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!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Check out the plot details for the PIRANHA 3D sequel!

I just saw that the Bloody Disgusting website got some cool plot news for the upcoming PIRANHA 3DD, the sequel to last years PIRANHA 3D.  Here is the report from the BD website:

The sequel continues down the path of "ridiculous" as the piranha this time make their way into swimming pools, pipes, plumping and such at a newly opened waterpark named "Wilderness Waters"! The race is on to save the town from these flesh-eating creatures that are leaving a bloodbath in their wake.

PIRANHA 3 DOUBLE D is being directed by FEAST director John Gulager, and is scheduled to hit theaters November 23rd of this year, something to definitely give thanks about! 


I saw PIRANHA 3D and loved it.  Sure it was stupid, but it was a lot of fun, something that is missing from many Horror movies these days!  Did you see PIRANHA 3D?  Did you like it?  Do you plan on seeing PIRANHA 3DD?    Leave a comment below!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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

Congratulations to Shadow Jerusalem (administrator of the Zombie blog, The Single Bullet Theory) and Cody!  These are the winners in the latest giveaway from Hayes Hudson's House of Horror!  These folks will be receiving a set of ZOMBIES FOR ZOMBIES books by David P. Murphy, courtesy of the great folks at Sourcebooks, Inc.!!  These are some hilarious books that any Zombie fan should own.  CLICK HERE to read my previous review of these books.

Don't worry if you didn't win this time.  You can still purchase your very own copy of these books by CLICKING HERE!  And who knows.....I might have a couple more of these books stashed away for a future giveaway!! 

Check back often, as a new giveaway will be starting soon!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

DVD Review: THE RESIDENT (2011)

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THE RESIDENT
Directed by:  Antti Jokinen
Distributed by:  Image Entertainment

I just watched...no, experienced the latest Hammer Films production of THE RESIDENT.  This is Hammer's follow up to last years, LET ME IN, and this is two "home runs" in a row.   While it will be hard to top the genius that was LET ME IN, this latest film from Hammer Films is a worthy followup, and one I enjoyed almost just as much.  NOTE:  Slight Spoiler Alert.  If you want to go into this film knowing nothing, please do not read this review until after you have seen the film.  Although, nothing in the review below tells you anything that you don't find out too early in the film. Here is the films synopsis from the Image Entertainment website:

Juliet (Academy Award-winner Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby), a beautiful doctor, has found the perfect New York apartment to start a new life after separating from her husband. It's got spacious rooms, a spectacular view, and a handy, handsome landlord. But there are secrets behind every wall and terror in every room as Juliet gets the unnerving feeling that she is not alone. She is being watched. She is being stalked. And no one is safe when she discovers the relentless horror on her doorstep. But how do you stop an evil that you can't see...until it's too late? Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Grey's Anatomy) and screen legend Christopher Lee (The Lord of the Rings) costar in this pulse-pounding shocker from famed horror studio Hammer Films (Let Me In).
While there are many great aspects of this film, I have to start with the acting.  I have never been a huge fan of Hilary Swank, but after seeing her in this film, that opinion has changed.  Swank did an outstanding job playing a woman who was wronged by her husband.  She comes across at first as emotionally weak and vulnerable, yet she does a remarkable job of going from victim to a strong woman who stands her ground and stands up for herself.
 
Jeffrey Dean Morgan probably gives the best performance overall. He plays the stalker of Swanks character in the film, who watches her through peepholes in her walls and also from within her apartment at times! While at first very charming and polite, he does a complete 180 and plays one of the most menacing, creepy characters ever caught on film. While this might be somewhat of a spoiler, you find this out pretty early in the film, so it's not like a surprise ending that is being ruined. Just look at the DVD cover and you can tell who the "bad guy" is. 
 
Also worth noting is the amazing Christopher Lee.  While he has a very small role in the film, with little screen time, he manages to set a very eerie vibe for the film.  Christopher Lee seems to get better with age and is in a time in his life where he is at his most creepy and sinister.  If you want to make your Horror movie better, just hire this man.  He should be in every scary movie in my opinion!
 
While the acting was superb, everything else about this film is wonderful as well.  The music is great, setting a very creepy tone. Also worth noting is the use of light and shadows.  When Swank's character hears things in her apartment, the camera will scan the room and sometimes you will catch a glimpse of a shadow of the person watching her, but you never see who it is at first.  Later we find that it was Morgan's character Max, the building's owner.  He hides in her apartment, sometimes slipping a sleeping agent into her drinks, and then watches her as she sleeps.  The thought of someone watching you from just inches away as you sleep is a very scary thought to me.  
 
While all the characters are great, the apartment building is almost a character in itself.  It is a very old building with lots of hidden rooms and access ways to all the rooms, used by Max to get from room to room and sneak into the apartments.   The chase through this hidden inner hallway is a great scene, with an ending you won't want to miss!
 
Overall, this is one of the better movies I have seen in a while.  While it is more thriller/suspense than actual Horror, it is still a very scary, creepy film that I would highly recommend to any Horror fan.  THE RESIDENT was released today, 3/29, so check your local stores or click the link below to purchase!
 
 
 CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
 CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD

Monday, March 28, 2011

This week's Horror related DVD releases: Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Here are the Horror related DVD's coming out Tuesday, 3/29:
(Click on a title to see a trailer for that film)

BLEADING LADY
EMBODIMENT OF EVIL  [DVD & Blu-ray combo]
HUSK
INFERNO  [DVD & Blu-ray]
PROWL
*  THE RESIDENT  [DVD & Blu-ray]
RIVER OF DARKNESS
SCAR 3D [DVD & Blu-ray]
SCREAM [Blu-ray]
SCREAM 2  [Blu-ray]
SCREAM 3  [Blu-ray]
ZOMBIE WOMEN OF SATAN


Wow!  There is a bunch of DVD's coming out this week!  I am most excited about Dario Argento's INFERNO out on Blu-ray this week.  This is one of my favorite of Argento's films.  Definitely check that one out if you haven't seen it yet.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

DVD Review: FRIGHT FLICK (2011)

FRIGHT FLICK
Directed by: Israel Luna
Distributed by: Breaking Glass Pictures/Vicious Circle Films

Finally! A good gore film....no, a great gore film! I love gore films, but most of today's Horror films don't really use that much gore anymore. I'm not sure why, but the few movies that do have some gore have very few scenes and they are usually cut short. This makes two movies in a row (see previous review) that have had great gore as their centerpiece. Before I go any further, here is the basic plot from the Breaking Glass Pictures website:

Director Israel Luna (Ticked-Off Trannies With Knives) shows audiences just how cut-throat show business can be in this bloody outrageous horror-comedy that satirizes the filmmaking industry. When the air-headed leading lady of a B-grade fright flick turns up brutally murdered during the film shoot, the motley members of the cast and crew find themselves at the heart of a real-life whodunit -- and with so many competing egos on set, everyone's a suspect.

This is a clever movie, and can be a little hard to follow at times. The premise follows a team of filmmakers as they make a slasher movie. The film they are making contains all the stereotypical aspects of a bad Horror film, including a gratuitous shower scene, horrible B-movie style acting, and generally bad filmmaking. This lends some comic relief to the film, as it is fun to see people filming a movie when they have know idea what they are doing. In one scene, they are shooting through a cars windshield while filming the actor that is driving, but you can plainly see the close up reflection of the boom mic in the windshield. Funny stuff!

As I mentioned before, the film can be hard to follow at some times, as part of the plot revolves around a stolen script, or actually two stolen scripts I think. Then I loose track of who knows what and who doesnt' know this or that....but anyway, the real star of the film here is the gore. This film has some of the better gore scenes I have seen in a long time. They are all very well done and look very realistic. Two scenes that really stick out in my mind are the hedge clippers to the eyeballs scene and a throat slit scene so realistic that I still don't understand how it was done. Kudos to the makeup and FX artists on this one fore sure!

The DVD contains special features including:

Blooper Reel
Severed Scenes (deleted scenes)
"The Guts of Fright Flick": A behind the scenes documentary


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


CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Breaking Glass Pictures

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Check out Dollar Bin Horror's latest giveaway!

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My friend Rhonny Reaper is giving away a great new prize over at her DOLLAR BIN HORROR blog  (one of the best horror blogs on the net, in my opinion!).  Rhonny always has some great prizes and contests, and this time is no different.  Up for grabs this time, is a very cool  CTHUHLU SHIRT from Tshirtbordello.com!  Entering is super easy, just go on over to the DOLLAR BIN HORROR giveaway post (link below) and leave a comment with your name, email, and a short message on why you want this cool prize.   The winner will be announced on April 5th, so enter soon!

CLICK THE DOLLAR BIN HORROR BANNER BELOW TO VISIT THE GIVEAWAY POST AND ENTER FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN!

Friday, March 25, 2011

DVD Review: TRILOGY OF BLOOD (2010)

Directed by:  Rick Kelley and Charlie Ruckus
Production Company:  Ruckus Productions

I just watched the short film (27 minutes), TRILOGY OF BLOOD.  While the film is basically a way to feature the Psychobilly Rock band, The Deadneks, it also stands alone as a great tribute to the horror films of the 60's and 70's, most notably, those of the legendary Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis.  In fact, the title of the film is a takeoff of Lewis' Blood Trilogy (Blood Feast, Two Thousand Maniacs, Color Me Blood Red) and the film itself is like an updated version of a H.G. Lewis film.  I am a huge fan of H.G. Lewis, so for this reason, I was a huge fan of this film as well.  Here is the basic plot from the Ruckus Productions website:

When a trio of sexy city gals picks up a broken-down hillbilly in the backwoods of Virginia – the three kittens get A LOT more than they bargained for when they accept the drifter’s invitation to a down-home barbecue. What these lovely ladies don’t know just may hurt ‘em – when they find that the menu of this hayseed hoe-down isn’t the standard ‘burgers and dogs’…

Shot on-location by Ruckus Productions in the hills of Virginia with an estimated budget of roughly 62 dollars – TRILOGY OF BLOOD is a grindhouse gore-fest combining old-school drive-in horror, with three (count ‘em – THREE!!!) rowdy performances by the grittiest psychobilly act this side of Pleasant Valley!!!
Starring Brenna Roth (B-movie starlet and daughter of legendary rocker David Lee Roth), and psychobilly sickos THE DEADNEKS – TRILOGY OF BLOOD is a carnage-crazed feast for the eyes and ears of hell-raisin’ Psycho Rock-and-Roll and 70’s exploitation-style cinematic madness!!!
If you see only one triple-music-video-slash-southern-fried-horror-film this century – grab your vomit-bags and earplugs, and treat yourself to a…TRILOGY OF BLOOD!!!!!!!!

As I stated before, this film is an obvious tribute to the gore films of H.G. Lewis.  The filmmakers do an excellent job of creating cheap, bloody effects that look like they came right out of one of Lewis' films from the 60's.   There is a lot of blood packed into the film, esp in the last half of the film, so all you gore hounds will not be disappointed. Some great gore scenes involve the cutting off of fingers and a very disgusting eye gouge scene!

The film is shot in a vintage style, which I found really cool. It's slightly out of focus, washed in a slight sepia tone, and has marks and scratches like the old style film projected movies.  I thought this was a cool touch and made the film feel as if it really was from the 60's or 70's.

The film contains some scenes of the band, The Deadneks, in concert.  The band is a real band that you should definitely check out if they ever play anywhere near you.  From the looks of their performance in this film, they look like a wild group that would put on an awesome show!  Check out their site (here) to keep up to date on their latest shows!

Overall, this was a cool, fun, retro, gore fest that I personally had a fun time with.  If you are a fan of H.G. Lewis, you will love this one!  Get the DVD now for only $10!



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

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Check out the trailer to Darren Lynn Bousman's 11-11-11!!

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I just watched the teaser trailer to the film 11-11-11 and I am very intrigued.  The film is written and directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (SAW II, III, IV) and it looks very creepy.

Here is the basic plot from imdb.com:

A horror-thriller set on 11:11 on the 11th day of the 11th month and concerning a entity from another world that enters the earthly realm through Heaven's 11th gate.
Watch the trailer and let me know what you think.  I think this movie looks like it could be very cool.
The film will be released (obviously) on 11-11-11!

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Check out the trailer for the film RECREATOR

I was just scrolling through the Quiet Earth website (one of my favorite sites on the web), and read about a Horror film about a group of kids that go camping and come across a group of kids just like them...in fact, it is them!  The film is called RECREATOR and it looks like it will be a lot of fun!
Here is the full synopsis courtesty of the film's official website:

A group of teenagers stumble upon a secret lab and encounter superior versions of themselves in writer/director Gregory Orr’s science-fiction adventure Recreator. Duplicates. Doubles. Recreations. Call them what you will, they are exact copies of Craig, Tracy and Derek, three friends on a camping trip who accidentally trigger a deadly experiment left by the Recreator, a mysterious scientist with a passion for cloning. Trapped by their captors, the teenagers are no match for their physically stronger, faster, better selves. Their only hope is to outwit them and to escape with their lives before they are replaced.
Recreator is a teen-orientated suspense film with roots in science fiction realism and psychological terror. It merges the anxiety and paranoia of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with the killer-next-door quality of Disturbia and the recent vampire hit Let the Right One In.

Watch the trailer and then let me know what you think.  I think this film looks like it could be a lot of fun!


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of the film

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

DVD Review: THE ZOMBIE FARM (2009)

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


THE ZOMBIE FARM
Written and Directed by:  Ricardo Islas
Distributed by:  Maya Entertainment

It seems that most of the zombie films released over the past three decades share a common origin for the nature of the zombieism: a biological means. There's nothing wrong with this scenario, either; I mean, given the current state of the world and humanity's affinity for custom-made viruses, I think that scenario is VERY plausible. But even so, it’s nice to see a zombie flick that takes zombieism back to its actual roots: voodoo.

THE ZOMBIE FARM is a unique addition to the zombie genre that takes the affliction back to the dark-magic aspect at its core. If you're not familiar with the film, here is the synopsis courtesy of the DVD case:

Part zombie, part voodoo! Desperate to end her husband's domestic abuse, a young woman seeks asylum from a local voodoo priestess. When warned that her husband may "change" if given a special potion, the abused wife is relieved. But waking up in bed next to a zombie isn't exactly the transformation she was hoping for. Her once violent husband, now controlled by vicious voodoo, becomes part of a savage zombie uprising, terrorizing and then converting the unsuspecting townsfolk. Clearly, some things are worse than death.

THE ZOMBIE FARM is a smart, inventive, and sometimes witty addition to the genre. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first saw the case because I had never heard of the film, not to mention the title doesn't immediately scream 'watch me' either. But never judge a movie by its cover, right? I’m glad I didn’t.

I like everything about this film. The cinematography is great, with many lingering still shots and some excellent steadi-cam work. The special effects are very well done, although the majority of the gore only shows up at the end. And the acting is good as well.

Of specific note is Roberto Montesinos, the actor that portrays the main character Roque. I don't think anyone else could have brought this character to life as vividly as he does. I would seriously believe the part was written specifically for him. Montesinos has a unique acting style that blends light humor with drama, and it really helps the audience build a bond character.

One of the most interesting aspects of this film is the social commentary it provides on how Americans treat Hispanics sometimes in our culture. While the film doesn’t come across as preachy, it does talk about and portray some of the distinct differences that separate our two cultures on a daily basis. This is all evident because of the film’s location, which is a town on the America/Mexico border.

And, as I mentioned before, the zombies are created from voodoo. I find this interesting because the zombies are not the putrid, rotting, flesh-bags that I love so much in the other films. These zombies are people who were recently alive…they died and were shortly thereafter reanimated by black magic. So they basically look like you and me…except they’re a little lighter-skinned than when they were alive.

Thankfully, though, these living dead have the traditional hunger for human flesh. There’s some nice gore towards the end of the film and some pretty good zombie swarming scenes as well (watch it…you’ll see what I mean).

All in all, THE ZOMBIE FARM is a win for me. Check this one out for sure.


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

Monday, March 21, 2011

This week's Horror related DVD releases: Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

Here are the Horror related DVD's coming out tomorrow, Tuesday, 3/22/11:
(Click a title to see a trailer for that film)

ALIEN 2: ON EARTH  [DVD and Blu-ray]
THE DEFILED
SIREN
THE WALKING DEAD GIRLS

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Check out the trailer to Yoshihiro Nishimura's latest film, HELL DRIVER

Fans of Yoshihiro Nishimura (TOKYO GORE POLICE, VAMPIRE GIRL VS. FRANKENSTEIN GIRL) are in for a treat!  Nishimura's newest film, HELL DRIVER, is here!  Check out the trailer below.  It looks to have everything we have come to love and expect from one of this films including gore, sword fights (this time with a chainsaw sword!), dismemberments, cheesy CG effects, and more gore!!  Here is a brief synopsis of the film's plot:

An alien-spawned, mysterious mist blankets the northern half of Japan, transforming those who inhale it into ravenous, flesh-eating zombies hell-bent on devouring the surviving human population.  Hope arrives in the form of Kika (Yumiko Hara), a beautiful high school girl armed with a chainsaw sword powered by an artificial heart. Recruited by the government, Kika leads a ragtag group of desperadoes on a secret mission into the zombie-infected wilds to exterminate zombie queen Rikka (Eihi Shiina from Audition and Tokyo Gore Police) and put an end to the plague of the living dead. But the road is fraught with a thriving zombie culture that, with its own designs on the living half of Japan, refuses to lay down and die.


I am a huge fan of Nishimura's and love his work.  I am really looking forward to this. Japanese filmmakers are making some great Horror movies...I wish American filmmakers would step it up and make great gore feasts like the Japanese are doing!

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer

Saturday, March 19, 2011

DVD Review: TRUE NATURE (2010)

Written and Directed by:  Patrick Steele

I don't recall how I found out about this film, but somewhere I heard about an independent film called TRUE NATURE.  I was able to finally see this film and I am so glad I found out about it.  Lets face it, a lot of independent films are not that good.  TRUE NATURE, on the other hand, is one of those rare gems that you find from time to time in the independent movie world.  Before I go any further, here is the synopsis of the film from the film's official website:

The Pascal family has it all - wealth, power, privilege - but their picture perfect lives change forever when their college-athlete daughter Marianne disappears one night while running. She mysteriously returns a year later with no recollection of where she's been. Haunted by violent visions, she begins to suspect that her family is hiding dark secrets and that the key to her disappearance may be linked to them. As the fragile web of lies unravels, she fears that her own life and sanity may be the price for discovering the truth.

I have to admit that the movie starts off kinda slowly, but then once it gets going, it grabs you by the throat and never lets go!  While this is not a true Horror film, it is scary in a very psychological way.  I guess this is more of a thriller / suspense film, but I think all you Horror fans will find plenty to like in this film, I sure did! 

One of the scariest things to me, and most parents I assume, is the thought of something happening to their children.  That is a very scary aspect of this film, and while Marianne does return, she is never quite the same.  She doesn't remember anything when she first returns, but then she slowly starts to remember things, small details of what happened to her, in a series of flashbacks.  She finally remembers almost the entire ordeal and while normally that would be a good thing, that is just a beginning of the terror Marianne will face.  It's bad enough to be abducted by strangers, but realizing later that a member of your family might be directly involved in your abduction is a horror that I can not begin to imagine.

From a technical aspect, everything about this movie is great.  The acting is superb. There is not a weak actor among the bunch here, and Marianne, played by Marianne Porter gives one of the finest performances I have ever seen.  Her portrayal of someone who has gone through this horrible tragedy in totally believable.  The overall look of the film is great, it is shot very well with some great camera work.  The sound on this movie is very good, as well..which can definitely add to a movies likability.

Overall, this movie is among the tops of the independent films I have watched recently.  It is a very well made film and is a very smart film.  This film makes you think, and while it doesn't answer every question, it keeps you guessing and will have you thinking about the film long after you have watched it. 

While the film is not being distributed on DVD yet, it is possible to catch it at some Film Festival screenings around the world!  So far, the film has won 12 awards at the 19 film festivals it has played at!  Here are a few more screenings coming up...if you live anywhere close to these, please do yourself a favor and go check this movie out!

Upcoming screenings of TRUE NATURE:

Cleveland International Film Festival
screening Fri. April 1 & Sat. April 2, 2011
www.clevelandfilm.org


CPH:PIX in Copenhagen, Denmark
April 14-May 1, 2011
www.cphpix.dk


BARE BONES INTERNATIONAL FILM & MUSIC FESTIVAL
Muskogee, OK / April 25th - May 1st, 2011 (exact time TBA)
www.barebonesfilmfestivals.org/


Weekend of Fear in Erlangen, Germany
May 6-7, 2011
www.weekend-of-fear.com


CHARLESTON INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Charleston, SC / May 18th - 22nd, 2011
(exact time TBA)
www.charlestoniff.com/


If you don't live close to any of these screenings, don't worry.   I have no doubt this film will get picked up for distribution very soon.  I have seen movies that aren't half as good as this one get DVD deals, so I'm sure this one will.  Keep watching the website, as they will add listings for any more screenings.


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for TRUE NATURE

Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm baaaaaack!



I am sorry it has been a few days since my last blog post!  I like to update this blog on a daily basis, but this has been an extremely busy week for me!  For those that don't know, I am the co-founder (along with co-founder Scott Baker) of a small, independent film production company called SHATTERED MIND STUDIOS.   We have been hard at work this week with our 3rd film project!  We prepped our shooting location earlier in the week and then spent ALL day yesterday filming.   Our newest production, titled "ALTERED PERCEPTIONS" is now in post production and will soon be unleashed upon the word!  Until then, check out our other 2 short films on our website.

CLICK HERE to view the official website of Shattered Mind Studios

Monday, March 14, 2011

This week's Horror related DVD releases: Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

Here are the Horror related DVD's coming out tomorrow, 3/15/11:
(Click on a title to see a trailer for that film)

THE ABSENT
BLOOD  [DVD & Blu-ray]
INTERPLANETARY
SHADOW
SHARKTOPUS  [DVD & Blu-ray]

Sunday, March 13, 2011

DVD Review: THE DEAD HAVE RISEN (2006) and NOTHINGFACE (2007)

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

I was very intrigued when Hayes handed me these movies to review. THE DEAD HAVE RISEN and NOTHINGFACE, both done by a company called Dirt Productions. There were no pictures or anything on the disks, so I didn't know what I was getting into and was therefore a bit hesitant.

Luckily, the lack of a picture is not worth 1,000 words. Both films are very good and I am glad I watched them.  Here's a brief description of each film; THE DEAD HAVE RISEN is a summary from me and the Nothingface synopsis is courtesy of the Dirt Productions website:
 
THE DEAD HAVE RISEN:
Edward and his girlfriend, Kate, visit his grandfather in the hospital where he is being treated for emphysema. But when they return the next day, something is very wrong: the hospital is in ruins and the dead are overtaking and devouring the living! Edward and Kate must fight their way through the hospital and escape before the flesh-eating dead find them. But when Kate is bitten, Edward must contemplate doing the unthinkable...


NOTHINGFACE:
Follow Jobe as he travels on an hallucinatory trip through the hellish nightmares of the world that surrounds him. After a routine visit to the dentist, Jobe befriends a toy robot who attempts to warn him of the dangers ahead. It's only a matter of time before Jobe finds himself in a maze of the obscure and a labyrinth of torture and skin-crawling nightmares as he is committed to a hellish insane asylum, only to come face to face with the head doctor himself, and then Jobe realizes out why he is really there! Poor Jobe!

Let me start off by saying both of these films are very well done for being low-budget productions. The cinematography in both is impressive, although the actual film quality in THE DEAD HAVE RISEN was lacking...I would guess that they used simple home video cameras to shoot it. But even so, both films are thrilling and entertaining, with great acting and special effects.

THE DEAD HAVE RISEN is a pretty familiar zombie story, but it's not one that you should ignore. I am very impressed with how the production team made the hospital look chaotic during the zombie takeover. That was no small feat. They did a great job with the details and it shows onscreen. I also like the great use of gore. For being low-budget, the team definitely used their money wisely.

One particular aspect that I enjoyed was the number of extras they used as zombies. When the zombie horde is beating on the outside glass of the hospital, it literally looks like there are hundreds of the living dead trying to get in! Very nice. That adds more realism to a film than most people give it credit for.

My only negative about THE DEAD HAVE RISEN is the film quality. In some shots, the picture is so grainy that it almost looks digitized. But luckily, there are only a few of those shots so it's almost not noticeable.

THE DEAD HAVE RISEN is my favorite of the two, but I do have to give serious props to NOTHINGFACE. It is a unique piece of film that you literally have to see to appreciate.

NOTHINGFACE looks like something David Lynch would daydream about. It is bizarre and surreal, almost to the point of being hallucinatory. But it totally works for the story and really helps to immerse the audience in to Jobe's plight. I do have to admit, though, that the ending is slightly confusing...I had to sit and think about it for a couple of minutes before I got it. Still, NOTHINGFACE is definitely worth checking out as well, if anything to see how background, setting, and extras can completely make a movie set look real.

Both THE DEAD HAVE RISEN and NOTHINGFACE are worthy to purchase and I will definitely have to get my hands on a copy of them. I hope the team at Dirt Productions can keep their momentum going and continue to produce good quality film like these two. It would not surprise me to see a feature-length production from them in the near future as well. Check them out...I'm sure we'll be seeing more of them soon.


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for THE DEAD HAVE RISEN
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for NOTHINGFACE
CLICK HERE to purchase THE DEAD HAVE RISEN on DVD
CLICK HERE to purchase NOTHINGFACE on DVD

CLICK HERE to visite the official website of Dirt Productions

Saturday, March 12, 2011

IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!! Enter to win a set of ZOMBIES FOR ZOMBIES books by David P. Murphy

Last month I reviewed a great set of books by David P. Murphy, ZOMBIES FOR ZOMBIES and ZOMBIES FOR ZOMBIES: THE PLAY AND WERK BUK  (see review HERE).  Well, it's your lucky day, because you now have the chance to win these great books!  In fact, 2 of my blog followers will each win a set of these great books.  This is an awesome giveaway, if I do say so myself....but wait, there's more!  These aren't just any books that you could just buy at a store.....these books have been personally signed by author David P. Murphy!  How cool is that!!  Follow these instructions on how to enter.



TO ENTER THE CONTEST, PLEASE FOLLOW THESE EASY STEPS:


1. If you are not already, become a FOLLOWER of this blog! (Click the FOLLOW button under the "Followers" section of the blog on the right hand side).

2. Leave a comment on this post with your NAME and EMAIL ADDRESS so I can contact you for your shipping info if you are the winner (if valid email address is not given, I will post the winners name on the site and winner will have one week to contact me with their shipping info. If prize is not claimed within one week, prize will be forfeited).

 3. Only one comment per person. Multiple comments will result in removal of all your comments therefore removing your chances of winning!

4. Contest is scheduled to end on Wednesday, March 30, 2011. Comments must be left by NOON Central time on 3/30/11 in order to count towards the contest.


5. Contest winner will be chosen by random.org and must agree to let me post their name in a separate post stating who won the prize.

6. Due to shipping costs, contest is open to U.S. Residents only. Thank you for your understanding.

 GOOD LUCK!!
 
Let's give a special Thank You to the great folks at SOURCEBOOKS, INC. for making this awesome giveaway possible!  Visit them today:
 
WWW.SOURCEBOOKS.COM

Friday, March 11, 2011

DVD Review: ALIEN FROM THE DEEP (1989)

---------Review by contributing writer Scott Baker---------
 
Directed by Antonio Margheriti
Distributed by CAV Distribution Corp.

I have to start this review by describing how disappointed I am with this film. I had very high expectations going in, but after watching about an hour of the movie, I was ready to turn it off. I pressed on however, but was even more disappointed by the time the credits rolled.


If you’ve never heard of ALIEN FROM THE DEEP, it is a 1989 Italian ‘horror’ film. Here is the synopsis courtesy of the DVD case cover:

Somewhere deep in the jungle a chemical corporation dumps tons of toxic waste in a still active volcano. Two environmentalists try to expose these illegal ways of getting rid of hugely dangerous waste, but they get caught by the vigilantes working for the company. One of them, the super-hot Maria Giulia Cavalli, manages to escape and she is saved by a snake farmer who lives alone in the jungle. Together they try to bring down the company, but it’s too late. Years of chemical poisoning have spawned a deadly monster that is set out to exact revenge on humans that have unknowingly brought him to life. Directed by legendary Antonio Margheriti, the unholy master of Italian B movies, Alien from the Deep is one of the most beloved Italian rip-offs. A wildly entertaining ride, the movie is an inventive crossover where lots of different genres and styles are mixed. Loads of gore and action, plenty of bloody shoot-outs, a hugely entertaining monster (the infamous “Big Claw”), and some very titillating moments courtesy of the stunning Mrs. Cavalli. What more can you ask for?

What more can I ask for? Well…how about a good movie for starters.

ALIEN FROM THE DEEP has a decent premise to start off with, but the execution is horrendous and the writing is beyond terrible. I cringed several times during the film, not because of what I was seeing on-screen, but because of the horrible dialogue between the characters. At times, I felt like I was listening to something a four year-old child had written.

The acting is mediocre (and that’s being polite), with non-memorable characters and some hokey acting. Actress Maria Giulia Cavalli’s character comes across as a dim-witted, non-feminist throwback to the 50s, rather than the strong-willed eco-conscious activist that she is supposed to be portraying. The only faintly shining light is Charles Napier’s performance as the evil head of the EChem security forces. He is at least believable as a hard-assed jerk.

The special effects in ALIEN FROM THE DEEP, while decent for the time period, are nothing to write home about. The creature design is interesting but not really practical or functional, so I found myself dwelling more on how or why the creature would look like that instead of what it was actually doing on the screen. And as for the ‘loads of gore’ and ‘bloody shoot-outs’ promised on the cover, that’s not quite accurate. I think there are two semi-gory scenes in the whole film and the shoot-outs are nothing more than bang-bang-argh-I-got-shot type of action. Yawn.

Probably my biggest complaint about the film is how the first 60 minutes is spent on nothing really related to the creature or horror in any form…it’s just build-up. Since the film is only 90 minutes long, you can see where this is a big let-down. And again, the DVD cover is inaccurate on its description of the plot: from what little we hear about the creation of the creature in the movie’s dialogue, it is NOT something man-made…it is something that came out of a fireball that fell in the lake. That’s all we get.

While ALIEN FROM THE DEEP is not the worst film I’ve seen in 2011, this is still one that I wish I could un-watch. I do understand that this is a B-movie, but even those have to have standards. I would avoid this one unless Jonah Hex is all checked out…and even then, I’d be hard-pressed to have to decide between the two.


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


Thursday, March 10, 2011

DVD Review: TRUTH OR DARE: A CRITICAL MADNESS (1986)

Directed by:  Tim Ritter
Distributed by:  MVD Entertainment

Have you ever seen one of those movies that is so bad, it's good?  TRUTH OR DARE is a perfect example of that kind of film.  It is bad in almost every way, yet I still found myself really enjoying it.  Here is the basic plot of the film from the MVD website:

When an already unbalanced Mike Strauber catches his wife Sharon in bed with his best friend, the result is a rapid decent into insanity. Mike's revenge is masked in the form of the seemingly innocent child's game "Truth or Dare", but playing his demented and twisted version results in a bloodbath the likes that has never been seen before... with a trail of victims leading right back to his wife! This all time horror classic from 1986 includes a special performance from a young AJ McLean of The Backstreet Boys.

As stated before, this movie is pretty bad. The acting is pretty horrible by most every actor involved in this film, but especially by the main character, Mike, played by John Brace.  Mr. Brace's reaction shots (or I should say, over-reaction shots) are way overdone to the point of being comical.  Also, it is hard to take anyone seriously in this film, as being from 1986, it hasn't aged well in terms of the look of the people.  Big hair, bad suits, and huge eyeglasses are aplenty in this film, and it really takes away from the suspense of the film when you can't stop looking and laughing about some guys glasses.  Seriously, why did they make glasses so big in the '80's?  Anyway, back to the film. 

Don't get me wrong, there are some good things about this film.  Most notable are the great effects on display in this film.  There is some pretty good gore and most of it is really well done.  You won't want to miss the grenade-in-mouth exploding head scene!   Along with the good effects, there is some good camera work and some cool camera shots and angles on display, as well as some creepy images, such as when Mike wields the chainsaw and heads towards the house.

While the film does have a very '80s feel to it, that almost has a nostalgic feel to it while watching the movie.  It reminds you of the days of sneaking off to watch bad Horror movies on VHS.  I have to admit that this film is a new guilty pleasure of mine.  I know I should dislike this film, but I just can't.  Considering the director was only 19 at the time this film was released, and with a very obvious low budget, you have to appreciate what he has done with what he had.  This is one you will want to give a look to for sure.
Be sure to check out the trailer below...is it just me, or does the first 20 seconds of this trailer look like a bad Mentos commercial!

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

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Happy Ash Wednesday......

Ash, from the EVIL DEAD films, is the greatest American Horror film character/icon of all time.....discuss.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Check out the trailer for the great looking space horror film, APOLLO 18!


I just read about this new film called APOLLO 18 and from the looks of the trailer, I will definitely be checking this one out in the theater.  The film is supposedly some "found footage" from NASA's 18th mission to the moon, although only 17 are recorded by NASA.  Apparently something went wrong during this 18th mission and it was quickly covered up by the U.S. Government.  This film now lets you see what happened through the eyes and cameras of the actual astronauts on this doomed mission.  With the recent success of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movies, the "found footage" sub-genre of Horror film is in full swing.  At least with this one they are doing something a little different with it by combining it into a Horror/Sci-fi film!
Check out the trailer and let me know what you think! While the poster gives the release date of 3/4/11,  APOLLO 18 is now officially scheduled to hit theaters on 4/22/11

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

Monday, March 7, 2011

This week's Horror related DVD releases: Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Here are the Horror related DVD's coming out tomorrow, 3/8/11:
(Click a title to see a trailer for that film)

PELT
*  SEX AND BLACK MAGIC
SON OF TERROR
THE WALKING DEAD:  SEASON ONE (TV)  [DVD & Blu-ray)
THE ZOMBIE FARM

Some good DVD's coming out this week, but the must have this week is definitely the DVD and Blu-ray release of AMC's THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON ONE.  For those that missed this superb show, now is your chance to get the entire first season on DVD.  This is one every Horror fan should add to their collection!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

DVD Review: THERE'S NOTHING OUT THERE (1992)

Written and Directed by:  Rolfe Kanefsky
Distributed by:  Troma Entertainment

I have a feeling most Horror movie fans have never heard of this film. I sure hadn't until I watched it recently, and while I can see why it might not be a very well known film, I think it should be. Here is the basic plot from the Troma website:

Three hot-to-trot couples and one goofy loner travel to an isolated country house for a weekend of debauchery, but soon realize they are not alone in the woods. One of them has seen this scenario before in dozens of horror movies, and he knows what it will take to defend themselves from an alien creature determined to eat the boys and mate with all the girls!

This is a unique film in that is the first that I know of to have a character that discusses Horror films throughout the film and warns his friends about doing things that he has seen people do in Horror films before.  In fact, this is the movie that many say inspired Kevin Williamson's screenplay for the film SCREAM several years later.  The character's name is Mike, and he warns everyone not to do the things most kids in Horror films do, including going skinny dipping and fooling around, or they are sure to die just like all those characters that he has seen in all the Horror films he watches. This was a neat idea and probably very unique at the time it came out.

The film itself is not great overall by today's standards, the film is campy with cheesy effects and some horrible acting.  While the film is from the 90's, it looks like it is more from the early 80's if you were to judge by the actors hair and clothing and by the film quality itself. The DVD looks like a direct transfer straight from a well worn VHS copy of the film. But if you are like me, sometimes all that can make a movie even more fun.  I even like the grainy, VHS feel of the movie.  It has a nostalgic feel to it. Take it for what it is and enjoy the absurdity of it all and I think you will come away really liking this film.   The film has some great camera work, especially the first person perspective shots meant to be what the alien/creature thing was seeing.  I always enjoy those kinds of shots and always appreciate more creative shots like that than just your routine camera angles.

There is also some fun gore effects on display, my favorite being a decapitation by glass door scene!  It was  a cheap effect, but it was done well.   The alien/creature itself was fun to see, and was another obvious cheap effect, and I would have liked to have seen it have more camera time, but I'm sure that had to do with budgetary restrictions, as this is an obvious low budget film for sure.

I recommend this DVD for all Horror fans. As with all their DVD's, Troma goes all out on this 20th Anniversary Edition DVD and have included tons of extras for you, including:

* New introduction by Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma Entertainment
* New film deconstruction and secrets of success with writer/director Folfe Kanefsky
* New audio commentary with Mr. Kanefsky
* Rolfe Kanefsky's short film MOOD BOOBS starring Tiffany Shepis
* Behind the scenes featurette
* Original Cast auditions
* Pre-production footage and video storyboards
* Animation test footage and deleted scenes
* Production stills
* Original theatrical trailer and much more!


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to buy the DVD
CLICK HERE to visit the official website of the film




CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Troma Films

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Blu-Ray review: THE WALKING DEAD -THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (TV, 2010)

THE WALKING DEAD
Created by Frank Darabont

For those that don't know, THE WALKING DEAD is a direct adaptation of the ongoing comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman.   I was never a reader of this comic, but knew about it, and was super excited to hear that it was being made into a TV show.  There haven't been many zombie themed TV shows, and being a huge fan of zombies, I couldn't wait once I heard this show was being made. It seems like we had to wait a long time from the first announcement of the show until the actual night of the series debut, but when the show finally debuted last Halloween night, we all knew that the wait was well worth it and we were treated to one of the best hours on TV that I can ever remember.  The show turned out to be extremely popular and immediately became the most watched drama series in cable's history among Adults 18-49 with 3.5 million viewers!  If you haven't seen this show yet, check out the awesome DVD and Blu-ray of the first season which is being released this Tuesday, March 8th by Anchor Bay Entertainment.  You will see what Entertainment Weekly described as "The Best New Show on TV", and that says a lot, coming from a magazine that has never been too big on the horror genre.  Before I go any further, let me give you the show's basic plot synopsis from the Anchor Bay website:

After waking from a coma in an abandoned hospital, police officer Rick Grimes finds the world he knew gone - ravaged by a zombie epidemic of apocalyptic proportions. Nearby, on the outskirts of Atlanta, a small encampment struggles to survive as 'the dead' stalk them at every turn. Can Rick and the others hold onto their humanity as they fight to live in this terrifying new world? And, amidst dire conditions and personal rivalries, will they ultimately survive one another?

The series was created by Frank Darabont, the director of such great drama films such as THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and THE GREEN MILE.  So right from the start you know you are getting a quality product.   Each episode is much bigger than a regular TV show....the production value makes each episode feel like an hour long film rather than a TV episode. 
The show grabs a hold of you the first first episode and never lets go.  I was hooked right from the start.  The scene of Sheriff Grimes walking through the abandoned hospital and coming across a gory, half composed yet still alive body, I knew we were in for a huge treat. Episode 1 hooks you in and introduces you to the main, base characters, yet new characters pop up all throughout the season which keeps things fresh and opens the door for many new future story lines.
 
One of my favorite scenes occurs early in the series, in episode 2.  Rick and Glen need to get to another building, but a horde of zombies blocks their way. They figure out that if they act (and smell) like one of the dead, or undead, then the zombies won't be attracted to them.  They find a zombie, attack him, and begin hacking him up with an axe.  Rick and Glen then put on rubber gloves and rain jackets, and cover their jackets in the corpse's putrid blood and guts.  The pair is then able to walk through the crowd of zombies unnoticed, yet when everything seems to be going fine, it starts to rain, washing off the blood and guts and leaving Rick and Glen in a vulnerable situation.
 
Along with the obvious horror aspect, every episode is also packed full of action and drama.  One moment I found to be very moving, yet disturbing, is when a man and his son are barricaded in their home.  The wife/mother has been turned and keeps coming back to the house, out of instinct or just out of habit.  The scene where the father has to decide what to do with the woman is very touching, as he has such deep love for her still, he battles within himself, knowing he should pull the trigger and put her out of this lifetime sentence of walking the earth in an undead state.  But then having to actually pull the trigger on someone you love is not that easy, obviously. 
 
The acting in this show is excellent, but the main thing that I love about this show is the zombie makeup and effects.  These are some of the best zombies you will see, better than most zombie movies.  What is also great about this show is even those that aren't big fans of zombies and horror in general will like this show.  My wife does not like blood and gore, or much horror at all, but she got hooked just as bad as I did with this show.  The show is much more than horror. It is a horror based drama, with great character development and some character story lines that don't revolve directly around the zombies.  There is something in this show for everyone to enjoy. 
 
The DVD and Blu-ray being released this coming Tuesday, March 8th by Anchor Bay.  This is one show you will definitely want to add to your DVD collection.

DVD and Blu-ray extras include:

* Making of THE WALKING DEAD Featurette
* Indside THE WAKING DEAD: Epidodes 1-6 Featurette
* A Sneak Peak With Robert Kirkman
* Behind the Scenes Zombie Make-up Tips
* Convention Panel with Producers
* THE WALKING DEAD Trailer
* Extra Footage including deleted scenes and On Set Footage with Robert Kirkman and starts Andrew Lincoln and Steven Yeun

CLICK HERE to watch a trailer for the show
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray
CLICK HERE to visit the show's official AMC website


CLICK HERE to visit the official website of Anchor Bay Entertainment