DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD: YOU’D BE CRAZY TO NAZI THIS ZOM-COM

DEAD SNOW 2: RED VS. DEAD-Norway/Iceland/United States/United Kingdom-100 Mins. 2014

2832470_big

Vegar Hoel as Martin in Dead Snow 2 Red vs Dead

Vegar Hoel as Martin in Dead Snow 2 Red vs Dead

Ørjan Gamst as Herzog in Dead Snow 2 Red vs Dead

Ørjan Gamst as Herzog in Dead Snow 2 Red vs Dead

A071_C010_0827MA.0001859F

Directed by Tommy Wirkola

Written by Stig Frode Henriksen, Vegar Hoel and Tommy Wirkola

Now that I’ve had a day or two to process my experience of watching Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead I am now adequately prepared to give my assessment of the movie:

HOLY SH!T! WHAT A ZOM-COM!

After a brief recap that catches us up on the events of Dead Snow we stay with lone survivor Martin as he attempts to shake off Herzog, the leader of the Nazi zombies, from off of his car. He succeeds but crashes in the process. Martin awakens to find himself in the hospital and handcuffed to his bed as the police believe that he is the one responsible for the slaughter of his friends from the first movie. He is also informed that they were able to reattach the arm that he himself severed with a chainsaw after being infected by a Nazi zombie (again, during the first movie). There’s just one problem: it’s not his arm they reattach. It’s Herzog’s arm and to say that it has a life of its own is a gross understatement as it gets Martin into all sorts of trouble. On the other hand (pun intended) Herzog has Martin’s old arm attached to himself and this creates a ‘good news, bad news’ scenario. The bad news is that Herzog can use the arm to raise the dead and create a new zombie army to fulfill a 70 year-old order from Hitler to attack a Norwegian village in retaliation for Anti-Nazi subterfuge. The good news is that Martin can do the same hocus-pocus with Herzog’s arm and, accompanied by a trio of unlikely and hilarious zombie hunters, as well as an effeminate museum clerk and his very own zombie mascot, Martin raises an army of dead Soviet soldiers for a final battle with Herzog. Needless to say the blood flows, the gore is thick and the amusement is high.

What makes Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead a successful zom-com is that even when there are no gory shenanigans going on onscreen there still is the sensation of jocularity in the air. This is a movie that welcomes both our repulsion and our laughter and we gladly give it what it wants. Vegar Hoel is fantastic and funny as Martin and Ørjan Gamst is frightening and funny as Herzog and the two play off of each other brilliantly. Let’s also not forget the Zombie Squad; this trio of nerdy Star Wars quoting techno-geek bad-ass wanna-bes blend in perfectly with the rest of the raucous fun. What this all adds up to is that after watching Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead you may very well find yourself asking, “Shaun of the Who?”. If not, at least you can forgive director Tommy Wirkola for Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.

TRIVIA

Shot in both Norwegian and English versions.

Ørjan Gamst and co-star Tage Guddingsmo played together in the Norwegian death metal band Slogstorm for several years. Both eventually dropped out of the band.

4of5

 

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

THE 2014 WRITTEN IN BLOOD SCREAM QUEEN OF THE YEAR: GILLIAN ANDERSON

The polls are closed and after all has been said and done and done and said we have our inaugural Written in Blood Scream Queen of the Year and it is none other than the beautiful and talented Gillian Anderson. It was a close race for awhile with Gillian being tied for a time with Lily Rabe but she broke away and stands tall as the winner. I just re-read that sentence and it sounds like I’m describing a horse race. That’s okay; I for one could not be happier for Gillian as I have a major crush on her (and no, it did effect the voting). Without further adieu may I present to you a tribute-in pictures-to the Written in Blood Scream Queen of the Year-Gillian Anderson!

Gillian-gillian-anderson-32062074-1024-768 1798556_ca_future_gillian_anderson Gillian-Anderson-gillian-anderson-32830108-1024-768 Gillian-Anderson-gillian-anderson-32830058-1024-768 Gillian-Anderson-gillian-anderson-4247594-1024-768 Gillian-Anderson-2560x1600-10271 gillian-anderson_cfd4bf3a gillian_anderson_dana_scully_sexy_green_021 Actress Gillian Anderson Goes Exotic gillian anderson wallpapers Gillian Anderson 043 1600x1200 Gillian anderson 7 eee11068ab21aba754d8bdd39bf5bfb3_large 26p-7368-gillian-anderson X-Files_S9_Gillian_Anderson_001 Gillian-Anderson-Picture Gillian Anderson Actress Pictured During A Photo-shoot To Accompany An Interview With Fiona Maddocks. She Is Wearing A Black Jumper With White Trousers. gillian-anderson-wallpapers-6 New-Hair-Style-Of-Gillian-Anderson Hannibal - Season 1 Gillian-Anderson-gillian-anderson-32830546-1024-768 Gillian-Anderson-gillian-anderson-9528142-1680-1050 Gillian-Anderson-CelebHealthy_com Gillian Anderson Gillian Anderson 079 1920x1200 7f3df78f7027d99315664ad72ebc7c5b SexyDesktop Wallpaper Image celebrity-gillian-anderson-wallpaper-2

I would like to take the time and thank everyone who voted. As I said before this is the first year that a Scream Queen of the Year has been chosen and so there wasn’t a high vote count. Here’s hoping that as we continue to do this that we can get more people to vote each year. Again, thank you.

 

Posted in Scream Queen of the Year | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT-United States-79 Mins. 1984

Silent-Night-Deadly-Night

Lilyan Chauvin as Mother Superior in Silent Night, Deadly Night

Lilyan Chauvin as Mother Superior in Silent Night, Deadly Night

Gilmer McCormick as Sister Margaret in Silent Night, Deadly Night

Gilmer McCormick as Sister Margaret in Silent Night, Deadly Night

Toni Nero as Pamela in Silent Night, Deadly Night

Toni Nero as Pamela in Silent Night, Deadly Night

Robert Brian Wilson as Billy in Silent Night, Deadly Night

Robert Brian Wilson as Billy in Silent Night, Deadly Night

Directed by Charles E. Sellier, Jr.

Written by Paul Caimi and Michael Hickey

I was 22 years old in 1984; that was the year that the original A Nightmare on Elm Street debuted. It was also the year that another slasher film was released and I remember the controversy quite well. The film, Silent Night, Deadly Night, was the morbid tale of a killer Santa Claus and for the first week or so of its release it managed to out-gross the aforementioned and simultaneously released “Nightmare” at the box office. That is until those concerned parents that are the bane of the existence of every self-respecting young horror movie fan caught wind of it. There was no way that they were going to allow a movie about an ax wielding, murderous Santa Claus  corrupt the minds of theirs or any other child for that matter. To make a long story short I finally saw Silent Night, Deadly Night for the first time and I can with all honesty say to these parents that if they had kept their mouths shut the film would have eventually faded into oblivion and been merely a footnote in the history of the slasher film.

It’s Christmas Eve and after a visit to a grandfather that warns him of severe punishment from Santa if he is the least bit naughty, little Billy witnesses the murder of his parents at the hands of-you guessed it, kids- Santa Claus. Billy and his infant brother escape and we cut to three years later and Billy and little brother are residents at an orphanage run by Mother Superior and a handful of nuns. Mother Superior is firm and her discipline strict and she is of the mind that Billy should face his  fear of Santa Claus head on by-you kids are too good-sitting on his lap. This of course snaps one more synapse in Billy’s warped little brain and sets in motion the murderous path that he will take as a young adult. We know that this is what has happened because the film turns grainy and ominously freezes on young Billy’s face. The film then cuts to an 18 year-old Billy who now has a job in a toy store where, after an employee breaks a leg, he is forced to don the gay apparel of-okay, now I know that you kids saw this movie already-Old Saint Nick. Snap, crackle and pop go the last rubber bands in Billy’s brain and before you know it Santa Claus is on the prowl with his trusty fire-ax doling out punishment to naughty boys and girls as he makes his way back to the orphanage and Mother Superior.

If there was ever a movie that relied on the strength of its controversy then Silent Night, Deadly Night is indeed that movie. Simply put the film is not good enough to have survived thirty years without it. Despite an abundance of young, bare breasts that are the staple of any slasher film the kills are cheap and sloppy and the film is greatly overacted for a film of this genre, even. There is one scene where Billy is watching as one young man is screaming like a little girl after witnessing his best friends head roll down a snowy hill and even he has a look of “Really? Overact much?”.

There have been films made before (Tales from the CryptChristmas Evil) that featured a killer Claus as its main character; although the Santa in “Tales” was from the first segment of an anthology. I don’t understand why parents picked this particular film to protest. It doesn’t matter; they’ve done their damage and each year during the holidays Silent Night, Deadly Night will rear its ugly head. Ho freaking ho ho.

TRIVIA

To protest the film, critics Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel read the credits out loud on their television show saying, “shame, shame, shame” after each name.

The toyshop where Billy gets his first job is called “IRA’S TOYS”, Ira is the first name of one of the film’s producers.

Many of the kill scenes were directed by editor Michael Spence, due to director Charles E. Sellier Jr. being uncomfortable with handling the gore-heavy parts of the film.

1of5

Lilyan Chauvin also appears in Catch Me If You Can and The Man Who Wasn’t There.

Gilmer McCormick also appears in Slaughterhouse-Five and Starting Over.

Toni Nero also appears in No Dead Heroes and Commando Squad.

Robert Brian Wilson’s sole motion picture credit was Silent Night, Deadly Night.

Posted in 1 Blood Drop Ratings, 1980's Horror Films, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

UPDATE: SCREAM QUEEN OF THE YEAR

Okay, I posted the poll for Scream Queen of the Year on Dec. 7. The poll will be open for a few more days so may I remind you to catsvote, folks.

Here’s how the voting is going so far:

Lily Rabe is in the lead:

January

Gillian Anderson and Sharni Vinson are tied for second:

July

November

Carolyn Jones is in third place:

February

Danai Gurira and Raquel Welch are in fourth place:

March

Various - 1965

Christina Ricci and Amber Heard are in fifth place:

September

October

Bringing up the rear are Chelan Simmons, The Soska Sisters, A.J. Cook and Traci Lords:

11239943246_ed2b3fb35a_b

May

June

August

catsvote

Posted in Scream Queens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

A HOT SCREAM QUEEN AND A HORROR MOVIE ICON CAN’T SAVE EXIT TO HELL

EXIT TO HELL-United States-81 Mins. 2013

1409798_big

Kane Hodder as Sickle in Exit to Hell

Kane Hodder as Sickle in Exit to Hell

Tiffany Shepis as Jenna in Exit to Hell

Tiffany Shepis as Jenna in Exit to Hell

Directed and Written by Robert Conway

Before I begin this review I just want to remind everyone to vote for the 2014 Written in Blood Scream Queen of the Year. Voting runs for one week. Don’t delay, vote today. 

What a hunk of shit that this movie, Exit to Hell, turned out to be. Anyone who knows me knows that if I start a movie review like this then that is exactly what that movie is-shit and nothing else. Tiffany Shepis, one of the most popular Scream Queens of the modern era does a strip tease and gets semi-naked and she can’t save this movie. Kane ‘Effin Jason effin’ Voorhees effin’ Victor effin’ Crowley does what he does best with a sickle and a chainsaw-Home Depot was fresh out of machetes- and he can’t save this movie. It is rancid, putrid and any other word ending in ‘id that means ‘good grief, that sucks.’

There is a plot to Exit to Hell or at least I think there is. Four criminals work a strip joint as a way to case the place before robbing it. Jenna is the Stripper, Tasha the DJ, Randy-I don’t know what Randy is other than a junkie. Anyway, the leader is this little douchebag named Travis and after the four of them rob the strip joint they work at and kill everyone in the place except for one lone stripper, Penny (Rena Riffel), they head out on the lam and end up in a cesspool of a town known as Redstone where they run afoul of Sheriff Sickle (Hodder), a lawman cum serial killer cum leader of a cannibal family. Add to this the fact that the owner of the strip joint, a Russian mobster named Jerkov-er-Yakov-is hot on their trail and you can imagine how things are going to end up for Travis and the rest of the Dumbass gang.

Exit to Hell may have been a little better had it opted for any semblance of originality. I was reminded of quite a few films while watching this one, especially of course The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I enjoyed seeing Kane Hodder and of course Tiffany Shepis as Jenna* was a welcome sight as well. But let’s face it: shit is shit and that’s all it will ever be. If this is the Exit to Hell then there sure are a lot of potholes.

NO TRIVIA

1of5

Kane Hodder also appears in Monster and Hatchet.

Tiffany Shepis also appears in Bonnie & Clyde vs. Dracula and The Maladjusted.

Rena Riffel also appears in Showgirls and Striptease.

*I guarantee you that if there is a stripper in a movie at least 7 times out of 10 her name will be Jenna.

 

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE WRITTEN IN BLOOD SCREAM QUEEN OF THE YEAR FOR 2014

catsvote

This is a first here at Written in Blood. I would like for you, my readers, followers and subscribers, to pick from this years crop of Scream Queens the one that you think deserves the title of Written in Blood Scream Queen of the Year for 2014. Look them over once again from January to December and then kindly cast your vote in the poll at the end. The voting will run for one week and after that the winner will be featured in a pictorial post a few days later. Happy voting and always remember to take care…and stay scared.

LILY RABE

January

CAROLYN JONES

February

DANAI GURIRA

March

RAQUEL WELCH

Various - 1965

JEN AND SYLVIA SOSKA

May

A.J. COOK

June

GILLIAN ANDERSON

July

TRACI LORDS

August

CHRISTINA RICCI

September

AMBER HEARD

October

SHARNI VINSON

November

CHELAN SIMMONS

11239943246_ed2b3fb35a_b

 

 

 

 

Posted in Scream Queens | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

LATE PHASES IS CERTAINLY NOT YOUR TYPICAL WEREWOLF MOVIE

LATE PHASES-United States-95 Mins. 2014

LatePhases_Poster

Nick Damici as Ambrose in Late Phases

Nick Damici as Ambrose in Late Phases

Ethan Embry as Will in Late Phases

Ethan Embry as Will in Late Phases

Lance Guest as Griffin in Late Phases

Lance Guest as Griffin in Late Phases

Erin Cummings as Anne in Late Phases

Erin Cummings as Anne in Late Phases

Rutanya Alda as Gloria B. in Late Phases

Rutanya Alda as Gloria B. in Late Phases

Tina Louise as Clarissa in Late Phases

Tina Louise as Clarissa in Late Phases

Caitlin O'Heany as Emma in Late Phases

Caitlin O’Heany as Emma in Late Phases

Karen Lynn Gorney as Delores in Late Phases

Karen Lynn Gorney as Delores in Late Phases

Tom Noonan as Father Roger in Late Phases

Tom Noonan as Father Roger in Late Phases

also starring Dana Ashbrook and Al Sapienza

Directed by Adrián García Bogliano

Written by Eric Stolze

If you had told me that a movie about a werewolf that stalks the residents of a retirement community would be one of the best films that I review this year I would have told you to check yourself into a sanitarium and pronto. Dammit, here I am writing those exact words: Late Phases is not only one of the best films that I’ve reviewed in 2014; it is also one of the best films in the werewolf genre and with films as strong as The Howling, Dog Soldiers and An American Werewolf in London that is a bold statement indeed. You could perhaps refer to it as “Dog Soldier” if you so desire.

When retired Army vet Ambrose McKinley, along with his dog, moves into a retirement community on the edge of town he never expected to spend his days-and nights-preparing for the next full moon and for battle against a bloodthirsty werewolf but that is exactly what he finds himself doing after his next door neighbor is brutally killed and he is attacked and his own dog left for dead while attempting to protect him. Before the full moon rises once again Ambrose prepares his body for battle all the while seeking clues to the beast’s human identity. It’s not going to be easy for him for one glaring reason: he’s blind.

Late Phases may be a werewolf film, that much has been established. What has not been established is that it also a film about redemption, the importance of the elderly in our community and the relationship between a father and his son, namely Ambrose and his son, Will. It is a relationship that can best be described as ‘amicably chaotic’.

The lead actor in Late Phases is Nick Damici. Damici is an actor that shines in a role regardless of whether it is a lead or supporting one. To say that he has become one of the most dependable actors working in horror movies (next to Stephen McHattie) is not a far stretch.

While the werewolf design leaves a bit to be desired (the actors look more like they are wearing furry pants), I still found myself liking it in spite of its flaws. After all the makeup in Dog Soldiers had its own flaws and that film has since become a semi-classic.

Late Phases could also be metaphorical for the preparation of death itself. The title of the film is of a double meaning: one being the phases of the moon, the other being the phases of a person’s life, the late phase being the final one. Either way, Late Phases is an exciting, well-acted film that transcends it’s genre-the werewolf movie-to become something worth more than the sum of its parts.

NO TRIVIA

4of5

Nick Damici also appears in Stakeland and We Are What We Are.

Ethan Embry also appears in Vacancy and The Guest.

Lance Guest also appears in The Last Starfighter and Jaws: The Revenge.

Erin Cummings also appears in Bitch Slap and The Iceman.

Rutanya Alda also appears in The Deer Hunter and When a Stranger Calls (1979).

Tina Louise also appears in The Stepford Wives (1975) and Johnny Suede.

Al Sapienza also appears in Godzilla (2014) and Pretty Woman.

Caitlin O’Heany also appears in He Knows You’re Alone and Three O’Clock High.

Karen Lynn Gorney also appears in Saturday Night Fever and David and Lisa.

Dana Ashbrook also appears in Waxwork and Return of the Living Dead II.

Tom Noonan also appears in Manhunter and The House of the Devil.

 

 

Posted in 2010's Horror Films, 4 Blood Drop Ratings, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments