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11/11/11 (2011) review

11-11-11 posterDirector: Keith Allan

Starring: Jon Briddell, Erin Coker, Hayden Byerly, Aurelia Scheppers

“Numbers are not merely symbols, Mr Vales. They hold great power. And they have that power because we give it to them. When these numbers align his fate is sealed. Your son must die before his birthday, and if you don’t kill him, I will.” (Annie, 11/11/11)

By this point I’ve become accustomed to groaning “oh for fuck’s sake” every time a movie opens with the words “The Asylum presents”.

In a way, it’s understandable. It’s just muscle memory every time I see the name of a studio known for producing shameless low budget knock-offs of popular movies.

The plan is simple: by giving their films a similar name the Asylum aims to trick unwitting parents who think they’re renting little Jimmy a slice of triple-A Hollywood blockbustery… or, at the very least, some sort of official spin-off. Continue reading

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Jason X (2001) review

Jason X posterDirector: James Isaac

Starring: Kane Hodder, Lexa Doig, Lisa Ryder, Derwin Jordan, Melyssa Ade

“Guys, it’s okay! He just wanted his machete back!” (Professor Lowe, Jason X)

I can just imagine the conversation that potentially took place when Jason X was originally conceived.

“We need to make another Friday The 13th movie boss, but we’re running out of ideas.”

“Running out of ideas? Are you mad? It’s a slasher movie. Put gore and tits in it and you’re good.”

“Yes sir, but Friday The 13th fans expect something more, some sort of twist. We’ve already had a 3D one, a copycat killer one, a zombie one, one shot in New York and a possession one. What now?”

“I don’t care. I couldn’t give a shit if it’s fucking Jason In Space, just get tits and gore in it and have it ready by the summer.” Continue reading

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Jason Goes To Hell: The Final Friday (1993) review

Jason Goes To Hell posterDirector: Adam Marcus

Starring: Kane Hodder, Kari Keegan, John D LeMay, Steven Williams

STEVEN – “Duke! The part about being reborn through a Voorhees woman, does it have to be a living woman?”
DUKE – “No.”
STEVEN – “Duke, that thing is in the basement with Jessica’s dead mother.”
DUKE – “Mother of God.”

Here’s the story. After Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan died on its arse and drew the lowest ever box office in the series’ history, Paramount was done with it.

Step forward New Line Cinema, who owned A Nightmare On Elm Street. New Line had been itching to make a film pitting their own Freddy Krueger against Jason for a while, but the fact that they owned Freddy while Paramount owned Jason meant it was a logistical nightmare.

New Line’s solution was impeccable: buy Jason from Paramount at a low price while his name is mud at the studio, make him popular again then make the Freddy vs Jason film everyone wants to see. Continue reading

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Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan (1989) review

Friday The 13th Part VIII posterDirector: Rob Hedden

Starring: Kane Hodder, Jensen Daggett, Todd Caldecott, Tiffany Paulsen

“I think the time has come for your first swimming lesson. You don’t wanna end up drowning like that Voorhees boy, do you? He never learned how to swim, either. And he’s still at the bottom of this lake.” (Charles, Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan)

By the time the Friday The 13th series had reached its eighth incarnation it was clear ideas were running a bit thin on the ground.

After all, there’s only so many times you can recycle the whole ‘masked killer stalks horny teens through the woods’ routine without eventually jumping the shark.

By this point though, Friday The 13th had jumped more sharks than Evel Knievel at a poker tournament. Continue reading

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Puppet Master II (1991) review

Puppet Master 2 posterDirector: David Allen

Starring: Elizabeth Maclellan, Collin Bernsen, Steve Welles, Greb Webb

“No one escapes.” (Andre Toulon, Puppet Master II)

I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the Puppet Master series, as you’ll already know if you read my review of the first film a while back.

This second outing for Full Moon Pictures’ wooden wonders offers more of the same, with stop-motion puppetry, supernatural skullduggery and sub-standard acting the order of the day.

The movie begins with our anti-heroes, still living at the Bodega Bay Inn, facing a dilemma. You see, the reason they’re alive in the first place is because their titular puppet master, Andre Toulon, developed a serum that could bring life to inanimate objects.

The problem is, the serum’s running out, and Andre Toulon pebble-dashed a wall with his brains in the ’40s when he shot himself to avoid capture by the Nazis, so if they can’t get any more serum soon they’ll be a bit fucked. Continue reading

Phantasm featured pic

Phantasm (1979) review

Phantasm posterDirector: Don Coscarelli

Starring: Michael Baldwin, Bill Thornbury, Reggie Bannister, Angus Scrimm

“You think when you die, you go to heaven? You come to us.” (The Tall Man, Phantasm)

When most people think of iconic horror movie villains they tend to reel off the usual suspects: Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, Chucky and the like.

However, one particular evildoer was doing his nefarious deeds long before most other slasher baddies got their blades wet. His name is the Tall Man, and he’s the villain in cult ’70s horror Phantasm.

The film takes place in a small Californian town which, when we join it, is mourning the apparent suicide of one of its residents. We’ve already seen in the opening scene that it was actually a murder, though, so it’s clear hijinks are due. Continue reading

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The Tenant (2012) review

The Tenant posterDirector: Chris Jaymes

Starring: David Arquette, Kristen Dalton, Victor Browne, Morissa O’Mara, Alana O’Mara

Also known as: The Cottage (US title)

“Listen, I’m really sorry but it’s just really important to me that we’re cool with each other, because honestly, I think I’m falling in love with your daughter.” (Robert, The Tenant)

I usually have a soft spot for actors that are widely regarded as a bit pish. I will defend Ben Affleck to the death, for example, and Charlie Sheen may have his critics but he’s alright in my book.

Much as I’d love to say the same about David Arquette though, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Continue reading

AVP Alien vs Predator featured pic

AVP: Alien vs Predator (2004) review

AVP Alien vs Predator posterDirector: Paul W S Anderson

Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Raoul Bova, Ewen Bremner

They’re not hunting us. We’re in the middle of a war. It’s time to pick a side.” (Alexa, AVP: Alien vs Predator)

How do you bring two of the most iconic sci-fi monsters together so they can meet and fight each other?

Hmmm. What if there was some sort of common ground they shared, something that could be used to force a meeting?

Let’s think. On one hand you’ve got the Alien, the penis-headed xenomorph that made life hell for Sigourney Weaver in the Alien movies. Which lives in space.

Then there’s the Predator, the alien hunter that made life hell for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the first Predator movie. Which lives in space.

Right then, with that in mind it seems pretty obvious how a storyline for Alien vs Predator could come about. Yup, you guessed it, a fight to the death in an ancient underground pyramid 2000 feet below the ground. In Antarctica. Continue reading

The Attic featured pic

The Attic (2013) review

The Attic posterDirector: Josh Stolberg

Starring: Raleigh Holmes, Steven Weber, Sterling Beaumon, Lori Laughlin, Jonathan Silverman, Paul James

Also known as: Crawlspace (US title)

TIM – “You don’t fuck with another man’s home.”
ALDON  – “I was about to say the same thing myself.”

There are a number of reasons I tend to watch indie horror films I’ve never heard of.

Part of it is down to the complete lack of knowledge of what’s coming next. I enjoy movies more when I don’t even know the basic plot.

It’s also because I like seeing what sort of ideas filmmakers can come up with when they only have a relatively small budget.

Best of all though, when you watch hundreds of films and most of them are shite, it’s even more satisfying than normal when you come across a hidden gem. Cue The Attic. Continue reading

Reviews of films that are slightly less than sane

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