Thursday, 27 October 2016

THN Top 5: Movie Series Bad Guys

We all love them from the masked invincible killers, the dream stalking murderers or the every day psychos. Whoever they are they keep coming back for more in sequel after sequel here is my top five series killers:

1. Jason Voorhees, yes he's my number one guy something about the hockey masked invincible killer just hits the right spot for me. The way he is not stopped by bullets, the way he can, if you lose sight of him just magically appear right behind you. If your not Tommy Jarvis you will probably end up as worm food.

2. Michael Myers, of course with Jason being my number 1 the next invincible slightly less strong stronger chef knife wielding overall wearing nutcase has to be second on my list, with a strange obsession for killing his family this guy will murder anyone who gets in his way, again if your not Laurie or Dr Loomis you probably won't see the morning.

3. Freddy Krueger, everyone's favourite nightmare stalking knife fingered demon. A kid killer in life set ablaze by the grieving parents after he got off with their murders. He manages to return as an ethereal demon able to kill in people's dreams. A major weakness is if he's pulled into our world he's vulnerable like a normal person, or if he's forgotten about he loses his power over people's dreams.

4. Wishmaster, a djinn, a genie however you want to look at it but not the big blue friendly version this guy will want something for or twist your wishes in a way you wouldn't have wanted. I love how calm his demeanour is no matter the situation he's in. He is totally evil though no matter how smooth talking he is, don't ever trust him or make a wish as it will be your last!

5. The Warlock, only three films under his name, and an actor change for the third film this bad guy really made an impact on me from an early age. A totally evil spell caster supposedly the son of the devil and on a constant mission to bring his daddy into our world. Be that through ancient texts or the use of druidic crystals, this magic user will kill people and children alike to achieve his goals.

Honourable mentions:
Jeepers Creeper's demon
Leather face

Hope you enjoyed my top five let me know what your top series killers are or if their same what you like about them, THN out!

Review: The Gate 2, Trespassers (1990)

Stars: Louis Trip, Simon Reynolds

Directed by: Tibor Tacaks

Budget: $2 million

The second story in the gate series, this is one of films where i actually liked the second one better than the first. Some might agree some might disagree on that.

This film follows Terry the boy who was friends with Glen from the first film. He's turned into somewhat of a nerd since the first film, also only three years later Terry does look considerably older.

So Terry the boy who we learnt lost his mum some time before the first film. His father is an alcoholic whose lost his job from it since his wife has died. Though he does get a new job with the same company later on.
So Terry has been studying demonology since the last film and using some computer tech and lasers he sets up a summoning gate in the basement of a knocked down house.
halfway through the summoning some bullies interfere with the ritual but with the help of the girl, Liz who also seems to be slightly into demons he talks them into joining in. Terry does the ritual and it seemingly doesn't work which angers the bullies.

Then one of the little demon things from the first film appears one of the bullies pulls a gun and blows it away. He then proceeds to destroy most of Terry's equipment. Terry then bottles the dead demon in a jar and takes it home. His wish kind of comes true when his dad gets a new job but it's not the best. Observing the demon Terry notices the bullet wound does seem to be healing, then suddenly later on the demon breaks free of the jar.
In an amusing little scene Terry manages to capture the little tyke and put it in a cage. He's visited by the girl a little later who starts to exploit the situation wishing for loads of things.

The bullies from earlier see Terry and the girl racing around in a sports car, after a weird dream sequence Terry wakes up to see all the wishes have turned literally into piles of shit. Liz rings him to confirm and we see the car has turned into a giant pile of shit too.
No sooner is this realisation hit that Terry thinks about his dad, 2 seconds later there's a knock at the door and low and behold his dad's had an accident.

Liz is beset by her bully boyfriend and spills the beans about the wishes. As Terry gets home he's assaulted by Liz's boyfriend as they rush off. They have broken in trashed the place and stolen the demon.
Getting high on a joyride the demon escapes it's sack confinement and causes havoc in the car. John Liz's boyfriend while trying to tackle the demon gets bitten. Moe keeps control of the car through all this.
The of course wish for lots of cash, in a fancy restaurant John starts to feel ill an then all their money turns into crap.

Meanwhile Liz and Terry are preparing a vessel to send the demon back to where it came from. Back in the restaurant John runs and crashes his car, then as Terry and Liz are about to go find the demon moe shows up saying that John transforming in a warehouse where moe works. After searching around for a bit we see moe is also getting ill. Then we see John has totally transformed into giant demon and moe either kills himself or falls to his death.

The movie here suffers from the same fate as the first it seems like they had wrote and wrote and now needed to come up with an ending. They throw lots of demons within etc in and travel with a Terry empowered vessel back to the original films house. Really speaking any further will spoil the end of the film despite there being 16+ minutes of running time left.
A few gripes about this film is as said the ending seems oh we need an explanation now throw in shit!, It feels like an early 80s film with some of the dialogue and Liz the way she seems to flip flop from Terry to John annoys me.

Aside from that the bullies make some good humour as does the little demon, more so than the first film. I also like Terry's character a lot, he is quite well written.
Is the film worth a watch? Just about especially if you have seen the first one and in some ways it does surpass the first in the first 2 thirds of the film making it for me a hairs breath better, the acting is also tenfold too.
THN awards gate 2 trespassers a decent 3 out of 5 stars.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Review: The Gate (1987)

Stars: Stephen Dorff, Louis

Directed by: Tibor Takacs

Budget: $2.5 million

Yes another one of them 80s comedy horrors, accept this ones a bit more serious than the rest.
So we see a very spritely Stephen Dorff apparently awake in the night. He takes a little walk through the house.
This amused me as when he passes the kitchen table a bottle of HP brown sauce is on there, a popular British brand of sauce we enjoy mostly on our breakfasts. Anyway hearing some kind of crying he ventures out to his treehouse in the garden. Inside he finds a doll crying then the tree gets hit by lightning and falls over with him inside.

Bam he wakes up again to the sounds of saws and work men, as the tree really has fallen down. When the roots removed a small geode falls free. We meet Terry later a friend who we learn lost his mum. He thinks digging will find them a bigger one they can sell for 100 bucks.
The inadvertently free up some gas which clears to reveal a large geode and bigger hole.

We then meet glen's older sister Alex, she's a typical teen girl not interested in her brother only herself. They borh persuade their parents to leave them alone in the house for 3 days while they're away. It backfires on glen as he gets grounded while they're away.
Alex immediately throws a party like any teen would. Terry and Glenn manage to crack open the new geode which leaves words written on a sketch pad.
Reciting the words glen and Terry unknowingly open the gate under the tree but only a crack.

Then the shit really hits the fan (foreshadowing) glen gets levitated, Terry gets a visit from his dead mum. Unfortunately his mum turns out to be the families aged dog dead in his arms. We then see Terry go home the next day, he seems to be having life hard with a dad that's rarely there. He reads on of his metal albums and realises that they were into demon worship/summoning and learns that the gate needed a sacrifice to open.

Alex entrusts her almost boyfriend to take the dog to an animal shelter. When the place is shut he returns and burries the dog in the gate hole.
Terry warns glen that the sacrifice should not be put in the hole otherwise the gate will open. They use some woods from the album sleeve and think they've sealed it.
Later Terry mentions that if the gate was opened it would need 2 human sacrifices to release it's evil into the world. Also then it would take an act of great love to kill/seal the demons back up.

Again demon shit goes down and they try to use the sleeve to seal the gate, it burns up. They then try passages from the Bible and when Terry after escaping from falling in the hole throws the Bible into there, they think they've sealed it. The twins who were staying over with Alex hid during all this and when the boys come over Alex just tells them all to leave.
The demons return in the shape of a dead worker Terry said was sealed in the walls, just as a joke to scare glen earlier. It drags both glen and Alex into the walls thus getting its sacrifices.

Vaguely glen does later stop it all with something that has a lot of love in it. I wont spoil anymore and leave it to you to see how it all ends.
Ok then sooooo the gate like some 80s comedy horror it's very hit and miss, the acting ranges from decent to diabolical at times. Also it truly feels like it was wrote by a kid as plot points seem to come as and when needed.
This doesn't necessarily make it a bad film though it's just it's pacing feels like it needed this padding wrote in over the weekend lol.

Overall the little demons are amusing and it really tries to hit notes that miss in the 80s comedy horror genre. But not by far so I'll give the gate a reasonable 3 out 5.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

THN Top 5: Scenes of Gore

So I've compiled here a few scenes in movies that even made me wince and go not good!

5. Dina Meyers character in saw ribs ripped open, I like Dina too so this was extra painful to watch especially when you realized there was no escape

4. Cabin Fever my god this film put the fear of flesh eating viruses into me for a good while! The worst part though, the girl literally shaves her skin and flesh off her legs in the bath.

3. The fly 2, oh god I could not almost watch this scene, I loooove dogs and when that poor dog gets flayed and still lives from the teleporter it destroyed me as a kid, now I can see it for the silly effects it is still only partly detracts from the gross factor.

2. Starship troopers the brain bug brain sucking scene had me closing my eyes the first two times I watched it, it's not so much the grossness of it, though it is pretty graphic and was a 15 in the cinema then 18 on home video, go figure? It just imagine that happening to you just everything you are sucked out like that and pop consciousness gone...

1. Cannibal holocaust my god how they made this movie so realistic I'll never know watch it now it still seems so real! Of the many many horrific scenes it has to be the penis removal scene that make me go weak in the stomach region, I literally had to look up when I young lad if this was real or not, silly me.

So what's your grossest scenes ever? Let me know!

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Review: Ghoulies 2 (1988)

Cast: Damon Martin, Royal Dano

Directed By: Albert Band

Budget: Unknown

Okay this is a rare occurrence though not many people may agree with me. I actually think ghoulies 2 is BETTER than the first film. Not by much, just a small hairs breadth of a better story line and acting.

The ghoulies have an upgrade model wise too. This movie, though i can't see how, supposedly takes place not long after the last one. The ghoulies are in a truck stop somehow, then when they see a truck called Satan's den pull in they stow away on board.

Dano plays uncle Ned he's part of a fair ground, his Satan's Den is a horror house of sorts, his Nephew also works with him. Phil Fondacaro plays by far one of jewels of the film as Sir Nigel Penneyweight, a down and out small person actor who plays a the part of mini demon in the Den. Unfortunately the Den hasn't been making it's money and the owner threatens a bunch of attractions with closure. The Den being most imminent to close. Uncle Ned uses a spell book and tries to summon up some demons to help them make money. The ghoulies show themselves to Ned who thinks he's summoned them, Ned also has something of a drinking problem so when he gets his Nephew and Nigel to show them they just think he's out of it on booze when they don't see them.

Two kids happen upon the Den and are persuaded to give it a go. A group of hooligans also enter just intent on making out inside somewhere. The ghoulies terrorize the kids and kill one of the hooligans lesser friends who comes in later. The kids who thoroughly enjoy the terrorizing go and spread word about the carnival. This brings flocks of people to see what the fuss is all about.
The carnival owner is puzzled over how this is happening but seems pleased in a grudging way. The other hooligans are terrorized by the ghoulies too, they escape threatening to sue for the wounds caused.

The police show up later thanks the hooligans complaints and Uncle Ned wakes up and stumbles around the Den. He realizes the ghoulies are evil and tries to dismiss them with magic. They end up killing him making lights come on in the Den despite the Nephew telling the police it was empty. They then find Ned dead and the owner takes over the attraction under Ned's nephews nose.
Some other hi-jinks happen then they all find out the demons, when they try to kill the Ghoulies they angry and go about the carnival causing big trouble. Nigel and the Nephew Larry try to use magic to dismiss the ghoulies. That's as far as i go here as any more would spoil the end of the film and this one is defo worth the watch.

THN likes this one more than the first movie only by a gnats whisker but it's certainly to me better, so we are still giving the film a 3 out of 5 score but with a better recommendation to watch.


Review: Ghoulies (1984)

Stars: Peter Liapis, Lisa Pelican

Directed By: Luca Bercovici

Budget: $1 million

Continuing on my 80's comedy horror spree i've turned my attention towards 1984's ghoulies a film that tries really tries.
This film to me is a really hit and miss gem of the 80's comedy horror scene. It some times tries to hard to be funny by using occasional tired tropes of the time.

We have not one but two stoners, one jock, one weirdo and your typical beatnik angular women. This does one thing a lot of other horror films does not though,
it has little to no nudity! whether this was a choice to try and make it more family friendly i'm unsure. I can't find anything that alludes to this being the case though.

So we join Malcolm Graves ready to sacrifice a little baby to his gods. This is to give him ultimate power, we see the ghoulies watching on as he prepares his knife.
Suddenly a woman from the congregation shouts out to stop and gives the baby a necklace to protect it from evil. This makes Malcolm unable to touch or harm the baby, while he's distracted killing the woman an old man from the congregation run off with the baby.

Cut to 25 years later we join Jonathan Graves and his girlfriend Rebecca who are looking around the house which has been left to him by Malcolm, yes he was the babies father. It's funny we are supposed to believe these two are only mid twenties they and later on their friends are clearly thirty or older. Slowly but surely Jon starts to turn to the dark magic his father was practicing. When Rebecca says they should throw a house warming party Jon agrees.

Later on when they bored trying to find something to do Jon suggests they try and summon a demon. He sets up a circle of protection then goes about summoning. Of course in true horror movie tropes nothing happens off the bat. Then as soon as they all leave the basement a little ghoulie demon pops up. Later on Jon discovers the demon and goes about summoning more.

Among some of the demons he summons are two little people demons called Grizzel and Greedigut. They teach him how to power his magic up even more. Unfortunately it's all been planned by Malcolm, he uses the demons to manipulate Jon into summoning him back from the grave. All while this happening Rebecca is concerned over Jon becoming more distant and the dark arts he's getting mixed up in, she ends up leaving him but he makes the demons cast a spell that makes her go into a mindless compliant state.
Jon does one last big spell, this is the one that brings Malcolm back to life. The ghoulies then proceed kill or knockout all of Jon and Rebeccas friends as Malcolm in a needs them to do his last spell. Jon realizes the ghoulies have been working against him and tries to fight back against Malcolm he uses his magic versus him. Grizzle and Greedigut seem to have a turn of heart when they try to help Jon by warning him. Oh and the old guy from the beginning shows up again too.

Suffice to say not much else happens but despite that the film is good enough for me not warrant an ending spoiler. I'm not against this film in way it's just not as good as some of the other star 80's comedy horrors i'm used to like Re-animator or RotLD. it's still a decent watch even for just the sheer cheese factor of this film and trust me it's on full Edam factor here.

THN gives Ghoulies a rather decent 3 out of 5 stars and a watch at least once recommendation.