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There are very few movies I can honestly say I disliked. Too many reviewers carry pre-conceived notions or comparisons in to watchin a film. I watch a film for what it is, not trying to explain plot holes answer all the “whys.” Yeh...I see them, and of course make mental comments, but to question every subtle error, nuance, or gap would never allow for pure enjoyment.
I love fantasy - Terry Brooks was my favorite author during my teen years - horror (and various sub-genres), giallo, classics, action/adv, indie, extreme, exploitation (black, nun, etc), foreign language, martial arts, comedy, midnight, noir, period pieces, epic tales, art house, historical, war, and westerns. Bring on the gore and unsettling horror!
Not a big fan of straight up drama or romcom, and really dislike POV/found-footage stuff. Blair With was kinda cool, but only because it was not the trendy thing to do.
Honestly, I’ll watch just about anything, as I enjoy the visual side of storytelling, and try never comparing movies that don’t need comparison. It takes the fun out of the story. Mostly, I just enjoy the escape that watching a movie brings.
Unusual premise, simple execution, tense from start to finish.
As usual, no spoilers.
I went to this film knowing nothing more than the description on IMDB. I was curious how the writers would execute the concept in a way that would hold the viewer's attention for 90 minutes. Kudos for a well executed film, as they held my attention; in a very tense manner I might add...from start to finish.
Reading several reviews stating how "underdeveloped the characters were," or how implausible the concept would be...then faulting the movie for it, missed the mark IMO. The point of the film was not to present high-brow dramatic connection to characters, but to show them in the "every man" capacity. Not every film needs to have such developmental facets. Also contrary to this is that there are some very "touching" scenes that give insight in to the "type" of people individual characters portray. It is subtle, but well done. My personal favorite is at exactly the one hour mark. Really well done moment that was unexpected.
As for the individual pieces of the film:
- the acting was just fine. Nothing Oscar worthy, but I also didn't feel like it was bad. Anybody placed in such an impossible position would exhibit all kinds of mania, and I thought the acting portrayed that well.
- while I wouldn't call this a "gore flick," there are indeed some gruesome scenes...and more than just a few. I did not find it gratuitous, but it's certainly not for the faint of heart. Again...not a gore flick, but definitely has its fill, well beyond the typical violent film.
- while 99% of the film takes place in one single place (basically, on the side of a country road), the cinematography was excellent. The use of drone shots and scaling views makes for some truly dramatic changes in engagement.
- special Fx, in my opinion, were very well done. ALL practical effects...no CGI! The gore looked real, that's for sure.
- sound and foley were EXCELLENT! Often when the cast is a bunch of 20 somethings, the musical accompaniment and/or soundtrack is filled with whatever new band is popular at the time. Thankfully there is none of that...only score. The use of music is a huge tool, as nearly every accompaniment of music/sound pares to something occurring "at the moment" and lends itself to heightening the situation playing out. Very well done sound, in the whole.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable, tense, anxiety ridden 90 minute ride. Make no mistake...this is a violent movie and the on-screen gore is rather continuous. As I finish writing, it occurs to me that there was more brutality than I initially thought. I LOVE this, but be forewarned...if you don't like blood, guts, and brain matter, you should skip this one.
Look...it's an independent 'B' horror movie for blood and gore's sake. ENJOY IT!
I kinda miss seeing these kinds of films...ones that are made for the purpose of being gory for gore's sake. "Autopsy" was not made to win Academy Awards, nor was it made to score points with the legit Hollywood crowd. It was made for the purpose of being a B level horror movie with plenty of gore.
~ Are the plot holes? Yep ~ Do characters make loads of asinine decisions? Indeed ~ Is the story arc completely impossible? For sure ~ Are there nonsensical scenarios piled up one after another? TONS ~ ...that follow common horror tropes? Oh yeh ~ Was it meant to be this way? You betcha
Here's the deal...if you want classic Hammer horror or complex story lines with well developed characters and a script that brings horror to life, you're definitely in the wrong place. If, on the other hand, you like blood and guts, a couple of familiar character actors, and an almost exploitative adventure into gore, then this for you. I applaud the writer and director for what they created with "Autopsy." They wanted a bloody, gory show for viewers and they did it. They were even able to do it with decent actors and excellent practical special fx. No CGI!!! Just straight up old school practical gore.
In closing, don't go in to this looking for anything more than it is. Sounds ambiguous to say that, but for the gorehound in you, just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
***It should be noted...while there is plenty of gore, it's not what I would call "extreme" (eg Headless, August Underground, Guinea Pig films, etc). It's tastefully done gore.
Probably more for niche audience but i throughly enjoyed it!
I didn't read the reviews prior to watching the film, as the current 3.7 rating led me to believe it might be underrated. Upon watching, my personal opinion is that it is vastly underrated, but I absolutely understand that the appeal will be for a niche audience.
The acting is good, the cinematography is gorgeous (shot in the wilds of beautiful British Columbia), and the sound is excellent. My personal appeal is with the story. I LOVE the idea of a band setting out on a drug-fueled adventure with the (expressed) purpose of following what comes in order to write new and more inspired music. There's plenty of films that approach something similar to this in the comedy realm, but NOT in the horror/sci-fi world. No spoilers here, but the personal appeal I hold for this type of story made it a really good watch. Having, umm..."enjoyed my youth in many out of body ways," there are just not enough movies that use psychedelic experiences for personal improvement. The obvious catch to all this is that as the story unfolds, the viewer quickly learns that there is more to what is happening than what was originally laid out. That's where the atmospheric haze of drugs vs reality really takes the viewer to new, almost Faustian levels.
While there were a few questionable edits, and some questions that never get answered (though to be honest, I don't think they were meant to be answered), I thoroughly enjoyed how the dark nature of the film flourished with each passing scene. Contrary to what some reviews state, I think the writer and directors actually knocked it out of the park here- it's difficult to tell a story from the perspective of someone on psychedelics, let alone create a film that isn't filled with cheesy tropes or standard misconceptions. Heck...there were even some twists and surprises that I absolutely didn't expect.
All in all, I totally enjoyed Archons. It certainly wasn't made on a gazillion dollar budget, but it also wasn't relegated to a micro-budget. My guess is that it would appeal to folks who understand psychedelic drugs and enjoy horror/sci-fi. The viewer should also keep an open mind and a) not compare this to other horror flicks, and b) not ask too many questions. Just go with the flow and enjoy what turns out to be a pretty crazy ride. A ride that could be described as "Faustian."
Killing Ground (2016)
Well...I USED to love camping alone.
Just a quick few words about this film. I would have rated it higher but for two reasons:
- it was a tad slow in the beginning, although not slow enough to tank the film by any means. The slow beginning is absolutely necessary to the film as it sets up the story.
- the second reason is likely my fault, but I'll note it nonetheless. I had to leave the room a couple of times, for completely stupid reasons, and missed the setup for how the two stories were not taking place simultaneously, but rather in past and present. Imagine my idiocy as I tried to figure out what the heck was happening.
That said, Killing Ground is a solid film. While many people classify it as horror, it is not horror in the conventional sense, but rather as a film filled with horrific experiences. What makes it so horrific is that every piece of the film is something that has likely happened in reality, or very well could happen. There are no cheap scares or generic tropes to muddle the experience. Just raw, reality-based terror.
All that said, the film is it without its flaws. I won't comment on them, as they are largely based on choices made by the villains. Again, nothing that ruins the story, but certainly noticeable as examples of "man these guys are stupid."
Overall, a very worthwhile watch.
Regarding content...a few reviews mention how the film "does not shy away from gore." There was nothing about this film that I would consider gory. There are a couple of violent scenes, and two or three instances of blood, but most of "violence" occurs in the mind of the viewer. While there is no onscreen nudity, there is a scene (and dialog between characters) that has the two villains talking about "having another go" at the women captives...meaning that the women had been raped.
Plenty of profanity, as the villains are...well...villains, and therefore must, naturally, use profanity when upset. Beyond that, and as mentioned above, there is no gratuitous violence or nudity, but the film takes the viewer right up to these atrocities and then lets the viewers mind do the rest. Only in the most well done films does this tactic work, and the case of Killing Ground, it absolutely works.
Central Park (2017)
It just didn't do it for me
I like simple slasher flicks. Always have, always will. This low budget B-flick had all the makings for a mindless, bad-decision making, buckets-of-blood slasher, but it simply never gets off the ground.
Typically, I rate movies based on the "enjoyment factor," and "did the film hold my attention for its duration..." simple feelings like that. Central Park NEVER came close to either of those two things. T
The pace is tediously slow, as the first near 45 minutes are filled with idle chit-chat...for character development. It was WAY overdone, and frankly, boring. The main 5-6 characters are high school kids, so the dialog is uninteresting. At about the 45 minute mark we see the first sign of "action." As the final act opens up, I had already been let down by the single so-far-still the only "action," as I waited scene after scene for "more action." And that's how it went. I spent the entire movie waiting for MORE...more anything, except idle chit-chat.
As of today (Aug 20, 2020) there is only one other review on IMDb, and that review speaks glowingly high about pretty much everything [as if often the case with these fake reviews, written by accts that have no action but the single review. I'm not saying that Is the case here, but there are number of the reviewer's opinions that I not only disagree with, but are factually incorrect. Those two, in combination, lead me to believe the review is all hype. It is nowhere near the film s/he sees unfolding.
I would consider Central Park as a barely average b-horror flick. The blood/gore was way almost non-existent, and the kills were uninspiring & bland. The script had its moments too, but wanders in to unrelated territory as if just to fill. Just as with the rest of the film, the entire movie script delivers a final product that lacks any real meat. Put simply...it was just a bore.
Soul Hunters (2019)
Awful. Fake reviews kill IMDB. Just watch the trailer & you'll see.
IMDB used to be such a great source for finding quality films but the number of fake reviews has killed its credibility, which means the user suffers.
There is no way to put it, other than bluntly - THIS MOVIE IS TERRIBLE! Before doing anything, take a quick look at the number of 10:10 reviews, with nothing but lauding how perfect a film Soul Hunters is. As soon as you've done that, watch the trailer. If you do those two things, and in that order, you won't even need to watch the film...you'll know how bad it is. Seriously...if there is just ONE REVIEW that you take seriously, let it be this one. It'll save you 100 minutes of your life.
Do not recommend, not even a little. Incredibly poor in every aspect.
Saw this on Amazon Prime, and took a chance since it was free, and the IMDB rating was 5.5 as of Memorial Day 2020. Boy did I get taken.
It should be noted, I am a horror fan and gorehound, so my hope was, at the very least, that this would be a terribly acted movie, but with some good gore. Often times the true indie productions - and by indie, I don't just mean NOT made by a major studio, but independent & made w/ a micro-budget - are the hidden gems of horror and gore. I've even learned to tolerate camcorder movies, as long as they have some redeeming qualities. If you look at my hundreds of reviews, it's rare that I give a 1, but Axe Grinder truly deserves the lowest rating available.
I also have no problem with recycled story lines and plots, as it is truly rare to find a film that is new and fresh. This "slasher" is formulaic: good lucking teens escape for a weekend of booze, camping, and sex in a forrest that is being stalked by an axe wielding maniac in a burlap mask. Sadly, the burlap mask did a better job acting than any of the characters.
No facet of the movie had any redeeming value:
- the acting is atrocious. Often indie films come with subpar acting, but not like this. The people in this film don't appear to have ever acted before. Not even the women's screams are convincing.
- the film was shot direct-to-video, and it doesn't even look like like it was done digitally. Like, literally...it looks like it was filmed on an old VHS camcorder. The scenes are shaky, at best, and the cropping is terrible.
- the special fx are non-existent. People get pounded with the axe, yet not a single blow is shown directly, nor does the axe leave any kind of cut or marring on the victims. Just poorly colored and oily looking blood. Practical fx can be done relatively cheaply, but the director didn't even try to make the wounds look real.
- the script...it's just hideous. The writer attempted to be clever by adding cliches and tropes throughout, but when actors can't deliver a line without sounding like they're reading from a page, it makes the dialog insufferable and trite.
- the editing is horrible as well, with cut after cut after cut being the balance of the film due to there being no budget to make the violence look real.
I suppose I could critique all the characteristics that make a movie (eg direction, lighting, sound, production, etc) but they're no better than what I've mentioned already. At the end of the day, the IMDB rating is obviously stacked by phony opinions. There isn't much in the way of reviews either. I wouldn't have even bothered leaving a review, but for the fact that there just isn't much feedback available on this film, anywhere.
Side note...one review mentions how gory this film is. I'm not sure who could ever consider this gory, where axe wounds leave no marks, wounds, or cuts...just fake blood, but suffice it to say that (IMO) it's not gory in the slightest. Well...unless you consider a guy holding a London Broil in his hand while trying to pass it off as some sort of human organ.
Even by "cheesy b-flick" standards, this is simply not good in any way shape or form. I hope the review offers enough insight to steer you clear.
Stockholm Syndrome (2008)
If you like August Underground etc, this is for you!
The few reviews that are here were written by people who did not know what they were getting in to. This is TRUE independent shock cinema. Not simply "indie" because it wasn't made by one of the major studios. Too many people use the same barometer for judging ALL films, when in actuality, it is impossible to do that without missing something. If the same criteria is used to judge this film as other indie films (eg Napoleon Dynamite, Peanut Butter Falcon, etc) then of course it's going to suck. Approach this for what it is folks...a truly independently made film.
As it pertains to shock cinema, this is actually one of the better pieces I've seen in a while. While some of the acting is standard shock cinema fare, I give props to nearly every female in this. GREAT screams, and very convincing fear. Some of the men were just hideous, but as I said...the movie was is shock cinema. Not something made for the purpose of winning an Oscar for Best Actor.
There are truly some vile scenes in the movie. On par with Headless (another GREAT modern day masterclass in shock cinema). Could the fx have been better? Sure, but for a micro budget movie, the gore is excellent.
Look...don't go in to this looking for character depth, convincing role playing, and complex story lines. This is exploitation for the purpose of being "wrong." There are loads of truly independent movies out there, and most are just absolutely hideous. At least this one gets the formula right...spend what budget you have on making the gore is realistic as possible and let everything else fall where it may.
For fans of August Underground, the Guinea Pig series etc. Great gore, killer screams, and even some topless shots. Exploitation the way it was meant to be. If you're looking for something other than filthy exploitation, don't watch this. If you want a mindless hour and 15 minutes of blood, guts, near-term abortions with coat hangers, and mayhem, then get your popcorn and settle in for a quick watch.
Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
Well made film, but doesn't really fit any one demographic
Not so much a review, but a few comments:
- as a stand-alone film, it's enjoyable. The acting is good, the directing is good, decent fx, smart script, and cohesive.
- lots of double entendre, hyperbole, and implied speech, which makes it fun to find all the subtle references and nods to outside factors.
The challenge with this film, IMO, is that it doesn't really fit a single demographic. While there is some gore, there is not a ton of it. As a zombie film, I would have liked to see more. My main reason for watching it was the horror theme, even if some from the zombedy standpoint. As a musical, it works well, but the average fan of musicals probably isn't a fan of zombies eating the intestines of their victims while singing is occurring.
Now, for me, I grew up watching live theater and musicals with my parents, so I have an affinity for them, but I don't believe the average horror fan wants to watch "High School Musical" the zombie edition. That said, it would be easier for the horror fan to watch this than for a musical fan to do the same.
Overall, it's a cute watch. As one other reviewer noted, there's not enough gore for the horror fan but too much for the musical fan. Finding the niché demo for this is not as easy as one would think, but it's a well made film all the same.
If there was more gore my rating would have been higher, as the movie was good. I enjoyed it, but had merely hoped for more blood and guts.
John Henry (2020)
Painfully slow and story could have been told in half the time
I'm a big TC fan, so when I saw this pop up on Netflix, I was intrigued, especially since I hadn't heard anything about the film. The brief synopsis lead me to think it was going to be a gang-themed movie, and while the deep plot involves gangs, it was definitely not what i would consider a gang movie. If you're looking for a gang movie (a la Boyz In The Hood, Menace II Society, etc), look elsewhere. This is more a drama than anything, and the pace is painfully slow.
The acting wasn't bad, but OMG...the script is terrible. Using the name John Henry felt like a stretch too, and almost felt like an insult to the folk hero John Henry, especially with a few loose and unsuccessful references to the namesake.
More than anything, the dialog between actual plot points drags on for minutes at a time, with nothing to add to the plot, the characters, or the film. I'm not sure when this story was submitted for funding, or how long the script took to develop, but everything about this movie felt like a rough draft, with no attention to flow or story.
Sadly, this movie is a complete bust. Had it not been for the fact that I like TC, and a couple other actors, it would have ranked even lower. It's certainly not the worst movie in the world, but I can not find a single reason to recommend it. Even for fans of TC, it's just a bust. Bummer.
Not bad, but missed potential...big time.
Short and sweet review.
Honestly, all facets of the film (but one) are no worse than at least average, with some being quite good. The acting is fine, camera work is ok, story is interesting and a good plot, sound and other post-production are good...but they missed the mark, in my opinion, on presentation.
This is essentially a new take on the "women in prison" sub genre. It's very violent, in the sense that the plot is women having one-on-one fights to the death; the violence is ALMOST exclusively hand-to-hand combat violence. That said, Raze is essentially an exploitation film, minus the parts that make exploitation films exploitative. There is very little blood, no nudity, and no real gore. The content, or lack thereof, essentially renders this as exploitationless exploitation. While it is just MY opinion, if you're gonna make an exploitation film, then make an exploitation film. Make it ultra-violent, supremely bloody, nastily gory, and throw in some nudity for good measure. Seriously. Now, it's obvious that budget was an issue, and the inclusion of a bunch of gore would have added a relative amount to the cost, but it sure would have been cool had they done so.
All in all, it's a very watchable film...even enjoyable. Nothing to write home about, but worth the time, and since it's streaming on multiple platforms, it's likely free as well. If you're not a fan of violence or martial arts type films, this is definitely not for you, but it's nowhere near as brutal and dark as some reviews suggest.
The Pyramid (2014)
I actually REALLY liked this film!
I'll keep this super short, from the opinion of someone who enjoyed the movie from its start to its finish, with one exception - it's basically a "found footage" film, which I absolutely detest, as the movie/camera films the events and people involved for what would, in the movie, become a be documentary. When I figured that out, I almost turned it off, but I'm glad I stuck with it. It works for what the director intended, it's just not typically my cup of tea.
- it's a film about ancient Egypt and its mythology. I love good Egyptology-ish films (eg Stargate, The Mummy et al) and they rarely get made, at least decently.
- it's a film about archeology and adventure. Come on...Indiana Jones put it all of us.
- it's a monster flick. There are never enough monster flicks on the market.
- the special fx are quite good. Not perfect, but they enhanced the film, opposed to bad fx which can drag a film down.
- overall production was well done. The pace is good, the screenplay works very well, and
- it's a an Ancient Egyptian Monster Movie About Archeology
- the acting is not great. It's serviceable, but it feels forced, and the actors overplay their roles at times. Again, it's not horrible, but with some of the cliche lines that regularly occur in the film, it feels forced.
- the story could have easily supported more details of the specific mythology in the film. The script covered the bare basics but this would have greatly improved both the flow and story depth.
- it's a "found footage" type film, and I despise FF movies most of the time. You might like them, in which case this won't be distraction.
Look...this is not a perfect film by any stretch of the imagination, but it is action packed, paces well, and is a flick that can be watched with some good old fashioned brain death on a couch. Neither is this a "deep" film, so there's no need to attempt to decipher meaning or allegory. It's purely surface, which is what I wanted.
If you like Egypt, Archeology, Action/Adventure, and/or monsters, you will enjoy.
Dog Pound (2010)
Excellent film with an absolutely TERRIBLE ending.
Dog Pound is an excellent film. I'm not a huge "Drama" genre fan, but from the opening credits all the way to the end-credits, I was completely engaged. Acting, camera work, and production are superb. Not a lot of fluff, just raw, scene acting.
The biggest reason for writing this review is to say that I absolutely HATED the ending. Hated it. That should not dissuade anyone from watching, but yikes...what a terrible way to finish telling this story.
That is all.
Great idea, some good stuff, directing suffers
I read the reviews prior to watching Eat and decided to give it a go. Cannibalism or self-cannibalism movies are nothing new, but I really appreciated the spin this movie gives to the subject. Most cannibal films are either dramatic horror or comedy- with a few exceptions, of course- and while this could be described as horror (based on content), it is more of a love story intertwined with a character who is mentally crashing. Similarly, I don't care for dramas, but this was just a good watch.
First and foremost, the fx folks did an excellent job with content. Since this is not a typical horror movie - where everything gnarly usually seems to take place in the dark- the idea that self-cannibalism could be portrayed onscreen would be a challenge, even for the best crews, when in broad "daylight." Beyond the realism of the "gore," the WAY it is portrayed is excellent. Lots of cringing, personally painful scenes done in such a way that make the viewer wince with discomfort - have you ever had a hangnail that you try to bite off and it rips the skin further than you thought it would? That sharp pain that sears its trauma in to your mind's eye? Now imagine a movie based on such a thing. Anywho...the FX are great and presentation is equally as good.
The story is really well written. For my money, a good story is made when multiple layers of content can be laid upon each other and form a complete but multi-subject tale. The writer did an excellent job weaving the pieces together for an aggregate bigger than the sum of its parts. And the parts continue surfacing until the very last scene. Where it falls down is that the writer is also the director, producer, music composer, editor, and a couple other things. More often than not, when I see writers directing, producing, and doing all these other jobs, the product turns out subpar...but usually because the product is simply not good to begin with. 'Eat' is a GOOD PRODUCT that would have benefitted from having a director with more experience. Period. Other than that, I found it very enjoyable.
Either a 1 or a 10...I can't really decide
I typically rate movies on personal grading system:
(How enjoyable it was) + (How well it accomplished what the Director attempted to do) = Final Rating
Now...for the first part, it's pretty simple. Did I like it? Was it enjoyable? Would I watch it again? This means lots of different things, as some movies are hard to watch due to their content but are nonetheless enjoyable and well made (well made being more the second part).
The second part is much more subjective. It's easy to discuss differences between a blockbuster Hollywood production and a straight-up indie film w/ limited budget and fx. It's much more difficult to determine when it's a film made for the purpose of being bad. Some films completely miss the mark by taking themselves too seriously (ie making a seriously crappy film but believing it is true cinema). Then there are films like Plan 9, or Things, which are made with the express purpose of being bad. And when I say bad, I mean, like, REALLY BAD. Like, SO BAD that the viewer questions how any sane person could make a film. When it comes to Things, that exact scenario is what we are met with- it's a bad...REALLY bad...and intentionally so. That said, the film accomplished exactly what the director set out to do, so how can it be anything other than "very good?" Serious film elitists will look at 'Things' but rare it based on comparing it to other films. How can one of the trashiest films in history be graded under such rubric? The answer...it can't.
Therefore, when I aggregate the scores, the film is DEFINITELY either a 1 or a 10. It is disgustingly bad...horrible...a travesty of a waste of the Super 8 it was shot on...despicable. But amazingly achieved in each way.
If you're looking for a serious film to get in to, this is not the one for you. It is a '1.' If you're looking for a filthy piece of trash that is offensive to you as human and steals 90 or so minutes of your life, and offering absolutely ZERO redeeming value, then this is your '10.' If you don't know which category you would fall under, then assume it's a '1' and skip it. If you believe you might fall in to the latter, then here is your '10.' The caveat is that you will not get back the 90 minutes of your life you spent on this, so consider it dead to you.
Closet Land (1991)
Seriously one of the best scripts ever produced, married with the best possible actors for the parts.
Quite frankly, I'm not sure why this movie has not made it in to the major lexicon of psychologically profound cinema. No spoilers, AT ALL, but the sheer terror and confusion this film illustrates is unlike anything I have ever seen. I was lucky enough to see the film at a small theatre shortly upon release. When I left the theatre I did not yet have an appreciation for what I had seen, as the complexity builds until the final moments, and then WHAM. The lights come on. It wasn't until it came out on public VHS rental some time later that I was able to grasp the magnitude of what I saw on screen. No other director could have worked so masterfully with such a complex script and dialog; no other actors (in my opinion) could make a minimalistic masterpiece the likes of this, as it had never before been done in quite the same way; no other production crew could coax the lights & shadows of a single room for 90 minutes and never have it grow stale. Forget the special fx, forget the blood and gore, forget the epic scenes of exploding viscera or dying brothers on the field...this terror is self-contained. It's not a monster, it's not an alien, it's not a supernatural force, it's not some crazy biological entity...but rather, the world's most terrifying enemy...the human mind, both in what it can do to others and what it can do to oneself.
This film is definitely not for everyone, as should be easily distinguished by the reviews. Most people either terribly dislike this movie or they find it an amazing film. I tend to think that folks' preconceived expectations for what they're about to see end up letting them down...in a manner that starts within minutes, thus never giving the movie an opportunity to establish its foothold with the viewer. For all intents and purposes, it is a "slow burn" that is likely better appreciated after multiple viewings. It will test your patience and pry on your own thoughts and fears, as real as the day is long. Certainly not a date-night movie unless you're lucky enough to have a partner who enjoys complex psycho-cinema.
This is the film that ANY Rickman fan must see. For if you do not, then you have not seen him at his best. Closetland, for me, is what made him one of my favorite actors to ever grace the screen.
Superb in every single way
I'm a fan of war movies. Good ones, bad ones, big budget epics, little dinky indie flops...I enjoy watching how film makers view war through their lenses. Sadly, most of them miss the mark, even when merely going for shoot-em-up bloody-em-up carnage in camo. Not every war film is meant to be a blockbuster epic or a retelling of a true event, but they all have one thing in common...war is hell.
Danger Close perfectly exemplifies this aspect. It shows the fear, the brutality, the humanity, the brotherhood, the mud & rain, the loss of friends, and all of that often without a single hero running between fox holes or trenches. Not a single facet of this film was shorted:
- INCREDIBLE cinematography
- Direction is on par with ANY major war movie, which is an incredibly difficult task when utilizing sound, light, and vision to enhance angles.
- Acting? TOP...FREAKIN...NOTCH! The aussies and the kiwis (just normally) have a much different disposition than Americans, and everything about this film honored the brave men who fought in those jungles.
- Production, pre & post, also rival many big budget Hollywood films.
- Special fx were very good as well as the sets and props. There are a few spots where the CGI is a bit over-obvious but not problematic. All, at the very least, high grade pieces. One aspect this film did not overindulge the viewer with was the blood and gore. There is very little of either in the movie. Knowing the horrors of war, I'm not sure if this was a conscious decision by the director (eg budget constraints) or if they merely chose not to allow it to be a significant trait. That's not to say the film is bloodless or without its moments, but it's important to note that this is not a bloody gorefest of a war movie.
Just a superb film, all the way through. This is one I will watch more than once.
Attack of the Tattie-Bogle (2017)
Believe the rating, not the high reviews.
Reviews are almost always subjective, as they are, after all, opinions of movies. But when a viewer can read reviews and point out the misinformation they contain (and by misinformation, I mean "stuff that didn't happen in the film"), it severs all credibility the film and its crew possibly had.
This is one such example. The majority of the high reviews are not only subjectively unlikely, but they flat-out lie. I'm not sure if these were written by people associated with the film's production or by paid/compensated shills, but it really irks me that there is no way around this on IMDB. I know that fake reviews have been around longer than the internet, but when I choose to invest my time in a film based (in part) on something like a review, it's a real drag to find out said reviews are pure fiction.
No spoilers here...just don't waste your time. Even with the short run time I cannot recommend this film. And since I'm turned off by the blatant lying in the reviews, I'll take this moment to actively discourage you from watching it. Maybe if we actively boycott films and directors that have a history of dishonesty they will stop with the BS reviews. Doubtful, but please...consider starting your boycott here.
Nowhere near what I expected; dropped the ball.
It should be noted that i am a fan of the torture sub genre, so take that fwiw. By the synopsis on this, I though maybe another type of "Closetland," but sadly not even close. While the cast does indeed mimic that of Closetland, the script is nowhere near as good, the acting is not on that level, and the propensity for violence in this was simply not there **CL was not violent but I had hoped this would be moreso**
This is the type of "torture" movie that sets up tables in various medics instruments and torture devices only to never use them. Ok...that's not totally correct. I believe one pair of pliers is used but there is nothing really visible with their action.
The dialog and script are a bit cliche, as the acting wasn't quite up to par with the direction the script wanted to go. I would leave spoilers here, but the script wasn't bad, and has an element of mystery to it that just didn't feel "sold" to me. Add that to the lack of any real blood or gore and thus didn't even feel like a torture film, but just a film about a guy tied to a chair.
Definitely not the worst movie ever made, and had a lot of potential with the script, but never made the jump from barely average to decent.
Entertaining watch though cliche and pilfered from multiple other films
Let me get this out of the way...this movie is AN EXACT COPY of what would happen if you combined Mad Max, Waterworld, and Underworld (in as much as it's basically Kate Beckinsale). As in, a perfect recreation. Well, except for the fact that EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the wasteland has perfect teeth, is sexy & beautiful, happens to be a punk, and wears perfectly done makeup on a completely clean body. That's not how I would imagine society in a post-apocalyptic world. At least in Waterworld the people were dirty, crusty, and looked unkempt. Not to mention that not every person in the world was an anarchy-driven punk. I mean, come on...Saul's (Saul, being the IDENTICAL to Dennis Hopper's Deacon) girlfriend was almost too much to handle:
- perfect braids
- tribal tattoos/makeup that is perfect
- sparkling white teeth
- nearly feral, except in her seductress kind of way
- and oh yeh...she's like a perfectly trained samurai
Ok...so set aside these facts (if you can), don't question ANYTHING about the movie, forget about the overly done cliches and movieland tropes, and a terribly derivative script and you might find a moderately entertaining flick worth a watch...once. But you've really gotta commit to not letting the "cheese factor" of the script ruin it. If you can do that then you will find:
- a relatively well done film
- decent acting (not top notch, but decent)
- good production and filming
- good special fx
- decent budget
- cool soundtrack
- a rather interesting storyline that takes you through modern times, a post apocalyptic industrial steampunk Mad Max time, a Medieval Scottish period, and back to modern times.
Look...I give the producers props for taking this project seriously enough to put out a product that wasn't fake looking or too "b-level-ish," but it was a real struggle not to tear apart every decision made and every trope played. Thankfully, I was able to (kind of) do it.
...and come on...you just knew Saul's death was gonna be a humdinger.
Re: Born (2016)
Sadly, Re:Born missed its potential within the first 30 minutes. I rarely, RARELY hold plot implausibilities against a film, as I generally believe all the assumptions the Director/Writer wishes us too, without asking too many questions, but this time I simply couldn't look the other way. I mean, come on...our protagonist is in the woods surrounded by 100's of gun-toting mercenaries who are ALL out to kill him. Yet, they are not supposed to use said guns to kill him...except when they're firing on him and missing him. It just doesn't make sense. I can buy in to him being so good that he can dodge the bullets, but why attempt shooting him until within point blank range, and then NOT using the gun to kill him. Like...this just doesn't make sense in any world. Not even the one where we allow all shortcomings and questions to go unanswered. It just felt strange.
I like these kind of "god-like super mercenary can't-be-killed warrior" type films (eg Rambo, Missing In Action, Predator, etc) even though there is a demand for taking the action with a grain of salt and not asking too many questions. There's definitely value to these hero/anti-hero roles. I mean, come on...how many of us pretended to be the unstoppable army dude when we were kids? It's supposed to be fantasy, where the good guy wins and the bad guy loses. The good guy might get a little rough around the edges and come out a bit worse for the wear, but in the end, he kills everybody in highly implausible (if not impossible) ways and is generally not seen while doing it, due to his almost supernatural ability to be nearly invisible until the moment of his choosing; until he finally kills everyone that has stood in his way - including loads of Mercs with guns they don't shoot- from reaching the antagonist, where he makes swift business of the doctor. That's basically what Re:Born is, and it succeeds in the premise - kind of - by providing a moderately good dose of action amidst and incredibly thin and underdeveloped plot.
I am a big fan of the crew: actors, director, etc but had hoped for more. While many action/horror/fantasy films don't always demand a well-developed plot (since it's typically the fx & such that we're after) but some movies work better when more is known about the process occurring during the telling of the story. Re:Born gives you the BARE MINIMUM here, telling you just enough to kind of know what's going on, but a more well developed script would have made this a much better film. That, and either telling the dudes with guns to shoot, or simply not giving them guns.
The Furies (2019)
Enjoyable, quick 80 minutes with some gore!
I actually quite enjoyed this! A solid independent movie, in really every facet. The story lines are basic and have been done as nauseum, but at least this one throws a twist in to it with the cameras.
All facets were done well: acting, directing, production, etc, with a shout out to the special fx team for the great gore fx. It's not often that indie films yield such good results. I watched it as a Shudder exclusive, and much in the same way that Boar had some gore, this does too. I really appreciate that from horror producers and directors. DON'T SKIMP ON THE GORE! Nearly your entire audience wants to see some good, ole fashioned blood and guts.
Well done. I recommend a watch for ANY horror fans, and even those in the Thriller camp.
There's some great reviews here so I won't rehash all that's been said, but this was a very good film. While done as an independent film, the progression and motif is done almost identically to Fight Club - the protagonist offers a linear (for the most part) narrative on and off throughout the movie, and while the technique has been used often, it is not always effective. With "Piggy" it is very effective as the juxtaposition and progression of the protagonist is both physics and emotional/mental.
All facets of the film are well done:
- solid acting
- excellent direction
- cinematography is good. Not great, but good. The director could have done a bit more to capture the underside of London, especially since the anti-hero Piggy mentions something to this effect at the end of the first act.
- sound and lighting were great, without being overly intrusive.
For those curious, the film is extremely violent, but most of it is not seen. It is, however, heard on most occasions, which produces the effect the director was after, just sans gore. There are a couple gory moments, but they were well chosen and the special fx were excellent.
I'm not sure why folks are panning the film with the bad reviews, as it was honestly one of the better revenge flicks I've seen in a long time. My guess is that those who didn't care for it were expecting something different than they got, considering the synopsis is dead-on correct with how the plot unfolds and the story is told. I will likely even watch this again in a few days.
The only true gripe I have is that the dialog is difficult to hear in a few places, and the thick cockney accents meant that I had to rewind and listen with the volume up on a handful of occasions. That could be my playback system, so YMMV.
Definitely worth watching if you like British films, revenge flicks, violent movies, or just want something that tells a cool story. Very close to a 9 for me.
The Human Race (2013)
Interesting film with unexpected characters and scenarios
Ok...so first, this is not a landmark film that will appeal to the masses. After watching it I find it somewhat difficult to categorize. I suppose horror/sci-fi is the best fitting description, but the choice to have multiple deaf and handicapped characters and significant communication via sign language was fascinating.
The movie itself is an odd bird. The film work is not great, but I rather enjoyed the story. Actually, I found myself enjoying the story more as the film progressed until the end neared and i realized I had been sucked in. This would be a really cool big budget feature, with dresses out and elaborate sets. Be that as it may, it's a low budget indie with all the typical constraints normally encountered:
- some of the acting is quite good while some of it is quite bad
- special fx are almost entirely CGI, which I despise. I typically won't even watch movies that only do CGI... that's how much I don't like it.
- sets were a bit generic
- camera work was nothing to write home about.
With all those issues, I'm surprised I enjoyed it as much as I did. But the story held my interest, the director and script did a good job fleshing out the main characters, allowing for a connection and likability (or un-likability as the case may be). This helps immensely and adds some of the twists that present themselves.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this film but I struggle with what audience I would recommend it to. It's not for the straight-up horror audience or any other genre. I suppose the best I can do is say that if you're in to independent films, and enjoy a story being told, that has elements of horror, drama, and a little science fiction, give it a whirl. Otherwise, I'm at a bit of a loss.
A Perfect Child of Satan (2012)
Nightmares do come true.
I had not heard of this until browsing effedup and liked the description. I really enjoy shorts when they're well done, which this is, and I've enjoyed Valentine's other films, so this was a no brained to watch. It could have been even shorter, as the first and second acts (mostly the first) seemed to drag on, but I'm assuming this was done intentionally in order to fulfill the juxtaposition the viewer is faced with in the third act.
The use of sound is spectacularly harrowing in this. With the use of some sound modifiers and specifically composed music, the mood and violence of the movie is compounded at least 5-fold. The brutality, while direct and unwieldy, did not NEED this type of effect to achieve intensity, but by utilizing these sound qualities the viewer is immediately captured in the middle of the brutality. Very well done.
This film won't be for everyone. Reading comments like "no point" and "boring" are obviously from folks who a) have not watched many shorts, and b) just don't "get it." The viewer doesn't always need to be left having answers or feeling resolution. In some cases, the unsettling nature of films (especially shorts) is what comes by way of NOT answering questions or by not ending on a happy note.
We warned, while there is no gore in the film, the violence is fast and intense. Very brutal.