31 December 2010
As hard as I searched the depths of my brain (yes it's deep in there), it pains me that I was only able to come up with 5 horror films to grace my "Best of" list. 2010 came and went without much in the way of horror. I guess I can consider myself a failure in that I wasn't able to watch more. Perhaps if I had, I could've come up with a longer and much better list. Here's to hoping 2011 has much more in store for us!!
5. HATCHET II Adam Green's follow up to his 2006 underground hit burst onto the big screen with an abundance of controversy. It lasted a mere two days in theaters (even less in Canada) before it was pulled due to "inappropriate subject matter" *eye roll*. Had he given in and chopped it to pieces I'm sure it would've been alotted to run but alas, this was something he refused to do (You go Adam!!). But never fear, Victor Crowley and all his deformed glory is now available On Demand and I have no doubts that DVD sales will hit an all time high for this bloody franchise!
4. FROZEN Adam Green once again blew audiences away when he weaved this tale of skiing gone awry. Personally, I've seen it about 4 times this year and I didn't even buy it until mid October. No one can say that Green doesn't know how to tell a story. Yes, he gave us all the old school horror we could handle with Hatchet but Frozen proves that Green can create a very intense atmosphere with nothing more than three actors stranded on a ski lift.
3. THE CRAZIES Having a remake on my "Best of" list is something I never thought would happen. Most people would call me a remake hater but that's truly not the case. I would say I'm a bad remake hater. Breck Eisner does an excellent job taking a classic and putting his own spin on it with class and grace. The Crazies is definitely a film worthy of my list.
2. I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE Not only did Adam Green make my list twice but now I have two remakes on my "Best of" list for this year. Considering the amount of remakes two is merely a drop in the bucket. There's something to be said for a somewhat rookie director to have the balls to take such a classic and turn it into a modern day hit. I loved everything about Steven R. Monroe's take on I Spit on Your Grave. It's a film that I would definitely watch again and will certainly buy when it comes out on DVD in February 2011!
1. DEVIL Ahahahahaha! Just kidding!! I guess my list is only a top 4!
And there it is... my top 5, er 4, of 2010! I look forward to seeing what 2011 has in store for horror and I hope it's a good enough year that I'm able to do a top 20 at the end of it! You freaks stay safe and have a very happy New Year!!
28 December 2010
We've all heard bad jokes at least once in our lives. Jokes so bad that you just kind of shake your head and think "Who comes up with this shit?" Well, I have found the definitive answer to that question.... it's all Mr. Monster Matt Patterson's fault. What!? Don't think I'm mean for saying that, he takes great pride in it! He's even put a whole book together full really bad Monster jokes (which I will be reviewing very soon)!
He's had his share of struggles, as all writers do, but I recently received a press release saying his book has been acquired by Pill Hill Press. I personally, am very proud for Monster Matt... if anyone deserves it, he does!
READ BELOW FOR PRESS RELEASE
Book publisher Pill Hill Press, has acquired "Monstermatt's Bad Monster Jokes Vol.1", written by Monstermatt Patterson and illustrated by Kyle Kaczmarczyk, with a forward by Joe Moe, for their non-fiction imprint, WestNeb Books.
After a brief and successful run with a previous publisher, author Monstermatt Patterson and his team left in hopes of finding a firm to move the book forward. It wasn't long before the duo found a suitor in Pill Hill Press/West Neb Books.
According to Monstermatt, "They were still interested, even after reading the book!Now, that's scary!"
The book is a self described collection of over 400 bad jokes, rancid rhymes, putrid puns and sophomoric song parodies with illustrations focused on horror films, monsters, sci-fi, superheroes and some pop culture for good measure.
Monstermatt says "With WestNebBooks taking over, we can get back to reaching our growing audience one bad joke at a time. It's what I love doing. I love the interaction between myself and the audience. Groans after my punchlines are a tasty morsel to me. What amazes me is how quickly people responded to the book. Kyle's illustrations are brilliant and right on the mark. They grab the reader's attention and make them want to dig in!"
And dig in the readers have!! At book signings fans have become smitten with the self depreciating humor which has been described as a combination of Mad Magazine-meets Famous Monsters Magazine.
"We've been reaching a fairly wide demographic from age 10 to age 60. It's great to see them read a little and shake their heads or chuckle. The drawings get a great response, in those ways as well. They really drive the gags home!" says Monstermatt.
Fan mail continues to come in with the most frequently asked questions being:
When will the book be available again?
Will there be a "Monstermatt's Bad Monster Jokes Volume 2"?
According to Pill Hill Press and WestNeb Books editor Jessey Marie Roberts, the book will be the first for the new imprint. They have proposed an early 2011 release for Volume 1 and Volume 2 is currently being written with no release date yet.
What can readers expect? Bad jokes like:
Does the 666 on Damien Thorne's scalp mean he's the Devil?
No, it's his "credit score"!
Where do Androids go for marital aides?
What do you get when you cross a Vampire and a podiatrist?
What smart phone do Gravediggers like?
What coffee drink does The Phantom of the Opera like?
And many, many more...
Here's what reviewers are saying about the book.
"The book is purely enjoyable"
Sonar 4 Landing Dock Reviews.
"You'll go back to the beginning and start reading it again! A very enjoyable read by two rising stars!"
"I laughed, I groaned, I shook my head in disbelief! I highly recommend this book!"
The Monster Librarian
The book will be available at major online book retailers soon. For more information and updates please visit PillHillPress.com
To keep up with Kyle and Monstermatt,follow them on Twitter at:
21 December 2010
When I started this site back in March I never thought it would be anything more than me just throwing out my opinion of films. I never expected much out of it except the joy of writing. I sure never thought anyone else would read it so imagine my surprise when I'm asked to cover the premiere of a film. I've been to film festivals and horror conventions but never "invited" to watch and review a film. I was giddy (well as giddy as I get) with excitement. But of course knowing myself like I do my excitement was short lived. I tend to NOT have a filter and I'm honest to a fault at times... I knowingly admit this... so after I got over giddy, my second thought was "Oh God, what if I don't like it? Then what do I do?" I've been reamed by filmmakers on occasion for being too honest. I don't set out to hurt anyone's feelings or purposely bash someone's film I just do......... me.
In small towns like Possum Walk, secrets can be hard to keep. For Faith Carpenter (Maggie Conwell) her secret could be downright deadly: She’s pregnant…and a virgin. Her father, (Parrish Randall) a local preacher with dark, violent secrets of his own-tightens his grip on her driving a wedge between them. But both of them will have to put aside their differences to deal with the darkest secret Possum Walk has ever known... a serial killer who has chosen the little town to be his bloodiest venue yet.
Normally I don't expect much from the cast of a small budget film... maybe I've been watching the wrong films... but I was pleasently surprised. The two main characters Conwell and Indie veteran Randall gave solid performances. I just recently found this whole "Texas Indie Film" thing but I'm quickly becoming a fan of Randall. He's definitely a chameleon when it comes to his roles. Tyler Tackett, who could easily pass for a young Jonathan Cherry, had a pretty challenging role considering he'd only done two other films prior to Possum Walk but he handled himself nicely. Andrew Sensenig and Victoria Lane weren't really given much to do until the end but pulled it off well. Jennifer Peebles cracked me up. Yes, her dialogue was a little cliche and cheesy at times but she brought such life to the character that I didn't really even care about the dialogue. That wedding scene was fucking hilarious!
I know where writer/director Jeremy Sumrall was going with this film. I'm just not quite sure if it ever got there. I had a hard time figuring out what the true focus of the film was suppose to be. Was it the pregnant virgin or the inner turmoil of the preacher man himself or how about the serial killer? Sometimes there can be so much information thrown at you at once that it becomes overwhelming. To steal a line from a colleague - I think it suffered a bit of an identity crisis.
Robert Luke did find some great small town locations that were perfect as a back drop. Being from a town where everybody knows everybody I can say with first hand knowledge that the atmosphere they created was pretty spot on. The scene where Kristen Hall is walking down the road and you can see nothing but empty fields was one of the best shots in the entire film.
One thing I just didn't get, and it's possible that it went right over my head, was the slasher aspect of the film. There was never really any explanation of why the killer was killing. Did he/she do it just for the fun or was there some ulterior motive behind it? Given that I know who the killer is, it's easy to assume that he/she does it just for shits and giggles but it's just too hard to say for sure. I think expanding on the pregnant virgin and crazy preacher daddy story (leaving out the slasher part) would've made for a more cohesive film. All in all, I thought it was a good effort on their part. Would I watch it again, probably not but it's at the very least entertaining. The effects were good for the budget they had to work with. There was lots of blood which bodes well for a Gore Whore like myself. I applaud the work of everyone involved, I know it's not an easy thing to do. It was obvious that everyone involved with the project put their best foot forward and worked really hard. I definitely look forward to seeing what the Possum Walk family does next!
04 December 2010
I found this film the other day on Chiller TV and I was apprehensive to say the least. Chiller is known for highlighting the lower budget B-movie but I've seen some pretty great ones on there as well. After a day or two I was finally able to sit down and watch it. I was extremely excited to see that one of my new favorite directors, Steven R. Monroe (I Spit on Your Grave 2010)had done it. What's more, composer Corey A. Jackson was also involved in this straight to DVD thriller.
On her 21st birthday, Celia (Monica Keena) and her friend Justine (Jessica Stroup) head out to a frat party. Celia is still struggling over the death of her Grandfather Joe (Tim Thomerson) and blames herself for the death of her mother during delivery. While at the party, she is drugged, raped and murdered. She awakens in the spirit world alone and understandably scared. Once she returns back to the main room, she is met by her Grandfather. But is it really him or is it a "Soul Eater", creatures that roam around outside the house who look human but can transform into a zombie type creature that corrupts innocent souls. Aided by Donovan (David Anders), her guardian angel, she tries to learn the rules of the spirit world, however as she goes on, she realizes that things in the spirit world aren't as they appear to be and she just may be in a place far worse than hell itself.
Anders is impressively precise and mature throughout. He delivers his lines with confidence which makes him extremely believable. Not to mention how well he pulls off the "Am I good or bad" part of his character. He was one of the best things in this film. The other? Why Tim Thomerson of course. He steals the show as the Soul-Eating Grandpa and commands the scene every time he's in it. Or maybe I'm just a huge Tim Thomerson fan... could be. Keena does her usual horror damsel thing well. I don't remember ever seeing anyone in a horror movie that is quite as good at crying as she is. This kinda makes up for her laughable running scenes. I was literally LOL'ing every single time she went running down the road. And WTF is up with her lips?? Monica, Monica why would you do that to yourself?? I had to rewind a couple of times to hear the dialogue because I was so distracted by her HUGE upper lip that never seems to move.
I'm sort of on the fence about this film. It was enjoyable and somewhat interesting, but I couldn't help but feel that it could've been so much more. Maybe with a higher budget or a better script we could've seen something really special. The plot structure was good but I think the dialogue really hurt it. There were several things I didn't understand AT ALL. We're taught (or at least I was) that when you die you pretty much stay at that age in your afterlife yet Anders character aged significantly since his death when he was eight.
Also are writers Philip Daay and Jane Whitney trying to tell us that everyone who dies is thrust into this limbo and given a choice between heaven and hell? I would hope death is a little more fair than that... On one hand you have Keena who is the victim. She's guilty of nothing more than too many botox injections and yet she still has to pass the tests put before her. On the other hand there's Doug (Chris Engen), a rapist and murderer who is given the same chance for redemption? I'm not sure that part was thought out well enough. The good news? Jackson excels at his part and does a great job at creating a tense and disturbing score. Monroe does his thing and as usual makes a lower budget film seem as if it had a budget of 4 million. He keeps it moving at an exhausting pace and creates a disorienting, nightmarish atmosphere. He is clearly becoming a master of darkness and shadow and does a great job at creating an ambiance of dread with little more than some incredibly effective mood lighting. As the lights go out, the suspense is amped up through what is happening and the race to get moving generates some good moments.
I'd say this one is good for a one time watch. It's nothing fantastic and it's not perfect (like me) by any means but it's entertaining. Don't go into it expecting to be scared or gross out. It's not really a horror film for gore hounds or those looking for a huge monster fest but it you want to see something a little different than the usual blood bath then it should do the trick. Just keep that in mind if you decide to watch it.