Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fear Clinic - FEARnet Original Series

I just finished watching the first five episodes on this web series and they are freakin' awesome! The effects are phenomenal and the casting includes genre greats like Robert Englund, Kane Hodder, Danielle Harris, and Lisa Wilcox. The phobias featured so far have been hydrophobia, scotophobia, entomophobia, misophobia, and claustrophobia and each episode is less then seven minutes long. Even if you do not want to watch the series these two fear and gut wrenching episodes are must sees: scotophobia and entomophobia. If you are a horror fan like me then you gotta watch this.

Click here to check out this series on

The Night of the Headless Horesman

One of my favorite Halloween traditions when I was a child was watching Disney's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Unfortunately, I have not seen this in years and would love to get it on DVD some day to add to my collection but thanks to huluween I thought I would give this version a watch. For a 1999 TV CGI animated movie it was not too bad and included the voice talents of Clancy Brown, Tia Carrere, Mark Hamill, William H. Macy and Luke Perry. This version was a little more graphic then the Disney version of course and actually showed blood. I would not let little kids see this but older ones definitely. Happy Halloween!

To watch it now click here.


So to celebrate Halloween today I have been checking out huluween on and this straight to video release from 2003 seemed to be just the B-movie fodder I needed to get in to the mood. Let's see - no name bad actors, slasher at at ski resort killing teens who snowboard because they are not adhering to the slope rules for skiers, T&A, hot tub scene, and plot written by a 5 year old - good stuff. The effects are OK but very low budget as you expect. The jokes are very lame and hardly invoke any form of laughter on my part but I could spare a groan or two. Was much better then Nine Lives that I was playing in the back ground before that did not hold my interest at all and not even worth a blog post today except here.

Click here to check out the trailer.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


Hilary Swank, star of such unforgettable diverse performances in The Reaping, Million Dollar Baby, Freedom Writers, The Core and Boys Don't Cry, brings the life of American female pilot Amelia Earhart to the screen with help from Richard Gere, everyone's favorite former jedi Ewan McGregor, and the 9th Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston. The film is well done and beautifully filmed but nothing that leaps to the level of great as a bio pic. There is nothing really new here from her life story that is not general knowledge but the emotion and the eventual loss of Amelia and her navigator as they miss their refueling point is well performed and disheartening. If you love aviation and the story of Amelia Earhart as a pioneer for female pilots, then the film is worth seeing. If that does not grab you then watch it when it hits cable TV as a way to kill off an evening if you do not have a good book readily available.

Click here to check out the official website.

Saw VI

As the advertising slogan states quite well, if it's Halloween, it must be Saw. The little horror franchise that could is now on installment six and Jigsaw is still playing his games from beyond the grave and they are still able to tie the films together in cool little ways with installment VII in pre-production. There was no Saw back to back marathon screening this year at the theater to burn me out before seeing the new film and this new film makes up for most of the lackluster set pieces in films IV and V. New opening set pieces are definitely becoming harder to come up with to shock the audience but this one makes up for the lack on creatively by focusing on the horror of the victims who must give their pound of flesh. The ending is good but it definitley makes me wonder how the seventh installmet will get pulled off and where could they possible go with the frachaise.

Click here to check out the official website.

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant

Darren Shah's horror series, Cirque du Freak, makes it's feature film debut today with the acting talents of John C. Reilly as the vampire Larten Crepsley and Chris Massoglia as his newly made assistant who are caught up in a renewing of the tensions between the vampires and the vampinese by the ominous Mr. Tiny played creepily by Michael Cerveris. Other big name actors lending their talents to this new franchise and who flesh out the band of freaks are Salma Hayek, Ken Watanabee, Orlando Jones, Jane Krakowski and Willem Dafoe. From the trailer I could not tell for sure if this was to be a comedy, horror, or a family film with a hint of Something Wicked This Way Comes throw in. The series has great film potential and seeing there are twelve books in the series seems to be a literary hit already. I believe I would like to see a sequel film made and wonder if this is Universal's hope for a Harry Potter-like franchise of their own - only time will tell.

Click here to check out the official website or here to check out Darren Shah's website.

Astro Boy

I could not make my the first Saw VI showing so I opted for the anti-Saw film with robots and eccentric scientists. The plot is a scientist loses his soon in a military demonstration and tries to bring him back with his work in robotics. The movie was actually very good and a lot of fun which was proven by the number of cheering kids when Astro Boy takes out the villain. The voice cast includes Freddie Highmore as Astro Boy, Nicolas Cage as the boy's father Dr. Tenma, Kristen Bell as his friend Cora from the world below and the militray nut job/villian General Stone is voice by none other than Donald Sutherland. A good family film and definately worth a matinee viewing for all.

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

FEARnet presents Children of the Night

I am an avid fan of Fangoria magazine and to my chagrin this little ditty has my favorite horror magazine in the open credits of the film as one of its own productions. It stars Peter DeLuise, Karen Black, Garrett Morris and the lovely Ami Dolenz - who I first remember from running down the beach in the Tony Danza classic She's Out of Control - in the little town of Allsburg USA which is over run by vampires and it is up to the local school teacher, 17 year old virgin and the town drunk to save the town. Released in 1991, it is a campy little romp that went straight to video but featured effects by KNB Special Effects Group. Not a great B movie but fun to watch on a Sunday afternoon for a horror fan like me plus it has Garrett Morris. I tried to find a trailer but the best I could do is provide this clip from the film - enjoy!

FEARnet presents The Exorcism of Emily Rose

It's Sunday morning and the rain has finally stopped so what better time then to check out what is playing on FEARnet to get the day started out right. Today's feature is the 2005 Catholic exorcism film based on the possession of Emily Rose - played by new comer Jennifer Carpenter - and the ensuing court case. The film also stars Laura Linney and Campbell Scott as the opposing council for the trial of Father Moore - played by Tom Wilkinson - for the negligent death of Emily after the failed exorcism. All and all a pretty good film but not high on the scares or creepy factor as you would expect but what does make the film stand out is Carpenter's portrayal of Emily and the physical contortions she accomplishes - without the aid of special effects - to show her being possessed by demons. Good stuff and definitely a better performance here than in her later film Quarantine.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Stepfather / Stepfather II

So after seeing the remake today I felt the need to go back and watch the original film and its sequel. This reaffirmed my love for Terry O'Quinn's performances and why I knew he was an actor whose career was on the rise. The opening sequence is bloodier and more visceral than in the remake which makes the transition from inside the home to the outside world ever more unsettling and the story line with the young girl, played by Jill Schoelen, whose father died still worked better in holding my interest and sympathy. As for the sequel, it was great seeing how he was brought back even if the story was not a tight as in the first film and the relationship was now with a divorced mother played by Meg Foster - whose has the most incredible blue eyes ever - and her son played by the late Jonathan Brandis. Both films are still great and hold up well regardless of being part of the rampant Hollywood 80's remake machine.

Click here to check our the trailer for the original The Stepfather.

Click here to check out the trailer for Stepfather II.

The Stepfather (2009)

The remakes of classic 80's horror/thriller films continues with this updated sleeper hit that I remember as never being available at the local video store because it was always out. Dylan Walsh replaces Terry O'Quinn this time out as the stepfather without a verifiable past who is about to marry the mother of a troubled youth back from military school, Penn Badgley. The film is updated a bit but that updating seems to be more about having a studly son and his girlfriend hanging out shirtless and in a bikini by the pool or the girlfriend in her bedroom in t-shirt and panties. The movie is not bad and does not surpass the original but is worth checking out. There is a Nip/Tuck reunion tucked in to film for the Dylan Walsh fans but no Terry O'Quinn cameo - what gives?.

Click here to check out the official website.

Paranormal Activity

This movie is hands down great, generally creepy and very well done. The premise is simple and features a couple who are being haunted and how they go about documenting the disturbances. This is an oversimplification of the plot but it works well and there are only a few moments that break the documentary feel. I would love to know how they pulled off some of the visual effects that are very simple but give this film its amazing visual punch to the gut. A must see for everyone.

Click here to check out the official website.

Law Abiding Citizen

This is definitely the year for Gerard Butler and this time out he is the bad guy who is seeking justice for the murder of his wife and child that was kept from him by young district attorney more concerned with his conviction rate than seeking justice. Jamie Foxx is our young DA and the supporting cast includes Colm Meany, Bruce McGill, Leslie Bibb and Reginia Hall who is finally staring is something besides the Scary Movie franchise and not a comedy. As an action thriller the movie is ok and Butler's character is fun to watch as his plans are revealed while Jamie Foxx's character is rather bland. The best scene is Butler's torture of his family's killer and it is groan inducing. A matinee movie at best so no rush to see this and pay full price.

Click here to check out the official website.

Where the Wild Things Are (IMAX)

I must admit that I never read the children's book that is the basis for this new Spike Jonze's film but had to see it because of the creatures promised from the initial teasers released even though the effects where not completed yet. With the effects completed and on the IMAX screen the creatures are amazingly rendered and the faces wonderfully expressive. In addition the story is very mature and deals with real issues that are not glossed over or handled with kid gloves which was a nice change from other children movies I have seen recently. The creatures are voiced by some of the finest actors of our time like James Gandolfini, Catherine O'Hara, Chris Cooper, and Forrest Whitaker. A good film for the family that will generate a few questions for parents to answer like it did for the ones in attendance at this screening.

Click here to check out the official website.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Superman Batman: Public Enemies

Warner Bros and DC Comics has brought Jeph Loeb and Ed McGuinness's first story arc of the Superman Batman comic to DVD and it maintains the essence of the story while it softens McGuinness's character designs in to something extremely fun to watch. The movie is chocked full of heroes and villains just like the comic and Powergirl, voiced by Smallville's Allison Mack, is still buxom and the star of every pubescent boy's, or man's, dreams. The voice cast regulars are all back like Clancy Brown as Lex Luthor, Kevin Conroy as Batman, and Tim Daley as Superman and they are joined by John C. McGinley as Metallo, LeVar Burton as Black Lightning, CCH Pounder as Amanda Waller, and Xander Berkeley as Captain Atom. Lex Luther's battle suit looks great and the trip to Toy Man's workshop with the giant SB rocket is very cool. DC fans unite and add this to your Netflix's queue ASAP!

Click here to check out the official website.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Couples Retreat

So little Ralphie Parker from A Christmas Story - aka Peter Billingsley - has grown up and directs our ensemble cast of comedy regulars in this very funny movie about four couples who all go to an island resort as part of a vacation package to work on their relationships. Our couples are Vince Vaughn and Malin Akerman, Jason Bateman and Kristen Bell - love that bikini-, Jon Favereau and Kristin Davis, and Faizon Love and Kali Hawk or maybe Tasha Smith. The trailers reveal a lot of the laughs but there are some nuggets still to be gleaned in the movie while other items in the trailer never show up at all. Jean Reno is the Mr. Roarke of our little couples' Fantasy Island and turns out to have some decent comedy chops. Be sure to make some time to check this little ditty out because it is ass-tastic!

Click here to check out the official website.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Instead of making it to the Baltimore's Comicon today with my friend Kelly and her two little ones, our plans were tweaked and we made it over to Alanna's house for some fantastic paella that featured squid and some pickled octopus in honor of a book club reading of H.P. Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu. Unfortunately, I did not read the story since I did not know the title of it before we got there but I had read it a few year's back and saved some face. After heading home after a lot of great food and plenty of wine, port, sherry and beer, I still had a jones for some Cthulhu fun so I popped in this little 2001 Stuart Gordon classic for some good old fish people, tentacles, cult chats, ritual sacrifices and Italian nudity. If I still feel the need for some more Lovecraftian horror after tweaking on Cthulhu, I can pop in a few more Gordon classics like Re-Animator, From Beyond, Castle Freak, and Dreams in the Witch-House. Seconds any one?

Click here to check out the original trailer.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Trick 'r Treat

I saw a teaser trailer for this film at the 2008 San Diego Comicon and have been waiting for it to hit the theater only to find it now as the featured release on Amazon so I had to grab a copy to watch ASAP. Not a remake of the 1986 Trick or Treat that featured a killer hair-band heavy metal soundtrack by Fastway, this little four-part anthology gets its look from movies like Creepshow and Creepshow 2 and the wrapper ties all the stories back together even if they are not done linearly. The story concepts are good and the effects OK but it was not at all as scary as I had hoped for but I still enjoyed watching it. The movie stars Dylan Baker as a school principal who you do not want to to take candy from, Anna Paquin as the younger sister who needs to prove herself to her sister and her friends, and Brian Cox as the grumpy neighbor who gets a visit from a trick-or-treater who will not go away. Definitely worth a Netflix rental but if you want real scares this Halloween season stick to the classics like Halloween, Horror of Dracula, Motel Hell, Frankenstein, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Night of the Living Dead, or The Wolf Man.

Click here to check out the official website.

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Invention of Lying

Rick Gervais's new film is truly inspired, funny, poignant and by far the best comedy I have seen in a long time that had me leaving the theater grinning from ear to ear. The premise is that Mark Bellison, a loser in a world where no one ever lies and always tells the truth no matter the situation, tells a lie to a bank teller to keep from getting evicted from his apartment and realizes anything he says will be believed and then keeps telling lies to better his life and to win the love of a girl who finds him not suitable genetic material for fathering children. The genius of the movie is in how the world around him believes everything he says and the logical and hilarious extent to how it shapes their lives. The number of cameos in this film are incredible and it seems everyone wanted to be a part of it. This is the must see movie out right now and you will have a good laugh while questioning what you believe to be true.

Click here to check out the official website.


The latest zombie flick that my friends and I have been wanting to see since the first trailers were released finally hit the big screen today and it does not disappoint. Our last remaining motley band of humans on earth include Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone and Little Miss Sunshine herself, Abigail Breslin, who are on their way to a zombie free haven at a local amusement park. Fans of Kingpin are going to love the surprise cameo and the rules for surviving in a world overrun with zombies are good and wonderfully demonstrated as our travelers make their way to the park. Although a comedy, the gore effects are top-notch and in your face as soon as the film opens which will have the horror fans grinning from ear to ear. Don't look for any deep social commentary or political satire here - just buckle in and enjoy the ride.

Click here to check out the official website.