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
It’s been awhile since I have had anything resembling a review on the site, and this is mostly due to a lack of time. So in order to combat that, I am simply going to stop trying to write long-ass, mostly skipped over reviews and just offer some recommendations. Sort of like the Oprah Book Club, but for DD readers and without all the crap.
To be honest, all I really want to do is navigate DD readers, who probably share some of my morbid interests, around the stinking turds and towards material they may enjoy as much as I did. I’ll leave actual reviews to the people who are paid for it and will link to them within my future recommendations if you’re looking for more in-depth analysis.
To start things off, I’d like to talk about one of the best books I have read this year, Harlan Coben’s 17th novel, Caught. Here’s the official synopsis:
17 year-old Haley McWaid is a good girl, the pride of her suburban New Jersey family, captain of the lacrosse team, headed off to college next year with all the hopes and dreams her doting parents can pin on her.…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
I am a serious devotee of what is sometimes called Psychotronic Cinema. I am on a constant search for weird, obscure movies the likes of which most people can never conceive existing in the first place, and the weirder and more obscure they are, the more I like them. Mexican masked wresters being superheroes and fighting aliens? You better believe it. Ultra-gory kung fu? Yes please. Nazi sex crime extravaganzas? I’ll take two. Today I’ll be looking at a very special piece of mid-1970s sexploitation flick with a crime-themed plot. Well, there’s a Mob element, but it’s largely obscured by the oversized jiggling fun-bags that are the true stars of the film.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Meet Crystal (“Chesty” Morgan). Now meet Crystal’s colossal rack (her measurements are 73FF-32-36). Now meet Crystal’s boyfriend, Larry. Crystal would really love for Larry to make her his wife, instead of just his girlfriend, but he keeps delaying. It’s soon a moot point as he’s rubbed out by the Mafia.
Crystal is heartbroken, tears spilling down rosy cheeks on to oversized pleasure-zeppelins.…Continue Reading
I love Australian cinema. I am completely, unabashedly enamored by it. But what I really love is the exploitation, or “ozploitation” in this case. We had our fair share of exploitation on these shores but we never did it with as much charisma and audacity as the Australians did. I mean, these people really risked their lives for their work and that is clearly seen on screen in films like STUNT ROCK or THE MAN FROM HONG KONG. Ozploitation has had a recent resurgence of sorts, partially due to the indispensable documentary NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, and some of the films emulating this era of filmmaking are quite good, just see WOLF CREEK (our review) and THE LOVED ONES (our review) for examples.
Sadly, PRIMAL is not only a bad example of what ozploitation should be but it is an embarrassment. The fact that the DVD cover is even adorned with the term ozploitation is akin to someone taking a kangaroo sized shit on the filmography of Brian Trenchard Smith and then setting it on fire.…Continue Reading
The great thing about the Internet is now if anyone wants to pinpoint the moment that led them to a lifetime of counseling and therapy, they can do so with relative ease. Case in point, this vid of a dog trying to bury its bone in a young boy’s butthole. I’m not sure what’s more disturbing –the dog’s determination to butt-rape that boy, or the woman’s determination to get a close up of it. Regardless, I laughed.Continue Reading
First off, let me state for the record that I’m a fan of Oren Peli‘s PARANORMAL ACTIVITY (our review) even if I did feel it barely survived the crushing weight of the hype that was heaped upon it. A lot of this had to do with the fact that I had watched the version that made the rounds at film festivals years a couple years before it made it to the theaters. I thought the minimalistic approach was extremely effective and achieved at giving me goosebumps on a couple occasions. The rest is history after a successful marketing campaign that got the film into theaters and asses in the seats, leading to a film with a budget of $11,000 making $194 million worldwide and becoming an entry into the annals of pop culture history. One of my issues with the film was the re-vamped ending that led to the possibilities of a sequel, something that wasn’t possible with the original version. So when it was officially announced that there was going to be a follow-up, I honestly had no hopes for it, envisioning a slightly better PARANORMAL ENTITY.…Continue Reading
Well it’s Saturday morning and while I sat here checking out headlines while waiting for some coffee to finish brewing, I figured this was as good as time as any to get a few film reviews posted that have been cluttering up our queue a bit. Today I chose MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE and trust me when I say that it’s not for the ladies. It’s an old school, kung fu flick from the ’70s and most know that ’70s kung fu flicks often work as very effective vagina repellent. But this one is a campy, good time containing a flying device that decapitates people, a villain with telescopic arms and a score consisting of early ’70s electronica. Over the years the film gets referenced in other media and garnered a cult following that includes Quentin Tarantino, who pays homage to MASTER multiple times in his film KILL BILL VOL I. Trust me, MASTER really is a blast to watch and is currently available via Netflix for those of you who are interested in some drive-in, grind house goodness.…Continue Reading
Okay, I’ve reviewed two crappy horror films, so here’s one to make up for that and then some. I had read a bit about this Australian horror film last year when it was making the rounds at all the film festivals I’m not worthy of being invited to. I heard it was a mix of old and new horror that was a tad similar to Peter Jackson’s splatter days before LORD OF THE RINGS. “That’s great,” I thought, but I didn’t really get my interest piqued until EFX Magazine described THE LOVED ONES as WOLF CREEK meets PRETTY IN PINK. Now, I still don’t know who the hell EFX Magazine is, but you have to admit that the combination of those two films is pretty interesting. Well, almost a year after all those other sites got to see the film, I was finally able to watch THE LOVED ONES the other night, and, yeah, EFX Magazine’s description is a pretty accurate one and I loved it. Check out the trailer that reveals a tad too much and then my thoughts on this sometimes intense, occasionally sick flick whose humor is consistently dark as pitch.…Continue Reading
More blasts from the past as I clear out a backlog of reviews of films you probably shouldn’t waste your time watching unless you are like me and just like watching bad films. Today’s film is SLASHERS, a direct-to-video horror flick reportedly made on an $150,000 budget. In the film, the most watched show in Japan is a live reality show titled “Slashers” where viewers watch as contestants are voluntarily placed in a funhouse type maze they must navigate for a cash prize. Hindering their progress are characters called Slashers that pursue the contestants ensuring they are not able to collect their winnings by making them suffer bloody, violent deaths to the delight of the viewing audience. SLASHERS takes place at the beginning of the show’s very first all-American edition and to help celebrate this special occasion the producers are populating the maze with two of the nastiest Slashers in their arsenal, Chainsaw Charlie and Dr. Ripper, while also introducing a brand new Slasher called The Preacherman. Will any of the contestants survive this special episode by outwitting the Slashers and collect the $12 million prize?…Continue Reading
I’ve got a backlog of horror movie reviews written up that I need to get out of our queue, so why not start with a forgotten, ultra low-budget slasher oddity from the UK. It involves a group of stage actors held captive by two psychopaths during the last night of their play, MURDER IN THE DARK. The turnout during the run of the play has been disappointing, continuously being performed in front of a mostly empty house but tonight’s attendance should fair better as it’s the final show with friends and family expected to be there for a birthday party being held after the show. Just before the show begins, two psychopaths on the run after breaking out of a maximum security facility have decided to take refuge in the theater. While there they hold the cast and crew hostage forcing them to play a sadistic game. They threaten to kill their friends off stage if the actors on stage do not go on with the show.…Continue Reading
I can’t start off this review without admitting that LET THE RIGHT ONE IN is one of my favorite horror films of all time, I even ranked it the best horror film of the decade. But I also want to add that I have no issues with remakes. I think they hurt movies more than help, but that a good movie is a good movie. In fact, I actually prefer some remakes over the originals — THE FLY, THE HILLS HAVE EYES are two such examples. So I had no ill-will towards the American remake of LTROI, especially after it was announced CLOVERFIELD’s Matt Reeves would be sitting in the director’s chair. I like his stuff and was real curious as to what he would do with the story. The initial news was that this would not be a remake, but rather a re-telling of the book the two films were adapted from. This was interesting to me as there was a major subplot in the book that LTROI did not touch on and I was excited to see what Reeves would do with it.…Continue Reading
On Saturday morning, I finally got a chance to watch MACHETE, a movie I’d been waiting to see ever since it was announced. All I wanted out of the film was what I had been promised in the promotional material: some over-the-top violence and general Danny Trejo badassery. But after walking out of the theater, I decided to hold off and think about what I’d watched a bit before rushing home and firing off a review. Mainly because, well, I didn’t like the movie much. I haven’t read any in-depth thoughts on MACHETE before sitting down to type this, aside from noticing that it is sitting at 71% over at rottentomatoes. This puzzles me for a couple different reasons, the main one being that I found the second half of this movie to be a boring letdown with action scenes neutered with eye-roll-worthy political commentary and lackluster performances delivered by a couple of the cast of well-knowns. Luckily, Danny Trejo kicked ass. Check out the trailer after the break, as well as some of my thoughts on the film.…Continue Reading
I was talking with Lizard a little while back when the conversation turned to my favorite subject – horror. We were discussing some of our favorite horror novels when I mentioned my love for the Southern Gothic as well as “rabbit hole” stories consisting of characters experiencing a situation that gets progressively worse. She asked if I’d ever read or heard of a book by Michael McDowell titled THE ELEMENTALS. I know everything, so the fact that I didn’t know what she was talking about could only mean that I had once known but some other knowledge had pushed it too far back into my memory for me to recall. She gasped incredulously, and it wasn’t long before a box was waiting on my front steps with the novel inside. I immediately started reading, and I was immediately hooked. She told me I was gonna love the book, and how right she was. In my lifetime, I have read some great horror books where one of the characters wasn’t a person at all, but rather a place.…Continue Reading
After the slew of responses (3) we got on our Archie McPhee and Kris Kuksi articles, we felt that what the hell, we’ll post about any weird, freaky, morbid shit we find out there that we feel would appeal to our readers. Today I wanted to focus some attention to Jade Perez and her New Age Dolls. A lot of our readers are probably familiar with Jade Perez’s work as we usually have an ad for her on the site. But for those of you who have not been subjected to her very cool, very macabre creations need to fix that real quick, and I’m going to help you out. I decided to peruse her gallery and pick out a few of my favorites and I invite you to do the same. These dolls are individually handmade from top to bottom, created without the use of molds so no two are alike. But best of all, they are creepy as hell. Like a cross between Salad Fingers, the Puppetmaster movies and Alice in Chains’ “I Stay Away” video.…Continue Reading