October Horrorshow: Derelict

The abandoned South Fremantle Power Station outside of Perth, Western Australia, makes the old urbexer in me salivate. It’s a beautiful location on the outside, although inside it’s hollowed out and covered in sloppy graffiti. It was locations like this that made me get into urbex in the first place. The industrial giants of the past are true brick and stone monuments to the 20th century, and have since been subject to the ruthless cost-cutting of capitalism. It’s a set of architectural styles that will likely never appear again, as buildings and materials keep getting cheaper. Indeed, South Fremantle Power Station was closed in the 1980s, yet there it is, still standing, decades after all maintenance ceased. They built the place thirty years tougher than it needed to be, and counting. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Derelict”

October Horrorshow: Dead Trigger

What a putrid mess. Dead Trigger, from 2017 but resting on a shelf until this year, is an adaptation of a video game. It’s not the worst video game adaptation I’ve ever seen (that title belt is, and very well always could be, held by House of the Dead), but, it is a properly awful movie. It’s a good thing for the shitty movie fan that this film stars Dolph Lundgren, who has been gracing productions like this for over 30 years. The man is a shitty movie legend — the Tom Brady of bottom feeding dreck. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Dead Trigger”

October Horrorshow: Ghost Stories

Adapting their own successful stage play, writers and directors Andy Nyman and Jeremy Dyson have crafted a ghost flick that is, at times, among the most frightening that has been made this decade, and at other times is a cataclysmic rush to an uneven finale.

From 2017, Ghost Stories is somewhat of an anthology film, but the three separate tales that make up the film are bound together by a wrapper story in such a way that it can be considered a single narrative, as well. Nyman plays Professor Phillip Goodman, the presenter of a British reality show that debunks psychics. In an early scene, viewers see Goodman expose a spirit medium as a fraud. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Ghost Stories”

October Horrorshow: The Cured

Should a filmmaker decide to make a zombie flick these days, they will have to contend with oversaturation and viewer weariness. The 21st century has been awash with zombie flicks. And should film not sate one’s desires to see the undead tear apart human flesh, there is the media juggernaut that is The Walking Dead, still lumbering along after fifteen years. That franchise has done more to make people tired of zombies than anything else. The degree of difficulty for a filmmaker to make something interesting in the zombie subgenre of horror, then, is very high. There are basically two options. One: come up with a new idea that shakes up the unwritten rules of zombies. Two: go conventional, but do it well. Both of those are easier said than done. The Cured, the 2017 zombie flick from writer/director David Freyne, tries to do a combination of both. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Cured”

October Horrorshow: The Ritual

A creepy cabin in some lonely woods. A small cast. A mysterious monster that stalks them. Most of us film fans have seen this movie many, many times. Such a broad outline has spawned hundreds of horror films over the years. Some are good, some are awful, and most are just mediocre. In that, these horror films are like every other film that features well-worn tropes. One can’t expect too much originality, which makes it all the better when something new is to be found. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Ritual”

October Horrorshow: It (2017)

It, the 1986 novel from Stephen King, clocks in at over 1,100 pages. It’s a massive tome, from a part of King’s career in which it seemed he was abusing his editors. 1,100 pages is a huge commitment for a reader to make — one in which they are prepared to spend weeks or months with a book. How does one translate such an expansive work to the big screen? Peter Jackson might have some thoughts on that.

It, the 2017 film from director Andy Muschietti, is the first in a planned two movies that cover the source material. The novel has two main parts, as well, and this movie covers the first. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: It (2017)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: The Humanity Bureau

Nicolas Cage is a precious resource in the world of shitty movies. Looking at his filmography, he’s not a rare resource. But, how many Oscar-winners have devoted so much of the latter days of their careers to starring in absolute shit? Sure, there have been plenty of faded stars that showed up for a day’s filming and a check in the worst film has to offer (see Carradine, John), but Cage seems committed. He doesn’t just put in token appearances in bad movies. He stars in them. A LOT of them. His IMDb page lists 27 roles from 2010 through 2017, and the majority of them have been some real dogshit. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Humanity Bureau”

Empty Balcony: Wind River, or, Longmire: The Movie

Every year Hollywood releases a handful of thrillers that are well-made, good entertainment, but are fairly anonymous. They fill a market for solid mysteries. They can’t scratch the primal itch that makes big time action flicks so reliable at the box office, but they have the benefit of treating their audience like adults, which is nice. Wind River is one of those films. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: Wind River, or, Longmire: The Movie”

Empty Balcony: War for the Planet of the Apes

This film is excruciatingly inane, and at the same time an achievement. It is a story of stark moral black and whites, the contrast so palpable that it could blind were one to stare at it for too long. It is an epic that will take up 140 minutes of a viewer’s time, but it is also a flat desert plain stretching to the horizon, the only hint of depth merely a mirage. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: War for the Planet of the Apes”