If you’re looking for a survival horror film involving a group of teens being hunted in the woods by a psychopath, but would like one that didn’t have you rooting for the killer, then I’d like to suggest Glenn Withrow’s THE MOORING.
It’s about a group of teen girls who’ve gotten into trouble because of online activities like cyber-bullying, online gambling, and a hacking. They’ve been entered into a program that will teach them that “there is more to relationships than pushing buttons” by stripping them of their online access, and placing them on a houseboat for some camping in the great outdoors. Unfortunately, their excursion is interrupted by a pair of psychopathic drifters.
Here’s the synopsis from the THE MOORING’S official site:
Every 40 seconds a person goes missing. In northern Idaho, a group of teenage girls attended a summer camp to help them connect with nature without technology.…Continue Reading
Out of all the good movies I have watched since my last review in August of 2012, I would’ve never imagined my next one would be a horror comedy about a clown that has risen from the grave to kill the kids responsible for his death. But out of all the crappy horror I have watched recently, I felt STITCHES deserved some more attention for being surprisingly fun and successfully delivering some imaginative gore.
Here’s the official synopsis from the official site: Jaded Richard Grindle is the sleaziest clown working the children’s party circuit in Ireland. Arriving late to one birthday, his timing is off, the bratty kids a nightmare and a prank goes horribly wrong – he falls on a kitchen knife and goes to that Big Top in the sky. Years later the same nasty kids attend another more grown up bash. Little do they know, thanks to a black magic clown cult, Stitches will be the uninvited guest of honour seeking revenge on those responsible for his untimely death.…Continue Reading
HERE, NOW – You may be as surprised as we are to learn that we occasionally get free movies and books to review. I mention this because, in full disclosure, SCALENE was sent to us by Breaking Glass Pictures to review. But do not fear, DD reader, as I would never risk damaging my reputation for providing excellent choices in movies and books by recommending crap just to get free stuff.
In the case of SCALENE, a film directed by Zack Parker, I can honestly say you owe it to yourself to give it a shot. Not only does it delve into a bit of the headlines often featured on this site, as well as some of the re-occurring discussions they produce, but Margo Martindale delivers one of the best performances I have seen all year. Here’s the official synopsis:
“Told from three points-of-view, SCALENE is a perceptual thriller that revolves around a mother’s revenge (Margo Martindale, Emmy Winner, F/X’s “JUSTIFIED”, Showtime’s “DEXTER”, MILLION DOLLAR BABY) after her mentally-challenged son (Adam Scarimbolo, A GUIDE TO RECOGNIZING YOUR SAINTS, LYMELIFE, STAKE LAND) is accused of sexual assault by his student caretaker (Hanna Hall, THE VIRGIN SUICIDES, Rob Zombie’s HALLOWEEN, FORREST GUMP).…Continue Reading
Here, Now – It’s been awhile since I posted a movie recommendation, but not from a lack of watching any. I have six movies I think a lot of you DD’ers will enjoy, starting with LOVELY MOLLY. It’s a horror film directed by Eduardo Sanchez, one of the creators of THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, who went on to direct a few direct-to-video movies that didn’t come anywhere close to being as popular with audiences or critics as Blair Witch (although I did enjoy ALTERED). From the looks of the MOLLY reviews, it seems like that streak continues with yet another VOD release.
MOLLY currently has a 42% ranking at Rotten Tomatoes, and top critics use terms like “reductive and histrionic,” as well as “depressing and lazily nonsensical” when describing the film; those who enjoyed it call it creepy, disturbing, and effective at creating a sense of unease. I fall somewhere in the latter camp. I really liked LOVELY MOLLY and thought it was disorientating enough, with just enough creepiness, to overcome its flaws.…Continue Reading
I know we deal with some nasty crimes, so watching a film depicting a violent home invasion in a realistic manner may not be something you’re inclined to watch while escaping the crap you read on here. But if you’re a glutton for punishment, boy do I have a film for you.
Kidnapped is a Spanish home invasion film directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas that echoes a bit of the original Funny Games, The Strangers, or more recently, Cherry Tree Lane. But unlike those films, Vivas seems to abandon any form of social commentary or cheap scares, simply turning those who choose to watch into a neutered witness to a horrific crime.
Jaime (Fernando Cayo), his wife Marta (Ana Wagener) and their teenage daughter Isa (Manuela Vellés) have just moved into their new home located in a gated community when, on their first night there, three masked men break in and hold them hostage.
Their motive is money. and they plan on getting it by forcing Jaime to accompany the gang’s leader around town and empty out his bank accounts at various ATMs.…Continue Reading
It was pointed out to me that I have been real slack on movie suggestions lately, leading the two people who actually take my movie advice to believe that I have not watched any films worth a crap. This is not true. In fact, I have watched a number of good movies this year worthy of a D’D reader’s time.
So while I wait for someone to do something stupid enough for me to write about, I figure I would tell you about one I watched earlier this year — a revenge film titled RED WHITE & BLUE. This slow burner is so bleak and unpleasant that I absolutely love it to pieces. Here is the plot, taken from their Facebook Page.
“Set in Austin, Texas, this “slacker revenge movie” follows the disaffected and promiscuous Erica (Amanda Fuller – Buffy The Vampire Slayer) as she sleeps with a series of nameless men, until she is befriended by Nate (Noah Taylor – Submarine, The Proposition), an ex-Iraq war veteran with a sociopathic streak.
Nate, unusually, seems interested in Erica for more than just sex – but when one of her previous partners, hard-rocking mamma’s boy Franki (Marc Senter) resurfaces, Erica’s actions come back to haunt her, leading to a terrifying climax which has shocked audiences worldwide.…Continue Reading
It would be my luck that the first show I decide to review on a consistent basis would turn into one that I don’t even look forward to watching anymore. The only reason why I continue this is because I’m already past the halfway mark and now it’s becoming entertaining to point out what’s wrong with the series.
Don’t get me wrong, last night’s episode of THE KILLING was better than last week’s, but that really wasn’t too hard of a feat. I guess I was hoping that AMC had a crime show that would be as well-written and executed as WALKING DEAD, BREAKING BAD and MAD MEN. But aside from the pilot, THE KILLING’s meandering has worn thin and last night’s episode continued the tradition but made things worse as it was stuffed to the gills with scene after scene of just bad television.
Before I start on what I didn’t like, I do want to point out there were two scenes I did enjoy. One was Sarah and Stephen finally having their bonding moment in the final moments of the show.…Continue Reading
I was almost going to skip talking about last night’s episode of THE KILLING because it disappointed me greatly and left me extremely bored and more entertained watching my cat try to dislodge something from her ass (and no, Jaded, it wasn’t my finger).
Mostly because we are back to the formula of introducing a cliffhanger at the end of one episode, only to clear it up within moments of the next. This is followed by 40 minutes of boring, repetitive character development before introducing another plot point that will undoubtedly be cleared up within moments of the next episode.
Last week we were left with the seemingly distinct possibility that Stan was going to kill Bennet after abducting him. Within moments, this entire debacle was cleared up while also being informed that there are yet more suspects that have never been mentioned until tonight, including Muhammad, a man Bennet studies the Qur’an with and who has keys to the Bennet’s apartment, as well as Imam Gelabi, the spiritual leader of the Green Lake Mosque.…Continue Reading
After last week’s episode had me worried that I had lost interest in the show, last night’s episode of THE KILLING, “What You Have Left,” pulled me right back in with one of the better episodes since the pilot.
The show’s attempt at showing some of the realities of death and the ripple effect it causes had me worried the it was going to consistently travel too far into depressing territory to be enjoyable, and this episode was no exception when it opened with Rosie being prepped and the family getting ready for the funeral.
Once again we are shown some of the effects Rosie’s death is having on the family, but luckily these are done with some short, effective scenes instead of an entire episode of the Larson’s walking around in a daze while neglecting their two boys. The couple arguing over the date Rosie gave her father a pair of cuff links, Tom asking to be a pallbearer and later crushing a millipede crawling near his sister’s were all well-played and thankfully for me, brief.…Continue Reading
I stopped doing television reviews a while back for no other reason than I wasn’t watching any. At least, none that were remotely relevant to the site. But I am now four episodes in to AMC’s THE KILLING, an American remake of the Danish television series, FORBRYDELSEN, that I figured I may start posting my thoughts on the episodes. Starting with last night’s.
For those of you unfamiliar with the show’s premise, it deals with the investigation into the murder of Rosie Larsen, a high-school student found in the trunk of a car pulled from a remote pond. Each of the thirteen episodes represents one day in the life of the two detectives in charge of the case, the friends and family of the deceased and all the red herrings in between. Filling in the gaps is a bit of a WEST WING political plot-line that will undoubtedly become more relevant to Rosie’s murder — especially considering the car she was found in belonged to the campaign of Darren Richmond, a politician running for mayor of Seattle.…Continue Reading
HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN started life as a faux trailer used to help promote the 2007 release of the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino extravaganza, GRINDHOUSE. It probably should’ve remained as a kitschy, grimy celebration of scratchy B-movie promotion. Since iffy internet jokes never seem to die peacefully anymore, we now have a feature-length version of HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN, and the upgrade is mostly unbearable camp disguised as hip homage, splattered with enough blood and guts to distract from a cinematically empty reality, with director Jason Eisener declaring screen war without any notable scripted ideas.
Into the decaying Hope City comes Hobo (Rutger Hauer), a broken man with dreams of owning a lawn mower in an attempt to rebuild his shattered existence. Facing life on the street, Hobo witnesses a daily parade of brutality, orchestrated by crime lord Drake (Brian Downey) and his two sadistic sons, Slick (Gregory Smith) and Ivan (Nick Bateman). The ghouls own the town, leaving Hobo disgusted and aching for change. Salvation comes in the form of a shotgun, which gives the homeless man an opportunity to fight back, soon cleaning up the streets with his boomstick brand of justice.…Continue Reading
In 1996, a horror film came out that represented a paradigm shift in horror films. That film was SCREAM, directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. Prior to this, horror films were the domain of un-killable maniacs in hockey masks or sporting bladed gloves, and the un-killable maniac well was running dry.
Attempts had been made to revitalize it — Jason Voorhees visited New York City, while Wes Craven played with the metaphysical and meta-fictional nature of Freddy Krueger with NEW NIGHTMARE. However, it was SCREAM that changed the game — with it’s idea of “Rules” of horror films, and it’s quirky post-modern self-referential nature.
A group of teenagers — Skinny Nick and his strong-willed girlfriend Stacy; big dumb jock Jim and his excruciatingly blonde and hysterical girlfriend Doreen; nerdy David and his foreign exchange girlfriend Janet, who comes from a country that doesn’t have bras; and sarcastic, single, horror nerd Mike — head out into the woods, to the four-bedroom secluded house owned by Nick’s parents, right on the shore of a pond that screams “Skinny dip in me!”, to spend Spring Break partying.…Continue Reading
I’m a sucker for revenge films. Hell, most of the films I’ve reviewed for Dreamin’ Demon have had some sort of revenge element going for them. I’m also a sucker for supernatural thrillers, particularly anything dealing with the occult. When I first saw trailers for HEARTLESS, I didn’t quite know what to make of it. It was clearly dealing with elements of the occult, and there seemed to be a revenge tale present as well. My issue was I kept getting a CONSTANTINE vibe, and I never want to get a CONSTANTINE vibe from anything. Luckily, HEARTLESS is nothing like that film and is, surprisingly, a rather unique experience, even if not entirely successful.
In HEARTLESS, a young photographer (Jim Sturgess) with a heart-shaped birthmark on his face, enters into a deal with the Devil as a gang of hoodie wearing thugs start setting Londoners on fire with well-placed molotov cocktails. Saying too much more about the plot will not only ruin the fun but would take forever. If the film has anything hindering it, it’s that it is needlessly convoluted.…Continue Reading
I’m back with another Netflix Watch Instantly recommendation titled NAKED FEAR. Yeah, I know it sounds like a Steven Seagal movie, but this Canadian thriller starring Joe Mantegna (before his CRIMINAL MINDS stint) and a very naked Danielle De Luca, turned out being a pretty decent flick — if you skip the first 45 minutes.
A small town girl is forced to strip in a New Mexico shit-hole that also happens to be an active serial killer’s stomping grounds. A serial killer whose modus operandi is abducting prostitutes, then setting them free in the wilderness where he hunts them down like animals.
The film is based loosely off of American serial killer, Robert Hansen, who would hunt down prostitutes he’d abducted and set free into the Alaskan wilderness. This is one of the reasons why I even gave this film a shot and the fact that it’s directed by Thom Eberhardt, the man behind one of my guilty pleasures, 1984′s NIGHT OF THE COMET. Check out the trailer followed by a bit of my blurb-free rambling.…Continue Reading
The first job I ever held, at the tender age of 14, was “Golfball Relocation Engineer” at a local golf course — i.e., I went out in the rough to find lost golf balls, washed them, and put them in the bin marked “Experienced Golf Balls. $0.50. Only Driven on Sundays” in the club house. My grandfather was the manager, and I was paid under the table. I worked maybe 4 hours a week (realistically), and spent the rest of my time reading the comics section of the local newspaper and drawing cartoons of my own. Sweet gig.
On a seemingly-unrelated note, in the 35+ years since the release of Steven Spielberg’s epic JAWS, an endless horde of imitators has slithered, swam, scampered, gallops, and clawed across movie and television screens. Some of them have been quite good, some of them pretty bad, and a handful genuinely surreal.
Why do I tell you these two seemingly-unrelated stories? Because tonight I’m looking at a JAWS-clone set on a golf course. What stalks a golf course (Besides, in my experience, overly self-important senior league’rs)?…Continue Reading
Where life had no value, Death sometimes had its price. — Sergio Leone
With these immortal words from FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (for my money, the best of the DOLLARS trilogy), the film BIG TITS ZOMBIE (aka THE BIG TITS DRAGON, original title KYONYÛ DORAGON: ONSEN ZONBI VS SUTORIPPÂ 5) begins. The film follows stripper Lena Jodo (Japanese adult actress Sora Aoi) as she returns home from Mexico. She takes a brief dancing gig in a rundown strip club in a mostly-deserted suburb. With little to do, she and her fellow dancers — Ginko, Maria, Nene, and Darna — mostly squabble and lay around. A stray draft leads them to a hidden door in their dressing room, which they soon discover leads to the club’s basement. And what just happens to be stored in this basement? Why, a copy of the Book of the Dead, of course!
Reading aloud from the Book of the Dead results in all Hell breaking loose as the dead rise from their graves, hungry for the flesh of the living. Now it’s up to Lena and her friends to arm themselves in any way possible — chainsaws, katanas, lengths of pipe, etc.…Continue Reading
With every horrendous story we post at D’D, the usual exclamations of disgust permeate the attached comments section, as well as several descriptive ways revenge should be doled out upon the accused. Such fantasies have been explored in movies forever, with most told in a DEATH WISH fashion: the audience rooting for the hero as he or she puts one bullet after another into a never-ending stream of deserving baddies. But there have been a few revenge films over the last few years that touch on the actual morality of revenge, pondering the notion that maybe revenge isn’t a dish best prepared at any temperature, and even if it’s deemed justified, what price is paid by the person who serves it?
I SAW THE DEVIL is the latest film by Jee-woon Kim, a Korean director renowned for tackling standard genres and delivering films that don’t necessarily adhere to the rules of that genre, which he’s done with varying degrees of success. In 2005, he took on Asian horror even though audiences were burning out on creepy, pale-faced Asian girls with straight black hair.…Continue Reading
There was a time in the horror film genre when kids were usually the primary victims, relentlessly pursued by some lone, masked killer. Those movies that tried to put a fresh spin on the formula still relied on the meat-and-potatoes of the slasher film — the slaughtered teenager. Of course there have been the odd film featuring youngters as villains, it seems that the overall tide is turning and that more and more horror films have warmed to the notion of blood-thirsty adolescents spilling some blood.
The latest film to turn the tables on the adults is F by Johannes Roberts, a movie whose subject matter seems ripped from the pages of a lurid tabloid newspaper. While 2008′s EDEN LAKE featured a couple being tormented by a group of vicious teens in the country, F uses a similar premise but in an inner-city school setting.
Robert Anderson (an excellent David Scofield) is a teacher forced into a short leave of absence after being assaulted by a student. While on leave, he scours the papers for news of other such assaults nationwide (and hits the bottle pretty hard).…Continue Reading
Sounding like a direct-to-video Chuck Norris film, ACT OF VENGEANCE was originally released under the much better title, RAPE SQUAD. This title more accurately describes what the film is about, even though it’s probably a little too sleazy for its own good. But no matter what the film goes by, VENGEANCE is a pretty solid rape-revenge effort that gets points for absurdity even if it doesn’t live up to the sleazy nature of its original title. Check out the trailer for more, but be warned, it does feature minor spoilers:
If the idea of watching women being sexually assaulted bothers you (and it should) than proceed with caution as this is a rape-revenge film. The rape footage in VENGEANCE isn’t close to the brutality and degradation featured in films like I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE or LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, but it is present and is still not enjoyable to witness.
While many rape-revenge films pride themselves on being as brutal as possible, VENGEANCE does not. In actuality, it’s more ridiculous than vicious with a rapist who wears a hockey mask (and this is about eight years before Jason put his on) and forces his victims to sing “Jingle Bells” while he sexually assaults them.…Continue Reading
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, current European horror makes contemporary American horror look shameful. The films coming out of European countries — Spain, Italy, and, especially, France — are keeping the genre alive. I’m not saying all American horror is bad; that’s not the case at all, but the work coming out of the states, more often than not, pales in comparison. Where we seem to have embraced the audience aspect of horror (jump scares, gross out factor), the Europeans are crafting films that are terrifying in their intimacy. HIGH LANE, produced by French company Gaumont, is one of the more recent examples of this, and the results are exceptional. You can check out the spoiler-filled trailer if you want, but be warned, it really ruins a lot of the tension.
HIGH LANE begins with four friends going on a nature-filled adventure in the Balkan mountains. But this isn’t a “nature’s revenge” film like THE LAST WEEKEND; it’s more an “off the beaten path” flick like WRONG TURN.…Continue Reading