaint I have about him is that he always plays the same character. That is not the case in The Gift. From the start, Simon is extremely unlikable with almost no redeeming qualities. It is refreshing to see Bateman get down and dirty with the role, but his character’s detestability makes you wonder why Robyn got married to him in the first place. A certain suspension of disbelief is required to buy into it.
Faring even better is Hall as Robyn. Hall has flown under the radar for quite some time, always playing a supporting role in films (though she did receive a Golden Globe nomination for Vicky Cristina Barcelona), but The Gift should get her some much deserved attention. She portrays Robyn as a smart, resourceful woman who isn’t just “the wife.” When she begins to doubt her sanity, you really feel for her (and loathe her husband). It is a role reminiscent of Michelle Pfeiffer’s in What Lies Beneath.
Supporting turns by Allison Tolman, Busy Phillips and Tim Griffin, while minor, are also strong. Of particular note is Tolman, whose breakout role in FX’s Fargo series earlier this year really put her on the map. She doesn’t have any standout moments in this film, but she is the most prominent side character and provides a much-needed support system for Hall’s character.
What The Gift does remarkably well is have the characters mirror the audience’s thoughts. As soon as I found myself thinking “she should do this,” someone on screen would say my thought out loud. It’s refreshing to have that happen in a film, as it shows that these characters are at least moderately intelligent.
As mentioned above, The Gift is a slow burn. It takes a little bit of time for it to really get going (we must sit through three dinner scenes in the first 30 minutes), but it’s never boring. There aren’t any big action set-pieces, nor are there any jaw-dropping twists (though plot twists are present). Horror fans will be happy to know that there are only two jump scares in the whole movie, but they are actually handled well (other filmmakers, take note).
Like this year’s It Follows, many people may walk out of The Gift with a feeling of “that’s it?” It is a film that will stick with you for days, though (I’m on day 2 as of this writing and can’t stop thinking about it). You will probably find yourself liking it more and more the more you think about it. In a perfect world, The Gift would become the sleeper hit of the summer. It definitely deserves it.
It’s not easy looking at a situation like the cancellation of Silent Hills and see it for anything but the objectively shitty situation it was for the team that was working on it, as well as fans of the struggling series, and yes, even Konami. That decision upset a lot of people, many of whom are still plenty angry with the company even three months after the fact. I wanted to see what Guillermo Del Toro and Hideo Kojima could have done with it, especially after spending an evening with P.T.
It’s worth noting that some good has already come from it. There’s a very promising indie horror game called Allison Road, for example. It’s still a ways off, but it already seems to be reaching for the missed potential that many of us saw in P.T. — and hoped to see in Silent Hills proper.
And then there’s this interview with IGN, in which Guillermo Del Toro drops news of another collaboration between him and Hideo Kojima.
“I love working with Kojima-san. We are still in touch. We are still friends and working into doing something together, but that’s not going to be [Silent Hills].” del Toro said.
I sure hope it’s spooky.
If you were hoping to take on the legions of Hell with a friend at your side in the upcoming Doom reboot, you will be able to, just not in the game’s story mode. Bethesda confirmed there will be no co-op option for the campaign, which will be sticking to the series’ roots in solo demon whoopassery. Fortunately, the new SnapMap modding tools will give players the option of making their own maps, and those will support co-op.
In related news, Doom executive producer Marty Stratton revealed to GameSpot that id Software is intent on getting the game to run at 1080p and 60 frames per second. That’s smooth.
I don’t know about the rest of you, but there’s something about 1984, the year that I was born, that holds some fascination for me. It’s interesting to learn facts about that year, as though it holds some deeper meaning because that was the year I joined this world. For instance, in that year, singer Marvin Gaye was murdered by his father, the first untethered space walk occurred, the Macintosh computer went on sale, Cirque du Soleil was founded, and Reagan was elected for a second term.
Additionally, some very solid horror films came out that year, some of which have become iconic entries into the genre. Ahead are a few of my favorites from that year and then I want to start something that I think will be pretty cool. Here’s how it works:
1) See if your year is listed in the comments below. If not, place a comment with the year as the first part of the comment and then go ahead and list your favorites and reasons why.
2) If your year IS listed in the comments, put your favorites as a reply to that comment. That way, we can keep all the years together in!
We’re nearing the end of my How To Start Getting Into Horror series as I’ve only got a handful of entries left. But there are some big ones that need to be addressed and I want to make sure I cover them so that a burgeoning horror fan can get a well rounded experience.
For that reason, I feel it’s time we talk about a subgenre that garners a truly divided reaction from the horror community: found footage. Let’s do this, shall we?
While it would be completely wrong to state that The Blair Witch Project was the first entry into the found footage subgenre, it’s definitely one of the most notable. I remember when this came out and how brilliantly it was marketed. This was before Google was around, so searching for information was difficult and whatever could be found was scattered in bits and pieces. But what the filmmakers did that was godddamn inspired was they created fake websites that backed their story up. Everything on these sites reinforced the film, giving it the sense that it actually was real.
In today’s day and age, where a quick Google search or checking on Snopes can lead to all information you could possibly want, it’d be impossible to trick people so easily. That’s the problem that Paranormal Activity faced. Pictures of Micah Sloat and Katie Featherston on red carpet premieres were plentiful, so we knew it was fake before many of us even had the chance to see it. But not Blair Witch. And that, in my opinion, is why it remains as being one of the most unsettling found footage horror films for many people.
Speaking of Paranormal Activity, it’s hard to talk about this subgenre without giving credit to this film for giving a fresh shot of excitement and fear. Audiences were becoming increasingly sick and tired of the “torture porn” films that were coming out in droves and suddenly this film came out of the indie world and rocked theaters to the core.
I was lucky to be living in a town that was part of the original 13 theater limited release, so I got to stand in a line of thousands of people and somehow make it in. I’ve got to tell you, watching Paranormal Activity in a packed theater was absolutely incredible. The fear was so thick and palpable and it was such a joy to be a part of a crowd that was that into the film. It’s one of my favorite movie-going experiences.
Much like after the release of Saw and Hostel, the years that followed Paranormal Activity saw a glut of similarly styled films, many of them well below the quality we deserve. But a few gems did pop out and one that stood out to me was The Taking Of Deborah Logan.
What I loved about that film was that it addressed how seemingly every found footage film needed a priest or some sort of religious figure to assist them. But in The Taking Of Deborah Logan, the priest flat out says that he can’t help and that she needs mental therapy. I nearly cheered at that moment because I was so thrilled they didn’t go down that route. And it ended up being a seriously unsettling and genuinely frightening film! Plus, that bleak ending, right?
So, The Blair Witch Project, Paranormal Activity, and The Taking Of Deborah Logan. Three films that I think are great places to get a feel for how the trend really began, where it went, and where it should go.
If you have any suggestions for newcomers, please let me know in the comments!
During a regular Q+A session with fans, NECA revealed on Twitter than there are plans to bring characters from Tobe Hooper’s 1986 The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 to action figure form.
While NECA is working on an “Ultimate Leatherface,” as well as a “Video Game Leatherface,” we could see the Leatherface (played by Bill Johnson) from TCM 2 in plastic with his enormous chainsaw.
While that’s cool and all, the big news could be an action figure based on Bill Moseley’s legendary ‘Chop-Top’ Sawyer!
To be clear, nothing is imminent as the fan asked if we could see Chop-Top and Leatherface in the future. NECA simply replied, “Yep.”
We’ll hold our excitement for the time being, but now that’s I’ve been teased it’s going to be hard to forget about…
It’s Friday so why not end the week with some major Friday the 13th news?
“Hannibal” screenwriter Nick Antosca has been working on the script for the next installment of the Friday the 13th franchise. Today, he responded to a fan on Twitter revealing that he’s “turned in a draft a few weeks ago,” further adding that “@bruckmachina & #PlatinumDunes & I all excited to make a great F13 movie. Don’t know schedule.”
David Bruckner (V/H/S, The Signal) is set to direct the latest incarnation of Jason Voorhees, and would have to approve the script, along with the producers at Platinum Dunes. There could (and probably will) be revisions, but it’s exciting to know that progress has ben made, and that things continue to move forward.
This is to be the 13th Friday the 13th, so I expect Bruckner and company to knock this shit out of the park.
We’ve previously reported multiple times that the new Friday the 13th will not be found-footage, and could take place in the 1980’s. In a more recent article, Brad Fuller of Platinum Dunes talked about his hopes for expanding Jason’s mythos and also taking the franchise back to summer camp.
Antosca previously posted an image displaying a series of machetes (implying there’s possibly a new style of machete in the works). He also clarified that the forthcoming Friday the 13th will not be a sequel to the 2009 remake helmed by Marcus Nispel.
Friday the 13th could slash into theaters on May 13, 2016.
Thanks to Bloody reader ‘Francesco’ for the heads up!
One of the coolest short films I saw this year was Gigi Saul Guerrero’s “El Gigante,” a Texas Chain Saw Massacre-esque cannibal slasher with a Luchador wrestler as the centerpiece.
Out of the Frontieres International Co-Production Market at Fantasia, Raven Banner has boarded Luchagore Productions’ feature-film version of El Gigante, which tells the story of a deranged maniac in a Luchador mask named El Gigante who wrestles his prey to the mat in a grisly entertainment ritual of thrill-packed culinary prep for his cannibalistic family.
Here’s the trailer for the short that played the Viscera Film Festival in Los Angeles earlier this year.
Gigi is going to break out with this feature, I guarantee it.
This weekend is gonna be a fucking awesome time, I just know it! I just have one of those sneaking suspicions that I’m going to relax, kick back, and enjoy every second. That’s why I want to showcase a video that’s just as fun and exciting for this edition of Twisted Music Video Of The Week, although it’s far more violent and insane than I hope to experience.
This week, we’re watching Is Tropical‘s “The Greeks”, which comes from their 2011 album Native To. The video, which was directed by Megaforce, shows a bunch of kids playing with toy guns around their neighborhood. However, their active imagination leads these battles to become fucking massive action sequences with ungodly amounts of blood and carnage. Luckily, the difference between the “real world” and their imagination is as easy as identifying what’s real and what’s drawn.
I love this video because you could never get away with something like this in the States. Having kids murder each other in super brutal ways? Showing kids in a “lab” and “making drugs”? Holy shit, our society would descend into the most insane levels of righteous indignation. But what’s great about this video is that kids imagination’s ARE that active and that crazy! All this video is doing is showing that off in a way we can actually see and I find that to be so damn cool.
Alright, enough of me gushing about this video. Go down and watch it!
Revenge never goes out of style. It’s one of cinema’s benchmark themes and as far as reliabilities go, it’s hard not to root for the vigilante. In his new film The Demolisher, Canadian filmmaker Gabriel Carrer takes the vigilante motif and turns it on its head. The story plays with our sympathies and jostles around genre conventions until our moral compass is a bleeding pulp. With sparse dialogue and even slimmer exposition, The Demolisher is a strongly singular genre film that’s as gorgeous as it is remarkable.
Bruce (Ry Barrett) is an Internet repairman by day and riot gear-adorned vigilante by night. What turned him towards a life of revenge was the horrible assault on his wife, Samantha (Tianna Nori), a former cop now confined to a wheelchair. The gang that assaulted Samantha wears giant gorilla faces on their clothing, which is a huge help for Bruce, whose obsession with vengeance begins to consume his life to the point of a complete mental breakdown. Soon his reality and relationship with his wife begin to crumble, leading him to target possibly innocent people on his warpath.
With a slim amount of dialogue, Barrett manages to display the traumatizing thirst for retribution that consumes Bruce. When he’s in his riot gear, Bruce is a god. Without the helmet, Kevlar, and baton, he’s a tortured, broken man that finds no comfort in everyday life. Paralleling his story is Marie (Jessica Vano), a young woman who’s experienced her own fair share of trauma. When their paths cross, Bruce channels his fury on Marie and they begin a devastating cat-and-mouse chase through Toronto.
One of the only moments in a revenge film that I can recall succinctly examining the psychological damage that vigilantism enacts is that scene in Death Wish where Charles Bronson swings the sock full of quarters around in a dizzying rage. The Demolisher is like that scene but 90 minutes long and fucking beautiful. Carrer’s approach to the theme of revenge is astute and wicked visual. Some of the shots (particularly the night ones) are downright stunning and the juxtaposition of a man decked out in riot gear walking down a peaceful, quiet street is jarring. But despite its title, The Demolisher isn’t interested in violence. The moments of brutality are scant, so when they do occur, they’re wicked effective. The film is much more concerned with violence’s consequences and the toll they take on the people.
Almost dream-like in its visuals, The Demolisher is a powerful, jolting entry in the vigilant genre. It’s an unconventional character study that challenges its audience to take sides. We will inevitably root for Marie to escape Bruce’s misplaced rage, of course, but what of the delusional vigilante who the world has stomped all over?
I’m not complaining, but retailers may actually be worse than children at keeping secrets. Yesterday, I wrote about an Amazon listing that teased us with the totally believable idea that we might soon be hearing about a Game of the Year Edition of The Evil Within, and today we have another.
A second listing — this time from South African online retailer Loot — was spotted this week that mentions a Dead Island Definitive Edition for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. If this is true, the game will join a lengthy list of new-gen remasters that already includes Tomb Raider, God of War III, Saints Row IV, State of Decay, Dark Souls II, GTA V, The Last of Us, Sleeping Dogs, Diablo III and Metro Redux, among a dozen or so others.
It’s worth noting that two of the games I mentioned were published by Deep Silver, so they’re clearly interested in this sort of thing.
I enjoyed Dead Island enough that I would almost consider returning to it, especially now that we have no idea when, or if, we’ll actually see Dead Island 2. The problem is I can’t see myself choosing it over something like, oh I don’t know, Dying Light, for example. How about you?
It’s a shame that with a cast that included such talented actors as Djimon Hounsou and Alex Pena that the overall impact of a film could be so lacking in presence, or even in entertainment, but such is the case with The Vatican Tapes. With an exorcism film that centers so heavily around the antichrist, it may have possessed some real potential for a different take on a popular sub genre. However, with its stereotypical plot points and sped up, shallow character development, The Vatican Tapes plays more like a fanboy’s attempt at making an exorcism film, rather than the work of a veteran director who’s capable of so much more.
Angela is celebrating her birthday, and for the first time in as long as she can remember, her military-clad father is actually in attendance. Add that to the fact that her loving boyfriend set up the surprise visit from her pops, and arranged all of the festivities in their entirety, and it looks like this might be her best birthday yet. However, it seems that fate has caught up with Angela, as an evil spirit finds its way inside of her, and rears its ugly head in the midst of all of her happiness. At first, it seems that Angela may be suffering from a psychiatric condition of some kind, but suddenly, It starts to appear that the root of her illness lies not in her head, but deep within the barriers of her skin. A demon has infiltrated her precious puritanical vessel, and despite the efforts of her concerned father and partner, it has claimed her soul as his own.
Although director Mark Neveldine manages to squeeze out momentary impressive aesthetics, his proudest moments mainly exist during the exorcism scenes, well into the third act of the film. Toying with the light, Neveldine establishes the illuminations as bright and pure contrasts to the evil that inhabits them, creating a sense of invasion and unwanted spirits. However, these moments are few and fleeting, and mostly exist as a result of simple backlighting. The POV strangely switches over from hand-held to steadicam inexplicably halfway through the film, with bits of documentary-style scenes scattered sporadically throughout, creating an uneven, choppy vision. Truthfully, in the end, the empty visuals that fill the screen fail to create a distraction from the fact that none of the characters are tangible enough to invest in, making the whole story feel contrived and lackluster.
Even at a brief ninety-one minutes, and a shockingly brisk pacing, the time it takes to get to the big finale somehow still feels drawn out and uneventful. This is probably due to the fact that the speed that served Neveldine so well in the past in films like his adrenaline-fueled Crank has now stood in the way of appropriate character development, preventing s a lack of sympathy for the trials Angela and her entourage endure. The plot points of typical exorcism films are checked off like bullet points in this uninteresting, stereotypical account that we’ve seen far too many times. A seemingly innocent pretty girl is possessed by a demon. Check. She starts speaking in strange ancient languages. Check. She acts violent toward others. Check. Then, of course, the big exorcism scene, where two priests pour holy water on her and at some point, she floats. Check. Sadly, this is just another Exorcism rip-off film.
Nearly every demonic horror film created in this post-Exorcist world is inspired by William Friedkin’s incendiary work in some way, and understandably so, but in this day and age, with the massive wave of his influence, filmmakers simply must bring something new to the table in order to stand out. It’s not enough to go through the motions anymore. One thing that The Vatican Tapes has going for it is that unlike many other exorcism movies wherein the usual majority of the film is spent trying to banish the girl of her demon, this story takes the premise a bit farther, and suggests that the spirit who invades this girl’s body is actually the antichrist himself, come to take over the world — and he stands a good chance of winning. The Vatican Tapes attempted to make its mark by zoning in on the aspect of the son of satan, playing more on the invincibility of the demon, and the inevitability of his victory. However, in the end, the film failed to deliver any sort of deeper impact beyond its pitch.
Taking the worn exorcism plot a few steps further should have given the movie its own identity, and a provided a unique angle that would set it apart from the dozens of others that have come before it, but its shockingly abrupt ending fails to explore the concept any further than the simple idea of the true antichrist; the possibility of his ruthless reign hanging overhead like a baited fish hook, always dangling a few inches higher than the audience can touch. This train of progress screeches to a halt long before it ever truly gains some real momentum. Frustrating and impotent, The Vatican Tapes ends on the brink of its power, long before its ever given a chance to do some real damage. With its speedy pacing, surprisingly poor performances from nearly everyone involved, and illogical, ridiculous portrayals of everyone in the medical community and the church, this is just another horror film that that will merge with the masses that have come before, doomed to blend in and be forgotten.
Retrosynth group Gunship have released their self-titled debut album today and they’ve dropped possibly one of the best album teasers I’ve seen in a long time to promote it! The teaser fully embraces how strongly the 80’s influenced the group, so it’s jam-packed full of clips from iconic 80’s films, like Terminator, The Breakfast Club, Devilman, Angel Cop, Enter The Ninja, The Thing, The Fog, and more! Seriously, any fan of film would do well to watch this and get soaked in the glory of this amazing decade.
The 13-track album features remixes from Carpenter Brut, Miami Nights 1984, and Makeup And Vanity Set.
J.A. Bayona is making some big waves in the film community. His 2012 disaster drama The Impossible led to him directing a few episodes of Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” and now he’s signed on to tackle World War Z 2. But first he’s got to finish up his film adaptation of A Monster Calls, which is based off the children’s fantasy novel of the same name by Patrick Ness. And now some BTS photos have appeared in the magazine Fotogramas, which show actor Liam Neeson in a mo-cap suit as well as Bayona directing two children on a set that appears to show a street completely broken and upheaved.
The story revolves around a 13-year-old boy named Conor (Lewis MacDougall) who, in an effort to relieve stress brought on by bullying and his mother’s terminal illness, escapes to a fantastical world thanks to a tree monster. Felicity Jones and Toby Kebbell play his parents, Sigourney Weaver fills the role of his grandmother, and in a fantastic bit of casting, Liam Neeson plays the aforementioned monster.
The film is currently in post-production and is set to release October 14th, 2016.
Time to bust out some Huey Lewis And The News and wear a raincoat! American Psycho: The Musical is coming to town!
Duncan Sheik’s musical adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ novel American Psycho has confirmed that preview shows will being on February 19th, 2016 and a full opening will occur on March 21st in a Shubert theater that has yet to be determined. It’s pretty much guaranteed that this theater will be in New York City, as that makes the most sense. The Shubert Organization does, however, own theaters in other states across the US.
The role of Patrick Bateman, the story’s anti-hero, will be played by Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter). Rupert Goold is directing and choreography will be done by June Page.
Goold talk about Walker:
I’ve been a huge fan of Ben’s work on stage and screen and am really looking forward to working with him on American Psycho. He is an enormous talent and I think audiences will be utterly seduced by his dangerous charisma and extraordinary stage presence. He’ll make a killer Patrick Bateman.
The musical had its premiere late last year in London.
Bloody Disgusting learned that Tales of Halloween will open in limited theaters and on VOD platforms October 16, 2015. It is to World Premiere tonight at the Fantasia Film Festival.
The ten shorts take place in the same small American town whose denizens are terrorized by ghouls, aliens, and killers one Halloween night. Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II, III and IV), Axelle Carolyn (Soulmate), Adam Gierasch (Night of the Demons), Andrew Kasch (Never Sleep Again: The Elm Street Legacy), Neil Marshall (The Descent), Lucky McKee (All Cheerleaders Die, The Woman), Mike Mendez (Big Ass Spider!), Dave Parker (The Hills Run Red), Ryan Schifrin (Abominable), John Skipp (Stay at Home Dad), and Paul Solet (Grace) are at the helm of Tales of Halloween, which follows in the footsteps of recent horror anthologies like V/H/S and The ABCs of Death.
Rocky Horror Picture Show icon Barry Bostwick, Insidious‘ Lin Shaye and “Heroes’” Greg Grunberg star, while the likes of Joe Dante, John Landis, Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon, Adrienne Barbeau, and Adam Green cameo.
Also featured are Pat Healy (The Innkeepers, Cheap Thrills), Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes), Booboo Stewart (The Twilight Saga), Keir Gilchrist (It Follows), Noah Segan (Looper), Pollyannna McIntosh (The Woman), James Duval (Donnie Darko), Kristina Klebe (Halloween), Marc Senter (The Devil’s Carnival), Jose Pablo Cantillo (The Walking Dead), Grace Phipps (Dark Summer), Sam Witwer (Being Human), and Graham Skipper (Almost Human).