Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“The Master Cleanse” (BIFAN 2016): Retreat Goers Let Out the Monsters Inside Them

Often the things that frighten us most are creations of our own making, yet when given the opportunity to rid ourselves of these fears and frustrations, many of us are reluctant to eliminate the negativity, as evidenced in writer/director Bobby Miller’s The Master Cleanse (Canada/USA, 2016). Combining elements of body horror, new-age-philosophy satire, and wry […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Blood of the Tribades” (GenreBlast 2016): A Retro-style Homage to Early 1970’s Gothic Horror and Exploitation Undermined by an Inconsistent Tone

Early 1970’s exploitation is alive and well in Blood of the Tribades (GenreBlast 2016), which was shown at the inaugural GenreBlast Film Festival in Culpeper, Virginia the weekend of 2016 August 19-21. Co-writers/co-directors Sophia Cacciola and Michael J. Epstein have put together a low-budget horror piece that feels as if it could be a “lost […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Bloodsucker’s Handbook” (GenreBlast 2016): A Quirky Surreal – Film Noir Mashup for Fans of the Weird

“What the heck did I just watch?” Sometimes one finds oneself asking that after viewing a film – and that is not necessarily a bad thing. When a filmmaker is shooting for the surreal, this is often the desired response. Such is the case with Bloodsucker’s Handbook (GenreBlast 2016), which showed at the inaugural GenreBlast […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Creature Designers – The Frankenstein Complex” (Fantasia 2016): Creepy Crawly Creature Creators

Full disclosure: practical creature effects  are geek  porn for me. As far back as I can remember, practical creatures represented true magic. This probably started with Disney and Universal Theme Park attraction animatronics, but really translated into creature heavy movies and their making of specials. I remember watching the VHS of the behind the scenes […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Dry Blood” (GenreBlast Film Festival 2016): A Brutal, Bloody Nightmare, Destined To Be A Future Festival Favorite

One of the great things about film festivals is the opportunity to discover a new film that catches you completely by surprise. Dry Blood from Kelton Jones and Clint Carney is just that film. The film is a disturbing nightmarish exploration into addiction, paranoia and horror. The cast, direction and script, along with top notch […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Dinner with the Alchemist” (GenreBlast 2016): A Rich and Enjoyable Tale of Murder and Mystery in Old New Orleans

New Orleans has an interesting history with innumerable stories to tell, both true tales and local legends. Dinner with the Alchemist (GenreBlast 2016), which was shown at the inaugural GenreBlast Film Festival in Culpeper, Virginia, combines many of these legends and true accounts to present an entertaining tale of murder and mystery in New Orleans […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews Theatrical Reviews

“Don’t Breathe” (BIFAN 2016): Home Robbery Goes Haywire in Pulse-Pounding Thriller

American horror thriller Don’t Breathe is a fast-paced, nerve-wracking ride filled with suspense. I hadn’t felt as tense watching a film on the big screen in too long a time as I did seeing this one. The basic plot from director/cowriter Fede Alvarez and cowriter Rodo Sayagues (both of whom performed the same duties on […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Antibirth” (Fantasia 2016): And Baby Makes… Something Alright

Body horror is a fickle horror sub genre to pull off. In a post-David Cronenberg horror world where the master is too busy doing boring period dramas and nihilist parables, others have tried to irk their way into his waiting throne to limited results. The latest comes from writer/director Danny Perez, coming with a more […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Shelley” (Fantasia 2016): A Little Too Deliberately Paced for its Own Good

Pregnancy can be a scary time for the mother-to-be. Her body goes through an extreme physical transformation, and hormonal fluctuations can bring about emotional and psychological changes as well. This is probably why Pregnancy Horror is such a well-mined subgenre. Shelley, currently showing as part of the 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada, […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Demon” (BIFAN 2016): Eldritch Tone and Captivating Performances Inhabit Wholly Unique Possession Tale

Polish-Israeli chiller Demon  (2015) is a refreshing take on the possession subgenre and one of the most remarkable pieces of cinema I have had the pleasure of watching this year. If, like me, you find possession films to usually be either underwhelming or more of the same-old, same-old, I highly recommend that you make an […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Bed of the Dead” (Fantasia 2016): The Best Killer Bed Movie of 2016

The “Killer Bed” horror sub-genre is pretty limited. To be honest, one would be hard pressed to create a Wikipedia page titled “List of Killer Bed Movies” that includes anything more than Death Bed: The Bed that Eats (1977) and possibly Johnny Depp’s best scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). That is, until […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“The Eyes of My Mother” (Fantasia 2016): A Quiet, Disturbing, and Brutal Portrait of Loneliness

In horror, it is often stated that what is implied is more frightening than what can be seen explicitly. Writer/director Nicolas Pesce embraces this philosophy in his directorial debut The Eyes of My Mother which is playing as part of the 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada. Pesce presents the tale of a […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Psychonauts the Forgotten Children” (Fantasia 2016): Adult Animation In Its Truest Form

Adult animation isn’t often that adult. Sure, we’ve had animated subjects that often take on darker themes. But it’s usually for a more satiric comedic subversion of usual expectations. People laugh at the kids from  South Park  because they’re doing things children would never do, for example.  Oddly, the most complex material today animation wise […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“Red Christmas” (Fantasia 2016): There’s No Place Like Home For The Holidays

Christmas with extended family is always fun, right? Always full of joy and merriment? The answer is of course no. The holidays are full of bitter tension between families, given that the conflicting personalities that are all tightly compacted under one roof.  Red Christmas  directly confronts this holiday tradition with a horror edge, as the […]

Film Festivals Gruesome Reviews

“The Phoenix Incident” (BIFAN 2016): By-the-Numbers Story and One-Dimensional Characters Hamper Found-Footage Science Fiction Effort

Video game  director Keith Arem makes his feature film writing and directing debut with the faux documentary/found footage science fiction film The Phoenix Incident; unfortunately, the film doesn’t offer much more than playing a video game for the same amount of time. Though the final act boasts lots of chase scenes and action, the characters […]