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, September 29, 2016

Blu-ray Review: TALES OF HALLOWEEN (2015)


http://talesofhalloweenmovie.com/TALES OF HALLOWEEN
Directed by  Multiple Directors
Distributed by Epic Pictures

  I am a huge fan of anthology movies.  I think it's probably because I have a pretty short attention span, so multiple short stories is much easier for me to sit and watch than one story for 2 hours.   Plus, with shorts there is not much filler, or slow times.  Everything is fit into a short time frame so it's pretty much entertaining the entire running time, as long as it's a good story of course.   There are quite a few horror anthologies, some much better than others.  I honestly had no idea what to expect from TALES OF HALLOWEEN, but after watching it I can easily say it is among the top tier of horror anthologies.   Here is the plot synopsis from the film's official website:

  Named “the best horror anthology since Trick 'r Treat” by Fangoria and “among the best Halloween-themed horror movies ever made” by DailyDead, this critically acclaimed film weaves together ten chilling tales from horror's top directors. Ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and the devil delight in terrorizing unsuspecting residents of a suburban neighborhood on Halloween night. The all-star directorial lineup includes Neil Marshall (Game of Thrones, The Descent), Darren Lynn Bousman (SAW 2,3,4), Lucky McKee (The Woman, All Cheerleaders Must Die), and Mike Mendez (Gravedancers, Big Ass Spider!). Cameos by horror heavyweights such as Barry Bostwick (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), Lin Shaye (Insidious), John Savage (The Deer Hunter), Adrienne Barbeau (The Fog), John Landis (Director of Animal House), Joe Dante (Director of Gremlins), Barbara Crampton (Re-Animator, We Are Still Here), Booboo Stewart (Twilight), Keir Gilchrist (It Follows), Grace Phipps (Fright Night), Pat Healy (Cheap Thrills), Kristina Klebe (Rob Zombie's Halloween), Greg Grunberg (Heroes, Star Wars), Alex Essoe (Starry Eyes), Pollyanna McIntosh (The Woman), and more.

 This movie was so much fun, and I loved each story having been done by a different director.  It's a lot of fun to see all the different types of short stories and see all the different film styles.   This film consists of 10 shorts, which I will list and describe each a little here for you.

1. SWEET TOOTH  (Directed by Dave Parker) - The first film of the movie is a classic "urban legend" type story about a boy who's parents never let him eat his Halloween candy.  The boy killed his parents, and finally was able to eat all his candy.  The legend says that he still roams today, and you must leave part of your candy out for Sweet Tooth, otherwise you'll wind up dead!  This was one of my favorite of the short films.  It had some great gore, and what looked to be all practical effects.

2.  THE NIGHT BILLY RAISED HELL (Directed by Darren Lynn Bousman) -  This is a dark comedic tale about a boy who hangs out with the devil on Halloween, and is coerced into pulling off some crazy Halloween pranks, each one a little more worse than the previous. 

3.  TRICK  (Directed by Adam Gierasch)  -  This was a very creepy tale about a group of kids that attack the people of a house they are trick or treating at.    The man who went to the door to hand out the candy had no idea the cute little girl would end up stabbing him!  Eventually other kids join in and terrorize the people of the house.   Killer kids terrifies me, so this segment was very effective!

4.  THE WEAK AND THE WICKED  (Directed by Paul Solet)  - This was actually one of my least favorite of all the stories.   It centers around a group of bullies that have been terrorizing people since they were young kids.  This time though, they seem to have messed with the wrong person who has someone, or something on their side.

5.  GRIM GRINNING GHOST  (Directed by Axelle Carolyn) - This is a fun story about a lady driving home from a party after listening to ghost stories.  Her car breaks down and she has to walk home alone...or is she?  This is a very simple premise, but  is executed extremely well with some great, creepy imagery.

6.  DING DONG  (Directed by Lucky McKee)  - This is an interesting tale of a husband and wife who lost their son, and is now picking out the perfect replacement from the trick or treaters that come by.

7.  THIS MEANS WAR (Directed by Andrew Kasch & John Skipp)  - This was one of my favorite entries, as it deals with one of my favorite parts of the Halloween season which is the Halloween decorations.  This story is about new neighbors that come in and try to outdo the guy on the street that normally has the biggest and best decorations, ending up in a deadly battle!

8.  FRIDAY THE 31st (Directed by Mike Mendez)  -   This was a weird one, but one of my favorites!  It involves an awesome killer reminiscent of Jason Voorhees, but mixes in some humor and a little weird animated alien.  The results are a funny, but bloody, good time!

9.   THE RANSOM OF RUSTY REX  (Directed by Ryan Schifrin)  -  This is a great kidnapping tale.  The kidnappers think they are kidnapping the kid of a rich businessman, but it turns out, kidnapping this "kid" did the businessman a favor!

10.  BAD SEED  (Directed by Neil Marshall)  -  The final tale is an extremely fun tale about a demon jack-o-lantern.   Man eating jack-o-lanterns running through the streets eating people is a perfect way to end this awesome anthology!

  
  This is a must have for any horror fan in my opinion.  I hope this catches on and we get a new TALES OF HALLOWEEN every year or so, using the same format of multiple short films all made by different directors.  I also have to mention all the awesome cameos from some horror legends, such as:  Adrienne Barbeau, Caroline Williams, Tiffany Shepis, Barbara Crampton, Mick Garris, Stuart Gordon, Felissa Rose, John Landis, Kristina Klebe, Adam Green, and Joe Dante!

  TALES is available now on an awesome Blu-ray/DVD/CD combo pack and contains the following special features:

*  7 Bonus Short Films
*  Feature Commentary
*  Bonus Commentary Tracks on Certain Shorts
*  Deleted Scene (Grim Grinning Ghost)
*  Anatomy of a Scene  (Friday the 31st)
*  Fun Facts  (Pop-On Video Commentary for Selected Segments)
*  Photo Gallery  (Bad Seed)
*  Storyboards  (Ding Dong)
*  Diaries  (23 Videos of Behind-the-Scenes & Interviews)
*  Collectible Trading Cards
*  CD Soundtrack



CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD/BD/CD combo pack


http://epic-pictures.com/old/









Tuesday, September 27, 2016

This week's horror related DVD and Blu-ray releases, September 27th












Here are this week's horror related DVD/BD's that came out today, 9/27:

*  3:  ALL HALLOWS EVE  [DVD]
*  AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON  [BD]
*  BLOOD DINER  [BD]
*  CELL  [BD]
*  CHOPPING MALL  [BD]
*  COUNT DRACULA'S GREAT LOVE  [DVD/BD combo]
*  FRANCESCA  [BD]
*  HIGHLANDER 30TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION [DVD & BD]
*  KILLERSAURUS  [DVD]
*  THE LADY IN WHITE  [BD]
*  THE NEON DEMON  [DVD & BD]
*  THE SHALLOWS  [DVD & BD]
*  SLUGS  [Arrow BD]

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Check out the trailer for BOO! A MADEA HALLOWEEN


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5325452/  I have to admit, when I first saw this movie poster, I rolled my eyes.   "Are you kidding me?" I said.   You see, I am not a Madea fan by any means.  Now I will admit, I've never actually seen any of Tyler Perry's Madea movies, so maybe I can't rightly say I'm not a fan.  I just never have had any desire to see any of those movies.   BUT.....this one, this one might actually get me in a theater to watch a Madea movie.   It's Tyler Perry's latest film and it's called BOO!  A MADEA HALLOWEEN.    I decided to go ahead and watch the trailer, expecting to hate it, but I have to admit, it looks like it could be a lot of fun!     Check it out and see for yourself, and who knows, maybe I'd be a Madea fan if I just gave the regular Madea movies a chance!

BOO!  A MADEA HALLOWEEN will be released to theaters October 21st.


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Blu-ray Review: VIOLENT SHIT: THE MOVIE (2015)


http://www.reelgorereleasing.com/store/violent-shit-the-movie/VIOLENT SHIT:  THE MOVIE
Directed by 
Distributed by Reelgore Releasing / CAV Distribution

  I have always heard about the 1989 film called VIOLENT SHIT, but I had never had the chance to watch it.  I was very intrigued when I heard about this new remake.    Not only was I excited about the remake itself, but I was excited it was from a new film label called Reelgore Releasing.  If this first release is any indication, we are in store for some good things from Reelgore Releasing in the coming months!   Here is the basic plot of the film from the Reelgore Releasing website:

  Rome is shattered by a series of gruesome murders that paint the Eternal City deep red. Italian Police Inspector Aristide D’Amato and his German counterpart Hans Ebert initiate their criminal investigations. They stumble upon the eccentric Professor Vassago - a master of myths and mysteries - who is linked to Senator Vinci - a corrupt politician – mutually driven by power and perversions.
  The suspicion grows that these atrocious crimes are connected with the return of one of the most heinous serial killers of our time – Karl the Butcher!

 Now, I have to be honest, that plot sounds pretty simple...but when you are watching this film it can actually be sort of confusing at times.  There are also quite a few slow spots, heavy in dialog that seem to go on a bit too long.  But...after that, we are rewarded with some crazy violence and gore, which is what most people watching this film are looking for I would expect.  Some of the gore is excellent, with some scenes actually making me cringe.
 
  For me, the best part of this whole thing isn't the movie itself, but the packaging.  This is an amazing limited edition 3 disc set that contains a DVD of the film, a Blu-ray of the film, and a CD of the soundtrack.   You also get a nice booklet filled with info about the film and stills from the film.

  VIOLENT SHIT:  THE MOVIE is available now from Reelgore Releasing and CAV, and contains the followings special features:

*  MAKING OF THE MOVIE by Director LUIGI PASTORE
*  THE HISTORY OF VIOLENT SHIT – Interview with Producer STEVE AQUILINA
*  TRIBUTE TO LILLI CARATI – The Last Interview
*  INTERVIEWS with members of the cast – VINCENZO PEZZOPANE, MICHELA FORESTA, DANIELA CICCONE, ERIKA KAMESE
*  WORLD OF STARS - INTERVIEWS with members of the cast– GIOVANNI LOMBARDO RADICE, ANTONIO ZEQUILA - & Producer STEVE AQUILINA and Director LUIGI PASTORE
*  TRAILERS & SLIDESHOW


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray/DVD/CD combo pack


http://www.cavd.com/
 


http://www.reelgorereleasing.com/













Monday, September 19, 2016

This week's horror related DVD and Blu-ray releases, September 20th












Here are this week's horror related DVD/BD's that come out tomorrow, 9/20:

*  ALIENWEEN  [DVD]
*  BEWARE THE BLOB  [DVD & BD]
*  BLOOD TRAP
*  CAT PEOPLE  (1942)  [Criterion Collection DVD & BD]
*  DEAD-END DRIVE-IN  [Arrow BD]
*  MAI-CHAN'S DAILY LIFE  [DVD & BD]
*  THE RIFT   [DVD & BD]
*  SACRIFICE  [BD]

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Blu-ray Review: DEAD-END DRIVE-IN (1986)


http://mvdb2b.com/s/DeadEndDriveIn/AV064DEAD-END DRIVE-IN
Directed by 
Distributed by Arrow Films / MVD Entertainment Group

  I am loving these Arrow Video U.S. releases.  Arrow has been releasing some great films for years over in the U.K.,  and they are fairly new to the U.S. market, but man they are making a name for themselves very quickly here in the U.S.   They have released some great films from the past, lots of films that I have heard of, but have never had the opportunity to see.  DEAD-END DRIVE-IN is one of those films.  I have always heard of it, but had never seen it.   Now I have thanks to Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment!
 Here is a brief plot synopsis from the MVD website:

  THE PRICE OF ADMISSION IS THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. One of Quentin Tarantino's favourite directors, Brian Trenchard-Smith was a key figure in the Ozploitation movement, responsible for The Man from Hong Kong, Stunt Rock, Turkey Shoot, BMX Bandits... and dystopian cult classic Dead-End Drive In! Set in a near-future where the economy has crumbled and violent gangs play havoc in the streets, the powers-that-be have decided to lure the delinquent youth into drive-in cinemas and keep them there. No longer just a place to watch trashy movies and make out, these outdoor picture shows have become concentration camps for the unruly and unwanted. With its day-glo colour scheme, new wave soundtrack and extraordinary stunt work, Dead-End Drive-In is in the tradition of Ozploitation milestones Mad Max and The Cars That Ate Paris only very, very eighties.

  There is no denying this is an 80's film, it has the feel to it in every aspect.   It's like a cheesy, light-hearted version of MAD MAX.   It also reminded me of such films as 1990: THE BRONX WARRIORS and ESCAPE FROM THE BRONX, except set in a drive-in theater.   Now I will admit, it's a strange concept for sure, and it's never really explained what they are planning on doing with all these kids they trap at the Drive-In, but I guess that doesn't really matter here.   Mainly what we are here to watch are the cool action scenes, some of which are very cool and contain some amazing camera work. 

  As always, the picture quality on this release is excellent!  Also, just like with every Arrow release, we are treated to tons of special features including the following:

*  Brand new 2K restoration from original film materials
*  High Definition (1080p) Presentation
*  Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
*  Audio commentary by director Brian Trenchard-Smith
*  The Stuntmen, Trenchard Smith's classic television documentary on Grant Page (Mad Max, Road Games) and other Australian stunt performers
*  Hospitals Don't Burn Down, Trenchard-Smith's 1978 public information film told in pure Ozploitation fashion
*  Theatrical Trailer
*  Reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Chris Malbon


 DEAD-END DRIVE-IN will be available this Tuesday, 9/20,  from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment!

CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray


http://www.arrowfilms.co.uk/

http://mvdb2b.com/?site_id=mvdv&date=









Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blu-ray Review: CIRCUS OF FEAR (1966) / FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS (1967) Double Feature


http://www.blue-underground.com/product.php?product=269CIRCUS OF FEAR / FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS Double Feature
(a.k.a. PSYCHO CIRCUS)
Directed by  /
Distributed by  Blue Underground

  Blue Underground has recently released this awesome double feature featuring two films from the 1960's inspired by stories by author Edgar Wallace.   While it includes both CIRCUS OF FEAR and FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS, my review will mainly focus on CIRCUS OF FEAR., and I must start by saying that this is not a true horror film by any means.  It has a few horror elements in it, but this is definitely more of a mystery/thriller/crime film.  Here is the plot synopsis and some info about the films from the Blue Underground website:


CIRCUS OF FEAR: What begins as a daring daylight armored car heist on London's Tower Bridge leads to a sinister circus where a disfigured lion tamer (Christopher Lee) is one of several suspects in a three-ring nightmare of red herrings, grisly 'accidents' and cold-blooded murder. Klaus Kinski (VENOM), Suzy Kendall (BIRD WITH THE CRYSTAL PLUMAGE), Margaret Lee (FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS) and Leo Genn (THE BLOODY JUDGE) co-star in this gripping thriller directed by John Moxey (HORROR HOTEL, THE NIGHT STALKER) and based on a novel by legendary mystery writer Edgar Wallace.

Originally released in America as PSYCHO-CIRCUS in black & white and cut by more than 22 minutes, Blue Underground has now restored the film to its full running time. Presented in a stunning new 2K High Definition transfer from the original British color negative, this is CIRCUS OF FEAR as you've truly never seen it before!

FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS:
After arriving in Hong Kong, wealthy American playboy Bob Mitchell is the recipient of a strange note found on the body of a dead man. A clue to an illegal gold-trafficking operation, Mitchell is unwittingly thrust into a deadly power struggle between a secretive global crime syndicate and brutal local mobsters. Can he survive long enough to unmask the mysterious FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS?

An international all-star cast including Bob Cummings (DIAL M FOR MURDER), Margaret Lee (THE BLOODY JUDGE), Rupert Davies (WITCHFINDER GENERAL), Klaus Kinski (FITZCARRALDO), Maria Rohm (EUGENIE), Maria Perschy (THE GHOST GALLEON), Brian Donlevy (HANGMEN ALSO DIE), Dan Duryea (WINCHESTER '73), George Raft (SOME LIKE IT HOT) and Christopher Lee (COUNT DRACULA) star in this thrilling mystery from producer Harry Alan Towers (VENUS IN FURS) and director Jeremy Summers (VENGEANCE OF FU MANCHU). Based on a story by legendary author Edgar Wallace, FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS has been newly remastered in High Definition from the original uncut negative for its U.S. home video debut!


  So far I have only had a chance to watch CIRCUS OF FEAR, which is a very intriguing film and
not at all what I expected.   As I stated above, it's more of a murder mystery/crime drama  than a horror film, but that didn't keep me from enjoying this film by any means.   In fact, the opening scene involving an armored car robbery on a bridge was a very cool action sequence.   The people that pulled off the heist go to hide out at the circus which is where the majority of the film takes place. 

  The film is full of subplots and plot twists, although to be honest, most of them you can figure out beforehand.  Christopher Lee plays an awesome character, a disfigured knife thrower who wears a mask most of the film.  Lee is one of my all time favorite actors, any movie is greatly improved with the addition of him to the cast!

  The Blu-ray transfer on this disc is stunning.  The picture is crystal clear and just looks wonderful!  I highly suggest you check this out as soon as you can.   This Blu-ray double feature is available now from Blue Underground and contains the following special features:

*  Audio Commentary with Director John Moxey (Circus of Fear)
*  Theatrical Trailers (both)
*  Poster & Still Gallery (both)


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for CIRCUS OF FEAR
CLICK HERE to watch the trailer for FIVE GOLDEN DRAGONS
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray


http://www.blue-underground.com/
 
 


Monday, September 12, 2016

This week's horror related DVD and Blu-ray releases, September 13th













Here are this week's horror related DVD/BD's that come out tomorrow, 9/13:

*  Asian Ghost Story  [DVD]
*  Conjuring 2  [DVD & BD]
*  Dark Exorcism  [DVD]   
*  Deadly Intent  [DVD]                          
*  Evil Dead 2  [BD]
*  The Horrible Dr. Hichcock [DVD & BD]
*  Jekyll and Hyde Together Again [Blu-ray]
*  Mankillers  [DVD & BD]
*  The Monster of Piedras Blancas  [DVD & BD]
*  The Neon Dead  [DVD]
*  Not Another Zombie Movie  [DVD]
*  The Purging Hour  [DVD]
*  Sorority Slaughterhouse  [DVD]
*  Tenebrae [DVD & BD]
*  Video Killer  [DVD]

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Blu-ray Review: CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (1972)


https://www.vcientertainment.com/Film-Categories/Horror/CHILDREN-SHOULDNT-PLAY-WITH-DEAD-THINGS-Blu-Ray

















CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS
Directed by 
Distributed by VCI Entertainment

 Tonight's review is another great example of a film I've always heard about, but have never had the chance to see.   CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS  is a must have for any zombie film fan.  Here is the basic plot of the film courtesy of the VCI website:

 Led by a mean-spirited director, Alan (Alan Ormsby), a theater troupe travels by boat to a small island graveyard for buried criminals. Using a grimoire, Alan begins a séance to raise the dead. The group finds more than they bargained for when the dead return from their graves, forcing the troupe to take refuge in an old abandoned caretaker’s house. Can they stay put until daylight against the undead onslaught, or do they flee into the pitch black night? Will anyone survive?

  First off, let me be more accurate in my statement from above.  This film is  must have for any low-budget and campy zombie film fan.  I think TV shows like THE WALKING DEAD and big budget zombie films have us used to amazing looking zombies and effects.   You gotta remember this film is from the early 70's, so the zombie makeup/effects are a lot different from what we see nowadays.  I'm not saying they are bad by any means, but just different.    

  I have to admit the films starts off pretty slowly.  I checked the running time and it is listed as 87 minutes, but this film seemed quite a bit longer than that.  It's slow going in the beginning, but stick with it and you will be rewarded with a really fun zombie film.  Once the zombie action does start, it never lets up.  This film has some great camera angles and some very creepy scenes and imagery.   One of my favorite scenes is when it is pitch black outside, and the people locked in the house point a flashlight out the window to see the zombies.   The camera pan to the right and all you see is pitch blackness until a zombie comes into sight under the light of the flashlight.  This is very spooky and a very effective scene.  

  One more thing worth noting was the sound/music.  A lot of the film is set out in a graveyard and the background music and sound effects are very eerie.  If you could isolate that background music and sounds it would be the perfect haunted house music.   

  CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS is available now from VCI Entertainment.   The film looks great on this newly restored film transfer and includes the following amazing special features:

*  Liner Notes written by Mike Kenny, Mike’s Pop Culture Playhouse
*  Reversable Coverwrap with Optional Fan-Inspired 3rd Cover Art
*  Commentary Track with Alan Ormsby, Jane Daly and Anya Cronin: accompanies the HD feature
*  Bonus: Complete alternate “U.K.” version, with commentary by Alan Ormsby hosted by David      Gregory, Severin Films
*  Memories of Bob Clark: A tribute to the late Director.
*  Grindhouse Q&A
*  Confessions of a Grave Digger: Interview with Ken Goch
*  Photo Gallery
*  “Dead Girls Don’t Say No” Music video by The Deadthings
*  “Cemetery Mary” Music video by The Deadthings
*  Tribute Video
*  Original Theatrical Trailer
*  Radio Spots with Alan Ormsby


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the Blu-ray


https://www.vcientertainment.com/index.php?route=common/home












Tuesday, September 6, 2016

This week's horror related DVD and Blu-ray releases, September 6th












Here are this week's horror related DVD/BD's that came out today, 9/6:
 
*  All Girls Weekend  [DVD]
*  The Darkness  [DVD & BD]
*  The Dead Room  [DVD & BD]
*  Friday the 13th: The Series - The Complete Series  [DVD]          
*  Haunted Honeymoon  [DVD & BD]
*  Night of the Living Deb  [DVD & BD]
*  The Ones Below  [DVD & BD]
*  Ouija Summoning  [DVD]
*  Tales From the Darkside: The Complete Series   [DVD]   
*  Therapy for a Vampire  [DVD]            

        

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Horror box subscription review: BOX OF DREAD


 Most of you my have heard about or seen some of the different horror mystery box subscriptions that are available.  These are boxes you can purchase 1 time or sign up and get a "subscription" to meaning you get a new box every month!   You never know what these boxes are going to contain, so each month is an exciting time waiting on your next box and seeing what is inside!  

  I have never bought a horror box before, but the great folks at BOX OF DREAD have graciously sent me a box to open so I can let all my readers see what it is all about!    So, I got this box a few weeks ago, so this shouldn't be a spoiler for anyone that gets these already.   Here is what I got in my August Box of Dread:



*  The Book of Eibon #1 by Eibon Press Box of Dread Exclusive ($7.99)


*  Predator Plush Phunny by Kidrobot ($11.99)



*  Creepy Tees Posters ($4)



*  Murloc Keychain by Funko ($5.99)

*  Also included were a pack of Little Shop of Horror Trading Cards, a Jason Voorhees pin, and an Army of Darkness sticker!  (my guess at approx. value: $6)




Box of Dread boxes are $14 + $6 shipping, so only $20 for all this stuff, which totaled up equaled well over $30,  not to mention the limited edition comic book is already going for over $25 online!

As you can see, you definitely get your money's worth with the Box Of Dread!  This box did not disappoint in the least and I love the variety of the things you get!   I would definitely get another box from Box Of Dread in the future. 


CLICK HERE to order your own Box Of Dread!

You can also buy some of the  past boxes at http://store.boxofdread.com/ while supplies last!


Friday, September 2, 2016

Blu-ray Review: OBSERVANCE (2015)


http://www.artsploitationfilms.com/film/observance/OBSERVANCE
Directed by 
Distributed by Artsploitation Films / CAV Distribution

  I love coming across a movie to review that I know nothing about.   Such was the case with OBSERVANCE, an eerie psychological thriller from first time director Joseph Sims-Dennett.   I had not even heard of this film when it showed up in my mailbox for review.  I like going into films without expecting anything.   Before I get to whether I think it's a good movie or not, here's the basic plot from the Artsploitation website:

  Atmospherically creepy and visually unnerving, Australia’s Joseph Sims-Dennett’s startling feature film debut follows Parker, a young man in the grip of grief following the death of his young son, his marriage on the rocks and nearing bankruptcy, but who reluctantly returns to work as a private investigator. His assignment it to observe a woman from an abandoned apartment, and as her watches bizarre happenings surrounding her, he slowly becomes aware that the derelict building he is in has a dark presence which slowly threatens to consume him. A frightening horror tale of a man spiraling into madness and reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s THE TENANT, Hitchcock’s REAR WINDOW, and the works of David Cronenberg and David Lynch.  

  Ok...now that's a lot of fancy names to be throwing around there.  Davd Cronenberg, David Lynch, Polanski, and Hitchcock?   Ok, let's not get ahead of ourselves here.    I say that jokingly, as I know what they mean in terms of the film being similar to the works of those directors, I just wouldn't put this film up in the ranks of their work.    The film is good, don't get me wrong, but it wasn't great which is what I consider the works of those directors mentioned above. 

  I'm really on the fence with this one....it got critical acclaim from the film fests that it showed at, so lots of people really like it.   I thought it was just ok.   It had some great scenes for sure, my favorite being when Parker goes into the woman's home to plant the microphones and she comes home, trapping him in the house trying to find a way out without her seeing him.   This was a very tense part of the film and one I found most enjoyable.  

  The apartment he was watching the woman from is very creepy, and seems to start to affect him personally, from bodily wounds randomly showing up, to him puking a dark black bile like substance.   But, for all these great scenes, there are also some very slow lagging times in the film where it feels like not much is happening.   Also, I would have like to have known why he was hired to watch this woman to begin with....who is she and what is so special about her?  Maybe that's just supposed to be part of the mystery of this film.  

  In terms of technical aspects, the movie is shot very well with some beautiful scenes, and I also noticed the sound, which I tend not to notice in a lot of films.  The cinematographer and sound editors did a remarkable job for sure.

  As always, I urge you to check out the film and decide for yourself, some of you will really like this one I'm sure.  As for me, I might give it a watch again in the future to see if I get more enjoyment out of it the 2nd time.   

  OBSERVANCE is available now on DVD and Blu-ray and contains the following special features:

*  "A Preface to Observance"  (3-minute featurette)
*  Artsploitation Film Trailers


CLICK HERE to watch the trailer
CLICK HERE to purchase the DVD or Blu-ray


http://www.artsploitationfilms.com/

http://www.cavd.com/index.php