Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Race War: The Remake

Race War: The Remake - 2012 - USA - Comedy/Horror

Race War isn't for everyone.  It's not for the easily
offended.  It's not for in impatient.  Its not for horror movie purists and it's certainly not for those who don't enjoy micro budget movies.  It's a film that must have been made on only a couple of hundred bucks and a cheap camcorder with a crew that has poor understanding of camerawork and lighting.  The acting is horrid, there's plenty of bad jokes and the it feels entirely too long.  All this being said, Race War is definitely not without its merits.

I'd try to summarize the plot but I don't even know that I understood it, so I'll give it my best try.  Two black dudes named Baking Soda and G.E.D. (yikes) drink a couple gallons of PCP and join up with their friend Creature, who is essentially just a guy in a Creature From The Black Lagoon mask who is so annoying he gives Jar Jar Binks a run for his money.  I can't exactly explain what led to the chain of events that followed, but eventually these dudes wage war zombies, robots, and all other races.  No one is safe in this movie.  Every race, from blacks, whites, Asians, Jews and Arabs, are portrayed as a culturally insensitive stereotype.  Every race is equally shat upon, rather hilariously might I add.

One of my favorite things about Race War is that it's completely batshit.  It's loaded with nice gory kills, poop and dick jokes, drug use, bad special FX, tits, video game homages, you name it.  It takes a little while for the film to really get weird, but if you can put up with the lousy jokes and slow pace in the first half or so it really begins to pay off.  This film is essentially a comedy above all else, there's more jokes than there are horror or action aspects, which both helps and hurts the film.  Over half of the jokes are so stupid and drawn out its hard to watch, but there's enough gut busting absurd gimmicks to even it out.

Racewar was fun.  It's flawed, it wasn't as fantastic as the trailer made it look, and it could have been cut down to a shorter runtime, but I enjoyed myself, and when watching a z-grade micro budget horror comedy, that's all you can really ask for, right?

Blood n' Guts - 7/10 
Jokes - 6.5/10 
Acting - 2/10  
Plot - Is there one? you decide 
OVERALL -6.5/10

The Arab character.  A moose puppet bartender.  I dont get it.

Baking Soda chillin' with a bucket of PCP
G.E.D. and creature producing a fat sack.

Post jaw punch.
Baking soda ripping off a zombie face
"The White Devil"

Monday, January 6, 2014


Ozone - 1994 - USA - Horror/Splatter

Dir: J.R. Bookwalter

Ozone, a new sinister synthetic drug, is sweeping the streets, turning users into crazed, deformed mutants that aim to spread the drug as much as they can to build their army!  Eddie Boon, a local cop, is on the search for his partner who was abducted by the mutants.  He gets Injected with the drug in the process and begins tripping balls, seeing strange, gross things happening to him and those around him, leaving him questioning what to take for reality and whats just a result his sinister drug addled brains!

Ozone is shot on video film from J. R. Bookwalter, of Dead Next Door fame, which is widely considered the most expensive Super 8 zombie flick ever made.  J. R. has over 13 directorial credits under his belt, Ozone being the 8th.  The talent and experience with micro budget film making is noticeable right away.  The first minute or so includes an exploding head, off to a great start!

Like most no-budget films, Ozone has no shortage of cheese.  Bad acting, a few corny effects, including occasional use of CGI, but its so old school and dated looking I wasn't annoyed in the least, good for a chuckle.  Ozone, despite being drenched in blood and violence, certainly doesn't take itself too seriously, which can be a fatal flaw of modern no-budget gore flicks.  There are a good deal goofy, exaggerated characters, particularly the gruesome creature that created the Ozone drug, who is pictured below.

Ozone relies just as heavily on weird, gooey gross out practical effects just as much as it does gore.  There isn't an enormous amount of decapitations and exploding heads and such featured in this film, but what is on display looks pretty great.

Ozone is a prime example of what can be done with a minuscule budget and a lot of heart and talent.  Its loads of fun and I would recommend checking it out!

Plot - 7.5/10
Blood n' Guts - 7/10
Gooey FX - 8/10
Acting - 5/10
Pacing - 7/10
OVERALL - 7.8/10  

These drugs are too heavy, man!
Ka-blam!  Exploding head!
Drug fueled maniacs on the loose.
Eddie Boone is having a baaaad trip!
 Gooey FX.
 The boss, creator of Ozone

Friday, January 3, 2014


555 - 1988 - USA - Slasher

Dir: Wally Koz

Shout out to Massacre Video for really giving this film a proper DVD release.  Everything about it, from the case to the picture quality, feels authentic, like an old VHS  that you found in the back your local video store.

555 is about an insane hippie serial killer that attacks cities by murdering young couples every 5 years.  Detectives Haller and Sergeant Connor are assigned to the case, and are determined to gain leads any way they can to prevent the killer from further racking up the body count.  These two foul mouthed cops  seem grumpy and unhappy all the time, and do what they can to keep a nosey, manipulative female reporter from cracking the case before they do.  The film ends up playing out somewhat like a murder mystery, with a little more emphasis on the murder part.

555 can drag a little. It's more dialogue driven than action and the pacing can suffer at times, and  nearly a 3rd of the movie takes place in a office with the cops discussing their next moves of action.  The film plays out in a slightly repetitive nature, for a large part of the movie people are brutally murdered and violated, then the detectives spend time trying to find new leads, and the process repeats.

555's sleaziness, as well as it's look and feel, are its saving grace.  There's no shortage of blood and boobs, and the plenty of aspects that give it an authentic 80's VHS feel, its a great buy just for nostalgic purposes alone.  The gore, although there isn't a huge amount of it, all looks pretty great.  The FX artist is Jeffery Lyle Segal, who did the FX for films like Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, and assisted makeup in Reanimator.

Overall I'd say despite its pacing flaws, this is a fun flick and is worth a watch.  If you're a fan of 80's shot on video slashers and you can find a copy, grab it while you can as it is out of print (and I grabbed the last copy available on Diabolik DVD).

Action - 4/10
Plot - 7/10
Blood n' Guts - 7/10
FX - 8/10
Acting - 6.5/10
DVD Release - 9/10
OVERALL - 7/10

The detective interrogates a suspect
 Butchered in bed!
 Cops and the reporter discuss option outside a crime scene.
 The killer sharpens his crazy blade.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Flesh Freaks

Flesh Freaks - 2000 - Canada - Zombie

Dir: Conall Pendergast

Flesh Freaks is another Sub Rosa Studios film.  It sports the typical Sub Rosa Releasing traits, the most common being nearly non existent production value.  This is what I consider a Z-Grade film.  Made on a budget of maybe just over $1000,  and amateur as all hell.  The camerawork is shoddy and shaky, often times shots are blurry, the lighting is all practical (meaning they didn't bother setting up lights), the sound varies in volume, some scenes are blown out and others are hard to hear.  Flesh Freaks is what you would expect from a bad student film.  Lousy editing and "acting" (if you could call it that).  Despite all these flaws, I happen to be someone who is very tolerant of these kind of movies, in fact I seek them out. I'm always hoping to find that Z-grade diamond in the dust.  Occasionally I do, Flesh Freaks, however, was not one of them.

This one gets off to a painfully slow start.  The plot focuses on a college student who returns from an archeology trip to Central America, bearing with him a deadly parasite that turns humans into flesh eating zombies, and spreads at a rapid pace.  This film takes ENTIRELY too long setting up the back story.  The first 50 minutes or so feel like they exist for the sole purpose of filling in the 79 minute time slot.  The first half of the film is chock full of boring conversations explaining the students trip to his friend, and pointless flashback shots of the jungle.

The jungle scenes are definitely not shot in Canada, although most of them look like they were taken straight from a tourist's camcorder.  Overly long shots of an Iguana eating fruit, tropical birds and palm trees, some with voice over and some without.  Just a very dull, sleep inducing watching experience.  I think the director of this film probably blew the majority of his budget on a trip to wherever he shot all this mind numbingly stupid footage.  Just when I was about to give up and turn this monotonous shit off, the film gets somewhat back on track, as zombies begins rising from the dead and attacking students in the college campus. 

The first almost cool kill scene happens in the college when a zombified science professor gets mutilated with a god damn plastic desk fan...Jesus Christ.  Unfortunately there wasn't any real gore to speak of, just shots of blood splattering on the walls and and running down the zombies' white lab coat.  A small crew of students in the college eventually meet up and fight off the zombies.  (pay no attention to the fact that the college is completely empty except for them and a couple of zombies.)

I was really hoping that this would finally be the films redeeming moments.  Maybe some good kills and gore?  That wasn't what I got.  Despite there being a couple of decent looking impalement's and such, most of the kills are total cop-outs. Very few feature anything but badly edited stabs, often the screen will even flash bright red during the moment of impact, then there will be some shots of blood spraying on the walls.  Booooring.  Perhaps the best thing about the kills was the objects used to dispose of the zombies.  I think the director literally went around the college campus, picked up random objects and said "What about this?  You could kill someone with this, right?"

 Flesh Freaks is a prime example of what you get when a couple of students get together with no money, no knowledge of film making and storytelling, and probably little familiarity of the zombie genre.  A real stinker.  Avoid it.

Boredom - 8/10
Blood n' Guts - 4/10
Action - 3.5/10
Camerawork/Lighting - 2/10
Acting - 2/10
Plot - 1/10
OVERALL - 2.5/10

A minute long shot of an Iguana eating fruit.........
 The well in the jungle from which the parasites came
 Decapitation with a desk fan.  I wasn't lying.
 A decent impalement.
 A zombie about to get faced with a broom handle.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Samurai Cop

Samurai Cop - 1989 - USA - Action/Exploitation

Dir: Amir Shervan

Samurai Cop is bad. The production value, acting, music, choreography, even the art direction, are all deplorable.  But if you're like me and you get a kick out of terrible movies, Samurai Cop is great fun.

This film costars Robert Z'Dar, the man with the invincible chin.  You may know him from his role in Maniac Cop and his small part as a convict in the buddy cop flick Tango & Cash.  If you have seen him before, you will recognize him.  The chin is unmistakable, and unstoppable.

Samurai Cop dumps you right into the action from the get go. Robert Z'dar, who plays a mob boss big shot for a Japanese gang named Katana, starts doing some wheeling and dealing with some other Asian gangs, which almost immediately results in some sort of small scale gang war.  To be honest its so poorly scripted its nearly impossible to tell whats going on at first, or who's fighting/shooting at who. Suddenly, Samurai Cop and his trusty sidekick intercept one of the gangs' drug deals, and a lengthy chase ensues.  This film has plenty of bizarre transitions such as this one, most likely attributed to it's broken script.

The plot revolves a man named Joe Marshall, a cop trained in Japan for martial arts, who is hired by the local police department to fix the city's gang problem. Joe Marshall, the Samurai Cop, has a giant, flowing mop of overly groomed black hair, and somehow seems to charm the pants off of every girl that appears on the screen, even ones associated with the gang he is assigned to get rid of.  His acting is so shitty its mind boggling, but all these attributes boost the characters' absurdity and bring about some good hearty laughs.

Samurai Cop's charm lies almost entirely in it's shittyness.  It's not tongue and cheek in the least.  There were a few times when film goes for a joke, but the real hilarity ensues within it's sincerity at actually attempting to be a serious film. 

The script in and of itself is a source of chuckles.  Some of the lines exchanged between characters are jaw droppingly insane.  Several times throughout the film I laughed out loud and thought "did they really just say that?".  There's plenty of one liners, but they are so bad they can barely be acknowledged.

Here's some more aspects of the film that attribute to its legendarily crappy reputation. The god awful 80's synth score. It's positively delightful.  The fight choreography, something that this film has a heavy dose of, is pretty pathetic as well.  There's no shortage of laughably bad fight scenes, and one particularly hilarious scene of a guy falling down a set of stairs as carefully as he possibly can.  Its clear that a few of the Asian gentlemen have a little bit of real life martial arts training, but the Samurai Cop himself seems to have little to none.

Many films of this caliber suffer from issues with pacing, but Samurai Cop never seems to slow down.  Its action packed from start to finish, and the laughs never stop. Watch it with a friend, crack open a few cold ones and let the laughs begin.
Certified Gem.

Action - 8.5/10
Choreography - 2/10
Blood n' Guts - 2/10
Laughs - 8/10
Acting - 1/10
OVERALL - 8/10

 Joe Marshall: Samurai Cop

 A baddie gets decapitated!

 Robert Z'Dar.  For the record that's %10 beard and %90 chin.
 How am I supposed to take this scene seriously with that in the background?

 A showdown between Samurai cop and this dude.
 Samurai Cop, WTF are you wearing?
The almighty chin wields a katana.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Isle of the Damned

Isle of the Damned - 2008 - USA - Cannibal/Comedy/Parody

Dir: Mark Colegrove

The first time I attempted to watch Isle of the Damned it was with a few friends.  All of us decided to shut it off and watch something else within the first 60 seconds.  No, it wasn't because we saw something that shocked us, it was because as soon as the film starts, it reeks of trying too hard. Today I decided to give it another chance, but its still clear that this one is in desperate need of a tad bit more subtlety.

The plot revolves around a crew of idiot morons that decide to sail to an infamous island to seek out a treasure.  Their plan is quickly thwarted as they find the island is inhabited with savage cannibals. What follows is quite dull and unoriginal.

This movie claims to be a lost European video nasty from 1980, but unfortunately it doesn't take long for anyone to notice that its clearly an American film that was made in the past 10 years.  The "aged film" filters aren't convincing as the colors are still too vibrant and the picture quality is crystal clear.  The film is dubbed throughout, and the voice acting is horrifically overwrought. Clearly they were going for comic relief, but it doesn't come off as funny, just annoying.  The protagonist, named Jack Steele, sports a shitty blonde wig and a fake looking 70's handlebar mustache, and is dubbed with a blaxploitation type voice, (which I've seen pulled off well in other real European films) and the other characters are mostly dubbed with intentionally high pitched, child like, irritating voices.

Isle of the Damned is a lackluster attempt at both a comedy and a parody, and I'd say is on par with one of the later Scary Movie series or a bad Wayans Brothers film.  I chuckled maybe twice throughout the whole movie.

There are plenty of attempts at shock scenes.  Fetuses are ripped out and eaten, people and castrated, and there is entirely too much rape, Unfortunately nearly all of them are poorly executed and failed to stir any sort of emotion out of me other than apathy.  The only kill scene that I got a kick out of  was when a giant paper mache snake ate a dude's face.

One thing Isle of the Damned taught me is "Don't judge a DVD by its cover."  This film, according to the cover, is "The 1980 cult classic . . . for the first time in North America", and "Banned in 492 Countries!". (which of course is far fetched, but appealing none-the-less)  The cover art is pretty great too, and is perhaps the only thing about the film that looks vintage and authentic.

Isle of the Damned is a lousy film.  It falls flat in all aspects, and fully failed to entertain me.  Avoid it at all costs, unless your a fan of shitty parody movies and the Scary Movie series.

Plot - 5/10
Blood n' Guts - 5/10
Laughs - 2/10
Shocks - 3/10
OVERALL - 3/10    

Investigator Jack Steele
 A crew of boring, uninspired characters.  Good thing they all die. (Spoiler? Meh, who cares.)
Native Cannibal.
 A redeeming kill scene.
Some gore/

Monday, December 16, 2013

Adam Chaplin

Adam Chaplin - 2011 - Italy - Horror/Splatter/Revenge

Dir: Emanuele De Santi

Adam Chaplin is a movie that had been on my list of things to watch for quite some time, but due the absence of a Region 1 or 0 DVD release I had been unable to until just recently.  I am certainly glad that I can finally watch it.  Written, directed by and starring Emanuele De Santi, this is a great effort by a first time film maker, the budding talent is clear as day.

This flick takes place in a fictional land named Heaven Valley, a dark, bleak place run by the mob, where insane ultra villains run rampant, and the laws of physics seemingly don't apply.

Adam, the protagonist, is hell bent for revenge.  He tears through the city on a murderous rampage looking for the mob boss who ruthlessly burned his beloved girlfriend alive.  Adam is accompanied by a demon, spawned by his own hate and anger, who lives inside his back and occasionally comes out to join in to help mutilate his foes.  Adam and his demon rip people apart with their bare hands, possessing super human strength, allowing his fists to move at lightning speed, which makes for some fantastically gory scenes. 

The characters in this movie are great. They are fleshed out, given in-depth back stories and personalities, and the costume design is absurd and fantastically inspired.  The most intriguing character is without and doubt the main super villain mob boss, named Denny.  His costume design is fucking great and his back story is heavily detailed.

The blood and guts are beyond plentiful.  Heads are smashed and cut to bits, limbs are torn off, bodies are generally decimated.  Most of the kills happen at a cartoonishly fast pace, its very comic book inspired.  The director even went as far to refer to the style as H.A.B.S. (Hyper-Realistic Anime Blood Simulation).  There is a special feature on the DVD about it that I have yet to watch.  The only problem with this H.A.B.S. style of violence is the use of CGI.  Plenty of the kills have fantastic practical gore effects, but a good deal of them use obvious CGI blood and action effects.  This is certainly one of the films largest flaws.  The makeup crew clearly knew what they were doing, and with a bit more effort some of the kills could have been done with practical effects and camera tricks and looked fine.  Despite my undying hatred for CGI in B movies, most of the kills were so fucking brutal and awesome I was able to look past it for the most part.

Another thing that I disliked was the color scheme.  Blue, blue, blue.  Nearly every scene is drenched in highly saturated shades of blue.  It was clearly done to establish atmosphere, but I think it could have been toned down a little.

Despite it's flaws, Adam Chaplin is still greatly entertaining splatter movie, one of the best I have seen in a while, and I would highly reccomend it to gorehounds and comic book fans.  Certified Gem.

Blood n' Guts - 9/10
Action - 8/10
Makeup FX - 8/10
CGI - 4/10
Plot - 7/10
OVERALL - 8.3/10

 Adam Chaplin lurks in the sewers.
 The demon emerges for the first time.
 A freshly demolished face courtesy of Adam
 Mob boss Denny Richard performing morbid experiments.
 Denny close up.