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A Couple Horror Films You May Have Missed

Posted in Doctor's orders with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2011 by Doctor Gash

Okay gorehounds, I see a LOT of horror info while on the job for Dread Central and it has occurred to me that the best horror you’re going to get these days is nowhere near your local mega-plex. Horror, at its finest, is dirty, uncomfortable and unpredictable. Those are three things Hollywood  traditionally tries to distance itself from. That’s why the best horror sometimes takes a little effort to find. But, oh boy, is it worth it!

Let’s be honest, nine times out of 10 you KNOW the horror movie you just saw 15 commercials for on prime time television is going to suck. Whether it be a remake or one of an endless series of sequels, if it’s getting big publicity, it’s probably going to be watered down and lame. Sure, you get the occasional exception to the rule, but that’s what they are, exceptions. Since I get a chance to check out a bunch of indie stuff, I just wanted to bounce a couple off you that you may have missed.

First, I can’t say enough about Stake Land, a great vampire apocalypse film that almost feels like a dramatic version of Zombieland. For horror-comedy, I’ve never seen it done better than in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil. Easily one of the funniest horror films, ever. Extra helpings of laughs and gore. Excellent offering!

Released on the same day, but unfortunately overshadowed by the infinitely disappointing Cowboys vs. Aliens was another alien encounter film entitled Attack the Block. Excellent! And going back a bit earlier this year, Troll Hunter and Hobo With A Shotgun were beautifully creative and unique flicks.

And we can go on and on…from incredibly controversial A Serbian Film to the over the top outrageousness of The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), horror is on a roll. Don’t ever listen to anyone who says all the genre has are remakes and sequels…those people just don’t know where to look. With OnDemand and ever growing streaming video services, it’s easier than ever to find those hidden horror gems. Take a look. Tell ’em Doctor Gash sent ya!

 

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From the archives…”Botched”

Posted in From the archives... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2011 by Doctor Gash

Botched (Released Oct. ’07 NYC Horror Film Fest/May 13, ’08 DVD) 7.5 of 10 on the Gash-O-Meter
aka: Botched: Voll Verkackt!
Director: Kit Ryan
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Jaime Murray, Sean Pertwee
Running Time: 91 minutes Rated: Not Rated
Country: Ireland

The winner of Best Feature Film and Best Actor at the 2007 New York City Horror Film Festival, Botched leans more toward comedy than horror, this film relies on loads of gore to attain a horror tag. Very funny, quirky humor is punctuated by plenty of bloody good fun. The ridiculousness of the story and characters (especially the antagonists) just adds into the entertaining “over-the-topness” of the film. It won’t keep you awake at night, but definitely worth it for the laughs and gore!

From the archives…”Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2″

Posted in From the archives... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2011 by Doctor Gash
Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2
(Released Oct. 27, 2000)  0 of 10 on the Gash-O-Meter
Director: Joe Berlinger
Starring: Kim Director, Jeffrey Donovan, Erica Leerhsen
Running Time: 90 minutes Rated: R
Budget: $15 million Gross: $47,737,094  One of the most disturbing films of recent memory. Not for anything the filmmakers attempted, just disturbing for the sheer lack of anything worth viewing. This is one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Not only does it waste an hour and a half of your life with a disastrous offering, but it sullies the name of the original, which is a real gem. The fact this nonsense is tied to it is unfortunate. This is nothing short of a huge money grab, capitalizing on the incredible original.. Not only is this film horrendous, but it does damage to that which came before. DO NOT WATCH!!! If you do, you’ll be pissed. Terrible.

From the archives…”Black Death”

Posted in From the archives... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2011 by Doctor Gash
Black Death (Released June 11, 2010) 7 of 10 on the Gash-O-Meter
Director: Christopher Smith
Starring: Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, Carice VanHouten, Kimberly Nixon, Tim McInnerny
Running Time: 97minutes Rated: Rated R
Country: United Kingdom/Germany
Gross: $242,764
If nothing else, Black Death succeeds in getting audiences interested with its cool minimalist title and movie poster. And director Chris Smith delivers a gritty film with enough story to keep the average viewer interested, and enough of the red, red kroovy to appease the gorehounds.
  The film is set in 1348 during the height of the bubonic plague and follows the path of Ulric (Sean Bean) and his band of Christian soldiers out to investigate a village mysteriously untouched by the disease. In addition to their strange immunity, rumors of a necromancer (a creature that can reanimate the dead) among them drives the soldiers to investigate. A lovesick monk joins their ranks as a guide, adding a level of emotion to this story of savagery.
  The first half of the film is the journey to the remote village, and although there are some thrills and incredible scenery along the way, the movie doesn’t really pick up until nearly halfway through when the band of warriors finally make their way to the dwelling. From here, things get much better, unfortunately, the film is half over.
  The mood inside the village gives a real Wicker Man vibe. You know something is off-kilter about the place, but you’re just not sure what it is. You’ll spend the first five minutes expecting Christopher Lee to come sauntering out of one of the huts. You instead get a guy who looks like a medieval version of Dobber Dobinski from the tv show “Coach” . His name is Hob (Tim McInnery) and he’s creepy as anything. But not wayward drifter or ugly witch creepy, he’s Stepford Wives creepy. And he’s just the first member of the village we get introduced to. Things get even more lively when we meet Langiva (Carice Van Houten) and things really begin to get interesting.It’s hard to classify Black Death as solely a horror film as there are so many other aspects to it. It’s definitely a medieval adventure picture and (in it’s own way) a love story. The grainy quality of the film gives it a very realistic feel and the special effects are impressive. It’s almost like a live-action Beowulf. There are some bloody fight scenes but one problem I have with the film is it feels like a big movie squeezed into a little one. It feels like a 300 type film, but there are only about five characters in it and they spend a lot of time walking through the woods.
  Black Death takes awhile to get rolling, but once you get there, it’s a decent ride. Horror fans will get their kicks with some decent effects, although they could have done less cutting-away with the camera during pay off shots. The fact that something supernatural is going on here does help to qualify this as a horror film, but it’s not going to scare you at all. The film tells a good story, gives you some F/X thrills and has a bit of a surprise ending. You could do a lot worse with your movie-going dollar.

From the archives…”Bug”

Posted in From the archives... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2011 by Doctor Gash

Bug (Released May 19, 2006) 7.5 of 10 on the Gash-O-Meter
Director: William Friedkin
Starring: Ashley Judd, Michael Shannon, Harry Connick Jr.
Running Time: 102 minutes Rated: R
Budget: $4,000,000 Gross: $8,047,800

A psychological thriller helmed by the director of The Exorcist that is nearly completely staged in a tiny motel efficiency. Michael Shannon is excellent and Ashley Judd follows in step as he leads her into his paranoia. Few, but effective special F/X enhance the experience. Harry Connick, Jr also gives a great performance in the surprising role of the abusive ex-boyfriend. A well-made, underrated film that gives viewers a little something different. Nicely done.

From the archives…”Bubba Ho-Tep”

Posted in From the archives... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2011 by Doctor Gash

Bubba Ho-Tep (Released June 9, 2002) 4.5 of 10 on the Gash-O-Meter
Director: Don Coscarelli
Starring: Bruce Campbell, Ossie Davis, Ella Joyce, Bob Ivy
Running Time: 92 minutes, Rated: R
Budget: $1 million  Gross: $1,239,183

I wanted to love it. Almost felt like I was obligated to love it. I didn’t love it. Not sure this film belongs on a horror movie list, but the pedigrees of director Don Coscarelli and star Bruce Campbell solidified it. The concept of the film is funny, but it gets old very quickly. Campbell and Ossie Davis are an entertaining duo, but there’s just not enough going on here to keep the audience’s interest. Odd, but solid idea on paper, but loses something in the delivery.

From the archives…”Bride of Chucky”

Posted in From the archives... with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2011 by Doctor Gash

Bride of Chucky (Released October 16, 1998) 6 of 10 on the Gash-O-Meter
Director: Ronnie Yu
Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Katherine Heigl, Alexis Arquette, John Ritter, Kathy Najimy
Running Time: 89 minutes Rated: R
Budget: $25,000,000 Gross: $50,692,188

Scares go out the window as Chucky series shifts toward comedy. Unintentionally star-studded cast features a young Katherine Heigl as well as John Ritter, Kathy Najimy and Jennifer Tilly (and we’d be remiss did we not mention the one and only Alexis Arquette). The dolls look great and the film is humorous, but there is nothing here to be scared of. Gore is cartoony and, aside from Ritter’s unfortunate corpse, nothing to be noted. Entertaining horror/comedy. Notable ‘run over by tractor’ scene.