Horror Reviews

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Zombie Strippers

Review by 42nd Street Pete

2008 Directed by Jay Lee. Starring Robert Englund & Jenna Jameson

I was prepared to hate this movie, but it was actually a lot of fun. It's in the future, Bush is in his 4th term, his VP is Arnold, we are fighting wars all over the world and strip clubs have gone underground. Someone has developed a "virus"and the army is called out to get rid of the flesh eating zombies it creates. Of course a soldier is bitten, then hides in an underground strip club run by Robert Englund. He bites stripper Kat (Jena Jameson). She comes back to life and two things happen: She dances better and is smarter dead than she was alive.

As a dead stripper, she is a hit and the money just rolls in. Problem is that she eats one of the patrons during a lap dance. Englund and crew lock up the re-animated pervs in a basement cell. The other strippers want to rake in the big bucks, so they all turn zombie. The club is packed, but the basement is rapidly filling up with lap dance victims.

This is a really funny movie. Some of the stuff is really over the top, especially the zombie stripper showdown in which Jenna fires cue balls out of her pussy, decapitating some patrons. As in real life, the dead strippers are a lot smarter than the guys who come to see them. Jenna is pretty good here and may have a career in B Movies after she finishes up in the jiz bizz.

Creature Feature : 50 Years of the Gill Man

Review by 42nd Street Pete

Directed by Matthew Crick, Written by Sam Borowski.

This is an excellent documentary about the most enduring of the Universal Monster, The Creature From the Black Lagoon. This is a must see for any Creature fan as it covers everything from it's conception to it's impact in pop culture today. I was truly amazed at the scope of it all and some of the little known facts that came out. The Creature was conceived by a woman artist, he was introduced to the world on the Colgate Comedy Show with Abbott & Costello, Glen Strange was originally offered the role, but turned it down because he couldn't swim, and so many more interesting facts.

The film has a few of the stars that were in the film, Ben Chapman, Julie Adams, Ginger Stanley and others. Included are interviews with Creature friends and fans like Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Roebuck, and Tom Savini. There are also interviews with Creature collectors, who scoured the world in search of rare Creature items. Rob Hauschild of Wildeye Releasings tell how many other films were influenced by the Creature.

The "star" of this doc would have to be Ben Chapman. Ben was one of the coolest people that I ever met during my tenure with a certain convention. Ben was a fine human being and just a great person to hang out with. Ben truly cherished his fans, many who became personal friends. There are clips of Ben's many appearances at conventions like Monster Bash and Monster Mania. A lot of us have great Bennie stories from hanging out with him.

I saw this film last Saturday night at a packed house. If your a fan of the Creature or just a fan of the genre in general, I urge you to see this film. I enjoyed the hell out of it and actually learned some little known facts. A must see!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Gates Of Hell

Review by Sara

Directed by Kelly Dolen, starring Michael Piccirilli, Samantha Noble, Christian Clark, Bradley Tomlinson and Amy Beckwith. 2008.

The Gates Of Hell follows Kyle (Michael Piccirilli) and his four fellow filmmakers, as they set out to make an online interactive movie. Their location is the Von Diebitsch Manor, where they unknowingly become unwilling participants in their own film. The group discovers a tape recorder deep inside the bowels of the house.

As Kyle and his friends huddle around the tape recorder, they listen as John Behringer tells them the story of the Von Diebitsch Manor. Forty-two years ago, he and his wife abandoned their son behind the gates of Von Diebitsch Manor to a woman named Petra Von Diebitsch. She would take in children who were rejected by society and then inflict harm on them, brutally torturing them down in the cellar.

One by one Kyle's friends fall victim to Petra and her deformed "children." What the film lacks in character development and dialogue, it makes up for in kills. A little too darkly lit for my taste; we are still able to appreciate disembowelments, skull crushings and pretty good makeup effects.

Despite the low budget look and feel of the film, I still enjoyed it. I thought that the plot was original, even though you can clearly see the influences of George Romero's Diary Of the Dead, The Hills Have Eyes and Evil Dead.


Review by Sara

Directed by Tony Swansey, starring Kevin Oestenstad, Allison Batty, Stephen Dean and Joe Burke. 2008.

An Indy rock band is on their way to their next gig, when they become stranded on a country road, in the middle of nowhere. When they take refuge in an old barn, they soon find out that they're not alone. The barn's inhabitants are a genetic experiment gone horribly, horribly wrong. The killers are half pig and half human. Think the Texas Chainsaw Massacre meets Deliverance, with a little bit of Wrong Turn 2 thrown in there. The film is a blood bath from start to finish, as the band members are held captive in the barn all night.

I loved this film. It was absolutely unrelenting in its scares, kills and gore. It is a rollercoaster ride and when it ends, it will leave you sick and squealing for more. A must, must see.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Inglorious Bastards

Review by 42nd Street Pete

1978 - Directed by Enzo Castellari. Starring Bo Svenson, Fred Williamson, Jackie Basehart, and Ian Bannen. DVD by Severin Films

This release got a lot of hype as the film seems to have given Quentin Tarantino a woodie as he’s going to remake it. I had never seen it in the theaters and never had the desire to see it up until this point. Severin did a great job with the transfer and extras. I watched the film, which was pretty good, but the extras actually were better , especially the documentary, Train-Kept-A-Rollin’, where I actually learned a lot about Italian action film making.

Bastards is about a group of American prisoners being taken for sentencing. The convoy is strafed, killing most of the prisoners, but five escape. Being that the tagline is “ Whatever The Dirty Dozen Did, They Did it Dirtier”, you wonder why the film wasn’t called The Filthy Five. Oh, yeah, that’s a lost Andy Milligan film, sorry.

The five that survive are a Lieutenant( Svenson), a killer (illiamson), a mob guy, a forger/hustler, and a coward/mechanic. They decide to go to Switzerland to ride out the war. They find a German deserter and use him to get by the other Germans. This plan goes awry when they mistake a group of American commandos for real Germans. The deserter is killed and the commandos wiped out.

The French Resistance finds them and thinks they are the commandos. A Colonel Buckner arrives, a lot pissed off that his specialists have been killed. They were supposed to take out a train with a super bomb on board. The Lieutenant convinces Buckner that he and his boys can do the job. Now its all action as the “Bastards” take the train.

Castellari is one of great Italian action directors and “ The Inglorious Bastards “ is probably his most famous work. This is a three disc set . Like I said , the transfer is excellent, the extras are very cool and informative, and some of the key players share their thoughts about working on the film. This was Fred Williamson’s first Italian film. He said that he knew that he would be box office over here and did a lot more films in Italy. Svenson, on the other hand, said that he stayed too long in Italy and that caused his stock to drop in Hollywood.

To sum it up, this is a great set from Severin Films and I hope to see a lot more from them in the future.

Drive In Cult Classics: Volume 2

Review by 42nd Street Pete

Initially I thought that this was just a package of beat up PD prints. I was wrong as somebody took the time to find better prints and restore them. The films in this collection are The Hearse, Land of the Minotaur, The Creeping Terror, Bloodlust, Terrified, They Saved Hitler’s Brain, Madmen of Mandoras, & The Devil’s Hand.

To see how good these were, I picked the shittiest one in the bunch, The Creeping Terror. I had seen a really crappy print of this years ago. Almost the entire film is narrated as the soundtrack was “lost” . The monster, called a giant carpet in some reference books, actually doesn’t look bad here.

The monster looks a lot like a turtle with leaves sprouting out of it and a vagina for a mouth. It eats a lot of people, attacks a dance hall were people look really drunk. Check out the two old ladies getting hammered. When the creature attacks, a fist fight breaks out. The creature eats everyone at the dance hall, a squad of soldiers, then goes to lovers lane.

You see a lot more carnage in this print. The beast turns over a car and the passengers tumble out , bloody. The creature sucks them out of the car. The new Sheriff ( the old one got eaten) rams his car into the beast, killing it. They find out the monsters are portable labs that eat people and send the data to another planet to find our weaknesses. The scientist, who has been rendered a bloody mess, warns of a potential invasion down the road.

This film has never looked better and is actually watchable. There seems to be a lot more footage added to it and it’s a very clear print. Even though I haven’t watched the rest of the films, just based on what they did with The Creeping Terror, I would recommend this collection.

Exploitation Cinema Double Feature: Cemetery Girls and Vampire Hooker

Review by 42nd Street Pete

A great double feature ala grindhouse with trailers, snack bar commercials and a great double bill. Cemetery Girls is actually Count Dracula’s Great Love with Paul Naschy. I don’t know if this is the uncut version, but it starts out with a throat getting ripped out and an axe to the head before the credits roll.

Four women and one guy are stranded in a remote region in the Carpathians. The are told of a sanitarium , run by a crazy doctor ,by their driver before his head is caved in by one of the horse’s hooves. Of course they go to the place and meet the doctor , who is really Count Dracula.

The fun begins as the girls are bitten and get naked. Lots of lesbo action as two vampire girls double team their friend’s neck and other interesting parts of her anatomy. The dubbing is atrocious, the vampires are walking around in sunlight, the gore is extreme at times , and I enjoyed the hell out of

Vampire Hookers is the co feature , shot by Ciro Santiago and starring the immortal John Carradine.

You just have to love these trashy flicks shot in the Philippines. Two sailors on shore leave are looking for some pussy. They wander into a tranny bar by mistake. After a brawl in that lovely establishment, they hook up with a guy who might be an Admiral or something. A hot chic comes into the bar, the Admiral grabs her and she takes him to her place, the cemetery.

At this point any sane man would be mouthing WTF, but not this horny sailor. He follows her into the crypt, which is a pretty cool set, and thinks he is about to get busy. Unfortunately Carradine & his bevy of bodacious vamps show up and drain his fluids, not the fluids he expected.

His buddies go searching for him and find the cemetery. One finds his way into the crypt, but is seen by Vic Diaz , a servant to the coven. The two sailors are cornered and all seems hopeless until the sun rises. This is for laughs as no one could take any of this seriously. It’s laughs, tits, & blood. One girl defends her cult” It’s not murder, it’s dinner”. Vic farts a lot to add to the ambiance.

One sailor goes back and is caught. Carradine spouts a lot of Shakespeare quotes and seems to be enjoying all of this. The three vamps want the sailor for the night and we get a prolonged soft core sex romp while the sailor’s buddy tries to rescue him.

This plays out like a low budget Abbot & Costello movie. The sailor brings a bag of garlic & stakes, but can’t get the door to the crypt open. He leaves the bag and goes to get tools. Vic finds the bag and brings it to Carradine. “ Is it pizza? “ one of the girls asks. “ No it’s garlic “ Carradine roars and order the bag to be disposed of. John also bitches about mixing vodka with blood.

These two films are the perfect mix of laughs, blood, nudity, sex & horror. While the humor in Hookers was intentional, I’m sure the humor in Drac wasn’t. These transfers are the best I’ve seen with these films. Hookers is heads above those crappy VHS tapes put out by Comet, Continental, or whatever those ugly big box VHS tapes were. All in all, a great package, though I could have done without seeing Nachy’s fat , hairy ass in the sex scenes.

Brotherhood of Blood

Review by 42nd Street Pete

2007 - Ghosthouse Underground with Victoria Pratt, Ken Foree, and Sid Haig.

Billed as a combination of Reservoir Dogs and The Usual Suspects with vampires, it falls flat on every level. Scenes shift back & forth from this day to that day to three days prior ect. If your going to tell a story, fuckin' tell it without all this confusing jumping around.

Borrowing liberally from the plot of The Usual Suspects, we have the ultimate vampire, ala Kaiser Sosee, a guy even the other vampires fear. Seems years ago, vampires & humans banded together to stop him, according to the head vampire , played by Sid Haig in ill fitting fangs. Now he is back.

In this film vampires can be killed by shooting them. Like I said, with all the jumping around, it’s hard to follow. Sid & Ken Foree seem to be there for name value as this box harkens back to the direct to VHS days when a “name” was put on the box just to sell it. No knock on Sid or Ken as this is just the way of the business. Truth be told, Sid or Ken should be given meatier roles as they can carry a whole film by themselves.

The “ending” leaves this wide open for a sequel. I’ll pass.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Strangers

Review by Matt

This film follows James (Scott Speedman) and Kristen (Liv Tyler), a couple returning from a friends wedding. They arrive at the house of James, where the mood is very tense after Kristen's decline of a wedding proposal by James. The record player is playing romantic music, rose pedals are trailed from the bed to the tub and bottles of wine are iced and ready for the drinking. The tension between the two could be cut with a knife.

After returning from a bath, Kristen and James sit at the kitchen table and have a small chat that somehow leads to an attempt at sex, then a knock at the door interrupts. A blonde girl hiding in the shadows asks for an unfamiliar name. After the girl leaves, James decides to go for a drive rather then pick up we're they left off. This is where the good stuff comes in.

Kristen, now alone, starts getting terrorized by the masked bunch with various mind games and door bangings. She does eventually get a hold of James for him to return, and once he does, it becomes a full out war.

I must say, I really enjoyed this flick. The masks are great looking and create a playful yet creepy vibe and the atmosphere this film has is reminiscent of John Carpenter's Halloween with the killers constantly lurking within the darkness. The best line by far is the response to Kristen asking, "why are you doing this to us?". The masked blonde girl replies, "because you were home." I love that! Everything the killers did showed no true reason for why they are tormenting this couple other than just for fun.

I did hear a couple of negative reviews before viewing this film and here's my take on them. Some people feel that this film ripped off the French movie 'Them' but I have to disagree. Yes, it is a little similar with a group of killers messing with a couple, but it was executed much differently. The second complaint I heard was with the ending. I won't say anything about it, but I had no complaints with it. In fact, I was worried throughout my watching of the entire movie because of these complaints, but luckily I still enjoyed it. All I can say is, look forward to part 2!

Overall, I would say this has been one of the best slasher films of the year. Definitely pick this one up when it hits stores October 21st.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Game Of You: The "Slumber Party Slaughterhouse: The Game" World Premiere

Review by Gray

It seems oddly fitting that it took the titillating tag-team of horror movies and pornography to attempt to create something altogether unique in the cult cinema world. While the two could have been content simply giving new meaning to the term "splatterfest," they have now come together into what could very well be the future of cinema: "Slumber Party Slaughterhouse: The Game."

…Actually, scratch that. "SPS" is not the future of cinema. Heck, it's probably not even the future of betamax. What it IS, however, is a goofy, gory showcase of the directorial talent being distributed independently by Halo 8. It is also, like its title suggests, not just a film, a game.

It also has boobs. Lots of 'em.

This in mind (as it often is for me), I arrived at SPS's world premiere at the Pioneer Theater in New York City. Our master of ceremonies for the evening came in the form of the affable and often outrageous Doug Sakmann, one of the directors of SPS as well as director of PUNK ROCK HOLOCAUST and, most recently, several porn horror parodies for the alt-porn website Burning Angel. Sakmann, having previously worked for the infamous Troma Entertainment, has actively attempted to position himself as heir to the trashy, the tasteless and the disgusting legacy of the company, equal parts Lloyd Kaufman, John Waters, and William Castle.

He was accompanied by a Burning Angel starlet who I confess I immediately recognized, but, sadly, not by name. This partnership featured heavily in the event, as the cast of the film features several Burning Angel starlets, including Joanna Angel herself, who had directed and written a segment of the film.

The film began with two trailers for Burning Angel productions, the goofy EVIL HEAD (an Evil Dead parody, complete with porno stud Tommy Pistol doing a rather canny ape of Bruce Campbell), and the bizarre, almost anti-erotic "Strip For Pain," an event where contestants are bought on stage and subjected to various physical tortures and are rewarded by female nudity. While I assume it could be argued for being anything from the next logical evolution of "Jackass," a form of female empowerment, or just good, old-fashioned S&M titillation, the short clip alone was enough to make even this jaded pleasure-fiend morally queasy.

After the previews, the film began. The sultry female voice-over informed us of the silly premise: Hapless geek Paul Tard (hee, "tard") has just recently graduated from air-conditioner repair school. His friends decide to throw him a graduation party, even going so far as to hire hookers as entertainment. However, when Paul's slutty ex-girlfriend decides SHE wants a hooker, Paul is uninvited to his own party. Paul, after an abortive attempt to jerk-off to Internet porn while in the tub, electrocutes himself. He is then visited by an angel and a devil, portrayed by two very sexy ladies, who try to convince him to forgive and take revenge upon his friends, respectively.

Here, the film stopped the screen froze on the question: "WHAT SHOULD PAUL DO?" Below it, the answers, "FORGIVE HIS FRIENDS" and "TAKE REVENGE." Sakmann hopped up, polling the audience as to what Paul should do. While the insolent punk in me felt inclined to goad Paul into forgiveness in open defiance of audience sentiment, I (like everyone else) opted to send Paul on a blood-soaked rampage. "Good," Sakmann declared, "otherwise this movie would be really short."

This first pause I found actually very charming. It reminded me of those "Choose Your Own Adventure Books" I'd read as a kid, and the "Choose The Scare" Goosebumps books I'd read as a mildly retarded adolescent. However, after this initial decision, the movie settled into a slightly modified routine: Paul and his demonic consort would spy on his friends cavorting with hookers. Paul, so as to be able to possess the hooker (played with naked aplomb by the BA girls) and murder his treacherous friends, would need to answer a horror movie trivia question, posed to the audience by Sakmann like the first question. The questions ran the gamut from general knowledge ("Who was the killer in Friday the 13th Pt. 1?") to the tricky ("Which of these people protested 'Silent Night, Deadly Night' only to act in its sequel?").

After the questions were answered correctly by an audience member, the movie would resume and one of Paul's friends would die brutally by the hands of the hooker. Then, another question would be posed, answered, and this time, the hooker would be murdered by the possessed body of the friend. The process repeated several times, with each segment featuring new actors and directors, until the film reached its bloody conclusion with everyone dead while Paul and his demonic tormentor walked hand and hand into the night.

When I later asked Sakmann about why the film embraced a more linear narrative with the trivia versus the choose your own adventure model, he made clear the decision was motivated by time and cost efficiency.

"Literally, this movie is the fastest turnaround that I've ever seen of any movie… Matt [Pizzolo] from Halo 8 (the distributor for Punk Rock Holocaust 2 and Slumber Party Slaughterhouse) came to me with the concept a month and half, two months ago."

"We wanted to have it out for Halloween," Sakmann added, explaining the expedited schedule.

That said, to say the film accepts its limitations admirably would be a fair assessment. Shot cheaply with largely non-conventional actors, no budget, but plenty of fake blood and female nudity, the film could very easily have fallen into the tired territory of the sophomoric splatterfest, maligned by higher budget affairs distributed by Hollywood powerhouses who are currently glutting the market.

However, the directors, seemingly aware of this fact, have managed to make the most of the resources. The script, for the most part, is actually pretty funny and the acting quite adept. The comedic chemistry between Paul and his demonic consort provides excellent continuity glue. Particularly, the segment directed by Joanna Angel shines, as Angel plays off her sex-toy persona with just the right amount of tongue-in-cheek, off-the-wall humor, and outrageous violence.

And WHAT violence! Death by sodomy, disembowelments, gang-rape by an evil clown and giant chicken, as well as a rather unlucky girl who meets her end via sword-sex (this particular segment is made baffling by the editing: initially, she was the instigator of the act and appears to be enjoying relations with the katana blade. In fact things only appear to go wrong after her partner is possessed and begins to get a little overzealous with her thrusting. Which begs the question: is there such a thing as congenial, healthy swordplay?). All with blood-soaked special effects just cheesy enough to make me smile.

"Working at Troma for three-and-a-half years, you pick up things," said Sakmann of the aesthetic.

"[My boss at Troma] told me that, in my time at Troma, I'd done everything in their movies in real life, short of killing someone. So, instead of that, I decided to go out and push it even further and have fun with it."

Even with the Tromatic airs in mind, there are definite misses. The rushed schedule shows in the quality of the editing and the slapdash cinematography. It LOOKS like something completed in a month and a half. The film I saw also had an almost unbearable coda attached to it, a largely unrelated short directed by Ramzi Abed where five stoners sit around and bullshit until one of them has a hallucination in which he murders a mysterious dancing woman. Filmed in black and white with truly abysmal editing and scripting (the dialogue repeats word-for-word halfway through the short, as though the first 5 minutes had been a dress rehearsal), it felt like the bastard of Judd Apatow and David Lynch, only aborted in the third trimester.

Still, "Slumber Party Slaughterhouse: The Game," in spite of its rougher edges, is actually a novel and inventive concept. While it definitely strives for camp (as many low-budget horror films attempt to stretch the thinnest of resources/premise/talent), it also serves a dual purpose. Stated in the press release, the film is built on "audience participation," but less of the self-consciously art-y and socially transgressive kind of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and more of the "pub trivia-style" variety, which seems more appropriate given the audience. It's a thoroughly modern take on the gimmickry and audience manipulation of Roger Corman. And while it seems unlikely to have much lasting appeal given its slap-dash construction, the "interactive horror experience" is definitely a rich vein that, with perhaps more planning and increased exploration of the technology, could very easy give rise to a whole new breed of filmmakers and viewers.

Also, boobs.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds

Review by 42nd Street Pete

Starring Jenny Wade, Clu Gulager, & Diane Ayala Goldner. Directed by John Gulager. From Dimension Extreme.

I did have high hopes for this as I really liked the first one. Now this is being billed as a new “classic” horror series. Someone better look up the definition of classic because this isn’t it. Two survivors from # 1, the Bartender & Honey Pie are now holding off the CG monsters in a small town with an all girl biker gang, two midget wrestlers, and some other disposable characters. This plays out like a video game and that seems to be it’s target audience.

Some of it is funny, most of it sucks, especially the “autopsy” scene were people puke, get slimed, and get jizzed on. Yeah, you read right, the dead monster’s Ron Jeremy like wazoo splooges all over the cast. I could read into something here, but I won’t . Other highlights are a baby getting eaten, a monster fucking a cat, Clu beating the shit out of Honey Pie for running off in the first film, a dissolving old lady, and more slimy, pukey, fluids than an Annie Sprinkle porn film. Obviously this film has an audience, but I’m not in it.

The Lost

Review by 42nd Street Pete

2008 - from Anchor Bay Starring Marc Senter, Shat Astar, Alex Frost, Dee Wallace Stone & Ed Lauter. Directed by Chris Siverson.

It was about time that someone made a movie out of a Jack Ketchum novel. Jack is perhaps one of the best horror writers out there, but has been overshadowed for many years. Lost is a twisted tale of a sociopath, Ray Pye, who terrorizes his small town. In the opening, Ray cold bloodedly kills two girls who are camping ( Misty Mundae & Ruby Laroca). One survives, but is brain dead. A detective( Michael Bowen) knows that Ray is guilty and is out to get him. Ray keeps his two companions in line with threats of violence.

Ketchum’s twisted tale of dead end, small town life is excellently done here. Rather than give up the ending, this is one that you have to see for yourself. Marc Senter gives a chilling performance as Ray Pye, a guy a lot of us knew during our high school years. These characters, in my life, always met the bad end we thought they would. This film captures the small town , dead end ambiance . All the performers are excellent and I hope to see more of Ketchum’s work translated into film. Let’s see who has the balls to do Off Season or Ladies Night.


Review by 42nd Street Pete

2007 - from Genius Entertainment with Tara Reed, Jonathan Scarfe & Corbin Bernsen. Directed by Bill Corcran.

Usually I stay far away from these Si Fi Channel films, but this one isn’t bad, even with the CG snakes. A bunch of genetically engineered vipers escape from a lab and wind up on an island in the Pacific Northwest. Not only are they venomous, but carnivorous as well. Several victims are eaten, bones and all.

Bernsen, who has played the mad scientist or corporate prick in a bunch of films lately, sends a team to rescue the population of the island. Of course he has a plan to destroy the place to cover up any wrong doing. Bet he misses those LA Law paychecks.

Inasmuch as I hate CG effects, these are pretty good and the gore will appease some of the most jaded gorehounds. Sometime with the made for the Sci Fi Channel stuff, you have to get the DVD as they still cut out language, nudity and extreme violence. Hint: rent it before you buy it.

100 Million BC

Review by 42nd Street Pete

2008 - Asylum Home Entertainment Starring Michael Gross, Greg Evigan, & Christopher Atkins. Directed by Louie Myman

Time travel epic with an elite team sent back in time to retrieve another team that was sent back in the 40’s . Premise is good, but the bad CG stuff kills it. Raptors attack and kill most of the rescue team. The T-Rex is red and Michael Gross looks pretty gross with his balding head covered with liver spots. Guess the budget didn’t allow for make up.

The 40’s women have 2000 style enhanced boobage, the CG stuff sucks and nobody noticed a bright red T-Rex roaming around LA at night. Christopher Atkins seems to be a fixture in these crappy films as of late.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dexter - Season 3, Episode 2: “Finding Freebo”

“Dexter” Season 3, Episode 2: “Finding Freebo”

Review by Alyson

Last week Dexter accidentally killed Oscar Prado, brother of Miguel Prado (Jimmy Smits!) while trying to kill murderous drug dealer, Freebo. Freebo is now the prime suspect in the case and is being hunted by Miami Metro and Dexter. Freebo has seen Dexter and our favorite serial killer must catch him before the police.

Rita is desperately trying to get dear Daddy Dexter to talk to her about their future child. Dexter is distracted by the thoughts of spawning what could turn into a little monster like him.

Miguel Prado, knowing that Dexter has an interest in his brother’s murder starts to bond with him. So, when Prado finds Dexter leaving a garage after killing Freebo, he quickly decides that Dexter avenged his brother’s death. Dexter told him it was self defense after he followed a forensics lead. They now share a secret no one can find out about.

This episode penned by Melissa Rosenberg (how happy I am that both “Dexter” and the “Twilight” feature are in good hands), doesn’t disappoint on the foul language front. There’s even a frat party with lots of “ho” dialogue, including “ho-pad,” my new favorite term.

Every time there is a sensitive scene between former lovers Prado and Laguerta there is acoustic Spanish guitar in the background and that’s starting to be the element I notice most in those scenes.

I am ready for everything to start unfolding in the next few episodes.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dexter - Season 3, Episode 1: “Our Father”

Review by Alyson

Dear, deadly Dexter is back to delight the dark passenger that dwells inside us all. Dexter’s first target this season is a drug dealer that has killed two girls. After buying some product from the dealer and scoping out his lair, Dexter shows up to do the deed only to find another man is holding a knife to the dealer. Dexter gets into a rumble with the man with the knife, kills him and runs away.

It turns out the man who was killed worked with a youth organization and was brother to prosecutor Miguel Prado. Prado is played by the only man that could follow a Carradine: Jimmy Smits! While under suspicion of Prado, Dexter must help piece together the murder.

Deb got a haircut and is dying to get her detective shield, while my buddy Angel is promoted to Sergeant. Internal Affairs is trying to get Deb to find some info on a new officer she works with and is bribing her with a detective’s shield.

Rita and the kids are happy and content; Rita is glowing and is in what seems to be constant post-coital bliss. She realizes that she must be pregnant! Bring on Daddy Dexter!

Michael C. Hall, like always, is more than you could hope for from the literary Dexter Morgan character.

I’m wondering what is going to make up for the lack of Doakes. Is Jimmy Smits enough? And Deb is trying to be more professional this season, so I am really not going to get my fill of hilarious swearing.

Every single shot in frame is stunning and the music is great, as always.

Our favorite monster is turning more and more into a man. Are we ready for that?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

True Blood - Episode 4: "Escape from Dragon House"

Review by Alyson

I'm getting really into the "True Blood" theme Suburban Vampire by country singer Jace Everett – what a good way to start a show. Check it out if you aren't watching.

This week one of the girls that works at the bar is found dead, and of course with vampire bite marks since she was a fang banger. Jason is suspected of her death since he slept with her right before her demise, but he's innocent. On his way to the sheriff's station Jason drinks the entire vile of vampire blood he has which leaves him with an erection that warrants an emergency room visit.

Sookie has Bill take her to the local vampire bar "Fangtasia" (vampires love puns!) to find information about the recently slain girls.

And finally, Sam lets himself into the dead girl's apartment and while wearing rubber gloves, rolls around in her sheets sniffing them.

Things just keep getting weirder.

Jason isn't a vampire yet, but I'm still betting on him being changed very soon. I also suspect that my favorite, Bill isn't going to be around for long. I'd like to see what "True Blood" will do then to keep my attention.

There was an instance of super fast vampire running in this episode and it was kind of weird looking since you couldn't see their feet. It looked like floating, but if you could see the effect on the feet it would have probably been really cheesy looking.

There was also a very short, gory, bathroom feeding sequence that was badass.

I'd like to do a retrospective episode rating system. On a scale of 1-5: Episode 1 = 4, Episode 2 = 3, Episode 3 = 4.5, and now I'll give Episode 4 a 4 out of 5. Check back next week to see if Episode 5 can get a 5, I hope so.