Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lovely Molly (2011)

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

Lovely Molly is the type of film that gets under your skin.  The type of film that will make you squirm in your seat but keep you continuously riveted, unable to take your eyes off the screen as the horror and madness washes over you. Without a doubt, it's one of the scariest films I've seen this year and proof positive that the haunted house gag can always be new, inventive, and fresh.

Along with her husband Tim, Molly moves back into her childhood home after the death of her parents. It's not long before a locked back door mysteriously opens and sets off the couple's newly installed security system. Tim had it installed because he's a truck driver and is frequently away from home for work. After disarming the alarm and advising the security company to send someone, a police officer shows up and finds no signs of forced entry.

As we get further into the lives of our two main characters, we sense that something isn't quit right about their pasts. When Molly's sister comes over to visit, welcoming them back to the neighborhood, she assures her that it's a good thing that they've moved in and that she was meant to always come back home. The inference being that something at some point was horribly amiss and Molly had to go away.

Our strange happenings continue in the house with strange noises and voices becoming more and more prevalent. Molly seems to be transfixed with a few areas of the house: her father's den that is adorned with pictures of horses, the family's stable, and the kitchen where she spends nights contemplating her reasons for coming back. After a trip to the attic it's all down hill as we learn what afflicted Molly in her not too distant past.

I really don't want to get into too many additional plot points other than to say the film straddles the line between ghostly haunting and demonic possession from here on out and it's unlike anything you have ever seen before. Lots of heavy imagery used which, by film's end, makes you wonder: was the haunting real or representative of the demons (emotional and mental) that resided within Molly?

Lovely Molly is a great example of minimalistic horror at it's best. Sure there are a couple of scenes that are particularly brutal, but by and large, a lot is left to the imagination. One scene in particular had me floored and scared to retire to my bedroom the night I watched it. I'd say that's a job well done.

Cortez the Killer

Friday, August 24, 2012

Juan Of The Dead -- AKA Juan De Los Muertos (2011)

Fear 0/5
Gore 5/5
Entertainment 3/5
Creepiness 1/5

Do we really need another zombie comedy? No. But Juan of the Dead has a couple of things going for it. For starters, it features a goofy, rag tag group of people you wouldn't expect, fending off the zombie apocalypse in their seaside Cuban town. Secondly, for such a low budget indie production, it effectively uses the country and its landscapes which is nothing short of amazing. The film does falter a bit towards the end and it has more than its fair share of similarities to that other zombie '....Of the Dead' comedy. But the flick is worth your time and for the most part, a heckuva lot of fun.

Meet Juan. He doesn't do much of anything other than trying to scour the bottom of the ocean for lost treasures, lounging around all day, and drinking. His partner in crime, Lazaro, is similarly minded and monumentally lazy as well. When they aren't scouring the bottom of the ocean, they're kicking back on the rooftop of their apartment building drinking rum or meeting up with a nearby lonely housewife who is in much need of some heavy dicking.

When they aren't generally doing nothing, they hang out with Juan's older son (who has dreams of moving to the States), their cross dressing buddy, and his boy toy, a tall, muscular guy whom he bosses around. Together, they look to get involved with their local community, cleaning up the streets, and making life generally better for all the townsfolk. But they'll have a lot more on their hands as *GASP* zombies have invaded their quaint little town. Egads!

Along with Juan's daughter, whom he recently reunited with, the group band together when the proverbial shit hits the fan. To combat the insurgent horde, they grab whatever silly weapons they have at their disposal: a boat oar, a harpoon gun, a slingshot, and burly man is so repulsed by blood, that he has to be blind folded and guided by his tranny man handler and he uses his brawn to destroy the enemy. And when they go to town, slogging through the mass of the undead, it's an all out gorefest as atrophied body parts go a flyin' and heads are split open.

Juan decides to be opportunistic and take advantage of their 'experience' and 'skills.' He begins to sell their services in attempt to make a few bucks. Heck, the police and government aren't doing anything. Might as well take advantage, right? This aspect of the film I wish was explored more, kind of like a version of Ghostbusters but for zombie extermination services. But the film shifts back to the relationship with him and Lazaro as they now face a tough decision to make.  It becomes entirely reminiscent of the aforementioned Shaun of the Dead and it's at this point where the film loses a bit of steam.

Regardless, if you are hankering for some zombie action and a decent amount of laughs, you could do a lot worse. There's enough here to like and it's a solid effort from filmmaker Alejandro Brugues. I'll be keeping tabs on what he does next.

Cortez the Killer

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Detention (2011)

Fear 0/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 1/5
Creepiness 0/5

Oh boy. I'm not sure where to start with this one. Let's start with the fact that this film seems to be polarizing the genre loving masses. They either love it or hate it. I'm definitely in the latter camp as this mile a minute pop culture reference marathon, while at first funny, wears out its welcome at around the half hour mark. Every single character in this film attempts to outwit the other or top someone else's cool, let's make the 90's what the 80's was five years ago, hipster remark. Somewhere sprinkled in all of this idiocy are horror elements and you constantly have to remind yourself that you're watching a genre flick and not a bunch of douchey teens trying to out-cool one another for an hour and 30 min. The plot? If you must know....

Someone is stalking and killing one-by-one a group of cool kids at a local high school in AnywhereTown, USA, population: full of douchebags. I couldn't tell you one asshole from the other as there is really no dynamic other than the fact that they all try to out-cool one another. Again, at first the film is funny, but it quickly wears out its welcome. Do kids nowadays REALLY talk like this all the time? More on that in a minute.

So in between doing stupid teenager shit and getting killed, the kids start to suspect that maybe the killer is someone close to them. And then in a completely 'where the fuck did that come from moment?' time travel is introduced and some weird, convoluted past is revealed and the surviving kids must race against time to save the universe. Or some shit. I really don't know. Maybe this movie wasn't for me and more for the ADD riddled generation. And maybe I just didn't 'get it.'

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some of my cohorts and followers on Twitter claim that the film is a work of genius and this falls in line with filmmaker Joseph Kahn's other work. Maybe I need to check it out, but on its own, Detention isn't fun or memorable in the slightest. And some of the over the top references made no sense whatsoever. I couldn't recite them for you because on top of being nonsensical they were just plain unmemorable.

Someone had fun making this and certainly some folks dig it. For me, it was painful and exhausting to get through. Subtlety would have worked wonders here but I don't think that was the filmmaker's intention. Overall, it didn't do anything for me. And god I really hope kids today aren't like this. Mr. Kahn has been quoted as saying that the film is half satire and plays to everyone's worst fear about kids today. Lets hope that that's the case.

So for those of you that have seen it, what say yous?

Cortez the Killer

Monday, August 20, 2012

And The Winner Is....

Stephen N., you have won your very own copy of The Bunny Game. Oh the postal deliveryman has no clue as to the vile piece of nasty he'll be cramming into your mailbox hole!

As chosen by the filmmaker himself, here is Stephen's entry:

'Without a doubt the most disturbing film I have ever seen is Killer Klowns From Outer Space. That movie has traumatized me forever!! I was a young, naive and care free child with no real fears to speak of. That all changed the day I watched KKFOS. I haven't looked at a clown the same way again. I thought they were all murderous aliens from that day forward. I wouldn't even go into the bathroom for awhile (if you have seen the film you know what I am talking about; ya know, those fucking clown tentacle things). It may seem like I am lying or joking or something but I am not. I am a grown man and I can tell you those motherfuckers are so real to me (even though I know they are fake) and if I even see someone in one of those KKFOS costumes you can bet I will curl up into a little ball and start sobbing like a baby! My heart is starting to race just thinking about those fuckers! To this day I won't even look at the damn cover of the movie I am that terrified. I won't even allow a copy in my house. And that is the ONLY thing that scares me now! In short, I would rather commit suicide than EVER see that film again. EVER!!!!!'

Crazy hardcore yo!  And here is the filmmaker's rationale behind his pick:

'Even though Killer Klowns From Outer Space is a comedy, I have to agree that there is something truly WRONG with those fucking clowns.  They are HIDEOUS looking.  Sadly, I know of others that were similarly damaged by the film and unrelated clown experiences in their childhood , so I can sympathize with Stephen, especially since he was at such a tender age for his screening.  I played a really mean trick on a co-worker once after hearing that she was deathly afraid of clowns [i didn't believe it], so I changed her desktop image on her work computer to this hideous painting of a clown I found online and watched in horror as she had a full-blown melt down with tears and everything after waking up the computer.  Feeling bad all these years about my trick, it's only fair the disc go to Stephen, who will now be afraid of prostitutes, truckers and truck stops!  Remember, Stephen, stay away from the far stall in the Men's bathroom at a Flying J, never do cocaine with strangers that casually lick between your fingers, and, at all costs, do not accept rides from truckers in big, black rigs.'

- Adam Rehmeier

So congrats Stephen and thanks everyone for playing!

Cortez the Killer

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

3 Kickstarter Campaigns Worthy Of Your Support And Dinero

I get quite a few requests from fledgling filmmakers on a monthly basis, asking me to post about their Kickstarter campaigns. Most of the projects themselves are awful and it would be a huge disservice to you, my respected readers, and myself if I promoted them in any way. Simply put, some people should not be making films. So when I say these 3 projects are worthy of your support and more importantly hard earned dinero, I mean it and put the reputation of this here humble blog on the line.

A pal of PoT and a voice in horror who I respect greatly, Brad McHargue (Mile High Cinema, BloodyDisgusting), has reignited efforts to fund his passion project Haunted. He's a truly talented guy with a respect for the genre and its fans. So I know that when he says he's going to make a genuinely unique and terrifying found footage film, it isn't just lip service.

But this isn't about him. It's about a project that I believe in and have contributed to myself. Enough of my blabbering, I'll let you hear more about the project straight from the horse's mouth below. And if you are obliged to do so, you can contribute to his efforts over yonder: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1083294054/haunted-a-unique-found-footage-horror-film


Next up, is the Kickstarter campaign for a unique revenge tale called Blue Ruin which will be helmed by Jeremy Saulnier, director of the indie horror gem Murder Party (go in the way back machine and check out the review here).

Here is a brief synopsis of the film:

It's about a beach bum, whose quiet life is upended by dreadful news. He sets off for his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance but proves an inept assassin and finds himself in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family.

The conceptual art and trailer has me sold. Check out the Kickstarter page aqui: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/958674053/blue-ruin?ref=live


Lastly, we have the page for one of the most kickass concepts I've ever come across. Part superhero film, part slasher, Villain centers around a psychotic serial killer who's stalking the 'real-life' superheroes of New York City. How fucking cool does that sound?

The film will be directed by James Felix McKinney, the great mind behind the Satanic panic, horror madness that is Satan Hates You (review here).

Kickstarter page: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1446663807/villain-a-feature-film-starring-the-super-sucklord

Friday, August 10, 2012

Rites of Spring (2011)

Fear 0/5
Gore 3/5
Entertainment 2/5
Creepiness 1/5

Rites of Spring is equally split down the middle: it's one part crime caper and one part slasher film. But it does neither particularly well. The only thing it did do well is that pretty cool retro cover art sitting to the left of these words. Oh, and genre vet (I'm pretty sure he can be considered a vet by now) AJ Bowen puts in another solid performance and really, his performance is the only good one.

The beginning of our film starts with some really puzzling words that are a part of the title card, telling about a series of abductions and how they all of a sudden one day stopped. At least that's what I think it was trying to say. Cut two girl friends headed out to their car after a night of drinking, they get inside, and a hooded man appears ominously behind it and well, you know what comes next.

Next up we have a newly unemployed and desperate man (Bowen) and his wife, talking through their plans for that day which includes abducting a well-to-do business man's daughter and holding her for ransom. While she reassures him that all will go as according to plan, he's obviously nervous and having second thoughts. But he decides to go through with it as the potential money that could be obtained is too great to pass up. Along with their psychotic partner, the three of them head out to the business man's mansion.

Cut back to our kidnapped ladies and we see them tied up in a barn as an old man babbles on about some sort of sacrifice and harvest or else 'he'll come.' This vague and obtuse language is rampant throughout our film and none of it makes sense any sense whatsoever.  He carves up one of the gals and lets the blood flow to a room below which holds a hideous looking man-beast captive.

Our two worlds converge when the wannabe criminals head out to the farm area and ask the rich man to meet them there with the ransom, or else.... The unscathed kidnapped woman finds her way out of the farmhouse and our man-beast ( who's now affectionately being known around the web-o-sphere as Worm Face) is in hot pursuit. Guess where the two end up? Right smack dab in the middle of the transaction that has now gone sour. Cat and mouse occurs from now until the end of the film, some decent kills occur, people die, and some make it out. The End.

Outside of some decent kills, a cool looking killer, and a solid performance by Mr. Bowen, there really isn't a whole lot here to get excited about. It's mostly boring, stock, and chock full o' lame and superficial dialogue. Steer clear.

Cortez the Killer

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Midnight Son (2011)

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

Midnight Son is a great take on the vampire film, full of real moments and instances where our story feels firmly rooted in reality. You won't find any brooding, filled with teen angst, and of the sparkling variety creatures of the night here. Instead, it focuses on the relationship of our two main characters and the plight of a very afflicted young man.

Jacob is a security guard by night because, well, that's really the only thing he can do since he suffers from a rare skin disorder that keeps him a prisoner in his own apartment. Every nook and cranny in his living space is covered to ensure that no light creeps in. He's a pretty simple fellow but you can tell from one look that he suffers a pain of being so incredibly cut off from the rest of the world. You get a sense that he yearns for a normal relationship outside of the one he has with the night janitor at his place of employment.

Enter Mary, a gorgeous young women whom he meets while walking back from his shift late at night. They instantly connect and Jacob comes to find out that she is just as broken as he is. Things soon become complicated for Jacob when he begins to experience serious hunger pains while at work and nothing can seem to satiate his appetite until he turns to raw meat. When milking the blood from the meat at a local grocery store and subsequently drinking it no longer does the trick, Jacob decides to take more drastic measures.

He strikes up a relationship with a nurse at a local hospital who dishes out that day's bloody discards instead of dumping them into the biohazard bin. However, our little arrangement quickly becomes compromised when the couple pints or so that he does get runs out quickly and our nurse stops the supply for fear of discovery. On top of that, we find out that our nurse moonlights as a petty criminal and has a mean streak to boot.

If that wasn't enough, Jacob's world begins to get even more complicated when a detective comes snooping around Jacob's work, asking him about a dead body that was found near it as well as a report of another person who's missing. While not completely accusatory at first, our detective becomes increasingly suspicious as he follows him and Jacob begins to believe he had something to do with both cases.

Our film comes to a bloody and harrowing end as all of our events and characters come to a head. I won't play the spoils here but things get a little out of control for all parties and the relationship of Jacob and Mary becomes physically threatened to the point where Jacob has to make some very painful choices.

Midnight Son isn't your garden variety vampire film. The producer called it 'a thinking man's horror film' and that is a very apt description. It's also refreshing to see something that doesn't appeal to a particular crowd or is stuck with adhering to the tropes of a particular sub genre (read: Victorian-era vamps). This is the best vampire film I've seen since Let The Right One In.

Midnight Son is currently available to rent via various VOD platforms including iTunes and Amazon.

Cortez the Killer

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Trailer Madness!

Well kids, there is a bit of a lull in our fair genre right now. Such is the case at just about this same time every year. But fear not! On top of some interesting looking theatrical releases that are coming out soon (The Possession, Sinister), we have this trio of indie films to look forward to, each one being unique in their own way.

I saw the trailer for this one last week, posted over at one of my favorite horror sites Brutal As Hell. I Am A Ghost tells the story from the perspective of a ghost trapped in the home in which she used to live in. The aesthetic hearkens back to the 70's and 80's haunted house flick and the concept itself sounds fantastic.

Synopsis: Taking place in a single Victorian house during an indeterminable time period, I Am A Ghost is a supernatural mystery that explores identity mixing experimental non-linear filmmaking with classic haunted house spookiness.

 Emily (Anna Ishida), a troubled spirit, haunts her own house every day, wondering why she can’t leave. With the help of Sylvia (Jeannie Barroga), a clairvoyant hired to rid the house of spirits, Emily is forced into a ‘patient/therapist’ relationship, uncovering disturbing mysteries about her past that may help her move on to ‘the next place.’

Website: http://www.iamaghost.com/


Somebody is killing old people in what looks to be an incredibly hilarious romp through an old folks home. The name says it all: Hotel Arthritis. Who is stalking these blue haired, only wanting to enjoy their twilight years, and some good ol' fashioned tapioca pudding seniors?

Website: http://www.hotelarthritis.com/


Richard is a real estate agent trying to get rid of a house that can't be moved. Why? Because it's haunted of course. Filled with supernatural goings ons, and what appears to be a few passing nods to films like Poltergeist and Insidious, The Selling looks like a solid slab of horror comedy. This would be a good double bill in fact with Hotel Arthritis. AND The Selling stars Barry Bostwick who was absolutely hilarious in the recently released horror comedy Some Guy Who Kills People.

Website: http://www.thesellingthemovie.com/dev/


Along with a VOD release of the much anticipated V/H/S and another Paranormal Activity film in October (yes, I'm still interested in this franchise, sue me), these promising indies look primed to bring 2012 to a close on a high note.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Giveaway Time!

It's been awhile since I've done one of these. And what better way then to kick start things by giving away a free copy of one of the most disturbing and controversial (it was banned in the UK) films I've ever seen: The Bunny Game. Recently released on BluRay and DVD, I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of the film from the distributor after already having pre-ordered it. So one of you lucky kiddos will get a chance to win my extra BluRay/DVD combo pack.

The catch? Leave a comment detailing the most disturbing film you've ever seen and how it affected you. The winner will be chosen by the filmmaker himself, Mr. Adam Rehmeier. Please leave your email address in the comment as well.

So get to commentin' kiddos. You have until Thursday, August 9th.

Original review: http://www.planetofterror.com/2011/01/bunny-game-2010.html

End of year film write-up: http://www.planetofterror.com/2011/12/top-10-best-horror-films-of-2011.html

[THE BUNNY GAME] [TRAILER] [2011] from Adam Rehmeier on Vimeo.