Friday, 23 December 2016

Review: Midnight Meat Train (2008)

Stars: Vinnie Jones, Bradley Cooper

Budget: 15 million

Directed By: Ryuhei Kitamura

When a photographer hoping to break it big is tasked
by a top art collector to capture the real streets he is drawn into a murderous underworld.
Except there's more to it than first meets the eye!

Like the poster says this is one of the best adaptation of a book i've seen. Ok it didn't do to well but that's probably because of the age rating at the time and it being a lesser known title from an ex mainstream author.
If released a few years back on the success of Hellraiser it may have well done better. Except this is now relegated to 'almost' B-movie status.

I say almost because it has a semi decent cast coupled with poor poor CGI effects and a great story to work from. I remember reading midnight meat train a good number of years ago, hot on the back of the damnation game (also a a fantastic story, probably my favorite Barker book ever) and i was well impressed with it even after the massive up that was Damnation.
So Vinnie Jones plays what first appears to be a crazy subway killer called Mahogany, albeit with super strength, un-killable and un-phasable.
Bradley plays a not well off amateur photographer (Leon) that is pretty new to the business but very good at what he does, except that he flees danger quite easily. Trying to break his trend in this one night he actually stops some thugs attacking a woman.
When she is later killed by the killer (Mahogany) her disappearance is all over the news the next day. Thinking it the gang he goes to the police but actually gets fingered as a suspect of sorts, when there's no solid evidence this pisses him off. He then goes about researching missing persons in the city, leading him to Mahogany who he proceeds to photograph and the police still don't believe his stories. They just suspect him even further for being near the murder scenes.

His following slowly becomes an obsession, not helped by an offer to to get into the higher ups of the art world spurns him on to keep photographing these scenes. He then witnesses lots of killings and mutilations on the subway one night and falls unconscious waking up in a meat processing plant with a weird arcane symbol carved into his chest. You see both mental and physical changes happen to him. One being at the beginning of the film he is a vegan and a very loving boyfriend to his girlfriend Maya. He starts to eat meat and act and have violent sex with Maya.

Maya finally has enough and goes with a friend to check out the killers apartment they find that everything Leon has said is true. Maya's friend is killed and she barely escapes herself. Going to the police they don't believe her story, it started around this time that we suspect the police connection goes a little further than we think.
Leon once and for all decides to properly confront the butcher, unknown to him Maya was also on the train. A big fight breaks out between Leon and Mahogany, as he tries to protect Maya. It's a good fight too. Mahogany using brute strength Leon more lithe and cunning.
They finally come to the end of the line and Mahogany is thrown from the train, when Leon finishes him off with a knife through the head we learn the deep dark secret that everyone has been trying to hide. Now you know i don't spoil stuff so i can't tell you. Because despite some very dodgy CGI and some iffy moments this is a great adaptation of the short story from the books of blood.
There's just enough difference and expanded things to make it it's own movie too, so by far a perfect movie but if you like suspense and mystery in your supernatural thrillers this is definitely worth your time to watch.

THN awards Midnight Meat Train 3/5 Stars with a recommend to watch.

THN Top 5: Michael Myers Kills

Ah my second favourite masked serial killer the slightly less stronger and just as invincible Mr Shatner mask himself. Michael Myers. Despite that he's had some pretty gruesome kills over the course of his 8 movie (original series).
Listed here are my top five favourite kills of his:

5. Karen the nurse from Halloween 2 is at number 5 here there it's close here because this is nasty, but to me just a little justified, instead of looking after babies she goes for a bit of nookie with her fella Budd in the Jacuzzi. Unfortunately he's also been dispatched. Micheal turns up the heat in the Jacuzzi and boils Karen like a ham, flaps of floppy skin and all as she's cooked to death then thrown to the floor.

4. John Strode in Halloween 6 a relative of Micheal Myers checks out the old house basement he then impaled by our killer. Not only that he's rammed into the fuse box and does the electric jig until he begins to burn like a forgotten roast only for his head to explode.

3. Robert the unwitting boyfriend from Halloween 1 this one disturbs me more than it should I feel. Robert goes for some requested items yet you can see he knows something is up then bam Mikey nails him up on the wall/door with a chef's knife. Then to add to that Michael stares at the lad like a lost puppy does, maybe surprised by his own strength who knows

2. So Robert was sent to get some items, yes still Halloween 1 his girlfriend phones Laurie to explain what a great night their having, then she thinks it's Robert in a sheet pretending to be a ghost. It's not it's Michael and he garrotes the hapless girl while she's on the phone, with the phone wire!
The thing that's nasty is Laurie just thinks the poor girl is being naughty with her fella and she just hangs up!

1. Lastly and yes sorry this is the same film again Halloween 1, but this is the ultimate kill and we are talking about young Michael killing his sister Judith, probably high/top on many people's list it's just it's the first kill done by a deranged kid from his point of view, introducing us to Michael in such a memorable way.
It is certainly the kill that you remember when thinking of the whole series.

Ok then so that's my top 5 kills, there's so many to choose from from the whole 8 films in the original series. Sorry that there's so many from part 1 but as probably the best in the series it does include some of the more memorable kills

Friday, 16 December 2016

Review: Series 1 Van Helsing

Kelly Overton, Jonathan Scarfe, Trezzo Mahoro

No. Episodes

Episode Length
44-47 mins

Van Helsing well here's a conundrum wrapped in a riddle, it's b-movie grade movie quality filming, acting and writing yet stretched over a series. It's a sci-fi channel thing which explains the b-movie grade quality things about this series.

This is also prevalent in their other series Z-Nation, except it seems to work better in there for some reason, maybe its the comedy or the lightheartedness of nation that helps. you know it doesn't take itself seriously. Van Helsing does unfortunately.
Now don't get me wrong this doesn't make it bad, bad but doesn't give it that level Z-nation has achieved. So that's some of the things that are wrong with this in my eyes, more to come on things wrong with this later.

Now people may think I dislike this show with my gripes and more to come, this isn't the case. Despite it's b-movie qualities and being a bit more serious than it should be it has some very interesting plots and story in it that are keeping me interested.
I want to know WHAT Vanessa is and i'm invested in it until i find out what it is. How did all this happen and why, there is some master plan here that seems like it was mostly explained at the end of season one but i think there's more to it.

So Kelly Overton is Vanessa Helsing she doesn't know it but she is a descendant of the vampire hunter Van Helsing, nor does it matter until a catastrophic volcano eruption throws loads of ash and pollutants obscuring the sun allowing the vampires to come out in the day time.
Vanessa had a husband and they have split for some reason, they have a daughter together and when the vampires attack one breaks into their apartment. Vanessa is bitten and tries to rescue her daughter before she passes out from blood loss and dies.
Unknown to her at the time she wakes up 3 years later well into a vampire controlled world, she is being guarded by Axel (Scarfe) a soldier who was assigned three years ago to watch over her until further orders. The doctor also assigned is locked up as she has been turned into a vampire, Axel feels some debt towards her as he thinks she got infected trying to save people.
Vanessa finally wakes up as vampires attack and we see she has amazing strength and later in the episodes find out that if she bites or is bitten by a vampire they turn back into a human.
Over the course of the series most of the first half is set inside the hospital and defending it, this is obviously to keep production costs down. survivors come and go and a few stay for quite a while (more on that later) the second half is outside discovering new places.
There are different vampire tribes that don't trust each other and are continuously trying to undermine each other. Even a brother and sister vampire duo who work against each other, one helping the human resistance to her own ends.
All the while Vanessa is mostly just focused on finding and saving her daughter, which is stretched out to all the way to the end of the season.

Now onto my biggest gripe about this show something that really bit into me (pun!) this show has obviously taken a leaf from the walking dead. In that it's taken the thing that a character death is a big thing, you know someone you get invested in someone you like and bang hole in your heart when they are inevitably greased by someone.
Van Helsing unfortunately does this literally over the top, it goes waaaay to far in the deaths department. You can't get invested in anyone because literally they die not a season later but two or three episodes later. I won't spoil who dies of course.
There are also people that do survive but it seems like the people you want to see more of get whacked before they get to expand.

So despite these gripes I think they do balance out with some occasional decent acting and interesting plot points. I'm going to invest in the second series and see where it goes, it doesn't seem to have done to well so maybe the second season is all we'll get. Give it a try though it's definitely worth giving it a chance just to see if you do like it, THN awards Van Helsing 3/5 stars.

Review: Series 1 Stan Against Evil

John C McGinley, Janet Varney, Deborah Baker Jr

No. Episodes

Episode Length

First off this series, it will and has been compared to Ash vs Evil dead, I think it has enough differences to be something itself though. McGinley has his own dry, angry and humorous way of acting. I've loved his acting style ever since Scrubs.
Don't compartmentalize him though he is a very good actor when not playing that type of character too. John must be invested in this as he is also a producer on the series. I think his character Stan is definitely the high point of the series and episodes. So enough gushing over that whats this series actually about?

Stan Miller (John) is a small town sheriff in New Hampshire, he is getting on in years and is a bitter leave me alone kind of guy even before his wife dies. So his wife, you see this town has a curse every sheriff before Stan has met a grisly end, unknown to Stan his wife has been killing the things trying to kill her husband.
Why is this i hear you ask?
Well a few hundred years ago the sheriff of the town put 173 women to death as witches, most of them were actually innocent of the crime so now they actually want revenge on all future sheriffs of the town. Unfortunately Stan's wife finally gets killed (seen in a later episode) and we see them at the funeral. When a crazy woman approaches Stan taunting him he goes a bit mad and attacks the old crone. Of course he causes a scene and gets 'retired' from his job as the sheriff.

We then meet Evie Barret (Janet), moved here to be the new sheriff of the town. It's not long before she learns of the curse and is attacked. Stan finally learns that his wife was protecting him all these years and the two team up against the evil witch of the first episode.
Evie is almost killed until Stan helps (reluctantly), the rest of the episode we meet deputy sheriff Drinkwater a guy totally inept at his job who never seems to do anything except be more comedy relief in the show.
There's also Stan's daughter Denise (Deborah) she's also thick and constantly comes up with stupid ideas for then situations they find themselves in. She sure is cute though!

So each episode is like witch/demon of the week with the overarching story of the past deaths, sheriff and the curse. everything from demon summoning flowers to life draining succubi.
Each episode will also deal with a small insignificant plot like dating or Stan getting an old signed hockey stick back. these episodes mostly gel well and the length of  22mins doesn't allow for much else.

This brings me to some bad points now, the episode length can be a bit short, 22 minutes is a short time to get everything in so some character progression is left out. Especially since there's also only 8 episodes. This isn't a bad thing as we do get some and by the end we generally know what we need for that season. I just hope the series stays on long enough so these small episode length and series size allows them to expand all the characters, universe and story they want to tell.

Secondly this is going to be compared to Ash vs Evil Dead no matter what, despite it being only the same in premise alone, you know fight an evil protagonist over the whole series with little monster of the week episodes with an older reluctant hero spurned on by younger more willing people.
I like this series it's not perfect there are sometimes drab writing and it shows.
THN awards Stan against Evil a strong four out of five stars with a recommendation to watch.

Friday, 9 December 2016

THN Top 5: Cold Horror/Thriller Films

Cold it's already a killer itself, but when some kind of maniac, alien creature or demon is added into the mix it becomes a dual edged knife then in more ways than one. Survive the cold and fight for your life, can you live through both?

5. 30 Days of Night
When an Alaskan town that loses all sunlight for 30 days is beset by vampires as well as cripplingly cold temperatures don't expect to survive for very long. The vampire in this film are not usual ones very feral and vicious in their ways. Yet thankfully very very susceptible to sun light. Was followed up with a sequel that was no way as good as this original.

4. Misery
When a successful writer has a car accident he is unexpectedly saved by what can only be described as his biggest fan. She is indeed big and things take a turn for the worst when she discovers that one of the books isn't going to go the way she expected. This film has some of the most wincingly nasty torture scenes I have seen. Also one of the few really well done King book to film adaptations I have seen.

3. Whiteout
Based on a comic book Kate Beckinsale is US Marshal assigned to watch over a small installation however once a frozen corpse is found and people start dying she must stay on to aid the survivors and help solve a 50 year old mystery that ends in more death.

2. Gremlins
Of course i couldn't miss this out could I?
When a young man is bought a mysterious new pet for Christmas it comes with 3 easy to follow rules
1. Don't get them wet.
2. Don't feed them after midnight
3. Don't expose them to bright light
Throughout the course of this comedy horror all three rules are broken it is truly is a must watch by all comedy and horror fans, especially in this holiday season.

1. John Carpenters, The Thing
This film without a doubt is to me one the masterpieces of film making, loosely based on an old black and white flick John took the idea of a frozen alien being in the most inhospitable places on the planet to the next extreme. The alien can mimic anyone suspense and paranoia ensue as everyone gets fingered out as the beast, with an ending as bleak and open ended as it could ever be. This still to this day stands at my top favorite film of its genre, good job!

Review: Jack Frost (1997)

Stars: Christopher Allport, Stephen Mendel

Budget: Unknown

Directed By: Micheal Cooney

Good lord this is one of them super low budget affairs that are either really bad, so bad their good or just a plain gem in the rough. Now Jack Frost not to be confused with the Micheal Keaton one or the short fat delboy type police inspector, has me split down the middle in how i feel about it.

It is at times so bad it's enjoyable but at others just downright terrible. I do believe like the gingerbread man it has a small modicum of followers. Except i wouldn't in my eyes alleviate it's standing to cult or indie status just yet. Anyway on with the actual film review.

So Jack Frost is a notorious serial killer, he is being transported across country to answer for his crimes when the truck transporting him collides with a chemical genetic truck.
He seemingly dissolves into the chemical slurry and it's announced that he died due to this. However a little while later Jack is able to reform his body into that of a snowman, the chemical bonded his DNA to the snow. He proceeds to go on another killing spree this time cold, frost and snow based. The town of Snowmonton is his target. Sam the town sheriff is still haunted by flashbacks of Jack despite his rumored death.

The typical thing happens that always happens in old or low budget films. People get killed no one believes the only or few people that see it happen then they get killed themselves. It's a time old and unfortunately worn formula that if done right can still work to a degree. That is not the case for Jack Frost, i know these people are meant to be over the top stupid it's something you do in comedy horror accentuate the tropes but this just takes it one step to far.

Which is the problem i had with this film if had been reeled in just this little bit, snip off that trope there a chip off that tired joke there i think this could truly be a cult classic of greater proportion than it already has accrued.
Some FBI agents arrive in town and proceed to set up a curfew, Shannon Elizabeth who also stars in this (strangely enough getting naked) has revenge sex with her boyfriend only for him to be killed and her rape killed in the shower by the nutty snowman. Se  where i mean over the top?

Jack Finally gets to the police station confronting Sam, then the one FBI agent reveals himself to be from the company who created the DNA acid that made Jack like he is. They explain some silly stuff about the DNA acid having many uses as it can hold the human soul. Then they finally confront Jack In a number of unsuccessful ways, talk about milking the evil guy coming back and then back, and back again. They try blowing him up with aerosols, just plain blowing him up, then melting him with hairdryers and a giant furnace.

Then Sam and his son get trapped, yet his son, the thick little boy has made him oatmeal with ANTIFREEZE in it to stop it getting cold, yeah right?
Well he somehow thinks its a great idea to throw this at Jack and low and behold the antifreeze hurts him. Sam makes Jack chase him and almost dies from an icicle in the chest when a miraculous truck of antifreeze is used to completely melt Jack, they then bottle him up and bury him.
One of the bottle is seen bubbling near the end ready for the inevitable and coming sequel that i know someday i'll have to watch 'cries a little inside'

You may have noticed i spoiled the ending that's so you don't have to go through watching this rubbish yourself, yet I haven't given this zero or even one star I've given it two!
Why? I hear you ask in wonderment, Because it's so bad it's almost good and if you really, really want to try it for yourself i won't deter you or say don't, just be weary and you might be one of those that actually enjoys it, i unfortunately was not, bye!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Review: Gremlins (1984)

Stars: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates

Budget: 11 Million

Directed By: Joe Dante

This has to be one of the most influential films from my childhood. I remember it was billed as a kids film but most definitely at its heart its a horror film.
The Gremlins though amusing are quite terrifying and do some very deadly things to the people of Kingston falls as you'll see in the review. Most would term this type of film a black comedy. Howie Mandel does the voice for the small creature called Gizmo, a Mogwai.

Randal Peltzer a travelling salesman, selling his own homemade inventions realizes he's late getting his son a Christmas present.
He's led by a small Chinese boy to his grandfathers curio store. He doesn't see anything initially and then when trying to sell the owner an item his attention is drawn to a small animal in a cage.
Unfortunately Mr Wing disagrees with Randal's offers for the creature. His grandson tells Randal To meet him out the back with the money. He does and gets the animal from Wing's Grandson, though there are three rules you must follow being the owner of a Mogwai. Rule one Don't get them wet, rule two don't feed them after midnight and rule 3 keep out of bright light, full on sunlight will kill him.

Billy Peltzer is Randals son and we see him being late for work and his dog following him there too. We then see Mrs Deagle strutting her way towards the bank. She's the main human protagonist of the film and something against Billy and his dog.
His dog has destroyed her expensive replica snowman and in the middle of her tirade Barney leaps from under the desk giving the woman a near heart attack. After all that trouble Billy heads home and is given the present by his dad, who has named him Gizmo. Billy's younger friend Pete comes around later (Cory Feldman) and accidentally spill water onto Gizmo. This spawns five more little Mogwai from Gizmo's back they seem a lot more hyper and rambunctious than Gizmo though, especially one with a white hair mohawk they call stripe.

Billy gives one of the creatures to his old high school science teacher, who quite cruelly experiments on the poor little chap. Both this mogwai and the rest at Billy's manage to eat after midnight the latter biting through the clock cord tricking Billy. They seal up in large green cocoons and Billy goes to see the science teacher who explains it's like a pupa stage.
The cocoons hatch while Billy is on his way back home, Hanson the teacher is murdered by his one and Billy's mum is terrorized until Billy gets back home. The all attack and kill the gremlins in a number of gross ways, all except Stripe who manages to escape out the window.

Stripe is chased to a nearby swimming pool who he jumps into the water and spawns hundreds of new gremlins. Billy runs escaping to the bank, we are then treated to Phoebe Cates character Kate who works at the local bar. The gremlins have taken over drinking, smoking and wreaking havoc while Kate tries to serve them drinks.
Meanwhile we see Mrs Deagle catapulted out of her top floor window sat upon her stair lift which was tampered with by the gremlins. Kate manages to escape the gremlins using a cameras flash bulbs to scare away the creatures.
She meets up with Billy and they both realise the town has gone quiet, singing draws them towards the cinema. Inside the whole gremlin force sits there watching snow white and the seven dwarfs.

They rig up for the gas to blow up the cinema and it does killing all the gremlins inside, unfortunately Stripe has once again evaded death as he was ransacking a sweet store. Once again he is chased by Billy and co into an apartment store. He uses an array of power tools and deadly implements to try and kill Billy until he finds another source of water.

So my Nation i'll leave it there because if you haven't seen gremlins, firstly where have been living under a rock? Secondly go, go watch it now, right now! It's really not worth me spoiling the end to this classic film it NEEDS to be watched. So please go ahead and i will just say this film has the correct mix of comedy and horror and hits all the right notes.
THN awards Gremlins the best 5 out of 5 stars with a go out and watch it now!

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Festive films I'll be watching/reviewing this month

Small green demons spawn from a furry pet called a mogwai bought as a Xmas gift!

Black Christmas
A sorority house is plagued by scary phone calls only for the sisters to be murdered one by one!

Silent night, deadly night
When a young boys parents are murdered on Xmas years later he returns as a crazy killer Santa!

Jack Frost
A crazy killer dies and gets mixed with some chemicals and snow turning him into a merciless cold killer, oh dear....

Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack Skellington wondering around bored of his usual Halloween job finds the magical land of Christmas town and wants to make Xmas his own!

So this is my to do list for December what do you guys think of my choices and what will you doing to spooky up your festive season?

Friday, 18 November 2016

Review: Channel/film 4 Fright Bites

A series of 4-6 minute horror shorts on UK channel/film 4 known for breaking ground in areas other channels wont, even bbc3.

Episode 1: Short Cut

When a Wanker, what us in the UK like to call this type of boyfriend/guy, is giving his current girlfriend a lift home he does everything wrong from drink driving to receiving dirty texts from other girls. He gets his comeuppance when he chooses to ignore his satnav and take a short cut.

Episode 2: Tickle Monster

Your usual teen idiot is sat with his girlfriend writing out song lyrics when we hear a buzzing noise. He blames the girl for tickling him, saying man don't like to be tickled, yes he's one of them gangster rap hard man wannabes. Until he's told there's a tickle monster as a joke, only is there really?

Episode 3: Squeal

When some scummy chav girls pick on a traveler girl on her way back from purchasing a pigs head you know things aren't going to turn out well. On her way home the lead girl is knocked unconscious and with the aid of some surgery and the pigs head is made into a new attraction!

Episode 4: Night Cap

When a young boy suddenly awakes in the night feeling somethings up he goes to wake his mother, who it seems has had one to many vodkas. The TV in the room suddenly turns on and the boy goes and turns it off. Then the phone rings asking to speak to him, his names Danny and he refuses. Running to his mothers bedroom the disembodied voice taunts and threatens even more, until...

Episode 5: Wake

We join a man in a room with sobbing people just heard not seen, a hand touches his shoulder and a woman's voice says sorry. We then see him hobbling up to a dead woman in a casket who he proceeds to kiss. She then awakes and bites his tongue out and replaces herself with his now mute person. which doesn't end well.

Episode 6: Old Gal

In this short we see an old woman in the street, we then view a woman on the phone to a friend who spies the woman across the street. She moans to the person on the phone that the crazy woman out again. She then gets shocked when the next time she looks the woman is at her window, she hangs up only to find she has disappeared. Then washing up in the kitchen she spies the old woman in the garden, only when she looks she doesn't see her (we do though). Entering back into the kitchen bad things ensue.

Overall Thoughts:
I liked the majority of these shorts they were nothing to over the top relying on short sharp shocks not intellectual fair, which is good as they don't have long to build their story with the short run time. My least favourite was Night Cap as theirs very little substance and it just doesn't hit the mark for me. The rest were reasonable, as a man though Short Cut really stood out to me even if the guy was an ass hole lol. Overall though THN gives the whole series 3 out of 5 Stars.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Leprechaun 2: One Wedding and Lots of Funerals (1994)

Stars: Warwick Davis

Budget: $2mill

Directed By: Rodman Flender

This sequel to the last Leprechaun film is sequel only in theme and name. Warwick Davis does return as the funny jolly little green man but none of the other characters do.
This one starts off a number of years in the past is suppose by the time it was released it was a 1000 years. so it was 994ad, our little green man is celebrating his thousandth birthday.

On his birthday he can pick any woman he wants to be his bride. There's some silly rule that if someone says 'bless you' after the girl/woman has sneezed 3 times then he can't marry them.
weird i know but the father of the girl getting married says the words denying the wee man his bride. Just before he kills him the Leprechaun vows to marry his descendant in 1000 years time.

1000 years in the future Cody a boy with far to much on his plate has an argument with his girlfriend because he always has to blow off dates with her because he feels some bond with his alcoholic uncle and helping him with his business. His girlfriend Bridget just so happens to be the descendant of the O'days ( the people whose family was cursed) and it's ST Patrick's day in LA.
Unlike his last films counterpart this leprechaun loves any gold and when he see's it he steals it in any way he can. A gold tooth from a homeless man and some street entertainers ring. He follows Bridget to her house where he tricks some other boy into kiss a mower blade, ouch!
Cody comes along next with some apologetic flowers for Bridget. She appreciates the offer but sneezes three times. Before Cody has a chance to say bless you the Leprechaun attacks. He manages to stop Cody saying it and vanishes with Bridget in tow, he does how ever lose one of his gold coins in all the frack-ass.

The police arrive after everything has gone down find Ian dead and a note from Cody, also that Bridget has vanished. They immediately think the worst and put out a warrant for his arrest.
Meanwhile Cody tries to explain everything to Morty (his uncle) who thinks the boy's gone mad until the Leprechaun attacks them and they just about escape.
They next encounter him in a bar where Morty attempts to win the leprechaun in a drinking competition. Unknown to the wee man they substitute Morty's drinks for something else non alcoholic, the trick almost works with the leprechaun getting so drunk he can't use his magic properly.

He escapes and goes to a coffee shop were he proceeds to drink lots of coffee to sober himself up, when the barista asks for payment his killed in a comedy way. In this iteration also, the leprechaun like most fey creatures is hurt by wrought iron. Cody and Morty steal a large iron safe and actually manage to capture him inside it. Unfortunately Morty gets greedy and uses the trapped leprechaun to grant him three wishes. This of course ends up with the wishes being twisted, the death of Morty and the freedom of the leprechaun.

After some more hi-jinks the leprechaun corners Cody but his magic does not work against him, realizing it's the coin keeping him safe Cody escapes into the lair of the leprechaun. He is attacked by O'day and just about manages to beat him. He comes across Bridget just as the wee guy comes upon them both too. Bridget managed to loosen the gold collar and throwing it at the the leprechaun they both escape. Unfortunately they get separated and when Cody thinks he comes across her again it's really the leprechaun tricking him into leaving the gold coin.

He however was up on the trick which, tricks the leprechaun allowing Cody to fight back. I'll leave it here so i don't spoil the very end of the film there's really not a lot left after that point but it's not worth spoiling as the films pretty decent.
THN found Leprechaun 2, one them strange almost reboot of the series sequels where it's a sequel in essence only as stated earlier, this being the non returning support cast different rules and of course the Leprechaun dying in the first film. I like to think it's a different leprechaun it's just they are all Warwick Davis lol.
THN awards this film 3 out of 5 stars with a recommendation to watch.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Review: Critters (1986)

Stars: Don Keith Opper, Billy Zane

Budget: $2 million

Directed By: Stephen Herek

Often compared to gremlins, if you ask me i don't know why other than little creatures. Critters are far more deadly yes they are slapstick both but Critters are aliens too, (yes i know canonically gremlins are too).

This is one of my favorite little creature features though and ranks up there with some of the best comedy horrors of the 80's too.

So somewhere deep in space the last two Critter creatures are destined to be transported elsewhere. The little creatures manage to overpower the guards and steal their ship then fly off.
Two Bounty hunters are hired to chase them and hunt them down. Critters like to eat and when they eat they reproduce like mad.

They crash land on earth and two people mistake their craft for a meteorite. Brad and Jay go and check out the crash site. They disturb the critters while they are eating a cow and the little guys run off. The Critters themselves are an odd little thing its head is mostly mouth with two little piercing red eyes, a little fat body with stumpy legs and arms. They are covered head to toe in fur and sharp little quills.
So the later jump a police officer and devour him, Seeing the farm as a large food source they decide to besiege it. When Jay goes to check on why the electricity has been cut he is attacked and stung by one of the Critters quills. These are designed to incapacitate larger targets for the little guys making them easier to deal with and eat.

April is the barn with her boyfriend trying to get it on when the Critters show up and kill him.
Brad actually gets to kill one of the Critters by making it eat a cherry bomb, quite amusing there. The bounty hunters in this are not to great they are in fact a little inept think along the lines of the other hunters in suburban commando lol. The Critters are returning to their ship a little later when the actual bounty hunters finally show up.
The Critters who we learn a little later on now are called Crites, have also taken April with them. Unknown to them Brad and Charlie have gotten April off the ship. The Critters destroy the family farm house just being dicks. Brad managed to throw a Molotov cocktail onto the ship which ignites the fuel supply and ends up blowing their ship out of the sky.

I won't give away much more even though there's not much more left but there's some major spoilers in the last few minutes of this film that are worth keeping sch-tum on, at least until i review part 2!

THN really enjoys the Critters films, much more than we should i suspect but everyone has a gushing film right? So Critters 1 gets a respectable 4/5 stars from THN.

THN Top 5: Freddy Krueger Kills

Freddy Krueger has to be my second favourite slasher baddy. The demon empowered kiddy killer who can kill you in your sleep. After a pact is sealed by him with some demons the springwood slasher is able to stalk teen dreams after being killed by some pissed off parents, some are grousome, some are funny and others just nasty. Most though are creative.
Here's 5 of my top Freddy Krueger kills:

5. Dream warriors, king of the goblins: now dream warriors has some of the most creative kills out of the whole series of films but the one that sticks out the most to me. As an ex d&d player is when Will Stanton who has just had his legs ground by a demon wheelchair (outside of dreaming he can't walk) then turns into the wizard master spouting the lines "In the name of prince Lowrek, prince of elves demon be gone!"
Seems like it's working till Will runs up to Freddy who grabs him, saying "I don't believe in fairy tales!" Before stabbing him through the midriff.

4. Nightmare on Elm Street: From the first film has to be Tina she has quite a gruesome death anyway, slashed and clawed will she's sleeping next to her boyfriend. She is then dragged up the wall and all across the ceiling leaving streaks of blood everywhere she goes.
Not only that Tina returns in a see through body bag later and splits into foul insects after Nancy has followed it for some time.

3. Dream Master: The fourth film of the series we see a girl able to take on other peoples powers once Freddy has killed them. One such kill in brain box and asthma suffer Sheila Kopecky. Once she is drawn into the dream Freddy french kisses her literally sucking all the air from her.
In the real world it just looks like shes having a serious asthma attack. What makes it more brutal is the way her skin turns pale and her eyes turn milky white, in the dream world.

2. One of the all time sickest deaths is in Dream Child: Dan the Boyfriend of Alice is riding on a motorbike, only for the bike to star seeping into his hands and all through his body. Turning him into some kind of hellish cyborg bike rider for a few seconds before blasting him high speed into a tree.
It's quick a horrific transformation and the look of terror on Dan's face says it all.

1. Finally the last kill and the most blood filled and gruesome is one that is not seen but contains the most blood of any slasher kill ever, more than the body can hold by the looks of it too!
Nightmare on Elm Street: Nancy's boyfriend played by a very young and fresh faced Johnny Depp is pulled into his bed as he accidentally falls asleep watching TV. Screaming a blood curdling scream reams of blood are then shot from where he dragged into.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Review: Nightmare on Elm Street, All Parts Mini Reviews

Nightmare on Elm Street:
Year: 1984
Stars: Heather Lagenkamp, Johnny Depp, Robert Englund

Directed by Wes Craven one of horrors greats in reinventing the horror franchise not once but at least twice. The first being the nightmare on elm street series.
Freddy Krueger a child murdering serial killer is let off the hook by an easy judge and some missing evidence. The parents of the murdered children take their own revenge by burning the psycho in his house.
Only for him to return a few years as a dream stalking supernatural killer instead. Capable of killing you inside your dreams/nightmares if you happen to die there you die in real life.

When kids start dying and they realise their dreams are stalked by the same stripy jumper, razor fingered and dirty hat wearing killer they uncover the truth about what their parents did why they suffer and ultimately how to beat him once again.

Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 2: Freddy's Revenge
Year: 1985
Stars: Mark Patton, Kim Myers, Robert Englund

This outing was not directed by Wes Craven and i think it shows big time. Going in a different direction from the first. A new family have into Heather's old house their son Jesse starts to have nightmares and we quickly learn Krueger is trying to take his body over and use him to get to the kids of Elm Street.
Lisa a girl Jesse has feeling for and she likes him too. Of course him being the nerdy odd weed no one believes him.  He doesn't truly believe it himself either until people start to turn up dead.

Ultimately Lisa helps Jesse have the strength to beat Freddy in the end.

Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 3: Dream Warriors
Year: 1987
Stars: Heather Lagenkamp, Robert Englund, Patricia Arquette

Seems Nightmare films have a thing for staring fresh faced actors, this one has Miss Arquette in the lead role as Kristen. Also a directing return to the series from Wes Craven.
Kristen now lives in the house and when she starts to have nightmares and ultimately Krueger tries to kill her (cutting her wrists), It looks like a suicide attempt.

She is sent to a psychiatric hospital where all the kids have been dreaming of Freddy. Nancy the girl from the first film, now a dream expert also gets a job at the hospital.

She immediately believes the kids especially after Kristen using her 'dream power' pulls her into a dream. Each kid has his or her own dream power. Despite some kids dying and the inclusion of Kruegers mother giving us some background, Nancy ultimately uses the kids powers and Kruegers bones to, so she thinks, finally manage to kill Freddy off for good.

Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 4: Dream Master
Year: 1988
Stars: Lisa Wilcox, Robert Englund

Kristen now out of the hospital along with the rest of the survivors of part 3 starts to have nightmares about Freddy house. Though the other kids just want to be left out of it, they think dwelling on it so much will actually bring Krueger back.

Kristen makes a new friend in school the slightly Nerdy trouble at home, Alice. Freddy does awaken and kills the remaining hospital kids off apart from Kristen. He needs her to give her power to someone else as then other kids have forgotten about him.
Alice ends up inheriting Kristen's power when she dies making her unwittingly draw people into her dreams so Freddy can kill them.
Each death strengthens Freddy but also her with whatever the other kid was specialised in. Empowered theres a cool showdown between Alice and Freddy at the movies end.

Nightmare on Elm Street, Part 5: Dream Child
Year: 1989
Stars: Lisa Wilcox, Robert Englund

With a return of Alice in this movie we see her home life has gotten even worse with an alcoholic father. Alice and Dan are now dating. We see more of the Amanda Krueger side of things in this film too. Having a nightmare she confides in Dan who tells her she's in control of her dreams.
Soon after her graduation Dan dies in an accident and she learns that she is pregnant with his child. As most her new friends start to drop dead from dream related deaths we learn through ultrasound that Freddy is feeding Alice's unborn child with the souls he is harvesting.
It backfires on Freddy in the end though as the love of Alice and the help of Amanda makes her baby turn the powers back on Krueger, once again beating him.

Freddy's Dead, The Final Nightmare
Year: 1991
Stars: Robert Englund, Breckin Meyer

'John Doe' the last surviving teen of Elm street manages to somehow get past the town limits of Springwood. Freddy is unable to get to John who subsequently gets bopped on the head and forgets who he is and where he's from.
He is taken to shelter for troubled kids where he makes friends with the teens who all have troubled pasts.

Trying to cure his amnesia one of the councilors takes John back to Springwood but low and behold the other teens have stowed away on the van. Yummy fresh kids for Freddy to feast on. We learn Krueger also had a daughter in this one.
Low and behold the councilor Maggie happens to his daughter. We also learn Krueger had a bad childhood and then he made a deal with some demons to be continuously brought back to life.

Once again he able to be killed by being brought into the real world, which his daughter does, blowing him to smithereens.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare
Year: 1994
Stars: Robert Englund, Hether Lagenkamp

This one marks a return of Wes Craven again and a weird sidestep for the series. All the actors are playing 'themselves' in the film, yes it's set in the real world.

Wes is working on a script for a new nightmare film, Heather's husband is working on the effects for the film too. Her son is a troubled one especially after he watches the original film and tapes knives to his fingers.

Heather also starts to have weird dreams and hearing voices through the phone. Englund starts painting horrific pictures of a more eviler Freddy, this time he's real except more evil.
Freddy has broken his way into our world but as a true evil demon form. some things paralel the original, deaths etc and this is what is needed to help fight the demon. Along with her son Heather manages to fight back the demon into hell.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

THN Top 5: Friday the 13th Kills

My favorite hockey masked killing machine has killed so many camp councilors it's hard to pinpoint which ones are my the all time best. Despite the first film being his mother she was kind of under the influence of her son so they count towards this too.

5. Spearing Bacon
This is a Pamela Voorhees kill, and it's on our dear beloved Kevin. Deciding to light up in bed the hapless Bacon is grabbed from under the mattress. Then gurgling in blood soaked screams a nasty sharp arrow thrusts through his neck from below.
Dying with the most surprised look on his face this kill comes in at number 5 on my list

4. Facial Impressions
Ft13th Part 6 offers one of my favorite kills comes in the shape of one of two teens faces pushed screaming into the side of a camper van.
Being that the side of the van is sheet metal and the face comes out like a perfect vacuum formed silhouette on the outside wall, I'd say that's quite nasty

3. Neatly Folded
Once again from part 6 one of our protagonists
the police chief unloads his shotgun into Jason.
His daughter the love interest of Tommy Jarvis catches Voorhees attention.
With no more ammo left the brave man grabs a large rock. Leaping upon Jason he proceeds to beat the psycho about the head.
Unfortunately to no avail as, as soon as he starts to tire Jason effortlessly folds him backwards in half , ooh nasty.

2. Nitrogen Facial
This kill is from part X after the discover the frozen body of Jason. One of the young medical students is opted to do the autopsy upon Jason's disfigured corpse.
He of course re-animates a little later, 'surprised the girl screams as her head is thrust into liquid nitrogen. Oh and he doesn't leave it there, no no, he then smashes her brittle frozen face to bits upon the counter.

1. Punch Out!
My all time favorite and most undeserved kill has to be when Julius starts boxing with Jason up on a rooftop.
Giving the others ample time to escape Julius bravely bare fist smacks Jason about his hockey masked face pushing him closer to the edge of the building.
Knuckles busted and bloody clearly losing strength. Julius is so tired that he can't muster the last hard smack to send Jason over.
Offering the hulking madman a free hit Jason reels up throws a sucker punch knocking Julius's head clean off his shoulders.

So that's my top five Ft13th kills, so many come close to this list especially the heading squishing eye popping scene. Julius just about wins out to top spot here.
Do you agree with my top five kills, whats your favorites, let me know!

Review: Hellraiser 4, Bloodlines (1996)

Stars: Doug Bradley, Valentina Vargas

Budget: $4Million

Directed By: Kevin Yagher

Aaah the staple of horror films well at least a lot of them, the IN SPACE SEQUEL. That's right Leprechaun, Friday the 13th they've all ventured into space.
So we join Dr Paul Merchant aboard a giant space station, It's 2127. He's sealed himself into a room and is using some remote controlled droid to manipulate the puzzle box. Just as it's opened the soldiers break into the room, Merchant gives up and tells them the story about the lament puzzle box was created.

We then skip back to France in 1796 where we join LeMarchand a distant relative of Merchants. He is an intricate toy maker famous throughout the land.
He is commissioned by an aristocrat to create the puzzle box. LeMarchand Doesn't know that he's creating a portal to hell.

He views the Aristocrat calling forth a demon from hell, Angelique. The thing is hell back then wasn't the same as 20th century hell, they we more about seduction for your soul. LeMarchand see's this and runs home. He begins working on a new box to seal the powers of the first one he made.
He later travels back to the mansion to try and steal the original box, Jacques the aristocrats servant has taken control of Angelique and they both end up killing LeMarchand.

Flash up to 1996 where we join another descendant of LeMarchand, John Merchant. Apparently his bloodline has been cursed now for opening the gateway to hell. He has managed to build a skyscraper using the Lament configuration, Angelique see's this in an art magazine.
She tries to persuade Jacques to go to america to stop Merchant as he poses a threat to the gateway. When he refuses she kills him. Free to travel to America she does so and tries to seduce Merchant into not completing the building. It doesn't work.

She discovers the original Puzzle box later and gets a guy to open it. This summons forth Pinhead both demons mistrust each other as the new hell just craves suffering rather than seduction. Though they do form an uneasy alliance, this is then later broken when Angelique disagrees with the way Pinhead runs things. Trying to side with Merchant so she can be free from hell if he seals the gate with the Lament configuration.

This unfortunately backfires when the feedback loop destabilizes and the configuration fails. This gives Pinhead the opportunity to kill Merchant. His wife though manages to use the puzzle box to send all of the Cenobites back to hell, including Angelique.
Rimmer the female officer in charge back in 2127 doesn't believe Merchant and has him arrested that is until Pinhead along with new Cenobites, including a now enslaved Angelique start killing.
There's not much left to film after this suffice to say this is the last truly 'OK' Hellraiser film. It takes us back and we see how the box was created then lost, finally defeated.
I love the way the views of hell change over time just like any other place would. THN would urge you to watch this if you've liked all previous entries. Not exactly great but it's a good dropping off point none the less. Though there are like five more films, as you'll know from a way way earlier review of the last entry in the series it not really great beyond this point.

THN rewards Hellraiser 4, Bloodlines a strong 3 stars out of 5 with a recommendation to watch.