Netflix is killing it for October Halloween 2017. While Little Evil (2017) was launched on the streaming site in late September it joins a handful of similar genre films releasing each weekend until Stranger Things Season 2 lands on October 27, 2017. (and, to be fair, their genre sensibilities continues into November with Godzilla: Monster Planet - but more on that in the near future). Jeff Mohr steps in to review the Eli (Tucker and Dale vs Evil) Craig horror-comedy feature. Little Evil stars Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly as a newlywed couple with a child who may - or may not - be the son of the devil. That's right, mirth and mayhem ensue.
Dave Dreher often reveals his love for Stephen King books and movies on Horror News Radio. The summer/fall of 2017 is experiencing a resurgence of terrific material from the legendary and prolific writer in cinematic form. Dave tackles the Netflix Original film from HNR favorite Mike Flannigan, Gerald's Game (2017) which features Carla Gugino (giving the performance of her career), Bruce Greenwood, and Henry Thomas. It is the book that seemed to be unfilmable, however, Netflix and Mike Flannigan seem to have done the impossible - and seem to have done it with an extraordinary amount of style, suspense, and success. Dave not only reviews the film but declares Gerald's Game the best horror film of 2017. Far out!
The coverage of the fantastic GenreBlast Film Festival continues with the feature film Happy Hunting (2017). The film from directors Joe Dietsch and Louie Gibson comes to the horror genre by way of The Most Dangerous Game. The plot follows Warren Novak (Martin Dingle Wall) a down-on-his-luck addict who finds himself on the run when he kills his drug supplier and steals their money and drugs. He, two of the cartel after his butt, and a random nogoodnik find themselves trapped by a town full of maniacs on the Mexican border. Soon the screen if full of bloodshed and mayhem. Doc steps in to share his thoughts on the film and provide his recommendations.
Paul Cardullo returns to review another feature from the spectacular GenreBlast Film Festival held at Winchester, Virginia September 7 - 10, 2017. Dead Bullet (2017) from writer-director Erik Reese is a thrilling crime-drama that delivers the goods as Bill Holden (John T. Woods) holds a satchel full of stolen casino chips and a history full of secrets that put everyone he knows and holds dear in danger. While more a thriller than anything near a horror film, Dead Bullet is full of tension, suspense, action, gunplay, and gore that should satisfy most any gore hound horror fan. Check out Paul's review below and then check out Dead Bullet.
Doc Rotten continues the coverage of the GenreBlast Film Festival held in Winchester, Virginia, September 7-10, 2017. The film today would fall into the WTF genre and did indeed headline a block of films that twisted one's mind. She's Allergic to Cats (2017) is from writer-director Michael Reich and it challenges how audience view films and how narratives weave their wicked tales. Reich plays around with visuals and tone to create a bizarre and fascinating - if questionable to its success - film about a dog groomer who falls for the girl of his dreams and into a world of surreal chaos. Doc drops his review below.
This week, Paul Cardullo takes a look at an unusual and lesser-known fright flick, The Slayer (1982). Is it a monster movie, a slasher film, or a psychological horror tale? While it may have a fairly low body count for a film of its era, Paul talks about why horror fans still may want to check it out. With the Arrow Video release of a new 4K restoration in a special 2-disc set, aficionados of 1980s horror films can watch this atmospheric and unconventional chiller in glorious high-definition.
Paul Cardullo returns to review another entry in the GenreBlast Film Festival. While the fest hosts a number of genres, this movie is a full-fledged horror flick of the weekend. Lilith's Awakening (2017) is filmed in rich black and white tones with a deliberate pacing and exquisite cinematography. Paul dives into what makes this film tick and is fascinated with the varied reference to Dracula. Check out his review to this dreamlike vampire film below.
Vanessa returns with another supernatural review of the Joseph Lavender’s Ghost Witch (2017). The film features Mandi Christine Kerr and Gregory French in starring roles. Vanessa praises the film for his earnest charm and spirit but struggles with its misleading title and lack of a ghost that the title and post promise. She suggests it may have been better to leave the film under its original title The Legend of the Seven Toe Maggie. Regardless, it has some promise despite tripping on the delivery. Check out her review below.
Ghost Witch (2017) 2 out of 5 starts
Joseph Lavender’s terrifying supernatural thriller Ghost Witch is available on VOD this month from Wild Eye Releasing.
In the tradition of Insidious and The Conjuring, Ghost Witch tells of a group of investigators that spend the night at the house where one of them was attacked as a child by the spirit of a murdered Native American girl.
Based on true events. Mattie enlists a group of paranormal investigators to spend the night at the haunted house where she was attacked by an angry spirit as a child, and where a Native American girl was brutally murdered two centuries ago. Once there, they are stalked and possessed as the truth about what happened there is revealed, as they all become unwilling participants in the ghost witch's plan for vengeance.
Stars Mandi Christine Kerr (The Walking Dead) and Gregory French (The Walking Dead, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Sleepy Hollow).
Ghost Witch is available on :
Studio:Wild Eye Releasing
Director: Joseph Lavender
Cast : Mandi Christine Kerr, Gregory French
Gruesome Magazine returns to GenreBlast this year to enjoy their brilliant selection of genre films from the horror films we typically cover to other similar genres worthy of our attention, Sci-Fi, Action, Fantasy, Comedy, WTF films. Doc shares his thoughts about Indiana (2017) from director Toni Comas and co-writer Charlie Williams. The film follows Michael (Gabe Fazio), a paranormal investigator who is struggling with this passion and life. His partner, Josh (Bradford West), convinces him to take one last case - a case that will prove to affect their lives in profound and emotional ways. Check out Doc's review of this terrific film exploring the characters behind the paranormal.
While GenreBlast is not strictly a horror film festival, it certainly features its share of horror fare along with many sci-fi epics, zany action films, and off the wall comedies. Paul Cardullo steps up to review one of the sci-fi entries at the 2017 GenreBlast Film Festival - and a favorite of the weekend - Future (2017). Directed by Rob Cousineau and Chris Rosik, Future features Joshua P. Cousineau and Phreddy Wischusen in the lead roles as Doug, a troubled young man down on his decisions in life, and the Time Traveler, who is prepared to offer Doug a second chance at a key moment in his life. But this offer comes with a price. Paul dives into how the film is driven by the characters instead of the sci-fi and how the two leads make the film, especially Phreddy Wischusen who anchors the film's heart and tone. Read his review below.
Paul Cardullo returns with another Groovy Gory Gruesome Gold retro review for the film Forbidden Planet (1956) which he and I saw at RetroFantasma at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Carolina. It played on a double bill with The Green Slime. Paul shares his thoughts about seeing the film on the big screen, how amazing the film looks 61 years later, and how well both the story and the effects hold up. And, of course, there's always Anne Francis. Check out the review below.
Forbidden Planet (1956) - 4.75 out of 5 stars
On September 7-10, 2017, Paul Cardullo and I attended the terrific GenreBlast Film Festival in Winchester, Virginia. Run by Nathan Ludwig and his GenreCrew (Raygan Ketterer, Chad Farmer, and Charles Devin Hill), the festival is quickly becoming a fan favorite. This year, the festival opened with a UK comedy called Guardians (2017) that mixes in a hint of the supernatural, home-invasion, and the totally bizarre to great effect and delightful entertainment. Director Mark A.C. Brown and his cast, including Matt Prendergast, David Whitney, and Hattie Hayridge, deliver a film that became my personal favorite of the weekend. Check out my review below.
While GenreBlast is not strictly a horror film festival, it certainly features its share of horror fare along with many sci-fi epics, zany action films, and off the wall comedies. Paul Cardullo steps up to review one of the more comedic entries at the 2017 GenreBlast Film Festival - and his favorite of the weekend - Camino (2017). The film features a pair of Texan teens who drive around in an El Camino and like to steal unattended coolers hoping to score beer ... or tasty sandwiches, at the very least. When they lift a cooler loaded with a pair of kidneys from a group of gangsters things get dangerous, bloody, and downright hilarious for our no-good heroes. Check out why Paul digs this riotous blend of Kevin Smith and Quentin Tarantino.
Camino (2017) 4 out of 5 stars
Director: Justin Herring
Writers: John Patrick Hughes & Justin Herring
Cast: Matthew James, Cody Michael Davids, Bonnie Gayle, Simon Phillips, Reynolds Washam, and D.B. Stewart
The vampy vixen Vanessa returns with another wacky review. Up this episode is the supernatural superhero epic Demon Hunter (2017). Niamh Hogan, Alan Talbot, Kevin O'Malley, Nic Furlong, Sarah Tapes Jenkinson, and Margarita Grillis star in writer-director Zoe Kavanagh's latest feature. Vanessa gives us a rundown of the plot, her opinion of the film, her score, and her favorite scene. Could this be the supernatural heroic adventure we've all been waiting for...?
Popcorn Frights Film Festival featured the Florida premiere of postpartum-themed chiller Still/Born on August 16, and Gruesome Magazine's Joseph Perry checks in with his thoughts on the film. Director/co-writer Brandon Christensen's psychological horror film stars Christie Burke as Mary, a new mother, and Jesse Moss as her husband Jack. The couple is the proud parents of a boy, but the baby's twin was stillborn. Mary becomes suspicious that the non-surviving baby is making its presence known in the house.
Jazzy Jeff Mohr returns to review another Sci-Fi joint. This go-around, the movie is Beyond the Trek (2017), a confusing retitling of a film previously known as Teleios. Director Ian Truitner guides the cast, which includes Sunny Mabrey (Snakes on a Plane, Species 3), Michael Nouri (The Hidden, TV’s “Damages”), and Lance Broadway (Olympus Has Fallen), through a space adventure filled with genetically enhanced humans, snazzy space sets, and a WTF plot that keeps you guessing. But the film may be undone by "ill-fitting pieces of apparel' - uh, oh.
Beyond the Trek (Teleios, 2017) 1.5 out of 5
Beam up one of the most exciting science-fiction adventures of the month, Beyond the Trek available September 5 from Screen Media.
Winner of at least nine major film awards including Best Feature Films at the Los Angeles Movie Awards and Best Sci-Fi Feature at the New York Science Fiction Film Festival, Beyond the Trek is “Visually stunning and thematically engrossing...” (Indie Horror) and is “Reminiscent of an episode of Star Trek or 2001: A Space Odyssey...you feel completely immersed in this futuristic world” (Tai Freligh, Flickering Myth).
Five genetically engineered “perfect” humans are sent on a rescue mission to Titan, where only one man has survived a ruined expedition to retrieve a vital cargo. Under the stress of isolation in outer space, the five perfect humans begin to exhibit formerly-concealed character flaws that threaten to tear the mission (and their chances for survival) apart.
Sunny Mabrey (Snakes on a Plane, Species 3), Michael Nouri (The Hidden, TV’s “Damages”), and Lance Broadway (Olympus Has Fallen) star in an Ian Truitner film, available on VOD and DVD (exclusively from Walmart) September 5.
Says director Ian Truitner, “Beyond the Trek reflects back to classic Sci-Fi in its aim to challenge how we see the world and ourselves. It's not the frantic spectacle of special effects extravaganzas made by huge studios, rather we aimed to draw audiences in with suspense, multidimensional characters, and thought-provoking themes. After a successful festival run that saw the film screen for Sci-Fi fans around the world, Beyond the Trek is now available to everyone!”
Studio: Screen Media
Director: Ian Truitner
Cast: Sunny Mabrey, Michael Nouri
Paul Cardullo returns with another Groovy Gory Gruesome Gold entry that should not be missed. Doc Rotten and Paul Cardullo ventured to the RetroFantasma event recently at the Carolina Theatre in Durham, North Caroline to catch a Sci-Fi classic double feature, the epic Forbidden Planet (1956) and the film Paul reviews here and now, The Green Slime (1968). Paul shares his views on the ups and downs of this z-grade classic that should not be missed with a theme song that will stay with you forever. Check out his review below.
Jeff Mohr reviews the Sci-Fi epic Anti-Matter (2017) from director Kier Burrows which is described as a noir sci-fi version of Alice in Wonderland. Check out Jeff's review to see if he agrees. The film stars Yaiza Figueroa, Philippa Carson, Tom Barber-Duffy, Noah Maxwell Clarke.
Anti-Matter (2017) 4 out of 5 stars
Writer-director Keir Burrow's critically acclaimed sci-fi masterpiece "Anti Matter" hits theaters and VOD this September from Uncork'd Entertainment.
Experience "art-house psychological horror at its finest" (MovieCrypt.com) in a "stylish and intriguing" (Shadows on the Wall) take on "Alice in Wonderland".
Ana, an Oxford Ph.D. student finds herself unable to build new memories following an experiment to generate and travel through a wormhole. The story follows her increasingly desperate efforts to understand what happened and to find out who – or what - is behind the rising horror in her life.
Featuring a cast "anchored by a strong performance from Yaiza Figueroa" (Eye for Film), "Anti Matter" is a "taut thriller that should appeal to both hard sci-fi fans and those who don’t know their wormholes from their warp drives" (One Room With a View).
"Anti Matter" in select theaters and VOD September 8.
The Russian supernatural horror film The Bride (Nevesta, 2017) had its North American premiere at Popcorn Frights Film Festival in Miami, Florida on August 17, and Gruesome Magazine's Joseph Perry has one of the first English language reviews for the movie. Victoria Agalakova stars as Nastya, a young woman who rushes into marriage, only to find that her in-laws harbor a country house filled with dark, deadly secrets. Joseph gives his thoughts on what this foreign horror offers in the way of originality, as well as what it borrows from fright fare from other countries.
The Bride 3 stars out of 5
d. Syvatoslav Podgavesvskiv
cast:Victoria Agalakova, Vyascheslav Chepurchenko, Aleksandra Rebenok, Igor Khripunov
Synopsis: After a grieving husband photographs his dead wife in mid-1800s rural Russia, he sets into motion a supernatural terror that will link a modern-day university student with her new husband's abysmal family history.
Vanessa Thompson joins the Grue-Crew to review the Aaron Mirtes film Clowntergeist from High Octane Pictures. In the film, a demonic clown terrorizes a pair of far-from-helpless teens and mayhem ensues. Thom Seidman, Burt Culver, and Brittany Belland star. Check out Vanessa's review below and let us know what you think.
Clowntergeist 1 out of 5 starts
Poltergeist meets IT in Clowntergeist, premiering on VOD September 12 from High Octane Pictures!
Emma, a college student with a crippling fear of clowns, must come face to face with her worst fear when an evil spirit in the body of a clown is summoned terrorizing the town she calls home. One by one Emma and her friends receive a balloon with the exact time and date of when it will appear to kill them written on it. After receiving her balloon, Emma realizes that she has two days left to live, and must fight against the clock to find a way to survive.
Director: Aaron Mirtes
Writers: Aaron Mirtes and Brad Belemjian
Cast: Brittany Belland, Aaron Mirtes, Eric Corbin
Foreign correspondent Kieran Fisher steps in to review the Jane Goldman adaptation of "Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem" in Juan Carlos Medina's horror thriller The Limehouse Golem. The film spares no crimson bloodshed when it comes to displaying the horror of a killer striking London, England. Bill Nighy stars as Inspector Kildare with Olivia Cooke as a troubled witness to the murder. Check out Kieran's review below.
The Limehouse Golem (2017) 3.5 out of 5 stars
THE LIMEHOUSE GOLEM - RLJ Entertainment
IN THEATERS AND AVAILABLE ON VOD AND DIGITAL HD: September 8, 2017
DIRECTED BY: Juan Carlos Medina
WRITTEN BY: Jane Goldman, based on the novel “Dan Leno and the Limehouse Golem” by Peter Ackroyd
CAST: Bill Nighy, Olivia Cooke, Douglas Booth, Daniel Mays, and Eddie Marsan
SYNOPSIS: The city of London is gripped with fear as a serial killer – dubbed The Limehouse Golem – is on the loose and leaving cryptic messages written in his victim’s blood. With few leads and increasing public pressure, Scotland Yard assigns the case to Inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy) – a seasoned detective with a troubled past and a sneaking suspicion he’s being set up to fail. Faced with a long list of suspects, including music hall star Dan Leno (Douglas Booth), Kildare must get help from a witness who has legal troubles of her own (Olivia Cooke), so he can stop the murders and bring the killer to justice.
DISTRIBUTOR: RLJ Entertainment
JJ Fitt returns to review the haunted house fright fest The Domicile from writer/director Jared Cohn. The film starts off strong with a spooky apparition creating some terrifying havoc but the film quickly loses focus sliding into familiar territory. The film looks good with impressive makeup and design for the "ghosts" but ultimately fails to deliver. Check out JJ's review below.
The Domicile (2017) 1.25 stars out of 5
Director Jared Cohn (Devil's Domain) and Producer Gabriel Campisi (The Horde) invite you to The Domicile this August.
Russel Brody, a one-time successful playwright, works diligently on a follow-up play that could land him back in the spotlight he so dearly craves. With a baby on the way, however, and a strained marriage, stress, and frustration take center stage. When his wife accidentally stumbles down the stairs and dies from her injuries, Brody's mental state goes from bad to one of utter despair. In a bid to help his friend regain his sanity, Brody's co-writer David Stanley suggests he revisits Lucy, his former mistress. The ghost of Brody's dead wife awakens to the sordid details of his unfaithfulness, enraging her supernatural spirit to haunt him in every horrifying way imaginable. At first, Brody thinks he's hallucinating and hearing things in his head, the result of his state of mind and alcohol. But as things intensify, his grip on sanity quickly slips away, and he starts to go mad. Appearing in every shadow, and provoking him relentlessly, the ghost cranks up her onslaught, making his life a living hell. Brody reaches his breaking point when the ghost possesses his former mistress, and he's forced to confront the scorned entity -- resulting in a climax of both psychological and physical terror.
Starring Steve Richard Harris (Evil Nanny), Demetrius Stear (Death Pool), Katherine Flannery (Zombie Pizza) and Sara Malakul Lane (King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table), The Domicile from MTI Home Video, hitting DVD and VOD August 22.
Dave Dreher dives into Doc Rotten territory for a review of the found-footage epic horror tale The Monster Project (2017). Director Victor Mathieu weaves a tale of a group of "youtube" paranormal film makers looking to interview a real vampire, a real shape-shifter, and a real possessed person (ala The Ring). What they get instead is a night of terror, mayhem, and bloodshed - and a twist or two. Dave lets us know what he thought of the monsters, the directions, and the glorious effects. Check out his review below.
The Monster Project (2017) 3 out of 5 stars
Director: Victor Mathieu
Writers: Corbin Billings (screenplay), Shariya Lynn (screenplay), and Victor Mathieu
Cast: Toby Hemingway, Justin Bruening, Murielle Zuker
When aspiring horror filmmakers post an online casting call looking for "real life" monsters to interview for their upcoming documentary called, The Monster Project, they find three individuals claiming to be a skin-walker, a vampire, and a demon. Meeting these monsters at a remote mansion in the woods on the night of a total lunar eclipse, the filmmakers invite the three subjects to share their haunting, personal experiences. Working on the crew is a recovering drug addict who suffers withdrawal and paranoia. As a person of faith, he fears his friends underestimate the dark powers they are summoning. When the interviews turn deadly, he must battle the demons, inside and out, to escape the house and defeat the rise of evil incarnate.
Joseph Perry reports from BiFan about the latest Chad (Bite) Archibald horror film, The Heretics. Featuring Nina Kiri, Jorja Candence, and Ry Barrett, the film features a cult that returns from the dead to terrorize a young girl who once escaped their grasp. Joseph chimes in on the direction, the acting, and the horrific terror that lies within. Check out his review below.
The Heretics 3.5 starts out of 5
A notorious cult kidnaps a young girl, and sacrifice themselves by the light of the locust moon. The next morning the girl awakes, caked in dried blood and surrounded by corpses...but safe - or so she thinks. Years later, the locust moon is about to rise again and the girl is captured once more by a surviving member of the cult. She is taken to a remote cabin where she learns that a demon has been growing inside of her all these years, and before the dawn, it will rise.
Paul Cardullo takes a look at an unusual Groovy Gory Gruesome Gold film this week — writer/director Dusty Nelson's Effects (1980). Though it was shot in 1978 and ostensibly released in 1980, it did not receive a proper release until the DVD came out in 2006. Paul takes a look at the new 4K Blu Ray restoration just released by American Genre Film Archive. The cast and crew is comprised of a number of once-and-future alumni of George A. Romero films, including Joseph Pilato (Rhodes from Day of the Dead (1985)), make-up genius Tom Savini (Dawn of the Dead (1978) et al.), and John Harrison (composer and 2nd-unit director on Creepshow (1982) and Day of the Dead (1985)). Paul discusses the meta-contextual nature of the film and why sometimes things are not always as we expect them to be. Listen below to check out his review and find out just why you should seek out this lesser-known gem.
Effects (1980) 4 out of 5 stars
While a crew is filming an ultra-low-budget horror film, most of them are also unaware that their director is simultaneously shooting a snuff film — with some of them as the unwitting subject.s
Director: Dusty Nelson
Writers: William H. Mooney (novel), Dusty Nelson (screenplay)
Cast: Joseph Pilato, Susan Chapek, John Harrison, and Tom Savini
Run time: 84 min
From American Film Genre Archive:
A new 4K transfer of this snuff-fueled frighmare starring Tom Savini and Joe Pilato
Cobbled together with loose change by George Romero's friends, Effects is a mesmerizing D.I.Y. frightmare that no one talks about, but everyone should. A group of coked-up filmmakers — including Tom "Dawn of the Dead" Savini, Joe "Day fo the Dead" Pilato, and John "Tales from the Darkside: The Movie" Harrison — gather in Pittsburgh to make a slasher. As filming begins and "accidents" happen, it's clear that something isn't right. And no one can be trusted. Landing somewhere between Snuff and a student film by John Carpenter, Effects is a meta-enhanced takedown on the philosophy of horror that doubles as a sleazy and terrifying movie on its own.