Wednesday, October 24, 2012




This comedic, drama, horror film really misses the mark on most counts. It isn't that it is poorly made, far from it, it is the uneven tone that blows the whole thing. 

The movie stars Amber Lynn-Mccord as a disheveled and clearly disturbed teen age girl. She lives a rich fantasy life in which she is beautiful, sexual and enjoys bloodlust. In real life she wants to be a surgeon, but her personality disorder is clearly getting in the way of high school. Her mom (in a VERY good performance by Traci Lords) is an overbearing bitch. But it is made clear she became that way from the lack of affection of her own mother. She also has a fatally ill little sister and an emotionally absent Dad. 

All of which sounds like the making of some sort of crazy family horror film. But instead writer/director Bates decides to play it as a black comedy and then shoehorn more cameos than a Rob Zombie film. The tone never catches up with the film even in the last ten minutes when it turns deadly serious and fully becomes a horror film. So much jokey, silly stuff has transpired that it completely robs the finale from any power.

On the other side her fantasies are simply astounding, filled with color and honestly disturbing imagery. They should have just made a movie of inside her head.

Review © Andrew Copp

I also have a long standing theory that any trailer that uses NINE INCH NAILS music is automatically better. Often NIN's Music is used in trailers to an effect that ends up making the movies look MUCH better than they actually are. 300, TERMINATOR SALVATION, THE AVENGERS (though that turned out pretty alright) and now EXCISION can be added to that list...



Full Frame

Of all places I watched this sci-fi cum monster mash on You Tube. There are plenty of full length horror and exploitation films there now through both individuals and company uploads. So the quality on this was pretty poor but that didn't stop it from being highly enjoyable. 

The film revolves around a small camping town where hunters and other people are turning up missing. The opening scene has a Father and Son hunting duo bickering their way through the woods. When suddenly tiny, spinning fleshy little flying discs land on the Father and stab him with tendrils that ultimately kill him. A few more attacks happen to a cub scout troop and a group of camping teens. Finally two of those surviving teens hole up in a tavern with a couple of old coots (Played by Jack Palance and Martin Landau both of whom went on to Oscars in the next twenty years) and put a hunt on to find what is killing everyone. What they find is an intergalactic hunter that looks like the alien puppet that used to appear during the end credits of STAR TREK.

Everything about this is fun, from the recognizable faces in the cast like David Caruso as a teen. To the very low rent special effects. A lot of people have made a point of the plot similarities to PREDATOR and there is no mistaking them. But both films seem to be operating on very different wavelengths.

This is not on DVD or BLU RAY just badly cropped VHS editions. So watch it where you can. I have heard rumors of it coming out on Digital but nothing has happened as of yet. 

Review © Andrew Copp

Tuesday, October 16, 2012



Warner Archives
Full Frame

This made for TV shocker is fondly remembered by those who lived through the 70's. Mostly for the outrageous title than any sort of groundbreaking content. There were comic books and even a punk band that swiped the name. This is one of those weird little movies that entered the popular zeitgeist. Hell there is probably a Family Guy episode that references it. 

But does that mean the movie is any good? Not really. It is perfectly functional and well made enough, considering the era it was made. yet this is pretty much by the numbers stuff. 

A meteor falls from space in all its paper mache glory and lands on the construction site of Warburton industries who are digging in Uganda to build some sort of something or other. The mutant space rock possesses the nearest bulldozer causing it to come to life and destroy things and kill people. 

That's it. An unmanned bulldozer wrecking the place and the occasional under paid character actor. Credit goes to the whole cast and crew for playing it serious as something like this could be campy. I'd also be curious to know which was first; this movie or the SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN pair of episodes where Steve Austin fights an alien life form that is basically a runaway military war machine aka a Bulldozer. 

Review © Andrew Copp

Monday, October 15, 2012


SHEITAN (2006) aka SATAN

I should have known better when I realized the title of this movie could be pronounced "SHIT ON" and that is pretty much how I felt by the time it was over. Like someone had come into my house and took a big old flaming shit on my TV. This is so far the worst movie I have watched for this challenge and that says a LOT after the fecal feast that was ZOMBIE BABIES!

From the opening frames I knew I was on the last train to shitsville when far too much screen time is given to a sweaty, grotesque D.J. in a hipster club. One of those typical movie hip types where the guy is fat to be funny, and white but doing Hip Hop there for being ironic. I wanted to kick the guy in the balls the moment I saw him. Then we meet our actual characters a group of asshats to unlikable you wish the movie would take a sharp turn into MIDNIGHT EXPRESS and give these imbeciles a good run for their money.

"Come on little lamb. I'm taking you and getting out of this shitty movie!"

So this group of club kids (ethnically diverse though, one black guy, a Turkish girl, an Asian skinhead and the B-Boy white motherfucker that needs his teeth kicked out) decide to go to the one babe's family home for some R&R. Along the way they meet a semi-retarded goat herder play by a slumming Vincent Cassell in a performance that makes BORAT look subdued and understated. You know he is supposed to be hill people because he has big fake crooked teeth in. He spends the movie trying to emotionally seduce the emotionally barren kids for reasons that are never all that clear. After 50 some minutes of the movie which is mostly the kids trying to be cool and fucking around, or Vincent chewing scenery it starts trying to introduce other material. They even start through in a lot of casual racism just too keep you awake. Once Vincent shows up in drag playing his own sister I sort of started finally tuning out. 

We do however get to see lots of guys in their underwear, a chick jack off a dog and a kid who looks like a mentally deficient Harry Potter get beat almost to death. This is the movie that aims low and still can't hit the mark.

Review © Andy Copp

Sunday, October 14, 2012


1.33 (Netflix)

Surprisingly enough I had never seen this extremely mild Wes Craven shocker. Everyone remembers the infamous cover art of a busty woman with a spider dropping into her mouth. But for reasons I do not know I never bothered with the movie. I suppose I had heard it was too tame or not very good and just passed it over for meatier fare. Now that I have seen it, I can safely say the film IS too tame for it's own good, but there is some god stuff to offer anyway. 

Maren Jensen stars as a young, pregnant woman living in Mennonite country. The late, great Earnest Borgnine stars as the head of the local chapter of the Mennonite's who disprove of her and her husband (who is also Borgnine's fallen away son).  Michael Berryman is the semi retarded guy living with the Mennonites who chases around anyone who he thinks are evil, including the teenage artist who lives in a farm down the way. In fact he is constantly harassing her, calling her an Incubus and the whore of the devil. The husband is found killed, so our heroine calls in two former her girlfriends to stay with her for moral support including a very young Sharon Stone and Susan Buckner. Soon all three women are being tormented by things like snakes in the bathtub and spiders. 

This is certainly not the first film written and directed by Craven that attacks religious structures and family values. Three fourths of the film make the Mennonites out to be the bad guys. Their repression being the true root of the evil they are so terrified of. But the movie takes a turn in the final reel, delivering us information that was previously not revealed which changes everything. This final bit of action, though nothing new all there years later is certainly groundbreaking for 1981. It really makes the movie feel like there are layers there that very well may not be.

Not a groundbreaking film, too slow moving and staid for it's own good, but still worth a look. Especially for fans of the troubled creator. Rumor has it that Sharon Stone was having an affair with the director's wife during production. But that is certainly not verifiable. 

Review © Andrew Copp


D. Ketchitaro Negishi


Number eight in the Nikkatsu Erotic Films Collection from Impulse pictures treads on the potentially hazardous "horny teacher" sub genre with quite unexpected results. What appears to be a simple, and pretty normal, sexploiter ends up being something altogether more serious.

A High School Teacher named Sakiko (Yuki Kazamatsuri) gets a call during sex from the police station. One of her students is in big trouble. She heads down to find waifish Sueko (Ayako Ota) being held for prostitution. They have a frank conversation as to why Sueko likes sleeping with strangers and part ways. But Sakiko begins to care for the girl and does some research on her backgroud, when she isn't nailing her own boyfriend that is. But in digging up the past, some memories that she would prefer to be buried come to the surface. Sakiko remembers being raped at a construction site by a guy with paint thinner on him (from huffing it). She begins to obsess over the rape and how it has affected her current, somewhat loveless relationships.


But Sakiko discovers that the person she fingered for the rape and had put away is most likely NOT the person who did it. Seems someone else was raped after this man when to jail for a short while. She also discovers the person whom she did put away is Sueko's disabled father.  Soon a bond forms between the woman and the Father as he slowly goes crazy. 

Though the plot line is undeniably sleazy, the film itself, especially for a Nikkatsu Roman Porno title, is very restrained. There is a lot of nudity and sex, as to be expected, but as the movie rolls forward it becomes more and more of a straight drama. The rape angle is just there as a plot device and soon put to the wayside so the story of this crazy old man and his new female friend can unfold. It really is a cross generation love story based in guilt and shame. 

As to be expected with these Synapse produced discs, the picture and subtitles are impeccable. There is some useful liner notes from our friend Jasper Sharpe as well. 

Review © Andrew Copp

Saturday, October 13, 2012



1.78 HD

This is Italian language, low budget gorefest is pretty damned impressive. Sure the story lack in a few areas, and there is zero characterization on board for most of the leads. But it makes up for the faults with boatloads of style, and more bloodshed than any recent movie I can name. It is like a LOONY TUNES movie with action and gore effects. 

Writer, Producer and Director Emanuelle De Santi stars as the title character. A musclebound brute of a man (who has no past) who is avenging the death of his girlfriend. His girl was killed my monster/mutant/gangster Derek -Giulio De Santi (all the characters have deceivingly normal names)  when she was late with money owed to him. Derek and his two sons set her on fire in a convincingly unpleasant sequence. The opening credits roll over her being wheeled into the hospital and worked on, her entire body one crisp and molten wad of skin. 

So Adam has not quite willingly called up a Demon that lives inside his back that helps drive him to find revenge. This demon also has given him supernatural powers that make him able to do things like punch a guy so hard he breaks though the cement wall, a half mile outside the building, sending him landing on, and destroying the car the villains are in. When Adam Chaplin hits someone their face explodes, gore showers everything. If someone tries to look at the demon their eyes burn out of their heads.

Imagine the gore of DEAD/ALIVE being met with the brutality of STORY OF RIKKI and you are in the ballpark or ADAM CHAPLIN.  I have no idea what the budget for the film is, but I know it is low, extremely low. But the production value is up on screen, the stunts, fights and special effects are all top of the line. Watching the final fifteen minutes where the main character lays waste to dozens of people, all I could keep thinking was "what could this guy do with a larger budget?"

Highly recommended. Right now it is doing a scant few theatrical engagements but will be hitting USA DVD very soon. If you see a chance to see this, jump on it. 

Review © Andy Copp

Friday, October 12, 2012


SUICIDE (2003)
D. Raul Heimrich Yvonne Wunschell

This shocker from Kosovo has been sitting on my shelf for the better part of 8 years. For whatever reason I have never gotten around to watching it until now. There is not much plot to it, a couple are wandering around video taping suicides for their death website. At first just through word of mouth, then as news of the site grows they get more and more people asking them to come witness their death. The more self inflicted killing they see the more tempted they become to lend a helping hand for the sake of good footage. Leading to a final death that is truly shocking because it is so fucking difficult to see where the special effects are.

The movie is basically a voyeuristic journey into death and hinges on which vignette is the most effective. It opens with a man walking up a long flight of stairs explaining to the camera the dozens of ways you could kill yourself and why he wont do any of those. He finally is about to jump off the ledge but can't bring himself to do it, running away. And slipping and falling out of a hole in the floor and severing his head on the way down. But it is his nonchalant discussion of suicide that is the creepiest part of the scene. A later scene with two girls in their 20's overdosing on pills is extremely harrowing and grim. The blonde girl keeps swigging vodka and taking more pills only to vomit them up (for real) immediately) while her girlfriend does not get sick, only sleepy and  then finally dies. There is a guy who eats a shotgun but they cut away before impact thus blowing the whole feeling and making it too easy to see it is an effect. The guy who injects an air bubble into his vein is quite nasty too. And that one is all just acting. The movie gets all the details right; the ritualistic way each person takes off their wedding rings and watches, the difficulty in getting certain suicides to work, how each person panics at the end when they realize the true fatality of the situation. It is grim stuff folks.

Overall this is really just a freak show, but it is undeniable how effective of a freak show it is. It reminded me of the 70's experimental film TEENAGE WASTELAND in which a realistic car crash aftermath is presented as totally real. The same thing is happening here. Certainly not for all tastes, hell even most tastes for that matter. But the movie achieves what it has set out to do.

Review © Andrew Copp


Monday, October 8, 2012



This early entry from Hong Kong wizard boy Tsui Hark is full of energy, kung fu and some splashy gore. But it uses those things to mask that there is very little plot, no scares and tons of goofy comedy in the mix as well. It is as hyperactive as you would expect from this director and equally incoherent. But there is some fun to be had amidst the chaos. 

Norman Chu (once again as we saw him as the lead in LEWD LIZARD. No, I did not intentionally have a Norman Chu double feature!) plays special Agent 999 who is on a small island looking for a criminal from his past named ROLEX (Melvin Wong). The island is overrun by mask wearing cannibals under order of the new chief of police. They are killing and eating people and giving a little of the left over meat to the mentally handicapped and poor villagers. 

While this is a set up for a no holds barred gore fest, the movie instead chooses to be a slapstick comedy with lots of martial arts. The cannibals all fight with a series of people in long, drawn out, intricate Kung Fu sequences that play more like demo reels for another film job. There is also a strange use of real handicapped and deformed people for bit parts, under most circumstances I would be fine with this, but here they are often used a comedic relief such as the giant transvestite that keeps attempting to rape the various men in the story. It just comes off as poor taste. 

If you can turn off your expectations the movie is very fast paced and rarely boring. There is a couple of fight scenes that lead to some splashy gore and yest even a few laughs. But over all it should have been a lot more. 

Review © Andrew Copp


D. Norman Chu

REALLY shitty bootleg

This bit of total insanity from your friends in Hong Kong is easily one of the most outrageous ideas for a movie that I have witnessed in some time. A total gross out sexploitaion horror hybrid that aims to get a retching sound out of most anyone. Anyone but those with lizard fetishes that is.

The tortured insanity that passes as plot is as follows. A young man (played by director Norman Chu) is spurned by his cute girlfriend because she has run off and married the local Mafiaso. She explains to him that she was more or less pushed into the marriage, but doesn't love his dumb ass anyway. She is much better off now. So while in a major depression our hero is hanging out on the beach and discovers dozens of tiny little lizards. No bigger than your pinky finger these guys are fast and unpredictable.  So Chu scoops them up and take a whole bunch of them home. Then suddenly he is peeping on women undressing, taking showers or hanging out at the beach. Why is he doing this? I am glad you asked because I asked the same question watching this filthy movie. He is stealing the panties of unsuspecting ladies. Stopping to sniff them to make sure they are saturated with the love juices of the women he stole them from. Soon it all makes sense as he uses the panties to concoct a potion that he then injects into the lizards (for real, yet another Hong Kong horror that PETA would love) sending the reptiles into a frenzy of pussy crazed lust!

He stalks out various women that have spurned him, laughed at him or just generally pissed him off and attacks them. Pulling off there clothes in what looks to be a vicious rape. But instead he just dumps a beaker of the lizards onto the ladies and presto! They crawl into the women's underwear and right into the baby ovens.

Soon the ladies are writing around in pleasure as the phantom reptiles go to work. But as the women screech into ecstasy the lizards begin to eat they wear further into their supple bodies. Chu eventually meets a girl he doesn't hate (during one of the earlier scenes he screams out "I HATE ALL WOMEN"!) and they spend a day of happy romance. But she finds a jar of his sex addict lizards and all does not end well for her. Eventually he gets around to tormenting his ex, but some soul searching may be in order.

Frankly the movie is terrible, terrible acting, writing, direction and even cinematography, But what it lacks in coherency or even talent, it makes up for with sheer audacity. I guarantee you have not seen a movie like this one before. If you have you have been sinking into some fetishes that you probably shouldn't. 

Review © Andrew Copp

Sunday, October 7, 2012



This Asian made horror film is basically I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE meets THE HILLS HAVE EYES in the Chinese outback. The film is gritty, ugly and filled with unpleasant misogyny, but ultimately isn't all that good. 

Within the first five minutes of the movie we have witnessed the real slaughter of a wild boar, a mouse and a snake. The movie is nothing if not really mean spirited. A brother and sister decide to go camping a few towns away. It doesn't take long for them to run afoul of the backwoods monsters who are terrorizing the small town. There are four normal guys and naturally one retarded cousin just like in every rape/revenge movie. These guys corner the sister in the woods and gang-rape her in a scene that, while sleazy, is for more restrained than you would expect. Her brother attempts to take on the thugs but they do him in, leaving him bleeding to death at the bottom of a trap/hole. 

The sister ends up institutionalized from the trauma, leaving her muscle bound Father to hunt down and kill the criminal who violated his daughter and killed his son. 

The problem with THE BEASTS is that the pacing is really all over the place. Nothing of interest happens in the first half hour except a lot of walking around to 80's pop music. Music that they in no way could have had permission to use such as AIR SUPPLY and THE POLICE.

THe last third with the Father taking his revenge has some splashy moments, but all the in between material is very questionable at best. The acting is atrocious and over the top, the cinematography is muddy and ugly, leaving not a lot to recommend. It is somewhat outrageous but ultimateely left me cold.

Review © Andy Copp

Friday, October 5, 2012




Jean Rollin is one of my favorite horror filmmakers of all time. But even with that said there are a handful of his films that I have not seen. But these new BLU RAY releases from KINO look to help me resolve that issue. 

RAPE OF THE VAMPIRE is Rollin's first feature length movie (His debut film THE NUDE VAMPIRE is not quite feature length). But all his themes are present in this early film. The nostalgic mood, the return to the same beach, Lady Vampires in very little clothing, even his trope of the Vampires are not hurt by the sun if they cannot see it, hence blind vampires can walk in the daylight, is here and accounted for. The film is actually two very loosely connected short films wrapped into one. 

The first story deals with four vampire sisters (one of whom was raped decades before and therefor hates men) who live in a villa. Several psych major young people arrive and take it upon themselves to "cure" the sisters as it is believed their Vampirism is actually just a mental condition. It doesn't turn out well for anyone. The second story picks up on the beach where the first one ends and deals with the Queen of The Vampires and her attempts to create more living dead to do her bidding and the scientists she does in during the process. 

Even for Rollin the movie makes little to no sense. It is really just a fever dream of eroticism. Incredible, lush photography presents amazing images of naked flesh and bloodlust. The whole thing is like a half remembered dream that makes you smile. 

The Blu Ray is absolutely gorgeous, with such clarity you feel like you can reach into the screen and touch the actors. There is some fine extras including a rather long making of, an older intro by Rollin himself, trailers and some fantastic Liner Notes. 

Review © Andrew Copp

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


D. Emmett Alston
Cannon Films

FULL FRAME - On Netflix Instant

This is yet another in the very long line of holiday themed slasher films that were released in the wake of HALLOWEEN. But this is not HALLOWEEN, it isn't even FRIDAY THE 13th. Hell this isn't even GRADUATION DAY!!!

The set up is interesting though. On New Years Eve while the standard end of the year TV show is being broadcast a psycho begins calling the host on the year threatening to kill someone she knows, every hour until the show goes off the air. He starts making good right at midnight killing a nurse in an insane asylum. Somehow the cops get it in their heads that he is killing someone at midnight in each time zone. But that doesn't actually seem to be the case as he works his way back to the hotel of the tired, past middle age sex symbol host. 

The movie is too concerned with the melodrama of the Host's kid or her ex husband who we do not see for a large portion of the movie. If it isn't the melodrama then it is long padded scenes of really shitty pre new-wave bands playing during the show. There is actually very little horror on the film.

The movie reminded me a little of VISITING HOURS (1981) as it is clearly a larger budgeted production trying to mine the success of other indie horror films of the time. But where as VISITING HOURS is very aware of what kind of film it is, never afraid to do what it is needed to be both scary and attention grabbing, NEW YEAR'S EVIL tries to be too polite and fails because of it. 

REVIEW @ Andrew Copp



Synapse Films
Full Frame

Yet another episode in the 1980 British horror TV series. This one with the very scary sounding name THE HOUSE THAT BLED TO DEATH. Unfortunately it is no where near as frightening as the title suggests. 

The episode starts with an elderly couple enjoying a cup of tea. The man shiftily poisons his wife. When she is paralyzed he takes a large middle eastern knife off the wall and proceeds to carve her up. Flash forward a couple of year and the house where this atrocity occurred is no being sold to a young couple with a little girl. The first day there the little girl sees blood pouring out of the wall and the wife is almost gassed when she can't shut off a valve. The husband of course sees none of this. The knives from the first scene reappearing after they throw them out. They become friendly with the couple across the street (who spy on them fucking in a scene that I am sure didn't make it to American TV). Soon the family cat shows up dead and mutilated and the friends from across the way are being tormented anytime they are over. The haunting is well underway and the ghosts of the previous owners are apparently none to happy about the new family. 

The whole thing is way slower than it should be as things just seem to limp along, until a set piece happens. Though the kids birthday party that turns into a literal bloodbath is pretty awesome. I also give them credit for the double twist ending that in fact kind of makes it all worth while. 

I had high hopes for this episode as the title is great. But it is only a middling effort for the series. 

Review © Andrew Copp

I also watched the Season three Halloween episode of COMMUNITY- HORROR FICTION IN 7 EASY STEPS on Hulu. COMMUNITY is consistently the funniest show on TV (though now BOB'S BURGERS is giving it a run for its money) and I love their holiday episodes. 

This one has Britta believing one of the gang is a psychopath because of the Jungian psych tests she forced them all to take. So each of the group proceeds to tell a ghost story while Britta tries to figure out who is crazy.  Abed tells his own twisted, hyper logical take on the typical cabin in the woods tale, Troy has a great tale of him an Abed as "Awesome Fighter Pilots" being tormented by a psychotic mad scientist. Pierce tells an obscenely racist tale of punk black kids (Troy and Abed - in brown face) trying to break into his place and interrupting him sexing up the ladies of the group. Annie has the best as she tells a Twilight like tale of lusty vampires that ends with a werewolf twist. Naturally all of them are crazy, with the results not quite being what anyone thought because of Jeff. 

The episode is a great homage to many different horror films from CANDYMAN to EVIL DEAD to FRIDAY THE 13th pt 2. Great stuff all around. 

Review © Andrew Copp

Tuesday, October 2, 2012



Actor Michael Biehn apparently had a blast working on Robert Rodiguiz's Grindhouse parody PLANET TERROR. So much that he was inspired to make his own Grindhouse movie with his girlfriend Jennifer Blanc. So together they wrote and produced THE VICTIM with Biehn taking the directorial reigns for the first time. The result is a movie that is endearing in the earnestness that it exudes. But suffers from a lot of the first time director blues.

The story is pure pulp novel fodder. A couple of strippers (Jennifer Blanc and genre workhorse Danielle Harris) go out for an afternoon of naughtiness with a couple of cops (Ryan Honey and Denny Kirkwood) but when Harris dies during some rough sex play, it puts her friend on the run. She runs right to the cabin of Hermit Michael Biehn who doesn't take nicely to being disturbed and a fairly violent bit of cat and mouse ensues. 

On the plus side the acting is fine all the way around. The entire cast clearly is in on the sense of play and gives it all they got. When the movie gets down to tacks, it gets really violent with a head crushing that could stand up next to DRIVE or IRREVERSIBLE. The script, by no means great, at least takes a fair amount of time setting up the female characters and their friendship. Through several flashbacks we get to know them, which adds a lot to the base of the movie. The twist in the final reel, though not shocking, is a nice turn of events. 

On the down side the movie has some really clunky direction like having characters talk directly into the camera when they are talking to each other. Or some severe padding. We used to tease a friend of mine who made backyard movies that his driving scenes existed just to fill enough time for him to play a song he liked. Well here that is actually true as there is a driving across the mountains scene that goes on for several minutes so we can fill time and hear the entire music cue. There is also an embarrassing opening credit scene that apes SE7EN so much that it becomes really funny. Right down to the NINE INCH NAILS rip off music. Throw in some really eye-straining day for night photography as it all adds up to hurting the final film.

THE VICTIM does do one  thing I have never seen before. The ends credits, the film actually shows you the entire crew as their name appears. You see this with actors all the time, but never production staff. The movie goes through person by person and tells you what they did and shows you who they are. It certainly made me hang out through the whole credits. 

THE VICTIM is not a ground-breaker, but it is diverting enough for an hour and a half and I hope Michael Biehn makes some more films. 

Review © Andrew Copp




Two more episodes of the 1980 British TV show thanks to the five disc set from Synapse Films. I watched RUDE AWAKENING (episode #3) and GROWING PAINS (episode #4). 

RUDE AWAKENING stars Denholm Elliot as a surveyor with a sleep problem. When we meet him he is feeling up his shapely but stupid secretary. A costumer comes in and asks him to come and look at his expensive house so it can be put on the market. He goes and checks it out and while there he sees his dead wife fall out of the dumbwaiter. But when the suits of armor start attacking him he wakes up. His nagging wife is still alive and he heads to work. 

This basically turns into a horror version of GROUNDHOG DAY with our hero dreaming his day over and over again, but different each time. The players are the same, but the circumstances are different. It gets pretty extreme with some brain surgery and the leads trapped in a building being demolished but unfortunately it all adds up to a ending you see a mile off.

GROWING PAINS is much better. A ten year old boy is messing around in his Father's lab. The kid eats some concoction his dad had been testing on rabbits. Soon he is in the backyard hallucinating, then dies. His broken parents end up adopting another child. A kid that is so well behaved it is downright creepy. The mother seems to incessantly bitch at the poor kid and the Dad hides in his basement lab working. We start to get the idea of why the other kid was so disconnected. Soon the house starts showing signs of being haunted. A rabbit shows up dead. the family dog loses its shit and eats the whole lab and attacks the Dad. The kid is clearly back to stake his claim on the family. 

Both episodes have good acting and nice production values. RUDE AWAKENING is not bad but GROWING PAINS is actually very good. I will check out more soon. 

Review © Andrew Copp

Monday, October 1, 2012




I had heard a lot of poor word of mouth about this movie, the sophomore effort from Pascal Laugier director of MARTYRS. Of course it isn't going to live up to that film because it is one of the best, most important horror films of the last decade.  But I am pleased to say that THE TALL MAN is a vivid, brave and intelligent horror film that is for grown ups. It may not be as visceral as his previous film, but it makes up for it with great plot twists and fantastic acting. 

Structurally it is very similar to MARTYRS in that it opens with one storyline and half way through switches gears dramatically to explore the story from a very different point of view. even the last couple of minutes have a slight shadow to his previous film. THE TALL MAN deals with a small mountain mining town in which the industry has basically vanished. Also vanishing is the children in the town and a legend has grown up to explain it. That a mysterious, probably supernatural force called THE TALL MAN has snatched the kids. Local Nurse Julia (Jessica Biel) is doing what she can to take care of the people in the region. But she is a single mom herself and very busy trying to keep her own home life together. Then one night the Tall Man comes calling for her son, leading to a harrowing chase in which he is snatched away. But when she returns to the town, battered, bloody and mentally shaken everyone in the town seems to be against her, and harboring some sort of grudge...

To say anymore would be to give too much away. The film goes to some very interesting places including some rather savage social commentary. The movie is very intense, growing more so as the film progresses and turns. The ending is surprisingly touching and effective.

Just see the movie. It is on Netflix instant so there is no reason to not give this one the time of day. 

Review © Andrew Copp