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Brain Dead - Nope, not the classic Peter Jackson splatstick from 1992, but Adam Simon psychological horror film from 1990. It tries to be clever, but never is and it feels very predictable and rather boring. A few special effects that looks great, but that's about it. Very disappointing film.

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Vampire Cleanup Department - Romantic horror comedy in the vein of Mr. Vampire and it's sequels, so a jiangshi horror film if you want. Hopping vampires, Taoist priests and kung fu. Just like the excellent Rigor Mortis, this is a homage and tribute to one of the genre greats Lam Ching-ying who passed 20 years ago last years when this was releases. Lam Ching-ying was one of the actors in Mr. Vampire and its sequels.

 

Anyway, this is just lighthearted fun, unlike Rigor Mortis which is a lot darker and more stylish. It's got nice characters, fun, witty dialogue, a decent, heartwarming story, and a superb cast consisting of Chin Siu-ho (Mr. Vampire, some of its sequels and Rigor Mortis), Richard Ng (Mr. Vampire 3, Rigor Mortis), Lo Mang (Toad in the Venom Mob, played in films like Five Deadly Venoms, Crippled Avengers, Five Element Ninjas and shitload of other superb masterpieces) and the lesser known Yuen Cheung-yan who is always fantastic. So you could say we've got a ensemble cast here, and with all these involved it's hard to make something bad.

 

So yeah, it's a fun film. Not as good as the classics and not quite up there with Rigor Mortis, but I was very much entertained.

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31 - If you look away from the abysmal Halloween remake and its awful sequel, Halloween 2, Rob Zombie comes off as someone who can't do no wrong. From the mean and brutal exploitation horror films House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects, to the faux nazisploitation trailer of Werewolf Women of the SS and to the slow-burning and more visual The Lords of Salem, Rob Zombie always finda way to truly impress me. He's got his own thing going on and there's just no-one in the world making films like him atm.

 

31 is another Rob Zombie flick and he goes back to the style of The Devil's Rejects, albeit a bit cheaper. It's full of blood, violence, gore, camp and kilos of cheese waiting around every single corner, and it's a full-on Rob Zombie-flick from beginning to end. And if you read this, you'll notice that I called it cheap. And I did. Because it comes off as a quickie. Like one of those films that were written, funded, filmed, cut and edited in a month and a half, on a very low budget (1,5m, compared to House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects' 7m). Anyway, it's a full-on exploitation flick that doesn't try to be anything other than exactly that. Exploitative, offensive, mean and grim. I fucking loved it! Thought it was as good as The Devil's Rejects and The Lords of Salem.

 

This is Rob Zombie making The Running Man into an exploitation film.

 

 Grotesk - I was ordering some DVDs last week as they were cheap as fuck, and one of the film I ordered was this. Never heard of it and didn't bother checking it out, as the artwork for the cover was absolutely brilliant. It looked really old school and made me think of cheap no-budget exploitation horror from the 60's and 70's, and I was not wrong. The name of Herschell Gordon Lewis was more or less written over the film from beginning to end, as well as Andreas Schnaas as it has that amateurish rawness to it. Like, the script is shit, it looks and sounds like it was filmed on a phone that cost $25, and there's not a single element of quality here. But it's real fun, and I truly enjoyed it. Good-awful special effects, terrible but funny acting, corny dialogue and even cornier characters. I had fun. Well worth the money and the 63 minutes it took from my life.

 

Michael Denner of Mercyful Fate and King Diamond fate helped with the soundtrack.

 

VampyrVidar - I was looking forward to this and was very pleased when I got a couple of free tickets too the movie, and while it wasn't a masterpiece it was fun. Starts off really well, combining horror and comedy in the most excellent way. The first 40 minutes were excellent, and both the horror, special effects and humor worked really well. After that it lost more and more elements of horror and became more and more comedy, and it kinda lost me a bit. The jokes got very hit and miss, and a lot seemed to be offensive for the sake of being offensive and nothing else. But I'd recommend people to support this anyway as it is the type of film Norway needs atm, and it's a no-budget film as it got no support from the film-industry in Norway. Genre films ain't accepted over here, only big productions and deep drama films get any support. Disgusting!

 

Meatball Machine Kodoku - 12 years after Yudai Yamaguchi and Junichi Yamamoto made the masterpiece that is Meatball Machine, and 10 years after Yoshihiro Nishimura made the short spinoff Meatball Machine: Reject of Death, special effects wizard Yoshihiro Nishimura (Tokyo Gore Police, Vampire Girl vs. Frankenstein Girl, Helldriver, Mutant Girls Squad), a man who actually did the special effects for the original Meatball Machine, returns with the long-awaited sequel for a classic cult film. So how is it? Well, he clearly knows what Meatball Machine was all about, because this is a Meatball Machine film alright. To my big surprise it takes a long time to build characters and plot, but as soon as it kicks-off it complete and utter madness until the end. As over the top and bizarre as it gets, and it's loads of fun. But it never reaches the genius of the original film. But it's highly recommended for fans of Japanese splatter films.

 

Yoshihiro Nishimura, and a lot of the other Japanese splatter directors, are a bunch of weird ones. Because when they go practical they are truly brilliant in their job, but they rely way too much on CGI, and the CGI is so fucking bad. At times it can work, but sometimes they go a bit over the top with it.

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Mandy - 2018 is the year that just keeps giving as far as films goes, and Mandy is the last film to truly impress me. After having impressed a lot with the sci-fi horror Beyond the Black Rainbow in 2010  (which I reviewed a few months back), Panos Cosmatos returns with another exceptional and unique film. If you've seen Beyond the Black Rainbow you kinda know what to expect, because Mandy is a weird-ass flick much in the same vain. First hour is syrup-slow and rather out there in an artsy ways, where the main object obviously is to create atmosphere mostly via the use of creative lighting, smoke and some weird-ass effects, because the plot is thin and very much familiar. And Panos Cosmatos is not afraid to use his time, and he's not afraid to let a scene just go on and on without doing anything to it. But the film is visually stunning beyond words, it's over the top violent and extreme and it features a Nicolas Cage who's never been better. That's just one hell of a performance by a man long forgotten. Performance of the decade perhaps?

 

A fucking beats of a film. By far Nicolas Cage best performance and film ever. FOTY!!!

 

Fun fact: There is an axe in this film, and the design of the axe is based around the F in Celtic Frost's logo. How fucking badass is that? Exceptional-looking axe too.

 

Panos Cosmatos has hit two homeruns in two attempts. Clearly the most exciting new director out there atm and one to keep an eye on for sure.

 

 

Edited by Bear

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The First Purge - The fourth film in the franchise is the first not to be directed by James DeMonaco, and is a prequel. And while the story or characters isn't any better, it's a much more entertaining movie than the three others IMO. Really fast-paced and action-oriented with some really good action scenes, but is also features less elements of horror. But the action is good, and the countless references to Trump is kinda hilarious (you pussy-grabbing motherfucker!).  Not a great movie, but fun nonetheless.

 

And don't care about the countless 1's and 2's on IMDB. They are quite obviously butthurt (semi-)racist Trump supporters. Lulz.

 

 

The Toolbox Murders - Bought this on DVD, so had to rewatch it. And I am obviously talking about the original 1978 film, and not the remake which is rather poor. Graphic violence, nudity and weirdness. Yeah, sure it can be called misogynistic, but it's a fucking exploitation film. Shit like that doesn't matter. Starts off as a really nice and brutal slasher film, then transforms into some really weird, psychological crime-thriller. Slow at times, but fun and kinda creepy because of its weirdness.

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man i'm not even a trump supporter and nothing about that the purge movie looks appealing to me at all, seems like they're trying way too hard to be topical and """woke""" or whatever, gonna end up being as dated as the Scary Movie films in like a decade or two

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Nah. It's not gonna get dated in that way because the action is sweet and brutal, and that's the strenght of the film, and you've got a few memorable characters as well. It'll either be looked upon as a decent action-horror film or simply considered a cult film in a the decade or two. It's not gonna be considerd ato masterpiece, but people will remember it as a cool enough film.

 

The themes the film deals with might get dated some time in the future, like it has done in other films both bad, decent, and great (as in the countless amount of cult and classic films with dated plots and themes). But the themes of racism and similar shit are quite relevant as of now.

 

Simple as that.

Edited by Bear

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Curious for the new Purge movie, might watch it on the weekend (all the previous ones were at least 'okay-ish'). Same for Mandy.

 

Gonna be watching The Nun at the cinema with some friends tonight, tho I heard it's utter crap. I hope the visuals will at least make up for it, if so.

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Also, recent viewings:

 

Eye in the Labyrinth: Pretty alright giallo film made during the 'golden age' of the genre. The opening sequence in particular is extremely stylish and well done, but unfortunately the movie kinda ends up just going all over the place soon after in terms of plot, in almost typical giallo fare. Lots of gorgeous girls, and the usual sleaze one can expect from the genre. Not too heavy on the gore or on the kills in general, but the cast of characters is quirky enough to keep you watching.  That one actor they cast as the 'kid' looked a bit too old to convincingly sell that role tho lol. 

 

Hell Night: Relatively early slasher, pretty much as by the numbers as things get. Coeds have to spend the night in a spoooooky old place with a dark past as part of their frat's hazing ritual, and of course it turns out the urban legends attached to the building were correct and people start to gradually get slashed. Not as heavy on the gore as some of the later slashers, but it's still entertaining. That one dude who just went and nicked a shotgun from the police station is absolutely based, and the actress playing the British chick is qt as hell

 

Too Beautiful To Die: Another giallo, this time a relatively unknown late-'80s entry to the genre. Originally marketed as a supposed sequel to a movie it has literally nothing to do with to my knowledge, this one's high up there on the list for the title of 'Most '80s movie ever made'. Apparently the director mainly worked on commercials and music videos before this, and you can absolutely tell. Glossy aesthetics out the ass, extremely new wavey soundtrack that'll make any fan of that kinda stuff wet... Pretty nice. Once again, this one isn't as high on gore as some of its brethren within the genre, but it's definitely got a couple of pretty neat stalking scenes. The main murder weapon, while probably pretty damn badass back in the day, nowadays kinda looks like it came straight from some mallgoth's bedroom, but that's okay. 

 

 

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Party Night - Slasher highly inspired by the classic 80's stuff, but nothing in this really works. It looks way too digital, the kills are lackluster, the characters are as boring as they get and the actors are godawful. Aside from a really good poster, there's nothing good or entertaining about this tbh. A big fucking meh.

 

Don't Leave Home - Incredibly slow-burning, dreamy, minimalist and non-narrative horror film about faith, religion and guilt that is all about atmosphere and mood, and less about characters and storytelling. So if you don't feel the atmosphere and mood, this will become a total snoozefest quite early on. So in that way it reminded me quite a lot of the underrated gem I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House from 2016. If you like that, you might like this as well. If you disliked I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, chances are you'll dislike this too. Atmospheric and moody piece. I thought it was truly excellent.

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Neon Maniacs - A mid 80's slasher that actually did something different. Feels a bit like a mix of regular slashers like Halloween, Friday the 13th, The Burning etc. and Hellraiser. It's pure cheese from beginning to end, but it's really fun and really charming and totally underrated. Sadly it had lots of problems during production and was never really finished, so there's a few easy solutions towards the end and you don't really get a proper closure, but it still works. Would've deserved a sequel or three tho. Totally recommended!

 

Hell House LLC - Cool found footage flick with good atmosphere and a good plot, but lacks some character depth and a likeable character. But it's a fairly good flick tbh.

 

Hell House LLC II: The Abaddon Hotel - Starts off fairly well, but as soon as it gets going it kinda slowly starts taking a shit on the original film and towards the end it turns into a proper fucking shitfest and a mess of a film that takes away all the mysticism and WTFs of the original. A big meh.

 

Flora - Cool idea, poor fucking execution. The acting is really fucking bad, the look is super modern which makes the flaws in the cinematography shine tbh, and it's 20-30 minutes too long. Some of the shots just drag and drag, but they got nothing interesting in them whatsoever. They're boring. Shame, cause the concept of the film is really interesting. A huge meh!

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Await Further Instructions - Possibly the bleakest Christmas movie ever. Okay, I'm just joking, but it does take place during Xmas, lol. All in all, a pretty cool sci-fi/horror flick with lots of tension and smart use of a small cast in a minimalistic space. I loved from where it started out to where it went in the end. If you like stuff like the Black Mirror series, give this one a shot too!

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Slaughterhouse - Standard and predictable as fuck 80's slasher, but it's loads of fun if you're into the C-slashers of the 80's. The imitators of the imitators. Nothing special, but it's fun and enjoyable.

 

Underworld: Blood Wars - I had seen all the Underworld films before this, and I've enjoyed them quite a lot. The first one if very good, and the next three are very enjoyable, while far from as good. The animated short Underworld: Endless War is really good to. This however wasn't all that. I was entertained, but it's by far the weakest in the series. A shame. But I will never get tired of seeing Kate Beckinsale dressed in leather and slaying both vampires and werewolfs and whatnot. Hot!

 

Resident Evil: Retribution - One of the better and more enjoyable one in the series if you ask me, although it's incredibly flawed, like the rest with the exception of the first. But this is easily the most video game-esque film, and that's cool. The Axeman(axemen) are cool as fuck!

 

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter - This could and should've been the best, but Paul W.S. Anderson went full retard with the action. Like, the action hasn't exactly been top notch throughout the series, but it's so cut apart here that it hurts my eyes, brain and body. Every single action scene has a shitload of cuts. If they scenes is 25 seconds long, it has 50 cuts. No idea what they were thinking. You can't see a single thing that's going on. God damned! How? Why?

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I recently subscribed to a 7-day free trial for a horror channel on amazon prime so I've been watching a ton of films in the last few days before it expires.

 

The Promise -  This is actually a Thai horror that I watched on netflix. Not as scary as I had hoped considering that there were a few good Thai horrors I've seen. You barely see the vengeful ghost at all, only just the dark figure of her. It was kind of boring in that aspect. The story was interesting though and had a lot of potential, but unfortunately the scare element was just lacking. Not really worth the watch imo.

 

The Evil Dead - Finally watched this film after having it on my watchlist for so long and wow what a ride it was! The gore and atmosphere was everything I could ask for in a horror film. The zombies looked real freaky too, nicely done special effects. If I watched this as I kid I would have nightmares. Every minute of this film was just pure horror and awesomeness.

 

Re-Animator - I enjoyed this one too and it had a pretty spunky soundtrack. I didn't realize it was supposed to be a comedy horror as I didn't feel anything was particularly hilarious. Maybe only a few subtle scenes. But the special effects were great and it was a fun watch.

 

In a Glass Cage - A Spanish horror film with an amazing gothic atmosphere illuminated by a cold blue hue. It revolves around a Nazi doctor who has a fetish for young boys and feels regret after torturing his last victim so he decides to jump off a building. Now he lives on an iron lung and has to be nursed by someone. A young man takes the job who also seems to know about the Nazi doctor's past. The characters are well fleshed-out and you'll feel some sympathy with them. It was a bit sad, but I was deeply impressed by this film.

 

The Fog - This is actually my first time watching one of John Carpenter's films. I didn't feel the story was all that interesting but the atmosphere was well established. Anything with fog and smoke creates a good atmosphere for me.

 

Pieces - You'll be seeing plenty of dismembered pieces in this film, as the the title says. It was kind of a funny film though because there were scenes that just didn't make sense, like they were randomly placed in there. Also, there's a character who initially seems to be the culprit of dismembering the girls with a chainsaw, but they never directly confirm that he's not so he's just kinda there looking innocent, except for that one time he randomly attacked the policeman in the pool. Even the ending was hilarious.

 

Halloween - I enjoyed this much better than The Fog. Only gripe I have is that they revealed the killer's face, only for a short moment though , and it didn't even look like the young boy at the beginning. Also, he just ends up disappearing anyway so showing his face was kind of pointless and ruined his mysterious and creepy aura.

 

Prom Night - If you're looking for a good slasher horror with some gore you may want to look elsewhere as there's not much here. The killer is not good at what he's doing and it takes a while for him to make his kill, but there's a reason for that. The only thing that really made this film worth watching was the soft and pretty visuals.

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Apostle - Gareth Evans is best known for his amazing martial arts films The Raid, The Raid 2: Berandal and Merantau, all starring the now cult hero Iko Uwais. But he also gained some praise for his segment Safe Haven in the horror movie V/H/S/2 as well, and with good reason as that was an amazing segment. With Apostle Gareth Evans moves far away from everything martial arts. Apostle sees Gareth Evans look toward the late 60's and the 70's and classic folk-horror, and he's not trying to hide his influences at all. Apostle wear movies like The Wicker Man, Blood on Satan’s Claw, Witchfinder General and more, with The Wicker Man being the most obvious one. But never does he try to rip any of them off or anything. Gareth Evans has made his own film, a unique film where light and darkness plays a huge role. The atmosphere is absolutely magnificent, the cast is fantastic and the cinematography and sets are close to perfect.

 

One of the best films of the year. Amazing!

 

Constantine: City of Demons - Originally released as a web-series with a shitload of 5-10 minutes episodes or something, but I waited for the series to be released as a film and watched it in its entirety. Thought this was an amazing, and very faithful animated adaption of the anti-hero Constantine. Dark and gruesome, atmospheric and fun. Very enjoyable!

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15 hours ago, Bear said:

Apostle

Just finished watching, and this has now easily become my favorite horror of 2018. So much cool occult and creepy stuff, quite mysterious too, and they didn't skimp on the violence either! Best of all, it had virtually no jump scares which is a huge plus for me. :D 

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I think 2018 has been an amazing year for horror films with Apostle, Mandy, Summer of 84, Upgrade, Annihilation, Batman: Gotham by Gaslight, Constantine: City of Demons and Don't Leave Home being my favourites. Have a lot more to watch too which I believe will be amazing. And while this isn't a great amount of films, the quality of them are sky high.

Edited by Bear

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Apostle - Watched this one as soon as it went up on Netflix. This movie spends most of its time as a slow-burn, drawing in and immersing the viewer in the island and their lifestyle and drama, tension churning under all of it until it all breaks loose in the final act of the movie. And what a final act it was! I went into it expecting something closer to Wicker Man, and while the influences from it and others like it are obvious, it's definitely its own movie. Only part I left feeling unsure about was the very, very end and I was left wanting to know more about the island and their religion. It was quite a good movie and I highly recommend it!

 

Halloween (2018) - Saw this one last night. Was too hyped to not see it opening night! It still pales in comparison to the original Halloween for me, but I thought it was quite a fun sequel and I wasn't disappointed. Myers was true to form and got some great kills, and the final showdown between Laurie and Michael was great. My only complaints are about a small plot point that ended up being ridiculous (didn't ruin the movie but... it was stupid), a few unnecessary jump scares, and I felt like the comedic relief was a bit overdone. I still ended up rating this one a 4/5. Grab your popcorn and enjoy!

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Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom - Didn't know what to expect out of this, but anything related to Lovecraft is of course of massive interest. HLatFK is an animated family film based on the universe and mythos made by H.P. Lovecraft. Howard Lovecraft visits his father in an asylum and after that opens a portal to a magical world, a world known as L'lyeh where there exist weird creatures and monsters of all kind. The film mixes lighthearted adventure with dark fantasy and horror, but the type of things that would work well for kids too. And while I am all for introducing kids to H.P. Lovecraft's writing and universe, this simply wasn't good enough. It feels disjointed, it feels all over the place and it just isn't very well-written or directed. Features voice acting from Doug Bradley, Ron Perlman, Jane Curtin and Scott McNeil among others.

 

I understand that it was made on a limited budget, but if you don't have the money to make a really fucking good full-lenght, than either wait or make it shorter. The animation was sloppy as fuck. It's the kind of 3D animation you'll see on Disney shows for babies (0-4 years old). It's that bad, and that takes away a lot. This should've been 40-50 minutes long, instead of 80, which would've meant more money for decent animation. Another thing is that it spend to much time fucking around with super childish shit that doesn't make much sense.

 

So much wasted potential. However, I'll watch the sequel today. From the little I saw it did look hella lot better.

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Terrifier - Really entertaining slasher flick. I was legitimately surprised how good this was, despite looking a bit low-budget at first glance. Plenty of excitement, gore and a bit of humor too. Also that clown, man... awesome, haha.

 

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Some friends are coming over on Sunday for a Halloween movie mini-marathon, will try to convince them to watch this. :D 

Edited by Jigsaw9

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Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil - Awesome horror/dark fantasy based on an old Spanish fable or so. It's quite similar to Pan's Labyrinth or maybe The Dark Crystal in tone, but not as layered or deep as the first, and maybe a bit darker than the latter. Too dark for kids, and maybe a bit too silly for older teens. I am not really sure who they target with this, but I absolutely loved it. It's dark and twisted, but really fun because of a devil/demon that goes into slapstick territory quite often. Heavily recommended! Available on NEtflix.

 

There really isn't enough fables and fairy tales with a twist of horror. The world needs more!!!

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