Horror Express Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.
Whenever you have a mummy running around you wanna be careful since the heroes are in for a tough fight. This movie adds some tension by trapping all of the heroes on a train. It’s a pretty nice idea and with the body count growing quite high there is a real sense of danger. Unfortunately the film wastes quite a lot of its potential on going for a very gritty approach. The atmosphere is just right and the villain has a pretty interesting design but these factors are not enough to save the movie.

The movie starts by introducing us to the characters. Saxton has uncovered a rather big discovery and something that he hopes will further his research. He wants to keep this a secret though so he keeps a huge box locked up tight and forbids anyone from looking at it. Then you have the Count and Countess who are aboard this train as well along with a monk named Pujardov who is convinced that there is something sinister in the box. Then you have Wells who is hoping to have a relaxing time here. There’s also a lady who has seemingly snuck aboard without a ticket who convinces Wells to look the other way. We’ve got a whole slew of characters here but then one guy decides to open the box and it turns out to be more than he bargained for. The creature inside it is now unleashed and hungers for brains!

I’d consider the monster to be a mummy for the most part just with how he acts/looks. The whole absorbing brains part is more like a zombie though and then he has the stare of death which is like something out of Dracula. So they’re going for quite a lot with this villain and then the kicker is later on we see he’s from another planet. So really he’s an alien, but you could say that he’s an Alien mummy zombie at this point. You could use all 3 terms and it would still be pretty accurate so that’s neat. The villain can assume many forms and manipulates the cast quite a bit. When you mix in his quick stare of death you can see how he is easily able to overwhelm most fighters.

This is a horror film that loves showing everyone get murdered for as long as possible though. Prepare to see all of the characters get choked for a long time with epic zoom ins as they try to fight back. Everyone dies rather bloodily and there is a big body count here. We also see the characters run autopsies on screen which can be pretty brutal. The effects are on point but if you’re not a fan of scenes like that then you definitely may want to take a step back here. The film doesn’t shy away from these scenes and can definitely get pretty graphic.

As for the characters, Saxton is definitely quite sure of himself and has no real sympathy for anyone. He’s no hero so it’s an interesting change from what you would expect. I found him to be pretty fun even if he was part of the problem for the heroes during most of the movie. If he was a little more reasonable then things wouldn’t have gone this far. Then you have Wells who is a lot more heroic and willing to help out. He’s not exactly thrilled about this going on while he’s trying to enjoy the ride but at least he actually wants to help. He comes up with some good plans as well and helps make most of the discoveries on what is going on here.

The Count doesn’t get much of a role except to wave his death flag quite high. The Countess’ role is significantly larger as she gets very close to the action. Near the end it feels like she’s just running from zombie to zombie but she never fainted or anything like that which is good. You’ve got the monk Pujardov who cracked almost instantly. He’s definitely not someone that you want to have your back because you just couldn’t trust him to protect you when it counted. That’s the kind of support that you just don’t need. Then there’s the inspector Mirov who meant well. It’s always good to have a cop on board to try and keep everyone calm. At least he got a shot off which was definitely appreciated. Likewise you had Kazan who was a lot more extreme but at least threw a knife at the villain and even got a few shots in so tht was pretty impressive. just a little more and he could have won.

Of course, you do have to question how likely it is that this villain would be down for long. He is effectively living energy or a kind of being that is not physical the way that most are. I even doubt that in the ending of the film he is truly gone. These kinds of villains always seem to regenerate and try again in the future. Still, the heroes did pretty good. At least the fact that he has to body hop when the vessel is injured enough is a decent weakness since it buys you a lot of time to escape. The second half of the movie switching to more of a thriller on wondering which body was currently housing the villain was a nice approach.

Overall, There was definitely a lot going on in this train. The Horror Express is an interesting movie and one that is pretty unique. It’s very rare that you have a horror/survival film that takes place on a train. I’ll give the film kudos for that but ultimately it will still be doomed to a low score in the end. The violence can be over the top quite often and the surgery scenes don’t help matters. At times the film is just more focused on the shock value then on actually moving things forward. You could have easily handled this film a lot differently and would have come away with a superior plot. If you’re a huge fan of survival stories and don’t mind the violence then I would recommend it but otherwise you should check out a different option like The Green Slime.

Overall 3/10

The Black Sleep Review


Cheating death never tends out to work very well in these films. Why would it right? The scientists tend to be quite mad and will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. It isn’t really a recipe for success I would say. The movie has a decent premise but the main character is definitely not very bright in the slightest. I wouldn’t say this works quite as well as a lot of the other retro films I’ve seen but it should keep your attention decently well as you progress through the adventure.

The movie starts with the main character (Gordon) preparing for death’s door. He was said to have murdered someone and so he got the death penalty. His friend Joel shows up and offers him a path to escape his fate. He has to ingest the drug known as the Black Sleep. Gordon has nothing to lose so he does this and then wakes up in the doctor’s office. The drug simulates death so Joel pulled some tricks and got him out of it. Gordon owes his life to the man now though so he agrees to help in the experiments. Basically, Joel is trying to revolutionize brain surgery. He’s trying to prove that each part of the brain operates a different part of the body. Gordon is on board with this but then he finds out just how drastic these operations are. Joel is experimenting on people who are still alive and may scar them for life. Can Gordon really help him with this?

Well, any reasonable person would walk away right? Not Gordon, he’s definitely willing to play ball. Here’s the problem with this, the film could have played it off like Gordon felt he owed Joel a lot so he would go through with it despite his personal feelings. The film doesn’t really play that angle up. Gordon just seems to think that Joel has a point that this is worth the sacrifice. Even after seeing how shady Joel was, Gordon wouldn’t believe Laurie either. It takes quite a lot to convince him that this is all pretty sinister and then he quickly tries to play the hero. The problem is that Gordon is a very willing accomplice the whole time so his big turnaround at the end doesn’t feel very earned or heroic. The guy is just playing the field the whole time and doing whatever he wants. It’s hard to find him likable.

Joel isn’t likable either of course but he’s your standard mad scientist. I wouldn’t say that he’s a weak villain or anything. He’s just completely standard and you either like the villain type or you don’t. At least he actually has a reason for doing this but it just doesn’t excuse anything. He’s also failed many times as we learn when we see the dungeons later on. You’d think he would have gotten a little better at it. The idea is that he has made a creation by turning off a different part of the brain each time. So one person can’t talk, another can’t hear, etc. Definitely makes for a collection of crazy mistakes from his side.

It also makes the whole place pretty unsafe. In particular you’ve got one monster running around who keeps trying to choke people or attack Laurie. Only one lady in the house is able to calm him down and she rarely appears in time to stop his initial attack. Gordon nearly died early on when he walked into the hallway although I don’t think he could have expected anything else when it was so late at night. He’s not exactly a super sleuth and even when he has his big James Bond moment of using the secret passage he is caught rather quickly.

There isn’t a lot to say about Laurie meanwhile. She’s really hoping Gordon realizes what’s up so he can get her out of there. The problem is that he’s not very quick on the uptake and in the meantime she’s stuck. I have a lot more sympathy for her than Gordon because you do feel like there’s no way she could escape on her own. Then you’ve got Udu who is Joel’s right hand man and supplies the bodies. Typically a mad scientist always needs some kind of brute to do the heavy lifting while he’s doing the research. Udu fills that role for sure.

You can see that some parts of the film are pretty strong as you go through it. For example, I thought the writing was pretty good. The characters may not be super likable but there is some good back and forth dialogue between the characters. We have your classic debates of how much research you should do and to what ends. The film’s pacing is on point as well so I wouldn’t say it drags on. It’ll just depend really on if you can get past the characters not being great. It’s also not the most original plot and while that’s not a bad thing, you feel like other films have executed the themes better than this one. The Black Sleep just isn’t a very memorable film.

Overall, The Black Sleep tries to execute a fairly straightforward plot with a rather small cast. There just isn’t any standout member to be had though and while the creations may make for good shock value it’s not like they can do much to further the plot. You could cut or keep them and it doesn’t effect the film all that much. I’d say it was just here to convince Gordon in the end that he had to get out but he should have realized that a lot sooner. If I was Laurie I would still be rather sore at him taking it all for granted. It’s not a bad movie though, I’d put it a little above the middle. It’s definitely not a bad movie. I can’t picture myself checking it out again but if you want a quick little adventure about the horrors of science then this could be a decent pick.

Overall 6/10

The Brain That Wouldn’t Die Review


Storing brains by themselves is always a recipe for disaster. Usually you’ll end up bringing back a zombie or a monster or at least the odds of that are far greater than the odds of bringing someone back in one piece. It’s just not going to happen and while a single head may sound like it should be easy to defeat, you really can’t underestimate these villains. This film’s not very good. It can be cheesy at times with some good dialogue but it just makes a lot of mistakes along the way. There’s not really much of a cast to root for here and the film made a mistake that I never thought I’d see. It’s a short film that actually drags on quite a bit.

The movie starts with Bill managing to save someone through the use of a brain transplant. His father doesn’t approve since this is really outside of the books but Bill doesn’t care. He speeds a little too fast in his car and ends up getting his girlfriend Jan murdered. He’s able to grab her head which fortunately popped out smoothly and then gets her into a jar. He aims to put her head on someone else’s body and then stitch it together. The tricky part is going to be finding a body so he decides to just find some girls and will pick the best one. Can someone stop this madman before it’s too late?

So I’ve got a lot of problems with the film but my only real question is where did the monster come from? It just feels very out of place and random. I don’t believe it’s the guy from the first operation because that would just make absolutely no sense. How would that guy have gotten downstairs and how was he so deformed? So it seems like this is an unrelated incident and in that case how did Bill not know about it? His sidekick Kurt had to tell him about it and while Bill was surprised, he didn’t seem to care a whole lot because he was just too busy. So where did this monster come from? The film doesn’t seem too care too much but it just did seem out of the blue.

This is the plotline that drags on a lot though. The film is under 2 hours but there are so many scenes of Jan’s head talking to the monster while he beats on the door. A lot of these scenes are basically identical and they just keep going back and forth over and over again. The payoff isn’t until the final few minutes at which point it’s just too late. Some of these scenes could have been cut and nothing would have changed. Bill definitely looks pretty bad though considering there is only one way to get in range and that’s to walk near the window. He did see the body next to him right? Definitely not a good look but it’s not like he was someone to root for anyway so I was pretty okay with this.

Bill just makes for a poor antagonist. Most of his scenes are just him oogling different characters as he chooses his next victim. He flirts quite a bit although he claims his whole goal is to bring his girlfriend back. The whole thing is pretty suspect at best, it’s not really even bringing Jan back at that point since the body will be completely different. I’m sure there are debates to be had on that but either way he’s a pretty unrepentant murderer. It’s also a shame since the heroine at the end already had a hard time trusting people. This is definitely not going to help that in the slightest. So the film’s got a pretty lousy main character and an excuse for random modeling shows and some fanservice. What else is there for the film?

Kurt’s pretty crazy. He tries to tell everyone that he’s not afraid of anything but he’s not even fooling himself with this. The worst part is that he shouldn’t be afraid. Why be afraid of a severed head? I can see him being afraid of the monster. Sure, that makes sense but Jan? Jan did undergo a complete 180 in terms of personality when she became a head though. I didn’t realize that she would become such a fierce character, but I guess dying will do that to you. I also don’t imagine that it’s any fun to live life as a head so I completely understand why she was so upset at Bill. It’s not like he was listening to her at all so you can make a strong case that he just wanted to prove that his methods worked. Jan even had the classic evil laughter at her disposal as she would crack up quite a lot. I was glad that she gets the last word in though. The film ends abruptly but you could say it was a pretty happy ending.

The film’s pretty tame in terms of violence for the most part although near the end it suddenly gets intense. One character literally has his arm ripped off and another one gets chewed up. Those scenes were more intense than you may expect here. The creature’s design also looks pretty painful as you can tell that things went very wrong when trying to work on him. This movie could definitely get intense at times that’s for sure. It just didn’t channel that intensity into being a quality picture and ultimately that’s what held it back here. It didn’t have that decisive moment to take it to the next level.

Overall, This is not a film that I would recommend. While many films back in these days had top tier writing and plot progression, this was not one of them. It really manages to underperform in all areas. The fact that there are no likable characters in the film is already a big red flag. How can you ultimately succeed without any? Bill comes across as rather sinister right from the start as he goes in with the threats immediately and I already talked about Jan. The supporting characters like the old friend who does some modeling and the leader of the modelers were probably the best characters and it’s not like they got a ton of screen time. They were also a bit gullible with how quickly they were trusting Bill. The old friend has a better excuse then the head. The random fight in the dressing room as also as random as they come. If you want to watch a good sci-fi film then you’ve come to the wrong title. I’d recommend checking Men in Black instead.

Overall 4/10

Night of the Living Dead Review


Night of the Living Dead is quite the title right? I imagine that just about everyone has to have heard of this film. The zombies owe a whole lot to this one. It’s a pretty interesting look at the classic horror feeling of knowing that you’re surrounded and there’s no way out. The film does start to go into edgy territory towards the end though trying to be more gritty than necessary. It definitely fumbles the landing and while it will keep your attention, I wouldn’t say this is a good movie. One character in particular also gets pretty annoying very quickly.

The movie starts with Barbra and her brother visiting a grave. He’s trolling her as usual when a guy starts walking towards them. He jokes that the guy is here to murder Barbra and unfortunately he’s right. The brother is able to distract the guy long enough for Barbra to get away but is murdered in the process. She escapes to a house but unfortunately there are a lot of these zombies running around. A man named Ben shows up and he’s also been on the run from these guys. He tells her that they have to make a stand in the house for as long as possible and boards things up. They’re not along though as it turns out that you’ve got Harry, his wife Helen, Tom, and his wife Judy along with an injured kid who got bit by one of the zombies. If you’re familiar with your films on contagions and stuff, being bit is never a good sign. Can the heroes really make a stand here or are there just too many zombies?

The toughest part about these kind of scenarios is that you don’t know how many zombies there are or how long you have to hold out. These questions nag in the back of your mind the whole time. It’s part of what makes titles like The Walking Dead or Resident Evil so popular. It’s easy to get behind a survival story as you try your best to stay alive as long as possible. I’d argue that it’s part of the appeal of Fortnite as well. It’s just fun to test your limits. Where the film goes wrong is in the more shock value type scenes. We actually see the zombies eating people which can be pretty graphic. There are quite a few scenes where you see them chomping on limbs and such. It definitely makes you shake your head because it really wasn’t needed. The atmosphere is enough to really make you feel the fear of the zombies and why they are so intense. You don’t need to throw the violence on top of that, it’s just not necessary.

As for the characters, well Barbra definitely stands out in a bad way. After the opening scene where she does a good job of running for safety and doing what needs to be done, she freezes. Now, the adrenaline has run out by now so I do expect a little crash. The worst part is that the crash lasts for pretty much the entirety of the movie though. She never gets to a point where she is a fighter after that and has no good ideas. It’s a shame but she definitely doesn’t help matters as the main heroine. Then you’ve got Harry who just likes to argue about everything. His idea to stay in the shelter is pretty terrible.

Here’s why it’s an awful decision. When you go down there you have absolutely no exits. It’s blocked by a locked door..and that’s about it. The zombies will eventually punch through and you don’t have a lot of options after that. Ultimately you would have to go back into the house anyway but this way you don’t have any protections and the zombies can be anywhere. It’s obviously a smarter idea to lock up the house and do what you gotta do. If you do have to escape it’s much easier to do when you’re already up and about as opposed to hiding in the basement. So it’s no secret that I was completely against Harry’s plan. It just makes no sense. Then you’ve got Tom who was at least willing to help. It takes Tom a little while to actually pick a side but he ultimately does which is the important thing. He never goes traitor the way that Harry does. Then you have Helen and Judy although their roles aren’t huge. Judy sort of cracks while Helen does well although it takes her a while to make a move.

That leaves us with Ben who’s certainly the most experienced member of the group. He’s been taking down zombies for a while not and knows how to fight them. He’s definitely fed up with everyone right now though and feels like they’re holding him back. They definitely do slow him down quite a bit between Barbra freezing and Harry actively trying to murder Ben. Ben handles the zombies pretty well for most of the film although at the end I’d say that he got a bit sloppy. I suppose there’s not a whole lot he could have known about the situation though so I’ll give him some slack there. It made for a pretty intense ending that’s for sure.

I was glad that we actually got to see the government get involved. It feels like a lot of the time you don’t get to see a whole lot from them here. It makes sense that they would be gearing up to stop the zombies though. The scenes of the professionals discussing things and making plans was nice. It’s always good to see everyone banding together to stop a threat like this and humanity is united rather well. I do feel like they would be able to defeat the zombies rather easily when you think about it. A head shot is all you need and the zombies are incredibly slow. As it stands I feel like the main characters should have been a little less nervous about things at times as you could pick them off pretty easily. Honestly if Ben had one more fighter with him then they probably could have just taken them all down. With two people it’s a lot safer to actually go in and start bashing the opponents. With 1 you gotta be careful since they do have a little super strength so any good hit could turn the tables.

Overall, This is probably still a better film than most zombie titles. It’s not exactly one of the better horror genres if you ask me so for the most part this one was rather decent. If they would just tone down the cannabalism and the violence then this could even be a winner. You even have the horror twist type ending which is always classic. Throw in the brief Sci-Fi angle and the government part and there is definitely a whole lot to enjoy here. I get the feeling that this will end up beating the sequels as well. If you want a suspenseful film about trying to survive in the middle of nowhere then this is probably an appropriate one to check out. Otherwise there’s always the original Home Alone about defending yourself against powerful forces while all on your own.

Overall 3/10

The Green Slime Review


Now this is a pretty amazing film title right off the bat. Who doesn’t want to watch a film that sounds like it’s about a ton of slime? This is a gold mine and the best part is that we all know it. You can’t get around the fact that this just sounds incredibly hype. The Green Slime is not to be trifled with and it’s got a fairly decent monster design. It honestly looks more like a minion then the big bad for most of the film but I can respect it. It’s also got enough special abilities to make it a little more impressive than the average monster. Classic lasers won’t be enough to stop this guy.

So we’ve got another mission into outer space. The team is going to be led by expert astronaut Jack. The difficult part is that Vince wants to come as well because he’s always had an inferiority complex around Jack. This is for many reasons. Jack’s always been known as the best guy in town and he also used to date Lisa who is now with Vince. Vince may have become commander of the space station while Jack has been promoted to other duties but he can’t escape the man’s shadow. Perhaps if they both go on a space mission together Vince can prove that he’s better than Jack. Well, the mission goes decently well but they are forced to head home pretty quickly after some complications. The issue is that they brought the slime back with them and it turned out to be a semi sentient monster bent on eating all the electricity it can find. It absorbs energy like a sponge. Is there any way to take this guy down?

A good portion of the film is the rivalry between Jack and Vince so how much you enjoy the film will depend on how much you like that aspect. It’s pretty fun although I consider it to be incredibly one sided. For starters, Jack is actually a great astronaut. He’s not all talk and consistently makes better decisions than Vince during the film. Jack is all about following orders and doing things by the book while Vince wings it. He also never puts people in danger for no reason. Vince intentionally makes a risky decision just to mess with Jack and it ends up costing some lives. Vince knew it was the wrong decision but did it to spite Jack. That’s when I knew that he had absolutely no chance here.

Jack’s no saint though. While he and Lisa are over and done with he tries to reclaim her after arriving back on the spaceship. He knows that she is with Vince and does this anyway. Not very sporting of him. The guy’s massive confidence works against him in this instance. He’s a solid lead but that’s one part of the plot where you just can’t root for him. He’s made it clear time and time again that the job is most important to him so you can’t really get around that fact. Meanwhile I don’t care for Vince because of his lack of confidence and how he keeps messing everything up. Lisa’s a solid heroine although I think she could take a harder stance against Jack. As long as she maintains control of the conversation she can keep him at bay and that would be the best way to go about things if you ask me.

Still, while they may not be super likable as characters, it makes for a lot of fun scenes. I’ll tell you right now that the characters are a lot more memorable then you may expect for an ole sci-fi film like this. You aren’t likely to forget about them anytime soon. How about the monster? Well, he’s pretty much mindless if you ask me but he does land some good shots. Usually that’s because the heroes move very slow but he still gets his wins so I have to acknowledge that much. He has a Swamp Thing type design while in human form. Mix in the regeneration and accelerated growth and I maintain the stance that he is a little stronger than your average monster from this era. I’d like to see more of a wide scale invasion but the idea of having to deal with a monster while you’re isolated in space is a strong one. Who knows, maybe Alien got the idea from this film. I wouldn’t be too surprised.

As expected the writing here is definitely on point. The dialogue is pretty sharp and all of the characters try to sound very eloquent even when disagreeing with each other. The pacing is solid and the movie is just very enjoyable. I do question how the slime got past the sensors when Jack even insisted that they all get scanned twice. I think they need to invest in some new ones and quickly or this won’t be the last invasion that they have to fend off. The effects have aged pretty well and so this film has really executed on all points. There are a lot of ways you could do a sequel to this one even if by now the odds of a sequel are fairly slim.

Overall, The Green Slime is definitely a movie that I recommend watching. If you like the Sci-Fi genre or just want a tense film about dealing with a creature then this is the one for you. It’s got action to keep you entertained and a pretty good monster to work as an opponent. What he lacks in character he makes up for with pure ability. When you think of a Sci-Fi film you think of an adventure in outer space with an alien. This one really captures all of that and it’s part of what makes the film so good. It really embraces the Sci-Fi genre and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The body count does get a bit high though so you’ll definitely feel bad for the crew as the movie goes on.

Overall 7/10

Hand of Death Review


Sometimes when you turn a film on you know right away that things are going to get pretty deadly. The title itself can be a pretty good indicator of that after all. Well, this film’s definitely pretty solid and you’ll be glad to have checked it out. It can be a bit by the books at times of course, but at the end of the day it’s all executed well. The film’s pretty short though so it really breezes by. You really feel like they don’t make 1 hour movies like this anymore. Granted, I always think a movie should be as long as possible since it makes the experience even better but if you know ahead of time that the plot won’t hold then going short makes sense.

The movie starts with a driver noticing that something’s not right as there are a few sheep fast asleep inside of private property. He rushes inside and is promptly knocked out. When he wakes up a scientist named Alex lets the guy know that they’re running some secret experiments so he better not tell anyone. Alex is glad this happened though because it proves that the serum is safe on humans. He rushes home and explains to Ramsey that he has built the ultimate weapon for war. You can spray a whole country with this gas which will immobilizze them and also make them susceptible to hypnosis and all kinds of commands. Ramsey lets Alex know that their lab isn’t for war but Alex wants to proceed and Ramsey allows it. Alex is rather clumsy though and splashes himself with the mixture. He has now become a walking monster of death. Anyone he touches will surely perish. Alex threatens Ramsey that a cure must be made and soon or he’ll start murdering people. Can Ramsey make the cure in time or is the town already doomed?

One thing that was a bit surprising is how crazy Alex was. At first you expect that he’ll be your standard hero but the movie doesn’t really play out that way. Now, you can make the case that the mixture turned him crazy and he was actually a good guy otherwise. I have my doubts but it’s certainly a valid argument. The guy just dials it up to 11 though as he instantly threatens Ramsey and isn’t very reasonable about anything. I felt bad for the old guy because Ramsey did warn Alex that this was a risky endeavor. It’s hard to sympathize with Alex as much as you could have since he actively goes around murdering people. If it felt like he was a little more hesitant then that would help but I just did not get that vibe from him.

This does play into the interesting dynamic between him, Carol, and Tom. Technically Alex is with Carol but Tom seems to like her and she decides to mess with Alex to get him jealous. Mix that in with the fact that Alex is never around while Carol and Tom have to work together all the time and the whole thing already seemed dicey. It definitely put in some warning bells for Alex because the film had to do something to have one of them win. I think we know how that went now. Carol’s a reasonable character but I wouldn’t say she handles the situations all that well. She tends to panic quite a lot although at least she wasn’t really the fainting type. Then you have Tom who is pretty confident the whole time. I do feel like his sudden lunge at the end was all to bait Alex into charging to get shot. Maybe I’m reading too much into it but it seemed like it was all part of an elaborate plan.

Ramsey was the best character. It’s just a shame that there’s not a whole lot that he can do. The guy can’t really walk all that well as it is. His final scene was a bit odd though because it made no sense. It’s like he lunged at Alex which I’m sure was not the intention but it certainly came across that way. At least you hope that wasn’t what he was trying to do because it wouldn’t really make any sense. As the film goes on there is a pretty decent body count stockpiling up. Most of the characters were just trying to have a good day so it certainly didn’t work out for them.

The design for the monster isn’t bad but he definitely doesn’t look too intimidating. I’d say it’s sort of like a cross between the Thing and Swamp Thing. The fact that Alex can’t really talk all that well in this form doesn’t help matters for him. As expected the writing is pretty solid here. The characters are on point and it makes the whole experience pretty interesting. As I mentioned the film is pretty short so the pacing is also very fast. We even got to have the detectives and cops show up near the end which is always fun. Having the government get involved tends to bring any monster film to the next level and they looked pretty good here. They were definitely ready to deal with Alex and his super powers.

Overall, Hand of Death is a very accurate title. A single touch from this guy and that’s game over almost instantly. It’s a very lethal ability to the point where it could be very lethal in war as well. Of course you have to get close enough to touch someone so if you’re shot then I suppose this won’t be doing you a whole lot of good anyway. It’s a very basic movie with a small cast and a direct plot but I wouldn’t say that it has any weaknesses either. The fundamentals are very sound and that’s really all that you need. These retro horror films tend to be some of the best in the genre. They just don’t make them like they used to.

Overall 7/10

Night of the Lepus Review


The instant you know what the plot of this film is you know that you haven’t exactly picked out a winner. Evil rabbits? Yeah I don’t see any way that could work out well for any of the parties involved. It’s a quick recipe for massive animal violence on all sides and the film doesn’t disappoint there. It’s pretty unique so I’ll give the film that. You don’t see a whole lot of movies about evil rabbits, it just isn’t done and I guess now we’ll see why. The main thing to remember here is that if you’re being chased by evil rabbits just calmly stay in your car and drive forward. One character did try this but unfortunately a ditch got in the way. Nothing much you can do in that case I suppose.

The film opens with a farm being completely overrun by Rabbits. While this may not sound like a huge issue it does upset the balance. The rabbits are eating all of the crops and wildlife so nothing can grow. One farmer suggests using poison but the ranchers are against this. If they do that then nothing will grow here for a long time so they will have effectively doomed themselves. The other farmers are worried since the rabbits will keep on spreading. Well, Roy and Gerry are called in to put a stop to this. Roy thinks of a solution which is to stop the rabbits from breeding but it doesn’t work and then his daughter decides to mess with the experiment. She frees one of the contaminated Rabbits and it quickly runs over to meet up with the rest. Now the heroes are dealing with an army of angry Rabbits who are not only larger than the average animals but also more vicious. Now it’s the Rabbits ensnaring the humans all around them. Will there be any escape from this menace?

I do have to mention right away that I was surprised at how Amanda (the daughter) never owns up to the fact that she is directly responsible for so many deaths. Nobody ever finds out that she is the one who let the Rabbit out and she doesn’t feel guilty about it either. She never apologizes about it and you’d be forgiven for forgetting that it was even a plot point. If not for her meddling then this film wouldn’t have lasted so long presumably. Of course she didn’t know any better but it’s why the kid characters tend to hold everyone back. Without her the farmers may not have been in great shape but they would have lived to tell their tale.

As for the actual main characters, Roy and Gerry are okay. I wouldn’t call them particularly memorable but they do their jobs of researching this predicament and trying to come up with a solution. Ultimately they basically fail but I suppose it was a worthy attempt. There’s just not much to say about them. They’re just reasonable people but don’t have much character beyond that although you could say the same for most of the characters here. Take the Sheriff. He’s a good character, a solid leader who does his best to end the threat. You really can’t say much about him beyond that though and that’s the underlining issue with some of these characters. I did like the train conductor though. At least that guy had a presence with how he could barely even be bothered to get up and help with a Rabbit army on the way. He clearly couldn’t care less about most of this.

The film’s final plan of having a bunch of cars turn on the lights and get in a row was interesting but I wonder how effective that would really be. It’s good the people didn’t panic. I was shocked at just how eager they were to get in and help. You certainly wouldn’t expect to see that nowadays. There’d be panic and people running every which way instead of just following the orders. The Rabbits did their best to disperse but ultimately it’s not like they’re bullet proof so when up against the whole army they were doomed.

We don’t get to see the Rabbits during the day much at all but design wise they’re effectively just a lot bigger and have sharper claws. Beyond that they’re effectively normal Rabbits. I wouldn’t have minded adding on spikes or something to make them look extra dangerous. It’s not like it would save the film though. It almost goes without saying but I still need to say it. What holds this film back a whole lot is the fact that there is a lot of animal violence. The heroes shoot the rabbits, stab them, etc. Of course it’s every man for himself in this film but even so you never want to see the Rabbits get injured. It’s the reason why making a film with the Rabbits being super evil is basically impossible. Either you win without injuring any of them in which case the film would likely get a lot of shots for not having any tension or you do fight back against the Rabbits and get yourself in a whole mess. Either way it doesn’t exactly bode well for the movie.

You’ll also feel bad for some of the characters who get bumped off. For example there’s a nice old lady just minding her business at the store. The instant she is introduced you know that she is doomed and minutes later her fate is sealed. Her character only existed to get bumped off and everyone watching the film knows this. The sad part is she would have possibly lived if she had made the wrong choice and not pestered the Sheriff to go and see if anything was wrong. So effectively she got punished for doing the right thing. It’s a pretty sad moment for her character to be sure.

You’d expect a horror movie like this to have a big twist ending but it’s pretty low key. Basically it sort of hints at a sequel as you can assume that the one left has powers so it should start to spread them again. It may take a little while though and it’s just not as spooky as it could have been. How I would have ended the film would be to have the characters drive home only to have the trunk pop open and a giant Rabbit jumps out. It then slowly walks towards the leads as the music swells up and then lunges at them along with a gunshot sound and then fade to black. Now that’s how you get a suspenseful end scene. Perhaps a bit cliche, but effective nonetheless.

Overall, Night of the Lepus is a pretty bad film. It’s not very surprising though. That’s what you get when you have evil rabbits running around. None of the characters are particularly memorable. If anything they can be annoying. Amanda put everyone’s safety at risk and her friend was willing to keep the secret. He didn’t put the pieces together but forcing her to ditch her pet was a pretty bad first impression. The heroes are just lucky that the townsfolk were so cooperative this time. It’s rare that you see everyone band together to fight such a common foe without any real resistance. If you want to check out a horror film then I definitely advise skipping this one.

Overall 1/10

Plan 9 From Outer Space Review


If you ever thought that having a movie with aliens and zombies would be too overwhelming for a film then this is one you need to check out. Plan 9 From Outer Space reminds us that a film can be as ambitious as it wants to be and still succeed so long as the writing is on point. The movie is fairly short but really manages to deliver on a whole lot of content. It’s a fun ride from start to finish and Inspector Daniel really ends up showing everyone how to handle supernatural cases like this. It’s rare to see a detective with such poise under pressure.

The movie starts with some people seeing a UFO as it heads to Earth. It is somehow able to bring the dead back to life and the body count slowly begins to grow. The aliens are using Plan 9 to take over the Earth. Basically what this entails is bumping off the most competent humans and then turning them into Zombies. These zombies will then crush the rest of the humans. The process of turning people into zombies seems rather quick to be honest so you may question why they don’t just turn everyone into zombies and be done with it. With their advanced weapons maybe they could just blow the planet to kingdom come right? I assume they need the planet alive since they want to take it over of course but then at least using it to take out some of the key bases. Well, since they haven’t done that, Daniel has a chance to crack the case and foil this plot.

On the surface Daniel probably seems like he’s out of his league here. He’s a tough detective who has had a long history of finding any kind of clue, but what clues will help him stop Plan 9? At the very least he never really ponders this and just gets into the action which is admirable. Pretty much any scene he is in Daniel starts pointing out mistakes others have made. The others really aren’t of any use without him and it shows. Daniel’s got to be the best character here in part because of his overwhelming confidence the whole time. I always like when a lead is decisive like that.

Not all of the characters are quite as on the ball though and I should say that despite the long writeup…Daniel isn’t the main character. He doesn’t quite last as long as you would expect. No, our lead is Jeff and he’s a pretty earnest guy. He’s certainly seen more action in the field than Daniel as a pilot and quickly gets thrown into the thick of it. If you wanted to see a human actually fight with one of these aliens mano a mano then you’ll have your chance. There is one scene in particular that may stretch your imagination though as one of the zombies heads to Jeff’s house. Keep in mind that the zombies are rather obvious since they can’t move a whole lot and have a vacant expression on their face. At most you can maybe understand his kid not realizing that something was up but Jeff’s wife should have suspected something when the guy just kept grunting the whole time. Then Jeff himself didn’t notice until he went in the car and it was too late to get out. Not very observant eh?

There’s just so much going on with a bunch of characters at the ready. As a result one of the characters doesn’t even get to say anything and he just runs around with recycled footage the whole time. It’s definitely an interesting decision and shows that the cutting floor can really change the whole feel of a character arc. The movie is pretty short at only around an hour so it’s pretty impressive how many storylines and characters are juggled. What really sells this film is the solid writing. The characters talk like a really old movie with the witty banter and iconic one liners. They all seem like reasonable people who have to band together to stop a common enemy. You can’t really go wrong with that setup.

The aliens themselves are pretty fun as well even if they do get a bit nervous at times. It’s hard to forget the scene where they lose control of the zombie and it nearly chokes them all out. If you can’t beat your own creations that’s a bad sign. It did foreshadow that they would likely have trouble against ordinary humans though. After all, if you can’t beat a zombie then that means your strength is under theirs and probably fairly ordinary in nature. Their best bet was destroying us all with technology and as soon as they did not go with that plan I knew they were going to have a hard time of it.

One last strength that the film has is certainly all of the government scenes. We see them trying to shoot down the UFO with lasers and when that fails they fall back to pretending it never happened. I always like to see the government involved as it makes everything a little more tense and professional-like. They have a whole subplot here as they try to figure things out and it makes sense since Jeff is also intertwined in that. All we needed was a courtroom scene and this movie really would have had every strong scenario from these retro movies.

Overall, This is a really fun movie. You have a whole lot of themes and genres stuffed in here. You’ve got the mystery from the humans’ perspective of what’s going on, horror with the zombies running around, sci-fi thanks to the aliens, and maybe even some drama with people coping with the dead characters coming back although this isn’t really played up. We’ve also got a fantastic climax with quite a lot of action. On one hand you’ve got the 1 on 1 human vs alien battle and on the other you have a full army war scene of the heroes fighting off the zombies. I was definitely happy to see the army getting involved. Usually you don’t see that, but it makes sense with the invasion plans in motion.

Overall 7/10

Invisible Ghost Review


It’s time to look at a retro horror film from quite a while back. The title right away tells you that this is gonna be pretty good though. How can you go wrong with a ghost who can’t be seen? If you could see the ghost then I’d wager that it wouldn’t be nearly as spooky. That’s just me of course, but I think the logic of it is quite sound when you really think about it. The plot is nothing like what I expected but makes for a quality adventure nonetheless.

The movie starts off by introducing us to the rich Charles and his daughter Virginia. Tragedy struck this manor one day as Charles’ wife ran off with another man and died in a car wreck. He now has an annual dinner with her ghost but otherwise leads a normal life. There is one odd thing about the house he lives in though. A maid/butler tends to die every so often in this place. Over the years there have been a ton of deaths here but the cops are never able to figure out why people keep getting murdered. They’ve advised Charles to leave the house but he refuses since it means a lot to him since it’s where his wife used to live. Well, I suppose the cops can’t force him to leave. Still, the murders continue to strike at an alarming rate. Paul shows up to end this after his brother was framed for the murders and hanged. Can he really get to the bottom of this?

This is a very old school horror. You know who the guilty party is fairly early on so the tension is seeing if the cops can figure it out. It makes for a lot of entertaining scenes though since the villain is quite smug the whole time. Of course, whether or not he actually knows what he is doing may be slightly debatable due to the ending. Personally I would say he was aware. See, my theory is that he realized that the scales had to be balanced. Each visit required another sacrifice to keep the ritual going. It was all in a rather crazy set of circumstances and you’d have to stretch logic a whole lot for this to make sense but it’s not like he was a very balanced individual to start with.

The writing is very well done here. There’s quite a good amount of humor to be found here although the movie is still serious by nature. Characters just have a lot of fun with the facial expressions and quick jabs here and there. Evans for example was a very solid character. He took everything in stride and tried not to get involved in people’s affairs. Of course he still can’t help but notice all of the people getting bumped off and starts to keep his eye on everyone around. Evans doesn’t let his guard down the way that the others do. He even starts the day whistling as he tries to focus on his work. He’s rarely allowed to as things keep on happening in the manor but he does his best. He certainly steals the show.

Otherwise Charles is very solid as you would expect as well and would be another contender for the top spot. His accent is definitely iconic at this point and he has a way with words. Nothing phases Charles in the slightest and he always does what he can to help. Charles is to first one to start with the pleasantries and he always acts with a lot of empathy towards everyone. The guy appears to be as nice as can be on the outside and does his best to cope. Then you have Virginia who has a pretty rough time of it in this film. She has a fiance but things don’t go very well for him and otherwise her role isn’t huge here. She’s a fun character either way though.

As for Paul, I liked the guy’s confidence. He’s the kind of character you always gotta bring into the mix because you know that he’ll shake things up. He acts like a detective and does more sleuthing than the actual investigators. He quickly goes to find some hair and even thinks of bringing in the psychiatrist. I can’t say that the guy was of much help, but at least he was trying a lot of things. It’s hard to say if the cops were trying much of anything here. I suppose as the murders kept on going with no end in sight there came a point where they just threw in the towel. It’s pretty unfortunate when you think about it but that just seems to be how it went down.

There aren’t any supernatural elements to be found in this film but even without a ghost the film is able to keep your attention. That’s due in large part to how good the film’s writing and pacing were. There’s not much more to be said about the film though due to how direct it is. At the end of the day I didn’t really have any issues with the film. It accomplishes in what it sets out to do. There may not be any ambitious story behind the film or anything like that but sometimes you just need to nail down the fundamentals and the rest will follow. This is one of those cases.

Overall, Invisible Ghost is a very old school horror film with a rather basic plot. Someone is murdering a bunch of people and so we have to expose the culprit. You don’t really see stories quite like this nowadays as everything usually has big twists or a much larger plot. Still, you just can’t beat the basic bread and butters of the genre. I would recommend checking this one out whenever you have a chance. The movie has aged exceptionally well and is just a lot of fun. It can be pretty serious and there is a body count but the film sprinkles in just enough humor to give it that nice balance as you eagerly awaits what happens next.

Overall 7/10

Sinister Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time to look at a horror film that actually isn’t too old. I suppose the time is relative though, at this point maybe someone would consider 2012 to be forever ago. Sinister is definitely a pretty terrible horror film that plays out like you would expect. It’s certainly pretty grim and gets pretty dark right from the jump. It never really gets better from there but no worries, you do have your classic horror type ending here. That’s definitely a staple and Sinister made sure to abide by it so even if I wouldn’t give the movie a thumbs up, it does respect the traditions.

The movie starts with Edison and his family moving over to a new house. Edison writes books about grisly murders which were never solved. He figures that this will help bring justice to the victims who need it. After all, they died before they could do everything they wanted to do so at least now he could help put the villain away for good. This case looks like it’ll be a lot more difficult to crack than his last few though. The murders have some very occult elements to them and there really might be something supernatural in the works here. One thing’s for sure, Edison can’t lower his guard here if he wants to leave the place alive.

Well, Edison does everything he can to make sure you can’t root for him all that much. He literally takes out the beer bottles and starts drinking as soon as the first tape is in. He makes sure to mention quite a lot that he isn’t an alchoholic or anything like that but his actions don’t always match up. Edison also never seems to really follow what he is saying. For example, he says that writing books isn’t about the money or the fame and that he wants justice. Yet, all he can think of are the possible TV deals and such when discussing the book. He is actually quite obsessed with being famous to the point where it seems to matter more to him than the justice part.

He also lies to his wife right away when saying that their house isn’t related to the murderer’s one. Now, he words his response in a way where he later tries to say that it wasn’t a lie, but that’s a technicality at best. He knew exactly what she was asking and said the opposite anyway. Edison’s made life rather difficult for the rest of his family. His son suffers from night terrors which have gotten worse ever since they moved, his daughter had to part with all of her friends, and his wife is certainly not well liked by the neighbors thanks to all of the murders going around. It’s just not a pleasant environment. It’s one that Edison is certainly okay with but now that he has a family he has to include them in his considerations as well.

Edison also makes a lot of typical horror protagonist mistakes. For starters, while he doesn’t believe in the supernatural, he’s given a lot of opportunities to figure things out and escape. The kids start learning things they couldn’t possibly know, names they shouldn’t recognize, and his projector keeps turning on by itself at night. Shouldn’t this be enough for him to let the family know that something is up? “Best” case scenario is that someone just keeps breaking into the house and worst case is that the demons are around. Either way this is something that he needs to explain at least to his wife so that they will be ready. By not telling them anything then they’re just going to go down like all the rest.

The villain himself doesn’t really appear much. Based on what we learn from the lore and what not it’s basically a demon with quite a lot of power. While it isn’t able to possess adults very easily it can do so with a little practice. Beyond that it has the usual reality warping skills and slight of hand. Not the most imaginative villain out there but I will give him props for the costume. At the very least that one looks pretty decent whenever we actually get to see it appear which isn’t very often.

The Deputy was pretty neat though. He kept it 100 with Edison and was always trying his best to help. Edison might have actually had a shot to last longer if he had just listened to the guy instead of hitting ignore on his phone the whole time. Again, Edison really helped to wrap himself in all the trouble he caused. If he had listened to his wife earlier then nothing would have happened. Additionally once the supernatural stuff started to happen he should have clued everyone in. This is really just a case of Edison ignoring all of the signs until it was too late.

The whole gimmick of having to watch the tapes each time doesn’t do the film any favors either. Each tape is about a family getting bumped off in pretty violent ways. Whether it is by drowning or burning, they never quite survive. There’s no way they could have since the whole point is that the villain has been bumping everyone off for a long while now. In a way that makes the tapes worse since you know that they’re all doomed from the start so it’s not like watching them will change anything. Additionally, expect to see each tape several times as they cut to flashbacks quite often. You’ll know each of the tapes quite well by the climax because of that. With the kids dying in those tapes as well they’re definitely no good. There are a bunch of different jump scares in the film though so we’ll see if any of them land for you. I’ll say this at least, I was expecting the dog to die so when he didn’t I was happy about that. It sort of cancelled out though as a dog died in one of the videos…so there goes that. For every step the film took forward it took about 5 back.

Overall, Sinister is one of those films that’s pretty mean spirited and doesn’t really add anything to the cinematic world. Edison does the genre leads proud with how he misses every clue though. He is determined to crack this case and seems to think that he is tough enough to survive all of the scares. That is clearly not the case but I guess I’ll give him some points for bravery…or I would if he didn’t lose them all by running to the beer bottle and lying about it. This is the kind of movie where he probably would have been doomed either way but at least Edison could have given the others a chance. I also think it’s worth pointing out that the Deputy was able to notice things that the lead did not despite working on this case for a much shorter period of time. The Sheriff claimed that Edison was washed up and maybe he was right.

Overall 0/10