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
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
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
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
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
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
CHAIN LETTER is yet another movie that has languished in the sort of release hell that only a select group of films enjoy (THE POUGHKEEPSIE TAPES and ALL THE BOYS LOVE MANDY LANE being two others of recent note that still have yet to see a decent release). The production was completed in 2007, it saw a very limited theatrical release in 2010, and it hit the home entertainment market just this year.
CHAIN LETTER is a basic slasher flick in which a group of kids are slaughtered one-by-one by a hulking disfigured killer. Where the movie falls apart is in its attempt to trying to work in a socially relevant message about our obsession with technology, such as the Internet and cell phones. No one has any privacy any more, we’re all connected 24/7, and so on, and this is the basic premise. One of the kids receives an anonymous chain letter on his computer that implies that if he doesn’t forward it to five friends someone will die.…Continue Reading
I became interested in this film back when I read the synopsis while checking out movies playing at the 2010 SLAMDANCE film festival, where it would win the Audience Award. It deals with the world of live action role-playing, or LARP, where players dress up as characters and then act them out, mostly in the fantasy setting. Not my kinda thing, but I admit I find the activity, and the people who play, interesting subject matter. The events in THE WILD HUNT take place over a weekend larping event, when Erik decides to crash the make-believe festivities to win back Evelyn, the girlfriend he feels he’s losing to the fantasy world of Norse myth. She was invited by Erik’s deadbeat brother, who currently only lives for the game, so she can play the major role of a Viking princess kidnapped by the rival Celtic shaman. She is to be sacrificed to start the Wild Hunt, a Celt ceremony that marks the beginning of the big battle that concludes the weekend’s game.…Continue Reading
If you have a Netflix account there is a documentary available to Watch Instantly you should check out. DEAR ZACHARY: A LETTER TO A SON ABOUT HIS FATHER is a film made by Kurt Kuenne after his childhood friend, Andrew Bagby, is murdered by a psychotic ex-girlfriend. Kuenne sets out to create a memorial consisting of interviews with every person who ever knew Andrew, but after his accused killer announces she is pregnant with Andrew’s baby, DEAR ZACHARY turns into something else entirely. I gotta tell ya’, I was not expecting to go through the range of emotions this film put me through. I laughed a little, I got furious and yes readers, Morbid felt his tear ducts choke out a bit of stale air after feeling the charred strings of his black heart being tugged. But be warned that this isn’t a Hollywood creation — it’s brutal, unforgiving reality. So if you are the type of person that takes the stories featured here to heart and find yourself effected by them days after reading them, you may want to stay away from the is one. The less you know about the facts surrounding the film the better, but even if you followed this case and watched how the aftermath would forever change Canadian law, you will undoubtedly be moved by it.…Continue Reading
For any of you who had reservations on this remake of the Roger Corman classic, or who saw some of the trailers and said to yourself “that looks really retarded,” let me cast some of your fears aside as I join the others who watched this film and gave it a resounding seal of approval. It’s stupid, it’s over-the-top, and it’s a trashy good time chock full of gratuitous nudity and buckets of blood. Luckily the film knows exactly what it is and what fans of the original (and more so the sequels) expected. At no point did it seem that anyone was attempting to make high-brow cinema – from the director Alexandre Aja to the ensemble of movie veterans that made up PIRANHA’S cast. The film begins after a minor earthquake bridges a gap between a subterranean cavern allowing thousands of prehistoric piranha to spill into the popular Lake Victoria where their annual Spring Break celebrations are already well under way. Now a band of strangers must blah, blah, blah…who cares?…Continue Reading
In this episode of LOST’s final season, lines continue to be drawn as the island heads into the mysterious and long alluded-to “war.” Hurley (Jorge Garcia) is visited yet again by the ghost of Jacob (Mark Pellegrino) and given further instructions. This time, Jack (Matthew Fox) is summoned as well. However, the good doctor has reached the end of his rope and is exhausted by mystery, perhaps as much as LOST’s entire audience. Meanwhile, we peek back in on Claire (Emelie De Ravin) and are given a few more clues regarding the cryptic “infection.” In the alternate reality, further differences are revealed between the original timeline and the new timeline. Jack is now the father of a moody tween and after meeting Dogen (Hiro Sanada), it continues to appear as though the island has held no sway whatsoever in this new reality. From here on in…BEWARE THE SPOILERS!!!…Continue Reading
It’s no secret to those who know me that I love fall. Even today as I left for work, there was a slight chill in the air and a faint smell of woodsmoke. These subtle first signs of my favorite season made me do something I am anatomically incapable of doing on a regular basis – I smiled a little. It’s ok, more importantly I’M ok – no need to worry, my scowl beat it into submission rather quickly. But along with this season comes my favorite holiday, Halloween (which we will talk about on a later date) and the Fall Movie lineup. So I have compiled a list for myself – that some of you twisted fucks can use as well – detailing what movies a Dreamin’ Demon member should try to catch for the month of September.…Continue Reading
I had many films to choose from to kick off this new column, but in the end I decided to jump-start Crime Screen with one of my all-time favorite true crime films, Peter Jackson‘s Heavenly Creatures. After making his mark on the horror community with two splatter classics, Bad Taste and Dead Alive, and before he directed , Peter Jackson chose a real-life murder case as his first mainstream film. The movie is based on the 1954 New Zealand murder of Honora Rieper, committed by her teenage daughter, Pauline Parker, and her best friend, Juliet Hulme. The two girls lured the woman to a remote trail where they bludgeoned her to death with a brick. The motive behind the crime was an act of desperation to keep the girls from being separated. Juliet was being sent to South Africa, and the girls thought that by killing Pauline’s mother, Pauline would then be allowed to with Juliet and they would remain together. Things did not go as planned.…Continue Reading
The city of New York is experiencing a rash of disappearances. These started within the homeless population, in particular, the homeless that dwell in the underground network of tunnels, subway lines and sewers that lie beneath the city. This is noticed by ex-con and soup kitchen worker, A.J. Shepherd (Daniel Stern), who notices that fewer and fewer of his regulars are coming up for air. A.J. reports this to deaf ears and cannot get anyone to take notice…but hell, these people are ignored when around, forgotten when they are not. But when reports start coming in of people being attacked and dragged into the sewers by monsters, the authorities can no longer ignore the problem.…Continue Reading