Sunday, 27 May 2018

NIGHT OF THE LIVNG DEAD (1968)

This is George Romero's ground breaking zombie flick from 1968.   

Shot on Black and White film, and filmed on what can only be described as a shoe-string budget this film is singlehandedly responsible for bringing zombies as we know them today  (as opposed to the haitian/voodoo zombies in movies like White Zombie that had previously been depicted in movies until then) into the mainstream of modern culture and spawning countless zombie films just like it, some better and many immeasurably worse. It is also the earliest film I can think of that uses explicit gore, levels of gore which now have been rendered "cute" by todays standards but were revolutionary by late 60's standards.

Basically the plot revolves around a scenario where the dead are coming back to life and a small group of survivors are trapped in a farmhouse left to defend themselves with whatever weapons they can find, while the undead around them are literally "chomping at the bit" to take a bite out of them.
While much of  it now would be considered outdated and the special effects used rather plain this is still quite a watchable film and something that you could use to introduce your kids to the world of horror without traumatizing them. Featuring none of the over the top gore that the following films in the franchise (Day of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead etc....) were renowned for, this can probably be considered one of the safer films for the horror newbie, where I guess hardened gore-fiends might find the pace of this one a bit slow.

Over all its a great watch, and historically important to gain an understanding where the zombie infection first took a hold on mainstream cinema audiences

It is presented below in all its glory on you tube for those that haven't had the pleasure!

For more great horror movie reviews be sure to check out http://www.gorenography.com on a regular basis

Friday, 25 May 2018

THE THING ... (1952)

The Thing from Another world (1952) reviewed at http://www.gorenography.com
The full title for this one is THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD .... .  but I've never really heard it referred to as that... so I'll call it "The Thing". It's essentially an adaptation of a short story called 'Who goes there?" from the 30's which was later done again by master horror director John Carpenter in 1982.

The plot revolves around a military operation in the north pole concerning a UFO that went down in the artic. Upon investigation the crew accidently blow up the craft but find the frozen remains of the alien nearby the site and take it back, with the intention of testing it.  However the "Thing" thaws out faster than they'd anticipated and escapes the military facility and slaughters a couple of military dogs in the snow,  but not without the dogs removing an arm off the "thing" which is taken back to be tested. Upon testing it is determined the arm belongs to a creature not of this world composed of materials closer to plant life than human flesh and blood. However the "Thing" can change shape and mimic humans which it does and then its up to the rest of the defence force personell on the base to stop the thing before it wastes them.

The movie itself is quite reasonable when considering it is a B & W feature directed in the early 50s. I have to say I found it quite enjoyable for what it is, but unfortunately it doesn't stand up against the later version done by John Carpenter (which I'd already seen) but like many movies of this era I still think its worth watching if only as a historical reference and to see how far Carpenter took the film. I should also qualify this by admitting I'm not a huge fan of science fiction and while this film was rated the best sci-fi of its year and is quite highly regarded,  I Just found it a little slow going. The film itself has very little horror, as lets face it most films of the time would have done, it also would have been cool to see the "Thing" a little more (though I guess the special FX standards of the time wouldn't have done it justice). This is by no means a bad film, I was just a little underwhelmed by it after having seen the 1982 version.

for more great movie reviews be sure to check out http://www.gorenography.com on a regular basis!

Saturday, 19 May 2018

FEAST (2005)

This is by no means a classic of the horror genre but it's a decent watch and manages to keep your attention the whole way through. It's produced by horror legend Wes Craven (responsible for A Nightmare on Elm St. , and Last House on the Left amongst others) so you know it will be of at least decent quality. The creature effects and horror are top notch with the horror looking very convincing with some genuinely disturbing scenes in this

The movie itself revolves around a bar in "outback" America (presumably Texas), where the few locals are having a quiet drink and a distressed traveller comes in warning of the vicious creatures attacking everything in site. The creatures themselves are hideous and well designed. The locals board up the bar and prepare for the coming onslaught. The action pretty much takes place within the confines of the bar as one by one the drinkers are picked off by the flesh eating creatures.



The plot is fairly simple and straight forward (I've pretty much summed it up there) the group covers the usual stereotypes, couple of tough biker looking types and singer Henry Rollins as a character called 'Coach' the action moves along well and the film is quite enjoyable... Some impressive star power with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as two of the main barfly characters make sure this will have a larger than B grade appeal. Over all its less of a 'thinker' and more a sit back and enjoy the ride type of movie...

For more great horror movie reviews and other stuff be sure to check out http://www.gorenography.com on a regular basis!

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

DEATHSTALKER (1984)

"Deathstalker (1984) reviewed on http://www.gorenography.comHmmm.... not sure what to say about this one, it had the potential to be good, not great but at least decent as a B grade, but some shitty editing in the fight scenes and the general cheesy-ness in the ending for me has dropped it back to "D" grade. I've since found out this film was directed by none other than ROGER CORMAN who was responsible for a literal tidal wave of crap films that came out in the 80's (and possibly late 70's) which would explain a lot.

 As a fantasy film, It's a bit thin on the plot, but at the time of release there probably wasn't much to compete with with the exception of "Conan the Barbarian" which would have blown it out of the water in terms of both plot and direction and choreography, so basically just go watch that instead.

Plot wise it revolves around some quest or something to find an amulet, ring and something else, possibly a sword. There's witches and ogres and dwarf like things, some hot barbarian babes get naked, not long into the film the focus seems to switch to a warrior tournament held the king Munkar, of a nearby town who holds a couple of the items Deathstaler is questing for. I have to say it felt kind of disjointed in parts, but somehow I doubt that anyone who lasted more than 20 minutes into the movie really cares that much anyway.

Still if you have nothing better to do, it will kill an hour and a half of your life and there's some nice looking females to keep you half interested and some laughs from the corny special effects and half baked sword play.  Like I said before,  a little more time, thought and money into this film and it could have been a solid "B" grade watch. 

Again I have found it on you tube for you guys !!!



Saturday, 12 May 2018

ELVIRAS HAUNTED HILLS (2001)

Now this is a refreshing change, a horror/comdey that's actually funny.... While I doubt anything in this movie would scare anyone reading this blog this is a genuinely funny watch. Elvira (most famous for her movie compare's in the 80s) stars as herself in the 1800's as a struggling performer making her way from from Carpathia to Paris (with no money) where she is to perform as part of some review.


Elvira and her assistant are picked up by a business man who is making his way to Romania and the Elvira spends the night in a castle owned by the business associate he's supposed to meet, where it is discovered she bares a striking resemblance to the Owner's (Lord Hellsebus) deceased wife Ellura

The plot thickens as basically everyone in the household seems to loose their minds over the Ellura connection... A mystery which Elvira comically gets to the bottom of in her own unique way.

Whilst in the castle Elvira gets up to her usual hijinks an of course looks stunning in her black and rather asset revealing trademark dress. The cheesy jokes, black humor, some musical numbers and innuendo we all love are here, though not as obvious as in the first film. It's nothing to be taken too seriously and is probably best enjoyed with a light heart... leave your brain at the door and have a good laugh!. I found this one to be immensely fun, though I will say I liked Elvira's first movie better.

For more great movie reviews be sure to check out http://www.gorenography.com of a regular basis

Friday, 4 May 2018

DAY OF THE DEAD: CONTAGIUM (2005)

As I jammed this one into the DVD player I sat down with beer in hand eagerly awaiting another chapter in Romero's  "...Dead" series........ Luckily I bought this one for a couple of dollars at a flea market because it was only a few minutes into the film I realised I'd been duped.

Basically its either a blatent rip off or a poorly executed tribute to George Romero. The Day of the Dead logo is used (or ripped off) leading one to believe its an official part of Romero's franchise. The cover art is also presented in the same style as "Day of the Dead"and is presented as a prequel of sorts to the cult classic.

The "Acting" in this film is woeful....... No body in the cast displays any redeeming qualities and now I think about it, I don't recall seeing any of these people before or since this film... Safe to say the dead really to have a better chance of coming back to life than these poor peoples acting careers.

There is a plot of sorts, but I have no idea really as much of it didn't make any sense anyway (many details to me just seemed to me to be out of time-line flow anachorisms IE: how did they have video calling in a movie that was meant to have taken place before DAY OF THE DEAD?) ...  I couldn't focus on it, and it just annoyed me, so I decided to drink more beer instead... There are some half reasonable special effects  and a lot of shithouse special effects which come across as cheap and half arsed.  Later on in the film the quality of gore and zombies does improve to the point where its actually *somewhat* reasonable, but unfortunately that alone does not make a movie make. 

Overall best avoid ,,, there are lots of other much higher quality zombie flicks to get before you worry about wasting time and money on this one, even some of the other shit ones (zombie women of satan, troma films etc....)  at least throw in some laughs or female nudity... but this has no real redeeming qualities at all.


For more great horror movie reviews be sure to check out http://www.gorenography.com

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (1986)

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 Reviewed at http://www.gorenography.comThe Texas Chainsaw Massacre (a horror classic in its own right) was loosely based on a true story of a series of Texas killings and based on the life of Ed Gein. Not sure how accurate the retelling of said story was but in this the sequel, from my understanding it took a LOT of liberties with the truth but the plot departs further into a more twisted tale of mass killings, taking place 13 years after the still unsolved murders portrayed in the original film.

This is a higher budget, and much gorier continuation of the story, focusing on not only on Leatherface but the rest of his family. I guess the family that plays together ,  stays together.

Having said that, if you can suspend some disbelief in the plot and timeline (like how did the family get so much money/time to create the entire underground section of the farm between the times of part 1 and this movie...)  this is a great watch and captivating from start to finish. The twisted depravity of Leatherface's family is captured perfectly... has a very similar feel in parts to Rob Zombie movies like "House of 1000 corpses" perhaps this was an influence on a young mr. Zombie? Who knows?

for more great reviews and other stuff check out http://www.gorenography.com