Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sole Survivor (1983)



Fear 2/5
Gore 1/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 4/5
T&A Factor 1/5

Sole Survivor is an interesting suspense/thriller tale, one that I'd be incredibly surprised if it didn't influence the creator of the Final Destination series. I say suspense/thriller as it most definitely does a building of both along with some sprinklings of true horror. The film's bread and butter is the tension it develops as it keeps butt firmly planted on the edge of seat.

A woman who works for a film production company is the lone survivor of a terrible plane crash. Before the actual accident occurred, an actress who is in the employ of the woman's company, had a premonition of the crash and that the woman herself would be the only survivor.

After the crash, the woman is heavily watched over by a group of doctors making sure that she doesn't succumb to the survivor syndrome or more simply put the 'why did this happen to me?' feeling which swirls with most people who survive some sort of traumatic event. Its not long before the woman is confronted by various people in a zombie-like state: a little girl stares her down and a parked ambulence at the hospital almost runs her over; a man walks into the middle of the road, causing her to swerve off it and spin out, almost crashing her car in the process.

The actress who is set to work with the woman, tells her about her dream. The woman thinks its all a bunch of bull-loney until the actress makes one chilling statement. In all the premonitions that she's ever had, this woman is the only one who's actually survived. She gives a warning to the woman that some how, some way, 'it' will be coming for her.

As we near the end, the entranced, zombified people who are after the woman start in with more violent attacks. As she thwarts each, random people as a vehicle of death are replaced with ones that are actually closer to her and it becomes more and more difficult to fend off the inevitable.

A well done suspense/thriller, the film has great pacing and keeps your eyes firmly affixed. The discordant choice of a soundtrack which accompanied the arrival of a new agent of death, also made for a very creepy and unnerving movie watching experience. And as mentioned, I'd be really surprised if the Final Destination films (the first in particular) didn't draw some sort of inspiration from this one. Highly underrated and a must see.

Cortez The Killer

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Dark Power (1985)



Fear 0/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 0/5
T&A Factor 2/5

This is the definition of a bad film. All film majors should see it. Historians should record it and document it as such. Critics should recall it with great fervor when jotting down notes that will eventually become their memoirs. But like every bad film that's a total train wreck, you can't help but slow down for a closer look.

The film starts off with some ancient mythological blatherings regarding the Toltecs. Long before the Indians, long before the Aztecs, these were supposedly some bad mo fos. The sorcerer's of the tribes could bury themselves into the ground for years and then resurrect themselves to feed on human flesh to replenish themselves. Or some shit like that. An old Indian (not Toltec, just some American Indian who believed in the Toltec myth) died in his home and we find out that he casted spells every night on his little plot of land to keep the four demons away. The number representing the four corners of the world....or some shit like that. Of course, none of the townsfolk believe in any of his hokey beliefs and let a group of college kids rent out the house. Rut ro Shaggy.

The kids move in and they are the necessary assortment of ripe victims: an athletic girl, the studious girl, the token black girl, the overly bitchy and extremely racist one, and her douchy brother. Wait what? An extremely racist girl? What is this the 1950's? Yes, certainly out of place among the stereotypically written cast of characters. Completely random. Anywhos, the kids spend their days doing college kids stuff: partying, drinking beer, studying, drinking more beer in the bath tub after a partically grueling workout at the gym.


One night, the brother invites some of his buddies over to drink some brewskis and mess with the girls in the house. It just so happens that its done on the night of the resurrection of the dark powers (or some shit like that)! And no Indian mystic is there to cast spells! But they don't believe in that hooey anyways. Well they should have because now all four have risen from their slumber and are set to wreak havoc and spoil all the fun! But these aren't any ordinary Toltec warriors. They are polite and well-mannered as they first knock on the front door before coming inside.


So once inside, the remarkably bad make-up'd and costume'd store warriors start killing off the friends and house mates, tripping over themselves during the process. After about the fourth or fifth time of doing so, I thought I was watching an episode of The Three Stooges. I thought these were supposed to be some big bad, meany warriors? Instead they fumbled their way through most of their killings.

Who's going to save us Shaggy? Cue trumpets and western themed music (I'm not kidding). The wild life ranger is here! Apparently the dead mystic gave him a bull whip that's made up of materials from all four corners of the world (or some shit like that)! He ironically bands together with the black girl as she finds the mystic's collection of Toltec sorcerer daggers and kills off the warriors who have a penchant for physical comedy. Hooray!


Holy fucking shit this movie was terrible but goddamn if you won't laugh out loud for 99.9% percent of the running time. I am now convinced that EVERY horror film maker during the 80's was snorting blow.

Cortez The Killer

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Paranormal Activity: Blu-Ray and DVD



At Walmart, you can pickup a copy of Paranormal Activity as its been released early via said ginormously large retail super store (FYI--it will be released to other retail outlets tomorrow, Dec. 29th). The only thing you will not find? The original, non-theatrically released version with a different ending (of which, has been floating around the interwebs for a few months now). What you will find in addition to the theatrical release, is a version with an alternate ending to the Spielberg'd, tinkered one. The verdict? Not nearly as shocking and frightening as the one that scared me and a ton of other underwear soiled movie goers.

Needless to say, I feel a little cheated. In addition to not including the original version, no commentaries, director or cast interviews or theatrical trailers were provided whatsoever. What you do get are just the two versions of the film as described. Inevitably, it will probably see another release with all the goodies that people actually want and care about. Seriously, this is getting old hat. Just give people what they want the first time dammit!

Regardless, the Blu-Ray version I bought was beautifully rendered and the sound effects in the film worked startlingly well with my surround sound. Needless to say, it still scared the beejesus out of me.

Anywhos, just thought I would forewarn you folks before you rush out to pick up your copy.

Cortez The Killer

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Holidays Everyone!!

From Complaint Dept. and myself, Happy Holidays and many thanks for all your support this year. Best of wishes for the New Year.

We'd like to celebrate this holiday season just like every other. With the blackest and grimmest of grim musical stylings.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Carriers (2009)



Fear 2/5
Gore 1/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 3/5

I was intrigued with the prospect of seeing this film after watching the trailer online and reading the synopsis a few months back. It seemed to be different than most virus/sweeping plague type movies. The film did not get a strong theatrical run which is a shame because, for the most part, its a solidly constructed film (despite some flawed rationale). My guess is that the movie may have been pigeonholed as a zombie film (which are running pretty rampant nowadays, get it?) but it most certainly is not. And at times, the pacing was a bit slow. This can be a death nail for a film trying to appeal to today's ADD afflicted movie goer(s).

The film starts off in familiar territory: a group of four friends, two brothers (one the stereotypical confrontational, hot head type; the other the more reserved and level headed of the pair) and their female love interests (one who knows that the douchey brother is an asshole but loves him anyways; the other, quiet and reserved, with a high likelihood of being the final girl) are headed across country to a perceived safe haven on the Pacific coast. Transmitted via air and through touch, the virus starts off as a nasty rash and but then quickly spreads throughout the entire body, eventually extending itself to the nervous and respiratory systems.

As the kids drive in a stolen Mercedes (hey, if shit goes down you might as well ride in style, right?), they come across a man and his daughter who have stopped in their SUV as its run out of gas. After the man approaches them, one of the girls notices that the daughter has a bloodied surgical mask around her mouth. They speed off after this observation, only to veer off the side of the road to avoid the SUV that's parked in the middle, losing their undercarriage and spilling oil out onto the road. Whoops. Having to hike it back, their supply of gas in tow, they instruct the man to climb into the back seat of the SUV with his daughter. Taking some bleach they also brought along, they disinfect the vehicle and tape off the section where the two are seated, creating a barrier that they think will hold and suppress them from the virus that both are presumed to be carrying.

Its at this point in the film (its only at about the 20 min. mark) where I have a problem with the logic. Between the back and forth of whether or not to let daddy and child ride along, they mention their series of 'rules' which has enabled them to survive for so long. Thats all thrown out the window when they let the father and daughter ride along to their destination which supposedly houses an experimental serum. Look, I'd like to think that in a world in which people are dying off and the end of humanity is quite possibly near that people will still lend a helping hand. But lets get real, self-preservation comes first and most people would shoot you dead than let you hitch a ride, your body likely riddled with disease. This point is made evident in a scene that occurs much later on in the film when a couple of women driving along the same route come across the band of kids and open fire on them after they're stopped in an attempt to steal their gas.

So the group continues onwards, stopping at the destination thats said to hold the key for stopping the virus. Only, they find the doctor who's now quarantined himself, explaining that the serum only lasted for a few days and the symptoms of the disease came roaring back. As the group heads back out, they find the tyke in the fetal position passed out in the back of the SUV. Father and daughter are made to stay behind as its apparent her situation is only getting worse and their is nothing that can effectively reverse the spreading.

As the film progresses, the group stops at a hotel in what appears to be Arizona. They are soon run out of town by a group of masked men who have holed themselves up in the area and staked it as their own. The reason? They uncover that the girlfriend of the douchey brother is actually infected herself. As the group drives onwards to their original destination, they have to make a choice of whether or not to let the girl continue on with them or leave her behind.

A series of other types of 'What would you do?' questions and decisions come in to play later on. The end seeing only two members surviving and its assumed, that they live on but no closure actually comes. Does the plague end or is a cure found? It ends on a very dull note which could also be a reason why the film didn't get an appropriate run (I watched it with my cable services On Demand feature).

All in all, I think the film is a well paced survival horror/thriller. If you can get past some of the irrational logic and the awkward ending, its still fairly entertaining.

Cortez The Killer

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Only 3 Days Left!!!




We are giving away two FREE copies of one of our favorite indie horror movies from '09. We've received a couple of pretty good answers but know there HAS to be some more floating out there amongst you webernet horror geeks.

Check out the contest here and post a comment:

http://planetofterror.blogspot.com/2009/12/summer-school-contest.html

Cortez The Killer

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Women's Prison Massacre (1983)


Fear 0/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 3/5
Creepiness 1/5
T&A Factor 5/5

Did your head explode upon reading that title? Go ahead and piece it back together. OK, are you finished? Let's dive into this uber trashy, Italian exploitation flick, shall we?

The film begins at the location mentioned in the title, with a group of women performing an open dialogue onstage while other prisoners look on. Each one, telling their stories of how they got themselves confined to four walls and their subsequent attempts to reform. A trashy blonde (who looks like a cross between Martha Plimpton and David Bowie) starts shouting from the audience, calling out the group of performing girls for not embracing who they truly are as convicted criminals. This continues on, as afterwards, they head to the mess hall and she again confronts the women, calling them whores and threatening to bite their nipples off. Yes, the words 'I'll bite your nipples off' are actually uttered (I assume a terrible translation from Italian??). They then proceed to go all Over the Top-ish:

What is initially thought to be a Westside Story a la rival prison gangs, soon turns to hardened male criminals coming into the picture to royally fuck shit up. You see, a police cargo van transporting a quadruple-y chain linked bunch of vicious (and horny) males was diverted from their original destination after learning that a prison break occurred and that the escaped convicts had taken control of the local police and setup a roadblock.

After getting to their temporary digs at the all female prison, the police escort runs down the record of each criminal to the warden and her assistant. Each one is more devious and foul than the previous. The most vile of all, being a man they call Crazy Boy who has a penchant for cop killing. The officer mentions that to truly pay for all his crimes, he would have to be sentenced to death more than once. Egad!

A failed bid to get the prisoners into their cells sees them taking control, seriously injuring the police escort and taking both the warden and her assistant captive. Getting a hold of a police radio, they let their demands be known: come up with a private jet and a cool couple of mil within the next few hours or else bodies will start hitting the floor. That occurs anyways as, well, the word 'massacre' is attached to the film's title. Some pretty crazy shit goes down as the girls try to fend for themselves. The most daring one of them, puts a razorblade to a wine cork and stuffs it up her vajay jay. She seduces one of the guys and well, you can pretty much figure out what happens from there.

The coup de grace comes by way of a forced game of Russian roulette between the female heroine and her hated rival culminating in the latter capping herself and brain matter flying into the mouth of Crazy Boy as he screams 'YOU SLUT!'. Um dude, don't blame her, you were the one who insisted that they play along. Don't be all butthurt that you got a sliver of brain matter pie flung into your mouthface.

The ending is fairly anti-climactic. I mean, how can you follow up a head being blown off with brainy bits flying into one's mouth? Overall, this film is exploitation in every sense of the word. Aside from the brutal violence, there are a couple rape scenes that occur which may be too much for some viewers. They are not on the level of some horror films (i.e. Day of The Woman), but they are still fairly graphic. If you can get over that (afterall, this is an exploitation film), what you'll find is a classic sleazefest with an overabundance of awesomely bad one liners and overacting.

Warning: trailer is NSFW

Cortez The Killer

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bloodsucking Freaks (1976)

Fear 0/5
Gore 2/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 3/5

Not sure what the poster has to do with the movie since the people shown are not in it, there's no head on a plate in it and no disfigured and bloodied Sloth type guy in it either. But hey, it got me to watch.

Instead, we have a a story that revolves around a guy named Sardus who's a cross between Christopher Guest in Waiting for Guffman and Anton LaVey. He, along with his midget assistant Ralphus ( 3 ' 7" - 4' 6" with the 'fro) spends his free time torturing and humiliating scores of naked, bushy crotched chicks until they become his slaves. At that point, he either sells them to some Eastern European guy with a backwards Hitler mustache or has Ralphus torture them on stage in one of his Grand Guignol performances. He winds up kidnapping a theater critic that loathes him and a blonde bimbo ballet dancer who puts on one of the worst acting performances on record. The blonde's pro-football player boyfriend (who lives in what appears to be an hourly rate Bowery hotel?) eventually starts tracking her down with the aid of a crooked and wildy combed-over cop.

So that's the story.

There's plenty of cheap torture scenes that, though low on actual blood and guts, still manage to make the viewer feel kind of icky. I think this mainly due to the overall cheapness of the film though. You know how The Ring has an overall grey tone to it - visually I mean? Or how The Sixth Sense uses the color red to indicate when something supernatural is about to happen? Well, here the overwhelming color is brown. The walls are brown, the clothes are brown - everything is brown. It's like watching a movie that was shot inside someones colon. So I think that has a lot to do with the grimy and filmy aftertaste you get from the movie.

Of course, the torture scenes help, as comical and tongue-in-cheek as they are. Thumb screws, nipple electrodes, drills into the brain, crucifixion, and cannibalism - it's a fun ride! I had read that the funding for the film was mainly from sources deeply involved in the NYC S&M scene and that makes sense, though it could just be a fun rumor. Regardless, that seems to be the intent of the movie - scoring more points for depravity than for horror.

Whether or not this is a good movie is a moot point. It's like asking if moonshine tastes good. The more important question is does it scare you, does it horrify you, does it offend you? Me personally, no, but the average viewer - say my mom - would be very disappointed that a) a movie like this exists and b) money exchanged hands to make it and view it. So in that sense, it's a triumph. But in terms of wanting to find an enjoyable movie to watch I guess it depends on the setting. Had I watched this with a bunch of like minded friends (and possibly while I was still in high school) I probably would have had a blast. Instead, I chose to watch it on netflix after having just watched Food Inc. The purpose of BSF for me was to allow me to fall asleep to something stupid that I wouldn't mind "missing".

I suppose it says something that I watched the whole thing despite how tired I was. Not sure what it is though.

- Complaint Dept

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After Dark Horrorfest: Update

The folks behind the madness that is the After Dark Horrorfest, have announced the addition of The Reeds to the 8 Films To Die For lineup (making a total of 7 films thus far).

Check out the trailer below. Douchey euro kids + survival horror = count me in.

Cortez The Killer

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Summer School Contest!!



If you've been regularly reading this blog for the past month or so (see here and here), you will know of my unabashed love for a little indie horror flick called Summer School. Its in my top list of films seen this year and tops in indie horror films seen in the last 10 years.

The directors, who spent every last nickel, dime and peso they had to make the film, have offered me TWO copies of the film to give away for FREE. Aside from the awesomeness of the movie, these guys put the goods into the DVD, loaded with extras including 5 short films.

So how do you get your mitts on your very own copy? In the comments section below, tell us your zany, most off the wall summer school or high school story. The two winning stories will be judged by the directors of the film and you will get your own nifty copy of the film. Just make sure you check the statute of limitations in your state to ensure you will not be charged with anything. Or if you wish, you can remain anonymous.

The contest ends on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th.

Cortez The Killer

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Meet The Horror Bloggers



Iloz Zoc over at Zombo's Closet of Horrors has profiled this here interwebs blog for his weekly series 'Meet the Horror Bloggers'. Get to know me and my partner in crime Complaint Dept. a little more and learn how we got into horror movies to begin with. I promise, its a fun read.

Many thanks to him for asking us to do the profile and for putting it together. Its great to know that someone is out there taking the time to bring exposure to all the folks who write about this much beloved genre of film.

Profile Link

Cortez the Killer

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Dexter



Simply put, Dexter is the best show on television and if you missed out on this past season, you should be slapping yourself silly. Of course, it will get a DVD release sometime in the near future and I'm sure you can find episodes on the webernets (if you can and do, see them ASAP.

I'm not going to give a blow by blow recap of the show season by season but what I will say is that its one of the best written shows that I've seen in quite some time. Generally speaking, I don't watch a whole lot of TV. By and large, it is completely mindless and as is the case, quantity far exceeds quality. Ok, ok. Who doesn't like mindless stuff every now and then? Steven Seagal Law Man. Anyone?

Anyways, sometimes a show or series comes along that demands your attention. Dexter is definitely on the short list.

Superbly written and acted, its held my attention for 4 seasons and after last night's episode, it shows no signs of slowing down. Honestly, I have not been this hooked on a TV series since The X-Files entranced me years ago.

This past season was by far the best yet. Every weekend you felt that things could go off the rails at any moment. Dexter met with what could possibly be his ultimate match in the form of one Arthur Miller (played so maniacally and fiendishly well by John Lithgow). The season saw unparalleled levels of anxiety, tension and ultimately, heartbreak. Never have I watched a show that has captivated me this much week in and week out.

I won't spoil any of the details of this past season for those who are anxiously awaiting the DVD release or the NetFlix queue, let's promptly move this to position #1 with a click of a button action.

For those of you who watched this season, what did you think?

Cortez The Killer

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Alice Jacobs is Dead (2009)


Fear 1/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 2/5

I first heard about this short film from our buddy The Jaded Viewer. In his immortal ratings system, I think this movie would warrant 4 spinkicks.

I don't know what it is but for some reason, short films have a stigma with me. Maybe I'm too narrow minded in thinking that their longer (and sometimes more winded) counterparts are superior. Or maybe its a feeling that 20-30 minutes is just too darn short to get a point across. Well my silly notions were completely dispelled after viewing this zombie short. Now I know what you are thinking, hasn't this sub-genre of horror been nauseatingly covered ad infinitum during the past few years? Sure, but that doesn't mean something can't come out of left field and be completely original.

At the start of the film, we find a doctor who's busy studying cells under a microscope. He soon heads out from his lab after his assistant tells him good luck for an interview he's to give at a local television station. The interviewer lays the groundwork to pretty much bring us up to speed: the doctor has been working on a serum to cure people inflicted with a disease, during the first stage of the virus the serum reacted well, and now he's in the process of curing the last few. And throughout the doctor's trials he even lost his wife....or did he.

He comes home after the interview, his wife glowing after his on air professing of love. We soon see her shoot up with what's assumed to be the disease curing elixir. She heads to the bathroom as her body reacts violently towards it and she hacks up blood.

While her husband is at work the next day, she's in the living room, watching TV(a nice little genre nod with White Zombie playing). She gets a case of the munchies and heads to the refrigerator, pulling out a steak. Maniacally, she stuffs her face with the raw meat. Her husband comes home to find her ashamed and completely flipping out on the kitchen floor. She expresses her frustration in feeling like a trapped guinea pig only to be reassured by her singularly focused husband, that all will be well.

The next morning they both wake up, with the husband finding that his wife has completely turned, his caged experiment no longer receptive to the serum. Its assumed that the virus will now carry on as the wife shuffles down the street after having viciously mauled her husband.

From the soundtrack, to the relationship between the husband and wife (played heartbreakingly well by John La Zar and Adrienne 'I'm still hot at 64' Barbeau), to the overall look and feel, I'm amazed at just how much emotion could be jam packed into 25 min. In a total 'What would you do?' manner, the film implicitly asks the question as the doctor so desperately tries to take care of his wife. But at the same time, it balances that with the notion that he is hellbent on finding a cure, whatever the cost. A morality play is at work here, something that most films in this sub-genre completely avoid or fail in an attempt. Entirely original and refreshing.

Not to be disregarded, the film itself fulfills its purpose in that small time frame and although a longer version could probably be made, its intent and purpose was well delivered. Nothing felt as though it really needed to be expounded upon or explored further. It does better than most horror films with 2-3 times the running length.

For more information about the film, ch-ch-ch check it out: strange-case.com

Special thanks to director Alex Horwitz for giving us the chance to screen a copy.

Cortez the Killer

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rush Week (1989)



Fear 0/5
Gore 0/5
Entertainment 1/5
Creepiness 0/5
T&A Factor 2/5

Like all good things that are enjoyed with a caramel nougaty center, sometimes there is such a thing as too much. Or if you are a heroin addict, sometimes one tie-off is one tie-off too many. Such is the way with one of my favorite decades of horror (the 80's) and sub-genres (slashers). I am not divorcing myself completely (who could?) but I am taking a much needed break. I have seen far too many shit heaps. Enter Rush Week.

During the requisite semester rush week of rituals, someone is killing off college coeds who pose nude for a photographer in the sciences building. Apparently the janitors has a hobby on the side and he entices young girls to pose in the flesh to make a couple extra bucks. But after leaving the building late at night (afterall, you can't exactly do this while school is in session or can you?) the girls are stalked and struck down, by a hooded attacker sporting a battle axe. It just so happens that the president of the fraternity uses a similar looking axe to kick off the week long festivities! Lame red herring #1.

A female reporter for the campus paper falls for the president of one of the fraternities. She later learns that his girlfriend was murdered on campus last year and he keeps newspaper clippings in his room of the incident along with scores of others that reference similar instances across college campuses. And his buddies mention to his new love interest that something is not quite right with him and he doesn't like to party as much as he used to. Lame red herring #2.

The dean of the school happens to be the father of the dead girlfriend, complete with her picture prominently displayed on his desk. He shows all the signs of being crazy including a rant about 'kids today'. But it couldn't be him could it? Lame red herring, and its totally obvious he's the killer, #3.

The film ends with a chase through the school boiler room and we find out in a Scooby Doo 'It was old man Withers all along!' fashion that it was is in fact the dean. The only worthwhile but totally bloodless kill in the film, the frat boy takes the axe and lops off his head. The end.

Missing most of the hallmarks (drugs, gore, amazingly awful dialogue, etc.) that make for a good 80's chock-full-o-sleaze flick, Rush Week is just plain awful. The best scene by far was one in which a hooker had sex with a cadaver that was brought from the science lab to one of the frat house parties. Avoid this unless you want to gouge your ojos out with a spork.

No trailer for this. But I found a clip of the pledges mooning peeps at school on a short bus. That's how retarded this movie is.

Cortez The Killer

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Top 10 Most Disturbing Films Of All-Time

Our buddy Chuck over at Zombies Don't Run asked me to participate in his blogger-tastic poll of Top 10 Most Disturbing Films of All-Time.

Check out our entry for #5: Martyrs (2008)

A young woman who escaped the confines of an abandoned wherehouse years ago, tracks down her captors and violently exacts revenge. Along with her best friend who assists her in covering up her tracks, both are completely unaware of the secret that lies in the house of her former captors. Altogether violent and shocking, with a come out of nowhere 180 shift in both tone and plot direction, Martyrs is one of the most shocking horror films that I've seen in years. It will stay with you days after watching it.

You can view and comment on the entire list here: http://zombiesdontrun.blogspot.com/2009/12/top-10-most-disturbing-movies-of-all.html

Also check out Chuck's blog. Its a winner.

Cortez the Killer

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Hitcher (2007)



Fear 1/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 2/5

At its heart, the premise of The Hitcher sounds like a winner: a girl and her boyfriend are trekking across country, the plan being to meet up with friends for vacation. But instead of reaching their destination, they come across a serial killer who initially holds them captive. They escape, only to have him track them down at every twist and turn as they try to navigate through the New Mexico back country. Sounds like the makeup for a great horror/thriller, no? At times, the film does have some truly tense moments. However, it was bogged down by one too many instances that make you scream 'Why are you doing that?' (i.e., a killer is chasing you, why are you stopping at a hotel and bumping uglies?). Not too mention the preference for CGI over practical effects and a hilariously laugh out loud, Rambo-esque scene in which the film instantly loses all credibility.

On the first day, the young couple make their way along an interstate, rolling along through a heavy storm later on that night. They almost run over a man who's standing in the road, his car having broken down on the side. After spinning out and restarting their stalled car, they both decide not to go back and help the man out. Afterall, its late, its raining and who wants to meet the broadside of an axe? We've seen that movie before, right?

Stopping at a gas station to refuel and grab some comida, they uncomfortably meet the man face to face as he's now caught up with them. Gee Wally, he must be a track star in his spare time! Presenting himself as a nice family man, he suckers, er I mean convinces, the boyfriend to a hitch a ride with them to the next town so he can get a motel for the night. Its not long before he whips out a knife as they continue driving and plays a dangerous 'Will it be her or you?' game with the boyfriend. He slams on the brakes, the man's head hitting the dash and the girl assists in climbing over the back seat, opening the passenger side door with the boyfriend kicking him out of the car. They then proceed to 'Why are you doing that?' moment #1: they pull off the side of the road and fall asleep for the night.


Waking up and heading out next morning, they drive past a family in a Griswald mobile (AKA station wagon) and notice that they've picked up a rider. They attempt to pull alongside the car and warn the family about the whacko in the back seat. Instead, they are run off the road by a truck, and smash into a tree. Surprisingly, they get out relatively unscathed and start walking along the interstate, eventually catching up to the car only to find the family slaughtered. They hop in the station wagon and start cruising along again, the boyfriend trying in vain to save the husband as he's still alive, blood gushing from his chest. They soon pull off when they see a local diner. The girlfriend runs inside, begging a waitress to call for help. The police quickly show up and arrest the both of them, believing that they are the main perpetrators.

The young couple attempt to explain their situation about the madman that's following them to the police officers at the station. With words falling on deaf ears, the boyfriend is locked up, the girlfriend facing more one on one, intense scrutiny. The whacked out guy catches up again, making quick work of all the officers at the station. The couple escapes on foot and hole themselves up in a junkyard nearby. The head sheriff discovers the grizzly scene at the station and promptly dispatchs more officers. One of which, finds the kids at said scrap pile establishment. The kids make a getaway, stealing his car with the killer again having tracked them down and he waxes the copper, making it look as though it was the kid's handiwork.


The cat and mouse game continues as the killer catches up to the couple in the police car, hauling ass in a 1970's Trans Am. Cue Nine Inch Nails, the dude taking out four squad cars and a helicopter a la Rambo. This went from taute horror/thriller to full-on action adventure in the span of about 2.5 seconds. Enter 'Why are you doing that?' moment #2: the kids escape yet again and take refuge in a hotel. They make boom boom fucky fucky and pass out, giving ample opportunity for the killer to AGAIN catch up to them.

Are you tired yet? I am, so I'm wrapping up this review pronto: the killer offs the boyfriend (the best scene in the film as he's tied to two sections of a semi, with him acting as the link between both the trailer and truck, and the truck pulls away, tearing him in half), the cops capture both the girl and the killer, and we find out that he is a serial killer. When he's asked why he's done what he's done, he simply responds with 'Why not?' Instead of it being a complete gut punching shocker (see The Strangers for a similar, much more highly effective film moment), we get a complete dud, as you really couldn't care less at this point. I know I mentioned CGI but I don't really feel like explaining that aspect of the film other than saying it cheapened the whole affair. A final standoff also occurs between the girl and the killer but even then, its hard to give two shits and you just want to be done with it.

In the end, a terrible film that had loads of potential but didn't deliver. Don't pick up The Hitcher.

Cortez The Killer

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Friday, December 4, 2009

Interview: The Directors of Summer School



A couple weeks ago, I wrote a review for a little indie film called Summer School (see here). In look and feel, it pays homage to 70's and 80's horror fare but with an entirely original story and concept. I called it the Groundhog's Day of horror films but that may give the impression that its a horror comedy (there are however, some good laughs). Instead, what you get is a literal traverse through a horror funhouse with different sub-genres on display during the run time.

So enamored was I with this fun film, that I reached out to the production company with the hopes of being able to interview the director. Well I did, and instead of a director or two, I was graced with the time, insights and humor of four.

Cortez the Killer: Where did the idea for Summer School come from?

Ben Trandem: I initially came up with the idea for Summer School and the character of Charlie during my junior/senior summer of high school. I was taking a government class so I could have an open period for my art work during the normal semester. I was also renting ridiculous amounts of horror VHS tapes from a local mom & pop video store near my house. They had a deal of 10 old releases for $2 on Tuesdays which was just killer. I had been writing another script about zombies and got the idea for an anthology styled film with all the genres I loved but one that actually had a singular character arc throughout. Originally, Summer School was going to be just myself writing and directing it but once I got to college, I met Mike and the rest of the directors (except Lance who I've known since I was 12). I realized as long as I was executive producer, and did the final draft of the script to keep the movie cohesive, they could all have a crack at a piece. Plus, that would really give each different story it's own unique style and if the audience didn't like one genre, there would be another completely different one along in a few minutes. So, I gave out a sheet of most horror sub-genres, a character sheet, a few basic ground rules for the story, and let people pick what they wanted. Then, I arranged their short scripts or wrote the genre they had chosen and set up Charles' arc.

Mike Nelson: I remember when he pitched the idea to me. We were still in college at The Minneapolis College of Art and Design and he had a couple stories written as sections for the film. I remember reading The Cult section part of the film. The idea was loosely based around Ben’s experience at summer school when he was trying to get a class out of the way. He bought and watched 100's of b-horror movies and didn’t get much sleep. So he slept a lot in school. Or something like that. I actually remember the first meeting about the film when Ben, Lance and I wrote down all the sub-genres of horror people could pick from. It was a pretty big list if I remember correctly. Then each director just picked their genre and the stories got written.

Steve Rhoden: The idea was that each of us would write and direct our own segment, as a sort of combination of all our talents, and we would each take a larger role in the whole production:

-Ben would be in charge of the overall story, costuming, digital effects, some practical effects, and some editing.
-Lance would produce
-Mike would be co-cinematographer, sound design, and co-editor
-I would be the head of makeup and some practical effects
-Troy (ed. note: the 5th director of the film) would be co-cinematographer, and gaffer

Lance Hendrickson: Each individual segment has it's own inspiration from each writer and director which I think adds a lot in terms of different styles to the whole project.

CTK: I was going to ask about the main inspiration for the character of Charlie. He definitely resonates with me and is certainly a relatable one. Anything that you would care to add about how the character was fashioned?

Mike: Each director got to give a glimpse of how they’d react to the situation Charlie was in or explore their favorite emotions (fear being the obvious one but not the only). Overall, Charlie's character stays pretty consistent through the piece. This worked out so well because of the writing and the tight knit group we had directing.

Lance: I think a big part of Charlie's attitude and history comes from the bones that Ben gave him, but Simon Wallace (ed. note: the actor who plays Charlie) brought a whole new swagger to the character. I can't think of anyone who would've done a better job.

CTK: The overall look and feel of the film has a very drive-in cinema by way of 70’s flare. Was that a conscious decision among all directors or was it lead by someone in particular?

Ben: Mike and I are big big fans of grindhouse exploitation films. While shooting, we didn't really think to emulate the aesthetic like Tarantino & Rodriguez did with all the scratches and film damage and junk. Although a lot of the genres we touched on are just goofy enough to fall into that realm of exploitation, so we kept the general feel. And our composer Tom Hambleton gave us that funky 70's style opening track.

Mike: I made a conscious choice to make The Hillbilly section of the film a throwback to an action/revenge piece. But through production and in post, I was a huge advocate of giving the entire film an 80’s horror/grindhouse gloss and I think everyone decided it was a good idea. At the time of production back in 2005, I was watching tons of old revenge and horror films from the 70’s and 80’s and was completely smitten by them. But at the same time, I also felt like our limitations, much like the limitations of the grindhouse filmmakers of the 70’s, added to that feel. When it all comes down to it, we made a grindhouse flick with a grindhouse budget.

Lance: Also, Mike and Ben really wanted to get a certain style from the colors and title cards and what not. It was definitely a conscious decision to try to capture that aesthetic.

Steve: It's pretty safe to say that most of us adore 70’s to mid 80’s horror flicks over modern, so overall, our influences definitely played into our segments.

CTK: That leads me into my next question. Tell me a little about each of your influences and how they helped shape each segment that you directed in particular.

Ben: For directors in general, I could go on for pages about American, European and Asian directors that have influenced me, but that could get incredibly boring and pretentious. So, my short list is Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson for biggest influential directors and I'm a huge fan of practical effects wizards like KNB, Rob Bottin and Tom Savini. That being said I'm the only director that tackled multiple sections, so I felt that I should vary my style up a bit per section. The Vampires section is the obvious Raimi/Jackson influence, since I wrote it to be a parody of vampires (considering I wrote the section in 2002 I find it funny I beat the tween vampire craze by a few years) and used the most odd angles and weird camera moves in it. The beginning up until the ruler slaps the desk, the ending, and The Slasher section were more influenced by a slower paced horror like Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, Eli Roth's Cabin Fever or Dario Argento's Suspiria. I felt, in Slasher, Charles is breaking down and the camera (and audience) should start to pull away from him and worry about his friends. He was still the main character but at that point nobody should be rooting for him to succeed. Also, for the beginning of the film, I had to be aware of how Lance was going to shoot The Cult section so it had to move seamlessly so as to not catch people off guard. Which seems to work as most people consider the entire opening as The Cult or that section starting after Charles is hit in the kitchen.

Mike: The Hillbilly section was directly influenced by the survival, rural and revenge films of the 70’s. I really enjoy films where the protagonist has to go to a dark violent place to either defend or stand for something they believe in. Almost to the point where they feel like the bad guy but you are still cheering for them. I wanted to do this with Charles’ character and really have him viciously fight back. The Hillbilly section is at a point in the film where the character is fed up with these 'hallucinations' and he reaches a breaking point. He doesn’t run after he has the chance to get away. He stays to kill and fight back. The obvious example yet a definite influence was John Boorman’s Deliverance. But aside from that, films like They Call Her One Eye, Death Wish, Billy Jack, The Hills Have Eyes (1977), Walking Tall (1973), Mad Max, Race with the Devil, and Duel, to name a few, have all had a major impact on my work as a filmmaker both stylistically and thematically. I feel like the movies of the 70’s era were full of fresh ideas and overwhelming style that nothing prior or after has ever been able to match. Hence, it’s extreme influence.

Steve: I directed The Monster section of the film. Some of my favorite films are The Shining, The Thing, The Candyman, and Hellraiser. They play on paranoia and claustrophobia, which is a little what I went for. I usually would go for artsy and slow, but where my section fit in, I thought it could use some jump cuts and quicker action to keep people interested. I did still manage to fit in some background imagery that takes a few viewings to catch. Every mini-scene has something to look for, whether it be blood on the ceiling, opening lockers, or what not.

Lance: I did The Cult section of the film and most of my influence comes from my theatre background. I felt we needed a section to flesh out the characters and give the whole thing something to care about, so I focused mostly on character development stuff. I also have always really been into the occult and ancient knowledge stuff so that's where the climax comes from.

CTK: Was there at any time during the filming process that the story diverged a little from the script and the cast ad-libbed?

Ben: Plenty of times the directors allowed the actors go off page and just let their characters jabber. Dennis and Steve's (ed. note: they play Charlie's burnout hesher friends) first big conversation about their band was about 9 minutes long originally as it was just actors Lance Hendrickson and Tony Czech just dicking around in character. I think our best ad-lib is Ty Richardson as Officer Klein in The Nazi section when he walks down the hall and says 'Oh tenenbaum'. It makes everything that much odder and creepier like a David Lynch film. There are several other times in the film where we let the actors just be their characters after we got what was on the page. And it really speaks to their talents as thespians that it made the characters feel all the more real. Tony Czech created the entire dialog for when Steve drags Charles up the stairs in The Vampire section and it's incredibly effective. The original script called for him to just grab Charles and toss him down the stairs after saying 'Think happy thoughts'. But the school had an extra floor to it so we exploited that by having Tony ad-lib his way up while carrying Simon. Plus, it made the entire act of throwing him down the stairs that much more brutal.

Mike: The Hillbilly section, for the most part, follows the script right up until the end. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t take some liberties and really let the actors fly and get crazy. The scene in which Charles is assaulted by Henry on the front porch of the shack was always intended to be an uncomfortable and jarring scene, but what Troy McCall (ed. note: he plays Henry) and Simon Wallace gave me was darker and weirder than I could have written. I wasn’t thrilled about how I had written that scene so I gave them key points from my script and told them to run with it. Troy added a lot of strange eccentricities to the character based on things his uncles up in northern Minnesota would say. We spent many nights in our apartment rehearsing different things he could do and when we got out onto location he really nailed it. That's what was so great about the overall process of making the film was that it was so collaborative. We were working with not only talented but creative actors who always gave their own flare to the roles. The scene in which Dennis and Steve goof off in class was almost entirely ad-libbed and was quite a bit longer than what made it into the film. The actors were constantly giving us quirks and extra punches that were just great.

Steve: I also encouraged actors to treat the dialogue as talking points. I would rather they get a feeling for their character and have their language be fluid and meaningful to them. I would say 90% was there, and if the actors felt something, they could always add to it.

CTK: It seems like you had just as many writers as directors. Did that make for a more challenging filmmaking process?

Ben: There was definitely some butting of heads on the film as two of the directors (Mike and Troy) were also the director's of photography. One of them was always on a camera and naturally would have their own artistic idea of how to shoot a scene. As executive producer, I was also constantly trying to keep the stories on track and not be too divergent. Things could get a bit bogged down at times but it always fell on who's section it was to make the final call in terms of scene direction. Beyond the difference in styles of shooting, the entire crew got along very well and we're all good friends to this day.

Mike: I think the most challenging thing was the fact that we are all directors. So even when one person is directing their segment, you still have 4 other people with directing on their minds thinking about how to do the scene. But overall, we worked really well together. The upside about working with a team of directors is that if you had a doubt or were unsure of what to do with something in your segment, there was always someone to help you and collaborate with. Every section has a little bit of all of us in it.

Steve: We knew what we were all going for, but that doesn’t mean we weren’t nervous about how the whole thing would work together. It’s not perfect, but its definitely more cohesive than we thought it would be.

Lance: This project was my first foray into writing/directing and I definitely felt like there were a lot of opinions in the room. Thankfully, we had all worked together at some level or other before so we knew how to make it work. I also feel like because we went into it knowing that each persons segment was their own that they held the reigns on those days. The whole shoot went suprisingly smooth.

CTK: Was the trailer (see below) purposefully cut in such a way as to keep the film’s main plot semi-mysterious? For me, it was total a surprise, one that I greatly enjoyed.

Ben: Both the teaser and the trailer are somewhat misleading as to what exactly is happening in the school. That was deliberate because there is just so much going on that to include everything, Mike and I felt, would be even more confusing then the vague trailer. Also, it's a film with an early twist (being how the stories start) and I hate trailers that give away most or all of the twists in a film before you even see it. Obviously, if this had been a studio release you would have seen the twist for the way each story starts and every single sub-genre blasted at you in a two and a half minute trailer clip.

Mike: If anything we wanted to give you just enough juice to where a viewer would ask, 'What the fuck is going on! I gotta see this thing!' And for the most part, I feel like we’ve got that. I really hate trailers that give you a play-by-play break down of what is going to happen in the film. Marketing may show that it works, but as a movie watcher and a trailer hound, I think it’s a bunch of crap.

Lance: We knew that two minutes wouldn't be enough to explain the film so we tried to catch people with the visuals more than the story, that way when they found the story engrossing they would be pleasantly suprised.

CTK: Shifting gears, what is your favorite decade of horror and why?

Ben: The mid 70s to mid 80s is where the sweet spot of horror is for me. All those gooey, gross and astounding practical effects, the birth of the modern slasher film (Black Christmas 1974), and countless classic horror films come from that time frame. I enjoy a lot of modern horror films, but there is some sort of magic in that age of film that just makes them still watchable to this day.

Mike: 70’s horror. Why? Because I feel like the movies of the 70’s era were full of fresh ideas and overwhelming style that nothing prior or after has ever been able to match. Political correctness was not an issue and the films weren’t afraid to get real. Actors and actresses weren’t always pretty and stories didn’t always have a set code of morals. There were really no rules in general which made several films very surprising at times! Oh and I must not forget, films didn’t have to cut every 2 seconds to hold an audiences attention. Oh yeah, and no CGI. You think they’d ever make Mad Max or Road Warrior like that today? HELL NO!!! You’d get something that looked like Transformers.

Lance: I would have to say the 80's. I have many fond memories of hanging out with my buddy Matt watching all the 80's slashers and just really loving it. They're not like the slashers of today. Back then everything had to be practical so the FX were so much more effective, I think. And I feel like the people were more interesting then, now all the characters are stereotypes trying to be original. If you are writing a stereotype character, embrace that and have fun. Don't take yourself too seriously.

Steve: My favorite decade is 75 through 85. That’s where a lot of the themes were set up that way too many wannabe filmmakers take advantage of, but this is the only time they were really done right because they were done with honesty. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Thing, Friday the 13th, Hellraiser, all very original ideas, done raw and gritty.
CTK: If you got caught in a similar situation like Charlie’s, what would you have done differently?

Ben: I would have just left the school in the beginning instead of playing basketball as I suck at playing basketball. Plus, shit gets crazy after that. So, good to avoid that stuff ahead of time.

Mike: Well considering escaping the school wouldn’t have done any good in ANY of the dreams, I probably would have hide, gotten chased and when given the opportunity, went Charlie Bronson on anyone’s ass who tried to kill me. Dude it’s a dream! Why not follow in the footsteps of your hero?

Lance: Not save the girl! Lindsey got him in trouble more often than not, I would have left her behind. Seems like an awful lot of work just to impress some chick.

Steve: Not much really. I wouldn’t have worn rollerblades!

CTK: At Planet of Terror, we love and support indie horror. Is there anything in the works that we should look forward to? Any current releases that we should check out?

Ben: I've got a script about a family of serial killers making the festival circuit currently. I'm also working with Mike on a script we'd like to see be our next feature that is like Walking Tall (the Joe Don Baker original) fused with horror. It should be ready to go very soon. Otherwise, the two other scripts I'm working on aren't really in the horror realm.

Mike: Both Ben and I, along with Troy, have a couple other scripts we’re working on currently. We have a couple dramas, a dark comedy, vehicular horror/thriller, a couple post apocalyptic stories, and a children’s book adaptation we are gradually chipping away at. I finished developing a feature film with Marty Doogin Arts called Rough Tender this past weekend. I recently finished a short called Mickey vs. The Snowman with Marty Doogin Arts along with another feature from them entitled Hope. I am shooting an online zombie mini-series with a director in Minneapolis. I am also doing the foley for a feature film out of Chicago called Chicago Overcoat that is definitely one to look for in the near future. In terms of current releases, I am really looking forward to seeing Legion come January.

Lance: Right now I'm in LA trying to find work and building a network. We are hoping that by the end of this year we can start production on a new film. We did Summer School out of our pocket and we all agreed that we won't do that again.

Steve: I turned my focus to my band Green Sweater Society. I only have time for one major hobby that doesn’t pay.

CTK: Thank you all for your time. Best of luck in your future endeavors.

Ben: Thanks again for the kind words on our nano-budgeted horror film.

Steve: It’s great to see that this movie is still getting reviewed and found by true fans such as yourself. It’s no mistake that you saw the copyright as 2006. That’s when we made it. It was only recently put up on NetFlix. Spread the word. It’s not a perfect movie as you know, but I think we’re all proud of it as our first outing.

For more information regarding the film, peep here:

Random CreatureFace Films

Other site reviews:

DreadCentral

Imdb.com

Cortez the Killer

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Paranormal Activity Contest





Being hosted by the folks who run Prepared to Be Scared via YouTube, is a cool contest thats being judged by Paranormal Activity director Oren Peli. Make your own short film, via camera or mobile phone, upload it to YouTube, and you'll be entered into a contest, with the winner's film being included as an extra on the DVD release of the film. Aspiring filmmakers unite!


The skinny:


- Films restricted to 3 minutes in length and can be shot on camera or mobile phone.

- Entries are open to interpretation - Just make sure they're scary

- Users upload their films to YouTube and then submit their entries to the PrepareToBeScared You Tube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/PrepareToBeScared

For more information, check out the aforementioned link.

Cortez the Killer

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Others (2001)

Fear 3/5
Gore 0/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 3/5

Outstanding "ghost story with a twist" that, granted, came out hot on the heels of the success of The Sixth Sense. You know what I'm talking about - it's creepy and kind of scary, but not gory at all. It's smart and high-brow, but not pretentious and overblown. And, of course, it has a trick / surprise ending that you should have seen coming had you been paying close attention to all of the clues. It's a bit played out now, but when these started rolling out I was hooked.

The Others, based on Turn of the Screw like The Innocents, is simply a great ghost story. The atmosphere is dreary and misty and plays like a gothic horror piece from the 1960's, even down to the campy, but fitting music. The story is pretty straight forward - it's the end of the Second World War and Nicole Kidman is awaiting the return of her soldier husband. She is joined at her stately, but dimly lit and spooky estate by her two ridiculously cute children. One morning, a sweet old Irish woman arrives, joined by a sweet old Englishman and a homely deaf mute. They have come answering the ad for servants and the old Irish woman (let's call her Margaret because she is 100% my grandmother) is to be the nanny.

Like The Innocents, it becomes clear that something is not right in the house, especially when it comes to the relationship between the children and . . . the others. And from there it twists and turns it's way through some spectacular sets, seriously spooky scenes and a satisfying, if not 100% unexpected ending.

Despite the ominous and heavy tone throughout, it's clear that the filmmakers intended the audience to have fun here. It's certainly an homage to the 60's Hammer Films and does borrow quite a bit from 30s and 40s Universal imagery, but it's also kind of goofy at times without being too goofy or dumb. And, regardless of her recent roles (and surgery) Nicole Kidman is really good in this. When she gets frantic, I buy it. And seriously, the little boy in this movie is amazing. He has this look on his puss the entire movie that is a cross between extreme concern and unbridled rage.

That's it. This movie is awesome. Rent it.

- Complaint Dept

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Dr. Black, Mr. Hyde (1976)

Fear 0/5
Gore 1/5
Entertainment 5/5
Creepiness 1/5
T&A Factor 3/5

A doctor experiments with a serum which he hopes will reverse the affects of internal organ damage and be his next claim to fame. Years ago, his mother died from liver failure due to heavy drinking, and he thinks that a serum that repairs damage caused from organ disease will be his springboard to greatness.

At the start of the film, he's treating a street corner standing, lady of the night as she's been dealing with a case of hepatitis. As soon as he enters the hospital room, she's already stripped down, completely butt nekkid. Doesn't the doc normally ask for you to strip AFTER he's already entered the room? Apparently not in blacksploitation cinema! He's berated by her for being an uncle tom, looking white, dressing white and coming to the run down part of the hood to treat the poor folk. He becomes a little smitten by her (and seriously, when has a little case of hepatitis ever stopped a penis?) despite his current relationship with his assistant.

The doc begins trials on himself, shooting his body full of the serum after he doesn't get the desired results with lab animals and human test subjects that he's injected at the hospital. The serum makes him go all bajiggity and when he's done convulsing, he's shown to have a serious case of Ferigno-itis:

In his transformed state, he takes his Rolls out for a night on the town, trying to track down his lady of the night patient, stopping to ask a group of corner hangers where he can find the club where she normally posts shop at. They respond with a 'You's in the wrong part of town, man'. He quickly makes work of them, throwing them through store front windows and into the busy street. After finding the woman at the club, he runs into her coke addicted, nefarious pimp and makes it his sole mission to save her from her job....and make her his next test subject.

The serum increasingly makes him more and more aggressive which prompts him to go on a city-wide killing spree, offing other prostitutes and eventually, the pimp of his patient. When his street walker lady friend refuses to undergo the same treatments and be one of his test subjects (the hepatitis having done harm to her liver), he chases after her through town: complete with police, neighbors and local street hustling jive turkeys who are tired of not feeling safe at night trailing close behind. The closing shot, sees the doc scaling a local monument King Kong style, growling and swatting at the police below and the helicopter that is circling overhead. It doesn't end pretty and the poor doc never lives to see his dream come true.

Laugh out loud funny with an abundance of overacting, this second foray (see first here) into the world of blacksploitation cinema is just as good as the first. I think I've found my new favorite sub-genre of horror.

FYI-- The first 5 seconds or so of the trailer are NSFW.

Cortez the Killer

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