Category Archives: Guest Bloggers
We’ve already seen some clunkers at the theaters in 2016. From “London Has Fallen” to “Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice,” it’s basically been an onslaught of soulless action sequels designed to fill the gap between the winter awards season and the spring and summer blockbusters. But beginning in April we’ll really start to get into the coming year in film – and there are sure to be more disasters on the way.
Keeping that in mind, here are my predictions for the five worst movies still to come in 2016.
Alice Through The Looking Glass
It’s amazing how infrequently Through The Looking Glass is mentioned, given the fame of Alice In Wonderland. Lewis Carroll’s sequel was as quirky and wondrous as the original, and probably deserves a similarly high place in the literary canon. That said, it probably doesn’t really need a film sequel, does it?
2010’s “Alice In Wonderland” wasn’t actually bad, but it’s been another six years, and I’m just not sure the public is ready for more Tim Burton/Johnny Depp eccentricity (though Burton is only producing this time around). The trailer looks like a combination of “The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus” and a bunch of Disney ideas that were locked away in a vault (not a good combo), and the cast is a who’s who of actors who are strange for the sake of being strange: Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, Michael Sheen, Andrew Scott, Rhys Ifans, Stephen Fry…. They’re all very capable, but thrown together in a project like this they just sound annoying.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows
Where was I when we decided we needed a sequel to the blasphemous garbage that was Jonathan Liebesman’s 2014 “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles CGI Festival” (not the official title). The movie got 21% on Rotten Tomatoes and prompted one reviewer to make the claim that it made Transformers movies look subtle. But hey, it made almost $500 million, so full speed ahead.
I don’t feel I have to get into this one too much, so here goes. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be horrible.
Now You See Me 2
“Now You See Me” wasn’t an awful movie… it just wasn’t very clever. Billed as a sort of “Ocean’s 11”-but-with-magic, it was expected to be a mind-blowing heist thriller complete with intelligent twists and intricate plot puzzles. Instead, it was kind of just a heist movie that used only partially explained magic tricks as explanations for thievery. There was something there, but whether via poor direction, uninventive writing, or perhaps even shoddy editing, it didn’t quite come to the surface.
Maybe round two will be better. The cast, at least, has been loaded up for a major summer blockbuster. Returners Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, and Mark Ruffalo are all bigger deals now than they were when the first film came out; established pros Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, and Woody Harrelson are all back; and this time around we’ll also be treated to appearances by Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan. The ingredients are there. But frankly, the first movie didn’t inspire much confidence, and given that sequels are usually dumber and less inventive (see: “Ocean’s 12”), it feels more likely that this movie doubles down on the shortcomings of its predecessor.
Independence Day: Resurgence
It might be about time for an alien invasion movie. This particular sort of fiction is always popular, but it’s actually been a while since a big budget movie tackled invasion. Aliens in general have remained popular subjects for entertainment of late. There was actually a little-known 2015 movie about our history of alien fascination, called “Area 51,” and Gala’s bingo platform even played into the same history with the introduction of an “Area 75” video game. It’s one of several themed bingo games to embrace fiction or pop culture, and brings up topics and imagery related to Area 51 and UFO sightings.
But a big budget, Hollywood thrill ride about a large-scale alien invasion? It really has been a while. But does our next foray into this popular topic really have to be a shameless cash grab? This is a 20-years-later sequel that’s lacking its biggest star, and while the trailer looks intriguing, I have my doubts. Continuing Independence Day without Will Smith is like if “The Force Awakens” had been made without any of the old timers on board. Sure, it would have made limitless money anyway, but would it have been nearly as interesting? This has flop written all over it.
Oh, Hollywood…. We just can’t drop the sword-and-sandals epics, can we? There really hasn’t been a good one in years, let alone anything close to the impact we saw in films like “Gladiator,” “Troy,” and “300” earlier this century. However, at least the majority of failed sword-and-sandals movies simply fade away into obscurity, or drift to Netflix to be buried beneath better movies. This one might be different.
The 1959 “Ben-Hur” starring Charlton Heston has a certain iconic place in Hollywood history, and messing with it now just seems kind of careless. Not to mention it’s being remade with a relative unknown in Heston’s shoes (Jack Huston, who most recently starred in “Pride And Prejudice And Zombies”), and written by a guy who has a single film credit since penning 1994’s “In Search Of Dr. Seuss.” This really feels like a half-assed effort trying to capitalize on a famous name.
Predicting the worst films of any summer is always a difficult exercise, because there are always a few clunkers nobody sees coming. Furthermore, it’s always possible that something that looks truly awful winds up exceeding expectations! But specifically where sequels and remakes are concerned – and really, those categories make up most of the summer blockbuster season these days – these five look like pretty safe bets to elicit groans from critics.
James Morey is a freelance writer and blog contributor.
Written and directed by Greg Francis, Poker Night promises to mix the detective and horror genres in a whole new way with a large cast of recognizable names including Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, and Beau Mirchoff. Francis’s other work is dedicated to the detective and horror genres in various tangential projects, but we’ve seemingly got a lot to expect from his newest venture into a hybrid of the two.
We’re all familiar with poker scenes in movies. In the good ol’ Wild West, they indefinitely ended in guns blazing and death faces with the iconic tongue-out-of-the-mouth, ultra-cheesy look. But how do you handle a poker game in which the stakes turn out to be life and death? In the case of Poker Night, the protagonist is caught up in a life-or-death situation while matching wits with a sadistic killer who’s bent on ruining the protagonist’s new occupation to settle an old score with one of the protagonist’s colleagues.
In the film, leading man Beau Mirchoff as Stan Jeter has just signed on with Indiana’s Warsaw Police. As a rite of passage into the role, Jeter joins a poker game with the highest-ranking cops around and hears about the ups and downs of their careers.
Once the game is over, things do not go well for Jeter. He gets abducted by a psychopath, who locks Jeter in a basement. Escaping proves not to be his first priority, though. It turns out that he finds his girlfriend Amy there. Using the tips he received from poker night, Jeter finds himself tasked with not only saving himself but saving Amy and taking in—or taking out—the serial killer in one fell swoop. Hard first day on the job!
Poker is a popular catalyst in films that follow the trend of a life-or-death gamble. Perhaps we can attribute this trope to the woes of gambling addiction and those Wild West killing sprees linked to the extreme stakes placed on any given game.
However, poker is hardly the only gambling-related game that stars in the movies, and bets come in all sizes. 21 featured counting cards in blackjack, The Gambler (based on a Dostoevsky novel) is really just about a guy who gambles in all games possible, and Vegas Vacation is loaded with more fallout from bets and vested interest.
Poker Night has an interesting take on those topics, in its weaving knowledge and understanding on a darker level into the inner workings of the game. It will be interesting to see if we can match card hands and physical moves by Mirchoff and the killer in the film. For example, will they play per the basics of Texas Hold’em? Or will they throw caution to the wind, so to speak, and take on something like Omaha?
It’s likely they’ll go the way of Texas Hold’em, if not only for its popularity but also for its action. Betfair’s poker site highlights the latter quality by noting here that Hold’em is “one of the simplest, most action-packed and prestigious of all the poker variants.” It’s also described as being one of the “best poker experiences available,” which leads me to believe it could make for some great cinema. Either way, it should please both horror and poker fans alike.
There is no secure distribution for the film just yet, so don’t expect to see it on the silver screen just yet. Yet, there seems to be hope with names like Mirchoff, Perlman, and Esposito attached. To that end, you can be sure that even if the film hits as a B-crime flick, the movie will surely be worth your time.
This is a guest post by Ron Johnson, a freelance movie writer with a special place in his heart for old Westerns along with the work of Mel Brooks. As you can probably guess, Blazing Saddles is his favorite film of all time.
I’m reblogging this at the request of Wordsmith Dale who created this entirely nifty little infographic which I find totes cool. I mean, look at it guys – can you even imagine the time it must have taken to create this?? Plus I’m so not artistically talented (I only do mixed media and I would not call it good by any stretch of the imagination, lol) so I am uber impressed with this.
Wordsmith Dale plies his trade as a comedy writer for the likes of That Mitchell and Webb Sound and Russell Howard’s Good News.
Different things scare different people. As a result, the horror genre has evolved into one of the most diverse and segmented genre of movies. But with so many sub-genre horror movies cranked out to appeal to particular tastes, it can be hard for the casual horror fan to keep up with the turnout. For this reason, some movies quietly fall off the radar.
Though it’s tough to call any movie “obscure” today with the Internet, here are a few that you may have missed.
Psychological Horror: Silent House
Both Silent House and La Casa Muda, the original Uruguayan film, went unnoticed by many a few short years ago, primarily due to critical bashing and a very limited release.
Though the film’s ending is arguably dissatisfying, the technical achievement of the film and the general eeriness created by it alone make the film worthy of a look—not to mention a solid performance by the protagonist, played by Elizabeth Olsen (the other Olsen girl).
An unnerving experience that doesn’t rely on gore or cheap thrills to create tension, Silent House is one of the better indie horror films out there.
Body Horror: Naked Blood
Naked Blood actually falls under the sub-sub-genre of Japanese body horror. And boy does it deliver. In fact, before all the new Japanese gore movies, Naked Blood was considered one of the most disturbing and goriest Japanese movies out there. Needless to say, it is not for the squeamish.
The premise is simple. A young scientist develops a chemical that turns pain into pleasure. When given to his victims, they can’t resist the urge to hurt themselves to feel the effects. The result is some pretty horrific self-inflicted mutilation scenes that just don’t want to end.
Not many people have seen Naked Blood for a reason. Watch at your own risk.
Bizarre Horror: House
Where to begin with House? The severed, flying legs? The hungry piano of death? Banana man?
Horror is notorious for bending the rules of reality, but House completely disregards them. Drawn from the mind of a child (no joke), this twisted foreign film is a surreal trip that, once started, is so bizarre it’s hard to look the other way.
So strange, in fact, it has transcended its madness, receiving critical praise and claiming its very own spot in the Criterion Collection.
B-Grade/Monster Horror: Mosquito
Before SyFy started cranking out Saturday Monster silliness week after week with the likes of Sharknado and Piranhaconda, there was the 1995 gem Mosquito.
Playing on everyone’s general distaste for nature’s most pestering winged insect, Mosquito tells the tale of what happens when one drinks the blood of a dead, crash-landed alien. If you guessed giant mutated mosquitos, you’d be correct.
Chalk full of stuff that’s so bad it’s almost good—like terrible dialogue and campy special effects—Mosquito is a cult classic you’ll definitely feel safe leaving the lights off for.
Stranded Horror: Frozen
Technically a sub-genre of psychological horror, stranded horror has been made popular with successful films like Alive and Open Water. But few know about the stranded horror film Frozen (not to be confused with the Disney movie of the same name).
Where are the characters stranded, you ask? A ski lift. While this situation is not intrinsically terrifying alone, Frozen does a decent job showing the breakdown of the characters’ psyches as they make life-or-death decisions to combat the unrelenting cold, perilous heights, and hungry animals.
Full of familiar faces you probably can’t attribute names to, Frozen is one of those films you might wander across while cycling through your On Demand library looking for something to watch. That’s not to say it isn’t worth a look.
AUTHOR: Adrian Rawlings; @adrianrawlings2
BIO: Adrian Rawlings is a TV and horror blogger. Look to him for the scoop on hit movies and TV shows, horror films, tech reviews, how-to guides, and more.
If there is one thing we do here in Australia, its animals that could straight up fucking kill
you. 15 out of the 10 deadliest snakes in the world are Australian and we’ve got two species
of killer spiders. Throw in killer crocs, octopus, jellyfish and even shells amongst others, and
coming here can be a little intimidating. Hell we even have giant birds and kangaroos that can
kick you to death.
But to be really honest, these animals are generally totally off the beaten track. With the
exception of kangaroos (which I see basically every day on my drive to work and I live in
Australia’s capital city) most people would be (un)lucky to see any of the above animals once
or twice in a lifetime. So day to day, there is little to fear about these things.
However, the most notable exception is frickin sharks. As a generalisation, Aussies love the
beach. And that is a shark’s domain, there is no outrunning a shark in the water. Shark attacks
are relatively common and I would say there are 3-5 fatal attacks a year here. Not to mention
quite a few more finger and leg chompings. Little reason then that sharks are the animals
most feared by Australians.
Also little reason then that The Reef scared the living shit out of me. A tale of 4 friends
who find themselves alone way out to sea after the yacht they are on sinks. Alone that is,
besides all the bloody sharks (or at least one really pesky one). This is not your over the top,
Sharkasaurus type film. This is raw, real and visceral. The masterstroke of the film is that
it utilises almost exclusively real shark footage and then edits it seamlessly into the action.
Thinking about it a little more, the editing of the film really is spectacularly good. Editing
is one of those facets of film that whilst I realise its importance, I don’t generally notice or
comment on that much. Here though, it really makes the film.
The film looks pretty incredible, with plenty of really crisp looking ocean shots. All of these
perfectly convey the utter vastness of the ocean, just how frightening and isolating a place it
can be. And whilst aspects of the set-up are a little pulpy with an almost TV feel to them, the
action picks up in a second half that is really quite harrowing. It is almost as if you are living
the entire ordeal with these people. I’ve seen the film twice now and both times I was pretty
effected by it and it gave me pause for thought the next time I dipped a toe in the water of one
of our pristine beaches.
I highly recommend this film. This is legit thriller territory, not B movie madness (if you’re
more keen on the latter, check out the 2012 Aussie flick Bait 3D). The story is simple, yet
brutal. And it finishes off with a really well crafted, not to mention pretty brutal, conclusion.
Take a look if you can get your hands on it.
(Editor’s Note: Just the trailer gives me the heebie-jeebies to the point I don’t think I’d make it through this!)
Thanks again to Tim of Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie for the excellent guest review. Be sure to check out his site because he constantly has sweet things going on!
First off, Happy New Year’s, y’all!! My hiatus is pretty much over and I’ve almost recovered from the Alabama Death Plague so yay! Hope you all had a fabulous NYE – 2013 is going to be majorly kickawesome!! And to start it off, we have a fabulous guest review by Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie. Don’t know if you all have checked out Tim’s site yet but seriously look at that name. That’s like my freaking tagline right there. I’m kinda jealous I didn’t think of that first actually. ;) Anyway, Tim has all sorts of cool action happening on his site so swing by and check him out! And thank you, Tim, for taking on Bigfoot!!
Billed as starring “70s cultural icons” Danny Bonaduce and Barry Williams, two dudes I wouldn’t recognise, Bigfoot is a slice of B-movie heaven that veers from the inspired to woeful.
The film opens with a prologue that is probably its coolest moment. An awesome food chain inspired sequence that sees a frog eat an insect, a fish eat that frog, a bear eat that fish, a man shoot that bear, then finally the bigfoot eat the man. As the film gets going, I recognise one of the aforementioned icons (I think Williams) to be obviously a former star of The Brady Bunch (here he comes complete with a harem of young environmentalist women). The story, not that is important, takes place in Deadwood, South Dakota as preparations for a throwback 80s music festival see trees being chopped down to make way for the stage, leading to one exceptionally pissed off Bigfoot who starts throwing down. Clashing over the environmental aspects of this tale are two former bandmates, one now a greenie, the other the organiser of the festival (and terrible radio jockey). This story goes on and on, so much so that you will be chanting “We want more Bigfoot” like I was before too long. Thankfully the filmmakers oblige with a bigfoot laden last half hour.
What is important of course is the frickin Bigfoot. Initially I was quite impressed with the special effects that show this huge beast. But then I opened my eyes a little and realised that they are rather atrocious. They seem to get increasingly bad as the film wears on. Like the filmmakers blew their budget on the first couple. Some of the ones toward the end of the film are actually clearly unfinished effects shots. Whilst the rest of them, except for the first couple, look like Playstation 1 level computer graphics copy and pasted onto your screen.
Depending on your point of view Bigfoot is either so bad it’s good, or just so bad. I tend to think it is the former. It sort of has to be watched for the simple awesomeness of its murderous Bigfoot. Not to mention its hippy ex-Brady Buncher vs failed 80s rock star capitalist storyline. Throw in a legitimately nonsensical script and some comically bad, in the best B movie kind of the way, acting and you have some B monster fantasticness.
OMG, I just totally fell in love with that trailer…Thanks again to Tim from Not Now I’m Drinking a Beer and Watching a Movie!
Today is a guest First Five from E over at theipc! Thank you so much for contributing!!!
There’s not much that bothers me more than not completing something, be it a book or a magazine or a job or a bar of soap. But it really bothers me when I can’t finish a two hour movie for the love of Pete. I have really been enjoying watching these old 70s Italian horrors and this is what NetFlix advised I order based on my previous choices. Being stupid like I can be sometimes, I didn’t read anything about it and fired it up and my god this was the most boring and irritating thing I have seen in years.
Far from being a horror movie (this is some sort of political thing) this also came to me with subtitles. It never bothers me to “read” a movie but it can get difficult when there’s too much talking and that’s what this was. This was nothing but a bunch of people talking and talking asfastasfucking possible – in Italian – and waving their hands above their heads. And screaming. Well, it seemed like they were screaming. If you take any sort of old stereotype about an Italian man he always seems to be screaming and waving his hands in the air. And that’s what these guys were doing – the entire time.
Not only could I not keep up with the reading, so I had no idea what the fuck was going on, they were loud and it was just irritating and finally at about 30 minutes I had to call it quits. I hated that I had to quit because I really like the lead in this, Franco Nero, but this was too much. My friend Mary took it off of my hands and politely pointed out that there is a dubbed version on the disc but I was too far gone to try it again (she said it was kind of good). Anyway, I quit this stupid movie and, for posterity, I sent it over to my other good friend Misty for all of our sakes.
Today is a guest post by the always lovely Tyson over at Head in a Vice. If you haven’t already, I highly suggest you head over and check out his site as he always does fabulous work AND has a couple of really sweet projects running (such as Desert Island Films and IMDB Top 250 Films Reviewed). Thanks again for this Tyson!! YOU ROCK!!!
Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal is a Canadian-Danish co-production about an artist called Lars (Thure Lindhardt), who takes up teaching art in a small Canadian town. On his way to his new job, driving through the Canadian back roads Lars drives into a deer in the middle of the road (bloody jaywalkers!). Though the animal manages to survive the accident, it remains unable to move and Lars humanely decides to put it out of its misery. He finds himself a rock and proceeds to try and smash its head in.
In doing this, it’s almost as if something inside of him stirs, and he realises that this brutality is giving him inspiration. It appears as though violence stimulates Lars’ brush, which is an important fact especially considering that the man hasn’t made any new work in years, much to his art dealer Ronny’s (Stephen McHattie) dismay.
Once he gets to his job, he finds that one of his pupils is Eddie (Dylan Smith), who never speaks and appears to have learning difficulties. Lars ends up looking after Eddie and lets him stay at his house, as it turns out that the school is legally bound to look after him due to his Aunt funding the academy. Over time Lars discovers Eddies secret – that when he sleepwalks he eats things, namely animals and people. Although disgusted at first, Lars realises he can harness this and uses Eddie to continue to give him the inspiration for his painting. There were no real twists in the story from this point on, and it ends in a predictable fashion.
The film has a nice pace to it, and director Boris Rodriguez manages to mix together a decent blend of horror and satire but also never overplays the genre elements. Acting wise, although this is a very low-budget film, the majority give good performances. Lars is a likeable enough character that is really the ‘bad guy’ in the film, he just happens to find artistic inspiration so elusive that he’ll take it where he can get it, and that to him the ends justify the means. Eddie is just doing all that he knows really, and is used by Lars. Dylan Smith really is the stand out performer, although he never speaks he manages to be a likeable character that I felt sorry for, and he has some great subtle mannerisms, despite what he was capable of doing in his sleep! The love interest for Lars comes in the form of fellow teacher Leslie (Georgina Reilly), and again she plays her role well.
It is a weird, darkly comic tale that I saw marketed as a film in the same mould as Shaun of the Dead. Sadly, whilst Shaun was a brilliant film, combining humour, zombies and violence perfectly, Eddie never gets near the same heights. Whilst it doesn’t shy away from a little blood and violence, to animals and humans, the humour was never really present. I’ve read reviews which describe this as ‘terrifically funny‘ and ‘the best horror-comedy in years‘. Part of me wonders if they were indeed reviewed by someone involved with the making of the film, as with all due respect this is not a film which should be getting 10/10 ratings like it has at a couple of places. Either that or I’m just being cynical, and it’s just me that doesn’t ‘get‘ it.
In conclusion, sometimes a movie title shows us exactly what we are getting, and no film can do that more than Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal. It’s a film about a cannibal named Eddie, who eats living things when he sleepwalks. If that doesn’t sound like something you want to see then there is nothing I (or anyone way more important than me!) can say about it that will change your mind. As the saying goes, ‘it does exactly what it says on the tin‘, and in fairness it’s really not a bad film and a refreshing change from anything else I’ve seen for a while. It knows it’s a low-budget B-movie, and it never strays far away from this path. I guess if it had a more serious tone and offered up a bit more blood and gore, or alternatively ramped up the comedy I would recommend it a lot more. As it is, Eddie is a harmless little film that whilst I wouldn’t recommend you go out of your way to catch, if you see it cheap or on TV then it may give you a chuckle or two.