“The Answer” (2017): Neglects to Ask the Right Questions

The Answer is a Sci Fi film that was both written and directed by Iqbal Ahmed.  The story follows a young man Bridd Cole played by Austin Herbert whose normal life as a mail clerk gets turned upside down when he shows up at home to find his place a wreck, his boss dead and troopers with awesome looking blades garbed in black waiting for him.  Teamed with his love interest Charlotte Parker played by […]

“Dead Shack” (Fantasia 2017): Nothing Brings Together a Family Like Blood, Grue, & Zombies

Just because a family is dysfunctional does not mean that its members do not care for each other. In Dead Shack (Fantasia 2017), 14-year-old Jason (Matthew Nelson-Mahood) joins his friend Collin’s (Gabriel LaBelle) family for a vacation at an isolated cabin. On the plus side, Colln’s older sister Summer (Lizzie Boys) is along for the trip, though she does barely tolerate Jason. On the negative side, the adults — Collin and Summer’s father Roger (Donavon […]

Evil Ed

“Evil Ed” (1995): Goofy, Goopy Love Letter to 1980s Horror

One can tell when a horror film is made by fans of the genre; there is a certain love for the material that comes through. Of course, this is even easier to tell when the filmmakers fill their movie with homages to their favorites. Such is the case with Evil Ed (1995), a goofy and goopy low-budget Swedish horror comedy that wears its love for 1980s horror on its sleeve. A mild mannered film editor […]

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” (2017): Too Much Style Over Too Little Substance

Without a doubt, Luc Besson knows how to make a lavish, astonishing, cinematic big screen event films but continues to struggle to connect with the characters and hitting key emotional beats within the story being told. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets excels at being visually striking and exciting, rousing eye candy full of imagination, color, and spectacle; but, it too is weakened by failing to connect its lead characters, Valerian and Laureline, […]

“The Gracefield Incident” (2017): An Extraterrestrial Found Footage Cabin in the Woods

The debut feature from director Mathieu Ratthe, The Gracefield Incident, spins a thrilling genre mash-up between Cabin in the Woods and many alien invasion films all told within a found footage motif. Ratthe also produces the film and stars in its lead role of Matthew as with the talented Kimberly Laferriere as his co-star in the role of his wife Jessica. The story is straightforward following a small group of friends staying at a remote […]

“Karate Kill” (2017): Killing It Grindhouse Style

Karate Kill is awesome and bat-shit crazy! Writer/Director Kurando Mitsutake goes straight for the throat and does not let up for a single moment in this clear homage to the cinema sleaze of times long since passed. Blood and bullets along with kicks and tits fill almost every second of the very brisk 80 minute run time and we, as the viewer, are encouraged to go along for this wack job ride on the celluloid […]

“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 […]

“REM” (2017): A Woman Tries to Help a Stranger with a Terrible Gift in New Zealand Shocker Short

Gail Morris (writer/director April Phillips) is a security guard who discovers the chilling, but potentially world-changing, secrets of a mute homeless man in the New Zealand horror/science-fiction thriller REM. This offering packs a lot of drama and emotional weight in its running time of approximately 14 minutes. On her rounds one night, Morris discovers a vagrant man (Chris Ryan) in an abandoned building. He is surrounded by newspaper clippings and wall scrawlings about disasters. Although […]

“War For the Planet of the Apes” (2017): Damn Dirty Great From Chimpan-A to Chimpan-Z

Apes. Continue. Strong. Nearly 50 years after Charlton Heston cursed humanity on a beach, the Planet of the Apes franchise is still going strong. Those original five films managed to combine a maddening sci-fi twist with biting social commentary. They covered everything from race to religious idolatry to celebrity culture. Then after that Tim Burton trainwreck, Rise of the Planet of the Apes managed to surprise the hell out of everyone by giving us a sleek modern sheen and respect […]

“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 […]

“Peelers” (2016): More Satisfying the Second Time Around

I didn’t like Peelers. At least, I didn’t like it the first time I saw it. I didn’t like the story or the characters, the effects looked cheap and the acting was, to be kind, uninspired. But the ending shocked me; it thrilled and haunted me. It made me go back and watch Peelers a second time. The result was much, much more entertaining. As you can imagine from the title, Peelers is set in a strip […]

Pulse (Kairo) - Ghosts on the Internet

“Pulse” (“Kairo”) (2001): A Creepy Modern Classic of Terror, Isolation, & Dread

The impersonality of modern society can lead some people to feel absolutely alone even when they are in the midst of a crowd. Writer/director Kiyoshi Kurosawa infuses this idea into his super creepy and disturbing modern horror tale Pulse (Kairo) (2001). Visitors to a mysterious website find themselves haunted by shadowy figures and subsequently lose the will to live. Can a group of young people find out what is happening before they end up dead […]

“Truth or Dare” (2016): A Film For the Brave, In A Good Way

There comes a point where we all want to be entertained and are willing to watch someone else get hurt in the process in order to meet that end. Sure, we may say that it’s not real – after all, no one is certainly that stupid to try some of the stunts performed on the internet. For the ones that are that questionable to subject themselves to that type of abuse for the sake of […]

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017): Spectacular, Succeeds Where Recent Efforts Have Stumbled

Success! This is it, the film Spider-Man has always needed. Spider-Man: Homecoming fully realizes the full potential of the character steeped in Marvel mythology, quirky, and innocent. Marvel and Sony have joined forces to firmly establish Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man of the Spider-Man movies where Peter is as much the story as he is Spider-Man. This is Spider-Man in a world where he has his […]

“Toxic Tutu” (2017 – Mad Monster Party): An Enthusiastic Look at the Fandom for The Toxic Avenger and Mark Torgl

It’s an almost true story that started way back in 1984… You don’t have to be a fan of Troma Studio movies to be familiar with their franchise freak, The Toxic Avenger. What started as an R-Rated horror/comedy about a wimpy health club mop boy named Melvin Junko who gets thrown into a vat of toxic waste and is transformed into an oozing superhero was surprisingly embraced by the public, who not only supported several […]