29 August 2013

THE HENCHMAN'S WAR

THE HENCHMAN'S WAR

USA, 2012
Director: Anthony M. Greene

7,5/10











I'm not an expert on gangster films, so I apologize if this review may be a bit mediocre. I tried my best, especially because this is the debut feature of my buddy Anthony who provided me with a few nice screeners last year.

"The Henchman's War" tells the story of mob henchman Joe King who goes on a killing spree against the gang of mid-level crime boss Cubby in revenge for a woman's unnecessary death, a woman that was somehow important to Joe.


At first, the story might sound well-known and cliché-ridden, but on second sight, it's way more complex, way more clever and surprisingly even pretty unforeseeable. Greene obviously knows his Gangster-genre and a had a clear vision of telling a simply story in a new, unexpected and somehow refreshing way. What starts out as a classic vigilante-thriller, slowly transforms into a rather emotional and intriguing gangster-drama.

The whole movie is very calm and slow, but aside from a few rather dull moments in the middle, it never becomes boring, due to a sinister and melancholy atmosphere that intrigued me from the very first scene, Beau Finley's almost post-rock-like piano/violin-score, and K. Quin Paek's brilliant cinematography in combination with Greene's sharp eye and solid direction. Love all the long shots and beautifully composed images.
Considering the ultra-low budget (about $7.000,-), the movie looks highly professional and much more expensive than it actually is.



Best of all: the cast. There isn't a single actor who gives an underwhelming performance. Rick Kain is excellent as introverted loner, Tamieka Chavis and Alexander Yi are both pretty charming, and I fucking adored the chemistry between Robert Leembruggen (gang boss) and Jane Petkofsky (wife) - damn, they have two scenes together that are so incredibly intense, I had to rewatch them several times. Damn outstanding acting!

"The Henchman's War" is a terrific little lowest-budget thriller, highly recommended to everyone who loves a good gangster flick!

28 August 2013

"CATHY'S CURSE" (Chilling Classics 50 Movies Pack, #29)

CATHY'S CURSE

Original Title:
Cauchemares

German Title:
Cathys Fluch

France / Canada, 1977
Director: Eddy Matalon

LOL/10





Oh. My. Gawd. What the heck was that?? Seriously, this is probably the stupidest and most incompetent, yet, most 'fascinating' crap-movie I've ever seen, maybe even more 'fascinating' than "Manos: The Hands Of Fate". No wonder why sites like "Kindertrauma" or "Horror Movie A Day" are so enthusiastic about it :) 


"Cathy's Curse" is an inane and completly idiotic supernatural horror movie that totally can't decide if it's a haunted house film, an "Exorcist" ripoff or something in the vein of "The Omen". Nothing about the storyline makes any sense and the screenplay is such an utter mess, it seems as if the three(!!!) screenwriters had absolutely no fucking glue what they were actually writing about. Plot points appear and disappear at random, characters come and go without any explanation, events happen without any conclusion or explanation. Also, we never get to know who's actually possessed: Cathy? Her doll? The house?
Is it all a bizarre nightmare... or just bullshit?



Eddy Matalon's ("Blackout") direction is inept and incoherent, the editing is beyond awful, it's full of incredibly poor special effects and the acting is very, very bad, especially the performances of Beverly Murray (unintentionally hilarious), Alan Scarfe (simply boring) and Roy Witham (silly to the max).

Yet, there's something about this movie that kept me glued to the screen, may it be the huge amount of inexplicable events (Cathy turning into Pizza-face, the painting in the attic with the glowing eyes), all the silly Poltergeist stuff (things flying around, doors closing, lights going on and off...), Cathy's ability to rot food, explode porcelain and diappear/materialize at will, the blood-and-leeches-in-the-bathtub scene, the snake/spider-hallucination or the silly séance-scene, definitely the worst séance in movie history.



At least, Didier Vasseur's ("Julie Lescaut") score is pretty eerie, some shots are superbly surreal, and - best of all - it contains an enormous amount of cursing and bad language, delivered by young Cathy
("All women are bitches." / "Old bitch. Fat whore. Fat dried up whore. / "Go on you filthy female cow. Make us laugh!") and others
("Well, if it isn't the great medium as so... medium... I'd say extra rare piece of shit!" / "For christ's sake, shut up, you stupid bitch!" / "Your mother's a bitch. She'll pay for what she did to you.").


"Cathy's Curse" is a total must-see for fans of bad movies. It's so fucking bad, you just have to check it out!

Imdb



"THE BLANCHEVILLE MONSTER" (Chilling Classics 50 Movies Pack, #28)

THE BLANCHEVILLE MONSTER

Alternate Titles:
Horror: The Blancheville Monster / Horror

Italy / Spain, 1963
Director: Alberto de Martino
(as Martin Herbert)

3/10







I strongly recommend this movie to everyone who suffers from insomnia. 40-50 minutes into the movie I fell asleep... falling asleep during a movie is something that happens to me only once in a while (a while = a period of 4-5 years).
When I finished watching the other day, I once again felt tired as hell. WTF??


"The Blancheville Monster" isn't exactly a bad movie. It's a well-made and good-looking Italian Corman-Poe-ripoff with lots of eerie castle-settings, good acting and a pompous soundtrack. Unfortunately it's so boring, so tedious, so goddamn fucking dragged out, it makes Ambien or Valium worthless.

Also, the story is horribly predictable (I figured out the entire plot after the first 20-30 minutes...) script and direction are pretty weak, and aside from the scene where a woman explores the castle's towers, there's nothing remotely
scary or thrilling.


Don't waste your time: watch one of the old Roger Corman flicks or maybe the somewhat similar-looking "Terror Creatures From The Grave" instead.

Imdb



26 August 2013

Horror Blog of the Month: A HORROR DIARY

It's been a long time since we last had a HBOTM here on the Diary. Reasons: I simply forgot to choose one / I'm a lazy fuck / I'm oh-so-busy etc. etc.

No excuses, the HBOTM is finally back, and this time we have our very first guest from the Netherlands, a girl named Melanie, and like me, she also keeps a diary... a Horror Diary!











Hello Melanie! Tell us, who are you and why do you blog?

I’m Melanie, a 20 year old girl from The Netherlands. I blog because I’m planning to study Journalism (if I ever get accepted), and with that I hopefully be a ‘professional’ reviewer someday! Having a blog provides many writing exercises for me. Other than that, I enjoy to discuss the movies I’ve seen. Instead of bothering people around me with my useless movie talk, I thought it would be useful to put all my movie talk online so I can communicate with fellow movie lovers.

Which movie made you a horror fan (and why)?

Well, I remember that when I was little I loved watching the TV show "Goosebumps". I was only six or seven year old and I really liked it. I think from that moment on I really got interested in horror. What kept me interested was the fact that I did not find those segments scary (besides the one with the talking doll), so I kept looking for the ultimate scare. I guess I’m still looking for that ultimate scare ;).

Who is your favorite horror director (and why)?

Wes Craven, hands down. He has created so many brilliant horror movies. Besides him I like John Carpenter, Eli Roth and Guillermo del Toro.

What are your alltime horror movie favorites?

-       The Last House on the Left (2009)
-       The Orphanage
-       Dead Silence
-       The Ruins
-       The Blair Witch Project
-       Martyrs
-       The Cabin in the Woods
-       The Strangers
-       Planet Terror
-       A Nightmare on Elm Street
-       Shaun of the Dead

What's the worst horror movie you've seen so far?

Oh hard one… there were so many of them!
I think I’ll have to go with "A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge", or perhaps "A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child". They were both terrible.
Besides those movies I really disliked "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2".

Most of my friends don't like horror films. How about your friends?

Well I have one very good friend that’s a horror addict too, so we can talk about horror for hours. He actually started his own blog a few weeks ago, so you might want to check him out
(
http://grimmbreakreviews.blogspot.nl). Besides him none of my friends are really into horror. They do watch a horror movie though if I highly recommend it.

Choose: Jason? Freddy? Michael? Pinhead? Other?

I think I’ll have to go with Freddy. He brings a bit of humor into some of his movies. People like Jason and Michael are quite silent so a bit boring sometimes.

Choose: US horror? European horror? Asian horror? Other?

Well, a few years ago I would have said US horror, but recently I saw some very good European horror movies. Movies like "Martyrs", "[Rec]" and "The Orphanage" are brilliant movies that definitely are in my favorites list. They were very surprising. I do like a lot of US films too though, but right now my preference goes to European movies!

Do you prefer watching horror at home or at the theater?

At home. That way I can write some things down about the movie. Also, if there’s a jump scare nobody will see it so I won’t look as an idiot.

What music do you like?

Pearl Jam and Mumford & Sons are my all time favorite bands. Other bands that I like are Parkway Drive, Blink 182, Coldplay, Comeback Kid, Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Gorillaz, Kings of Leon, the old Linkin Park, Liquido and Smashing Pumpkins.

What do you read?

I’m a big Harry Potter fan. Very different from horror, but I just love those books so much! Other books that I enjoy were the "A Song of Ice and Fire" books,
"The Hunger Games", almost every Stephen King book, "The Ruins", R.L. Stine books (I am aware that these are books for children, but I do enjoy them), and many more.

Tell me the first 3 things that come to your mind when you think about Austria:

- Mozart
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Christoph Waltz

Anything else you wanna tell us?

Don’t judge a movie by it’s cover ;)

Thanks again for choosing me as blog of the month!

You're welcome, Melanie. Thank you!


http://ahorrordiary.blogspot.com/


25 August 2013

CLASS OF 1984

CLASS OF 1984

German Title:
Die Klasse von 1984

Canada, 1982
Director: Mark L. Lester

7/10








For whatever reason, my expectations for this movie were pretty low. Fortunately, it turned out to be way better than I expected. "Class of 1984" is a fabulous textbook-example of a good exploitation flick, written and directed by action-film 'legend' Mark L. Lester ("Commando"), co-written by the great Tom Holland ("Fright Night") and John Saxton ("Happy Birthday To Me").


In tone, atmosphere and violence very similar to the awesome 80s classic "Savage Streets" and Kubrick's uber-classic "Clockwork Orange", Lester draws a grim picture of a society where violent and anarchistic teenagers slowly getting more and more powerful, by showing us a young music teacher's desperate fight against a brutal gang of punks who claim to be "the future".

No, "Class of 1984" isn't subtle at all, it's at times pretty cheesy and it's also far from being perfect (mediocre pacing, weird screenplay), but goddammit: it's so much fun and brilliantly entertaining. I loved all the characters, even the bad ones, and the cast is simply stunning: Perry King as badass teacher, Timothy Van Patten as creepy and ruthless gang leader, a tremendous Roddy McDowall as alcoholic biology teacher, Lisa Langlois as bisexual punk-hottie and a cute Michael J. Fox in one of his very first roles.


Albert J. Dunk ("The Incubus") delivers some excellent camera work, while grandmaster Lalo Schifrin ("Amityville Horror") excites with a wonderfully moody score. There's some fabulous chase sequences, lots of brutal violence (gang-raped woman, death by table-saw, guy on fire, knife in chest, killed animals), lots of punkrock and Alice Cooper, some ace nudity, and a few extremely memorable scenes (McDowall teaching his class at gun point, King crashing a car, Van Patten playing piano, the whole finale).

A superb and important little 80s gem, now way more relevant than back in 1982.

23 August 2013

Neill Blomkamp Double Feature: ELYSIUM / DISTRICT 9

ELYSIUM

USA, 2013
Director: Neill Blomkamp

3/10











"Elysium" - or should I call it "Fail-ysium"? or "Stal-e-ysium"? Dayum, not only is this movie as sterile as my obsessive-compulsive grandmother's apartment, it's also as annoying as shit on your shoe. Neill Blomkamp's long-awaited second full feature is a frustratingly flawed disaster of a movie, very hard to sit through, at times almost unbearable.


Ok, the cast is fucking awesome, and I enjoyed the performances of Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, William Fichtner and Sharlto Copley (though none of them delivers a stand-out performance). It's packed with excellent CGI effects, the design of the Elysium space station looks adorable (though we don't get to see it that often), and the first 30-40 minutes are pretty cool, due to lots of funky-looking robots, spaceships and shit.

But then afer the first third, I'd say during the first fight between Damon and Copley, I suddenly realized that there's something extremely rotten
in the state of Elysium.
The characters - goddammit, I still can't believe that Blomkamp wasn't able to create at least one person that's at least a bit sympathetic. I gave a flying fuck about any of the good guys. The villains are all fun, but cliché-ridden and ultimately uninteresting - and since they all die, they don't matter anyway.


The music sounds like someone just re-used score outtakes from Joseph Kosinski's "Tron: Legacy" and/or "Oblivion", the camera is mostly annoyingly shaky, the fight scenes are awfully edited, awfully choreographed and waaay too long, the direction feels overconscientious, and the pacing is just weak. Starts out pretty tense, but quickly becomes dull, lengthy and horribly boring.

Worst of all (next to the ridiculous scene where the girl tells a story about some fucking hippos, forcing Damon to look extremly stupid):
the whole damn plot, which is the very definition of "predictable" and "foreseeable", including a laughable ending, a quasi-love angle that makes no goddamn sense, and a huge amount of gaping plot holes, dumb plot points, and things that make you shake your head in disbelief. A massively radiated guy who refuses to take some proper medication, and still is able to save the planet just because he's wearing an exo-skeletal suit? Grenades that get thrown around like crazy, and still don't explode? A super-rich society that is able to create medical machines that can heal absolutely anything, but is NOT able to create safe computer programs, is NOT properly able to protect itself from intruders, and is totally NOT able to restore financially stricken companies back to profitability???



Also, why do they call Matt Damon's character 'a legend'? Why is Alice Braga's character constantly saying that 'my life is complicated' when it's actually not THAT complicated? And why do the people of Elysium don't give any MediPods to the Earthlings? I mean, they clearly want them to be healthy so they can do piece-work. If they're not healthy, they get dismissed without notice
- dude, what??? Put them in a MediPod, so they get healthy again and can work 24/7. Ugh.
Oh, and don't get me started on all the similarities to "District 9". At times, it feels as if Blomkamp just took the D9-script and rewrote it into an oh-so-serious
sci-fi-film...

If you really wanna see a stale and unoriginal sci-fi film, then go check out the remake of "Total Recall" which is lightyears better than this rubbish. Even "Prometheus" is more bearable. Shame on you, Mr. Blomkamp.

Wiki ~ Imdb



DISTRICT 9

USA / New Zealand /
South Africa / Canada, 2009
Director: Neill Blomkamp

9/10 








  

It's not that I expected "Elysium" to be "District 10", but... *sigh* I wanted it to be at least half as great as "District 9" which is undoubtedly one of the greatest and most original sci-fi-themed movies of the last ten years. Could it be that producer Peter Jackson was the main reason for why it turned out to be so good? Oh well, we'll never know...


"District 9" is simply great, from the very first to the very last minute. What at first looks like "Independence Day in Johannesburg", is actually a witty, emotional, riveting, wonderfully entertaining and extremely clever parable on the Apartheid, illegal immigration, class warfare and social problems like prejudice or discrimination, without being too moral or message-y. It reminds me a bit of Eddy Grant's "Gimme Hope Jo'anna" - it deals with massive social (in this case South African) problems, but it also wants to give you a good time (or so).

It's superbly written and directed, excellently paced and highly compelling. The whole thing was made in a very unique style that is very hard to categorize. What stars out as a mockumentary, turns into a light-hearted alien-comedy, transforms into a touching sci-fi drama and ends up as powerful action movie.


There's tons of marvellous and surprisingly spectacular CGI, many, many fantastically designed aliens, weapons and flying objects, and the Soweto-style Alien-District looks very realistic. Music and cinematography are awesome, and the performance/character of newcomer Sharlto Copley is simply mindblowing.

Who cares about "Elysium" when you can have this brilliant gem?

Yay for 400.000 pageviews!!

Holy Mathematics! In March this year, my little site reached the 300.000 pageview-mark which was awesome - and now, only five months later, the Diary reached the 400.000 pageview mark!! I'm stunned!!

HUUUGE THANKS to everyone who ever visited my blog. This was a pretty insane year so far, especially in terms of pageviews. Also, 240 followers - rocks!! :-)


22 August 2013

ZOMBIE WITH A SHOTGUN

ZOMBIE WITH A SHOTGUN
(Web-Series: Episodes 1-4)

USA, 2012
Director: Hilton Ariel Ruiz

6/10





"Zombie with a Shotgun" is a web-series about a zombie-virus-infected guy, his shotgun and his girlfriend who are on the run from rednecks and zombies - sounds funny, but isn't funny at all. The title is totally misleading because the series is actually pretty dark and grim and has a certain post-apocalyptic vibe over it.


The first four episodes are pretty solid, but didn't really impress me. The acting is good, the music is terrific and I love the almost Italo-like atmosphere, thanks to some beautiful and colorful lighting, and all the eerie corridors. Yet, we don't get to know anything about the characters, leading me to not care about any of them. The zombie design looks strange, the pacing is a bit too slow, and there isn't much action happening.

At least, the direction is good enough and the cliffhanger in episode 4 makes me curious about what happens next. Hope there will be more zombie/shotgun-awesomeness in the upcoming episodes.

Imdb
Watch ZWAS here: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

21 August 2013

SINISTER VISIONS

SINISTER VISIONS

USA, 2013
Directors: Kim Sønderholm,
Henric Brandt, Doug Gehl
& Andreas Rylander

7/10









As of lately, horror anthologies are as popular as never before, and it feels as if they currently spring up like mushrooms. Some are simply awesome ("The Theatre Bizarre"), some are simply bad ("VHS"). Some use highly entertaining concepts ("The ABCs of Death"), some use no concept at all, and/or are just bad short-film compilations ("Treasure Chest of Horrors").

"Sinister Visions" is one of the very rare cases of a horror anthology that has no clear concept and even consists of segments that were released before / not exclusively made for this film - and still works, due to the fact that most segments are very satisfying.
3 visions from busy bee Kim Sønderholm (actor / director / writer / editor / producer) + one vision each by Henric Brandt ("Dead on Arrival") and one-time director/writer Doug Gehl = a delightfully diverting little horrorfest!


SUCCUBUS, directed by Kim Sønderholm
A grim and unsettling tale about a woman that gets possessed by some sort of Succubus-like being which obviously changes her life forever. Very well paced, beautifully filmed and superbly edited, highly tense and atmospheric. The performances of Sønderholm and uber-hottie Kat Herlo are very neat, and the scary make-up effects are badass. Succubus rocks!

MY UNDEAD GIRLFRIEND, directed by Henric Brandt, intro by Andreas Rylander
THE absolute highlight of this anthology. A tremendously hilarious little zomedy about a young man's fiancée who turns into a zombie the day before he gets to meet her parents. There's lots of gore, lots of LOLs, a high amount of absurd moments and outrageously funny scenes, like the TV ad for a 'zombie aid group' ("We care for the uncared."), a "Braindead"-like blood custard, the silly procedure of turning an undead into an punk/goth-gal, and the bunny/salad/Brandy-loving father who gives the phrase "They're coming to get you, Barbara." a whole new meaning. Brilliant!


MOTHER KNOWS BEST, directed by Kim Sønderholm
Interesting but ultimately underwhelming episode about a Mommy-addicted psychopath. It's a bit dull and boring and never manages to grab your attention, even though there are lots of gore and boobs. Also, several scenes and moments reminded me too much of Sønderholm's "Little Big Boy". Meh.

A WOMAN SCORNED, directed by Kim Sønderholm
Way better than "Mother knows Best"; an intense and quite powerful little film about a seemingly psychotic woman's gruesome revenge on her ex-husband and his new girlfriend. Lots of gritty atmosphere and thrilling tension, intriguingly filmed and edited. Loved the super-grim ending, and the fabulous performance of Mehrnaz Bagheri Beiknejad who almost reminded me of Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction". Yeah!


GENITAL GENOCIDE, directed by Doug Gehl
Massively disappointing gorefest that starts out sooo good and ends up sooo bad. David C. Hayes is pretty cool as insane serial killer and the first kill (girl gets fucked while being nailed to the ground) is horrifying, but then it all falls apart due to a pointless lezploitation sequence, several stupid plot points, and a rushed, dumb and frustrating ending. Meh.

Overall, not perfect, but entertaining enough to give you a pretty fun time.


Thanks to Apotheosis PR for providing me with a screener!

20 August 2013

THE DEVIL'S MUSIC

THE DEVIL'S MUSIC

UK, 2008/2013
Director: Pat Higgins

4/10











According to Pat Higgins (director of "Hellbride", writer of "Strippers vs Werewolves"), "The Devil's Music" was originally released on DVD back in 2008, but due to circumstances beyond his control, it was deleted shortly after it hit the shelves, and it took quite some time to sort some of the international rights out.
As of late, the movie was finally released via VOD and can now be watched worldwide (click here!). Thanks to Mr. Higgins for sending me a screener, so I could watch it too - unfortunately, I didn't really enjoy it.


"The Devil's Music" is a mockumentary about the rise and fall of (fake) shock-rock-singer Erika Spawn who used to provoke the British media with shocking live performances, vulgar behavior, crude lyrics and songs/albums like 'Body of a Whore'. The film examines her career by showing clips from concerts and TV shows, lots of interviews with her fellow band members and other companions, and POV tour-footage that was filmed by her 'favorite' stalker-groupie.

The basic plot is fascinating and got me hooked immediately, especially because I'm quite a fan of mockumentary-stuff, and I think that there aren't enough shock-rock-girls out there (remember Rockbitch?). Sadly, it was executed in a dull and really boring way, due to Higgins' lackluster direction and a weird script that is unable to decide what it wants to be. A critical documentary on the British media? Or a drama about a mistaken artist? Or a horror film about groupie-fandom
gone wrong?


The acting ranges from pretty good to pretty bad. Hottie Victoria Watkins is impressive as the awesome Erika Spawn, and I also loved the performances of Cy Henty and Jess-Luisa Flynn. On the contrary, there are actors like Lucy Dunn, Geoffrey Sleight or Alan Roland whose perfomances are so awful, it's frustrating..

Camera work and editing are solid, but the music is rather meh, especially Spawn's semi-industrial rock tunes that sound way too dated. Also, the ending is not only implausible, but also highly laughable, especially the part with
the "Shadow Video".

Could have been way better if done as a straight biopic IMO.

19 August 2013

The LOST BOYS Trilogy

THE LOST BOYS

USA, 1987
Director: Joel Schumacher

10/10











Whenever it comes to Joel Schumacher, people jump to conclusions very quickly. Yes, he made these two damn "Batman"-flicks (although I think "Batman Forever" is quite ok), and yes, he had some duds lately (like "Trespass" or "Twelve"), but... let's face it: most other movies in his 30-year-filmography are fucking great, especially adorable masterpieces like "Falling Down", "8MM", "Blood Creek", "Phone Booth", "The Client" - and of course, one of the greatest and most entertaining vampire films of all time: "The Lost Boys", one of three 80s movies that brought the vampire genre back to life in a highly impressive way (the other two are "Fright Night" and "Near Dark").


"The Lost Boys" is surely one of the most fascinating and most entertaining horror classics of the golden horror-age. It's a film that works perfectly as parable on teenage angst and teenage outsiderdom, as well as simple popcorn-horror-comedy, or as creepy vampire flick, thanks to a very well-told storyline, Schumacher's almost pitch-perfect direction, a terrific screenplay and an insane amount of stunningly likable characters.

Jason Patric is fabulous as teenager Michael who slowly turns into a vampire ("Talk about the Texas Chainsaw Massacre."), and Corey Haim is simply adorable as his little brother ("You're a vampire, Michael! My own brother, a god-damn shit-sucking vampire! You wait 'til Mom finds out, buddy!").
Kiefer Sutherland gives one of the coolest vampires in history ("How are those maggots? Maggots, Michael. You're eating maggots. How do they taste?"), Barnard Hughes is wonderfully amusing as super-weird Grandpa ("If all the corpses buried around here were to stand up all at once, we'd have one hell of a population problem."), not forgetting the super-hot Jami Gertz, the weirdly cool Edward Herrmann, and of course, Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander as the super-amazing vampire-killing Frog Brothers ("Death to all vampires!" - "Maximum body count! We're awesome monster bashers!" - "The meanest!" - "The baddest!").


The whole film is packed with gorgeous and mesmerizing sets / locations (amusement park, Grandpa's house, the "vampire hotel", the comic book store...), all beautifully filmed and photographed by the fantastic Michael Chapman ("Taxi Driver"). Thomas Newman's score is simply marvellous, and the soundtrack totally kicks ass (Lou Gramm's "Lost In The Shadows", INXS' "Good Times", Echo & The Bunnymen's charming Doors-cover "People Are Strange" and Gerard McMann's uber-outstanding "Cry Little Sister").

Highlights: the gorgeous opening, the awesome scene with the boys "hanging around" at the railroad tracks, the beautifully-shot motorcycle races, Corey Haim taking a bath (LOL), every single scene in the stunning-looking cave and of course, the explosive climax incl. deadly garlic bath and "Death by Stereo!" :)


A unique and tremendous genre-highlight I could watch over and over and over!

Wiki ~ Imdb



LOST BOYS: THE TRIBE

Alternate Title:
Lost Boys 2: The Tribe


USA / Canada, 2008
Director: P.J. Pesce

6/10








For years, there was talk about a possible "Lost Boys" sequel: Joel Schumacher always wanted to do a "The Lost Girls" with vampiric biker chicks, a script for a sequel called "Lost Boys: Devil May Cry" was in discussion, and there were even rumours about some kinda prequel. Yet, nothing ever happened.


Then in the mid-00s, screenwriter Hans Rodionoff ("Man-Thing") developed a screenplay about surfer werewolves to Warner Bros. It got rejected at first, but then someone had the not-so-glorious idea about replacing the werewolves with vampires, hire low-budget director P.J. Pesce ("From Dusk Till Dawn 3") and engage him to turn it into a straight-to-DVD "Lost Boys" sequel. The result: "Lost Boys: The Tribe", an unnecessary and senseless, but still surprisingly entertaining film.

The film got trashed by fans and critics equally, and it's easy to see why: the glamour is gone, there's nothing mesmerizing or fascinating, and it's far from being as atmospheric as the original. The story is lame and highly predictable (pretty much a re-hash of the first part), most characters are bland and unlikable, the rock-soundtrack is mediocre, and the whole look of the movie is simply MEH (cheap-looking settings, unspectacular cinematography).


However, there's also lots of stuff that made me enjoy it way more than I wanted:
it's pretty tense and thrilling and in no way boring. The cast is very neat - Tad Hilgenbrink, Autumn Reeser, Angus Sutherland (brother of Kiefer) and a wonderful cameo by the great Tom Savini - and the vampire make-up looks pretty awesome. There's shitloads of gore, a few nasty kills (beheadings, ripped throats, stunning stakings...), some super-hot nudity and many cool nods to the original (Texas Chainsaw mentioned, antlers kill, new version of "Cry Little Sister" by Aiden...).

Best of all: Corey Feldman. My goodness, not only does he look excellent, his performance is also outstandingly amusing and absolutely badass, plus: he delivers tons of super-hilarious one-liners
"Your sister's a suck-monkey." / "Who ordered the stake?" / "I'm Edgar Frog, surfboard shaper and vampire hunter." / (talking about stakes) "There's nothing as good as the old-fashioned, classic wood-job. Safe, sturby, reliable." / "What are you drinking, man?" - "Frog juice. Garlic, holy water and raw eggs."


If you dare to watch it, try not to think about the original (as hard as it may be), turn off your brain, lean back - and you might enjoy it as much as I did :)




LOST BOYS: THE THIRST

Alternate Title:
Lost Boys 3: The Thirst


South Africa / Germany / USA, 2010
Director: Dario Piana

4/10








Call me nuts, but I totally don't understand why so many people prefer "The Thirst" over "The Tribe". Yeah, they brought back Jamison Newlander and yeah, they pay some tribute to Corey Haim, but that doesn't help anything when you have a story that is dumb, illogical and outstandingly predictable. Hell, the whole thing doesn't even feel like a "Lost Boys" film, more like a spin-off that should have called "The Frog Brothers are back" or something like that.


Corey Feldman is once again simply amazing and gives an absolutely hilarious over-the-top performance, plus: more ace one-liners ("Virgins. Vampire filet mignon." / "Boats are for sailors. Guns are for soldiers. I'm no sailor." / "This is a sawed-off pump-action soak-and-destroy water gun. It turns holy water
into slaughter.")


The rest of the cast? Not so good. Tanit Phoenix is damn hot but she can't act. Casey B. Dolan and Steven van Niekerk are both awfully annoying, Seb Castang is simply laughable, and Newlander obviously forgot how to act COMPLETELY.



There's hardly any tension, the screenplay is a god-awful mess and Dario Piana's ("The Deaths of Ian Stone") direction is all over the place. Also, too many flashback scenes from the first part, the inclusion of Aiden's "Cry Little Sister" (again! *yawn*) doesn't fit at all, and the rave-party-thing is about as lame as in rubbish flicks like "House of the Dead" or "Return of the Living Dead V".

Some nice gore, decent cinematography, a few boobs and a cool soundtrack that consists of industrial music, electronic stuff and rock tunes. Aside from that,
"Lost Boys: The Thirst" sucks. Not recommended at all.

18 August 2013

Interview with Matty Dorschner ("Don't Go To The Reunion")

Part 4 of a 4-part Interview series with actors of the Slasher Studio's latest slasher flick "DON'T GO TO THE REUNION".

#4: MATTY DORSCHNER

Hey Matty! Tell us a bit about you, Matty. Who are you? What can we expect of you in the future?

Morning Maynard. It's 7:00 right now... p.m. and I'm somehow just managing to wake up. Silly sleep
schedule. Alright, I am most certainly a procrastinator of sorts. Who else am I? Well, Corey from "Popularity Killer", The Addict from "Blood Brothers" and most recently I've been Brandon from "Don't Go To The Reunion".
 
What's that? Oh who am I in REAL life?! Oh jeez, well... a pizza delivery guy, of course! : P
My name's Matthew Arnold Dorschner, I was born 7-14-88 in Neenah, WI. I'm an only child, and since as this is a horror blog, it's only fair to mention I died three times within my first couple weeks of being alive. This is all old news though, too old to be interesting to chat about. I mean, I can't remember being born, named, died and revived, so never mind that.

Who I now? Hmm... certainly a lover. I love, love and love spreading smiles to other people's faces. I recently got involved with a lovely lady named Veronica who has had me laughing since the moment we met! I've been spending a lot of time with her lately. Aside from that and delivering pizza, I am a musician and songwriter first and foremost. Music is my life. I've been in numerous bands over the years: Life Without It, The City Asleep, Seaside, Such Novel Fate, The Limits... taught myself drums and keyboards in my mid to late teens and then forced myself to gradually become a better singer. After this and a few recordings, I'd spend 5-8 hrs a night after school messaging people on MySpace, practically begging them to come listen. It ended up working and eventually we worked up to the point of opening for some of our favorite bands, we were getting invited to stay at strangers houses all over the world, and we were getting record label offers.

Life Without It, the first band I wrote and sang for, was the most successful out of them all. We had a song on a compilation disc sold at every Warped Tour stop in 2006, also on the comp was Joan Jett and Anti-Flag. We were offered a starring spot on an upcoming reality tv show "Highway To Fame." Mind you, we were all seventeen or under at the time, so this was extremely exciting for us! Highway To Fame was planning to take a few up and coming bands and follow them around in their daily lives, when they're writing music, in the studio and playing shows. Essentially, their goal was to document the life and struggles (as well as benefits) of being a young musical artist in the 2000s.


Unfortunately, they never got picked up by a network, and we declined the idea of being on an internet reality show; seemed pointless to us at that time. We received emails from Atlantic Records and Universal Records with interest in our music, wanting to hear more, wishing to put a song or two of ours on some television shows, I believe The OC was one. Success was at our fingertips in 06, the year myself and fellow songwriter/guitarist Ryan LaBarre were graduating high school and preparing for college. Our lives were too booked up with 'reality,' to keep the focus on our dream.
Long story short, we fell apart. He left to go to school half the state away, which at the time seemed like he may as well moved halfway across the world! We didn't follow up on any of the offers and felt like a dying band. We dissolved and I've been trying to find something comparable ever since. Of course, now my musical taste is extremely different than it was back then. Life Without It played pretty straight forward piano based pop songs, with some crafty guitar work. We were influenced by bands like Something Corporate or Fall Out Boy. TODAY, I am most intrigued by the likes of 13th Floor Elevators, Mayday, Dean Martin and Operation Ivy. Anyway, enough of my boring you with music.

What can you expect of me in the future, you ask? Well... I would LOVE to keep a steady flow of
auditions going for film and television. It is a lot of fun acting, as tedious as it can get, and I am constantly missing the set, cast and crew from "Don't Go To The Reunion". I feel like there's a void in my mind in the months between having a project to work on. I'd also love to try directing, I used to make home movies in my imagination with the neighbor kids and I would say director is the role I almost always took on. I'm a bit of a control freak, I must say, Maynard, and ideas are always there. I've a few brewing I'd like to bring to life. One is this very intricate psychological thriller / love story, with so many twists, it may be slightly unpredictable in a time where you can almost always predict the ending to a good psych thriller. Another is a scripted reality sitcom... a mockumentary on the life of a pizza place and it's employees. I'm also interested in starting a cartoon up. I am in love with Family Guy, haha.

This is the third time you star in a film by Steve & Kevin. Tell me a bit about them. What's it like to work with / for them? How do they behave on set?

Yes, this is indeed the fourth installment in the Slasher Studios' catalog and the third I've been lucky enough to be a part of. It's funny how we met. I was on Facebook one day, searching for a local skateboarder named Kevin Sommerfeld. I wound up finding Kevin Sommerfield instead. We got to talkin and both expressed our interest in film making, only HE was going to school for it, doing something about it, you know? I always thought it seemed so far out of reach, so impossible, that I never even gave it an honest thought. Well, a year or so passes when Kevin messaged me, or posted something about making a film called "Popularity Killer". I got a hold of him and get to come audition, nervous as hell throughout the audition and the entire filming process - but it worked, because that's how the character was supposed to be!

This allowed me the opportunity to come back and play again and again. Again, with procrastination, I probably should not have been cast in Reunion. I actually didn't get my audition tape in until the absolute last second. In fact, I didn't even know auditions had started for it until the final day of submissions. I originally auditioned as Christopher, so I could be a bit closer to my real life goofy self on screen for a change. Also, with Christopher, Kevin and Steve thought it would be fun for followers of Slasher Studios to see myself and Mike Goltz back on screen together as best buds. Mike, I grew up with, by the way. He was a grade older than me from elementary school on. I didn't meet Steve until all this filming biz, because he was a few grades higher and isn't it amazing how a few yrs seems like a world of difference to an elementary school kid, yet seems completely irrelevant as an adult?

My view on Steve & Kevin has changed alot since the first time I worked with them. At first, I
didn't know what to expect. I've read and heard so many stories of directors being complete assholes to their cast. These cruel and crazy artists with a vision and if the artist can't interpret the vision exactly as imagined, then there will be hell to pay and one very stressed out director running around set. Steve gives his actors a lot of freedom, a lot of freedom. He's always kind and compassionate, and well... you can see from the final products, he's definitely doing something right! He's got a great eye and great idea in his mind that we don't notice on set from in front of the camera. We don't realize it until it's complete, which is a really quite rewarding! Kevin is generally pacing around nervously on set as his baby is unfolding before him. I think I've caught him biting his lip a few times on set, watching a scene play out, probably not exactly how he envisioned it when he wrote the lines, but I've heard him say time and time again to various actors, "You played that out even better than I'd imagined!" (or something along those lines).

He is also a very talented story teller. I mean, if you could read the script to DGTTR... the original unedited, uncut script... ooh, baby, that has cult classic written all over it! It blew me away when I first read it! These are some very dedicated dudes, and all the time and effort Steve puts into editing! Cutting and pasting and lining up sound and adding music, figuring it all out and then adjusting it all over again right when you think it's perfect... that's a hell of a time consuming, headache of a job. These boys love what they do, and I honestly believe in a matter of years, maybe 1, maybe 20, they will be household names in the horror community on the par of John Carpenter, Wes Craven, George Romero... maybe more even along the lines of Robert Rodriguez. I see a lot in Rodriguez work that sounds like what Kevin wishes to often capture. A sort of goofy horror film... FUN. FUN. FUN. Not something that scares you so much you're afraid to run to the bathroom, but something that makes you cringe a little while you're laughing.. almost a sporting event of a film.

What is your role in DGTTR?

My role in DGTTR is Brandon Kaufman. He is the sort of subtle storyteller throughout the film... a lot of the plot relies on what he says, but a lot of what he says is the least exaggerated, not too much emphasis, so to speak. As you may know, the story is based on a prank gone bad. Somebody is back to exact their revenge! Well, Brandon was against the prank from the start, he was just the high school kid who was too shy to stand up to his friends when he knew they were doing something wrong. Skip ten yrs, he's a psychologist and has seen a lot and changed a little in that time.

What was the coolest scene for you to shoot? What was the hardest?

The coolest scene for me to shoot was the outdoor scene... the vehicle scene. I enjoy getting some
action while acting, rather than just sitting or standing around chatting.
The hardest scene for me to shoot was the one right after this in the movie: I'm inside the kitchen with Stephanie (Erica) and there must have been.. what, three pages of dialogue to remember in one take... that one scene with no cutting. Granted, we tried it over and over for an hour or so, but I couldn't remember the whole thing for the life of me! This, also being a big reveal in the story, a lot of the lines were necessary or else the film wouldn't make sense. I was frustrated and upset with myself after this, thinking I'd just ruined the film with my horrible memory.


It ended up turning out alright, I got a compliment from Kevin on that scene actually, and it was a lot of adlibbing, combined with MOST of what he actually wanted me to say. Stephanie was real good on set with helping you keep your energy level up in scenes where you need to portray being in a life or death situation. She encouraged me to do a lot of running on set to keep the heart beating fast and stay out of breath. It sure as hell did a number on me, being a smoker/drinker. haha. I was out of breath AND dehydrated after running for ten seconds!

Are you a slasher / horror fan? If so, what are your faves?

YES! The only films I watch on a regular basis are horror films; I tend to lead to the thriller side. I love me some psychological thrillers.. what are some good ones... Copycat, Taking Lives, Red Lights, umm... gah, there's so many... on a good day, I'll get in two or three a day. : )
As for slashers, Halloween has always had an effect on me. When I was little, I locked myself in a dark room with the entire original series of films and watched them front to back. I still think Michael is in the bushes on a dark, cold night when I'm delivering pizza to a run down house without their porch lights on... EEK!

Kevin's introduced me to some other good ones like "When A Stranger Calls" and "Happy Birthday To Me". Also, I'm not sure if he's gotten around to seeing "Bloody Birthday" yet, but I love that one too! So many, Maynard, I apologize for leaving the best ones out.. then again, how you can compare? they're all great in one way or another... except for those Slasher Studio's films... gross!
Just joking : )


P.S. The film could not feel complete without each and every one of us being involved. It's sure as shit a collaborative piece. There are no stars... it's one bright and shining star collectively.

Also, not nearly enough has been said about Paul Bjorge (cinematography), Cody Klimmer (first assistant camera), Mr. Dave Cox (grip, lighting technician) and my best bud from the set Alex Ponce (sound). They deserve the greatest of words, man... these are the people who made the film look the way it did
.

Thanks a lot, Matty! :-)


Matty on Imdb


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