Month: October 2015

October 31, 2015

SR Podcast (Ep. 57) “Happy” Halloween 3: Season of the Witch: October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Today is Halloween and to celebrate we figured what would be a better way then with the very unappreciated but great…

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch
98 mins | Horror | 1982
FOR MATURE AUDIENCES


The gang gathers around for this Halloween film that doesn’t feature Micheal Myers but does feature but not limited to, Killer Halloween Masks! Commercialization of the Halloween! Witchcraft! Androids! Shamrocks! and Tom mofo Atkins! It’s a spooky film for a spooky day…now if only we could drink a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake with a hit of whiskey that would make this day even better!

October 30, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 2000: Scream 3

WEAK

Scream 3 – Weak

Like any good trilogy, there is always one of the films that fails; most of the time at least. “The Godfather Trilogy” had Part 3, “Back to the Future” had Part 3, so I guess it goes to show you that most Part 3’s are pretty bad or just jump the shark entirely. This bring me to “Scream 3” a film that only jumps the shark, but nearly ruins a series that redefined the horror genre.

“Scream 3” is the continuing story of Sidney Prescott and the killer in the Ghostface mask. This time around the movie within a movie “Stab 3: Return to Woodsboro” is in production when people start getting murdered based around the film’s script. Back on the case is Gale Weathers, Deputy Dewey, and a brand new cast of characters.

Overall, this film really lacks the fun and freshness of the first two films, and the story gets so convoluted with new story-lines and “revelations” that is just all becomes too much, and that is exactly the reason “Scream 3” is the lowest rated in the series.

The one bright spot is Park Posey who is playing Gale Weathers in the “Stab” film. I’ve always been a Posey fan, and this is one of her most memorable and fun roles in quite a while.

I won’t spoil the ending for those who still haven’t gotten around to watching “Scream 3” but it’s one of the most ridiculous ones, almost as ridiculous as Sidney seeing her dead mother throughout the film, but that’s neither here nor there….

Do you like scary movies…..well, check out these other films from 2000:

Final Destination
Ginger Snaps
Hollow Man
Ju-on
Pitch Black
What Lies Beneath

October 28, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1999: House on Haunted Hill

MISUNDERSTOOD

House on Haunted Hill – Misunderstood

I’m not sure why there are certain films that take hold of me, especially universally panned films, that have such a lasting impression on me. I guess I’m the inverted horror movie hipster. While people will always hold Dario Argento and any type of obscure Hungarian and Spanish horror director in high regard, I love schlock and appreciate horror that is not only all that good, but just plan bad. This brings me to the remake of the William Castle classic “House on Haunted Hill.” This 1999 remake is the first film from the Dark Castle brand, that was started by super star producers Joel Silver and  director Robert Zemekis, who you might also remember had a huge hand in the creation of the “Tales from the Crypt” TV series.

“House” follows a similar story to it’s predecessor, however it includes the backstory of the titular “House on Haunted Hill” which was an insane asylum that housed a maniacal doctor who performed heinous experiments on the inmates until there was a revolt and everyone was murdered and the asylum burnt down.

Years later, eccentric theme park owner, Steven Price, wants to throw a party for his wife at the “House” that includes several of her friends, but by some work of evil, the invitations are changed and all new guests are invited, most of whom are connected by some wicked twist of fate.

There are a few things I like about this film, actually, I think the good certainly outweighs the bad for me. First, it’s funny to me that the roller coaster they use for Price’s newest creation, is actually the “Incredible Hulk” roller coaster at Islands of Adventure in Florida, a roller coaster I know all too well. I also love all the subtle nods to the Castle original, and the over-the-top performances, especially from Geoffery Wright who sells it so well as Steven Price. Lastly, the monster effects are awesome, and remind me a lot of the monsters in “Silent Hill,” but what could you expect from Greg Nicotero.

Sure, when you get down to it, this is a genre film, and it has flaws, but that doesn’t make it bad. For a genre fan, and a relative poopoo’er on remakes, this one holds up and is super entertaining.

You have been invited…..to check out these other gems from 1999:

The Blair Witch Project
Deep Blue Sea
End of Days
The Haunting
Lake Placid
The Mummy
Ravenous
Sleepy Hollow
Stir of Echoes

October 28, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1998: Dee Snider’s Strangeland

PROTO

Dee Snider’s Strangeland – Proto

The mid to late 90’s brought us a lot of trends; goth wear, Jnco jeans, rave gear, industrial music, so many trends to name, but there was also the rise of the tattoo and piercing sub-culture. It really wasn’t until the end of the 90s where tattoos and extreme piercing really started to become socially acceptable. So it made sense for genre films, namely horror, to take on genre trends, and nothing screams genre trends like “Dee Snider’s Strangeland,” a movie that was about about six years early for the “torture porn” genre, and you might even call it the “proto torture porn film.”

“Strangeland” is the tale of piercing, tattooing, industrial music, the internet, and catfishing. Captain Howdy, played by Snider himself, is a sadistic kidnapper who lures people from the internet to his house of horrors that includes extreme piercing and other forms of torture. After kidnapping a cop’s daughter, Howdy is arrested and sent sent away for rehabilitation.

Years later it is deemed that Captain Howdy, or as we know him now as Carlton Hendricks, has been cleared to re-enter society, but of course an angry mob led by Freddy Kruger (Robert Englund) doesn’t like it one bit leading to a lynching and the re-birth of Captain Howdy, now crazier than ever.

So, this film isn’t all that great, it’s pretty mundane and there isn’t much of a twist and it owes a lot of it’s story to “A Nightmare on Elm Street” but it does have some pretty fun makeup effects and Snider looks like he is having a lot of fun being a creep. One of the things that I find the most amusing, but also the most unnecessary is the scene where we all find out, as an audience, how the internet and chat rooms work. Of course, at the time, this was revolutionary since the internet was brand new, but it automatically renders this film pretty static in it’s technology.

One of the best parts of this film, especially if you’re a metal-head, is the soundtrack, which Snider, who is a bit of a metal god, handpicked himself, including a still unknown System of a Down with one of the better songs on the soundtrack, “Marmalade.”

Should one see “Strangeland?” Sure, why not, it’s not the best and it’s not the worst in late 90s horror and it’s an interesting little time capsule, especially if you want a tutorial on chat rooms.

No need to “hang around” check out these other goodies from 1998:

Apt Pupil
Bride of Chucky
The Dentist 2
The Faculty
Halloween H20
Psycho (1998)
Urban Legend

October 26, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1997: Mimic

GOOEY

Mimic – Gooey

I loved 1997, I was a weird, awkward middle-schooler obsessed with movies, horror, and for some weird reason, Mira Sorvino. I don’t know what it was about her, but I’m sure we all remember our movies crushes, and this was probably one of my biggest ones at that age.

This brings me to “Mimic” a relatively generic 1997 monster flick, but again, it holds a special place in my heart because it starred the lovely Mira Sorvino (imagine a 14 year old Matt reviewing this film).

In New York, a disease called Strickers is decimating the child population in the city, think of it as a cross between polio and the plague. Dr. Susan Tyler discovers the cause stems from cockroaches living in the cities sewers so she develops a new breed of bug; the Judas bug that will infiltrate the roach population and wipe them out from the inside out all while dying off themselves within a few months. All goes well and Strickers is all but wiped out and the city’s children are safe.

A few years later, a priest is attacked and killed by an unknown entity. CDC officials become involved and soon learn that the Judas breed might not only still be available but might also involved into something else that might be walking among the people of New York.

Overall, I think “Mimic” is a fun monster film with some great practical effects, but also some very lackluster mid-90s CG. The supporting cast, including Jeremy Northam, Charles S. Dutton, and Josh Brolin put in good performances, including Brolin, and his death scenes, which is one of the highlights of the film for him.

Other things that bothered me are the inclusion of child actors in this film. There are three, all annoying, but at least two of them meet relatively gory endings, which I stand up and applaud.

This is an early offering from Guillermo del Toro, who most will know from both “Hellboy” films and “Pacific Rim” but a lot of people forget that he cut his teeth in Hollywood on horror films like “Mimic” and the almost-forgotten vampire flick “Cronos.” I would love to see del Toro go back to his horror roots in future films, and not just something like “Crimson Peak.”

If “Mimic” doesn’t bug you, maybe some of these other films from 1997 will:

Alien Resurrection
Anaconda
Event Horizon
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Scream 2
Uncle Sam

October 26, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1996: The Dentist

The Dentist: SQUIRM
(In the best way)


1996 | Horror | 92 mins 


“It’s Time For Your Final Appointment”

From the Director of Beyond Re-Animator, Bride of Re-Animator, Return of the Living Dead III and Initiation: Silent Night, Deadly Night 4 comes…

The Dentist. A gory of a slasher with the frosting of comedy. The Dentist isn’t a masterpiece by any means but it does entertain. It is a bit goofy in every sense. But the strong part is its ability to make the audience squirm. Using a Dentist as its slasher is already grabbing a majority of people who hate going to the Dentist. Utilizing this with the operation rooms is the best thing of this film.

Breaking teeth, using Clamps, Vices, Fastening in mouths and of course Drills is what makes this film a must watch.

A few minutes in you’ll understand this is unlike most slashers, it’s a over acting 90’s slasher that makes the viewer squirm in their seat. Thats unique because it feels real. 

For an example a puppet spitting up warms isn’t that itching to the spine. But a Dentist knocking out a girl, ripping off her pantyhose, touching and kissing her is.

Watching teeth break is and a man with a transplanted eye from a serial killer isn’t.

The Dentist uses real life events (yes to the extreme) to make us entertained no matter how over the top it may be. The strongest thing a film can do is connect to the viewer and The Dentist nails that.

It a fun watch that does nothing but flat out entertain.

Little Trivia: Early Mark Riffalo appearance

October 21, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1995: Tales from the Hood

UNSUNG

Tales from the Hood – Unsung

You might be thinking two things right now; One, what took so long for another reviews, and two, what happened to an entry for 1994. Well, to be honest with you, 1994 was a super shitty year for horror, it was downright scary how bad 1994 was for the genre. So, to save you all a review of “Puppet Master 4” I figured I would skip to 1995 where I could review a “real” horror film. And by “real” I mean “real” in that gangster way, because I’m about to keep it “real” with one of the unsung horror gems from the mid-90s; “Tales from the Hood.”

“Hood” is an anthology film in the vein of “Creepshow” or “Tales from the Darkside: The Movie.” The wrap around story features a trio of drug dealers who show up late one night at a funeral home where they meet creepy mortician, Mr. Simms. Eager to get their “shit” and go, Mr. Simms takes them deep into his funeral home and introduces them to four bodies with stories to tell, including a man wrongfully killed by racist police, a kid who worries about a monster, a racist southerner with a doll problem, and a gang banger who tries to get rehabilitated “Clockwork Orange” style.

Overall, I really like this film. It’s super campy, bloody, and when you think about it now, has some pretty strong political messages about race relations and our government. Clarence Williams III hams it up big time as Mr. Simms and you get some pretty decent performances from the likes of Corbin Bernsen and David Alan Grier. The most effective story to me is probably the final segment that not only puts a bow on the film, but is also pretty creepy in its own right.

Out of all horror anthologies, I would say that “Hood” owes most to the original “Tales from the Crypt” from 1972 with it’s tone and ending. Is “Hood” better than “Tales?” Well, that’s all up to opinion of course.

If you thought this one was scary, check out these other Hood Classics from 1995:

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers
Lord of Illusions
The Mangler
The Prophecy
Species
John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned
Vampire in Brooklyn

October 15, 2015

The Horror Time Capsule – 1993: Body Bags

BODY BAGS: UN-FILLING

91 mins | Horror/Sci-Fi anthology | 1993

HBO had Tales from the Crypt, Showtime had nothing. But that all changed on August 8th 1993, Body Bags an anthology TV movie aired on Showtime…and that was it.

A star studded of a cast came together to make an extremely un-filling 91 minutes. Tales from the Crypt had the Crypt Keeper hosting its episodes, Body Bags had “The Coroner” played fantastically by the great John Carpenter. Yes I know I’m comparing apples and oranges, TV show with TV movie but clearly this is what Showtime had in mind. They had the power to do something unique but instead came up short.

The three best things are John Carpenter playing The Coroner, who is the most entertaining piece in this puzzle of a film. The second is the first story, “The Gas Station” which is a solid story that sets you up to be disappointed. The third is the cast, a balls to the wall of this guy and that comes up short. I liked this cast alot. It’s a shame they didn’t make more, it would of been fun to see where it goes with others making special appearances.

“The Morgue”
John Carpenter as The Coroner
Tom Arnold as Morgue Worker #1
Tobe Hooper as Morgue Worker #2

Is the glue that holds everything together. The Coroner is the Crypt Keeper here hosting the stories in a flat out entertaining performance by John Carpenter.

“The Gas Station”
Robert Carradine as Bill
Alex Datcher as Anne
Wes Craven as Pasty Faced Man
Sam Raimi as Dead Bill
David Naughton as Pete
Lucy Boryer as Peggy
George Buck Flower as Stranger
Molly Cheek as Divorcee
Only story that makes me feel like I didn’t waste my time. The others aren’t horrible but the this one just works. It’s a simple slasher, which paired with guests set the bar way too high. Seeing the likes of Craven, Raimi and Carradine peeked my interest. But I guess its just too good for this film, because sadly the others don’t come any close to “The Gas Station”.

“Hair”
Stacy Keach as Richard Coberts
David Warner as Dr. Lock
Sheena Easton as Megan
Dan Blom as Dennis
Gregory Nicotero as Man with Beautiful Hair
Kim Alexis as Woman with Beautiful Hair
Deborah Harry as The Nurse

Stacy Keach plays a guy who isn’t happy with his thinning hair. Sheena Easton says no and she loves him anyway. But it’s just too depressing 🙁 …He tries a few comical treatments but nothing helps. I’m pretty sure this whole story was suppose to be the funny one then again it was the 90’s. And let me say its very 90’s, very very 90’s.

He see a commercial and decides to try it. “Dr. Lock” played by David Warner (Titanic, Tron, The Omen) is the doc that can help. He asks Stacy what kind of hair he’d like using a 90’s computer generated program, you know how that looks without me saying anymore. Keach picks the Stallion. Yep it is its name, long black hair (see picture). And the whole things was done over night, without surgery! Sounds to good to be true hun? Well it is… And when you find out why, it feels like a copout. When its revealed I could hear myself say, “Really?!” I didn’t care much for it but I did like it more then the “Eye”. “Hair” was so bad yet I honestly think I liked this story about a guys hair more then the guy and his eye.

“Eye”
Mark Hamill as Brent Matthews
Twiggy as Cathy Matthews
John Agar as Dr. Lang
Roger Corman as Dr. Bregman
Charles Napier as Baseball Team Manager
Eddie Velez as Baseball Player


Were “Hair” was about hair I bet you can’t figure out what “Eye” is about?…NOPE

Your wrong it is about…

A eye. Let that settle in a bit. We have a film that is made up of three stories. Two are about something on your body. Not much to pick from apparently. “The Gas Station” stands out for its pacing and the fact its different then the others. “Hair” and “Eye” are about two guys getting transplants. And its goes wrong, like it feels like they didn’t try. “The Gas Station” isn’t a perfect film, but the “Eye” and “Hair” come off like they ran out of ideas and gave it to their 8 year old son to write. When you have three films it should feel like three and not two.

“Eye” is about a baseball player with an annoying accent. His wife played by Twiggy losses her American accent a few times and that too becomes annoying. Mark Hamill here is somewhat a joy to watch. The thing is he has always been but here I feel he was wasted. When he gets into a bad car accident in which his right eye is destroyed. He ends up losing it but receives one from a donor. The donor ends up being a serial killer who killed woman and had sex with them. This eye begins to take over the good old southern wholesome baseball player who was making his way to the top.

And thats it. Still feel hungry for more don’t you? Yeah thats how I felt.

“The Gas Station” = Solid

“Hair” = Short

Should of been left out. Or give us more. I didn’t mind the story but there could of been more, the story came up short for me on creativity.

“Eye” = Weak

Like the “Hair” I think it should of been left out. What would of been cool if they connected it to “The Gas Station” and its serial killer. Maybe that was his eye, sure it sounds like Im doing a copout but at least it’s something.

Because what we got in the end was very un-filling.

Kinda felt this way after the film but The Gas Station saved me

October 15, 2015

The Simplistic Reviews Podcast (Ep. 56) October 2015

FOR MATURE AUDIENCES

To celebrate this creepy time of year, why not hang with the creepy movie aficionados in the biz.  On this Halloween edition of the Simplistic Reviews Podcast, the boys talk candy…fall TV premieres…Ronda Rousey’s Roadhouse and Hayden Christensen.

This episode is filled to the brim with tricks and treats.  Grab your machete, your knife glove, and put on your inside out William Shatner mask and enjoy!

NOTES
Jennifer Lawrence’s Hunger Games C-word poster
Sam Smith Writing On the Wall
Ellen Pompeo criticizes Daniel Craig

MUSIC
Created A Monster by B.o.B. 
Murder Was The Case By Snoop Dogg
Bonfire By Childish Gambino
Saw Theme By Charles Clouser
Halloween Theme By John Carpenter

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