The Disco Exorcist
Director: Richard Griffin
Writers: Ted Geoghegan (revisions), Tony Nunes (screenplay)
Stars: Michael Reed, Sarah Nicklin, Ruth Sullivan
Running Time 80 minutes
Anyone who says disco is dead, obviously hasn't seen this flick from the folks over at Wild Eye Releasing! The Disco Exorcist is helmed by Richard Griffin (Nun of That, Exhumed, Murder University), and follows Rex Romanski (Michael Reed) as he womanizes his way across the dance floor. That is until Porn star Amoreena Jones (Sarah Nicklin) saunters in to the club and his life... He drops his current conquest of the moment Rita (Ruth Sullivan) in less time than it takes to do the hustle! Leaving Rita scorned, and you know what they say Hell hath no fury.... What ensues is the stuff of 70s drive in Awesome-sauce!!!
If your looking for a stirring epic story that speaks to the human condition and inspires you on through the harsh realities of your everyday, well this is not that film. I would have thought people would know that going into this one with the title The Disco Exorcist, but from the IMDB rating obviously people misunderstood something along the way...
On the other hand if your looking for some good old fashioned drive in cult fun, complete with enough T&A to make a soldier blush, then you are in for an amazing ride! This movie is what it is, 70's style exploitation fun, no pretense, no shame, just great one liners, some great gory moments, and lots of sex, all set to a groovy disco beat! I honestly have no idea why anyone would rate this less than a five and personally I give it at least a 9, hell maybe a ten! The movie made my week, it was just F-U-N, fun with a capital F!
Richard Griffin caught the feel of the times beautifully in the filming style complete with grind-house film lines,splotches and even missing frames. The acting is actually pretty fantastic, yes its cheesy, yes its over the top and no its not Shakespearean, but that's okay because its not intended to be anything other than what it is! I grew up on films like this, and one of my childhood hero's was Herschel Gordon Lewis, who I believe would be a proud man looking at this as you can clearly see his influence on the generations since in The Disco Exorcist.
I can't close with out mentioning Bernie Munghat played by Babette Bombshell. Babette nails this role, adding an unexpected additional level of fun to the film, and although the part is fairly brief it is so very memorable! I have seen Babette in a few films now and must say hers is a name I will be watching for in the future she attaches herself to some super cool flicks that scream CULT to me!
I am proud to proclaim that this is a film that is in my collection already, and I will revisit countless times!! I see The Disco Exorcist becoming a go to film for me in those moments of looking for a fun comfort film, hell just writing this I am smiling thinking back on it. If you enjoy these types of films it is a MUST own!
DR. HORRIBLE'S SING-ALONG BLOG
Directed by Joss Whedon
Written by Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon,
Maurissa Tancharoen, Jed Whedon
Starring Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion
Felicia Day, and Simon Helberg
Running time 42 minutes
Some of you may be wondering what the hell I'm doing writing a review for this on a horror site... Welllllll I will tell you truth be told I just LOVE it and so I convinced myself that I could include it since its kinda super hero based which is comics and therefore would be accessible at Comic Cons nationwide and lets be honest here, if its at a Comic Con I can feel good about covering it for the site!! So now that we have that out of the way lets get on with things...
Dr. Horrible Sing Along Blog was originally aired as episodes each coming in at about 14 minutes, however eventually it was formatted into a single shot view much to the happiness of many (myself included). It is the coolest comic book style good vs evil musical you will find! With an amazing cast and showcasing the numerous talents of Neil Patrick Harris this is one that is sure to please ALL.
Dr Horrible (Neil) is an aspiring super villain who has his own blog chronicling his attempts at well evil doing lol, but arch nemesis and egotistical good doer Captain Hammer (Nathan Fillion, Firefly,& Slither) seems to always foil his plans. Going about his horrible business, The Doctor stumbles upon the lovely Penny (Felicia Day many may recognize her from her recurring role on Supernatural, in which she steals the show every time ~ quite a feat with that cast!) who steals the breathe from between his lips with her beauty, and charm. Turns out Penny also posses the heart of a saint, as she tries to raise the awareness for the plight and advocate for the local homeless. But everyone knows the good guy (at least in comics) always get the girl... Is Penny destined to spend her hours tucked in the safety of Captain Hammers Arms, or will Evil finally reign,with Dr Horrible riding off into the sunset hand and hand with his lady??
Ok so If your still reading this than either you are already a fan or this one sounds like something right up your alley, either way I say to you that you rank as having impeccable taste in my book! Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog is just brilliant fun from moment one to the all to soon bitter end! I like so many other fans are pining for the sequel so discussed for much too long now. There is nothing about this that isn't just awesome. Its a huge departure from our usual gore and horror based viewing but so worth it!! The performances are zany (did I just say zany?! WTH), the musical numbers uproarious, filled with slap stick comedy and too many perfect moments of hilarity to go into without giving away all the fun, this is one that you simply want to see, you've wanted to see all along you just didn't know it!
The bad news on this one is it has become less attainable, once offered on Netflix sadly it is no longer there (Boo Hisssss BOO!!) If you stumble across this one for sale somewhere definitely grab it, or purchase below, at only $5 bucks you can't go wrong! This one is one you want to own, you can watch this thing a million times and still laugh each time and always; sing, sing, sing, sing....
Crawl or Die
Directed by Oklahoma Ward
Written by Oklahoma Ward
Starring Nicole Alonso, Torey Byrne, and Tommy Ball
Running Time 86 minutes
"An elite security team assigned the task of protecting the last known woman who can become pregnant, find themselves caught in an endless claustrophobic underground tunnel system. The team soon learns - the real horror is not the unstoppable force chasing them, but the ever growing smaller tunnel itself."
If you're like me you are always looking for something new in the genre, something that stands out from the crowd for something, really anything story, effects, filming techniques... Just something that separates itself from the pack. I can honestly say Crawl or Die does that.
The story is heavily influence by the science fiction genre, and is like many, we are in a future with some sort of infection that has wiped out all the women who can breed but one. That one "the Package" must be protected at all cost and delivered to an alternative earth, and who do they pick but the most secret elite team of the day. As the story plays out visually you see some strong nods to another great science fiction horror film, a genre maker in many ways, Alien. The Creature and Nicole Alonso's character are heavily influenced, but hey if your going to pay homage to a film make it a great one and do it well, and this one does both!
The story itself left me a little flat to start with and I found myself struggling to feel involved the first 20 minutes or so, but once we got to the meat of the film so to say I felt myself becoming more invested. By the end of the film I was all in, and anxiously awaiting the outcome. So yes its a slow burner but it does build into something that is really damn cool.
You can't discuss Crawl or die without talking about the very unique setting and powerful atmosphere which sets it apart from pretty much anything else out there. As we move through the film we quickly go from top side, to an underground network of tunnels that get smaller and smaller as we go, until you are almost not breathing as you shimmy in your head to help the characters along through the perilous underground labyrinth, always struggling to stay a step or two ahead of impending death. If you were a fan of Descent get ready to notch up that claustrophobic factor by about a thousand!
Setting is important, and helps create the atmosphere but without a fantastic director this movie could have felt lifeless albeit cramped. Credit needs to go to Oklahoma ward for the stunning job in filming this one. I am still days later trying to figure out how he was able to accomplish some of the shots he did. He was able to turn the turn the tunnel itself into an additional foe for our characters to fight just as scary and intense as the creature they were fleeing from! Visually the film is so interesting, which really says much considering that it takes place in a tiny confined tunnel system with little room for much in the way of interaction with other characters so the film primarily rests itself on two sets of shoulders Oklahoma Ward and Nicole Alonso... Both of whom deliver spectacular results, I am very impressed with what this duo did in Crawl or Die, and highly recommend it to everyone. If this film is any indication these two names are ones to remember, they each brought a sense of unrelenting purpose and impending doom through their individual talents!
This is one to watch folks! Unfortunately it isnt available through Netflix yet, so they need fans to let Netflix know this is a movie that you want! In the meantime however there is a link included if you want to get your view on!
Its been awhile since I have ventured into web series so it was about time to once again see what was out there being offered. Its still hard for me to remember that there are some really fantastic offerings to be had for viewers looking for an alternative to the more traditional serialized TV shows. But long gone are the days when Youtube was just a place to troll for pranks videos and cats doing well cat things... Today we are offered well written and thought out, produced serials that are polished and every bit as good as the tv we grew up with, if you haven't yet checked around for yourself you really should you may find yourself the newest fan of this burgeoning creative outlet!
Horror Hotel is a prime example of how far online serials have come. I sat and watched the entire first season much to my happiness, because its a really fantastic show! It kept making me think back some of the horror serials of the 80s' and 90s' like Monsters, Amazing Stories and Tales from the Darkside (especially), all really fun, often creepy shows that blended horror, comedy and science fiction into something special that appealed to entire families without losing face or edginess.
Today I am going to review a couple of episodes from the series and include videos for your watching pleasure! Hopefully you will find yourself as pleasantly surprised as I was. I will definitely be looking for more of this series in the very near future, which by the way was picked up by Hulu not too long ago, so in addition to finding them on Youtube you can now enjoy the newest season on the Hulu platform! If you'd like to follow Horror Hotel or show them some support by swinging by their Facebook page and giving them a like just follow the links Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HorrorHotelT... Website: http://horrorhotelwebseries.com
Now onto the reviews!
TILT ~ Episode 1
Directed by Ricky Hess
Written by Al Hess
Staring Marie Barker, Johnny Harvill,
Ronnie Mathew, Nathan DeRussy,
and Tanner Gould
Running time approx 16 minutes
Merle is looking for his big payday, and he thinks hes found it with the help of his girl Skinny. They have stumbled upon an international spyware programmer while trying to get dirt on a legislator. While it isn't what he was hoping for the entrepreneurial Merle thinks he can make this work in his favor, and calls an underworld associate who he thinks can help. What Merle doesn't know is that the programmer has an offer of his own for Skinny, will she be true to her associate Merle or venture into new waters???
Skinny played by Marie Barker steals the show with this one! Shes fabulous in the role of Skinny and i fully intend to see if I can find other work shes done. The Merle character is a guy you love to hate, just a crass lowlife that is impossible to like or empathize with. The episode mixes science fiction, humor giving this episode the a fun flavor. They even found a way to mix in some Nazis! I found this episode to be a great start to what has turned into a fantastic series, at about 16 minutes this is more than worth your time! As always don't take my word for it, just click below to watch for yourself!
Invader ~ Episode 2
Directed by Kyle Kukshtel
Written by Al Hess
Starring Susan Moss, Troy Halverson, James Edward Thomas,
Jerry Irwin, and Darien Johnson
Running Time Approx 12 minutes
Invaders for me was the one that felt the most reminiscent of The Twilight Zone. Filmed in black and white this one feels like an older style of the genre. It once again combines some dark comedy and science fiction for a thoroughly fun piece. Its clever, well acted and a very retro story line delivered in a classic way.
Helen Kravitz is sure one of the lodgers at the hotel is an alien space invader set to take over mankind. While sitting in the courtyard area she convinces several other lodgers that the culprit is just behind the door, and they must take action before its too late! Armed with a stun gun and a pea shooter they storm the room, confusion sets in as the man pleads his case... Is Helen off her rocker or is there really an impending alien invasion, with the fate of the world sitting in this strange groups hands what hope do we have???
Watch to find out ...
In watching the entire first season a couple things really stand out to me. The stories are simple tales that work extremely well in the serial platform, with a handful of characters that return time and time again helping to bring the pieces together for a cohesive feel. The sets and dressings are minimal but effective, much like the stories themselves. There are common threads that bind everything together such as the setting , a few characters (as mentioned) and story elements, so even though the time line seems to drift a bit (its difficult to say when things are taking place due to style elements from various directors) it still works incredibly well together on a bigger scale. The team behind this series has made some very smart choices, and I definitely see why they were recently picked up by Hulu. It really is a great series that should have a wide appeal, and I highly recommend you take the time to give it a look.
Directed by Marvin Kren
Written by Benjamin Hessler
Starring Gerhard Liebmann, Edita Malovcic, Brigitte Kren
Running Time 98 Minutes
This Austrian Film had a limited theatrical release in the US earlier this year, and just recently became available on DVD, Netflix and other formats. I love a good cheesy nature gone wrong flick, or creature feature, you know the kind that they run in marathons on SyFy on the weekends! Yeah I love those (haha), and this one seems to have the ear marks of campy gooey cheesy goodness, so I had to give it a watch!
Set in the Swiss Alps, Blood Glacier is the story of a group of scientists who are researching the effects of climate change in the area. Janek, obviously the loner of the group has done multiple "tours' bewildering his fellow scientists at the camp, seemingly he prefers the isolation of the area with only his dog Tinney for companionship. One morning the scientists venture out to the nearby Glacier to collect data and samples, but this day is things there are very different. The Glacier is covered with a red substance running down its side mixing in with the snow, looking almost like a river of blood... Something is obviously very wrong on, and to make matters worse the team is expecting a VIP guest who is making her way up the Mountain, accompanied by a reporter, and Photo Journalist among others and guided (much to Janeks' surprise by his ex ). The team wants all to proceeed as planned so the media doesn't get wind of their potentially huge discovery, while Janek wants to warn the group... What fate will awaits the hapless travels? Will Janek be able to get to them in time? And what about the research team, have they discovered the answer to ancient mysteries, or have they doomed them all??
Literally within less than 5 minutes you feel the homage to John Carpenter classic film The Thing, the setting immediately feels familiar, and begins with overhead shots panning the landscape below giving the location the sense of being far far removed from any civilization, in fact much more so that the film later shows. The story runs close in many ways as well, small isolated group of scientist set away from the world in a white landscape, with similar angst among the group and even a dog running around camp. The film also has several other moments (and you will immediately know them upon viewing) that reflect that same Carpenter feel, but hell there are a lot worse things you could do than play off Carpenters"The Thing", so I really didn't mind in the least that it felt very familiar. Blood Glacier does have some noticeable differences too, so please don't assume this is just a Carpenter rip off, it finds a way to combine elements while still evolving its own identity.
Unlike some movies in the Nature gone wrong sub genre this one never feels preachy, which is a tendency for films of this type, and that was refreshing. I also really enjoyed the "creature feature" effects it showcases with some really cool special effects, practical effects mind you! They didn't fall back on CGI, they gave the actors and the viewer something concrete to sink their teeth into, offering up some really terrific moments in the film!
Blood Glacier is just all around a good film! My only complaint with it is that the sound wasn't maintained. By that I mean the dialogue seemed very quiet, but the action sequences were ridiculously loud in comparison, but the film is well produced and not at all what I expected. Instead of a cheesy Saturday after noon view I was pleasantly caught up in a polished feature that was well finished, well written and well acted. I would and will most definitely watch this film again!
Directed by Matty Beckerman
Written by Robert Lewis
Starring Katherine Sigismund, Corey Eid, Riley Polanski,
Jillian Clare and Jeff Bowser
Running Time 85 minutes
Riley is an 11 yr old autistic boy out with his family, sister Jillian, brother Corey (both older) and their parents Katie and Peter, about to embark on a much bigger adventure than anticipated. The family heads out to the picturesque North Carolina Mountains for some quality time camping in the heart of nature. Little do they realize that their trip is about to become much more than they bargained for. The trip starts off normal enough, with everyone in tow, arriving to set up camp, Riley stays primarily behind the camcorder where he seems most comfortable, documenting the fun of their week long stay, on the last evening things take a dramatic turn. While resting in their tent playing with the shadows that fall on it, suddenly there is a flash of light, Riley urges his siblings to come take a look outside and where they witness very real phenomenon referred to as the "Brown Mountain Lights". The next morning as the family makes their way back down the mountain they happen across abandoned vehicles stacked together as though there were an accident, but all are empty with no signs of the occupants anywhere, and to make matter worse they are congesting the road blocking the tunnel that would otherwise be the way down the mountain side, and that's when things get really nuts!
Yes this is another in the ever increasing number of found footage films but don't let that fact alone stop you from reading the rest of this! Alien Abduction is an example of when using found footage as a vehicle for delivering a story makes sense. The character, Riley, obviously uses the camera as a way to cope with his surrounding, not just in this event but through his day to day, as obvious from the beginning of the film so the reasoning of why is actually quite sound in the film, helping to achieve an believable background for his character choices throughout. The film is made further organic in its feel by the honest dialogue between the characters, it flows smoothly with an ease and truthfulness that is found within most family dynamics.(I read in researching after watching that the actors were encouraged to ad lib lines which really worked well in making things feel in the moment)
I will say this one had me on the edge of my seat more than a few times. It has a lot of suspense packed in to its 85 minutes! And although much of what the film does has been done before Alien Abduction stands out for me as one of the better offerings. It feels more honest than most. I enjoyed many (but not quite all) of the choices first time director Matty Beckerman made in this one. Matty Beckerman did numerous things right in Alien Abduction, in fact I wouldn't have at all guessed it was his debut film, so Kudos sir.
One thing I didn't like, there is a section near the end where I thought it just didn't make a whole lot of sense, it didn't fit with the film which was a shame for me personally because I had been truly impressed up to that point, but the film does redeem its self with the actual end, which I found to be an interesting twist on the story, leaving room for possibly another in the future... To finish off with while the end credits roll you are intrigued with what appear to be true accounts of the Brown Mountain Lights by various local residents. The occurrence is a real phenomenon, and you can get additional information on it, the basis for the movie, by googling "Brown Mountain Lights" .I have to stress this is a film that you need to watch ALL the way through, you may think its done but it isn't, just be patient and remain quietly in your seats till the lights come up! *wink*
All in all Alien Abduction is a VERY worthy watch! Its a snuggle up with your favorite viewing friend, under a blanket with a bowl of popcorn sort of movie! This is one I will likely rewatch again within the next few months, so yeah I definitely recommend this one folks!
*side note if you HATE shaky cam or it makes you queasy this is not a film you will enjoy sorry, had to warn ya cause as always we at The Horror Nation are looking out for you! ; ) Just sayin' *insert cheesy grin here*
Self professed Horror addict, mom of 2 tiny monsters in training, Co-Founder of The Horror Nation.