Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Pig Hunt (2008)

Pig Hunt

Written by Zack Anderson & Robert Mailer Anderson
Directed by James Isaac

John...Travis Aaron Wade
Brooks...Tina Huang
Ricky...Nick Tagas
Jake...Jason Foster

It was supposed to be a typical guy's weekend:  A culturally diverse group of San Francisco city slickers heading into the country for a little bit of pig huntin'.  The game plan changed quickly, though, when the 'whipped John invited along his sexually adventurous girlfriend Brooks.  Now it was four guys, a girl, a dog...and not a pizza place in sight.

Arriving in the heart of Backwoods, USA, they hear about a local legend known as the Ripper, a three-thousand pound wild boar with an appetite for destruction--"a real hogzilla!"  Stumbling upon a duo of semi-friendly, probably-inbred, but definitely dangerous local hunters, the two groups team up to find the Big Wallow and kill themselves a legend.

But legends don't die very easily.

It's a whole lot of walking and bickering in the woods, with possible menaces never fully crossing over into actual menaces.  For what seemed like days (but was actually only an hour), I rolled my eyes and checked my watch, wondering when something--anything--was going to happen.  Never once did I feel that the protagonists were in any sort of danger...other than the danger of never working again.

It wasn't until the last 30 minutes or so that things started to pick up, and by then it was too late for me to care.  Shoving a lot of twists, turns and supposed surprises into the final third of a film can't save it when the previous hour wasn't worth your time.  Why not sprinkle some action and excitement throughout the entire length of the movie, rather than trying to squeeze it all in at the same time?

With too many antagonists (none of them fully believable), poor scripting and pacing, and a strange soundtrack comprised of socially conscious hip hop and the monotonous monotone droning of Les "Was Primus Ever Really Cool?" Claypool, Pig Hunt is in the end a derivative and dull Deliverance variation that just doesn't deliver.

Strangely, I see this billed elsewhere as a horror-comedy.  But they forgot one thing that every good horror-comedy must have:  horror.

And comedy.

But least we've got hippies.  Everyone can laugh at them, am I right?

Rated R
99 Minutes
United States

"Death walks on all fours."

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Offspring (2009)


Written by Jack Ketchum
Directed by Andrew van den Houten

George...Art Hindle
Claire...Ahna Tessler
Stephen...Erick Kastel

Back in the 18th Century, the local lighthouse keeper went missing.  Now, in the modern day tiny coastal town of Dead River, people have a tendency to go missing.  What's the connection?  It seems that the descendants of this lighthouse keeper have become a murdering, inbred clan of cannibals who hide among the treeline and feed upon the populace.

George Chandler is a hard-drinking former police officer who is pulled out of retirement because of his expertise in the matter.  He leads the wet-behind-the-ears police force in the manhunt, but not before the titular Offspring get their grub on with one particular family the main dish.

Clocking in at just 78 minutes, this is a quick and messy bloodbath.  There are plenty of people introduced exclusively so that they can be killed off later.  This is a cliche that threatens to drag this movie into slasher territory, but because we initially perceive these characters as leads, it also causes us to understand that no one is safe here...not even the children, who are traditionally untouchable.  In fact, it's a newborn baby that is the tribe's primary target.

Obviously certain elements are reminiscent of The Hills Have Eyes, only taking place in the woods and on the beach, and not nearly as effective.  The Dunes Have Selective Hearing, maybe; or The Trees Wear Corrective Lenses.

With lots of nudity, lots of violence, and lots of gore, this movie thrives solely on shock value.  I haven't read the Ketchum novel upon which this is based, so I can't speak of how faithful of an adaptation it is, but  the film version is an entertaining, but ultimately vapid, variation on a theme we are already familiar with.  The lapses in logic, and the lack of a coherent backstory will probably ensure that this doesn't make it on too many Top Ten lists, but ultimately you could do much worse if you're looking for a quick fix and a bucket of Karo syrup.

Rated R
78 Minutes
United States

"Baby die in shit and urine."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Are You In The House Alone (1978)

Are You In The House Alone?

Written by Judith Parker
Directed by Walter Grauman
Based on the novel by Richard Peck

Gail Osborne...Kathleen Beller
Steve...Scott Colomby
Allison...Robin Mattson
Phil Lawver...Dennis Quaid
E.K. Miller...Randy Stumpf

Seventeen-year-old Gail Osborne has just entered into a new relationship, and her suitor could very well be "the one".  But almost immediately following their first date, she begins receiving threatening notes in her locker at school, as well as phone calls with a decidedly twisted flair.  It seems as if she has a stalker, someone who is both jealous and dangerous.  But who could it be?

Steve, her seemingly-normal new loverboy?  E.K., her self-righteous and sexually-frustrated ex-boyfriend?  Or maybe the rather creepy photography teacher who assigns her to take a sexy self-portrait while the rest of the class looks on? money is on the teacher.  But only because there's no butler to pin it on.

Gail babysits on weekends, and it is while she is on the job that the worst of the phone calls come through.  There are an abundance of POV shots from the eyes of the stalker.  The title alone, which was uttered by the unseen maniac just prior to his final assault, is reminiscent of many a horror flick and many an urban legend.

I say all this for one reason: to illustrate that although this may appear to be a horror movie, it is certainly not.  True enough, there are a few superficial similarities to the slasher film on display here, but there is absolutely no 'slashing' to be found.  These suspenseful elements that I have already mentioned are shown without even the slightest bit of suspense.  No matter what this movie promises to be, and no matter what you expect it to be, it is still just an after-school special about a rape victim who has to work to get some justice.

That said, even for what it is, it's not a very good movie.  It was slow moving and often quite dull.  If 1970s socially-conscious made-for-TV dramas are your bag, this may be of interest to you.  But if you're in search of horror, the only thing you're going to be horrified by is just how un-horror this movie actually is.

Not Rated
96 Minutes
United States

"Phil's got tramps and angels.  You're an angel, everyone else is a tramp!"

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spatter Analysis #8: May 2011

The above cover image was, as always, graciously donated by the inimitable Jeremy of iZombie fame.

Before you say anything, yes, I am aware that this issue of Spatter Analysis is more than a little late. Yes, I am aware that this issue of Spatter Analysis was supposed to have been released toward the beginning of June, rather than toward the end. And finally, yes, I am aware that this issue is being released close to the time that the next issue is actually supposed to be released. Just consider this the better-late-than-never issue. The month of June has been a bit of a hectic one, what with being out of town on vacation, followed by some major transitions at work, and preparing for the big move (in roughly one week, Midnite Media's base of operations will be uprooted from the flatlands of Kansas and relocated near the mountains of Colorado). All of this, coupled with the fact that June is riddled with painful reminders of my father's suicide, has prevented me from doing much work of merit around here lately. It's been a struggle just to amass these links to some of my favorite articles from the month of May. So if anyone is actually reading this, I only ask that you bear with me until things settle down a bit, and then we'll be back to morbid business as usual. And if June's issue is late, too? Well, I'll try to have a completely different excuse prepared. Enjoy.
NOTE: None of the articles below are hosted on my blog, and the authors retain sole ownership. The links are provided here without explicit permission in many cases, because, as far as I know, linking with proper attribution does not go against proper blogger etiquette. Consider this the Midnite Media equivalent of an award, only rather than be awarded for your blog overall, it's for a specific post. You know what that means, don't you? More chances to win! But, if for whatever reason you would like the link to your post removed, just let me know and it will be dropped faster than an American Idol contestant with a sex tape scandal in her past.

Table of Contents

The Universal Horror Experience - Dracula's Daughter:  The Mike of From Midnight, With Love waxes poetic over Universal Studio's sexy sequel.

Artificial Intelligence - Kubrick Vs. Spielberg:  Andre of the Horror Digest does more to defend Spielberg's interpretation of Kubrick's vision than anyone else ever has.  Ever.  And come damn cool is Gigolo Joe!?

Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park:  Power from Maximum Horror revisits this camp classic, and makes it sound so deliciously dreadful that even this decidedly non-KISS fan wants to check it out.

The Gentlemen's Guide To Vampire Slaying:  Jeff Allard of Dinner With Max Jenke thinks it is time to reevaluate John Carpenter's often-overlooked 1998 film Vampires.  And if James Woods has to raise a pimp hand every now and then, well then, so be it.

Grizzly 2:  Marshall Caruthers of Camp Movie Camp reviews the sequel that nobody asked fact, the sequel that was never even released!

1950's Science Fiction - An Introduction:  Shaun of The Celluloid Highway kicks off a month-long exploration of this particular time-frozen sub-genre with a thoroughly intelligent and thoroughly enjoyable article.

My Prophecy - Video Stores Will Rise From The Grave:  The Son of Celluloid peers into his crystal ball, and he's not seeing doomsday in the future...he's seeing the return of the video store!

To Truly Appreciate VHS Horror, One Must Immerse Into The Analog...:  No one is as dedicated to the old-school horror vibe as Jayson from Basement of Ghoulish Decadence.  And now he has the TV to prove it.

Things To Do When You Have A Crazy Roommate:  Reviewing an uninspired movie brings about an inspired step-by-step guide, as written by Nicki of Hey!  Look Behind You!

Having A Ball - The Fortunes Of The Ball Gag In Mainstream Cinema:  You may think that Joel H. of Porkhead's Horror Review Hole puts entirely too much thought into this obscure topic.  But it got him a mention in Rue Morgue.  When was the last time that happened to you?

The World's First Zombie Proof House:  When the inevitable undead apocalypse comes, do you know where you'll be hiding out?  The Rotting Zombie does!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Coffin Rock (2009)

Coffin Rock

Written & Directed by Rupert Glasson

Rob...Robert Taylor
Jessica...Lisa Chappell
Evan...Sam Parsonson

Married couple Rob and Jessica have been trying to conceive for nearly two years, and she has a keepsake box full of "negative" tests to prove it (which she literally throws in his face from time to time).  Rocked by the strain that this puts on their relationship, Jessica gets drunk at the crustacean races one night (that's right...the crustacean races), and gives it up sloppy to Evan, the young drifter who has been hanging around her property a little too often to be innocent.

Shortly afterward, Jessica is pregnant with what seems to be a miracle child.  Everyone believes that she and Rob have somehow beat the odds, but Jessica knows the truth.  What's more, Evan knows the truth...and he's got fantasies of settling down with his new family for a happy suburban life.

It's just too bad that the guy is a little on the loony side, talking and stalking dangerously through Rob and Jessica's life, unknowable violence lurking just beneath the surface.

Coffin Rock sounds like the title of a bloody Western, or maybe a rural horror film.  In actuality, it's a slow-paced thriller with very few thrills.  Had we not seen this sort of thing dozens of times over, it may have been a more impressive movie, but as it stands, it brings nothing new to the table.  It is, in essence, just an outback rehash of Fatal Attraction and many other of its ilk, with a gender-reversal.  Hell, there's even a baby kangaroo to take the place of the rabbit!  Every twist that the movie took, we saw it coming miles ahead of time, and never had need to grab hold of the "oh shit!" handles.

Not a terrible movie, but not a great one either.  Just another easily forgotten movie that blends into its surroundings like a karma chameleon--but with funny accents.


Not Rated
92 Minutes

"Be careful what you wish for..."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Evil Things...On DVD!? (Press Release)

Heya, hipsters!

I'm not normally one for posting Press Releases as it seems that the same ones get circulated to all the horror blogs.  But this time, I simply couldn't resist.  After a loooong wait, Dominic Perez's debut film Evil Things is seeing a legitimate DVD release!  Evil Things is by far one of my favorite genre films to be released in recent years (peep my review by clicking HERE), and I couldn't be more excited about the news.  What's even more, take a look at who got quoted in the press release.

I'll give you a hint:  It's me, bitches!

I don't praise these films just to get in good with those who send me screeners (otherwise I would have been far kinder to Berdella, Dahmer Vs. Gacy, Dreams of the Dead, infinite etc.), so you know that if I says it...I means it!

Inception Media Group Proudly Presents

Evil Things

If You Think You’re Alone … Think Again!

A Pulse-Pounding, Twisting Game of Cat-and-Mouse On DVD August 9th

“Made my skin crawl … a disturbing view into fear!”

“Creeped the hell out of me!”
--Midnite Media

“Downright frightening!”
--Bloody Good Horror

“Tense, creepy!”
--The Film Reel

LOS ANGELES — August 1, 2011 — For Immediate Release — It’s a birthday celebration no one will ever forget in Evil Things, on DVD August 9, from Inception Media Group.

Five college friends plan a road trip to celebrate Miriam’s 21st birthday during a snowy weekend out of the city at a beautiful, remotely located country home. In the mood to party, Cassy, Mark, Tanya and Leo bring the beer, as well as aspiring filmmaker Leo’s new video camera.

But excitement soon turns to panic and 48 hours later, they’ve all vanished, leaving investigators without a single clue … until now. What Leo captured on video is no tranquil getaway but a sinister and nightmarish descent into terror.

From exciting new filmmaker Dominic Perez and in the tradition of Paranormal Activity and Quarantine, this riveting, critically acclaimed film – a pulse-pounding, twisting game of cat-and-mouse until its bone-chilling conclusion – will take you to the edge … and beyond!

Evil Things is presented in widescreen with an aspect ratio of 16x9 (1.78:1) and 5.1 digital surround sound.

About Inception Media Group Inception Media Group, LLC is based in Santa Monica, California and is a diversified media company specializing in the production, acquisition and distribution of motion pictures and other filmed entertainment across all media platforms and channels of distribution. Inception Media Group's management team has extensive relationships with exhibitors, retailers, distributors and technology companies, enabling the company to maximize the services performed on behalf of its content partners. Inception Digital Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Inception Media Group, provides a wide range of digital encoding, electronic packaging and high-speed delivery services and possesses certified delivery access to all major online, broadcast media and VOD platforms. More information is available at

Evil Things
Inception Media Group
Genre: Horror/Psychological Thriller
Rated: R
Format: DVD Only
Running Time: Approx. 86 Minutes
Suggested Retail Price: $26.98
Pre-Order Date: July 5, 2011
Street Date: August 9, 2011
Catalog #: IMG1024DVD
UPC Code: # 815300010273


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Slaughtered Vomit Dolls (2006)

Slaughtered Vomit Dolls

Written & Directed by Lucifer Valentine

For years, I saw this film advertised in the pages of the great Rue Morgue magazine, and I was always intrigued.  I pictured it as some unseeable shockfest that belonged in an underground that no longer exists, and so when I saw it available to watch on Netflix Instant Watch, I cleared a few hours on my schedule, waited for my wife to leave the apartment (her tolerance of the genre only goes so far), and sat down to watch the movie that has had me curious for so very long.

Before I go any further, let me give you the official synopsis:

"The gruesome tapestry of psychological manifestations of a nineteen year old bulimic runaway stripper-turned prostitute as she descends into a hellish pit of satanic nightmares and hallucinations."

I had to offer up the above synopsis, because otherwise you would have no idea what this movie was about, even if you watched it for yourself.  Very little of the supposed plot is actually exposed in the movie, which pretty much means there is no plot at all--no matter what the filmmakers want you to believe.

Here is the actual synopsis of the film:

Hookers and prostitutes talk to the unseen man behind the camera, get naked, have sex, vomit, and then get murdered.

That's...pretty much it.

It's a montage of violence, vaginas and vomiting; boobs and blood; unspeakable acts committed on and by unbearable people.  It's a very difficult film to sit through--and not just because of the content, but also because of its execution.

The sound is almost consistently distorted, the dialogue more often than not slowed down to a demonic-sounding crawl (at one point, a character actually states "I can speak slower than you...I can speak slowest."), almost as if the filmmakers were trying to get you to hit the mute button.  The herky-jerky editing is absolutely maddening, like a 12 year old meth addict making a music video for Rob Zombie.  The camera work is so gonzo that when something is in focus and centered in the frame, it was almost surely accidental.

One could say that this was an experimental horror film, what it would be like if some forgotten member of Andy Warhol's Factory had directed August Underground, and I suppose that's not too far from the truth.  But even experimental horror films can fall prey to the film student curse of pretentiousness and self importance.  This movie, above all else, proves that.

In the end, this was just a botched attempt at turning the snuff film into an art film.  Not for the faint of heart, and not for the discerning viewer.  If you are completely jaded, though, and can only get your kicks through gratuitous shock and awe, then this may be right up your alley:  I for one have never seen a one-armed girl forced to play the guitar, or a man vomit into a coffee mug, only to drink it back down like a hot cup of Joe, just to guzzle it down again a few moments later.

Some of you are mentally filing this in your DO NOT WATCH list.  Others are rushing over to Netflix to queue it up at this very moment.  This just goes to show that every movie has an audience, no matter how bad they may seem to some of us.  If that weren't the case, Uwe Boll would be wielding a mop instead of a camera, and Chris Seaver would be delivering my pizzas and getting stiffed on the tip.

Oh, what a marvelous world that would be.

Proceed at your own risk, hipsters.

71 Minutes
United States

"I don't know what's left of me, but you can fuck it if you want."

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Hunt (2006)

The Hunt

Written by Fritz Kiersch, Jonathan de la Luz, & Danny Martin
Directed by Fritz Kiersch

Jack...Joe Michael Burke
Clint...Mitchell Burns
Atticus...Robert Rusler

Recovering alcoholic cameraman Atticus, his best friend Jack, and Jack's young stepson Clint all head into the woods to shoot a deer hunting video, one which depicts the true art of the stalk-and-snipe technique using a bow and arrow as opposed to to a rifle.  This is meant to set them apart from the other such videos  on the market, and is supposed to earn them a quick buck--no pun intended.

It gets off to a terribly slow start, as our three heroes (and I use that term very loosely) talk about the hunt, prepare for the hunt, eat breakfast before the hunt...pretty much do everything but actually go on the hunt.  When they finally do arrive at their destination--a sort of private hunting reserve that they have leased for the day--it would be easy to assume that this is where the action begins.

No such luck.

Continuing on in the same lazy pace, our intrepid hunters wander through the forest, bickering in sportsman-like whispers, catching only the slightest glimpse of a white tail--one which they manage to injure, but not even come close to killing.  Tracking the deer leads them off the beaten path, and they find themselves within what could very well be a private hunting reserve within a private hunting reserve...only this time they might be the hunted.

Sounds similar to about a dozen other flicks, doesn't it?  Which is a good thing, because that means if you're in the mood for a movie like this, you have a dozen other, undoubtedly better, titles to choose from.  The Hunt is interminably dull, and doesn't even pick up steam when all their lives are at stake.  We're never afraid that these three may be killed, because within forty-five minutes, we're actually hoping for it, just so that the closing credits would begin to roll.

Throughout the running time, the "action" is occasionally interspersed with footage of the search and rescue effort (lead by Clint's father), days after the trio went missing.  This does very little to increase the excitement, but at least it gives us a change in scenery.  The twist ending was somewhat expected, but not explored well enough.  Had this been introduced earlier in the plot, it actually might have saved it from the mind-numbing meandering mess that it became.  Or, at the very least, it would have made it a much more interesting mind-numbing meandering mess.

If you want to watch The Most Dangerous Game, then go watch The Most Dangerous Game.  But if you're suffering from a case of insomnia, or perhaps have a suspected terrorist that waterboarding just isn't working on, then by all means...give The Hunt a spin.

Rated R
90 Minutes
United States


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Body Melt (1993)

Body Melt

Written by Rod Bishop and Philip Brophy
Directed by Philip Brophy

A pharmaceutical company and a health resort are working together to create the next great weight loss drug, secretly performing their experiments on the citizens of a small neighborhood in Melborurne, Australia.  I think.  The plot is kind of a mess, so it was a little difficult to figure out what the hell was actually going on.  Suffice it to say that there are a number of unwanted side-effects that the experiment subjects are suffering from.  As one such fellow states at the beginning:

--The first phase is hallucinogenic.
--The second phase is metabolic.
--The third phase is...AAAARRRGGHHHHH!

The movie follows each of the test subjects for a brief period of time, until they succumb to a grisly fate from their ingestion of the drug.  It seems to take wild and random turns at the drop of a hat, such as when two teen test subjects get lost and find themselves at the mercy of a family of inbred outbackers, but even they prove to be in on the experiment, suggesting that this is a vast conspiracy of some sort.

I think these filmmakers watched too many early Peter Jackson films, wanting to one-up that unkempt fellow in terms of grossout effects.  The special effects are, for the most part, laughable...but that doesn't prevent there being a number of gag-inducing moments--including the gentle removal of a human rib, and a couple of scenes involving placental projectiles from a pregnant woman's vajayjay.

And just look at the beautiful ladies that make up the cast.

There is a particularly bizarre sex scene that takes place in a storage shed while a tee-shirt wearing cockatoo watches on from overhead, raining packing peanuts down upon the writhing bodies.  A true WTF moment.

Yes, there are only two words that can adequately describe this movie:  gross and laughable.  Everything from the fashions, the dated futuristic technology, and the dialog is capable of making you squirm in your seat on their own.  But when mixed together with the non-stop slime, goo, blood and muck, it's enough to keep you matter how bad the final product actually is.

Not Rated
81 Minutes

"Babies are the ultimate parasite."

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Green Lantern Corp Meeting...

...was a rousing success.  I'm back on Planet Earth now, and regular posting will resume tomorrow.



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