Welcome to Hayes Hudson's House of Horror (4H)

Your online source for Horror news, info, and reviews. I cover new and classic Horror, as well as Exploitation and Cult films. I also discuss books, comics, games, toys, clothing, etc, as long as it pertains to the Horror genre. Come on in!

Friday, December 31, 2010

DVD Review: AAAH! ZOMBIES!!

H
------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------

AAAH! ZOMBIES!! (a.k.a. Wasting Away)
Directed by Matthew Kohnen
Distributed by Level 33 Entertainment
Release Date: 2010

There’s nothing quite like horror-comedies. They’re like getting the best of both worlds: you get to laugh at one scene and then squirm at the next. And for that, I absolutely love them (well, when they’re good, anyway). AAAH! ZOMBIES!! is definitely one of the good ones.

The plot is simple in idea but somewhat complex in the movie’s execution:

The U.S. military, intent on creating a super-soldier formula, accidentally creates a serum that kills people but then reanimates them as zombies. A single barrel of the serum is accidentally lost in transit to disposal. Four teens are then unknowingly infected by the serum and thus turned into the living dead…but they don’t realize what has happened. In their eyes, the rest of the world has gone crazy, as every person they encounter tries to kill them. The four enlist the help of a similarly infected Army Private in an attempt to learn the truth about their condition.

This film is excellent and has it all: great cinematography, excellent story, talented cast, and superb special effects. What makes it truly unique however is how it tells the story through the teens/zombies’ eyes. Half of the film is done in monochromatic black-and-white…this is the actual world, or how the common person sees things. The other half is done in color…this is the world as seen through the teen/zombies’ eyes.

The result is a humorous journey into craziness. The teens/zombies think they’re normal, which is illustrated by their normal conversations and interactions (in the colorized scenes)…but then we see things how they really are (in the black-and-white scenes) and see the zombified teens just staggering around, grunting and moaning incoherently. As I mentioned above, it’s somewhat complex in the execution, but director Matthew Kohnen does a masterful job of making it simple for the audience to watch.

I can’t really describe the plot anymore without giving key elements away, so I’ll just leave it at this: you’ve got to simply watch this film to appreciate it. AAAH! ZOMBIES!! is pure genius, plain and simple. It’s very well written with lots of witty dialogue and dark humor. One of my favorite scenes is when one of the teens/zombies rips the arm off of a bully and then starts beating him with it, yelling out “Why are you hitting yourself?” over and over.

If I were forced to find any negatives about this movie, I would have to admit that the corky love-story between two of the characters is almost a detraction from the movie’s overall tone. It sometimes becomes distracting, while at other times simply annoying. But it’s nothing that can’t be overlooked, at least from this reviewer’s standpoint.

AAAH! ZOMBIES!! is a fun, extremely entertaining romp that will keep you laughing. It’s a true testament to the zombie genre and one that I’m proud to add to my DVD collection. This is one you will want to check out for sure.

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to buy the DVD
CLICK HERE to visit the AAAH! ZOMBIES official website
h
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Level 33 Entertainment

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Check out the 2011 ZOMBIE PIN-UPS CALENDAR !

H
Do you like pin-up girls? Of course you do! Do you like Zombies? Duh!! Then you are going to love the 2011 ZOMBIE PIN-UPS CALENDAR from Cheezyflicks.com! This calendar mixes the best of both worlds, sexy women and Zombies, to create an awesome 12 month wall calendar. The calendar features 12 gorgeous pin-up Zombie models, all in different stages of zombification! This is another great Horror themed calendar that any Horror fan will want to get their hands on! What a cool collectible to have, even after the year is through!


CLICK HERE to purchase the 2011 ZOMBIE PIN-UPS CALENDAR for only $9.99 (+ shipping)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

DVD Review: FREAKY FARLEY (2007)

H

FREAKY FARLEY
Produced by ShockMarathons
Directed by Charles Roxburgh
Release date 2007

I just watched the movie, FREAKY FARLEY, and I liked it...I think. Hmmm...before I go any further, here is the basic plot from the ShockMarathons website:

Farley Wilder is a legend in his small New England town. He has no friends. He never left for college. Every decision is made for him by his controlling father. And one of his favorite hobbies is spying on women as they undress, helping him to earn the nickname Freaky Farley.
Things begin to change when Farley meets Scarlett, a lovely, confident young woman who helps to bring him out of his shell. Together, Farley and Scarlett will explore the darker side of their small town, eventually unlocking the mystery of the evil Morgantown woods—which, in turn, will unlock the maniacal rage that rests deep inside of Farley.


This might be one of the hardest reviews I have ever had to write, because this is such a strange movie to describe. Is it a Horror movie? Is it a comedy? Is it a drama? The answer to all these questions is....I really don't know! I don't know what this movie is, but overall, it turns out I can't help but like it. The DVD case says it is a "shocking independent movie in the tradition of: SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT 2, THE PIT, and RANA: THE LEGEND OF SHADOW LAKE and other late 1970's and 1980's horror". I didn't really see anything in this film that was shocking, and I am not sure how this movie compares to those listed. I would compare this film more to a Horror version of NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. I liked ND, but I couldn't really explain the plot to you, and I don't really know what the purpose of the movie was, but I was still entertained by it. It was full of weird, eccentric characters that you couldn't help but like. That is the case here with FREAKY FARLEY. Farley is as weird of a person as you will ever meet, but you can't help but like him. There are also other characters thrown in that you don't/won't/can't understand, but it makes for a fun movie. I am specifically thinking about the Ninja guy from this film....something you will just have to see for yourself.

Actor Matt Farley does an excellent job portraying "Freaky" Farley , as his friends call him. His acting is pretty good in some spots, and then just downright awful in other parts of the film, which just adds to the weirdness of this film. Maybe that was done intentionally to set a weird vibe for the film...if so, nicely done! The real bright spot in this film in terms of acting was actress Sharon Scalzo, who plays Farley's girlfriend Scarlett. Her acting is spot on and is one of the most likable characters of any movie I have seen in a while.

The movie starts of slow and the acting is very questionable in the beginning, but it does get better as the movie goes on, or maybe you just get used to it. But either way it seems to get better. As much as I didn't want to like this movie as I watched it, I couldn't help but continue to watch and be entertained by it, which in the end is the sole purpose of a movie, to entertain.
Don't go into this film expecting a scary, shocking, gory Horror movie. Instead expect a good film with many likable characters with a subtle splash of Horror aspects thrown in.
While this film is not for everybody, it has enough in it to entertain most.


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of ShockMarathons

Monday, December 27, 2010

This week's Horror related DVD releases: Tuesday, December 28th

I hope you all had a great Holiday weekend!!! Here are the Horror related DVD's coming out tomorrow, 12/28:

* AND SOON THE DARKNESS [DVD & Blu-ray]
* DYING GOD
* RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE [DVD & Blu-ray]

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!! The 4H staff will be on Christmas break until Monday, 12/27.

H
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from your friends here at HAYES HUDSON'S HOUSE OF HORROR!! This will be our last post before taking a short break for the Christmas weekend! We will be back on Monday, 12/27, so watch for new posts beginning then! Until then, I leave you with one of my favorite Christmas themed short films, TREEVENGE! I posted this last Christmas, but with all the new readers we have gotten this year, I thought it should be posted again. Enjoy, and have a great Christmas!!


CLICK HERE to watch the short film, TREEVENGE!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Check out the awesome Zombie calendars from Andrews McMeel Publishing!!

H
While browsing my local Calendar Club store recently, I noticed a few awesome Zombie calendars. I then noticed that they were all published and/or distributed by Andrews McMeel Publishing!! Kudos to Andrew McMeel Publishing for providing us Horror fans with these awesome Zombie calendars!

First up is ZOMBIES 2011: THE YEAR OF INFECTION based on the book 'ZOMBIES: A RECORD OF THE YEAR OF INFECTION' which was written by Don Roff and illustrated by Chris Lane. I did a review of this book about a year ago, which you can read here. This was an excellent book, with detailed stories of a zombie uprising. If you are a fan of the book, you will love this calendar, as it is packed with the same great Zombie illustrations that the book contains. Not only do you get an awesome Zombie illustration every month, but you get a short story at the bottom of each month. Chris Lane has a very interesting illustration technique that makes for some very interesting pictures.


Next up is the ZOMBIES: 2011 CALENDAR by William Stout. Mr. Stout is an amazing artist, and with this calendar you get a great sampling of his amazing artwork. These are some of the best Zombie illustrations that I have ever seen. Along with the amazing art, what sets this calendar apart from others is that you get a Horror fact on each month's page....either about a Zombie movie, or just Zombies in general. Also, in addition to the regular important dates that most calendars contain, this calendar also contains important Zombie related dates, including dates that notable Zombie films were released and birthdays of actors having to do with Zombie films. This calendar has some amazing illustrations in it which you will not want to throw away at the end of the year. This might be the first calendar you ever keep, as each picture is suitable for framing long after the year is over! You will see some very iconic Zombies here, including the Uncle Sam Zombie, American Gothic Zombies, George Washington Zombie, and the famous Mona Lisa Zombie, just to name a few! This is one all Zombie fans should get their hands on.


Finally, if you don't have the wall space for a regular calendar, you can get THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE 2011 DESK CALENDAR. This is a page-a-day type calendar based on the best selling book by Max Brooks. Each pages gives you hints and tips on surviving the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse. On the back of each page is a Zombie Outbreak Journal, a place to make note of date and location of when you come into contact with a Zombie and a section to write down the "action taken" toward the Zombie. Even if you have read this book already, it will be a nice daily reminder to see these Zombie survival tips. You can never be too prepared!

These are great calendars and will be a great, year long treat for us Zombie fans! Click links below to purchase your calendars online, or visit your local book/calendar retailer today!


CLICK HERE to purchase the ZOMBIES 2011: THE YEAR OF INFECTION Calendar
CLICK HERE to purchase the ZOMBIES 2011 Calendar by William Stout
CLICK HERE to purchase the THE ZOMBIE SURVIVAL GUIDE 2011 Desk Calendar

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Support independent Horror! Help fund the Horror/comedy THE PIMP AND THE DEAD!

h
I was recently contacted by filmmaker Dennis Smithers, Jr. who has a new project in the works called, THE PIMP AND THE DEAD (his first feature film, "A Bothered Conscience", can be seen here). Dennis needs the help of fellow Horror fans to help get this movie made!! Here is the brief synopsis:

A New York City pimp struggles for survival from flesh eating zombies while stranded in an isolated cabin in the woods.

Sounds simple enough, and I don't know about you, but Pimps vs. Zombies sounds like a lot of fun to me! Here is a statement from Dennis about how the money will be used:

Your pledge will go toward an actual budget for "The Pimp and the Dead." We desire to use better technical equipment for the production of this picture. A filmmaker's goal should be to make each movie better than the last. This is where you can help us. Every single person who donates will not go unnoticed. Even if it is just a dollar you pledge, we will be truly grateful and indeed acknowledge who donated it for the cause. The $3,000 goal will get us started on the journey toward a completed motion picture that will be forever known as "The Pimp and the Dead."

Check out the Kickstarter page to see the different levels you can give. Each level of pledge gains you awesome rewards, if the budget goal is met. This sounds like a fun project. I have made my pledge, please go make a pledge and help support indie Horror!!! As little as $1 pledge will help!! Thanks!


CLICK HERE to visit the Kickstarter page of THE PIMP AND THE DEAD!
h
CLICK HERE to visit THE PIMP AND THE DEAD's Facebook Page!

Monday, December 20, 2010

This week's Horror related DVD releases: Tuesday, December 21st

Here are the Horror related DVD's coming out tomorrow, 12/21:
(Click a title to see a trailer for that film)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Blu-Ray review: PUPPET MASTER: AXIS OF EVIL

H
PUPPET MASTER: AXIS OF EVIL
Directed by: David DeCoteau
Produced and Distributed by: Full Moon Features
Release date: 2010

I recently watched the 9th installment in the highly successful PUPPET MASTER film franchise titled PUPPET MASTER: AXIS OF EVIL. Before I go on with the review, here is the basic plot from the film's imdb page:

In a Stateside hotel during the height of World War II, young Danny Coogan dreams of joining the war effort. Following the murder of hotel guest Mr. Toulon by Nazi assassins, Danny finds the old man's crate of mysterious puppets and is suddenly thrust into a battle all his own. He discovers that Nazis Max and Klaus, along with beautiful Japanese saboteur Ozu, plan to attack a secret American manufacturing plant. After his family is attacked and his girlfriend Beth is kidnapped, it is up to Danny and the living deadly Puppets to stop this Axis of Evil.

I have to make a confession here....I have only seen the first PUPPET MASTER film, and that was years ago when I was a kid. Somehow, I missed the next 7 films, which brings us to this 9th (and definitely not the last) PUPPET MASTER film. First off, I have to say that I LOVED this film. It brought back memories of watching the first film years ago, and seeing the same puppets in all their glory really brought back the memories. Luckily, with puppets, they don't age like actors do, obviously, so they look exactly the same as I remember them from so many years ago! One of the excellent things about this film is that you do not have to have seen all the other films in this series to understand or enjoy this film, as I am proof of that. I understood everything perfectly, as basically all you need to know is explained here.

The acting in the film is surprisingly good, as is the direction and camera work. Director David DeCoteau has worked on some earlier installments of the franchise, so he knows what he is doing and what looks best on film when it comes to filming the puppets. The camera work is very impressive with some great shots of the puppets, including some first "person" views from the eyes of the puppets. One thing that surprised me about this film is how clean and sharp it looked. Now, I did watch the Blu-ray version, which may have something to do with it, but the film looked amazing. While we are on the technical stuff, I want to mention a couple more things. The lighting in this film, which I really don't notice or pay attention to in most films, really jumped out at me and made an impression. Some of the close up shots of the puppets and the use of lights and shadows on their faces was truly remarkable.

The other thing I must mention is the music. Composer Richard Band (brother of producer, Charles Band) has done tons of work on Full Moon films before, including most all the previous entries into this franchise, and he is back to work on this installment as well. I first really took notice of Richard Band and his music when he did the music to the film, RE-ANIMATOR. That is one of my all time favorite movies and one of my favorite movie themes. I was glad to see Mr. Band did the music for this film as well, and it definitely shows. In fact, a few times in the film I noticed some music that had parts sounding very similar to the RE-ANIMATOR theme which was definitely a pleasant thing to hear. On a side note, the use of the glowing green stuff to make the puppets come alive was a similarity to RE-ANIMATOR which I can't help but wonder how intentional it was. But back to the music, I don't often take notice of the music in films as much as I should, but I couldn't help to notice the great caliber of music this film had. That was a very nice addition to an already great film.

If I had to have a complaint about this film, it would be that I would have liked a little more gore, but that is just a personal preference. While that would have been fun, it is not necessary and the movie is still great without it. I also wasn't big on the ending as it ended rather abruptly, but at the same time, the way it ended perfectly set up the possibility of a new PUPPET MASTER film, so that is a good thing for sure!

Fans of the PUPPET MASTER series should really enjoy this latest installment, and as stated before, don't worry if you haven't seen the other films in this series, as the film should still be very enjoyable to those that haven't.

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD, Blu-Ray, and related Puppet Master merchandise!


CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Full Moon Features

Saturday, December 18, 2010

DVD Review: BASEMENT JACK (2009)

h
------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------

Directed by Michael Shelton
Distributed by Brink DVD
Released: 2009

When reviewing a slasher flick, you have to use a somewhat different set of criteria than if you were reviewing a creature-feature or monster movie. There are SO many slasher flicks out there, that one might say they saturate the market even more so than vampire movies. So for a serial killer movie to stand out, it has be inventive and scary…not original, per se, as the concept is pretty much a given. But something about the film has to, literally, jump out at you.

BASEMENT JACK is definitely one of those rare slasher movies that takes an old concept and reignites it in a flame of originality and terror.

If you've never heard of this film, it's done by the same folks that did Evilution (which was previously reviewed here), and it's kinda-sorta-almost a tie-in. The plot for BASEMENT JACK is this, courtesy of imdb.com:

Karen Cook was your average high school student until the night evil invaded her life. She would soon be known as the lone survivor of a seven-day killing spree perpetrated by a seventeen year old boy the world would come to call Basement Jack. For the next eleven years, Karen lived in fear that one day Jack Riley, a.k.a. Basement Jack, would be released. Then, a court hearing in 2006 found that Jack had not received a fair trial and released him from a state institution. A year later, murders bearing a shocking resemblance to Basement Jack's old M.O. start up around the town of Downers Grove. Karen soon realizes that Jack is hunting her and that the only way to survive is to find him and kill him.

Let me start by saying that the cinematography and camera-work in this movie is stunning. It is one of the first things that really caught my attention. I like a 'panning camera', meaning one that is not stationary for very long. In this film, the long, slow, sweeping camera pans are used to help build an enormous amount of suspense and also to keep the audience engaged with the scene. The result is an amazing, immersive experience.

The acting is excellent as well. Actor Eric Peter-Kaiser does an amazing job as Basement Jack. He truly personifies the image of a serial-killer, with his wide-eyed, blood-lusty gaze and slow, calculated movements. It is very creepy watching him as he sneaks into home after home and slaughters the occupants as if it’s a job an not something he enjoys. One of the most gut-wrenching scenes for me is when he kills and poses a young boy in front of a TV, so as to reenact playing video games.

I am pleasantly surprised and impressed with the gore as well. While there's not a lot of it, the strategic placement of it in each shot emphasizes its effect. Two of my favorites bits are: 1) when Jack strolls into the police station and slashes two police officers that are standing side-by-side across the face…the tops of their heads come popping off like jar lids, and 2) when another police officer is stabbed so many times that her intestines come pouring out and she tries to stuff them all back inside. Gruesome, I know…but else what do you expect from a slasher flick?

I only have two complaints about the film.

First, I think actor M. Steven Felty , who portrays the stereotypical hard-ass police officer boss, Sergeant Pignataro, is TOO stereotypical and comes off more comical than intense. After countless movies with this type of character at the fore-front (i.e. Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys, S.W.A.T., etc, etc), it's very hard for me to take this guy seriously.

Secondly, I don't know if I care much for the somewhat tie-in that this film has with Evilution. The common bond they share is an apartment complex known as the Necropolitan, which is overseen by the creepy Manager (played by the ever-convincing Nathan Bexton ). I have not been able to find any kind of reasoning or connection, but this could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the outcome.

Otherwise, BASEMENT JACK is a good, solid slasher flick and a definite positive addition to the genre. The suspense is taut, the writing is solid, and the execution is fantastic. This movie is director Michael Shelton's directorial debut, but I sure hope it's not his last.


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
h
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Brink DVD

Friday, December 17, 2010

Check out the awesome trailer for the survival Sci-Fi / Horror film, D4!!

h
I recently ran across this great film called D4. I have not seen it yet, but from the looks of this trailer, we are all in for a great treat! The film has been getting some good reviews lately. Here is the basic plot from the distributor's website:

Abandoned for more than 30 years, D4 remains the focus of conspiracy theorists. A wealthy doctor who believes her kidnapped son is being held somewhere in the long deserted government acreage spares no expense securing a team of ex-military guns-for-hire to search him out. But once inside, they discover there is someone, or something, still inhabiting D4. Things are not what they seem, and what was meant to be a simple search and rescue soon turns into a fight for survival.

D4 is both written and Directed by Darrin Dickerson, of Ghostwater Films. Mr. Dickerson is a film industry vet, having worked behind the scenes on some top Hollywood films, but this is his first full length film that he has written and directed. I plan on seeing this film very soon, and hope to have a review of this movie posted here soon, until then, check out contributing writer Scott Baker's review over at his Shattered Ravings Blog by clicking here. Also, join the D4 Facebook page by clicking here!

D4 is on sale now for only $9.99 through Sunday, 12/19 at the Seven-7-Ten (distributor) website. Get yours today!!


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD

CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Ghostwater Pictures

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Check out CHILLER 13: THE DECADE'S SCARIEST MOVIE MOMENTS

Cable TV station Chiller will be debuting their first ever original show, CHILLER 13: THE DECADE'S SCARIEST MOVIE MOMENTS tomorrow night, 12/17 , at 8pm Easter/7pm Central time. The show will be 90 minutes long and will repeat throughout the night tomorrow night.
Here is a brief description of the show from the Chiller website:

Chiller TV's first original series features a diverse group of pop culture mavens and horror movie experts looking back on the top 13 scary movie moments of the past 10 years. Show participants include renowned special makeup effects supervisor Greg Nicotero (The Walking Dead), comedians Dan Gurewitch & David Young (collegehumor.com), actress Betsy Russell (the Saw anthology) amongst others.

Set your DVR's and TIVO's for this fun event! I always like to see what the "experts" consider the scariest moments. Usually with these types of shows there are always some scenes that you wonder how/why they made the list and you can think of some scenes that you wonder how/why it didn't make the list!! Come back here after the show and post some comments and let me know what you thought about Chiller's pick of the top 13 scariest movie moments of the past decade!!

CLICK HERE to watch the TV promo spot for CHILLER 13

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Check out two more superb short films from SenoReality Pictures

h
I just watched two more short films from SenoReality Pictures, DO NOT DISTURB, and NEXT CALLER. Last month I posted a review of the short film, GET OFF MY PORCH, also from SenoReality Pictures. I was pleasantly surprised by that film, as it was much better than I expected. I am proud to say that these next two films I watched were just as good, and again exceeded my expectations.

Up first, was DO NOT DISTURB. The basic story is a criminal, on the run from the police, hides out in a seedy hotel, and is visited by an unseen entity. I can't say too much about this film without giving some things away. Apparently this criminal has few sick, twisted fans who find what he does as admirable. One demented "fan" of his becomes a copy cat killer and torments him in his hotel room, without ever showing his face. This film is very intense and maintains the intensity from the opening scene to the closing credits. Great acting, cool camera shots/lighting, and a cool story add up to a very well made film.

Next up was NEXT CALLER. This film tells the story about Handsome Billy Bob Brown, a late night radio D.J. who seems a little bored with his routine life, but that is all about to change. Billy Bob has a guest on his show who claims to be a supernatural expert, who can actually summons and talk to the dead. While Billy Bob doesn't believe a word of it, he will be a believer soon enough after receiving a few very long distance phone calls, including one from God and the Devil, as well as a phone call from his dead brother and mother! The acting, like in all of Rea's films is again wonderful. You might recognize the actor playing the part of Billy Bob. He is Allan Kayser, better known as Bubba from the TV show, MAMA'S FAMILY. Kayser also played the part of Brad in the 1986 Horror favorite, NIGHT OF THE CREEPS! I was cool seeing Kayser in a film again, and he did a wonderful job here. This film is also very intense and powerful, especially when you hear the voice of "God"on the phone!

Writer/Director Patrick Rea's films are very impressive to say the least. The production quality on these films is remarkable, both of which have the look of a slick, high budget, studio feature. I have to admit that I have never given too much credit to short films, as I assumed they were made short for two reasons; either lack of a good story to fill a full film, or lack of a budget big enough to make a full feature film. I can honestly say that these short films from SenoReality Pictures has entirely changed the way I look at short films. These films have plenty of story packed into their short run time and look to be produced on a budget 10x greater than what the actual budget probably was. Writer Director Rae does more with 20 minutes than most directors do with 2 hours of film time. I am extremely impressed by his work and look forward to more of his work in the future!

CLICK HERE to watch DO NOT DISTURB for free, online at Vimeo.com
CLICK HERE to watch NEXT CALLER for free, online at Vimeo.com


CLICK HERE to visit the official website of SenoReality Pictures

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DVD Review: DEAD MOON RISING (2007)

h
------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------

Directed by Mark E. Poole
Distributed by Anthem Pictures
Released: 2007

I think that most of the world knows by now that I’m a huge zombie fan. And if you didn’t know that, well, you do now…so make a note. I don’t know what it is, but those shambling, oozing, moaning, brain-dead bags of flesh and dust just really do something for me. So, as fate (and Hayes) would have it, DEAD MOON RISING dropped in my lap for review.

If you’re not familiar with the film, the plot is this, courtesy of writer/director Mark E. Poole on imdb.com:

A mysterious disease overtakes the world, and the infected develop a hankering for human flesh. Jim and his fellow Cheapskate Car Rental clerks are oblivious to the changes going on right outside their door, until it literally gets right in their faces. Jim struggles with disgruntled customers, hordes of cannibals, the barely legal April, his certifiable ex-girlfriend Vix (the sexy "Terminatrix"), reconciling issues with his brother, an aversion to guns, and the "pants thing." Can Jim pull it together and rally Louisville's remaining bike gangs and defeat the infected hordes? Maybe with the help of 1000 rounds a minute mini-gun...

First of all, I have to apologize to the distribution company Anthem Pictures. Hayes gave me this film to review a long time ago…but I somehow misplaced it and just now found it again. So this review is therefore past due. Sorry. I suck, I know…but oh well.

So…how did DEAD MOON RISING rate for me, since I am a zombie aficionado after all?

Well…the answer is a bit complex. When I first started watching it, I hated it. The dialogue is campy, the special effects are beyond terrible, the acting bites, and the zombies aren’t even really zombies. Sounds like a bomb, right?

BUT…after the movie ended, I looked at the film from a different point of view. Instead of scrutinizing it from a high-budget perspective (which is what the cover led me to believe it was), I started looking at it from an indie-filmmaker’s point of view (ok…Hayes and I only have one film under our belts, but that still makes us filmmakers!). Weird for me to change my mind, I know, but the whole time I was watching it, I kept thinking to myself, “Man…they put so much work and heart into this that I can’t really hate it…can I”?

Which is the very reason I changed the way I was looking at it. You can usually tell when a film project is actually a labor of love and not an attempt to earn money. There’s a soul, a spirit, a real true ‘essence’ to the movie. When the filmmakers put their hearts and souls into it, the result is nothing short of magic, regardless of the budget.

From an analytical perspective, the acting in the film is pretty bad…but I would bet most of the actors were not paid…just volunteers looking to add something to their resume. Also, the film style and cinematography are not pro-grade quality…but this is their first film, so they were probably experimenting and learning. The special effects are cheesy and the zombies are nothing more than people with yellow paint on their faces…but…ok, so maybe they could have put more effort into the effects…but what can we expect from shoestring budget pictures? Filmmakers do have to make cuts somewhere, after all.

My only TRUE complaints about DEAD MOON RISING are minor. It is labeled as a comedy, but it’s not really that funny. Also, the overall story is also not original for the most part, but the side-plot that deals with the main character’s childhood traumas is pretty good and entertaining. And the extended-length, gratuitous lesbian-kissing scene in the middle of the movie has no point and only detracts from the little immersion I was able to obtain.

This film will not win any major awards (honestly, I’m surprised it DID win any awards at all), but it is a whole-hearted attempt at something bigger and better. I would really like to see what the production crew could do with a bigger budget (and better actors). The result might not be awesome, but I do think it would be entertaining. Hopefully, it would be more so than this film.


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD

CLICK HERE
to visit the official website of Anthem Pictures

Monday, December 13, 2010

This week's Horror related DVD releases: Tuesday, December 14th

Here are this weeks Horror related DVD's coming out Tuesday, 12/14:
(Click on a title to see a trailer for that film)

* THE FISHMEN AND THEIR QUEEN
* RESONNANCES
* SLAVE
* VAMPIRE CIRCUS [DVD & Blu-ray]

Sunday, December 12, 2010

DVD Review: DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW (1981)

h
------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------

DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW
Directed by Frank De Felitta
Courtesy of VCI Entertainment
Original Release: 1981
DVD Release: 2010

I’m going to be sentimental for a moment: this film holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first horror movies I ever watched. I first had the pleasure of seeing it way back in the day, when it aired on TV (I want to say it was on CBS, but don’t quote me on that). I wasn’t supposed to watch it because I was only a wee lad (I think I was seven at the time)…but I had a knack for being sneaky. This skill might have been a curse instead of a blessing though because this film haunted me for a long time after I saw it.

If you’ve never heard of Dark Night of the Scarecrow, you’re probably not alone. I was only recently released on DVD. The plot is basically this:

Bubba Ritter is a mentally handicapped man in his 20s who has the mind of a child. He lives in a small town in the South and enjoys playing with the local children. One day, a young girl Bubba is playing with is mauled by a dog. Bubba fights the dog off and then, confused and unsure of what to do, carries the injured girl to her house and leaves her on the porch. Some of the men in the town believe Bubba is the one that hurt the girl and hunt him down. Bubba flees and hides in a scarecrow’s clothes out in the field. But the men find him and shoot him in cold blood. The men stand trial but are let go on a technicality. Shortly thereafter, the men who were involved in the shooting begin to die mysteriously and a lone scarecrow figure is the only one around when it happens…

I had the pleasure of seeing this film again at the 2010 Texas Frightmare and I’m happy to say it’s just as good and as scary as it was when I saw it for the first time. Actor Larry Drake portrays Bubba and does an amazing job with the part. Drake will forever always be Dr. Giggles to me, but this role is for sure a close second.

The supporting cast is also full of notable Hollywood icons. Charles Durning , who is one of the hardest working men in Hollywood, does an outstanding job of portraying the ring-leader of the killers. And Robert F. Lyons is perfect as one of his accomplices, Skeeter Norris.

One of the coolest things about this film is that there’s no profanity and practically no gore…and it’s still creepy as hell! It takes a talented filmmaker to pull something like that off. The cinematography really helps accentuate the mood, too, with long, stationary shots and dark, bleak tones.

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I would have to say that the only disappointing aspect to the film IS the lack of gore. I say that probably because I’m so used to seeing it in modern horror movies that a film without it seems to be missing something. Not to mention the fact that it’s just good, plain fun. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy seeing the end result of someone getting shoved into a wood chipper?

All in all, though, Dark Night of the Scarecrow is a definite win and one that I’m certainly adding to my DVD collection. It’s not for everyone, especially if you are a fan of graphic violence. But it’s a great film and will certainly give you a chill after it’s over.
h
h
*********************NOTE FROM ZOMBIE HAYES************************
Thanks Scott, for the great review. I absolutely love this film and
think it is one of, if not, THE best made for TV Horror movie ever
made. Even with the lack of gore as you mentioned, it is scary and
manages to maintain a creepy tone throughout the film.

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
h
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of VCI Entertainment

Saturday, December 11, 2010

DVD Review: NIXON AND HOGAN SMOKE CHRISTMAS (2010)

h
NIXON AND HOGAN SMOKE CHRISTMAS is the first feature I have seen from the low budget production company, Hack Movies. I didn't really know what to expect from writer/director Kevin Strange, and in fact, I'm still not quite sure what I have seen even after watching this film!
Here is the basic plot from the Hack Movies website:

It's Christmas eve in Strangeville. The demented duo, Nixon and Hogan, have asked Santa for some sweet, sweet ule tide weed for their favorite holiday. Unfortunately, Santa mixes up the Christmas weed with Voodoo Zombie weed and smokes himself Undead! Now it's up to our dim witted heroes to finish Santa's delivery route or face the end of Christmas as we know it! Will Nixon and Hogan save Christmas? Or will Sasparilla the weed witch succeed with her plan to murder Santa and wreck the collective facial area of everyone in Strangeville by turning every holdiay into Sasparilla day? Expect the kind of bent humor and gore only Hack Movies can deliver with this, the 6th feature film from the Mayor of Strangeville, Kevin Strange, and the rest of the Hack Movies crew piece!

This is movie is hard to explain. In a word, it is just plain weird! Although, looking at some trailers for other Hack Movies, I guess this movie isn't weird at all if you are familiar with their previous films. The film is a stoner comedy, the the vein of HALF BAKED, or the CHEECH AND CHONG movies of the late 70's and early 80's, but with a Horror twist.

The plot of the film sounds simple enough, but it just doesn't make sense at some points and some of the creatures that pop up in the film just seem out of place, or at least aren't really explained as to why they are there. The makeup effects on the monsters and Zombie Santa are cheap, but effective as a whole.

The acting in this film is actually very good, surprisingly good really. The only problem is the over acting and the weird accents/mannerisms used by many of the characters. All the actors sound funny in their own way, but sometimes its as if they are trying a little too hard to sound funny. While funny at first, it does get a little annoying after a while. The best thing overall about this film is the dialog, which can be very humorous at times.

NIXON AND HOGAN SMOKE CHRISTMAS is an obviously low budget film, but writer/director Kevin Strange does the most with the little he has and actually puts together a somewhat decent film, although it definitely has a target audience and may not be for everyone. The stoner types out there will probably love this film and will probably make this their new Christmas film to watch each year. For the rest of us, this one is worth a watch, but it definitely will not be going into my annual Christmas movie rotation.

NIXON AND HOGAN SMOKE CHRISTMAS DVD features over 4 hours of special features, including 2 audio commentaries, 5 behind the scenes videos, bloopers, and more!

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD


CLICK HERE
to visit the official website of Hack Movies

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's Blogger Zombie Walk Day!!!

h

What does that mean? It means you can "walk" from site to site of participating bloggers, each of which will post something related to Zombies!!!!
For my Zombie post, I want to bring you pics of my favorite film Zombie of all time....the main Zombie from Lucio Fulci's ZOMBIE!! The make up effects on this Zombie are amazing, from the elongated, recessed gums toothy grin, to the eye socket full of earthworms, Fulci's Zombie is hands down my favorite Zombie of all time!




To see my complete list of my top 5 film Zombies, CLICK HERE!

Here is the list of all the sites participating in the Blogger Zombie Walk!! Be sure to visit them all for some great Zombie action!!
h
I want to give a big THANK YOU to Autumnforest of the Ghost Hunting Theories blog for organizing the Blogger Zombie Walk!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Congratulations to the winner of the latest 4H giveaway!!

Congratulations to Ellie, from Garland, TX! She is the winner of our latest DVD giveaway!! Ellie will receive an autographed DVD copy of the great Horror anthology, NIGHTMARE ALLEY!! This is by far my coolest prize ever, and I want to thank director Walter Ruether and the cast/crew of the film for making this prize possible!!
Don't worry if you didn't win this DVD, you can purchase your own copy by clicking below!
Also, check back in the next few days for the announcement of our next big giveaway!!!

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

DVD Review: BLOOD RAIN (2005)

H
------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker------

Directed by Dae-seung Kim
Released: 2005

Before you roll your eyes at the title of this film, let's clarify something here: this is NOT the craptastic vampire failure that is Uwe Boll's 'BLOODRAYNE'. Oh no. This BLOOD RAIN is actually a masterful mystery-whodunit? set in 1800s Korea.
Here is the synopsis, courtesy of the HanCinema website:

It is the 19th century Chosun dynasty, an era of loathing and vengeance towards Catholics. A transport ship carrying paper to the palace burns into ashes, and investigator Won-kyu is sent to the scene. Brutal murders follow suit, which are traced back to a curse by a Christian who had his whole family beheaded seven years previously. The climax builds to an unexpected ending…First, this movie is stunning to watch. The sets and costumes are done with vivid detail and the cinematography is wonderful. All of these elements are set against the backdrop of an excellent mystery thriller.

I cannot really say anything else about the plot because A) it is a bit complex to summarize, and B) too much information could ruin the story for you. But needless to say, the script is very well written and entertaining. I would even go so far as to say the dialogue is impressively witty and certainly never dull.

My sole complaint about this film is that there is not an English dub-over feature, meaning you can only watch it with sub-titles. This doesn't necessarily hamper the experience for me (because I've watched dozens of sub-titled films over the years), but I would really rather listen to the dialogue instead of reading it. Again, this is strictly a personal preference and should not discourage you from watching the film.

The acting in BLOOD RAIN was also top notch, as is the characterization. It is somewhat rare (in my experience) to find foreign period pieces that do not place an emphasis on stereotyping certain characters. For example, in many martial-arts movies, there's always the stereotypical 'humbled master' going up against the 'braggart but skilled villain'. I'm pleased to report that this movie does not have ANY of the typical stereotypes. I was very surprised by this, and because so, found the movie more enjoyable as a result.

As an added bonus, the film includes a decent bit of gore as well. One of my favorite (and one of the goriest) scenes is when a man is drawn-and-quartered. For those of you that don't know what this entails, this was an extreme punishment-torture that was used back in ancient days. They would place a person flat on the ground and then tie a horse to each limb (one for each arm, one for each leg). Then, they would whip the horses and the person was basically ripped apart. This is obviously very gruesome and BLOOD RAIN does an excellent job of showing it.

I'm going to leave this review a little bit short, as this is one of those films that you just need to see to appreciate. But it is definitely a winner (as proven by the numerous awards it has won) and you definitely should check it out.


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Pathfinder Pictures

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

DVD Review: KURIOSITY KILLZ (2009)

h
I just watched a cool short film called, KURIOSITY KILLZ. The creator of this film is the extremely talented Trey McGriff. Trey is the writer, director, editor, and producer of this film. He also stars in the film in not just one, but two roles! Oh, and did I mention he performed original music for the film?
Here is the basic plot from the film's official website:

Kuriosity gets the best of a good-looking, naive babe, who is lured into a seemingly normal bachelor's pad, only to discover that she is part of a demented redneck's documentary taking place in a neighborhood somewhere in Georgia. Will she survive the night?

Going into this film, I knew it was an extremely low budget, independent film. While this can turn some film goers off, I can definitely respect a project such as this one. Having been involved in the making of a short film myself, I know how hard it can be. For this reason, I went into this film not expecting too much, which is what you have to do in order to truly appreciate a low budget film such as this.

The film is shot in black and white, which is a neat change of pace from most modern horror films. The picture can sometimes looks gritty and/or grainy, which adds to the style of the film, reminiscent of an old 70's horror flick. The acting in the film is pretty bad, I have to admit, with many lines feeling like they were read word for word from a memorized script, but this still doesn't keep you from enjoying the film. The film also has a weird twist at the end that you don't expect, and I am not sure I still understand, but it was still fun overall.

McGriff does an excellent job with the direction and camera work, utilizing some very cool and unique camera angles and edits. While not a completely polished film by any means, it does show a tremendous amount of potential for what McGriff could do with a full feature if given real actors and a real budget.


CLICK HERE to visit the official website to watch the trailer and order the DVD

Monday, December 6, 2010

This week's Horror related DVD releases: Tuesday, December 7th

Here are the Horror related DVD's coming out tomorrow, 12/7:
(Click on a title to see a trailer for that film)
* CRAVINGS OF THE DEPRAVED (Jess Franco Collection)
* CRONOS [DVD and Blu-ray]
* DEVIANT LUST (Jess Franco Collection)
* EROTIC RITES OF A VIRGIN (Jess Franco Collection)
* NAKED AND DEAD DOLLS (Jess Franco Collection)
* STRIPPED DEAD (Jess Franco Collection)
* VIDEODROME (Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray]

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Check out the ultra gory trailer for SLICES OF LIFE

H
I have seen a lot of Facebook posts lately about this film called, SLICES OF LIFE. I decided to check it out, and I can see why the web has been filled with talk about this film. The trailer looks pretty amazing, full of good gore and some good scares, along with some EVIL DEADish visuals. I hope this film is as good as this trailer makes it look!
Here is a rather lengthy, yet very interesting, plot synopsis from imdb.com:

Sexual Parasites, Disembowelment, Zombies, Serial Killers, Demon Children, Violent Vixens, Rabid Office Workers and Angry Embryos all spring to life from the flesh covered sketch books featured in Anthony G. Sumner's (Gallery of Fear) SLICES OF LIFE. Mira (Kaylee Williams) awakens in front of a seedy roadside motel with amnesia. She searches for clues to her identity in the pages of three bound sketchbooks, in which each book represents a different aspect of everyday life, maybe her life. WORK LIFE A lowly clerk at a nano technology firm unleashes a deadly virus at the office headquarters, giving new meaning to the term corporate zombie. HOME LIFE As local girls begin to disappear, a young pregnant woman is haunted by visions of evil demonic children hell bent on stealing her unborn fetus. SEX LIFE A young brother and sister on the run from a sexually abusive home life, take refuge in a countryside Victorian manor- only to discover the monsters hidden in this house have been looking for a new home. Convinced that the characters from these books are roaming around the motel, Mira's reality begins to crumble. Are these visions real or is she going insane? Desperate, Mira turns to the motel caretakers (Marv Blauvelt and Helene Alter-Dyche), only to discover the true evil bound in the flesh covered books and the destiny they hold for her.


CLICK HERE to visit the film's official website and watch the trailer

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Check out the trailer for the zomcom, DEADHEADS

h
I was browsing the awesome website, Quietearth.us when I ran across an article on a new zombie comedy film called DEADHEADS. The trailer looks pretty funny. Here is the basic plot:

Two inexplicably coherent zombies awake amidst a zombie attack and decide to take a road trip to find the one's lost love, unaware they are being chased by the agents of a ruthless company with it's own agenda.

This looks interesting to see the movie from the zombie's perspective...something not done in most zombie films!


CLICK HERE to visit the official website and watch the trailer for DEADHEADS (trailer does not start to play automatically, you must hit play on the video player)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Check out the awesome Horror art of Matt Busch!!

h
The artist from yesterday's post of the Horrified Movie posters has been identified! Thanks to reader Rondal from The Strange Kids Club website for pointing out that the artist behind these great posters is Matt Busch from mattbusch.com!

Matt's HOLLYWOOD IS DEAD series features the posters you saw on my post yesterday, plus many more!! Take a look at the gallery to see the full line of Horrified movie posters!


CLICK HERE to check out the HOLLYWOOD IS DEAD gallery to see all the movie posters

Also, check out Rondal's great interview with Matt by clicking
HERE!

Thanks again for all the info Rondal!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Check out these cool horrified movie posters!

My buddy Caleb sent these to me at work today.....I'm not sure who created these, but I thought they were great and worth sharing with you all. Check out these great posters that have been given a Horror makeover (click on a poster for a larger image)