26 October 2010

Drive Thru 2007 - REVIEW

Like most of my friends and colleagues, I'm not a horror movie snob. I enjoy the occasional fun film. You know, the typical B-movie full of cheesy one liners and bad jokes. Yes, I thoroughly enjoy films like Sleepaway Camp and the original Piranha but that's because they have that something special. I can't tell you what it is I just know they have it. This one, however, is one of those films I look at and say "How does someone get funding for this CRAP!?" I know so many great writers that have stacks and stacks of scripts sitting on a desk with a stack of denials just as high next to it. I'll be sure and tell them to dumb it way down before submitting it again. I guess it's all about perception and opinion. No doubt not everyone will agree with me all the time. I'm sure there are people out there that actually bought this film, God forbid, because they liked it so much. Rest assured, this will NOT be one you'll find on the shelf at my house.

High schooler Mackenzie Carpenter (Leighton Meester) thinks her biggest problem is dying of boredom in the bucolic wasteland of Orange County... until her classmates start disappearing and Horny The Clown (Van De La Plante), the mascot for local burger favorite HELLA-BURGER, begins madly stalking her. It isn't until Mac discovers her unbelievable connection to Horny and his victims that she realizes, if she's going to live to see 18, she must come face-to-face with the... killer clown in the bloodiest week Blanca Carne, California, has ever known.

Meester gave her same old wooden performance. I swear that girl only has two expressions... pouty and grouchy. I didn't even know who Nicholas D'Agosto was and honestly, after this I still won't. Melora Hardin seemed to put up some kind of effort at least. In a subtle twist of irony, Morgan Spurlock, producer of the documentary Super Size Me made an appearance. No doubt an inside joke referencing how fast food can kill you. I had a hard time believing even bad actors could say all the crappy dialogue with a straight face. The only shining star in the bunch was Lola Glaudini of Criminal Minds fame. According to Criminal Minds spokesperson, Glaudini quit the show saying she didn't like living in LA. Had she actually left, she might not have ended up in such a shitty movie. Hmm, wonder where she is now? Let's have a look....... ahh, a new TV show, Persons Unknown, with that one guy... yeah, he's cute. SHIT... I'm in the middle of a review. Sorry, where was I? Oh yeah, the rest of the cast wasn't memorable in any way and they all died so who cares. (kidding)

Watching this, I kinda felt like I was stuck in Halloween III: Season of the Witch I didn't really wanna watch it but there was this unstoppable force that made me and by the half way point I totally expected brain goo to come seeping out of my eyes. The plot was lame, the script was lamer (is that a word). I'm not sure what Brendan Cowles and Shane Kuhn were thinking when they came up with concept. While there was a good bit of gore and a few somewhat clever kills, there wasn't enough to make up for the abundance of ridiculous things going on. First you have a supernatural killer clown, who I'll admit was a bit on the creepy side, then there's the dried up back story that's way over used. I don't even wanna mention the useless, dimwitted, overweight cop that is constantly chowing on something while there are dead bodies laying at his feet. There are so many TV, movie, music and political references that I lost count. Oh and did I mention that the supernatural killer clown communicates through Ouija Boards, Magic 8 Balls, Etch a Sketches and gumball machines? Yeah...... There are also some major directing or editing errors. Meester's hair is dark brown with burgundy stripes in one shot and in the next shot it's blond. How does that get by? So... so much wrong with this film. And of course the end leaves an opening for a sequel which I've just learned is in production... God help us all. The fact that I sat through this entire shit fest is a testament to my mood and seriously makes me question my judgement. As a matter of fact, the best part of the whole thing was the end where they showed the bloopers. That was more entertaining than the film itself.

I don't normally add taglines and quotes in my reviews but I'm gonna make an exception for this one. The tagline is: At Hella Burger, It Won't Be The Food That Kills You... But You'll Wish It Did. If that's what it takes to unwatch this one, then I'm game. If nothing else, this one could win an award for the dumbest dialogue in a film with this quote: "What's this all got to do with Horny the Clown? I grew up with that lovable son of a bitch. It's kinda like finding out Captain Kangaroo has pieces of Mr. Green Jeans in his freezer." Movie gold my friends... movie gold.

23 October 2010

Night of the Demons 2009 - REVIEW

The original Night of the Demons came out when I was 14 and I remember watching it so much I could recite almost every line. Yes, it was a cheese fest of Pont l’Eveque proportions but it was fun. It was the perfect example of how good a low budget film can be. So of course hearing they were remaking it sent me running to the nearest pharmacy for a giant sized tube of blistex to rub on my severely chapped ass.

Maddie Curtis (Monica Keena) and her friends Lily Thompson (Doria Baird) and Suzanne Reed (Bobbi Sue Luther) are ready for a great Halloween night. They're going to a party thrown by their friend Angela Feld (Shannon Elizabeth) at the notorious Broussard Mansion in New Orleans. Over eighty years ago, six people disappeared from the mansion without a trace and the owner, Evangeline Broussard, hung herself. Maddie and Lily run into their exes, Colin Levy (Edward Furlong) and Dex Thrilby (Michael Copon), while Suzanne parties it up. Good times end, however, when the police bust up the party. After the rest of the guests leave, Angela, Maddie, Lily, Dex, Colin, Suzanne and their friend Jason Rogers (John F. Beach) discover a horrible secret. Their cell phones don't work. The mansion gates are now mysteriously locked. Soon it becomes clear that supernatural forces are at work at the Broussard Mansion, and that there may be more to the tale of Evangeline Broussard than anyone knew. As it turns out the Broussard Mansion really is home to something evil, demons that need to possess seven vessels to break free of an ancient curse. One by one the guests fall victim, transforming into hideous creatures.

The script wasn't anything overly fantastic but the cast does a decent job at picking up the slack. I'm not a huge fan of Edward Furlong and now I remember why. He was such a better actor when he was younger... you know, when he actually tried instead of just showing up to collect a paycheck. You'd think the overweight drug addict/dealer would come a little more natural to him but alas, it seemed he spent more time trying to yank up his pants than actually focusing on his character. Speaking of drug dealers, what was up with the foreign drug lord? I didn't get it AT ALL. Linnea Quigley, Suzanne from the original, made a cameo or at least her cooch did anyway. While there really wasn't any one performance that stood out for me I think they all did a decent job with what they were given. And low and behold, who did I spy with my little eye?? None other than Victor freaking Crowley! I had to rewind it to make sure I wasn't seeing things.

Adam Gierasch said from the get go, he wanted to make a film that he would've wanted to watch as a teenager. If that's the case, I guess he pulled it off. The original was a pretty cheesy teen film and this one follows suit. It's what some would categorize as a party film. Gierasch and Jace Anderson stuck pretty close to the original only veering off in a few places. They kept the infamous lipstick scene and even went so far as to ramp it up a bit. The effects for the most part were pretty good. The first couple of demons were pretty bad ass and there's a face rip that rivals others I've seen. I don't think fans of the original will be disappointed, as far as remakes go, this is one of the better ones.

21 October 2010

Clowns, Curses and Everything in Between an Interview with Jeremy C. Shipp

Jeremy C. Shipp is an American novelist and short story writer of Bizarro fiction and horror. He's been published (or will be published) in Cemetery Dance, ChiZine, Apex Magazine, Pseudopod, Withersin and most recently in Brain Harvest. He's been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award for his novel, Cursed. And best of all, he is one of the nicest, most down to earth guys there is. Whether you're chatting with him on Twitter or friending him on Facebook he always gives 110% to the conversation. Shipp lives in Southern California in a moderately haunted Victorian farmhouse called Rose Cottage with his wife and cats. He also has a legion of yard gnomes and some creepy attic clowns.

This was my very first interview and I was super lucky for it to be with Jeremy. He's an all around nice guy who makes you feel at ease when talking with him. Read below for our little chat and be sure to check out his website!

TC: When did you fall in love with this type of writing, i.e. horror, fantasy?

JCS: I loved horror and fantasy storytelling as far back as I can remember. Even as a kid, my brothers and I would play make believe and our recurring characters included the Grim Reaper, a mummy, and a floating mouth that could eat people and send them to various dimensions like the one where giant worms rule the world. In fourth grade, I wrote my first full length short story. It was about a green alien named Chomper who liked to eat everything around him. He also had an affinity for opera.

TC: What was the first story you ever had published?

JCS: My first published story was called “Love Thy Demon.” The story was dark and funny and twisted, and also not very good.

TC: How has your success with writing affected your personal life?

JCS: Now when a family member asks me “Any good news?” instead of saying “Nope” I usually have something good to report.

TC: How much research goes into each book/short story?

JCS: For novels like Vacation and Cursed, I research so much that my brain ends up going supernova. I research less for my short stories, although I am a bit obsessive, so even if I’m writing an absurd story about a zombie polar bear, I’ll spend way too much time researching polar bears.

TC: Are any of your characters based on real life people?

JCS: None of my characters are exactly like anyone I know. However, I sometimes imbue my characters with personality traits that remind me of real people. For instance, Nicholas from Cursed uses lists to create order out of the chaos of his life, the way that I do from time to time.

TC: What inspires you most when you write?

JCS: My family, my friends, my cats, strangers I overhear on the street, world events, dreams. Most of my inspiration though comes from a magical tap-dancing troll who lives in my spleen.

TC: How do you feel about being categorized as a "Bizarro" writer?

JCS: I love writing and reading weird fiction, and so it’s a pleasure to be a part of the Bizarro fiction movement. If anyone reading this would like to learn more about Bizarro, I’d recommend visiting this site: bizarrocentral.com.

TC: Can you give us a hint of what you’re currently working on?

JCS: Primarily, I’m working on a middle grade fantasy novel and a new horror story collection. I’m also trying to organize a civil war reenactment in my garden with yard gnomes and coconut monkeys. Not as easy as it sounds.

TC: Has there been any mention of a book to screen adaptation of any of your work?

JCS: There is a story to stage musical adaptation in the works. The musical is based on my short story “Nightmare Man.” In addition, there is some interest in a film adaptation of Cursed, so fingers and toes crossed.

TC: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

JCS: I enjoy hiking in the hills, playing the piano, yakking with yard gnomes, burying my brain in books, moving mangoes with my mind (and fingers).

TC: I'm sure EVERY writer at some point has had to deal with rejection. For other aspiring writers out there, can you tell us how you handled rejection?

JCS: At the beginning of my career, rejection letters were painful for me. I took them personally because I was seeking validation from others, rather than building up my esteem from within. Once I learned that I didn’t need anyone to validate my writing in order for my writing to be worthy, then rejections didn’t bother me anymore. Ultimately, I used all my early rejection letter to construct a papier-mâché statue of Buddy from Charles in Charge. Very empowering.

TC: What are some of your favorite movies or books?

JCS: A few of my favorite books: The God of Small Things, Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Giver, A Clockwork Orange, Slaughterhouse-Five, Original Wisdom, Wicked, Let the Right One In, Kafka on the Shore, Holes. Some of my favorite movies: Oldboy, The Happiness of the Katakuris, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Dead Alive, Memento, The City of Lost Children, Lagaan, The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra.

TC: Any chance that you'll be doing a book tour around Dallas?

JCS: I did a signing in Dallas a couple years back, when I was visiting the set of Egg, the short film I wrote. I’d love to tour Dallas sometime soon. Oh, and you can watch Egg in its entirety here.

TC: What advice do you have for new writers?

JCS: Write every day. Write even when writing is the last thing in the world you feel like doing.

TC: As I was reading Sheep and Wolves, a little tennis ball came randomly rolling by. Any chance I missed some fine print about receiving a free yard gnome with every purchase?

JCS: Owning a copy of any of my books tends to attract yard gnomes as well as anthropomorphic onions. Be warned: these onions will make you cry. They tell such sad stories.

You can visit his website by clicking here.

You can check out and order some of his works here.

Thanks once again to Jeremy for being such a gracious guest!

15 October 2010

Trick 'r Treat Photo Contest Winner!

We would like to thank everyone who submitted their photos. We got some really great pictures and you guys really made it hard for us to pick a winner. However, there was one stand out photo that we all agreed was our favorite of the bunch.


Congratulations to: Jennifer Kelly (AKA @wiccanz) email us at twistedcentral@gmail.com with your information!


We also had some entries that we would like to honor as they were awesome as well!

Scanners style head explosion sent to us by Alex.

Ferocious freakiness sent to us by Kimberly.

Again, thanks to all who submitted a photo I wish we could've crowned you all!

13 October 2010

I Spit on Your Grave 2010 - REVIEW

Directors and actors these days have to be careful. Remakes of horror classics can make a lot of people angry. Me personally, I'm not a fan of remakes at all, especially when they're poorly done. I hate when film makers take originals and turn them into glorified garbage. When they twist the personas of the main characters to make them unlikeable nothings. Perfect example, and this is just my opinion you don't have to agree or like it, is Rob Zombie and his ridiculous interpretation of the Halloween movies. So now, director Steven R. Monroe teams up with writer Stuart Morse to revamp this very controversial 1978 classic. After hearing the news I admit, I was skeptical. Even as I sat down in the theater to watch I couldn't help but think I just wasted $10 and another 117 minutes of my life.

Writer Jennifer Hills (Sarah Butler) takes a retreat from the city to a charming cabin in the woods to start on her next book. But her presence in the small town attracts the attention of a few morally deprived locals who set out one night to teach this city girl a lesson. They break into her cabin to scare her. However, what starts out as terrifying acts of humiliation and intimidation, quickly and uncontrollably escalates into a night of physical abuse and torturous assault. But before they can kill her, she sacrifices her broken and beaten body to a raging river that washes her away. As time passes, the men slowly stop searching for her body and try to go back to life as usual. But that isn't about to happen. Against all odds, Jennifer survived her ordeal. Now, with hell bent vengeance, her sole purpose is to turn the tables on these animals and to inflict upon them every horrifying and torturous moment they carried out on her... only much, much worse.

Given that this was Butler's first major role in the film industry I wasn't convinced she could pull off such a complex character. I would imagine even a seasoned actor would have a hard time getting into this role. You have take into account what this character is subjected to throughout this film and the emotion that's involved. I'd love to interview her to find out how she mentally prepared herself for such a role. ANYWAY, I thought without a doubt she pulled it off. She brought a much needed innocence to the character and made it easy to feel for her. She is equally as effective when she comes back to exact her revenge if not more so. Chad Lindberg portrayed the mentally challenged man who's bullied by the thugs he grew up with to get in on the gang rape. He captured the fragile, but still capable of violence Matthew with perfection and when it was all over with, you actually felt for the character (even if it was just a little). He delivers a multi-dimensional, impressive performance and his talent shines through like never before. Those were the two outstanding performances for me so I wanted to make sure and highlight those. Not saying that Daniel Franzese, Jeff Branson, Rodney Eastman and Andrew Howard didn't do a great job because they did. I just had a certain appreciation for depth that Butler and Lindberg brought to their characters. And roll me in butter and call me a biscuit is that Tracey Walter I see pulling a cameo?? I think I remember him most for his portrayal of Arnold in Raggedy Man. That's probably an odd memory given as much work as he's done but I can't help it. God, I love him!

So, on to what I thought about the film. The rape scene is extremely hard to watch and no doubt most people will find it a bit uncomfortable. I know I did. It's shockingly brutal and so intense it's unreal. But that's what it's intended to be and it never apologizes for that. The intensity may dull down just a tad but it pretty much holds up the entire film. Monroe did a spot on job with the direction and captured the contrast between tranquility and chaos perfectly. Stuart Morse brings a brilliant script to the table with great dialogue and just the right amount of suspense to keep you on the edge of your seat. I know I've seen the original film but for the life of me the only scene I can remember is the one in the bathtub. Doesn't matter, the point is this film isn't an exact duplicate of the original, some things were changed but plot wise there's no difference at all and that's what makes it outstanding. So, who am I to judge how great or bad a film is? No one. So why does what I have to say matter? It doesn't. If you wanna see it, you're gonna see it no matter what I say. I'm not Dread Central or Shock Till You Drop I'm just me. A person who loves horror films and will tell you honestly what I think of them and my opinion of this film is that it's easily THE BEST REMAKE OF THE YEAR. Take it or leave it, like it or not. It doesn't really matter to me.

12 October 2010

BestCollegesOnline.net's Top 10 Haunted Houses

I was recently contacted by Tim over at bestcollegsonline.net who asked me to share their post of the 10 best haunted house attractions. Check it out below! I know from personal experience that one of them really ROCKS!

Today’s haunted house attractions are more terrifying and believable than ever before, thanks to state-of-the-art animatronics, visual effects and talented actors that have the power to scare just about anyone and everyone. Expert ratings and reviews say these haunted houses are the best of the bunch and the best boo! for your buck.

1. The Darkness Haunted House
Missouri is the Show-Me State, and St. Louis will show you a frightening time at its renowned haunted house, The Darkness. The Darkness features two floors of your worst nightmares, as monsters, ghouls and 3D clowns and killer circus animals chase and taunt you till the very end. Expect new additions to The Darkness this Halloween, such as a turn-of-the-century funeral home with mirror mazes, ancient graveyards and an animated falling barrel wall.

2. The 13th Gate Haunted House
Take the Hellevator to the 13th gate, where you’ll find 13 themed indoor/outdoor scenes of your worst nightmares come to life. Here you’ll crawl through a crematory oven, get lost in a dark underground tunnel and stand on a creaky bridge overlooking live snakes. The 13th Gate is New Orleans most spine-chilling haunted attraction and a national chart-topper.

3. Edge of Hell
Say your prayers when you enter the Edge of Hell, Kansas City’s oldest and best haunted house. Established in 1975, this converted five-story warehouse features 30 minutes of state-of-the-art technology and heart pounding scares, like sliding from heaven down a spiral slide into the Devil’s arms, being taunted by 45 live actors and seeing the glowing eyes of two 20-foot live anacondas. Edge of Hell has tons of good old fashioned scares and devilish delights that you won’t want to miss!

4. Headless Horseman
Prepare yourself for forty-five acres of pure fear, beginning with a one-mile hayride through the dark woods of Ulster Park, New York, with the Headless Horseman himself chasing you down. Then, you’ll be led through a labyrinth-style corn maze, into five horrific haunted houses. The eerie farm land and surreal experience will have your head spinning all night.

5. Nightmare on the Bayou
Situated next to Houston’s oldest graveyard, visitors can experience actual hauntings at the Nightmare on the Bayou. This terrifying haunted house experience starts with a heart pumping outdoor attraction, as you make your way inside to a clown room, caged hallways and a creaky bridge with zombies and a chainsaw man chasing you through a hedge maze.

6. Cutting Edge Haunted House
Cutting Edge holds the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest haunted house in the world, totaling 55 spine-chilling minutes. Your worst nightmares take place in the 100-year old abandoned meat packing plant in Fort Worth, Texas, in the historic area known as “Hell’s Half Acre.” Here you’ll encounter monsters, clowns, swirling tunnels and what seems like a never-ending maze to leave this journey through hell.

7. Netherworld
Atlanta’s Netherworld is another world of terror that has more scares, more haunts and more chilling effects than most haunted houses. As soon as you arrive, you’ll get a taste of Netherworld when you encounter terrifying creatures following you to the door way. Inside, you’ll get spooked by live actors, animatronic scare zones and movie quality special effects that will have you thinking you’re in a horror movie, and just guess who’s starring as the victim.

8. The Dent Schoolhouse
Cincinnati’s Dent Schoolhouse depicts the frightening events of a murderous janitor who killed over 35 kids in this haunted schoolhouse from 1894. This terrifying experience will have your heart pumping as monsters, ghouls and a lone janitor terrorize you till the end. For an added haunt, visit the new detention hall where the troubled kids don’t want you to leave and the exit is hard to find.

9. The Bates Motel
The Bates Motel in Philadelphia will have you checking out in no time. The horror begins with a 20-minute hayride at Arasapha Farms, amid a dark, haunted forest with ghouls and zombies darting out at you, followed by the main attraction – The Bates Motel. This Victorian mansion is filled with state-of-the-art computer controlled animatronics, terrifying sounds and live actors who will reach out and touch you at any time.

10. The Asylum
The Asylum is Denver’s most horrifying and gruesome Halloween experience by far. Visitors walk through two levels of Gordon Cottingham’s Hospital for the Mentally Insane, where spiders, rats and snakes roam and the screams of tortured patients never stop.

11 October 2010

Wolf Wolff's The Beast Within (AKA Virus Undead) 2008 - REVIEW

It's no secret that Germany did quite a bit to shape the face of early horror, but while its primary contributions lie in its early years, the story of German horror movies extends all the way up to the present day. German horror is said to have inspired American monster films such as Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy. That may be the case but it's fairly safe to say that this film will not be inspiring anything more than a bonfire.

After his scientist grandfather (Joost Siedhoff) dies, medical student Robert (Philipp Danne) and some friends return to his hometown to settle the estate. Along the way they pick up an ex-girlfriend, now running her parents gas station and studying biology on the side and her best friend. Once at the estate, they discover his grandfather had been infecting birds with a virus that, when transferred, causes corpses to reanimate and search out human flesh. They soon find themselves surrounded by zombies with nowhere to run.

So much is wrong with this film I don't even know where to start. I guess the box art is the best place to begin. This film wouldn't stand up next to a turd out of Alfred Hitchcock's ass much less a classic like The Birds. So it's not only laughable that they would call it Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds meets Outbreak but blasphemous. On top of that, I don't see the point in having the entire cast speak English when it's clear they're in Germany. I've been to Germany several times and I can tell you if they don't have to speak English, they don't. The voice over work is just terrible, especially with Marlene (Birthe Wolter) and in several scenes the lip action (yes I just said lip action) doesn't match up with the words. My point?? If the plan is to have them speak English, why not bring in actors that actually speak English well enough to make it through the whole film? Or if their target audience was the US they could've just shot it all in German and used subtitles. It wouldn't be the first time that was done.

The film tries too hard to capture the typical (over exaggerated) hillbilly cliches. There's the "unlikeable town cop" who wears over sized sunglasses and would rather stand around and eat donuts than actually police. The "town bully" outfitted in leather with tattoos and a goatee who works at a restaurant in the middle of the woods that makes hot dogs out of roadkill. Why not try something different? The whole hillbilly things is out dated and over used, even in American film making. Then... OMG, get this.... then the meager young things they picked up at the gas station go all Resident Evil on the zombies. They're kicking their asses with some moves that would make Milla Jovovich cower in fear. And all I could think was "I didn't see that coming."

From beginning to end, it's just a cluster fuck of scenes pasted together to take up more screen time. There's a car crash at the beginning that is never referenced again. No explanation of why the car crashed or what happened to the occupants. Another scene somewhere in the middle shows a couple of guys hanging out in the middle of the road and when they finally pull off, there's a frog. No, I'm not kidding. The direction was strong enough that had most of it been left on the cutting room floor it wouldn't have been a terrible short film.

Four times, I repeat, four times I tried to watch this film and even as I sit here and write this review all I can think of is "Why does it sound like someone is walking around upstairs when I'm home by myself?" Yes, it's that bad. I don't recommend it, not even to zombie enthusiasts. The dialogue is terrible, the acting is even worse and the plot is paper thin. Just take a look at the trailer below and you'll get the gist of it from that.

10 October 2010

Hatchet II 2010 - REVIEW

If you've followed my sight for very long then you know that I am a huge Adam Green fan. He is quickly becoming a force to reckon with in the horror community. From the original Hatchet to Spiral to Frozen he has consistently given horror fans what they want. The original Hatchet didn't do so well in theaters but gained a huge following once the DVD was released. Green was pelted with requests for a sequel and once again gave horror fans what they wanted. Believe me when I say he knows what we (well most of us) want. A rip roaring good time full of gore and cheesy one liners. He makes me, a child of the 80's, feel like a kid again with his ability to channel the old school style and bring it to life on the big screen.

Once again, we join Marybeth (Danielle Harris) at the exact moment the original ended as she escapes the clutches of Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder). Marybeth seeks out Rev. Zombie (Tony Todd) in search of answers regarding her family's connection to the slasher in the swamp. With his own ulterior motives in mind, he gathers a group of money-hungry hunters and heads off to the swamp to confront the legendary evil.

Before I give my thoughts on the film I have to say that I am seriously disappointed in my local horror community. We got to the theater an hour ahead of start time because I was certain there would be a line of hungry horror fans just waiting to indulge in the gore and mayhem. Turns out it wasn't necessary because we were the only four people in the theater. It was nice because we could kick back and enjoy the film without all the usual distractions but I'd expected to see so many more genre fans come out in support of unrated horror. All the bitching and complaining on Twitter and Facebook about horror not having a voice and this is unfair and that's unfair and we're the only four people in there? WAKE THE FUCK UP PEOPLE! Nothing is gonna change if we keep pussing around and shying away from things we should be standing up for. Ok, stepping off my soap box now.

Keeping with typical slasher format, there really isn't much character development going on but under the circumstances it's not really necessary. Green knows how to make a fun film and if he wanted it to be a likable cast, he'd have written them that way. I often have issues when there's a major cast change in a sequel but veteran scream queen Danielle Harris fit perfectly into the role of Marybeth. Colton Dunn's character Vernon cracked me up every time he appeared on screen. His 'Chicken and Biscuits' song had me rolling. Word is it was completely improvised but I can't say for sure. Parry Shen makes another appearance as the goof ball side kick. Not much different than his role in the original except he may be a little smarter this time around... NAH. AJ Bowen has what will probably go down in horror history as one of the best sex scenes ever. I had hoped he'd have a little more screen time but he made an impression nonetheless. Even Adam Green makes an appearance as a puking Mardi Gras patron. And let's not forget horror veteran R.A. Mihailoff as the take no shit hunter Trent.

Hatchet II starts off rather slow, much slower than the original but rest assured the violence is coming. And while we're on the subject, Green comes up with some of the most creative kill scenes in horror history and apparently scoured the shelves of Fastenal for the biggest chainsaw I have ever seen. It's a good thing Kane Hodder is both Jason and Victor Crowley otherwise there might be a little chainsaw envy going on there. Originally I wasn't convinced that it would make sense for Marybeth to go right back into the swamp after the shit storm she just survived but Green worked his magic and made it plausible. This film is what it is and you know exactly what you're in for when you walk in the theater (well now you have to wait for the DVD - thanks MPAA). Green set out to make a 100% fan film and that's what he did. It's a throwback and a tribute to every slasher before it. Full of grit and guts and campy humor. You're either gonna love it or hate it.

Even though Hatchet II was unfairly pulled from theaters the point has been made. It will still go down in history as one of the few unrated films to show in theaters and all the attention it's getting will bring more horror fans to the DVD once it's released. Whether you're a Hatchet fan or not you have to respect Green for sticking to his guns and fighting for his film to be shown in all it's gory... er... glory. Kudos to him bringing attention to cause of unrated horror. I'm sure it gave him many headaches and caused him much stress but hopefully more indie directors/producers/studios will take a cue from him and fight for the same privileges the bigger budget productions are given.

05 October 2010

Unrated Hatchet 2 Gets Pulled From Theaters

I had every intention of sitting down today and busting out my Hatchet 2 review. That was until word came yesterday that the film had been pulled from Canadian and US theaters. I was fortunate enough to see Hatchet 2 opening weekend and I can honestly say as a huge Hatchet fan that I saw NOTHING in this film that should've been edited out to begin with. Adam Green set out to make a silly, campy, gory fan film and that's exactly what he did. He didn't do it for himself, he did it for us... genre fans, film fans, Hatchet fans.

Mainstream Hollywood and the MPAA have appointed themselves judge, jury and executioner. Who are they to say what we can and can't watch? Are everyone of us so totally twisted that we have to be protected from ourselves? I don't think so. For me it's all a matter of what the public wants, not what the MPAA thinks we need. It's pointless censorship and goes against the freedom of speech (just my humble opinion). And really, what difference does it make when unrated DVD's are released everyday? What's next? They come into your home and pull every inappropriate DVD from your shelf and tell you you can't watch it? I think it's ridiculous that big studio horrors can get into theaters with an R rating yet indie films still get chopped to pieces when it's not even necessary.

If you go back and look there are plenty of gore filled films that were allowed to ride out their screen time; Saving Private Ryan, Hostel, The Hill Have Eyes (remake) and Rob Zombie's Halloween 2 to name a few. I find it odd that Adam Green ruffles a few feathers and his film gets yanked before it's ever really given a chance. Yes, it didn't have the best opening weekend but you're talking about a film that's only advertising was internet and word of mouth. There were no TV spots or billboard ads hyping up the film. Want a good example? I guess the most recent would be Uma Thurman's Motherhood. Opening weekend it released on 48 screens and made only $50,000.00. Then it was allowed to run for another two weeks pulling in a measly $11,000.00. That's about $817.73 per screen on a combined average. So, to say that poor performance is the reason it was pulled is just a bunch of bullshit. At least AMC had the balls to make an effort to show it. I've no doubt that the evil MPAA bullied them into pulling it. But again, that's just my opinion and who am I? No one.

I'm proud of Adam Green for taking a stand and putting out a film that his fans asked for and for having the guts to go up against the MPAA and fight for his work. Most people bow down and kiss their asses for screen time. After all, if you create something, don't you want to show it how it's meant to be? I would. Kudos to Adam Green and AMC.