Category Archives: Reviews

Ichi the Killer Review – by Zakk Thomas

Image result for ichi the killer

Violence is fun to watch. It gives a film shock value and, if done right, can set it apart from the typical horror films that are seen as of late.  Ichi the Killer is definitely one of those films that hits the mark and leaves the viewer a touch baffled at what was just witnessed.

Rival Yakuza gangs in Japan are in turmoil in the beginning of this VERY graphic film. Underground crime boss Anjo is missing and right hand man Kakihara is trying to uncover what happened to him. After a bloodbath of a murder (not shown), a clean up crew led by Jijii removes all signs of Anjo being there or involved whatsoever and thinks that a lone killer is to blame. Fingers are pointed at whomever may be involved, but the conclusion is made that one man is responsible for the murders that keep recurring in these gangs. That man is Ichi “1”.

Kakihara is a pure sadomasachist. Yes I had to google what that meant entirely, but he is someone that enjoys inflicting pain and suffering onto a victim along with loving pain himself. Kakihara can’t seem to find anyone that is worthy of giving him enough pain or possibly killing him, which is his end goal at this point of his life. Ichi, on the other hand, is definitely not who one would expect him to be as such a brutal killer. Timid, meek and heavily manipulated are the best ways to describe him. It has been awhile since I have been so eager to see two characters meet and it definitely did not disappoint!

Since this film was recommended to me (thanks Scott Lake) I have been preparing myself for the brutality that would occur. Not only was it brutal, some of it was just…. gross. This is not a bad thing at all as it finds a way to tie the reasoning’s for the brutal acts according to the character’s (albeit very disturbed) personalities. Kakihara and Ichi both have reasons for why they are so brutal in their killings and it’s very interesting to see how that plays out in the sometimes confusing story.

Image result for ichi the killer

I would recommend this film to anyone who wants to view something different and does not have an weak stomach. People get tortured a lot and that alone can make one feel uneasy. I enjoyed the story to it, but I will be honest in that I wanted to see it for the violence and gore. Some of the CGI effects are a touch sub-par, but a lot of scenes are painfully realistic. The ending was also extremely well done and thought out properly!

 

Skull Rating: Skull for reviewsSkull for reviewsSkull for reviews/5

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“Pet” Review – By Zakk Thomas

Pet

 Pet 2016

Everyone has had a crush, right? Someone that they admire from afar and think the world of.  Some would even go as far as to think that fate would someday bring them together. Quite a naïve thought, but you never know! With those tidbits in mind, I bring a review of the film “Pet”

Meet Seth. Seth works in an animal control center and feels that he does not matter much in life. Not much of a purpose or direction and even goes as far as to think that nobody would really care if he were to disappear forever. One afternoon, he runs into an old crush (Holly) on the bus he rides for work and decides to try and start a conversation. I think we all can relate to the awkward, “hey! It’s (insert name) from Mrs. Smith’s such and such class” conversation that most dread and that’s precisely what happens. Seth becomes obsessive and begins stalking her online profiles and notes “likes” and “dislikes”. Things progressively get more intense and Seth ends up kidnapping Holly using a sedative he takes from work. Being the gentleman that he is, he tests the sedative himself to make sure it is effective. Where does Seth put Holly after the kidnapping? In a human sized cage used from old parts that the control center had laying around which he fused together himself. Seth’s primary goal in all of this is to save Holly, thus giving him purpose in life once again. Let the mind games begin!

Pet 2

This would have to be one of the more difficult movies to review as of late because it is hard to do so without adding any spoilers. Having said that, I really enjoyed the twists and turns this movie included and it really had me on the edge of my seat thinking about what was going to happen next. The character’s progression throughout the film was very well done and it had you feeling for each of them at any given point. I mean, who hasn’t felt worthless or betrayed at times? Director Carles Torrens does a great job of keeping the viewer involved with only minor changes in the film’s setting. I’d recommend Pet to anyone who is looking for a good thriller that really makes you think about how fragile the human psyche truly is and how little you can actually tell about someone just by looking at them. Hint: looks are deceiving and the mind is a VERY fragile thing.

 

Skull Rating: Skull for reviewsSkull for reviewsSkull for reviewsSkull for reviews/5

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Evil Dead Anthology Review – By Zakk Thomas

The Evil Dead: Anthology 

 Evil dead Ash

Alright you primitive screw-heads, Listen up! The Evil Dead films are a cornerstone for the horror movie genre and are a great addition to any collection. Ever since I viewed the very first film in the series, I was left wanting more from director Sam Raimi and budding star Bruce Campbell. So let’s take a dive into the “pit” and review the films in order!

The Evil Dead

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Written and directed by Sam Raimi, The Evil Dead made it’s debut in 1983 for US audiences. Primary protagonist Ashley (Bruce Campbell) and his 4 college student friends travel to a remote cabin in the middle of the woods for a good time. They end up stumbling upon some recording tapes found in the cabin’s cellar made by a professor that had previously occupied the cabin before their arrival. The tapes contain translations of the text found in the “Necronomicon Ex-Mortis” (roughly translated….. THE BOOK OF THE DEAD). When the translations are played on the recorder they awaken an ancient evil lurking in the woods that looks to possess anyone that gets in it’s path. Needless to say the fun outing for the group makes an unexpected turn towards pure evil. Given the budget that was allotted for the film and the time period that it was made, this film was genuinely groundbreaking as far as makeup work and gore. In the time period that we live in it is easy to turn a blind eye to this because of the abilities of computers with special effects (commonly referred to as CGI or computer generated image). There is a certain aura that films like this possess that give a very creepy feel right from the start which a lot of films in today’s era rarely emit. It is very fun to watch and succeeds in the end goal of giving the viewer chills in some areas and stomach turning feelings in others.

 

Evil Dead II

 evil dead 2

Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell return for the sequel that released in March of 1987. We join Ashley once again returning to the infamous cabin with his girlfriend Linda. Bear in mind that this is not a direct sequel. It is never explained if this is the same “Ash” depicted in the first film but, In my opinion, Sam Raimi wanted to almost redo the first film the way he saw fit with a larger budget. All of that aside, Ash finds the same type of recorder with a Professor Raymond Knowby’s findings located on the tapes. The tapes when played (you guessed it!) awaken the ancient evil of spirits in the woods. This film definitely differs as more characters are introduced later on in the story seeking the Necronomicon. The daughter of the professor in the recordings possesses missing pages of the book and seeks out the cabin to visit her father and mother. Needless to say, she does not find them. I definitely think that this film is superior to the original. Having only Ash to watch in the first segments of the film gives the viewer more intense feelings of sympathy and “if I were in that situation” thoughts. Comedy is implemented slightly as well even though it’s difficult to explain why certain events are oddly hilarious. The makeup and WTF moments (to be technical) are still top notch and the ending is an excellent set up for…..

 

Army of Darkness

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Ash just can’t seem to catch a break! Army of Darkness debuted in early 1992 and became a massive cult classic. Sam Raimi once again takes the reins with Bruce Campbell as Ash is accidentally transported through time to the 1300’s where sides are battling over the ownership of the Necronomicon. Ash simply wants to get back to his own time and resume a normal life. This film continues right after the ending of Evil Dead II and shows more of the acting talents of Bruce Campbell and his surrounding cast. Focusing more on the comedy aspect action sequences more than typical horror. With one-liners aplenty, AOD exceeds all expectations with moments of absolute hilarity and great battle scenes! Just remember to shop smart! Shop… S mart! You got that?!

 

Evil Dead (2013)

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This is the most difficult film to review as it is not a part of the series but new director Fede Alvarez, along with the original producers of the Evil Dead, attempts to give new life to the cult classic trilogy. David makes his way to a cabin with his girlfriend to meet his sister Mia and two friends to help Mia with her drug addiction. The idea is to go cold turkey and stop her drug abuse once and for all. The Book of the Dead is found in the cellar and is read aloud by Eric (one of the friends joining Mia and David) after deciphering some of the pages skillfully. This film does not take the reputation of the original film lightly as it focuses solely on horror and disturbing imagery. The makeup and location of the film is spot on and it even does a very great job of giving little head nods to the original with quotes and various props that are used. Those looking for the tiny laughs that are possible with the first three films should look elsewhere, but for an actual original horror film that has plenty of scares; it gets the job done well!

 

Bottom Line: 

These films give the best of both worlds for horror and comedy. I would recommend all 4 to anyone who has not previously seen them, but I’d also say to take them with a grain of salt. Each one has values that they bring to the table and with the release dates so different, each one has a different feel. Sam Raimi did a great service to the horror industry with these films and every true horror fan should find them quite….. Groovy! Stay scared everyone!!

 

Skull Rating:      Skull for reviewsSkull for reviewsSkull for reviewsSkull for reviewsSkull for reviews/5

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Spiritus (2017)- A Review By Tony Roca

 

LC Holt

Hello Freaks!

It’s your favorite fiend, The Dead Body Man! I’ve crept from my coffin to bring you another feral film review! In this installment I will be telling you all about L.C Holt’s inaugral film- “SPIRITUS”. A slow burning tale of a spectres revenge and learning your actions have consequences…even beyond the grave!

So Freaks, grab a beer and some popcorn as we dive into another review!

Oh and if you find a diary, please return it to me…

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SPLIT (2016)- A Review By Tony Roca

Hello Freaks!

It’s your host with the most, The Dead Body Man! I’m back again to give you another review. This time I will be talking about M. Night Shyamalan’s newest film- “Split”. Now Night’s films are a touchy subject with most folks. Some are big fans of his work, others have a great distaste for it. I put myself in the middle.

So grab a beer and some popcorn Freaks, and let’s get to it!

Etcetera….

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The Autopsy Of Jane Doe (2016)- A Review By Tony Roca

Hello Freaks!

It’s The Dead Body Man! I’m here with another riveting review! I’ve crawled from my casket to tell you about a little film I came across. What vile, vibrant, violent visual could pull me from my sleep? Why a little film about one of my favorite things Freaks…a corpse!

Today I will be reviewing  André Øvredal’s  “The Autopsy Of Jane Doe”.  A story about death, and magic, and punishment. So grab a beer and some popcorn, grab your favorite blanket to cower under, and dive in!

Oh and do listen for any bells.

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The Neon Demon (2016) A Review By Tony Roca

Hey Freaks! The Dead Body Man is back to shoot you…another review! I know it’s been awhile but I finally finished the renovations to the basement and now I can fit twice the dead hookers! Lets keep that between us yeah?

Down to business. I’ll be reviewing Nicolas Winding Refn’s film “The Neon Demon”. It’s art, it’s fame, debauchery and death! So Freaks, grab a beer and some popcorn and your favorite ez-chair and let’s dive in!

Oh, and don’t feed the models.

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May (2002)- A Review by Tony Roca

Hello Freaks! I’m baaaaaaack. It’s been awhile but I’m here again with a new review for y’all. This time I will be reviewing Luck McKee’s 2002 film “May”. This was a suggested movie from someone in our wonderful Facebook group. If you haven’t yet-check it out here:

HORROR MOVIE FREAKS

So Freaks, grab a beer, some popcorn and kick back on your favorite piece of furniture (try to ignore that doll in your room) and join me as I review…“May”

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Lights Out: A Review By Tony Roca

lights-out

 

Hello again Freaks! That’s right, I’m baaaaaack. I thought I would take a break from the classics and review something newer for you. I also wanted to see what was out there for 2016 that I hadn’t seen. I was somewhat familiar with the concept of Lights Out as I had seen the short film that was released in 2013:

You can watch it here.

I have to say at the time I wasn’t all that impressed and I ignored it. So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon the full length film. Even then I let it sit for a few hours before I dove in. So Freaks, grab some popcorn and beer, turn on all the lights and check your flashlight batteries. Here, we, go…

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The People Under The Stairs Review by Tony Roca

Hello Freaks! I’m baaaaack. I hope you’ve all been up to no good! I’m taking a break from my VS reviews for the 25th anniversary of a little film you may have heard of. This is my review of a classic Horror film, Wes Craven’s 1991 masterpiece-

THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS

So grab a beer and some popcorn and enjoy!
“Sometimes in…is out”. This film is pure FUN. Craven obviously has a wonderful sense of humor. While this film is absolutely a Horror/Comedy, the characters are rich and their personalities shine from the moment they appear on screen. I think that quality is unique to TPUTS. Although technically a 90’s film it has that 80’s film feel among the likes of The Goonies. The camera work is wonderful and  the film manages to have a tense feel but remain almost light emotionally.

The sets in the film are brilliant. The house itself becomes a character and it’s apparent a lot of thought went into the design. All of the hidden spaces and trap doors and slides and folding
staircases are used perfectly and even give the viewer a sense this could be a real house…the one the kids avoid on Halloween.

TPUTS is a wonderful story of both revenge and redemption that paces itself well, keeps you on
the edge of your seat and gives you an amazing underdog to cheer for. Every character in the film is established quickly and you understand them and care about them so quickly it’s amazing. I think Craven’s writing really shines in this film.

A few interesting things about the film..

The house interiors were used in Rob Zombie’s Halloween remake. The movie only describes
the two antagonists as Mom and Dad, but at one point in the film when the Mom is attacked we hear her yell out “Eldon” to Dad. Hilary Swank auditioned for the role of “Roach” which was written for a male or female. The role ultimately went to Sean Whalen. It is  his debut film and at the time he was playing the 15 or 16 year old character he was 27.

Final Thoughts:

At the end of the day this is a fun horror comedy. I feel it gets a lot of negative criticism from people who take it too seriously. it’s meant to be cartoonish and campy. The acting is meant to be a bit stereotypical and over the top. What it really is is a beautifully written and directed late night popcorn flick. You’ll laugh, you’ll jump, you’ll groan and roll your eyes…and you’ll fucking love it.

I am giving The People Under The Stairs four and a half out of five stars. Now, as always I have knives to sharpen and bodies to dispose of. I’ll catch y’all later.

Oh, and uh..watch your step.

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