<![CDATA[Ginger Nuts of Horror - Challenge Kayleigh ]]>Wed, 20 Sep 2017 08:39:34 +0100Weebly<![CDATA[CHALLENGE KAYLEIGH: TROLL 2 ]]>Tue, 21 Mar 2017 13:20:57 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/challenge-kayleigh-troll-2By Kayleigh Marie Edwards 
Well, it’s finally happened. FINALLY! At long last, someone has challenged me to write a positive review of none other than the truly awe-inspiring, frequently voted ‘most awful horror film of all time’ Troll 2 (1990, directed by Claudio Fragasso). I was so happy when this challenge came in that I literally wept with joy. Well not literally – I mean, I’m not a maniac. I only weep over normal things, like when a scotch pancake slips too far into the toaster.
 
This page, Challenge Kayleigh, exists because I boasted that my love of horror is so great that I can find redeeming qualities in any horror film in existence, so you guys pitch me the challenge, and I review the film. If you best me (I’m so far undefeated), you win grand prizes. Since I’m now on a 12-movie winning streak, I also now give consolation prizes to those who take the time to pitch me a challenge. George Ilett Anderson – thank you for this. Contact me or Jimmy McNutsFace and I’ll get your CONSOLATION prize sent to you! Major spoilers ahead.
 
So, Troll 2 then.

 
Troll is the 1986 story of an evil troll king who sorta kinda possesses a little girl in an apartment complex and there’s a witch and indoor plants and all sorts of madness. It’s not considered a masterpiece but it does have a cult following, and it’s plenty of silly fun.
 
Troll 2 is a sequel with absolutely no connection whatsoever to the first movie, or indeed, trolls. It’s not only been consistently cited as the worst sequel ever made, but also the worst horror movie, and even the worst movie of any genre, of all time. And I loved every second of it. And I’ll tell you why.
 
Troll 2 is an insightful, paradoxical prediction and metaphorical foreshadowing of what the then future would hold; the Internet, and everything wrong with it (or right with it, depending on whether you use it for good or evil). I assume that the filmmakers used some sort of sorcery to gain insight into certain Internet phenomena. Specifically, what I’m referring to here are the following issues:

  • Social Media Promoting Diet Fads
 
Goodness grief, if there were ever people obsessed with their diet, it’s EVERYONE in this film. The goblins themselves are ‘vegetarian’ (which is bizarre, considering that they turn humans into plants so they can be consumed). All the goblins think about is eating – their lives revolve around ‘sourcing’ the next meal. Humorously, despite them being honey-trapping murderers, they are easily offended when ‘unclean’ food comes up in conversation. A goblin storeowner becomes aggressive when asked for coffee, because apparently it’s the devil’s drink. Said storeowner also doesn’t sell eggs or bacon because ‘we’re all vegetarians’ here. Later, one of the goblins make a disgusted reference to ‘stinking, filthy meat’, because the goblins don’t want their future meals eating unhealthily because then they’re full of gross toxins before they’re consumed. For a bunch of folk who hold their food morals very highly and seriously, they’re also a bunch of hypocrites who eat people and justify it because they’ve turned them into people/plant hybrids. Just because the humans end up liquefied, it doesn’t mean they’re not made of meat, you cheeky little nilbogs.
 
The goblins represent the hungriest and greediest of us. They also represent the preachy, self-righteous, ‘clean eaters’ who use the Internet to attack people who don’t meet their own, personal food standards. In the movie, they’re literally attacking them; so it’s a metaphor, see?
 
It’s not just the goblins that are obsessed with food – it’s the people too, though they’re more obsessed with the lack of it. They’re on the other end of the diet fad food spectrum, you see. The family in the movie seems to be shrouded in a unique kind of shame around food. Josh has a nightmare about being turned into a plant and being eaten, and when he tells his family about it, all three of them turn on him and inform him that he brought the nightmare on himself by eating too much. We haven’t even seen Josh eat at all by this point. When they arrive at the goblins’ house, they are met with a feast on the table. Josh literally pisses on all of it so none of them can eat. This serves as a problem because the only food in the house is that left by the goblins because neither parent thought to bring any with them. A group of lads staying in a camper van near by also forgot to bring food. Starving oneself appears to be a common thread in this movie.
 
Perhaps (well…definitely) the most bizarre representation of food in this movie arrives in the form of corn. A goblin/witch disguised as a hot woman arrives at the camper van when one of the guys is alone, and literally seduces him with some corn on the cob. They sort of.. kiss?... the corn, and it gets so hot in the camper van that the corn turns into popcorn. I’m not joking. The corn sprays everywhere, filling the trailer, like some sort of mega corn ejaculation. It’s porn. It’s corn porn. This may not quite fit into the ‘diet fad’ category, but it most definitely hints at the kind of depraved porn that was just becoming not only available, but popular, on the Internet.
 
The point I’m making is this – these aspects of the movie represent the diet crazes made popular by Internet access. The people represent the shame of eating and the millions of ‘too-thin’ Instagramers who successfully promote an emaciated body image. The goblins represent the ‘clean living’ vegetarians and vegans of the world, a movement that has taken the world by storm in recent years, thanks to the spread of information via Youtubers and Bloggers alike.

  • “I do my own medical/nutritional ‘research’
 
Oh God. You know what I mean by this, you guys. You know those parents who refuse to have their children immunized because they’ve gone online and ‘done their own research’? They’re horrified to learn that vaccines contain the disease, as if that’s some evil secret the medical community was hiding until the day the net became widely available? More and more often, we’re seeing ‘movements’ arising, due to people surfing the web and then deciding to ignore the advice of qualified doctors.
 
During the movie, a dude mouths off to a horde of goblins, and quite rightly, gets a spear through the leg. He stumbles through the woods with a girl he found, who is pre-plant mutation and very ill, and they find the witch’s house. He asks for a doctor and she informs him that ‘we’re used to curing ourselves’ and then feeds the girl a broth containing all the ‘vegetable properties of the earth’. This scene is indicative of both ‘self-diagnosis’ and the ‘alternative medicine’ craze, both of which rely heavily on the Internet.
 

  • “I think a healthy relationship is keeping tabs on each other’s every move via social media”
 
The ‘central relationship’ in this movie is that of Sister and her Bo (oh yes, that’s what she calls him). It’s a vicious, unhealthy relationship in which she constantly undermines him, insults him, demands 100% of his time, and tries to emasculate him all the time. She even mocks him for being a virgin. Their relationship is based on her keeping tabs on his every move, much in the same way that people use Facebook to secretly stalk their significant others. There’s even a scene in which she’s dancing in front of the mirror and she actually talks to the mirror as if it’s her boyfriend, and demands that he like her. Everything she does is for ‘likes’.
 
There is a more obvious example of this weird type of stalking when the mouthy dude sees a girl running through the woods, so naturally, he chases her. This is following a discussion about the lack of women around. Terrified, the girl continues to flee, so the dude actually tackles her to the ground and then demands to know who she is. Much like that guy that keeps sending you friend requests, and then when he receives no response, starts messaging you asking for your details.

  • Catfishing
 
The goblins in this movie are the ultimate catfish – way better than even the mightiest of keyboard warriors we see today. The film opens with Grandpa telling Josh a nice bedtime story about how goblins imitate human form in order to trap unsuspecting people into eating this weird green goop, that then turns them into half-human/half-plant, so that the goblins can eat them later. In Grandpa’s story, the ‘hero’ is tricked by a beautiful woman, who obviously is not who she appears to be because she turns out to be a goblin. This is basically the premise of every single episode of MTV’s Catfish. If half of those unsuspecting, gullible ‘victims’ had watched Troll 2, they might have saved themselves a world of hassle.
 
The family this movie follows is a silly bunch that arranges to swap house keys with another family, who are strangers, presumably to ‘holiday’ in each other’s houses. This family looks human but they are goblins that lured the family to Nilbog to be eaten. Catfished.
 

  • The brilliant, genius ‘Rick Rolling’ craze
 
I’ve been Rick Rolled, and so have you. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s simply that annoying thing where you’re prompted to click on a link (usually there’s a ‘click bait’ type of headline to sucker you in, or the promise of a massive spoiler for a popular show). However, the link doesn’t take you to where you expect it to – it actually leads you to either a meme or a video of Rick Astley. This is considered just one of many branches of ‘trolling’. Why Rick Astley, I hear you ask? I don’t think anyone knows, but it makes me laugh every time someone tricks me with it.
 
Troll 2 is the ultimate experience in being trolled. That whole catfishing element shows us that the characters in the movie are being mislead for the entire time, but as an audience, so are we. Notice how not only is this sequel nothing to do with the first movie, but it doesn’t actually have trolls at all? The monsters are explicitly referred to as goblins for the entirety of the movie. We came to this sequel expecting trolls, but in a hilarious, ironic twist, there are none. We have been trolled by a lack of trolls. We have been Rick Rolled. NAY! We have been RICK TROLLED.
 
Magical, psychic predictions of modern day aside, I can honestly tell you that this movie is enjoyable. It’s hilarious on so many levels, and is worth a watch if only for the scene in which Elliot screams “They’re eating her! And then they’re gonna eat me!.....OH MY GODDDDDDDDDDDD!”
 
I also enjoyed the hilarious joke of the hammiest actor on the planet, who plays the witch. Honestly, you’ve never seen such hammy acting.. it’s not just hammy; it’s an entire pigpen of hilarity. I’ve assumed that the actor gave such a hammy performance so that the word ‘hammy’ would come to mind when you watch her. Because goblins don’t eat ham. So it’s an ironic joke (and not just unintentional bad acting). Obviously.
 
Way too easy George, but again, I thank you for giving me a brilliant afternoon of ‘work’.
 
If you think you have a movie in mind that can’t possibly be redeemed, send it my way and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong :p
 
Next?
 
 

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<![CDATA[​CHALLENGE KAYLEIGH 11:JAWS 4: THE REVENGE]]>Wed, 11 Jan 2017 02:54:53 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/challenge-kayleigh-11jaws-4-the-revengeWritten by Kayleigh Marie Edwards 
Ola horror amigos! I once claimed that I love horror so much that I can find merit it any horror film, no matter how poor others may consider it. With that, this page was born. I’m undefeated as of yet, but if you manage to thwart me with a terrible film, many prizes will come your way. I’m on a ten-film victory at the moment, so I now also send out consolation prizes if you lose.
 
So, Jaws 4. What did I make of it? – I hear you whale (sea pun… oh yeah). Well, it’s not my favourite horror film, but it’s deFINitely not the worst film I’ve seen. It’s not swimming in disaster or anything……
 
Actually, I genuinely don’t even think it’s bad at all. In fact, I quite enjoyed it. George Llett Anderson, I’m afraid that you’ve not bested me this time, but don’t be disheartened, I reckon you’ll think of something terrible to hit back at me with, and you still get a little prize for posing a challenge in the first place 
(Just get in touch with either myself or Jimmy McNuts with your contact info).
 
Spoilers ahead!

 

 
The Revenge takes a new direction in the Jaws franchise, as our protagonist is no longer Chief Brody, but his widow, Ellen (Lorraine Gary). Our chief has tragically suffered a fatal heart attack, which Ellen believes was brought on by the fear of his Great White nemesis. The Brody kids, Mike and Sean, are all grown up. Sean still lives in Amity, and Mike is working towards a PhD studying sea snails in the Bahamas.
 
Whilst repairing a buoy, a beastly shark sneaks up on Sean, and it kills him until he is quite verily dead. Most just consider this a tragedy, but Ellen has a bad feeling in her waters that this is a shark that her family has encountered before, and that it’s out for revenge against them.
 
As we know (if you’ve seen the Jaws movies), poor Ellen has been through a lot, and what I noticed quickly is that this particular installment of the franchise actually tackles the nature of PTSD. Anyone who suffers a trauma could fall victim to this horrid disorder, and Ellen is firmly within its grasp in the beginning. She begs Mike to quit his job and insists several times that she doesn’t want anyone in her family going in the water again. She voices her concern that the shark is out to get them, and of course, she’s treated like her cheese is sliding off its cracker.
 
People who have suffered PTSD may know all too well the frustration that comes with how other people treat you when you have an anxiety problem. Since you’re prone to stress, you’re not taken seriously. People think you’re overreacting, and maybe sometimes you are. But that doesn’t mean that you’ve lost all common sense and are just riding a doom slide with no coherent thought – it means you’re more sensitive to things that other people haven’t had to worry about. Like impending death, for example. Someone who has, say, been involved in a serious car accident may no longer breeze through life assuming that a car accident will never happen to them – because it has, and it could again. People who haven’t had such misfortune find it difficult to understand why all of a sudden a car ride is a traumatic, nerve-wracking event to said trauma survivor. Since Ellen has a history with this particular Great White’s family of sharks, a history that involves more than one incident so, in fact, it’s quite reasonable of her to fear the worst. It’s happened to her family before, then it happened again, and now her son has been chomped to death. The conclusion she’s drawing from this comes from past experience, not hysteria.
 
The way this movie handles this disorder is subtle and, in my opinion, tasteful. Ellen isn’t presented as a raving, paranoid lunatic, but as someone we can understand and sympathise with. We’re also privy to the fact quite early on that she’s right, because we see Toothy McTootherson roaming around in the water.
 
Mike, his wife, and his child, take Ellen to their home in the Bahamas, where she meets a charming pilot played by Michael Caine, which is a plus point for any movie. At first, she is plagued by her fear. She has nightmares about swimming in the sea and getting attacked by the shark, only to wake up bathed in her own sweat (which, by the way, is a beautiful use of visual metaphor; her greatest fear is what lies beneath the salty depths, and then she wakes up just as soaked in salty sweat as she is soaked in the salty sea in the dream, as if the nightmare left a residue on her. The message is that she is trapped and unable to escape her fear, which is part of the problem for a PTSD sufferer).
 
Soon, Ellen begins to relax; all seems well in the Bahamas, and there’s potential for a new romance with Michael Caine. At this point, we’re heading into the second act of the story, where Ellen appears to be getting what she wants (to lose the fear), but not what she needs (certainty that the shark is no threat).
 
Meanwhile, Mike is out looking at snails with his research partner, who encounters the shark. The shark isn’t interested in him though, and goes right for the boat in an attempt to gobble down Mike. Now we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Ellen has been right all along. Mike knows this too, so he decides not to tell anyone in his family about it for fear of setting his mother off. This backfires on him when the shark targets his daughter whilst she’s enjoying a lovely banana boat ride. Luckily, she escapes unscathed, but a lesson has been learned by all.
 
We shift into the third act, where Ellen decides to take action. The attack on her granddaughter was her call to arms, and she takes it up, deciding to tackle the shark alone by stealing her son’s boat and heading out to sea. I’m not sure what she’s actually planning to do with the shark when she finds it, since she knows that like an apache helicopter, it is a total death machine. What I imagine is that she’s planning on giving it a stern talking to, in that way that only mothers can do. She’s probably planning on hitting it with that ‘I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed’ line.
 
Things don’t pan out that way for her though, because her son and his sidekicks swoop in (literally, in a plane) to save the day. A bunch of stuff happens, but in short, Ellen has a moment of vengeance and manages to impale the sea beast with the broken front end thingy of the boat. This was my favourite moment of the movie because it’s where you realise that the title – The Revenge – doesn’t refer to the shark, but to the Brodys, who finally get theirs.
 
This movie follows your regular three-act structure, contains some entertaining new characters, as well as one of the beloved originals, and is shot in the most beautiful location. It doesn’t go off on a bizarre tangent the way a lot of sequels a few movies down the line tend to, and the narrative is straightforward and cohesive. Furthermore, you don’t necessarily need to have seen the previous three movies to understand what’s happening, so it works for seasoned and new audiences alike.
 
Overall, I’m giving this one a thumbs up. I enjoyed it!
 
On to the next challenge!
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<![CDATA[CHALLENGE KAYLEIGH 10: DEADLINE]]>Fri, 28 Oct 2016 16:14:07 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/challenge-kayleigh-10-deadlineBY KAYLEIGH MARIE EDWARDS
I once claimed to be such a horror enthusiast that I’m able to genuinely enjoy, and positively review, any and all horror movies. People send me suggestions and if I can’t live up to my promise then you win prizes. I’m reigning supreme so far, but I do now also offer consolation prizes for those who take the time to pose me a challenge, should they lose.
 
Deadline was suggested as a challenge to me by Phil Sloman, thanks dude!
 
Spoilers ahead.

 

 
Deadline is the story of a screenwriter who, following her ‘recovery’ of a traumatic life event with an abusive ex, goes to a secluded house to finish a script. Cue ‘ghosts’, spooky happenings, and our protagonist, Alice, dropkicking herself through a maze of terror.
 
Written and directed by Sean McConville, starring Brittany Murphy and Thora Birch, this movie is about as typical as they come. What I mean by that is that this ‘is she seeing ghosts or is she just losing her mind?’ question shouldn’t even really be a mystery to anyone watching – it’s very clearly a tale of descending madness. Whilst this concept and answer to the ghost/insanity riddle isn’t original in the world of horror, it does so many things well that I can comfortably give it a thumbs up. You won’t get a real ‘haunting or madness?’ mystery because the answer is so obvious, but what you will get is a film that’s comprised of many fantastic filmmaking techniques that elude to our protagonist’s mental state, and a metaphorical journey down the rabbit hole of the trauma she has lost her will to.
 
The movie opens with some travelling ‘through the windows from the outside’ shots of what appears to be an old-fashioned house. The way this is filmed, as though the viewer is actually spying through these windows, establishes a voyeuristic tone, and sets a wonderful creepy atmosphere because it’s paired with a glorious, haunting soundtrack. You know the kind I mean, the kind you get in ghost films. The kind that if it was on the DVD menu and you left it running, you’d find yourself creeping around your house pretending to be a ghost film protagonist, peering around corners and whatnot. Oh, on that note actually, allow me to issue a warning. Under no circumstances should you ever leave the DVD running on the menu screen if the film in question is The Exorcism of Emily Rose. Holy shit balls dudes, for reals like. I was hiding around the doorway just trying to pluck up the courage to run in there and turn it off before the screaming made my insides dissolve again.
 
Anyway, as the music reaches its natural end, we go through one of the windows into what is now a modern apartment. This seamless shift through the ‘when’ and ‘where’ of what we’re watching creates a mild disorientation for the viewer, allowing us to empathise with Alice’s already-confused mental state, without actually telling us that that’s what we’re doing. It also immediately clues us in to the function of the time-lapse because it blurs so effortlessly. Someone who’s paying attention will consciously notice this as a clue to the way reality will shift throughout the rest of the film, and someone who isn’t looking that closely will experience the confusion without even noticing. It’s genius.
 
Early on, it’s clear that Alice is addicted to having a video camera glued to her hand, and her friend/lover even calls her a ‘voyeur’, which implies that what we’re watching is already on a sort of ‘spying’ loop. Perhaps it wasn’t us spying through Alice’s windows at the start, maybe it was Alice and we were watching from her point of view.
 

When she reaches the house, we get that classic shot of the woman taking her meds, as seen in so many movies of this nature. We already know that she’s suffered a terrible ordeal at the hands of a violent man, that she continues to be afraid of him though he’s in prison, and that she’s previously suffered a breakdown. We also know that the house she is staying in is empty, and that she has insisted on staying there alone. She has even insisted on not keeping her car there, though she is well out of walking distance to any civilization. In short, she is isolating herself. Isolation from others is an unfortunate symptom and result of both mental and physical abuse, so we can infer from this self-imposed behaviour that Alice has not recovered. Not only this, but she is, in fact, treating herself the same way that we can assume her ex treated her. This type of mental conditioning is very severe, so it’s a safe assumption that Alice is suffering a great deal beneath the surface. The movie delivers this message of the effects of abuse in a way that is not only astute, but also subtle, and in my opinion, respectful.
 
Ghostly activities start to happen (wet footprints, a bath run by itself, ghostly images, etc.), and Alice finds some camcorder tapes of a couple called Lucy and David. As her fear that she is not alone in the house grows, Alice makes several frightened calls to her friend, explaining that she can ‘feel the sadness’ in the house. At this point, whether or not the tapes of the couple are real is undetermined, but what we can safely assume is that Alice is not seeing ghosts. She’s actually being haunted by her own memories and fears. Lucy and David appear to have a similar relationship to Alice and her ex.
 
Alice receives phone calls where all she hears are echoes of a woman crying – this woman is most definitely an ‘echo’ of her own suffering, rather than a ghostly Lucy. To solidify the notion that Alice is, in fact, haunting herself, she even wears a white cuff throughout the entire film, which is very similar to a hospital band. It’s a constant reminder to the viewer that this woman is not well. She falls asleep at random points of the day and suffers terrible nightmares of the couple, so it becomes more and more difficult for the viewer to distinguish between what’s a nightmare, and what’s real (to Alice, at least).
 
Lucy and David’s story, as Alice watches on the tapes, is one of woe. David is paranoid and jealous and believes his unborn child to be someone else’s. He drowns Lucy in the bathtub. This mimics what happened to Alice, so we know that these tapes are not likely to be real, but Alice’s imaginings. They’re fictional characters created by her sub-conscious to process her own trauma – watching it happen to someone else is less painful than dealing with the reality that it happened to you.
 
Alice receives a message from ‘Lucy’ claiming ‘he won’t let me leave’. This is an obvious projection of Alice’s fear that she will never truly escape her ex. It was made clear early on that she fears that he will come for her when he leaves prison.
 
When Alice searches for Lucy’s grave and finds it, this is symbolic of the death of her former self. She is a new, but broken version of who she once was and has not yet managed shake the impending fear of her own demise.
 
Her entire exploration into the Lucy and David story (which turns out to be her latest script) is her way of analyzing what she went through, but through the lens of someone else’s life. Not able to deal with her pain, she has created these characters in order to relive and process her pain. In doing so, she gains a better understanding of her ex, and herself, but instead of healing her, it continues to break her.
 
The movie ends with her friend turning up and finding her soaked in the bath. Alice has recreated what her ex did to her as a means of processing, but she’s still convinced that these characters are real and that they have haunted her. Her friend finds her camera, and it transpires that Alice has been watching videos of herself filming her friend the whole time.
 
This is not a ghost story, but an analysis of a woman with mental health problems caused by a trauma. Unlike a lot of these types of movies, however, this film does not end on the protagonist reaching peace and understanding, but rather it ends on the full mental destruction of the character. She was beaten by her psychological demons and thus, the monster won. This puts the movie firmly into the ‘horrific’ category, particularly because the monster is real and could attack any one of us. We are all potentially vulnerable to a psychological hammering, and this is what this movie is here to show us.
 
This film isn’t for those who want a full-on ghost spook experience (though it has its spooky moments for sure), but it resonates in reality and will be enjoyed by those who like to ride the psychological horror wave.
 
You haven’t beaten me this time, Sloman! If you’d like to send your details to me, your consolation prize will be on the way!
 
Next?
So who wants to Challenge Kayleigh next?  Leave your terrible horror film recommendations in the comments below 
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<![CDATA[​ZOMBIE LAKE CHALLENGE KAYLEIGH: CHALLENGE NUMBER 9]]>Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:32:09 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/zombie-lake-challenge-kayleigh-challenge-number-9
Picture
Zombie lake Jean Rollin’s 1981

 
Greetings, my horror rockin’ amigos.
 
I once made the claim that I love horror so much that I can find merit in any (and so far, every) horror movie. The deal is that should I fail, I will send you prizes! So far though, I’ve not been bested. However, from this day forth, what I am willing to offer along with my review, is a mystery consolation prize, should you fail.
 
This time, I was challenged by Patrick Loveland (thank you) to review Jean Rollin’s 1981 chomp/erotica-fest, Zombie Lake. Dude, if you send your details to Jim he'll pass them on to me and  your prize will be in the post!
 
Spoilers ahead, and here goes…
 

The late Jean Rollin is a French director known for his many supernatural-themed movies, as well as his stint as a director in the adult entertainment industry. He began his film career by making shorts about things he cared about, worked his way into feature films, took some time out from his usual shtick to direct porn, and then returned to what he loved most.
 
Zombie Lake was made in the tail end of Rollin’s porn movie stint, and is (in my opinion) a reflection of how the director’s views on women and sex changed during his time in the sex industry. The porno influences are rife, and female sexuality acts almost as a motif for the theme of the movie.
 
We begin with what looks like any late 70’s porn movie introduction (I mean.. I assume.. I haven’t seen.. I mean I don’t watch.. WHAT SHUT UP). Glorious lake and woodland surroundings, lone beautiful woman, delightfully tacky yet suggestive soundtrack. She takes all of her clothes off and goes for a swim. After a good few minutes of swimming action, a gross zombie emerges in the water to hunt the poor woman down.
 
What’s notable in this opening scene is the metaphor of the grainy, unseen underbelly of the sexual representation of women in this era, and it’s still relevant today. To the viewer, this scene could be perceived as sexually excessive (what with all the vagina shots and all) – the nameless woman is merely an object of visual stimulation. But to the woman, she has merely gone for a swim alone, out of the reach of prying eyes. For her, her body isn’t a hole goal. It isn’t the naked woman who makes this scene sexual; it’s the viewer that mentally applies the sexy context. It’s us, judging her as we watch. It’s us, not only criticising the character, but perhaps even the actress, because she has been willing to bare all for the entertainment of the masses. She’s been willing to let a load of horny horror fans get their jollies by looking at her. Or perhaps she was just a body-confident actor who was doing her job?
 
Decades ago, Gary Oldman once swam naked in a film. Thanks to a graceful little twirl in the water, we saw everything. He went on to co-star in a few of those child-favourite Harry Potter movies. Daniel Radcliffe went full frontal on stage, before the Potter mania had even nearly subsided. We applaud them, as perhaps we should, for taking their craft seriously and hanging up their insecurities for the sake of art.
 
By contrast, Elizabeth Berkley starred in the cult classic Showgirls, playing a stripper. The character has a liberal view towards sex and her own sexuality, and the very nature of the story dictates a fair amount of nudity. Berkley has survived as an actor by mostly taking small roles in shows ever since, but it’s generally accepted that Showgirls killed her career.
 
We all know how this goes… why didn’t she have some respect for herself and turn down a naked role? I mean, doesn’t she have any morals? What did she expect would happen to her career? Meanwhile, we’re saluting Radcliffe for being brave enough to risk and show it all in a live theatre. He’s one of Britain’s sweethearts and we love him all the more for simply having the guts to showcase his magic wand. Berkley, it’s safe to say, will forever be remembered as ‘that girl from Saved by the Bell who basically made a lap dance porno’, whilst Radcliffe receives admiring comments for choosing a dangerous and artistic role as a naked horse pervert.
 
What does this have to do with Zombie Lake, I hear you ask? Well, my friends, everything. Rollin was a director with something to say and he made movies for the love, not the money, as evidenced by his poor finances. There’s a point to everything he made, and whether or not the effects are good or the acting is poor is beside the point because he was shooting for sending a message, rather than banking a blockbuster.
 
When we return to the naked swim scene, we see how Rollin merges the innocent act of the woman with the projected pollution of the viewer’s perception. At first, the lake is clear and clean, but when the zombie is introduced, we actually see that it’s full of scum and filth. Suddenly, what she sees changes and she is no longer a person, but an object under the devouring zombie’s male gaze. We won’t feel sorry for this woman as she is dragged down; we’ll wonder what she expected would happen when she chose to swim in such a dirty environment anyway. *Dramatic air grab*… Oh yeah, that’s right guys.. Rollin isn’t the only one who can smack you with metaphors around these parts. Here.. I’ll do another one – she becomes something to be enjoyed as the zombie rises. Wait, that’s not a metaphor. If anything, that’s more of an innuendo. In your end-o.  Now that’s what I call a Zombeaver. Beaver because vaginas. *Slaps myself* Ahem, sorry.
 
As the film progresses, we find out that the town folk are aware of the zombies, in fact, some of them are the reason that the zombies are there. Set during WW2, the zombies are dead German soldiers whose bodies were disposed of into the lake by the French resistance. For whatever reason, the lake rejects the corpses and brings them back to un-life. The Mayor has had enough of their gross, watery, chompy mouths, and thus begins the plan to get rid of them once and for all. One of the zombies - we’ll call him ‘Dad’ - is the fallen lover of one of the village women, who sadly died after she gave birth to their daughter, Helena (we learn this backstory via a flashback scene). Dad returns to Helena, who is still a child but now old enough to recognise, but not fear, his nature. They bond. And then the Mayor forces her to lure Dad and his zombie pals into a trap in which they all get set alight, and that’s the end of the undead right there.
 
Now, don’t get me wrong, this movie is full of things you can criticise. You can gripe about self-aware, undead zombies, if you wish. You can laugh at the terrible make-up and special effects. It’s not on par with The Room for bad acting, but there’s a handmaiden who steals every scene she’s in with accidental hilarity in her line delivery.
 
But let’s divert our attention to what’s good about it, shall we?
 
Firstly, Rollin understands horror well enough to know how to balance the dialogue to action ratio. How many times have you seen a horror film that was rubbish, but could have been brilliant, if they had just shut the hell up? Nothing ruins tension more than unnecessary dialogue, and nothing builds it more than silence. Rollin uses the exclusion of both diegetic and non-diegetic sound in all the right places. There are scenes in which there is no dialogue whatsoever, and the tone and impending doom are conveyed entirely through the soundtrack. The actual music itself might be tacky and dated, but it still does its job. We know something is coming, and we know how we’re supposed to feel about it too. I started to wonder if Rollin was actually some sort of genius, because he clearly had the magic ear and his scenes were balanced and executed with the expertise of someone who deserved a bigger budget to make his movie.
 
In a flashback sex scene between our ‘Dad’ zombie and his lady friend, which we later learn is the conception of Helena, all sound is omitted from the scene, except for some instrumental music. It’s a sex scene by all counts, complete with boobies and everything, but this scene is about love and companionship, and not about carnal instinct. The soundtrack is gentle and melodic, but every now and then we get a single-finger piano layer to it that reflects some sort of solitude. This makes the scene almost sad, because you know, just through that little twinkly piano bit, that this union cannot last. Someone will end up alone, and we later learn that through the death of both of them, that someone is their child.
 
Secondly, the set and the imagery and how it is shot as a whole gives this movie a few stylistic elements that are rarely seen in the zombie genre, and it works. This movie might not have had Hollywood money to back it, but the sets throw us right into the era because the right details were used in the design. We get glimpses of Rollin’s taste for gothic horror in close-up shots of things like gargoyle statues. The little details add depth and class, and really demonstrate Rollin’s appreciation of the horror genre as a whole.
 
Finally, and most importantly, it’s the major and minor themes running through this movie that make it amazing. Oh man, the themes. It’s no secret that porn actresses in the 70’s (and still today) didn’t receive the same respect, as human beings, as the general public would afford to anyone else. You only need to watch one documentary on the lives of pornstars to learn that after leaving the industry, they’re not likely to get employed in any other sector. After all, they’re just for sex, right? At the time this film was made, women in general still did not have equal rights. Today, there is still a debate about whether or not it’s appropriate for a woman to breast-feed in public, because apparently breasts are for the enjoyment of others and a mother has no right to suppose she can use them for non-sexual purposes.
 
Not only is Zombie Lake a deliberately feminist movie, but as it was made in ’81, it was damn well ahead of its time too. The porn-like settings when the women are naked are merely a veil to peer through, should we want to look hard. Much like the porn actresses that Rollin worked with in the 70’s, the women in this film are only valuable so long as they are clothed. They are only people, so long as they are serving the village men in other ways whilst they are dressed and acting ‘appropriately’.
 
Rollin also draws parallels between the dehumanization that comes with the sexualisation of women, and the dehumanization of the zombies themselves. There’s a chilling scene in which the bodies of the pre-zombie soldiers are tossed into the lake, which is unpleasant because this scene contains no sound whatsoever. These presumably drafted men are treated as less than human even before they become literal monsters, and this reflects the misogynistic viewpoint that women are disposable when they behave and/or dress (or undress) in inappropriate ways. We see it in the very next scene actually, in which a female sports team swim naked in the lake, only to be devoured within moments by the horde. The horde often emerge when men are merely standing near the lake, but in the case of this group of women, they emerge to hunt only after they have stripped off. Why? Because Rollin was showing us the ‘consequence’ that comes with female liberation. These women get naked and are immediately disposed of.
 
What Rollin made, with Zombie Lake, is a point. He’s holding a mirror to us and saying “women don’t destroy themselves with their sexuality – it’s YOU, the viewer, that does that with your judgment”. I genuinely believe that Rollin learned that message through watching the poor treatment of women in the porn industry, and he made a ‘mainstream’ movie that shows us what WE, as a society, do to them. After all, these women don’t judge, vilify and enjoy, but hypocritically banish, themselves from mainstream society – we do all of that for them.
 
Zombie Lake is no Cannibal Holocaust, in terms of punching us in the eyes with uncomfortable subject matter surrounding women and sex, but it is a fun flick with a message. Perhaps it’s more for an ‘analysis’ crowd than a ‘Netflix and Chill’ night.. no wait.. actually with all the boobs, it’s probably perfect for that. Regardless, I’m still giving this one a genuine thumbs up.
 
Next?
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<![CDATA[BAD BIOLOGY]]>Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:24:57 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/bad-biologyIt wants to lunge for clunge… obtain a stash of gash…. can’t get enough of muff.. it’s on the hunt for… 
CHALLENGE KAYLEIGH: CHALLENGE NUMBER 8
 
BAD BIOLOGY

 
 
Quick refresher on the concept of this page – I’m Kayleigh and I boasted that I love horror so much that I can find merit in any horror film, regardless of how poor it’s perceived to be. People leave me film review suggestions in the comments, and I comply. If you suggest a film that’s so bad that I can’t find good things to say about it, then you win stuff. Yay! As of yet, I’m undefeated….
 
So. Bad Biology. Where do I even begin? Firstly, I should thank you, John Linwood Grant, for this challenge. It has changed my life.

 
This comedy/horror looks like it was made in the 90’s, but it was released in 2008. It’s brought to you by Frank Henenlotter (known for his cult classic, Basket Case, 1982), and the rapper R.A ‘The Rugged Man’ Thorburn. This film features other rappers and ladies from the adult entertainment industry, and it stars a virtually unknown musician who has appeared in a ‘Rugged Man’ music video, and – and this is my favourite casting decision of all time – a dude they found on MySpace. Seriously.
 
I’ll warn you now that there are going to be major spoilers because I can’t wait to give you a blow-by-blow account of the second half of this film. Apologies in advance for the volume of references that I’m going to have to make to genitals, but there’s really no avoiding it. To my dear mother, if you’re reading this, this is so much worse than my Cradle of Fear review. Please continue to love me for I am still your darling child.
 
This film operates in two sections: the first half is a scathing comment on societal issues regarding sex education, the objectification of women, and the role that rap culture plays in the fallacies of appropriate sexual conduct projected to, and absorbed by, today’s young adults, and is a general slur against the intelligence and integrity of men in general; the second half gives us the embodiment of the accumulation of all these issues in the form of a literal rogue monster penis on a sexual and murderous rampage.
 
We begin with Jennifer (Charlee Danielson), and the first line in the film is -  “I was born with seven clits”. She continues with an inner monologue about her difficulties in finding sexual fulfillment, and feeling outcast because of her ‘deformity’, though you’ll struggle to hear a word she’s saying because of how the background sound is mixed. This ‘sound problem’ occurs several times throughout the first half of the film, though you might notice that each time the background music shouts over the dialogue, it’s rap music. Now, I don’t claim to know anything whatsoever about rap music – the extent of my immersion into rap culture was my Eminem obsession when I was in my teens. What I did learn though is that whilst Marshall rapped about ‘homosexuals’, Dre was rapping about ‘big screen TV’s and bitches’, yo. After a research stint, I discovered that typically, mainstream rap music is mostly about violence and all dem bitchez. Though there are women in rap, the genre is also predominantly male. I devoured hours of lyrics from multiple sources and reached the conclusion that in rap, there’s a different word for ‘woman’, and that word is ‘ho’. Or is it ‘hoe’? The spelling differs. Anyway, in rap world, hos are not to be treated like people because they are sexual objects that exist purely for the sexual gratification of men. I mention this because it changes the context of the ‘sound problem’, which I’ve concluded, is not a mistake, but rather a deliberate technique used to highlight how women’s voices are silenced in a misogynistic world.
 
Jennifer herself enforces the view that women are to be enjoyed but not valued, and objectifies herself more than any of the men could ever hope to. There’s a scene in which she’s shooting photographs of some dudes fawning over a woman’s face, but her face is covered by a vagina mask. A VAGINA MASK. I tried to find a picture of this, but alas, I failed. The model is offended, as is a female spectator, who finds the whole concept degrading – which it is. The scene illustrates that women have no personalities and are only to be admired for their giant face vaginas, and that men have no desire to see anything about a woman that isn’t her vagina. Vagina. Vajayjay. Vag. It’s an insult to men and women everywhere, but Jennifer doesn’t see it that way at all. Since her whole life revolves around seeking out a sexual partner who can finally satisfy her (oh, did I mention that she has a tendency to kill the men she sleeps with, usually out of the panic that they’ll discard her after the deed?), it’s not a huge leap to interpret that she believes that her only real function in life is to …. Erm…  (I’m so sorry, mum)… gobble penis with her freak vagina. Raised in a society where woman are valued solely on their sexual prowess - and ‘valued’ is a strong word - this is a tragic woman who can’t help but feel like her life’s mission is penis.  After all, her most distinguishable feature is her crazy hoo-har.
 
And speaking of her vagina, it’s all wrong. She says ‘seven clits’, but what we’re shown (via a hilarious internal view) is more in the G-spot region. When you pair this anatomical mistake with amusing sex scenes that look like they were choreographed and directed by someone with a ten year old boy’s interpretation of what sex is (slamming body parts together with no insertion of.. anything.. and lots of unnecessary rolling), you could draw the conclusion that the male writers just have no idea of how things work. Perhaps no one ever sat them down and had the talk with them. However, this theory is thwarted by the random appearance of some dude in a junkyard that spins off a bizarre rant about the degradation of women’s morals, and the decline of society in general. With all these elements combined, it’s likely that all of this is one, gigantic, intentional joke about dudes having no clue how to treat their lady friends, in any way, context, or situation.
 
This film isn’t hollow trash – it’s a genius parody of our whole culture, created by rappers who are turning the tables on their own subject matter, on their industry, on the fans, and on themselves. They’re telling us that they’re self-aware, that even they don’t buy into what they’re selling; the message is so outdated that it’s become hilarious.
 
Speaking of hilarious, we now move to the second half of the film – the monster schlong. There’s comedy horror and then there’s this – I haven’t laughed this much since Airplane!. I firmly believe that the first half of the film was saying something, or at least, trying to say something. It acknowledges that in particular ways, men and women are still not equal, particularly in regard to sexual double standards. It makes light of the issue by reflecting it in ridiculous ways that parallel how ridiculous the reality of this problem is. The second half is a straight up monster horror with many laughs.
 
Picture, if you will, an attractive man named Batz (what?!), the kind that should be getting all the ladies. Due to some sort of misunderstanding at birth, instead of snipping his umbilical cord, the doctor (a qualified doctor, mind you) got confused and snipped off his penis instead. Don’t panic everyone, because they simply reattached it, but thanks to the injury, our dear Batz could never achieve an erection. He does the only logical thing in this situation, and that’s to spend years injecting his penis with millions of steroids. Naturally, this results in his penis becoming absolutely massive – we’re talking about the size of a baby graboid from Tremors. Oh and also, it is self-aware, speaks to him on a regular basis, and makes all kinds of threats. Because… that’s how steroids work I guess.
 
After a classic argument, the monster penis decides that enough is enough and goes rogue by simply detaching itself from Batz (balls and all) and slithers off on an epic - and I mean epic - search for all the vagina it can find. It wants to lunge for clunge… obtain a stash of gash…. can’t get enough of muff.. it’s on the hunt for… but I digress. What follows is a horrifying sequence of the monster penis bursting through floorboards, blasting through brick walls, barreling through skirting boards (I swear, this actually happens). Every time it finds a woman (who is always naked, how bizarre), it slithers over. At first the women are afraid, but once the penis is.. in.. (there are sound effects to let us know it’s reached its goal - delightful), they can’t get enough. And I think they die of orgasms, which I guess isn’t the worst way to go.
 
Just when you don’t think you can laugh any harder, Jennifer seeks out the monster penis because it’s some sort of kindred spirit, and finds it lying on the ground struggling to breathe. Yep, you read that right. So she does what one would typically call ‘chest compressions’ and even gives the thing mouth to mouth… and eventually resorts to pumping it full of drugs. Cured, the monster penis turns on her, there’s a stand off, and then it has its way. She is finally satisfied and therefore, complete, and promptly dies. Oh and then immediately gives birth to a monster baby/monster penis hybrid.
 
You might have noticed that I haven’t bothered to interpret anything that happens after the penis goes rogue. It’s fairly obvious that the rogue penis is a visual metaphor for the insinuation that men can’t control their penises. It’s also a visual representation of the fallacy that all women want are massive, huge, dongs. Average penis sizes need not apply. Because hos be all about dat dick, yo… oh forget it, I can’t speak rapper.
 
Do not watch this with anyone you wouldn’t be comfortable watching a standard sex scene with, but please, I implore you all…. Watch it. It’s cheap, yes, some of the effects are terrible, yes, but by all that is holy and horrific, this is one of the funniest things you will ever witness. I actually rate it, I really do.
 
Thanks again for your challenge, John. This was the most fun one yet! If anyone has a challenge for me, please let me know.
 
Peace out peeps, word to my bros and hos, and in the wise words of… someone… in this film… “Ya dig me, pygmy?”


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<![CDATA[CHALLENGE KAYLEIGH 7: ALONE IN THE DARK]]>Tue, 22 Mar 2016 14:36:14 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/challenge-kayleigh-7-alone-in-the-darkYou will probably groan and wish death on yourself when you hear the line ‘I’ve got a feeling this is just the beginning’, because you’ve been praying for the end of the film since the first second of it
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I used to be famous
A quick refresher for those of you who are new to this page – I’m Kayleigh and I once boasted that I love horror more than anyone else. I claimed that I love it so much that I can find merit in any horror film, no matter how terrible it might seem. So this is how it works – you suggest a film and I review it for you. If I can’t find good things to say, then you win and I’ll send you presents. As of yet, I am undefeated, mwahaha! Ahem, on with the review…
Thank you for this one, Adrian Shotbolt. Alone in the Dark (directed by Uwe Boll, 2005), is a movie adaptation of the game series of the same name. However, despite featuring a couple of the same characters, the movie serves as neither a sequel to the games, nor a ‘film version’. It bears very little resemblance at all actually, which might be why, in 2008, the Guinness World Records immortalised it with the title of “Lowest-Grossing Game Based Movie”. Ouch.
 
Sure, on first glance, this film appears to be a colossal piece of cinematic trash. You might watch it and think ‘well those are huge plot holes’. You will probably groan and wish death on yourself when you hear the line ‘I’ve got a feeling this is just the beginning’, because you’ve been praying for the end of the film since the first second of it. But you’re failing to recognise this film, this utterly genius film, for what it really is – the longest advertisement for everything cool you’ve forgotten about.
 
Now, a lot of people described this film is a huge rip-off of a thousand other things, but it isn’t a rip-off at all. It’s definitely not. Not even when there’s a shot in it that’s totally identical to when the fully-grown Xenomorph first appears in Alien. No, fellow horror nutters, what Uwe Boll has so cleverly made is the world’s longest advert. This film hits us with reminder after reminder of awesome things we probably haven’t enjoyed in a while, things we might have totally forgotten about. Boll clearly wants us to remember these awesome horror creations so that we might re-immerse ourselves in them, thus adding to the enjoyment of our lives. Gee, thanks Uwe!
 
In no particular order (because I’m reading my notes in quite the higgledy-piggledy fashion), this gigantic advert to awesomeness goes as follows:
 
Advert 1) Christian Slater, Tara Reid, and Stephen Dorff. We haven’t seen these folk for a while, so we should be grateful that Boll has lumped them all together for us. Their very presence reminds us of other cool horror films they’ve all been in. Slater featured in Interview with the Vampire - a vampire film that actually doesn’t suck. Stephen Dorff played Frost in Blade, possibly one of the coolest villains in one of the coolest films ever. And Tara Reid… erm… come on, think! Ah! Yes, of course, she was in Urban Legend, one of the more fun slasher flicks of the 90’s.
tara reid alone in the dark
I'm sure I was one good film?

And on that topic, Stephen Dorff. I effing love the Dorff, mmm-mmm. That’s a fine slice of gorgeous pie right there.
 
Advert 2) Alone in the Dark – the game series, and other survival horrors. Crowned the “First Ever 3D Survival Horror Game” by Guinness World Records, we can basically thank the original game for paving the way for things like Resident Evil and Silent Hill. A film adaptation of the game, this movie clearly serves as a suggestion to backtrack through our retro consoles and rediscover our love of games that make us crap ourselves, particularly Alone in the Dark.
 
The film combines the survival horror aspect of the first game with the more action-based aspects of the second one. The amount of gunfire in this film makes you feel like you’re in a constant boss battle, particularly in the scene that’s actually shot in the dark like a scary-as-shit game sequence. Sort of like when one of those dogs is after you in Res. Evil. It’s nighttime so you can’t really see anything but you can hear the little f***er coming.
 
This film actually made me want to plug my PlayStation 1 in and dig out all those games that I’m still too scared to play alone.
 
Advert 3) The Alien film franchise. You just can’t help but think of it. Firstly, Dorff’s character is called Richard Burke, a clear nod to Aliens’ Carter Burke (though Dorff’s Burke is much less of a... well.. burke). Additionally, the creature design is influenced by the work of H. R. Giger, whose most famous creation is, in fact, the Xenomorph. Though the monster effects in this film are most definitely inferior to the sheer triumph of the monster effects in the Alien franchise, the resemblance is an obvious homage. I’ve read many reviews that cited the monsters in this film as total rip-offs of the Xenomorph, and that ignorance is actually a little irritating. Giger’s influence on the creature design goes as far back as the Alone game series does, and in the film, serves as a nod to those shit-scary aliens, rather than being a bunch of wailing copycats.
 
Advert 4) Star Wars. The film begins with text scroll explaining the back-story. Of course, if you see scrolling text, you’re going to think ‘Star Wars’ (hopefully the original trio, if you have any sense). Boll’s use of the force (of advertising) worked on me here, because I paused the film and immediately ordered the Star Wars box set.
 
Advert 5) Bruce Lee. Near the start of the film, Slater engages in a huge, elaborate fight scene with a seemingly invincible bald dude wearing shades. There are martial arts. There’s a conveyer belt with fish in a bucket at the end, situated in an inexplicable oriental market. They use chains to fight and everything. Clearly, this scene is a message for us to immediately watch every film that Bruce Lee was in. I think Uwe Boll even wants us to go one further and spread the word of the Lee legend to the younger generations who aren’t fully aware of how awesome he was. Also, Kung Fu Panda.
 
Advert 6) The Conjuring, which, if you haven’t seen it, is actually a really decent modern ghost movie. Boll directs us to The Conjuring when Slater mentions that he’s a paranormal investigator. In The Conjuring, there are paranormal investigators. The link is clear as day.
 
Advert 7) Light Bulbs. There are lots of scenes featuring the lights flickering. In the film, this indicates that the monsters are near, and Boll uses this trick a lot. Some, in other reviews, said he used it too much, excessively even. I can’t believe how ungrateful people are – Boll was obviously just trying to remind us all to pay the electric bill and ensure we have a plentiful stash of light bulbs available.
 
Advert 8) Tomb Raider. Because everyone in this film is obsessed with ancient artifacts… duh.
 
Advert 9) Any film featuring parasites, or mind control. Because there are these weird, spinal chord-hugging parasite things controlling the minds and nervous systems of those infected. Hello The Faculty, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and Sex and the City’s Mr. Big.
 
Advert 10) Twilight. Slater does several seemingly pointless, monotone voice-overs talking us through what we can see on our screens, much like Bella Swan does. I’ll admit that it’s unclear to me why Boll would want to remind us of Twilight though.
 
Advert 11) ZOMBIES! Remember the people controlled by parasites I mentioned a few paragraphs back? Well, at first they just look like regular people, but later on, they actually look like zombies. If you haven’t realised that Alone in the Dark is a feature-length commercial, this won’t make any sense at all. Why are they pale and bitey all of a sudden, you might ask? However, clearly, Boll just wants you to go ahead and watch every zombie film ever made. Because zombies are the best.
 
Advert 12) Safe sex. In what appears to be a totally pointless sex scene, we see Slater and Reid roll around, all passionate and that. But wait! They don’t use a condom! It’s reasonable to assume that Boll knew full well that a load of girls would want to make all the love after viewing this film, because as I mentioned earlier, Dorff’s in it. He puts thoughts into the mind, you see. I’d imagine he’s probably the result of plenty of unintentional pregnancies. Not that women ever get turned on by, and think about, anyone who isn’t their current partner during giggidy time. Anyway, Boll obviously knew that the sight of Dorff would lead to a ‘Netflix and Chill’ moment, so he threw in this careless scene between Reid and Slater to remind us all to not be fools, and wrap our tools.
 
Advert 13) Tremors. There’s a little worm-alien-creature with super sharp teeth that kills a woman to death. It looks just like a baby version of a graboid! If you haven’t seen Tremors, go watch it this instant, just as Boll intended.
 
Advert 14) Parasite Eve 2. In a scene near the end of the film, this cute, snazzy little soundtrack kicks in, and it’s totally reminiscent of the creepy music in Parasite Eve 2 when you go into the underground research facility. That game is awesome, and Boll wants you to dig it out of that box in your attic and share the joy of it with your children, who are too young to have ever heard of it.
 
Advert 15) The Descent. There’s a huge underground cave full of monsters so the reference is obvious. If you haven’t seen The Descent, please do, you’ll dig it.
 
 
So there you have it! I know that a review usually includes an overview of the plot, so just to be clear – there isn’t one. That’s why I haven’t followed the usual format. Like I said, this film is an extended advert for other cool things.
 
I’ll leave you now so that you can rush out to watch and play all those blasts from the pasts. I’m going to continue building my Stephen Dorff shrine.
 
Shotbolt, this was way too easy!
 
Happy horror..ing. Until next time!

KAYLEIGH MARIE EDWARDS 

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"If this doesn't raise a smile and have you double-checking your zombie apocalypse plan, you're probably already dead." - Duncan P. Bradshaw, author of Class Four: Those Who Survive. 


Brian, a regular guy (despite his love of a certain musical), just wants to finish up his long and weird night at work in peace. Unfortunately, life has other plans for him. Working at a mental institution for the criminally insane can be a bit chaotic on a normal day, but on this particular night, Brian finds that things get a bit out of hand. A hysterical patient here, the jab of the wrong needle there, and all hell breaks loose. Short-staffed, expecting a useless trainee any minute, and obligated to work overtime to help out his peach of a boss, Brian isn’t having the best of nights. Things only get worse when a body goes missing and certain individuals get a bit bitey. Luckily, the trainee turns up just in time...To render him unconscious. 

Luckily for Brian, this is the night he’s always been planning for.

​ 
Click here to purchase a copy 

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<![CDATA[MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE ]]>Tue, 08 Mar 2016 11:16:07 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/maximum-overdriveTo solidify this point of sexual shaming and the subsequent rebellion that naturally follows, a petrol pump goes nuts and sprays a guy right in the eye
 
Hiiiiiii everyone, I’ve had a small break again. I do apologise; I was in hospital. Also, I was busy going to Walker Stalker. And eating the Easter eggs that I bought for my brother and sister, but they’ll never know that because they don’t read my reviews. Sssssh. Anyway, today’s review concerns Maximum Overdrive, written for the screen and directed by Stephen King. As usual, there’ll be spoilers.
Before we get started, I have a complaint about something completely unrelated to my review. Don’t you just hate it when movie reviewers/critics/academics find some symbolic/metaphorical meaning behind a film, which clearly wasn’t the intention of the writer or director? You know, like when someone watches a film that’s just an all-out zombie kill-fest, but some snob writes pages and pages about the movie being a clear metaphor for the effects of the conservative party’s hidden plans to kill off the less wealthy by phasing out the NHS, or something? Anyway, on a totally separate note, here comes my review.
 
Maximum Overdrive is not just a fun, B-movie-style, camp horror, but also a clear metaphor for the struggles of the adolescent human. Like everyone else, at first I thought it was a commentary on the devastating effects of civil war. But then I corrected myself, realising that this movie is, of course, a clever reminder to parents about what it’s like to feel frustrated and powerless when you’re still a minor. It’s like a window into the lives of our children (well… I don’t have any personally; I can’t even be trusted with the responsibility of Easter eggs).
 
Starring Emilio Estevez, better known as the jock from The Breakfast Club, this film is not only awesome but… dare I say, important. Nobody writes about the lives of children like Stephen King does, and in that context, this film is a masterpiece. Instead of talking about children by featuring loads of children, this film instead features a representation of children (mostly teenagers in that awkward, rebellion phase) in the form of machines that have gone rogue. The message here is clear – adults, listen to your kids. Their needs are important too. Listen…. or they might kill you.
 
The premise for the machines rebelling against humanity (and I mean ALL machines… we’re talking vehicles, anything controlled by electricity, knives, and even clocks!), is that this chaos is the effect of Earth being caught in the tail of a comet that gives off a bizarre, sci-fi-esque green sky mist. However, the first clue that the machines are acting out as children is right there in the first few minutes. Some of the first things we see are a light up sign that reads ‘Fuck You’, and a cash machine that calls the King himself an ‘asshole’. These are human terms, not weird comet phrases. The kids are pissed off, and they’re letting us know about it in exactly the same way that we, adults, respond to each other when we’re expressing annoyance.
 
See, this is one of the first things we notice as we become teenagers - the hypocrisy of our parents/guardians/authority figures. Teenagers will get bollocked and viewed as ‘roughians’ for swearing, but oh no, once you hit the magical age of adulthood, swearing is perfectly acceptable. Especially when we’re pissed off. See? We even have a sweary term for ‘being annoyed’. Don’t think that teenagers don’t notice this double standard. This is just one of many seeds that grows into a hormonal, frustration plant.
 
Anyway, we move on to a scene of chaos on a bridge, which is misbehaving and throwing people and stuff all over the place. You’ll notice the melons. They’re rolling around everywhere, smashing windows and all sorts. They’re not a harmless fruit once the machines start lobbing them around; they’re a hazard. The adults on the bridge would obviously prefer it if the melons were kept safely in their packaging, away from the machines. Even though the machines have every right to be curious about the melons and what they can do. This is the disaster scene equivalent of a teenager finding naughty magazines in their parents room, only to be lectured about the danger of looking at boobs by the adult whose dirty mag they found in the first place. This is what happens when you try to repress a teenager’s natural curiosity – it gets out of hand.
 The next thing you know your Internet history is full of tits because your teenager has nowhere else to learn about them. 
There are nipples everywhere, and to you, the adult, it’s a disaster because your kid has ‘gone off the rails’. Adults throw their genitals together all the time, but god forbid a teenager realising that. To be clear, in this case, I’m suggesting that the melons = boobs.
 
Shortly after, to solidify this point of sexual shaming and the subsequent rebellion that naturally follows, a petrol pump goes nuts and sprays a guy right in the eye. We all hate it when that happens. I mean, once again, as adults we shy away from the awkward sex conversation with our teenagers, giving them the impression that it’s dirty and they shouldn’t be thinking about it. And what happens? You find secret, confused, angry jizz all over your house.
 
Meanwhile, in a truck stop, Breakfast Club is hanging out. The radio isn’t working, but there doesn’t seem to be much else going on until… an electric knife goes psycho and flies at Waitress, attacking her. Waitress explains that the knife “turned itself on and it bit me!” The very word ‘bit’, rather than ‘cut’, personifies the knife. Like a teething child, it lashes out. Perhaps it wasn’t getting enough attention.
 
Elsewhere, my favourite movie death of all time is in progress. We’re on a baseball pitch, where a vending machine is murdering an adult by shooting cans at him. Instead of moving out of the way, the adult leans in to get a closer look. Frankly, he has it coming. There’s a kid (an actual human kid) on the pitch, who we’ll refer to as Baseball, who isn’t stupid enough to meet the same fate. He realises that some serious shit is going down all around him, so he hops on his super cool bike and gets the hell outta there. This shows us in simple terms that sometimes, kids are smarter than their seniors. It’s a lesson to us all – perhaps instead of talking down to them, we should treat them like... oh I don’t know, regular people? I mean, seriously, how many times do you think a teenager has been scolded for following a ‘naughty’ friend’s example without question, with the phrase ‘Well if your friend jumped off a bridge, would you?’, only in the same telling off to hear the words ‘Why? Because I said so.’ It’s confusing! You get grounded because you don’t question what people your own age are doing, but then you’re actually expected to blindly accept whatever your adult says just because they’re older than you.
 
When I was a kid, we sometimes had these big family dinners at my Nan’s house. Out came the foldable chairs, which were inches shorter than the regular chairs. The kids had to sit on them, even though, as I pointed out at the age of eight, it didn’t make sense. The adults were big enough to actually reach their dinner from the foldable chairs, whereas the kids would struggle. Why couldn’t my mother and I swap so I could sit on the big chair? …… Because I said so. What a confusing conundrum.. was I stupid? Was my logic just the crazy ramblings of a child? Why was I wrong? Because the adults have bigger brains.
 
Being treated like an irrelevant idiot is just another thing that children/teenagers are all too aware of, and it shoves them closer towards a serious ‘acting out’ phase, much like the murderous vending machine. You push anyone’s buttons enough and eventually they’re going to take a swing at you.
 
Whilst Baseball is cycling through a scene that much resembles an animation of Korn’s ‘Dead Bodies Everywhere’, Breakfast Club and his band of survivors are stuck at the truck stop, unable to leave because angry trucks are circling the premises, running over anyone that comes out. One of them has a scary, green face, so we’ll assume it’s the leader. Because teenagers who finally hit the realisation that actually, they can make their own choices and do whatever the hell they want, are truly terrifying things to any adult. Anyway, Waitress takes an opportunity to go outside and just scream at the trucks. She’s angry. She yells, “We made you!” at them. She’s offended that they’ve got minds of their own, believing that they should submit because they’re products of those who built them. A bit later, she goes outside and starts yelling the same old thing again. And then the machines kill her. Which just goes to show that kids really hate it when adults repeat themselves. Just because they’re not obeying you, it doesn’t mean they didn’t hear you the first time.
 
The more heart-wrenching moments of the movie come in subtle details. There’s a scene in which all the trucks start tooting their horns, and it genuinely sounds like they’re just crying “Muuuuuuuuuuum!” Perhaps they have gone too far on their murderous rampage, but it was clearly a cry for attention. The poor little fellas are thirsty, as it happens, and need to be re-fuelled, but they have to threaten death on Breakfast Club and all of his friends in order to be fed. There’s not a kid in the world who can’t relate to that moment of waking up in the middle of the night, thirsty as hell, and going downstairs in hopes of some orange squash, only to have the command to ‘get back to bed’ barked at them before they can utter a word.
 
The most critical moment for me came when the machines turn the power back on, just as the adults are discussing the lack of power. This shows that the machines have heard every word spoken, and have been witness to every happening. This would include the adults swearing at each other, turning on each other, and behaving much like children themselves. I got feels for the machines on this bit, because no matter how hushed you think your tone is when you’re arguing with your spouse and you think your kid is sleeping through it, they at the very least pick up on the change of atmosphere.
 
In short, kids are perceptive, they are intelligent, and their voices are just as relevant and deserve to be heard as much as ours do. I don’t think that a worldwide kids-on-adults massacre is about to ensue, but let this movie serve as a warning to us all. That being said, if you’re just walking along minding your own business and some little shit who’s sat on a railing yells “you look like a bender”, or some other ridiculous, unsolicited comment, feel free to give them a push.
 
Or this film is a fun 80’s horror ‘romp’. On the basis of horror alone, the concept is original. It’s a groovy watch. Apart from Curtis’s wife. Jesus Christ.
 
Hit me with a harder one.

KAYLEIGH MARIE EDWARDS 

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Brian, a regular guy (despite his love of a certain musical), just wants to finish up his long and weird night at work in peace. Unfortunately, life has other plans for him. Working at a mental institution for the criminally insane can be a bit chaotic on a normal day, but on this particular night, Brian finds that things get a bit out of hand. A hysterical patient here, the jab of the wrong needle there, and all hell breaks loose. Short-staffed, expecting a useless trainee any minute, and obligated to work overtime to help out his peach of a boss, Brian isn’t having the best of nights. Things only get worse when a body goes missing and certain individuals get a bit bitey. Luckily, the trainee turns up just in time...To render him unconscious. 

Luckily for Brian, this is the night he’s always been planning for. 

Purchase a copy here 

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<![CDATA[CHALLENGE KAYLEIGH 5: CRADLE OF FEAR ]]>Fri, 29 Jan 2016 06:57:50 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/challenge-kayleigh-cradle-of-fearJust as I was downloading Tinder
and taking off my top
 to pose for one of those ‘accidentally naked’ selfies,
I learned what will happen if I do. 
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Well done Gareth Saunders. Well done….. Cradle of Fear. Where do I even begin to review Cradle of Fear? For those of you who are new to this page, the idea behind ‘Challenge Kayleigh’ centres around the claim I made that I can write a positive review of ANY horror movie, you know, because of all my horror love. You guys pick the films, I watch them and then tell you why they’re awesome, and why you’re wrong if you don’t like them. However… this one almost got me
On my first viewing, I only got halfway through. The heavy background music and all the boobs dazzled me. I felt like I was being double-bass'd in the temple and motor-boated in my pupils simultaneously. I sighed heavily and thought, wow. This reminds me of what I imagined an awesome nightlife to look like when I was a goth-wannabe in college.

At this point I feel I should clarify something – actual goths are cool. I dig their style, creativity, individuality, and daaaaaaaamn, kudos on those make-up skills. However, a ‘goth-wannabe’, which is what I once was, is a different creature. In my case, it meant telling everyone that I ‘wouldn’t conform to societies norms, man’, whilst styling myself on Amy Lee from Evanescence and wearing black lipstick everywhere. I thought I was super cool when I bought a sort of stubby bracelet thing. I made fun of people for being into such mainstream bands as N*Sync, and then went off to play my Best of Marilyn Manson CD on repeat. I wore two pairs of tights at a time, stripy with fishnets over the top. In fact, I even turned a pair of fishnet tights into sleeves. I thought I looked so individual and awesome. Oh yeah, I was that guy.

On first viewing of Cradle of Fear, I actually thought, ‘shit’. I thought, 'I’m going to have to admit defeat on this one and send Gareth a prize for besting me with this'. I thought I would have to declare to the world that watching this film is like having the embarrassing, goth-wannabe, teenage you being spewed back into your eyeballs. But then… I gave it another shot.

So (spoilers), it’s an anthology movie containing four separate stories of various debaucheries, but they’re all linked by a totally badass, satanic, demon angel summoning, douchebag called Kemper (David McEwen). He’s got a vendetta you see, he’s using his evil Satan power to kill off the list of people responsible for his incarceration. He’s a mean piece of work. That’s the overarching plot right there, is what that is.

When I gave this movie my full attention I realised that with each of the four stories, *gasp* there were valuable lessons to be learned! Pull up a chair and pay attention folks, because these lessons are seriously useful. Like, if it wasn’t for this movie and it’s really serious undertones and warnings, I might like, be dead or something

Story number one plonks us in a heavy metal club (with Cradle of Filth blaring in the background, of course. Awesome if you’re a COF fan). Our main character is a super hot goth girl wearing an outfit that’s straight out of the very best fetish porn, and she’s eyeing up the angel of death dude, played by Dani Filth. She’s a regular, single woman and decides to use her right to ‘go on the pull’, as it were. She gets Filth back home, where some totally normal sexy stuff starts happening (booooooobs). For a moment there, I was all like ‘hey, this is inspiring. I’m a single woman, I might just go out and catch me a penis, because liberation and equal rights’, but OH GOD NO!!! THAT’S WRONG!!! WOMEN OF THE WORLD DON’T DO IT! As soon as the sexy shit starts to go down, all f**kery breaks loose, there are demon faces and weird tentacles and shit. I mean, seriously guys, that was a close one. Just as I was downloading Tinder and taking off my top to pose for one of those ‘accidentally naked’ selfies, I learned what will happen if I do. 


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Not sure if it is a sexy Goth chick or that bloke from The Mighty Boosh
Ladies of the world, listen up – if you engage in casual sex, the dude will turn out to be a demon and you’ll spend the next hour, like the woman in the movie, in the shower trying to scrub the Filth away. AND THEN, you’ll seek comfort in your friend, she’ll mistake your abdominal pain for an invitation into your pants and when she tries to get her frisk on, she’ll have her fingers ripped off and you’ll both end up killed by the demon spawn, who, bearing remarkable resemblance to a confused face hugger, will burst out of your guts and kill the f**k out of you.

Phew. Lock those vaginas up girls and save that shit for marriage, yo.

PS. The death scene is pretty cool in a sort of funny way. Ooh, and previous to that, in a chatty scene between the girls, it appears that there’s a boom or something in shot. Let me assure you now though, that it most certainly isn’t a boom mic, or any sort of unintentional technical whoopsie. Due to the nature of the movie, I have deduced that the offending object is clearly Satan’s dick just edging it’s way into the shot, ready to poke out the eye of any female who dares look at it before the wedding.

To clarify – lesson number one is don’t have casual sex. Lesson number two is don’t go lesbian on your pal. 

The punishment for both is certain, bloody death. Story number two presents us with two more hot ladies who, for no apparent reason, have lovely underwear on. The short of it is, they go to rob a dude at his apartment. The usual horror conventions are employed here; power is out, dark staircase, creepy music, etc. They find the cash, and then, oh no, what’s this?! The dude is actually home, but somehow didn’t wake up when they were rifling through his shit. The logical reaction, of course, is for one of the girls to bash his head in with what looks like a heavy bong. Actually, if it is a bong then that totally explains why he was passed out for so long whilst he was being robbed. Anywho, it takes a few kills to… kill.. him. Hmmm. And that’s lesson number three right there everyone – smoking drugs gives you the power to not die. I didn’t say it – the movie did.
That’s my interpretation.
That’s what I learned here.
​The media is a powerful tool
There are zombies in this one a few minutes later. Cool. Also, everyone ends up dead, so there’s the next lesson, number four: girls, don’t trust your bestie when there’s cash involved because she might murder yo ass.

​Story 3 is about a rich dude with an amputated leg, who can’t be intimate with his woman due to his insecurities. She loves him, of course, but he can’t see past what he considers to be an unattractive fault. It’s actually a bit heart wrenching, and you feel for them both. But guys… guys… here’s lesson number five… did you know that like, enough money can buy you anything?! F**ked off with his mental block about f**king, the guy just pops to a doctor and it’s confirmed that he can just GET A NEW HUMAN LEG. It can just be sewn on! Did you know that? That’s amazing! I never knew that if you loose a leg, then who gives a shit, no big deal, because you can just have another popped on! ERMERGERD this film is serrrr erdercertionerl. This part of the movie has a pretty nice Tales from the Crypt feel to it, kind of that old-school comedy/horror thing. It ends in disaster of course. Which leads me to lesson number six: don’t try to get a new leg for sex. Don’t do anything because of wanting to do a sex, because, well, someone will die. I’m pretty sure the Bible warned us about this sort of thing, but for those who aren’t familiar, this movie serves as a useful, educational tool to promote living a decent, yet unsatisfying, life. Lesson number seven is also embedded in this segment, and it’s this – if you’re poor then you must be a slob, and if you’re a slob who drinks tea from a pint glass then you don’t deserve to keep both of your legs. 


……


……..

………….. 

…………….. Oh my god. There was this one time… I drank some alcohol concoction from a vase *narrows eyes and looks around, clutching legs to chest*. 

The final story in the movie was my favourite by far, and in my opinion, the premise of it would make a pretty decent full-length feature. It’s different from the other three in that it mostly lacks the comical aspects (with the exception of some intentional irony), and it’s pretty dark. I won’t say too much about this as I genuinely wouldn’t want to ruin this part for you – it’s much better if you don’t know what’s happening. It’s about a dude who has an unhealthy obsession on the internet, and it leads him to some super deep, dark places. His obsession results in him losing everything, and then… a thing. A thing happens, and it’s awesome. 

Lesson eight, from this segment, is…… don’t fantasise too much. Because your fantasy will lead to your death. Sorted. 

All of these installments are punctuated by snippets of the main storyline (remember the Satanist dude Kemper I mentioned at the start?), and the Inspector who is trying to stop him. In the end, evil triumphs. The End. 

But wait….. it doesn’t have to triumph! Evil only triumphs when things are done in the name of rubbing genitals together and going ‘ooooohhhh ahhhhh’ and perhaps, ‘you’re on the pill, right?’. All we have to do to stop this happening for real is never touch each other again. Sigh. You’re welcome guys. You’re welcome. So that’s Cradle of Fear. Next?

KAYLEIGH MARIE EDWARDS

 

If you enjoyed this article then check out some of Kayleigh's writing. 

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<![CDATA[CHALLENGE 4 - DAY OF THE DEAD (2008) ]]>Sat, 23 Jan 2016 07:50:11 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/challenge-4-day-of-the-dead-2008However, as a race we’ve just gone ahead and accepted carrots. If we can accept those, we can accept anything.

Oh hey guys! After a totally unintentional monster of a break from reviews (cheers life), I’m back and watching all the crap you’ve recommended for me. And by ‘crap’ I mean ‘totally awesome movies that I can’t believe YOU think are crap’. So, of the several overdue nominations, which one did I start with? Why, Day of the Dead (2008) of course!
 
Now, before I get into this, those of you who read my ‘Dead Snow 2’ review will have gathered that when it comes to zombies, I’m not exactly objective. To be honest, I love them. They’re the apple of my eye… the wind in my sails… the cheese in my toasty. Basically, I’m their bitch. Anyone who challenges me with ANY zombie film is on to a loser, because I’m too biased about this particular monster. And to those who think that’s ridiculous or unfair, I say sorry but f**k it. I never said my reviews would be objective. In fact, I believe the point of writing them in the first place is to force my total love of horror on to the rest of you.  So here goes….
 Adrian Shotbolt, you nominated this one for me in the comments section, so I hope I can change your mind about, what I consider to be, a charming homage to a Romero original. To be clear folks, we’re talking about the 2008 remake starring Mena Suvari, not the George A. Romero 1985 original. There may be some spoilers.
 
Let’s begin by pointing out the obvious; that this film isn’t so much a remake as a reimagining of the original work. The setting has mostly changed, themes differ greatly, and the characters are basically new. It’s a fast-paced modern update, complete with quick human-to-zombie transformations, sprinting zombies, fast action sequences, and even faster editing, which contributes a lot to the overall pacing of this feature. What we basically get is the new ‘modern’ zombie (they run, leap, climb, and in this case, think - they even work together to hunt!), crossed with a giant nod to the original.
 
Sarah (played by Mena Suvari – on a superficial, sexually objectifying level, that’s always a plus), bears resemblance to the Sarah (played by Lori Cardille) from the original. She’s a strong female lead, but Suvari’s small stature and military rank make her a little different to Cardille. Her strength and ability to lead comes out of her personal connection to the infected area because it’s her hometown, and her brother is involved in the chaos. She has something to lose, and her family ties add a little oomph to the level of responsibility she has to get everyone the f**k out of dodge.
 
There are several nods to the original (which I also love), but my favourite has to be the inclusion of the character ‘Bud’ (Stark Sands). The second you hear his name (if you know the original), it has to raise a smile, because this dude is clearly this update’s version of Bub (Sherman Howard). Like the character he’s based on, he’s a little cowardly (just a bit), a little nervous, well trained, and ultimately helps to save the day. When we first meet him, he tells Sarah he’s a vegetarian, which gave me a good old laugh out loud moment, since he later becomes a zombie that refuses to eat his human pals. This is explained – apparently the zombies retain part of their personalities. We can accept that, but according to pretty much every other zombie in the movie, most of them must have been psychos to start with, if we go by that explanation. *Shrugs*.
 
If we look at the technical aspects of this movie, it’s a triumph. For me, the editing stands out, particularly in those ‘danger’ scenes, where our team is facing those undead, bitey bastards. The quick cuts lend themselves to fight scenes in action films, adding a bit of extra excitement and tension.
 
The opening of the movie in particular, pays attention to the theme of nature, and the notion that essentially, nature is f**ked right in the dick by humanity. We start with trees that lead to a neglected building, where some frisky couples are getting their Marvin Gaye on. It’s a nice visual analogy for humans being where they don’t belong, and adding ugliness to an otherwise glorious location. Those opening shots are complimented with some atmospheric music that hints at the trouble to come, so though we see those leafy, peaceful greens, we know that some holyshit-type catastrophe is pending. This theme is visually repeated a few times, until we go full-circle and our team end up in an underground research facility where the source of the outbreak is explained. Basically, some foolish doctors create a biological weapon, and it goes awry. Man tries to f**k with nature, and nature has the last laugh, basically. It’s glorious.
 
Another plus to this movie is that the characters, mostly, aren’t complete idiots that are just bound to be zombified or ripped to shreds. They actually have brains and they use them to problem-solve and plan their moves. Take our power couple, Trevor and Nina, for example. At first, they’re presented as those frisky, roll-your-eyes-at-them, people, but they turn out to be pretty capable zombie-killing machines. When the radio DJ starts to turn zombie, Nina immediately goes for the kill. 


The dude hasn’t even got time to enjoy a moment of zombieness before she stabs his f**king head in. 

They’re at the radio station in the first place because Trevor spots the DJ’s silhouette in the window and realises there’s a safe place to run. They’re not just useless teenagers running around screeching, they’re thinking ahead and kicking the shit out of the undead. Ooh, I rhymed. Yay for me.
 
I don’t want to say a lot more because I want you to go watch and enjoy this movie. But I have just a few more things to champion this film for, like even newer-er-er…..er zombies. I know people want to resist the change – a lot of you don’t like that these days, zombies run. Totally ballsed up brain cells and rigor mortis be damned! – Running is just a thing they do now. But let’s remember that before Romero’s Night of the Living Dead (1968), zombies weren’t even dead. They were living people that were controlled by voodoo and they mostly didn’t feast on the flesh of the living. We had over 30 years of zombie movies that were nothing to do with undead corpses before Romero became the God of inventing scary shit and gave us these wonderful grave-defying chompers. Once we’re all used to it, we’ll see the changes are good….
 
Sure, some of you might watch this and note, with a shake of the head, that the zombies in this movie seem to hunt in packs. They trick people into walking into traps to ambush them and everything. Like lions. Or street gangs. They’re conscious of what they’re doing, and a lot of you won’t like that either because it seems to go against the grain of what a zombie is. However, as a race we’ve just gone ahead and accepted carrots. If we can accept those, we can accept anything.
 
I was delighted that, finally, the word ‘zombie’ is actually used in this movie. As much as I adore the genre, even I’m fed up of characters screeching ‘what are they?!’, as if they come from an alternate reality where everything else in pop culture exists, but oh no, there’s never been a zombie film.
 
To wrap it up, yo, this reimagining salutes the original, whilst updating the action and characters, and contains a nice amount of gore and violence to satisfy your sadistic cravings. There’s the odd comedy moment, some scary do-or-die sequences, and a satisfactory amount of story and character development to keep you entertained. Overall, for a movie that is totes meant to be complete wank, I really rate this one. Go check it out, Wendy.
 

KAYLEIGH MARIE EDWARDS 

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<![CDATA[CHALLENGE KAYLIEGH :  EPISODE 50]]>Mon, 21 Sep 2015 08:45:10 GMThttp://gingernutsofhorror.com/challenge-kayleigh/challenge-kayliegh-episode-50PEOPLE SHOULD NEVER LOOK LIKE SPIDERS. SPIDERS SHOULDN’T EVEN LOOK LIKE SPIDERS… THEY ARE MINIONS OF THE DEVIL.
I’ll admit it Paul. M Feeney – you almost got me with this one. Almost, but not quite. So.. where to begin with Episode 50?

It wasn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen. I mean, it wasn’t by a long stretch the best either, but not every horror can be my favourite otherwise I wouldn’t be able to decide which order to have them arranged in.


The first good thing I have to say about it is that it is similar (in plot and location) to Grave Encounters, which was awesome. I can’t go right ahead and say that Episode 50 is a direct rip-off of Grave Encounters as they were both released in 2011 and so it’s hard to say which one came first. I can say though that great minds think alike… even though one of them went down a better (can I say better? It’s my opinion so yes I can!) route. I’ll leave you guys to interpret which one I think is superior.

It’s the story of a reality TV show team who go around debunking hauntings as ‘paranormal’ investigators. A rich dude who’s about to snuff it pays them to investigate a property for him because he wants to know if he should fear hell upon his death (he has been a very naughty boy in life you see). The team turn up at the property, which is a run-down, old mental asylum (of course), to find that a group of religious fanatics who famously hate them are also there for the same reason. Cue some arguing and a clash of wit, technique, and plain old belief in the Almighty.

Now, whilst the effects could have been better, they were more or less on par with everything else of a similar nature released this year. There were some tongue-in-cheek moments which I don’t think were intentional, but who doesn’t like a giggle huh? In fairness though, those accidental funnies were balanced out with some pretty scary sh*t, man. For example, there’s a ghosty whose grisly murder story involved her having every bone in her body broken (grim, dude). Shortly after learning this, you see that terrifying little lady bending and rubber banding about the place like a snake on legs, moving and twisting in ways that even a contortionist would shudder at. And don’t start me on that creepy ceiling ghost. 


PEOPLE SHOULD NEVER LOOK LIKE SPIDERS. SPIDERS SHOULDN’T EVEN LOOK LIKE SPIDERS… THEY ARE MINIONS OF THE DEVIL.

Unlike many movies of the “found footage” variety, this one doesn’t tend to rely on jump scares, instead aiming for a slow tension build. Okay fine, a snail-pace tension build. That’s cool though, I like snails. And yeah fine, okay, some questionable acting may have occasionally broken some of that tension. But in said actors defence……. Cheese.

I suppose I can’t get away with not mentioning the final few moments of the movie, so spoiler alert people. I also suppose that I can’t claim that the ending was particularly effective or scary either. What I can assure you though, dear movie lover, is that it’s a hoot.

There’s a gate of hell, an actual ring of fire guarded by a peculiar devil man. When I say ring of fire, I mean something Johnny Cash might have saluted. I think what may have happened here is that the writers thought ‘we got away with this so far, and since it’s mostly set in an asylum, let’s just go absolutely mental with the ending’. I personally love the “found footage” segment of horror because of the things you don’t see and the role your imagination plays in all those spooks and scares. Saying that, imagining things can be such a strain on the brain, right guys? This ending spares you the bother by plonking a wee little devil man and a swirly inferno in front of your eyes.

It may… MAY… have disintegrated any horror-filled suspense that was left. But on the plus side, the suspense tends to come and go with this movie anyway. Hell, half the fun of watching this is trying to guess when you’ll next feel scared and for how long.

An additional plus for this is the way you feel when it’s ended. I love to be terrified, but I’ll admit to you all that after watching something that’s frightened me enough to turn the lights on, I always have to watch a comedy straight after just so I can fall asleep without nightmares. This means that I’m normally up quite late trying to stamp out the terror that’s gripped me by every one of my senses. To this end, Episode 50 is a time-saver. There’s no need to quell that terror with a light-hearted comedy because the makers of the movie were considerate enough to inject that dose of hilarity before the end credits roll, saving me an hour and half of extra movie time. I went to bed with a giggle in my heart and a smile on my face thinking ‘oh, those spooky, funny tricksters’.

Would I recommend this movie? Well yes I would, in the same sort of way that I’d recommend Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. Watch with friends for added piss-taking enjoyment. Perhaps the plot was a little complicated and even silly, when simplicity may have done the job, but I take my hat off to anyone who’s ambitious enough to try something new and a little over-the-top, even if they don’t quite pull it off.

On my 1-10 scale (10 being fantastic and 1 only being a smidge away from a bad review), I have no choice but to give it a 1.5. But, through sheer persistence and those little jabs of fear factor, it hasn’t slipped off the grid. Sorry Paul, but you don’t get victory gifts this time. Well played though sir, you certainly provided me with a toughie!

If you’d like to recommend a movie for me to watch, please leave it in the comments below. If you suggest one that I genuinely can’t find merit in, I’ll send you prizes. Really, I will. Got a lot of old crap in the attic.

 

More reviews of  really bad horror films 

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