Category Archives: New Horror

Movie Review: Tusk (2014)

tusk-giveawayFunny man Kevin Smith is known for his “bro” comedy movies filled with fart jokes and comic book references, but he proved with Red State that he can write serious films too. Tusk combines his knack for comedy with the more serious side of Smith. Adding a talent like Justin Long (Jeepers Creepers), Michael Parks (Red State) and Haley Joel Osment (The Sixth Sense) to Smith’s writing genius made this film a true contender for best horror film of 2014.

Tusk opens like most of Kevin Smith’s other films with some raunchy banter between two guy friends. This time instead of the Quick Stop we get a podcast called Not-See Party (not to be confused with Nazi Party) ran by Wallace Bryton (Long) and Teddy Craft (Osment). The podcast is much like Smith’s very own “Smodcast“. The dialogue between Wallace and Teddy is insanely funny and a lot like the conversations between Dante and Randal in the Clerks films.

Justin-Long-Tusk-Podcast
Justin Long in Tusk podcast scene

Smith is known for the cameos in his films. This one was chalk full of those. The first cameo by Harley Morenstein (Epic Meal Time) who plays a border patrol officer in the airport. I laughed the entire time he was on the screen. The dialogue between him and Justin Long was by far some of the funniest lines in any comedy. The next cameo was by Smith’s own wife, Jennifer Schwalbach (Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back) as a waitress. To go along with the Clerks theme, Harley Quinn Smith (Kevin Smith’s daughter) and Lily-Rose Melody Depp (Johnny Depp’s daughter) both appeared as clerks at a Canadian version of the Quick Stop, Eh-2-Zed. Both girls were amazing, they were funny and sweet, but can give some real attitude.

Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Melody Depp
Harley Quinn Smith and Lily-Rose Melody Depp

Lily-Rose was not the only Depp to make an appearance, her father, Johnny Depp, had a cameo where he was almost unrecognizable as Guy Lapointe. He has a fairly large role towards the end of the film.

Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe
Johnny Depp as Guy Lapointe

The story switches from lighthearted to dark and demented seamlessly in the blink of an eye. Michael Parks goes from a kindhearted old man with a witty sense of humor to a depraved psycho, and it really was frightening how good he was at playing the villain. The way he spoke the words were not all that made his character dark, the look in his eyes was that of a true mad man which help lend more authenticity to the role of Howard Howe.

Michael Parks as Howard Howe
Michael Parks as Howard Howe

Justin Long was the perfect choice for Wallace. This character was a bit of a scumbag (he cheats on his girlfriend and exploits people for a living) with a very humorous personality. He was almost the guy you love to hate until everything flipped for him. I also thought it was a bit ironic that his character’s name was Wallace which is dangerously close to walrus, well played Mr. Smith, well played.

Justin Long
Justin Long

One thing that I really enjoyed about Tusk was that no matter how dark the scenes became, there was always a comedic relief. The horror and comedy blended together phenomenally without becoming insanely campy. I almost felt bad for laughing through the whole thing because there were such horrible things happening to the title character.

The character of Howard Howe is sympathetic psychopath. He has only been burnt by humanity and found happiness only with a walrus (Mr. Tusk). So was he born a crazy, Dr. Frankenstein type or was he driven there by the coldness of others and the grief of losing the only friend he ever knew?

Not only was this a tale of shock and horror, but I feel it was also a bit of a karma tale. The cheating boyfriend that exploits the misfortune of others for a living gets kidnapped and basically tortured, and a psychopath is betrayed by the one creature that he shared a connection with.

The special effects for this film were outstanding. My biggest concern was about the “walrus suit” and how it was actually going to look. It was amazing, there was a bit of camp to it, but the overall appearance of it was shocking. The best way I can describe it is Frankenstein meets National Geographic. There weren’t really any over the top gory scenes, but the bloody scenes that were in the film were executed very well.

The ending was actually quite sweet. It is not the ending that I saw coming, but it fit the entire story of the film perfectly. It brought the whole film full circle.

Walrus diagrams
Walrus diagrams

I recommend Tusk to fans of Kevin’s other work all the way down to the most hardcore horror junkies. There is something for everyone in this film. Kevin Smith’s best film since Clerks.

Trailer:

Movie Review: Asylum of the Dead (2014)

asylumAsylum of the Dead was directed by Michael Rooker and stars Haylie Duff (Napoleon Dynamite), Beverley Mitchell (7th Heaven) and Michael Rooker (The Walking Dead). 

Synopsis:

For decades, Pennhurst psychiatric hospital has been haunted by turbulent supernatural forces. When a television crew embarks on a mission to capture this paranormal activity, they discover something completely unexpected. As restless souls from their past torment the crew members, they fear for their lives as one by one they are gruesomely murdered. In a surprising revelation, they discover something more terrifying than ghosts is responsible.

The first thing that drew me to this film was that it was directed by Michael Rooker, but what really persuaded me to purchase the film was that it is set around one the most notoriously haunted buildings in America, Pennhurst psychiatric hospital. Just the lore that surrounds that building and it’s past is enough to create one frightening film.

From the beginning of the film, it kind of pokes fun at the television phenomenon that is known as the ghost hunting show. Every network has one nowadays it seems. I feel that it gave a bit of a comedic element. One complaint that I have is that the audio is a bit hard to hear unless you have it cranked up. It is shot in almost a “found footage” style making the audio less refined and more difficult to hear. In a way it kind of adds to the film though giving it that raw feel of really walking around Pennhurst with a group of “ghost hunters”.

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Haylie Duff in Asylum of the Dead

What threw me off was seeing Beverly Mitchell’s name at the top of the cover. I remember her as sweet as apple pie, preacher’s daughter Lucy Camden from the 90’s family drama 7th Heaven. I was pleasantly surprised by her performance. She certainly has shed that squeaky clean image in Asylum of the Dead. I see a bright future for her in horror.

Haylie Duff’s performance was fantastic. She has really come a long way from the Napoleon Dynamite days. Her role could have gone one of two ways, great or horribly corny. She was far from corny, giving a believable performance. I look forward to seeing more from Duff in the horror genre.

The menacing character of “Dr. Death” was played by horror and film veteran, Michael Rooker. He brought elements of two of his most well known characters, Merle Dixon (The Walking Dead) and Henry (Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer). The witty dialogue that Dr. Death has with his victims is very reminiscent of lines we may have heard from Merle, but he was also quite cold and calculated like Henry. Rooker was genius, and no one can play a villain you love to hate, but end up kind of liking in the end quite like he can.  

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Michael Rooker as Dr. Death in Asylum of the Dead

The ghostly sound effects were a little hokey, but I don’t feel that it took away from the film. To make up for the corny sound effects, the visual effects were really quite impressive for a straight to DVD film. I wouldn’t call Asylum of the Dead a splatter fest, but there were some pretty unique death scenes that called for some pretty unique effects and they were executed beautifully. 

Not to give too much away, about midway through, there is a joke about the popular 90’s film The Sixth Sense. The ending to this film has a few similarities to the ending of that film. I’m not sure how to classify this film. It is a film about a haunting, but there are also elements of a slasher film. The best way I can describe this film is a cross of Friday the 13th and The Sixth Sense. Asylum of the Dead is appealing to fans of both the slasher and haunting sub-genres of horror. 

The critics gave this film an average of about 3.5 stars. I disagree with them, I am going to give Asylum of the Dead a 6.5. The film was well written and offered an amazing cast, but it was a bit short and I feel they could have extended the film a bit more and incorporated a bit more. I do recommend this film to fans of indie style horror films and anyone looking for a horror film that hasn’t been done before. It is unlike any other haunting movie out there right now. The ending is quite a shocking plot twist, and I did not see it coming at all. This film does not have the same stereotypical, happy ending that many films like this have. I absolutely loved it.

I could not find an official trailer for Asylum of the Dead, so below is a short clip from the film.

Anchor Bay Entertainment Premieres First Official MUCK Trailer and Exclusive One Sheet

MUCK Kickstarter Passes $210,000 in Pledges

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Anchor Bay Entertainment has unveiled the first Official Theatrical Trailer for MUCK, as well as new exclusive poster art (attached). Horror and gore fans alike should feast their eyes on this freshest take yet on the MUCK trailer, viewable on the main page of the Muck Kickstarter:bit.ly/MuckKickstarter
Speaking of Feast, the MUCK Kickstarter campaign to fund the prequel, MUCK: Feast of Saint Patrick, is still under way, and recently surpassed the $200,000 mark on the way to the goal of raising a quarter of a million dollars. Just like the original, the MUCK prequel will boast death-defying stunts and practical effects, shot without the use of CGI – all in 4K Ultra HD. 
As a production company, WithAnO wanted to give fans and Kickstarter backers alike an insight into what they’re supporting, and so recently released this exclusive, behind-the-scenes footage of one of MUCK’s incredible stunts:http://youtu.be/VzU2RZettks
The daring stunt-woman in this case is Alexa Marcigliano, and her courage is palpable in the clip, sprinting O.S. through the pitch-black living room before bouncing on a trampoline, then hurling herself through the 4 x 6 picture window, out into the night. To say that hitting her mark was highly important is obviously an understatement. Jump too short, and Alexa would land head-first on the edge of the porch outside; too high, and she would hit window frame; too long, and she would overshoot the padding buried beneath the grass outside. And, since there was only room in the budget for one window, it had to be done in a single take.
These are the kinds of stunts that Steve Wolsh lives to shoot as a writer/director, but these kinds of stunts take time, money, and not least of all, the ultimate creative control that can only be afforded by independent financing. So remember, any mention or write-up on the Muck Kickstarter campaign directly furthers our goal of making another epic, independent horror film for true horror fans. The MUCK franchise is so close to this goal – a goal that at one time seemed insurmountable! – and we have all of you, our loyal supporters to thank. 
MUCK stars horror legend Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th Part VII, VIII, Jason Goes to Hell, and Jason X), Lachlan Buchanan (Pretty Little Liars), and Bryce Draper (Bound), and co-stars 2012 Playboy Playmate of the Year Jaclyn Swedberg, Puja Mohindra, and Laura Jacobs. The middle chapter of an independently financed horror trilogy,MUCK will be unleashed in theaters on Friday the 13th, March 2015.

Leprechaun Origins Review

Leprechaun OriginsFrom WWE Studios comes the film Leprechaun Origins. The film was written by Zach Lipovsky, directed by Harris Wilkinson and stars Dylan Postl (WWE’s Hornswoggle), Stephanie Bennett and Andrew Dunbar. When I first saw the casting and the poster art for this film, I was pretty excited, and being a fan of the original films I couldn’t wait to see it, but that excitement was short lived when I finally watched it.

I’m not even sure where to begin, there weren’t very many redeeming qualities for this one. The idea was great, but the execution was poor to say the least. For once in a B-style horror, the acting was not terrible (and about 95% of the cast had guest starred on the hit series Supernatural through the course of 10 seasons), but good acting cannot make up for a poorly written script. The whole film felt rushed to me, like they were in a huge hurry to release it and ride the coattails of See No Evil 2‘s success, that they really missed the boat entirely. 

Being a low budget film, I did not expect the film’s effects to be James Cameron film good, but they were atrocious. The makeup on Dylan Postl who was playing the leprechaun was pretty impressive, but it looks like they spent so much time and money on that that they forgot about the rest of the film. Spotty CGI was used for the vast majority of the film. Had they of gone with just a few more practical effects, it may not have been so bad. The CGI was worse than that of most syfy original films.   

lep6I was a bit confused on the fact that it was supposed to be an “origin story”, but,*spoiler alert*, how does the beast depicted in this film that is more animalistic than human turn into a more humanoid creature that can talk and crack all of the jokes that we all know and love?

lep4I swear that I really wanted to like this one, but I just couldn’t. I was severely let down and as a fan of the original Leprechaun films, I feel a bit of a slap in the face.

Watch the film and see for yourself, but I suggest renting it (yes, you can still do that) or waiting on it to pop up on Netfilx because in my personal opinion, it’s not worth the money.

For once I am going to have to agree with the critics and give Leprechaun Origins a 3.9. The effort was there, but the execution was very lacking.

Plot:

 Two young couples backpacking through Ireland discover that one of Ireland’s most famous legends is a terrifying reality.

Trailer:

GIVEAWAY: The Purge: Anarchy Prize Pack (CLOSED)

CONTEST HAS ENDED

The Purge: Anarchy opens in theaters July 18th! Thank you to PartnersHub, one of you awesome readers will be selected to win The Purge: Anarchy Prize Pack which includes:

The Purge: Anarchy promo t-shirt (size large)

The Purge: Anarchy promo Flashlight

PurgePromo600

Before you head to theaters, you should prepare yourself with the “5 things you should know before seeing The Purge: Anarchy“.

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To win all you have to do is comment below with the answer to the following question:

What would you do if the Purge night actually happened?

Guidelines:

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Purge Prize Pack via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

The Purge: Anarchy trailer

Rob Zombie’s 31: Halloween 3, Captain Spaulding or Something Totally New?

Screen-Shot-2014-05-16-at-1.02.13-PMKing of shock rock and gruesome films Mr. Rob Zombie will be returning to the horror scene with a new film, 31. After mixed reviews about his last film, Lords of Salem, 31 is receiving a lot of buzz. Fans are going crazy about what could potentially be in store in this new film. A couple of months ago, Rob released a teaser to his new film and rumors started flying. Speculations about 31 have the film being a prequel to House of 1000 Corpses, a film about Captain Spaulding and even Zombie’s third installment of Halloween.

Unlike all of the previous Rob Zombie productions, details surrounding 31 have been very hush hush. No plot has been released nor any casting announcements. The only details that have been released as of now is that the film will take place on Halloween night, which has led to Halloween 3 rumors. Rob shot down the Captain Spaulding rumors in a recent interview stating that 31 will have nothing to so with House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects or Captain Spaulding.  He guarantees a totally new idea and it will have nothing to do with his previous films. The only other detail that is knownrob_zombie-picture-480x360 for sure is that Rob is hoping to start filming in the fall. All other details will remain a secret…….for now.

Although the majority of the rumors have been shot down, fans are still foaming at the mouth for more details and coming up with their own theories surrounding the film. My theory, 31 will be a new film all to itself and be freestanding from his other work. Since Lords of Salem received a lot of bad reviews, I think this will be his redemption film to show everyone that he’s still got it.

I however would not be 100% shocked if this is a film about Captain Spaulding or his Halloween 3. After all, after his 2007 adaptation of Halloween, he did say he was not going to do another Halloween movie yet he released Halloween II two years later in 2009. Only time will tell, but I am sure that 31 will amaze whether it is a continuation of something or it really is a brand new idea. I for one love the route he is taking to promote the film, absolute secrecy. It is a brilliant tactic and I applaud Mr. Zombie for not being like every other writer/director spoiling the film for everyone before they even see it.

For more information about 31, follow Rob Zombie on twitter and join the mailing list at RobZombie.com.

Teaser for 31:

 

Horror/Thriller Infliction Coming To DVD and VOD

Infliction-Poster-No-Credits-691x1024Film stats:

Run Time: 106 minutes

Language: English

Year of Production: 2013

Country: USA

Genre: Horror/Thriller/Found Footage

The new horror/thriller from director Jack Thomas Smith, Infliction, has received a DVD/VOD release date of Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 in the US and Canada. The film will be distributed via Virgil Films & Entertainment, the company that distributed the controversial documentary Supersize Me.

Synopsis:

“Infliction” is the actual assembled footage taken from the cameras belonging to two brothers, who documented a murder spree in North Carolina.

Quote from Jack:

“Working on ‘Infliction’ left me troubled and haunted, it left me thinking about people’s actions or lack
thereof and the inevitable domino effect. We all walk our own path in life, which shapes and defines us. What happens to us today, good or bad, will affect generations to come .”

Infliction will be available on/at Netflix, Walmart.com, iTunes, Amazon, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, CD Universe, Google Play, Vudu, Cinema Now, Vimeo OnDemand and other online retailers.

Earlier this year, Infliction debuted in select theaters across the country. Additional screenings have been scheduled for this summer and fall due to the large demand for the film. These additional screenings will take place in Washington, NJ; Pittsburgh, PA; NYC; Gettysburg, PA and The Chiller Expo in Parsippany, NJ.

Trailer:

Stills:

inflictionstills

To keep up to date on Infliction and new projects from Jack Thomas Smith, like the Infliction Facebook page, visit Infliction.com, follow the Infliction twitter, follow Jack on twitter and subscribe to the Fox Trail Productions YouTube channel.

 

Daniel: A Short Film By Peter Dukes

10384531_693795024018946_4566028805009863311_nShort films are an art form in themselves, and a great short film is hard to achieve. Peter Dukes is a master at creating short films that will either make you laugh or scare the pants off of you, but one thing he does not do is create bad films. I have previously reviewed his short film Little Reaper about the daughter of Death. Little Reaper was a comical short, but not Peter Dukes and Dream Seekers Productions have put together a much darker short film, Daniel.

Daniel stars Dominic Pace, Varda Appleton, Peter Le Bas, J.P. Giuliotti and Jake Ryan Scott. There is not a lot of dialogue in this short, but there is a lot of “body acting” which was flawless. The dialogue that was present was well written and recited in a very dark, believable way. The beginning credit were eerie and really set the tone for the rest of the short. Daniel is only 3 minutes long, but packs as much of a punch as a 90 minute feature film. The feeling I got from the film was a bit of a You’re Next vibe at the beginning which was quickly changed to an Exorcist vibe in the last 30 seconds. There is even a moral to this very short story, but I do not want to spoil it. You’ll have to find 3 minutes and watch for yourself (which you can do below) to find out what it is.

Plot:

DANIEL is a paranormal horror short about a boy hiding in a closet from a dangerous intruder, but is all what is seems?

Watch Daniel below:

To keep up to date on Daniel and Dream Seekers Productions, be sure to visit the official Dream Seekers Productions site, like the Facebook page, follow them on twitter and subscribe to the Dream Seekers Productions YouTube Channel.

 

 

Jessica Cameron’s Truth or Dare Gets New Poster and New Red Band Trailer

Truth Or Dare artworkThere has been a lot of buzz about director/scream queen Jessica Cameron’s new film Truth or Dare. The film is finishing up it’s tour of festivals and has received high praise from critic, and has banked several awards. Following the film’s success at these festivals, Truth or Dare has received a new poster (courtesy of Fred Theil and Zulchakim Ak) and red band trailer (courtesy of Smagalski Video Service).

Truth or Dare was written by Jessica Cameron and Jonathan Higgins. It stars Jessica Cameron (To Jennifer), Ryan Kiser (House of Manson), Heather Dorff (Incorporeal), Shelby Stehlin (The Steam Experiment) and Devanny Pinn (The Penny Dreadful Picture Show).

Plot:

Six college kids find internet stardom when they make “Truth or Dare” videos with a violent twist. It is all fun and games until their number one fan decides he wants to play by his own rules.

When asked about the new trailer, Jessica had this to say:

“I love a good horror trailer. I feel like trailers give too much away these days and the mystery is spoiled. I want things to go back as they used to be when you saw a preview of a film and went I NEED TO SEE THIS! I think Smagalski Video Service did a great job with this new gory trailer.”

Although it has shown at many festivals across the US, Mexico and over seas, there is no set DVD release date as of yet.

Trailer:

To keep up to date on Truth or Dare, be sure to visit the TruthorDareTheMovie.com, like the Truth or Dare Facebook page, follow the film’s twitter page and subscribe to the YouTube channel.

 

A New Film From Mane Entertainment: Penance Lane

1466240_614478385277303_1009764603_nFollowing the success of their first film, Compound Fracture (now available on DVD), Mane Entertainment has a new thrilling film up their sleeves. Penance Lane is currently in pre-production, and like Compound Fracture it has a pretty incredible story line and an equally impressive cast.

Penance Lane was written by Munier Sharrieff and will be directed by BJ McDonell (director of Hatchet III). The film is set to star Tyler Mane (X-Men, Rob Zombie’s Halloween, Compound Fracture), Leslie Easterbrook (Police Academy 3, The Devil’s Rejects, Compound Fracture), Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive, Final Destination, The Lords of Salem), Muse Watson (Assassins, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Compound Fracture), Renae Geerlings (Blame, Rob Zombie’s Halloween II, Compound Fracture) and Troy Brenna (X-Men, Thor, Fast Five). Undeniably a list of pretty incredible names have their hands on this project.

Synopsis:

A hardened criminal fresh out of the joint takes a job as a handyman in a dilapidated house; but the twisted horrors he finds inside are enough to send anyone running. So why does he stay? And why are so many people drawn to Penance Lane?

No definite release date has been set for Penance Lane yet. From the posts on twitter and Facebook I’ve read, the posters I’ve seen and the teaser trailers up on the Mane Entertainment YouTube, this film is going to be well worth the wait.

To stay up to date on all things Mane Entertainment and Penance Lane, be sure to like the Mane Entertainment Facebook page, follow them on twitter, subscribe to the YouTube channel, follow them on Instagram (@maneentertain) and visit both ManeEntertainment.com and PenanceLane.com.

Teaser Trailer: