Vanessa returns to review the holiday cheer fear flick, The Elf (2017) from writer-director Justin Price. You'd think this would be a slamming good time ala Leprechaun or Krampus or similarly crafted horror films. But, sadly, Vanessa shares this is not so. The effects are all over the place. The story is confusing and has Vanessa stumped, "You don't know what you're going to get." Check out Vanessa's entertaining review belo
Award-winning filmmaker Christopher G. Moore steps into the reviewers' circle to tackle the latest epic from director Joe Lynch, the violent action-comedy gorefest Mayhem (2017) featuring Steven Yuen and Samara Weaving in the lead roles. Christopher sings high praises for the film, championing the direction, the acting, the script, and the...mayhem. It's the best Joe Lynch film yet, displaying his maturing into becoming a top-tier action genre filmmaker. Steven Yuen proves he can carry a film as the lead and Samara Weaving impresses in the role of Melanie Cross - if you saw her in The Babysitter, this is no surprise. Lots of gore for hardcore horror fans make Mayhem the perfect combination of blood and violence for Gruesome Magazine listeners and readers. Christopher says "Check it out!" 5 out of 5 stars!
Fans of HNR know that Dave Dreher loves him some alien films, even more than that he loves Bigfoot films. He also enjoys a good vampire film. So he is thrilled to review the sci-fi mystery thriller Sightings (2017) from writer-director Dallas Morgan. Dave also loves a good bad movie and this film fits that bill. Dante Basco, Kevin Sizemore, Boo Arnold star in the picture where Bigfoot's kryptonite is Aloe Vera. Woot! Check out Dave's review below, you don't want to miss it!
Jeff Mohr jumped at the opportunity to review Radius (2017) when he saw it on the Gruesome Magazine review board. The film was right in his wheelhouse: a Sci-Fi thriller with a WTF premise and a couple WTF plot twists. Either or both of the two stars - Diego Klattenhoff (The Blacklist, Homeland, Pacific Rim) and Charlotte Sullivan (Chicago Fire, Rookie Blue, The Colony) - are on screen for nearly the entire film and do excellent jobs taking their characters through a series of developments and revelations. The poster tagline, "Don't get too close," is a downright sneaky indicator of what's to come without giving too much away. In Radius, writers/directors Caroline Labrèche and Steeve Léonard have crafted a layered, slow-burn, Sci-Fi thriller that is well written, directed, shot, and acted. Seek it out!
Chicago was home to Cinepocalypse from November 2 through November 9, 2017. One of the 60 films screening at this incredible film festival was The Terror of Hallow's Eve (2017) from director Todd Tucker along with co-writers Ronald L. Halvas and Zack Ward. The film features Eric Roberts as neighbor Ed and Doug Jones under the make-up of two top-notch creations, The Trickster and a creepy Scarecrow. The film stars Caleb Thomas, Sarah Lancaster, Annie Read, JT Neal, Mcabe Greg, and Niko Papastefanou. The film shines when it plays to its strengths: the special effects and its 80s vibe. The story loses interest the more it focuses on its lead and his unconvincing and typical 80s motivations, leading to the usual revenge-themed mayhem. The ending also does the film little favor as it veers into a second storyline that feels more like padding than a needed twist or turn.
Click here for more about Cinepocalypse.
Paul Cardullo returns to discuss another Film Festival Favorite, Family Possessions (2017) from director Tommy Faircloth. We've covered the film before online and in our Gruesome Magazine print edition but Paul provides a new perspective from not only GenreBlast Film Festival but from Wreak Havoc Film Festival as well and compares the two experience giving this review a unique perspective. The film feature two familiar genre names from the Eighties, Mark Patton from A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge and Felissa Rose from Sleepaway Camp. It also features up and coming stars from past Faircloth films Elizabeth Mears, Jason Vail, and Leah Wiseman in the starring role. Andrew Wicklum and Erika Edwards also make a strong impression in this terrific thriller.
Vanessa returns with another killer review of a supernatural horror film. This time it is Live-Evil (2017) from director Ari Kirschenbaum. The film features Charlene Amoia, Vladimir Kulich, and Tony Todd. Vanessa praises the film's spirit, tone, and artistry. She dives into the demons and the dead, mentioning Eddie from Iron Maiden along the way. Listen to the review below to discover why the film and its murder-mystery vibe connects with Vanessa so strongly.
"Boy, have we got a vacation for you...where nothing can possibly go wrong..." - the tagline for the 1973 theatrical version of Michael Crichton's Westworld sets the movie up perfectly. Richard Benjamin and James Brolin star as friends who visit Western World to play out a fantasy vacation living in the wild, wild West. Yul Brynner is cast as The Gunslinger, a rogue cowboy dressed in all black who continually tries to gun down our heroes. Paul Cardullo joins Doc at the Retro Films Series at the Carolina Theater in Durham, North Carolina for a James Brolin double feature (more on the second feature in a future review). Find out how this classic which inspired the hit HBO series of the same name holds up 42 years later and on the big screen. Also, to paraphrase Paul, "You haven't seen anything until you have seen Dick Van Patten in a bar fight..." Check out Paul's review below.
Without even knowing it, Doc gets revenge on Jeff Mohr for suggesting Night of the Lepus as a Decades of Horror 1970s topic. In the spirit of that campy classing, mixing in elements of classic Eighties schlock Critters and Killer Klowns from Outer Spaces comes Cute Little Buggers (2017) from director Tony Jopia. Jeff is on board, armed with bottles of "Bugger Killer" to review the film about killer bunnies hungry for human flesh and primed to repopulate the world alien style. Oh, my. Jeff shares his appreciation for the plot, the effort, and the inclusion of Caroline Munro in an extended cameo role but confesses that much of the film is lost on him, disliking the film but selling it all the while. Check out his review below.
Marvel returns to Asgard with Thor: Ragnarok (2017), the third in the Thor series of films. However, this addition to the franchise brings far more spirit, color, life, and humor to the sometimes stiff characters. Director Taika Waititi along with writers Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, and Christopher Yost may have created the most accessible and hilarious Marvel Cinematic Universe movie thus far. While the plot is a bit thin and may waste its opportunity to spotlight Cate Blanchette as Hela, the Goddess of Death, it makes up for that with a terrific cast full of energy and charisma. Chris Hemsworth turns his Thor on end with a brilliant comedic performance while maintaining the action hero elements. Tom Hiddleston returns as fan-favorite Loki and never misses an opportunity to shine. Mark Ruffalo guest-stars as Bruce Banner (and the Incredible Hulk) while Tessa Thompson steals the film as Valkyrie. The film is full of surprises and delights and will surely entertain its audience. Thor: Ragnarok is solid gold! Check out the review from Doc Rotten below with guest review by Christopher G. Moore.
Things get rough for our brave reviewer, Paul Cardullo, as he settles in to watch...and review...the grindhouse horror wannabe, Halloween Pussy Trap Kill Kill (2017). He is so distraught after seeing this mess of a film he even hangs the good Doc out to dry for handing him the film to review in the first place. Oh, noes. The disappointment continues as the film's title suggests a kindred spirit to Russ Meyer's classic Faster Pussycat! Kill Kill (1965). Sadly, it is not. Ah, but director Jared Cohn (Atlantic Rim, 12/12/12, The Domicile) gives it a solid try. Find out how close he gets with Paul's review below. Oh, yeah, and score one for including Richard Grieco...
The selection at the 2017 edition of the New York City Horror Film Festival was spectacular. Opening the Halloween weekend event is the psychological horror thriller 3 (2017) from director Lou Simon. Rafe Telsch steps in to provide his take on this little gem praising the film as a model of what other independent filmmakers should follow and give high marks for actor Mike Stanley. And, yes, Rafe does explain the meaning of the film's simple one-word title, 3. Check out his review below.
Throughout October, Netflix has been providing genre fans with an ample amount of horror content from Stranger Things Season 2 to The Babysitter and so much more. Jeff Mohr is here to give his review of yet another Stephen King adaptation, the haunting film 1922 (2017) from director Zak Hilditch. The film features Thomas Jane, Molly Parker, Dylan Schmid, and Neal McDonough. While not at graphic as It or some other King films, it is no less harrowing and gripping. 1922 owes much of its success to the terrific performance from its lead Thomas Jane who, much like Carla Gugino in Gerald's Game, gives the performance of his career calling back to the quality of his role in The Mist. Jeff even suggests that this may be even better than the critically praised Gerald's Game which premiered on Netflix just a few short weeks prior. Halloween 2017 has been a good month for horror.
John Kramer returns - as does the Saw series - with Jigsaw (2017) from the Spierig Brothers (Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig), the directors behind Undead, Daybreakers, Predestination, and the upcoming Winchester: The House That Ghosts Builts. Tobin Bell returns in the title role while his costars Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Cle Bennet, Laura Vandervoort, and Paul Braunstein attempt to survive the night. Rafe Telsch steps up to tackle the latest theatrical release and shares his thoughts on the film and how is sizes up the previous seven films in the franchise that once owned Halloween. Check out the review below.
Paul Cardullo returns with another edition of Groovy Gory Gruesome Gold with a killer Blu-ray release from Arrow Film, the iconic and legendary splatterfest Blood Feast (1963) from the Godfather of Gore, Herschell Gordon Lewis. Paul shares his love for this film and this edition. The film holds up surprisingly well...for what it is and the special features are well worth the Blu-ray, which includes a second 1963 feature from the maverick director, Scum of the Earth. Check out Paul's review below.
Close Calls (2017) from writer-director Richard Stringham lands on the Gruesome Magazine desk via the New York City Horror Film Festival. The movie is part of the festival's opening night, October 27, 2017. Doc Rotten joins Paul Cardullo with a review of the film, citing its heavy Eighties feel and approach as one of the film's stronger qualities. The film has fun with its gore and story, planting its tongue firmly in its cheek but steering clear of outright parody. The film succeeds in this approach. But, what it is more notable in is the potential star-making turn with its lead actress Jordan Phipps. Check out the review to hear more.
The Snowman (2017) has all the right ingredients to make a riveting, mind-blowing thriller. It has a solid director with Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In) and a popular source material from author Jo Nesbo. The film, produced by none other than Martin Scorsese, features a stellar cast including Michael Fassbender, Rebeccas Furguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg, J.K. Simmons, Toby Jones, James D'Arcy, and Val Kilmer. Yet, somehow, The Snowman manages to spiral out of control becoming one of the very worst films of 2017. The Snowman is simply...abominable. Doc Rotten shares his review of the feature film that tanked at the box office this past weekend and provides a preview of what you will hear on Horror News Radio episode 238. Check out the review below.
The directors of Inside, Alexandra Bustillo and Julien Maury, take a stab at putting their footprints on the history of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre with the prequel, Leatherface (2017). The film follows a group of young patients escaping from a mental hospital and on the run. One of the madmen is a young Leatherface - ah, but which one. Lilly Taylor is the matriarch of the family while Stephen Dorff is out to destroy them. Vanessa Grasse is a nurse too green to know better mixed up in the middle of it all. And, for some reason, Finn (Iron Fist) Jones is included in the mix. Doc Rotten steps in to review the film finding it a deceptively entertaining film...as long as you forget that it is intended to be a Texas Chainsaw Massacre film. Hurray for gore and grue, the film is plenty bloody for the gore-hounds. Check out the review below.
October always brings out the best in horror with Halloween festivities fueling parties, decorations, candy, trick-r-treating, and horror movie screenings. Jeff Mohr, the able host of Decades of Horror The Classic Era steps in to review The Tinger (1959) which he caught as part of the Cinemark Fall Classic Series on the big screen. There is no better way to experience the William Castle classic starring the one-and-only Vincent Price. Jeff shares his thoughts on the film and the experience itself. Ah, if only we could have "Percepto" as well - all would be right in the world.
Blumhouse returns with another horror film for the 2017 haunt season with Happy Death Day (2017). As the trailers promise, the film from director Christopher (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse) Landon channels a strong Groundhog Day vibe with a comedic horror spin to the rinse-and-repeat reliving of this horrific day. Doc Rotten steps in - as the resident Blumhouse fan - to review the film which is written by comic book writer Scott Lobdell. The film features Jessica Rothe in the lead role with a winning performance presenting her as a potential scream queen extraordinaire. The film has fun within its PG-13 envelope playing to the tween crowd while mixing the comedy and horror into a gruesome cocktail that many horror fans will grin and smile along.
Thanks to the aggressive marketing from Warner Brothers, it is no secret that Harrison Ford returns as Rick Deckard in Blade Runner 2049 (2017) from director Denis Velleneuve (Arrival). In the sequel three decades in the making, Ryan Gosling stars as K, the next generation of Blade Runner. Thomas Mariani steps in to review the latest theatrical sci-fi epic with an enthusiastic and insightful extra-length look at the film, the cinematography, the story, and the best excuse for "Gosling's wooden performances" ever. Yeah, only as Thomas Mariani can. Check out the review below.
Rafe returns to review another indie horror film haunting your VOD and DVD outlets. Arriving from Uncork'd Entertainment and director Justin Price is the supernatural offering The 13th Friday (2017). Struggling to decipher the true intention of the film's narrative, Rafe points out some technical issues with the film while appreciating the effort and intentions of the filmmakers, especially pointing out a call out with the final credits. Yet, the film fails to impress Rafe with its ghosts and scares which never match the promise of the trailer. Check out his review below. The film is out on VOD October 10, 2017.
Jeff Mohr is thrilled to be reviewing a film based on the works of the late author Michael McDowell. Writer-director Griff Furst adapts Cold Moon Over Babylon as the feature film Cold Moon (2017) from Uncork'd Entertainment. The movie stars Josh Stewart ("Shooter", The Dark Knight Rises), Christopher Lloyd (the Back to the Future series), Robbie Kay ("Once Upon a Time", Pirates of the Caribbean : On Stranger Tides), Candy Clark ("Twin Peaks", Zodiac), Rachele Brooke Smith (Center Stage : On Pointe, The Nice Guys) and Frank Whaley ("Luke Cage", The Doors). Jeff gives the film props for capturing the spirit of McDowell's work and delivering a creepy chiller. Check out his review below.
Vanessa returns to review another supernatural feature. This week it is Demons (2017) from director Miles Doleac. Along with Doleac, the film stars Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster), John Schneider (‘’Smallville’’), Lindsay Anne Willams (The Hollow), Steven Brand (Hellraiser : Revelations), Kristina Emerson (“NCIS : New Orleans”), and Gary Grubbs (Free State of Jones). Vanessa digs the look and tone of the cinematography and the overall approach of the film's story but she finds it is missing something to hold her attention. Regardless, she favors the film and gives it a recommendation in her review. Check out the details below.
This week, Paul Cardullo heads back to 1984 to visit the fields of Stephen King's Children of the Corn. Considered a horror classic by many, Paul discusses why he may not agree with this assessment. After driving around in the cornfield for a long time, he does find a couple of iconic performances by John Franklin as Issac and Courtney Gains as Malachai, but not much else. Take a listen to his review and see if you agree with him or if you feel that he should be sacrificed to He Who Walks Behind the Rows for spouting blasphemy.