“The Wake” (2017): Not Quite Ready to be Memorialized

While at first glance it may seem a bit derivative of films like I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Wake (written and directed by, as well as starring, Bryan Brewer), just barely manages to set itself apart from them with an ending that takes a sharp 90 degree turn away from everything that comes before.   The Wake tells the story of five friends who attend — wait for it — the wake […]

“Gremlin” (2017): Flawed But Effective, A Fun Creature Feature

While the title may conjure forth images of adorable little fuzzy critters with Yoda-like ears that should never get wet, be fed after midnight and kept out of the sunlight, Ryan Bellgardt’s  Gremlin is anything but a (mostly) family-friendly film and, regrettably, Phoebe Cates is nowhere in sight.  What Bellgardt DOES deliver is a story that shares a bit of DNA with films like Ringu/The Ring, Drag Me to Hell and It Follows. Gremlin tells […]

“Strip Club Massacre” (2017): Take a Pass on This Lap Dance

Like taking peanut butter and chocolate and putting them together to make a tasty treat, taking a strip club and adding in a massacre should result in a winning combination for most horror fans.  Sadly, however, Bob Clark’s Strip Club Massacre comes out tasting more like someone used just butter with the chocolate, forgetting about the peanut part of the equation. Our story follows Megan (Alicia Watson) – a young, attractive female – who in […]

“If Looks Could Kill” (2016): All Flash, No Substance

As If Looks Could Kill begins Faith (Stefanie Estes) has graduated from the police academy with flying colors and has returned home to join the police force.  Her childhood best friend, Paul (Tomek Kosalka), is a detective in town and vouches for her to his captain and it’s official – she’s an officer!  But the celebration is short-lived when a ruckus occurs at a bar that evening and Paul’s attention (and affection) is focused on […]

Interview: Amber Dawn Fox (The Walking Dead)

We at Gruesome Magazine recently had a chance to sit down and talk with Amber Dawn Fox who, so far, is best known for her role as Officer Bello on a couple of episodes of The Walking Dead during season 5. Not content with fading into obscurity and being the answer to a difficult Walking Dead trivia question years down the road, Amber is one busy woman. With nearly half a dozen projects in postproduction, […]

“Slasher.com” (2017): Grabs the Viewer Right from the Start

The first few minutes of Slasher.com lay out the course of the movie while the opening credits roll. Someone is killing women they meet online and a very determined detective, with a keen sense of IP addresses and VPN software, has squads of police officers busting down doors across the city in search of the killer. Not since Billy Mack, the detective down in Texas, from The Steve Miller Band’s “Take the Money and Run,” […]

“Killer Pinata” (2016): A Fun Movie That Gets an “A” for Effort

The best thing about the world of horror is the multitude of sub-genres that exist within it. You’ve got slashers, zombies, ghosts, demons, vampires, werewolves… the list goes on and on. And now, thanks to director Stephen Tramontana, the woefully underpopulated murderous piñata sub-genre has another entry with Killer Piñata. Now, it’s a safe bet that if you’ve read past the headline of this review, you’ve got some bit of curiosity about this film which […]

“Parasites” (2017): The Streets of L.A. are Paved with Good Intentions and Metaphors

Going by the title alone, one might think writer/director Chad Ferrin’s Parasites was going to be a movie about a contagion or something involving actual parasites that possibly eat their hosts from within. Y’know, something suspenseful and gory. Instead, what we’ve got here are metaphorical parasites, not a lot of suspense and some gore. Parasites tells the story of Marshal Colter (Sean Samuels), a freshman quarterback for the USC Trojans, and his two friends who […]

“Easter Sunday” (2014): A Flawed But Admirable Homage to Eighties Slasher Films

When mixing horror with comedy there is a fine line that separates the two that needs to be straddled. Without a solid plan of which way the film should lean, there is a risk of tilting too far to either side and upsetting the balance which inevitably results in a mess of a film. Is it supposed to be a horror-comedy or a comedy-horror? Are we talking Fright Night or Evil Dead 2 or should […]

“Never Open the Door” (2014): Why is Good Advice Never Taken in Horror Movies

At a somewhat secluded cabin in the woods, six friends all sit down to dinner. Two couples, Luke (Mike Wood, Bloody Bloody Bible Camp) and Maria (Deborah Venegas, The Haunting of Alice D), Angel (Kristina Page, The Haunting of Alice D) and Isaac (Matt Aidan, Bloody Bloody Bible Camp), and two other friends – Tess (Jessica Sonneborn, The Haunting of Alice D) and Terrance (George Troester, who is known more for effects work on movies […]

“Blessed are the Children” (2016): Unabashedly Flaunts Slasher Film Cliches and Tropes

Yoga pants. Anybody can buy a pair and slip ‘em on, but that doesn’t mean they should. The same holds true for movies. Putting together a film in this day and age is relatively simple. The price of decent equipment is affordable to almost everybody, editing software can be had for free or next to nothing and we’ve all got a couple of friends, or know a couple of people, who can act on an […]

“Face of Evil” (2016): Not Just Another Zombie Film

When trying to describe a new film or TV show to a friend, it is often easiest to say it is a combination of two or more similar well known properties: “Jaws meets E.T.” or “The Terminator and Silverado mashed up with Rocky”. While this descriptive shorthand comes in handy, ultimately, it can set expectations – be they high or low. This can lead to a skewed reception of the film itself. When I was […]