Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Halloween (2018)

Halloween 2018 movie posterForget everything one might know about the lore of the Halloween franchise. Forget the events of Halloween II, wherein it is revealed that series icon Laurie Strode is series bad guy Michael Myer’s sister. Forget that Jamie Lloyd, the child protagonist of a number of the sequels, is Laurie Strode’s daughter. Forget that Jamie Lloyd was retconned and Laurie Strode had an entirely different family in Halloween H20. Forget that Laurie Strode was killed off in the next film. And for goodness sake, forget everything about the ‘man in black’ subplots. Then, forget the Rob Zombie remakes. Forget it all, because the people behind the Halloween franchise have thrown everything out but the first film. It’s a retcon on a grand scale, erasing 39 years of bad movies so the original Halloween, John Carpenter’s master slasher flick, could get a proper sequel.

It’s forty years to the day since the tragic events depicted in Halloween. The murders of so many of her friends, and her narrow escape from Michael Myers, has left Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) something of a shattered person. Her adult life has been dominated by a combination of PTSD, paranoia, and doomsday prepping. Somewhere in there she managed to have a daughter, Karen (Judy Greer), who has a daughter of her own, Allyson (Andi Matichak). Karen and Allyson aren’t exactly estranged from Laurie, but there is a lot of tension. Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Halloween (2018)”

Attack of the Franchise Sequels: Hellraiser: Judgement

Here we go again. Dimension Films, the neglectful owners of the cinematic rights to Hellraiser, waited until the last minute to renew the rights by making another Hellraiser flick. Unlike the last time, some folks involved knew it was coming, and decided to prepare.

From 2018, Hellraiser: Judgement is the latest film in the franchise. The good news is, this should be the last flick Dimension shits out just to secure rights, as the long-anticipated Hellraiser remake/reboot is in principal photography as of this writing. How about that? Continue readingAttack of the Franchise Sequels: Hellraiser: Judgement”

October Horrorshow: The Night Eats the World, aka La nuit a dévoré le monde

Ah, zombie flicks. So many possibilities, and so many variations. The basics are always there, with tweaks as required by the storytellers. It’s a subgenre of horror that’s so versatile that filmmakers have to truly work hard to make something that’s unwatchable. No worries, there, with 2018’s The Night Eats the World. This is a fine entry into the oeuvre of the undead.

Adapting a novel by Pit Agarmen, The Night Eats the World comes to us from screenwriters Jérémie Guez, Guillaume Lemans, and Dominique Rocher, with Rocher directing. From that list of names, one can guess that this film hails from France. It does, but it was filmed in English. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Night Eats the World, aka La nuit a dévoré le monde”

October Horrorshow: Mara

Sleep paralysis is a real condition that up to half of the people on Earth suffer at least once in their lives. Wikipedia describes it as, “…a state, during waking up or falling asleep, in which a person is aware but unable to move or speak.” That’s creepy enough as it is, but sleep paralysis can also be accompanied by hallucinations, which the sufferer may interpret as supernatural. Again, from the Wikipedia article on sleep paralysis:

 

Sleep paralysis may include hypnagogic hallucinations, such as a supernatural creature suffocating or terrifying the individual, accompanied by a feeling of pressure on one’s chest and difficulty breathing. Another example of a hallucination involves a menacing shadowy figure entering one’s room or lurking outside one’s window, while the subject is paralyzed.

My sympathy goes out to those who have gone through this, but that is great fodder for a horror flick. I’m surprised there haven’t been more. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Mara”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Speed Kills

Last week Missile Test heaped praise upon William Shatner, for his lifetime contribution to shitty cinema. This week features a different flavor of shitty movie actor — one whose star shined brightly in Hollywood, but whose latter career has been spent in direct-to-video schlock. Who could it be? Bruce Willis? Mel Gibson? Samuel L. Jackson? Morgan Freeman? Denzel Washington? All of those men, some with Academy hardware, have seen their careers drift away from the type of blockbusters that made them famous, but they are not the star of today’s reviewed film. Today’s film stars John Travolta, the one and only 21st century shitty movie actor who can give Nicolas Cage a run for his money. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Speed Kills”

Shitty Movie Sundays: 2036 Origin Unknown

2036 Origin Unknown movie posterShitty movie fans are a tolerant bunch. We put up with bad scripts, bad direction, bad acting, and all-around incompetence, all in the search for the one shitty film out of a dozen that scratches our peculiar itch. For every Road House, there is a pile of films like Driven; for every Anaconda, a passel of Ghosts of War; and, for every expansive adventure like Spacehunter, there are an abundance of one-location bore-fests like 2036 Origin Unknown.

It’s the future! 2036! And space scientist Mack Wilson (Katee Sackhoff) is alone in a room talking to an AI called ARTI (voiced by Steven Cree). The two of them are mission control for a Mars rover expedition, sent to the red planet to find out what happened to a manned mission that crashed there some years earlier. The rover reaches the crash site and discovers a giant cube, origin unknown. Before they realize what is happening, the cube is gone, having teleported itself to Antarctica. What follows is some nonsensical claptrap, inane conversation between Mack and ARTI, and an ending that is supposed to make one think, I think. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: 2036 Origin Unknown”

October Horrorshow: Overlord

If one is looking for a realistic World War Two movie, look elsewhere. Overlord takes all of its war visuals and scenarios from Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, to the point of thievery, but all that is just backdrop to the story. What this movie is really about are Nazi monster super-soldier experiments, and the small squad of American paratroopers who put a stop to it. It’s bloody, full of gore, and, somehow, works as a serious tale with no absurdity. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Overlord”

October Horrorshow: Deadtectives

Horror films don’t have to be all doom and gloom. In fact, a contender for the goriest film ever made, Braindead, also happens to be hilarious. There is plenty of room for black comedy in the genre. Yes, laughing at the blood and guts and death in a comedy horror is morbid, but no less so than watching a serious take on horror. All horror fans are a little bit diseased in that way. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Deadtectives”

October Horrorshow: Mandy

Mandy, the 2018 magnum opus from director Panos Cosmatos, written with Aaron Stewart-Ahn, is a film that will be polarizing to an audience. Its execution is very stylized, and that, combined with its oppressive mood, will be a huge turnoff for many, while many others will find themselves carried away by it all. It’s not completely a love it or hate it kind of film, but the world is rarely so black and white. What most viewers should be able to agree on is that Cosmatos’s film is ambitious, especially in the way it is photographed. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Mandy”

October Horrorshow: The Marshes

This is a little movie. Not in length. A viewer will feel all 85 minutes of its running time. Rather, The Marshes is a movie filmed with what looks to be a miniscule budget, so writer/director Roger Scott kept everything hemmed in. The film was shot in the Australian wilderness, and sets consist of a small campground and couple of spots for some bloody stuff. There’s not so much as a shack or a hunting blind to be seen anywhere once the production hits the boonies. They left only footprints. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Marshes”