A TRAILER HITS FOR THE NEW TOM SAVINI DOCUMENTARY: SMOKE AND MIRRORS

No reader of Backwoods Horror should be unfamiliar with Tom Savini’s work. Garnering at one time the Godfather of Gore, the King of Splatter, his special makeup effects work spans a great deal of the horror films we grew up with. FRIDAY THE 13th, FRIDAY THE 13th PART IV, DAWN OF THE DEAD, DAY OF THE DEAD, MARTIN, MANIAC, THE PROWLER, the list goes on and on. Something of a renaissance man of the film industry, though he’s known for his effects work, he’s also an accomplished stunt man, director, and actor. You name it, he’s done it. And now, finally, a documentary has been made about this incredible man.

Having succeeded with raising a few bucks with their kickstarter campaign, Jason Baker and MIJO Films present SMOKE AND MIRRORS: THE STORY OF TOM SAVINI, a film that delves into his early life, career, and legacy by not only interviewing the man himself, but everyone he’s worked with throughout the years, featuring interviews with Academy Award winning special effects make-up artists Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger of KNB EFX, Video Watchdog founder and film critic Tim Lucas, The Misfits’ Jerry Only, and legendary filmmaker George A. Romero among others…people who have considered him a lifelong friend.  For those of you lucky enough to be at the Montreal Comic Con Horrorfest, Baker will be debuting the film on Saturday, September 15th, at 10:15pm with Tom, the man himself, in attendance. I am so incredibly excited that someone has finally made a documentary about a man whose artistry has changed the course of horror films forever and I can’t wait to see it.

I was lucky enough to meet Tom Savini in Asheville, NC at a small lecture he was giving about his career in makeup and special effects to a theater class at UNCA. I wasn’t a part of the class and so was not allowed to attend as there were only 12 or 13 seats, but he came walking out of the room before the lecture and saw me standing there with my EVIL DEAD t-shirt on and began talking to me about what an awesome film it was. Then he introduced himself, as did I while also telling him I knew exactly who he was and what a fan I was of him and his work but wasn’t allowed to attend the lecture. Not only did he get me in, and right at the front row, but he signed my copies of his Grande Illusions books, A rare DAWN OF THE DEAD poster book, and was nice enough to take a photo with me. He’s an incredible man who has done some incredible work both behind and in front of the camera, and this documentary has been a long time coming.

VIDEO: CHECK OUT THE OFFICIAL 2 MINUTE TRAILER FOR DEXTER: SEASON 7

Showtime has released the full 2 minute trailer for the upcoming Seventh Season of DEXTER. Starting September 30th, the show will pick up right where last season ended, with Deb finding Dexter standing over the body of a fresh kill. It looks as though we’re going to have an interesting season this year. A good thing, too, as the last few seasons have been dragging. Yvonne Strahovski, Calista Flockhart, Matt Gerald, Ray Stevenson, Jason Gedrick, and Katia Winter join series regulars Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, Lauren Vélez, David Zayas, and James Remar.

VIDEO: NEW DEXTER SEASON SEVEN PROMO: THE BEGINNING

The latest promo for Showtime’s DEXTER‘s seventh season, titled The Beginning, has hit the web. As with the other promos, we get snippets of Dexter’s sister Deb finally discovering his “dark passenger,” but it also gives a little glimpse of what happens next. Check it out, and don’t forget to tune in to DEXTER with new episodes beginning September 30th, 2012.

Yvonne Strahovski, Calista Flockhart, Matt Gerald, Ray Stevenson, Jason Gedrick, and Katia Winter join series regulars Michael C. Hall, Jennifer Carpenter, Desmond Harrington, C.S. Lee, Lauren Vélez, David Zayas, and James Remar.

TAKE A WALK DOWN ‘TOAD ROAD’ WITH THE NEW TEASER TRAILERS, STILLS, AND POSTER

What is TOAD ROAD? This has been an indie genre film that’s been flying under my radar until recently when I caught wind of a press release detailing the film and announcing its premiere at the Fantasia Film Festival this Thursday July 26th, 2012. From the teaser trailers, there are shades of YELLOWBRICKROAD going on, but the rest remains a mystery. An old town legend…a pathway to hell? The mystery will have to remain just that until we take a walk down TOAD ROAD… Check out the press release, teaser trailers, stills, and poster below for more information about the film.

FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:

Black Out Films and Random Bench Productions are excited to announce the world premiere of Toad Road at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montréal. Jason Banker (Teenage Paparazzo, My Name is Faith) directed and produced his first narrative feature, Toad Road, in collaboration with producers Liz Levine (Camp Hollywood, Finite & Infinite Games) and Adrian Salpeter (The French Guy, Finite & Infinite Games). Toad Road displays a disturbing portrait of contemporary youth culture where the lines between perception and reality are blurred with often frightening results.

“I’m excited to premiere Toad Road at Fantasia International! It is great to be recognized by a festival that supports transgressive and outsider cinema,” says Banker.

“Jason Banker has crafted an exceptional film that we are proud to bring to Fantasia,” says Levine. “He is among the finest New York filmmakers of his generation,” adds Salpeter.

The Fantasia Festival kicked off July 19th and continues on through August 7th in Montréal, Canada, with the Fantasia Film Market making its debut from July 26-29, 2012. For more information, hit up their official facebook page, or their Tumblr page.

Synopsis
Inspired by an urban legend, Toad Road is an intimate meditation on lost youth evocative of Gus Van Sant (with a racy touch of Larry Clark) and a radical deconstruction of genre cinema, a devastating and brilliant object of contemplation and dread, and a journey down unexpected paths.

Teaser Trailer #1

Teaser Trailer #2

TWO CLIPS FROM SUNDAY’S SECOND EPISODE OF TRUE BLOOD: ‘AUTHORITY ALWAYS WINS’

While I thought the first episode of the 5th season of HBO’s TRUE BLOOD was a bit…rushed, I realize they had to cram a lot of information into a short amount of time. With any luck, they’ll begin to take their time telling the story starting with the second episode AUTHORITY ALWAYS WINS, airing Sunday, June 17th at 9PM EST. Below are two short clips from the episode to give us a little taste of what we can look forward to.

SYNOPSIS FOR AUTHORITY ALWAYS WINS:

At the Vampire Authority headquarters in New Orleans, Bill and Eric meet Salome (Valentina Cervi) and become acquainted with the Authority’s interrogation techniques. Pam (Kristin Bauer van Straten) recalls her human life as the madam of the Comstock Brothel in San Francisco, and her first encounter with Eric. Werewolves J.D. (Louis Herthum) and Rikki (Kelly Overton) pay tribute to Marcus, but Alciderefuses to participate or take his rightful place as the new packmaster. Martha Bozeman (Dale Dickey) shows up wanting to see her granddaughter, causing conflict for Sam and Luna (Janina Gavankar). Fearing Russell’s return, Sookie procures a home-protection system; Arlene (Carrie Preston) tries to get to the bottom of Terry’s erratic behavior; Steve Newlin stops by with an offer for Jessica; and Jason feels the brunt of his womanizing ways.

REVIEW: INTO THE PIT: THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY OF DEADPIT.COM

Review: INTO THE PIT: THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY OF DEADPIT.COM

Directed by: Kelly Marcott

Starring: Wes Vance (aka The Creepy Kentuckian) & Aaron Frye (aka Uncle Bill)

Featuring: Kevin S. Tenney, Uwe Boll, Tiffany Shepis, Lloyd Kaufman, Harry Manfredini, Dean Bertram, Michael Felsher, David Gooslin, Clayton Hill, Sharon Hill, Andre’ Gower, Elske McCain, Kane Hodder, Betsy Palmer, PJ Soles, John Landis, Gary Klar, Jay Reel, Tony Moran, etc.

Ok boils ‘n ghouls, before I get into the review, a little horror-talk-radio history lesson.  Back in the cold December of 2005, two Eastern Kentucky natives decided, not knowing many local fiends for horror, to produce an online horror talk radio show.  Now, in 2010, the DeadPit show (found online at www.DeadPit.com and on iTunes) has thousands of listeners worldwide.  Nearly every week has a new celebrity guest from Horror Greats such as George A. Romero and John Carpenter, to people like James Bryan (director of Don’t Go In The Woods…Alone!) and many others.  DeadPit has become something of an internet phenomenon, changing the world of horror and warranting a documentary!

I’ve been a fan of DeadPit (a “Pitimaniac” if you will) since early 2007, finding myself with an iPod and nothing of note to put on it (except, well, Creedence and White Zombie…I will always love you guys…er…ahem), and, looking for something horrorific, happened upon the DeadPit show.  Finally, two guys with even deeper southern accents than me (I’m from the boonies of NC) talkin’ about all things horror!  I’ve come to think of Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian almost as friends, listening every week to their ideas and commentary on the genre.

INTO THE PIT takes a look at the people behind the Uncle Bill and Creepy Kentuckian talk show personalities, humanizing what had previously been only voices in my headphones (and in my car).  Through interviews with parents and lifelong friends, we discover the early years of Aaron Frye (UB) and Wes Vance (CK).  Childhood friends, they found themselves to be outcasts within a small town (Prestonsburg Kentucky, waaaay back in the hills) populated by those who found themselves interested in Hunting, Nascar, Church, Country Music, and Burt Reynolds flicks (not that there’s anything wrong with Burt Reynolds flicks), more than Horror Movies and Metal.  Like me, and perhaps quite a few horror fans the world over, Wes and Aaron found themselves going to the local 1 or 2 screen theater and watching the latest big-screen horrors like the Friday the 13th flicks, and popping in at the neighborhood mom ‘n pop video store (I miss ’em), to rent the seemingly endless supply of horror on VHS.  Aaron’s father, we learn, is also a horror fan, and raised him right with all the classics.  I imagine them, like me, sitting in their rooms at night and reading the latest Fangoria (back when the mag was worth reading) and listening to some Iron Maiden.

We then move to present day and learn not only about how DeadPit came about, but also what the guys are doing when they’re not putting together the latest show.  It’s interesting to note that people who aren’t horror fans are always so surprised to learn that horror fans (with SOME exceptions, of course) are some of the nicest, most down to earth, NORMAL people, and it’s no different with Aaron and Wes.  These are normal guys, with normal jobs, who happen to be two of the world’s biggest horror fans.

It’s interesting to note that fans of the show, upon listening for the first time, are sometimes a little put-off by the heavy, HEAVY southern accents.  These guys are from eastern Kentucky, after all, in the heart of the Appalachian mountains.  In the documentary, a fan from Australia says that when he first listened to DeadPit, he imagined that Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian were two “rednecks” back in some shack in the hills watching old and new horror releases on some rickety old VHS player.  They even got emails from places like England from fans stating, in awe, “People actually TALK like that?!”  What these listeners, and everyone else, come to find is that these guys have an almost encyclopedic knowledge of horror, from the classics to the obscure, Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian can spout off a list of facts and trivia that’ll leave your head spinning.  These guys have seen just about EVERYTHING and INTO THE PIT gives us a look inside what makes these guys tick.

Initially one would think INTO THE PIT would be a documentary limited to the DeadPit fans alone, but I’d say this is a documentary for HORROR fans as a whole.  Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian are like us, horror fans, who took their love of the genre and did something about it, creating the world’s first (and best) internet horror talk radio show and, through it, living the horror fan dream.  They’ve become horror icons themselves, being invited to various horror conventions and becoming known as experts in the genre.  One of the best parts of the documentary is a glimpse inside what I call the “DeadPit Dungeon.”  There are thousands upon thousands of old VHS tapes and DVD’s along with just about every sort of horror memorabilia out there.  Original posters, 8×10’s, Jason Hockey masks, you name it, signed by all the horror greats.  The documentary also showcases a list of who’s-who within the genre, all talking about DeadPit.  There’s even a brief bit with Uwe Boll, perhaps the worst filmmaker of all time (yet people STILL give him money), responding to the verbal lashing UB and CK have given him over the years (the even, once, challenged him to a wrestling match).  INTO THE PIT documents the lives of the new kings of horror fandom(with the passing of Forrest Ackerman, they’re the obvious heirs to the throne), humanizing the DeadPit personalities and showing us that horror fans rock the world over!

What I viewed was a screener, so there were a few sound-sync issues I’m sure will be cleaned up before release.  Also, I can’t comment upon special features, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of extra footage show up, perhaps some more interviews with horror celebrities, a commentary with Kelly, Uncle Bill and The Creepy Kentuckian HAS to be on there, and who knows what other goodies are on the way.  Keep it tuned to BackwoodsHorror.com for updates on when INTO THE PIT: THE SHOCKING TRUE STORY OF DEADPIT.COM will be available for purchase.  I’ll be getting a copy, by Gawd, so should you!

4 skulls outta 5!
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Check out the Trailer and Kick-ASS poster courtesy Into the Pit the Movie,L.L.C. & Rusty Robot Productions:

Into The Pit Poster

REVIEW(S): FRIDAY THE 13th PART 4, 5, and 6 DELUXE EDITIONS

FINALLY, THE REVIEWS YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR (DUE TO WORK OBLIGATIONS AND TECHNICAL PROBLEMS) ARE FINALLY HERE!

Ok, first of all, I’m going to have to mention something I didn’t in my reviews of Friday the 13th 1, 2, and 3.  The entire series was a favorite of my brother and I growing up.  The first Friday flick I can remember seeing as a kid is part 4, The Final Chapter.  I remember being ok with it (for the most part, my dad making me cover my eyes during the tit shots…yet, of course, the gore was ok…hmmmm), until the dog went out the window.  I was absolutely convinced Jason had thrown that dog out the window and killed it.  More than the kids or anything else, it was the image of that dog being harmed that gave me nightmares.

So my brother and I would consistently get into debates, conversations, and sometimes downright arguments over the various aspects of the series.  We were wild about Jason, my brother moreso than myself.  In fact, I remember one of my brother’s most prized possessions being one of those cheapola, glow-in-the-dark hockey masks you can get at Halloween.  He’d wear that thing all the time.  At one point, we even drew little comics, somewhat recreating the movies and somewhat coming up with our own stories.  I cannot emphasize enough how much we loved this series.  (A big reason, more than likely, why we absolutely hated what New Line did to it, though, honestly, we did kind of dig on the mythology of Jason Goes To Hell and waited with baited breath for FREDDY VS. JASON which then came out years and years later as a GIANT PIECE OF SHIT!).  But I digress, on with the reviews:

FRIDAY THE 13th PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER

friday-the-13th-goes-deluxe-20090421013231448_640wMy indoctrination into the Friday the 13th series began with Part 4, THE FINAL CHAPTER!  This movie was fucking brilliant for me growing up a horror nut.  First and foremost, it had a kid about my age in it, Tommy Jarvis, played by Corey Feldman, I could really relate to.  Based on Tom Savini, obviously, the kid was into video games and horror movies.  He was an amateur inventor (at least I pretended I was, I took stuff apart anyway), and made all kindsa crazy monster masks!  BRILLIANT!

The movie picks up RIGHT AFTER the events of Part 3.  Paramedics and Cops are cleaning up the mess.  There’s this fantastic tracking shot that starts off on a helicopter, then pans down in one long shot, moving past covered stretchers and professionals going about their gruesome business, until the shot finally ends on a couple of cops throwing a sheet over the corpse of JASON VOORHEES.  Cut to the hospital.  We meet this ridiculous coroner, Axle. He’s eating this sandwich, laying it down on Jason’s corpse.  He basically just doesn’t give a shit about dead people, it’s just a job to him.  So he’s into this nurse and he keeps trying to get it on with her, but she continually rejects him.  She finally gives in, but freaks out when Jason’s hand slides out from under the sheet and she runs off.  Axle goes back to watching some seriously weird Aerobic video with these lesbians or something in it when Jason takes a bone saw to his neck and then twists it completely around.  Then, of course, he guts the nurse like a hawg.   Like Friday the 13th Part 3, this one doesn’t take place at a camp either.  There’s a lake.  Might’ve been Crystal Lake, but there’s no real mention of that.  Let’s just assume, as I always have, that it’s on the other side of the lake and there are these two cabins, one inhabited by Tommy Jarvis’ recently divorced mother and older virginal sister.   This will also be the first film in the “Tommy Jarvis Trilogy.”

The other cabin is being, I guess, rented by some kids (from the city, I suppose, they never really say, but, I mean, aren’t all these “damn kids” from “the city?”).  We’re introduced to them as they’re driving out there.  It’s your standard group of Jason-fodder with one notable exception…one of the kids is CRISPIN FUCKING GLOVER!!  As if the movie wasn’t crazy enough, we get that fucking weirdass too!  Of course, this had to be one of his early flicks and, perhaps, he wasn’t completely fucking apeshit bananas yet.  I think his name is “Dead Fuck” Jimmy.  His friend, some punkass greaser, keeps calling him a Dead Fuck, thus the nickname.  Of course, he does get…”screwed” in the end, as he is finished off with a corkscrew.  HA!  The other kids are all, of course, the sex-obsessed regular type we usually get with this kind of movie.  Two odd things occur as they’re driving out to the cabin.  First, they pass by some Rosie O’Donnell lookalike fatty who gets stabbed through the throat while she’s eating a banana.  They also, while stopping to figure out where they are, just happen to have stopped by the grave of Pamela Voorhees, Jason’s mom.  Arriving at the cabin, they meet Tommy Jarvis, his dog Gordon and his sister, Trish and immediately decide to invite her over for a party or something later.  The next day, for some odd reason, while on some kind of nature jog, something that I guess was popular at the time, they run across the Double-Mint twins who have this weird accent (I think they were British and poorly attempting to cover it up). Next, it’s SKINNY DIP TIME!

On their way to go swimming at the lake, Tommy and his sister have some car trouble.  While little Tommy Jarvis attempts to fix the car, we’re introduced to Jason Hunter Extraodinaire, Rob, who later explains that he’s hunting Jason out of Revenge for the brutal, BRUTAL slaying of his sister a few Friday’s prior (part 2, I believe).  He and Trish develop a slight romantic attachment and he heads back into the woods.

Out of the hospital and out for revenge, Rob finds his rifle destroyed at his tent, grabs his machete, and goes out after Jason.  Meanwhile, all hell’s breaking loose down at the cabins, people are dying left and right in wonderfully grisly ways, and Trish heads out to the woods to find Rob, nearly getting sliced and diced by him in the process as he initially mistakes her for Jason.  She give him the scoop on what’s been going down back at the cabins and he heads out to help.

Spoilers:
Of course, Rob Dies.  All the kids who came out to the cabin die, including the Double-Mint twins, and then we have the showdown between Trish, Tommy, and Jason.  While Trish is valiantly fighting Jason (he get’s whacked in the arm, then the shoulder), Tommy’s upstairs shaving his head, and trying to mongoloid himself up with some slight makeup magic.  The fight starts to turn in Jason’s favor and just as he’s about to seriously fuck Trish up, Tommy rushes downstairs and, beyond all explanation, confuses Jason by “looking like him” long enough for him to get another whack from Trish and then Tommy rushes in and plants a machete in our favorite goalie-masked killer.  Believing it to be over, Tommy and Trish are hugging each other when Tommy sees Jaon’s fingers twitch.  Tommy then picks up the Machete and just fucking contiues to wail on Jason, supposedly (this is the final chapter), making ground beef of the guy.  Later, in the hospital, Tommy and Trish are hugging again and we zoom in as Tommy’s eyes open and look straight ahead with cold, killing eyes.

This was truly supposed to be, in everyone’s mind, the Final Chapter.  Director Joe Zito and directed it balls to the wall, pulling out all the stops, figuring he might as well make it a fitting finale to the series.  Tom Savini only came back because he felt it fitting that he helped kill the monster he had “created” in the first film.  Thanks to this, we have some of the best special makeup effects of the series, including Jason getting the Machete to the head.  The scene required Tom Savini to create a special, articulated fake head that split apart nearly completely and spew blood as it slid slowly down the machete.  I thought that shit was killer and I still do.  Well written and well directed, THE FINAL CHAPTER comes out as one of the strongest films in the franchise.  A fan favorite, it grossed over 32 MILLION dollars at the box office, so, of course, Paramount said, and I quote “who gives a shit if we said final chapter, this fucking franchise is MONEY IN DA BANK!”  Perhaps I’m paraphrasing, oooooor completely making that statement up, but we’ll get to its meaning in the next review. There really is nothing that I dislike about this particular film.  Even though Ted White is kind of a douchebag, he played a really good Jason Voorhees (he’s no Kane Hodder, but, I mean, who is?) and all of the actors really pulled off their characters convincingly.  It’s not my favorite Friday film, but, from a technical standpoint, it’s probably one of the best, second only to the first Friday the 13th.

Paramount’s transfer, while new, looked only slightly better than the box set version of the film and will probably look as good as it ever will (until, of course, the blu-ray comes out, then I’ll just have to see how clean that one is).  I still don’t knnow why they didn’t do the re-mastering for any of the other deluxe editions like they did for Part 1.  I mean, if they’re going to be releasing the Blu-Ray, and creating a fantastic print for that edition, why not?  The commentary was insightful.  I listened to the commentary with Joe Lynch (Wrong Turn 2=Shitty) and Adam Green (Hatchet=Not as shitty as Wrong Turn 2, but still, Shitty) which was, well, ok, but not really anything to write home about.  Imagine watching the movie with two friends who also love Friday the 13th and talking about it while you watch it aaaaaaaaaand, that’s about what you get.  No real genius directorial insight as they kind of both blow as directors anyway.  Just a couple of guys who weren’t even entertaining.  We also got another entry into the throwaway mini-series-movie Lost Tales from Camp Blood–Part 4, which really has been a terrible addition to the special features of these Deluxe editions and which feels like filler more than anything.  Years from now, hell, even today, this added little, whatever they’re calling it, won’t really mean anything.  Just more throwaway celluloid (though, it looks as though it was shot digitally, so I guess I should say “magnetic media” or “ones and zeros”).  Deleted Scenes were a nice touch, an example being the “lost” ending which is really nothing special, just a different sort of take on the ending of the film.  I always love the “behind-the-scenes” stuff, here entitled JASON’S UNLUCKY DAY: 25 Years After Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.  Very nice.  A weird entry into the special features was THE CRYSTAL LAKE MASSACRES REVISITED–Part 1, which took on a somewhat documentary style going over the killings at Crystal Lake, interviewing residents, the local Sherriff, etc.  At first, it was all really very cheesy, but I actually got into it.  It reminded me of that Blair Witch documentary they did before that movie came out.  Of course, there was the Original Trailer.  The best, BEST part of the special features, however, is the JIMMY’S DEAD FUCK DANCE MOVES outtakes wherein Crispin Glover’s weird-ass dance is shown again and again, take after take.  The guy never wavers, he had actually coreographed that dance.

Overall, I give FRIDAY THE 13th PART IV: THE FINAL CHAPTER 4 out of 5 skulls
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FRIDAY THE 13th PART V: A NEW BEGINNING

friday-the-13th-5Perhaps the most underrated of the series, for sure, is Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning.  First, A brief synopsis, and then I’ll go into why Friday 5 is really an overlooked work of black comedy genius from writer/director (and former porn director) Danny Steinmann.

The Film starts off with a (though we don’t know it yet) dream sequence of young a Tommy Jarvis (Corey Feldman reprising the role in his own backyard and a rain machine.  Originally, the producers wanted Feldman to come back and play the role of Tommy Jarvis again, but he had a prior commitment to some forgotten film called THE GOONIES or something like that) watching as two nameless dumbasses dig up Jason’s grave.  There’s no given reason as to WHY they decide to do this or WHY Tommy Jarvis is watching them.  Of course, Jason inexplicably comes back to life for no real reason…he just pops up (he was buried with his mask on and a Machete in his hand…I guess he wanted to be remembered for how he lived…so touching…) and stabs one guy, then takes out the other.  Paralyzed in fear, lil Tommy does nothing but watch as Jason draws nearer and nearer.  He pulls back to strike and just as he deals the death blow….AAAAAAHHHH!!! A much OLDER Tommy Jarvis (played by John Shepherd) wakes up in the back of a Mental Hospital van just as it pulls up to PINEHURST halfway house.  A little bit of Trivia: Not counting the laughing or yelling, Tommy Jarvis only says 24 words throughout the whole film. (Thanks to Wikipedia for that one!)

Ok, so, once Tommy shows up at the place, we’re introduced to some of the weird characters inhabiting PINEHURST including the two owners of the place: Pam and Matt.  Other “Normals” in the place are a young boy named Reggie (the Reckless) and his uncle George.  The Weirdos are “Angry” Vic, “Chocolate Bar” Joey, Robin, “Goth” Violet, “Big Tit” Tina, “Stuttering” Jake etc. etc.  Each with their own little quirks for the most part (though some seem relatively normal).  We’re also introduced to CRAZY ETHEL and her son JUNIOR (capitalized because I’ll pay attention to them more in detail in the actual review) when the sherriff brings a couple of the inhabitants of PINEHURST back to the place after he finds them “screwing their brains out” on Ethel’s land.  Shortly after, she and Junior show up on Junior’s motorbike.  I’ll talk more about her and junior later but they are fucking hilarious and almost MAKE the film.  She’s pissed and threatens to kill any of the kids of PINEHURST if she catches them on her land.

Later that day, Fatty Joey goes around annoying everyone by offering them a chocolate bar.  He fucks up the clothes some chicks (including GOTH Violet) are hanging out on the line because he has chocolate all over his pudgy fat fingers.  Then he goes up to VIC.  Ok, let me take a minute to question why they give the guy in PINEHURST, the ONLY guy, who has obvious anger issues an axe to cut up wood with.  Anyway, Joey offers Vic a chocolate bar but when Vic declines, Joey sort of insults him and as he walks away, Vic chops the shit out of Joey with that axe.  The cops and paramedics come to clean things up, and we see that one of the paramedics, Roy, is obviously disturbed by the sight of the fatboy in pieces on the ground.

Then, for no reason, these greaser guys are on the road with a broken down car.  One goes to take a piss or something and while he’s gone, one of the greasers gets it with a road flare to the face.  When the other one gets back, he gets it in the neck.  Roy shows up on the scene again when the sherriff comes out to clean up that mess, but he doesn’t seem nearly as disturbed.  In fact, it almost seems like he has a smile on  his face.  SUSPICIOUS!

Then we’re back on Ethel’s farm with her and Junior in the kitchen when a homeless drifter appears at the door, begging for food.  We get the now infamous “Who the fuck are you and what the fuck do you want!?” from Ethel.  She tells him to go “clean all the shit outta the chicken coop.”  When we see him next, he’s spying on two of the kids from Pinehurst goin’ at it in the woods.  Around his creepy spying (for which, of course, he HAS to die), we get, perhaps, the BEST rack in ALL of the Friday flicks.  OBSERVE:  (WARNING KIDDOS, NUDITY BELOW)

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All Natural Debi Sue Voorhees, boils ‘n ghouls.  That’s right, this actress had JASON’S LAST NAME!  I thought that HAD to be a pseudonymn for the film, but no, that’s her REAL FRIKKIN’ NAME!  Perfect casting.  Of course, Debi Sue and her boytoy get the chop.

This shit is getting long, so let me start to breeze through the good shit  (WARNING, SPOILERS). Pam takes little Reckless out to see his brother “Demon” who is apparently living in a van with some drugged out chick.  They take Tommy along and he gets into a kung-fu showdown with fuckin’ Junior and really fucks his world up.  Because of this, Tommy runs off and Reckless and Pam go back to Pinehurst.  Junior gets decapitated while riding his motorbike around in the yard crying about how bad Tommy kicked his ass.  Then Ethel get’s the chop through the window, her head landing PLOP in the “slop.”  Reckless Reggie and Pam get back to Pinehurst to find that everyone’s been killed by Jason and that he’s still there and wants to kill THEM too.  Thus ensues the screaming and running in the rain.  Fucking PAM goes after Jason with a fucking CHAINSAW at one point.  When it looks grim for Pam and Reggie, Tommy shows up, gets slashed, kicks a little ass, then passes out.  Reggie almost kills Jason by knocking him out of the upper bard, but Jason caught on and was clawing back to get ’em when Tommy wakes back up and knocks him out of the window down onto some kind of farm equipment pulling double duty as a bed of IRON SPIKES!  Then we find out IT WASN’T REALLY JASON, BUT ROY ALL ALONG!  FAT JOEY WAS HIS SON AND HE WENT NUTS AND PUT ON THE MASK AND WENT AROUND KILLING EVERYONE!  OMG!!!!!!!11!!!1!!  Seriously though?  Fuck that.

Because of that ending, Friday fans, for the most part, consider Friday the 13th Part 5 to be the Halloween 3 of the series.  To differentiate Roy from Jason Proper, there was a different mask with BLUE triangles on it.  Uh….ok.  So I call bullshit on that, but then, so does everyone else.  I also call bullshit on the MPAA for cutting out a LOT of the gore originally slated for this flick.  The film was supposed to begin with Tommy Jarvis going apeshit in a hospital, killing all these people to get to Jason’s body to destroy it, turning the place into a bloodbath, but nope, that was out.  Then there’s the Goth Violet Death scene.  Originally, as she was doing the robot to, I dunno, David Bowie or something, Jason was going to split her in half, starting at the VaJAY JAY!  That would’ve been a fuckin’ sweet gore gag!  Then there’s Debi Sue Voorhees.  There was originally a much longer sex scene, but the MPAA screamed X and they had to cut all that boobiful footage.  A Cryin’ damn shame if you ask me!

So, why is it I said this film was underrated?  Why do I like it?  Because it’s comedy gold.  While far and away one of the weaker films in the franchise, it makes up for all the bullshit it pulls by paying off with some great dark humor.  I mean, ETHEL AND JUNIOR?  What the fuck are those two rednecks doing there?  I mean, I see rednecks all the time, but aren’t these movies supposed to take place up north?  New York State, maybe?  Who knows, but they’re two of the most hilariously memorable Friday the 13th characters EVER.  Tommy “I’m Too Nuts To Talk” Jarvis’s character was great in this one too!  For some reason, he happens to somehow know kung fu and he’s pissed off ALL THE TIME!  All of the cast of fuckups at Pinehurst are great, from crazy and angry as fuckall VIC, to lardass Joey, to Goth Violet, to Tits McGee Voorhees, and the rest, all of them had something to offer that made this flick a laugh a minute.  Steinmann’s original script was hacked to bits by Paramount who forced his hand, somewhat, in the filming choices he made, so instead of getting a fright flick (even though he was ordered to give a scare or kill ever 5-7 minutes), we got a crazy spot of humor.  So, for those of us who can sit through the whole thing, we are, in the end, rewarded.

For Special Features, we get the Obligatory Commentary from director Danny Steinmann and some of the cast and crew, a commentary that offered up a little more insight into the troubled film than the making-of doc NEW BEGINNINGS: The Making of Friday the 13th Part V-A New Beginning.  We get another dreadful entry into the LOST TALES OF CAMP BLOOD series/mini-movie, the Trailer, and the second part of the enjoyable pseudo-documentary THE CRYSTAL LAKE MASSACRES REVISITED (PART II).

3 out of 5 Skulls

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FRIDAY THE 13th PART VI: JASON LIVES

f136b Finally, ladies and gents, we get the REAL return of Jason in FRIDAY the 13th Part 6: Jason Lives (which is somewhat of a misnomer as, in fact, he more or less roams around as the undead in this one, not living, not dead, but something in between, something…TERRIBLE).  Often overlooked and seen as somewhat forgettable by many, Writer/Director Tom McLoughlin finishes up the Tommy Jarvis cycle decently, if not perfectly.

Tommy and a friend, escaped from the mental hospital I believe, drive out to the cemetary of the town now known as Forest Green, renamed, we’re told by the sherriff later, so they could forget Crystal Lake and all that happened there.  So these two ‘tards dig up Jason’s grave and see him there, all maggoted up and Tommy grabs a piece of the fence and starts to go apeshit on the corpse, stabbing it over and over again.  Leaving the sharp piece of fence in Jason, he gets out to get the can of Gasoline (they had planned to cremate him).  Suddenly, lightning strikes the iron piece of fencing Tommy left in Jason in what amounts to a small explosion.  THEN, lightning strikes again bringing (unknowingly to Tommy and his pal) Jason back to life.  Maggots and all, Jason crawls out of his grave, scaring the shit out of these guys.  Tommy starts to spray him with gasoline and then lights a match to burn him to cinders, but it begins to rain, dousing the match.  Tommy’s friend hits Jason over the back with a shovel, which is bad news because Jason just turns around and PUNCHES HIS HEART OUT!  Of course, Tommy Jarvis gets the fuck outta dodge and Jason puts on the iconic Hockey Mask.

Tommy runs for help to the Sherriff who, figuring out who he is, locks him up.  We’re introduced to some people heading out to the new camp (that’s right, we have a CAMP again), including the director’s current wife, who are very quickly dispatched even though they attempt to escape almost right away, the woman stating “I’ve seen enough horror movies to know,”  etc. etc.  She gets a spear through the face.  Meanwhile, at the Sherriff’s office, young love is a-brewin’ as his daughter and retarded teenage friends (including John Travolta’s Nephew) show up to ask if he can do something about their (now deader’n shit) friends who haven’t shown up yet.  The Sherriff’s daughter, Megan, gets a peek at her dad’s prisoner and she’s, as ACDC would put it, Thunderstruck (see what I did there?  Tommy Jarvis had the same effect on Jason…HEYO!).

So the “kids” all go back to camp and Tommy, the next morning, is being driven out of town when he swerves into the cemetary.  The drunken caretaker has covered up Jason’s grave, however, and Tommy, seen as a complete lunatic, is taken out of town.  Of course, he comes back.  The kids arrive and we get to see some little campers doing little camper things.  Blah Blah Blah.  Then Travolta’s “What’re you doin’, takin’ a dump?!” Nephew is, later that night, out with some girl fuckin’ with their clothes on in a camper when Jason cuts the power (a clever one, that Jason, he cuts the phone line at the camp later on…JASON HATES UTILITY BILLS!).  Deciding it’s time to go after investigating the torn-out power cable, Travolta Jr. drives while his girlfriend is dragged into the bathroom, her face shoved through the wall in a rather cool scene.  Then, lil Travolta (who consistently sounds like his uncle from Grease) gets a knife to the neck and the camper flips and bursts into flames.  Jason gets out and sort of just stands around menacingly for no real reason.

Oh, some paintballers die early on, forgot to mention that because it’s only memorable because Jason gets his machete here and slams a guys face into a tree, leaving a smiley face outline for some reason.  So Megan goes back to the Sherriff’s office to talk to her dad.  He has to leave because they found the two from earlier and she hangs out.  Tommy calls and she comes out to get him.  She wants to help him, you see, because she loves him THAT much.  Anyway, they run into a roadblock and Tommy’s thrown back in jail.  Meanwhile, Megan’s remaining friends are getting massacred back at camp and one little girl keeps seeing (Jason) a Monster.  Megan and Tommy escape and meet up with the Sherriff and some cops out at the camp.  The sherriff gets into fisticuffs with Jason and is split, in an effect that looks cheesy as all fuck, in half.  Jason goes after Megan, but Tommy lures him to the lake, feeling the need to return Jason to the lake where he drowned.  There’s a final battle involving chains, a big-ass rock, and a boat motor, and Jason is sunk to the bottom of the lake, dead once again…

Ok, so, this movie is merely OK, and my least favorite of the bunch here.  It’s a decent flick as far as Friday the 13th flicks go, but lacks any sort of gore or nudity for which the franchise is known.  The only really decent aspect of this one is that it is the last of the Jarvis series and the first flick in which Jason comes back to life as an undead, unstoppable fiend from beyond, more of a supernatural entity than anything else, and it is THIS Jason that I truly love.  For that, the movie gets put on the map if for nothing else.  The characters where plain-jane and the story…well…meh.

Special features include a Commentary (of course) and another Behind the Scenes with JASON LIVES: THE MAKING OF FRIDAY THE 13th: PART VI.  There’s one really cool aspect in that we learn, in the ORIGINAL story, we meet, for the first time, Jason’s father, who’s been paying the caretaker (who didn’t die originally, but get’s bottle knifed in this one) to watch over the graves of his former wife and son.  I guess he’s supposed to be a crazed, killer-type, too.  Who knows.  Deleted scenes are there, as well as the original Teaser Trailer.  Also offered is the last part of the enjoyable psuedo-documentary THE CRYSTAL LAKE MASSACRES REVISITED (Part III).

All in all, I give this film 2 out of 5 skulls.  It’s ok, but JUST OK.

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And that’s that folks.  Look for more reviews coming soon from BACKWOODSHORROR.com and THE BACKWOODS HORRORSHOW

REVIEW: FRIDAY THE 13th, PART 2 & 3 (IN 3-D!)

Hey, ok, so it might be a bit of a cheat reviewing both films hack to back, but I watched ’em together, so I’m gonna review ’em together.  If there’s a problem, get yer own damn website! Alrighty, let’s get started. (OH, and there are going to be spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the films, go out and buy ’em *the new Paramount Releases are the best to go with, or the Box Set if you can get your hands on it, I’m reviewing the new PARAMOUNT DVD’s here* or rent ’em, but for fucksake, WATCH ‘EM!)

FRIDAY 2

Possibly one of my all-time favorites of the franchise, Friday 2 introduces us to Jason Fucking Voorhees, the most Iconic slasher in horror fuckin’ history, sans hockey mask.  Nope, this flick has Jason wearing, as Deadpit puts it, the ” ‘Tater Sack “.  That’s right, our boy Voorhees runs around with a pillowcase over his head with one eyehole to see the lambs to the slaughter.  Another variant is that, at least on half of his head, the guy has HAIR…and a frickin’ Beard!  So aside from Part 7, this is my favorite incarnation of Jason.  Why, might you ask, is Jason so Jeremiah Johnson?  Well, turns out Jason DIDN’T drown all those years ago, but instead of findin’ momma right after, he wandered out of the lake and was raised by wolves or something to become THE WILD MAN OF CRYSTAL LAKE!  Of course, no one calls him that, but it’s a good name.  Same set up in a way, 20-somethings are setting up a camp on the other side of the lake from CAMP (BLOOD) CRYSTAL LAKE.  All the standard character set-pieces are there, The Horny Kids, The Nerdy Goof, Miss Virginal Final Girl, etc. etc.

It seems that Jason saw his mother get the chop and in a weird sort of beginning, Alice from the original flick is in the beginning of this one…for about three seconds before ‘ol Jay Jay puts an Ice Pick through her skull.  TAKE THAT, FINAL GIRL!!  I’m still not sure how that happened though.  I doubt Alice stuck around Crystal Lake after all her friends were brutally massacred (massacreed) by Momma Voorhees, so…did Jason take a bus?  Look Alice’s more than likely UNLISTED number up in the yellow pages (Jason lets his fingers to the choppin’), or what?  Who knows, who cares.  Moving on, we are slowly introduced to our characters, and the filmmakers really did a decent job of this as you’ll find yourself actually CARING about the characters somewhat in this one.  Some musings occur as to whether or not Jason’s still out there in the woods somewhere, musings that are quickly answered as the new counselors go down one by one.

So what’d I think of the movie and the new DVD?  Well, as I said, I’m actually a big fan of this one.  Jason runnin’ aound all “spooky backwoods horror style” rippin’ off THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN while he’s at it (he must be a Huge Chuck Pierce fan because he has the Boggy Creek Fouke monster and The Town That Dreaded Sundown DOWN PAT in this flick)…it’s just divine.  The counselor characters are setup really well actually (something that starts to take a downturn with part 3), and the story is fairly solid (minus the weird-ass opening, but hey, that Alice bitch had it comin’).  Part 2 is one of the better flicks in the series.  As far as the DVD goes.  No HD transfer that I could tell in this one, a real shame actually, and the special features are somewhat Ho-Hum.  I’d say go pick this one up if you don’t already have the box set as it is a MUST for the franchise,

SPECIAL FEATURES:

  • “Inside Crystal Lake Memories
  • Friday’s Legacy: Horror Conventions”
  • ”Jason Forever”
  • ”Lost Tales From Camp Blood, Part 2”
  • Trailer
  • FRIDAY 3

    HOT DAMN! I said when I first got this one in the mail…3-fuckin’-D!!!  That’s right boils ‘n ghouls, Paramount released (as you probably already know) their new Friday 3 dvd with the original 3-D (and regular) picture.  Fantastic…unless, like me, you wear glasses.  I couldn’t figure out what the fuck to do with myself.  In front of the glasses didn’t work, behind the glasses didn’t work, I had to go put contacts in to watch the fucker.  I suppose it’s impossible, but I would’ve loved a digital 3-D transfer instead of the old red ‘n blue, but hell, beggars ‘n choosers and all that shit, right?

    Briefly, Friday the 13th Part 3-D has the same formula as every other Friday for the most part, but there are some weird oddities.  The first weird ass oddity is that I have no fucking Idea where this thing’s supposed to take place.  I guess it’s Crystal Lake…somewhere nearby maybe?  I have no idea.  These friends, including the infamous Larry Zerner as Shelly(the nerdy prankster), some pot heads, another guy, a pregnant chick, and some chick Shelly’s supposed to hook up with all take the mystery machine up to that weird place somewhere near Crystal Lake, a farm…sort of…with no animals, just a barn and a farmhand that doesn’t really do anything I guess, for a weekend of relaxation, sex, and weed.  There’s an emotional connection between the final girl and the farmhand and there’s also some kind of weird backstory about how the final girl saw Jason a little while back, running through the woods, clumsily trying to attack her.  One by one, the weekend crew gets the axe (along with a biker gang).

    So, ok, no camp in this one, but bonus points for the FIRST EVER APPEARANCE OF HOCKEY MASK JASON!  The story was a little too all over the place to the point where I didn’t give a shit about the characters (but, I mean, no one watches a Friday flick for any character other than Jason, right?), and it all seemed a bit jumbled.  In regards to the 3-D aspect.  There were a few scenes of Jason’s implements of destruction poppin’ out atcha, but a LOT of the 3-D stuff was like, fuckin’ yo-yo’s and poles and baseball bats and shit.  What the fuck is that?  Also, negative points for me having to figure out how to even WATCH the fucker in 3-D with my vision impairment.  Thank god they left the non 3-D version on the disc.  The 3-D version of the film, along with a trailer are the only special features.  Uh…what happened to the commentary track. I seem to remember there being one on my box-set edition.  All and all, hell yes I’d say go grab this one up in stores!  I mean, fuck, it’s Friday 3 in 3D!!!  FINALLY!!!  Check it out!  For all its shortcomings, it’s still worth the bucks for the Hockey Mask appearance, some decent kills, and 3D! By the way, the disc includes two pairs of “hockey mask 3D glasses.”

    STOCKHOLM SYNDROME: A REVIEW

    STOCKHOLM SYNDROME
    Produced/Directed by Ryan Cavalline
    Story by Ryan Cavalline and Jason Senior

    Well…let’s begin with a summary of this flick from what will probably be the back of the DVD (coming from Brain Damage Films on 05/05/2009):

    “Somewhere, in a sleepy rural area, an underground organization is operating.  People are being kidnapped, beaten, and tortured beyond comprehension.  They are then reprogrammed to succumb to the will of their vile captors for their sick games and sold for the highest price.  Along with his accomplice, a member of this evil group is having second thoughts about his role in this field and will do whatever it takes to leave the horror behind.  Meanwhile, a young man and his pregnant wife take shelter in a run-down motel while on a road trip, unaware of the sheer terror that will soon befall them.  All three will soon come to realize that in this kind of business….NO ONE ESCAPES”

    Colorful, I’m aware.  That is the kind of writing that your Joe Blow movie guy would read on the back of a dvd in your local movie-rental-plex…well, those that actually take the time to read the back of a Brain Damage “film”.

    Let me talk about Ryan Cavalline.  I have to give him…what do the kids say these days?…Mad…Props? Yeah, that’s it, I have to give him Mad F-Ing Props for forming his own production team at the ripe old age of eight-freakin’-teen and proceeded to push ahead, churning out movies like a b-flick factory.  That’s tough work, and I respect that.

    However…

    Stockholm Syndrome is a mess.  A bloody, afterbirth of a mess.  Terrible is too haughty a word for the thing.  I have to be honest, I just couldn’t make it through the entirety of the movie; 3/4 is about as far as it went.  Normally, I never do this, but I just could NOT, BY ANY MEANS GO ON.  There was nothing even remotely redeeming about this one.  I’ve read some good reviews of the flick, and I’m happy that there’s a market out there for STOCKHOLM SYNDROME, but we (by that, I mean ME) just don’t dig it at Backwoods Horror.

    First of all, it’s not even remotely MY kind of horror flick.  In fact, it’s a matter of symantics as to whether or not the film could be categorized as horror at all.  More or less, what you have here is the dreaded “psychological thriller” with a shit ton of “torture porn” thrown in for good kicks.  If that were all the problems related to STOCKHOLM SYNDROME, I’d be willing to let it slide…but I digress.

    The effects were terrible, beginning with the “preggers” chick at the beginning with a very obvious Basketball under her skirt.  Ok, if you listen carefully (I had to rewind to make sure what I was hearing was, indeed, what I was hearing) when the woman pats her “pregnant” belly, you can hear, quite audibly, that “thump” one gets when slapping or flicking a basketball.  That sort of hollowed out thump.  COME ON, SERIOUSLY?  Then there’s the makeup effects.  Not too terribly bad if made by retarded monkeys throwing blood spattered poo at people.  Unfortunately, however, this doesn’t seem the case…unless chimps are taking credit.  And what about that cabbage patch doll baby?  How over the top does it get?  Was this meant as a joke?  You couldn’t create a synthetic laytex or foam rubber baby mold so that it at least has that squishy element to it?  I mean…a plastic doll?  COME ON.  Then we have all other types of zaniness.  Fake puke that didn’t look like puke, a chick pissin’ herself that was a poorly done riff from Last House On The Left, the list goes on and on.

    Then there’s the sound design.  The levels were OUT OF FUCKING CONTROL.  I’d have to turn my receiver up and then BAM, VOLUME’S BACK UP TO 11.  What the hell?  So the time I DID waste watching this film was spent mostly with the remote, vainly attempting to manually equalize the audio.

    For the final nails in the coffin, let’s look at the “acting,” the “cinematography,” and the overall “direction.”  Let’s look at the acting first.  I couldn’t find any.  I found a bunch of people stumbling through their lines as if they were, in some way, constipated and just trying to make it through to the cut so they could eventually drop a giant load (an apt metaphor for this “film” I think).  It was atrocious.  I’ve seen bums on fire act more convincingly (of course…you know…when they’re on fire).  I didn’t give two shits about any of these characters.  Then there’s that horrific of cinematography…or lack thereof.  Ok, it was shot on tape, miniDV from the quality.  That’s ok.  28 Days later (though shot with some nice Cannon Pro-Sumers) was still just miniDV, proving in a way that miniDV has it’s time and place.  Not here.  It just accentuated the overall cheap-ass feeling of the film with more artifacting than an antique shop.  The film was dark (c-stands, clamps and lighting aren’t all that expensive, nor are filters and gels), so at times you couldn’t very well see what was going on.  And the feeling of “in your face reality captured by talented miniDV (or digital in general) users was less than applicable here and one finds oneself wondering why all of the terrible Raimi-wannabe camera angles and extreme, obscuringly so, unnecessary close ups.  This was due in no small part to the directorial mind behind it.

    The…plot…was a veritable clusterfuck of cliches, bad dialogue (and bad carrythrough from the actors), and overall story.  Because I can only guess that much of the original story was thrown out, we have, for our viewing displeasure, a series of torture porn riffs that never live up to whomever they were trying to emulate.  Heaven forbid, I even saw a bit of Eli-fuckwad-Roth’s school of “COVER A SHITTY MOVIE UP WITH GORE GALORE and TITTIES AND YOU’LL BE FINE” school of chicanary.  Oh, this flick had gore…bad, atrocious, terrible gore.  A girl (after exposing us to some barely-theres) pisses herself and is made to lick it up.  And what about this mafioso boss that looks like Ron Jeremy?  …I can’t go on, I really can’t.

    This flick made me, in all actuality…angry.  I became literally pissed off that I was wasting my time with STOCKHOLM SYNDROME (a word, by the way, not even used corretly within the context of the film, so, they have butchered an English word to boot.  I…

    No…that’s it.  I can’t go on any longer.  To Mr. Cavalline, I’m sorry, but if I were you, I’d take whatever negative or final product you have (be it tape or whatever) and destroy it.  I know it won’t stop this film from being released onto an unexpected audiance but, for your own sake, DESTROY IT.  That said, I would be interested to see some of your other films just to see if STOCKHOLM SYNDROME was just some horrible drunken mistake you made this time.  Perhaps this was just the bad bunch in that slowly rotting basket of film apples.

    So would I be willing to give Ryan Cavalline another shot to show me that he’s more than this sordid, horrible mixup of piss-poor storyline, poor lighting, editing camera and sound work.  Anyone with the brass balls enough to strike out and work towards doing what they love best I have all the respect in the world for.  I just cannont recommend STOCKHOLM SYNDROME to anyone unless they are into really bad torture porn, horrendous acting and writing, and less than par direction.

    Terrible.  DO NOT WATCH THIS.

    THIS FLICK IS D.O.A–Watch at one’s own risk.
    Stockholm Syndrome teaser trailer

    REVIEW: JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER

    JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER

    Directed by: Jon Knautz

    Trevor Matthews: Jack Brooks
    Robert Englund:  Professor Crowley

    …and a bunch of other bit players. Go to the imdb site if you’re THAT interested.

     

    This flick was pretty friggin’ sweet!  For those not in the know, the story follows Jack Brooks, a guy who saw his family killed by monsters as a child and now experiences…anger issues.  He’s just your regular everyman plumber who happens to come across an ancient evil and finds a good release for his rage in the form of kicking monster ass.

    Ok, so the movie starts in Africa, or Brazil, or some random, nameless backwater jungle with a bunch of villagers surrounding this cyclopse lookin’ baddie.  They’re gettin’ their asses kicked when most of them run back to camp and start yelling into this dung hut.  We get a glimpse of a guy wrapping his hands and then the ‘ol over the shoulder-eye-glimpsed-through-long-hair bit.

    Fast forward.  We get a swift overview of Jack’s ‘tween years.  There’s some bit with him going to a psychologist and flippin’ out.  Then we get to see what Jack does.  The guy’s a plumber and takes night classes.  He has these fits of rage he can’t control that all stem back from when he saw his family brutally eviscerated by a monster out in the woods one night when he was a little kid.  He’s repressed it, and now he flips out.

    One night after helping his teacher Professor Crowley, fix some pipes in the basement of this old house the Professor’s fixin’ up, the ground in his back yard splits, emitting an eerie light and a crazy, almost sentient fog that finds its way to the Professor, possessing the poor schmuck.  The next day he wakes up to find that he’s been diggin’ around in the dirt all night with his bare hands, so what does he do?  He grabs a shovel and finishes the job, pulling out a crate with a dead guy in it and a black heart.

    Crowley snatches the heart out of the box and it starts beating.  THEN, (reminds me of JASON GOES TO HELL), the fucker EATS THE HEART.  I suppose one could argue that he’s compelled to, but you get the idea.  From then on, the good Professor “just ain’t right, eventually turning into this fat-ass demon from hell that has a shit-ton of tentacles that race after the night class students, dragging them back to the room.  If that wasn’t bad enough, he has this weird tongue thing that he/it shoves down its victim’s throats, turning THEM into monsters.  Crazy.  At first, Jack runs away, jumping in the van and haulin’ ass.  But then he hears the song “BEYOND THE SEA,” the same song that was playing when his family became dinner and he slams on the brakes, tells his bitchy-ass girlfriend to get out, and hauls ass back to the school.  Now he’s in Kickass/Ash mode.

    The rest you can pretty much guess from the title.  He goes charging into the school and starts kicking hella monster ass, beating the ever lovin’ shit out of them and then smashin’ in their heads (the only way to truly kill ’em.  I won’t ruin the ending for you, but he DOES get to play tongue hockey with the hot goth-ish chick that he’d been makin’ eyes at the entire flick.

    Oh yeah, and I can’t forget, there’s this old guy at the Hardware store that reminds me of old Crazy Ralph from the first two Friday flicks.  “It’s got a DEATH CURSE!!!!”  That was a hoot.

    I’m not entirely sure of the back history on this flick, so I can’t tell you how much money was involved, but I doubt it was much as it seemed like an independent production, but let me tell you THIS, I couldn’t see one single bit of CG bullshittery in the entire flick.  Everything seemed to be practical makeup effects.  That just fucking rocks my socks!

    There were some dialogue issues where it seemed like the actors had to sort of just force out their lines because they just sounded…odd, but for the most part, the overall story and acting were good.

    My BIGGEST BEEF was that the movie seemed too short.  This movie could’ve had a hell of a lot more screen time spent developing secondary characters (hot goth-ish chick) and developing the story a little more.  Instead, the flick seemed a bit rushed, like it was supposed to be a TV pilot or something.  More Jack Brooks wouldn’t be a bad thing, boils ‘n ghouls, and it seems that there are rumors floating about for a JACK BROOKS 2 (Electric Boogaloo…heh).

    So, overall? Kickass little indy flick.  I’m glad it got some distribution and it’s refreshing to have something original like this to watch as opposed to the remake hell hollywood seems to be putting us through.  You want good movies?  Watch the indy scene.  Check this one out!