Ginger Nuts of Horror
Love them or hate them found footage films are here to stay. Digging Up The Marrow from horror film director Adam Green, the director of Hatchet, and Frozen (no not that Frozen) is the latest entry in this sub genre of horror films, but this isn't just your normal found footage film, oh no this is something much more. This is a "meta found footage film", wait don't go! It is no where near as bad as you think, in fact Digging Up the Marrow is one the the most enjoyable horror films of the year.....
Closer to God is the 2014 feature film directorial debut of Billy Senese. It addresses the looming moral and scientific quandary that cloning and gene therapy presents and is firmly grounded in current scientific research. Knowing this caused it to grab my interest even moreso.
Just last year, April 14, 2014, USA Today ran an article entitled “Stem cell research fuels more debate on cloning.” The article reports that “In a paper in the journal Cell Stem Cell, researchers took the nucleus of skin cells from 35 and 75 year old men, and produced cloned human embryos. From those they were able to generate embryonic stem cells, valued because they can then be teased into becoming any tissues the body might need.” They went on to say this was not the first time this was done which demonstrates the technology is repeatable. The fear that advocacy groups on both sides expressed was that without some form of legislation someone might try “to extend the technique to engineer a human clone.” Despite some hurdles that still remain, the science is no longer mere fiction; it is on the horizon. Knowing this sets the stage to fully appreciate this movie, IMO.
Confession: I love Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Not the Gubernator. Not the guy who cheated on Kennedy’s niece with his maid. I’m strictly talking about the actor. I am one of those rare people who is able to separate the art from the artist. And yes, I just referred to Arnie as an artist.
Volume 4 begins in a strange way with Strange Thing …keep those doors closed! Next, Bo & Cephus take a hilarious, horror-filled romp into the not-so-blissful side of marriage with 'Til Death. After that, we've got a deliciously horrific feast with Foodie , and round things out hanging the curves in The Hourglass Figure . Be sure to stick around to the end for a surprise bonus short, Collision
I love this sort of thing, the creep show element of having several short stories with comedy links in between is nothing new, very little is these days, but it isn't what you have it's how you use it, and this format works just fine. The segment links all tie into the story which follows and are ably performed by the 'Hillbillies' who are as follows:
I would have reviewed this movie, but I got high, but I got high, but I got highhhhhhhhh!
Here is the official release blurb from Leomark Studios:
The highly-anticipated science-fiction/horror film is now available from Leomark Studios, available to order from http://www.starleafmovie.com/
From '90s science-fiction fave Robert Leeshock, star of EARTH : FINAL CONFLICT, and starring Z NATION's Russell Hodgkinson comes a Richard Cranor film, STAR LEAF.
Synopsis : A group of friends set off to find a secret forest of marijuana hidden deep in the Olympic Mountains. Legend has it the plants are of extra-terrestrial origin, and two ex-Marines among the group hope it will cure their PTSD born from hard combat in Afghanistan.
Starring Richard Cranor (THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE), Russell Hodgkinson (Z NATION, BIG FISH), Julian Gavilanes (GRINDER, Z NATION), and Kiki Yeung (GODMACHINE).
Official plot synopsis from Mansfield Dark:
Katy and Rachel are two friends working together in a deserted museum cataloguing and stocktaking its contents. The two haven’t seen each other for a while. Katy has moved in with her boyfriend Darren whilst Rachel has just returned from a holiday in the Lake District. As they get to work Katy starts to suspect Rachel is hiding something. Rachel accidentally summoned an ancient evil; the Mothman and it has followed her back to the museum where it watches and waits for them. Katy becomes more paranoid as Rachel becomes more withdrawn. Now Katy is seeing things in the corner of her vision and having terrifying nightmares that are beginning to blur with reality. The Mothman will take a victim, but which one? Terrifying visions of dopplegangers and a strange creature on the museum roof and an unwanted visitor make The Mothman Curse an experience that will stay with you long after viewing.
Filmed ‘blind’ on a special pin-hole camera at London’s most haunted Museum, The Mothman Curse is a terrifying experience that will stay with you long after viewing. Based on unreal events.
Let me start this review off by being pedantic. Insidious: Chapter Three is not chapter three. It should actually be known as Insidious: The One Before The First One. Yes, it’s a prequel. A milking of the franchise because the studio clearly hasn’t made enough money yet. Anyway let’s not nit-pick much more, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
Insidious: Chapter Three
Official blurb: Two collectors of serial killer memorabilia meet in order to exchange a treasured piece of merchandise, but one of them has taken their dedication to their macabre master to unspeakable depths, and reveals a sinister plan to connect the two to their mentor through a horrifying recreation of his final “masterpiece.” A story of love, loss and obsession, Don't Despair is a haunting horror film and a deep look into the allure of evil.
Sometimes a simple idea for a film works really well, and to be honest the premise of this film is excellent. A rich family foundation invites desperate people for dinner, and gets them to partake in a rather nasty and violent game of would you rather. However instead of would you rather snog your teacher or your dog, these poor contestants have to decide on such things as stabbing someone else at the table in the leg or beating someone else with a big stick, And this is just the start of it. There can only be one winner and that means at every round of the game at least one person must die.
Essentially this is a one set film which lends it a great sense of claustrophobia, and with each new round of the game not intended for all the family the fear and tension mounts. However all sense of fear and terror is totally lost thanks to the performances of three of the main leads. Lets start with Bevans, the big heavy of the film. Jonny Coynes performance as the muscle man / thug would have even the most dastardly pantomime villain cringing with embarrassment.
Over the top and lacking any subtlety
his performance reminds you of a gorilla in suit.
Coynes performance is almost out done by that of Charlie Hofheimer who plays the snotty son of the rich family. Imagine every obnoxious kid in every film ever made and that's his character. To be fair there is very little that he can do with such an over written character. At least the audience has a figure of hate that they can aim their distaste for the film at.
However, it is Jeffrey Combs performance as the figurehead of the family that really takes all the prizes as the worst performance in a horror film ever. I don;t know what Combs was on when making this film, but he better think about cutting the dose. Every word, every pose, every little acting nuance is blown up into an over performance that makes you laugh every time he opens his mouth. It's as though your dad has just been ripped of the streets and been given the acting direction of "go over the top, don't worry about looking like a fool".
Which is a pity as the film had so much potential, the last woman standing premise of the film is one which is still sadly underused in horror films, but all attempts to address this and give us a strong female lead are wasted by the three stooges like performance of the three male leads.
I won't even go into the logic of the last man standing takes all the money and never ever goes to the cops. The film has more holes of logic than you can shake a stick at. Which could be forgiven if the film had even the smallest amount of heart. I get that the filmmakers where going for bleak, and they certainly pulled that off, but the final scene was just once scene too far. It turned the whole film into just another sleazy torture porn film. A really misguided move, I reckon the filmmakers were thinking they were all smart and clever for doing it, well sorry you weren't guts you came across as a bunch of tits.
Joe Dante, legendary director of such classics as Gremlins, The Howling, Innerspace and The ‘Burbs tries his hand at directing a ‘ZomRomCom’ with his latest film ‘Burying the Ex’.
Max (The always reliable Anton Yelchin) is a reasonably ambitious nice guy, he is the sole worker in a shop selling horror related paraphernalia and is planning to set up a shop of his own someday. His totally domineering girlfriend Evelyn (Ashley Greene) is not averse to wearing some of the costumes for some kinky sex in the back of the shop, but doesn’t see a future in horror related memorabilia retail for Max, treating it as nothing more than a childish pipedream. She controls every aspect of his life with an almost military expectation and makes him promise that they will be together forever. Unfortunately one of the items in the shop has certain properties capable of ensuring that Max and Evelyn will remain a couple no matter what the future holds.
Initially unaware of what he has got himself into with the ever more demanding Evelyn, Max soon comes to hate being manipulated, so spurred on by his slovenly half-brother Travis (Oliver Cooper) Max arranges to meet Evelyn so he may break up with her in person. There follows the inevitable accident and funeral, leading to Evelyn’s subsequent resurrection several weeks later. What follows is a comedy of terrors, Max has moved on, found a new relationship in the arms of Ice Cream vendor Olivia (Alexandra Daddario) and he is starting to get his life back together until that fateful knock on the door brings the Zombified Evelyn back into his life.
Alexandra Daddario plays the role of Olivia with a deft charm, bringing plausibility to the speed with which Max moved on. As lovely looking and likeable as Olivia is, it is still a lesser role than that of Evelyn. Ashley Greene is outstanding in her portrayal of the obsessive and possessive zombie and within moments of her introduction I felt sorry for Max. Knowing that Evelyn was about to come a cropper was not enough for me; I wanted it to be soon and nasty. Such is the initial impression she makes that Ashley Greene shows she is certainly more than just eye-candy; she dominates every scene she is in from the get-go, which is not an easy thing to do when your leading-man is one of the best actors of his generation. Yelchin's acting is spot on with the delicate balance of his usual nice guy persona hardly dented, even though he is dumping his girlfriend my sympathies were with him as Evelyn is something of a nightmare even before she dies. It would be simple enough for her character to be basic and artificial, but Ashley Greene's timing never misses a beat, ensuring that Evelyn is realistic enough that the viewing audience will know someone with a similar personality and will boo her accordingly.
Based on a short story by Alan Trezza who then developed it into a feature film, the script is not without ambition yet it falls short of expectations, I fear ‘Burying the Ex’ will become a bone of contention for Joe Dante's many fans as it suffers from something of an identity crisis. Those of us who are familiar with Mr Dante's works are aware that there is not much, if anything, that this director cannot pull off. Segment 3 of 1983's Twilight Zone the Movie' saw Dante directing a remake of one of the Twilight Zone's most iconic episodes "It's a Good Life", the general consensus at the time was "If it ain't broke don't fix it", yet in this reasonably early stage of his career he presented an outstanding blend of comedy and drama so finely interwoven with horrors that even the most diehard fan (ME) was satisfied. The horrors in question being not only blatantly obvious visual horror, but the far more subtly implied horror of a nasty little child with complete control over his world. Dante has gone on to provide similar viewing experiences throughout his career.
I think the problem with 'Burying the Ex' is one of time, due to other scheduling commitments the film was shot in less than three weeks and it does unfortunately have a bit of a hurried feel about it. Joe Dante is as previously stated no stranger to comedy or horror and does indeed direct with a view to making the most of what he has, in this particular case the general premise is fine and the actors are first rate, there’s even the obligatory Dick Miller cameo for the aficionados out there. Where this film goes awry in my opinion is the script, it’s just not fresh enough. It's a little off the mark with the humour and it is left to Max’s half-brother Travis (Cooper) to be the true comedy foil, which in all honesty does work, the excellent Cooper is by no means a sympathetic character or merely 'window dressing' to make Max look like less of a loser. He is in fact a cliché turned upside down in that this particular sluggish overweight stoner is actually a massive hit with the (often highly desirable) ladies. It is easy to see why as his personality is funny enough to be attractive and even the familial chemistry between Max and Travis is highly believable.
Burying The Ex is a good film, what stops it from being a classic film is the sense that it doesn't quite know what it wants to be. The humour is spread out a bit too thinly for it to be classed as a comedy, and the horror isn't quite horrific enough for it to be a horror. However, despite this lack of identity, this is still a film that you should go and watch, it is a tightly shot, well acted ensemble piece, with a pair of outstanding central performances, all wrapped in a layer of beautiful Joe Dante charm and wit, Burying the Ex is a hairs breadth away from being another classic film.
Burying The Ex is released 19 June 2015 click here to purchase a copy
Check out the trailer:
Ace Entertainment Films is pleased to announce that comedy/horror film BURYING THE EX from legendary director Joe Dante (Gremlins, Small Soldiers, Innerspace) will be released digitally in the UK on June 19th 2015.
BURYING THE EX launched at the Venice Film Festival in September, and will be available digitally in the UK and USA on June 19th, available to download and view-on-demand on major platforms.
BURYING THE EX stars Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Fright Night) as Max, an all-round nice guy, and Ashley Greene (Twighlight, The Twlight Saga: Breaking Dawn) as his overbearing but incredibly beautiful girlfriend, Evelyn. Their relationship takes a nosedive after they decide to move in together and Max realises it is time to call it quits, but there's just one problem: he's too afraid to break up with her.
Fate steps in when Evelyn is involved in a freak accident and dies, leaving Max single and ready to mingle. Several weeks later, he has a chance encounter with Olivia, played by Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D, Hall Pass), a cute and spirited girl who might just be his soul mate. But that same time, Evelyn returns from the grave as a dirt-smeared Zombie and she's determined to live happily ever after with Max... even if that means turning him into one of the undead.
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