October Horrorshow: The Belko Experiment, or, That Guy Battle Royale

I can’t recall seeing a film that had as many moments when I said to myself, “Oh, look. It’s that guy.” The Belko Experiment is chock full of that guys, and they all feature prominently. There’s that guy from Ghost, (Hollywood aristocrat Tony Goldwyn), that guy from Scrubs (John C. McGinley), that guy from The Killing (Brent Sexton), that guy from The Walking Dead (Michael Rooker), that guy from ER (Abraham Benrubi), budding that guy from The Newsroom (John Gallagher, Jr.), and plenty of other that guys and gals that have been featured in Hollywood films for a generation. Why has such an ensemble been assembled? To kill each other in bloody fashion. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Belko Experiment, or, That Guy Battle Royale”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Bunker: Project 12

Today’s shitty film is a rare one. As of this writing, it doesn’t have a Wikipedia page, despite there being two well-known actors in it. One of those actors, Eric Roberts, doesn’t even have the film listed in his filmography page on Wikipedia. Not even as a red link. That’s some impressive obscurity in the age of the internet.

From 2016, Bunker: Project 12 was released straight-to-video under the title Project 12: The Bunker. In fact, should one watch this movie, that is the title that shows in the opening credits. Where the slightly adjusted new title comes from is anyone’s guess. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Bunker: Project 12″

Shitty Movie Sundays: Cyborg X, or, Press the Damn Button Already!

This shitty flick is a bit of a throwback. If it had not been for the bargain basement CGI, this flick could be mistaken by the shitty movie fan for something from the 1980s or the early 1990s. It has that feel.

From writer/director Kevin King, Cyborg X takes place in the aftermath of a war in which a sentient AI has wiped out most of the people on the planet. Think the Terminator movies, if all the scenes took place in the future and there was none of that time travel nonsense. In fact, this movie lives and dies on the ideas that it ripped from James Cameron, and that’s just fine. The first shot of this film is of such low-quality CGI that it lets the viewer know to dismiss any positive expectations they might have had. Who cares if the rest of it is a ripoff? Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Cyborg X, or, Press the Damn Button Already!”

Empty Balcony: Officer Downe

Not all comic book adaptations feature superheroes and supervillains chasing down the one mysterious MacGuffin that can either save or destroy the universe. Sometimes, all a comic book hero wants to do is clean up the streets of the big city.

Part Robocop, part drive-in homage, and part splatterfest, Officer Downe is the cinematic adaptation of the comic of the same name from writer Joe Casey and artist Chris Burnham. Casey also penned the screenplay for Officer Downe, while directing duties were handled by Shawn Crahan. If that name is familiar to some of the Loyal Seven readers, that’s because Crahan’s day job is as a member of heavy metal group Slipknot. Other members of the band get in on the fun as extras and minor characters. Continue readingEmpty Balcony: Officer Downe”

October Horrorshow: A Dark Song

Horror films work quite well when they embrace spectacle. Over-the-top gore and special effects are a hallmark of the genre. But splattering blood all over isn’t the only way to make a horror flick. Sometimes a filmmaker goes for the soul underneath the flesh, and makes something disturbing.

A Dark Song is the feature film debut from writer/director Liam Gavin. From 2016, the film tells the story of two people carrying out occult rites in an isolated house in Wales in order to contact a guardian angel. This is no lightweight ritual, either. As occult expert Joseph Solomon (Steve Oram) explains to the woman who hired him to carry out the ritual, Sophia (Catherine Walker), it will be months before they know if it’s working. During that time, the two will not be able to leave the house, nor will they have any contact with the outside world. Nor could they, as there isn’t any power in the house. Or heat. Did I mention this house is in Wales? Because one would not want to live in an unheated house in Wales. All of this makes the stakes quite a bit higher than something one would see in an old Hammer flick. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: A Dark Song”

October Horrorshow: It Stains the Sands Red

Back in 2011, The Vicious Brothers (Colin Minihan and Stuart Ortiz), wrote and directed Grave Encounters, which has become something of a yardstick by which all found footage ghost flicks have been judged the last few years. That film, while being largely unknown outside of horror’s Cul-de-sac, has been very influential, even more so than The Blair Witch Project — a film regarded by many as the definitive found footage horror flick (I disagree). All one has to do is load up the horror category on Prime or Netflix. There one will find dozens of found footage ghost flicks that use the same techniques and plot elements as Grave Encounters. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: It Stains the Sands Red”

October Horrorshow: They’re Watching

It just doesn’t feel like the October Horrorshow until the first review of a found footage flick has been posted. This year the honor goes to They’re Watching, the 2016 film from writing and directing duo Jay Lender and Micah Wright.

The film follows the crew of a home improvement reality show. They are going back to Moldova six months after the subject of an episode, Becky Westlake (Brigid Brannagh), bought and began to rehab a dilapidated house in the woods. The place looked like a total lost cause. It had been empty for decades. All the glass had been broken. Walls and floors had been exposed to wind, rain, freezing, thawing, vandalism, and everything else that causes an abandoned building to slowly fall apart. The best thing would have been to knock it down and start over. But, when the crew arrives on site, after a somewhat harrowing journey to the house, they find that Becky appears to have done a top-notch job. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: They’re Watching”

October Horrorshow: Bad Ben

Bad BenWhat a glorious age in which we live. Sure, there are problems. American democracy is eating itself alive, with Russia giving us an unwanted assist. Capitalism no longer promises the kind of wage gains necessary to sustain a middle class over the long haul. Technology companies are being hacked, and our personal information is being stolen on a seemingly daily basis. That’s actually less disturbing than it could be, because those same technology companies have shown they don’t have our best interests at heart, anyway. No one can be trusted, whether it’s in our political lives or our technological lives. But at least in this new age, one man can write, film, star in, edit, and release his very own movie. It may not be a good movie, but all the gatekeepers that had been in place to prevent free expression in the art of film are now gone.

Nigel Bach is a self-described guy who ‘sits in [his] basement with [his] dog creating stuff.’ Before 2016’s Bad Ben, there are no credits on his IMDb page. In Bad Ben, he is credited as producer, director, editor, star, and would have writing credit, as well, only it seemed he didn’t think to include that in the credits. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Bad Ben”