27 November 2011

HORROR (2002)

HORROR

USA, 2002
Director: Dante Tomaselli

3/10











"Horror" the 2nd film from Italian-American director Dante Tomaselli, cousin of director Alfred Sole (best-known for the 70s classic "Alice, Sweet Alice"), is a feast for the eyes: the movie is packed with surreal and remarkably cool-looking images (flying demon-pumpkins, evil goats), terrific cinematography and many beautiful, highly atmospheric settings that reminded me strongly of 80s Italo-horror from Lucio Fulci or Umberto Lenzi.


Sadly, everything else about it is pretty crappy: the characters are all super-annoying, most of the acting is extremely weak and the dialogue largely sucks. The plot is pointless and makes no sense whatsoever, the script is an immensely flawed and badly-paced mess, there's hardly any tension or suspense, the editing is poor and at the end, we get to see the absolute lamest-looking zombies since "Zombie Lake".


Could have been a really great horror film if made in the 80s with a better script, more talented actors and a more experienced director, e.g. his cousin :-)

TWO EVIL EYES

TWO EVIL EYES

Original Title:
Due occhi diabolici

Italy / USA, 1990
Directors: George A. Romero & Dario Argento

7/10







Dario Argento and George A. Romero, 2 of the greatest horror directors in history together in one movie, each one adapting a classic Edgar Allen Poe tale. The result: not as mindblowing as expected, but still a great and well-entertaining oldschool shocker.

Romero took "The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar" and turned it into a really eerie episode that starts out slow but gets creepier and creepier until it ends with a terrific bang. It's beautifully filmed and highly atmospheric, full of eerie images (dead Valdemar in the freezer, the bed scene) and brilliant-looking settings.
The acting is fabulous (especially Adrienne Barbeau who is awesome as always) and the soundtrack from long-term horror composer Pino Donaggio is wonderful and extremely effective.


Argento's loose adaptation of "The Black Cat" is pretty weird and bizarre, but not as great as Romero's segment. There's lots of typical Argento-trademarks (incredible camera work, cool camera angles, some insane gore, impressive deaths), the acting is stunning (an excellent Harvey Keitel and a marvellous Kim Hunter) and the last third is just amazingly suspenseful. Sadly, the script is pretty muddled and often quite confusing, the pacing is odd and the ending is nice but a bit disappointing.


Could have been better if it would have been a real anthology with 1 or 2 more episodes. Nevertheless, it's an enjoyable late-80s flick, recommended to everyone who likes the works of both directors.

MUM & DAD

MUM & DAD

Alternate German Title:
House Massacre


UK, 2008
Director: Steven Sheil

6/10









"Mum & Dad" is one helluva weird Brit-shocker about an extremely dysfunctional family - not exactly my taste but still a quite enjoyable quasi-torture-porn-flick with a twist.

Apart from a slow and calm opening, the movie is nasty and violent from beginning to end: we get to see loads of horrifying and disgusting scenes and images, such as the scene where Dad is masturbating into a piece of meat, or the one with the knitting-needles in the skin.
There's also lots of gruesome torture and some really brutal kills, but also a few terrifically funny moments (the super-hilarious christmas sequence or the scene where the family watches porn at the breakfast table).


The acting is thoroughly good (especially Perry Benson and Dido Miles), cinematography and editing are stunning, and I really love that they didn't use a soundtrack.

Sadly, it's also full of things I didn't like or couldn't enjoy:
The movie is never really tense or suspenseful, due to mediocre direction and a pretty weak script. Every single character is either unlikable or plain annoying, the plot is packed with story flaws and unanswered questions, and I wasn't very keen on the fact that the movie just couldn't decide what it wanted to be.


So overall, a good but not fully satisfying film

THE UGLY

 THE UGLY

Alternate German Title:
Die Dämonen des Mörders

New Zealand, 1997
Director: Scott Reynolds

8/10








"The Ugly", an extremely underrated and overseen, almost giallo-esque New Zealandian horror-drama about the weird and inscrutable serial-killer Simon who seems to be tormented by a second personality (called 'The Ugly') which is probably responsible for all the violent kills.


It's undoubtedly one of the best-looking horror movies I've ever seen (I'm looking at you, Argento): stunning cinematography, super-stylish and highly atmospheric settings, wonderful colours, incredible lighting and the absolutely adorable use of black blood which looks far creepier than your average red blood :)


The acting is mostly terrific and the characters are all highly fascinating (Paolo Rotondo as Simon, Rebecca Hobbs as cool psychologist, Roy Ward as the super-odd Dr. Marlowe, Paul Glover and Christopher Graham as hilarious security guards).
Scott Reynolds' direction is powerful and his script is pretty clever. The movie is consistently tense and gripping, incl. a few jump scares and some extraordinarily suspenseful scenes (the bathroom sequence, the showdown), the kills are all gory and brutal and the well-fitting soundtrack is just beautiful.


IMO "The Ugly" is definitely one of the greatest horror films of the 90s. Highly recommended!

BOOGEYMEN: THE KILLER COMPILATION

BOOGEYMEN: THE KILLER COMPILATION

USA, 2001
Compiled, Distributed by: FlixMix

7/10









"Boogeymen", a wonderful compilation of 17 scenes from 17 great and well-known horror classics from the 70s, 80s and 90s (Halloween, Hellraiser, Phantasm, Child's Play, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Psycho, The Dentist...).


There are some odd scene choices (f.e. a scene from "Jason Goes To Hell" for whatever reason / not-so-impressive scenes from "Scream" and "Candyman") and a few important boogeymen are missing (Damien, Hannibal, Pennywise, etc).
I also think the whole thing could have been way more entertaining if they would have done it in some "Terror In The Aisles" documentary-style with more scenes, interviews and a longer runtime (it's only about 60 minutes long).

Gladly, the DVD is equipped with an audio commentary from the great Robert Englund, which is why enjoyed this compilation so much. 
Robert provides an informative and insightful, but also extremely funny and hilariously entertaining commentary: loads of interesting tidbits about all the legendary horror directors, loads of behind-the-scenes trivia, and loads of witty and superfunny jokes and one-liners.


Not perfect, but definitely a well-entertaining clip-collection
Highly recommended as opener for horror movie nights, or as an introduction for people who are new to horror.

Autograph from "Attack The Block"-director Joe Cornish

Totally forgot to post this. At the /SLASH Filmfestival I managed to get an autograph from "Attack The Block"-director Joe Cornish (onto an Austrian newspaper that featured his debut film).
I told him not to do an ATB-sequel and he promised me that there will be no sequel... probably :-)




25 November 2011

Maxie Briscoe and Melissa Bradley - Book Review and Interview

A big YAY for the very first book review here at the Horror Movie Diary!

My blog mate Melissa Bradley from Chicago is not only the passionate writer behind the splendid blog "MELISSA'S IMAGINARIUM", she's also a succesful author of erotica / fantasy / horror novels.

So far, she has written and published 6 novels:

  - Michael's Keeper (2008)
  - Dream On (2008)
  - Love Haight (2009)
  - Encore Performances (2009) (contains 'Dream On' & 'Love Haight')
  - Byzantine Provocateur (2011)
  - Nathan's Angel (2011)

and this one:

MAXIE BRISCOE: WEREWOLF (2010)

I admit, before reading "Maxie Briscoe" I didn't know exactly what to expect from it - but I definitely didn't expect it to be that entertaining. Seriously, this is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining books I've ever read!

"Maxie Briscoe: Werewolf", a fabulous blend of thriller, comedy and erotica
about the tough and extremely likable office worker Maxie (werewolf since the age of 15), the gruesome murder of her neighbor and the arriving of Damien Noah, 2 supersexy male werewolves who try to protect her from a mysterious killer who's after her.

The book is written in a witty and highly diverting style, amusing from beginning to end (especially the funny opening or the introduction of Maxie's hilarious mother), but also full of superbly tense and extremely compelling scenes (the arrow-attack in the forests or the super-stunning finale).
It's also packed with splendid ideas and remarkable details, the plot is interesting and very well-conceived, and every single characters is just delightful.

Highlights:

~ The sex scenes - lots of them and they're all incredibly hot and steamy, super-intense and explicitly graphic. According to this book, werewolf sex seems to be mindblowingly awesome - I wanna be a werewolf too! ;-)

~ The very last segment (full moon night) which is one of the most thrilling things I've ever read in my entire life.

~ Melissa's brilliant humorous writing style. I totally laughed my ass off at lines like:

 "Is this the part where I'm supposed to lie back, spread my legs and say 'Do me like Red Riding Hood, you Big Bad Wolf'?"

"I grab his nuts and squeeze with my lupine strength, lengthening my claws just enough for him to feel the sharp edges through the denim of his jeans (...) 'I suggest you zip it before I rip off these little olives to garnish my Martini.'"

"'Tell me, which one of you is fucking my daughter?' - 'Ma!' - 'What? You think I can't tell what's going on? (...) Oh my god! It's both of them, isn't it?'
I'm sure my face can guide home airplanes in the fog. 'I'm 27 freaking years old! Will you stop?' Great, I'm shrieking like a teenager with boy band concert tickets."

"Having breasts is like having a superpower that makes men stupid on command. Doesn't matter if they're real or not, either. I've seen plenty of guys get slack-jawed over a nice fake rack on some drag queen. It's all about the boobs or the illusion of boobs. Kryptonite, schmyptonite... Lois melted the Man Of Steel with the girls."

etc.

Overall, "Max Briscoe: Werewolf" is an absolutely fabulous book, highly recommended to everyone who loves werewolves (especially Ginger-Snaps-like ones) and enjoys reading/watching raunchy stuff (porn, erotica, you name it)
Well done, Melissa!





Ok, now that you know everything you need to know about Max Briscoe, it's time to learn more about Melissa and her work. Yes, I got the fabulous opportunity to do an interview with her. Check it out, you know you want to!

Interview with Melissa Bradley

Maynard:
Hi Melissa! Tell us a few sentences about you (who you are, why you write/blog, etc.).

Melissa:
I write, I think, because I am the crazy kid who always listened to the voices inside her head. LOL It's a natural impulse for me as I grew up in a family of storytellers and avid readers. I was always making up my own tales and rewriting those other stories that I didn't like. I even re-wrote Romeo and Juliet because I thought that ending just sucked. I don't remember if I had them stay together, but I knew double suicide was no answer. I believe I was thirteen going fifty-seven at the time.

I got started blogging just over a year ago because I wanted a way to connect with people. Friends and fellow writers also kept telling me that it was a wonderful way to generate an online presence since I had taken the plunge and pursued my publishing dream. I could connect not only with potential readers, but also other writers. I struggled in the beginning, not sure what to write or even what to do. I had tried a blog back in '08, but it fizzled out because I had no clue and I gave up. My blog has since become one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I have made so many new friends.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

My family inspired me, but also writers like C.S. Lewis and all those racy historicals I got my hands on when I was twelve and thirteen. Nothing like the old bodice-ripper historicals to set my adolescent imagination on fire... manly rods, weeping flowers, chalices of innocence... Is it any wonder why I write erotica?  Only I don't quite pretty it up the way those authors did. I'm much more straight forward. Like Maxie.

Who or what inspired you to write "Maxie Briscoe: Werewolf"?

I was so tired of all the werewolves being guys. I mean I love werewolves with a passion, but I knew there had to be some gender equality. In "The Howling" there were female werewolves, but the best was "Ginger Snaps". I wanted to write something in that vein and toyed with ideas for years. Then, two years ago at a really low point in my writing, Maxie kicked in the doors of my brain and took over. She literally dictated her story to me. People kept telling me a first-person erotic werewolf tale would never, ever work, but I couldn't tell it any other way, Maxie would not allow it. Remember what I said about those voices in my head? I definitely had to do what she told me.

"Maxie Briscoe" is your 2nd werewolf-themed tale (after "Michael's Keeper"). Are you a special fan of wolves/werewolves? What are your favorite wolf/werewolf-themed movies and books?

I LOVE werewolves with a passion. They have been my very favorite monsters ever since I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. in "The Wolfman". I have seen so many werewolf movies, but my all-time favorite is "The Howling", followed closely by "Ginger Snaps", "American Werewolf in London" and "Dog Soldiers". Gary Brandner's 1977 novel "The Howling" is a great read and was an inspiration for the 1981 movie, but the plots are different. Also "Cycle of the Werewolf" by Stephen King, "The Silver Wolf" by Alice Borchardt and "Lonely Werewolf Girl" by Martin Millar.

The book is extremely graphic, holy shit! I don't have a problem with that but I didn't expect it to be that graphic.
Where do you take the ideas for all the sex scenes from? Porn movies? Other erotic literature? Your love life? ;-)

I do love the naughty stuff, don't I? I take your reaction as a very high compliment. Thank you! I believe in going  there with the characters. Don't close the bedroom door right when things start to get good. Sex is a vital part of the human experience and that's what I love about writing erotica. Inspiration comes from research, movies, novels. All that naughtiness percolates in my brain and I never know what is going to come out onto to the computer screen. As for my love life...Well, a woman never reveals deep dark secrets. ;-)

Will there be a sequel? I'd die to find out how the story of Maxie and her alpha wolves goes on!  

Oh there are definitely two more sequels. It's a trilogy and as the novels continue, there will be more exploration into werewolves and how they came to exist in Maxie's world, plus there will be lots more with Maxie, her wolves and their relationship.

So far you wrote 6 Erotica-themed stories. Any plans on writing something non-erotica in the future or will you continue the naughty path?

I have a lot in the works. I have a World War I novel in the planning stages as well as some sci-fi and horror. I do plan to keep writing erotica as I thoroughly enjoy the genre.

If there is one novel you could rewrite, what would it be?

I wouldn't rewrite anything from the ground up, but I do wish I would have made "Michael's Keeper" longer and that I would have turned "Love Haight" into a full-length novel. I may do that down the road.

Anything else you wanna tell us?

I do want to encourage everyone out there to go for whatever dream you may have. Don't let anything stop you. I let a lot of things stop me before I finally found the courage to send out my work.

Thank you, Melissa! 






23 November 2011

Loads of SNAKES on PLANES and TRAINS

SNAKES ON A PLANE

USA / Canada / Germany, 2006
Director: David R. Ellis

6/10











A completely overhyped and overrated, but at least quite entertaining action-comedy-horror-adventure b-movie about lots of ravenous (and motherfucking) snakes terrorizing the passengers on a (motherfucking) airplane, created by mediocre exploitation-director David R. Ellis. No more, no less.


Pros:

* Loads of incredibly hilarious one-liners, such as:
     "This shit is bananas!"
     "I suggest you speed up clearing the rest of the runways 'cause my ass 
      is coming in for a landing."
     "Yeah, sucks to be you right now."
     "Well, that's good news. Snakes on crack."
     "Look at the Howard Hughes of rap..." - "What? What was that?" - "He... he 
      said 'Can you believe this crap?'"
     "You sure you can fly this thing with one hand?" - "Honey, you'd be surprised
      at what a man can do with one hand!"
and of course the infamous 
     "Enough is enough! I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this
      motherfucking plane!"

* Absolutely brilliant performances from Samuel L. Jackson, Kenan Thompson, Lin Shaye and David Koechner.

* The characters are all clichéd and paper-thin, but they are all fun.

* Many really amusing snake-kills (snake eats boob, snake eats dick, snake eats head...).

Cons:

* There are many, many tedious scenes and moments where the movie just drags and drags, due to bad pacing and a weak script.

* Nearly every single CGI snake looks cheap and lame.

* The snake-o-vision... um, no comment.

* The ending just sucks.

Ridiculous and goofy fun, best enjoyed with lots beer and crisps,
and, of course, not taken seriously.




SNAKES ON A TRAIN

Alternate German Titles:
Snake Hell / Zombies Im Zug

USA, 2006
Director: Peter Mervis (as The Mallachi Brothers)

2/10







An absolutely horrible and stupid "Snakes On A Plane" rip-off from the notorious Asylum studios.


Pros:
A pretty atmospheric opening scene, a pair of nice boobs
and the super-silly mega-snake-eats-train finale.


Cons:
* One of the most untalented casts I've ever seen.
* Every single character is absolutely unbearable.
* Awful camera work, awful editing, an awful soundtrack
* About 75% of the dialogue consists of the words 'Alma', 'Los Angeles' and 'Runaway Train'.
* Worst CGI I've seen since "Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus".
* Worst settings I've seen in a very long time.
* No tension. No suspense. No plot. No script. No nothing.

Recommended only to die-hard Asylum fans.

22 November 2011

Horror Movie Diary nominated for BEST HORROR BLOG 2011!!!

Omfg how awesome is that?
Craig Edwards, the nice guy behind the awesome movie blog  
has nominated the Horror Movie Diary for "BEST HORROR"

Be sure to support / vote for me by clicking the banner below


and, of course, be sure to follow, read and support Craig's
"LET'S GET OUT OF HERE"



RING AROUND THE ROSIE

RING AROUND THE ROSIE

Alternate Titles:
Dark Memories / Fear Itself: Dark Memories

USA, 2006
Director: Rubi Zack

2/10







"Ring Around The Rosie" - not only a silly nursery rhyme, but also a stupid and endlessly boring horror-thriller that can't decide between haunted house horror, quasi-psycho-thriller and mindfuck flick.

The whole movie looks and feels like a crude and lame blend of average DTV-crap like "Crazy Eights" or "Bloody Mary", 80s rubbish like "The Nesting" and recent thriller disappointments like "The Resident".


The plot makes no sense, the script is far too predictable, it's never tense or scary, the dialogue is terrible and the acting mostly sucks (especially Gina Philips' horribly annoying performance).

A few nice shots, some good-looking settings and 2-3 good acting moments from Tom Sizemore - the rest is just forgettable garbage.

20 November 2011

Thanks, Props & Shout-Outs (and some silly search-keywords)

Thanx to Elizabeth Katheryn Gray, leader of the incredible Film Geek Circle gang on Facebook. She was guest on one episode of the terrific Dollar Bin Horror Radio and, while talking about foreign Geek Circle users, she actually name-checked me!!! Yeah!!! Woo!!! Yay!!!
Um... ok, she confused Austria for Germany but that's ok, I already forgave her :-)

Listen to the name-checking clip here (10 sec.):
Maynard @ Dollar Bin Horror Radio

Listen to the whole episode here:
Dollar Bin Horror Radio - Episode XXXV  -  featuring guest appearances from Freddie Young (Full Moon Reviews) and Brandon Sites (Big Daddy Horror Reviews)



Many, many thanks to "Big Daddy" Brandon Sites for putting ME onto IMDB and into the credits of his upcoming Slasher-comedy "DRIVE-IN MASSACRE"!!!












Note:
I used the free 14day IMDB PRO Trial to update it with a photo. Sadly (but understandably) they delete your photo after the free trial's over. That's how it looks now



Nevertheless, I feel very, very proud and honoured to be a at least a super-super-super-small part of the world's biggest movie database :-)



Oh btw, it's nice to see that the IndieGogo-funded zombie-series DEADER DAYS (which I supported with lousy 5 Dollars) managed to reach their goal of collecting $7000 and now finally went into shooting!

Check out the teaser trailer!




Check out the official DEADER DAYS Facebook page:
www.facebook.com/DeaderDays



Finally, a few more of those hilarious search keywords. Enjoy!

annoying facebook girl
horrible porn movie ever
porn movie rape scene
infamous rape scenes
what the fuck is wrong with german people
nazi porn
nazi porn dungeon
big giants scary dental drill
happy halloween lesbian dungeon
albino bigfoot
"horror movie" drill goes throu guys head
film mud wrestling
black girl's vagina
is blue exorcist hobgoblins?


19 November 2011

Project Terrible: FALL DOWN DEAD

Thanx to Wolf Ninja from Gaming Creatively for tormenting me with this unbelievably awful thriller-crapfest. I will punish him with the Asylum-schlock "Haunting Of Winchester House" MWAHAHA :-)

FALL DOWN DEAD

USA, 2007
Director: Jon Keeyes

2/10











Omg, that was bad. "Fall Down Dead" (stupid title) is one of the dumbest and most pointless horror-thrillers I've ever, EVER seen. Not only does it look like it was shot in Romania or some other East European country, it also looks like it was actually made by Uwe Boll or Ulli Lommel.

The good:
In the first 20 minutes there are a few scenes, sequences and moments that look good and promising, f.e. a few gruesome and well-looking kills, a few cool and stylish shots and some really terrific images (most notably the finger-chessboard).


The bad:
Everything else. 70 super-boring minutes of dumb people walking through an ugly-looking office building. Lots of killed people whose make-up looks shoddy and cheap, one of the most generic, tiresome and repetitive musical scores in history, lame editing, bad direction, a horrid script, no plot, no suspense, no tension, no atmosphere, no nothing.

Worst of all - the acting.
Christ, I just couldn't believe how incredibly... how PAINFULLY bad the acting is. David Carradine is absolutely horrible as silly and grinning cop - was he on drugs or something? Udo Kier isn't much better - his performance as 'the Picasso Killer' feels trite and lifeless, and he constantly looks as if he has no clue what he's doing here.

 
Mehmet Günsür - terrible. R. Keith Harris - terrible.
Dominique Swain
- EXTREMELY terrible. Her unintentionally hilarious looks and facial expressions give the word 'Overacting' a new meaning.


Final Verdict:
A huge pile of garbage. I'd rather fall down dead than watch it a second time.

Project Terrible - ROT: REUNION OF TERROR

Yay, it's that time again - Project Terrible in the house, bitches!
Thanx to Michele from The Girl Who Loves Horror for torturing me with this stupid slasher-trash - but revenge will be mine... I gave her "Manos: The Hands Of Fate"  MWAHAHA!! :-)

ROT: REUNION OF TERROR

USA, 2008
Director: Michael Hoffman Jr.

2/10











"ROT: Reunion Of Terror" (stupid title) is your average amateurish lowest-budget slasher, 
made by people who have no clue of how to make an entertaining horror movie,
made for people who don't care if a movie's well-made or badly-made, as long as there are tits 'n' gore in it.

The movie starts out pretty good with a cheap-looking but surprisingly atmospheric and effective opening, including some damn fine shots, a quite hot lesbo scene and some really cool gore.


Sadly, everything afterwards just plain sucks:

* Loads of stupid, annoying and cliché-laden characters (stupid teens, idiot cops, ugly hicks), played by totally untalented actors who constantly spit out incredibly imbecile and unfunny one-liners about 'Am-I-Ugly cream' and 'Chateau-La-Whore champagne'.

* A predictable and boring plot full of predictable and uninteresting plot points, and with a predictable and pointless end twist.


* The cinematography / camera work largely sucks due to waaay too many close-up shots, annoying shaky cam, lame-looking flashbacks and ugly-looking stop-motion scenes.
The direction is bad, the editing is flawed and the unimaginative soundtrack is just ridiculous.

ROT: Reunion Of Terror
is a
POC: Piece Of Crap

18 November 2011

SENSELESS (2008)

SENSELESS

Alternate Title:
Senseless: Deprived Of Sensory

German Title:
Senseless - Der Sinne beraubt

UK, 2008
Director: Simon Hynd

8/10




Big thanks to my workmate who borrowed me this unique political horror-thriller which I (regrettably) never heard of before.

"Senseless", the adaptation of Stona Fitch's novel of the same name, is a compelling and fascinating blend of political thriller, drama and torture-porn horror, about a kidnapped and tortured businessman who becomes part of a brutal Internet reality-TV-show.
It looks and feels a bit like "The Truman Show", "Hostel" and "Red Corner" mixed together.


"Senseless" starts out slow but gripping, becomes more and more tense and violent, and finally ends with a shocking bang. It never gets dull or boring, thanks to a superbly 'entertaining' script and Simon Hynd's brilliant direction.

The acting is terrific (especially lead actor Jason Behr), the dialogue is just wonderful and the sinister soundtrack is pretty rousing
We get to see some astonishing camera work (great camera angles, many stunning images), effective editing, amazingly bleak-looking settings and a few disturbing torture scenes.


Highlights:
The creepy masks of the kidnappers, the violent ear-scene, the weird dinner-flashback and the fact that about 90% of the movie take place in one room.

An interesting and highly intelligent, but sadly way too overlooked genre mash-up. Would love to see more in that vein.

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