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April 2017
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MonsterZeroNJ
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I'll give Danny McBride and David Gordon Green a chance with the new Halloween movie as long as they promise to keep Busta Rhymes as far away from it as possible!
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MonsterZeroNJ posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 3 days ago

Logan



Logan-poster-3

Directed by: James Mangold
Written by: Michael Green
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Boyd Holbrook, Richard Grant, Stephen Merchant, Eriq La Salle, Elise Neal
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comic Book
Official Site:
Plot: An aging Wolverine must escort a very special little girl to a safe haven.

Review:

This dark comic book thriller takes place in the future where the mutants are all but gone and “The Wolverine” Logan (Hugh Jackman) keeps a low profile as a limo driver and takes care of an Alzheimer’s afflicted Professor X (Patrick Stewart), who is in hiding in Mexico. Logan, who is now aging and losing his ability to heal due to his own ailments, is contacted by a woman (Elizabeth Rodriguez) begging him to take a little girl named Laura (Dafne Keen) to a safe haven in South Dakota…a safe haven for mutants. Soon Logan finds Laura is very much like him and now he, the girl and The Professor are in a race across country for their lives as the sinister forces that created Laura want her back...[more]...

Other reviews of this film: KcMsterpce (9/10) , cerealkiller182 (9/10) > Display all
Boogie Buddha
Boogie Buddha at 11:40 AM Apr 20

Cool movie, and good review. I feel like this is the best way for the franchise to end.

timmyd
timmyd at 08:11 PM Apr 20

loved it.

MonsterZeroNJ posted a BLOG item 3 days ago

review:MST3K: THE RETURN (2017)

Mst3k

Mystery Science Theater 3000 was created by Joel Hodgson and originally ran for ten seasons from 1988 till 1999 and was a beloved show for movie geeks everywhere, as it playfully skewered some of the worst cult classics and B-movies of all kinds. The format had a working stiff (originally series creator Joel Hodgson and then Mike Nelson) being kidnapped to a satellite in space and forced to watch some of the worst films ever made. The subject and a group of robots would then comment on these films as the series’ villains observed and routinely tried to make things miserable for our heroes. Fans have missed the show since it’s cancellation and were overjoyed to find out that Netflix was reviving it.

Premiering on Netflix streaming this April, the new series follows the same plot with newcomer Jonah (comedian Jonah Ray) being the newest test subject under the watchful evil eye of Kinga Forrester (Felicia Day), daughter of original series villain Dr. Clayton Forrester and Max (Patton Oswalt), otherwise known as The TV Son of TV’s Frank, offspring of original series villain TV’s Frank. There are fourteen new episodes featuring fourteen bad movies to which our hero, along with robots Gypsy, Tom Servo, Crow and Cam-bot, watch and mock while Kinga and Max do their best to make Jonah crazy…all with mostly hilarious results.

The revived series certainly is a welcome return and, for the most part, can be as funny as the original show. As with all the other seasons, there are some strong and hilarious episodes and some which are just OK. The key here is the movies have to provide the crew with something to work with. The funniest episodes of the new season, such as premiere episode Reptilicus, Time Travelers, Starcrash, The Land That Time Forgot and the season finale At The Earth’s Core all provide material that is ripe for commentary and the writers certainly take the ball and run with it. Then there are movies which are just bad, like Cry Wilderness, the first hour of Beast From Hollow Mountain, Wizards of the Lost Kingdom and Carnival Magic, which are so bad that Jonah and the boys struggle through them to keep the comments coming and funny. If the movie they’re watching is boring, there isn’t much the crew can do. Thankfully, the episodes that do work…and more do than don’t…hilariously make up for the few where laughs and fun are scarce. As with the previous seasons, there are movie geek references galore, such as Kinga’s house band looking delightfully like Infra-Man’s skull soldiers and meta references to previous episodes.

The cast are all having a blast and it shows. Jonah Ray is a suitable replacement for the earlier Joel and Mike. He’s a likable lug and fits the part well. Felicia Day is having a blast as Kinga, a cross between Cruella Deville and Veruca Salt. Day knows how to ad camp in just the right amounts and to dial up just enough villainy so Kinga stays a fun bad girl, like her predecessors and doesn’t tip over into unlikable. Patton Oswalt is equally successful as the bumbling Max…who has a crush on Kinga, which she obviously ignores…and is not quite such a bad guy as his boss lady…though he is trying. The robots’ voice actors all do a good job with instilling them with personality, although they are the same characters from the original show, so they don’t have to work as hard to establish themselves like out new leads. There are also cameos from original series characters and actors and some amusing appearances from famous faces such as Mark Hamill and Jerry Seinfeld.

Overall, this is a very happy return for a personal favorite show. The new cast and characters are likable and fit in with the show’s established style and the old format still works and works well when given material ripe for the picking-on. There are a few yawn inducing episodes, when the movie itself is dull and not even funny in the wrong way, but when the movie is the right kind of bad, the episodes measure up to some of the previous series best on equal footing. Welcome back MST3K!…and when can we expect season 12???

EPISODE LIST

(Rating the show by episode instead of the usual overall rating)

Reptilicus – 3 and 1/2 stars
Cry Wilderness – 2 and 1/2 stars
Time Travelers – 3 and 1/2 stars
Avalanche – 2 and 1/2 stars
The Beast of Hollow Mountain – 3 stars…the last 1/2 hour was very funny
Starcrash – 3 and 1/2 stars
The Land That Time Forgot – 3 and 1/2 stars
The Loves Of Hercules – 3 stars
Yongary – 3 and 1/2 stars
Wizards of the Lost Kingdom – 2 and 1/2 stars
Wizards of the Lost Kingdom II – 3 stars
Carnival Magic – 2 and 1/2 stars
The Christmas That Almost Wasn’t – 2 and 1/2 stars
At the Earth’s Core – 3 and 1/2 stars

-MonsterZero NJ


Mood: Happy

MonsterZeroNJ posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 6 days ago

Code of Silence



1985-code-of-silence-poster1

Directed by: Andrew Davis
Written by: Michael Butler, Dennis Shryack, Mike Gray
Cast: Chuck Norris, Henry Silva, Bert Remsen, Mike Genovese
Studio: Orion Pictures
Genre: Action
Official Site:
Plot: Chuck Norris is a Chicago cop caught between a mob war and police corruption.

Review:

In terms of overall quality, Code of Silence is probably the best movie Chuck Norris ever made. It may not be as fun as Lone Wolf McQuade, or as over the top as Invasion U.S.A., but it is the closest to a mainstream movie he was ever in, till his extended cameo in Expendables 2...[more]...

Other reviews of this film: Invidtus (7/10) , jessdecristo (10/10) > Display all
Marge_Simpson
Marge_Simpson at 04:18 AM Apr 18

Code of Silence is excellent, I am a fan of it. It is my favourite movie with Chuck Norris and it's not even close ;) (I am not counting Ex2 as it was only a cameo).

Great review!

MonsterZeroNJ posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 9 days ago

Aftermath



Arnold-aftermath-poster-big

Directed by: Elliott Lester
Written by:
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Scoot McNairy
Studio:
Genre: Biography, Drama, Thriller
Official Site:
Plot: Fact-based drama about a plane crash and the tragic effects on two men.

Review:

Fact-based drama tells the story of construction foreman Roman (Arnold Schwarzenegger) who is devastated by the loss of his wife and pregnant daughter in a plane crash. Air traffic controller Jacob (Scoot McNairy) is blamed and the film plays out the two men’s dealing with their grief until the inevitable confrontation as Roman want’s some kind of reparation for his family.

Both Arnold and McNairy give strong performances here, despite that director Elliot Lester and writer Javier Gullón deliver a fairly mediocre and routine drama out of a real-life tragedy. The film is presented very by-the-numbers and stoops to numerous clichés, such as the airline executives being portrayed as stereotypical, soulless corporate bad guys. The moments that should provide the most emotional weight fail to deliver, despite the solid work by it’s cast. If not for Arnold delivering a performance on par with the 2015 Maggie and Scoot McNairy impressing as well, there really would be little to recommend, even with the story following a true 2002 mid-air collision and it’s tragic aftermath. Disappointing when one considers Arnold once again proves he can act and act well without spraying the screen with bullets. Also stars Maggie Grace as Jacob’s wife.

-MonsterZero NJ

MonsterZeroNJ posted a BLOG item 10 days ago

review: DIG TWO GRAVES (2014)

Dig_two_graves

Not really a horror film, but more like a rural mystery/thriller with a thin layer of the supernatural. The film takes place in a community in the Illinois mountains in 1977 and finds young Jake (Samantha Isler) mourning the loss of her brother Sean (Ben Schneider), who drowned while diving into a local quarry. A tragic event for which Jake feels guilty. Three mysterious men appear to Jake and tell her that they have the power to bring Sean back, but someone must take his place, namely her classmate Willie (Gabriel Cain). Unknown to the girl, the motivations of these men involve Jake’s sheriff grandfather (Ted Levine) and a possible quest for revenge that’s taken 30 years to unfold.

This is an impressive debut from Hunter Adams from a script by he and Jeremy Phillips, that is loaded with atmosphere. The film plays like a dark fable as we start out with a glimpse of something awful taking place in 1947 then are introduced to Jake thirty years later as she loses her only sibling. From then on we meet the mysterious Wyeth (Troy Ruptash) and his two brothers, who claim to have the power to bring Sean back…but at a price. As we progress forward with Jake’s moral dilemma, Adams also takes us back thirty years with flashback’s told through the eyes of her grandfather Sheriff Waterhouse (Levine) to slowly, over the course of the film, reveal what got us to this point and how all the dots connect. It’s all done with the aura of dark magic and something slightly supernatural going on and in just the right doses to keep us on edge, but not tip into full blown horror. The film stays somewhat grounded in reality which makes the moments that hint of something otherworldly all the more unnerving. The film sometimes evoked the rural set Winter’s Bone, but with a hint of dark fantasy that keeps us uneasy throughout. It takes till the very last scenes for all the pieces to come together and the climax will stay with you after the film is over.

Adams also gets very good work from his cast, especially his two leads. Veteran Ted (Silence Of The Lambs) Levine is very strong as Jake’s grandfather Sheriff Waterhouse and really creates an effective portrayal of a good man haunted by past events and wanting to protect his granddaughter from them. Samantha Isler gives a powerful performance as a young teen wanting to correct something she feels is her fault, but tormented by the moral implications of it’s solution. The young actress is a talent to keep an eye on. There is also Troy Ruptash as the creepy Wyeth. Ruptash gives the man a sense of power and menace with an aura of someone with dark powers beyond being just potentially lethal. Rounding out is Danny Goldring as former Sheriff Procter. Procter is a man with skeletons in his closet, skeleton’s he might kill to keep hidden and Goldring gives him that sense of a man desperate to keep something hidden.

This was an atmospheric thriller with a constant feeling of foreboding and an undercurrent of dark magic and possibly the supernatural. It’s a slow burn mystery that unravels at a deliberate pace and takes you on a journey both forward and backward in time to tell us it’s complete story. It has some very strong guidance from it’s first time director and excellent work from a good cast to punctuate the script and direction. The film was first released at film festivals in 2014 and finally gotten a limited release three years later. Another film given the attention it deserves by Executive Producer Larry Fessenden! Highly recommended! 7.5/10

-MonsterZero NJ


Mood: Surprised

timmyd
timmyd at 08:22 PM Apr 13

sweet . definitely checking this out.

MonsterZeroNJ posted a BLOG item 10 days ago

review: THE VOID (2016)

Void

The Void is not only a trippy tribute to horror films of the 80s and the practical make-up and gore effects used in them, but a bloody good time and a creepy monster flick in it’s own right. The film opens with a young couple being chased by two men, with the man (Evan Stern) barely escaping and the woman being shot and then brutally burned alive. The man is found by local policeman, Dan (Aaron Poole) and brought to a nearby hospital that is in the process of closing down after a recent fire. There the cop and minimal staff and patients find the building soon surrounded by mysterious and lethal hooded figures, while inside it starts to turn into a house of horrors, as staff murder patients and the dead return to life transformed into creatures from out of a nightmare. Can Dan, his nurse wife Allison (Kathleen Munroe) and the remaining survivors figure out what is happening and how to get out alive?

Written and directed by the team of Steven Kostanski and Jeremy Gillespie, this is a mash-up/homage to the films of John Carpenter and Stuart Gordon, among others. There are elements of Assault On Precinct 13, The Thing, In the Mouth Of Madness, as well as Re-animator, From Beyond and a host of other cult classics. But Kostanski and Gillespie make it their own with their tale of other dimensions and nightmarish activities and the film is filled with some really unsettling imagery and a host of practical creatures and gore, along with it. The story itself is a bit convoluted at times and the filmmakers don’t spoon feed you everything, but that works far more in the film’s favor than it doesn’t. It’s a disturbing ride, loaded with atmosphere and we do gradually find out enough of what’s going on to satisfy, as the deliberately moderate pace carries us to an unsettling conclusion right out of Fulci’s The Beyond. Sure the acting is a bit wooden here and there and the FX are a bit rubbery, but it’s the charm of what the filmmakers are trying to do and of the many cult classics they evoke, that makes it so enjoyable and fun. Not to mention the filmmakers do conjure some of their own goosebumps along the way. It may not make total sense, but it is enjoyably creepy and when the gore hits the fan, it hits delightfully hard and spatters everywhere. There is some effective cinematography by Samy Inayeh and a cool soundtrack by Blitz//Berlin, who did the soundtrack for Extraterrestrial.

I enjoyed this love letter to many a classic 80s film, including Galaxy Of Terror…which I just re-watched…yet one that didn’t loose it’s own identity. It’s a weird flick that is part Lovecraft, part Carpenter with a few other pinches of famous names of horror thrown in. It has some effectively designed creatures and some delightfully gory moments and gives us some spooky visuals along with the thrills and chills. You may scratch your head a bit here and there, but it’s fun throwback that may have introduced us to two filmmakers to keep an eye on. Also stars Art (Black Christmas, The Brood) Hindle as a state trooper and Scott Pilgrim’s Ellen Wong as an intern in over her adorable head. 7/10

-MonsterZero NJ


Mood: Chillin'

timmyd
timmyd at 07:57 PM Apr 12

so stoked for this one . can't wait.

MonsterZeroNJ posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 13 days ago

My Boyfriend's Back



1993-my-boyfriends-back-poster1

Directed by: Bob Balaban
Written by: Dean Lorey
Cast: Andrew Lowery, Traci Lind, Danny Zorn, Edward Herrmann
Studio: Buena Vista
Genre: Horror, Comedy
Official Site:
Plot: High schooler comes back from the grave to take the object of his obsession to the prom.

Review:

High school misfit Johnny Dingle (Andrew Lowery) has been head over heels for Missy McCloud (Traci Lind) since grade school. He finally gets the courage to try to get her to go to the prom with him, but needs to get her attention. He decides to fake a robbery at the convenience store where she works and once he saves the day, he’ll be her hero for life. Unknown to Johnny, an actual robber enters the place instead of his bud, Eddie (Danny Zorn) and Johnny’s heroics turn tragic as he is shot and killed by the thief. That won’t stop Johnny, though, as he rises from the grave to continue to woo Missy and…it actually works. But can he make it to the prom before decomposing, or will he have to resort to the only thing that will slow his disintegration down…human flesh...[more]...

Other reviews of this film: Psycho-Pirate-99 (7/10) > Display all
XSsoCX
XSsoCX at 12:39 PM Apr 10

This a childhood favorite of mine. I bought it when I see that it was coming out on bluray, and well, it's just not the same but for the seven dollars I spent it's worth the nostalgia I guess..

MonsterZeroNJ posted a BLOG item 17 days ago

review: THE GOOD NEIGHBOR (2016)

Good_neighbor

Thriller finds two youths, Ethan (Logan Miller) and Sean (It Follows’ Keir Gilchrist), performing an ‘experiment’ on their reclusive, grumpy old neighbor, Mr. Grainey (James Caan). They rig his house with camera’s and hack into his systems and record as they try to convince the old man his home is haunted. As the experiment progresses, not only do the boys start to believe their neighbor is harboring some dark secret, but the prank/experiment starts to become more and more mean-spirited as Ethan increasingly becomes obsessed with his cantankerous neighbor.

Film is well directed by Kasra Farahani from a script by Mark Bianculli and Jeff Richard. It uses the found footage format part of the time and then switches to real time as we find ourselves in a courtroom where we realize this ‘prank’ ended badly somehow. During the course of the film we slowly find out what happened in the house and we also get some interesting reveals about our subject, his tormentors and their motivations. Not all is as it seems and Farahani and the script slowly unveil, using the two boys’ footage, what these events led up to and use some well-placed flashbacks to let us know what really was Grainey’s ‘secret’. It’s moderately paced, which works for this type of film, and if the ending isn’t completely satisfying, it’s only because it’s more true to life than one might want to admit. A solid thriller that is spooky at times and tragic and sad at others. 7/10


Mood: Chillin'

timmyd
timmyd at 08:08 PM Apr 06

I'll check it out.

MonsterZeroNJ posted a BLOG item 23 days ago

review: LAVENDER (2016)

Lavender

Flick is a mystery thriller with a supernatural element as young wife and mother, Jane (Abbie Cornish) has been struggling all her life to remember the events from her childhood that took the lives of her parents and sister. A car accident gives her temporary amnesia and as her memories return, so she starts to remember things from that night 25 years ago. But something or someone is trying to help coax her memories back and whatever or whoever it is, it draws her to her childhood home for a confrontation with that dark event her mind has chosen to forget.

Film is stylishly directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly from a script by he and Colin Frizzell. It presents us with hints of what happened in it’s opening and then takes us 25 years into the present where Jane tries to remember the occurrence and it takes another traumatic event to start shaking the memories loose. As Jane begins her journey with her family in tow, we go along with her as she slowly puts the puzzle pieces together. There is also a bit of a supernatural twist, as though there is some force leading her in the directions she needs to go. It adds a spooky element to the film that works in it’s favor and keeps the audience a bit unsettled…in a good way. A strong performance by Cornish helps us like and root for Jane, too, even when we suspect she may have been somehow involved in the deaths. The supporting cast, Including Justin Long and Dermot Mulroney as her uncle, help keep the film involving as does the rural farm setting add atmosphere. The plot and resolution may not be entirely original, but it is engrossing and a bit spooky, too. 7/10

-MonsterZero NJ


Mood: Chillin'

MonsterZeroNJ posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: 26 days ago

Can't Buy Me Love



1987-cant-buy-me-love-poster1

Directed by: Steve Rash
Written by: Michael Swerdlick
Cast: Patrick Dempsey, Amanda Peterson, Courtney Gains, Tina Caspary
Studio: Buena Vista
Genre: Romantic, Comedy
Official Site:
Plot: Boy rents girl

Review:

Flick is now renown as an 80s teen comedy classic and upon a revisit, it still has it’s charm and plenty of 80s nostalgia...[more]...

MonsterZeroNJ posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: about 1 month ago

Tales From the Darkside: The Movie



1990-tales-from-the-darkside-the-movie-poster1

Directed by: John Harrison
Written by: Michael McDowell, George A. Romero
Cast: Deborah Harry, David Forrester, Matthew Lawrence, Christian Slater, Robert Sedgwick
Studio: Paramount
Genre: Horror
Official Site:
Plot: Anthology horror from the likes of Romero and Stephen King

Review:

Tales From The Darkside started out as a horror anthology series produced by the legendary George A. Romero, that ran four seasons from October 1983 till July of 1988. In 1990 a movie version was released presenting a trio of terrifying tales tied together by a wraparound story. In the opening segment we see a young boy (Matthew Lawrence) being held in a cell by a witch (Deborah Harry). She plans to cook the kid as the main course for a dinner party and he tries to stall her by reading her stories from a book she left for him in his cell…Tales From he Darkside! As Timmy reads to prolong his fate, three tales of terror unfold...[more]...

Other reviews of this film: tbondrage99 (7/10) , jdharris (9/10) > Display all
MonsterZeroNJ posted a BLOG item about 1 month ago

review: THE DEVIL'S CANDY (2015)

Devil_s_candy

I’m a huge fan of Sean Byrne’s The Loved Ones and was obviously looking forward to seeing another flick from him…and finally, after eight years, it’s here. The Devil’s Candy is Byrne’s newest film, made in 2015, it’s only now getting a proper release on VOD and in select theaters from the cool folks at IFC Midnight.

The story here is of heavy metal loving artist Jesse (Ethan Embry), who moves to an old rural farmhouse with his wife Astrid (Shiri Appleby) and chip-off-the-old-block teen daughter Zooey (Kiara Glasco). While Jesse and Astrid know that the couple that formerly lived there died in the house, what they don’t know is that it is also home to some kind of malevolent influence. If it’s not bad enough that Jesse’s art starts to take a dark and ominous tone soon after moving in, Ray (Pruitt Taylor Vince), the child murdering son of the previous owners, wants to come home…and he has set his demented sights on Zooey.

While not quite as intense as The Loved Ones, and lacking it’s twisted sense of humor, this is still an atmospheric, disturbing and sometimes brutally violent horror flick. The mix of heavy metal music and demonic horror, obviously works as the two have been paired up since Black Sabbath took to the airwaves in 1968. While the demonic influence elements are nothing new, they are very effective as used by Bryne, draped in his thick atmosphere of foreboding. The most disturbing elements, though, are obviously Ray’s need to “feed” The Devil his favorite candy…children. He stalks Zooey right out in the open and the distraction the malevolent entity feeds Jesse by way of his art, leaves poor Zooey unprotected. It creates some very unsettling scenes as Ray gets closer to obtaining his goal, including one in Zooey’s bedroom that is absolutely bone chilling. This all leads up to not one but two harrowing sequences with Zooey and the rotund pervert, each more intense than the last. There are some drawbacks. The film comes in at a very tight 79 minutes and it sometimes feels too quickly over for it’s own good. We wish we had a little more time to let certain scenes resonate and be given a little more time to let the disturbing nature of what is transpiring sink in before moving on to the next dramatic moment. It is also never quite clear whether it is this demonic influence that led Ray to kill, or was it his homicidal habit that brought the entity into the house…if not…why is it there? On a technical level the film looks great and while there is some week CGI during the climax, the rest of the FX work is solid and there is a really atmospheric score from Mads Heldtberg, Michael Yezerski and the band Sunn O)))

If anything helps one past some of the flaws, it’s a really good cast. Ethan Embry has become a fixture in some good horror/thrillers lately such as the frustrated son in the awesome Late Phases, or the ill-fated gun dealer in The Guest. He is really good here, not only as metal head/family man Jesse, but in portraying Jesse’s gradual transformation from attentive father into obsessed artist. As his frustrated and scared wife, Shiri Appleby is solid as a woman whose family life is disrupted from both within and without. She has a suddenly moody and unfocused husband at home and a hulking child killer lurking about after her daughter. Appleby makes her a bit more than a damsel in distress, though she isn’t given as much to do when all hell breaks loose as we’d have liked. Kiara Glasco makes a really good impression as Zooey. A teen who walks to the beat of her father influenced drum but is her own person. She’s a tough kid and a little rebellious and the young actress has a great chemistry with Embry, so their father/daughter relationship really works well on screen. She has a couple of tough scenes to portray and does a good job. Making this all come together is a really disturbing performance by veteran actor Pruitt Taylor Vince (recently seen as “Otis” in The Walking Dead). Vince really makes Ray a creepy person who makes you uncomfortable every moment he’s on camera. It really makes you fear for Zooey, especially when he catches up to her…more than once. He makes your skin crawl. A solid cast just as in Byrne’s first flick.

So maybe writer/director Sean Byrne hasn’t quite equalled The Loved Ones in his sophomore feature flick, but he has delivered another disturbing, atmospheric and bloody movie that is of a different sort than his previous twisted love story. This plot may be a bit more commonplace, but he uses the familiar tropes very effectively. The theatrical cut…wikipedia lists a 10 minute longer festival cut…may be a little too short for it’s own good and there are some unanswered questions, but a really strong cast and a director who knows how to turn the screws makes up for a lot of it. Highly recommended. especially if you loved Sean Byrne’s previous work. 7/10

-MonsterZero NJ


Mood: Happy

MonsterZeroNJ posted a BLOG item about 1 month ago

review: JOHNNY FRANK GARRETT’S LAST WORD (2016)

Johnny_frank_garrett

In 1981, a nun by the name of Tadea Benz was brutally raped and murdered on Halloween night. A mentally handicapped young man by the name of Johnny Frank Garrett was convicted and executed for the crime. All during the trial and his incarceration Garrett proclaimed his innocence and on the night before he died by lethal injection, he proclaimed his innocence one last time in a letter that also said that those who wrongly accused him would pay…

This is from an actual real-life murder case that occurred in Texas in 1981 and serves as the basis for this horror film that takes the all-true story and portrays the effects of Garrett’s ominous last words as folks involved with the case and their loved ones, start to die mysteriously. Former juror Adam Redman (Mike Doyle) begins to investigate and finds they may have indeed sent an innocent man to his death and his revenge may now be coming to bare!

It’s hard to decide whether it’s daring or in bad taste that writer Ben Ketai and director Simon Rumley made a horror film out of a real life murder case…and not just based on it, like many films…but use actual events and names and all, adding a supernatural element to turn it into a horror flick. Whatever one decides, it is an effective horror and the fact that a lot of the events we are watching are true…such as later revelations that Jarrett may have indeed been innocent…adds a very unsettling element. The supernatural additions to the story are a bit disturbing, too, as Garrett’s “curse” target’s Redman’s son and he races to save him, as others from the case die around him. There are some creepy moments here, though turning the possibly innocent Garrett into a vengeful specter is a bit odd as you should want to feel sorry for him, yet he is preying on innocent children to make his point from beyond the grave. Obviously, the prosecutor (Sean Patrick Flanery) is the real bad guy here, but Jarrett is the “Freddy Krueger” of the flick and it’s still hard to feel bad for his cinematic incarnation and we should. The film was still effective enough and it makes one want to catch up on Jesse Quackenbush’s documentary The Last Word, which is about the actual events including the discovery of evidence years later that Garrett might possibly have been a victim of a justice system at it’s worst.

This was an effective and atmospheric horror film, even if the use of so many of the real facts from the case makes one uneasy about their use. Whether the filmmakers were being daring or exploitive is probably up to the viewer. The end credits also proclaim that there were indeed a number of mysterious deaths concerning individuals close to the case, but, so far, my online research has not confirmed this. Courageous or crass, Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word is if anything an unnerving little horror flick that does inspire one to find out more about what really happened on October 31st, 1981 in Texas. 6.5/10

-MonsterZero NJ


Mood: Chillin'

grelber37
grelber37 at 06:21 PM Mar 16

I was wondering about this one. For obvious reasons, Rumley's Red White & Blue and The Living and the Dead stick in memory. Thanks for the review.

timmyd
timmyd at 08:22 PM Mar 17

Big fan of Rumley . I'll most likely give this one a go.

MonsterZeroNJ posted a MOVIE REVIEW item: about 1 month ago

Kong: Skull Island



Kong-skull-island-poster-2-large

Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Written by: John Gatins
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, John Ortiz, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, Shea Whigham, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell
Studio: Legendary, Universal Pictures
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Official Site:
Plot: An expedition is sent to an uncharted island and engages in numerous monkey shines with enormous ape.

Review:

This new version of the King Kong legend takes place in 1973 at the end of the Viet Nam War when an uncharted island is discovered by satellite in the center of a perpetual storm system in the South Pacific. The monster hunting Monarch organization from Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla wants to send an expedition in, with the hopes of getting there before the Russians find out about it. Agent Bill Randa (John Goodman) heads the expedition team, including former SAS tracker, James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston), combat photographer, Mason Weaver (Brie Larson) and a military escort lead by Lt. Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson). Immediately upon reaching the island, they find a hostile environment populated by hostile creatures and manage to piss off the ruling predator, a 100 foot tall ape the local natives and stranded WWII airman Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly) call Kong. After a confrontation with Kong that leaves the military escort decimated and the expedition stranded, the group begin to plan their escape from the island…all but the vengeful Packard, who wants to finish what he and the enormous simian started. Little do they realize, that there is a greater threat living beneath the grounds of Skull Island and Kong may be their only hope of surviving it...[more]...

Other reviews of this film: cerealkiller182 (8/10) , lukearmy7 (2/10) > Display all
MonsterZeroNJ posted a BLOG item about 1 month ago

review: DARK FOREST (2015)

Dark_forest

Slasher homage finds four gal pals, Emily (Laurel McArthur), Michelle (Veronica Ternopolski), Francine (Jalin Desloges) and Jolene (Weronika Sokalska) all heading into the woods for a girls camping trip. Unknown to them, they are being followed by Peter (Dennis Scullard), Emily’s psychotic boyfriend who wants revenge for being defied and embarrassed by the four party girls. As our unsuspecting hotties enjoy their trip, Peter cuts a bloody path of pursuit into the woods leaving a trail of bodies behind him.

Flick written and directed in 80s slasher style by Roger Boyer may be a bit amateurish at times, but has it’s bloody heart in the right place. Boyer may not conjure any real scares, but the film does have a strong 80s slasher vibe, including 80s style soundtrack and gives us some abundant gore and an equally abundant cast of hotties, much like the horrors of that era did. Our four leading ladies are actually quite fine in their roles and are very likable characters to root/fear for while Scullard does make a creepy killer. Boyer’s slasher may be short on story, but at 75 minutes, the flick is kept short and sweet and doesn’t wear out it’s welcome. Sure there are some editing weaknesses and the film looks very low budget, but these are things a filmmaker can overcome with experience and low budget horror is where the heart and soul of the genre resides anyway. A nice effort that pays respectful tribute to it’s influences. 6.5

-MonsterZero NJ


Mood: Chillin'

timmyd
timmyd at 08:20 PM Mar 10

I'll give it a look.

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