One day back in 2010, someone at Dimension Films, the onetime craphouse subsidiary of Miramax, noticed that the rights they owned to the Hellraiser franchise would expire unless they made and released a new film very soon. In a feat of filmmaking swiftness to rival that of Stewart Raffill, once production began, the film was in the can in three weeks. This speed also meant the screenplay, from Gary J. Tunnicliffe, was reportedly in its first, and final, draft when shooting commenced. This was enough for series icon Doug Bradley to turn down reprising the role of Pinhead. Considering how awful the previous few films in the series were, Bradley must have thought this screenplay was a real dog. And he was right.
The budget was miniscule, meaning not much could go into things like sets or locations, with the majority of the film taking place in the main character’s house. The performances felt unrehearsed and rushed, as if director Victor Garcia was prodding everyone to movie it along. But, the blood and gore effects were pretty decent for such a low-rent production. That’s all the praise I have to offer. Continue reading “Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Hellraiser: Revelations”
There have been a fair amount of unintentional comedies in this year’s Horrorshow, but this film is the first of the year where the jokes are intentional. It’s not just a horror/comedy, though. It’s also sci-fi/action, and crosses over into a few other genres should one wish to delve even deeper. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Attack the Block”
A million bucks must go a long way in Indonesia. That’s all the money writer/director Gareth Evans had on hand to film The Raid (released in the U.S. as The Raid: Redemption). Despite that tiny budget, Evans constructed a spectacular action flick, packed so full of visual and auditory stimuli that just watching it can make a viewer feel a little drained by the end. Continue reading “Empty Balcony: The Raid”
Right now, here in New York City, the sky is overcast and the air is a crisp 60 degrees (that’s 16 degrees for you Loyal Seven from points far and wide). It’s a typical fall day, and that sucks. On days like this, I worry the sun won’t make another appearance until it’s too cold out for clouds to form. But, I shouldn’t worry, because it’s October, and that means it’s time for the Sixth Annual October Horrorshow here on Missile Test, where I watch and review horror films for an entire month. The good, the bad, the putrid...it doesn’t matter, so long as there’s blood. Today’s film has buckets of the stuff. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: You’re Next”
[Normally, I’d have a trailer for a movie here. Not this time. You want to see a trailer for Doggie B, you find it without my help.]
Netflix continues to impress me with its selection of terrible movies to stream. Thanks to an unsustainable subscription model, the site is packed full with the dregs of Hollywood. Once, many years ago, I gave the local ABC affiliate here in New York shit for purchasing cheap movies to show late at night. Well, whoever that poor programming director happened to be at the time, I have to apologize. You brought me such gems as The Hillz and Theodore Rex, but as bad as those movies are, they are Oscar contenders compared to Doggie B.
Kill List, Ben Wheatley’s intense film from 2011, is impossible to classify. After having seen it, it continues to exist in my memory as an attack on convention, and an attack on my innate need to shove a film into this or that genre. It would be easy to just write that the film is a British crime drama, but nothing about this film is easy. Continue reading “The Empty Balcony: Kill List”
Oh, look. Another found footage horror flick. What is going on? Are these things breeding? Seriously, something has to be done about this or filmmakers are going to stop making horror films that look like, you know, actual movies. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Apartment 143″
What’s this? Another found footage horror film?! When will this menace stop? More importantly, when will I wise up and stop watching these things? All facetiousness aside, there are some films that use found footage effectively, some that don’t, and some whose plot actually requires it. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Tunnel”
The Awakening, from 2011, is better than most horror films I’ve seen. It’s also one of those films featuring the supernatural that doesn’t quite fit all that well into the surprisingly rigid definitions of the genre. Films like The Shining, The Sixth Sense, and others, are horror films by default, when in actuality, they rise above such rote classifications. The Awakening is not in the class of the two films cited above, but it has the same aspirations to break away from the bonds of genre.
Directed by Nick Murphy, and written by Stephen Volk and Mr. Murphy, The Awakening follows Florence Cathcart (Rebecca Hall), a young woman in England a few years after the end of World War I. She’s Cambridge-educated and has fiercely-held beliefs. Among these are the equal status of women and the ridiculousness of belief in the supernatural, including belief in God. She’s the author of a widely-read book that purports to debunk the supernatural, and the viewer’s first experience with Florence is her doing just that. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: The Awakening”
The only way to kill a movie franchise is to look away. The business model of the film industry necessarily requires that films display a certain amount of histrionic personality disorder (after all, if it ain’t worth looking at, it ain’t gonna make money), but eventually all franchises end up wearing out their welcomes. Narcissism, egocentricity, etc.; a person could have a field day going through the DSM looking up conditions that apply to the film industry, but it all gets back to money. Continue reading “October Horrorshow: Paranormal Activity 3″