IF DISAPPOINTMENT WERE A CRIME WOLFCOP WOULD BE DOING HARD TIME

WOLFCOP-Canada-79 Minutes 2014

wolfcop

Leo Fafard as Lou Garou/Wolfcop in Wolfcop

Leo Fafard as Lou Garou/Wolfcop in Wolfcop

Amy Matysio as Tina in Wolfcop

Amy Matysio as Tina in Wolfcop

Jonathan Cherry as Willie in Wolfcop

Jonathan Cherry as Willie in Wolfcop

Aidan Devine as Chief in Wolfcop

Aidan Devine as Chief in Wolfcop

Sarah Lind as Jessica in Wolfcop

Sarah Lind as Jessica in Wolfcop

Jesse Moss as Gang Leader in Wolfcop

Jesse Moss as Gang Leader in Wolfcop

Corinne Conley as Mayor Bradley in Wolfcop

Corinne Conley as Mayor Bradley in Wolfcop

Directed and Written by Lowell Dean

There’s something strange and mean going on in the town of Woodhaven. What’s a poor, alcoholic loser of a cop supposed to do to keep his town safe? My answer to that question would be to crawl his drunk ass out of the bottom of a bottle and act like a real cop for a change. Apparently, that would be the wrong answer. In order to save his town and the annual Drink ‘n’ Shoot-once a year people drink and carry firearms in an attempt to hunt some mythical beast whose actual name escapes me at the moment-Officer Lou Garou (really?) needs to crawl his drunk ass out of the bottom of a bottle, have a curse put on him and to act like a real Wolfcop for a change. It sounds exciting, right? Then why did I find myself fighting to stay awake during this movie?

The trouble I found with Wolfcop is a bit of an enigma. Too much information is packed into its brief (79 minutes) and yet it seems as if we are told nothing at all. During the entire film I felt as if I had walked into the middle of a conversation of which I had no idea of the topic. I knew that something nefarious was going on in the town and that it had something to do with the solar eclipse and the cancellation of the Drink ‘n’ Shoot but the details are sketchy at best. Characters-especially Corrine Conley as the mayor and Jesse Moss as Gang Leader-yes that is his official credit-seem to appear onscreen at the most random of times and add nothing to the story. Don’t even get me started about the ‘Wolfcop-Sexy Bartender in the jail cell with candles and music sex scene’. Sure it was somewhat erotic in a strange way but I couldn’t help thinking that if they got stuck then who was going to pour cold water on them? That mental inquiry and what happens immediately after the lupine-homo sapiens coital coupling just ruined the whole mood for me.

The cast of Wolfcop is a mixed bag of talent, most of it bad. Leo Fafard as the titular character gets my vote for most monotonous performance in a horror film for 2014. Sarah Lind is sexy and that’s all. Jonathan Cherry is your typical cinematic small town goofball and Aidan Devine brings nothing new to the role of Chief. Amy Mataysio is decent as Tina but in a movie like Wolfcop all that decent will get you is a whole lot of nothing.

As I said in my recent review of Wolves whenever there is a werewolf film the make-up and transformation scenes must be discussed. With Wolfcop the discussion is simple: they both stunk. I have a full head werewolf mask that I got at the Spirit Halloween Store four or five Halloweens past that looks better than the crap they attempt to pass off as werewolf makeup for Wolfcop. As for the transformations the kindest thing that I can say is that the FX crew should not give up their day jobs if they indeed have one.

I wanted to like Wolfcop. I had heard good things about it from fellow reviewers and bloggers and was pumped up to watch it. So now that I have seen it what exactly have I learned? I suppose you could say that I’ve learned that if you get pumped up too much for something then the letdown is going to be horrifically brutal.

TRIVIA

There is a scene at the end of the credits.

1of5

 

Leo Fafard also appears in Hungry Hills.

Amy Matysio also appears in Vampire Dog and Ferocious.

Jonathan Cherry also appears in House of the Dead and Final Destination 2.

Sarah Lind also appears in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Severed.

Aidan Devine also appears in A History of Violence and Don’t Say a Word.

Jesse Moss also appears in Ginger Snaps and The Uninvited.

Corinne Conley also appears in Cas & Dylan and Old Stock.

 

About these ads
Posted in 1 Blood Drop Ratings, 2010's Horror Films, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

SPOTLIGHT ON: TRACY ANGELINA EVANS, AUTHOR

Tracy Angelina Evans (R) with Smidgen.

Tracy Angelina Evans (R) with Smidgen.

I’m not going to lie: Tracy Angelina Evans is a good friend of mine. We’ve worked together, drank coffee together and have been to each other’s homes for dinner on a few occasions. So, when she asked me for a little help to promote her Vampire Relics Trilogy I jumped at the chance.

With one little catch.

I told Tracy she had to answer three questions for me that I could include here.

Why do you write?

1. It is the form of communication with which I am most comfortable, and the one that allows me to process the world as I perceive it. Having done it since the approximate age of 4, writing is compulsory in my world.

Who do you see as your core audience?

2. Folks who obviously like Vampires, the kind based more in various cultures’ myths and legends over time, but who are also open to the possibility that the paranormal or supernatural may have, in part, otherworldly origins. I sounded like the narrator for ‘Ancient Aliens’ there, but I don’t care. People who have an interest in prophecy, religion and the occult, conspiracy theories, and language. Also, those who live on the fringes of “normal” society. Not the Goth subculture, exactly, but everyone who has the ability to observe people, things, or events that may not be noticed by the so-called Status Quo.

I see one of your books and I can’t decide whether I want to buy it or not. Sell me your book in thirty words or less.

3. The Vampire Relics offers readers a glimpse into a modern Vampire universe that is strongly based on traditional folklore, and touches on a history that may or may not exist.

You can find Tracy on Amazon at Tracy Angelina Evans and on Facebook at The Vampire Relics.

Posted in Books, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

DAVID HAYTER’S WOLVES IS A FINE BLEND OF THE SUPER AND THE SUPERNATURAL

WOLVES-France/Canada-91 Mins. 2014

wolves_poster

Lucas Till as Cayden Richards in Wolves

Lucas Till as Cayden Richards in Wolves

Stephen McHattie as John Tollerman in Wolves

Stephen McHattie as John Tollerman in Wolves

Merritt Patterson as Angelina Timmins in Wolves

Merritt Patterson as Angelina Timmins in Wolves

Jason Momoa as Connor in Wolves

Jason Momoa as Connor in Wolves

Directed and Written by David Hayter

Cayden Richards (Lucas Till) is a young, athletic teenager with everything going for him and a bright future on the horizon. That is until he discovers that he’s not only a werewolf but that he may have also killed-and partially devoured-his parents. Cayden flees and eventually meets Wild Joe, another werewolf who points him in the direction of Lupine Ridge, a town where (nearly) everyone is a werewolf. Lupine Ridge is a divided town; on one side there are the purebred wolves that live peacefully in the town, some of whom haven’t transformed in years. On the other side there is Connory Slaughter (Jason Momoa), a purebred leading a pack of turned humans with one goal in mind and that is the taking of Angelina Timmins (Merritt Patterson), also a purebred, as his mate. He’s willing to kill anyone or anything that gets in his way and it falls on Cayden to stop him. During the course of this Cayden is taken in by John Tollerman (the perpetually reliable Stephen McHattie) and his wife as a hired hand on Tollerman’s farm and it is from John that he learns of his lupine heritage.

I like to think of Wolves as a supernatural superhero movie. The fight scenes alone in the movie would be enough proof of this. Bodies are tossed about with superhuman strength and the werewolves make a thirty foot leap look like a step over a puddle. The film is directed by David Hayter and this is his first time behind the camera. Before that he was a screenwriter whose credits include X-Men, X2: X-Men United and Watchmen. Wolves stars Lucas Till aka the mutant Havok from X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past; and Jason Momoa aka Arthur Curry/Aquaman of director Zack Snyder’s follow-up to Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

I can cite other reasons for this: the opening narration when Cayden relays to us the strange changes in his life are reminiscent of Tobey Maguire’s monologues in the first Spider-man; with fur, fangs and claws comes great responsibility-or something to that effect. After Cayden is accused of killing his parents in a werewolf rage he becomes a fugitive as he travels the country in search of himself and answers as to who, or what, he is and a way, if there is a way, that he can control his wolfman urges. Maybe it’s just me but that sounds an awful lot like the premise of the The Incredible Hulk TV series from the late 1970′s to the early 1980′s.

With any werewolf film one must discuss the make-up and effects and Wolves is no exception. Although the transformation scenes leave a bit to be desired the aftermath of those transformations do not. The werewolf makeup is in my opinion a hybrid between what one might find in a film like The Howling with added ingredients of The Wolfman.

Please don’t mistake any of what I have previously told you as criticism because it is definitely not. I watched Wolves not knowing what to expect and came away from it pleasantly surprised. The things Hayter has learned writing superheroes and, hell, I’ll even throw in his voice work on the Metal Gear Solid video game series, has helped him to put together a solid, entertaining and action-packed movie that should easily sate the palates of both fans of the super and the supernatural.

 TRIVIA

Director and writer David Hayter came up with the idea of the film after turning down similar projects. His script was originally titled “Slaughter’s Road”.

3of5

An unfinished private screening occurred was held on June 2013, in Los Angeles.

Lucas Till also appears in X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: First Class.

Stephen McHattie also appears in Watchmen and Pontypool.

Merritt Patterson also appears in The Hole and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

Jason Momoa also appears in Conan the Barbarian and Road to Paloma.

 

Posted in 2010's Horror Films, 3 Blood Drop Ratings, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

DIRECTOR STEVE KAHN WANTS YOU TO KNOW “FEAR”

FEAR poster very small

Here’s the trailer for FEAR, a short film by director Steve Kahn and starring Jessie Rabideau . Kahn is trying to get the funds to make FEAR into a feature film and has asked me for assistance. In his own words, “FEAR is  a visually striking poetic film on the universal emotion – fear – that can hit any one of us when we let insignificant little incidents spin wildly out of control. FEAR is a visually striking poetic film on the universal emotion – fear – that can hit any one of us when we let insignificant little incidents spin wildly out of control. It has been receiving glowing reviews including the Sunday Times and has just gotten high praise from NPR’s Ann Powers who loved the film. FEAR is a newly completed project and at this time just entering the festival circuit.”

If you like what you see in the trailer you can drop Steve a line at fear.short.film@gmail.com and request to see the private screener at Vimeo.com.

Here’s the trailer. Enjoy.

 

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

ZOMBEAVERS IS WORTH YOUR TIME DESPITE BEING COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS

ZOMBEAVERS-United States-85 Mins. 2014

zombeavers-poster-zombeavers-proves-the-horror-b-movie-is-still-alive-and-well

Rex Linn as Smyth in Zombeavers

Rex Linn as Smyth in Zombeavers

Rachel Melvin, Cortney Palm and Lexi Atkins as Mary, Zoe and Jenn in Zombeavers

Rachel Melvin, Cortney Palm and Lexi Atkins as Mary, Zoe and Jenn in Zombeavers

Image from Zombeavers

Image from Zombeavers

Image from Zombeavers

Image from Zombeavers

Directed by Jordan Rubin

Screenplay by Al Kaplan, Jon Kaplan and Jordan Rubin

You must prepare yourself before watching a movie the caliber of Zombeavers. In order to do this and to bring you the absolute finest review I:

Drank a beer.

Drank another beer.

Yep, another beer.

Beer.

Drank a tall-boy. Also a beer, just in a taller can.

I went online and referenced zombies. I discovered that some guy named George is their king although lately he has worn his crown rather loosely. Then, after another beer, I referenced beavers. Lots and lots of beaver–er–beavers.

You see, you must prepare yourself for a movie like Zombeavers because it is extremely difficult to find a movie that is this ridiculous and that does not give two slaps of a beaver’s ass what you think about it. The movie stars three cute and sexy girls in their 20′s who, most of the time, are running around either topless or in the skimpiest of shorts or bikinis. You know dam well (pun intended) that there is going to be every dam reference (there also) to beavers that the writers and filmmakers can throw at you and I am not talking about the furry, bucktooth little bastards that chew wood; I’m talking about the other beaver*. You know, the type I can’t mention without sounding totally sexist; although I am sure I’ve crossed that line at some point, anyway.

Let’s get on with the plot of Zombeavers. Mary and Zoe take Jenn to Mary’s family cabin after Jenn’s boyfriend cheats on her. I suppose you could say he wanted to try some strange beaver (I really must stop writing whatever comes into my head.). It’s supposed to be a girl’s weekend alone at the cabin but of course we know dam well (yep, pun) that the guys are going to show up eventually and of course, they do. The remainder of Zombeavers is a lot of moaning and screwing and then screams as the six of them are beset upon by the foot chomping, wood chewing rodents who incidentally are the way they are because of a chemical spill. Rex Linn as a hunter named Smyth tries to save the day and there are human-zombie-beaver hybrids that you have to see to believe. I saw it and I still don’t believe. This is not to mention the bear-zombie-beaver hybrid.

Despite its ludicrous nature Zombeavers is at its core a fun parody of the zombie genre. The movie references or lampoons several horror classics such as Night of the Living Dead, The Howling and Friday the 13th and it never feels like the film is making fun of these films but is instead paying high respect to them. How can you fault a film for that? Give Zombeavers a chance. You just might like it, dam it.*

TRIVIA

Near the end of the closing credits there is a disclaimer that “No animals were harmed during the making of this film, although the bear did receive a purple nurple (not our fault, he started it.)”

3of5

Rachel Melvin (Mary) also appears in Dumb and Dumber To and My Funny Valentine.

Cortney Palm (Zoe) also appears in Sushi Girl and Silent Night.

Lexi Atkins (Jenn) also appears in White Dwarf.

Hutch Dano (Sam) also appears in Ramona and Beezus and Feels So Good.

Peter Gilroy (Buck) also appears in Boner Police: The Movie and The Best Man. Holiday.

Jake Weary (Tommy) also appears in Altitude and Camp Fred.

*My wife informed me that in no way do women like to be called ‘beavers’. I apologize if I offended any of you but it was kind of difficult to avoid.

*Yes, that was another pun.

 

 

 

Posted in 2010's Horror Films, 3 Blood Drop Ratings, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED IS A LOW POINT IN JOHN CARPENTER’S FILMOGRAPHY

VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED-United States-99 Mins. 1995

633Tbtf5Qpn6j7BJMv3psPqOjWH

Christopher Reeve as Dr. Alan Chafee in Village of the Damned

Christopher Reeve as Dr. Alan Chafee in Village of the Damned

Kirstie Alley as Dr. Susan Verner in Village of the Damned

Kirstie Alley as Dr. Susan Verner in Village of the Damned

Linda Kozlowski as Jill McGowan in Village of the Damned

Linda Kozlowski as Jill McGowan in Village of the Damned

Michael Paré as Frank McGowan in Village of the Damned

Michael Paré as Frank McGowan in Village of the Damned

Directed by John Carpenter.

Screenplay by David Himmelstein.

Based on the book “The Midwich Cuckoos” by John Wyndham and the 1960 film and screenplay by Wolf Rilla, Stirling Silliphant and George Barclay.

John Carpenter’s Village of the Damned is a somewhat boring affair that is interesting solely for the common bond it shares with a handful of his better efforts.

A dark shadow passes over the town of Midwich and everything-man, woman, child and animal-faints. They soon awaken, or at least the fortunate ones do; there is the matter of the man who passed out over a hot grill and the other guy who is the hapless victim of a fiery collision. A few months afterward a handful of the women of Midwich (ten in all including a post-Crocodile Dundee Linda Koslowski) become pregnant and the date of conception is traced right back to the day of the fainting incident. Of the ten, including a virgin (Meredith Salenger-go figure), nine give birth and one infant is stillborn. To say these children are different is quite the understatement. Five boys and four girls, they all sport blonde hair, have blue eyes and are devoid of human emotion. They can also read our minds and can persuade us to do horrible things regardless of our reluctance. This leads to several suicides and the film’s gorier moments. It’s up to the town doctor (Reeve) and a government scientist (Alley) to stop the little buggers before the entire town is wiped out. Can Superman and Rebecca from Cheers save the day?

Village of the Damned is based on the book “The Midwich Cuckoos” by John Wyndham and the 1960 film directed by Wolf Rilla. This is all irrelevant; Village of the Damned is a John Carpenter film through and through as it shares two common threads-an alien being(s) that hide themselves behind a human guise (The Thing, They Live, Starman); and the conquest of earth via enslavement/assimilation. It’s great to see Carpenter come back to these themes. It’s also great to see Christopher Reeve in what would be his final role before a horseback riding accident left him paralyzed for the remaining nine years of his life. The common thread that would have made me, a fan of Carpenter’s work, happy would have been for Village of the Damned to be good but alas, it is not.

TRIVIA

In the scene with the crowd bearing torches, the words that the minister’s wife scream are all from the Book of Job.

Whenever the kids are walking or sitting together, they are lined up 2 by 2 with boys on the left and girls on the right.

2of5

Christopher Reeve also appears in Superman the Movie and Street Smart.

Kirstie Alley also appears in Look Who’s Talking and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

Linda Kozlowski also appears in Crocodile Dundee and Almost an Angel.

Michael Paré also appears in Bad Moon and The Philadelphia Experiment.

Posted in 1990's Horror Films, 2 Blood Drop Ratings, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

IT’S IN A WORD AND IT’S IN A LOOK AND I WANT MORE OF THE BABADOOK

THE BABADOOK-Australia-93 Mins. 2014

BABADOOK-POSTER

Essie Davis as Amelia in The Babadook

Essie Davis as Amelia in The Babadook

Noah Wiseman as Samuel in The Babadook

Noah Wiseman as Samuel in The Babadook

Hayley McElhinney (L) as Claire in The Babadook

Hayley McElhinney (L) as Claire in The Babadook

Daniel Henshall as Robbie in The Babadook

Daniel Henshall as Robbie in The Babadook

Barbara West as Mrs Roach in The Babadook

Barbara West as Mrs. Roach in The Babadook

Also starring Ben Winspear

Directed and Written by Jennifer Kent

The Babadook is not what I expected and I am abundantly grateful for this. I expected a film about a storybook monster that comes to life and terrorizes a mother and her child and it would include jump scare after jump scare because by now most of us have been conditioned to suckle on that teat. I was half right; The Babadook is about a storybook monster that comes to life and terrorizes a mother and her child. Except that there are no jump scares to be found in this movie. The Babadook scares us the old-fashioned way by building up and playing on our fears rather than by shoving the frights down our throats. Essie Davis gives a startling performance as Amelia. Director Jennifer Kent plays on our childhood fears to scare the hell out of us and in doing so has given us one of the finest films of psychological horror that has been produced in quite some time.

The Babadook begins with Essie being shaken, glass breaking and flying into her vision as she looks to her husband for comfort. Her husband is and has been dead for six years but we don’t know this from the opening scene. We learn from Samuel that his father died in a car accident while rushing Amelia to the hospital when she went into labor with him. Samuel has a tendency to allow whatever pops into his mind to emerge from his mouth. It’s certainly not his only  personality flaw; Samuel is a child who has a deep-seated fear of monsters and who never seems to stop moving, talking, screaming much to the stress of Amelia, his exhausted and exasperated mother. By the time she reads the storybook that unleashes the Babadook upon them she is already a defeated woman. What makes The Babadook scary is that we continually feel afraid for Samuel and Amelia and as the Babadook grows in power so does that fear; so subtle yet we feel as if we’ve been slammed by a locomotive. However, as much as we fear for mother and child there is that nagging question: is the Babadook real or the manifestation of a mother at her wits end over a child that she finds difficult to care for, much less love? I have my own opinions but would rather not share. I would rather you experience The Babadook for yourself.

The highest praise that I can give The Babadook is not in a vocabulary of hyperbole. I compare this movie to the works of author Ramsey Campbell. Campbell’s books (such as The Nameless, The Influence and The Doll Who Ate His Mother) and short stories at first seem slow and tedious until we begin to let the words sink in and he sets our minds reeling and chills cascade down our spines. After years of horror films that are nothing but cerebral bludgeoning The Babadook and its quiet horror are nirvana to this reviewer.

TRIVIA

Of the film’s modest budget, $30,071 was raised via Kickstarter. Most of the funds raised from Kickstarter were channelled toward the art department.
image

Essie Davis also appears in The Matrix Revolutions and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole.

Noah Wiseman makes his feature film debut in The Babadook.

Hayley McElhinney also appears in My Mother Frank and Inhuman Resources.

Daniel Henshall also appears in The Snowtown Murders and These Final Hours.

Barbara West makes her feature film debut in The Babadook.

Ben Winspear also appears in The Last Goodbye.

 

Posted in 5 Blood Drop Ratings, Movies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments