Jul 04

Wild Beasts

wildbeastsGenre: Horror
Year: 1984
Country: Italy

aka: Savage Beasts, The Wild Beasts Will Get You!

Director: Franco Prosperi
Starring: Lorraine De Selle, John Aldrich, Ugo Bologna, Louisa Lloyd, John Stacy

 

The most bloody nightmare ever imagined!

 

When the water system of a big european city is contaminated with the drug PCP, the animals run amok and attacks people. Because of a small earthquake the exotic animals of a local zoo gets free aswell which includes everything from tigers to elephants. We follow the animal expert Dr. Ruphert Berner and journalist Laura Schwarz throughout this mayhem.

I have a soft spot for killer animal movies, there’s something enjoyable watching animals take revenge on all the wrong things we humans do to this world and to them. So a movie that shows a range of different animals that attacks people should be right up my alley.

Director Prosperi had experience working with animals prior to this movie from making a couple of infamous mondo movies including Goodbye Uncle Tom, Mondo Cane and Africa Addio. He creates a dark atmosphere and does a good job with this movie. Some of the animal attacks are good and I’m surprised at how much they where able to make the animals do since I’m sure they didn’t have a lot of time to film this. Some scenes does get a bit ridiculous however. It’s fun to see an elephant stomp on cars, but not quite as suspenseful to see it choke a person with his trunk.

Jul 01

The Toolbox Murders

toolboxmurdersGenre: Horror
Year: 2004
Country: USA

aka: Hotel Terror

Director: Tobe Hooper
Starring: Angela Bettis, Brent Roam, Marco Rodriguez, Rance Howard, Juliet Landau

 

Another legacy begins

 

Nell and her boyfriend Steven are the newest tenants at the old building called Lusman Arms. While they try their best to renovate the old apartment, Nell starts to hear strange voices around the building, and also starts to notice that some of the neighbors are becoming missing.

Nell starts to become obsessed with finding out what is going on in this building and the history of it does not make her less concerned. The place has a long line of missing tenants and the man who built the building was heavily into the occult. While trying to find answers, Nell herself becomes a target and might end up being the next one missing…

Toolbox Murders is a remake of a late 70′s slasher film that some might find a bit underrated. Why they decided to remake the film is beyond me since the original film doesn’t have that big of a following and there is hardly any need to use the name of that one to make a new film about a crazy killer in a building.

Jun 22

Ghoulies

ghouliesGenre: Horror / Fantasy
Year: 1985
Country: USA

Director: Luca Bercovici
Starring: Peter Liapis, Lisa Pelikan, Michael Des Barres, Jack Nance, Peter Risch

 

They’ll get you in the end

 

Jonathan Graves and his girlfriend Rebecca moves in to an old house that Jonathan has inherited from his dead father. Jonathan finds several books with satanic rituals described in them and starts to develop an interest in the occult.

After playing around with the spells, he is able to summon a group of small ugly creatures called Ghoulies. Jonathan starts to get more and more obsessed and ends up summoning his dead father back to life, who wants to use Jonathan and his friends to gain even more power.

Ghoulies has one of the coolest 80′s posters that I know. The green ghoulies who sticks up out of a toilet is so awesome that I have bought t-shirts with the poster “art” on it. Surprisingly enough, the ghoulies doesn’t play that big part of the film. After looking at the poster you would expect these little critters to kill and eat people, but they are sadly more or less in the background here and there and how they are made or what they want are not explained. Instead of a fun little creatures film, Ghoulies turn out to be a dull witchcraft movie.

Jun 16

Demons 6: De Profundis

demons6Genre: Horror
Year: 1989
Country: Italy

original title: Il Gatto Nero
aka: Edgar Allan Poe’s The Black Cat, The Black Cat, Demons 6: Armagedon, Dead Eyes

Director: Luigi Cozzi
Starring: Florence Guerin, Urbano Barberini, Caroline Munro, Brett Halsey, Luisa Maneri

 

Between dreams & nightmares… between reality & fantasy… lies the terror of

 

The fans of Dario Argento had been waiting for ten years for the third and final entry to «The Three Mothers» trilogy that he started with Suspiria back in 1977 and Inferno in 1980. Due to the poor reception of the last one, Argento wasn’t able to create the third one before 2007. That being said, there was a third entry into the saga made in the final year of the 80′s without his involvement.

Luigi Cozzi, Argento’s friend and frequent collaborator decided to do his own spin on the saga with this film. I guess there wasn’t any rights issues or such in Italian cinema at the time, cause it is hard to believe that Argento would give his approval on this production regardless of how good friends he and Cozzi were at the time.

Jun 09

Cujo

cujoGenre: Horror
Year: 1983
Country: USA

Director: Lewis Teague
Starring: Dee Wallace, Danny Pintauro, Daniel Hugh Kelly, Christopher Stone, Ed Lauter

 

Now there’s a new name for terror…

 

Today, a killer animal movie is usually done in a comedic style and in most cases seem to be done for the not-so-serious Syfy channel. Back in the early 80′s though, those type of stories were still treated seriously, including Cujo which was based on a Stephen King novel.

Cujo is not only about an animal, in this case a dog with rabies, that are out to destroy human beings. Cujo is just as much as family drama about a broken family that are struggling with infidelity.

Donna Trenton is the main character in this film, a woman who has a young son with her husband Vic and also an affair with her ex-boyfriend Steve. When Vic finds out about this, he leaves his family behind by going on a business trip to clear his head on how he should react to his wife’s adultery. While being left behind, Donna has to take their old car out for a repair, but the farmhouse where her mechanic lives has now been taken over by a big St. Bernard dog with rabies named “Cujo”.

Jun 07

Raw Deal

rawdealGenre: Action
Year: 1986
Country: USA

Director: John Irvin
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathryn Harrold, Sam Wanamaker, Paul Shenar, Robert Davi

 

The government gave him a raw deal. Nobody gives him a raw deal.

 

Mark Kaminsky was kicked out of the FBI for being too rough towards the suspects. He now lives a more quiet life as a sheriff in a small town. His wife is not happy living the new life outside of a big city and Mark is missing the action of bringing down the big guys in the criminal underworld.

He gets a chance to go on a new mission when his old boss calls him needing help to bring down a big shot mafia boss by working on his own, without the backing of the law. Mark fakes his own death and starts to re-emerge as the convicted felon Joseph P. Brenner and with his new identity he works on becoming one of the henchmen for crime boss Luigi Patrovita and then ultimately take him down.

May 31

Inferno

inferno

Genre: Horror
Year: 1980
Country: Italy

Director: Dario Argento
Starring: Leigh McCloskey, Irene Miracle, Eleonora Giorgi, Daria Nicolodi, Sacha Pitoeff

 

Terror that’s hotter than hell

 

After pretty much completing the giallo genre forever with his excellent 1975 effort Deep Red, Dario Argento would go on the make a fantasy horror film called Suspiria, that would put him in the horror hall of fame forever. The beautiful film about a witch called Mother Suspiriorum is running a famous ballet school in Munich, Germany took the wonderful visual skills Argento and brought in a new element of fantasy and nightmares that would make the film a unique piece of cinema.

And of course people wanted more. Three years later, Argento had another film ready for hungry horror fans of the unusual. Inferno tells the tale of a young musicology student named Mark Elliott is studying in Rome when he receives a letter from his sister Rose, crying out for help. Rose has been investigating the story of the «Three Mothers» and are convinced that one of them, Mother Tenebrarum is living in a unique building complex in New York.

May 26

Morlocks

morlocksGenre: Sci-Fi / Horror
Year: 2011
Country: USA

aka: Time Machine: Rise of the Morlocks

Director: Matt Codd
Starring: Harnish Clark, Christina Cole, David Hewlett, Daniel Caltagirone, Jim Fyfe

 

Morlocks is another CGI monster movie from the good people at Syfy. Morlocks is a name first mentioned in as a description of the underground dwellers in H.G. Wells’s classic book The Time Machine. In this movie they are represented by some very bad CGI (as always with Syfy) and apparently are the future cousins of the human race. Guess I’m gonna call my cousins for morlocks in our family gatherings from now on.

The american government has been able to create a time machine, probably after watching Stargate since it looks like a direct ripoff of it. The time machine is controlled by a remote control sort of device that is needed to open up the gate for travelling. Army soldiers are sent into the future to gather information about what lies ahead of us and meets our beloved little morlocks.

May 25

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

paranormalactivitymarkedonesGenre: Horror
Year: 2014
Country: USA

Director: Christopher Landon
Starring: Katie Featherston, Molly Ephraim, Andrew Jacobs, Jorge Diaz, Catherine Toribio

 

Jesse Arista is a young teenager living in a mexican neighborhood in California. He gets a digital video camera as a graduation gift and quickly becomes fascinated by it and documents practically everything he does in his life with it.

Together with his sister Marisol and his best friend Hector, he starts to investigate a strange death in an apartment on the ground floor that might be blamed on a bruja, a latin name for a witch. They come in contact with a spirit that will start to affect Jesse badly, and his friends and family is worried that he might be the next victim.

The Marked Ones is the fifth entry, sixth if you also count the unofficial japanese sequel, into the very popular Paranormal Activity franchise. It’s not called Paranormal Activity 5 since it is presented more as a latin based spinoff, even though after seeing it I can’t really see any reason why they couldn’t just slap the number five tag on it since it does play in the same world as the main story from the previous four films.

May 15

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh

lastwillandtestamentofrosalindleighGenre: Horror / Drama
Year: 2012
Country: USA

Director: Rodrigo Gudino
Starring: Aaron Poole, Vanessa Redgrave, Julian Richings, Stephen Eric McIntyre, Charlotte Sullivan

 

Faith is fragile

 

Leon Leigh has returned to his childhood home after being told that his mother, Rosalind Leigh has sadly passed away. Her house is filled with old antiques, but Leon is soon to experience that there is more than inanimated stuff in the house of his deceased mother.

The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh tries to go all out in the mood and atmosphere department, and also tries to deliver a story about loss and faith. It starts out very slow and tries to build up… but to what I’m not sure. It never seems to get started and it didn’t take long before I became quite restless and annoyed by the movie. It’s one thing to try to be artsy and “say something”, but a filmmaker should never forget that a film is meant to also offer entertainment. A film about deep issues will never succeed if neither the story or the main character becomes a real person to the viewer.

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